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Displaying items by tag: Shannon One Design

#shannononedesign –  A new inaugural trophy has been awarded this month to the winner of a race that celebrates the ninety years of Shannon One Design sailing. Over the winter of 1921-1922 nine new SODS were built to the design drawings of Morgan Giles. Seven of these boats were built by Walter Levinge at Craigduff. The first batch of boats were No. 32 built by Keneavy, Nos. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40 and 43 built by Levinge, and No. 39 built by Merne. Although some of these early boats still exist, it was No. 37 Kiwi which turned up at the 90th. birthday celebrations and held pride of place surrounded by her younger siblings.

It was in the late 1920's that the Motor Yacht Club of Ireland organised motor boat racing at Lough Ree Yacht Club, and they erected the old Starter's Hut at that club to facilitate the motor boat racing. Alf Delany was one of the participants at the motor boat racing. In fact, he won a small but elegant silver cup in his hydroplane Hold Everythin' which has been in the possession of the Delany family since then.

It seemed appropriate therefore, to hold a special event for the SODS to celebrate the 90th birthday for those earliest boats. It was agreed between the Delany family and Lough Ree Yacht Club that the event would be held at Lough Ree Yacht Club in late July. A date was agreed which did not clash with the various events being held in the club.

On Friday evening before most of the competitors arrived things stated to go wrong. It was fated that Kiwi would be sitting on her trailer at right angles to the main slipway at Lough Ree when a Laser 16 was preparing for launching. The Laser was sitting on her trailer attached to the back of a car when the tow-bar hitch broke at the top of the hill. The boat and trailer started to run down the hill uncontrolled. There was a scream of "Watch out". But nobody could avert the impending accident. The Laser built up substantial momentum before she collided with the side of Kiwi. The accident happened before anybody could run to her assistance. Fortunately the impact was absorbed by the road tyres and by the hull siding 200mm across the trailer. Fortunately only minor damage occurred.

The first race took place in warm weather and a southerly breeze of about 8 knots. 26 boats took part. The start line was laid by Owen Delany close to the Little Yellow Island, with a beat to a windward mark slightly downstream of the club. Being a location with shifty winds, there was plenty of opportunity for place changing. After two laps of the course and a great battle with Frank Browne's 86, it was David Dickson's 73 which took the gun. All headed ashore for some lunch and liquid refreshment before the second race which took place in a slightly stronger wind. This time the leeward mark was laid half way between Little Yellow and Beam Island. This gave competitors the choice to pass to the east or west of Little Yellow Island. After a good fight it was David Dickson's 73 which broke the line (which was located at the windward mark) in first place. The committee boat Moonshine quickly moved back to station of the Yellow Islands and held a third race. The wind had not increased in strength. The crews were beginning to understand the wind shifts at this stage and knew where to go, but at the end of the day 73 still won.

After afternoon tea of scones and ginger cake prepared by Brenda and Margaret Delany the final race of the day was held over the shorter course used for the first race.

In the evening Gerry Murray organised a drinks reception in the front hall of the clubhouse. The ingredients included a secret mixture of Gin, Lemonade and lemons. This Pimms replacement doesn't have a name yet, but Gerry's would be a catchy marketing name.

This was followed by Dinner for 160 in the club dining room. Peter Delany spoke of how his father, Alf (who was aged 11) had travelled down to Coosan Lough from Longford in La Vague with Vincent S. Delany where they inspected the 6 new boats which were ready for collection. They picked one boat, brought it down to the lake, and towed it back to Tarmonbarry. The Delany's were, at that time members of the North Shannon Yacht Club. This was followed by Harmon Murtagh who spoke about the early days of the SODs and the relationship between the Delanys and Murtaghs and how it was the loyalty of these families, along with the Brownes, Wallers, Lefroys, Maynes and others which is critical to our enjoyment of our sailing and the sustenance of the yacht clubs.

On Sunday morning the wind was still from the south, but had increased in strength to about 20 knots. One reef was called. Soon it was realised that one reef would not be enough as the wind was gusting at about 22knots, and the competitors put in a second reef. It was a somewhat depleted fleet of about 15 boats which headed towards the Little Yellow Island where the start line was located. This was a real opportunity for the younger crews and it was the O' Carrolls who valiantly tried to hold off the ever conquering 73. They stayed in the lead for two laps but were eventually overtaken. Despite the small sail area the boats planed on the reaching legs without much effort. The gybe mark was laid about 16m. offshore them the outer jetty of the club, which gave the spectators a great view of the scared faces as gusts hit and boats gybed. It was Dan O'Connor who was in a strong third place when he capsized, and presented a challenge for the following boats. Would they gybe between the capsized boat and the mark, and run the risk of running down the people in the water? or would they squeeze between the cruisers tied up to the jetty and risk hitting them with a fast moving boom?

After lunch another race was held in an equally strong wind. There was some interesting congestion at some of the leeward marks.

At the prizegiving Owen Delany presented a new trophy to be held in perpetuity by the Lough Ree Yacht Club- to be called the 1922 Cup. He explained that it was the intention that the Cup would be raced for every 5 or 10 years. It was awarded to David Dickson and his family who sailed the 73 with such skill in all conditions. It was a pity that the trophy wasn't won by her numerical anagram, the 90 year old No. 37, which had been sailed by various members of the Delany family, and finished in a lowly 11th place.

Published in Racing
Tagged under
A former Olympian's 'mid-life crisis' and a love of  traditional boat building has led to a unique partnership in Roscommon where the art of clinker boat construction is being kept alive. 85–year–old boat builder Jimmy Furey, the doyene of the Shannon One Design class, took on 1988 Seoul dinghy sailor Cathy MacAleavey as his 'apprentice' last winter. The story of the 16-foot wooden dinghy they built has been recounted on RTE Television this week. Click here for the Nationwide programme by Niall Martin.
Published in Maritime TV

Waterways Ireland advises the Shannon One Design annual long distance sailing race on the inland waterways will commence at 10.00 hrs on Sat 26th from Athlone Lock, overnight at Banagher and finish at Portumna Bridge on Sun 27th Jun 2010. The Shannon Inspector of Navigation has warned masters to give way to vessels and boats navigating by sail only. Full notice is attached.

Published in Inland Waterways
24th September 2009

Shannon One Design Association

Courtesy of the Shannon One Design Association:

164newfull.jpgThe Shannon One Design sailboat (known as a 'SOD' or 'Shannon') has a long and colourful history going back to 1920, when it was originally designed by Morgan Giles. Despite its charming looks, the Shannon One Design is a very exciting boat to sail and fleets of SODs have been racing on Loughs Ree and Derg in Ireland since 1922. The racing is very competitive, and the sailing season is filled each year with a wide variety of events. SODA is governed by a committee made up of Shannon One Design owners and sailors.

The Shannon One Design Association (SODA) is the Governing Body for the Shannon One Design Sailing Class. SODA is responsible for fixing the class rules and also for the enforcement of those rules.



The Shannon One Design (SOD) is an 18 foot boat unique to the lakes of Derg and Ree on the Shannon river in Ireland. On the 29th January 1920 a meeting of delegates from the Lough Derg, Lough Ree and North Shannon Yacht Clubs was held in the Prince of Wales Hotel in Athlone to set about the introduction of a one-design class racing boat on the Shannon. The SOD 'Design 102' by Morgan Giles was based on his Essex One Design both in profile and in sections.

The first Shannon One design trial boat was ordered in 1921 from Walter Levinge by L. Graham (Boy) Toler, and named 'Phyllis' later numbered SOD 43 and renamed 'Red Boat' in 1923. The new class should have commenced numbering at No 1, but this did not happen. Numbering of the following boats began at number 32.

The Shannon One Design began to race in earnest in 1922. New hull and sail specifications were adopted in 1989 to take into consideration emerging marine technologies. There is keen competition in the two major regattas at Lough Derg YC and Lough Ree YC in August. The Shannon One design boat register now exceeds No. 175.

Sailing Shannons has always attracted families, and generations in many cases have been involved in campaigning the same boat down through the years. Indeed many of the same family names that attended that first meeting in 1922 still feature in SOD racing today. 


The Boats

The Shannon One Design is a wooden, clinker-built, eighteen-foot (5.49m) racing dinghy, propelled by a single gunter-rigged mainsail of 140 square feet (15.6 sq.m). The boat has a relatively narrow beam of 4 feet 10.5 inches (1.5m), and draws 4 feet (1.23m) with her centreboard down.

With a large sail and comparatively narrow beam, a Shannon One Design is a lively performer, especially in a fresh breeze, and requires a three-person crew for normal sailing. 

There has long been a strong boat-building tradition on Loughs Derg and Ree, and almost all Shannon One Designs have come from the yards of skilled local craftsmen.

The boats are unique to the river Shannon and are actively raced in both Lough Ree Yacht Club and in Lough Derg Yacht Club.

Shannon sailing attracts a wide range of sailors from far and wide, not simply limited to Shannon riverside dwellers. At the two main events each year, the week-long regattas at Ballyglass on Lough Ree and Dromineer on Lough Derg, up to 55 SODs have been counted. These will be sailed by a mixture of local sailors and others based in Dublin or elsewhere (as far away as the USA), most of whom return year on year to compete.

Above all, the Shannon One Design class is a lot of fun, in which conviviality, wit, character and friendship are on a par with the high quality of the racing. Individual boats seem to develop their own idiosyncrasies to complement the eccentricities of those privileged to sail them. There is a strong and growing presence of young people alongside the older sailors, and new boats are joining the fleet every season.


Shannon One Design Association, c/o Damian Maloney, Honorary Secretary, 35 Littlewood, Stepaside, Dublin 18. Email: [email protected]


In March 2009, Graham Smith profiled the class for Afloat magazine as follows: "As one of the traditional clinker-built boats, you could be excused for thinking that the venerable SOD would be a static class on the numbers front, but you would be very wrong indeed. The number of clubs racing SODs remains at three but with 115 boats on the books, it ranks as a top five class.

That figure represents a 4% increase on the previous year, as new boats are built each year, although the increase is not reflected in numbers racing in the various regional championships during the summer when turn-outs were disappointingly low (the average in four events was around a dozen).

A feature of the year was the wide variety of venues, not restricted to the usual Lough Ree or Derg Yacht Clubs but with events in Kilgarvan, Cong, Mountshannon and Lanesborough, representing four different counties. It also saw four different winners, with Damian Maloney, Mark McCormick, John and Stephen O’Driscoll and Eoin Carroll winning the Easterns, Westerns, Southerns and Northerns respectively.
The Nationals saw a marked improvement in numbers with 26 boats competing at Lough Ree YC, where local hot-shot David Dickson added to his list of successes.
National Champion: David Dickson, Lough Ree YC 

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here

Published in Classes & Assoc
Page 2 of 2

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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