Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

2022 at the Irish National Sailing School - A Year in Review

1st January 2023
Happy New Year from the sailors of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Happy New Year from the sailors of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Normality resumed at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire Harbour with attendance on courses and programmes exceeding 7,500. The pandemic constraints now lifted the focus for the school team was to get the show back on the road and firing on all cylinders.

Coinciding with the full return of activities, School Principal Kenny Rumball was back in Ireland after several years on the Figaro circuit in France and first item on the agenda was boosting capacity across school activities as well as developing RS Sailing and marine projects generally between INSS and sister organisation

Children’s Courses

The school successfully ran a variety of children’s courses, including week-long Summer Courses, Mid-Term programmes and Saturday Sailing during the school term. The Summer programme attendances exceeded 3,000 across 12 weeks, with nearly 300 participants on Saturday sailing courses throughout the school term. Nearly 1,200 school students got afloat as part of the INSS weekday school programmes at primary and second level.

Instructor Programme

Twenty-two new dinghy instructors qualified at Easter. The Dinghy Instructor Training Programme saw a 100% pass rate for another year in a row and the team are looking forward to welcoming a similar success at Easter in 2023.

Adult Courses

Normality resumed for the majority of programmes, and the school was delighted to report approximately 1,000 adult trainees through the doors on beginner keelboat, dinghy and yacht courses. The shore based schedule of Navigation, VHF, Sea Survival and First Aid training was slower to recommence, however, with approximately 500 powerboat course graduates trained, fears that the pandemic driven increase in getting afloat was to be short lived have been dispelled.

School support for the Irish National Sailing Club activities continued in 2022, with the club experiencing a record year of attendance thanks to the hard work of volunteers, committee and school staff.

Women at the Helm – INSS and Team up to get RS21 sailing

A combined team of school instructors and crew got the new RS21 afloat for the Women at the Helm Regatta hosted by the National Yacht Club in August. For a number of the school instructors this was their first ever regatta. A school 1720 was also entered and in all 17 team members participated across a number of boats. Credit for making this happen goes to RS Sailing lead Heather Wright, who’s carrying on her mentoring and encouragement of young sailors from her time as school senior instructor in her new RS Sailing Role. The event also saw the RS21s first Irish sail.

A combined team of school instructors and crew got the new RS21 afloat for the Women at the Helm RegattaA combined team of school instructors and crew got the new RS21 afloat for the Women at the Helm Regatta

RS Feva Racing Programme

The school were delighted to see five crews from their Junior Club programme racing in the RS Feva Easterns hosted by the National Yacht Club in September. This was the culmination of a Summer long programme of race coaching delivered by Ronan Mooney and supported by Heather Wright. The aims included getting youngsters who’d never taken part in a race event before to the point where they were comfortable and confident on a start line. The school team couldn’t have been prouder of the crew:

11th Overall: John Healy& Daniel Burns
12th Overall: Finn Byrne & Joe Gaffney
19th Overall: Kealan Reilly & Oisin O'Reilly
20th Overall: Orla Casey & Carla Williamson
21st Overall: Theo Homan & Manus O Baoighill

Crews from the Junior Club programme raced in the RS Feva EasternsCrews from the Junior Club programme raced in the RS Feva Easterns Super Series

RS Sailing dealer was supported by the school in delivered three mornings of racing for RS Aeros, RS200s, RS400s, RS Fevas and Waszps in Dun Laoghaire harbour between October and December. The Super Series is slated to return in the new year and the school will once again be providing the full support to deliver this sprint style racing. Noel Butler took home the first place Aero prize and the 2023 series will be used to kick start the schools RS Feva racing programme.

Round Ireland Race – Under 25 Instructors compete in Figaro 3

Four team members from the school, all aged under 25 who took part in the 2022 Round Ireland Yacht Race. Lorcan Tighe, Andrew Irvin, Ronan Mooney and Cian Crowe, reached out to the Offshore Racing Academy, run by School Principal Kenny Rumball who helped them charter a Figaro 3 from the academy in France. The team completed the course in 5 days, 14 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds. There’s immense pride throughout the school in this achievement.

The U25 Team raced in the Round Ireland race in a Figaro 3 Photo: AfloatThe U25 Team raced in the Round Ireland race in a Figaro 3 Photo: Afloat

Equipment Improvements

The school fleet continued to be upgraded and renewed in 2023. Several new safety boats, 6 RS Zests and a RS Quest were added to the dinghy/children’s line up. The school also took delivery of a new 7.5m Vanguard RIB, Buzz, which will be powered by a 200hp Selva Marine outboard. Buzz goes into final build this January with bookings already for the school’s range of tourism services starting this Summer.

The INSS took delivery of a new 7.5m Vanguard RIB, BuzzThe INSS took delivery of a new 7.5m Vanguard RIB, Buzz

Looking ahead to 2023

The school recently announced a major expansion to their keelboat fleet. Alongside that there’s a very full schedule of training courses for children and adults in the works. Kenny Rumball sums up his feelings for 2023 “Next year is going to be even bigger!! Hold on for the ride!!”

Check out the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s 2022 Year in Review video below

Published in INSS Team

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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.