#Rowing: Fingal Rowing Club has announced on International Women’s Day that it will host an evening with Sanita Puspure, the reigning world champion in the women's single scull. The event will be held at Rush Sailing Club on April 28th and will focus on competitive rowing and a mindset for winning.
There will be a discussion on women in the sport of rowing and its growing popularity. There will also be a focus on health, fitness and endurance ahead of the Celtic Challenge and the Lambay Rowing Challenge, two long distance rowing races in which Fingal Rowing Club will be participating this year.
If time permits there will be a short Q&A following the talk. The bar will be open on the night and light refreshments will be available.
Tickets, which are €10, are available from Fingalrowingclub.ie
#Missing - A body recovered from the sea off north Co Dublin yesterday may be that of a man who went missing from Rush at Christmas.
The Irish Independent reports that a post-mortem is being carried out on the body to confirm if it is that of 24-year-old Paul Byrne, who was last seen in the early hours of Christmas Day.
Fishermen in the Irish Sea made the grim discovery in their nets yesterday and brought the body to Skerries harbour after 8pm.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.
#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advise mariners to keep a look-out for rock placement off north Co Dublin and buoy placements off Co Mayo and Co Clare.
Operations were due to commence on Saturday 8 September at North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin for the placement of rocks offshore and in the Irish Sea for a period of 10-12 days weather permitting.
The works are being undertaken by DPFPV Tideway Rollingstone (call sign PHYR) and DPFPV Stornes (call sign PCKX) at various locations detailed in Marine Notice No 49 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.
These vessels are operating on a 24-hour basis and will display appropriate days shapes and lights. They are also transmitting an AIS signal and will keep a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 for the duration of the works, which involve the deployment of survey ROVs and fall pipe that will restrict the vessels' movements. All mariners are instructed to give a wide berth.
Meanwhile off the west coast, ESB International has deployed two Waveroder buoys as positions near Achill Island in Co Mayo and Doonbeg in Co Clare.
The Achill buoy will be operational for a minumum of three months from now, while the Killard buoy will be operational for a minimum of 10 months having been recently relocated. Both are spherical and yellow in colour. All vessels are requested to give the buoys a wide berth.
Full details of their positions are included in Marine Notice No 50 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.
#mermaid – Saturday 7th July last was an historic day at Rush Sailing Club with the launch of three new Dublin Bay Mermaids. Three members built the boats over the past two years: brothers Enda and Anthony (Ants) Weldon and Paddy Archer. Mermaids have been at the heart of Rush Sailing Club since members built four of them together in the 1950s. The prime mover of this project was Enda Weldon, who had built a Mermaid before. In fact Mermaids are in the Weldon blood, they still have their father's boat built in the 1960s, which along with the new ones, brings the family fleet to six!
Nationally, the active Mermaid fleet numbers around fifty boats, with around ten boats regularly competing in Rush. Designed by J. B. Kearney in 1932, these 17ft, clinker built dinghies are one of the oldest one-design classes, celebrating their eightieth birthday this year. The building of the three new boats, numbers 190, 191 and 192, created quite a 'buzz', with many turning up in the Weldon's farm shed to lend a hand throughout the long winter evenings.
In spite of the forecast for more grey weather on Saturday, the boats glistened in the sunshine of a glorious afternoon as they arrived in procession to a welcoming crowd on launch day (God must be a Mermaid sailor!). They were a splendid sight. The creamy Sitka spruce planking contrasts with rich mahogany sheer strakes, decks and transoms, trimmed with pale ash rubbing strakes and combings. The spruce was sourced through a boat builder in the South of England, whose father is in the timber business in Canada, and selects special logs for him. Timber of such quality is hard to find, there was hardly a knot or a shake to be found in the entire lot.
Naming the boats was left to the last minute, with Enda, choosing Mayhem for no. 190, followed by a more cautious Maybe for 191 by Paddy Archer. Anthony Weldon chose the more romantic Ariel for no. 192, inspired by many hours of reading stories to his daughter Ciara.
After a brief sail around the bay, the three skippers declared themselves contented with very well balanced boats. As to how competitive they prove to be, only time will tell – no two hand built wooden boats are exactly the same, and Mermaids are notoriously 'tweeky', with tiny adjustments to rig tension and mast positions proving crucial. What is certain is that they are a credit to the men that built them, and a proof that the skills of traditional boat building are not dead yet.
#KAYAKING - A father-and-son duo from north Co Dublin will shortly embark on an epic kayak paddle from Dublin to Donegal, the Fingal Independent reports.
Dermot Higgins and his son Fionn, from Rush, will attempt to kayak from Dublin Port to the Atlantic Ocean at Ballyshannon - a distance of some 330km - by way of the Royal Canal, the River Shannon and Lough Erne.
The Higgins' - who believe they are the first to attempt such a feat - will be completely self-sufficuent for the duration of the challenge, which is hoped to raised funds for the Rush Open Organisation for Transition Status (ROOTS), a charity that intends to help communities reduce their carbon footprint and face up to environmental challenges by encouraging sustainability.
The Fingal Independent has more on the story HERE.
#WATER SAFETY - This coming Friday 30 March is the closing date for applications for Fingal County Council beach lifeguards for the 2012 summer season.
Lifeguard cover will be provided on Fingal beaches on weekdays and weekends 11am to 7pm from 2 July till the last week of August, depending on weather and staff levels.
Beaches and bathing places scheduled to be guarded this summer include Balbriggan (front beach), Skerries South, Loughskinny, Rush North and South Shores, Portrane (Tower Bay and The Brook), Donabate, Malahide, Portmarnock, Sutton (Burrow Road) and Howth (Claremount).
Applicants must be not less than 17 years of age on 1 May 2012. Application forms are available to download HERE.
#MARINE NOTICE - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises on rock placement operations offshore at North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin and in the Irish Sea.
Works commenced on 19 January to continue for around 14 days, subject to weather delays, undertaken by DPFPV Tideway Rollingstone (call sign PHYR) which is operating on a 24-hour basis.
The vessel is transmitting an AIS signal and will be keeping a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 at all times. It is also displaying appropriate day shapes and lights.
The works - which involve the deployment of survey ROV and fall pipe - will restrict the vessel's ability to manoeuvre, so all vessels in the vicinity (particular fishing boats) have been given warning to give the vessel and her equipment a wide berth.
Complete details including co-ordinates of work areas are included in Marine Notice No 4 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read and download HERE.
#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS advises all seafarers in the Irish Sea between north Dublin and north Wales to give a wide berth to the hydrographic and oceanographic survey operation in the area this week.
The SV Bibby Tethra (callsign 2EGF8) commenced survey operations yesterday (Monday 16 January) from offshore at North Beach in Rush to approximately 16 miles offshore north of Anglesey. The survey is scheduled for seven days, subject to weather delays.
The vessel will operate on a 24-hour basis, displaying appropriate day shapes and lights during survey operations, and will transmit an AIS signal. The vessel will be keeping a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 at all times during the operations.
Survey operations will involve towing survey equipment up to 100m astern of the vessel along pre-defined survey lines, which will restrict the vessel’s ability to manoeuvre.
Details of the survey area are included in a PDF of Marine Notice No 2 of 2012, which is available to read or download HERE.
#NEWS UPDATE - The Minister for Health has raised concerns over a new water treatment 'super plant' planned for Fingal, amid fears that a malfunction could see huge amounts of raw sewerage pumped into the Irish Sea.
As reported in The Irish Times, Dr James Reilly echoed worries expressed by his north Dublin constituents and members of community group Reclaim Fingal Alliance, noting that the people of Skerries, Loughshinny and Rush are particularly "worried about the effects of the outfall pipe in their area".
The minister said that none of the nine sites being considered by Fingal County Council and Greater Dublin Drainage was suitable for sewerage treatment, and that any waste should be treated to "advanced levels" to make the outfall as clean as possible, thereby avoiding adverse impact on shellfish beds.
As many as 10,000 letters of objection have been lodged against the plan by campaigners including local farmers and environmentalists.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#SAILOR OF THE MONTH – Pat Kelly of Rush Sailing Club is the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" for November after his J/109 Storm - crewed by fellow-Fingallions - was celebrated as the Irish Cruiser Racer Association "Boat of the Year" at the ICRA annual general meeting in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend.
The sailors of north Fingal are on a roll these days. Back in September, Matt Davis of Skerries won our monthly award after his Sigma 400 Raging Bull retained the Irish Sea offshore championship. And another Skerries sailor, windsurfer Oisin van Gelderen, continues to be Ireland's fastest man afloat, his current official best speed being 44.23 knots.
Now it's the turn of Rush to top the podium. Not that Rush is new to successful sailing. Once upon a time, it was the top port on the east coast of Ireland for smugglers who veered into privateering and occasionally even piracy. To succeed in any of these activities, they needed fast ships and able skippers, and captains like Luke Ryan and James Mathews gave Rush its formidable sailing reputation.
Storm was made ICRA Boat of the year last weekend and this Saturday her skipper Pat Kelly becomes Sailor of the month for November. Photos: Bob Bateman
Highlight of Pat Kelly's season with Storm was his outright class win in the ICRA Nationals at Crosshaven. Five wins in six races is the sort of performance that would get the Luke Ryan/James Mathews seal of approval. Storm was also regularly in the frame in many other major events, and had frequent success in regattas and club racing with a dedication to sailing that does her skipper and crew proud.
Pat kept his previous 30-footer in the tide-riven anchorage at Rogerstown off Rush SC's attractive south-facing clubhouse, one of the few south-facing sailing clubhouses in the entire country. However, with the bigger boat it was necessary to find a berth at Howth, and in fact Storm sails as a joint HYC/RSC entry. But the club in Howth wouldn't begrudge this success to their smaller neighbours to the north. And with their own marina in fine shape (it hosts next year's ICRA Nationals in late May), they'd be the first to agree that the only thing holding back north Fingal sailing from even greater achievements is the lack of sheltered and conveniently accessible pontoon berthing on the entire coast between Malahide and Carlingford Lough.
More from WM Nixon in the Irish Independent here