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Displaying items by tag: RYA Northern Ireland

A group of enthusiastic young sailors have come together for the first meeting of RYA Northern Ireland's Youth Forum at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

RYA Northern Ireland identified youth engagement as a key area for the organisation, and this strand of work was carried forward by former Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, Jackie Patton. The Forum began in 2019 as a pilot project, and following its success, it has now been officially launched.

The first of its kind within RYA, youth representatives from clubs across Northern Ireland will work together as part of the organisation to help drive the sport forward whilst developing their leadership and personal skills.

At the meeting, the new participants and junior leaders were confirmed, and the group took part in ice breakers, as well as discussing their goals for the year ahead. Olympians Ryan Seaton and his wife Jena Mai Seaton also joined the group online for a Q&A session about their career and future plans.

RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum Co-ordinator Jackie Patton is leading the Youth Forum. She said: "It is a delight to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of young people on the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum. They are our future leaders and will ensure our sport carries on for many years, and I am confident we are in safe hands. It is fantastic to hear all of their ideas and plans, and I look forward to seeing these come to fruition over the course of the next year."

Susan McKnight, Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, said: "The RYA Northern Ireland Board was delighted to continue the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum this year.

"The voice of young people in our sport is paramount alongside the current committees, clubs and participants to help develop and progress the organisation."

The full list of new participants and junior leaders is included below:

New participants:

  • Louise Leonard (Carrickfergus Sailing Club)
  • George Turkington (Coleraine Yacht Club)
  • Emily Dickson (Donaghadee Sailing Club)
  • Lara Killen (East Down Yacht Club)
  • Matthew Loughlin (Coleraine Yacht Club)
  • Rose Kelly (East Down Yacht Club)

Junior Leaders

  • Charlie O'Malley (Donaghadee Sailing Club)
  • Cody Halliday (Strangford Lough Yacht Club)
  • Autumn Halliday (Strangford Lough Yacht Club)
  • Charlotte Eadie (Donaghadee Sailing Club and Ballyholme Yacht Club)
  • Caitlyn Eadie (Donaghadee Sailing Club and Ballyholme Yacht Club)
  • Holly McConnell (County Antrim Yacht Club)
Published in RYA Northern Ireland

A huge fleet of 121 dinghies took to the waters of Belfast Lough from Carrickfergus Sailing Club on the north shore on Saturday and Sunday (11th and 12th) for the Royal Yachting Association NI Youth Championships. The 137 youth sailors came from all over Ireland, racing in seven categories over two courses. The Championships was an Open event with RYANI special performance prizes.

The weather was kind, albeit perhaps not enough wind for some and competitors who had three races in light and variable conditions on Day 1 with four races for the ILCA 4 and ILCA 6 fleets. Wind shifts were plentiful, and some sailors were alert enough to see them coming. On Sunday, with the wind dropping, there was a delayed start and Race Officers Robin Gray and Sheela Lewis then managed to complete a single race for each class.

The massive dinghy fleet prepares to go afloat on Saturday morningThe massive dinghy fleet prepares to go afloat on Saturday morning

There were six regatta fleet races over the weekend with coaches Dave Nelson, Chris and Jessica Penney delivering training as part of the event. The fleet was a mix of Topper 4.2s and ILCA 4s but it was the Toppers from Lough Erne YC who dominated the score sheet with Charlie Valentine 1st, Emily Torrens 2nd and Ben McCaldin third.

In the seven-strong Optimist fleet at the end of the first day, Matthew Holden from Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough and Freddie Doig from East Antrim BC on Larne Lough were tied on 5 points, but Doig's first and second on the Sunday gave him first overall by one point.

The largest turnout came in the Topper 5.3 group with 34 on the line. Here Bobby Driscoll of Royal North started with three bullets, stamping his domination right away. In second was Luke Simpson from the County Antrim YC, a few miles east of Carrickfergus, eight points behind on 11. Another first for Driscoll in Race 4 gave him a clean run which couldn't be beaten and Simpson had to be satisfied with second place.

The smaller Topper 4.2 fleet at 10 strong, provided closer racing with another CAYC sailor, Calum Pollard scoring two seconds and sixth to lead overnight narrowly from Hugo Boyd of Ballyholme. In the end Boyd tied with Pollard with the tie split in Boyd's favour.

Daniel Palmer of BYC, Male Youth championDaniel Palmer of BYC, Male Youth champion

Daniel Palmer from Ballyholme began emphatically, scoring three firsts in the 18 strong ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7) fleet. After the second day, Palmer had the title sewn up with another two bullets. Lucy Ives of Carlingford Lough YC who counted two seconds, a third and a fourth finished runner up.

Ellen Barbour of County Antrim YC and East Antrim BC,  Female Youth championEllen Barbour of County Antrim YC and East Antrim BC, Female Youth champion

Of the 23 competitors in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial ) after four races, Tom Coulter of East Antrim came away with a winning score of 5 points. Ellen Barbour of County Antrim YC and East Antrim discarded a 20th but held onto the runner up slot with Hannah Dadley-Young from Ballyholme in third.

Katie Brow of Ballyholme YC, Female Junior ChampionKatie Brow of Ballyholme YC, Female Junior Champion

In the only two-handed fleet, the 29ers, most of the competitors came from Southern clubs and it was three of these who finished top three overall. And it was this fleet who prove to be too eager to cross the line at the start of the fourth race – so much so that ten of the 16 were Black Flagged. Timothy Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge of Royal Irish in Dun Laoghaire were able to discard the Black Flag score of 17 and finished comfortably ahead of Emily and Jessica Riordan of the neighbouring club, Royal St. George.

Lauren McDowell and Erin McIlwaine of Newcastle YC and Royal NorthLauren McDowell and Erin McIlwaine of Newcastle YC and Royal North in the 29er skiff

Larne Grammar were winners of the Schools TrophyLarne Grammar were winners of the Schools Trophy

RYA Northern Ireland's High Performance Manager, Andrew Baker, commented: "It was fantastic to be at Carrickfergus Sailing Club for the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships. The venue was excellent, and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone at the Club for their hard work and enthusiasm to ensure the weekend was such a success. It has been another challenging year for sport and I am delighted that we were able to run this event and I thank everyone for adhering to all COVID guidelines that were set in place". He added: "All of the sailors have done themselves proud this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing their progression as they continue to train throughout the year."

Tom Coulter of East Antrim BC, winner of the ILCA 6 prizeTom Coulter of East Antrim BC, winner of the ILCA 6 prize

The championship prizes were, of course, all awarded to Northern Ireland boats.

Royal Yachting Association NI Youth Championships Overall Awards

Female Junior Champion
Katie Brow - Ballyholme Yacht Club

Male Junior Champion
Bobby Driscoll – Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Female Youth Champion
Ellen Barbour – County Antrim Yacht Club

Male Youth Champion
Daniel Palmer – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Northern Ireland Schools Cup
Larne

Northern Ireland Club Trophy
Ballyholme Yacht Club

Junior Champion
Bobby Driscoll – Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Youth Champion
Daniel Palmer – Ballyholme Yacht Club

For full results here

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in the UK has responded to a consultation, launched by the Department of Transport (DfT), on the disposal of pyrotechnic flares.

The consultation sought views on the safe disposal of marine pyrotechnics, looking for a practical alternative to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s temporary ‘last-resort’ service.

The RYA says that the compulsory carriage of flares by recreational boaters is an outdated and ineffective approach to maritime safety.

Having to carry flares, the RYA says, directly creates the problem of their disposal.

The RYA’s main case for the removal of the compulsory carriage is both the technological advances in alternative equipment, and the inherent lack of reliability and effectiveness that the flares provide.

“Modern technology such as radios, phones and other satellite-connected technologies provide safer, affordable and significantly more reliable alternatives to pyrotechnic flares,” says Phil Horton, RYA environment and sustainability manager. “It is disappointing that this consultation does not consider removing mandatory carriage requirements as part of the solution as, in our opinion, that is the only viable way ahead.

“However, should the MCA continue to require the carriage of flares, then the RYA’s view is that extended producer responsibility is the only reasonable solution for their safe disposal. A levy on the purchase of new flares, and a requirement for vendors to recover out-of-date product, would ensure that industry addresses the issue.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

The Royal Yachting Association of Northern Ireland (RYA Northern Ireland), together with British Marine and the Cruising Association, met yesterday with representatives from HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury to discuss the difficulties for private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland resulting from the decision to withdraw the use of red diesel.

Recreational boaters and the marine industry urgently need clarity surrounding the Government's plans for implementation and how it intends to address the practical difficulties before June.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Cruising Association has said no white diesel supply exists in Northern Ireland leaving boaters without options later this summer

The discussions took place against the background of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and in particular Article 8 concerning Union VAT and excise law that applies to Northern Ireland.

To achieve consistency with the 2018 judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union and to ensure that the UK meets its international obligations under the Protocol, private pleasure craft users in Northern Ireland will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft.

It is proposed that this change will take effect by June this year. The RYA has stressed the difficulties presented by this short timescale and requested a longer period to address the white diesel supply issues that the decision presents. Once implemented, private pleasure craft users in Northern Ireland will have to use white diesel for propulsion instead of red diesel.

Private pleasure craft users in Northern Ireland with only one fuel tank on board for propulsion and non-propulsion will not have to pay a higher rate of duty on their non-propulsion use of diesel than they would otherwise have to pay. The Government are intending to introduce a new relief scheme in Northern Ireland which will become effective from the date that users become obliged to use white diesel.

The RYA is concerned that the volume of sales of diesel to private pleasure craft is not great enough for suppliers to justify the expense of providing a second pump at the waterside, which is going to cause significant supply problems.

HMRC have confirmed that once the change does take effect, it would be illegal to buy red diesel for private pleasure craft propulsion in Northern Ireland, but fuel already present in tanks could be used without penalty. Private pleasure craft from Northern Ireland that fill up in Great Britain (GB) in future could do so under the Istanbul Convention which will allow red diesel legitimately purchased in GB to be taken back to Northern Ireland in the main fuel tanks of a boat.

The RYA recommends that recreational boaters with marked 'red' diesel purchased in GB:

  • Keep receipts for diesel purchased in GB, to prove that it was bought in the GB, and request that your retailer marks them "duty paid."
  • Log the date of refuelling and engine hours to reinforce these records; and
  • Do not carry marked diesel anywhere other than in their craft's main fuel storage tanks.

Chief Operating Officer of RYA Northern Ireland, Richard Honeyford, commented: "RYA Northern Ireland welcomes that there will be a new duty relief scheme in place to help avoid disproportionately penalising Northern Ireland boaters and details of this scheme are to follow.

"We also welcome a number of clarifications from HMRC and look forward to continuing to work closely with RYA, HM Treasury and HMRC to ensure that boaters in Northern Ireland are clear on all guidance. RYA Northern Ireland will continue to update its members as and when further information is available."

Howard Pridding, RYA Director of External Affairs, commented: "The meeting with Government was productive and both sides now have a clear idea of the issues ahead. We will continue to work with our colleagues in RYA Northern Ireland to talk to Government about the practical difficulties that these issues present and work constructively with HM Treasury and HMRC officials to develop guidance that will inform boaters about the new fuel situation in Northern Ireland."

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Hundreds of recreational boat owners in Northern Ireland could be affected by an HM Treasury decision outlining that from June they will be required to use white diesel instead of red.

As part of the Spring Budget announcement, the UK Government stated that it is not changing the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain. They will continue to be able to use red diesel and pay their fuel supplier the difference between the red diesel rate and the white diesel rate on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion.

However, in Northern Ireland, recreational boaters will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft and will need to use white diesel from June onwards.

The government response to the consultation outlines: "In Northern Ireland, private pleasure craft users will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft. This will achieve consistency with the 2018 judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement.

"It will also align with fuel used by private pleasure craft in the Republic of Ireland, which should make it simpler for private pleasure craft users to access the fuel they need if they sail between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and vice versa)."

The RYA Northern Ireland, which is the governing body for sailing, windsurfing and powerboating in Northern Ireland, is seeking clarity on the changes for Northern Ireland.

Richard Honeyford, Chief Operating Office for RYA Northern Ireland, explains: "While the rationale to keep private pleasure craft in line with commercial entitlements has been taken in Great Britain, the same rationale does not appear to have been applied in Northern Ireland.

Richard Honeyford, CEO of RYANI - Many boat owners cruise to Great Britain, where only red diesel will be available. We will also need clarity around how this may be considered on returning to Northern IrelandRichard Honeyford, CEO of RYANI -"Many boat owners cruise to Great Britain, where only red diesel will be available. We will also need clarity around how this may be considered on returning to Northern Ireland"

"This will provide a number of immediate challenges across both inland and coastal waterways, where there is little or no waterside infrastructure currently in place in order to supply white diesel to recreational craft. At the moment, there are pumps for red diesel and to change this will take time and expense in order to develop adequate and accessible supply across all bodies of water and within the given timeframes."

He adds: "RYA Northern Ireland is also asking for clarification on how the new rules may be regulated. We welcome some indications on how HMRC would view the 'run off' of red diesel in tanks. With current lockdown restrictions, many boat owners have filled their tanks with red diesel, for example, to avoid condensation, and this needs to be considered to avoid boat owners becoming inadvertently caught out by these changes.

"Many boat owners cruise to Great Britain, where only red diesel will be available. We will also need clarity around how this may be considered on returning to Northern Ireland."

Honeyford says: "We welcome that there will be a new relief scheme in place to help avoid disproportionately penalising NI boaters, however, we await details of this scheme.

"Our current advice to boat owners is to retain all receipts, including VAT, in relation to the purchase of red diesel up to any changeover date, and then any subsequent receipts proving the purchase of white diesel."

RYA and RYA Northern Ireland have requested a meeting with HMRC to outline these concerns and seek further clarification.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Christmas has come early for 12-year-old Rory Pollard, who has been awarded a brand new boat by the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

Rory, from Whitehead and a junior member of County Antrim Yacht Club, is the only sailor from Northern Ireland to receive his very own boat. He will have exclusive use of the boat for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard.

A Carrickfergus Grammar School pupil, Rory, like many young children, has had a difficult year after being isolated from his friends. However, he is now finishing 2020 on a high as he plans to turn his dreams of sailing in national competitions into a reality.

The delighted young sailor said: "I felt over the moon when I found out I had been awarded the boat, I asked my Mum and Dad to pinch me to see if I was dreaming. I must have jumped five feet in the air!

"I feel really proud that the selection team must have had belief in my ability and have recognised the dedication I have shown to the sport that I love. I can't wait to sail it and to compete and train, and to give it 100 per cent every time I am on the water."

Rory's love for sailing has been inspired by his dad Gavin, an accomplished sailor. "Sailing has always been in my blood," Rory says.

"I first got on a boat when I was two and I can't remember a time when I didn't sail or was not by the water. As soon as I started to sail when I was six, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Ever since then, when I am not doing my school work, I am researching sailing and reading about different sailors and world races."

During lockdown, Rory had been feeling isolated but it was sailing that got him through. His mum, Claire Pollard, comments: "It was Rory's last year of primary school and the loss of completing those important months before transferring to post primary was worrying.

"However, it was his love of sailing and the need to get out on the water that he missed the most. As soon as he was able to, he was out sailing, for up to five days a week. As a parent, the improvement I instantly saw in his emotional health was amazing."

Up until now Rory has been sailing and competing in a borrowed club boat.

Claire says: "Without the support of County Antrim Yacht Club, Rory would not be able to attend and complete in the races he has done to date. The encouragement, support and training he has received has driven him on to always want to progress and achieve his best.

Rory has recently been selected for the RYA Northern Ireland Topper Performance Programme. He hopes to put the new boat to good use as part of his training. He explains: "I have recently been selected to the RYANI Topper Performance Programme and I hope to use this to tune my skills into championship level.

"As we have not been out on the water yet, I have started my own winter training programme to make sure my fitness levels are at their best when we get back on the water. I know the pressure will be on as I will be sailing a brand new boat, but I can't wait to show the coaches my ability!"

He adds: "I'd like to thank the John Merricks Sailing Trust and the RYA for giving me this opportunity along with all the people who have encouraged and supported me along the way.

"I am hoping over the next while to be able to showcase my skills and attract sponsorship so that I can compete in the bigger events while I have the boat. I also hope to encourage younger sailors at my club and show them that if they are dedicated and train hard, they could also be in the same position as me and have the honour of sailing a JMST boat."

RYA Northern Ireland's Performance Manager, Andrew Baker, said: "It is fantastic that Rory has been awarded this boat, it will be a great benefit to his training for the Topper Squad and we look forward to watching his progress.

"Getting enthusiastic young sailors access to boats and helping give them time on the water is what this award is all about and Rory is a shining example of a passionate and dedicated young sailor who fully deserves this award."

Sheela Lewis, Race Coach and Training Officer on behalf of the Sailing Committee at County Antrim Yacht Club, said: "County Antrim Yacht Club is delighted with this outcome. Several of our membership have been previous recipients of JMST dinghies. Following the ethos of the RYA and JMST, we have progressed our Pathway race coaching by reassigning JMST dinghies to worthy Club members.

"Rory had the benefit of this which has supported his development to date. As a small club we would not have been in a position to purchase new Toppers to facilitate those members who show the potential and talent that Rory has displayed to date. We share Rory's excitement with regard to this award and we will be supporting Rory to achieve all of his goals and more!"

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Make sure you're ready for the 2021-2024 changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing with the RYA rules books. The new editions are now available from the RYA shop - www.rya.org.uk/shop.

Updated every four years by World Sailing, the Racing Rules of Sailing are compulsory for racing sailors around the globe.

As the Member National Authority for the UK, the RYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 (order code YR1, RRP £10.99) not only features the World Sailing rules in full, but is also the only publication to contain the RYA Racing Charter, Racing Rules Guidance and the RYA National Prescriptions - essential for racing in the UK and Northern Ireland.

The compact, ring-bound and waterproof book is perfect for taking afloat. It covers not only the fundamentals of the race itself, including racing conduct and what is fair and unfair, but also details things like protests, hearings and appeals. You'll find everything competitors, judges and umpires need to know. Available here 

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Four inspiring Northern Ireland volunteers have been recognised nationally with awards from the Royal Yachting Association.

Traditionally taking place at an awards ceremony in London, the RYA Volunteer Awards celebrate and say 'thank you' to volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport.

The volunteers are nominated by their sailing club, class associations and members of the boating community.

The RYA Community Awards are given across three categories: Lifetime Commitment, Outstanding Contribution and Youth and are presented to outstanding individuals for their commitment and services to boating at club or grassroots level.

RYA Northern Ireland's Chief Operating Officer, Richard Honeyford, said: "On behalf of RYA Northern Ireland I would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, who make our sport the success that it is.

"I am delighted for our four local sailors who have been recognised nationally by the Royal Yachting Association for all their hard work. Devoted to their clubs, these volunteers ensure the smooth running of many aspects of club life and also do so much to benefit the wider local community."

Jackie Patton, Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, commented: "Our volunteers are the bedrock of our sport, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of our clubs and the constant development of our sport. I am delighted that our volunteers have been recognised nationally for their efforts and congratulate them on their fantastic achievements."

Kate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Kate Pounder received a Youth Award for going above and beyond in her role as an Instructor at Ballyholme Yacht Club. She has worked her way through the RYA syllabus, gaining her Senior Instructor qualification in 2017, leading to her appointment as Chief Sailing Instructor for her club's 2019 centenary season.

Kate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht ClubKate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Whether she's assisting with driving RIBS, providing rescue cover, transferring boats across the yard or laying racing marks, Kate consistently gives her time and infectious enthusiasm for the good of the club and its members.

Commenting on her award, Kate said: "When I realised I had won an award I felt completely overjoyed and surprised. For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed helping out at my home club and the more I got involved the better I felt about myself and the way others engaged with me. Sailing at Ballyholme is a real community and thrives on people getting actively involved and I wanted to be part of that".

Colin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht Club

County Antrim Yacht Club's Colin de Fleury received an Outstanding Contribution award for his hard work over the years. A member of the club since 2007, Colin has always been a willing and very experienced volunteer. A Powerboat, Keelboat and Senior Dinghy Instructor and Race Coach, he is always on hand to take on the role of Race Officer, safety boat helm or crew, as well as maintaining dinghies and mentoring Assistant Instructors.

Colin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht ClubColin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht Club

Delivering courses and helping with 'Try Sailing' and other initiatives, Colin is always organised and thorough, a natural leader and inspiring for everyone around him.

Lindsay Nolan – Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Lindsay Nolan (pictured top) from Royal North of Ireland has been given an Outstanding Contribution award. Under her leadership, the club has benefitted from a vibrant social programme for all members, raising thousands of pounds for charities. Lindsay looks after the club's Facebook page, is editor of the annual Club Review magazine, contributes to the weekly newsletter and is often chief photographer at events.

As RYA Green Blue Co-Ordinator she has introduced a range of initiatives from installing a water fountain to organising a beach clean.

Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Paul Prentice has been recognised with a Lifetime Commitment award. He has been a dedicated volunteer at Ballyholme Yacht Club for nearly two decades, as an instructor and a coach.

Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club

In his current role as Training Centre Principal, he is devoted to promoting and overseeing adult and youth dinghy and powerboat training. Working with the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation and its Buoyed-Up programme, the Andrew Simpson Foundation and the Department for Education for Northern Ireland, Paul has been key to the club delivering sailing opportunities for disadvantaged young people from schools in the local community.

Paul has been key in developing new links between the club and external organisations, as well as securing funding from innovative sources to deliver initiatives for the club and also the local community.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
Tagged under

Less than 24 hours after posting that the Icebreaker event run by Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough, could take place on the scheduled date (tomorrow Sunday 18th), the club has had to cancel racing. Rear Commodore Rob Milligan informed members of the club's decision. "Unfortunately, as a result of the regulations published late last night, we have no alternative but to cancel racing tomorrow, Sunday 18th. RYA NI are meeting with the Minister for Communities and SportNI next week to discuss this turnaround in restrictions and we will keep members updated. In the meantime, the boat parks and slipways remain open and we would ask that when using the club, you continue to adhere to the guidelines".

The NI Assembly has published the Regulations that apply with IMMEDIATE effect over the 'Active Period' from 16th October. Key areas of note relating to boating activity are set out on Facebook by RYANI. They say that the implications for boating are that activity where gathering numbers can exceed 15 people – this applies both to training and racing/ competition, can no longer be allowed. A risk assessment in place no longer allows this number to be exceeded.

The Icebreaker usually attracts at least 50 participants.

The post continues " Our current understanding through communications received from the Minister of Communities means that our Participant Guidance for Sailing and Racing in Mixed Households is not currently applicable. Any such activity must ensure participants keep a distance of 2 metres as well as ensuring public health sanitising guidelines are adhered to." It continues " We are due to meet the Minister for Communities on Monday, with a subsequent meeting with Sport Northern Ireland next Thursday. We hope these will provide more clarity of restrictions over the 'active period' and we will share these as soon as possible with the boating community going forward. This has been shared with relevant clubs and centres".

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

More than 30 youth laser sailors from 10 clubs across Northern Ireland travelled to Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club for the RYA Northern Ireland Performance selection weekend.

The event, which took place on 10 and 11 October, saw the young sailors taking part in two days of coaching and selections.

Strict Covid-19 arrangements were in place and sessions took place outdoors in three groups with Laser Head Coach Barry McCartin, Performance Development Officer James Farrell and Performance Manager Andrew Baker.

Commenting on the action-packed weekend, Andrew Baker said: "Saturday was all about boat handling and shaking off any rustiness form a season with less sailing than normal. Gusts of 20 knots were a rude awakening for some. By the end of the day the groups were showing real promise and becoming more competitive within themselves.

"Sunday put into practice the previous day of training with a drill focusing on boat speed and changing gears in a laser. These sessions were aided by the ever-changing weather which had the sailors working the boats through light drifting conditions right up to flat out hiking."

He added: "The weekend concluded with three large races bringing all the groups together giving additional pressure of performing among a larger number of boats, which is what the sailors can expect at future events."

Reflecting on the success of the event, Baker said: "It was a great weekend and I am very pleased given the current Covid-19 climate that we were able to run the Performance selection weekend.

"I am impressed by the enthusiasm shown by all the participants. This was my first selection weekend as Performance Manager and I am pleased to see the talent Northern Ireland has to offer and excited to grow and support our future sailors.

"I would like to thank everyone for understanding the circumstances and helping us run the weekend safely and in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines.''

The successful young athletes who have been selected by RYA Northern Ireland will now be invited to be part of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Performance Programme and undergo six weekends on-water coaching, as well as other campaign support throughout the Winter period.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)

 

ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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