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Irish Amateur Rowing Union/Rowing Ireland

History

The club, founded in 1960 by a small group of people with an interest in boats, provides a service to people boating, with changing and toilet facilities, a secure boat storage park, social areas and a bar, also by organising events based in the club and on the water.

The club draws support from all sides of the political divide, from all socio-economic levels (we pride ourselves in providing training and boats for young people who would otherwise been unable to participate). We have active disabled sailors and women are active equal members. The club has links with other clubs in Northern Ireland, Scotland and in the South of Ireland.

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CSBC’s main activity is sailing. The club organises races for both cruising yachts and sailing dinghies, adults and juniors, assists in the organisation of cruises in company, holds events with other sailing clubs and plays host to class provincial and national championships.

The club’s own Sailing School provides a wide and extensive range of training for young and old, beginner and expert, with courses running from Easter to Halloween. Emphasis is with Junior and Youth sailors from the introduction of the sport to young people, to the preparation of sailors for provincial, national and international competition. Over the past few years the club has benefitted from several grants from the Foundation of Sports and the Arts and National Lottery Sports Fund through the RYA and the Northern Ireland Sports Council, all for the promotion and development of junior and youth sailing. These grants provided both training and support facilities and boats.

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An elite squad of juniors was formed in 1996 and are provided with training, coaching, and support. The squad focus is on the Topper and Laser sailing dinghies as recommended by the RYA. Since 1998 sailors from the club have competed at provincial and national Topper and Laser class competitions as well as other open events. Club sailors proved to be very successful, winning the Northern Ireland Youth Championships, the Irish Topper championship and Irish team titles. In line with the development strategy the club, sent a squad to the World Championship, held at Carnac, France. Sailors have been selected for the RYA / NIC Youth Development squad every year since, joining Northern Ireland teams for the Nations Cup and Laser Youth World event. In 2001 a girl was selected to represent Ireland at the European Youth Olympic event.

CSBC specialised in holding junior competitions, having held Optimist and Topper regional championships in 1998 hosted the Irish Topper Championships and in 2000 the Skydome Topper World Championships.

Other classes of boats sail at the club, there is a very active adult laser class and a large flying fifteen fleet, there are also classes of pico, buzz and recently laser 2000 dinghies.

In addition to sailing activities the club has also active sections in rowing, sea angling and motorboating while keeping up an active social programme. This diversity into other aspects of water sports and social events has proved a great strength and has helped position the club within the local community. The club plays an active role in community affairs and takes part in events such as the ‘Heart of the Glens’ Festival. The clubhouse also hosts social functions such as weddings.

Clubhouse

CSBC has a new clubhouse, completed in 1997 and opened with special guest Tony Bulimore. The clubhouse was completely rebuilt with the help of grants from the Foundation of Sports and the Arts and National Lottery Sports Fund. The design is to the highest standards of modern sports clubs, incorporating, fitness and training areas, large changing and toilet facilities, a junior members room, a high quality commercial kitchen and comfortable social area. Outside there is a large patio and lawn with excellent barbeque facilities.

CSBC has approximately 300 members, some from the Cushendall area, others from Ballymena and Belfast.

The club is situated just outside Cushendall village on the Coast Road. The site is shared with the Red Bay, RNLI station and the Moyle District Council Caravan Site. The Moyle District Council provide and maintain public toilets, 2 large carparks and the slipway. CSBC clubhouse sits in its own grounds to the side of the RNLI station.

Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club, Coast Road, Cushendall, Co Antrim BT44 0QW, N. Ireland

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Published in Clubs

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Many of the club members have attained National Champion status in E Boats, Mermaids, Fireballs, GP14s, IDRA14s and Lasers. Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club has hosted a number of International events without any undue pressure on expertise resources. The club has achieved a reputation for its ability to host National and International events.

At present the club provides house facilities to existing and visiting members, a large capacity launch and full time boatman to provide a ferry service to the boats and moorings. The Boatman is also on radio call to members and visitors, (Ch M37 Callsign 'Tarf Launch'). CY&BC has provided visitor-berthing positions for a number of years.

Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club have hosted the following events over recent years:

   E Boat Irish National Championships

   Fireball Leinster Championships

   IDRA14 Open

   Mermaid National Championships

   International Match Racing

Over the years the club cruising section has built up a good relationship with a number of clubs on the West Coast of England and Wales and cruisers from these clubs visit Clontarf. Also the club fleet visits Northern Ireland on a regular basis and are always well received and entertained by the host club. The club is twinned with Peel Yacht Club in the Isle of Man.

The Junior Section sail in Optimists, Mirrors, 420s and Lasers. During the whole of the Summer Months qualified instructors are employed to provide a structured learning environment for the juniors. Juniors are aged between 10–18 years of age and courses are ISA (Irish Sailing Association) recognized. The junior section of the club has been used as a model upon junior sailing in Ireland is based.

 

Sail Training

Adults aged 18+ with no experience – This course is well attended by people who wish to gain experience sailing a range of boats from dinghies to large cruisers. The course usually runs in the early Summer Months (May-June)

Adults aged 18+ with experience – Courses are based on internationally recognized ISA (Irish Sailing Association) courses for 'Competent Crew', 'Day Skipper', 'Yachtmaster', 'Coastal Skipper' and 'Offshore Skipper'. The club also provides courses and examinations on VHF radio handling.

Social Members – Non sailing members together with sailing members can enjoy a full range of all year activities such as Table Quizes, Bands, BBQ's, Music Nights, Snooker, Darts, Bridge or a relaxing drink in the refurbished members' bar or lounge.

(The above information and image courtesy of Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club)

 

Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, Belvedere, Clontarf, Dublin 3. Tel: 01 833 2691 

 

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Published in Clubs

History (to 1984)

Carrickfergus Rowing Club, founded in 1866 by Charles H. Crawford, is the oldest sporting club in Carrickfergus and one of the earliest rowing clubs to be established in Ireland. By early 1867 membership had reached thirty and a four-oared racing gig had been delivered by Matt Taylor, boat builder of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at a cost of £35. Crews from Carrickfergus competed with great enthusiasm in many northern Regattas, achieving their first win at a local event in 1870.

Prior to the completion, in 1874, of the first Clubhouse boats were stored in premises belonging to the Antrim Artillery, on the site of the present Town Hall, and carried across the rough shingle beach for launching. This Clubhouse, a wooden structure supported on piles, was erected behind the East Pier with the consent of the Carrickfergus Harbour Commissioners. Work was supervised by Paul Rodgers of the shipyard, at that time a member of the Club, and cost approximately £150. The building was replaced in 1888 and again in 1902 following storm damage.

Until the establishment in 1891 of the Carrickfergus Sailing Club the Rowing Club’s Annual Regatta included sailing and swimming events as well as rowing. Judging by the Secretary’s remarks in his Annual Report the introduction, on the occasion of the coronation in 1911, of Ladies Rowing Races was not universally welcomed and it was not until 1921 that ladies were admitted to Club membership. Tennis was then introduced and in 1922 the Rowing and Sailing Clubs amalgamated. The Club, then known as "Carrickfergus Amateur Rowing Club incorporating Carrickfergus Sailing Club", continued to promote rowing, sailing, swimming and tennis. Membership however continued to decline and it was not until 1934 that the Annual Regatta was again held. This year also saw the launching of a new Clinker Four named Fairey II and the beginnings of the Open Eighteen Foot Centre Board Class. Crews from Carrickfergus continued to enjoy considerable success at Regattas until the early fifties when competitive rowing ceased. The last Clinker Four to be purchased arrived in 1950. Named "Castle Dobbs" it was little used and remains in the Club’s possession to this day. Tennis also faded out after the Second World War and Snipes took the place of the old eighteen footers.

The building in 1957 of three flying fifteens by members of the Club introduced a class which is still popular today with up to twenty boats competing. GP Fourteens and Optimists were raced for some years before being superceded by Scorpions and Mirror Dinghys. A strong Mirror fleet still exists but Scorpions are no longer raced as a class.

In 1966, the Club’s Centenary Year, an ambitious project involving the construction of a two storey extension and improvements to the interior layout of the building was completed. The provision of a bar in 1968 was the last major alteration to be carried out on the East Pier site.

Although cruising boats had from time to time been owned by members of the Club it was not until the mid-nineteen seventies that cruisers began to appear in any number in the Club’s handicap series. The cruising fleet has grown rapidly over the past decade both in size and number with upwards of twenty boats now competing in the IOR, SL and Ruffian 8.5 Classes.

Lack of finance, small membership and the frequent need for repairs to the building and supporting structure have caused successive Committees concern since the earliest days of the Club. In 1980 with repairs to the front platform urgently needed and further development on the East Pier site to meet our requirements not possible the Committee again considered the alternatives and at the Annual General Meeting of the Club in March 1981 recommended the acceptance of a 2.2 acre site offered by Carrickfergus Borough Council on reclaimed ground adjacent to the West Pier. The Members unanimously agreed and construction began in early May. Three years later with the Council’s Yacht Harbour taking shape alongside our new premises the future of the Club and of Carrickfergus as a major boating centre seems assured.

G.J.E. ALCORN, Hon. Secretary

Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Rodger's Quay, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim BT38 8BE. Tel: +44 28 93351402, fax: +44 44 870 7066157, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs
16th July 2009

Ballyronan Boat Club

Our club is situated in the village of Ballyronan which lies ont he shores of the north western corner of Lough Neagh. We're a small but enthusiastic club and new members are welcome. If you're interested in joining, please contact us. Conor McGuckin, Commodore, 2009–2011

Ballyronan Boat Club, Ballyronan Marina, Shore Road, Ballyronan, Magherafelt BT45

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Published in Clubs
16th July 2009

Royal Alfred Yacht Club

History

The Royal Alfred Yacht club is much more than a quaint old Dublin institution. For generations it has been an umbrella organisation, linking yacht racers from the rival harbours of Dun Laoghaire and Howth. It provides an attractive programme of regattas, complementing more local and national events.

The 'Royal' in the title tells us that the club is long established. But without the focus of a clubhouse, even some non-racing Dublin based sailors might find it hard to recognise where it fits in.

"The world's oldest specifically amateur yacht club (founded 1857)"

The 'Alfred', as it's locally known, actually played a seminal role in the evolution and formation of racing in sailboats worldwide. Some older established clubs trumpet their seniority as their main, and maybe their only claim to fame, but the Royal Alfred Yacht Club has a far greater and better deserved list of accomplishments and real contributions to the sport. A short list of its "firsts" clearly places the club as the original model for yacht clubs worldwide, to a much greater extent than most older clubs.

So Dublin's Royal Alfred Yacht Club is quite simply:

The world's oldest specifically amateur yacht club (founded 1857)

The world's first offshore racing club (1868-1922)

The first club to organise single and double handed yacht races

The prime mover behind the formation of the world's first national yacht racing organisation (1872)

And finally, its two flag officers are credited with the authorship of the first national yacht racing rules, which are at the core of today's racing rules worldwide.

What other yacht club or sailing organisation, anywhere in the world, can claim to have given more to the formation of the sport of sailing as our Royal Alfred Yacht Club?
The record shows that taking the lead and giving a practical example, our small club can reasonable be described as the first yacht club of the modern era, in the universal meaning of a club for members who actively sail their own boats.

"The world's first offshore racing club (1868-1922)"

How did a small group of middle class Dubliners make such a difference? When they met in 1857, the objective of the 17 founder members was "to encourage the practise of seamanship and the acquisition of the necessary skill in managing the vessels". Translating these stilted phrases, this meant that as far as practical, the club would cater for those yachtsmen, and later yachtswomen, who were prepare to sail and race their complex and heavy craft themselves.

Today's sailors may say 'so what?' but 141 years ago, this was revolutionary stuff. The average yachtsman of that time would no more think of trimming a sheet or hauling on a halyard, than of digging his vegetable patch, or engaging in other obviously menial tasks. An earlier fashion in the 1830s for establishing yacht clubs had resulted in a rash of "Royal" clubs in most provincial centres around the coasts of Britain and Ireland. Dublin, Belfast and Cork, each followed the trend. However they were mainly social clubs, often meeting only a few times a year, and they organised very few events on the water, in some cases a regatta only every second year. The yachts owned by the members of such clubs were crewed by mere seamen, of a very different social status to the "yachtsmen"!

How very different the men of the "Alfred", or the "Irish Model Yacht Club" as they called their club at first. This was not model as meaning scale models yachts, but "Model" in the other, more Victorian meaning of the word, as something to be emulated. They started by organising day cruises in company, manoeuvring under orders from a flag officer. In this activity, they were following the old custom of the first yachtsmen in Amsterdam, back in the 1600s, and later copied by the gentry of Cork harbour in the early 1700s. But of course the difference in 1857 was that now the owners and their amateur friends were actually sailing themselves.

Very soon it was clear that the practical competence of the Dublin yachtsmen was such that they could race. Any one who races will readily agree with the saying that one learns more about skilful boat handling in a season's racing than in ten seasons "messing about in boats". But racing then was not as easy as today. Press reports of yacht races back in the 1860s routinely mention the "carrying away" of topmasts and bowsprits, and sails splitting. In those days, all the materials were suspect. Hulls, ropes, sailcloth, ironware, everything could and did break, but you were expected to be sufficiently good a seaman as to be able to cope, and without an auxiliary to get you home!

The Club quickly gained recognition, not only for its premier role as the leading amateur club, but also with the prestige of a royal warrant, acquiring the title it still carries: "Royal Alfred Yacht Club". Queen Victoria's third son Prince Alfred, was a naval officer who allowed his name to be used but he apparently had no active connection with our club, or with our sister club, the Prince Alfred Yacht Club of New South Wales.

"The first club to organise single and double handed yacht races"

Throughout the 1860s and 70s, our Club fired off an amazing series of initiatives, which caused our club to be described as the Premier Corinthian club. Indeed it started a new wave of yacht club formations, with "Corinthian" in their name, which appeared in all the major yachting centres around this time. Corinthian is another word for amateur, because it was believed that in ancient Greece, the athletes of Corinth competed for no reward other than a laurel wreath. Yet the Victorian sailors were quite happy to race for large cash and silverware prizes, which they kept! For them, the mortal sin was to be paid to sail or race. At the end of each season, Hunt's Yachting Magazine published a list of racing results for all the yacht races in the British Isles, and also the total value of the prizes awarded by the various clubs. The Royal Alfred Yacht Club regularly featured in the top three of such prestigious clubs, and in 1877 it ranked number one, with £712 in prizes for 11 races, equivalent to about IR£40,000 today!

Three years earlier, the Royal Alfred's circular to all the British yacht clubs, calling for a consistent regulation of handicapping by means of measurement by a professional, and the Club's earlier publication of yacht racing rules and time allowance tables, were the trigger for the founding of the Yacht Racing Association which became the Royal Yachting Association. Again typical of the Royal Alfred's central role in this process is that its two flag officers, Henry Crawford and George Thomson, are credited with the principal authorship of the YRA's Racing Rules.

"The prime mover behind the formation of the world's first national yacht racing organisation (1872)"

Its it tempting to dwell on the Royal Alfred's period in the spotlight, but one has to admit that the Club could not maintain this momentum. Its base was always yacht racing in Dublin Bay, and the Irish Sea, and as Dublin declined in relative terms, deferring to the Clyde and the Solent, and as larger racing yachts demanded professional crew, the Corinthian ideal became less important for the top competitions. So yachting in Dublin settled into a familiar pattern of one design racing, with the beautiful gaff cutter Dublin Bay 25 and 21 footers, and the Howth Seventeens. In this, the Dublin sailors were following the lead of their dinghy sailing friends who, in 1887, had founded the world's first one design class, the Water Wags. The twin harbours of Dun Laoghaire and Howth both continued to provide that great luxury, the facility to be sailing on one's yacht at 6pm, after leaving the office at 5. Few other yachting centres could provide this continuity, and so changes to new venues and new classes were less necessary for the sailors of Dublin.

Eventually, the wheel came full circle and the sailing world rediscovered one design racing in the 1930s, and even more so in the 1950s. By this time, the Royal Alfred's pioneering contributions to the sport were long taken for granted. Even offshore racing had to be reinvented in the late 1920s, even though the "Alfred's" tradition of 60 mile cross channel handicap races had been consistently maintained as part of its annual race programme for 57 years (1867-1924).

"RAYC's two flag officers are credited with the authorship of the first national yacht racing rules, which are at the core of today's racing rules worldwide."

So the Club has played a key role in the formation of our sport, as it is routinely practised around the globe. Throughout its 141 years, the Club has remained true to its founding principles, and as the rest of the world came to follow this example, we may reasonable claim that the Royal Alfred Yacht Club is not just the world's oldest amateur yacht club, but also the oldest yacht club in the modern tradition.

Royal Alfred Yacht Club

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Published in Clubs

 ICRA National Championships in full swing

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s National Cruiser Championships is now just a week away and for the first time ever it’s being hosted on the West Coast by Tralee Bay SC – a club well used to giving a warm welcome to sailors: they’ve hosted events on all levels from Club to World Championships on this beautiful idyllic part of our coast.

Over 70 boats will contest the right to become the Irish National Cruiser Champion in each of the divisions and the spoils will be Irish Sailing Association Medallions and a place at the ISA Helmsman's Championships at the end of the season for their achievement.

Last years Division Zero winner Dave Dwyer's Marinerscove.ie is presently preparing on the Solent for the UK IRC Nationals (6–7 June), but Dave’s commitment to defend his closely-won title at last years National Cruiser Championships in Howth has put his crew on a tight schedule to get the boat back in time for the first gun in Tralee. Eamon Rohan (King 40 Blonde IV) will be Marinerscove.ie’s main competition, finishing a very creditable 3rd at last year’s event. Other strong competition in this division will come from Kieran Twomey’s Corby 38 Gloves Off, Tim Costello’s Mills 43 Tiamat, George Sisk’s Farr 42 WOW, under the burgee of the Royal Irish YC and the host club giving him an advantage over the rest of the fleet outside of Rob Allen’s Corby 36 Mustang Sally from the Royal Western YC.

In Division One Mike McCarthy’s Ker 32 Checkmate will be one to watch but in this division there are plenty of diverse competitive boats: Barry Cunningham’s Corby 33 Contango; two J109 – S. and J. Tyrrell’s Aquelina and Pat Kelly’s Storm; Anthony O’Leary from the Royal Cork has entered a modified 1720 Antix Beag; Denis Hewit is bringing his Mills 30  Raptor from the Royal Irish; and some local boats – Martin Reilly’s Corby 29 Esperanto, Eddie Barry’s 40.7 Caolila and Dan Counihan’s First 36.7 Galileo. X-Yachts are out in force in this division: X332s include Ian Gaughan’s Xena, Thomas and Kieran Whelan’s Chaos, Team Foynes’ Dexterity, and host club boat Donal Brown’s Excuse Me; X362s have David Scott’s Eos, Derry Good’s Exhale, and Donal O’Leary’s X35.

Attracting the greatest number of entries is Division Two and the hot favorite must be Colwell/Murphy’s Corby 25 Kinetic from Howth Yacht Club, winner of this division last year – that’s not to say that they will get it all their own way, one of the boats that will be trying to take their title away is current West Coast Champion Conor Ronan’s Corby 26 Ruthless; then Corby 25s – Vincent O’Shea’s Yanks & ffrancs, Denis Coleman’s Thunderbird, and Denis Ellis’s Corby 27 Kodachi; also Sigma’s 33s – Commodore of the host club Liam Lynch’s Powder Monkey, Peader O’ Laughlin‘s Reconaissance, David Buckley’s Boojum, Finbarr O’Connell’s Treyona, and finally Dehler 34s – Raymond McGibney’s Disaray, David Griffin’s Egalite, and Derrick Dillon’s Big Deal to mention a few.

Division Three is as competitive as ever with Vincent Gaffney’s Albin Express Alliance topping the bill, being a past Division Champion and current West Coast Champion from Howth Yacht Club, but with plenty of competition to make this division very competitive indeed – Paul McGibney’s J24 Virgin will have his first outing at National level, but as we saw at last year’s event the J24s were the ones to beat. Three HB31s are also in this division – John Buckley’s Headhunter, Gary Fort’s K Vector, Mark Prendeville’s Rooster, two Shamrocks – C. MacDonncha’s Sliver Foam from Galway and J.P. Buckley’s Battle, Jackie Ward’s Parker 27 Hallmark, and D. Losty’s very successful Quarter Tonner Woody to name but a few.

Race Officers Alan Crosibe, Rob Lamb and Liam Dinneen with their formidable teams will ensure competitors’ exhilarating sailing over a variety of courses over the three days racing.

ICRA National Cruiser Championships, Tralee Bay Sailing Club 11 –13 June 2009

 

 

Fintan Cairns, Commodore – 087 24 9208, email: [email protected]

Denis Kiely, Secretary, 087 908 6424, email: [email protected] 

Irish Cruiser Racing Association  

Afloat posts for ICRA: 

White Sail Report 

 

Published in Organisations

Our History

meteireannhq.jpg Operational Meteorology might be said to have begun in Ireland on 8 October 1860, when the first 'real time' weather observation was transmitted from Valentia Island in Co. Kerry. Valentia Observatory, as it came to be known, was one of a network of weather stations established around the Irish and British coastlines, by the naval authorities in London, to enable storm warnings to be provided for ships at sea.

For many years after Independence Ireland's needs, as far as weather matters were concerned, continued to be met by the British Meteorological Office. By the mid-1930's, however, it was clear that a new and exciting customer was on the way. It was the requirement to provide accurate weather information for transatlantic aviation that led to the formal establishment of an Irish Meteorological Service in 1936.

The first Director, Austen H. Nagle, was appointed in December of that year, and installed himself in the small offices in St. Andrew's Street in Dublin, which became the first Headquarters of the new Service. In April 1937, the administration of the existing observing network was taken over from the British Authorities; it comprised 4 telegraphic stations (at Malin Head, Blacksod Point, Roches Point and Birr), 18 climatological stations, 172 rainfall stations, and Valentia Observatory, which was the only station at the time to be manned by official personnel.

In its early stages, the new Service received continuing help from the British Authorities. This assistance was in the form of staff seconded from London to work at Foynes, in Co. Limerick, from where flying boats had just begun to operate. Included in their number were several who were later to become well known internationally; notably Hubert Lamb, the climatologist and Arthur Davies, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation for nearly 30 years. By 1941, however, the Service's own recruits had been fully trained, and the organisation was able to begin satisfying the increasing demands for weather information from its own resources.

Forecasting for aviation, first at Foynes and later at Shannon and Dublin Airports, was the major preoccupation of the early years. By the late 1940's, however, the Service had broadened its activities. In 1948, for the first time, it assumed responsibility for the weather forecasts broadcast by Radio Éireann, which had been provided from London in the interim. In 1952 it began to supply forecasts to the daily newspapers and 1961 saw the opening of the new Central Analysis and Forecast Office in the Headquarters premises, now housed at 44 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin. Live presentation by Met Éireann forecasters of the weather on Teilifis Eireann commenced in early 1962.

valoldbuildc1900.jpg Radar Antenna at Shannon AirportThe late 1940's and the 1950's were a time of rapid expansion for the Service. This period saw the establishment of a balanced nation-wide network of observing stations, manned on a full-time basis by Meteorological Service personnel. The climatological and rainfall observing networks were greatly enhanced, thanks largely to the willing co-operation of the Garda authorities around the country and the assistance of other Government Departments and State-sponsored bodies. At Valentia Observatory, which had moved to a mainland site near Cahirciveen in 1892, upper air radiosonde measurements began and a wide range of geophysical measurements and environmental monitoring activities was introduced.

Meanwhile, the Service offered an expanding range of forecast and climatological information to the public and to specialised interests. A notable development was the inauguration of tape recorded telephone forecasts during the 1960's, the precursor of today's Weatherdial. The reception of satellite images began in the late 1960's at Shannon Airport and in the 1970's, the Meteorological Service might be said to have come of age by entering the computer era. Initially, the new machines were employed for communication purposes, but shortly afterwards the computers were used for the relatively new technique of numerical weather prediction.

Throughout its history, the Meteorological Service and its staff played an active role in the development of meteorology on the international scene. Ireland became a full member of the World Meteorological Organisation shortly after its establishment in the early 1950's and was later a founder member of both the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts and the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation, EUMETSAT. More recently, the Service has been active in the formation of other co-operative agencies like EUMETNET and ECOMET. Particularly beneficial to the organisation has been its membership since 1989 of HIRLAM, a co-operative venture between the Scandinavian countries and several other European Meteorological Services for the development of a numerical model for short-range forecasting.

Met eireann Headquarters ImageThe modern era of the Meteorological Service might be said to date from its occupation of the new Headquarters Building in Glasnevin in 1979, a development which for the first time allowed all the Dublin based Divisions to be housed under the same roof. It was around this time too, that the Service reached its peak in terms of staffing, with a total of 342 in 1980. The intervening years have seen a gradual reduction in staff numbers to the present level of 230, a development brought about mainly by the introduction of automated methods for many repetitive tasks, and by on-going review of our priorities with regard to weather observations.

Since the 1990s, in common with its sister organisations in most other European countries, the service has adopted a more commercial approach to the provision of services to its customers,in an effort to try to increase revenue and thus lighten the financial burden on the tax-payer. This spirit of commercial awareness, however, has been combined with an enhancement of the Service's public service role in areas where this has seemed desirable, most notably perhaps by the introduction of Severe Weather Alerts and by co-operation in the monitoring of stratospheric and tropospheric ozone

In March of 1996, its 60th year of operation, the Meteorological Service adopted the new title Met Éireann, with the aim of establishing a well-focused corporate identity in the public mind. Proud of its record of public service, its development of the national meteorological infrastructure and its contribution to the science of meteorology, Met Éireann looks forward with confident optimism to the challenges that lie ahead.

Directors of Met Éireann, 1936-present
1936-1948 Austen H. Nagle
1948-1964 Mariano Doporto
1965-1978 P.M. Austin Bourke
1978-1981 P. Kilian Rohan
1981-1988 Donal L. Linehan
1989-present Declan J. Murphy

Met Éireann Headquarters, Glasnevin Hill, Dublin 9

Tel: +353-1-8064200
Fax: +353-1-8064247
 
General Forecasting Division
Tel: +353-1- 8064255
Fax: +353-1- 8064275
Note: Provision of forecasts is subject to a fee.
 
Climate Enquiries Office
Tel: +353-1- 8064260
Fax: +353-1- 8064216
Note: Provision of services is subject to a fee.
 
Commercial Division
Tel: +353-1-8064244
Fax: +353-1-8064247
 
Freedom of Information Officer
Tel: +353-1-8064295
Fax: +353-1-8064275

Met Éireann Aviation Services, Shannon Airport Co. Clare
Tel: +353-61-712958
Fax: +353-61-712960
 
Met Éireann Valentia Observatory, Cahirciveen Co. Kerry
Tel: +353-66-9473460
Fax: +353-67-9472242

 

Met Eireann: Irish Meteorological Service, Glasnevin Hill, Dublin 9

Published in Organisations
16th July 2009

Irish Laser Association

Afloat's Graham Smith wrote about the Laser in the March 2009 issue of Afloat:

The Irish Laser Association remains one of the numerically biggest classes in Ireland – over 200 boats on the books – and when you get over 100 boats on average (across the three rig types, of course) at each of the four regionals and Irish Championships, you know you have a very healthy scene. Click here for all the latest up to date Laser Sailing News.

National Champion James Espey of Ballyholme defended his title in Howth to beat clubmate and main rival Ryan Seaton by almost ten points in the 11-race event. It won’t have come as a shock to the rest of the fleet since he wasn’t outside the top four in any of the other Laser events during year and also won the Munsters. Ronan Wallace of Wexford made the most of local knowledge to win the Leinsters while Ryan Seaton and Rory Fitzpatrick took the Ulster and Connaught titles respectively.

In the 4.7 rig division, Diana Kissane of Howth showed she had coped with the transition from the Optimist class she dominated for years by taking the Irish Championship title on home waters. Not a bad feat considering she only sailed in one other major event. The other regionals were won by Howth’s Andrew Tyrrell, Eoghan Cudmore of Kinsale and Philip Doran from Courtown (who also won the Topper Nationals).

Battling for the honours in the Radial rig division were Barry McCartin of Cushendall, Chris Penney of Carrickfergus and Debbie Hanna of East Antrim, with McCartin winning two regionals and the other two taking one each. At the Nationals in Howth, it was UK visitor Alison Young from Stokes Bay who topped the 51-strong fleet with McCartin the best of the Irish in the runner-up spot.

Hanna had the consolation of winning the Ladies’ Nationals at Ballyholme while David Nelson had an impressive win in the Masters event at the same venue.

National Champions (as at March 2009): Standard rig – James Espey, Ballyholme YC; Radial rig – Alison Young, UK, 4.7 rig – Diana Kissane Howth YC.

 

The September/October 2009 issue of Afloat carried the following story:

Spring Promise Turns into Summer Shine

It has been nothing short of an extraordinary summer for Irish sailing, with plenty of silverware shining in club trophy cabinets around the country.

annalise.jpg

Above: Annaliese Murphy leads the world. Photo: Gareth Craig

Results in the early spring perhaps were an obvious sign that the summer would deliver something special. Within a month, Peter O’Leary and Tim Goodbody won the Star Spring European Championship, Annaliese Murphy won the Dutch Europa Cup and Matty O’Dowd followed this with a victory in the Danish Europa Cup, both sailing Laser Radials. Preparations for the summer were on track.
 
These results were impressive, but they turned out to be just a taste of what was to come.
 
oppie_3.jpgLeft and below: More action from the Oppies. Photos: Gareth Craig

The highlight of the summer arrived with Murphy’s eighth place in the World Laser Radial Women’s Championship, which secured her the Under 21 World Title. Murphy is just 19 years of age, and this is her first year on the senior circuit. The current World Champion is 31, putting Murphy’s potential into perspective.
 
Her result was Ireland’s first top ten finish at an Olympic Class World Championships in six years, and was secured in an 87-boat fleet that included the American Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe and the Chinese Olympic bronze medallist, Lijia Xu. The title was won by Finland’s Sari Multala who counted five race wins in her scores, allowing her to sit out the final race.

The National Yacht Club sailor improved throughout the 12-race series, where individual scores included a second placing, moving the UCD mathematics student from fifteenth to tenth in the penultimate days sailing in Karatsu.

The following week at the same venue in Japan, the Laser Radial Youth World Championships were held with 100 sailors from 25 countries competing. Philip Doran and Oliver Loughead finished ninth and 12th respectively in the overall standings but more significantly they picked up the Under 17 World Title and Silver Medal between them.

Doran has shown his true grit as a competitor and has made a remarkable transition from the Laser 4.7 class where he won the Under 16 World Title in 2008. How many Irish sportsmen can say they won a world title two years in a row?
 
oppie_1.jpg To top it all off, RCYC Optimist Sailor Cian Byrne did the business on the final day of the UK Optimist Junior Nationals in Largs in August. Cian’s three third places on day 6 of the 12-race series were enough to beat USA sailor Jack Johansson, GBR sailor Freddie Grogono and Cork club mate Peter McCann.

Cian’s achievement is reported as a first for Irish Optimists in a British Championship and was richly deserved. Peter was the other hero; having led for much of the championship, he put up a great fight in the final series and ended his event with a very creditable 4th overall. 

The junior (Under 12) event had 145 competitors and had a truly international flavour with sailors from France, Holland, Spain, USA and UAE competing against the IRL and GBR contingents. The Irish more than held their own with two other top ten results, Sean Donnelly (7th) and Adam Hyland (10th). Indeed, Team Ireland had seven of the top 20 junior spots, with GBR taking just eight.

oppie_2.jpg More encouraging still is the presence of other sailors ready to challenge those on the podium. At the Topper World Championship, 13-year-old Finn Lynch secured second place, which bodes well for his career. At the 420 World Championships, Jane Butler & Jenny Andreasson finished 11th overall. This duo are both eligible to compete in 2010 for the youth title. Their result comes after great use of their transition year, facilitated by the Royal St George Yacht Club’s Youth Sailing Scheme.

Seafra Guilfoyle finished 50th in the European Optimist Championship, our best at this event for at least eight years and Fiona Daly finished 40th in the equivalent event for girls.
 
The results are a significant boost for the ISA’s Performance Pathway, spanning from Junior right through to Olympic campaigning. ISA Youth & Development Manager, Rory Fitzpatrick has managed the ISA Academy since 2005 and deserves great credit for the results achieved to date.

Annaliese Murphy – Profile

Annaliese Murphy is the Irish Independent/Afloat.ie 'Sailor of the Month' for August 2009 after her impressive showing in the Laser Radial Worlds in Japan. Racing in the first week of August, the 19-year-old National Yacht Club sailor was advancing a potential Olympic campaign with competition in an 87-strong fleet which included US Olympic Gold Medallist Anna Tunnicliffe and the Chinese Bronze Medallist Lijia Zu.

In the end, the new champion was Finland’s Sari Multala, but apart from the Finn’s unbeatable scoreline of five wins, one of the most notable achievements was the steadily improving performance into  the top ten by the Irish sailor.

Murphy improved from fifteenth to tenth overall on the second-last day, and then with increasing confidence she finished in a convincing eighth overall. We have only to look at the calibre of the sailors in her wake to realize that this was a serious step towards the London Olympics of 2012, and Annaliese Murphy becomes a worthy representative of Olympic and dinghy sailing in our roll-call of sailing stars in 2009.

 

Irish Laser Association  Chairman Rory Fitzpatrick, email: [email protected] – or Hon. Secretary Ron Hutchieson, email: [email protected]

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here

Published in Classes & Assoc

The International Optimist Dinghy Association in Ireland – or  IODAI represents the Optimist class in Ireland and internationally. IODAI is affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) and The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). Click here for all the latest Optimist news.

To sail in IODAI events you need to become a member. You can join at Registration at any event but it’s often best to come prepared with a completed application form which you can download here.

The Optimist is, quite simply, the dinghy in which the young people of the world learn to sail.

Some definitions: "A flat-bottomed, hard-chine, pram-bow dinghy with a una sprit- sail" (The Observer's Book of Small Craft); "A bathtub that breeds the best sailors" (Observant sailor at the Club bar)
 

Specifications and benefits of the Optimist dinghy

2.31m (7'6.1/2") long, 1.13m (3'8") wide. Weight 35kg (77lbs).

Easily transported on top of any car, (where it will drip water over your shiny paint- work!)

Safe and simple enough for an 8-year old; exciting and technical enough for a 15-year old

Sailed in over 110 countries by over 150,000 young people, it is the only dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16 years of age.

Over half of the dinghy skippers at the last Olympic Games were former Optimist sailors.

The boat was designed by Clarke Mills in Florida in 1947. Optimists first came to Europe in 1954 when a fleet started in Denmark.

Most parents find that sailing gives young people a great sense of personal achievement. In addition the skills required to improve sailing performance both on and off the water; it helps young people develop a more organised approach to other non-sailing related activities.

How many Optimists are there in Ireland? More than 1,300 Optimists have been registered in Ireland (2008). At Optimist events in Ireland this year the fleet size varied between 120 at Regional events and 200 at our National Championships. International events can be much larger and at an Easter Regatta on Lake Garda in 2008 there was just short of 1000 boats.

How can i join a sailing club that sails Optimists? Contact the Irish Sailing Association where you can find out which sailing clubs are local to you. The junior or dinghy sailing coordinator in each club should be able to tell you if they have an active Optimist class in that club. Your interest could be the spark that ignites an Optimist interest there and IODAI will endeavour to support clubs who wish to start an Optimist fleet. Alternatively, if you contact the IODAI secretary directly, [email protected] you will be put in touch with an IODAI regional representative who will guide you towards a suitably active Optimist club. IODAI contact every sailing club from time to time to determine their level of interest in the Optimist class and to maintain an open invitation for any sailing club to seek assistance in the forming of an Optimist class at that club.

Which are the more prominent clubs racing Optimists in Ireland?

HYC Howth Co. Dublin

KYC Kinsale Co. Cork 

LDYC Dromineer, Co. Tipperary 

LRYC Athlone, Co. Westmeath 

MYC Malahide Co. Dublin  

NYC Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin 

RCYC Crosshaven, Co. Cork 

RNIYC Cultra, Hollywood, Co Down

RStGYC Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin  

SDC Sutton, Co. Dublin 

SSC Skerries, Co. Dublin

TBSC Fenit, Co. Kerry

WBTSC Wexford Co. Wexford

WHSC Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

Are Optimists suitable for girls? The Optimist provides superb one design racing where boys and girls can compete on equal terms. Yearly rankings often produce a 50:50 split between boys and girls.  In 2005, 2006 and 2007 the Irish National Championship was won by Diana Kissane, from Howth Yacht Club who set a record by winning the title in three successive years. 

Why is Optimist Sailing so popular in Ireland? The first Optimists arrived in Ireland in 1966. The class in Ireland developed relatively slowly until 1978 when a batch of 35 GRP boats was imported and Ireland first sent a team to the World Championships. In 1981 Howth Yacht Club hosted the Worlds and boats sold off in Ireland after the event gave the class a big lift.

 
The popularity of the Optimist in Ireland is explained by a number of factors including the simplicity of design, it is:
 
– Safe and simple enough for an 8-year old, Exciting and technical enough for a 15-year old
 
The Optimist is recommended by the Irish Sailing Association for junior training
 
There is a reasonable supply of new and second-hand boats

 

An energetic and proactive class association of volunteer parents (IODAI)

 

Unquantifiable support from the parents of all Optimist sailors

What age should a child start sailing Optimists? Some clubs do not provide beginner training under 9 or 10 years of age. However this is changing and you should check with your local club. See if any other experienced parent can suggest how a younger sailor might start. There are plenty who start earlier and eleven or twelve is not too late – even to get to the top in the fleet. Some considerations before beginning:

– Is your child a competent swimmer? (Competent means comfortable in the water when out of depth and capable of swimming say 25 meters in the sea water while dressed in normal clothing).

Is your child comfortable about the prospect of trying sailing? (The prospect of being alone in charge of a boat is often daunting to a young child and this introduction to the water is the most important step).

– Are there any older brothers, sisters or friends involved in sailing? This is often a great help.

– Is the child and are the parents prepared to make the commitment? There is a lot of time involved in junior sailing. Parents, remember, they can’t drive themselves to training or events and they need lots of help ashore especially in the early days.

My child has done some sailing courses at our local club, can they start sailing Optimists at events? Of course. The Optimist dinghy is a simple and safe; designed specifically for young sailors.  So, no matter what other boat they have used on their courses, they should be able to handle an Optimist.

When do they start racing? As a Junior Class we have knowledge of helping sailors make the transition from 'messing about in boats' to actual racing.  This is where our innovative Regatta Fleet comes in.

What is the Regatta Fleet? Regatta Fleet Racing is for beginners and unranked sailors – usually from age 8 upwards. The focus of the Regatta Fleet is on having fun. There is a Regatta Fleet element at most major Optimist events except 'The Trials' (for information on 'The Trials' see the New Parents and Sailors section of our FAQ’s on the website). 
The Regatta Fleet will could be your sailors first experience of racing. They can enter the Regatta Fleet once they have learnt to sail to windward and can negotiate a simple triangular course. A typical Regatta Fleet day is usually shorter that the main fleet. With some coaching in the morning, a break ashore for lunch and then some simple races in the afternoons, the aim is to make the introduction as easy as possible. It’s not taken too seriously and coaches are allowed to give advice during racing. If a sailor is towards the front, advice may not be necessary and the coaches will tend to concentrate on those near the back. And yes, there are prizes, and it often proves to be the most charming part of the prize giving ceremony where we see very young children collect their first sailing trophy. Regatta Fleet Racing at events gives the younger sailor the experience of doing circuit events without the pressures of racing way out to sea over long courses. There are often around 50 boats racing and it’s their first introduction to the wonderful circle of friends that sailing produces for all of us. While the Optimist calendar is a full one and parents/sailors may find the implication of a serious Optimist programme just a little bit daunting - the truth is that most young children (and parents!) find the experience lots of fun. The combination of the training, regional events, and regattas, gives young sailors lots of opportunity to make new friends from all over Ireland (and indeed abroad in the case of sailors attending international events). Lots of sailors make friendships on the Optimist circuit which endure well after the age limit has been passed.

And the parents?  You will meet literally dozens of new friends. All are not sailors. Some are; some aren’t. Like your children, you will form friendships that will endure long after your sailing hopefuls have progressed out of Oppies and are old enough to travel to sailing events without you. It’s not just all about the children!!  We need some fun as well.

(The above information courtesy of the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland)

In March 2009, Afloat's Graham Smith wrote: "Officially, and not altogether surprisingly, the Optimist ranks as Ireland’s biggest one-design class with 275 boats registered with the IODAI. It remains the boat of choice for beginners in clubs across the country and it still encourages highly active racing fleets in 18 venues.

Numbers are up by over 12% on the previous year and with fleets at regional events averaging 100 and almost 160 at the Nationals in Tralee, there doesn’t seem to be any slowing up at all, although its popularity north of the border has apparently slipped in a number of locations.

In the Junior fleet, it was a memorable season from Seafra Guilfoyle of RCYC who won Easterns, Westerns and Northerns before taking the national title in a 90-strong junior fleet. Seafra was also the highest placed Irish helm in the British Nationals Junior fleet, finishing eighth overall out of 170 boats.

The senior division was more evenly balanced, with Colm O’Regan (KYC), Jamie Aplin (RStGYC) and Killian O’Keeffe (RCYC) winning the regionals (O’Keeffe winning two) before Cork’s Richard Harrington won the Irish Championships in Tralee ahead of 67 others to make the nationals a Cork double success. National Champion: Senior – Richard Harrington, Royal Cork YC; Junior – Seafra Guilfoyle, Royal Cork YC"

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here

Published in Classes & Assoc
15th July 2009

Killyleagh Yacht Club

Situated on the west shore of Strangford Lough, the Club has a good landing pontoon which gives easy access to all local facilities. However, there is no overnight berthing at the pontoon. Members cruisers are moored in 2–4 metres SSW of Town Rock. Visitors are welcome to anchor outside the moorings. Club members race Cruisers, Flying Fifteens, Lightnings and dinghies. KYC is the most centrally positioned Yacht Club.

Killyleagh Yacht Club, 22 Cuan Beach, Kilyleagh, Co Down BT30 9OU. Email: [email protected], tel: 028 4482 8250

Commodore: Dr David Bain

Hon  Secretary: Gordon Galloway, tel: 028 925 87200 

Sailing Secretary: David Thompson, tel: 028 926 79710

Membership Secretary: Raymond Beattie, tel: 028 448 31187

Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved

 

Published in Clubs
Page 13 of 17

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