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It is with great reluctance that Irish Sailing have decided, along with hosts the National Yacht Club, to cancel the Women at the Helm regatta that had been set to take place later this month, writes Gail McAllister.

Despite the tremendous energy behind the event, the health and safety of sailors is our number one priority, and in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the complexities arising from this it became clear that the event could not go ahead.

Irish Sailing are extremely disappointed for yet another event to be lost to Covid this year, but now look forward to next year and the Women at the Helm in Royal Cork Yacht Club on the weekend of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and enthusiasm for Women at the Helm as an event and the Take the Helm campaign to encourage more women to move into positions of leadership. The campaign goes beyond the race course and creates leaders on committees, instructor teams and management.

A group of volunteer race officials have worked together to create a guidance document to help in planning and implementing safe and happy sailing events for the season ahead.

Irish Sailing has now published these guidelines, with details on planning, timelines, risk assessment and other considerations and controls for running both major national and smaller local events during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is an active working document and will be updated as Government guidelines changes throughout this pandemic. See the current full guidance document (as of 8 July 2020) attached below.

Irish Sailing has issued it latest guidance document to take into account the easing of Covid-19 restrictions announced by Government last week, and which come into effect from Monday 29 June. (Downloadable below)

Essentially, there is little change in the transition from Phase 3 to 4, so this plan is likely to direct how our sports will be organised for the foreseeable future.

As Afloat reported here, the plan also outlines how a proposed pod system in order to facilitate racing that begins again under phase 3.

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This event has now been cancelled over continued concerns surrounding Covid-19. For more see HERE.

The National Yacht Club has confirmed that its planned hosting of the Irish Sailing Women at the Helm National Regatta will go ahead as scheduled on 29-30 August.

Organisers are planning for a safe social and sailing environment and working within the Irish Sailing and Government guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants and volunteers, as well as the local community.

CANCELKLEDThe success of last year’s inaugural event at the NYC “shows what a great opportunity the regatta is to showcase the strength and leadership of women in sport and their ability to adapt in a changing environment”, the club said.

Women at the Helm aims to encourage women to move from shore to boat, crew to helm and club to regional event and generally to take on leadership roles in sailing.

The event is open to PY dinghy and keelboat racing from teens to seniors. Men are welcome to participate but crews must be at least 50% female and all boats must be helmed by women.

Expression of interest registration is now open, and sailors and volunteers can register their interest in helming, crewing, chartering or volunteering. The Notice of Race will be available shortly.

Published in National YC

Irish Sailing has congratulated its Academy athlete Tom Higgins, who has received one of the prestigious Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarships from UCD.

Nearly 400 school-leavers applied for the 15 Ad Astra Scholarship programme places.

The programme looks for “exceptional, high-achieving students” and allows them to study for their degree alongside the pursuit of their sporting goals, with both financial aid and additional supports such as academic mentoring and calendar rescheduling.

It means the athlete, who sails the Laser Radial out of the Royal St George, can balance big competitive events alongside college work without either suffering.

Higgins has completed his studies in Gonzaga College and is awaiting his predicted Leaving Certificate grades. He hopes to pursue a degree in the areas of business, commerce or law.

“The last three months have been strange,” he said. “When the schools first closed, I continued to hit the books, but obviously that all changed.”

He’s been training with the Irish Sailing Team on the water in Dun Laoghaire, and joins them in the video calls for strength and conditioning, cycling sessions and coaching classes.

He’s now looking ahead to the autumn: “We’ve got graduation in September, so I still feel connected with school. Then college starts, and I have the Laser Radial Youth European Championships in Hyeres [in France] at the end of October. It’ll be busy!”

Published in Youth Sailing

Irish Sailing is waiting to hear back from the Government's Sport Expert Group to see if mixed household crew (in a pod system) and using regular crew with effective contact tracing as the mitigating factor will be allowed.

Irish Sailing has submitted the proposal for Phase 3 & 4 of the Return to Sailing Scheme and hopes to have a response early next week, along with an indication of the Government’s revised latest Roadmap.

Summer Camps

Although Government guidelines for organising children’s summer camps have been published it hasn’t specifically addressed any relaxation of social distancing measures.

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Irish Sailing president — and National Race Officer — David O’Brien will present an online Local Race Officer Course starting Monday evening 8 June.

The course runs on two nights, Monday 8 and Monday 15 June from 6pm to 9pm, and is open to anyone (aged 16 and over) interested in how racing and committee boats work and would like to know more about becoming a recognised race officer.

The course will be delivered by the Zoom platform and costs just €10. For booking details see HERE.

Published in ISA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that plans to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being accelerated and the country will move to 'Phase 2 Plus' on Monday 8th June.

Irish Sailing, as the national governing body for the sport, has issued its “Phase 2 Return to Sailing Scheme” and it is available to download below.

The Phase 2 Scheme begins on Monday and outlines the measures to be put in place to ensure a safe return to the water, and also includes an updated Risk Assessment and FAQs document.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the sailing season got underway over the last few weeks with many boats now back in the water. Yacht racing, however, is not expected to resume until Phase 3 and only then among single-handers or members of the same household sailing together on the same boat.

Download the Return to Sailing Scheme phase 2 below.

Published in ISA
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The Government have established an ‘Expert Group’ with representatives from the Department, Sport Ireland and Sporting Bodies to help with consistency in the approach for returning to sport. Irish Sailing is now working with this group for clarity around the lifting of restrictions as we transition through the phases.

Sport Ireland has suggested that each organisation should appoint a COVID 19 Officer to help establish protocols for preventing the spread of the virus, and who would be Irish Sailing’s main point of contact in this area. To date, we have been communicating directly with sailing club Commodores and Centre Principles for the distribution of COVID 19 information, and unless any organisation provides details of a specific COVID 19 Officer, we will continue to liaise with the commodore/centre principle on COVID 19 matters.

The Expert Group have informed us that information and clarity around the Phases 2-5 will be published on a “phase by phase basis as the public health situation evolves over time”. The main changes in the Governments Phase 2 roadmap for sport relates to:

the Travel Restrictions being extended from 5km to 20km – although questions have been asked, it is unlikely that any exceptions will be made for sporting clubs.
the restrictions on group size participating (currently 4 people in Phase 1) are being increased to include “team sports training in small groups (but not matches)”. While a final definition on ‘small groups’ is not yet available, for planning purposes sports are recommended to use up to 10 participants at this point.
Social distancing will still be in place for sport throughout phase 2.

We will continue to provide updates as soon as any information becomes available.

Safe Sailing and Sail Smart

Harry Hermon
CEO

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Harry Hermon, Irish Sailing Chief Executive, has published the "Return to Sailing” Scheme today (May 12 2020). The PDF document is downloadable below.

The CEO says: 

The Phase 1 Guidelines from the “Return to Sailing” Scheme are designed to support clubs, centres and members to put measures in place that will allow the safe return to our sports on a gradual basis, subject to the lifting of the Coastguard’s current advisory notice.

The Return to Sailing Scheme Phase 1 includes three sections:

1. 4 x fundamental principles that will affect the decision to go afloat:

  • Compliance with current COVID 19 restrictions
  • Personal responsibility – for your own safety and compliance
  • Self-help - alternative means of safely returning to shore
  • Risk Assessment – assisting the decision-making process

2. Guidelines for a safe return to our sports in Phase 1 (starting on 18 May)

3. A Risk Assessment template for organisations.

Other supports will be published soon, including a FAQ section on our website, and a “Safety Testing” document which will give more practical tips on safely returning to your boat.

The government also published their own Return to Work protocol which we will be referencing https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Return-to-Work-Safely-Protocol.html

We continue to work with Sport Ireland on guidelines for Phase 2 and beyond, with the hope that travel restrictions may be reviewed, and multi-household groups be allowed to convene.

In the meantime, by working together and using these Phase 1 principles and guidelines sensibly and responsibly, we can make sure that our return to the water is safe for all.

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre.

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier.

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs
  • Sailing Schools
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width.

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act.

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977- A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

 

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here.

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

Round Ireland Yacht Race

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

  • 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

  • 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

  • The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012.
  • Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
  • Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour.

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire:

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings.

© Afloat 2020

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