Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Mark Pollock

A win is a win, there and then. But when sail boat racing is first-past-the-post, there's only one plotline to follow, whereas the likes of the Round Ireland Yacht Race never fails to produce sub-plot after sub-plot, races within races. It is Ireland's greatest floating soap opera, and it's full of cliffhangers.

Before the race got on the water, the scene was set onshore with a storyboard lifted from Galway '09. In a bid to mirror the Volvo Ocean Race stop-over, the Round Ireland was smartly enmeshed with a successful town festival in Wicklow, drawing in thousands of non-sailing civilians, many of whom hung out on the cliffs to watch one of the best-attended starts in years.

The backbone for this year's story was Tonnerre de Breskens III, owned by Dutchman Piet Vroon. The crew arrived in Wicklow with a brace of RORC victories, leading RORC's offshore table, and went into the race as favourites. The first twist in Tonnerre's plot came before the starter's gun, when Vroon ended up in hospital, from where he would follow the race as his crew sailed on without him. However, that would be the only bump in their road. Tonnerre led from start to finish, both on the water and on handicap. Vroon's crew brought home the trophy for their ailing skipper in the race's happy ending.

There was drama in their wake, though. Not the high-octane 60-knot knock-down drama of 2008, but good stuff nonetheless. Bernard Guoy's Inis Mor chased hard to no avail, and in the end they just couldn't do it. Theirs was the story of the weary, the plucky but the ultimately unlucky. In 2008 gear failure put them out of the running, but in 2010 it was Tonnerre's sheer perfection that relegated Inis Mor to the runner-up spot. You would be hard pressed to find an error in their race, and they deserved the second slot.

There were other big guns, of course. Mick Liddy and Mark Pollock's Daft.com Class 40 was a drama mini-series all of its own, with a blind co-skipper in a high-powered double-hander seeming a deluded concept to many. Until the batteries died they were churning out their own stories, uploading video content to beat the band. Of course, directorial priorities shifted when their electrics went as they headed up the west coast. Pollock's input was limited to nearly nil without electronics, meaning Liddy became all but a solo sailor without relief, helming non-stop for four days. Their initially promising position was eroded in the last third of the race as fatigue bit hard.

No similar excuses for the biggest boat in the race, the Open 60 Spirit of Rosslare Europort, which by all accounts should have made hay in some heavier airs off the west coast and come home first for line honours. However, they couldn't capitalise on that. Some will say that Tonnerre was better suited to the conditions than the larger Open 60, while others will dismiss that as folly.

The dogfights, then, the meat-and-veg of the story, were in IRC 1. Visit Malta Puma, another hot contender from the Solent, was in charge for much of the race while things were quietly making their way up the west coast. In the Round Ireland, as in Irish history, things have a way of kicking off around the north-east corner. As the tides and light airs played with the fleet, the lead changed hands six times between Inistrahull and the finish, with Fujitsu and Visit Malta Puma match-racing down the Irish Sea, and Bejaysus and Aquelina doing the same behind them.

Visit Malta Puma would emerge victorious, and in the meantime, the leaders of Class 2 and the double-handers were passing the mouth of Strangford Lough and crossing Dundrum Bay. Psipina and Dinah would trade tacks all the way to Wicklow, with Paddy Cronin in Psipina (joined by John Loden) making it two in a row in the two-handers overall. Second place, however, would go to one of the backmarkers.

Theirs was the rags-to-riches tale of this Round Ireland. Brians Flahive and Byrne took a boat all but written off and kitted it out for the 704-mile offshore. Noonan Boat Oystercatcher was the racing equivalent of a transplant patient, with a large portion of its port side removed and rebuilt by its owner, boatbuilder Graham Noonan, also Flahive's boss. Ten days before the race, the pair were rigging the tiny Gibsea with a spinnaker for the first time, and as the front of the fleet slowed, they rocketed on into second, not bad for a major offshore debut.

And while champagne corks were popping on land, there were still cups of tea being handed up to the rail from many galleys along the Irish Sea coast. The finish to the Round Ireland was prolonged, but deciding the results was not as strung out an affair as years gone by, the winner having been decided well in advance of the last finishers' arrival.

The question mark at the end of this story leaves things open for an innovative sequel. Dropped into the narrative mid-race were questions in the national media over how more racers might be tempted to Wicklow for 2012. The festival was, no doubt, a good start, but what of the date? Would moving it away from the annual date of the 1700-boat Solent carnival that is the Round the Island, putting further distance between it and Cork Week make sense? Would it make for a greater foreign entry? Eight of the 36 entries this year were from outside of Ireland - who's to say that couldn't be doubled or tripled?

That's a script yet to be written. For Round Ireland 2010, the credits are rolling. Wicklow SC can be proud that they delivered yet another successful edition of Ireland's classic offshore, and the various actors can take a deserved bow for playing their part in another home-produced oceanic drama.

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Trophy Winners

Line Honours - Denis Doyle Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon

IRC Overall - Norman Barry Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon
Inis Mor - Bernard Gouy
Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle

Class 7 / Two Handed - The Noonan Trophy
Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher - Brian Flahive
& Bryan Byrne
Alchimiste - Michael Murphy & Alex Voye

Class Super 0
Spirit of Rosslare Europort - Alan McGettigan

Class 0 - Mew Island Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon
Inis Mor - Bernard Gouy
Pride of Wicklow - James Gair/David O'Gorman

Class 1 - Tuskar Cup
Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle
Fujitsu - Andrew Britton
Aquelina - James Tyrrell

Class 2 - Fastnet Cup
Raging Bull - Matt Davis
Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin
Dinah - Barry Hurley & Hannah White

Class 3 - Skelligs Cup
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher -
Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne
Alchimiste - Michael Murphy & Alex Voye
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson

Class 4 - Tory Island Trophy
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher -
Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson
Gumdrop - Derek Gilmore

Class 5 / Classic - Michael Jones Trophy
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson

Class 6 / Sigma 38 - Larry Ryan Trophy
Persistance - Jerry Collins

ISORA Trophy
Raging Bull - Matt Davis

Irish Cruiser Racing Association -
Round Ireland Trophy
Aquelina - James Tyrrell

Team Kinsale Yacht Club Trophy
Team 'RORC': Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon / Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle / Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin Team 'Go Hard or Go Home': Pride of Wicklow - James Gair/David O'Gorman / Aquelina - James Tyrrell / Noonan Boats Oystercatcher - Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne

More on the Round Ireland Yacht Race:

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Review

Round Ireland Yacht Race, Ireland's top offshore fixture

A Round up of 80 stories on the 2010 Round Ireland Yacht Race
Published in Round Ireland
Well-known Irish adventurer Mark Pollock is in a stable but serious condition in the Royal Berkshire Hospital this evening after a fall from an upper floor window.
The Belfast-born explorer fell 25 feet from a bedroom window in a house where he was staying Henley on Friday night.
Pollock, 34, is in intensive care, having sustained multiple broken bones and internal injuries in the fall on Friday night.
Pollock won silver and bronze medals in rowing at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, and was attending the Henley Royal Regatta as a spectator. He had returned home early from Leander Club at 10.30pm and went to bed.
Some time after that, Pollock was sleepwalking and fell 25 feet into the front garden, where friends immediately came to his aid.
Pollock's fiancée Simone George credits his friends' quick reactions with saving his life.
"We want to say thank you to his friends for saving his life. We cannot express what we feel for them. Mark is focusing on getting better. He would like to thank everyone for their love and their prayers and their thoughts."
Pollock was still recovering from having completed the Round Ireland Yacht Race, becoming the first blind man to co-skipper a boat in the race. He sailed the race with Air Corps Captain Mick Liddy, and the pair suffered severe electrical failure in the race, disabling their autohelm which meant they were unable to sleep for nearly four consecutive days in a row.
----------
For the last decade, Mark Pollock has been racing in the world’s harshest environments. He has survived the sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica as he raced to the South Pole over 43 days.
He suff ered the scorching heat of the Gobi Desert, completing six marathons in one week in “The Race of No Return”. He has competed in races on the frozen Arctic Ocean at the North Pole, through the desert lowlands of the Syrian African Rift Valley to the Dead Sea and at altitude in the Himalayas.”
Mark has competed against professional explorers like Sir RanulphFiennes, Olympic gold medalists and special forces personnel.
Mark lost his sight when his retina detached aged just 22, at that stage a promising business and economics student at Trinity College and an international rower. Once over the shock of blindness, Mark was challenged to redefifi ne his life framed by his new circumstances. He moved back to Dublin and resumed post-graduate study and rowing, winning two Commonwealth Games medals.
He now makes his living as a professional adventure athlete and as a public and motivational speaker.
If more detail is required, please contact Markham Nolan on +353 86 2570 320

Blind adventurer and Round Ireland competitor Mark Pollock is in a stable but serious condition in the Royal Berkshire Hospital this evening after a fall from an upper floor window.

The Belfast-born explorer fell 25 feet from a bedroom window in a house where he was staying in Henley on Friday night.

Pollock, 34, is in intensive care, having sustained multiple broken bones and internal injuries in the fall.

Pollock won silver and bronze medals in rowing at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, and was attending the Henley Royal Regatta as a spectator. He had returned home early from Leander Club at 10.30pm and went to bed.

Some time after that, Pollock was sleepwalking and fell 25 feet into the front garden, where friends immediately came to his aid.

Pollock's fiancée Simone George credits his friends' quick reactions with saving his life.

"We want to say thank you to his friends for saving his life. We cannot express what we feel for them. Mark is focusing on getting better. He would like to thank everyone for their love and their prayers and their thoughts."

Pollock was still recovering from having completed the Round Ireland Yacht Race, becoming the first blind man to co-skipper a boat in the race.

He sailed the race in a Class 40 with Air Corps Captain Mick Liddy, finishing first on the water in the double-handed division, but further down the rankings on handicap.

The pair suffered severe electrical failure in the race when their alternator gave out. That disabled their autohelm which meant they were unable to sleep for nearly four days in a row.

Pollock's previous adventures have taken him to the South Pole, the Himalayas, the Dead Sea and elsewhere.

 

Published in News Update

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating