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New Offshore Racing Academy Providing Logistical Support, Campaign Advice & Sailing Coaching

26th December 2021
Irish offshore sailors (from left) Conor Fogerty, Matthew Beecher and Kenny Rumball in France
rish offshore sailors (from left) Conor Fogerty, Matthew Beecher and Kenny Rumball in France

Since our initial news about the launch of the Offshore Racing Academy, we thought it would be time for a quick update on our activities during the Christmas break.

We are delighted to announce the Academy has gone from strength to strength providing as per our aims, logistical support, campaign advice and sailing coaching to non-French sailors in the Figaro circuit in France.

Our team has grown with Joan Mulloy joining the Academy team to provide lots of support from her many years as preparateur and sailor in the Figaro circuit! We have also been working with Marcus Hutchinson who brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and advice to the Academy and its members! Equipment suppliers are also providing support to the Academy with Helly Hansen providing both Offshore and shoreside clothing for the team and members! North Sails Ireland with their team including Nigel, Shane and Prof are already supporting the Academy and its members!

As reported already, the Academy is looking forward to working with the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association in 2022. We will be providing training and support discussions in the early part of the year ahead of their busy season. We will continue to provide weather briefings after their success last year ahead of all the ISORA races and the lead up to the Round Ireland Yacht Race of 2022. The talks will be open to all skippers and more importantly crew to raise knowledge and awareness and therefore enjoyment for all boats and sailors in 2022.

The Academy has been down in France and back to the main Figaro hub of Port La Foret in northern Brittany. We have transported a Figaro cradle and moved our support van and trailer to France in late November. A quick return home and we have helped Conor Fogerty deliver his Figaro ‘Raw’ to Port La Foret to get it into the shed to prepare the boat for the 2022 Figaro circuit!

The Irish Offshore Racing Academy is providing logistical support to sailorsThe Irish Offshore Racing Academy is providing logistical support to sailors

We then spent a few days coaching Matthew Beecher as he explores the possibility of the Figaro circuit into 2022. A brisk 25 knots from the west gave plenty of whoops and hollers with getting the boat up and riding on its foils at 16knots +! Finally, we then put all the boats to bed ahead of the Christmas break.

Conor Fogerty's Figaro ‘Raw’ at Port La ForetConor Fogerty's Figaro ‘Raw’ at Port La Foret

Looking forward to 2022, we will be straight back out there running a training group for the Figaros in early January. We are also setting up weather and navigational briefings and classes to get Academy sailors up to speed before joining the main training groups later in the season.

Our other boat the Class40 is progressing well with the charter deal on a boat nearing the final stages. We hope to announce with main events this boat will compete in next year.

Lastly, we are developing a Figaro 3 trial week for those that might be interested in trying the boat out and seeing what all the fuss is about. This will be far more than a trial sail with a full weeks sailing, travel and tour of the main Fiagro hubs of Port La Foret and La Base in Lorient.

Published in INSS
Kenneth Rumball

About The Author

Kenneth Rumball

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Kenny Rumball is the Principal of the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. He is a multi dinghy champion and offshore sailor. In 2018 he was awarded the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Seamanship Trophy for a Man Overboard Rescue in the Round Ireland Race. In May 2020 he embarked on a mixed offshore doublehanded keelboat campaign with Pamela Lee.

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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
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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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