Displaying items by tag: sailing
“Some things in life extend beyond ordinary experience – the Royal Irish Yacht Club is such a place, once enjoyed it can only be equalled by return.”
The painting of the Royal Irish Yacht Club (above) is an extract from a larger painting of the club from the marina by one of the RIYC members, Desmond McCarthy.
For the latest RIYC news click HERE
Part of Club life is availing of the magnificent Clubhouse facilities where you can meet new people and develop lasting friendships. The Club hosts a wide variety of social events throughout the calendar year making it easy to keep in touch with fellow yachtsmen and women. As well as the regular scheduled events the Club caters for parties to celebrate the holidays, informal events, educational seminars, theme dinners, and all occasions. All this and more is brought to you by our highly qualified and professional catering team.
We are extremely proud of our catering department that facilitates all types of gatherings, both formal and casual, and always to the highest quality and standard. We have a number of venues within the Club each of which provide a different ambience to match your particular needs.
The Dining Room – This elegant room is steeped in club tradition. The décor creates an atmosphere of elegance and is the perfect venue for fine dining. Our menu offers a blend of the finest international cuisine using the freshest local produce. This is complemented by a fine selection of fine wines and unobtrusive friendly service. We know our kitchen will help you discover many culinary treasures.
The Upper Bar – A great meeting place for members. Relax with a glass of wine beside the fire and enjoy good conversation and the intimate surroundings. Our bar staff is committed to good service
The Drawing Room – A comfortable lounge tastefully decorated. Use it to relax and read the daily papers and journals. Bring a friend for tea/drinks. In winter the fires are ablaze creating that special warm atmosphere. This room is also used for cocktail receptions and private parties. We also provide daily a Traditional Afternoon Tea.
The Library – Recently restored has a wealth of sailing knowledge on its shelves. This Room is frequently used for meetings, seminars, business meetings, briefings, launches and small conferences. Reap the highest level of achievement in a traditionally peaceful and undisturbed working enviroment. It is the perfect private dining venue, for parties from 10 to 40, or cocktail receptions.
The Wet Bar – The venue for ‘many occasions’, The Wet Bar, since its refurbishment, has become the flagship for our function department as well for our Casual Dining programme. It is a multi-faceted room and can host a multitude of different functions. It is ideal for banquets, birthday celebrations, dinner/dances, weddings etc can also can be converted into a bistro for theme events and culinary journeys. It has a maximum seating capacity of 140. The centre of the room is dominated by a hi tech bar which sets the tone for intimate yet informal dining experiences. Our catering department will supply you with a comprehensive list of our extensive range of menus. We tailor make every function to suit your needs.
Weddings – The Dining Room at the Royal Irish is an ideal venue for your wedding reception. Beautifully decorated with old world charm, Waterford crystal chandeliers and exquisite views of Dublin Bay create the perfect setting. We cater for up to 90 guests. Superlative cuisine and unparalled service are the order of the day with waiter service all evening.
The Deck – the Club’s ‘al fresco’ venue. Relax and enjoy Irelands balmy days overlooking the Bay and the yacht basin. It is ever popular on Sunny evenings watching the sun set and enjoying the ambience of our wonderful club.
Sailing Suppers and Barbeques – During the sailing season we serve sailing suppers in the Wet Bar on Thursday and Saturday Evenings. Great food, great vibes after a great sail. In Good weather we serve BBQs on the deck for the yachtsmen returning from their evening sail.
(All details and image courtesy of the Royal Irish Yacht Club)
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The club was born in 1965, but was conceived long before then in the Crofton Hotel (where the BIM offices now stand). It was there that a number of owners who were not members of any club and who kept their boats haphazardly in the Inner Harbour or in the Coal Harbour used to meet.
Above: Frosbite series, 2009
It was at the suggestion of Joe Briscoe, our founder commodore, that the formation of a proper club was considered and with a subscription of £1 each he raised a fund of £30. With this and the help of a dedicated band the task was tackled.
Meetings with official bodies, plans and more plans, articles of association, planning permissions – horrendous problems were tackled and solved. The then harbour master, Commander Thompson suggested the present site while members gave their services free of charge. Amongst there were architect Brian Doran, heating engineer Cecil Buggy, civil engineer Jim Hegarty and many, many others who donated their skills.
Big money was then needed so, to supplement grants and loans, a water carnival was run which attracted 25,000 people to Dun Laoghaire and yielded £2,000 – undreamed of success. It was repeated the following year.
The club was finally built and has since undergone a number of modifications including the building of the slip and the dinghy park. We owe a great debt of gratitutude to our founder members whose names are honourably inscribed on a board over the stairway.
The Club was named to indicate that it catered for all types of craft and for all types of people - the only common denominator being that they get their enjoyment from boating.
So if your leisure pleasure is serious sailing or just ‘messing about in boats’ and if you are looking for friendly companionship which will last a lifetime - welcome aboard!
(Above information and image courtesy of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club)
Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, West Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 280 1371
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club
Some time in the early 1600s, the idea of sailing for private pleasure started to take root in the Netherlands. Later that century, during the Cromwellian years, King Charles II of England was in exile in the Netherlands and while there he became aware of this new and exciting pastime. In 1660 after his restoration to the English crown and return from exile, Charles was presented with a yacht called Mary by the Dutch, which he sailed enthusiastically on the Thames. Soon several of his courtiers followed his example and we feel pretty certain that one of them was Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin (Murrough of the Burnings). We know that not only had he attended the court of King Charles from 1660 to 1662, but also that he had been created the 1st Earl of Inchiquin by Charles in 1664. We also know that private sailing started to become popular in Cork Harbour shortly after his return, quite possibly because of his direct encouragement. In any case, by 1720, interest in the sport had progressed so much that his great-grandson, the 26 year old William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, and five of his friends got together to formalise their activities and in so doing established ‘The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork'. This club is known today as the Royal Cork Yacht Club and it is the oldest yacht club in the world.
They based themselves in a castle on Hawlbowline Island, the lease of which Lord Inchiquin held. From that castle they regulated their sailing, membership and dining affairs according to a set of rules known to us today as ‘The Old Rules’.
In the early years the majority of club sailing activity took the form of sailing in various formations, copying the manoeuvres of the navies of the day. They communicated with each other by means of flying different flags and firing cannons. Each display and sequence of flags or guns meant something and every yacht owner carried a common signal book on board, which allowed them to communicate with each other. Paintings from 1738 in the possession of the club show club yachts carrying out such manoeuvres.
Shortly before 1806 the club moved to the nearby town of Cove as the British Admiralty decided that they had a greater need for Hawlbowline Island than we had. The American Revolution and then later on the French Revolution, would have been significant factors in the Royal Navy’s decision to build up their presence in the safe and strategic harbour of Cork. Kinsale had been the main naval centre on this coast up until this time but that harbour had begun to silt badly causing problems for warships which in addition had become bigger with deeper draughts.
By 1806 the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork had started to refer to itself as the Cork Harbour Water Club. During the 1820s, following the fashion of the few other clubs that had emerged by then, it changed its name to include the word ‘Yacht’ and dropped the word ‘Water’ and became known as the Cork Harbour Yacht Club. Later on that decade it dropped ‘Harbour’ and became the Cork Yacht Club. In 1831 King William IV granted the club the privilege of using the prefix ‘Royal’ and it became known as the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
The Club had been using various premises in Cove as clubhouses but eventually, in 1854, it moved into a magnificent new building which it had built on land given to it by the then Admiral, J.H. Smith Barry. The building, which stands directly onto the waterfront, was to become not only a major yachting centre but also an essential meeting place for Cork society.
By mid century membership was keenly sought after and club records show that many candidates were disappointed. One who was fortunate to be admitted was Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, later to be Emperor of Mexico. Prince Ferdinand was a brother of Emperor Franz Joseph and was the founder of the Imperial Austrian Navy. A special meeting of the General Committee was convened on 30th November 1858 to consider if Prince Ferdinand should be allowed to go forward for ballot for membership. It was felt by many of the members that ‘the admission of Foreigners’ into the club might cause the Lords of the Admiralty to withdraw some of our privileges. After the matter was discussed for some time he was allowed to go forward and was in due course electedand admitted.
One of the very first sporting heroes, Sir Thomas Lipton, who challenged for the America’s Cup sailing his famous series of yachts called Shamrock, was admitted to the club in 1900.
By the 1960s changing economic and social patterns made Cobh less and less attractive as a base for the club. In 1966 the Royal Cork and the Royal Munster Yacht Clubs agreed to merge and the Royal Cork moved to its present premises in Crosshaven assuming the title ‘The Royal Cork Yacht Club, incorporating the Royal Munster Yacht Club’.
In the 1970s and 80s the very pinnacle of sailing competition was the Admirals Cup which was an international competition based on teams of three boats. The Royal Cork was the pivotal point for the very competitive Irish teams of those years, the right designer, builders, sail maker, crews, and owners with vision all came together at the same time and gave nations with greater resources cause for reflective thought.
The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities from young kids in their Optimist and Mirror dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in 470s, Int. 14s, Lasers, Laser IIs and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.
In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burgee. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.
Looking forward into the 21st century, the Royal Cork goes from strength to strength, total membership is around 1500, our facilities are unparalleled in Ireland and continue to expand, major World, European and Irish Championships are hosted in the club regularly. Cork Week, which is held every two years, is regarded as Europe’s best fun regatta bar none and attracts contestants from all over the world. Recently the Royal Cork was proud to host the ISAF Nations Cup. The activities of the club are regarded as a major tourism asset for the Cork area and significantly contribute to the economy of Crosshaven. The Royal Cork may be almost 300 years old but it is still vibrant, progressive and innovative – just as it was in 1720.
(Details and image courtesy of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Bob Bateman)
Buy the RCYC History Book here
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Brief History of Poolbeg area
Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club is adjacent to the Pigeon House coal burning electricity-generating station, which was officially closed in July 1976. It nestles at the foot of the towering twin stacks of the modern Poolbeg Power station, which replaced the Pigeon House in 1965. It is a site of considerable significance in the history of Irish technology close to the centre of Dublin.
There is an established walk close to the club. The South Wall of the Port of Dublin extends from Ringsend nearly four miles out into Dublin Bay. This is one of the longest sea-walls in Europe. The walk continues to the Half Moon bathing place. Further on is the landmark Poolbeg Lighthouse. The Poolbeg Lighthouse was built in 1768, but was re-designed and re-built into its present form in 1820.
There are different versions of the origin of the name Ringsend, but it is most probably derived from the Irish word Rinn meaning a point or spit of land jutting into the sea.
The area seems to have been relatively uninhabited up until the 1620s when a fishing station grew up around the end of a point jutting into the estuary among mudflats and salt marshes where the Liffey and Dodder met the sea.
A harbour was developed at Poolbeg and Ringsend replaced Dalkey as Dublin’s principal port.
From the mid-17th century hotels and lodging houses began to spring up to cater for the many sailors, soldiers, port officials and travellers passing through the area.
In 1654 the Chief Justice of Ireland, Henry Cromwell, ordered everyone of Irish blood to move two miles outside Dublin city and this led to the establishment of Irishtown.
By the turn of the century the population had increased significantly and a floating chapel was moored nearby to cater for the spiritual needs of the community. Work then began on St. Matthew’s church in Irishtown in the early 18th century, one of a number of ‘Mariners’ churches’ around Dublin Bay. Incidentally, the vaults of St. Matthew’s were reputedly used as a store for smuggled goods, smuggling being rife in the area during this period.
Throughout the 1700s travelling to and from Ringsend and Irishtown was risky, particularly after dark, as highwaymen and thieves roamed the surrounding countryside.
Press gangs also stalked the inns abducting people for the British Navy.
To make matters worse several bridges were swept away until the current granite structure was built after the flood of 1802 and the danger posed by the Dodder diminished after the construction of the reservoir at Glenasmole in 1868.
Fishing provided a good living for many, boat building, chemical works and other industries provided employment, and hot and cold seawater baths attracted day-trippers and longer-term visitors to Irishtown. Indeed Wolfe Tone often stayed in Irishtown to take a break from political activity.
The Great South Wall, including the Poolbeg lighthouse, was constructed throughout the 18th century to provide greater protection for vessels, and dredged soil from port improvements was used to form many streets on either side of the Liffey, the sites being apportioned by ‘lot’, hence the name South Lotts Road.
The Ballast Board was founded in 1786 to manage the port. This later became the Dublin Port and Docks Board, now called the Dublin Port Company Ltd.
The embankment of the quays was also completed during this period.
On the 23rd April 1796 a crowd of 60,000 people witnessed the opening of basins and sea-locks connecting the newly-built Grand Canal to the Liffey at Ringsend.
It was an astounding development, which equalled the entire Liverpool docks at the time and meant that Dublin was fast becoming the second port in Ireland and Britain.
However, an economic downturn followed the Act of Union in 1800 as restrictive tax laws were imposed. To compound matters, in 1818 the mail boats from Holyhead switched to Howth, later to a new terminal at Dún Laoghaire, while the Royal Dockyard was also removed.
The worst ravages of the 1845–47 famine were avoided in the Ringsend area due to the availability of fish and the importation of Indian corn by the local landlord, Sidney Herbert, and as the 19th century wore on the many industries such as glass and rope manufacturing, boatyards, mills and the new gasworks provided welcome employment.
In 1863 the Pembroke Township, consisting of Baggotrath, Donnybrook, Sandymount, Ringsend and Irishtown, was formed. Improvements in the following decades included a horse drawn tramline laid through the area in the early 1870s linking Nelson’s Pillar with the Martello Tower at Sandymount, and the construction of the sewage works in the 1880s. The Earl of Pembroke also provided funds for Ringsend Technical School, 1892, and the development of Pembroke Cottages, the first of a series of housing developments for workers, in 1893.
Around the turn of the century local Parish Priest Canon Mooney was a tireless worker on behalf of the local population, and was responsible for the rebuilding of St. Patrick’s church in the early 1900s.
During the 1916 Rising, Boland’s Mill on the Canal Docks was occupied by rebels under the command of de Valera. The flat complexes George Reynolds House and Whelan House are named for two local men who fought in the Rising, while O’Rahilly House is called after The O’Rahilly who was part of the GPO garrison.
In the 1930s the Pembroke Township was incorporated into Dublin city. Many changes have taken place in the intervening years including construction of new housing and the East Link Bridge, and the upgrading of Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium. The Dublin Docklands Development Authority is also now redeveloping a large site; a Village Improvement Scheme is being implemented for Ringsend; and Irishtown Stadium.
Dublin city based Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club has completed developing its state of the art 100-berth marina facility in the heart of Ireland’s capital. Situated in Ringsend, a harbour area with a colourful maritime tradition stretching back to the 17th century, Poolbeg Yacht/Boat Club & Marina is in a prime location just 3kms from the cultural, historic, social and retail centre of Dublin.
The club has been welcoming locals and visitors alike for over thirty years. Members old and new, appreciate the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere of this highly sociable club.
The new 1.5 million euro marina development is a major new city attraction, particularly for visitors wishing to berth their vessels near the heart of Dublin and for Dublin based owners who like their vessels moored near the office for a quick getaway on Friday evenings! The marina also meets the international standards required to satisfy any yachtsperson who visits a European capital city
On-shore, the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club’s existing and new members, have benefited from the expansion and redevelopment of its clubhouse which has undergone a 500,000 euro dramatic facelift.
The only Yacht/Boat Club & Marina in the heart of Dublin. A number of berths are available, depending on size, on an annual or six month basis. Berths are also available for visitors on a short-term basis.
Poolbeg Yacht/Boat Club & Marina offers a unique package to serious sailors, leisure-time enthusiasts or beginners alike:
* The only marina and club in the heart of Dublin
* 100 secure fully serviced berths for long and short term stays
* Welcoming and sociable
* Full club support and facilities
* All levels of sailing and training for adults and children
* Affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association
Poolbeg Yacht, Boat Club & Marina, South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Tel: +353 1 668 9983, Fax: +353 1 668 7177, email: [email protected]
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KYC was first located in two cottages opposite the slip at Scilly, across the harbour from the current location. By the mid 1950s, there were six boats racing in the club comprising of a dragon called Sleuth, two colleens, Pinkeen and Spalpeen, an Uffa Ace, Dick Hegarty’s cruiser Bedouin and a jollyboat sailed by the 70-year-old commodore Brig. Gen. Dorman. Jeanot Petch made an exotic addition to the already varied fleet when he built a Prout catamaran in 1957. Races started off the pierhead sailing to Bulman and back via the harbour marks.
The impressive period frontage of Kinsale Yacht Club. Photo: Bob Bateman
The fleet would leave Bulman to port or starboard according to the wind, as the commodore did not want to gybe that far out to sea. Later a 45 gallon drum was placed upriver and used as an upwind mark until the new bridge was built in the 1970s. All the boats at that time were kept on moorings in the harbour.
In the early 1960s, Dick Hegarty, in his capacity as the club’s solicitor, purchased the present clubhouse on behalf of the Club. Over time, fleets of Albacores, Mirrors, Flying Fifteens, Fireballs and Enterprises developed and junior sailing instruction began. The Cork harbour Dragon fleet also moved from the Royal Munster Yacht Club in Crosshaven, now the Royal Cork Yacht Club, to Kinsale.
In the 1970s, the Club started hosting Regional and National Championships and hosted the World Fireball Championships in 1977. In the same year, the Club also held the Dragon Gold Cup and started to develop it’s widely recognised race management teams. In 1978, the Club and its members funded and built the first marina.
The rear of Kinsale Yacht Club where dinghies and dayboats are stored. Photo: Bob Bateman
In the 1990s, the Club embarked on three separate extensions to the clubhouse. By this time, KYC had become one of the leading yacht clubs in the country. Junior sailing now encompasses Optimists, Lasers and 420s. One design racing takes in International Dragons and Squibs. The Club also supports three very strong Cruiser Classes (Class I, II and III) who now joined by a more relaxed White Sail Fleet.
(The above information and image courtesy of Kinsale Yacht Club)
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For all the latest news from the National Yacht Club click HERE
Founded on loyal membership, the NYC enjoys a family ethos and a strong fellowship which binds our members in a relaxed atmosphere of support and friendship.
Bathing in the gentle waterfront ambience of Dun Laoghaire on the edge of South County Dublin, the National Yacht Club has graced the waters of the Irish Sea and far beyond for more than a century.
Our famous burgee is a familiar sight in the sailing waters of Ireland, and the proud victory roll of our individual members and our Club is second to none.
A slipway directly accessing Dun Laoghaire Harbour, over eighty club moorings, platform parking, fuelling, watering and crane-lifting ensure that we are excellently equipped to cater for all the needs of the contemporary sailor.
Although there are references to an active ‘club’ prior to 1870, history records that the present clubhouse was erected in 1870 at a cost of £4,000 to a design by William Sterling and the Kingstown Royal Harbour Boat Club was registered with Lloyds in the same year. By 1872 the name had been changed to the Kingston Harbour Boat Club and this change was registered at Lloyds.
In 1881 the premises were purchased by a Captain Peacocke and others who formed a proprietary club called the Kingstown Harbour Yacht Club again registered at Lloyds. Some six years later in 1877 the building again changed hands being bought by a Mr Charles Barrington. and between 1877 and 1901 the club was very active and operated for a while as the 'Absolute Club' although this change of name was never registered. In 1901 the lease was purchased by three trustees who registered it as the Edward Yacht Club.
In 1930 at a time when the Edward Yacht Club was relatively inactive, a committee including The Earl of Granard approached the trustees with a proposition to form the National Yacht Club. The Earl of Granard had been Commodore of the North Shannon YC and was a senator in the W.T. Cosgrave government. An agreement was reached, the National Yacht Club was registered at Lloyds, and The Earl of Granard became the first Commodore.
Sterling’s design for the exterior of the club was a hybrid French Chateau and eighteenth century Garden Pavilion and today as a Class A restricted building it continues to provide elegant dining and bar facilities. An early drawing of the building shows viewing balconies on the roof and the waterfront façade.
Subsequent additions of platforms and a new slip to the seaward side and most recently the construction of new changing rooms, offices and boathouse provide state of the art facilities, capable of coping with major international and world championship events. The club provides a wide range of sailing facilities, from Junior training to family cruising, dinghy sailing to offshore racing and caters for most major classes of dinghies, one design keelboats, sports boats and cruiser racers. It provides training facilities within the ISA Youth Sailing Scheme and National Power Boat Schemes.
The club is particularly active in dinghy and keelboat one design racing and has hosted two World Championships in recent years including the Flying Fifteen Worlds in 2003.
Berths with diesel, water, power and overnight facilities are available to cruising yachtsmen with shopping facilities being a short walk away. The club is active throughout the year with full dining and bar facilities and winter activities include bridge, snooker, quiz nights, wine tasting and special events.
Membership – enquiries may be addressed to: The Membership Secretary, The National Yacht Club – email: [email protected]
Reciprocal Clubs – The National Yacht Club has formal reciprocal membership arrangements with other clubs in Ireland and overseas. National Yacht Club members are welcome to visit our partner clubs and on introduction with the National Yacht Club membership card, our members may use the facilities of the host club subject to that club’s house rules. Likewise members of our reciprocal clubs are most welcome to visit the National Yacht Club where they may enjoy our facilities in the company of like-minded members.
Courses Offered – DINGHY: Up to Improving Skills, Advanced Boat Handling, Racing 1, Kites & Wires 1, and Adventure 1. POWERBOAT: 1, 2, and Safety Boat. KEELBOAT: Up to Improving Skills, Advanced Boat Handling, Racing 1, Kites & Wires 1, and Adventure 1.
(Details and photograph courtesy of the National Yacht Club)
The Kingstown Boat Club, from which the Royal St. George Yacht Club evolved, was founded in 1838 by a small group of boating enthusiasts who had decided that ‘the (River) Liffey was every year becoming fouler and less agreeable for aquatic pursuits’.
They applied to the Commissioner for Public Works, and were granted a piece of ground near Dun Laoghaire Harbour on which to build a clubhouse – the first privately owned building to stand on publicly owned space. Initially, the members’ main interest was in rowing, but membership grew rapidly, and amongst them were many well-known yachtsmen of the day.
One of these was the Marquis Conyngham, who used his influence with Queen Victoria to have the privileges of a Royal Yacht Club conferred in 1845. The Club flag was to be 'the Red Ensign with a crown in the centre of the Jack' and the Burgee was red with a white cross with a crown at the centre. This, of course, is the St. George’s Cross, and is quite possibly the reason why, in 1847, the Club became The Royal St. George’s Yacht Club, although this has never been established. It subsequently became the Royal St George Yacht Club; it is referred to by all who know it, as simply ‘the George’.
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The clubhouse was designed by Mulvany, a follower of Gandon, designer of the Custom House in Dublin, and he produced a beautiful miniature Palladian villa in the neo-classical style.
The builder was Masterson, who built many other beautiful houses in the neighbourhood, including Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey. Work was completed in 1843, but, incredibly, such was the growth in membership, that the clubhouse was already too small. Permission was granted by the Harbour Commissioners in 1845 for an extension of the original façade, which involved clever duplication of the existing Ionic portico with the erection of a linking colonnade between. The symmetry and classical grace of the clubhouse was thus preserved in the new building.
The George has a long tradition of racing and cruising, and members have, from the start, made their mark in home and international waters. In 1851, the Marquis Conyngham, Commodore, competed in his 218 ton yacht Constance in the Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta. An American yacht called America won the race! In 1893 William Jameson, of the eponymous distilling family, was asked by Edward, Prince of Wales, to be sailing master on his new yacht Britannia. He won 33 out of 43 starts in her first season.
In 1963 a major restoration project was undertaken to repair and update the Club’s facilities, and this attracted a large number of new members who were ultimately to pave the way for the later developments, including a much-envied multi-purpose club room, a state-of-the-art forecourt extension for dinghies and keelboats, and a fully-equipped dock.
2008 saw the culmination of five years of planning and building when the new sailing wing was opened for use. Consisting of a new junior room, racing office, committee room and administration office this area is joined to the older builing with a lovely light-filled atrium. Stylish and functional changing facilities for the ladies and upgraded male changerooms have increased the club’s capacity to accommodate larger numbers of sailors for world-class events. A refurbishment of the Clubroom further complimented this full-service sailing section and has elevated the Club’s status resulting in it being chosen to host the 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships.
(Details and image courtesy of the Royal St. George Yacht Club)
Royal St. George Yacht Club, Harbour Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, tel: +353 1 280 1811, fax: +353 1 280 9359
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Waterways Ireland is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999.
Waterways Ireland has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes. The waterways under the remit of the body are the Barrow Navigation, the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation.
The headquarters for Waterways Ireland is in Enniskillen, and regional offices are located in Carrick-on-Shannon, Dublin and Scarriff.
Shannon Erne Waterway
Lower Bann Navigation
ACTIVITIES ON THE INLAND WATERWAYS
Powerboat Sports take place on a number of the navigations managed by Waterways Ireland.
From powerboat schools to jet-skis, to waterskiing and wakeboard coaching, there are a multitude of options for getting out on the water on or behind a powerboat.
Irish Waterski Federation (IWSF) govern both the waterskiing and wakeboarding in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can be contacted through Eileen Galvin, Cork PB&WSC, Agherinagh, Dripsey, Co. Cork, email: [email protected]f.ie
Details of all course providers offering powerboat and inland waterways helmsman courses and certification to ISA/IWAI/Dept of Marine and Waterways Ireland approved standards can be found on the web at sailing.ie
Cruising/Charter Boating Chartering a boat on Ireland’s inland waterways is simple. No license is required, no commercial traffic operates, the waterways are a purely leisure experience.
All the waterways where charter boats operate are networked together so you can have a river, lake and canal experience all in the one holiday.
The decision as to which company to travel with is actually a decision about which experience you want most of – the bustle of river life on the Shannon, the tranquility of the island dotted waters of the Erne System, the regular rhythm of the locks of the Shannon Erne Waterway, Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation.
Angling Waterways Ireland is responsible for angling on the Grand and Royal Canals and on sections of the Barrow Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway. The Central Fisheries Board under contract to Waterways Ireland carry out fisheries development, weed management and manage water quality on these waterways.
The management of angling on the Erne System, Lower Bann Navigations, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation is managed by a number of different organisations.
On the Lower Bann Navigation and Lough Erne the management and development of the fisheries is undertaken by the Department of Culture and Leisure – Inland Fisheries and is conserved by the Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland, 1 Mahon Road, Portadown, Craigavon, Co Armagh BT62 3EE, tel no 044 28 3833 4666.
For game fishing on the Lower Bann contact Bann Systems, Cutts House, 54 Castleroe Road, Coleraine BT51 3RL, tel no 044 28 7034 4796.
The Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation supports coarse fishing on the Lower Bann and Lough Erne and can be contacted via Robert Buick, Chairman, 7 Knockvale Grove, Belfast BT5 6HL
On the Shannon Navigation the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board manages the fisheries and can be contacted at Military Road, Birr, Co. Offaly, tel no 0353 509 21777. Coarse angling on all the waterways in the Republic of Ireland is supported by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and can be contacted through Mark Heffernan, Coistra, Clogherhead, tel no 0252 41 9822772.
Sailing is enjoyed on the navigations with established clubs on Lough Ree, Lough Derg and the Erne System as well as a range of outdoor centres on the other navigations.
A large range of classes including Mirrors, Optimists, J24’s, Lasers, Squibs, Fireballs and a multitude others can be found sailing throughout the week from April to October.
The majority of sailing establishments also run sailing courses and teach people from a wide range of ages to sail.
While many boats are sailed for pleasure a great number also compete regularly throughout the season, with some travelling to compete in regattas and championships on the other lakes.
Sailing is governed in the Republic of Ireland by the Irish Sailing Association who can be contacted at 2 Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, tel 0252 1 280 0239 Fax no 00 353 1 280 7558, email [email protected]
Sailing in Northern Ireland is governed by the Royal Yachting Association (NI) and can be contacted at House of Sport, Upper Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5LA, tel no +44 28 9038 3812.
Ireland, North and South, has a lot of offer the recreational paddler from the wide open lakes of Lough Erne, Lough Allen, Lough Derg and Lough Ree to the meandering channels of the Lower Bann and the Shannon Navigation, and the still waters of the Grand and Royal Canals, the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway.
On the Erne System a way-marked canoe trail has been put in place, and one is planned for the Barrow Navigation and the Lower Bann Navigation.
Clubs offer the newcomer both learning and opportunities to participate with others. Many outdoor centres along the navigations also offer opportunities to learn and improve skills. Hire of canoeing equipment is also widely available
The governing body for canoeing in Northern Ireland is the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland and can be contacted at CANI, Unit 2 River’s Edge, 13–15 Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8DN, tel no 0870 240 5065, email [email protected] In the Republic of Ireland, canoeing is governed by the Irish Canoe Union, and they can be contacted at Sport HQ, Joyce Way, Park West Business Park, Nangor Road, Dublin 12 Tel no 00 353 1 6241105, email [email protected]
Walking, for leisure, pleasure or for health is the most predominant activity along the banks of Ireland’s inland waterways. Whether walking into town from a mooring, or walking along one of the Waymarked Ways along the waterways which include the Lough Derg Way, the Barrow Way, the Grand Canal Way, the Royal Canal Way, Slí Liatroma, the Miners’ Way Historical Trail and the Cavan Way, the presence of the waterway adds an indefinable extra to the experience.
For information on the way-marked ways contact the National Way-Marked Ways Advisory Committee, Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A, West End Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, tel no 0353 1 860 8800, email [email protected]
Waterways Ireland, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7JY, tel: +44 (0) 28 66 323 004, fax: +44 (0) 28 66 346 257
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is a voluntary body formed in 1954 of inland waterways enthusiasts. For all the latest Inland Waterways news click here. We advocate the use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland. The association was founded in 1954 to campaign for the conservation and development of the waterways and in particular their preservation as working navigations. When the Shannon was almost totally undeveloped for pleasure boating, IWAI fought the building of low bridges, thus ensuring the development of the river as an asset for all to use and enjoy. In the 1960s IWAI successfully fought plans to close the Circular Line of the Grand Canal in Dublin. Later the association campaigned for the re-opening of the Ballinamore & Ballyconnell Canal (now the Shannon-Erne Waterway) and the Naas line of the Grand Canal.
IWAI is the voice of waterways users and enthusiasts. It represents the views of members to governments (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), to Waterways Ireland and other navigation authorities, to local authorities and the range of statutory and state-sponsored bodies whose activities impinge on the waterways in one way or another.
Membership and Organisation
IWAI has approximately 4,400 members mainly organised in branches associated with the major navigations across the island.
Our membership is drawn from all walks of life and from people with a wide range of interests-boating, angling, walking, heritage, environment. Many of our members own and use boats on our rivers, lakes and canals ranging from motor cruisers to jet-skis, from barges to sailing dinghies and RIBs to rowing boats.
The association is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity (CHY no 10915). It is governed by a council made up of representatives of each of the local branches and directly elected officers and members. Day to day affairs are managed by an executive committee.
Who’s Who in IWAI? You’ll find the list of current officers of IWAI here
IWAI is not responsible for the navigation, for registering boats, for harbours or similar facilities. The authority that is responsible for the Shannon, Suck, Erne, Barrow, Lower Bann, Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Shannon-Erne Waterway is ‘Waterways Ireland’
A complete chronology/history of the organisation and its activities can be seen here
A number of Committees are active within IWAI including the Heritage & Conservation Committee, Boating & Leisure Committee, etc.
Publications: The IWAI publishes ‘Inland Waterways News’, a quarterly magazine, sent out free to all members. The magazine covers a wide range of topics of interest to waterways enthusiasts at local, national and international level. IWAI also publishes a number of waterways related books and guides. Our web-site is one of the largest single reference sources for waterways related material in Ireland and a major source of referrals for waterways related businesses which brings local events, activities and developments into national perspective. Some of the branches bring out local newsletters. Our web site at www.iwai.ie is packed with waterways-related information. Whether a boat enthusiast, historian, archaeologist, or fisherman, you will find something here of interest.
Branches: IWAI has twenty branches: five in Northern Ireland and fourteen in the Republic and one activity-based branch. Every member is affiliated to a local branch and each branch is represented on a national Council. The branches are:
North: Lough Erne, River Bann and Lough Neagh, Coalisland, Lagan and Newry
South: Athlone, Barrow, Belturbet, Boyle River, Boyne Navigation, Carrick-on-Shannon, Corrib, Dublin, Kildare, Lough Derg, North Barrow, Offaly, Shannon Harbour, and Slaney.
Improvements and Restoration: Work parties and funds are raised to improve navigations and to restore derelict ones. Current projects include the Ulster Canal, Lagan Navigation, Coalisland Canal, Boyne Navigation and the Kilbeggan and Corbally lines of the Grand Canal. A synopsis of current activities is found here. The photo at right shows a work-party working on the Boyne navigation.
Boat rallies: IWAI organises rallies and other events including annual rallies on the Barrow (Easter), Dublin (May), the Erne (May), the Grand Canal (June), Shannon Harbour (June), the Corrib (July), the Shannon (July), Lough Derg (July). Competitions help to raise standards of boatmanship, seaworthiness and safety afloat.
Social events: Land-based events such as film shows, discussions and lectures are organised on a range of waterways topics including, safety, vessel maintenance, navigation, first-aid and waterways heritage
Member Services: The IWAI Shop IWAI provides a number of branded products and services for members. The association burgee and ensign are shown at right. We also sell waterways-related books and navigation charts.
Email Discussion Forum: We host a very active discussion forum. Here, you will meet folk who enjoy talking about life on our waterways. Generally, people are very free with advice on the list (whether wanted or not) and can point you in the right direction if you have problems finding a 3/4 inch flux capacitor for your 1984 vintage submarine. The forum operates a parallel web-based and email service.
Navigation and related announcements: If you would like to keep up to speed with announcements, news, and press releases from the IWAI, you can subscribe to the association’s News Updates List.
Goals of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland
IWAI is set up as a limited company – from our memorandum of association, it has the following objectives:
(a) To promote the use, maintenance and development of the inland waterways of Ireland, and in particular, to advocate and promote the restoration to good order, and maintenance in good order of every navigable waterway and the fullest use of every navigable waterway by both commercial and pleasure traffic, provided such is not injurious to the environmental health of the waterways and surrounding areas.
(b) To support any proposal which may be calculated to maintain or improve Irish waterways and also to improve navigation, lay moorings and carry out other works of improvement on and adjacent to the waterways.
In furtherance exclusively of the above main objects the Company shall have the following ancillary objects:
(a) To oppose by appropriate action the abandonment or neglect of Irish canals or river navigations, the pollution of waterways, the obstructions of navigations by fixed bridges, aqueducts, overhead cables, or otherwise, the obstruction of towing paths, or any other action calculated to injure or destroy the navigation or amenities of the waterways of Ireland.
(b) To prepare, either alone or in collaboration with any other body, guide books, charts, maps and other literature suitable for use by persons using the Irish navigations for any purpose, and to foster public interest in and knowledge of the Irish waterways by disseminating information on the subject to members and to the general public.
(c) To organise visits to objects and places of interest on the waterways including water-borne journeys.
(d) To do all such acts as shall further the active and corporate life of the Association and to cooperate with any other body having similar or sympathetic aims.
(e) To represent the interests of boat owners in all matters pertaining to the above objects.
(f) To organise, engage in, and sponsor boat rallies, exhibitions, displays, festivals, carnivals, sports, hobbies and entertainments.
Details of IWAI Policies can be found here.
Inland Waterways Association (IWA), 110 Booterstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Tel: 1890 924991, Email: [email protected]
Afloat posts on the IWA:
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney–Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a 'must do' race. The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2007 was the 28th Edition. Save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually attracting 25–30 yachts. In recent years, the number of entries has rissen sharply to 68 boats thanks to a new Organising Committee who managed to bring Rolex on board as title sponsor for the Middle Sea Race.
The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions. Equally, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands, which form marks of the course. Ted Turner described the MSR as "the most beautiful race course in the world".
Apart from Turner, famous competitors have included Eric Tabarly, Cino Ricci, Herbert von Karajan, Jim Dolan, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Francis Chichester (fresh from his round the world adventure). High profile boats from the world's top designers take part, most in pursuit of line honours and the record – competing yachts include the extreme Open 60s, Riviera di Rimini and Shining; the maxis, Mistress Quickly, Zephyrus IV and Sagamore; and the pocket rockets such as the 41-foot J-125 Strait Dealer and the DK46, Fidessa Fastwave.
In 2006, Mike Sanderson and Seb Josse on board ABN Amro, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, the super Maxis; Alfa Romeo and Maximus and the 2006 Rolex Middle Sea Race overall winner, Hasso Platner on board his MaxZ86, Morning Glory.
George David on board Rambler (ex-Alfa Romeo) managed a new course record in 2007 and in 2008, Thierry Bouchard on Spirit of Ad Hoc won the Rolex Middle Sea Race on board a Beneteau 40.7
The largest number of entries was 78 established in 2008.
The Middle Sea Race was conceived as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Paul and John Ripard and an Englishman residing in Malta called Jimmy White, all members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. In the early fifties, it was mainly British servicemen stationed in Malta who competitively raced. Even the boats had a military connection, since they were old German training boats captured by the British during the war. At the time, the RMYC only had a few Maltese members, amongst who were Paul and John Ripard.
So it was in the early sixties that Paul and Jimmy, together with a mutual friend, Alan Green (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), set out to map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in Maltese coastal waters. They also decided the course would be slightly longer than the RORC's longest race, the Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today.
Ted Turner, CEO of Turner Communications (CNN) has written that the Middle Sea Race "must be the most beautiful race course in the world. What other event has an active volcano as a mark of the course?"
In all of its editions since it was first run in 1968 – won by Paul Ripard's brother John, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has attracted many prestigious names in yachting. Some of these have gone on to greater things in life and have actually left their imprint on the world at large. Amongst these one finds the late Raul Gardini who won line honours in 1979 on Rumegal, and who spearheaded the 1992 Italian Challenge for the America's Cup with Moro di Venezia.
Another former line honours winner (1971) who has passed away since was Frenchman Eric Tabarly winner of round the world and transatlantic races on Penduik. Before his death, he was in Malta again for the novel Around Europe Open UAP Race involving monohulls, catamarans and trimarans. The guest list for the Middle Sea Race has included VIP's of the likes of Sir Francis Chichester, who in 1966 was the first man to sail around the world single-handedly, making only one stop.
The list of top yachting names includes many Italians. It is, after all a premier race around their largest island. These include Navy Admiral Tino Straulino, Olympic gold medallist in the star class and Cino Ricci, well known yachting TV commentator. And it is also an Italian who in 1999 finally beat the course record set by Mistress Quickly in 1978. Top racing skipper Andrea Scarabelli beat it so resoundingly, he knocked off over six hours from the time that had stood unbeaten for 20 years.
World famous round the world race winners with a Middle Sea Race connection include yachting journalist Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Les Williams, both from the UK.
The Maxi Class has long had a long and loving relationship with the Middle Sea Race. Right from the early days personalities such as Germany's Herbert Von Karajan, famous orchestra conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philarmoniker, competing with his maxi Helisara IV. Later came Marvin Greene Jr, CEO of Reeves Communications Corporation and owner of the well known Nirvana (line honours in 1982) and Jim Dolan, CEO of Cablevision, whose Sagamore was back in 1999 to try and emulate the line honours she won in 1997.
THE COURSE RECORD
The course record was held by the San Francisco based, Robert McNeil on board his Maxi Turbo Sled Zephyrus IV when in 2000, he smashed the Course record which now stands at 64 hrs 49 mins 57 secs. Zephyrus IV is a Rechiel-Pugh design. In recent years, various maxis such as Alfa Romeo, Nokia, Maximus and Morning Glory have all tried to break this course record, but the wind Gods have never played along. Even the VOR winner, ABN AMro tried, but all failed in 2006.
However, George David came along on board Rambler in 2007 and demolished the course record established by Zephyrus IV in 2000. This now stands at 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.
IN RECENT YEARS
In 2001,a new Committee was elected and injected new blood and ideas into the Middle Sea Race organising Committee. Innovative marketing ideas were introduced and the search for a title sponsor was initiated. In 2002, Rolex SA came on board as the title sponsor. Since 2002, the event has witnessed a record number of entries every year and has also seen amazing growth in the quality of entries. Although bigger boats regularly participate with new tecnological inprovements such as code zeros, canting keels and forward canards, the Course Record remained unbeaten for seven years. One used to wonder when this will ever be broken – 64 hrs, 49 mins and 57 seconds was the time to beat...
In 2006, a record fleet of 68 yachts was on the start line, ranging from some of the largest and fastest racing monohulls on the planet, including Alfa Romeo, Morning Glory, ABN Amro 1 and Maximus, to some of the best sailed cruiser-racers around. The finish was a nailbiter, with Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory taking in pole position amongst the larger yachts, but having to wait two days until two of the smallest boats had arrived home before the victory could be confirmed. As it was, the double-handed crew of Shaun Murphy & Ric Searle on the J-105 Slingshot and the young crew on Lee Satariano's J-109 Artie came close, but not quite close enough finishing third and second overall respectively just over 2 hours outside the winner's time.
The record number of participants till 2006 stood at a staggering 68 entries.
In 2007 Massive storms bashed through the fleet on the northern side of Sicily. Tens of boats retired during the first night out and were forced to take shelter in various ports along the Eastern shore of Sicily. Loki also lost their rudder and had to abondon her. We also saw George David on board Rambler set a new course record of 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.
2008 saw a record number of entries. Seventy-eight boats started the race and was characterised by light winds in the beginning of the race and thunder storms during the second part of the race. Thierry Bouchard, on board Spirit of Ad Hoc won in a Beneteau 40.7. He also won the ORC division, claiming the Boccale del Mediterraneao Trophy.
The above information courtesy of Rolex Middle Sea Race