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UK Sails Ireland Provide Sails for Two Boats at Inaugural IRC/ORC Combined Worlds at The Hague

13th July 2018
Hubo, sailing downwind during the North Sea Series Hubo, sailing downwind during the North Sea Series

UK Sails Ireland has put sails on two very competitive entries for the inaugural IRC/ORC worlds, commencing in the Hague in Holland this weekend. The boats are Rob McConnell's A35 'Fools Gold' from Dunmore East, with a full Irish crew and Erik Van Vuuren's Waarschip 36 named 'Hubo'. 

Fools Gold, winner of last year's Sovereigns Cup, will sport a full UK Sails Ireland Inventory of Uni Titanium Main and Headsails and will also have UK Spinnakers. On her way to this event she also competed in the IRC Europeans in Cowes and had a creditable fourth place overall in her class.

For the ORC/IRC World Championships, there is an extremely large class of 50 boats from over 10 countries and this will test the teams big fleet sailing abilities.

The crew for the event is:

Rob Kelly - Bow
Bryan O' Donnell - Mast
Lisa Tait - Pit
Graham Curran - Trim 1
Dougie Power - Trim 2
Roy Darrer - Helmsman
Robert McConnell - Mainsail (Skipper)
Tom Fitzpatrick – Tactician

fools goldFools Gold sailing in Sovereigns Week

It is both an inshore and offshore event. The opening offshore race on Sunday is comprised of two sections. The first half of the race will be scored separately while the overall race will also be scored separately. Following these offshore races, there will be three days of inshore racing. 

The Other UK Sails Ireland Boat competing, is Erik Van Vuuren's Waarschip 36 called Hubo. Designed by a Dutch Naval Architect for a Dutch owner, specifically to compete at the IRC/ORC Worlds. Barry Hayes, Director UK Sails Ireland, was contacted to head the Sail and Rig Design for this new project and in particular to develop the sails and "Lead" for the boat. The “Lead" is the technical name given to the balance of the boat. When designing a completely new boat it is important that the mast and keel placing and sail setup are very accurate to ensure the balance on the helm is correct.

Normally this will be done in the design phase and then when the boat hits the water, this can change quite significantly based on how the boat performs on the water. This was the case with this boat and Barry Hayes has been over to Holland a number of times to perfect the sails and balance of the boat.

Hubo is sporting a full Suit of Uk Ireland designed Uni Titanium Mainsail and Jibs, plus Uk downwind sails including a Zero, Jib Staysail, Spinnaker staysail and various Asymmetric and Symmetrical spinnakers.

HuboHubo in upwind mode

Over 80 boats will compete in the 3 Classes at this event, and they range from superfast TP 52s in Class One down to A Dehler 33 which is the smallest boat in Class 3. Class 3 is the class that both Fools Gold and Hubo will compete in, and it will have 50 entries, making it by far the most competitive class in the event.

The event website is here and the results can be found within that site.

Uk Sails Ireland Director, Graham Curran, will be trimming on Fools Gold and will keep us informed of their progress and how the regatta is working out.

Meanwhile, UK Sails Ireland will have a full presence at Volvo Cork Week with Mark Mansfield and Barry Hayes sailing on George Sisk's Wow in what has turned out to be a very competitive class one fleet.

uksails topper

About the Loft

UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 47 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today.

Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. ​As sailmakers we do not just design sails for boats. We design and build sails for your boat. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations.   

​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters.  

​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and a impressive pool of talent the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal test bed for new technologies.​ 

​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​

Although much has changed; some constants remain. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. 


Barry Hayes [email protected]

Graham Curran [email protected]

Claire Morgan [email protected]

Mark Mansfield [email protected]

Yannick Lemonnier [email protected] 

Andrew Steenson [email protected] 

Contact Information:

UK Sailmakers Ireland

Hoddersfield Mill


County Cork

P43 EY26

Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4831505

Fax: +353 21 4831700

Email: [email protected] Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

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