Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Busy March for the Offshore Racing Academy as 2022 Figaro 3 Circuit Looms

9th March 2022

As I sit down to write the update for February, it dawns on me, how quickly the month has raced past and also as to how much sailing and time on the water was achieved in 28 days!

We started the month on the water, sailing and training with Susan Beucke from Germany, Silver Medallist in the 49er FX class who is exploring the adventures of offshore sailing in the Figaro 3 circuit. Based out of Lorient we were sailing with Lorient Grand Large. For me, it was a chance to train with a different perspective and different training partners including fellow Irish Offshore Champion, Tom Dolan.

The superb week of sailing made up for the fact that the team trailer had been broken into with lots of expensive and necessary support equipment stolen including, diving gear, stack bags, offshore drysuits to name but a few of the items that we will, unfortunately, have to delve into the reduced funds we have to replace.

Offshore Racing Academy

Wrapping up for the first week, we made the move back down to La Rochelle where number 20 was based. Next up was a week of solo sailing for Kenny to make sure the solo skills were still there as the potential to compete in some upcoming Figaro 3 events was becoming more and more of a reality. During the week we had mixed conditions, with windy days and equally light days, most importantly, the solo skills were there! To wrap up the week it was necessary to deliver 20 north to Lorient as there was another charter on the boat for it’s old skipper Will Harris and team Malizia. The 24-hour delivery reminded me exactly how solo sailing at night in the winter is not that much fun!

"The solo sailing community out here in France cannot be underestimated"

As 20 was on charter for a week it gave some time off and a chance to return to Ireland for some rest and recuperation which was much needed…

Recharged and back ready for action and a nice surprise of a first-class trip to France with Aer Lingus, it was back to Lorient to pick up 20 and head south to Ile d’Yeu for a 10-day training camp with Pole La Rochelle! Joining me for the week would be Timothy Long from the UK. Timothy has an impressive sailing background having circumnavigated the UK aged just 15!

Also joining us for his first Figaro training camp would be Conor Fogerty and his Figaro number 64 RAW. Leaving Lorient on the back of a front, it was a pleasure to have a co-skipper of Maïween Deffontaines to sail to Ile d’Yeu with! Perfect conditions on a reach the whole way there under gennaker in 20kts of wind we made light work of the delivery arriving on the dock to be met by Timothy with plenty of time to get the boat prepped for an intense week of training.

Intense the week certainly was, lots of wind every day with those conditions you only get once in a while to actually push a boat and see what it can do! On one trip around the island, we had 25 kts of wind downwind with the big spinnaker up and then blast reaching with the gennaker in 30 kts! Check out our video below to get an idea of how intense the boat is!

Unfortunately, Timothy had commitments to attend to back in the UK and I was left to do a nice 24 hours solo training race with the rest of the group. Light downwind conditions followed by wind and plenty of gennaker sailing back towards the Island!

With lots of training and sailing done, it was time to get back to Ireland. Literally 4 hours back on the Island, enough time for a quick sleep and packing of bags before we were off again to sail the boats to St Gilles to get them put to bed for a week or two!

Figaro 3 Number 20 out of the water and safely in its cradle(Above and below) The Offshore Racing Academy's Figaro 3 Number 20 out of the water and safely in its cradle

Figaro 3 Number 20 out of the water and safely in its cradle

It cannot be underestimated about the community out here. No sooner had I arrived in St Gilles on a Saturday, the slings were changed on the crane and number 20 was out of the water and safely in its cradle! Top work by Guillaume and the team in Port La Vie and we had Conor’s boat number 64 out also! After a manic 48 hours, it was time for some rest and food!

We’re a few days into March and it is already busy, we are providing lots of training to the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association and have lots happening and planned as previously reported here

It’s great to be busy!

Published in INSS, Figaro, Solo Sailing
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
  • 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.