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Displaying items by tag: Offshore Rowing

The Irish Offshore Rowing Championships take place in the village of Portmagee on the weekend of the 26th/27th of September. This is the second time that the Portmagee Rowing Club has been awarded the honour of hosting the National Championships. The event is being run under the auspices of Rowing Ireland, the National Governing Body for all types of rowing in Ireland.

Running any event in these challenging times is difficult, but the club is delighted with the support they have received from the local community, the volunteers from other clubs and the club members who have freely given their time over the last few months. The restrictions imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic will mean a lot of extra work in contact tracing, sanitising and crowd control, but these are necessary to run a safe event under the government guidelines. With hardly any regattas this year, the athletes are really looking forward to competing and training has been stepped up in all clubs around the country during the last few months.

The event will start at 8 am on Saturday morning with the crew captains meeting and the racing will start at 9 am. First up are the heats for the men's double. The heats will run all day Saturday and only the top five in each heat will qualify for the finals. There will be two finals run on Saturday, the women's quad at 10 am and the women's double at 12.30.

The favourites for the women's quad have to be Killorglin who are aiming to make it 3 in a row. They have two-time world champion Monika Dukarska and World Junior finalist, Rhiannon O'Donoghue in their ranks. However Castletownshend also have a very strong crew and with the local Portmagee crew medalling in Bantry three weeks ago as well, it has the makings of a very competitive race. The second Saturday final is also dominated by Killorglin who have three crews and Castletownshend, but the course on the Portmagee channel is tight and tricky and requires excellent navigational skills as well as rowing ability so a surprise result is quite possible here.

Sunday racing begins at 9.30 with the men's double final. In the Bantry regatta Callinafercy, Killorglin and Myross gave a great account of themselves before being led to the line by the winners, a composite crew of Dave Duggan from Kilmacsimon and Tom Stafford of Killurin. With more crews entered this time around it's anyone's race. This will be followed by the men's single final. James Lupton from Myross had a fine win in Bantry and would be the favourite in this race, but there is real quality in the opposition he faces. Andrew Hurley from Bantry was a close second last year and if he gets out in front it will be very hard to reel him in. Former three-time gold medalist Cormac Kelly from Arklow lines out alongside powerful Galley Flash oarsman, John Harrington, as well. Dark horses for this event could be the former Czech international Marko Tot and Rosscarbery's Kealin Mannix while Bryan Foran will represent the home club.

Next up is the men's quad. Myross have a lot of work put in this year and put on a superb display to win in Bantry. However last year's champions, Wicklow will be returning to the water and Muckross have 2 crews, one containing Irish Olympian, Paul Griffin and they have a very strong chance. St Michaels from Limerick will also compete along with Callinafercy who were also placed in Bantry.

The women's single has two very strong boats from Killorglin, Zoe Hyde and the aforementioned Monica Dukarska. They will line up against 2018 champion, Sionna Healy from Arklow and Xena Jordan who medalled in 2018 as well.

The mixed double is the last race and has a large entry of 16 crews. It's the hardest one to call. In Bantry three weeks ago, there was nothing much between the first 8 boats at the first mark, but Cormac Kelly and Sionna Healy from Arklow did just enough to clear their boat and steer clear of the packed field. Again good navigation will decide the winners of this race. The Portmagee club would like to extend a warm welcome to all clubs for the weekend and wish you all the best of luck on the water.

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under
27th February 2018

Big Year for Three Rowing Codes

#Rowing: The year 2018 is set to be big one for Rowing Ireland. The National Rowing Centre will host a festival of rowing over three weeks in July. The Irish Championships, with an anticipated entry of over 1,100 crews, is first up. This is followed a week later by the Home International Regatta between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. The highlight of the festival will be the Coupe de la Jeunesse, which is a European junior tournament, with crews from 14 countries set to compete. All of this activity is taking place in Olympic or river style boats.

 Now there are two other rowing codes under the Rowing Ireland umbrella.

 In 2017 Rowing Ireland formed an Offshore Division. Offshore rowing or “FISA Coastal” rowing takes place in single, double and quad scull boats which are wider than Olympic boats and are self-bailing. The crews race a course with multiple turns around a single buoy where navigation is as important as pulling hard. The inaugural Irish Offshore Rowing Championships were held in Arklow in 2017. Over 20 crews competed in the FISA World Championships in France and they returned with a silver medal, taken by Monika Dukarska.

 Rowing Ireland also created a Coastal Division in 2017. Coastal rowing has a tradition going back centuries and was often associated with boats rowing out to arriving ships to obtain work. Competition in traditional wooden boats or coastal fours takes place in lanes, with crews rounding individual buoys before returning to the start/finish line. The inaugural  Irish Coastal Rowing Championships under the aegis of Rowing Ireland will take place in the National Rowing Centre in August on a separate part of the lake to the Olympic course.

 Rowing Ireland brought boats from all three codes together for the first time at the National Rowing Centre on Saturday, February 24th for the picture above.

Published in Rowing

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.


While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset


While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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