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Displaying items by tag: Round Ireland Yacht Race

SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race organiser Kyran O'Grady led a Wicklow Sailing Club delegation to France in December to address the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL) prizegiving in Paris.

Keen to encourage French and international numbers for this year's biennial Irish offshore classic in June, the Wicklow Commodore also revealed a special draw prize for foreign boats coming to Ireland this summer.

Using impressive visuals from from the race, O'Grady took the opportunity to point out the unique features of the 700-miler that celebrates its 21st edition in 2020. "Not alone do you go around the Fastnet Rock but also around Ireland with for tidal gates, the Open Atlantic Ocean on the west coast before coming very close to Scotland and a finish further down the Irish Sea and a warm welcome back in Wicklow," he told the important French gathering.

Corum Round Ireland 3848In the 2018 Round Ireland Race, The French Mach 40 had three French sailing stars onboard Nicolas Troussel, Ian Lipinski and Aymeric Belloir for the circuit Photo: Afloat

In co-operation with the British offshore racing club, RORC, UNCL is responsible for IRC, the principal international handicap system for yacht racing.

O'Grady also announced that French boats that enter both the Round Ireland Race in June and July's Cork Week Regatta in Cork Harbour will be entered into a draw for a case of Irish whiskey from Irish Distillers.

Entry in the 2020 Round Ireland Race is expected to open on January 20th with the race organisers already announcing the leaderboard for the Volvo Car Prize and a new trophy for the oldest boat in the race.

Published in Round Ireland

The SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow on June 20th 2020 will attract some of the hottest new offshore racers to be seen in Irish and European waters. But there will be some more senior and even classic craft in the fleet, and in the 2018 race, Darryl Hughes’ immaculately-restored 1937 43ft Tyrrell gaff ketch Maybird became both the oldest and the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the race.

It was quite a moment when Maybird crossed the finish line in the sunshine, and rumours abound as to how long her post-race party went on both in Wicklow and her birthplace of Arklow, which had provided some of her crew. We do know it was deservedly quite a celebration, and the whole experience has left Darryl with such fond memories that he got to wondering if some trophy honouring Maybird might be accepted for future Round Irelands to celebrate the oldest boat to complete the course each time the biennial race is sailed.

Wicklow Sailing Club – where master thatcher Kyran O’Grady is now Commodore, and which led the way in welcoming Maybird home – are very taken with the idea. So in the workshop at his recently-acquired house in Crosshaven, Darryl has been crafting the Maybird Mast Trophy from timber salvaged from some of the ketch’s original spars. The resulting trophy will have added meaning in several ways, not least in that it will be a piece of high-quality woodwork which - in its original form - will have been handled by the great Jack Tyrrell himself, a world-renowned shipwright who gave real meaning to the term “hands-on management”.

Published in Round Ireland

Royal Irish Yacht Club skipper Michael Boyd leads the race for a Volvo Car prize in this year's edition of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race but only three points separate the top four skippers overall.

The prize will be decided after this year's edition of the offshore classic that starts from Wicklow Sailing Club on June 20th. 

The skipper who has accumulated the best overall points' results on corrected time, over the three Round Irelands 2016, 2018 and 2020 will be presented with a brand new Volvo V40 or equivalent at the Prizegiving for the 2020 Race.

Rockabill VI Round Ireland 4071Rockabill VI - Paul O'Higgins

The current leaderboard shows Dublin Bay sailor Michael Boyd, a Round Ireland stalwart, who sailed the J109 Jedi in the 2018 race and the Beneteau 44.7 Lisa in 2016 on 16 points overall. Royal Cork skipper Ian Hickey on Cavatina is next on 19 points and shares the same points with Rob Craigie from the Sunfast3600 Bellino and 2019 ISORA Champion Paul O'Higgins, the skipper of the JPK10.80 Rockabill VI also on 19 points. 

Bellino sunfast3600 4251Bellino - Rob Craigie

With typically nearly 50 yachts signed up for each biennial, a significant number of skippers are in the running for the prize. As Afloat reported in May 2016, the idea behind it is to further develop the race by encouraging sailors to return to complete the epic 700-mile contest over three races.

Downloadable below is the current RI spreadsheet of those skippers in with a chance of winning the Volvo car, a V40 or equivalent.

Published in Round Ireland

Kenneth Rumball and John White are taking the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School’s popular ‘man overboard’ lecture to the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s London clubhouse this evening (Thursday 16 May).

On 29 June 2018, the J109 yacht Jedi started the Round Ireland Yacht Race — but little did her crew of eight know that just says later, at 1am on 2 July, crew member John White would be swept overboard south-west of the Blasket Islands.

After well received talks at Wicklow Sailing Club in January and the Royal Irish Yacht Club in February, Rumball and White are in London to tell the story of how Jedi’s crew dealt with the situation — and what lessons were learnt from the incident.

Tonight’s RORC talk from 7pm is free for members and £10 for non-members, with booking available online HERE. For dinner reservations following the presentation email [email protected] or call +44 (0)207 493 2248.

Published in INSS

One of the most unusual achievements of 2018’s Irish sailing season was the veteran gaff-rigged ketch Maybird’s completion of the Volvo Round Ireland Race writes W M Nixon. Built by Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937, the 43ft Maybird was superbly restored by owner Darryl Hughes between 2009 and 2011, and since then she has made many successful voyages. But the 704-mile Round Ireland Race 2018 – with its notorious reputation for hundreds of miles of rugged windward work – presented an extra non-stop challenge.

"So why is it called “Slyne Head or Bust”? That we can reveal".

Yet they did it. They may have taken quite a bit of time to do it, but they did it. And you can learn all about it – and much more – at Poolbeg Y & BC in Ringsend in the heart of Dublin on Tuesday, March 12th at 8.0pm, courtesy of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association, admission €5 and all takings going to the Lifeboats.

So why is it called “Slyne Head or Bust”? That we can reveal. Racing Round Ireland from Wicklow, once Slyne Head is astern, you’re on the home stretch. No matter how worn down you are, the handiest way back to Wicklow is to just keep on racing. Simple, really.

Published in Historic Boats

On the 29th of June 2018, Jedi, the highly competitive J109, started the Round Ireland Yacht Race in stunning sunshine and a fresh northerly breeze propelling her down the East coast of Ireland.

Little did her seasoned crew comprising of Michael Boyd (Skipper), Kenneth Rumball, James Gunn, John White, Philip Connor, Lorcan Tighe, Kylie McMillan and Diarmud McLaughlin would have in store for them some days later.

At 1 am on the 2nd of July 2018 just South West of the Blasket Islands, well reefed down in 30-35kts of a Northerly breeze, crew member John White was swept overboard.

"Crew member John White was swept overboard"

You can hear the story of how Jedi’s crew dealt with the situation and successfully recovered John back on board within minutes and most importantly the lessons learnt from the incident.

Kenneth, John and members of the crew will be giving two talks and all are welcome, with each club offering donations to different charities.

  • Wicklow Sailing Club 1930hrs on the 12th January 2018 donations to Wicklow Hospice, food and refreshments available from 1830hrs.
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club 1930hrs on 7th of February with Sailing Supper Afterwards, bookings with [email protected]
Published in INSS

Wicklow Sailing Club has written to competitors and supporters alike to fix the date of the 2020 Round Ireland race as Saturday, June 20 2020.

Ireland's classic 700-mile offshore race has been buoyed up by some bumper fleets over the last two editions and organisers are expecting to build-on this for the 2020 race. 

The biennial race is organised jointly with the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London. The Round Ireland race forms part of RORC's overall Points Championships.

The defending champion is Niall Dowling of the Royal Irish YC who took both Line Honours and the Overall Win in with the Ker 43 Baraka GP in July.

Published in Round Ireland

The achievement of Niall Dowling of the Royal Irish YC in taking both Line Honours and the Overall Win in Wicklow’s Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 with the Ker 43 Baraka GP is put into its proper perspective when we remember that at the halfway stage, Baraka was way down the rankings despite a tactically brilliant performance.

Until then, conditions had been completely stacked against her, such that off the coast of Mayo, she was in lowly 24th overall. But then things started to turn in her favour, with brilliant tactics and sailing to take the fullest possible advantage of the slightest helpful slant. Having had a mountain to climb, they climbed it at speed and then skied down the other side to a runaway victory.

Published in Sailor of the Month

July 2018 will go down in Irish sailing history as one of the busiest months ever experienced, including as it did the Volvo Round Ireland Race and Volvo Cork Week.

In this exceptionally busy period, Commandant Barry Byrne of the Defence Forces was arguably the most active sailor on our seas, as he skippered the Irish Defence Forces on the J/109 Joker 2 to second overall and victory in the Corinthian Division of the Round Ireland Race, and in Cork Week he not only played a key role in organizing the highlight event, the Beaufort Cup series for services crews, but he successfully defended it, again skippering Joker 2.

Published in Sailor of the Month

The many strands of Arklow’s maritime life, and its seafaring and boat-building traditions, have been getting together this week to celebrate the achievement of Darryl Hughes’ veteran ketch Maybird writes W M Nixon. Last week, the 1937-vintage Arklow-built Maybird became the oldest boat ever to complete the Volvo Round Ireland Race, and also the first setting the traditional gaff rig.

These days, the thriving Arklow Sailing Club includes some of the most modern sailing boats in Ireland, while its maritime traditions are most strongly expressed through the Tyrrell family’s busy Arklow Shipping company, which operates a fleet of 50 specialist vessels.

As well, the historic port is a centre of strength for the Sea Scout movement, in many cases providing the first steps afloat for the seafarers and ship managers of the future. But while there is this healthy regard for the present and the future, Arklow’s notable past associations with the sea and sailing are also respected, and the popular achievement of Maybird has provided an ideal focal point for a celebration of that heritage.

maybird arklow2History is made. The 1937-built Arklow ketch Maybird finishes the 2018 Round Ireland race at Wicklow. Photo Maeve Quinn

This week, the immaculately-restored veteran 81-year-old ketch has been back at her birthplace, and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday she took groups of local Sea Scouts out on sailing exercises, co-ordinated by leader Jimmy Mylor with former Sea Scouts Dylan Clancy, Cillian Kavanagh and Aaron O’Neill much involved.

Then on Wednesday evening after Arklow SC’s mid-week race, a celebratory reception was hosted in the clubhouse by Arklow SC’s Commodore Mark Fallon, with ASC Committee member Paul “Murph” Murphy organising a distinguished and convivial gathering at which the Guest of Honour was Miriam Murphy, Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District Council, while Jimmy Tyrrel, son of Maybird’s builder Jack Tyrrell, was also present.

maybird arklow3Maybird takes on crew in the river at Arklow – in foreground is former Sea Scout Cillian Kavanagh, one of the group co-ordinators
Maybird raced round Ireland with an eclectic crew of eight, and two of them – Pete Brennan and Eoin Quinn – have returned home to Florida and Switzerland respectively. But the remaining six – Darryl Hughes, Noeleen Hurley, Irene Reidy, Liam Quinn, Paul Carroll and Michael Clear, four of whom are ASC members – were very much there for this first reunion of a special group, and they’d the satisfaction of seeing their skipper and his fine little ship being presented by a commemorative turned wooden bowl crafted from the Arklow-built Asgard II’s first foremast, and inscribed with the Maybird name.

The word is that the party in ASC went on until about 0300 hrs, and after this memorable expedition to the Irish Sea and circuit of Ireland, Maybird will now return to her main base of Crosshaven on Cork Harbour.

Published in Historic Boats
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