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#mirror – A Mirror dinghy Bronze and Silver (B&S) Fleet event is a development of the innovative Bronze Fleet event introduced a few years ago to make it easier for new sailors to get involved in Mirror Sailing at national level.

The intention is that the inexperienced sailors would have the racing course to themselves without pressure. This year we have extended it to the silver fleet, but we plan that they will sail in separate flights a few minutes apart. We may also allow the racing marks to be hit, partly due to the fact that tides in Sligo Bay are strong and young sailors may have some problems with roundings. Eight short races are planned with two discards if all goes well. It is permissible for a gold fleet helm to crew for a bronze and silver fleet sailor.

The O'Dowd trophy will be competed for the following day with all boats (including the gold fleet) sailing together. This will involve six more challenging races with one discard. Although this is not a ranking event the beautiful trophy presented by the O'Dowd family is hotly contested for and would enhance any family sideboard for a period.

The two events are an ideal way of introducing new boats to the fleet and also a way of preparing sailors for the forthcoming Worlds. Sligo Yacht Club have tried to keep costs as low as possible with an entry fee of €20 for each and €30 for both. Members will also try to provide overnight accommodation to visitors and there is limited camping around the Clubhouse.

The club also has a number of Mirrors which may be made available for hire at a modest cost for the events. There will be a barbeque at the clubhouse Saturday evening, again at nominal cost.

NOR available to download below

Published in Mirror
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Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted a 19–boat fleet for the Mirror Eastern Championships with seven races sailed and one discard. Results below.
170507GoldC HickeyC Croasdell 11
270533GoldJ MayeS WhiteSligo SC16
370529GoldK BoylanG O'ConnorSSC17
470123 R ArmstrongS ArmstrongSligo YC23
570580GoldB ArmstrongS Wray 25
670428SilverS McLoughlinBen JenningsSDC29
770620GoldS DicksonE McMahonHYC/SDC41
870607SilverM BoylanE Ennis 42
970508SilverT McCulloughR CaddyRNIYC46
1070355GoldJ RyanB GrafLRSC52
1169797SilverK HackettC HackettMullingar SC55
12702BronzeE HickeyS CulletonSSC67
1370076SilverR MurphyR MooreLDYC74
1470518BronzeG Roche-GriffinH O'Reilly 77
1569558GoldR HackettE BroderickMullingar SC91
1621645BronzeC FoleyR Foley 95
1770036BronzeR McAllistarO McAllistar 98
1870425SilverD WhiteS Doyle 99
1969037BronzeC NashG FisherCoal Hbr105
Published in Mirror
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#mirrors – The season for the Mirrors got off to a great start over the weekend in Lough Ree Yacht Club with the Western Championships writes Brid Hickey

Speaking to Graham Elmes, coach for the Mirror class on Saturday after 4 races, ‘There were testing conditions with shifts in the winds and varying wind speeds of 2 -8 knots, which will prepare the sailors for the Mirror Worlds being held in Lough Derg later this year’.

The first day’s racing saw a different sailor win each race namely Tiarnan Dickson with his crew Alex Leech Lough Ree YC winning the 3rd race and lying first overall at the end of day 1 with 5 points. Cian Hickey Skerries S C with Caolan Croasdell LRYC lying 2nd overall with 8 points and winning race four. Beth Armstrong Sligo YC and her crew Samuel Wray also had 8 points and she won the first race of the event. Peter Reegan and Eugenie Dalby from Lough Ree YC was lying fourth and he won the second race.  

The wind shifts might have been the cause for the sailors’ failure to maintain consistency according to some of the onlookers from David Dickson’s barge. However, it should be pointed out that Tiarnan did have 1 first and 3 seconds – possibly local knowledge could have played a factor here.

Day 2 of the Westerns took place in blustery conditions which would have appeared to suit some of the more weathered sailors. With wind gusting up to 20 knots in a very cold north easterly wind three very exciting races took place.

The races kicked off with Race 5 which was won by Cian Hickey and Caolan Croasdell with Jacy Maye and Oisin McAllister coming in second and Ronan Armstrong and Eva Martin from Sligo YC coming 3rd. Best of the silver were local sailors Jack Ryan and Ben Gaf in race 5 and the best of the bronze was Sutton sailors Shane Mcloughlin and Ben Jennings. Race 6 was won by Cian & Caolain and followed Ronan Armstrong and Eva Martin coming in a close second followed by other Sligo sailors Beth Armstrong and Samuel Wray. Going into the last race there was just one point between the top two sailors Cian and Caolan on 10 points and Tiarnan and Alex on 10 points and Beth and Samuel on 17 points.

Cian and Caolan held onto their winning form and won the race. 2nd place in the final race went to Shane McLoughlin and Ben Jennings SDC and 3rd place went to Ronan and Eva from Sligo YC. Overall racing proved very exciting over the 2 days a key factor would be the excellent racing provided with thanks to the PRO Vincent Rafter and his skilled team.

Overall racing proved very exciting over the 2 days a key factor would be the excellent racing provided with thanks to the PRO Vincent Rafter and his skilled team.

Congratulations to Shane McLoughlin and Ben Jennings from Sutton DC who now move up to the Silver fleet and, and Jack Ryan and Ben Gaf LRYC who move up to the Gold fleet.


Published in Mirror
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#mirror – Overall honours at the Mirror dinghy national championships in Sligo went to local sailors Jack Maye and Sarah White at the weekend.

After two days of training kindy provided by Sligo Yacht Club the Mirror fleet, from Bronze to Gold, were well prepared for 4 days of extremely variable conditions and tight racing results.  Thursday saw light winds which gave the lighter helm and crew a chance to perform well. Friday was a day of doldrums and scorching sunshine which led to a day of patient floating about and ended up with some essential swimming and diving to cool off. Despite the best efforts of vetran Race Officer Gus Henry however, no race could be started. On  Saturday the winds picked up with force 7 gusts and numerous capsizing of all ages and skills levels came to the fore, so the OD announced that all Bronze fleet must go in after the first race. The course was then moved inshore where there was some shelter and the gold and silver fleets had two very exciting races. The overnight leaders were Harry & Fergus Collins of Sligo, a considerable achievment for them as they were Silver Fleet sailors.

It was all down to the Sunday, the last day. By then gold and Silver had finished five races but the Bronze fleet had only three.

The Race Officer decided to have three races, which had the effect, if all were finished, that the second discard would kick in. Depending on the various permutations and combinations, it was still anyones regatta with six or even more possible winners.

A good force 3 South Easterly occationally gusting force 5 for perfect sailing conditions.  The 3 races were completed and results were close. The final places were not decided until the last race, which developed into a ding dong battle between Kerry-Ann Boylan of Skerries, Beth Armstrong of Sligo, Peter Regan of Lough Ree and Jack Maye of  Sligo which finished in that order. Noone had any idea who was the overall winner until the computer did its work and a final protest was decided, but Jack and Sarah had done just enough to take the Championships by a point from the Collins brothers.

A number of the Gold fleet sailors are now preparing for a trip to the Mirror Europeans in Poole in 2 weeks time, while the Bronze fleet sailors prepare for the Mullingar Bronze fleet event  later this month while the highlight for the class is the staging of the Mirror Worlds in Lough Derg 27 July to 2 August 2013.

Published in Mirror
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#MIRROR–As sailing regattas around the world bid to outdo each other running sophisticated social media campaigns, it looks like the tiny Mirror dinghy has stolen a march on even the Volvo Ocean Race's Galway Girl with a specially composed song for its next World Championships.

The 2013 Mirror World Champs is bound for Ireland, the event previously having been held in Sligo in 1987. More recently, in 2010, Sligo Yacht Club also hosted the class European championships.

The unique red sails shanty is presented in a youtube format and comes all the way from Albany, Australia, the venue of the last world championships won by Irish pair Ross Kearney and Max Odell last January.

So with the 'Albany worlds done and dusted and some boats and egos busted' listen in (below) to find that for energy and wind Colcannon is a must! It's sure to go down well here in two year's time.

Published in Mirror
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Is there no end to the achievements of Irish boaters against seemingly impossible odds?

The winter may have been a time of hibernation for some of us but as the stories in Afloat's March/April issue will bear out Irish sailors have been battling the elements all winter long.

James Carroll competed in January's Sydney-Hobart offshore race and, much closer to home, Paul A. Kay journeyed through snow and ice in December from Dun Laoghaire to a new marina on Valentia Island.
As if to prove a point that we're down but not out, a winter of results on foreign waters includes a win in the Mirror World Championships in Australia and a top Olympic result in Florida, USA.

They are gutsy performances from youth teams that shows, if nothing else, the next generation of Irish sailors is really up for a fight. All this plus lots, lots more on news-stands next week!

Selected contents from Ireland's only boating magazine include:


Surveyors Issue Boat Launch Warning, Buoyant Dinghies Buck the Market, Ice Diving in Ireland, German U-Boat Rediscovered in Cork Harbour, an Historic Trophy for South Pacific Dream Cruise, MGM open in Cork, Hugh Mockler joins Crosshaven Boatyard plus lots, lots more.

News Focus

A new masterplan for Dun Laoghaire harbour is badly needed but it needs buy in from all those that use it

Going Offshore

The tenth Dun Laoghaire to Dingle offshore race was launched in style

Marine Conference

Combating the downturn was the focus of a unique marine gathering on both sides of the Irish sea.


Gear Review

New dinghy gear, a new Crosshaven boot from Dubarry, a new raincoat for girls and an upgrade for Musto's MPX.


This Island Nation

The decision to shut down the fog signals was based on a detailed risk assessment. Tom MacSweeney on the loss of fog horns


Sailor of the Year

Anthony O'Leary of Cork is the Independent "Sailor of the Year" in celebration of his outstanding achievements afloat nationally and internationally.

Tall Ships

W M Nixon looks at the realities of national sail training in the 21st Century.


Tall Ship Conference

Ireland could yet have a tall ship to replace the Asgard II and the Lord Rank, if a new group formed to press for a replacement is successful

Racing update

Ulstermen's World Title, Topper worlds for Dun Laoghaire, Two Irish campaigns line up for Figaro Race, SB3 Sailors Cry Foul at Dun Laoghaire Parking Fees and an Irish entry in the Moth worlds in Australia, Irish Mini 6.50 Campaign in Prospect.


Youth Worlds preview

Results achieved abroad this Winter are the backbone for further Irish youth


Figaro Preview

Two fledgling Irish La Solitaire du Figaro campaigns edged closer to the start line last month

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta has taken in 22 entries six months ahead of the first race of the biggest regatta in Irish sailing.


Fireball Worlds preview

Dun Laoghaire's Noel Butler intends to continue his winning run in the Fireball class this season but the year ahead doesn't look so easy as the World Championships come to Sligo

Sovereigns cup preview

Up to 30 Quarter tonners will be at the Sovereigns Cup this year including one from New Zealand.

Shiver to deliver

A journey through snow and ice from Dun Laoghaire to Valentia Island

Sydney-Hobart Race

Outside of the Volvo Ocean Race, the Sydney Hobart is one of the world's most challenging offshore races. James Carroll Raced it in January.


As the cuts begin to bite, it may be time to look at the British direction for our waterways, writes Brian J Goggin

Dubarry Nautical Crossword


A Google aerial photo proves useful navigating for Baldoyle Estuary

Published in News Update
Ross Kearney of Belfast Lough is the first Independent "Sailor of the Month" for 2011 after excelling all other contenders with his overall victory in the International Mirror Dinghy World Championship in Australia.

As we learned in 2001 when the Mirror Worlds were staged in Ireland, although Peter Bayly of Lough Derg may have won that time round, the strongest national challenge was by the Australians. They've developed what was originally envisaged as a useful general purpose family sailing dinghy into a very potent racing machine.

Thus it was quite an achievement for the 25-year-old Kearney to win in the Oz home waters. But for the Cultra sailor it was extra special, as he is the first Mirror helmsman to win the worlds twice, having taken the title back in 2005, racing in Sweden.

The Mirror being a small boat, an athlete like Ross Kearney has to select his crew from junior sailors. In 2005 it was young Adam McCullough, this time round it was Max Odell, and he and his skipper showed their serious intent towards the Worlds with a very clear win in the Mirror Europeans in Sligo last September.

On the strength of his proven record in the class, Kearney works as a sailmaker and designer with leading English firm Pinner & Bax. They're based in Northampton, about as far from the sea as it's possible to be in England, and a bit of a culture shock for a young sailor who is accustomed to getting his sea sailing just yards from home. But with a second world title now logged, we can expect to see more of Ross Kearney on the sea, and on bigger boats than a Mirror dinghy.

Kearney wins Mirror Title Story HERE.

After a solid performance in testing conditions Ross Kearney and Max Odell have won the Mirror World Championships in Albany, Australia today. The Royal North of Ireland pair finished the series with two good races on the final day to lead the 61-boat fleet after 15 races sailed. 

For the final rounds the winds blew 18-22 with gusts to 28 knots for both races - Kearney had a third in the first race this morning, followed by another third and then a second to clinch the series.

The results is so far provisional and subject to confirmation. Overall score sheet available for download below.

Last August, in Sligo, the Belfast Lough duo picked up the European title.

The prizegiving ceremony is underway in Albany now at 8pm Australian time and there will be more updates later on the win for Ireland.

It is not the first time Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is celebrating a world championship homecoming tonight because Kearney won it previously in Sweden in 2005 aged 19. He was crewed then by Adam McCullough (11) when they lifted the world title at Östersund.

Today is Ireland's fifth win of the regatta that is open to all but is predominantly contested by youth crews.

The Belfast youth's follow in the footsteps of club mates Chris Clayton and Craig Martin who won the championship in Australia in 2003 previous to that Ireland won the biennial fixture in South Africa in 1999 and also when it was hosted in Howth in 2001.


Ross Kearney and Max Odell survive a luff in 20 plus knots ! Photo: Rob Cruse. More photos from Rob HERE.

Kearney named January Sailor of the Month HERE

Published in Mirror

Ross Kearney and Max Odell lie sixth overall after seven races at the Mirror World Championships in Albany, Australia. The Belfast sailors, who won the European Championships when they were held in Sligo last Summer, are up against strong competition from a strong Aussie squad. 

Day 1 saw the dominant Aussie National winner, Paul Taylor, leading (6 points) ahead of the Pilipino crew of Balladares & Chavez (7 points) but a British crew, Millie Newman and Jessica Rust, are leading after six races. More HERE.


Published in Mirror

Racing was cancelled on the final day of the Mirror European Championships in Sligo yesterday so Thursday's overall result stood and the European trophy came home to Ireland. Ross Kearney and Max Odell from Belfast Lough were crowned European Champions 2010 after a series they led from start to finish. There was celebrations too in Rosses point for local pairing Beth and Shauna Armstrong who finished second in the 73-boat fleet. Results attached below.


Ross Kearney and Max Odell from Belfast Lough were crowned Mirror European Champions on Belfast Lough yesterday. Photo: Gareth Craig. More photos on the gallery HERE

Published in Mirror
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