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Kinsale Yacht Club emerged as the winner of the inaugural Irish Sailing League 2024 after 20 races sailed off Dun Laoghaire on Sunday. 

The light wind league was hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and organised by Kenny Rumball and his Irish National Sailing School team in the school's fleet of J80 keelboats.

Tight racing in the INSS J80 fleet of keelboats at the inaugural Irish Sailing League hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatTight racing in the INSS J80 fleet of keelboats at the inaugural Irish Sailing League hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

According to provisional results (below), the 20-race event—with no discard—saw Kinsale finish on 98 points five points ahead of Dublin rivals, the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

A finish at the Irish Sailing League 2024 on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA finish at the Irish Sailing League 2024 on Dublin Bay officiated by the RIYC Committee Vessel 'Spirit of the Irish' Photo: Afloat

The Kinsale winners were Sam Hunt, Micheal O’Suilleabhain, Sorcha O’Suilleabhain, Ben Fusco and Mike Carroll, who were presented with the inaugural Irish Sailing League Cup and winners medals by league organiser Kenny Rumball. 

Courtown Sailing Club from County Wexford finished third with 106 points.

The league was made possible thanks to the INSS J80 keelboat fleet Photo: AfloatThe league was made possible thanks to the INSS J80 keelboat fleet Photo: Afloat

In a successful staging that featured many firsts for an Irish regatta, the organisers pioneered the use of robotic marks, which have been hailed as a great success.

Conditions were such that virtually every course changed with regard to wind strength and direction, and Race Officer Barry O'Neill told Afloat that "the event would not have been possible without robotics."

Kinsale Yacht Club winners are presented with the inaugural Irish Sailing League Cup and winners medals by league organiser Kenny Rumball (right). The Kinsale winners were: Sam Hunt, Micheal O’Suilleabhain, Sorcha O’Suilleabhain, Ben Fusco and Mike CarrollKinsale Yacht Club winners are presented with the inaugural Irish Sailing League Cup and winners medals by league organiser Kenny Rumball (right). The Kinsale winners were: Sam Hunt, Micheal O’Suilleabhain, Sorcha O’Suilleabhain, Ben Fusco and Mike Carroll

Irish Sailing League Results 2024Irish Sailing League Results 2024

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The Irish Sailing League’s inaugural event is due to kick off next weekend, the 20th and 21st of April, and it's shaping up to be one super kick-off event!

The league now has an entry list of 10 teams signed and paid up, including;

  • Howth Yacht Club
  • Courttown Sailing Club
  • Kinsale Yacht Club
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club (2 teams)
  • Irish National Sailing Club
  • Royal St George Yacht Club
  • Wicklow Sailing Club
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • Irish Sailing Association

Entries are closing on Monday at mid-day. Why? Well, we need time to perfect the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle; so far, everything is slotting into place. We can run to a maximum of 16 teams, with an ideal number of 14 teams in total. With 14 teams sailing, we will be looking at over 21 races per day. Racing is short and sharp, and lots of changeovers and short, sharp racing.

Irish Sailing League’s inaugural event current entryIrish Sailing League’s inaugural event current entry

The Royal Irish Yacht Club has joined us as event partners. They will provide their committee boat and the club's facilities for post-racing refreshments, food, and, of course, the prizegiving.

Team bibs have been ordered to identify sailors, as there will be team changeovers throughout the day.

For the first time in any sailing event in Ireland, we will use Robotic Marks for our racing in Dun Laoghaire.

Robotic Marks are controlled by an app on a smartphone and have many advantages. Described as a “potential game changer” for regattas by both race officials and competitors, robot racing mark tech is set to change the course of race management forever. RS Sailing deployed battery-powered robotic marks at the RS21 UK Nationals in Lymington in August, and the report back was glowing “the robotic marks performed flawlessly, even after a full day of racing, batteries were still at an impressive.”

Robotic racing marks sit on their GPS coordinates, using a combination of GPS, sensor tech, and innovative software to measure any movement from the original mark. The software auto-corrects the GPS when there’s a deviation in the signal, which is what enables its highly precise movements. This is great for positioning and speedy course adjustments.

With the best will in the world, traditional buoys can get caught on the seabed, damaging vegetation and endangering marine wildlife. With no lines or anchor, the robot racing marks are a cleaner alternative, quieter underwater and their battery power ensures long-lasting, reliable propulsion. With fewer race-assist boats managing the course you can cut down on fuel consumption too.

Sometimes, it can take up to 40 minutes to re-lay the marks for the next race; that’s a lot of waiting around, but with the new technology, you simply adjust the coordinates via the tablet and hey presto – the marks manoeuvre on command.

Reducing set-up time between races will be a big win for televised events where the accuracy of race start times are super-critical.

For a taste of what is to come, have a look at this video

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It seems that the Irish Sailing League is going to be a big success this year! We're receiving a lot of enquiries and entries on our website, and we're expecting to reach our maximum capacity of 16 boats very soon.

This week, we welcomed Wicklow Sailing Club to the entry list, a great addition to the already impressive list of Cork and Kinsale clubs. We may even see a prominent club from the North of Ireland enter the league by the end of the week!

Some clubs have already formed second teams, with the Royal Irish Yacht Club leading the way by fielding two teams for the event. It's expected that Howth and the Royal St George will follow suit. However, entries are limited, so we advise everyone to submit their entry as soon as possible. You can enter the league on our event entry site.

The league is also bringing many firsts to race management in Ireland. The League has also announced that the event will be run using robotic marks, which is a first for Ireland! We'll be sharing more information about this in the next few days.

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With five of the biggest yacht clubs drawn from the south and east coasts already signed up, the inaugural Irish Sailing League 2024, due to kick off in a month's time, is looking great!

The initial clubs that have committed include:

  • Howth Yacht Club
  • Kinsale Yacht Club
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • Waterford Harbour Sailing Club

The teams from these clubs will undoubtedly be putting forward their best sailors for the event and hoping to bring their ‘A’ game to win the coveted prize of the 'best sailing club in Ireland'.

We have room for more entries and welcome entries from other clubs, don’t forget the key information;

Irish Sailing League 2024 Event Details

  • Date: 20th & 21st April 2024
  • Venue: Dun Laoghaire
  • Organising Authority: Irish Sailing League & Irish Sailing
  • Event Chair: Kenneth Rumball
  • Racing Type: Fleet Racing
  • Boats: J80 Keelboats provided by INSS.ie
  • Crew: 5 members per boat
  • Cost: €450 per team (€90 per sailor for two days, including boat charter and all insurance costs)

 Irish Sailing League 2024,

The racing is really the best bang for your buck you can have in sailing these days, with all boats supplied and ready to race. Not only are the boats supplied, but the INSS J80 fleet has been a one-design keelboat fleet from new, guaranteeing that the racing will be absolutely as fair as possible!

There is guaranteed to be great craic after racing, with one of the clubs already entered putting themselves forward for Saturday night's BBQ entertainment and rumours of a sponsored bar!

As always, to enter, pop online here for the Notice of Race and entry link.

If you are looking to enter a team and you have any questions, never hesitate to contact Kenny, [email protected]

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Steady entries are coming in for the Irish Sailing League with the inaugural event coming over the weekend of 20-21 April, as Kenneth Rumball writes.

We are delighted to welcome two more clubs to the entry list who committed over the weekend.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire has declared it will definitively enter one team with a distinct possibility to enter a second team which will be confirmed in the coming week.

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club has also confirmed that they have a five-person team and have officially entered the fray for this year.

This brings the total clubs with a commitment now to include:

Steady progress for 2024 with plenty of space for other teams to sign up.

On the race management side, the proceedings afloat will be led by the highly experienced and regarded Barry O’Neill, who has experience in running league sailing as he has run a number of events for the Swiss Sailing League in Geneva during 2023.

Barry is bringing his team with him to ensure maximum success for sailors. Emmet Dalton of Howth Yacht Club will be taking charge of umpiring duties keeping the hotly contested racing fair and within the rules.

The Notice of Race and entry are available on the Irish Sailing League website HERE.

If you or your club are curious and would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch at [email protected].

Finally, if you are unsure what league sailing is all about, checkout this handy video here:

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Kinsale Yacht Club, Howth Yacht Club and Royal Cork are the first teams to sign up for the Irish Sailing League 2024, which promises to decide who is the best sailing club in the country and then the world!'

League Sailing is Club against Club, with each club represented by a team whose members must be members of that club.

Through a series of races, the winning team can claim their club is the best sailing club in the country. The winning team then has the opportunity to represent their country at the sailing Champions League, competing against teams from the best clubs in other countries that run a league affiliated with the International Sailing League Association.

J80 Keelboats provided by INSS.ie will be used for April's Irish Sailing League 2024J80 Keelboats provided by INSS.ie will be used for April's Irish Sailing League 2024

Back for 2024, we have some great news!

The first league event is not far away and will be as follows;

Event Details

Date: 20th & 21tst April 2024

Venue: Dun Laoghaire

Organising Authority: Irish Sailing League & Irish Sailing

Event Chair: Kenneth Rumball

Racing Type: Fleet Racing

Boats: J80 Keelboats provided by INSS.ie

Crew: 5 members per boat

Cost: €450 per team (€90 per sailor for two days)

Ireland has been granted a spot at all the qualifying events for the Sailing Champions League this year! The main qualifying event for which Ireland can secure a potential spot is in Warnemünde, Germany, later in July this year.

League Sailing breaks down many barriers to keelboat sailing. One key barrier is that the league provides the boats to guarantee fairness and competitiveness.

The winning team from the event in Ireland in April will be guaranteed a spot at this event, giving the club and team the right to showcase their club and their own talent on the world league stage!

League sailing has been hugely popular and successful throughout Europe and North America, and it can provide many answers to questions about sailing in this country.

There are other fantastic attributes to league sailing;

  • Intense short sprint racing
  • Fast exciting boats
  • Small numbers of crew (4-5 crew per boat)
  • Opportunity for multiple divisions
  • Opportunity to represent Ireland Internationally
  • Live tracking
  • Pubic engagement & sponsorship opportunities

The NOR and entry for the 2024 is now available online here

With committed entries from Kinsale Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club and Howth Yacht Club, now is the time to get your club's entry in!

For any queries, contact Kenny [email protected]

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The Irish Sailing League, which was due to commence on Dublin Bay this weekend, has been postponed until later in the 2023 season.

The organisers have cited a number of reasons for postponing the event, with various factors affecting the decision, including an already jam-packed summer sailing season and lots of the ‘target market’ abroad on summer jobs outside of Ireland.

Organisers will announce a new schedule to be run in the shoulder periods of the sport after the main sailing season has passed.

Kenneth Rumball, the main driver behind the event, would like to thank the many supporters who invested so much time and effort into running the event.

These include;

Barry O’Neill and Emmet Ryan, who, with their experience from the Swiss Sailing League, gave countless hours on Zoom and messages of encouragement. 

Michael Conway and Nigel Biggs, who put together Sailing Instructions, were more than keen and willing to be on the committee boats and running the event!

Aileen Lennon, who was going to be the master of the results!

David Love, who in his roles as clubs and classes co-ordinator was working on forging relationships behind the scenes

Afloat was there to encourage the event and to help promote it to a wider sailing audience in Ireland and abroad.

Emmet Dalton, who had committed to umpiring and looking after the rules!

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, who gave us permission to run the event in the Dun Laoghaire Baths area, keeping the event in public view.

A new schedule for Autumn, Winter, and Spring 2023/2024 will be released in due course. 

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We have decided to make a few tweaks to the inaugural Irish Sailing League format for 2023. We appear to have been slightly over-ambitious for the 2023 kick-off

So what are the major changes to the NOR?

  1. We have dropped the first ‘qualifying’ weekend…. The event now sees a qualifying weekend over the 1st and 2nd of July, with entries split over the two days; the top 50% from each day will represent in the final or the repechage two weeks later on the 15th & 16th of July
  2. As a result, entry fees are slashed to €1150 per team, including boat charter fees, event management and coordination, insurance and of course, safety! Superb value!
  3. Teams do not have to be nominated by their club; however, teams will sail for the glory of their club! We welcome direct entry from teams.
  4. The final entry deadline is now the 30th of May 2023; after this, the event will be declared or not!

The event format is still the same; the Irish Sailing League will see competitors represent their clubs in short, grandstand-style sprint races sailed in RS21s with crews of four, as above, boats are supplied, removing any logistical problems…. Teams will battle it out to become the Irish Sailing League champions and give their club the right to proclaim itself the best sailing club in the country. What’s more, the champion club/team would have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the annual Sailing Champions League, where sailing clubs from across Europe and beyond put their skills to the test to determine the best sailing club in the world!

Fully affiliated with the International Sailing League Association, the Irish Sailing League is now encouraging sailors and clubs to register interest for a 2023 season start.

With thanks to RS Sailing, the event is to be held in one design RS21 Keelboats. These boats will ensure a level playing field for all teams as only a handful of people have sailed these boats. Furthermore each boat is factory fresh and produced within a number of weeks of each other maintaining the one design status of the fleet. Clubs, teams and classes need not worry about boats and logistics as the boats are provided and will be pre-rigged before teams come to the venue.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have put their backing into the event by encouraging us to host it as part of the Dun Laoghaire 'Coastival' event…

The event will be sailed in Scotsman’s Bay with our mobile race office situated in the new Dun Laoghaire baths. Large RIBs will be on standby to transfer crews to and from the race course…

The notice of race is available online with the link to online entries, hosted by RS events and clubs on the Irish Sailing League website here: www.irishsailingleague.com

We are very keen to hear feedback and act upon it and also dispel a few myths…. Here are a few answers to the queries we have received…

What happens if we enter but the event is cancelled?

Entry fees are non-refundable for teams that do not attend the event for whatever reason. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel any of the league events, we will refund any entry fees.

I want to enter a team but my club hasn’t put in an entry; how can I enter?

Put an entry in for your team or club and email us or contact us on social media; we have extra capacity, so please enter or send us an email if you are unsure.

I have a team but not all team members can sail on all of the dates.

No problem! Teams can replace members weekend to weekend as long as the organising authority is notified of the changes. We know a lot of dedication is required, so we are more than happy to accommodate these changes!

My club cannot organise a team, can we collaborate with another club?

Absolutely, for smaller clubs who may not be able to organise, we are more than happy for clubs and teams to collaborate.

We’re worried we may not be good enough?

Not a problem; it’s all about having fun, learning and giving it a go. Not everyone will have sailed a RS 21 before, and we are locking the rig settings to keep things simple. Take the plunge; we guarantee it will be worth it!

I’m too young/old!

No one is too young or old for the league; teams can be of any age; sailing is a sport for life!

I don’t have the time.

We have set up the league and reduced the sailing dates to mean there are only 3 days of sailing per team, thus reducing the time commitment for teams…. If you are unsure, please get in touch with us!

The format for this event is there! It is a tried and tested worldwide success, let’s get an Irish Team to the Sailing Champions League! If you are unsure about any of the format, please do not hesitate to contact the team so we can help!

Don’t forget the winner of the league this year will be crowned the Irish Sailing League Champions and will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the Sailing Champions League in 2024.

See you on the water!

Regards,

Kenneth Rumball, Irish Sailing League

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Attention all clubs, the Irish Sailing League entry deadline is looming! Entries are due to close this week, and with a near-full entry list, now is the time to secure entry for your club!

Entries must be made on behalf of a club. To enter, click here

After months of work behind the scenes to ensure we had all the necessary ingredients to make this event a public success, we are finally able to release entries and welcome teams from clubs within the Island of Ireland.

The event will be held in one designed RS21 Keelboat thanks to RS Sailing. These boats will ensure a level playing field for all teams, as only a handful of people have sailed these boats. Furthermore, each boat is factory fresh and produced within a number of weeks of each other, maintaining the one design status of the fleet. Clubs also need not worry about boats and logistics as the boats are provided and will be pre-rigged before teams come to the venue.

Each team will race over one day of a weekend in the new Irish Sailing League at Dun LaoghaireEach team will race over one day of a weekend in the new Irish Sailing League at Dun Laoghaire

The event format is designed to minimise costs. Each team will effectively race over one day of a weekend, removing the necessity to find and pay for accommodation in the Dun Laoghaire area. Once entries close on the 14th of April, we will be able to inform each team of their pool so they can make the necessary travel arrangements.

Teams shall enter with four crew members, of which at least one crew member must be female. There is no weight maximum or minimum; the advised weight range for the RS 21 Keelboat is 320kgs giving an average crew weight of 80kgs per person. Whatever weight a team is, they can ensure some high-performance action on windy days.

The venue will be in Dun Laoghaire; in time, we will be able to release the exact location. Also to come is information surrounding our clothing, event tracking and social partners.

The event will be held in one designed RS21 Keelboat thanks to RS SailingThe event will be held in one designed RS21 Keelboat thanks to RS Sailing

At present, entries will be limited to one team per club. This entry must be approved by the person in charge of the club. After the first round of entries, we may have the capacity to open entries to two teams per club.

For clubs who need help running a ‘sail off’ to find their best team, our friends in the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School can help run mini-events in their new fleet of J80 sailboats.

Don’t forget the winner of the league this year will be crowned the Irish Sailing League Champions and will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the Sailing Champions League in 2024.

The notice of race is available online with the link to online entries, hosted by RS events and club on the Irish Sailing Leagues website here

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Organisers of the inaugural Irish Sailing League have published the Notice of Race (downloadable below as a PDF)

Online entry is now open, and the clever new league is welcoming entries to finally settle the argument on who is the best sailing club in Ireland!

After months of work behind the scenes to ensure we had all the necessary ingredients to make this event a public success, we can finally release entries and welcome teams from clubs within the Island of Ireland.

Thanks to RS Sailing, the event is to be held in one design RS21 Keelboats. These boats will ensure a level playing field for all teams as only a handful of people have sailed these boats. Furthermore, each boat is factory fresh and produced within a number of weeks of each other, maintaining the one design status of the fleet.

Clubs also need not worry about boats and logistics as the boats are provided and will be pre-rigged before teams come to the venue.

 Irish Sailing League logo

The event format is designed to minimise costs. Each team will effectively race over one day of a weekend, removing the necessity to find and pay for accommodation in the Dun Laoghaire area. Once entries close on the 14th April, we can inform each team of their pool so they can make the necessary travel arrangements.

Teams shall enter with four crew members, of which at least one crew member must be female. There is no weight maximum or minimum; the advised weight range for the RS 21 Keelboat is 320kgs giving an average crew weight of 80kgs per person. Whatever weight a team is, they can ensure some high performance action on windy days.

The venue will be in Dun Laoghaire; in time, we can release the exact location. Also to come is information surrounding our clothing, event tracking and social partners.

At present, entries will be limited to one team per club. The person in charge of the club must approve this entry. After the first round of entries, we may be able to open entries to two teams per club.

For clubs who need help in running a ‘sail off’ to find their best team, our friends in the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School can help with running mini events in their new fleet of J80 sailboats.

Don’t forget the league's winner this year will be crowned the Irish Sailing League Champions and will be able to represent Ireland at the Sailing Champions League in 2024.

The notice of race is available online with the link to online entries, hosted by RS events and club on the Irish Sailing Leagues website here

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About the Irish Sailing League

The inaugural Irish Sailing League 2023, under the control of Kenneth Rumball, will be sailed over three weekends, in late June and early July, in Dun Laoghaire, and the plan is to race in Scotsman’s Bay vicinity.

In the first instance, each club is limited to one entry, but this may be increased based on the number of clubs wishing to participate. Worth noting, too, that in future years the plan would be to extend the event to include regional rounds in North, South, East and West.

Each Club must nominate a crew. The maximum crew number is 4, all members of the same club, and one crew must be female. The crew number and lineup cannot be changed later than seven days before the first race without a points penalty.

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