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Displaying items by tag: Offshore

A new offshore race will set a fleet of boats on a sprint to Rockall, a lonely rock around 270 miles north-west of Donegal. The 750-mile race will be timed to coincide with the arrival of boats in the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway. The Round Rockall Race is the brainchild of Larry Hynes, who sailed around Ireland solo in 2005. 

"We originally wanted to do it last in 2011," he said,  "which was the 200th anniversary of the first landing on Rockall."

However, Hynes said that when he heard the VOR was coming back to Galway, it made sense to postpone the event to make it more palatable to travelling boats from France and elsewhere.

Hynes says he wants to keep the race 'fairly Corinthian' and is welcoming all comers. With Galway being twinned with Lorient in France, Hynes hopes to tap into the offshore sailing spirit of the French and tempt some French offshore boats north with the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet for the finish and a race in Irish waters. 

The site already has a web presence, which puts many of the more established races to shame. He is working with former Round Ireland winner Aodhan Fitzgerald on a Notice of Race and says that he is steadfastly committed to running the event, whether he gets two or two hundred entries.

The Round Rockall website is at www.roundrockallrace.com

Published in Galway Stop

The Cal 40 crew of Sinn Féin are looking for their third consecutive Newport-Bermuda scalp this year, with a hat-trick a very real prospect.   In 46 races since 1906, just three boats have won the major prize, the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, at least two times.  A pair of these boats won consecutive races – Carleton Mitchell’s fabled Finisterre in 1956-60 and, in the two most recent races in 2006 and 2008, Peter S. Rebovich’s Sinn Fein, from New Jersey’s Raritan Yacht Club. Rebovich and his usual crew will be back again this year with the gleam of a third St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy in their eyes.

How does this 45-year old stock Cal 40 sloop do so well, so often against much newer and more sophisticated custom boats?  The explanation is that this is a happy marriage of a good boat to an able amateur crew that has been racing her for decades.  During Finisterre’s glory days half a century ago, one of her regular crew credited Mitchell’s “good admiralship” – meaning his cheerful but firm, detail-driven, open-minded command of a deeply loyal crew.  The same can be said of Pete Rebovich and his guys.

One thing that cannot be said about them is that they’re riding a brief lucky streak. When Sinn Fein first raced offshore in the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in the 1980s, she won class and family prizes. She’s sailed six Newport Bermuda Races, paying her dues with low finishes before winning her class in 2002 and 2004 and then taking the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, first in a drifter in a glassy sea in 2006 followed by a classic upwind thrash to the Onion Patch in 2008.  Over Memorial Day weekend, she won her class in the 2010 Block Island Race, the major tune-up for the Bermuda Race.

Sinn Fein has also won the Olin J. Stephens Ocean Racing Trophy three straight times – in fact, the only times it has been presented – for the best combined performance in successive Newport Bermuda Races and Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Races. Rebovich has a special memory of winning the first Stephens Trophy because the presentation of the award to the 70-year-old winning skipper was made by 99-year-old Olin Stephens himself. “We won, and while I was hobbling to the stage to meet him and receive the trophy, he commented, ‘Isn't it nice to see an old guy, like me, still out there racing – and winning.’”

Full article on the official race website, HERE.

Published in Racing

Having tacked down the southern seaboard of Ireland after rounding Tuskar Rock, all boats in the Normandy Channel Race have now rounded the Fastnet and are heading east on the homeward leg. The Normandy Channel Race is one of many that visit Irish waters without stopping, with the Mini Fastnet and others dipping into our territory to find a high-profile rock before fleeing again.

The 8 competitors  are making for the Scilly Isles, a string of rocks scattered about the South-West tip of England. To the great delight of these sailors, the fog, which has been tenaciously clinging onto them for the past three days, is gradually dissipating the further South the Class 40s sail. However, little else has changed and they’re still canted over against the wind as they make headway towards the English Channel and Normandy.

"Destination Dunkerque" skippered by Thomas Ruyant-Tanguy Leglatin is continuing what can only be described as a faultless race, admirably optimising their course. No pointless tacks for Tom and Tang then, who are just 300 miles from the finish this morning. Last night’s SE’ly breeze is likely to ease as day breaks and shift further round to the East. As such the ETAs don’t see the fleet crossing the line in Hermanville sur Mer before Sunday morning. In the wake of these solid leaders, the Dutch-Belgian duo Roelland Frannssens-Michel Kleinjans (Moonpalace) were still battling it out for second place with Halvard Mabire and Peter Harding yesterday. However, since then the two boats have split apart with a massive 20 mile lead going to “40 Degrees”. "Moonpalace” must now keep an eye on what’s going on around her and in particular the ‘miraculous’ performance by "Appart City" skippered by Yvon Noblet and David Taboré, which we can recall came close to dismasting two days ago and has since been sailing with a patched-up rig.
Night message from Halvard Mabire, co- skipper to Peter Harding in the Class 40 “40 Degrees”, currently second in the Normandy Channel Race:
"We can’t really say that we saw a lot of Ireland! The Fastnet? We barely saw the base of the rock when we went round it. We didn’t even see the base of the lighthouse. Nothing. You have to wonder a little about how, long ago, you could have managed to sail this course, almost constantly skimming past the rocks without ever seeing them. However the GPS doesn’t date back that long ago. It became fairly commonplace in the early nineties. In 91 we began to have them on the Figaro, which shook things up a bit. ‘Long ago’, which does seems a long time ago now (it has to be said that it was during the last century, in the period of black and white and silent films!), even before you knew where you were going, you already had to know where you were. Today we know perfectly well where we are, even if we can’t see a thing! When you think about it it’s funny to know exactly where you are on a map, or on a computer screen, whilst in fact you’re nowhere because you can’t see anything! Where does the reality end and the virtual begin? What’s staggering is the speed at which things become part of everyday life on a cultural level. Today nobody wonders about the very recent problems of positioning because we’re surrounded by GPS systems, which are constantly telling us not just where we are, but can also track anything or anyone. Anybody can position any object or any person on a map, without even knowing which way is North, or without having the slightest idea about basic orientation in relation to the sun. Once the great mystery of positioning is no longer there, it becomes more difficult to do something sensational. Everyone remembers Tabarly looming up out of the fog in Newport to take victory in the Transat in ‘76. Probably an element of the media success of this victory stemmed from the fact that it was unexpected and that it came out of the fog like a divine apparition.
Now you all know where we are and the ranking, which is constantly displayed, no longer allows you to fill pages with suppositions and forecasts. I’m under the impression that everyone wonders a bit about what they’re going to be able to talk about. That’s why they ask us if we have a ‘strategy’. At the risk of disappointing a lot of people, I can tell you that strategy, that’s to say deciding in advance what you’re going to do, is a load of hot air for boats like the Class40s. Solely the big multihulls vying for transoceanic records can really play with the weather, otherwise, as a general rule, it’s the weather that plays around with the boats. We find ourselves in a particular place at a particular time and there are not really any choices to be made. Or rather, if you can choose, it comes down to trying not to do something silly or avoiding doing something you mustn’t do on any account and that’s how you ‘give up’ up places to others. When you’re making virtually no headway at all, you can’t ‘traverse’ the race zone to hunt down a miracle. That’s why you notice that more and more the “fleet is right” (which is par for the course with the rising standards) and that ultimately the winner has rarely strayed far from the most direct course. The positioning of the race boats really comes down to a series of reactions in relation to an instantaneous situation, rather than a strategy decided in advance. All that to say, on 40 Degrees the strategy is not to have one and instead it’s all about adapting as best you can to the situations which present themselves."
Follow the race online with their tracker map.

 

Published in News Update

Cork Harbour saw the start of the feeder race to Dun Laoghaire for the Liebherr ICRA Nationals last Friday writes Claire Bateman. This race was mandatory for yachts wishing to compete in the Commodore's Cup to be held in the Solent in August and also served as a qualifier for any yacht wishing to compete in the Round Ireland Race from Wicklow in June. 

This was the first opportunity the Irish team of Anthony O'Leary's Antix, David Dwyer's Marinerscove.ie and Andrew Creighton's Roxy 6 have had to sail together as Roxy, the yacht to fill the Class Three slot, only arrived in Cork Harbour fresh from the Dale-Nelson Yard in Wales two weeks ago.

Start photographs here.

Conditions on Friday night as the yachts came to the start line were magnificent.  The harbour was resplendent bathed in brilliant sunlight with yachts from the Friday night Whitesail league flying everywhere in the 12-15knot NNW wind. The feeder race start saw the competitiors beat in the harbour to No.10 buoy where spinnakers were hoisted and they then ran back out the harbour creating a magnificent spectacle as they wove their way through the Whitesail Fleet.

Racing continued throughout the night and most of Saturday with the wind lightening and becoming fluky ranging from 8 to 16 knots providing excellent experience for the crews on the Commodore's Cup yachts. In fact Marinerscove lost out when sailing into a windless area under Wicklow Head and retired at that point but speaking with Dwyer after racing he said that it was nonetheless a wonderful training opportunity with the constant almost hourly sail changes required.

ICRA Offshore Trophy Race:
1.  Antix       Anthony O'Leary
2.  Roxy 6      Rob Davies/Andrew Creighton
3.  Gloves Off  Kieran Twomey
4.  D-Tox       Donal O'Leary


Published in ICRA

ISORA has released the 25–boat entry list for what's forecast to be a breezy start to tomorrow's second ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire to Arklow and back. Any boats visiting Dun Laoghaire are welcome to use the facilities of the National YC, says ISORA and NYC Commodore Peter Ryan. The race briefing will be held at Dun Laoghaire marina tomorrow morning at 0845.

Published in ISORA

Property website Daft.com put its down payment on some prime publicity real estate today, formally announcing its plans to sponsor a boat in this year’s Round Ireland

Daft will be backing blind adventurer Mark Pollock and Air Corps pilot Mick Liddy, the first double-handed crew with one blind member to compete in the Round Ireland Yacht Race

The sponsorship deal will allow Liddy and Pollock charter a race-ready Class 40 for the event.

The announcement comes at a time when sponsorship deals for sailing individuals, never mind events, are at a premium. The Round Ireland Yacht Race itself has yet to secure a title sponsor, and other offshore sailors have struggled to retain sponsors or failed outright to raise funding for participation in higher-profile international events.

The motivation for Daft.com to come on board lies largely in the fact that Daft.ie is launching in the six counties of Ulster, making the company an all-island affair, which ties in nicely with a race around the island.

Said Pollock: “Securing a sponsor in these challenging economic times is very difficult and we feel extremely lucky to have the Daft brand behind us. For me, this competition is going to be the most challenging yet, as I will be operating the boat in two-hour shifts for the duration of the race. Unlike my previous challenges, I’ll be completely unguided. Having the support and backing of a sponsor like Daft.com means that I can focus entirely on the training and the race, knowing I have the Daft team right behind me.”

David Garland, Sales Director, Daft Media Group said, “I truly admire Mark as an individual and the manner in which he approaches every challenge he takes on. His commitment and determination to succeed is an inspiration to us all. We’re delighted to be in a position to be able to support and sponsor Mark and Mick in this high-profile sailing event.”

 

Published in Round Ireland

It has been confirmed that Ireland will have a second entry in the Volvo Ocean Race. Fastnet winner, twice Afloat sailor of the year, and national offshore-sprint hero Ger O’Rourke will use the title-holding boat, ABN Amro 1 (aka Black Betty) to take on the new generation of VO70s. Let speculation commence, says Markham Nolan.

Page 34 of 34

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