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Nine Teams from Six Dublin Schools Compete in the Inaugural Shanahan Team Racing Cup

19th January 2019
Gonzaga winners with the inaugural Shanahan Cup at the INSS Gonzaga winners with the inaugural Shanahan Cup at the INSS

Nine teams from six Dublin schools (Holy Child, Blackrock College, Loreto on the Green, Gonzaga College, St Gerard's and Loreto Foxrock) competed in the inaugural Gonzaga College/Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School school’s team racing event for the Shanahan Cup on 16 January 2019. Sailing in the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s fleet of Topper Topaz Vibe dinghies, the teams faced testing conditions in a cold northwesterly wind which ranged from two to 20–knots.

Vincent Delany kicked off the day with a hugely informative briefing to all sailors before heading to sea as, for some. this was their first experience of team racing. After a short delay, the fleet assembled in the training area of Dun Laoghaire Harbour where the course was pre-laid and ready for action.

Shanahan Cup INSSThe Cup was sailed sailed in the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s fleet of Topper Topaz Vibe dinghies

Notwithstanding that many of the young sailors had suffered dunkings during the numerous capsizes in the early races the youngsters seemed oblivious to the cold and a lively party continued all day on Lula Belle, one of the INSAPS’s fleet of cruising yachts which was tied alongside the pontoon in the training area of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Hot chocolate and warm treats were on supply day round which gave sailors the chance to warm up ahead of their next race. The large pontoon ensured swift turnarounds of crews between dinghies before the next race.

Pool I was very closely fought and resulted in a three-way sail off between Blackrock College, Gonzaga B and Loreto on the Green, with Blackrock emerging as the victors.

Pool II was dominated by a powerful Gonzaga A team who won all their races and then faced Blackrock in the final. In a hotly contested start, Blackrock suffered an OCS of one of their boats which left them with too much catching up to do and Gonzaga emerged winners.

Speaking after the event Kenneth Rumball of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School emphasized the huge opportunities that existed in schools sailing. “Team racing represents a fantastic opportunity for young people to develop key sailing skills and to do it in a format that builds friendships and healthy rivalry between schools”

At the prizegiving, Fiachra Etchingham of Gonzaga College commended the high standard of sailing but emphasized that equally important was the younger and less experienced sailors who went out in difficult conditions and “gave it a go”.

Presenting the trophy Liam Shanahan encouraged the competitors not to focus too much on the results but to look at sailing as lifelong sport which afforded them opportunities to make friends and have fun.

Shanahan CupNine teams from six Dublin schools (Holy Child, Blackrock College, Loreto on the Green, Gonzaga College, St Gerard's and Loreto Foxrock) competed in the inaugural Gonzaga College/Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School school’s team racing event

Dublin Secondary Schools are renowned for various sports and in particular for team sports. However, when one looks at the full range of sports played in Dublin schools, there are very few sports where girls compete against boys on equal terms. Sailing is one sport where they sail on equal terms.

50+ youngsters left the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School with smiles on their faces looking forward to next year!

"not to focus too much on the results but to look at sailing as a lifelong sport which afforded them opportunities to make friends and have fun"

The event could not have taken place with mention of some key contributors. Fiachra Etchingham was the mastermind and instigator to which the event would not have taken place without his vision. Vincent Delany brought his considerable knowledge of team racing to ensure everything was set for the event to run smoothly as well as leading the team of highly experienced umpires. The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School provided all the equipment facilities and logistical support. Liam Shanahan for his love of the sport sponsored the inaugural event.

The winning Gonzaga team was:
Jack Fahy, Andrew Conan
Henry Higgins, Finn Cleary
Tom Higgins, Con Murphy

Special thanks should go to the volunteers on the day comprising of;
Mark Delany, Tom Fitzpatrick, Trisha Kelly, Patricia Lawler, Michael Tyrell, Alistair Rumball, James Linton, Jill Fleming and a team of Gonzaga mothers who gave up the day out of their busy schedules to make the event such a success!

Published in INSS
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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.

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