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Displaying items by tag: RS Elite

Five Elites again made it to the Battery start on Trasnagh Island on Strangford Lough last Saturday. Janice McCrudden's Bamboozled after some setup difficulties last week were keen to get some good quality racing. Unfortunately due to other commitments, Richard Moore and Colman Byrne's were unable to get out in their Elite Usain Boat. After 2 races last Saturday Storm from RUYC were leading from Speedwell from RNIYC.

Race 3 was run in a shifty northerly force 4 breeze with a moderately strong ebbing tide. Phil Anderson and Clive Corry in illegal had a good lead at the first windward with the other 4 boats in close contention. Ed Cody and crew in Speedwell were in second with Messrs Polly, Kelso, and Gunning in their Elite, Storm in an unfamiliar for them 3rd.

Racing was tight and into the final leeward mark, Speedwell and Illegal had a tactical battle to try to get water at the mark. SLYC’s illegal came out ahead and Speedwell had further problems with other boats at the mark given an opportunity to Storm overtake.

The short final beat saw the usual fast pace from Storm trying to reel in Illegal. Illegal just managed to hold out and took the win in a photo finish.

Race 3 in series

1st Illegal Helm Phil Anderson SLYC,

2nd Storm Helm- Stephen Polly RUYC

3rd Speedwell Helm Ed Cody RNIYC

Race 4 was run in a lighter and more shift breeze with the tide having a greater influence. Storm led at the first mark with Illegal rounding just ahead of Speedwell. Again very tight racing which saw Storm win, Speedwell second, and Illegal 3rd.

Race 4 in series

1st Storm Helm Stephen Polly,

2nd Speedwell Helm Ed Cody,

3rd Illegal Helm Phil Anderson.

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Last Sunday was the first day's racing for most of the RS Elites this year as a result of a Covid-19 hit 2020 season. Five boats made it onto Strangford Lough with the hope of another couple joining next weekend. 

Sailors were treated to a lively 20-knot easterly and sunshine. The first race started from the SLYC battery saw 4 boats in close contention upwind, there was a small misunderstanding about which was the correct windward mark which left a few boats reaching down to the laylines - Storm from RUYC led from Usain boat helmed by Richard Moore from RNIYC. Usain Boat had technical issues at the bear away stage and was overtaken by Illegal (SLYC)and Speedwell (RNIYC). Speedwell overtook Illegal on the 2nd beat whilst Storm maintained their lead.

Race 1

  1. Storm Stephen Polly
  2. Speedwell Ed Cody
  3. Illegal Phil Anderson

Royal Ulster and Royal North of Ireland Elites getting ready for their first outing of the year at Strangford LoughRoyal Ulster and Royal North of Ireland Elites getting ready for their first outing of the year at Strangford Lough

The second race was run in a calmer 10-15 knot shifty Easterly. Again, Storm pushed out in front, leading from Speedwell, and Merlin (SLYC). A 45-degree left-hand wind shift lead to this being more of a drag-race with few overtaking opportunities. All crew enjoyed the sunshine and being out on the water again

Race 2

  1. Storm Stephen Polly
  2. Speedwell Ed Cody
  3. Merlin  Angus McRoberts

Results here

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The RS Elite Association announces this week, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, incorporating the UK National Championships, has been postponed. Originally scheduled to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 9th to 12th July 2020, the event will now take place from 9th to 12th June 2022.

As Afloat reported in February, this year’s eagerly anticipated event would have been the first international RS Elite event and the largest ever gathering of RS Elites, with entrants from countries including the UK, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Norway, Germany, USA and Australia. The continuing uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the scale of the event and the necessity for international competitors to reschedule travel plans make it impossible to postpone the event to a date later this year. Given the need for advance scheduling, it has not proved possible to find a mutually suitable slot in both the 2021 Solent and Class sailing calendars.

The postponement of the 2020 Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix means that the 2020 RS Elite UK National Championships, which was to have formed part of the regatta, will no longer be held. Of the other events in the RS Elite calendar for 2020, the Hayling Island Whitsun Regatta has been postponed to 29th-30th August 2020 and all other events remain in place for now, yet remain under review. Any other changes to the program will be announced as soon as possible.

Event Organiser Charlie Egerton-Warburton has said: “On a positive note, the detailed planning for the 2020 event had been done, many sponsors and supporters have already confirmed their desire to remain associated with a 2022 event and the majority of the elements can be carried forward. We, therefore, hope that all of this year’s competitors will mark their diaries accordingly, and we will look forward to welcoming everyone to the Royal Yacht Squadron in June 2022.”

RS Elite Association Chairman Paul Fisk has said: “Whilst we are of course hugely disappointed to postpone the regatta, not going sailing for a while seems the least that the Association can do to help and support those in the health and social care sectors around the world who are really up against it in the fight against COVID-19 – we wish them all the very best. Postponing the event until 2022 gives us a great opportunity to build an even better event when the international RS Elite community will be able to come together at the Royal Yacht Squadron."

Published in RS Sailing
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The six RS Elites entered for Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough now warrant their own class and with three days of the early bird entry left, there is still time for more to join them at the bargain rate.

Among the six are Jeff Ralston’s Upfront from Royal North, last year’s Irish champion as well as the second-placed boat in that event, the host club’s Storm (Polly, Kelso and Gunning). Storm was also the highest-placed boat from Northern Ireland in the National Championship last year at Dun Laoghaire Regatta, at eighth overall in the 31-boat fleet.

At present four of the six Elites are from Belfast Lough, and the others, John McRobert’s Swallow comes from Ballyronan Boat Club on Lough Neagh, and Janice McCrudden’s Bamboozled hails from Strangford Lough YC.

And it’s worth noting that berthing for boats not normally berthed in Bangor’s Quay Marina is included in the entry fee, as is, for the RS Elite class only, cranage. The Race Documents can be found on the Event website

The RS Elite Association is pleased to announce Brewin Dolphin as the Headline Sponsor for the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes from 9th to 12th July 2020. The event incorporates the RS Elite UK National Championship and an International Invitational Regatta. It is set to be the largest RS Elite event to date with a projected entry of up to 60 boats, with entries expected from the UK, Guernsey, Germany, Norway, Italy, Australia and the USA.

The RS Elite Class held a highly successful National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron in 2012, when there were in excess of 40 entries. Since then, the Class has grown in the UK and internationally. The 2020 Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix will be a showcase for the boat, which is known for highly competitive sailing by top sailors who include Olympic medallists and World Champions. The Class looks forward to returning to the Royal Yacht Squadron, where it can expect superb race management and excellent social events.

Paul Fisk, RS Elite Association Chairman has said: "The Association is hugely appreciative of Brewin Dolphin's generous commitment, which is vital to ensuring the event's success and will go a long way towards building the RS Elite fleet internationally. This announcement will boost the already high buzz of excitement around the event. We look forward to working in close partnership with Brewin Dolphin and the Royal Yacht Squadron to deliver another memorable RS Elite regatta."

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The 2019 RS Elite National Championship, held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, produced a nail-biting finish with the final result not decided until the tenth and last race. Mike McIntyre and crew, sailing RS Elite 76 Foudafafa, retained their title as National Champions despite being tied after nine races with Ossie Stewart and crew, sailing RS Elite 67 More T Vicar. In third place were Paul Fisk and crew in RS Elite 110 Legs Eleven.

Dun Laoghaire proved to be a popular venue for the RS Elites with 14 out of a total of 31 boats taking part making the journey from England. The remainder of the fleet came from the strong RS Elite contingent in Northern Ireland. The competitors were not disappointed. PRO Peter Crowley and his on-the- water team did a generally excellent job in sometimes difficult conditions and the Protest Committee’s handling of a tricky redress hearing was eminently reasonable and fair. On the social side the fleet enjoyed the hospitality of the Royal St George Yacht who hosted an enjoyable class Dinner on the Saturday Night and provided a base for some very entertaining craic and refreshment throughout the event.

RS Elite VDLR 2 4The RS Elite UK National Championships were staged at Dun Laoghaire

Boats were launched by the Royal St George team on Wednesday, July 10th and racing took place from 11th to 14th July. Wind conditions were generally light to moderate with day two (July 12) producing the best breeze of 15-20 knots from the northwest. Winds were lighter on the other days. The wind was particularly tricky on day one with the first race starting in a light and shifty north-westerly breeze which swung by 180 degrees as the sea breeze set in, converting the leeward gate into a windward gate. Wind conditions continued to be challenging throughout the event, particularly on days three and four, with the wind blowing off the land and producing some sizeable shifts.

RS Elite VDLR 1337

RS Elite VDLR 1307

RS Elite VDLR 2 2

RS Elite VDLR 2

Racing was highly competitive with sailors from Hayling Island Sailing Club, the original home of the RS Elite, taking the first six places overall. Among the first three, the highest number of first places (four) went to Ossie Stewart’s More T Vicar but, with better discards, Mike McIntyre’s Foudafafa (two firsts) took the championship with an overall 22 points to More T Vicar’s 27, demonstrating the value of consistency throughout the event. Paul Fisk’s Legs Eleven took third place with 38 points having taken first place in races five and six.

Elites 1 RST George 2019The RS Elites berthed as a fleet at the RSTGYC

Other highlights from the results table included seventh place which went to RS Elite 63 E’tu sailed by Steve Powell from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Steve is the former RS Elite Class Association chairman whose tireless work did so much to ensure the success of the class. He was making a welcome return to the fleet after several years. The highest-placed boat from Northern Ireland was RS Elite 37 Storm sailed by Stephen Polly and crew from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club who finished eighth overall. RS Elite 19 Tuppence sailed by Brian Corry from Strangford Lough Yacht Club, finishing 11th, was the only boat from outside the top three to score a race win, finishing first in race two.

The 2019 Nationals was a milestone event for the RS Elite fleet being the first time the event had been held outside the UK and the first time as part of a larger event. The popularity of the venue ensured a healthy entry with all the fleets in mainland UK and Northern Ireland represented. Outside of the leading group the first boat from Cowes was RS Elite 101 Centurion sailed by Robert Holbrook in 10th place, RS Elite 111 Kin sailed by Tiffany Brien and crew from the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club was 13th and RS Elite 68 Serious Moonlight sailed by Richard Bavin and crew from Royal Burnham YC was 14th.

Simon Childs Mike McIntyre and Caroline McIntyre retain their title as RS Elite National ChampionsSimon Childs Mike McIntyre and Caroline McIntyre retain their title as RS Elite National Champions

Class Chairman Paul Fisk commented that the efforts of the regatta organisers, in cooperation with the four yacht clubs, made for a seriously impressive operation that delivered a fabulous event. He also thanked the Royal St George Yacht Club for their wonderful hospitality and for the impeccable handling of boat logistics by their shore team.

The international theme will continue in 2020 where the UK National Championship will be held as part of the RS Elite International Grand Prix, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes.

Results are below

Published in Volvo Regatta
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Only three points after eight races separate two British Olympic medalists in the RS Elite UK National Championships being held as part of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

1988 Seoul Gold Medalist Mike McIntyre from the Star Class leads Ossie Stewart (Bronze medalist in Barcelona in the Soling) at the top of the leaderboard.

Both British legends are from the UK south coast at Hayling Island Sailing Club. Indeed, the top seven places in the 31-boat keelboat fleet are all taken by Hayling Island Sailing Club.

The first Irish crew, Stephen Polly, John Gunning and David Kelso, from Royal Ulster Yacht Club, sailing Storm, are eighth overall.

Final races are tomorrow.

Published in RS Sailing

Former Olympic champion Mike McIntyre showed why he is favourite to retain his current crown this week as he got his defence of the RS Elite UK National title off to a flying start on Dublin Bay.

The three-hander class, a throwback to the classic designs of the XOD and Swallow, has adopted the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta as championships host with real zeal.

At 31 entries, it is the biggest one-design fleet at the event, toppling this year’s 23 Flying Fifteens from their usual dominant position.

And there’s no shortage of quality among the quantity, either.

Ossie Stewart won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games, crewing with Lawrie Smith in the Soling, while Simon Brien, from Cultra on Belfast Lough, is a former holder of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup.

But it was McIntyre – a Star class Gold medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – who laid down the early marker, claiming victory in the first race ahead of Hayling Island clubmate, and current International 14 World Champion, Andy Partington.

He finished the day at the top of the leaderboard, although a second race bullet for Strangford Lough’s Brian Corry, one of a large Northern Ireland contingent in the fleet, promises plenty of cut and thrust in store for the days ahead.

Published in RS Sailing

In 2019 the RS Elite fleet will travel to Ireland to hold its National Championship as part of the popular Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

The regatta has been held biennially since 2005 and is the largest regatta in Ireland. This is a new departure for the RS Elites which have traditionally held championships as standalone events in RS Elite clubs.

The Dun Laoghaire Nationals is anticipated to be a very popular event with high-quality racing and race management combined with the traditional RS Elite social scene but with the addition of the facilities provided by Dun Laoghaire’s four waterfront clubs. Friends and family can enjoy the tourist attractions of Dun Laoghaire and the rest of the Dublin area. A large attendance is expected from RS Elite sailors from mainland Britain as well as the fleets in Northern Ireland. Currently, there are no RS Fleets active in the Republic of Ireland.

The Notice of Race is due to be published in the first week of November with a Super Early Bird Entry (where 10% of those entered are in with a chance of having their full entry fee refunded) and an Early Bird Entry which normally runs to 31 March – the full entry fee applies thereafter. Entry fees are expected to be similar to 2017 when the Early Bird fee was €160.00 (approx £140.00) with standard entry €225.00 (approx £200.00) including lift in and out, event berthing and race fees.

Published in Volvo Regatta
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Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club hosted the RS Elite UK National Championships over four days last weekend at Cultra on Belfast Lough. The event has added interest for Irish sailors as next year it comes to Dublin Bay for Dun Laoghaire Regatta where it will be rebranded the European Championships.

The Local Club enjoyed, like we all did the glorious weather, with a kind sea breeze to aid very close racing. The fleet of 19 included boats from the host club, Carrick, Bangor, Strangford and the South coast of England with a few past Olympic sailors to add to the competition of the event.

Elite natioals winners Mike McIntyre 20181988 Olympic Gold Medalist Mike McIntyre (left) was the RS Elite nationals winner

The race officer Ruan O’Tiarnaigh on loan from Ballyholme Yacht Club, did a superb job with the ten race series. It came as a surprise to everyone with the hot conditions that the wind stayed steady for all four days averaging 10 knots. This made for some of the tightest racing ever seen in the RS Elite Fleet, with the daily leaders changing each day.

On the first day(Thursday) was won by Royal Ulster boat “Storm”, helmed by Stephen Polly, they scored two seconds and a filth totalling nine points, three ahead of the next boat from Hayling Island “Foudafafa” helmed by Mike McIntyre on twelve points and Ossie Stewart on thirteen points on his “More Tea Vicar” also from Hayling island yacht club.

A social evening was held on board SS Nomadic, for all the competitors, giving the visitors a glimpse of Belfast Shipbuilding heritage.

On Friday, day two, all the competitors arrived fresh (ish) ready to go for another tough day of three more races. Racing got away bang on time as it did every day. Again competition was tight throughout the fleet. A simple mistake could cost six or seven places.

Elite nationals down wind 2018 tapRS Elites downwind

Today the points were tied for third, with” More Tea Vicar” and “Shaken not stirred“ (Hayling Island) Helmed by Colin Smith both on thirteen points, Royal North Boat “AnchorMan” helmed by Oliver Loughead took second for the day, ten points, with two seconds and a sixth. But the Day went to “Foudafafa” with a very impressive three firsts.

The social on Friday evening included a BBQ, music and Late bar, with much craic, had by all.

On Saturday the penultimate day of racing all competitors arrived with the same disadvantage, sore heads! The scorching sun was not helpful. But despite this the racing was intense, the race committee didn't think it could possibly get tighter, the last race was one of the most completive the committee boat had ever seen or had been part of.

Three more races on the day's schedule, the event was still wide open, with the second discard due to kick in. Saturday’s daily point came down to “Storm” and Brian Corry’s “Tuppence” ( Strangford Lough YC) both on fifteen points on joint third. Second “Foudafafa” on thirteen points and Paul Fisk’s “Legs Eleven” (Hayling Island) on eleven points to win the day. On Shore the fleet gathered for the Gala Event dinner hosted by the events kind sponsors Brewin Dolphin, the competitors and guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal followed by a humorous game, and comedy speeches, by the event director Mark Brien and others. Another late bar licence ensued and the great atmosphere and craic of the venue continued.

Many were hurting on Sunday morning for the last race of the series. Once again racing got off bang on time. Today only had one race so it was easy to calculate the day's points.

Third went to “Shaken not Stirred” second to “Legs Eleven” and the lead boat of the day was Royal North’s “Anchorman” This was a popular win for the fleet as the Sponsors were on board!

The overall results all came down to the final race, it would be safe to say that “Foudafafa” had it in the bag by Saturday evening, however, 2nd to 10th was still open. In Fifth overall “Anchorman”, Fourth,”Shaken not Stirred” Third, “Legs Eleven” Second was the local boat “Storm” and the overall Winner was Mike McIntyre’s “Foudafafa” congratulations to Mike and his crew the new National Champions. Also well done to the two other Hayling Island boats who finished in the top four.

In the prize giving and speeches, Mark Brien thanked the kind Sponsors Brewin Dolphin, the event Team, mark layers and Ruan O’Tiarnaigh for superb race management. Mike McIntyre also thanked the usual suspects, and congratulated the venue Royal North for one of the best RS Elite Nationals so far!!
It would be fair to say with the combination of the blistering sunshine, iconic yacht club location, constant steady breeze, high level of tight sailing, excellent race management and a packed social programme, this event will be hard to top, even by Royal North itself.

Next year the event moves to Dublin for the first time, retitled the Europeans, to be held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. At least 30 Elites expected on the start line for that event.

Published in RS Sailing
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About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sealift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

The Irish Naval Service Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew.

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

Irish Navy FAQs

The Naval Service is the Irish State's principal seagoing agency with "a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements". It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles.

The Naval Service is based in Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour, with headquarters in the Defence Forces headquarters in Dublin.

The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the Irish State's defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. It "protects Ireland's interests at and from the sea, including lines of communication, fisheries and offshore resources" within the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps as part of the Irish defence forces.

The Naval Service was established in 1946, replacing the Marine and Coastwatching Service set up in 1939. It had replaced the Coastal and Marine Service, the State's first marine service after independence, which was disbanded after a year. Its only ship was the Muirchú, formerly the British armed steam yacht Helga, which had been used by the Royal Navy to shell Dublin during the 1916 Rising. In 1938, Britain handed over the three "treaty" ports of Cork harbour, Bere haven and Lough Swilly.

The Naval Service has nine ships - one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with State of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

The ships' names are prefaced with the title of Irish ship or "long Éireannach" (LE). The older ships bear Irish female names - LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla, LÉ Ciara, LÉ Roisín, and LÉ Niamh. The newer ships, named after male Irish literary figures, are LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce, LÉ William Butler Yeats and LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

Yes. The 76mm Oto Melara medium calibre naval armament is the most powerful weapon in the Naval Services arsenal. The 76mm is "capable of engaging naval targets at a range of up to 17km with a high level of precision, ensuring that the Naval Service can maintain a range advantage over all close-range naval armaments and man-portable weapon systems", according to the Defence Forces.

The Fleet Operational Readiness Standards and Training (FORST) unit is responsible for the coordination of the fleet needs. Ships are maintained at the Mechanical Engineering and Naval Dockyard Unit at Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

The Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) is Commodore Michael Malone. The head of the Defence Forces is a former Naval Service flag officer, now Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett – appointed in 2015 and the first Naval Service flag officer to hold this senior position. The Flag Officer oversees Naval Operations Command, which is tasked with the conduct of all operations afloat and ashore by the Naval Service including the operations of Naval Service ships. The Naval Operations Command is split into different sections, including Operations HQ and Intelligence and Fishery Section.

The Intelligence and Fishery Section is responsible for Naval Intelligence, the Specialist Navigation centre, the Fishery Protection supervisory and information centre, and the Naval Computer Centre. The Naval Intelligence Cell is responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of naval intelligence. The Navigation Cell is the naval centre for navigational expertise.

The Fishery Monitoring Centre provides for fishery data collection, collation, analysis and dissemination to the Naval Service and client agencies, including the State's Sea Fisheries Protection Agency. The centre also supervises fishery efforts in the Irish EEZ and provides data for the enhanced effectiveness of fishery protection operations, as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The Naval Computer Centre provides information technology (IT) support service to the Naval Service ashore and afloat.

This headquarters includes specific responsibility for the Executive/Operations Branch duties. The Naval Service Operations Room is a coordination centre for all NS current Operations. The Naval Service Reserve Staff Officer is responsible for the supervision, regulation and training of the reserve. The Diving section is responsible for all aspects of Naval diving and the provision of a diving service to the Naval Service and client agencies. The Ops Security Section is responsible for the coordination of base security and the coordination of all shore-based security parties operating away from the Naval base. The Naval Base Comcen is responsible for the running of a communications service. Boat transport is under the control of Harbour Master Naval Base, who is responsible for the supervision of berthage at the Naval Base and the provision of a boat service, including the civilian manned ferry service from Haulbowline.

Naval Service ships have undertaken trade and supply missions abroad, and personnel have served as peacekeepers with the United Nations. In 2015, Naval Service ships were sent on rotation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean as part of a bi-lateral arrangement with Italy, known as Operation Pontus. Naval Service and Army medical staff rescued some 18,000 migrants, either pulling people from the sea or taking them off small boats, which were often close to capsizing having been towed into open water and abandoned by smugglers. Irish ships then became deployed as part of EU operations in the Mediterranean, but this ended in March 2019 amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the EU.

Essentially, you have to be Irish, young (less than 32), in good physical and mental health and with normal vision. You must be above 5'2″, and your weight should be in keeping with your age.

Yes, women have been recruited since 1995. One of the first two female cadets, Roberta O'Brien from the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, became its first female commander in September 2020. Sub Lieutenant Tahlia Britton from Donegal also became the first female diver in the navy's history in the summer of 2020.

A naval cadet enlists for a cadetship to become an officer in the Defence Forces. After successfully completing training at the Naval Service College, a cadet is commissioned into the officer ranks of the Naval Service as a Ensign or Sub Lieutenant.

A cadet trains for approximately two years duration divided into different stages. The first year is spent in military training at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork. The second-year follows a course set by the National Maritime College of Ireland course. At the end of the second year and on completion of exams, and a sea term, the cadets will be qualified for the award of a commission in the Permanent Defence Force as Ensign.

The Defence Forces say it is looking for people who have "the ability to plan, prioritise and organise", to "carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions, who have "clear, concise and effective communication skills", and the ability to "motivate others and work with a team". More information is on the 2020 Qualifications Information Leaflet.

When you are 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition, the officer cadet competition is held annually and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become a Naval Service officer. Candidates undergo psychometric and fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam.
The NMCI was built beside the Naval Service base at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, and was the first third-level college in Ireland to be built under the Government's Public-Private Partnership scheme. The public partners are the Naval Service and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the private partner is Focus Education.
A Naval Service recruit enlists for general service in the "Other Ranks" of the Defence Forces. After successfully completing the initial recruit training course, a recruit passes out as an Ordinary Seaman and will then go onto their branch training course before becoming qualified as an Able Body sailor in the Naval Service.
No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. You need to satisfy the interview board and the recruiting officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.
Recruit training is 18 weeks in duration and is designed to "develop a physically fit, disciplined and motivated person using basic military and naval skills" to "prepare them for further training in the service. Recruits are instilled with the Naval Service ethos and the values of "courage, respect, integrity and loyalty".
On the progression up through the various ranks, an Able Rate will have to complete a number of career courses to provide them with training to develop their skills in a number of areas, such as leadership and management, administration and naval/military skills. The first of these courses is the Naval Service Potential NCO course, followed by the Naval Service Standard NCO course and the Naval Service senior NCO course. This course qualifies successful candidates of Petty officer (or Senior Petty Officer) rank to fill the rank of Chief Petty Officer upwards. The successful candidate may also complete and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership, Management and Naval Studies in partnership with Cork Institute of Technology.
Pay has long been an issue for just the Naval Service, at just over 1,000 personnel. Cadets and recruits are required to join the single public service pension scheme, which is a defined benefit scheme, based on career-average earnings. For current rates of pay, see the Department of Defence website.

 

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