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Sadie Phelan 1950-2021

3rd May 2021
WSC President Sadie Phelan (second right) with (left to right) Liam Coyne, WSC Commodore Hal Fitzgerald, and Wicklow's own Brian Flahive after the Club had conferred Honorary Membership on Liam & Brian following their overall victory in four classes in the 2014 RORC Seven Stars Round Britain & Ireland Race with the First 36.7 Lula Belle.
WSC President Sadie Phelan (second right) with (left to right) Liam Coyne, WSC Commodore Hal Fitzgerald, and Wicklow's own Brian Flahive after the Club had conferred Honorary Membership on Liam & Brian following their overall victory in four classes in the 2014 RORC Seven Stars Round Britain & Ireland Race with the First 36.7 Lula Belle.

The sudden death of Sadie Phelan after a short illness has been a matter of great regret and sadness in Wicklow and beyond in Ireland, and in a wider world which shared her enthusiastically pursued interests.

She was an active and hard-working member of Wicklow Sailing Club for over forty years, holding several roles in the club. In 2010, the 60th anniversary of the club's foundation, she was elected to become the first ever Lady President. She served for the maximum two terms, from 2011 to 2016 inclusive, presiding over six years of notable achievement during which WSC put its flagship event, the biennial Round Ireland Yacht Race, on a sound footing with reinforced links to the Royal Ocean Racing Club and a new partnership with the Royal Irish Yacht Club, while the Club's developing training programme saw an increasing number of young Wicklow sailors such as Brian Flahive and Barry Byrne making their mark nationally and internationally.

In earlier years, she had been a hard-working Honorary Club Secretary for some time. This was in the days when the minutes of a meeting were carefully transcribed by hand into the Minute Book, with Sadie setting a standard which was to stand the club in good stead in the years ahead.

"When the world comes to Wicklow…" – classic Round Ireland Race start off the Wicklow pier head"When the world comes to Wicklow…" – classic Round Ireland Race start off the Wicklow pierhead

She was also the WSC representative on the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association, and due to her strong contacts in that group, the club hosted many ISORA race finishes. These were hugely beneficial to the club in both economic and reputational terms, and Peter Ryan, ISORA Chairman, has spoken in recent days of her great commitment and enthusiasm for the Association.

In addition, Sadie coordinated for many years the celebratory Dinner and Prize Giving night for the Round Ireland Yacht Race and that – together with her frequent presence in the Race Office while the event was taking place - saw her becoming friends with many of the regular Round Ireland race competitors. She was a welcoming face to so many RI crew as they arrived exhausted in Wicklow after the race. At all hours of the day and night, Sadie and the catering volunteers provided the sailors with warm, welcome smiles, hot food and relaxing drink.

It's no exaggeration to say Sadie loved Wicklow Sailing Club, and it was a special pleasure to her that in her final year as President, WSC became the Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Cub of the Year" for 2016. She enjoyed meeting people there, and was often a key figure in successful social and fund-raising events. In particular, she was renowned for her wonderful cheese and wine evenings. And in latter years, Sadie was a regular member of The Sunday Group, a small group of WSC members who enjoy reminiscing together on a Sunday afternoon in the clubhouse.

Wicklow Sailing Club "At Home" – Sadie Phelan played a leading role in making the club a byword for warm hospitality on a year-round basis.   Wicklow Sailing Club "At Home" – Sadie Phelan played a leading role in making the club a byword for warm hospitality on a year-round basis

Another passion was singing When she and Paul established an up-country base at Tinahely in one of the loveliest yet least-known parts of County Wicklow, she brought the enthusiasm and talent which we know so well in Wicklow town to the Tinahely Women's Choir, and as with everything to do with Sadie, her enjoyment and talent was infectious.

She will be much missed. Wicklow Sailing Club Commodore Kyran O'Grady has paid tribute to her for the many years of dedication to the club, and her enthusiasm for all aspects of club life. She was a great ambassador, not only for Wicklow SC, but also for the Round Ireland Yacht Race, for ISORA and for sailing generally.

Sadie's untimely passing is a great loss. We would like to extend our sympathy to Paul, to Lisa and Alan and their partners, to her sister Joan, to her grandchildren, to Theo and Orlagh, and to all her extended family.

(Sadie's family suggest that anyone who might have wished to show sympathy by bringing flowers to the funeral might like to donate to the RNLI via https://sadiephelan.muchloved.com)

PS

Published in Round Ireland
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Round Ireland Yacht Race Information

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is Ireland's classic offshore yacht race starts from Wicklow Sailing Club (WSC) and is organised jointly with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC). This page details the very latest updates from the 2008 race onwards including the race schedule, yacht entries and the all-important race updates from around the 704-mile course. Keep up to date with the Round Ireland Yacht Race here on this one handy reference page.

2020 Round Ireland Race

The 2020 race, the 21st edition, was the first race to be rescheduled then cancelled.

Following Government restrictions over COVID-19, a decision on the whether or not the 2020 race can be held was made on April 9 2020 to reschedule the race to Saturday, August 22nd. On July 27th, the race was regrettably cancelled due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

Because of COVID-19, the race had to have a virtual launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club for its 21st edition

In spite of the pandemic, however, a record entry was in prospect for 2020 with 50 boats entered with four weeks to go to the race start. The race was also going big on size and variety to make good on a pre-race prediction that the fleet could reach 60. An Irish offshore selection trial also looked set to be a component part of the 2020 race.

The rescheduling of the race to a news date emphasises the race's national significance, according to Afloat here

FAQs

704 nautical miles, 810 miles or 1304 kilometres

3171 kilometres is the estimate of Ireland's coastline by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.

SSE Renewables are the sponsors of the 2020 Round Ireland Race.

Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London and The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dublin.

Off Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, August 22nd 2020

Monohulls 1300 hrs and Multihulls 13.10 hrs

Leave Ireland and all its islands (excluding Rockall) to starboard.

It depends on the boat. The elapsed record time for the race is under 40 hours but most boats take five or six days to complete the course.

The Race Tracker is https://afloat.ie/sail/events/round-ireland/item/25789-round-ireland-yacht-race-tracker-2016-here.

The idea of a race around Ireland began in 1975 with a double-handed race starting and finishing in Bangor organised by Ballyholme Yacht Club with stopovers in Crosshaven and Killybegs. That race only had four entries. In 1980 Michael Jones put forward the idea of a non-stop race and was held in that year from Wicklow Sailing Club. Sixteen pioneers entered that race with Brian Coad’s Raasay of Melfort returning home after six days at sea to win the inaugural race. Read the first Round Ireland Yacht Race 1980 Sailing Instructions here

 

The Round Ireland race record of 38 h 37 min 7 s is held by MOD-70 trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail and was set in June 2016.

George David’s Rambler 88 (USA) holds the fastest monohull race time of two days two hours 24 minutes and 9 seconds set in the 2016 race.

William Power's 45ft Olivia undertook a round Ireland cruise in September 1860

 

Richard Hayes completed his solo epic round Ireland voyage in September 2018 in a 14-foot Laser dinghy. The voyage had seen him log a total of 1,324 sea miles (2,452 kilometres) in 54 sailing days. in 1961, the Belfast Lough Waverly Durward crewed by Kevin and Colm MacLaverty and Mick Clarke went around Ireland in three-and-a-half weeks becoming the smallest keelboat ever to go round. While neither of these achievements occurred as part of the race they are part of Round Ireland sailing history

© Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022

Race start: Off Wicklow Harbour date to be announced, most likely end of June 2022

There will be separate starts for monohulls and multihulls.

Race course:  leave Ireland and all its islands (excluding Rockall) to starboard.

Race distance: is approximately 704 nautical miles or 1304 kilometres.

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