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Displaying items by tag: UCD

With the Irish sailing community still getting used to the fact that University College Dublin Sailing Club opened its 2023 season with a first-ever overall victory for an Irish team at the high-powered Top Gun Series at Oxford, there were some who thought it was a late April Fool’s leg-pull when the news came through that they’ve topped that with a very convincing win in the recent British Universities Open Team Championship at Grafham Water.

So many top college squads were involved that it takes some time to decipher just how much quality competition and how many teams the Belfield boys and girls had to get through to reach the final. But it did mean that in the semi-finals, they came up against the ultimate maritime university of Southampton and beat them. And then they went into the final against Cambridge Blue, and in Races 193 and 195 in this enormous series, they beat the Fenland Flyers with exemplary scorecards of 1,3,5 against the 2,4,6 of Cambridge in both contests.

Of course, with hindsight, folk will say that this is as it should be, as UCD are a team of all the talents, with almost every member of the squad being an Irish national or regional champion helm or crew in some hyper-competitive class. But it’s a long and arduous process to keep your cool and steadily work your way through a Who’s Who of contemporary university sailing on this scale, and all power to the team of Jack Fahy, Liam Glynn, Tom Higgins, Kathy Kelly, Triona Hinkson and Cian Lynch for bringing it all back home at a time when sailing in Ireland welcomes all the international success it can get.

British Universities Open Team ChampionshipBritish Universities Open Team Championship results 2023

Published in Team Racing
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Jack Fahy of Dun Laoghaire and the University College Dublin Sailing Club Team Racing Squad hit the target spot on at the weekend, when they emerged as winners of the elite eight-team Top Gun Invitational Series, organised on the premier English team competition venue of Farmoor Reservoir by Oxford University.

It’s the first time that UCD have been invited to this exclusive “Championship of Champions”, but they rose to the challenge with style in a superbly-run series. It was of course very much a team effort, but in the time-honoured manner we make Team Captain Jack Fahy the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month (Team Racing) for February, while ensuring that the entire squad are up in lights, and they are: Jack Fahy & Emily Riordan, Liam Glynn & Triona Hinkson, and Tom Higgins & Cian Lynch.

 Bringing it all back home. Jack Fahy and the UCD team on Sunday after winning the Top Guns Invitational at Oxford at their debut appearance Bringing it all back home. Jack Fahy and the UCD team on Sunday after winning the Top Guns Invitational at Oxford at their debut appearance Photo: Nigel Vick s

But while they can celebrate for a day or two now, this weekend they’ll be very much the target themselves, as the Irish University Championship is being organised by Trinity College Dublin at Carlingford. That said, the last time the national college sailors were at Carlingford en masse was in October 2021, when UCD won and Jack Fahy was the nominated Sailor of the Month, so there’s form here.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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UCD Sailing Club made team racing history at the weekend when it won the Oxford Invitational Top Gun Trophy, the first Irish team to do so.

The top eight university teams from across the UK and Ireland competed at Farmoor Reservoir for a packed weekend of high-quality team racing across two flights of Fireflies.

The winning UCD team in Oxford were Jack Fahy, Emily Riordan, Liam Glynn, Triona Hinkson, Tom Higgins and Cian Lynch

Saturday saw a start at 10 am allowing for 53 races to be completed across the day in a fresh, but shifty 15 knots. Notable results came from UCD, who managed to finish the day having lost only one of the 13 races they competed in.

Overnight a black tie ball was held for the Top Gun Dinner at Oxford's St Edmund's Hall.

Oxford Top Gun Invitational Trophy 2023 Photo: Nigel VickOxford Top Gun Invitational Trophy 2023 Photo: Nigel Vick

Another prompt start on Sunday allowed the teams to get another 12 races in each before we ended the round-robin to head into a best-of-5 final between UCD and Cambridge.

A shifty 12 knots made racing extremely tight, and after two wins each, the final was a winner-takes-it-all final race. Good umpiring decisions saw almost all the boats in the final race spinning; however, UCD pulled through on the final beat and secured a win for an Irish team for the first time in Top Gun history.

Oxford Invitational Top Gun TrophyOxford Invitational Top Gun Trophy 2023 results

With the IUSA inter-varsities happening this week in Carlingford (organised by Trinity College), UCD looks to be in a strong position.

•The weekend result has earned the UCD team the February Irish Sailors of the Month award

Published in Team Racing
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Mercury levels of fish and shellfish landed by fishing boats at Irish ports are low and well within EU guidelines for human consumption, as underscored by a recent briefing from UCD’s Institute of Food and Health.

However, as Derek Evans says in his Angling Notes for The Irish Times this week, these catches do not include deep-water, often migratory species such as shark, swordfish and tuna — the latter of which is being consumed in Ireland increasing quantities in its canned variety.

It’s advised that young children as well as pregnant or breastfeeding people limit their intake to two 226g cans of tuna a week as a precaution.

But the science experts adds that the general population need not fear any fish products as part of a healthy balanced diet.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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The approach by the UK Government to Brexit trade policy and negotiations protocol is causing “potentially irreparable damage” to Wales’ (ferry) ports, researchers have said.

Colin Murray of Newcastle University and Jonathan Evershed of University College Dublin warned (see LSE) that the “disregard” for Welsh ports during Brexit negotiations was “part and parcel of Wales’ wider marginalisation within the political economy of the UK”.

The barriers to trade between Great Britain and the EU expanded considerably when the UK government choose not to align with EU product standards, they said. Meanwhile, the arrangements for Northern Ireland continue to involve far fewer barriers to trade.

“While this has been to Belfast Harbour’s benefit, it has proven extremely damaging to Wales’ Ireland-facing (ferry) ports – Holyhead, Fishguard, and Pembroke Dock – in ways that may yet have profound political and even constitutional implications,” they said.

Before Brexit, about 50% of Northern Ireland’s trade with Great Britain was done via Dublin and Holyhead, they said in an article for the London School of Economics.

But since January 2021, goods coming from Holyhead into Dublin “have been subject to the full weight of new barriers to trade between the UK and the EU”.

Nation.Cymru has more on the joint University researchers article. 

Published in Ferry

It was mixed results for Trinity rowing crews in the coin toss for the annual Colours Boat Races yesterday (Sunday 27 February).

Round Ireland sailor and adventurer Mark Pollock was on hand to flip the coin at the steps of TCD’s Dining Hall, with the Dublin University Boat Club losing the toss for the men’s race — they will take the south station for the Gannon Cup and Dan Quinn Shield against UCD Boat Club.

Trinity’s women faired better, with the Dublin University Ladies Boat Club winning their toss — they chose to race on the south station for the Corcoran Cup and the Sally Moorhead Trophy against UCD’s women.

The 2022 Colours Boat Races, which return after a two-year break amid the COVID-19 pandemic, take place on the River Liffey from O’Connell Bridge to St James’ Gate on Friday 18 March.

Published in Rowing
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University College Dublin (UCD) Sailing Club's first team have had a very successful two weeks on UK waters at team racing events.

First, they travelled to Southampton for the Wessex Winter Warmer, an event where only university first teams and strong alumni/club teams may enter.

In Saturday's racing, they won all their races on the water, however a controversial OCS call and missing a race meant that they finished the day on 8/10, costing them a spot in the semi-finals after the round-robin concluded on Sunday morning. The team finished sixth overall out of 20 teams and second university, an impressive finish considering most of the best UK universities attended.

University College Dublin (UCD) Sailing Club team racing

The team then went to the Oxford "Top Gun" regatta a fortnight later, an annual invitational hosted by Oxford University where the best eight university teams in the UK and Ireland are invited to compete.

As the only Irish team invited, UCD wanted to do Ireland proud. The breeze was very strong with gusts averaging at 25 knots which made for challenging team racing, however, UCD were well up to the challenge ending the first day of racing in second place with a race in hand.

University College Dublin (UCD) Sailing Club team racing

It's worth mentioning that racing was abandoned earlier than scheduled on Saturday due to an incident that happened in the UCD vs Cambridge race, one Cambridge boat T-boned another during a particularly strong gust whilst attempting a manoeuvre at mark 4, putting a large hole through a teammates boat.

The team attended the annual Oxford sailing dinner that night, a far more extravagant Saturday night than they are used to during sailing events, according to reports.

Sailing on Sunday was even windier than the first and UCD ended up slipping out of the top two spots and did not qualify for the final.

The team is looking forward to putting the experience of these two regattas into practice at the Irish varsities in two weeks time.

Published in Team Racing
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#Rowing: UCD won only their second senior men's eights Championship of Ireland since 1973 at the National Rowing Centre today. They last won in 2011. They had a clearwater lead by half way and never let it go.

The senior women's eight saw NUIG/Castleconnell also win well. The stern pair of Sadhbh O'Connor and Fiona Murtagh were taking their fourth titles of the weekend.

The final session of the Irish Championships started with a UCD win in the men's novice eight and continued with Ruth Morris of Commercial moving well clear to win the women's intermediate sngle sculls.

Colaiste Iognaid won a battle with Commercial in the men's junior pair, while Lee's junior women matched their junior men by winning the quadruple.

The final race of the whole event, the men's intermediate double, was won by Skibbereen.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: UCD made a good start in the semi-finals of the Visitors’ four at Henley Royal Regatta, but could not match the power of their opponents and made their exit. The crew listed as Cambridge University and Leander Club are, most likely, on their way to the World Under-23 Championships representing Britain. UCD stayed in touch with them until Fawley, about half way, but then saw them pull away. The verdict was one and three-quarter lengths.   

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Four (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Silver Goblets (Men’s Pairs, Open): A Diaz and A Haack bt M O’Donovan and S O’Driscoll (Skibbereen) 2¾ l

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): Cambridge University and Leander Club bt UCD 1¾ l

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Irish crews had two remarkable wins in quick succession at Henley Royal Regatta on Friday evening.

 Commercial came from behind to beat Cercle de l’Aviron de Lyon by three-quarters of a length in the Thames Cup. The French seemed to have a strong hold on the race, but stroke Colm Dowling and his crew rowed through them. The Irish champions then repulsed a late charge to win.

 UCD seemed set for a grim battle with RG Dusseldorf and Crefelder in the Visitors’ and there was little between them in the middle stages of the race. But the Irish four – also national champions in this boat – sped away from the Germans across the flat water to win well.

 Both crews joined Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, who won in their round of the Silver Goblets, in Saturday’s draw.

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Three (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Thames (Men’s Eight, Club): Commercial bt Cercle de l’Aviron de Lyon ¾ l

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): UCD bt Dusseldorf and Crefeld 2¾ lengths

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): G Prendergast, K Gowler bt S O’Connor, N Long 2¼ l

Silver Goblets (Men’s Pairs, Open): Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen) bt H Hogan and H Elworthy 2¼ l

Double Sculls (Men’s Double, Open): J Collins, G Thomas bt Nathan Hull and OJ Dix (Queen’s, Belfast and Leander) 1l

Published in Rowing
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Ireland's Trading Ketch Ilen

The Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships.

Designed by Limerick man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, she was delivered by Munster men to the Falkland Islands where she served valiantly for seventy years, enduring and enjoying the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties.

Returned now to Ireland and given a new breath of life, Ilen may be described as the last of Ireland’s timber-built ocean-going sailing ships, yet at a mere 56ft, it is capable of visiting most of the small harbours of Ireland.

Wooden Sailing Ship Ilen FAQs

The Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships.

The Ilen was designed by Conor O’Brien, the first Irish man to circumnavigate the world.

Ilen is named for the West Cork River which flows to the sea at Baltimore, her home port.

The Ilen was built by Baltimore Sea Fisheries School, West Cork in 1926. Tom Moynihan was foreman.

Ilen's wood construction is of oak ribs and planks of larch.

As-built initially, she is 56 feet in length overall with a beam of 14 feet and a displacement of 45 tonnes.

Conor O’Brien set sail in August 1926 with two Cadogan cousins from Cape Clear in West Cork, arriving at Port Stanley in January 1927 and handed it over to the new owners.

The Ilen was delivered to the Falkland Islands Company, in exchange for £1,500.

Ilen served for over 70 years as a cargo ship and a ferry in the Falkland Islands, enduring and enjoying the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties. She stayed in service until the early 1990s.

Limerick sailor Gary McMahon and his team located Ilen. MacMahon started looking for her in 1996 and went out to the Falklands and struck a deal with the owner to bring her back to Ireland.

After a lifetime of hard work in the Falklands, Ilen required a ground-up rebuild.

A Russian cargo ship transported her back on a 12,000-mile trip from the Southern Oceans to Dublin. The Ilen was discharged at the Port of Dublin 1997, after an absence from Ireland of 70 years.

It was a collaboration between the Ilen Project in Limerick and Hegarty’s Boatyard in Old Court, near Skibbereen. Much of the heavy lifting, of frames, planking, deadwood & backbone, knees, floors, shelves and stringers, deck beams, and carlins, was done in Hegarty’s. The generally lighter work of preparing sole, bulkheads, deck‐houses fixed furniture, fixtures & fittings, deck fittings, machinery, systems, tanks, spar making and rigging is being done at the Ilen boat building school in Limerick.

Ten years. The boat was much the worse for wear when it returned to West Cork in May 1998, and it remained dormant for ten years before the start of a decade-long restoration.

Ilen now serves as a community floating classroom and cargo vessel – visiting 23 ports in 2019 and making a transatlantic crossing to Greenland as part of a relationship-building project to link youth in Limerick City with youth in Nuuk, west Greenland.

At a mere 56ft, Ilen is capable of visiting most of the small harbours of Ireland.

©Afloat 2020