Displaying items by tag: boats
Bantry Bay Sailing Club
It is not known when Bantry Bay Sailing Club was founded, but it is thought to have been in the late 19th century. The club was active during the 1920s and ‘30s but lapsed during the Second World War, probably in 1946, but has been continuously active ever since.
The club was always based near the Abbey area due to the location of the sheltered mooring (inside the Abbey Point), the availability of the Bantry House slipway (known then as Curleys/Cons Slip) and convenience to the town. There was no clubhouse until about 1970, when a prefabricated wooden structure was obtained from Whiddy Island after the terminal construction work.
During the 1960s club membership had increased dramatically, especially among young members owning their own boats and it was necessary to provide better facilities. The plot of ground between the cemetery and the strand was donated by the late Paddy O’Keeffe on condition that a slipway be built suitable for launching and hauling ashore larger boats. The Abbey slip was built by the County Council and Bord Failte. The plot adjoining was designated a leisure area for public use and the temporary clubhouse was sited there until it was burned about ten years later.
At that stage the club decided to build a permanent structure and the only suitable location was the old Bantry House boatyard. After the Whiddy Disaster in 1979, the Government provided funds to the Bantry area to compensate for economic loss, provide jobs and fund projects and facilities. The Club availed of this and a lease of the boatyard was acquired, the old boathouse demolished and the new clubhouse was built (facing stone from old boathouse). It was officially opened in June 1988 by the late Denis Doyle.
The club would like to acknowledge the generosity of the Shellswell White family (Bantry House).
Facilities include storage (temporary with temporary membership), shower and toilet facilities, navtext, phone, waste bin, water and free visitors moorings provided by Bantry Harbour Commissioners.
(The above information and image courtesy of Bantry Bay Sailing Club)
Bantry Bay Sailing Club, Abbey Road, Bantry, Co. Cork. Tel: 027 51724
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved
Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club
Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club was set up in 2002. We operate from a recreation area called Innisleana with the kind permission of the ESB. In 2004 the club put in its own dedicated slipway and boat holding area and plans further improvements in the years ahead.
The club is just three miles from Ballincollig (six from Cork City) on the Lee Valley reservoir. We have a small but very keen local membership. Kayaking and sailing events take place throughout the year, mainly at weekends, with some mid-week sailing.
The flagship event of the year is the Commodore's Cup. Kayak races in the morning are followed by a sailing race up the lake from Innisleana to Farran.
The Inniscarra Sailing Club runs ISA accredited sail training in the summer months.
(The above information and images courtesy of Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club)
Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club, Innisleana, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. For membership information contact: 021 4873994
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved
Inland Boating and Sailing Holidays
Experience the freedom of the Shannon and Erne waterways. Captain your own cruiser and discover the hidden corners of Ireland. Over 800 kilometres of navigable waterways are awaiting your arrival, with rivers to explore, towns and villages to discover and acres of lakes to relax on.
Heritage and cultural sites are around every corner, from ancient standing stones, castles, sixth century universities, cathedrals, round towers, monasteries and industrial archaeology sites. Witness at first hand the engineering marvels of Ireland’s canal systems and experience time travel through a forgotten age, at a leisurely pace.
Discover the country and the local culture, admire the passing scenery and experience traditional music and arts.
Engage in a variety of active pursuits from golf, walking, cycling, archery to horse riding and trekking. Why not do some relaxed fishing as you travel through the centre of Ireland.
Freedom to come and go as you please. An inland waterways holiday allows you to set the pace. Stop and take a break when you want, see the sights, put the rod in the water and fish a little or hit a golf ball.
Relaxation, stretch your legs on a forest walk or simple put your feet up and watch the world pass by.
Slow tourism – the eco-friendly way to tour With our modern boat fleet equipped with the latest diesel engines you and your family can still cruise the Lakelands and inland Waterways of Ireland, visit new and exciting venues, engage in active pursuits yet leave only a small carbon footprint.
Clean Boating Charter to ensure that your holiday is as green and ecofriendly as possible the Irish Boat Rental Association members have introduced a Clean Boating Charter. See www.boatholidaysireland.com for details.
Experience the Unique With over 800 kilometres of navigable waterways the Shannon-Erne system of lakes and rivers offer the visitor one of the longest but least crowded waterways in Europe.
With a minimum of locks, a simple but comprehensive navigation system, the Shannon Erne Waterway offers the discerning boat cruiser a trouble free holiday and a safe cruising environment in which to enjoy the unspoilt natural amenity which is the Shannon Erne. The waterway system is a boat holiday cruising paradise, unmatched throughout the world for beauty, heritage and the unique culture of the area. Ireland’s waterways can be a place of absolute solitude and peace, or a lively holiday region where activity opportunities abound – the choice is yours.
Ireland’s waterways give you the choice and freedom to do as you please at what ever pace you want to go. The hundreds of moorings, quiet harbours, marinas, bustling towns and tranquil villages along the way provide you with the opportunity to tie up and enjoy the unique cultural experience that is Ireland.
If you are looking for a 'get away from it all' boating holiday, to float in isolated tranquillity surrounded by breathtaking scenery and fascinating heritage, you will find it in Ireland.
Lough Erne in the North, Lough Ree in the Midlands and Lough Derg in the South offer vast cruising grounds with rarely another boat in view. However, if you should want a lively choice the Upper Shannon offers you idyllic cruising waters with great waterside pubs and restaurants, nightlife and a chance to meet other cruising parties who are enjoying a boat holiday in Ireland.
Weave together a perfect holiday through the Heart of Ireland
The interconnecting rivers and lakes stretch from Belleek, the most northerly point of the vast Lower Lough Erne to Killaloe, the southern-most navigation point on Lough Derg.
The Shannon Erne Waterway can be divided into three sections;
• Lower and Upper Lough Erne. Lough Erne is connected to the River Shannon via the Shannon/Erne Waterway.
• The Upper Shannon from Carrick on Shannon to Athlone including Lough Ree and Lough Key.
• The Lower Shannon, the area from Athlone to Killaloe which includes Lough Derg.
Lower Lough Erne
Above this handsome lake the Cliffs of Magho provide a rugged contrast with wooded islands, sheltered bays and open waterways. West of the Broad Lough the hills of Donegal are a reminder of the Atlantic Ocean beyond. 29 kilometres of varied navigation meander between Belleek, the Erne system’s western most port at the Atlantic’s gate above the town of Ballyshannon and Enniskillen, the fortified island town at the heart of the Erne lakes.
Upper Lough Erne
Around Upper Lough Erne the intricacies of combining land and water work very well together. The woods, forests and farmland are in harmony with the river in this extensive inland navigation. There is a sense of privacy and individuality. Exploring the many inlets and islands is a boating enthusiast’s dream and a wonderful destination for nature lovers.
The Shannon Erne Waterway
The waterway is an intriguing region with boating and angling in abundance and history and folklore at every turn. This modern waterway is based on the line of the old Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal, with automated locks and other user friendly refinements reflecting the investment and planning that have gone into re-connecting the Shannon and Erne waterway systems. It leaves Upper Lough Erne through the Woodford River near Belturbet and heads southwest and then west to Leitrim Village and the Upper Shannon. The waterway has opened up an area of Ireland that was relatively unknown and this tranquil link with its gentle pace has grown in popularity.
Lough Allen and Lough Key
Lough Key and Lough Allen are both inland seas but are very different to each other. Lough Key is an islandstudded lake, while Lough Allen is determinedly rugged with the iron mountain of Sliabh an Iarainn to the east, the old coal hills of Arigna along its western shore. Lough Allen is a majestic lake, 12 kilometres long and almost 6 kilometres across on the wide northern shore. Lough Key is arguably the most beautiful lake on the Shannon System with the fine town of Boyle at its western corner. The Curlew Mountains along the lake’s northern shore seem like high mountains rising above the lush countryside and ancient woods which reach down to the shore line.
Carrick-on-Shannon to Tarmonbarry
The lordly Shannon, the longest river in Britain and Ireland, is beginning to get a sense of itself as it meanders south through Carrick on Shannon, the northern capital of this history laden waterway. The prosperous county town of Leitrim is a thriving boat centre and a welcoming place with a real buzz and an active cultural life. South of Carrick the river’s long stretches of water weave between pretty towns. On through the picturesque towns of Jamestown and Drumsna, the river widens through Lough Boffin past Dromod and narrows again through the busy town of Roosky before flowing through Tarmonbarry and onwards to Lough Ree.
Lough Ree is one of the Shannon’s three main lakes, 32 kilometres long and gradually widening to 10 kilometres across. This much indented lake has a generous scattering of islands and although it is the geographic centre of Ireland, it maintains an attractive air of remoteness. The shoreline varies – in the relatively unpopulated northeast of the lake along the Longford shore there is quality bogland. Along the eastern shore, County Westmeath has lush farmland and thriving woodland. The south of the lake is very much a water playground for the large town of Athlone. To the western shoreline lies Roscommon and the quiet town and harbour of Lecarrow, reached from the lake by its own small canal.
South of Athlone the Shannon enters its most distinctive phase becoming a wide stream moving silently under a vast sky. For 50 kilometres the river falls through river meadows, the Callows to Portumna at the head of Lough Derg. The regular flooding of the Callows is a vital part of the ecosystem, enriching the water and sweetening the land. The rising ground at Clonmacnois, 20 kilometres downstream of Athlone, had prominence along the river and throughout Ireland. This was the site of the great monastery which became a university and the ancient Christian capital of Ireland. Although it was raided by the Vikings, it has endured as the greatest of the monuments along the Shannon.
The Shannon continues to meander south to Shannon Harbour where the Grand Canal connects Dublin and the east coast with the Shannon. You are now on the old water borne trading route connecting the capital of Ireland with a series of midland and Shannon towns such as the Georgian town of Banagher and then on to Limerick via Lough Derg.
Lough Derg is a handsome inland sea set in an attractive blend of mountain and hillside, woodland and farm. The mountains surrounding this fine stretch of water have their own beauty and variety. The shoreline has many small sheltered harbours at strategic intervals. There are 13,000 hectares of spectacular waterway, ideal for all kinds of watersports. The beautiful countryside around the lakeshore is perfect for walking, cycling, horse riding and other visitor pursuits. Lough Derg is contemporary in outlook, yet comfortable with its traditions. It is a place blessed by nature for sport and recreation. The extensive shoreline changes wonderfully in its nature between three large counties – Galway to the northwest, Clare to the west and southwest and Tipperary along the entire eastern shoreline. The lake is big enough to provide total seclusion yet there is always a bustling spot nearby.
Captain your own cruiser
Experience is not necessary and no licence is required. Training will be provided by our experienced staff.
When you book your boat holiday in Ireland your operator will send you a 'Captains Handbook' which will contain details of all you need to know about operating your cruiser.
The handbook contains details on how to prepare for your cruise, vital information on how the boat works, navigational information and how to pass through a lock.
On arrival at your operator’s base you will be shown a training video and then given on-the-water training by a fully trained, experienced instructor.
Many of our customers choosing a boat holiday in Ireland have never handled a boat before. Mastering the controls of your cruiser and understanding the navigation is quickly learnt. All of our cruisers are fully equipped with the necessary safety equipment and navigational charts to ensure that you have a safe holiday cruise.
Our fleet of modern cruisers offer accommodation from two to twelve adults.
Our operators have a boat to suit your boat holiday needs. As you will spend more time in your boat than you would in a traditional holiday cottage we recommend that you book a boat that has more space/berths than the number of people in your group. This will give you more space to live and relax in. Our operators have extensive fleets of different classes of cruisers all with their own individual characteristics and designed to suit the needs of parties of two, four, six or eight people and we can even supply boats for up to parties of twelve.
All the cruisers that are offered by our operators are designed for the Irish waterways and are fitted out to the highest standards to ensure maximum cruising comfort. We have illustrated a typical Shannon cruiser here to give you an indication of the accommodation layout, but it is important to check with the operator of your choice the exact specification of the cruiser that you book.
Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA), c/o Irish Federation of Marine Industries, Confederation House, 84–86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 605 1621, fax: 01 638 1621, email: [email protected]
The Irish Marina Operators Association was founded in May 2003 and represents 23 of the coastal marinas around our shores. The IMOA is a self managing special interest group within the Irish Marine Federation, the trade association affiliated to IBEC representing the marine industry in Ireland. The IMOA elects its own representative board of directors, the chairman automatically having a seat on the main IMF board.
The objectives of the IMOA are to provide a forum for discussion within the marina industry in Ireland and to represent the views of the marina operators to government in regard to legislation, regulation, training, insurance and health and safety issues.
The IMOA is an effective lobbying body and has achieved some success in relation to approved waste management plans for marinas and also with the new Development and Foreshore Act. The objectives of the IMOA are to ensure that Ireland’s marina industry develops in a sustainable way and will eventually provide for a necklace of marinas around our coastline.
In the future the IMOA will seek to have our marina infrastructure effectively marketed overseas as part of an integrated marine leisure tourism campaign.
East – Mr Hal Bleakley, Dun Laoghaire Marina. Tel: 01 2020 040, email: [email protected]
South – Mr Wietza Buwalda, Salve Marina. Tel: 021 483 1145, email: [email protected]
South West – Mr Brian Farrell, Dingle Marina. Tel: 066 9151629, email: [email protected]
IRELAND'S MARINAS, PONTOONS AND JETTIES - 60 AND COUNTING! (SUMMER 2013)
Castlepark Marina – 150 berths. Kinsale, Co. Cork. Tel: 021 477 4959, email: [email protected]
East Ferry Marina – 100 berths. East Ferry, Cobh, Co. Cork.
Kilmore Quay Marina – 55 berths. Harbour Office, Kilmore Quay, Wexford. Tel: 053 91299 or 087 900 1037.
Three Sisters Marina, New Ross – 66 berths. Tel: 086 388 9652 or 051 421284, email: [email protected] Also New Ross Town Council, The Tholsel, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Tel: 051 421284, email:[email protected]
East Coast/Dublin Area
Poolbeg Marina – 100 berths. Poolbeg Yacht, Boat Club & Marina, South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Tel: 01 668 9983, email: [email protected]
North and North-East Coasts
Lough Swilly Marina – 200 berths, more after extension. Marina Office, Fahan, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Tel: 074 936 0008, email: [email protected]
Foyle Pontoon, Derry – 50 berths. Foyle Pontoon, Londonderry Port, Port Road, Lisahally, Co Londonderry BT47 6FL, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 7186 0313 (24 hours), email: [email protected]
Portrush Harbour – 100 berths. Portrush, Coleraine, N. Ireland. Harbour Master, Mr Richard McKay, tel: 028 7082 2307 or on VHF channel 12. Further information from Victor Freeman on tel: 028 7034 7234.
Ballycastle Marina – 74 berths. Contact: John Morton, 14 Bayview Road, Ballycastle BT54 6BT, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2076 8525
Rathlin Island – 30 berths. Ballycastle, N. Ireland. Contact Moyle District Council, Sheskburn House, 7 Mary Street, Ballycastle BT54 6QH, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2076 2225, email: [email protected]
Glenarm Marina – 40 berths. Glenarm Harbour, Glenarm BT44 0EA, Co Antrim, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2884 1285
Carrickfergus Marina – 280 berths. 3 Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus BT38 8BE, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 933 66666
Phennick Cove Marina – 55 berths. 19 Quay Street, Ardglass, Co Down BT30 7SA, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 4484 2332, email: [email protected]
Proposed New Marinas (as at March 2009)
Dip your toe in
Starting off in boating is easy – the difficult bit is deciding what part of the sport to try. We publish Tips For Those Buying And Selling Boats on our dedicated boats for sale site. This part of the website provides you with invaluable tips and advice from people within the new and second hand boat industry. We provide information about the types of boats that are out there and what to look out for when buying a new or used boat. We also list some of the precautions you might want to consider before buying a boat. There are lots of things to look out for which do not always immediately meet the eye. We aim to give you relevant information regarding the negotiations involved in selling or buying a boat and also provide guidance on how to finance the purchase of your dream boat.
Below you'll find extra information and articles about how to get started in Irish boating.
Above: Malahide Marina, the site of several On The Water boat shows and the venue for this October's Used and Demo Boat Show 2009
If anchoring in a secluded cove or a BBQ from the deck of a yacht sounds like a far-fetched idea this summer, then it might be time to think again.
More and more people across Ireland are discovering that the shoreline represents a border but also a means of escape.
The romantic freedom of sailing is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. Harnessing the elements for propulsion is one of the most appealing things about an afternoon afloat.
You don’t need a licence, insurance or experience to own and operate a pleasure craft in this country. And what’s more, the wind and the waves are free!
The sailing principles used by the Vikings when they sailed up the Liffey are the same as those used today on an afternoon potter around Dublin bay. Over the centuries, man has fine-tuned his ability to use the wind. Indeed, it’s now possible to sail faster than the wind. However, most people going afloat are not focussed on speed – they simply want to watch the world go by.
The boats may have changed since the Vikings but the view around the coast – except for the cities – is pretty much the same as a thousand years ago.
Nowhere was this point more clearly made than last year when the world’s top offshore sailors called in unexpectedly to our south and west coasts.
They came principally in search of wind in leg eight of the Volvo Round the World race. They found little wind, unusually, but before they left they wrote prose worthy of a Failte Ireland copywriter.
In his log, navigator Simon Fisher from ABN AMRO Two wrote: “Our day started sailing in and out of the mist rolling down off the hills and, as the sun rose and the mist burnt off, it gave way to spectacular views of rolling green hills and a weather-beaten rocky coastline. With castles and towers stationed on each headland, it gives you the feeling of sailing through a scene out of ‘Lord of the Rings’.”
So far our waters remain remarkably unspoilt and it’s one of the reasons French and German sailors have been enjoying our coastline for decades. But it’s only quite recently that there has been any kind of increase in the Irish pleasure boat numbers with more and more people sticking their toes in the water. The marine industry is also playing its part, attempting to break down the preconception that crusty old yacht clubs rule the seas.
Figures from a report commissioned by the Marine Institute in 2005 show that 142,000 adults were involved at that time in boating activity – ranging from sailing and boating at sea to boating on inland waterways. The survey confirmed a large rise in numbers in coastal and inland boating and water sports since the last survey ten years previously.
Unfortunately, unless you have a background in sailing, getting started can be anything but easy. Even at this year’s boat show, there will be a bewildering amount of information about many different types of boats. Websites, dealers and magazines all have their merits but often the best place to start is an honest conversation with yourself.
Are you buying a boat on a weekend whim or is it something you’ve been planning to do since lodging your first SSIA money?
A boat with a cabin, no matter how small, is just one practical way of escaping the worst of a showery day. It’s also a great way to extend the boating season that runs typically from St Patrick’s Day through to the end of September and it’s no accident that the most successful brands in Irish harbours all have some form of cover.
Going afloat is not just about racing yachts at Cork Week nor is it just about early morning trolling for trout on the river Shannon. It’s also about coastal kayaking, diving and windsurfing and many other forms of boating to boot. But most of all it’s about experiencing our coastline or inland waterways, something that has its own appeal and is proving as much a form of stress relief as any round of golf or Spanish holiday apartment.
Out on the water, sailing can be many different things to different types of people. It can be exciting, invigorating, relaxing or challenging. And you need to decide is what you really want from a boat.
There are reasons why people might stay off the water in Ireland. The sun doesn’t always shine and, more to the point, there appears to be a gale somewhere around our coast every fortnight.
And then there’s the perceived high cost of entering the sport of boating and, until recently, a complete the lack of public berthing facilities.
But if you can deal with all these questions and are still keen to go afloat, any one of a range of schools can advise you on the right way to get started. A good information website is www.sailing.ie and search for a school in your area. Lakes, rivers and seas are a great resource but anyone going afloat in Ireland needs to realise that it can be a potentially dangerous environment and take steps to educate themselves in safety measures before going afloat.
For most people, anchoring a boat in the lee of Ireland’s Eye for a picnic or island hopping on a sun-kissed day on Roaringwater Bay are not really unrealistic ideas at all if they are determined to get afloat. If you want to get started, start asking questions now. Very soon, you could be sitting back to hear the ripple of water off the bow.
Sailing – the bluffers guide
How easy is it to learn?
You can leave your slippers on. Anyone can pick up the basics in a week’s tuition and can continue on their own after that.
Will I know it all then?
They don’t call it the lifelong sport for nothing. Even old salts learn something knew every time they go afloat.
Do I need a licence?
No, one of the reason people enjoy sailing so much is that it is regulation free.
What does it cost?
The wind and waves are free but everything else you pay for. You can rent for a few hundred for a weekend charter. You can buy a sailing dinghy for three grand. A 25-foot yacht can be bought second-hand from 15 grand upwards.
What’s the typical size boat here?
Between 25 and 35 foot.
What’s the biggest?
It is in Dun Laoghaire and it’s an 80-footer costing over E2m.
How long is our coast?
8,960 kilometres of coast but about 704 miles sailing distance. It takes two weeks to cruise round but the record is less than three days!
How many harbours and piers?
The Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources say there are 900 so there’s plenty of places to call into.
How many marinas are there?
Only 26 around the entire coast. There is a real shortage and none between Kerry and Donegal. All of them are full.
Where is the biggest marina?
Dun Laoghaire with over 800 berths.
What about inland waters?
There are 700 kilometres of navigable rivers and lakes and freshwater sailing is very popular too.
How many sailing boats are there?
No one knows. The Irish Marine Federation reckons there are approximately 27,000, based on number of boats registered with Waterways Ireland, marina berths, swinging moorings, sailing and sea angling club boat parks.
Last but not least, do I need a cravat?
Well, you won’t be alone in Dun Laoghaire. Everywhere else it’s a t-shirt and jeans. Sailing is trying to shed its crusty yachting image and most yacht clubs welcome new members with open arms.
Even in recession there are good reasons to buy a boat, writes David O'Brien (reprinted from February/March 2008 Afloat)
Edward Heath famously grumbled about the cost of boating 30 years ago when he complained that “ocean sailing is like standing under a cold shower tearing up five pound notes”. Three decades later, boat dealers are quick to point out that as luxury products go, depreciation on boats is not such a black hole even in this economic climate.
Walk along the waterfront of Ireland’s biggest boating centre at Dun Laoghaire on any summer Saturday and repeat Sir Ted’s comparison to the growing band of boat owners and it’s sure to draw a telling smile.
Those passionate about boating normally avoid any talk of cost. From Monday to Friday they may be wage slaves but boyhood dreams are relived at weekends, and it has become an unwritten law of the sea that the boat account is never scrutinised.
Heath, a great yachtsman, was being unnecessarily harsh. In examining the contents of his wallet, he forgot about the pleasures of boating. It’s there, from the simple smell of sea air to the sense of adventure offshore, but most of all the good times on board with friends and family.
If you want to make money, buy a house; if you want to lose money, buy a car; but if you want to keep your money, buy a boat. At least, that’s the story your local boat dealer is likely to advance.
Thanks to the lower cost of mass-produced boats and equipment in recent times, there has never been a better time to get involved. As leisure pursuits go, sailing in Ireland represents surprisingly good value for money – if only the facilities were there to back it up.
Take a look over the breakwater at Dun Laoghaire’s public marina and it’s pretty clear that both the size and style of pleasure craft berthed there – particularly motorboats – is impressive. If you wanted a snapshot of the former Celtic tiger era, here it is.
Since the marina opened 400 berths in 2001, it has grown to become an 820-berth facility, has transformed boating in Ireland and led to an influx of new blood where access to the water was previously controlled by private yacht clubs.
Above: Dun Laoghaire Marina has grown from 400 to 820 berths, and transformed boating in Ireland
In doubling Dun Laoghaire’s size over the past six years, the facility that took sceptics 20 years to build became an overnight success. It is the country’s largest marine leisure centre by a long chalk. It is also the shining jewel in an otherwise flawed necklace of marinas still to be built around the coast.
Providing facilities takes considerable investment – from the State or from private investors, or a combination of both in public-private partnerships – because marinas need expensive breakwaters or sea walls to protect pleasure craft from the open seas.
“Ireland has largely turned her back on the sea despite being an island nation,” says Bernard Gallagher, a marine dealer in this country for the past 30 years. “We have simply failed to recognise the true value of the marine environment for leisure purposes.”
But even with such obvious infrastructural deficits, there is a surge of interest in the freedom of the seas and a lot of it is being driven by novice boaters.
You don’t need a licence to own and operate a boat in this country. And what’s more, in these recessionary times, the wind and the waves are free. But for everything else you will need a cheque book.
Growing numbers of the Irish public are demonstrating, in many cases for the first time, that boat ownership is no longer beyond their financial reach, particularly over the past ten years, a period in which the flow of newcomers has been tracked by official figures.
At a cost of E425 per metre as one of the top rates for mooring fees, it’s pretty easy to work out how much it costs to park an average 40-footer (12-metre) in Dun Laoghaire or at one of 22 other coastal facilities around the country. But boat ownership costs don’t stop with an annual berthage fee.
A typical new 40 footer will cost an owner (with modest cruising plans of 100 hours) E13k–E14k per annum. This includes berthing, fuelling, servicing and insurance.
Even if a boat owner has signed his cheque for all this, that isn’t the end of the story.
The romantic freedom of boating is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. The seas might be free to roam but finding a berth is not quite as easy.
In fact, demand was so high until the credit crunch that a lack of berths was hampering further growth of the marine leisure sector. Downturn aside, the industry is capable of growing by around 30% over the next three years – if the government and local authorities decide to unlock the potential that lies in Irish waters.
The west coast of Ireland is hardest hit with no marina facilities between Kilrush Creek, Co Clare and Fahan, Co Donegal. Thankfully a small facility in Galway now has the green light compliments of the Volvo Ocean Race.
“On the east coast significant gaps exist between Arklow and Kilmore Quay and on the south coast between Kilmore Quay and Cork Harbour”, says Steve Conlon of the Irish Marina Operators Association.
Users are calling for government action to cut the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds foreshore development for marine leisure usage. The trade body fears that the run of new boat sales could be short-lived as a shortage of berths around the coast hampers the growth of the sailing industry.
In the major sailing centres on Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour – representing 3,000 craft – all five marinas are full or nearing capacity.
The Irish Marine Federation estimates the number of berths needed to bring Ireland up to the EU average is 22,826 berths. To accommodate existing waiting lists and boats located on existing swinging moorings, an extra 2,000+ berths are required immediately.
Motorboats remain the big growth area and the evidence at the national boat show in 2007 bore this out when ‘bling bling’ replaced the sea shanty as the new wave in boating.
Eighty-five per cent of the exhibits were powerboats – from jetskis to James Bond super yachts – and a sign that there has been a shift in the market away from its traditional musty yachting base.
This is no real surprise to the marine industry, however. The wind of change has been blowing through the world’s boat shows for the past decade. Put simply, power boating is perceived to be much more accessible than sailing for the newcomer.
“Power boating has a ‘jump in and go’ image whereas sailing – whether it is true or not – appears more complicated,” says Irish Marine Federation’s Brian O’Sullivan whose own company, O’Sullivans Marine of Tralee, sells both types of craft.
O’Sullivan’s comment is backed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) training statistics. Figures point to a 33% rise in power boat instruction, as opposed to only a 6% rise in sail training – and these figures are merely the tip of the iceberg because they represent only those who opted for the voluntary certification scheme.
In spite of our miles of coast (and a further 500 miles of navigable rivers and lakes), Ireland has one of the lowest ratios of boat ownership in Europe: one boat to 158 people. The European average is one boat to 42 people.
Industry figures argue that low participation in watersports is not because Irish people don’t like boats; it’s because a lack of facilities prevents both residents and tourists from getting access to the water and enjoying a coastline that is arguably our greatest natural asset.
There are only three public slipways between Dublin city centre and Bray in County Wicklow – serving a population of 750,000 or more. The situation in the rest of the country is not much better, with a Department of the Marine estimate of 900 piers and harbours around the coast.
Growing participation and competition among boat builders means there has never been a better time to get involved. In spite of Ted Heath’s grumblings over fivers, a boat is not just a black hole into which you pour your hard-earned cash. But if you do splash out on a boat this summer, just remember you also need somewhere to berth it.
Copyright Afloat magazine/Baily Publications Ltd./David O'Brien 2009
Irish 5O5 Association, c/o Ewen Barry, President, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, Monkstown, Co Cork. Tel: 086 823 6864, fax: 021 427 3849, email: [email protected]
5O5 History – A One Design Class
The development of the Class began at the IYRU trials in l953, held at La Baule to find the 'best possible two-man centreboarder', an 18 footer Coronet showed clearly superior to all her competitors.
That winter the Caneton Association, the most important small boat racing body in France, asked the designer of Coronet, John Westell (UK), if he could modify her to suit their rules. Reducing the overall length, lightening the hull and modifying it a little, together with cutting the sail area to 17,24 sq mtrs, produced a new design which retained the good features of the larger craft. By a remarkable far-sighted decision members of the Caneton Association, at their AGM in Paris in January 1954, voted unanimously to adopt the new class, even before the first boat had been built. The Five-0-Five was born!
With strong organisation already existing in France, the 505 started life on an International basis. The Class expanded rapidly and in November 1955 the IYRU accorded it official International status. Fleets developed in many parts of the world, most of these are still very active today, 18 Countries have active fleets.
Although any material and type of construction may be used, current boats are now using carbon fibre and epoxy resins. The hull shape is strictly controlled with minimum weights both for the bare hull and the complete boat in sailing trim.
By January 2007, 8,930 boats had been registered.
The above information and image courtesy of the International 505 Class Association website
J/Boats – Sailing to Success
The story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: With a $20,000 investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod and his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That was 1977. Now, that boat (the J/24), has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world.
The Johnstone family has made an undeniable mark on the sailing world. In addition to the 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves, there are over 7,000 more J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65, that sailing enthusiasts have bought at prices ranging from $10,000 to $2,000,000.
While other manufacturers may sell more boats, the Johnstones have won the high-end, performance-oriented segment of the market. Theirs is the so-called racer/cruiser category: boats that perform well on the race course but which are comfortable and easy enough for the family to daysail and cruise. It is with knowledgeable, experienced sailors that the Johnstones have done best.
The story begins in 1975. Rod, then an ad salesman for the sailing trade magazine, Soundings, and an active one-design sailor decided to build a sailboat he had been designing since completing a Westlawn School of Yacht Design correspondence course in the 60s. With $400-worth of fiberglass and wood, some rigging and hardware left over from a Soling of Bob's, he built the 24' x 9' wide Ragtime on weekends in his 3-car garage at his home in Stonington, Connecticut. During the summer of 1976, with an all family crew aboard, Ragtime beat everything in sight. Rod realized he had created something special.
Enter Everett Pearson, the owner of Tillotson Pearson, Inc, a highly respected boat builder in Warren Rhode Island. He was quite taken with Rod's design and agreed to produce the boat on spec in return for the US building rights. Display ads in Soundings got the word out. That winter they set up a makeshift factory in an old textile mill in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, and began popping out J/24s.
Enter the marketing experience of brother Bob, a vice president of marketing at AMF/Alcort (the makers of Sunfish sailboats at the time). He saw the potential in the boat Rod had designed. From 1975 to 1977, Bob had helped to take Alcort from the red into the black, and then began trying to convince AMF to start producing a boat similar to the J/24. But, he says, in spite of overwhelming market research results showing 50% purchase intent in a boat like the J/24, AMF really didn't care anything about gaining share of market or investing any more in sailing. So, in February of 1977, at age 43, Bob left AMF and threw in his lot with J/Boats.
With Rod contributing the design and his prototype Ragtime and Bob investing $20,000 to cover start-up costs, office space, and advertising, their 50-50 partnership was launched. Expecting to sell 250 J/24s that first year, they sold 750. Each successive year marks unique achievements in the sport and industry.
The next generation of Johnstones has been at the helm since 1988, while founders Rod and Bob continue to contribute in the areas of their strength, design and marketing. Since 1992, Jeff (president) and Alan (chief-designer) have managed company operations & sales from J/Boats Headquarters in Newport, RI while a total of four of Bob & Rod's sons (Jeff, Alan, Stu and Drake) serve on J/Boats, Inc. Board of Directors.
2007 – A record year for J/Boat owners with major offshore racing wins across the US and Europe. The introduction of the new J/122 built by J/Europe taking the IRC circuit in France, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA by storm achieving several overall wins both inshore and offshore. J/Boat owners are class and overall champions of numerous offshore events including Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race, Pineapple Cup, Bayview Mac Race, Annapolis-Newport Race, Charleston Bermuda Race, Transpac, Chicago Mac, and several RORC offshore races. J/133 is awarded 'Best Series Produced Yacht' and J/122 wins IRC 1 class overall for the entire season in the 2007 RORC series. J/80 production races by the 1,000 hull milestone with over 1050 boats built. A record 120 J/80s sail at the World Championships in La Trinite France. The J/105 Class sets attendance records on both US coasts culminating in a 69 boat fleet at the North American Champs in Annapolis. J/105 also wins RORC 2-handed season trophy. J/109 class activity thrives in the US and UK. Clay Burkhalter successfully sails his Rod Johnstone designed Mini 6.5 ‘Acadia’ across the Atlantic from France to Brazil finishing 12th overall out of 89 entries. The J/80 debuts at the Asian Sportboat Championship placing 1st and 2nd overall. J/Europe increases factory capacity by 40% thanks to increasing demand worldwide for new J/Boats. Several J/Owners actively engaged cruising their boats through the oceans of the world. Congratulations to J/Owners for an incredible year!
2006 – The J/92S makes its USA debut. The J/100 reaches 100 boat milestone and production begins in Europe. New 40’ J/122 development begins with J/Europe. J/ owners win 12 trophies in the Centennial Newport to Bermuda Race with the J/44 and J/42 classes the largest in the fleet. Glenn Darden captures the J/80 World title in Galveston Bay, TX, while fellow Texan Jon Halbert wins the inaugural J/109 North American Championships at New York Yacht Club. J/109 and double-handed J/105 finish 1-2 in Rolex Middle Sea Race. The York family completes a circumnavigation aboard their J/46 Aragorn. The J/22 North Americans returns to Fleet #1 Lake Minnetonka, MN with Terry Flynn crowned champion. The J/80 reaches 900 boat milestone and new fleets are established in Spain and Italy. The J/105 is awarded the Serendip Trophy for the Best Series-Produced Yacht in IRC by RORC for 2006 and Shaun Murphy’s Slingshot is named RORC 2006 Yacht of the Year and wins the Somerset Memorial Trophy for outstanding achievement of a 2-handed yacht. The J/122 is introduced and displayed at the Paris Show to rave reviews with a December launch in Hamble, UK and successful sea-trials.
2005 – The new J/65 launches in San Diego. Scotsman Ruairidh Scott wins the Silva J/80 Worlds in Falmouth, UK. The J/105 class sets new milestones with a 40 boat fleet at Key West and the first Canadian hosting of a North American Championship. The J/100 rolls out of the factory at nearly 2 boats per week to meet the high demand. The J/133 notches impressive IRC class wins at Spi Ouest and Block Island Race Week. The rapidly growing J/109 class sees one-design starts at Spi Ouest, Block Island and Cowes Week. Anthony Kotoun of Newport, RI wins the J/24 Worlds in Weymouth, England and the J/24 North Americans in Marblehead, MA. The new J/92S, a family-friendly sprit boat with large cockpit and non-overlapping headsail launches in Europe. J/125 Rienrag takes class honors again in the Transpac. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis, and the Women's Match Racing Worlds in J/24s in Bermuda. Henry Morgan, sailing his J/42 Dolphin, wins the Annapolis-Bermuda Race fleet. Short-handed J-sailors celebrate as Pascal Loison wins the 2-Handed Rolex Fastnet Race in his J/105 and Sam and Gordon Vineyard win Marion- to Bermuda Race in their J/46. The new J/124, a 41’ follow-up sensation to the J/100, launches in Rhode Island.
2004 – The J/133 Raincloud wins its debut regatta at Key West and production begins in both the US and France. J109s sweep IRC 4 at Spi Ouest, the UK J/109 Jeronimo is on the winning team of the Rolex Commodore’s Cup, and the J/109 class gets underway with 11 fleets formed, a class website and several class events held. Alec Cutler wins the J/22 Worlds in Annapolis over a fleet of 130 boats, an all-time J attendance record! Three Js (J/35, J/46 and J/160) set sail in the 2004 Blue Water World Rally. The new J/100 (33’) is launched in Newport to rave reviews, is named Sailing World Magazine’s Overall Boat of the Year, and quickly reaches a six month backlog. J/145s enjoy class wins in the Newport to Bermuda and Port Huron-Mackinac races. Dave McConaughy wins the 25th Anniversary J/30 North Americans in Barrington, RI. Glen Darden of TX wins both the J/80 North Americans in Sag Harbor, NY and the 52 boat J/105 North Americans in Marion, MA. Wow! Jens Hookanson outduels Jeff Johnstone on the last leg of the final race to win the J/24 Worlds in Noroton, CT. The new J/65 (65‘) is announced as J Boats’ entry into the luxury performance sailing market with a custom bay set up at Pearson Composites and a highly anticipated 05 launching.
2003 – The J/24 class celebrates its Silver 25th Anniversary in Newport, while the J/35 class has its 20th in Toronto with 27 boats racing for the North American Championship. The J/105 class continues to set attendance records and is the only class present at all nine NOOD Regattas. Dr Mike Finn’s J/160 Kativa wins the Charleston to Bermuda Race; J/125 Rienrag that takes line and class honors for Division 3 in the Tranpac. J/42 owners create a new owner association. J/Boats continue to thrive under IRC with J/145 winning the Overall IRC Season Championship in UK (1–2 in class at Fastnet), and the J/109 winning its class at Fastnet as well as at Cowes and Spi Ouest. J/Europe is formed as new European builder (France). Jay Lutz wins J/80 Worlds in Fort Worth Texas as class breaks the hull #600 barrier. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis. J/133 is awarded the Overall Boat of the Year award by Sailing World Magazine and Best Performance Cruiser by Cruising World.
2002 – J/109 results roll in all year with wins at Spi-Ouest, Cowes Week, Breskens Race Week, Double-handed Round Britain Race and the prestigious Atlantic Trophy. J/109 plugs are shipped to the US and TPI begins production. ISAF selects the J/22 (women’s keelboat division) and J/80 (men’s keelboat division) for the World Sailing Games in Marseilles. J/105 explosion continues with 50 boats at the North Americans in Chicago, hull #600 built, and selected for UBS Challenge Pro Match-Racing. J/80 earns class start at Kiel Week and J/80 Worlds are held in La Rochelle, France. The J/Fest Regatta Series goes national with sponsors and five great events. Brad Read wins J/24 Worlds on its return to Newport. J/109 and J/105 are 1st and 2nd overall in Rolex Middle Sea Race. Terry Flynn wins 60-boat J/22 Worlds in Texas.
2001 – J/145 is selected as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner and wins class at Key West. J/80 class hosts its first World Championships in Newport. J Boats introduces the 35’ J/109 in Europe. US Watercraft begins building J/22s, helping to revitalize J/22 class growth. J/130 Bonkers is overall winner in the Pineapple Cup race to Jamaica. J/160s win in Newport-Ensenada, Puerto-Vallarta, Marblehead-Halifax and Swiftsure races. J/125 wins overall at Middle Sea Race in Malta. The Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs is held in J22s in Annapolis, with Cory Sertl’s team crowned champion.
2000 – J/46 earns double honors, first as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner; and as a category winner in Sailing World Magazine's Boat of the Year Awards. New carbon fiber J/145 (48') is launched. 92 boats attend the J/22 Worlds in Holland. J/105 production accelerates with hull #400 launched and European production underway. US Watercraft becomes new US builder for J/24 and the World Championship returns to Newport for its 22nd running. New 'L' version (L for liveaboard) is introduced for the popular J/42.
1999 – J/35 inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame ceremonies in Atlantic City. J/125 wins Sportboat of the Year from Sailing World. J/120 J BIRD clean sweeps the Puerta-Vallarta race with 1st to finish, 1st in class and 1st overall- only the 3rd boat in history to do so (other two were 70' sleds). J/46 performance-cruising yacht is launched. J/22 featured in Santa-Maria Cup (women's match racing) and for the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds. J/30 and J/35 classes combine efforts to run their 20th and 15th North American Championships in Annapolis. 25 J/105s sail one design at Block Island. Over 275 J/105s now sailing in 15 fleets worldwide. The Rolex Int'l Women's Keelboat Champs return to Newport in J/24s.
1998 – J/160 Pipedream wins Round-the-World Rally (American division) with a crew of five. Owner Scott Piper departs on cruise around the world in opposite direction! High tech built J/90 and J/125 usher in new wave of technology – carbon composite construction with 50% ballast/displacement ratios. J/90 wins "Sportboat of the Year" from Sailing World. J/125 wins at Block Island Race Week and St. Francis Big Boat Series. J/120s sweep top 3 spots in Newport to Ensenada Race. J/22 featured in ISAF World Championship in Dubai for women's match-racing and fleet disciplines. US Master's Championship held in J/105s in San Francisco. J/80 becomes fastest growing one-design in Sweden with 20 boats sailing. J/120 reaches hull #100, with 28 boats sailing in Southern California.
1997– One hundred J/24s attend the 20th anniversary J/24 Midwinters in Key West, Florida. Johnstone Family receives The Industry Leadership Award from SAIL Magazine. Harry Smith wins 1100nm Marina Del Rey to Puerto-Vallarta Race on his J/160 'Bushwacker' and J/160 Hull #3 Pipedream begins the 'Round the World Rally'. The Moorings Company purchases a fleet of J/120s for an innovative 'race weeks' charter program in Tortola.
1996 – The first two of six J/160s are launched in early May. These deluxe flagships go on to win several offshore point-to-point races including a course record from Annapolis to Bermuda! J/44 Class returns for the 1996 Bermuda Race in force with 11 starters. J/105 reaches critical mass for class racing throughout the US with over 165 boats numerous regional events and a successful North American Championship. The new production J/32 Cruiser, designed by Alan Johnstone, is launched in July with over 20 sold in the first six months. J/Boats web site is expanded with a growing on-line class association presence, owner forums and monthly updates.
1995 – J/120 named Cruising World Magazine's Overall Boat of the Year and Best Value in a Full-Size Cruiser. J/24 is first of five inductees into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame. J/130 Starlight Express takes line honors in Newport-Ensenada Race. New J/42 Cruiser is introduced. Hull #1 Gannet wins two New York Yacht Club events and Class A Downeast Racing Circuit with a cruising asymmetric spinnaker and short-handed crew. J/35 class rebounds in participation with 35 entries at its North American Championship. J/105s are featured on ESPN in the Brut Cup professional match-racing circuit. J Composite of France begins European production of the J/80 and J/92.
1994 – J/130 named Sailing World's Boat of the Year among Racer-Cruisers. J/22 and J/24 selected for inaugural IYRU World Sailing Championships, J/44 is first one-design class ever given start in Bermuda Race. J/120 introduced at SAIL EXPO with carbon mast and wins New England Solo-Twin. J/110 introduced at Annapolis Boat Show.
1993 – J/92 is Sailing World's Overall Boat-of-the-Year. J/80 One-Design is launched- the first J model to be built with TPI's patented SCRIMP molding technology. J/22 celebrates its 10th anniversary by becoming an IYRU International Class with 1200 boats. J/33 Daybreak overall winner of Chicago-Mackinac. Newly launched J/130 and J92 sweep Andaman Sea Race in Asia.
1992 – J/105 becomes Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among racer-cruisers, and ushers in the sport boat revolution. J/92 is introduced and destined for the 1992 Readers Choice Award from Sailing World. J/24 #5000 and J/35 #300 are launched. Rod Johnstone is inducted into the Sailing World Hall of Fame.
1991 – Nick Brown's J/44 IONA wins Fastnet in IMS. Fortune Magazine names J Boats as one of the world's 100 best American made products. J/39s and J/35s sweep top 4 positions in CHS at Cowes Week. J Boats pioneers carbon-fiber retractable bowsprits and asymmetric spinnakers on offshore boats, introducing the first of its new 'Sprit' series, the J/105.
1990 – J/35c named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among 30-35 footers. J/44 wins NYYC Cruise. Motor Boating & Sailing names J/24 as 1 of 2 best sailboats of all time. New J/39 wins MBYC Fall Series. J/35 wins class in Sydney-Hobart Race. J/44 J-Hawk wins CHS class at Cowes Week.
1989 – New J/44 wins New York Yacht Club Queen's Cup and Cowes Week on way to becoming Sailing World's Overall Boat of the Year.
1988 –J/34c named Sailing World's Boat of the Year. New J/33 wins Class at Block Island Race Week. Jeff, Stuart, Drake, and Alan Johnstone commence management of company operations at J/Boat office in Newport, RI. TPI (J Builder) introduces industry-leading ten-year blister warranty.
1987 – J/35 becomes America's fastest growing big-boat one-design with 24 sailing in Class at Block Island. J/37s win Class in 3 major race weeks.
1986 – J/40 named Sailing World's Boat of the Year among US designs. J/35 is lst Overall in Miami-Montego Bay and New England Solo-Twin. J/28 and J/37 Cruisers introduced.
1985 – Charley Scott's J/41 Smiles wins SORC Overall. J boats introduces it's first purpose built cruising boat, the J/40, that then goes on to win Class in Chicago – Mackinac. J/34 becomes best selling IOR design in America.
1984 – New J/27 is overall winner of MORC Internationals with J/29 winning Class A. J/35 is 1st Overall MHS in Chicago – Mackinac. J/41 has 1-2-3 sweep of One Ton North Americans and Bermuda Race class.
1983 – J/22 and J/35 introduced. J/22 wins Class at MORC Internationals.
1982 –New J/29s finish 1-2-3 to sweep Class in Block Island Race Week
1981 – Stu, Drake and Jeff Johnstone start J/World Performance Sailing School. J/36 Wins Class A in Antigua.
1980 Nissan Motors becomes Japanese builder. J/24 wins Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit, becomes IYRU International Class and named by SAIL (10th Anniversary) as 'best keelboat in 30 years'.
1979 – J/30 #1 Warhoop finishes 3rd in SORC Class. First J/24 Worlds in Newport with 78 boats.
1978 – Twenty boats attend first J/24 one-design event at Key West, 68 boats attend North Americans in Newport, and 1,000 boats are sold with builders set up in UK, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and US West Coast where Trask family joins Johnstones to build J/24s.
1977 – Brothers Bob and Rod Johnstone finish 1-2 in J/24s in MORC Division at Block Island Week. J/24s go on to dominate the MORC Internationals in Annapolis.
Thanks also to Kendra Muenter
IRISH J109 INFORMATION – J109 Class, c/o Chris Power-Smith, President, 12 Durham Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4. Tel: 087 328 7782, email: [email protected]
Markham Nolan reported on the La Trinity Sur Mer in the January 2009 Afloat Irish Sailing Annual, as follows:
Cork students take World Honours
A nail-biting week of controversy and excitement at La Trinite Sur Mer in November ended in relief for Cork Institute of Technology, who took Ireland’s second Student Yachting World Cup title in three years.
The crew, led by skipper and All-Ireland champion Nin O’Leary, showed skill both on and off the water to clinch victory in the very last race.
Thing started well, with the jitters of race one (8th place) shaken off by a win in race two. Race three saw a long lead sacrificed on the last leg of a coastal race when the Portugese slipped past for a win.
On day two, Ireland posted three finishes in the top four, but day three would bring some travails for the Cork squad.
Aiming for three results in the top three, the CIT team started well with a second, followed by a third. But with five boats deemed OCS at the start of the third race, the Irish saw their main rivals, the Italians, gifted a win.
A long night in the protest room ensued, when video evidence showed that the Irish could not have been over. A sheepish PRO admitted the error, and with redress and average points given, the Irish were in third overall. Another protest room venture, where the Irish came near to being disqualified for flying a spinnaker when instructed not to, was deemed a lucky escape.
A second in the night race, then, left CIT feeling like a win was a long shot going into the last race. “The bare minimum for us was that we had to win the race and the Italians had to be at least seventh,” said team coach Adam McCarthy.
The climax of the event came down to an all-or-nothing dogfight on the start line. O’Leary went after the Italians aggressively, sailing them away from the fleet and the favoured end.
“It’s funny because they didn’t really seem to be expecting us to go after them,” said McCarthy. “Maybe they thought we were going to sail on and hope for the best but either way they were crippled and left about 30 seconds late for the start.”
“It was a basic match-race for the final and Italy weren’t expecting that,” said George Kenifick, mainsail trimmer. “The helmsman couldn’t believe it and started shouting at his crew.” Rattled, the Italians could do no better than seventh, while O’Leary sailed a masterful day, carving the fleet up to win the final race, and the event, against all the odds.
Crew: Nin O’Leary (driver), George Kenefick (main trim), Joe Bruen (trim), Silvia Phelan (trim), Aoife English (trim, pit), Grahame Durcan (mid bow, pit), Dave Barnett (mid bow, navigator) and Cian Twomey (bow) – all pictured above with their coach.
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta website reported, on the 19th of January 2009:
The growth of the J109
The 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (9th–12th July 2009) will see the second appearance of the up-and-coming J109 Class.
With ten boats now in Dublin Bay and a further five at least spread around the Irish coastline, the boat is proving to be the ideal boat of its size both for racing and if one has the time, for cruising.
With its fantastic upwind performance even in light airs, and the 1,183 sq.ft. Asymmetric providing fast off the wind sailing, as many pundits have said, “it ticks all the boxes”.
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta hopes to attract a one design fleet of 20+ J109s with many boats crossing the pond from the UK to join the Irish fleet.
Pictured: A J109 at the Rolex Middlesea Race 2008. Picture courtesy of http://www.j109.org/index.php
Above: The Beneteau First 31.7 'Magic'. Photo courtesy of the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association website
The official title of the association is the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association.
The aim of the Association is to encourage and develop the use of the Beneteau First 31.7 yacht as a one design keel boat.
email [email protected]
History (the following information and image courtesy of the National Squib Class Owners Association)
The Squib was designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee as a successor to his Ajax 23. The protoytpe was built in cold moulded wood and sailed extensively over the winter of 1967-68. After successful proving trials she was used as a plug and the first GRP Squib was launched in June 1968. By the end of that year there were six Squibs racing on the Crouch and they had grown into a substantial fleet by 1969 with new fleets forming at Waldringfiled, Brixham, Abersoch and Aldeburgh. At the Yachting World Keelboat Rally held in 1969 the Squib was pronounced to be the most interesting entry. When numbers passed 300 in 1972 the Squib was granted national status.
While the UK fleets expanded, interest began to spread abroad. A couple of Squibs went to Tortola as day charter boats and a fleet grew there. Other groups grew in South Africa, Greece, Germany and Australia. Many of these boats were either club owned, operated on charter or used in sailing schools.
By 1974 sail numbers had approached the 400 mark despite growing economic gloom. That November an event called the Squib Symposium was dreamed up by Simon Fraser, and that country's leading yachting journalists came to Burnham-on-Crouch to race Squibs against one another. The resulting press comment further enhanced the Squib's reputation as did the Design Centre's decision to put the Squib on its index of selected designs.
The Class has now spread to all parts of the British Isles, where there are 27 active racing fleets, ten of which muster more than 20 boats. The most recent fleets to be formed were at Royal Ulster YC in 1998, East Antrim YC in 2000 and Kinsale YC in 2001. The Royal Ulster YC fleet now embrace Squibs from Ballyholme YC and the combined fleet is called the Bangor Fleet. Over 810 Squibs have been built and the National Squib Owners Association has over 640 members. A National Championship has been held at a different venue every year since 1972. In 2002 it was held at Royal North of Ireland YC with an entry of over 80 boats. A Match Racing Championship which was instituted in 1988 was held at Howth in 2000 but was not sailed in 2001. In 1995 Rutland SC instituted an Inland Championship which attracted 34 entries and proved so popular that it has been held every year since and in 2002 attracted 43 entries. Squibs race as a class in Aldeburgh Week, Medway Week, Menai Strait Fortnight, Oulton Week, Tay Week and racing with a PY of 115.
Until his death in 1993 Oliver Lee was the sole licenced builder of Squibs. The licence lapsed on his death and in 1994 it was granted to Barker Brewer Boats Ltd but they relinquished it in 1996 after having built 12 Squibs. In 1997 the licence was granted to parker Sailboats who built 40 squibs up to the end of 2001.
What is a Squib?
Just under 20 foot long, the Squib is a two person racing keelboat with 50% ballast ratio. That means it is big enough to race at sea and small enough to trail comfortably behind a family car. It also means that it needs only two of you to race and it is very safe in a blow. The Squib is sailed by all sorts and by all ages, primarily because it is, and feels, so solid and safe. You sit in a Squib, not on it – though we do hike out!
It is particularly suitable for mixed crews. About 10% of helms at the Nationals are female as are 25% of all participants in the Nationals. The 2007 National Champion crew is Penny Fenwick. Jenny Riley has been twice National Champion crew and recently won Oulton Week as a helm. There are very many married couples racing in the Squib Class.
The Squib seems to suit all ages as well. The youngest crew at the Nationals in 2007 was 13. The youngest helm we have seen was 12 (Holyhead 2004.) Prizes are awarded for first boat with crew combined age over 120. (To win this, the boat would have to be in the top third of the fleet.) The oldest Nationals competitor we are aware of was 85 at the time.
About 80–100 Squibs attend the National Championships which take place at a different venue each year (2008 Lowestoft, 2009 Weymouth, 2010 Dun Laoghaire.) 55 attend the Inland Championships which are held at Rutland and there are usually about 35 Squibs racing in Cowes Week.
There are many other championships – the Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, North of England, East Coast, South Coast and the Welsh Championships. Squibs sail in many regattas around the country – Oulton Broad, Menai Straits, Aldeburgh, Bridlington, Abersoch, Dart and several others.
In March 2009, Graham Smith wrote the following review of the class for Afloat: "According to the stats, the Squib national fleet stands at 85 which represents an increase over the previous year so the appeal of the boat – affordable, easily trailed and easily sailed – is clearly catching. Indeed, the Irish fleet represents a fair percentage of the total fleet in the British Isles.
Interest has been growing over the years so that it’s no longer a Howth and Cultra monopoly, with burgeoning fleets in Killyleagh, Arklow and Glandore in West Cork.
That said, the northerners still tend to dominate proceedings on the race course and John Driscoll from RNIYC won the national title from a healthy fleet of 36 boats, sailed in Kinsale. National Champion 2009: John Driscoll, RNIYC
There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here