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'All Systems Go' for Irish Sailing Season But Regatta Organisers Require More Detail From Sport Ireland

30th April 2021
ISORA training for June's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race is expected to begin on May 15th
ISORA training for June's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race is expected to begin on May 15th Credit: Afloat

Worry over if there will be a 2021 sailing season at all has been replaced by hope after the Government outlined its latest path out of COVID-19 last night.

There has been overwhelming optimism following the news of the accelerated easing of restrictions from regatta organisers and sailing clubs around the country, especially for those events penciled in for June.

People will be allowed to travel across the country from 10 May. Hotels, B&Bs, bars and restaurants, and outside catering returning in the first week of June. 

The Taoiseach said last night training in sport can resume in May and competition returning in June.

It's a scenario that opens the door for a very complete sailing season as had been scheduled, but many feared – given the country has been in Level 5 lockdown since Christmas Eve – that would not take place.

And while there is positivity from organisers, most also now want more clarity on last night's arrangements.

The expectation is that such clarity will come from Sport Ireland in the coming days.

For example, as sailing is a low-risk outdoor no-contact sport and there is little difference in sailing between training and competition modes more clarity is needed on the resumption date for yacht racing competitions.

DBSC - May 4th

The country's biggest sailing league on Dublin Bay had been targeting a return on May 4th. While this is still not confirmed, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Commodore Ann Kirwan told Afloat the club is awaiting "guidance" but "would be hopeful for a return to our full racing programme pretty soon". 

DBSC has laid its marks, prepared courses and made arrangements for an immediate start to the season that traditionally begins this week for a fleet of up to 200 boats and 1200 sailors on the capital's waters. 

ISORA - May 15th

The first big offshore of the season is the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race on June 9th and ahead of that ISORA intends to run training for the 320-mile race ahead of that. "The first ISORA race is Saturday in Pwllheli. On the Irish side, ISORA will be providing training and experience for boats and crews considering doing the D2D race. These will start on the 15th of May. It’s all systems go!", ISORA chief Peter Ryan told Afloat.

Dun Laoghaire Dingle - June 9th

Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Chairman Adam Winkelmann is also optimistic "I think it looks very positive for the race to go ahead, subject to Irish Sailing confirmation on racing and crew numbers". 

The D2D reached its 50-boat entry limit as early as March 6.   

Adam Winkelmann - positive news over Government easing of restrictions so the 2021 D2D can go ahead in JuneAdam Winkelmann - positive news over Government easing of restrictions so the 2021 D2D can go ahead in June

Winkelmann told Afloat he is "still concerned about boats from UK ( including NI) being allowed enter Irish ports". 

He says he also needs to consult with marinas, particularly Dingle after the racing situation is clarified but expects to know more on that over the next few days. 

As regular Afloat readers know, there are special arrangements required under COVID for anyone seeking to bring yachts to Ireland.

"We will move to virtual forms for declarations where possible and may need to defer prizegiving to Sept / Oct in NYC, Winkelmann added as part of his initial thoughts following the Government announcement. 

Sovereign's Cup - June 24th

The D2D brings Dublin boats to the south coast where the next big event on the Calendar is Kinsale Yacht Club's Sovereign's Cup, on June 24th where club commodore Mike Walsh told Afloat; "We are all excited but need to read the small print. expect an announcement in coming days".

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Irish Sailing & Boating

Since restrictions began in March 2020, the Government is preparing for a 'controlled and gradual return to sport' and the 2020 sailing fixtures are being tentatively redrafted by yacht clubs, rowing clubs angling and diving clubs across Ireland as the country enters a new phase in dealing with the Coronavirus. The hope is that a COVID-19 restrictions might be eased by May 5th as Sport Ireland has asked national governing bodies for information on the challenges they face. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone has been asked to stay at home. But some people may need to do more than this.

You may need to either:

You do these things to stop other people from getting coronavirus.

Read advice for people in at-risk groups

Read advice about cocooning.

Restricted movements

Everybody in Ireland has been asked to stay at home. You should only go out for a few reasons, such as shopping for food.

But you need to restrict your movements further if you: 

  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well
  • are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
  • have returned to Ireland from another country

You need to restrict your movements for at least 14 days.

But if the person you live with has had a test and it is negative, you don't need to wait 14 days. You should still follow the advice for everyone - stay at home as much as possible.

Close contact

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

How to restrict your movements 

Follow the advice for everybody - stay at home.

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