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#ICRA - Norbert 'Nobby' Reilly has resigned from the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) over disagreements with its direction in the last 12 months.

In his resignation letter submitted yesterday (Thursday 18 January), the Howth Yacht Club stalwart and former ICRA commodore suggested that it is “probably a good time to wind up” the association, on the eve of a symposium to determine its future direction.

Reilly accused ICRA of “getting in the way of its own plan” since a memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 with the ISA, now Irish Sailing, led to a boost in its finances for cultivating and promoting cruiser racing in Ireland.

Of its €50,000 budget for 2017 — four times ICRA’s revenue in 2015 — allocations of €11,000 were made for training and €8,500 for recruitment via CrewPoint.

But Reilly claims only €2,000 of the former was spent in clubs (Howth YC and the Royal Cork) which already have training programmes in place, with little spend or results for the latter.

Fixture clashes, disputes over venue selection, a drop in crew numbers and a poor return from its communications/web and social media budget are some of the other issues cited by Reilly in influencing his decision.

Specifically, Reilly says that the selection of Galway as host venue of this year's ICRA Nationals was not passed by the executive, and that the first he knew of the decision “was on Facebook”.

Speaking to Afloat.ie on Reilly’s resignation, ICRA commodore Simon McGibney paid tribute to his contributions to cruiser racing, but added that the departing executive’s comments should not affect plans for the weekend symposium, which starts tomorrow morning in Limerick.

“Strategically what we’re trying to do is to take a good look and review where we [as ICRA] want to see ourselves in the next five years, and that has always been the case going forward.”

McGibney added that he believes Reilly was given a fair hearing from the ICRA board, but decisions “are always done by majority”.

Regarding the ICRA Nationals in Galway this August, McGibney dismisses suggestions that the event would not be a ‘true nationals’ without the presence of Dublin boats because “there is a rotation of where the Nationals will be hosted” as bound by the ICRA constitution.

“Galway is an ideal location to bring it to the West Coast,” he added, urging people to “look at the bigger picture” of the event as “a promotion for cruiser racing on a national level.”

Published in ICRA

With every great win comes a ripple effect. Annalise Murphy’s silver medal in sailing at the Rio Olympics in 2016 was good news for the country, for sport, and the sailing community in general. But how has the bounce been felt one year on?

President of Irish Sailing, Jack Roy commented “it’s interesting to look at the figures to see what impact, if any, Annalise’s medal has had on increasing awareness of sailing or attracting new people to our sport. We know that Olympic medals increase people’s enthusiasm for trying out a new sport, boxing and rowing being prime examples and it appears from our figures at the end of 2017 that there certainly has been a very positive effect that can be attributed to Annalise’s success in Rio”

More people sailing

As you’d expect, there’s been a bounce in the number of people sailing around the country. The Irish Sailing’s “Try Sailing” programme which encourages clubs and training centres to create opportunities and events for new sailors, saw a distinct rise this summer, with 5,816 people attending events. That’s a 61% increase on the 2016 numbers. Interestingly half of the sailors were female, and 57% were under 18. There’s an anticipated boost to club membership too of about 5%, but these figures won’t be concrete until the end of 2018.

But there are other ways in which the Annalise effect can be seen.

annalise Murphy St Patrick's day paradeAnnalise Murphy prepares for her St. Patrick's Day Parade role

Ambassador role 

Annalise has played an ambassador role for sailing since her win. She’s been out and about, visiting her old schools, Grand Marshalling the St Patrick’s Day parade, appearing on TV, radio and podcasts, and working with Irish Sailing and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council visiting school children. All of which raise the profile of sailing and encourage a non-traditional audience to get out onto the water.

Third level recognise high-performance sailors

Some of the main universities, as a direct result of the Olympic medal and the corresponding increased awareness of sailing, have reassessed the way they view high performance athletes, and are allowing them to lengthen their degree programmes and award scholarships. For the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway athletes, this is a huge boost. By extending degree programmes, athletes can dedicate more time to their sporting careers whilst balancing that with the need to accomplish other life and career goals. UCD recently awarded Liam Glynn an Ad Astra scholarship. UCC have given three scholarships to Fionn Lyden, Seafra Guilfoyle and Mark Hassett. UCC also support Johnny Durcan on a pre-university programme which offers access to sports services and facilities. Aisling Keller, Aoife Hopkins and Sean Donnelly received sports scholarships from Trinity College Dublin this week.

Annalise_murphy_sailing_dublin_bayAnnalise at full stretch on Dublin Bay. Photo: Terry McDonagh

Young women in sailing given a boost

And what about the young women who are competing competitively in sailing – what effect did Annalise’s win have on them ? Annalise has been very open in saying that she felt she had limited natural talent, putting her success down to hard work and determination.

For Hannah Leonard, a Transition Year student who sails Optimists out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dublin, Annalise’s achievement had a big impact. “I’ve often thought about giving up [sailing], but Annalise wasn’t good in an Optimist and it gives me hope that I could be better in a different boat like the Laser”.

For Ella May, a Laser sailor aged 16, the win has given her a boost: “when you see how close it is to home, it becomes real. When you see someone who trains where you train and come up through the ranks like you do, and experiencing what you do, I feel there’s more hope”.

For Michele Halpany who runs the 420 Class and also the junior sailors at the National Yacht Club in Dublin, Annalise is a great role model for the girls. “She’s friendly and down to earth, and it gives them a boost when they see her and chat to her. For her, the win “reinforces that girls can do just as well [in sailing]. It’s a level playing field”.

annalise_murphy_volvo_ocean_raceOn deck with the hard-working crew of Turn The Tide on Plastic — among them Annalise Murphy — at the Leg 1 start in Alicante Photo: Jen Edney/Volvo Ocean Race

A career in sailing

So if she is responsible for a bounce in people trying sailing this year, Annalise isn’t standing still. Her switch to off-shore sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race shows there’s life beyond the Olympics and that a career in sailing is possible.

If you’re interested in getting out onto the water but don’t know where to start, check out trysailing.ie

Published in Annalise Murphy

#Tides - Irish Sailing has published the latest tide times for 2018 and 2019 for mariners in Dublin Bay (North Wall), Galway, Belfast and Cork Harbour (Cobh).

All times and related tidal variations (adjusted for Irish Summer Time) are estimates and none are verified by any national hydrographic office, so are to be referred to as a guideline only.

Published in ISA

#Sailing - With sailing being included as Physical Education is added to the Leaving Certificate next September, Irish Sailing is encouraging parents to urge their schools to apply for the first phase of the new curriculum.

Participating schools have three options to choose from, including Physical Education as an exam subject and as a non-exam framework for the Senior Cycle.

Among the six main ‘physical activity areas’ denoted for the new curriculum, sailing is listed under ‘Adventure activities’ along with canoeing/kayaking and rowing/sculling.

Interested schools are also encouraged to get in touch with their local sailing club for advice via Irish Sailing’s regional development officers.

The closing date for applications for the Phase 1 School Selection survey is Tuesday 16 January 2018.

Published in ISA

A one day symposium will be held by Irish Sailing in January to seek ways in which sailing clubs could all collectively support each other, in collaboration with Irish Sailing, to increase participation in the Sport. 

Facilitated ‘by volunteer club members, for volunteer club members’, to challenge and share how we could “Think outside the Box?” and ways to grow club sailing.

The event will be chaired by IS board member Nikki Curran from Sligo Yacht Club.

A team of passionate volunteers from various Clubs throughout the country, Elaine O'Mahony of Foynes, Colin Moorehead of Cork, Donnchadh Mac Cobb of Poolbeg and George Kingston of Kinsale and Dun Laoghaire, came up with a simple but stimulating idea.

The theme is simple and will build on the experience and professionalism that is vibrant among volunteers throughout the Clubs in Ireland.

The symposium will allow everyone to share their ideas and concerns in a workshop format and there will be various different opportunities for people to network and identify key collaborations to work on together with Irish Sailing ahead of the 2018 season. The date was set as early as possible after the traditional changing of new committees for Saturday 27 January and is on in The Plaza Hotel Tallaght. This is a free event with free tea ‘n coffee throughout the day and a discounted corporate lunch available starting off at €7 for soup ‘n sandwich and dinner for €13.

For further details, timetable and to book your place please click here

Published in ISA

Irish Sailing is encouraging yacht and boat clubs who won over €1.1m in Sports Capital grants in November to try to spend the money in Ireland.

In the interests of 'supporting the Irish Boating industry', Irish Sailing has appealed to clubs to 'seek quotes from local suppliers and help to support the Irish Marine industry'.

Of the €1.1 million, awarded to clubs, Irish Sailing estimate approximately €750k will be spent on boats and equipment.

See the full list of clubs and awards as previously reported by Afloat.ie here

'The Sports Capital support for Irish Sailing clubs is brilliant for club development and creating new opportunities. If every club then bought from an Irish broker the knock on effect to the Irish marine industry would be tremendous' Irish Sailing CEO, Harry Hermon, told Afloat.ie. 

'Our industry is a close knit community that offers an incredible support to the boating community – lets help keep the cogs oiled', he added.

30 sailing clubs throughout the country will share over a million in funding.  

Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay is one of the biggest sailing club recipients with a grant of €142,375 for Increasing women and teenagers participation in the sport.  The east pier club is the home of Rio Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

Also in Dun Laoghaire, the country's bggest sailing centre, the Irish National Sailing Club (Locaste) got €40,058 for the renewal of sailing equipment and the purchase of new boats. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club (RSGYC) got €31,228 for a Firefly dinghy renewal programme, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club got €18,515 for the purchase of a 5m RIB and capstan winch. The Royal Irish Yacht Club got €25,000 for its safety and support fleet. Dublin Bay Sailing Club got €11,236

Published in ISA

Irish sailing clubs are among 1,700 sports clubs nationwide receiving €56m in the latest round of sports capital grants, it was confirmed this morning. (Download the full list of grants awarded below). 

30 sailing clubs throughout the country will share over a million in funding.  

Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay is one of the biggest sailing club recipients with a grant of €142,375 for Increasing women and teenagers participation in the sport.  The east pier club is the home of Rio Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

Also in Dun Laoghaire, the country's bggest sailing centre, the Irish National Sailing Club (Locaste) got €40,058 for the renewal of sailing equipment and the purchase of new boats. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club (RSGYC) got €31,228 for a Firefly dinghy renewal programme, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club got €18,515 for the purchase of a 5m RIB and capstan winch. The Royal Irish Yacht Club got €25,000 for its safety and support fleet. Dublin Bay Sailing Club got €11,236

In Cork Harbour, Royal Cork Yacht Club were awarded €13,000 for support craft for teaching water sports 

The programme is the primary means of providing Government funding for capital projects to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level.

'This funding will give make a considerable impact on access to sailing in regional clubs, as well as help develop and improve sailing facilities. The pay back is the physical and mental benefits of sailing to local communities, ' according to an Irish Sailing spokesperson.

The 2017 round for applications closed in February with a record number of 2,320 received.

Around the coast – and on lakes and rivers too – sailing clubs shared in the distribution of the captial funds. 

In Limerick, Foynes Yacht Club was awarded €16,500 for Physically Disabled Sailing. Sligo Yacht Club got €8,000 for its 'Try A Sail' and 'Inclusion for All' project.

In Tipperary, Lough Derg Yacht Club was awarded €4,000 for its access for all programme. 

In Westmeath, Lough Ree Yacht Club got €12,500 to replace destroyed electrics and to buy two boats. 

In West Cork, Glandore Harbour Yacht Club has €16,000 for a new clubhouse roof & canopy.

Minister Shane Ross said at the announcement: "This is a great day for Irish sport. When we originally invited applications under the scheme, we had just €30m to allocate and the record level of applications would have left a large number of good projects unsupported and many clubs disappointed.

"Happily, following the conclusion of budget discussions, I was delighted to secure the required additional resources to enable me to allocate €56m in total to local sports clubs and organisations throughout the country.

"The net result of this is that we are able to provide financial assistance towards over 1,700 different projects all over the country.

"The benefits of participating in sport are well documented, for both physical and mental health, and these new grants for local clubs will help us in our overall objective of getting as many people participating in sport as possible.

"The grants are also excellent news for our communities both rural and urban, as club sport is a superb way to bolster local pride, affinity and inclusion."

A further €4m has been set aside for regional grants. These allocations are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Killaloe Sailing Club Sail Training Dinghies for Children and Teenagers €6,000
Bantry Bay Sailing Club Bantry Bay Sailing Club Club Development €23,000
Bere Island Projects Group Ltd Bringing Sailing back to Bere Island €11,000
Glandore Harbour Yacht Club New clubhouse roof & canopy over adjacent yard €16,000
Kinsale Yacht Club Company Ltd Rigid Inflatable boat (RIB) for training & safety €8,000
Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Changing rooms renovation & engine upgrade €8,000
Royal Cork Yacht Club Support Craft for teaching water sports €13,000
Schull Harbour sailing Club Ltd S RIB – Dinghy Sailing & Cruiser Crewing €18,000
Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club upgrade facilities for equality of access at CYBC €136,943
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Sports Equipment €11,236
Malahide Yacht Club Essential Rescue Equipment €61,200
Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club Dublin City Community Sailing €150,000
Royal Irish Yacht Club Safety and support fleet €25,000
Rush Sailing Club Expansion & Refurb of changing & toilet facilities €130,381
Sailing in Dublin Club Ltd Keelboat for racing and training €20,000
The National Yacht Club Increasing Women and Teenagers participation €142,375
The Royal St. George Yacht Club RSGYC Club Firefly Dinghy Renewal €31,228
Galway Bay Sailing Club Ltd RIB Purchase €14,000
Galway City Sailing Club Sailing dinghies & Safety Boat for shared sailing €17,500
Foynes Yacht Club Sailing in Foynes for Physically Disabled €16,500
Oriel Sailing Club Purchase of sailing equipment €6,000
Mullaghmore Sailing Centre ltd. Sailing boatsRescue boat engines, Club Refurb. €11,500
Sligo Yacht Club Ltd ‘Try A Sail’ and Inclusion for All, Project €8,000
Lough Derg Yacht Club School sailing and access4all programme €4,000
Waterford Harbour Sailing Club New Rescue/Safety RIBs & Dinghies €34,000
Lough Ree Yacht Club Replace Destroyed Electrics. Buy 2 Boats €12,500
Blessington Sailing Club Community growth project €15,000
Bray Sailing Club Growing sailing in the community €19,591
Greystones Sailing Club Development boats €10,000
Wicklow Sailing Club Rescue Craft and Storage €46,000
     
    €1,025,954

 

Published in ISA

Increased taxes on leisure boating are becoming more of a reality in European waters, according to Irish Sailing and the European Boating Association (EBA) that list two new taxes for 2018.

In Greece, for example, a tax on boating has been a possibility for a number of years, however recent communications indicate that it is increasingly likely that this tax will come to fruition in 2018.

In very basic terms this tax will see owners that keep their boats in Greece paying an amount based on the length of the boat which for a 7 – 8 metre boat is likely to be around €16 per month increasing to €8 per metre per month for boats of more than 12 metres in length.

Harry Hermon Irish sailingHarry Hermon represents Irish Sailing Interests at the EBA

Irish Sailing CEO Harry Hermon, who sits on an EBA committee to monitor EU legislation that could restrict boating activity, says: 'We're keeping a close eye on this [Greek tax] to try and ensure it doesn’t reach into Ireland'.

In a separate development, a significant increase to the Croatian Sojourn tax is planned for 2018 which will in the worst cases will increase by over 400% for an annual payment. The Sojourn Tax is payable by all boaters in Croatia and was last set in 2013 when Croatia acceded to the EU.

Published in ISA

Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary finished on a high for the 2017 season just in time for Christmas with a festive theme for the final day of Sylver Refrigeration Open Dinghy November Series running every Sunday in the month. Organisers have been very lucky with the weather completing the full race programme of the Series which was preceded by an equally successful October Dinghy Series.

The club continues to be a hive of activity throughout the sailing season with dinghy racing opening the season in February and March and closing the season in October and November. In the summer months Cruiser Racing takes over with most of the dinghy sailors switching to a full calendar of events at club, regional and national level. Some of the cruiser fleet travelled far and wide with Big Deal competing at a number of international events, their best result winning the Dún Laoghaire to Dingle Double Handed Category, while the J24 Stouche was the first ever west coast boat to win their class the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships in Cork.

Foynes Sailing Jack royIrish Sailing President Jack Roy (second from left) is presented with the Foynes Yacht Club burgee by Commodore James McCormack. Also pictured are Patricia McCormack (left) and Rosemary Roy at the 2017 Laying–up supper

The Foynes Sailing Academy has gone from strength to strength with increasing numbers participating each year. FYC have invested year on year in safety equipment, boats and facilities and was described earlier this year by one of Irish Sailing’s Regional Development Officers as a Centre of Excellence. In 2017 the club’s sailing camps completely booked out and saw an increase in group bookings from school and scout groups. The Sailing Academy have placed a strong emphasis over the past few years in helping interested young sailors to follow the instructor pathway and this year for the first time all instructors that worked at the Academy were ‘home grown’.

At the recent Laying Up Supper of the club with over 130 in attendance Jack Roy, Irish Sailing President, spoke of the importance of volunteerism within the club structure. Commodore James McCormack paid tribute to the club members in particular the juniors who are doing the club so proud at club, local, regional, national and international level and to every member of the club throughout the year that have given their time freely for the benefit of the club.

The final instalment of the new pontoons built by the members will be in place next February, a magnificent achievement for the club, lead by James McCormack and John Joe Buckley and just in time for the start of a busy 2018 which will see the club host the Munster Mermaid Championships on the June 2nd/3rd, the J24 National Championships on June 8th to 10th and the Mermaid National Championships from August 2nd to 5th.

Published in Shannon Estuary

Irish Sailing now says that the independent external investigation into the Optimist Squad incident in Dun Laoghaire that was initially due for publication in mid-November will now be published in December.

Irish Sailing President Jack Roy says he expects that the investigation, having reviewed every aspect of the incident, will result in recommendations which, once implemented, will reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of an event such as this.

In an update on progress, Roy explained the delay in publication is due to the extent of the investigation by the independent investigator Philip Scallan and Ger Keeling.

‘Completing this report has taken longer than expected because time had to be allowed to interview all those who wished to contribute. I am confident its recommendations will lead to a safer sport for all of us’, Roy said.

Published in ISA
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