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Displaying items by tag: circumnavigation

Richard Hayes’ Laser isn’t the only small boat to complete a circumnavigation of Ireland in recent days.

This past Monday (24 September), the crew of Arthur — a 40-year-old inland motor cruiser based in Portumna on the River Shannon — finished their own historic rounding of the island of Ireland over four months at sea.

Arthur began its journey out of the river in June, cruising past Limerick and Kilrush through the Shannon Estuary and heading southwards in an anti-clockwise direction.

Top passage planning by the crew meant their vessel, built for the lesser rigours of more sheltered inland waterways, was able to withstand the winds and sea state around some tricky parts of the Irish coastline, particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Tomorrow afternoon (Friday 28 September), members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will welcome Arthur and crew back to the inland Shannon from 3.30pm in Killaloe, at the canal moorings next to the Co Clare village’s tourist office.

And if you’re in the region you might catch Arthur’s passage along the way, as boat and crew are scheduled to arrive at Limerick’s Sarsfield Lock at 11.20am, followed by the world’s second-deepest lock, at Ardnacrusha, at 1pm.

Published in Cruising
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#Laser - The Galway Advertiser is reporting that Galway Bay Sailing Club member Richard Hayes has completed a solo circumnavigation of Ireland by Laser dinghy.

Hayes sailed 54 days over three-and-a-half months since 27 May to complete the near 2,500km challenge last Friday 14 September in aid of heart and stroke charity Croí — and he is still raising funds for the remarkable effort online.

“This is one of the smallest boats ever to have circumnavigated Ireland and to have successfully done so without a support team on the water,” Hayes shared on Facebook of the achievement.

W M Nixon's Sailing On Saturday this weekend (22nd September) takes a detailed look at Richard Hayes’ great achievement, and other notable small boat voyages round Ireland

Published in Laser

#Kayaking - A German woman who circumnavigated Ireland by kayak in 2016 is taking the story of her remarkable global padding adventures on tour across Europe, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Freya Hoffmeister recently returned to Ireland to give talks in Dublin and Cork on her epic solo kayaking voyage around South America, which she undertook in sections over more than 30 months between 2011 and 2015.

Before that, she paddled around Iceland in what’s regarded as the ‘K2 of sea kayaking’, and took on New Zealand’s South Island that same year.

The speaker and endurance athlete also holds a circumnavigation of Australia among her host of achievements — with her next being the mammoth undertaking of North America, which will require kayaking through the treacherous Northwest Passage.

But as lofty as these goals might seem to the average human, Freya brings things down to earth in her motivational talks, on which the Irish Examiner has more HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The current Vendee Globe Race non-stop round the world is deservedly attracting enough attention without having to make over-stated claims on behalf of some of its participants writes W M Nixon.

The official website is today carrying a story that if Enda O’Coineen can succeed in his plan of sailing his dismasted IMOCA 60 Kilcullen Voyager from Dunedin at the south end of New Zealand under jury rig to Auckland 800 miles away to the north, where a loaned replacement masts awaits, then if he can continue the voyage back to les Sables d’Olonne round Cape Horn he will become the first Irishman to sail solo round the world.

Not so. Noted Dublin marine artist Pete Hogan, who sailed solo round the world in his gaff ketch Molly B, said today that the number of misapprehensions about who was first doing what in the Irish circumnavigation stakes is astonishing.

For instance, when he rounded Cape Horn in the 1990s, he was acclaimed as the first Irishman to do it alone, for of course Conor O’Brien had done it with the crewed Saoirse in 1925. Yet Pete Hogan found it very difficult to get anyone to listen when he subsequently tried to set the record by saying that Bill King of Galway with the junk-rigged ketch Galway Blazer was the first solo, and that was way back in 1973.

The fact that Bill King was a distinguished former British submarine commander may have projected the image of being non-Irish. But in fact he flew both the Irish tricolour and the
British red ensign, and his home was Oranmore Castle at the head of Galway Bay.

irish solo2Bill King’s purpose-designed Galway Blazer circumnavigated the world solo south of the great Capes in 1973.

Since then, other Irish sailors who have striven to circumnavigate include Declan Mackell, originally from Portaferry but Canadian-based by the time he undertook his voyage in a Contessa 32, with which he returned home to Ireland for a prolonged stay during his circuit.

Another lone circumnavigator, Pat Lawless of Limerick who completed his voyage with a Seadog ketch in 1996 at the age of 70, had hoped to take in Cape Horn, but rigging damage forced him into a Chilean port, and eventually he returned to Ireland via the Panama Canal. But his circuit was definitely completed, and completed alone.

And Pete Hogan believes there may be one or two other Irish lone circumnavigators who have done it without fanfare. For not everyone seeks the kind of publicity which the Vendee Globe inevitably provides.

Pat Lawless solo sailorLimerick circumnavigator – the irrepressible Pat Lawless aboard his world-girdling Seadog ketch

Published in Vendee Globe

#Kayaking - It hasn't been the best summer for long-distance kayaking in Ireland, what with Manx duo Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw being forced to abandon their round-Ireland effort three weeks ago.

And that's not to mention exhaustion getting the better of pizza-oven maker Hendrik Lepel on the first leg of his voyage from Kinsale to Germany.

But two expeditions currently under way may have better chances as the weather improves.

The42.ie brings news of Jon Hynes and Sean Cahill's "once in a lifetime" kayaking trip round Ireland, which began on 16 June near the former's Kinsale home.

Taking a clockwise route around the island of Ireland, as of yesterday (Tuesday 30 June) the pair were taking shelter in Broadhaven Bay, Co Mayo awaiting a break in the weather to proceed to Donegal and on to the north coast and the half-way mark.

“It's definitely the pinnacle of expedition kayaking when you’re trying to get around Ireland in this type of weather!" said Hynes, who can boast of some 60 years of kayaking experience between him and Cahill.

However, ahead of them is an even more elite kayaker in the form of Waterford man Mick O'Meara, who as of yesterday was just four days shy of setting a brand new speed record for a solo circumnavigation of Ireland, as The Irish Times reports.

If O'Meara - a multiple-time Liffey Descent winner – reaches his hometown of Tramore by this Friday 3 July, he will have shaven two days off the record set by Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan on the 1,200km voyage in 2011.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - A duo of paddlers from the Isle of Man are getting ready to set a new round-Ireland sea kayaking record.

As BBC News reports, Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw aim to cover as many as 50 nautical miles a day in their standard seagoing kayaks to break the current 28-day record and raise funds for the RNLI.

And they've warmed up for the challenge appropriately, kayaking from their home in the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland as the start of their clockwise circumnavigation, beginning at Strangford in Co Down.

Experienced kayakers Tastagh and Shaw are already record breakers, after setting the furthest paddle west from Dutch Harbour – famous from the TV series Dangerous Catch – to Herbert Island in the Aleutians.

They're also not the first to attempt a circumnavigation this summer, as the Ogden brothers will set off from Baltimore over the June bank holiday in their 18ft Drascombe Lugger.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Derry Mayor Martin Reilly offered his congratulations to native son Jake King on taking the surf kayak world title in Australia earlier this month.

As the Derry Journal reports, 18-year-old King was crowned champion after topping three other reigning top dogs in the men's longboat, masters and junior short boat in the final of the competition at Maroochydore beach in Queensland.

According to his father Paddy, Jake King can now add his name to the list of five previous world champions from the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) surf kayak club - which includes his brother Corin.

In other kayaking news, a London paddler has broken the record for circumnavigating the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

BBC News reports on the feat achieved by 39-year-old George Shaw, who completed the 115km route around the island in 11 hours 43 minutes - smashing the previous record by almost an hour.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Red Bull recently caught up with sea kayaking adventurer Justine Curgenven, who is currently over a month and more than half way into her 1,000-mile circumnavigation of Ireland.

Unlike Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander's epic solo voyage two years ago, the New Zealander has some extra paddle power in the form of her partner Barry Shaw and friend Roger Chandler.

"We aren't going for any speed records, just hoping to enjoy the scenery and meet some local people," she says of their 50-day adventure around Ireland.

But that's not to say our waters aren't challenge for this experienced kayaker.

"Irish waters can be very challenging," says Curgenven. "They get 2-3m swells quite regularly and are known for their surf beaches, which we are trying to avoid!"

Despite the hard work, the film-maker says "time really does fly when you're having fun... If you like circumnavigations then it's really a great island to paddle around."

Red Bull has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#SeaKayaking - The East Inishowen Sea Kayak Symposium takes place this weekend from 26-28 April.

Hosted by Just Kayak at the shorefront in Moville, Co Donegal, the weekend costs €130 for all coaching and guides, plus two nights self-catering bed and breakfast plus lunches and an evening meal.

Friday evening will feature a talk from Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander, discussing her epic circumnavigation of Ireland by sea kayak two years ago that we followed here on Afloat.ie.

Saturday will be a full day of coaching and guided trips around the Inishowen peninsula, followed by an evening of talks from guest coaches.

The final day on Sunday features a choice of different coaching sessions - and for something a little different, chef Brian McDermott will give a demonstration of outdoor cooking which might prove handy on your next kayaking trip.

For more details and booking info visit the Just Kayak website.

In other sea kayaking news, a Plymouth couple are hoping to be the first husband-and-wife team to kayak around the British and Irish coasts.

As The Herald in Plymouth reports, Andy and Jane Morton from Bere Alston left Plymouth aboard their double kayak Persey earlier this month beginning their five-month challenge for the RNLI and a local MS charity.

You can follow the couple's progress via their website HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#circumnavigation – A traditional global circumnavigation was celebrated in Dun Laoghaire last night with the award of the Irish Cruising Club's premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup, to Fergus Quinlan of Kinvara on Galway Bay for the log of the third stage of the 40,486 mile global circumnavigation he completed last year with his wife Kay aboard the 12M steel cutter Pylades, a van de Stadt design which he built himself between 1995 and 1997.

Those of us who have stayed on in Ireland to live through the recession should maybe have taken more notice when, around four or five year ago, architects like the skipper of Pylades started finalising plans to take off for the dream cruise, round the world in easy stages until there was a chance there might be some signs of the green shoots of recovery back home. Of all trades, it was the architectural profession which would have been the first to notice that the flamboyant growth of the tiger years was starting to wilt.

A previous decade in which long distance cruising came top of the agenda was the 1930s, when the Great Depression likewise gripped the world. Then about ten year ago when New Zealand was in localised recession, people simply spent more time sailing in what is a sailing paradise. They already had the boats to do it with, now they'd the free time. But as they didn't have the money for fancy new sails and other gear, they made do with the equipment they had. So this upsurge in sailing activity was of little benefit to the marine industry, but by living frugally afloat the people could enjoy themselves, and returned to work refreshed as the economy stared to pick up.

But in any case, when you've built a boat as good as Pylades, long distance voyaging is the only way to go. She's all of a piece, and is yet another manifestation of the versatility of Dutch designer Ricus van de Stadt (1910-1999). A couple of weeks ago, we were discussing his vision in the use of plywood construction with the Black Soo type from 1956, and Zeevalk before that in 1949. But in 1955 he was also ahead of the posse in glassfibre with the appropriately named Pionier 9, one of Europe's first production boats in GRP. Though long out of production, they're still going strong – there's one of them lying to a mooring in Malahide Estuary, just across the channel from the yacht club.

And as you'd expect from a Dutchman, he was tops with steel. The Caribbean 12 design from which Pylades was built is double chine for ease of construction, yet is still a handsome boat of the ideal size – for the life of me I can't see why anyone needs a proper cruising boat to be more than 38ft long.

With Pylades, Fegus and Kay Quinlan have made the ideal circumnavigation, quietly adhering to their own rule of staying with the boat all the way – they didn't do the usual modern thing of flying home from time to time. But they maintained an informative website, and as someone in a creative profession and a traditional musician too, Fergus is a dab hand with the words and the notions, His log is filled with much entertainment and information and the sort of thoughts that come to you on the long ocean passages – did you know, for instance, that continental separation continues at about the same speed as your fingernails grow?

It's the third year running that Pylades has been awarded the Faulkner Cup, which dates back to 1931 but hasn't been taken three times on the trot before, so history was made last night at the ICC AGM. You don't of course "win" cruising trophies, you're awarded them, which quietly deals with the notion that the essence of cruising is its non-competitive nature.

But were it not for cruising awards, we'd have few enough sources of information to trace the development of this branch of sailing, and to inspire others. Yesterday evening the adjudicator Brendan O'Callaghan had to allocate a round dozen cruising achievement trophies, while there were six other special awards by the committee, including the Wright Salver which went posthumously to Mike Balmforth for his remarkable book Cruising Ireland, published last June, while Sean Flood received the Donegan Cup for his tireless work as Ambassador for Sail Training International. Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy and her parents Con Murphy and Cathy McAleavy were awarded the John B Kearney Cup for services to sailing by this very special family whose breadth of involvement in our sport is unrivalled.

Other cruising trophies included the Strangford Cup to Jarlath Cunnane of Mayo for a 4,500 miles venture north of Russia with his much-travelled Northabout, the Atlantic Trophy went to Maire Breathnach of Dungarvan for the transoceanic crossing which completed the circuit of North America by the gaff ketch Young Larry, Paul Butler of Dun Laoghaire took the Round Ireland Cup for his informative account of a classic circuit, Brian Black of Strangford got the Rockabill Trophy for his voyage to Greenland with the 35ft Seafra, and Dickie Gomes (also of Strangford Lough) received the Fingal Cup for the Centenarian 36ft Ainmara's cruise to the Outer Hebrides and Scotland's west coast.

SailSat 16-02-13-pic 3

The John B Kearney-designed and built 36ft yawl Ainmara anchored off at Plockton in Wester Ross during her Centenary Cruise to Scotland which was awarded the ICC's Fingal Cup. The club's John B Kearney Cup for Services to Sailing, commemorating Ainmara's renowned designer-builder, was awarded last night to leading Dun Laoghgaire sailing family Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavy and their daughter, Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy. Photo: W M Nixon

In other cruises, Garry Villiers-Stuart received the Wild Goose Cup for a "pilgrimage voyage" with the 1890-vintage cutter Winifeda of Greenisland, the Marie Trophy for the best cruise by a boat less than 30ft LOA goes to Mick Delap whose gaff cutter North Star is just 24ft long, the Glengarriff Trophy goes to former Fireball champions Adrian and Maeve Bell from Strangford for a cruise in Irish waters which was good despite the weather, the Perry Greer Bowl for a first log goes to Ann Lyons for a cruise among Celts fom Cork eastward, the Wybrants Cup for the best cruise in Scotland goes to Harry Whelehan of Howth whose venture to the Hebrides with the 32ft Sea Dancer found itself providing support for a currach from Kerry delivering an Irish language Bible (the first such apparently) to the religious community at Iona, and the Fortnight Cup for the best cruise in 16 days went to David Williams of Strangford Lough who managed to take the owner-built steel cutter Reiver to southern Brittany, 600 miles in the fortnight, and they got far enough south to be clear of the baleful effects of the jetstream which was blighting the weather over Ireland.

SailSat 16-02-13-pic 4

Awarded the Fortnight Cup. The 35ft steel cutter Reiver, to a design by Ian Nicolson of Alfred Mylne, was self-built by David and Peter Williams of Strangford Lough, and launched in 1988.

THE CARIBBEAN 600 SHOW GOES ON

Irish hopes in the RORC Caribbean 600, which starts on Monday from Antigua, received a horrible setback a week ago when Alan McGettigan of Dun Laoghaire's recently-acquired Swan 48 Wolfhound foundered just north of Bermuda. The boat was on a very challenging delivery passage from Connecticut via Bermuda to Antigua to take part in the race, and the crew of four with the owner in command were in no doubt about the scale of the task they faced. But with snowstorm Nemo developing over northeast America, the conditions in the Gulf Stream became extreme, and with multiple systems failures, a rescue by activating the EPIRB became necessary.

SailSat 16-02-13-pic 5

Wolfhound was a Swan 48 to this 1994 Frers design.

Nevertheless the sinking of a boat of this quality is extremely unusual, but we'll have to await the word from the crew (the ship which picked them up gets to Gibraltar next Tuesday) to learn if it was impact against the ship which sank Wolfhound. She was one of the Frers designed Swan 48s of which 57 were built between 1995 and 2003. The design was developed as the natural successor to the very successful Sparkman and Stephens-designed Swan 48 which was one of the classics which established the Nautor brand, so although Wolfhound was called a Swan 48, she was in fact just a smidgin under 51ft. This gives her even more Irish interest, as it means that at the time of her building, she was a sort of up-dated production version of Denis Doyle's legendary Moonduster, built by Crosshaven Boatyard in 1981, which was last reported to be based in Norway with an offshore sailing school in Trondheim.

SailSat 16-02-13-pic 6

The Duster sails on. Denis Doyle's famous Frers sloop steps out seven years ago near her home port of Trondheim in Norway.

Meanwhile out in Antigua Irish hopes in the Caribbean 600 now rest with Dun Laoghaire's Michael Boyd, Niall Dowling and John Cunningham with the chartered First 40 Lancelot, the Reichel Pugh 78 Whisper skippered by Mark Dicker, and Northern Ireland's Peter Metcalfe in command of the 100ft Liara, though of course American Ron O'Hanley with the highly-fancied Cookson 50 Privateer, will find he immediately reverts to the nationality of his ancestors if Privateer does the good deed.

Defending champion Ran, the JV 72, isn't taking part this year, but her newer near sister Bella Menta (Hap Fauth, USA) is probably the bookies' favourite, though Mike Slade's ubiquitous hundred footer Leopard is on a roll after setting a new record in the Transatlantic race (she was on charter to Nik Zennstrom of Ran who fancied a bit of extra comfort to cross the pond) and can never be ruled out of contention.

NAOMH BAIRBRE AND A SILE NA GIG

The addictive Turas Huiceara on TG4 at 9.30 pm on Thursdays continued this week with Donncha and his hard-working pair of shipmates on the giant Galway Hooker Naomh Bairbre managing to get their enormous mainsail back in action with the new boom made from a tree felled in Stornoway.

Their voyage in search of Gaelic links along the Celtic seaways brought them to the Orkneys where - as suggested here last week - there's little enough trace of the Gael in a Viking-dominated archipelago. But a visit to St Magnus Cathedral, the remarkably fine mediaeval church in the Orcadian capital of Kirkwall, discovered what is apparently the most northerly Sile na Gig, a piece of unsubtle Celtic statuary incorporated into a stone archway.

There is no doubting what this little stone carving is all about - it makes even the most blatant Playboy centrefold seem totally demure by comparison. If this is the image of Irish womanhood being given to the Vikings of Orkney, no wonder they came down here in their hundreds expecting rape and pillage.

Finally heading south, the Naomh Bairbe found her way into the Caledonian Canal, with the site of the Gaelic-destroying Battle of Culloden nearby providing a mournful visit. But such are the demands of a continuous cruising narrative that there wasn't time to put Culloden into perspective, relating it to 1745 and the expedition into Scotland by that world-class messer Bonny Prince Charlie. You could understand, though, why he mightn't be mentioned – it's difficult to be serious about a man named after three sheepdogs.

Going down Loch Ness, there were interesting insights into the survival or otherwise of Gaelic in Scotland, with one speaker making the point that its disappearance means that people aren't really able to properly read the maps of their homeland, as the names of the significant features are all based on Gaelic.

SailSat 16-02-13-pic 7

The Gaelic says it all. The Scottish mainland's exposed most westerly point is Ardnamurchan. It means the Headland of the Great Seas – this photo was taken in unusually smooth conditions, with the wind off the land, a rare experience0. Photo: W M Nixon

In fact, both the Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions in Scotland, and the ICC books on the Irish coast, make a point of including a large glossary of Gaelic coastal terms, as it does indeed greatly aid in "reading" a coastline. It may be a help to the survival of the old tongue, but on the other hand it simply reinforces Gaelic's featherweight status as no more than a holiday language.

Next Thursday sees the final episode of the Turas Huiceara saga. Whatever about its success as a television programme, it has been a fascinating cruise on an interesting boat, and I can only hope the crew of the Naomh Bairbe start to get some quiet enjoyment as they get nearer to home in Connemara.

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Published in W M Nixon
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

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