I write this after weeks of a summer heat wave giving sunny if at times difficult wind conditions for Race Organisers and sailors alike. As we now head into August, the remainder of the season awaits.
Early June saw the inaugural biennial Howth Yacht Club Wave Regatta which was a great success. Once the wind arrived on the water great sailing followed and the shore side festival atmosphere attracted the crowds throughout the weekend. All credit to organisers and sponsors, for this innovative addition to the sailing calendar.
The Volvo Round Ireland Race run by the experienced Wicklow Sailing Club team saw 48 boats on the start line ahead of one of the lightest air races in its history.
Congratulations to Niall Dowling and his crew who got the tactics right and took a jump on the rest of the fleet to finish in first over the line and on corrected time.
I was honoured to attend Greystones Sailing Club’s 50th-anniversary celebrations in mid-June and to see this club (where I started to sail) thrive in its new clubhouse alongside Greystones new harbour and marina.
Along with many other events and championships around the country, the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs hosted their regattas in superb sailing conditions during June.
Volvo Cork Week followed in July and this new format week seemed to be well received by sailors from Ireland, the UK and France with over 120 boats entered. The sea breezes filled in every day to give great racing, the highlight for many being the traditional Harbour Race, a combined start for the whole fleet on a 1km start line was some sight! Ashore the programme was as lively as ever and included the official launch of “Cork 300”, Royal Cork Yacht Club’s celebration of their 300th anniversary in 2020.
The annual and hugely popular Seafest in Galway saw our 'Try Sailing' slots being booked out weeks in advance, with over 600 people out on the water for the first time. Lough Ree Yacht Club recently hosted the "Double Ree" regatta. This initiative was a welcome first double-handed Youth Regatta, drawing classes together including Mirrors, RS Fevas, 420s and 29ers. 114 young sailors took part. I hope this becomes a regular event and well done to all in LRYC.
ISORA continues to offer great racing to those who prefer offshore racing in the Irish Sea. Talking of offshore, I would like to welcome Annalise Murphy home from her VOR ‘adventure’ and wish her and Katie Tingle all the best in their new 49erFX campaign. I also want to wish continued fair winds to Gregor McGuckin competing in the Golden Globe race. Our other offshore sailors Nin O’Leary, Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy, (whom I met recently in Cork and impressed me with her drive and determination) continue their campaigns for the Figaro and Vendee Globe, ensuring Irish participation in these world-class events.
Good luck to the Irish Sailing Team of fourteen who are heading to the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Sailing starts on 4 August, and you can follow their progress via our social media channels. Good luck to our four 49er teams: Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, Tadgh and Sean Donnelly, Mark Hassett and Oisin O’Driscoll, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove; our Laser Radials Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller; the Lasers represented by Finn Lynch and Liam Glynn (fresh from his bronze win at the U21 World Laser Championships), as well as the two Irish sailors in the Finn class, Oisin McClelland and Fionn Lyden. At the time of writing this, planning permission for the new Performance HQ site has been submitted to Dun Laoghaire County Council, and we hope to have a home for our Performance Pathway sailors up and running soon.
A very active season continues in August with WIORA and the ICRA Championships in Galway, the ever popular Calves Week in Schull SC, along with many other local regattas and Championships. Sailing will form part of the second annual Watersports Inclusion Games in Galway at the end of August. This free event gives people of all abilities the chance to try a variety of water sports.
Irish Sailing has published a simple, practical and fit-for-purpose Safety Resource Pack for ensuring safety at coaching events. You can read more about the Safety Resource Pack and download it via our website here.
You can find out more about all these events and initiatives on our various channels (Our website’s Newsfeed, Instagram and Facebook) or sign up for our newsletter here.