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Displaying items by tag: Green Dragon

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Former Paralympic sailor and Irish National Helmsman’s Champion Feargal Kinsella will realise the dream of a lifetime when he sails on a round-the-world racing yacht in Galway as part of the Volvo Ocean Race festivities tomorrow Saturday 7 July.

The story of Feargal’s triumph over physical disability has touched the hearts of millions in recent radio and television interviews, and tomorrow morning he will finally get to fulfill one of the ten things he most wants to do in life.

"I just want to get my hands on the helm of one of the fastest and most powerful sailing boats in the world and I am absolutely thrilled that I may be able to do that on Saturday when I will join the crew of the Green Dragon on Galway Bay.”

The Green Dragon was the Chinese-Irish entry in the last Volvo Ocean Race and as part of the festival organised around the arrival of the VOR fleet in Galway, Feargal has been invited to sail it on the bay - fresh off its challenge in this year's Round Ireland Race.

A keen sailor who had sailed in many international sailing events including Fastnet and the Round Ireland Races, Feargal broke his neck in 1996. Looking back at that time. Fergal was convinced he would never sail again.

“After my first spinal injury, in 1996, my life and that of my family were thrown into turmoil. After nine months in hospital, I left in a wheelchair, paralysed from the chest down and convinced I would never sail again,” he said.

However, the Portmarnock man did take up sailing again, competing in the National Disabled Sailing Championship, the ISA Champion of Champions and representing Ireland in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. He also won the Irish National Helmsman’s Championship in 2001 against able-bodied sailors.

A second spinal injury this Christmas saw Fergal break the fourth, fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae in his spine. Following an operation on Christmas Day, Feargal has spent the last few months at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighaire recovering.

One of the many things Feargal learned from recovering from his last injury is the importance of having goals.

“They're not all achievable,” he said, “but a person should have something to strive for. In my case, I now have a short list, to which I'm adding as I go, of things that I should most definitely do now that I have been given something of a second chance.”

High on Feargal’s list is sailing on a fast yacht. As he said himself: “The idea of actually having a sail on one of those magnificent sailing machines is just so exciting."

Feargal’s dream will finally come true tomorrow when he takes to the water with the crew of the Green Dragon.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#roundireland – While the official tracker has Inis Mor as the overall leader in the 2012 Round Ireland Race, it's going to be a nail biting few hours for the French boat.

As of 3pm, Inis Mor has 30.6 miles to go. To beat Tonnerre she needs to cover that distance in five hours and 34 minutes.  Simple math says she needs to average 5.49 knots and as she is making 5.7 knots just south of Lambay Island, it should work for her.

But, the 5.7 knots is not quite in the right direction – because the wind has headed her, she can only make 221° instead of the 190° she needs to reach Wicklow on one tack.  So while 5.7 knots looks good, her actual progress towards the finish or VMG, is currently 5.4 knots – just outside the 5.49 knots needed.

To make matters worse,  she is entering an area of stronger tides that will be directly against her for the last few hours into Wicklow.  She can mitigate some of this by hugging the coast, but at what cost windwise?

Fascinating stuff, www.afloat.ie's money's on Tonnerre, at least in this battle.  Keep an eye on Cavatina though – she still has a day left to win!

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – Inistrahull, or more accurately, Tor Rocks, a sea mile or so to the north, is the most northerly point on the Round Ireland Race Course rhumb line. Green Dragon, saddled with the burden of being the biggest boat in the race, was once again struggling to get deeper as the wind backed into the southwest as she rounded at 1930 this evening.  Not only was the direction unfavourable but she now faces lighter breezes entering the tidally challenging North Channel.

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Behind her, the battle for overall leader continues with Tonnerre De Breskens briefly taking over from Inis Mor, which has lead almost from the start.  However, the initial gains may well be all for nought, as the bulk of the fleet, off the Connemara coast, are enjoying stronger breezes, and catching the bigger boats rapidly.  It is one of the delights of this great race that  it can start and restart several times along the coast and the Rathlin/North Channel tidal gate could well determine the overall honours.

While it means little to publish the current leaderboard, the table below shows that the leading group have stretched out a bit, while there is considerable bunching with only two hours separating 9th and 22nd. No doubt many of the yachts will suffer from a hole or two over the next 24 hours or so and we may well see some anchoring during the same period.

So, while the Irish Open Golf competitors can look forward to low scores as the fleet heads past the Portrush course, the Round Ireland sailors will not be setting any records this time

Published in Round Ireland

#roundirelandRound Ireland race organisers have confimed Ireland's former entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, 'the Green Dragon', will sail in Sunday's Round Ireland yacht race from Wicklow Sailing Club as one of the biggest entries in the race.

Wicklow SC say the 70-foot sloop will be raced by an 'amateur crew' but any other details of arrangements for the race are yet to be made public. Afloat.ie understands Green Dragon's crew are made up of a consortium of Dun Laoghaire yachtsmen.

In a post on its race website Wicklow officials say the Volvo 70 had arrived in Dun Laoghaire marina from Alicante in Spain to finalise preparations for her Round Ireland competition against an international fleet of 36 yachts, many from the UK.

The Reichel Pugh designed canting keel yacht was built in 2008 and competed in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race under British skipper Ian Walker where she finished fifth out of seven starters.

Wicklow Sailing Club Commodore John Harte said: 'It will be great to have such an iconic yacht such as the Green Dragon in the Round Ireland Yacht Race. She will be a very impressive spectacle on the start line'.

The yacht has been stored in Galway since the end of the last VOR race before being moved to the continent for a number of promotional engagements including the VOR Legends Regatta.

Green Dragon is set to be involved in a number of initiatives as a youth academy boat.

Published in Round Ireland

In what is being termed 'a major initiative' for young Irish sailors the Green Dragon Academy has been launched to use a second generation Volvo Open 70 and Ireland's entry in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race as a platform to discover the next generation of Irish offshore sailors.

'Our mission focuses on the 18–30yr old Irish sailors who are looking to forge a career in this niche sector within sailing' says project director Cillian McGovern. 'The Green Dragon is an ideal platform from which to gain invaluable exposure to the level of seamanship required to sail at the highest level' he adds.

With only eight of this class in operation, six of which are currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, the opportunity presented, cannot be understated', says McGovern.

At present, the boat has been hauled out of the water in Alicante and is being serviced in advance of the upcoming sailing season.

Late in 2011, the Green Dragon left Galway, where it had been safely stored for two years, and was sailed to Rotterdam. From there, it was loaded onto 3 trucks and travelled 270+ miles through Germany to Frankfurt where it was Volvo's showpiece at the Frankfurt Motor Show. After the motor-show, it was sailed to Alicante via Southampton, Cascais and Cadiz.

The highlight of which was a 24-hr between Cowes and Finisterre at an average speed of 19knots, with a crew of 8 sailors, all of whom were under 30.

The Green Dragon was present in Alicante for the Legends Regatta, enjoying a healthy duel with Telefonica Black before the Spanish boat, crewed by Olympic sailors pulled away.

The Legends Regatta was of great benefit to the young Irish sailors on board who gained great knowledge from the Whitbread/Volvo Legends on board, notably: Joe English, Bouwe Bekking and Jerry Kirby, not to mention, leading Open 60 designer, Merf Owen from Owen Clarke Design.

The forthcoming sailing season will see the Green Dragon Academy sail to Lisbon for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover, sail to Dublin and train out of the Royal Saint George Yacht Club before sailing to Galway for the Grand Finale of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Published in Youth Sailing

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – Ireland's Ocean Race Green Dragon is basking in Spanish sunshine and settling into her new role as a 'legend' as our photo from Alicante shows below. The photo was taken before she left the dock for the first race in the Legends Regatta. Can you spot some famous Irish sailing faces? (Answers below!) Her core sailing crew is all Irish and under 30, her skipper is a 28–year old Kiwi, bearing out the youth development possibilities of this Irish owned Volvo 70 design.

greendragon

The 'Legends' or past Ocean Race sailors on the Dragon are:

1. Joe English.
2. Harry Cudmore.
3. Kilian Bushe.
4. Bouwe Bekking.
5. Jerry Kirby.
6. Chris McLaughlin - arriving tonight.
7. Merfyn Owen - Owen Clarke design.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Tagged under
#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – Plans for the future of Ireland's Round the World racer Green Dragon are still up in the air since the €2million high tech sloop failed to sell after the last race two years ago.

Support is needed, say Galway organisers to put the 70-footer into a youth development role. Her real value is in doing this, says Galway's Enda O'Coineen and such use is of 'much greater than her market value'.

The boat, under British skipper Ian Walker, failed to meet expectations in the 2008-9 race when it was discovered that the boat's keel bulb was too light. It did however get a rapturous welcome into Galway for the port stopover in May 2009.

In the longer term Galway owners are still trying to figure out what to do with the vessel but some youth development role is touted as a favourable option.

Just how this might come about or how inexperienced hands could master such a high tech vessel has yet to be revealed, however.

The Chinese built boat came out of storage this summer and VOR organisers have been putting it to good promotional purposes on the Continent.

Green Dragon is now in Spain and will represent Galway in this month's VOR 'Legends Regatta' in Alicante. It is sailing with a young Irish crew.

The regatta is another marketing opportunity for the boat that might yet throw up a buyer.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
The first of the in-port races ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race start tomorrow in Alicante – and top Irish sailors are among the six teams competing.
Wexford’s Justin Slattery is on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which is competing in the race for the first time.
Skipper Ian Walker told Sail World: "Everything is ready and we can’t wait to line up against the other teams... The forecast is for strong breeze on Saturday so there will be extra pressure on the crew to get it right."
The team has another Ireland connection in its commercial director David Hassett, a veteran of the Irish yachting scene and backer of Ireland's Green Dragon team in the 2009 race.
Elsewhere, Kerryman Damian Foxall is a watch leader on Groupama, captained by debuting VOR skipper Franck Cammas - who last month received one of France's most prestigious sporting honours.
Meanwhile, the Chinese entry Team Sanya, which is part sponsored by Discover Ireland, is hoping skipper Mike Sanderson - who took Telefónica Blue to the podium at every stage in the 2009-09 race - can repeat his past successes.
In-port races take place in all 10 host ports along the 39,000-nautical-mile route, and as they account for more than 20% of the points, no team will be taking them easy.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a delegation from Galway - hosts of the final stage of the race next summer - will be in Spain for a week of events beginning tomorrow ahead of the start of the race proper on 5 November.
Sail World has more on the story HERE.

The first of the in-port races ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race start tomorrow in Alicante – and top Irish sailors are among the six teams competing.

Wexford’s Justin Slattery is on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which is competing in the race for the first time.

Skipper Ian Walker told Sail World: "Everything is ready and we can’t wait to line up against the other teams... The forecast is for strong breeze on Saturday so there will be extra pressure on the crew to get it right."

The team has another Ireland connection in its commercial director David Hassett, a veteran of the Irish yachting scene and backer of Ireland's Green Dragon team in the 2009 race.

Elsewhere, Kerryman Damian Foxall is a watch leader on Groupama, captained by debuting VOR skipper Franck Cammas - who last month received one of France's most prestigious sporting honours.

Meanwhile, the Chinese entry Team Sanya, which is part sponsored by Discover Ireland, is hoping skipper Mike Sanderson - who took Telefónica Blue to the podium at every stage in the 2009-09 race - can repeat his past successes.

In-port races take place in all 10 host ports along the 39,000-nautical-mile route, and as they account for more than 20% of the points, no team will be taking them easy.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a delegation from Galway - hosts of the final stage of the race next summer - will be in Spain for a week of events beginning tomorrow ahead of the start of the race proper on 5 November.

Sail World has more on the story HERE.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
29th August 2011

Green Dragon Sails Again

Ireland's Volvo 70 the Green Dragon was back on the water again yesterday, two years after she had finished fifth out of seven entries in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

Attempts to sell it for two million euros in 2009 did not materialise. Since then, the round the world yacht has been in dry dock in Galway, rendered obsolete because her hull was heavier and keel lighter than her rivals.

In spite of the disappointing performance the boat was welcomed in to Galway after the 2009 Transatlantic leg by a huge crowd and a week long celebration that has subsequently set the bar for all other stop over ports in the 2012 race.

After being refitted and repaired recently, the Green Dragon sailed out of Galway Docks yesterday for a tour of the bay, before she sets sail for Holland tomorrow.

Ireland's entry in the 2008-9 Volvo entry race will be taking part in the Frankfurt Motor Show promoting the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 and the Global Village in Galway where the race will end next July.

Speaking to Galway Bay FM News, Green Dragon Chairman of Let's Do it Global Enda O'Coineen says 'the sail went great'.

 

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
31st March 2011

Cheeky Chinese Challenge?

After their foray into the world of international sailing by joining with the Irish in the Green Dragon project for the last Volvo Ocean Race, China has announced it is going to attempt to win the historic America's Cup when it is next sailed for in San Francisco in 2013.

This is an interesting challenge to the present US holders, computer software billionaire Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing team which decided to have the event hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club, which prides itself as being "the oldest club West of the Mississippi in North America."

It will be the first time the America's Cup has been hosted in the United States since 1995 and it is interesting to speculate whether the Chinese are cheekily challenging the Americans who don't like the Cup going outside of the States.

Racing will be held on the iconic San Francisco City front and be visible from world-renowned tourist destinations such as the Golden Gate Bridge.

"My support for San Francisco hosting the America's Cup goes beyond the opportunity to see our team competing on home waters," said Russell Coutts, CEO, ORACLE Racing. "We are excited to sail for our sport's greatest trophy, on a stretch of water legendary among sailors worldwide."

The China Team has been given the backing of the Chinese Government and has already been designing a boat for the 34th Cup event which will be raced in 72-foot wing-powered catamaran multihulls.

"We have been working with some of the best worldwide designers for hulls and wings for a few months in partnership with top Chinese universities," the Team Leader, Wang Chao Yong, said. "This is an opportunity to showcase Chinese talents at the leading edge in hi-tech areas of both hydrodynamics and aeronautics. Our boat will be built in China."

The Chinese made an unsuccessful attempt on the 2007 America's Cup. While the intention is that most of the sailors on their America's Cup team will be Chinese there is to be, as in the 2007 attempt, a French influence. Thierry Barto has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and given the task of getting top sailors to coach the Chinese team.

It seemed initially that interest might be lacking in the 162-year-old event. However ten teams have signed up to take part in the 34th America's Cup.
Aside from the defender, Oracle, entries include Team New Zealand, Italian syndicate Mascalzone Latino - the official challenger of record - and Artemis of Sweden. Two French teams and the Chinese have also paid their entry fees. America's Cup Racing Management says two other unidentified teams, one of which is believed to be Italy's Venezia Challenge, will take part. Whether all of the existing entries make it to the start line of the challenger elimination series in July of 2013 will be interesting. There was major legal action before the event was re-scheduled for 2013. Oracle and Ellison declared their preference for a defence in San Francisco as the "home club".

Two of the three possible French challengers had talks with the Minister for Sport in Paris last Friday to discuss amalgamation and whether there would be French government support. There is also an "Argo Challenge" from a group of disabled sailors.

• This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO newspaper, Cork, where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie
Published in Island Nation
Page 2 of 3

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