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The Royal Ocean Racing Club organised two races over the May Bank Holiday weekend. 58 boats entered, including a 91nm race for IRC Two Handed, the first overnight race of the year. Giovanni Belgrano’s Classic Whooper won the race for crewed IRC boats. Mike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm, was the winner for IRC Two-handed. 

Giovanni Belgrano’s Classic Whooper Photo: Rick TomlinsonGiovanni Belgrano’s Classic Whooper Photo: Rick Tomlinson

A race of approximately 24nm was set for the IRC Crewed boats, essentially a windward leg from the Squadron Line to Bembridge Ledge Buoy with a reciprocal downwind leg back. David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala took line honours in just over four hours. However, the breeze built during the latter part of the race, giving an advantage to the smaller boats. Whooper won the race after time correction by a big margin. The smallest boat in the race, Ross Bowdler’s J/80 Justify, was second. The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster, was third.

“it was an awesome tactical race against all the forecast odds!” explained Whooper’s Giovanni Belgrano. “The wind speed ranged from 5 knots at the start to 20 knots in a rain squall. We had to use every trick we know to win the race. Going inshore on the return leg was the biggest gain. Whooper weighs about the same as Tala, but we only draw one metre, so we could go right over Ryde Sands.”

“A big thank you to the RORC for the race,” commented J/80 Justify’s Ross Bowdler. “It is so cool to race against the big boats and get a great result. Congratulations to Whooper, they sailed an impeccable race.”

Congratulations should also go to Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader. With all three races completed, Dawn Treader is the overall winner of the RORC Spring Series for IRC Crewed boats. Second is Rob Bottomley’s MAT12 Sailplane 3 skippered by Nick Jones. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was third overall.

Mike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm Photo: Rick TomlinsonMike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm Photo: Rick Tomlinson

29 teams racing in IRC Two-Handed were set a separate 91 nautical mile course with crews racing through the night for the first time this year. Starting from the Squadron Line the fleet raced upwind to the east. After exiting The Solent, the fleet were off the breeze for a spinnaker run along the South Coast of the Isle of Wight. After passing The Needles, a broad reach into Poole Bay was followed by a harden up to finish at North Head.

Mike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm, was the winner for IRC Two-handed. Sun Fast 3200 Mzungu, sailed by Sam White and Sam North was second by just 12 seconds in a race lasting almost 17 hours. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, was third.

“It was a very complex race, with many sail changes and tactical decisions from beginning to end,” commented Jago’s Mike Yates. “A big cloud at the Nab Tower caused a split in the fleet and we just managed to hold our kite. Our jib top was very effective on the southside of the island and the decision to go offshore at St Catherine's worked well with a breeze filling in from the southwest. We also just made several tidal gates in the latter part of the race. We are delighted to win and all credit to Elvind, two-handed racing is heavily reliant on teamwork, so he deserves just as much credit.”

“ A great race, with lots of opportunities for people to get back ‘into it’ if they had been unfortunate enough to find a hole, as there were a lot around.” commented Mzungu’s Sam White.

Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club goes inshore for the Vice Admiral’s Cup Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd May. Offshore racing is scheduled to resume on Saturday, May 29th with the Myth of Malham Race. The 230nm race around the Eddystone Lighthouse is expected to have a substantial RORC fleet, as the start mirrors the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Results here

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After a year and a half of disruptions to offshore racing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Royal Ocean Racing Club has confirmed an overnight race for Two-Handed teams starting on May 1st.

The combined entry list for May 1st has a fleet of 48 yachts, including all the top Two-Handed boats from the inshore RORC Spring Series. The three-race series came to a dramatic conclusion on April 17th. James Harayda racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo with Dee Caffari, was just one second ahead of Kelvin Rawlings, racing Sun Fast 3300 Aries with Stuart Childerley.

The result in the last race gave Gentoo victory in the series by a single point from Aries. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino racing with Deb Fish was third.

Dee Caffari shares her thoughts about the takeaways from the RORC Spring Series and the return to offshore action in the vid below.

“The Spring Series had a super-competitive fleet which just literally proved that every second counts,” commented Dee Caffari. “We have had the chance to blow the cobwebs off in The Solent, and on May 1st we will finally stretch our legs offshore. The next race is about preparation and also boat speed rather than the manoeuvres. We have seen how challenging this fleet is, so I am assuming we will all be testing each other to the max.”

For crewed entries, the RORC Spring Series will come to a conclusion this weekend. Two teams are tied for first place going into the deciding race. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader and RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 Ino XXX, have equal points. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood is just two points behind the leaders, whilst Rob Bottomley’s MAT 12 Sailplane 3 is five points off pole-position.

“Safety always comes first, it is just too early to run an overnight race for fully crewed teams, however when the club offered to run an offshore race for Two-Handed teams, the response was an overwhelming – Yes Please!” commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. “Details of the course for IRC Two-Handed will be determined by the weather, but our intention is to set an overnight race, taking the Two-Handed fleet out of the Solent. For crewed teams racing under IRC, the final race of the Spring Series will be inshore with a target time of 6-8 hours.”

The RORC fleet are scheduled to start racing from the Squadron Line Cowes from 10:00 BST on Saturday 1st May.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club has launched an updated Crew Match portal that aims to simplify the process of matching boat owners and crew wherever they race in the world.

The RORC Crew Match website has been upgraded to work with modern communication systems and is easy to use and anyone can register, whether a RORC member or not.

“Finding crewing opportunities can often be quite difficult if you are new to the sport or new to a particular sailing area. For boat owners finding experienced crew can often be trial and error through recommendation and often a time consuming and unsatisfactory exercise for both parties,” said RORC Commodore James Neville. “RORC Crew Match will simplify the process allowing crew to post their experience and owners to advertise crewing positions they are looking to fill and hopefully lead to more boats out on the water competing. It’s a one-stop-shop to find available crew and boats to race.”

Sailors are encouraged to log their details on the website posting their previous experience and their availability for a particular location and can view crewing opportunities being advertised before making the initial contact that will lead to being part of a committed race team.

For more go here

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Spring Series continued on Saturday 10th of April with the second race of the series.

The RORC Race Team set an inshore race in the Solent, approximately 38 nautical miles for the IRC fleet, and 32 nautical miles for IRC Two Handed. A north-easterly wind of 10-13 knots provided sub-planing conditions. Tactics and boat handling were the keys to performance. Class winners were Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader and James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo.

Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader the winner of the IRC Class. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was second. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 Ino XXX took line honours for the class and after IRC time correction was third by just 13 seconds.

“We are delighted especially as this is our first RORC win,” commented Dawn Treader’s Ed Bell. “It was a great race with a good course, which suited us very well. Dawn Treader is a crew that has been racing together in the Contessa class including our kids, plus some friends who have offshore miles. I got the boat with a view to do the Fastnet, and at the moment we are trying to build our offshore experience. It is difficult to celebrate in the current circumstances, but I will definitely be having a drink with my wife this evening!”

James Harayda & Dee Caffari Sun Fast 3300 GentooJames Harayda & Dee Caffari Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo. Photo: Paul Wyeth

In the IRC Two-Handed Class, James Harayda racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, with Dee Caffari, was first across the line and won IRC Two-Handed by 53 seconds. Kelvin Rawlings racing Sun Fast 3300 Aries with Stuart Childerley was second. Rob Craigie racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino with Deb Fish was third.

“It’s great to back racing and the Two-Handed Class is getting more and more competitive,” commented Gentoo’s James Harayda. ”There is a really good atmosphere in the class, it was especially nice to get congratulated by Kelvin and Stuart after a really good tussle with Aries.

We had so much downtime over the winter so it’s great to be busy competing. It was close race the whole way, almost one design racing and that really does push you. Great fun and really exciting.” 

IRC Two Handed Coach

The Royal Ocean Racing Club provided Olympic coach Hugh Styles to assist the IRC Two-Handed class. “The main aim of today’s coaching was to look at rig settings and sail trim,” commented Hugh Styles. “At this early stage in the season, teams are a little rusty, that is understandable. Understanding mast tune and sail trim techniques is a good way to start the development that can continue through the year. We will have a Zoom debrief to analyse today’s racing for all of the class.”

Olympic coach Hugh StylesOlympic coach Hugh Styles assisted the IRC Two-Handed class

The RORC Spring Series comes to a conclusion with Race 3, scheduled to start on Saturday, 1st May. The Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times.

Full Results here

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club Spring Series continues this weekend with Race 2 of the three-race series, designed to get teams back racing for the 2021 RORC Season. The RORC Spring Series is open to IRC rated boats including an IRC Two-Handed Class and MOCRA rated multihulls. 

The Lombard 46 Pata Negra has been one of the most successful boats racing with the RORC in recent years. Pata Negra is returning to RORC racing in the Spring Series, under the new ownership of Andrew Hall. RORC Commodore, James Neville will be racing HH42 Ino XXX and will be the boat to beat having won last weekend’s race. Past RORC Commodore, Steven Anderson will be racing Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was just 44 seconds off the podium for last weekend’s race.

Ian Handley and Tim James' Mustang Mk2 Gr8 Banter. Photo: Paul WyethIan Handley and Tim James' Mustang Mk2 Gr8 Banter. Photo: Paul Wyeth

One of the lowest-rated boats racing under IRC will be Ian Handley’s Mustang Mk2 Gr8 Banter, which is crewed by friends and family with co-owner Tim James. Gr8 Banter showed impressive form in last year’s Race the Wight, placing third overall in a fleet of over 100 starters.

“Time on the water is our aim for the race, especially to shake the rust off,” commented Ian Handley. “We have some really competitive boats that have a similar rating, especially Whooper and BLT. Our aim is always to do our best but at this stage of the season, we are looking to become familiar with the boat once more and look to improve our performance, especially with our set up which needs some improvement. It is looking quite windy this weekend and it will be a long race but above all we are just delighted to be able to race again.”

Sun Fast 3200 Cora will be sailed Two-Handed by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews Sun Fast 3200 Cora will be sailed Two-Handed by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

14 teams have entered the race in IRC Two-Handed including Tim Goodhew, racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora with Kelvin Matthews. The pair are firm friends looking to increase their performance with their gunsights set on this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.

“I have sailed with my father, Nigel Goodhew, since I was a child and raced doublehanded together for ten years, but this will be the first race this year with Kelvin in Two-Handed mode,” explained Tim. “Over the last ten years, the Two-Handed Class has become really competitive and we find that very exciting. This weekend’s race is the start of our racing programme for the Rolex Fastnet Race, which is going to be amazing with a huge class of the best Two-Handed teams in the world.”

The RORC Spring Series Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times. 

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) has announced Jeremy Wilton as the new Chief Executive of the London and Cowes based Club from 6th April 2021. He will take over the leadership and development role of one of the world’s most influential yacht clubs from Eddie Warden Owen, who has helped shape the success of the Club through its international offshore racing programme for the past 12 years.

“We look forward to welcoming Jeremy who has an excellent understanding of leading membership-based clubs and a proven record of delivering strong financial and commercial results,” says RORC Commodore, James Neville of the new CEO, soon to head the 4,000-strong worldwide membership.

“Having held senior leadership positions in the world of rugby, where he spent over seven years working at Bath Rugby and Wasps, as well as over a decade at Whitbread PLC and founded and developed a marketing communications agency, we are certain that Jeremy’s experience and vision will be a huge asset, ensuring that the RORC is in a strong position as it nears the Club’s centenary in 2025,” continues Commodore Neville.

“I understand what it means to be part of a successful culture and together with the RORC Committee, management and staff, I am determined to continue the Club’s evolution and make it the best it possibly can,” says incoming CEO Wilton of his new role.

Talking of the Club and the sport of sailing coming out of the current epidemic, Wilton comments: “It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on business practices and social life in London and the sailing programme and clubhouse in Cowes and as we emerge from the pandemic we are going to have our challenges, but with these will bring exciting opportunities and new avenues for innovation.”

Wilton is no stranger to the world of sailing. During his time at Whitbread PLC, he oversaw and developed a sponsorship portfolio that covered two Whitbread Round the World Races, and having been introduced to sailing at a young age, it has featured heavily throughout his life, both in Australia and the UK.

Starting in dinghies of various shapes and sizes and graduating to offshore racing. He has competed in the Fastnet, Sydney to Coffs Harbour and nearly all of the RORC’s long-distance races; numerous Cowes Week regattas, and narrowly missed out on representing Great Britain in the Admiral’s Cup.

Warden Owen will step down from the overall running of the RORC in April, but will continue to work on delivering the Club’s flagship event – the 49th Rolex Fastnet Race starting from Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August and finishing for the first time in Cherbourg, France.

Joining this prestigious Club at a significant time, both in terms of shaping the way forward and ensuring it remains in high revere is something Wilton relishes: “It is a privilege and honour to be appointed as the new CEO of RORC. I am looking forward to guiding the Club into a new era and to be part of the team that will chart the next chapter of this esteemed Club’s history.”

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club 2021 season got underway on Easter Saturday with an inshore race in the Solent of approximately 38 nautical miles, the first of three races in the 2021 RORC Spring Series. The top three boats included the fastest and slowest rated boats under IRC as well as the top Two-Handed team. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 Ino XXX took line honours and the overall win after IRC time correction. Kelvin Rawlings racing Sun Fast 3300 Aries, Two-Handed with Stuart Childerley, was runner up by just six seconds on corrected time from Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was just 44 seconds off the podium.

James Neville and the Ino XXX crew were enjoying the sunshine in Cowes Yacht Haven after the race. “It was a good day out in great conditions, and you can’t win and complain!” laughed James. “We had a reduced crew of nine which we are trying out as our offshore configuration. We have much the same team as before and we practised for a couple of days before the race. I was a pity not to race the Easter Challenge which has been going strong for 30-years, but everyone was desperate to get out after a long winter and it was fantastic to see all the boats out. All credit, especially to BLT, it was pretty choppy in places with wind against tide and that would have been a hard race in a Quarter Tonner.”

Starting downwind from the Royal Squadron Line, the fleet split evenly between the island and mainland shores. Sailplane, Tigris, Stormwave and Just So got away well close to the Squadron Platform. A north easterly breeze of 13 knots built during the course of the race, gusting up to 20 knots. After a slack tide at the start, the incoming tide produced ever-increasing, classic Solent chop. With eight legs at every point of sail, the RORC Race Team set a course that tested boat handling, as well as tactical skills.

Kelvin Rawlings racing Sun Fast 3300 Aries, Two-Handed with Stuart ChilderleyKelvin Rawlings racing Sun Fast 3300 Aries, Two-Handed with Stuart Childerley. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Aries was the winner of the IRC Two-Handed Class, James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari was runner-up and Rob Craigie’s Sunfast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish was third.

“It was all down to Stuart Childerley, I am only the labourer on the bow!” joked Kelvin Rawlings after Aries won the 13-strong IRC Two-Handed Class with a combined crew age of 126 years. “Our aim was to win it by sailing as best and as hard as we can. The race was really good in terms of the course and the conditions – I enjoyed every second of it. We feel confident in our tactical ability, but our boat handling is not very special, and we need to improve on that.”

Sam Laidlaw's Quarter Tonner BLTSam Laidlaw's Quarter Tonner BLT Photo: North Sails/Ronan Grealish

“40 miles is a long old way in a Quarter Tonner, especially when it’s windy” commented BLT’s Brett Aarons. “The beats were pretty bumpy, wet and cold. Having said that it was great to get racing again. Competing in a fleet of bigger boats can be frustrating at times, but it is a good way to really improve our positioning on the racecourse and that will raise our performance against other Quarter Tonners.”
Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT will be racing in the RORC Spring Series. Laidlaw has won the Quarter Ton Cup twice and BLT won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1980. The vintage Jacques Fauroux design is currently the smallest boat entered for the race. “We usually compete at the RORC Easter Challenge, as it’s a good start to the season. This is a low-key series with no stress. A perfect opportunity to shake the cobwebs away, do some training, and test the modifications to the boat over the winter.”

The RORC Spring Series continues with the second race, scheduled to start on Saturday 10th April. The Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times.

Full results here

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The fifth edition of the IRC European Championship will take place in Hyères, France, organised by the COYCH (Cercle d'Organisation du Yachting de Compétition Hyérois), in collaboration with the UNCL (Union Nationale pour la Course au Large).

Following Cork Week in 2016, Marseille in 2017, Cowes in 2018, and San Remo in 2019 which crowned the French team of Absolutely, the 2021 edition of the European IRC Championship will take place in Hyères from 23 to 27 June with four days of racing on one of the most competitive & popular sailing areas in the Mediterranean.

Alternating between the North and the South of Europe (the Channel and the Mediterranean Sea), the IRC European Championship is a flagship event of the 2021 IRC season and aims to bring together more than 60 boats.

The 2021 IRC European Championship is open to all IRC rated boats. It will consist of a minimum of four coastal or tactical races (coefficient 1) and a long coastal race (coefficient 2).

At the end of the week, a Trophy rewarding the leaders of each IRC Class will be awarded, as well as a Special Trophy for the first in the overall ranking who will be crowned European IRC Champion 2021.

2021 IRC Europeans Programme

  • Wednesday 23 June 09:00 – 18:00 Registration and rating inspection
  • Thursday 24 June 09:30 – Briefing / 12:00 Racing
  • Friday 25 June Racing
  • Saturday 26 June Racing
  • Sunday 27 June Racing and awards ceremony
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The ‘stay at home’ rule in the UK will end on the 29th March allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to organise a Spring Series of racing in April and early May. With some government restrictions still in place, three races are planned to offer crews the chance for some early season training and race practice. The series is open to IRC rated boats including an IRC Two-Handed Class and MOCRA rated multihulls.

The first race of the RORC Spring Series is scheduled to start on Saturday 3rd April from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. One long race is planned of approximately 6-8 hours duration and online entry is open.

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring SeriesMichael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series Photo: Paul Wyeth

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series. This will be the first RORC race of the year in preparation for their Rolex Fastnet Campaign. “Like everyone else, we are desperate to get back on the water and this series is a very pragmatic solution to the current restrictions,” commented Michael. “It is a safe way to get almost fully-crewed boats back racing. For us, this is an absolute no-brainer.”

Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green CowesKelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green Cowes

IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series. Early entries include 2020 RORC Yacht of the Year, JPK 10.10 Jangada. Richard Palmer will return to the fray after a knee operation and will team up with Jeremy Waitt. 2020 IRC Two-Handed Champions James Harayda and Dee Caffari, will be racing the Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo. Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries will be racing with the RORC for the first time. Rawlings will be racing Two-Handed with Stuart Childerley, the team won the Two-Handed class in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race.

“Kelvin’s got another big birthday and he wanted to treat himself, have some fun and we really enjoy racing together,” commented Stuart. “The RORC Spring Series is an opportunity for us to continue the training we started last year before lockdown. We are especially keen on developing our polars for the boat and hopefully, we will have some long legs to improve our data. Ultimately we want to improve our performance by getting to know how to sail Aries.”

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Photo: Louay Habib

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT will be racing in the RORC Spring Series. Laidlaw has won the Quarter Ton Cup twice and BLT won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1980. The vintage Jacques Fauroux design is currently the smallest boat entered for the race. “We usually compete at the RORC Easter Challenge, as it’s a good start to the season. This is a low-key series with no stress. A perfect opportunity to shake the cobwebs away, do some training, and test the modifications to the boat over the winter.”

The RORC Spring Series Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times.

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This Friday’s RORC interview guest is with Deb Fish - one of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Like most of the thousands of RORC members, Deb is an amateur sailor who enjoys the challenges of offshore racing and has competed Round Ireland.

Watch the half-hour interview with Deb Fish that gives an insight into maximizing performance for offshore racing, suitable for any sailor to put into practice.

Deb Fish has been racing with Rob Craigie Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3600 Bellino. Winning their class in the 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship, Bellino beat over 100 professional and amateur teams. Bellino also achieved second overall for the 2019 season, racing against over 500 teams in a Rolex Fastnet Race year.

One of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the RORC - Deb Fish on Bellino collects silverware at the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rick TomlinsonOne of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the RORC - Deb Fish on Bellino collects silverware at the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rick Tomlinson

Deb works for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and in 2011 received an OBE for her work with the UK Armed Forces.

Watch the half-hour interview with Deb Fish: an insight into maximizing performance for offshore racing, suitable for any sailor to put into practice.

On: Friday 26 March 1700 below

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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.

FAQs

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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