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Displaying items by tag: Fireballs

One of Ireland's longest running dinghy events, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 'Frostbite Series', celebrates it's 40th anniversary on November 7th.The event has given generations of Dublin sailors a winter opportunity for racing on Sunday afternoons often inside the safety of the harbour walls, fleet sizes often outstripping its summer counterparts. Racing is mainly held under PY handicap but there are separate starts for large classes such as the  popular Fireballs. All dinghy classes will be catered for and it will run, as usual, from November until March. Notice of Race and Entry Forms are available HERE or download below.
Published in Boating Fixtures

Forty-nine Fireballs gathered in Pavlov in the SE corner of the Czech Republic in the last week of September to contest the Fireball Europeans. Nine countries were represented – eight European and one African and some of the newest Fireballs in the World, including the latest, were present.

GBR (4), SUI (3), SLO (3), BEL (2), FRA (2), GER (1), IRL (1), NAM (1) were balanced by thirty-two boats sailing from the host country.

The range of boat ages went from SLO 13861 to the highest number this author has seen, 15047, the sole African entry from Namibia, owned by Nikolai Allers.

Various tales of long distance drives were exchanged as the fleet assembled on the shores of Nové Mlýny in SE Czech Republic, ranging from the 30hour solo drive by Tim Rush of North Sails to the more leisurely trek of the Irish that started in Dublin on the Thursday morning preceding the regatta and concluded on the early Saturday afternoon. The Namibian boat was towed from the UK while its owner flew in to Switzerland and travelled to the regatta from there. During the regatta it turned out that one of the Swiss entries also brought his Finn in case he didn’t get enough sailing in his Fireball.

The British contingent may have been small but it was a quality field, Tom Jeffocate and Andy Thompson (15045), Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey (15041), Nikki Birrell and Bevis Field (14980) and the aforementioned Tim Rush (14807) with Martyn Lewis on the trapeze. The Irish were represented by perennial traveler Louis Smyth (15007) with Cormac Bradley on trapeze, France had another regatta regular Jean-Francois Novel sailing with Martin Peculier (15015). Rear Commodore Europe, Maja Suter, with new crew Thomas Boehm headed up the Swiss contingent. The Germans were represented by Jörg Nolle & Roger Leemann, sailing 14508.

The local fleet included the well-known names of Eva Skořepová, Martin Kubový, and Petr Kořan. However, there is evidence of lost of investment in the local fleet as they boasted a number of boats over the 15000 mark and a lot in the high 14,000s.

Measuring took place in a very efficient manner on the Saturday and Sunday before a practice race was provided for those who wanted it on the Sunday afternoon. Not everyone availed of the offer as it was quite breezy, cold and there was a light drizzle falling. However, there were enough boats out to suggest that a major event was imminent.

A trilingual opening ceremony took place in the marquee erected for the event in the grounds of Yacht Club Dyje. Petr Kořan was later to tell us that the club had invested in further land purchase in order to gear themselves up for the hosting of the event. Regatta Chairman Tomáš Musil and Race Officer Marek Pavlovský welcomed the visitors and the home representatives to the club and after the speeches we ate from a spit roast provided by regatta sponsors Hotel Pavlov.

Daily regatta briefings were convened two hours before the start of racing and in the first Race Officer Marek Pavlovský confirmed the plan to run two races per day. He then explained a slightly different mark layout with a different coloured mark used (with a spreader mark) for the windward mark of the sausage leg of the conventional Olympic course. This allowed him extra flexibility to move the marks in accordance with wind shifts, an asset he would use to significant effect later in the week. Thus, the position of each of the second and third weather marks (of an Olympic course) could be moved significantly in the race without being dependent on the rounding having been completed from the preceding lap.

The start and finish lines were separate from each other with the limit mark of the start line sitting to port of the committee boat and the limit mark of the finish sitting to starboard of the committee boat. Apart from these clever modifications the racing was conventional.

On the water, the British crews dominated the race wins with Gillard/Brearey claiming five and Jeffcoate/Thompson three. The eighth race was won on the water by Rush/Lewis but they crossed the finish line to deafening silence and a ruling of OCS from the Race Officer. Rush was not impressed as the call of OCS had been made from the pin end and as he argued that as he couldn’t see the committee boat, there was no way the race official could have seen it either…………aside from the fact that he only learned of his OCS, on a black flag start, at the finish.

Gillard/Brearey took the day 1 honours with two race wins followed by Czech combinations in Verner/Winkler and Kubový/Roček. Conditions were great for Fireballs with good trapezing conditions though the temperature was cool.

Day Two and the wind cranked up. A solitary race was sailed in attritional conditions and only 18 boats in the 49 boat fleet finished. Jeffcoate/Thompson stamped their authority on the race, with Verner/Winkler 2nd and the much lighter Gillard/Brearey an impressive third. A shore briefing debated the possibility of a second race with the RO offering the prospect that a show of hands might determine if a second race should be sailed. Fortunately that scenario was averted when the conditions deteriorated and thus Wednesday was set down for a three race schedule.

Jeffcoate/Thompson took the day’s honours with a 1,2,1, but Gillard/Brearey kept their overall lead with a 2,1,3. The Germans had a great day scoring a 3 and a 4 in their three race schedule, Peculier/Novel scored two ninth places and Rush/Martyn had a 7,3,7 to creep that bit further up the table.

Thus, at the halfway point Gillard/Brearey led with 8pts to Jeffcoate/Thompson’s 14pts with Verner/Winkler in third overall with 19pts!

Wednesday evening saw the mid-week party with a superb spread of food and entertainment by a six-piece rock & roll band, “The Fireballs”. They kept the marquee rocking until quite late in the night when a drinking game took over for those of hardier stamina.

Thursday saw a complete change of weather with sunshine, lighter winds and thus the prospect of a change in the running order. Some of the hardier souls of the night before had a late arrival to the starting area for the first race. A five boat group managed a slight breakaway on the first lap and on the second windward leg the Irish tried to break the stranglehold of the Brits on the race wins. They led into the windward mark and down to the leeward mark but lost four quick places in the first hundred odd metres on the final beat. Gillard/Brearey came from the four boat bunch to lead the balance of the race and consolidate their position at the top of the fleet. Jeffcoate/Thompson fell away to a 13th, while Rush/Martyn scored a second.

Race 8 saw Rush/Martyn pick up the aforementioned OCS, Gillard/Brearey another first, Martina Koutná & Zdeněk Adam, the second, Petr Kořan/Milan Kvasnik the third and Jeffcoate/Thompson a seventh. However, this was a difficult race sailed in the most fickle winds of the entire week. It boded ill for the forecast for Friday with the locals suggesting that more of the same could be expected on the final day of racing.

Friday’s briefing was originally scheduled for 08:30, but in view of a pessimistic forecast this was postponed to its usual time of 10:00. The symptoms were there for all to see on the water – mirror-like conditions and not a breath among the trees. With a 15:00 guillotine for racing on the last day, the RO advised that the latest time we could go afloat to affect a start was 13:50. We waited………and we waited!!!!!!!!

At 13:50 the signal was given to abandon racing for the day and therefore the regatta – the Fireball Class had new European Champions – Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey GBR 15041. They were followed home by Tom Jeffcoate and Andy Thompson GBR 15045 and Jaroslav Verner and Pavel Winkler CZE 14809.

An open air prize-giving took place at the club at 16:00 followed by dinner at the Pavlov Hotel at 19:00 and an after dinner party back with live band at the marquee. Yet again the food was superb, a turkey carvery with lots of trimmings.

The Czechs were superb hosts and very conscious of the distances that people had travelled to contest the regatta. Tomáš Musil ran a very efficient organization and handled the challenges of the Tuesday with calm and aplomb. Race Officer Marek Pavlovský and his team on the water made every effort to keep the course relevant to the changing wind conditions and used a combination of general recalls, I-flags, postponements, one abandonment and black flags to marshall the fleet on the start line. His decisions won’t have met with universal approval but no Race Officer ever achieves this high.

The food provided as part of the regatta proceedings was superb and the beer was plentiful and cheap. The two live bands were entertaining but the mid-week Fireballs had the advantage of playing music that the visitors could recognize. Most people stayed in tents (and vans) or within easy walking distance of the club. Pavlov itself is quite quaint, but it is much more picturesque from the water, surrounded as it is with vineyards.

Pos

Crew

Sail No.

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

Pts

1

Tom Gillard

Sam Brearey

GBR 15041

1

1

3

2

1

3

1

1

10

2

Tom Jeffcoate

Andy Thompson

GBR 15045

4

5

1

1

2

1

13

7

21

3

Jaroslav Verner

Pavel Winkler

CZE 14809

2

3

2

4

6

2

6

9

25

4

Martin Kubový

Roman Roček

CZE 15019

3

4

5

10

4

6

4

5

31

5

Tim Rush

Martyn Lewis

GBR 14807

17

2

8

7

3

7

2

BFD

46

 

Published in Fireball
17th August 2009

Fireball Euros underway

The Fireball Europeans got under way today with two races in La Rochelle, and seven Irish boats are sailing among the 88-boat fleet. Results have only been posted for one race so far, and with ten teams caught out on the black flag in race two, overalls have yet to be finalised. The Europeans runs ahead of the World Championships at the same venue.

Results as they stand are available here, with the official event website here.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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