Last weekend over 60 international skippers and boaters were welcomed to the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
The West Pier venue hosted Quarterdeck Academy’s annual Skipper and Host Regatta, which saw close, lively and enjoyable racing from Dun Laoghaire aboard twelve 1720s. Crews comprised people from all over the globe, with the many European countries, the United States, Canada and South Africa particularly well represented.
Racing commenced on Sunday morning and Race Officer Kenneth Rumball got five races in for the day. Racing was facilitated by teamwork from a variety of Dun Laoghaire sailing establishments, with INSS boats, joined by RIYC and RSGYC fleets. This close cooperation happens every week of the Summer months, and it is a testament to all these organisations committed to facilitating participation on the bay.
Check out a video of the racing action…
Monday’s programme was lost to 35-40 knot gusts, however, the international guests more used to Sunnier climes of Croatia, Greece and the British Virgin Island took to the water to experience and Irish Sea South Easterly in the school’s fleet of large passenger RIBs.
Chief Instructor Kenneth Rumball was thrilled to see so many familiar faces, both former instructors in the school now making a living in the marine industry as well as graduates of the school’s yachting courses. “The weekend was particularly rewarding, seeing skills and training put to use. This is what the school is all about, allowing people to live out their boating dreams”.
In total, over 100 Quarterdeck Academy members spent a long weekend in Dublin, with the itinerary including a trip to the Guinness Storehouse on Saturday, Dinner in the CHQ on Sunday evening, and plenty of time to sample the Dublin nightlife too. The draw for all of this tourist group was well organised and fun racing on the ideal training ground of Dublin Bay – drawing over 200 bed nights on the weekend alone. Both why come to Ireland for a weekend, when you can tour the country for the rest of the week? One Irish Skipper turned tour guide, encouraged a large crew to travel the length and breadth of the country seeing all it is Ireland has to offer, after of course, seeing what in the school’s humble opinion is Ireland’s best offering, it's sailing!
The event has served as an excellent trial run for this style of activity, and plans are already afoot to build on the success of the weekend with a similar programme tailored to introducing more people to racing on Dublin Bay.