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The Irish Team Racing Association (ITRA) has been one of the first organisations to congratulate two new IRL International Judges appointed at the recent World Sailing Conference in Mexico.

Both successful candidates have close links with team racing.

Cxema Pico is a leading Irish team racing umpire and current Treasurer of the Irish Team Racing Association. He is also well known for his activities with ICRA. Cxema is based in Greater Dublin.

Chris Lindsay, from Carrickfergus, is a leading umpire in the UK, where he is doing research for his PhD. He is currently Hon. Treasurer of BUSA.

Both Cxema and Chris are actively involved in the training of new umpires and judges.

This brings the number of Irish International Judges to five.

The process of qualification is long and involves attending an international seminar, passing a rigourous exam and being favourably evaluated by other judges at a number of international events, both here and abroad.

The sport of team racing, in which several teams of 2, 3 or 4 boats, compete in a series of team on team races, is preparing to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of its invention, which took place in Dun Laoghaire as a result of an Irish Dinghy Racing Association initiative.

Umpires play a key role in ensuring racing is fair. The depth of rule knowledge, and the speed with which umpires apply the rules seems to be a useful basis for the development and maintenance of many of the skills required by judges. All of the Irish IJs are actively involved in various forms of umpired racing - team, match, fleet or radio-controlled sailing at national and international.

Published in Team Racing

There was another super race in the O'Leary Insurances sponsored Winter Sailing League at Royal Cork Yacht Club today writes Bob Bateman.

Sunny (most of the time) with wind 20 to 25 knots from north north west was a scenario where some skippers felt better sailing without spinnakers.

Course was 65 on RCYC course card. Following a Boat start the course was no 13s, no 11s, no10p, Corkbeg s, cage p, w4 s, finish at cage.

The Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo skippered by Denis Murphy led the fleet and looked majestic upwind but had difficulty holding off the Durcan/O'Shea 1720 sportsboat off the wind but neverthelss won today's all-in IRC race.

Tom Crosbie in No Excuses again got a good start was very steady and did enought to finish second and hold the overall IRC lead. 

Coracle Kieran Collins with son Mel on helm put in a virtuoso performance (full on) enough to finish third in the all in IRC division.

Given the number of white sail boats competing there are now two White Sail classes in the all-in start.

Scroll down for photo gallery of today's race.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club had a great turnout for the opening race of its O'Leary Insurances Winter League for sailing cruisers in Cork Harbour today writes Bob Bateman.

Race officers Clem and Wendy Mc Elligott got the 32 boats – up 50% up on last year– away in W/NW winds from 11 to 14 knots but only at the second attempt at a start and also under an X flag.

The boats sailed were to sail a full course of: Corkbeg no10p, E2s, 8s, 5s, Cage p, E4s and a Cage finish but the course was shortened at Cage mark after the first round.

Coracle skipperd by Kieran Collins led at the weather mark but lost lead to three 1720s sportsboats on the run downwind. The J109 Jelly Baby helmed by Brian Jones also broke through.

The cruisers returned to RCYC marina with Laser and Topper Leagues also starting today, providing a great winter sailing spectacle.

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Published in Royal Cork YC

The best was kept til last and the closing races of the CH Marine Autumn League today in Cork Harbour featured some fine sailing conditions writes Bob Bateman.

Winds were force four from the north/north west on a beautiful Autumn day at Crosshaven.

Classes one, two and three raced outside the harbour. The White Sail fleet and the Sportsboat fleets raced inside the harbour.

Despite two big storms this month, Race Officer RCYC Peter Crowley got ten races sailed and two discards applied.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice was the clear winner with nine race wins in IRC One. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's X34 Alpaca was second on 17–points with K Dorgan/J Losty third in the Beneteau 36.7 Altair. Eight competed. 

In IRC Two, Kieran Collins Coracle IV, an Olson 30 won from Ted Crosbie's X302 No Excuse. Third was the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers & Deasy). Ten competed.

CH Marine 5 2490Even though, past champion Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour was not competing this year, there was good support from the travelling Dunmore East fleet with Robert Marchant's Fulmar Fever, a Fastnet Race entrant, competing in IRC Three. Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC Three, Dave Lane and Sinead Enright's J24, YaGottaWanna was the clear winner in the ten boat fleet but second  and third were tied on the same 24 points. Cracker, a Trapper T250 skippered by Denis Byrne won through on the tie-break rule. Third was David Marchant's Sigma 33 Flyover from Waterford Harbour.

Prior to going afloat today, Port of Cork gave a briefing to sailors about navigating in the harbour and the importance of keeping keeping clear of commercial shipping.

The series included an ICRA training initiative for the fleet that comprised a North Sails Ireland rig set-up advice and video of today's racing captured by drone and this was viewed post racing at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

As usual, SCORA in in the process of computing results from this CH Marine League, together with the April league in Kinsale, Calves Week at Schull Harbour and the Cobh to Blackrock Race to declare overall season prizes.

Full results are here. Today's photo gallery below. Prizegiving pictures to follow after tonight's prizegiving at RCYC.

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Published in CH Marine Chandlery

Another successful annual IRC Congress meeting was held in early October in the popular sailing venue and race destination of St Malo on the northern French coast. Forty delegates from as far afield as Japan and the USA came together to talk about the International Rating Certificate (IRC) racing around the world, technical development and ideas on encouraging participation in yacht racing generally.

In 2018, there is the exciting prospect of the IRC European Championship combined with the RORC’s Commodores’ Cup in Cowes in June, closely followed by the joint IRC and ORC Hague Offshore World Championship in the Netherlands in July. These events set the high standard for IRC racing in 2018, along with the major offshore classic races that continue to be scored using IRC.

However, the IRC Congress never loses sight of the core of the IRC fleet who are taking part in club racing around the world every week and much talk at Congress was how to further encourage this. Everyone agreed that exciting events drive participation. This is demonstrated by the record four minutes for the Rolex Fastnet Race entry to be fully subscribed and the large number of boats that entered the Offshore Worlds straight after registration opened. Clubs were encouraged to put on events that provide an escape from the stresses of modern life, with a variety of courses, and some longer races with interesting destinations.

The IRC Technical Committee has been working on technical developments including the rating of boats equipped with foils, and a longer term review on rating ‘code zero’ sails. IRC has always been fast to embrace new developments in yacht design, while as far as possible retaining the characteristic simplicity of the IRC Rule and avoiding too much complexity for the majority of owners.

Published in RORC
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The RORC has instigated a new format to include the Commodores' Cup, a Corinthian team-based event within an IRC fleet racing championship which is open to amateurs and professionals. 

Ireland has twice won the Cup under the burgee of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. Captain Anthony O'Leary of Royal Cork Yacht Club and his three boat teams sailed to victory in  2010 and 2014 but inspite of plans to field two teams to defend the Cup in 2016, no Irish defence materialised.

As announced earlier this year, the Cowes-based championship will be held from 8-16th June and will follow the successful Commodores' Cup race format, with a variety of different courses ranging from inshore, coastal and offshore - 10 races in all using the Spinlock IRC rating system.

It still remains to be seen, however, if these innovations are enough to galvanise Irish cruiser-racers into mounting a campaign for the Cup in eight month's time.

New for 2018 are the following:

1. Competitors wishing to enter the Commodores' Cup are invited to create teams of three boats with a rating between 0.995 and 1.270 with a max DLR of 210

2. Teams can represent a club, a region or a nation. For national representation, authorisation may be required from the appropriate MNA

3. The Commodores' Cup maintains its Corinthian ethos with only one professional sailor allowed on each boat

4. Boats that race with two females or two crew under 25, or one female and one under 25, are allowed an extra crew member

5. There is no crew weight limit, only the crew number limit on their IRC rating certificate.

The Notice of Race for the 2018 IRC European Championship, incorporating the Commodores' Cup, is now available.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) welcomes expressions of interest for the event, and online entry will be open from Monday 8th January 2018.

Published in Commodores Cup
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This weekend sees perhaps the last of the 2017 season’s 'Major' open events on Dublin Bay in the form of the DMYC Kish Race on Sunday.

The warning signal will be at 10.55 a.m. from the Dublin Bay Hut on the West Pier and the intended course is Kish to Port, and back.

Afloat's report and photos from the 2016 race are here.

Unusually, the race is run on Scratch ECHO, providing two features, one being it is open to all comers and the organisers will find a handicap somewhere for all yachts, the other being, that well practiced crews who might have adjusted handicaps will find they can race on the boats original published rating.

'The emphasis is on participation for all suitable yachts, and the DMYC hopes to attract entries for racer, recreation and cruiser sailors alike, as the “cut and thrust” of racing is not a feature of the event, DMYC's Rear–Commodore Neil Colin told Afloat.ie

The event drew approximately 50 entries last year, and DMYC hopes to better this entry on Sunday. White Sails Classes (& non spinnaker) are especially welcome.

Entries can be made online here

Published in DMYC
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Following a light–air Cruisers Three East Coast Championships DBSC feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Greystones on Saturday, the second two races of the 2017 Championship were held on Sunday in 20–knots of wind as part of the Greystones Harbour Regatta

IRC
1st Quest (Barry Cunningham)
2nd Cartoon (Ken Lawless and Syb McCormack)
3rd Hard on Port (Flor O'Driscoll)

ECHO
1st Quest (Barry Cunningham)
2nd Cartoon (Ken Lawless and Syb McCormack)
3rd Running Wild (Brendan Foley)

Winner of the team prize and Rianoir Trophy: Quest, Cartoon and Enigma from the Royal Irish Yacht Club

 

Published in ICRA

With light winds forecast for the final day, the fleet left the event pontoons to the two racing areas in glorious sunshine, a relief to shed the wet weather gear! IRC 1 and 2 sailed two windward/leeward races off shore from a committee boat start, where the breeze held steady from the south–east at 4–7 kts enabling some steady racing. "Fools Gold" and "Dark Angel" each won a race in IRC 1 giving the overall first for the championship to "Fools Gold" adding another title to their successful campaign this season following a win at June's Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale.

In IRC 2 "Checkmate" and "Injenious" each won a race today with the IRC 2 overall championship won by "Legless Again" who sailed consistently all weekend. "Luvly Jubbly" won all three races in IRC 3 sports boat class and the overall win, in a class which we hope to build for next year, racing around the club marks off the club line.

IRC 4 Cruiser class was won today by "Paraiba" with overall championship in this class by Roger Fitzgerald in His Delher 29 Ella Trout III.

Prize-giving followed racing, and crews enjoyed a carvery dinner after Plas Heli and Championship Chairman Stephen Tudor thanked the Royal Dee team for their race management of IRC 1 and 2 and Robin Evans for IRC 3 and 4

Full results and photographs here 

Next year's provisional dates for the IRC Welsh Championships are: 17-19th August

Published in ICRA
Tagged under

Next week's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has 88 IRC entries so far, of which 18 have yet to provide rating certs. Of the remainder, figuring out the handicap breaks to make up five good IRC classes is no easy task. Afloat.ie sticks its neck out to give a best guess on the breaks, numbers and top performers at Ireland's biggest regatta.

A big problem in setting the rating breaks is the lack of larger Class Zero boats and the very large number of Class One boats. 

So far there are only five large yachts, rating around 1.100 and higher. Many of the normal class zero yachts seem, for whatever reason (maybe not enough crew, feel they can’t compete in Class Zero or prefer to do longer races), have opted for the Coastal Division. This includes the likes of Wow, Lively Lady, Aurelia, Aqualina. Therefore VDLR organisers will likely need to extend Class Zero to include yachts right down to 1.039 to get the entry numbers in Class Zero up to say, nine. The low number turnout of traditional sized Class Zero boats at this regatta is nothing new, it continues from the very low turnouts of Class Zero boats also at the ICRA Championships (two competed) and the Sovereign's Cup (four competed). As previously mentioned on Afloat.ie, Class Zero in Dublin Bay – and elsewhere – is continuing to dwindle and providing separate class racing for such low numbers is hard for regatta organisers to justify. 

The very high number of Class One yachts, including 13 x J109’s will make up a 24–boat fleet from a rating of 1.035 to 1.000.

Splitting Classes Two, Three and Four appear more straight forward, with natural breaks occurring and giving decent numbers in each class.

So here is Afloat.ie's guess on the breaks, numbers and top performers. Bear in mind, the 18 boats with no ratings yet may well change these figures.

Jump juice DLRoyal Cork's Ker 39 Jump Juice (Conor Phelan) Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 0 (rating 1.036 and above—9 entries) Eala of Rhu, a very well sailed Swan 45 from Scotland, won her class at Scottish series, and will be very competitive in this class where she will be out ahead and be able to sail her own race. Behind her are three very similar good boats (Dark Angel, Jump Juice and Aurora (ex Blondie). Dark Angel has had the better of Jump Juice in her last three Regattas and this will likely continue. Aurora will likely be competitive also. Paul O'Higgins Rockabill VI, recent winner of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race, if there are strong conditions, will be well to the fore, but in a mixed regatta, expect Eala of Rhu to take it from Dark Angel.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751J109 Joker II (John Maybury) – a triple ICRA winner and Tim Goodbody's White Mischief sistership below Photos: Bob Bateman

Sovereigns_Cup_Yachts_kinsale

Class 1 (rating 1.035 to 1.000 – 24 entries) This is likely where the best racing will be in the IRC divisions. 13 J 109’s including the three times ICRA National Champion, John Maybury's Joker II. It will be interesting to see how Andrew Algeos Juggerknot and Andrew Craig's Chimera fare against her. Tim Goodbody's White Mischief will also be in the mix. Other notable Dublin entries are Colin Byrne's Bon Exemple and Anthony Fox’s Archambault 35, Gringo. There are a numer of Good Scottish boats of this size and one to watch out for would be Kevin Aitken's Animal which was very competitive in this years Scottish Series. Of course, if Olympian Mark Mansfield is aboard Joker II as tactician, expect it to take it with at least one other J109 on the podium.

Sovereigns cup df 2087Ross McDonald's ICRA Class Two Champion Equinox, an X332 from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 2 (rating .999 to .959 – 11 entries) This is likely to be a straight shootout between Ross McDonald's X332 Equinox who just won the 2017 ICRA Nationals in Cork and Stephen Quinn's J/97 Lambay Rules which recently won their class at the Scottish Series. If conditions are lighter, we would put our money on Lambay Rules, while if there is breeze, Equinox will be hard to beat. With the present long range forecast of mixed conditions we will just edge it to Lambay Rules.

Sovereigns cup df 2087Dave Cullen's Checkmate, a Half–Tonner from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 3 (rating .958 to .922 – 10 entries) Likely to be a battle of the Half Tonners, David Cullen's Checkmate V, Johnny Swan’s Harmony, and from Scotland, Roddy Angus’s Trastada. Trastada faired very well at Scottish Series, finishing ahead of Harmony before eventually being beaten by Lambay Rules. If the breeze is strong, expect the X302’s (Maximus, Dux and Xebec) to be to the front but in a mixed wind event we will put our money on Trastada to take it from Checkmate by a nose.

Sovereigns cup df 2087The Quarter Tonner Cartoon (Ken Lawless) Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 4 (rating .922 and below –16 entries) A mixed bag including the three quarter tonners, Ken Lawless in Cartoon, Paul Colton’s Cri Cri and Jim Monaghan's Enigma. We would expect the winner to come from these three and with Cartoon finishing ahead of Enigma last week at Sovereign's we will go for Cartoon to win this class. Paul Colton Cri Cri could be a wild card, however, as he has done a lot of work to her over the winter and it is not fully known how this will effect her performance.

Published in Volvo Regatta
Page 9 of 37

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