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Displaying items by tag: Optimist

Craftinsure will be supporting the Irish Optimist dinghy class again this year.

IODAI president, Alexander Walsh, says "IODAI are delighted to welcome Craftinsure as sponsors again for 2021".

The partnership has now passed its 10th anniversary.

Craftinsure director, Rod Daniel, has great memories of IODAI events that Craftinsure has supported over the years, including when his younger son sailed in the Optimist Leinsters at Skerries and had a wonderful time.  "The guys at Skerries sailing club and IODAI members could not have been more helpful," says Rod.

'Re-opening sailing clubs and reinstating youth sailing events when safe to do so can only be good for young people's well-being' he adds.

Published in Optimist
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Former Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan is coaching the 'Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group' (DOGs) for May's Irish trials hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and here Fagan outlines how he aims to prepare the sailors for the demands of competing at the Dublin Bay Trials

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group is a training collaboration between the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire providing a high-performance programme for sailors with the annual Optimist Trials being the core goal. The programme has five experienced coaches, Clare Gorman, Nicola Ferguson, Sarah Fogarty, Tom Higgins and myself. We currently have 27 sailors in the programme split into four groups ranging from 10-15 years old. Unfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions.

Having been given the opportunity to be the head coach for the 'DOGs', I was eager to pass on the knowledge that I gained from competitive sailing both in the Optimist and Laser class to the next generation of sailors. Now that the Royal St George Yacht Club, my home club and where I previously won the Optimist Trials back in 2014, has been announced as the host for the 2021 Trials, I am definitely very excited! I have no doubt that the Royal St. George will put on a fantastic event for the sailors. Dun Laoghaire always offers a true test of a sailor's skills, with conditions ranging from shifty westerly winds with choppy waves or an easterly with consistent breeze and swell.

Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training Photo: Peter FaganDun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training before lockdown Photo: Peter Fagan

The Optimist Trials is the most unique event of the calendar due to two main factors.

Firstly, the event traditionally has 13 scheduled races over the course of 5 days with only two discards in the series. This setup rewards the sailor who sails consistently and has a 'never give up' attitude. This year, however, there is a change to the event's usual setup where the number of days racing has been reduced to three, running over the course of the May bank-holiday weekend.

Secondly, sailors aren't just competing for silverware but a chance to qualify for a team to represent Ireland on an international stage such as the Optimist World and European Championships. This gives the event that added bit of pressure and a sailor that can stay composed over the event will have a great advantage to the rest of the fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist programme aims to prepare the sailor for the demands of competing at Trials. The programme is broken into multiple training blocks ranging from boat handling skills to practising racing situations. We recently had a talk from Finn Lynch who shared his experience with the sailors of what constitutes a successful mindset during a competition. Most importantly, having fun is fundamental to the programme where we've had paddle races and Christmas celebrations.

Operating under Covid-19 restrictions was challenging and forced us to adapt the programme by switching a lot of learning to online. We began to use Google Classroom for posting recaps and videos from training sessions, Google Forms to survey the sailor's performance at each session and lastly, Zoom calls for debriefs online at the end of each days sailing.

The programme wouldn't have been able to run successfully without the help of the programme organisers, parent volunteers, coach Pieter Van Den Bossche and the guidance of Ronan Adams, sailing manager at the Royal St George Yacht Club. I am certainly looking forward to coaching over the season ahead where fingers crossed competition will be re-introduced after a year of its near absence.

Optimist trainingUnfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the DOGs programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions. Photo: Paddy Madigan

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host the IODAI Optimist dinghy Trials on the May Bank Holiday  Weekend, 1st – 3rd May 2021.

The trials event is a great opportunity for younger sailors to compete on home waters and against their peers representing the best Optimist sailors in Ireland. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club has a thriving optimist fleet comprising both beginners and those involved in competitive racing. 

The event is subject to COVID restrictions and a back-up date of 5th – 7th June 2021 has been earmarked in the event that the proposed May date is not run.

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trialsThe Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trials

Commenting on the announcement, the RStGYC Optimist Class Captains, Sarah & Brendan Foley said that: 'We are delighted to host this important and much-anticipated regatta in the Optimist calendar. We will be working very closely with both Irish Sailing and IODAI over the coming months to ensure that the proposed event provides high-quality racing in a safe environment for all participants and supporters.

We are looking forward to getting back out on the water as soon as permitted and to build on the progress made by our sailors in the DOGs (Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group) training programme.

The Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) Annual General Meeting originally scheduled for Sutton Dinghy Club this Sunday has been rescheduled and will now take place at 20:30 on Monday the 21st December by Zoom online webinar.

Members wishing to attend must Pre-Register by e-mailing [email protected] by 13:00 on Friday the 18th December.

The AGM notice on the IODAI website has been updated here.

Published in Optimist
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In spite of fresh westerly conditions, the Optimist fleet in Spiddal, Co Galway completed its series of races yesterday for last weekend’s club’s annual regatta.

The Optimist class had been unable to begin their first race at the Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) regatta on September 19th, due to north-easterly winds which pushed the fleet below the start line.

However, six boats from the Spiddal club turned out on September 27th, with commodore Dave Cahill acting as race officer.

First place went to Sarah Donald, with Rory McHale taking second place and Micheál Breathnach came third.

the CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)The CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)

Oppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley FanninOppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley Fannin

Also competing in the close run series of three races were Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle and Realtín Boinnard - with Realtín receiving a special award for unl\uckiest competitor, \Katie winning the hardest trier category, and Ciara being awarded for best recovery.

Sarah Donald was also awarded the perpetual trophy for the Optimist fleet, which was presented to the club several years ago by former club commodore Dr Tiernan O’Brien.

As Afloat previously reported, the annual CSS regatta on September 19th marked the presentation of the inaugural John and Stephanie Hannan Award, in tribute to the late circuit court judge, sea kayaker and CSS member John Hannan who died earlier this year.

His wife Stephanie Adams has been junior organiser at CSS for a number of years, and their son Marcus is an active sailor and won third prize in the mixed fleet class at the regatta.

The new award – a dinghy on bog oak made by Spiddal-based glass artist Sue Donnellan was presented by Stephanie Hannan to Mark and Denise De Faoite, who were fastest adult sailors in the 420 fleet.

Winners of the 420 class at the CSS regatta were Ciaran Reaney and Cathal Conneely, with Mac O’Brien and Eoin Cahill taking second place.

Sadhbh Laila Riggott and Catherine Harvey took first in the mixed fleet, sailing a Laser Pico, with Alanna Ní Thuairisg and Kate Ní Chonghaíle taking second place in a Topaz Uno.

Published in Optimist
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After eight races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host club's Alana Twomey continues to lead the club's Optimist Burns Trophy main fleet in Cork Harbour.

JP Curtin continues in second place in the 26-boat fleet, three points behind Twomey after two discards have been applied. 

Oisin Pierse is third but did not compete in either race seven or eight, so now trails 14 points behind Curtin.

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the command of Race Officer Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Optimist Burns Trophy Photo Gallery - September 26

Published in Optimist

After six races sailed with one discard at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey continues to lead the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long Cork Harbour series at Crosshaven.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Royal Cork YC

After four races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey leads the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long series.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the stewardship of PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Optimist

The Coolmore Race is an old Cork Harbour yacht race that has been brought back to life by Royal Cork Yacht Club after many years.

After a day of torrential rain, the downpour stopped and sadly the wind died with it. After the dinghies were launched they were towed up the Owenabue River to the start at Coolmore Estate.

The 50 competing boats started at the top of the tide and had the benefit of the ebb for a race back to the RCYC clubhouse. However, the course was shortened and the first boat to finish was James Dwyer (Matthews) in a Laser 4.7 but close on his heels came JP Curtin in an Optimist and won the Trophy. 

Coolmore Photo slideshow by Bob Bateman below 

Published in Optimist

Last weekend's AIB Optimist National Dinghy Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club featured a 36-boat Regatta Fleet that features an introduction to sailing and welcomes children from 8-15yrs.

The fleet is designed to give children coaching and confidence in a fun atmosphere at an IODAI event with an emphasis on training. All this was certainly evident over the four days at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the hosts for the 2020 event where the regatta fleet sailed in the sheltered waters of Cork Harbour.

In the Regatta fleet racing, the Bateman family had great success with local sailor Ethel Bateman taking first place, closely followed by her brother Olin in second. Third place went to Henrietta Leech from Lough Ree Yacht Club, in fourth place was Fionn Hayes RCYC/MBSC and Maria Butler NYC finished in fifth place. 

Bob Bateman's Optimist Regatta Fleet SlideShow is Below

Published in Royal Cork YC
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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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