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Irish Sailor of the Year 2012

31st December 2012
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Irish Sailor of the Year 2012

Help us decide...

As in previous years, Afloat magazine is asking the public to help decide who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year for 2012.

The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, Irish watersports during 2012.

This year voting will take place through www.afloat.ie from January the 1st.

SCROLL DOWN TO READ EACH ACHIEVEMENT AND VOTE FOR YOUR SAILOR AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS IN OUR COMMENT BOX BELOW TOO!

The boating public gets to nominate their top three through the online poll, Afloat.ie gets a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges decide the final winner.

Cast your vote by midnight February 17, 2013. The awards are administered and judged by Afloat magazine and the Irish Independent. (UPDATE: VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR YOUR VOTES!)

soy2012 pagetopper

 

Sophie Browne – Browne's an early riser

Sophie Browne of Tralee Bay and Royal Cork took the silver medal in the girls division in the Optimist Worlds in New Zealand. That's some going for the then 14-year-old, especially after a gold in the girls - and fourth overall - in Mallorca last December. But she's well aware of the sheer hard work and unglamourous dedication that goes into a podium place. For more: http://bit.ly/ZXpE8A

 

Fergus and Kay Quinlan – Quinlans repeat their feat

Lightning strikes twice for Fergus and Kay Quinlan, who repeated their Sailor of the Month award in February 2011 with the same accolade 12 months later. And again they lifted the Faulkner Cup - Ireland's most senior cruising trophy - for their ventures across the Pacific in their 38ft sloop Pylades, which they purpose-built themselves for the journey. They finally ended their circumnavigation in their home waters of Co Clare this past July, yet the impression of their achievements lives on. For more: http://bit.ly/xtk8Ft

 

Hal Sisk – Sisk celebrates the past

Boat enthusiast Hal Sisk is commendable for his work both in researching Ireland's seafaring history, making it accessible to less academic mariners, and in restoring ancient boats that provide an insight into the past. His work on the 1880s clipper Peggy Bawn in particular is a fascinating window into a time of rapid change in design, something he's also made the focus of his new company Peggy Bawn Press with a biography of Scottish boat designer George Lennox Watson. For more: http://bit.ly/UQ1HA6

 

Stephen Hyde – Like son, like father

Usually it's children who follow in their parents' footsteps, but for Crosshaven's Stephen Hyde it's the other way round, matching his son Stefan's Sailor of the Month award in 2006 with his own honour this April. It's a well deserved one, too, in light Stephen and his wife Aileen's recently completed global voyage, joining ocean-crossing events stage by stage around the world, and even winning their class in this year's Oyster Caribbean Regatta. For more: http://bit.ly/SYye1b

 

Team Toy Yacht – Smallest boat, biggest prize

Testing their part-time sailing skills and their self-restored vintage Julian Everitt design Evolution 22 to the limit, Team Toy Yot swept Class 4 IRC in the record-breaking BMW ICRA Nationals at Howth this May. But considering three of the four – Stephen Mullany, rigger Gavin Lavery, mechanic Dave Carroll and student Gavin Pitcher - work in the hands-on end of the marine industry keeping boats running throughout the season, this strong performance should really be little surprise. For more: http://bit.ly/QpbNGL

 

Peter O'Leary & David Burrows – Star pair's stellar year

It was a stellar year for the Star class pair of Peter O'Leary and David Burrows, as they followed their strong performance in June's Skandia Sail for Gold with a 10th place finish in the medal race at the London 2012 Olympics. Giving established duos such as Percy and Simpson of Great Britain and Scheidt and Prado of Brazil a run for their money, O'Leary and Burrows' results marked a new high for Irish sailing. For more: http://bit.ly/LEouq2

 

Bernard Guoy – Guoy's one of our own

Bernard Guoy's enthusiasm for the West of Ireland even extends to the name of his Ker 39, Inis Mor, in which he and his family won the latest edition of the Round Ireland Yacht Race. But the Frenchman is no invader, as his kin have strong and lasting connections to sailing in the region, racing regularly for Clifden Boat Club. Their exemplary performance in the race was seen as a fine win by one of our own. For more: http://bit.ly/LEouq2

 

Finn Lynch – Carlow's Captain Cool

Just 16 years of age, Carlow's Finn Lynch can already claim a silver medal at the 2012 Youth Worlds to his name. His style of winning - staying calm and finishing in control of the race - is something that many older sailors could learn from.

Racing Toppers from the age of eight, Lynch is now a world class talent in the Laser Radial for the National Yacht Club, the same that produced Olympic heroine Annalise Murphy. For more: http://bit.ly/UOOiCE

 

Annalise Murphy – Annalise is outstanding

It's a well deserved honour for Annalise Murphy following her outstanding performance in the Laser Radial at the London Olympic this summer. She produced Ireland's best Olympic result in 30 years in any class, only narrowly missing out on the bronze in the medal race - and raised the profile of the sport in Ireland immeasurably. Meanwhile, considering the NYC sailor and UCD student is still only 22, there's still so much sailing success awaiting in her future. For more: http://bit.ly/POjgxT

 

Fionn Lyden – Lyden's runaway victory

Local boy Fionn Lyden was runaway winner against the best Ireland can produce at the Junior All-Ireland Nationals in Schull this September. The 17-year-old's nine wins fromnine races in the 21-strong fleet of the country's top helms marks him as a talent to watch among a rising crop of young sailors from the West Cork town. Lyden's success is a credit to those who have worked in the background to make it happen.

For more: http://bit.ly/XVhr5p

 

Barry Hurley – All down to Hurley

Barry Hurley's victory in the two-handed division in the Rolex Middle Sea Race off Malta earns him his second Sailor of the Month award since June 2009. As the race judges themselves declared, Hurley's dedication and determination ensured his JOD 35 Dinah was in full racing trim and ready to go in the record fleet in this year's Mediterranean marathon - an experience he described as "the most intense" race he has ever sailed. For more: http://bit.ly/Qhtwj1

 

UCD Sailing Team – Top of the Class

Never before have we had ten Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailors of the Month" in the one month. But with Christmas approaching it's time for gifting all round, and the adjudicators have agreed the entire UCD team that clinched the Student Yachting Worlds in France four weeks ago are Sailors of the Month for November. UCD Sailing Club Captain Cathal Leigh-Doyle made best use of the extensive resources of talent available in Ireland's largest university by taking along a squad of ten, even though the boats used are actually raced by eight. More here.

 

Brian Craig – Super Organisation Brings Home the Goods for Dun Laoghaire

Only with a very exceptional administrator and delegator leading an inevitably complex organization can such a satisfactory outcome be achieved. Irish sailing in general, and Dublin Bay in particular, is fortunate in being able to call on the services of Brian Craig to lead the administration in events as demanding as the ISAF Worlds. Not only did he put in the long hours necessary to ensure its smooth running, but long beforehand he gave generously of his time to ensure that Dublin Bay's claim to stage this event was internationally acknowledged and approved. Brian Craig is the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for December in celebration of his unrivalled contribution to the sailing season of 2012. More here.

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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

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