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#ISORA – Welsh J109 Sgrech starts as clear favourite for this Saturday morning's offshore race from Pwllheli to Wicklow, the last qualifying race for this year's Round Ireland yacht race. As an added bonus this race is for a new ISORA trophy from race sponsor Lynxmetmasts.

The 2003 built J109 skippered by Stephen Tudor has already won two of the three ISORA races this season. The 18-boat fleet is expected into Wicklow late on Saturday afternoon in this the fourth race of the ISORA programme.

The suggested course for the race is available to download as an attachment below but the actual course will only be decided on Friday and will be texted and emailed to all competitors. Also available to download is the entry list and local tidal info.

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#ISORA– Welsh yacht Sgrech (skippered by Richard Tudor) took its second victory in a fortnight on the Irish Sea yesterday when it won ISORA's third race from Conwy in North Wales to Howth in North Dublin a distance of some 100-miles.

The ISORA fleet is now berthed in Howth to coincide with the BMW ICRA Nationals starting this Friday. ICRA preview and entry list of the 110 boat fleet here.

An unfortunate clash with other sporting events is being blamed for the fact that only 12 boats came to the start line in Conwy.

The course was : Start; West Constable (P) ;  Archdeacon (P) ; Ethal (P) ; The Skerries (P) ; Finish in Howth.

The beat to Constable appeared to spread the fleet with “Sgrech” rounding first following closely by “Joker 2” and “Lancastrian” and “Adelie”. Close behind these were “Midnight Mojito” and “Madam Wen”. From Constable it was a direct course leaving Archdeacon, Ethal and The Skerries safely to Port.

The 90 mile leg to Howth was a run. Spinnaker reach and ending with a dead run into Howth. As forecast,  the winds got lighter approaching Howth and the usual tricky conditions that Howth finishes are famous for  appeared, light winds and strong tides.

“Sgrech” led the charge from Constable to the approach into Howth Sound, with a very strong following tide giving speeds over the ground of 15-16 knots at The Skerries. These conditions made short work of the long leg to Howth. The two “J” boats, “Sgrech” and “Joker 2” kept close together for the entire leg. Lancastrian and Midnight Mojito took a more southern route. “Adelie” and “Madam Wen” were just behind the leading group.

Four boats entered Howth Sound at the same time from slightly different directions. The J boats were too north and had to gybe to get into the Sound. During this manoeuvre and while the J boats were within several boat lengths of each other, “Joker 2” passed “Sgrech” but failed to monopolise on their position. Lancastrian was also caught and had to gybe in the very light conditions. However, Midnight Mojito got the course correct and stormed into the sound with wind and tide and shot over to take line

Despite the 100 mile course, the first four boats crossed the finish line in just over a minute!!! This would be difficult to achieve even in Bay Racing. The finish in Howth was provided by John Doran, Howth Yacht Club.

“Sgrech” won Class 1 and Overall. “Adeli” took Class 2 and 2nd Overall. “Lancastrian” won Class 1 Sliver Fleet while “Polished Manx” took Class 2 Silver Fleet.

The facilities in Conwy Marina and the Mulberry Bar & Restaurant were first class with a great evening had by all on Friday night. The Mulberry prepared a superb breakfast on the Saturday morning, getting everybody ready for the long race.

The next race is the 100– mile ISORA lynx metmAsts Pwllheli to Wicklow Race on the 2nd June.

Due to the generous sponsorship of lynx metmAsts, a complimentary Crew Bus will meet the 13.15 HSS from Dun Laoghaire and will bring crew from Holyhead to Pwllheli. There will also be a reception in Pwllheli Sailing Club on the Friday 1st June. This race will be the last qualifying race for those doing the Round Ireland race.

ISORA Race three results are avallable to download below.

Latest Irish Sea Offshore Sailing (ISORA) News


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#TURBINES RACE – A clash of offshore fixtures has led Arklow Sailing Club to cancel its fourth race round the Windmills on the Arklow bank on the East coast of Ireland that had been slated for June 3rd. 

The race would have followed the ISORA race on Sunday, June 3rd and had attracted a good following on recent stagings. The 34-mile race is open to IRC and ECHO classes as well as white sail fleets but with ISORA and Round Ireland race taking a priority the Arklow Race Committee want to 'make it an event that will happen in the odd years so there are less clashes', according to a club spokesman this morning. The next race therefore will take place in 2013 at a date still to be advised.

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#SAILING – Schull Youth Team from West Cork won the Under 21 Trophy at the Wilson Trophy in West Kirby in the UK yesterday and it represented a sweet revenge for the teenage three boat team.

Dublin's Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan final chance for Olympic selection at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona got off to a flying start yesterday with the double Olympian Owens finishing fifth in the opening race. It is an early boost for one of 7 remaining places left in the Summer Olympics.  Ross Hamilton is also trying to qualify in the Finn class, he lies

It may have been 'gutting' not to come away with a medal at the Star world championships where Peter O'Leary and and David Burrows finished fourth overall but it was nevertheless a fantastic performance for the London qualified pairing who were third overall for most of last week.

Ben Duncan continues his domination of the SB3 class with a win in the 2012 Eastern Championships yesterday at the National Yacht Club who celebrated its yacht club of the year award last Wednesday.

There was success for Class III champion Supernova plus results from all 19 DBSC classes on Saturday in Dublin Bay.

Cork Harbour's Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts were 420 dinghy winners at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

Offshore American Kenny Read and Team Puma is in back in the USA, a Volvo Ocean Race Win on the home waters of Miami all the more satisfying. The race will finish in Galway at the end of next month.

Billed as one of Europe's major yacht racing events, the 2012 Round Ireland Race starts on June 24th and an international fleet has been announced with UK entries at an all time high for Ireland's top offshore fixture.

Offshore sailing is on a high thanks largely to the pioneeing work of Peter Ryan with the Irish Sea fleet and why shouldn't we be our exploiting our offshore assets, sure don't we own 220 million acres? The third ISORA Race this weekend will feature virtual marks on the way to the Howth finish.

The title holder's absence may be Hong Kong's opportunity at the 2012 Commodore's Cup. Where is Team Ireland as Hong Kong builds up for the cup in just two month's time?

And in two week's time Howth Yacht Club report they have reached the magic number of 100 for the ICRA Cruiser Nationals at the North Dublin venue.

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#ISORA – Due to tide restrictions the start time of the third ISORA offshore race of the season from Conwy in North Wales to Howth in North Dublin has been delayed until 09.30 am next Saturday to allow boats to exit Conwy marina and get to the Fairway Buoy start line. The aim is also allow to boats get past the Skerries before the tide turns on the 100-mile long course.

The course may include 'Virtual' marks'. These are coordinates of a position that each yacht must round.

ISORA racing is on a high in 2012 with 18 boat turnouts for the races from Dun Laoghaire to both Wicklow and Holyhead. J109 yachts have established a strong showing to date with Stephen Tudor's Welsh based Sgrech, the latest winner in the race to Holyhead

Next weekend evidence of rounding the 'virtual' mark must be taken and may be requested by the Race Officer. The evidence may include photographic (iPhone or similar) evidence of the yacht's GPS showing its position at the mark. Yacht's chart plotter track showing the yacht rounding the "virtual" mark. This must be transmittable to ISORA by email. The onus of proof of having rounded the "virtual" mark will be with each yacht.

Sailing instructions for race three are downloadable below in pdf format.

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#OFFSHORE – A number of significant announcements for Irish offshore sailing are expected at tonight's launch of the Round Ireland yacht race in Wicklow Sailing Club including a number of key international entries for June's 704-mile race. Already a strong entry from the UK has been received.

ISORA Commodore Peter Ryan will also announce a new title sponsor Lynx Metmasts for the Irish Sea Race from Pwllheli to Wicklow, a race in ISORA's 2012 programme. It is hoped that the weather will allow the course to be around the Arklow bank wind turbines when it sets sail on June 2nd, just three weeks before the start of Ireland's biennial offshore classic. Lynx Metmasts MD, Michael Martyn will present a perpetual trophy to the overall winner at Wicklow Sailing Club.

Meanwhile Arklow Sailing Club's fourth race round the Windmills will follow the ISORA race on Sunday, June 3rd. The 34-mile race is open to IRC and ECHO classes as well as white sail fleets.

Published in Offshore

#ISORAJ109 yachts continue to show their prowess offshore taking three of the top four places in ISORA's second race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead on Saturday. Preliminary results have been revised and the latest overall results are attached below for download as an excel file.

Welsh J109 Sgrech bested a fleet of 16 and although the three J boats competing crossed the line one after the other, the two Dun Laoghaire Js, Joker 2 and Jedi, who shared the first race prizes last weekend, could not catch Sgrech.

Four boats including the JOD 35 double-hander Dinah campaigned by Ostar skipper Barry Hurley retired in the 60-mile race across the Irish Sea.

National Yacht Club Race Officer Larry Power, sent the fleet beating towards the M2 buoy in a 15-20 knot north easterly wind. The tide at the start was flooding pushing the fleet up towards the M2 but constantly shifting winds, both in direction and strength, made rounding the M2 weather buoy difficult.

First around the M2 was "English Mick" followed by "Sgrech". This order remained to the finish line in Holyhead. While the last leg was a fetch, the approach into Holyhead was tricky with strong tides. Boats that went south with the ebbing tide after the M2 were rewarded with being swept into Holyhead Bay by the following flood tide.

The next ISORA race is the 100–mile Round Ireland qualifier from Conwy to Howth on the 19th May.

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#ISORA – Both of the top J109 performers from last weekend's opening offshore race of the season are entered into tomorrow's second ISORA race of the season.

The race starts from Dun Laoghaire at 8am on Saturday and heads across the Irish sea to Holyhead via the M2 weather buoy.

Last weekend's winner Joker II skippered by John Maybury as well as runner up Andrew Sarratt's Jedi are competing in the 19-boat fleet.

The 60-mile race is held under the burgee of the National Yacht Club. Sailing instructions and an entry list are available for download below.

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#SAILING NEWS Stormy weather continues to frustrate early season sailing schedules. Wind and waves that produced spectacular trawler photos off Howth last week abated sufficiently to get Saturday morning's first ISORA race away and on Dublin Bay the second race of the Saturday afternoon series took place in excellent surfing conditions.

The strong winds have returned this morning though leaving anyone planning a trip across the Irish sea, be they coastal rowers, tall ships or dinghy experts, with a reminder about how rough things can get. From San Francisco, a survivor of the yachting tragedy there has spoken out about the need for tethering.

Yesterday afternoon the first race of the revised SB3 season on Dublin Bay was scrubbed and in other small craft news the Fireball class held its annual training clinic. Royal Cork Optimists are heading for Waterford in a strong position. A Portrush man is heading to Spain to defend his kayaking title and in rowing news Monika Dukarska came out on top after a battle with Afloat's Rower of the Year Holly Nixon.

And is adventure sailing a new tack for declining dinghy numbers?

All this and lots more on Afloat's home page this morning!

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