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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Round Ireland Yacht Race

Royal Irish Yacht Club skipper Michael Boyd finally got his hands on the Volvo car prize after accumulating the best overall points’ results on corrected time in the biennial Round Ireland races 2016, 2018 and 2022.

To add to the drama, Boyd had to wait an extra four years for his prize bid due to COVID cancelling the 2020 race. 

And if that wasn't enough, in the end, the race for the top prize in Irish sailing came down to the wind and a Protest Committee on June 23rd in the final stages of the 21st edition.

Michael Boyd's Darkwood clinched the Volvo car prize in the 2022 Round Ireland RaceMichael Boyd's Darkwood clinched the Volvo car prize in the 2022 Round Ireland Race Photo: Afloat

Boyd raced three different boats in the last three circuits. The offshore racing stalwart sailed the Beneteau 44.7 Lisa in 2016, the J109 Jedi in the 2018 race and the J122 Darkwood to clinch the car in June's 2022 SSE Renewables sponsored race.

During the 2022 race, Boyd took the opportunity to pay tribute to lost rescue service personnel off Eagle Island

Boyd was presented with the keys of his new Volvo XC40 by David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Car Ireland and Kyran O’Grady, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club.

Published in Round Ireland

After the Allmer Cup in Le Havre, France it was supposed to be somewhat of a rest after an intense few months of Figaro training and racing, however as previously reported, not so...

The Offshore Racing Academy was supporting the Luzerne Communications under 25 team for the SSE Round Ireland Race. The young team arrived in France and collected the academy’s boat number 20 to bring it back to Ireland for the race. We’ll here from them in their own words…

We had a very busy month of June, we started by travelling to Le Havre to collect the Figaro 3 after the Allmer cup. We were met on the dock by Kenny and Marcus where we prepped the boat for the delivery after it had been racing for the previous week. The delivery was a perfect shake-down for the crew to practice our manoeuvres and sail changes with only two up on deck as we would be doing for the race itself. We experienced a very varied set of conditions with quite a lot of light airs, which proved to be very beneficial preparations for the race ahead.

The Luzerne Communications under 25 team for the SSE Round Ireland RaceThe Luzerne Communications under 25 team for June's SSE Round Ireland Race Photo: afloat

Kenny was home for a brief period before heading to the UK to compete in the Myth of Malham race on Darkwood the J121 as the last training race for the team ahead of the Round Ireland.

Thanks to water ballast, the Darkwood J121 crew was able to sail with just six crew Photo: AfloatThanks to water ballast, the Darkwood J121 crew was able to sail with just six crew Photo: Afloat

The Myth of Malham went well for the team, much nicer conditions than Kenny experienced only a week before on the Allmer Cup. Downwind to the Eddystone in 15kts of steady wind before a mostly fetch home. Unfortunately, while in a great placing only 20 miles from the finish a 40-degree shift in the wind direction favoured their competitors and any hope of a class win in the race evaporated.

Meanwhile on the Figaro; We competed in the ISORA race on the 11th of June as another shakedown this time in a racing environment. With only 3 crew due to illness we were very pleased with how well we raced. Coming third in line honours and fourth in IRC overall

The U25 team sailed three crew for June's warm-up ISORA raceThe U25 team sailed three crew for June's warm-up ISORA race Photo: Afloat

Finally, it was time for some rest and recuperation for Kenny ahead of the Round Ireland and to spend some time ensuring the youth team on the Figaro were set up for the challenge! These two weeks flew by, with a nice mixture of time off, exercise and preparation for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, ensuring both Darkwood the J121 was ready as well as the youth team on the Figaro.

There is a special mention here to Teresa and the team at the Pure Magic Lodge in Achill where Kenny headed for a few days of rest and kitesurfing on Achill Island. Teresa and the team pulled out all the stops to ensure an awesome rest and stay out west! Relaxed atmosphere, incredible food, live music and comfortable accommodation, highly recommended for some rest… and kitesurfing!

This year’s Round Ireland for Kenny was a coming together of great friends and different Round Ireland campaigns for the last three editions. The main connecting skipper in the puzzle was Mr Michael Boyd who for this edition brought together his dream team for the 2022 edition. For this edition, Michael Boyd partnered with Michael O’Donnell, the owner of the J121 Darkwood where both sailors had the shared ambition of getting on the top rung of the podium of the Round Ireland Race. Nick Jones from whom Micael Boyd had chartered Lisa from in the 2016 edition was on board with the primary role of navigator.

Barry Hurley also sailed in the 2016 edition on Lisa and was on board with the primary role of driver. Conor Kinsella with whom Kenny and Conor have had multiple offshore success together on Lynx and Jedi joined the crew as a driver/trimmer and bowman. Finally, Kenny was onboard as Michael had chartered Jedi for the 2018 edition with a very competitive campaign hampered by the unfortunate man overboard incident, there was some unfinished business in this race for both sailors. The J121 is a unique boat in that it is water ballasted meaning despite the boat being some 40 ft in length and very powerful, there was only a need for 6 crew! With three training races and thousands of miles of cumulative offshore experience onboard, Darkwood was in a very good position going into the race!

From left are Barry Hurley, Darkwood skipper Michael Boyd, Conor Kinsella, Barry Hurley and Nick Jones. Not pictured is Kenny RumballFrom left are Barry Hurley, Darkwood skipper Michael Boyd, Conor Kinsella, Barry Hurley and Nick Jones. Not pictured is Kenny Rumball Photo: Afloat

From Luzerncomm U 25; The few days leading up to the race were spent on preparations. With full standing and running rigging inspections done as well as a lift where we sprayed the underside and polished the rudders, foils and keel. We collated and organized our freeze dry food as well as our snacks and water.

The Round Ireland is a special race, and it was great after a two-year absence for the race to be back with the backing of SSE Renewables. The night before the race there was a little Offshore Racing Academy BBQ in Greystones to mark the race and for the crews o Darkwood and the Figaro to relax and get well fed before the start the next day.

The start of the race was a lovely 10-15kts downwind for the fleet away from Wicklow, onboard Darkwood, the crew were content to get away from the line clean and rounding Wicklow Head were in the position they wanted to be. Despite an unfavourable forecst the widn stayed with the fleet and at the first turning mark, Tuskar Rock, Darkwood made it around with the tide heading east along the South Coast in a dying breeze. Through the night, there were various sail changes as the wind increased, decreased and shifted but remained mostly Northerly in direction. With good winds and rhumb line sailing, the next mark on the course, the Fastnet was rounded in near-record time!

A Round Ireland is not complete without some sort of bad weather and after the Fastnet, as Darkwood started to tighten the sails into full upwind mode, the wind strengthened…. Knowing this wind was coming, the crew was well-rested and fed prior to the strong incoming winds and as such, there was little drama on board. Unfortunately while reefing the J3 headsail, the leech line tore and with no other sail left in the wardrobe, Darkwood was forced to sail under performance for a few hours as the only sail left in the wardrobe was the storm jib. Darkwood was possibly the only boat to reduce so much sail area but still relatively fast and most importantly, comfortable in the conditions.

Despite the conditions, during the night Darkwood managed to make the first pass on what would become a fun battle for the IRC1 class win by overtaking Samaton. Unfortunately, the IRC1 and overall favourite INO suffered irreparable damage in the rough conditions and had to withdraw from the race off the Skelligs. By mid-morning, the winds had shifted westwards and Darkwood was back to rhumb line sailing towards Eagle Island. The sun came out and the crew took the opportunity to dry out sodden kit and more importantly dry out a sodden boat after the nights exploits. The next challenge was to make it through the tidal gate at Rathlin in a fickle westerly breeze due to last through the night and into the next day. Here the duel between Samton and Darkwood intensified as Samaton was able to sail a very deep, low mode and managed to by Rathlin regain the lead on the water from Darkwood in IRC1. However, Darkwood rates lower than Samaton and as such managed to keep the lead on corrected time. Both boats made it through the tidal gate and as such thought they had put an uncatchable lead on the rest of the fleet as other contenders for the overall win such as Rockabill and Snapshot were caught the wrong side of the tidal gate at Rathlin.

However, the wind in the Irish Sea had other intentions. The fleet would have to contend with light fickle northerly winds that would evaporate to nothing before lighter winds would come in from the south, effectively compressing the fleet and meaning the advantage of the tidal gate pass was only short-lived. Thankfully the well-rested and well-fed crew on board Darkwood revelled in the lighter conditions. Despite Samaton and one stage getting far enough ahead of Darkwood, by the finish this advantage was down to less than two nautical miles.

The Figaro experience; Our start was relatively conservative due to our foils. We started on port tack and found a nice gap where we began to head south down the coast. We had our A2 spinnaker up until Tusker rock where the wind died almost completely. We spent an hour or two slowly drifting towards the rock before the wind filled back in. Once past Tusker the wind filled in and we popped our A5 up. We rocketed towards the Fastnet rock and even overtook quite a number of other boats, hitting a top boat speed of 19knots. As we rounded the southwest coast we were quickly met by some large swells and heavy winds.

At one point we saw gusts of 42knots. We soldiered through with one reef in our mainsail and our full j2. We got battered for about 24 hours straight. Unfortunately, as the wind subsided the wind remained northerly. Which for us meant more close-hauled sailing. We continued sailing upwind around the north coast till we reached Rathlin. We finally got the chance to pop our A2 again, unfortunately, we had missed the tidal window but managed to sneak through by staying extremely close to the coastline. We continued on our A2 until Belfast Lough where again the breeze shut off on us. We were left sitting in 0.3 knots of wind and zero knots of boat speed. It wasn’t until we got down to Downpatrick that the breeze finally kicked back in. Again it was upwind sailing all the way to the finish line in Wicklow.

After very trying and testing conditions in the last 10 miles of the race, Darkwood literally drifted over the finish line off Wicklow in the early morning hours after nearly 5 full days at sea! Relief that we had secured a class win but now the waiting game started as we waited for the other boats to finish to determine the overall results and perhaps more importantly to see if Michael Boyd had over three editions secured strong enough finishes to win a Volvo car.

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy and a Volvo car!)IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy and a Volvo car!)

After a nail-biting day, the results were in, Darkwood had finished 3rd overall under corrected time, won IRC1 after a brief trip to the protest room and Michael Boyd would be heading home with the keys to a new Volvo! Great result for a well-thought-out and executed campaign, not forgetting of course that Darkwood, Snapshot and Rockabill had secured the team prize!

The Luzerne Communications Figaro 3 Round Ireland crew were a group of 4 under 23-year-olds. Lorcan Tighe (22) (left), Andrew Irvin (22) Cian Crowe (19) Ronan Mooney (19), with an average age of 20 and a skipper aged 22 Photo: AfloatThe Luzerne Communications Figaro 3 Round Ireland crew were a group of 4 under 23-year-olds. Lorcan Tighe (22) (left), Andrew Irvin (22) Cian Crowe (19) Ronan Mooney (19), with an average age of 20 and a skipper aged 22 Photo: Afloat

The Figaro wrap-up; It was an incredible experience sailing a Figaro 3 around Ireland as a group of 4 under 23 year-olds. Lorcan Tighe (22) Andrew Irvin (22) Cian Crowe (19) Ronan Mooney (19), with an average age of 20 and a skipper aged 22. We are immensely proud of what we achieved coming 4th in our class and being the first U23 team to complete the race. Unfortunately, it was a light wind and upwind race which didn’t suit the Figaro but such is offshore racing, we can’t have perfect conditions all of the time.

A massive thank you must be extended to the offshore racing academy and Marcus Hutchinson for the use of the Figaro 3 as well as the constant support during the month of June, it has been an amazing glimpse into the world of professional offshore racing. We also have to thank all of our sponsors who have made this race campaign possible as well as the consistent support of friends and family.

Published in INSS

With the almost melancholy passing of Mid-Summer’s Day, the sailing season is taking on a different look, a distinctly-changed mood and flavour. For in normal times – if anyone can remember when you could talk of such things – there is a tendency to pack events into late May and throughout June for at least two reasons.

One of these is the feeling that it’s a good idea to tick as many event boxes as possible early in the season, for fear that even odder and more awful weather than usual might turn up on the day, meaning that in the case of a weekend happening, there’s still the possibility for a complete re-scheduling before the summer is over.

Challenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyChallenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The other reason is the changing mood of the sailing community with the swing of the seasons. People are full of vim and vigour in May and June and early July. But then with August approaching, there’s a natural slowing down of the mood in what Patrick Kavanagh so effectively captured as “the tremendous silence of mid-July”.

It hasn’t got to us yet in this, the busy first weekend of July. Dromineer is a-buzz with the Lough Derg end of the Shannon One Designs’ Two-part Centenary Regatta, Dublin Bay is alive with the Frank Keane BMW RStGYC Regatta, somewhere between Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour sundry boats are re-racing an offshore race originally sailed in 1860 (repeat, 1860) in order to be on station for Volvo Cork Week in six days’ time. And throughout the land on lake, sea and river, club events are being staged in the hope that next week’s expected good weather will arrive a little earlier than anticipated.

Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).

For there’s no doubt that, taken overall, June’s weather was a decidedly mixed bag. Yet although there were major happenings that saw rough days on which the smaller classes weren’t allowed to race, the fact is that skilled race officers frequently managed to get comprehensive results in a more-than-satisfactory way.

Thus within Irish sailing there were many successful crews and skippers who merited inclusion in the long list for the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” title, and when we add in achievements abroad, it’s impossible to reduce it below this short list of four top achievements.

Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove are Sailors of the Month (Olympic) for June

The 2022 Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta at the beginning of June in Almere on the Ijsselmeer in The Netherlands saw Ireland’s Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove racing their 49er to victory in the final medal race. But by that stage, the top Dutch crew were so well positioned that overall they took the Gold, but the Irish team secured Silver to continue their progress through a demanding selection programme aimed at the 2024 Olympics.

Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.

The Kelly family of Rush are Sailors of the Month (Regatta) for June

Sailing is often promoted as a family sport for all ages. But if anyone doubts that this can be happily achieved with racing success thrown in, then they only have to consider the Kelly clan of Rush SC with their J/109 Storm. Aboard Storm, the patriarch Pat Kelly heads a multi-talented crew which includes three generations of his family, and they clearly demonstrated they’d lost none of the successful touch shown in previous years by winning overall in the four day Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough.

Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ieMike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie

Mike & Richie Evans are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for June

June saw the staging of a truly vintage SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow. But for those who think that success in events like this 704-mile marathon is only for seasoned sailors with many comparable races logged, the fact that the top Irish boat was the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was an eye-opener, as this was their first offshore major. And they almost won it, pacing just five minutes behind the overall winner after out-performing many comparable boats in the final very difficult miles. 

Dermot Skehan is Sailor of the Month (Regatta) for June

The Howth Wave Regatta created some sort of record for the mixture of weather it packed into its three day format, and how anyone found the energy for the legendary Saturday night party suggests superhuman stamina. With a rugged Lambay Race in its midst, Wave was for heroes, and it was the heroic Dermot Skehan - racing as ever with a crew of longtime friends and shipmates on his MG34 Toughnut - who emerged as overall winner and a worthy Sailor of the Month for June.

HYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious ToughnutHYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious Toughnut

Published in W M Nixon

The Cruising Club of America is celebrating its Centenary this year, and while the actual birth date may not fall until September, the Club is already in the midst of a busy special season which saw its recent biennial Newport-Bermuda Race attract a record fleet.

Meanwhile, one of the CCA’s keenest members, Hiroshi Nakajima, who sails from Stamford in Connecticut, has been in the midst of his own complex celebratory programme to mark both the Golden Jubilee of his own vessel - the 1971-built S&S 49ft sloop Hiro Maru ex-Scaramouche - and the CCA Centenary.

Hiro Maru crossing the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes to complete the Transatlantic RaceHiro Maru crossing the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes to complete the Transatlantic Race

Hiro Maru’s oceanic routing in recent seasons has included a Transatlantic Race, the 2021 Fastnet Race, and now the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, in which, despite her many years, she took 16th overall, tenth in class, and fifth of the overseas entries, a very good score in competition of this quality.

 Darryl Hughes’ Maybird lying serenely to her moorings in Crosshaven, which is now her home port. Photo: Robert Bateman Darryl Hughes’ Maybird lying serenely to her moorings in Crosshaven, which is now her home port. Photo: Robert Bateman

And there is one very special award which has gone straight to Hiro Maru. It’s new to the race this year, and is the DBOGA Maybird Mast Trophy for the oldest boat to complete the course. Donated by Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Honorary Secretary Darryl Hughes, it’s in fond memory of the time in 2018 he went round in the oldest boat ever to complete the course, the 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow 43ft gaff ketch Maybird.

Round Ireland Race Organiser Hal Fitzgerald with Hiroshi Najima and the DBOGA Maybird Mast Trophy Round Ireland Race Organiser Hal Fitzgerald with Hiroshi Najima and the DBOGA Maybird Mast Trophy 

Maybird’s home port is now Crosshaven, and she may be joined there in due course by Hiro Maru, as one scenario being sketched out last winter for the boat’s continuing 2022 programme was contesting the K2Q, aka the Kingstown to Queenstown Race on July 7h, and then competing in the Classics Division in Volvo Cork Week. Whatever the outcome, despite being faced by the historic likes of Marie Tabarly’s Pen Duick VI, Ian Hickey’s Granada 38 Cavatina, and Tony Kingston’s Swan 40 Shindig, Hiro Maru was the oldest boat to finish the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022. And as it happens, she beat that very distinguished yet marginally younger threesome on corrected time as well.

 Built in 1971 to a Sparkman & Stephens design by Palmer Johnson of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the 49ft Hiro Maru ex-Scaramouche is a classic example from the era when the finest alloy yachts in America were built by boatyards on the Great Lakes  Built in 1971 to a Sparkman & Stephens design by Palmer Johnson of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the 49ft Hiro Maru ex-Scaramouche is a classic example from the era when the finest alloy yachts in America were built by boatyards on the Great Lakes 

Published in Round Ireland

Ten young sailors from Galway Bay who were part of the crew that sailed the Green Dragon in last week's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow finished as Line Honours runners-up and second in Class Zero in the biennial 700-mile race. 

As co-skipper Enda O'Coineen previously reported on Afloat, the former Irish VOR boat Green Dragon was entered into June's circumnavigation race to mark the tenth anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway.

Green Dragon is currently owned by a yacht charter company based in Vigo in North West Spain.

Upwind conditions on Green Dragon on the West Coast of IrelandUpwind conditions on Green Dragon on the West Coast of Ireland

Ten Galway Bay Sailing Club members were aboard for the delivery trip across the Bay of Biscay to Dun Laoghaire. They departed on the morning of June 5th and arrived late June 8th. Following wind and seas, they maintained double-digit boat speeds most of the way. They saw 21kts at one point surfing down the 5m Atlantic swell, which was truly magnificent.

On Green Dragon - Cathal Mahon and Rob Talbot from Spiddeal Sailing ClubCathal Mahon and Rob Talbot from Spiddeal Sailing Club

The owner made young Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal Sailing Club) skipper in the days before the race. A very competent sailor with a calm yet confident manner. He was joined by sailing colleague Rob Talbot (Spiddeal Sailing Club).

Aaron O'Reilly, Fiona Christie, Iso Inan, Mark Wilson, Paddy Hennelly, Michael Flemming, Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal), Cian ConroyGreen Dragon crew (from left) Aaron O'Reilly, Fiona Christie, Iso Inan, Mark Wilson, Paddy Hennelly, Michael Flemming, Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal), Cian Conroy

The highlights of the race were rounding Fastnet in near calm conditions only to be followed by the very tough upwind leg up the West Coast on Sunday 19th, where there were 38kt gusts and big seas. The tidal gate at Raitlin was also a tricky period. The light winds on the East Coast also proved very frustrating as the boat suffers in light winds. Overall, the crew members had a great atmosphere on board with excellent communication.

Green Dragon and her Crew for the Round Ireland in light windsGreen Dragon and her Crew for the Round Ireland in light winds

Green Dragon finished in 4 days, eight hours, and 54m 21s. 2nd in line honours and 2nd in Class Z to Kuku 3, a Swiss-registered Cookson 50.

Cathal Mahon (Skipper) Spiddal SC
Rob Talbot (Bow) Spiddal / Galway city

Watch 1
Sammy Burke (Helm/watch lead) Lough Swilly
Jim McGowan (Helm) Lough Swilly
Iso Inan (Pit) GBSC
Michael Starr (Trimmer) Lough Derg YC
Oisin Lyons (Trimmer) Royal Irish YC
Paddy Hennelly (Bow) GBSC
Fiona Christie (Crew) GBSC

Watch 2
Mark Wilson (Helm/watch lead) GBSC
Aaron O'Reilly (Helm/bow) GBSC
Matija Rossi (Pit) Croatia
Michael Fleming (Trimmer) GBSC
David Adley (Trimmer) LDYC
Cian Conroy (Trimmer) GBSC
Barry O'Brien (Trimmer) Kinsale

Published in Round Ireland

Two protests lodged over competing boats allegedly sailing in Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), an area in the sea where navigation of ships is highly regulated, in this week's Round Ireland Race were dismissed or deemed invalid following hearings.

As Afloat reported previously, in IRC class One, Howth Yacht Club's Robert Rendell's Samatom protested IRC One winner Michael Boyd's Darkwood of the Royal Irish Yacht Club for allegedly sailing in the North Channel TSS at Rathlin Island.

The protest committee found that the south-going lane on the North Channel TSS was 'not an area designated an obstruction by the round Ireland Sailing Instructions (SI 14(b) (ii)). The rule permits boats to enter the south-going lane.'

The protest was dismissed because 'No rule was broken'.

Round Ireland Race 2022  Protest Hearing DecisionsRound Ireland Race 2022 Protest Hearing Decisions

In a separate protest, Royal Cork yacht Nieulargo (Denis and Annamarie Murphy) protested UK double-handed entry Bellino (Bob Craigie) for sailing in the Sailing in North Channel TSS but as 'Nieulargo did not inform Bellino of her protest at the first reasonable opportunity as required by RRS.1(a) the protest was deemed invalid'.

Gordon Davies was the Round Ireland Race Protest Committee Chairman.

Published in Round Ireland

We can only be wishing this morning that the traditional-type low pressure areas which march across the Atlantic from New England towards Old Ireland could take aboard some of the strict Sabbatarianism of the regions they’re passing through in their developing stages, and give due regard for the attitudes imbued in such God-fearing places by the time they get here.

In other words, with one of the busiest weekends of the 2022 Irish sailing season upon us, everything is being affected by the remorseless approach of a low pressure area which will be squatted right upon us on Sunday. Now if it was a proper Ten Commandments-compliant depression, it would make Sunday a day of rest. But instead it will be working away with the Cong-Galway race on Lough Corrib postponed, the Shannon One Designs’ two-day long distance race from Lough Ree to Lough Derg adversely affected, and the final stages of events like Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough, the Royal Irish YC Drumshanbo Gin Regatta on Dublin Bay, and the Bandon Co-op Squib Championship at Kinsale having – at the very least – to take note.

The many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert BatemanThe many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert Bateman

DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE & HIGH STOOL DAYS

For of course it’s today (Saturday) with the Low approaching and deepening that we could see the greatest turbulence. If it does sit down over Ireland on Sunday, there could be much rain but little enough wind, yet always with the chance that a gale could strike at any moment.

In other words, it has all the makings of what, in the west of Ireland, they’d nominate as A High-Stool Day. So before we contemplate the ramifications of this, let us do things in an even more back-to-front style than usual. For today, after a very intense week of closely following the progress of the SL Renewables Round Ireland Race, we’d originally had thoughts of giving a sonorous overview of it all.

But after something like 16 continuous reports which led on from one to the other in such a processing of information that brain burnout resulted, I’m not sure that Sailing on Saturday has anything more to say, whereas the bare bones results – with the proper details of the boats involved - speak for themselves, and as we’ve already said somewhere, there seems to be something for nearly everyone in the audience.

She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien   She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien  

SSE RENEWABLES ROUND IRELAND YACHT RACE FROM WICKLOW 2022

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland); 2nd Green Dragon (Volvo 70, Conor Ferguson & Enda O Coineen, Galway Bay SC); 3rd Influence (Class40, Andrea Fornaro, Italy); 5th Samatom (Grand Soleil 44, Robert Rendell Howth Yacht Club) 6th Kite (Class 40, Greg Leonard, USA).

IRC Overall: 1st SL Energies Groupe Fastwave (J/111, Laurent Charmy, France); 2nd Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC; 3rd Artful Dodjer (J/109, Finbarr O’Regan. Kinsale YC), 5th Darkwood (J/121, Michael Boyd, RIYC); 6th Samatom.

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)Line honours and IRC Z:1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)

IRC Z: 1st Kuka3; 2nd Green Dragon: 3rd Telefonica Black (Volvo 70, Lance Shepherd, RORC).

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood; 2nd Samatom; 3rd Jackknife (J/125, Andrew Hall, Pwllheli SC), 4th Luzern eComm U25 (Figaro 3, Lorcan Tighe, Irish National SC), 5th Ca Va (Pogo 12.50, Tony Rayer, Cardiff Bay YC); 6th Fuji (OCD40, Ari Kansakoski, Cherbourg)

IRC 2: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins, RIYC); 3rd Aurelia (J/122, Chris & Patanne Power Smith, RSTGYC); 4th Black Magic (First 44.7, Barry O’Donovan, Waterford Harbour SC & HYC).

IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)

IRC 3: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Bellino (Sunfast 3600, Rob Craigie, RORC), 4th Nieulargo (Grand Soleil 40, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, Royal Cork YC; 5th Cinnamon Girl (Sunfast 3300, Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt, KYC); 6th Wild Pilgrim (Sunfast 3300, Daniel Jones RORC).

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC); 2nd Blue Oyster (Oyster 37, Alan Coleman, Royal Cork YC); 3rd Cavatina (Granada 38, Ian Hickey RCYC); 4th More Mischief, (First 310, Grzegorz Kalinecki, Dun Laoghaire).

ISORA: 1st SamatomISORA: 1st Samatom (Robert Rendell)

ISORA: 1st Samatom; 2nd Rockabill VI; 3rd YoYo (Sunfast 36, Graham Curran/Brendan Coghlan, RStGYC); 3rd Indian (J/109. Simon Knowles, Howth YC), 4th Aurelia; 5th Black Magic.

ICRA: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Samatom; 4th Nieulargo; 5th Cinnamon Girl: 6th Rockabill VI.

Class40: 1st InfluenceClass40: 1st Influence (Pamela Lee)

Class40: 1st Influence; 2nd Kite; 3rd: Fuji.

Two-Handed: 1st BellinoTwo-Handed: 1st Bellino (Rob Craigie)

Two-Handed: 1st Bellino; 2nd Cinnamon Girl; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard (Sunfast 3300, Ross Farrow, Hamble).

Cruising: 1st Blue Oyster; 2nd Cavatina; 3rd Shindig (Swan 40, Tony Kingston. KYC).

ICRA: 2nd Artful DodjerCorinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer (Finbarr O'Regan)

Corinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Indian; 4th Aurelia, 5th Black Magic; 6th Hiro Maru, S & S 47, Hiroshi Nakajima, New York YC).

Overseas: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard; 5th Hiro Maru; 6th Pyxis

Services: Prime Suspect (Mills 36, Keith Millar, Kilmore Quay).

Sailing Schools: 1st Lynx Wild West Sailing (Mullaghmore). (Reflex 38, Cian Mullee, Sligo YC); 2nd Arthur (First 40, Jim Bennett, RORC); 3rd Jezebel (J/111, Chris Miles, Conwy N.Wales).

The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.

The combined results are possibly the greatest advertisement for the Rod Johnstone-inspired J/Boat range that there has ever been. And with just five minutes between first and second overall (the number crunchers tell us it is 0.005 per cent) this was a race which had everyone on the edge of their seats right to the end.

And while Laurent Charmy and his crew are offshore-hardened toughies, you’ll note that although Mike & Richie Evans with Snapshot are also in the ICRA Division, they’re not in the ISORA section, as they aren’t regular offshore racers. In fact, this was their first crack at a major. Ponder that.

Little boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienLittle boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Meanwhile, attention is now swinging towards other events, not least Belfast Lough and Bangor Town Regatta, where senior Race Officer Con Murphy is trying to cram the sport in before the meteorological top comes off tonight.

Most of the official material was in place when it was suddenly announced that Bangor was going to become a city. It was greeted in the former borough with mixed feelings, for the whole point about Bangor – having spent the first 18 years of my life there – is that it doesn’t feel remotely like a city, and that’s one of the best things about the place.

Regatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in JulyRegatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in July

Yet if it all becomes accepted, next time round we’ll be talking of the City of Bangor Regatta, which as sure as God made little apples will become COBRA. They’re not at all enthusiastic about that up Bangor way. Indeed, muted enthusiasm used to be a Bangor characteristic, even if some photos from the current regatta suggest otherwise.

As it is, one dyed-in-the-wool Bangorian - on observing the charts of the weather currently approaching the new City of Bangor - was heard to assert that they never had adverse sailing weather like this when Bangor was just a town.

When Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like thisWhen Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like this

Published in W M Nixon

Following perhaps the longest drawn-out race for a prize in Irish sport, and perhaps the most valuable prize ever in Irish sailing, it is coming down to a matter of minutes and seconds in today's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race conclusion.

As Afloat previously reported, determined over the outcomes of the 2016, 2018 and 2022 Round Ireland Races, the main contenders for the Volvo V40 are Michael Boyd (Darkwood), Rob Craigie (Bellino), Ian Hickey (Cavatina) and Paul O'Higgins (Rockabill).

Boyd is in the clubhouse, waiting anxiously for the other three to complete the race.

Craigie is in the strongest challenging position as of 12 noon today (June 23rd), but he must finish by 15:30 or so to finish ahead of Boyd.

Rob Craigie's (Bellino) is in the race for the round Ireland Volvo carRob Craigie's (Bellino) is in the race for the Round Ireland Volvo car prize Photo: Afloat

Boyd, however, has a three-place cushion and so Craigie will be relying on other finishers to reduce the gap.

Protest

The overall position is further complicated by a protest - according to Afloat sources - that has been lodged against Boyd over an alleged TSS violation, which may yet cost him two hours.

Weather forecasts suggest that a breeze has filled in providing hope for those still at sea.

Details on the protest result here

Published in Round Ireland

Round Ireland Race Day Six (Thursday) 0900 hrs - Although the Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 and the Volvo 70 Green Dragon took first and second in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 in full daylight yesterday evening, an entire summer’s night - though admittedly the second-shortest one of the year - had elapsed before the next finisher, Andrea Fornaro’s Clas40 Influence (Italy) crossed at 05:05hrs this (Thursday) morning, having got the best of the race-long duel with sister-ship Kite (Greg Leonard) by an hour and nine minutes.

Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across the Wicklow finish line at 05:37 Photo: AfloatRobert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across the Wicklow finish line at 05:37 Photo: Afloat

With the boats only crawling along in the lightest of breezes, what had been relatively tight gaps were exaggerated in time, but in that Influence/Kite divide, Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across at 05:37, the first of the “orthodox” IRC boats to finish. But then with Kite across at 06:14 the way was clear for Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood (RIYC) to get in at 06:36, thereby correcting in to an IRC I win by 59 minutes over Samatom, a state of affairs in class which is likely to continue even with other IRC 1 boats getting to the line this morning, as many of them are higher-rated.

Michael Boyd's J121 Darkwood crew prepare to come ashore in Wicklow Harbour after finishing at 0636 hours on ThursdayMichael Boyd's J121 Darkwood crew prepare to come ashore in Wicklow Harbour after finishing at 0636 hours on Thursday

In fact, it is an IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) which will likely be across within the hour, for at 08:00 hrs she was just 4.8 miles from the finish and making good 6.8 knots. (She finished at 0845). However, although this will put her in a position of some certainty during a race in which sailing conditions cannot be relied on for any significant length of time, the morning-long (and more) ebb tide down the Wicklow Coast will aid boats still at sea on the final stage to get to the finish, and at 0800 the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was still in the IRC Overall First Position she has held for some time, but now just 36 miles from the finish and sailing at 5.7 knots and south of Rockabill, racing in her home waters, and showing an hour in hand on the next batch of boats.

Ian Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from CorkIan Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from Cork

The Wednesday evening excitement of Ian Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from Cork moving into second overall proved cruelly short-lived, as the tidal gate at Rathlin slammed shot, and Cavatina and those about her went nowhere for five hours, whereas boats through the North Channel and into the less fiercely tidal waters of the Irish Sea were able to make progress, albeit at time very painfully slowly, and even then at very different speeds.

Thus another new name from Cork has come to the fore, but this is a Kinsale boat, Finbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful Dodjer, currently lying second to head a complete line of Cork boats as the Grand Soleil Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy, RCYC) is now third with 42 miles to sail, while the astonishing two-handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt, KYC) is fourth with a very short indicated lead over SL Energies.

Finbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful DodjerFinbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful Dodjer Photo: Afloat

However, although regular contender Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) is currently indicated at 12th in IRC overall as the fleet make south in increasingly light airs, she has only 37 miles still to race, but the wind pattern suggests that it will be a slow and frustrating haul to the finish.

Live Race Tracker & Data below

Published in Round Ireland

Round Ireland Race Day Five (Wednesday) 1830 hrs - The Cookson 50 Kuka3 (Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) took line honours in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 at 18:09 hrs this evening off the Wicklow pierhead, after closing in on the finish in a local breeze which had the canting-keel sloop sailing over the final miles at 8.4 knots.

It was a welcome reversal of circumstances for her crew – which includes Tom McWilliam of Crosshaven sail-making connections - as the light winds and total calms experienced for much of today had seen her covering only 92 miles in the last 24 hours, frustrating going for a boat which can easily put 250 miles astern in a day when conditions suit.

The current overall IRC leader on handicap continues to be Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (Howth YC)The current overall IRC leader on handicap continues to be Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (Howth YC)

For the rest of the fleet, light winds continue to dictate progress, but progress is being made. The current overall IRC leader on handicap continues to be Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (Howth YC), but a new name has come to the fore in second place in the form of Ian Hickey’s Cavatina (Royal Cork YC).

 Ian Hickey’s Cavatina (Royal Cork YC) Ian Hickey’s Cavatina (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Afloat

Former overall winner Cavatina had a good day in getting along the North Coast and into the North Channel, as did other boats in the lower-rated part of the fleet, such that Snapshot’s closest rivals for much of the day – the French J/111 SL Energies and the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) are currently lying 5th and 6th.

JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC)JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) Photo: Afloat

French J/111 SL EnergiesFrench J/111 SL Energies Photo: Afloat

Race Tracker & Data below

Published in Round Ireland
Page 1 of 19

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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