ROGER BANNON, 44, resigned yesterday as president of the Irish Sailing Association. The resignation comes three days after the association's a.g.m. Bannon told The Irish Times yesterday that his increasing work load was the main reason for stepping down from the national authority's top job. He now spends three out of every four weeks abroad and, he could not commit sufficient time to the job which looks after the interests of 8,000 sailors. The resignation will come into effect immediately after an extraordinary general meeting of the association at the end of April.
"It is my plan to see out the e.g.m. at end of April for the anticipated imprimaturs for what was agreed at our a.g.m." There was an unsuccessful attempt at the associations a.g.m. last Saturday at Waterford Harbour SC to pass amendments to the operation of the Joint Membership Scheme (JMS) which attempts to make every member of a sailing club a member of the ISA. The amendment was objected to by the country's biggest clubs, including three of the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs, Howth YC and the Royal Cork YC. While there was universal support for the JMS there were fears that proposed voting procedures would have made it difficult for clubs to exercise the franchise on behalf of their members.
Agreement for the amendment itself was reached but as there was a risk that it could be challenged legally it required a full 21 day notice period for it to be adopted. An extraordinary general meeting will be held for its resolution within 60 days. Introduced in 1992, the JMS scheme was the brainchild of Bannon, the associations honorary treasurer at that time.
Whitbread veteran Joe English will front a new company to construct and market the new 1720 sports boat following a take over of founding company Virtual Yachting Corporation. Creditors and a group of Cork sailing enthusiasts combined to purchase the assets and liabilities of Virtual Yachting, run by Stephen Hyde since the 26 foot boat came on the market in April 1994. The new company will trade as 1720 Yachts. In December 19, Virtual Yachting claimed to have sold 38 boats worldwide, with 13 racing in Cork harbour. Sailmaker Des McWilliam and John Wallace of Union Chandlery are part of the buy out team.
The mid year meeting of the European Union Sailing Association (EUSA) takes place in Dublin tomorrow and Sunday. EUSA is the co-ordinating body of European National Sailing Governing Bodies who are also members of the International Yacht Racing Union. Presiding at the meeting will be Fernando Bolin (ESP) while Ireland's Tom Fitzpatrick is vice president. The Minister for the Marine Sean Barrett, will host a reception tonight for the delegates at the Coach House, Dublin Castle. Tomorrow the meeting convenes at the Westbury Hotel and on Sunday the meeting reconvenes at Howth Yacht Club Countries attending include Ireland, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Sweden Greece Austria, Portugal, Spain Netherlands, France and Denmark
Stephen Hyde from Royal Cork YC won the opening pre qualifying Optimist dinghy regatta of the season in light to moderate winds at Swords Sailing Club last's weekend. Daire O'Reilly of Howth took second place with Colin Smith of East Antrim Boat Club rounding off a strong performance with two wins out of the six races to pull himself into third place. The regatta was a selection event for 15 sailors to join the top 25 in the country who have already qualified for the Irish team trials based on the end of season rankings.
The other qualifiers are Andrew George (Malahide YC), Dylan Gannon (Howth YC), Chris Todd Strangford (Lough YC), Jarleth Lennon (East Antrim BC), Conor Byrne (Skerries SC), Richard Leonard (Royal Cork YC), Richard Lane (Royal York YC), Richard O'Callaghan (Dundalk SC), Kevin Crowley (Royal Cork YC), Roy Darrer (Royal Cork YC), James Timoney (National YC) and Niall Dodd (Lough Derg YC).
Further selection trials will be held at Howth YC on April 20th-21st, National YC May 4th-5th (simultaneously with the Leinster championships) and Skerries SC May 11th-12th.