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It’s happening, the inaugural RS Fest, a fun action-packed weekend for RS racing classes!

RS Sailing Ireland in collaboration with Blessington Sailing Club and The Avon resort, are bringing back fun, family-orientated sailing events with activities and entertainment for all the family. From the 23rd to the 25th of June, multiple RS classes will race on the beautiful Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow, incorporating sailors of all genders and ages. The RS 200s & 400s will race on the 23rd to form their National Championships. The RS Fevas will also have their National Championships, however, they will only race on the 24th and 25th. RS Aeros and RS Teras will race on the 24th and 25th to form part of their regional calendar.

For a sneak preview, this is what we are basing the event from;

In a cohesive effort to recognise entertainment and fun for all the family, The Avon will be offering entertainment packages for all family members. Kayaking, SUPing and bicycle hire all feature from the nearby resort. There are enviable bicycle greenways around the lake, ensuring plenty of options for non-sailors who may be accompanying the RS sailors to the event.

Avon will also cater for post-racing entertainment and food in their food court at the inaugural RS Fest on Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow in June Avon will also cater for post-racing entertainment and food in their food court at the inaugural RS Fest on Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow in June 

Avon will also cater for post-racing entertainment & food in their food court, which should have some new additions this year in time for the event. Think freshly cooked wood-fired Pizzas, succulent Burgers and fresh salads!

The 2022 RS Aero Worlds Photo: Bob Stawicki Photography The 2022 RS Aero Worlds Photo: Bob Stawicki Photography 

For any young or old sailors who may be interested in taking to the water for the first time, RS Sailing Ireland will have some of their demo fleet on locations including the RS Tera, RS Neo and RS Zest for new sailors to try their hand at the sport and test out the latest models from RS.

For those sailors looking to sample new boats and classes or to minimise travel hassle, RS Sailing Ireland will have many charter boats available.

RS Fevas, RS Aeros & RS Teras will all be available for charter for the event.

Stay tuned for the Notice of Race and Charter pricing which will be released soon on the all new website and on the entry platform.

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Twenty-two young sailors completed their Dinghy Instructor Pre-Entry Assessments over the last few weekends at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School.

The group is now preparing for RYA Dinghy Instructor Courses at Easter.

The programme at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is unique – drawing instructor candidates from their year-round junior programmes to first become assistant instructors during the Summer, and then inviting them to attend an 8-month training programme at weekends from September to April, covering sailing skills, theory and navigation, first aid, VHF, powerboat and skills relating to presentations, classroom management and teamworking.

The overall aim of the programme is to develop skills critical to good teaching and allow instructors pass on their passion to younger sailors and adults, on the school’s sailing courses. Sailing at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is about more than just enjoying the time on the water. Life-long friendships are formed, leadership and teamworking skills are developed and everyone grows in confidence. Some of the sailors from the programme share their views on what it’s been like to be involved.

“A unique and worthwhile experience has led me to develop a passion, learn new skills from amazing trainers and build new friendships with amazing people. I’m so grateful to be a part of this; I look forward to it each week and would recommend it to everyone!” - Caoimhe Brady

“From starting sailing at a young age, I always dreamed of becoming an instructor. Not only has the instructor course increased my knowledge of sailing but it's also helped me become more confident and more independent. The course has also allowed me to meet some incredible people, and I have made many new friends I would have never met without the course. The instructor course is a great opportunity and I have gained so much from it.” - Conor Ahearne

“The Instructor Training Program has provided me with so many incredible experiences and opportunities. Not only has it improved my sailing ability, but has taught so many amazing skills and has presented an incredible chance to meet new people and overall has been an amazingly unique experience. I have enjoyed every aspect of it.” - Sarah Gormley

Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School Senior Instructors Zoë Noonan and Jeff Fahy have run the training to date and take pride in all 22 candidates successfully meeting the sailing standards. Candidates have already undertaken powerboat training to Powerboat Level 2 standard and are now focussing on developing boat handling skills needed for safe instruction of sailors.

Commenting on the 100% pass rate of the pre-entry assessments Glyn Williams, Operations Manager at the school says “All the candidates should be exceptionally proud of their efforts so far. We’re really looking forward to them joining the team after completing their instructor courses at Easter. Equally, the coaching team deserve great praise for once again having a full house of successful candidates”.

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Over the last number of years, the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School have made steps to lessen its impact on the environment, one of the school’s top priorities. The Irish Government committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and the team are onboard with these targets. 

The motivation to put the school on a sustainable footing was two-fold, explains school principal Kenneth Rumball “Most importantly, we want to do this; the whole team is motivated and care. Secondly, with government initiatives to promote climate action, we feel it’s the right time to transform the operation to ready the school for the future”.

Operations Manager Glyn Williams explains the school's sustainability plan. “We have two objectives, first to meet or exceed the climate action targets set by the government and secondly, to operate in an entirely sustainable way – encompassing waste elimination, the strongest environmental stewardship, utilising the most efficient technology and to allow us to focus on what we all really enjoy – teaching people and getting them afloat”.

Their journey has exposed benefits beyond those associated with climate action – there are significant savings on energy costs, and more efficient work practises which can make a tangible difference to the team’s day-to-day working lives. The school set out their progress and ambitions here:

Ongoing Measures Targeting Environmental Impact

Goal – Helping the students and team be environmentally aware

It is so vital that children are taught from an early age about sustainability. The school is a Science Foundation Ireland Accredited Discovery Primary Science and Maths Centre, with Muriel Rumball delivering a Marine Ecology Seashore workshop. These workshops are integrated into many of the school’s sailing courses. In addition, DPSM School Tours serve as an excellent way to educate primary children as to the impact we have on the environment.

Muriel Rumball (left) delivers a Marine Ecology session of the Seashore workshopMuriel Rumball (left) delivers a Marine Ecology session of the Seashore workshop

Goal – Reducing Outboard Engine Emissions

The school is undertaking an ongoing programme of equipment renewal, focusing on replacing the older outboard engines with more efficient modern engines. Thanks to the school's partnership with Irish Selva Marine agent upgrades to the fleet are constant. Additionally, the team perform in-house maintenance regularly, which aids in keeping the equipment performing at its best.

The maintenance team have prioritised good environmental stewardship, by introducing syphon tubing for re-fuelling and ensuring that waste oils are disposed of through proper channels. This has extended to the wider school team with training and monitoring to ensure it’s done right.

Goal – Facilitate Active Travel and Public Transport Use

The school’s workforce are mostly 16-24 years old, and for age and economic reasons, tend not to have access to cars. Given the need for watersports participants to shower and change, the school has not had the same challenge in providing team members with such facilities that other businesses may find when adopting a strategy to see more people cycle or walk to work.

They agree that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has helped on a very practical level, responding favourably to requests for additional cycle parking adjacent to their West Pier Clubhouse and Coal Harbour Boathouse. In addition, many staff and students make use of the new cycling facilities in the area.

For school principal Kenny Rumball, it’s important to lead by example – in his case, his preferred transport tool is his One-Wheel!

School principal Kenneth RumballOne Wheel - School principal Kenneth Rumball

Goal – Giving sails and wetsuits an afterlife – Looking for Circular Economy Avenues

This year the school handed over a large amount of old and used sails to Ann Kirwan from AK Sail Bags, who deconstructs the sails, taking all the usable materials off them for up-cycling into bags. Everything from bolt ropes to leech lines to even the cringles gets used to produce a stunning handbag, gear bag, washbag or marina bag! Furthermore, as a school that houses thousands of children and adults through its doors each year and also provides a wetsuit rental option to all clients too, they are bound to have some worn-down wetsuits from time to time.

They also work in close collaboration with The Upcycle Movement to give these wetsuits an afterlife by rescuing and transforming materials that otherwise would have gone to landfill. The results are unique and sustainable products. Hundreds of the school’s worn-down wetsuits have been transformed into pencil cases, wallets, bags and much more!

Ann Kirwan from AK Sail Bags deconstructs the sails, taking all the usable materials off them for up-cycling into bagsAnn Kirwan from AK Sail Bags deconstructs the sails, taking all the usable materials off them for up-cycling into bags


Goal – Renew Dinghy Fleet in Sustainable Way

By working with / RS Sailing Ireland, the school are renewing their dinghy fleet with boats designed with environmental stewardship at the forefront. RS Sailing have a major focus on sustainability in all they do, and this benefits the school’s operation according to Glyn Williams, “We choose RS Sailing dinghies as they were the best-designed boats for the job, but the sustainable practises from RS Sailing really are of benefit. RS focussed on using recycled materials as much as possible, so a new polyethylene hull is at least 70% recycled plastic. More importantly, it’s 100% recyclable – which is something RS will actually help you do. Even spare and foil construction is done to make recycling at the end of their life easy”.
Goal – Engines Go Electric

The school’s recently acquired fleet of J80 keelboats allows for a new adventure and cruising-orientated programmes; however, rather than fit petrol outboards, the team are currently procuring a fully electric alternative.
Testing is underway on electric engines for the safety boats, and plans are underway to roll this out when suitable options are available.


Goal - Waste Elimination – Paperless Office and Enhanced Technology

The school have thousands of students and clients walking in and out of their doors every year, each of whom used to be required to fill in a paper consent form. In 2022, all of this has moved online. Not only was this better for the environment, it also was easier for customers and staff members, and is one of the areas where the sustainability focus makes it easier for the team to do their job. Lead by Vonnie Airey; the team are undertaking a full digital transformation of the entire administration processes.

This forms part of the school’s strategy to eliminate waste across all aspects of the operation. Marine pollution is also on the radar. The team are committed to firstly not contributing to any such pollution, but also taking an active role in collecting any such materials when they have an opportunity to do so. They are in the process of planning a number of beach clean-ups throughout the year which will involve their students and staff.
Goal – Measuring and Targeting Impact

According to Glyn Williams, “back of the envelope calculations suggest that our safety boat fleet are the most important area to tackle for carbon emissions. Since 2020, despite getting busier, we don’t use any more fuel, thanks to the programme of improving engine efficiency and instigating better driving practises afloat”. However, the school are committed to understanding their impact “we can’t target what we’re not measuring”.

The team are undertaking a wide range of measurements of their overall impact and they’re committing to sharing this information. “Many things we’ve done so far have actually saved us money, or will do so in the long run – and many others make it easier to do our work”.

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The Shanahan Cup School’s Team Racing event was won by St Michael’s College last Wednesday, 8th February. The Cup is an initiative from the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in conjunction with Gonzaga College to offer a relatively informal fun team racing event ahead of the structured school team racing activity.

The event was originally scheduled for October 2022, however, a series of poor weather forecasts pushed the day out and previous winners, Gonzaga College had to wait for nearly four-years to defend their previous win, having won the inaugural event in 2019. The Shanahan Family donated the Shanahan Cup in conjunction with Fiachra Etchingham of Gonzaga College who has worked tirelessly to promote the event among the east coast second level schools.

Competitors assembled at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School for a race briefing at 9.45amCompetitors assembled at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School for a race briefing at 9.45am

In total, 11 teams from St Andrews College, CBC Monkstown, Gonzaga College, Holy Child Killiney, St. Conleth’s and Willow Park 1st Years were on the water, with a total of 66 sailors taking part in a combined Round Robin and League format. The event was supported by RS Sailing Ireland/ who worked with the Irish National Sailing School to provide a fleet of RS Fevas. Racing took place on the Western side of the harbour, with a team racing base was constructed between the INSS pontoon and several of the school teaching yachts and RIBs for swap overs, hot chocolate and for the other teams to watch the racing.

Racing was directed by Jeff Fahy, who set his start line about 20 metres from the pontoon base. Racing got underway on the dot of 10.57 am and a quick succession of races were underway until about 2.30 pm. The school wants to pass their appreciation to the Irish School’s Team Racing Association (ITRA), for support in promoting the event, but more importantly, the one water assistance provided by Eunice and Ailbe on the day to umpire the races.

An overview of the setup – with the pontoon/yacht base acting as the perfect spectator area for the racing underway adjacentAn overview of the setup – with the pontoon/yacht base acting as the perfect spectator area for the racing underway adjacent

The schedule of races progressed well, and by midday, the light south-easterly breeze had built to nearly 20 knots. Racing slowed down, with a few capsizes however, given the forecast was for such an occurrence and a predicted shift to the South racing continued under the care of the INSS safety boat team. As it happens, there was no Southerly shift, but instead, a big drop off in breeze, presenting teams with a new challenge to sail well in light conditions.

Racing progressed until 2.30pm, where St. Andrews Team No. 2 had comprehensively won their group, and a semi-final playoff was underway between the St. Michael’s Team and St. Andrew’s Team No. 1 for their group. St. Michael’s triumphed in this Semi Final and went on to compete against the second St. Andrews’ Team, where they ultimately won, going on to take the Shanahan Cup for 2023.

The competitors all retired to the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School Clubhouse for the prize giving, with the Shanahan Cup awarded to St. Michael’s College by Ruth Shanahan.

2023 Shanahan Cup winners St. Michaels College are presented with the trophy by Ruth Shanahan, and pictured with Glyn Williams of the INSS. St. Michaels College Team Leader Max Cantwell holds the trophy and is accompanied by team members Christian Ennis, Rory McMullan, Peadar Doyle, Michael Byrne and Alex Deasy2023 Shanahan Cup winners St. Michaels College are presented with the trophy by Ruth Shanahan, and pictured with Glyn Williams of the INSS. St. Michaels College Team Leader Max Cantwell holds the trophy and is accompanied by team members Christian Ennis, Rory McMullan, Peadar Doyle, Michael Byrne and Alex Deasy

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School and Gonzaga College are already planning the next instalment of the Cup in September 2023.

INSS Principal Kenny Rumball got some footage from the day and put together a short video of some of the action.

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Skipper a Yacht on Holiday this Summer - Here’s how the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School can help inspire you with 2023 travel ideas and tempt you with something to look forward to.

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School are launching a “Build Your 2023 Dream Holiday Scheme” where dreams of a yachting holiday in a tropical paradise — turquoise waters, palm trees and white sandy beaches - can be realised, with you being the skipper of your own charter yacht.

The steps involved in training for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for sailing are not as difficult or time-consuming as most imagine and can be broken down into three easy steps.

Step 1 – Competent Crew Course

This 5-day course familiarises you with a yacht while learning to effectively and safely carry out crewing tasks. Competent Crew students are also training in helming and all physical tasks of making the boat go. The course runs over five days, either Monday to Friday or across two weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday followed by the subsequent Saturday and Sunday). Course fees are €785. The courses always berth on an East Coast marina, with access to mainline train services. You’re more than welcome to stay onboard, but you can head off each evening and rejoin the boat in the morning. Meals are also provided on board.

Competent Crew Course

Step 2 – Day Skipper Theory

Get to grips with the basics of coastal and inshore navigation and pilotage. The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School offers two options for this course.

The first is an online course you can complete in your own time. Instructor support is available in real-time so you study worldwide and at times convenient for you. This option costs €400.

Secondly, the school’s classroom-based courses, work in a more structured and immersive environment. These courses are run across ten days (Saturdays 9.30 am-5 pm, Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-9.30 pm) and feature a remote video link and recorded session in case you can’t make it in person each session. This option costs €525 and the next course begins in April, with more running during the early months of the Summer.

Day Skipper Theory

INSS Competent Crew Courses are available from March onwardsINSS Competent Crew Courses are available from March onwards

Step 3 – Day Skipper Practical Course

You’ll be back on board for another 5-days, either spread over a Friday and two weekends or a Monday to Friday block. This time you’ll be applying all the skills from the theory course to on water navigation, as well as developing crew management skills and taking on the full skippering responsibilities.

Courses are available from March onwards and cost €785.

Day Skipper Practical Course

Applying for the ICC

Irish Sailing is responsible for the issuing of ICCs in Ireland. Upon completion of the Day Skipper course, you will receive the practical course completion certificate. This demonstrates your competency requirements for applying for the ICC and the next steps are outlined on Irish Sailing’s website.

Is there enough time before this Summer?

If you choose to do the Competent Crew and Day Skipper Practical Course on the weekend dates, you’ll only need to take two additional annual leave days, one Friday per course. The courses start in March and run every week. The syllabus for each programme is designed to be self-contained within the course dates and builds on each previous course. There’s more than enough time to be your own skipper with friends or family this Summer!

Would I need anything else to charter abroad?

Each charter company will insist on a slight variation of requirements, but most make it very easy to see what qualifications are needed. The ICC is widely recognised, however, the school would always recommend checking specifically what would be needed in each destination.

The school also run a number of additional courses that complement the core training, including VHF courses and First Aid. Skippers may also want to consider attending a powerboat training course, where it’s possible to get to ICC motor standard after completing the two-day National Powerboat Certificate.


The team in the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s office are ready to answer any questions you may have, including how those with previous experience would fit into their three-step programme. They’re on 01 2844195 or [email protected] Monday to Saturday, and are happy for people to drop in too.

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Despite the gloomy day on Saturday, RS Aeros, 400s, Waszps and even two RS Neos took to Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the RS Super Series, which is organised by Irish National Sailing Club and sponsored by the distributors for RS boats in Ireland.

Southeasterly winds with gusts into the late teens made for shifty conditions in the confines of Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a weather mark set just under the old HSS Ferry terminal. The usual race officer Kenny Rumball was out of action recovering from neck surgery, so the mantle was passed to Ronan Mooney to provide the organisation for the day.

The Aeros and Neos got four races in. As Noel Butler commented, ‘Despite the cold conditions, the team led by Ronan provided very enjoyable racing. A gusty unpredictable course meant everyone suffered a capsize. Many thanks to the Irish National Sailing Club for a tasty sandwich, hot drink and enjoyable chat afterwards in their clubhouse on the West Pier”

Noel was also very keen to point out the usefulness of this style of racing for training, “The sprint style racing is perfect o improve on your starts and racing ahead of the summer season. In 2.5 hours on the water, we had multiple starts and intense racing; this is far better than any formal training currently available”


Kenny Rumball was not far away and was particularly enthused to see two members of the Irish National Sailing Club making the big jump from the regular social sails to participating in their first race in the RS NEO. As the sailors commented, “it certainly was different to what were used too but we loved every minute and cannot wait for the next day which is in a month’s time”

This progression is what it is all about! These sailors started off in the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School learning to sail in the RS Zest and RS Quest before joining the club where they could practise their skills. With encouragement from everybody, including the seasoned Aero sailors, they are hungry for more and have entered into Howth Yacht Club’s Round the Island race on the 11th March!

The NEO is the perfect boat for this transition. It combines a durable polyethylene hull with the modern carbon rig borrowed from the RS Aero, this bridging the gap between the learning boats and racing.

The next race is scheduled for the 18th of February. Word has it that Kenny has some special deals on RS stock.

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The Junior Club - Saturday Sailing at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is back on Saturday, the 4th of February, for children aged 7-17 years.

The programme runs over nine Saturdays up to the Easter break, with participants choosing from either the morning 10 am-1 pm slot or the afternoon 2-5 pm slot.

The team are looking forward to welcoming back sailors who were participating before Christmas, as well as sailors from their Summer courses who want to get back into the sport ahead of this year’s school holidays. They’re also delighted to say that they have a specific programme for new sailors, tailored to those who have not sailed before, or have not sailed in a while, within each age grouping; 7-10 years, 11-14 years and 15-17 years.

Some of the team outline what they’ve got planned for each of their groups.

7-10 Years Age Group – Lead Instructor Cian Fay

Cian reflects on the last term, where the students developed their sailing skills from theory to practical application.

“They started the term off by concentrating and perfecting the basics, quickly moving on to upwind downwind, follow the leader and speed control drills. They also spent time doing shallow triangle courses and triangular courses, as well as manoeuvres such as coming alongside which was a new and exciting experience and to prepare them with skills that will be necessary as they move on to the older age groups.

This coming term, we’ll reinforce the basics, improve ropework and develop the students' understanding of theory. The students are particularly excited to try new manoeuvres and further their sailing abilities in the upcoming term.”

The 7-10 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club in Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe 7-10 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

11-14 Years Age Group – Lead Instructor Dairine McCabe

This term’s focus is to keep participants’ skill levels up while introducing them to new boats like the RS Zest and RS Feva. There’s also plenty planned for this group on the school’s new J80 keelboat fleet.

“The Junior Club last year was overflowing with joy and learning. We were delighted to have such attentive, enthusiastic students with us endeavouring to develop their skills and understanding. We held special events for both Halloween and Christmas last year and we hope to create something just as special for St. Patrick’s Day this year. We’ve planned lots of sailing time and practice of manoeuvres in our fleet of dinghies, and applications of the rope work we teach. On top of this, we tailor each session to the group themselves and what they would like to do, or what they need to get signed off in their logbooks. This creates a personal learning environment for our students that I have found most effective. We can’t wait to get started!”

The 11-14 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club in Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe 11-14 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour 

15-17 Years Age Group – Lead Instructor Ben Duffy

“We started off the Autumn Term by getting students comfortable on the water which allowed us to progress quickly to double-handers dinghies such as RS Quests and RS Fevas. Towards the end of the October term, all 15-17 years students were introduced to racing where we held an award ceremony for the winners of the event.

We’ll continue with this progression and continue racing at a high standard. Students will find themselves being introduced to slightly more complicated tactics for race starts and implementing spinnakers to make the racing a bit more realistic!”

The 15-17 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club on a keelboat at Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe 15-17 years Sailing Group of the INSS Junior Club on a keelboat at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Junior Club – Senior Instructor Zoe Noonan

“Last year's successful Junior Club saw sailors participating in a wide range of activities, including; dinghy and keelboat sailing, yacht sailing around the bay on one of our 36-foot cruising yachts, Lula Belle, as well as the odd kayaking session in weeks of bad weather.

Zoe also reminds all students to bring their logbooks and keep them up to date, so that the school’s instructors can determine what everyone needs to work on and will be looking out for talented sailors for the school Assistant Instructor Programme in the 15-17 years age group.

Programme Information

The Junior Club term runs from Saturday the 4th of February to Saturday the 1st April (Easter break). Sailors can choose from two times of attendance, 10 am-1 pm or 2-5 pm.

  • February: 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
  • March: 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th 
  • April: 1st

The fees for this term are €270, including wetsuits and boats.

More Information can be found here

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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

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The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is preparing for the arrival of eight J80 keelboats in January, growing capacity for training, group events and competition.

After carefully reviewing the requirements for the next phase of sail training, the team choose the J80 to accommodate 4 to 5 students with an instructor with the small cabin adding extra options not currently available to the school on the 1720s.

The fleet is replacing the school’s six-boat 1720 training fleet. Operations Manager Glyn Williams explains, “This significant investment in the future of our sail training fleet is designed to meet the increased demand for adult beginner and improver sailing that has been sustained since the pandemic. We’re excited to be able to accommodate even more students in 2023, but importantly expand our charter, racing and group events”.

The school is planning an expanded beginner training schedule, as well as new coastal sailing courses, race training courses and more cruising pathway programmes.

School principal Kenny Rumball explains that training is not the new fleet’s only focus “each boat will be maintained in a totally one-design format, allowing for race event charter as well as to act as a support fleet for the Irish Sailing League. It’s an exciting moment for the school and these boats will play their part in growing sailing participation”. Kenny Rumball is also keen to point out that this creates opportunities with six 1720s available on the market.

Upgrading the Fleet

The J80s replace the school’s six 1720 keelboats which are now available for sale. The school is particularly keen to support the growing U25 representation in the sport. Here’s a race-ready, well-maintained package that’s ideal for a U25 team. Each 1720 has it’s own road trailer and school Principal Kenny Rumball is delighted to offer a discounted sail package to U25 teams as part of his new partnership with UK Sailmakers Ireland.

The school’s maintenance team spent the week before Christmas getting all six boats winterised and ready on their trailers. They’re all available for viewing in the school’s Dun Laoghaire yard.

The school’s six 1720 keelboats are for saleThe school’s six 1720 keelboats are for sale

One Design Fleet

A key feature of the fleet is that they’ve all been operated together from new and are truly one design. This will continue in school service, with school maintenance lead Lorcan Tighe having developed an operating schedule that will see every detail from part renewal and line replacements to length of time afloat being evenly matched across each boat. The fleet will shortly be equipped with new sets of UK Sailmakers' sails.

The one design focus will allow for new services such as fleet charter for one design events as well as to expand the school’s group and corporate event programmes.

They’ll also serve as a support fleet to the recently launched Irish Sailing League with competitions beginning in the new year. The whole fleet has road trailers and can be moved to any point in the country in conjunction with the team.

Getting Afloat

The boats are currently being prepared for their journey to Ireland. The first boats of the fleet land in the middle of January and all are expected to be in by the end of the month.

Training programmes for beginners start in March and the team in Dun Laoghaire will be using the month of February to familiarise with their new fleet.

The new INSS J80 fleetThe new INSS J80 fleet

Published in INSS
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Competition fever has hit the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School over the last four weeks with so many chances to win big prizes on their Instagram page (@insssailing).

The four-week Christmas giveaway campaign was also a great opportunity for the school to collaborate with other businesses in the sector and in the area, including CH Marine, Pure Magic Kitesurfing, Fad Saoil Saunas and the newly released campaign with McWilliam Bags.

Meet some of the winners so far

Winner of the first week’s competition, Tunde Sipos, was delighted with her early Christmas gifts of a Dinghy Level 1 course with the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School and 2 Kitesurfing lessons with Pure Magic Kitesurfing.

Week 2 winner, Sarah Hutch, was over the moon to hear that she had won a Keelboat Level 1 course with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School and a Group Sauna voucher with Fad Saoil Saunas in Greystones and Salthill – something to look forward to in the New Year!

Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School and a Group Sauna voucher

There’s still time to take part

Week 3 and 4 competitions are still open until the 30th of December. It’s easy to enter – head over to the school’s Instagram page (@insssailing) and don’t miss your chance to win a Level 1 Powerboat Course and a CH Marine voucher worth €169 (Week 3), or a Summer week-long Children’s Sailing Course and 3 personalised McWilliam Bags (Week 4). Best of luck!

Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School and a Group Sauna voucher

Gift Vouchers

There’s still plenty of time to get a unique present – the gift of sailing or powerboating. There’s something for everyone, with shore-based courses for adults, beginner dinghy and keelboat courses and plenty for kids. Gift Vouchers here


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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