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Displaying items by tag: Antigua

The 2021 edition of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW), including the Round Antigua Race, scheduled for April 24 – 30 has been due to COVID-19.

The timing of this decision for the cancellation was taken after in-depth consideration of the obligations participants have to charter companies, hotels and villa companies, shipping companies, and also taking into account international travel restrictions and an inability to organise an impenetrable bubble for the safety of all participants, volunteers and the wider community.

With its position as the anchor event of an already uneventful Caribbean racing season, interest in the event was strong. “With entries still coming in we were grappling with finding the right formula to accommodate those interests, but with the increased restrictions being put in place to manage the further spread of COVID-19, cancellation is the only possible outcome at this time,” stated ASW commercial director, Alison Sly-Adams.

She went on to say, "For over 50 years we have looked forward to hosting the return of new and old friends to ASW as much as the sailors look forward to the epic racing conditions. This cancellation, while being the right thing to do, hurts our sailing soul. We are truly excited to get back to what we love, the business of yacht racing, next year."

The cancellation of the 2021 event further compounds the financial blow to the non-profit entity which organises this internationally respected event, as well as to the greater local community. The staging of the event results in a positive economic impact for the destination to the tune of EC$6 million each year.

This is a giant loss to the economy of Antigua and to the yachting sector in particular.

Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles Fernandez said of the cancellation: “We are disappointed to have to cancel the event for a second year. Not only is it very important to us as an economy, but for many of us, it is our favourite time of year when we come together as a community with our visitors to celebrate the wonderful yachting season. This year, however, as a destination we are prioritizing managing the health care system and the vaccination programme for the good of the community, which in the long term will allow us to welcome back our visitors safely. In fact, we have started planning for 2022 and intend to make it bigger and better than ever.”

Participants on the 2021 entry list can opt to have entry fees transferred to 2022.

Despite the cancellation, however, the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA) has moved to reassure visiting yachtsmen and women that despite the cancellation of iconic Antigua Sailing Week the yachting industry in Antigua and Barbuda continues to be open for business.

President of the ABMA Franklyn Braithwaite states, "Our marinas and supporting marine service businesses remain open and with our many anchorages around both islands it's possible to enjoy charters between both islands and there still be enough space to socially distance. The refit business, sail training operations including RYA keelboat and dinghy courses, MCA and STCW all continue year round."

Tagged under

Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright scored a tremendous result for Ireland as he placed 10th in the Optimist Worlds in Antigua earlier this week.

He was followed closely in the final standings by 13th-placed James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork/Kinsale in the event won by the new three-time champion Marco Gradoni of Italy.

The rest of the Irish team are also to be commended for their finishes in a field comprising 255 young sailors: Sam Ledoux (National YC) was 70th overall, Luke Turkey (HYC) 100th and Ben O’Shaughnessy (RCYC) 159th.

In the glow of that achievement for the nation, the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) has decamped to Waterford Harbour for the Optimist Munster Championships from today, Saturday 29 July.

The event is open to all boats of the IODAI across Regatta, Junior and Senior fleets, with the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Supplementary Instructions available on the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club website.

Published in Optimist

The International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland (IODAI) shared a photo yesterday (Sunday 30 June) of the five-strong team headed to Antigua to represent Ireland at the 2019 World Championships later this week.

Rocco Wright (Howth YC), James Dwyer Matthews (Royal Cork/Kinsale), Ben O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork), Sam Ledoux (National YC) and Luke Turvey (Howth YC) will be supported by team coach Dara O’Shea at the event, where racing gets under way this Saturday 6 July.

They will be hoping to best the European team’s impressive performance in Brittany last week, placing 11th overall in a field of 300 sailors representing 50 countries.

Published in Optimist

#Rowing: Damian Browne has completed the Atlantic Challenge Rowing race. The big Galway man, a former professional rugby player, took 63 days to row from the Canary Islands to Antigua. He suffered through storms and capsizes and posted Facebook videos which showed the injuries he suffered. Rowing as Gulliver’s Travels, he was the final boat of the race to finish. He was greeted by a big group of green-clad Irish fans on land.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: A crew from Cork and Dublin, Relentless, have set a new record for rowing the Atlantic for a Republic of Ireland team. Sean Underwood, Pat O’Connor and Eoin O’Farrell and Thomas Browne crossed the finish line in Antigua this morning after taking just 32 days, 22 hours and four minutes to row from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. They finished sixth in the Atlantic Challenge race, just over three days behind winners The Four Oarsmen, who became the fastest crew ever to row the Atlantic. Ireland had two good placings in the race: on Sunday, Northern Irish crew Home to Portrush finished one place ahead of Relentless in a time of 31 days eight hours and 57 minutes.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Home to Portrush rowed into English Harbour on Sunday to finish fifth in the Atlantic Challenge race from the Canaries. The crew of George McAlpin, Ally Cooper, Gareth Barton and Luke Baker took just a month to complete the race, which started on December 14th in La Gomera. They finished fifth overall. Organisers say their row took  31 days eight hours and 57 minutes, which was inside the previous best time for the race. They received a raucous welcome from family and friends on the dock when they landed.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gavan Hennigan traversed the finish line in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge tonight and marked himself out as a record breaker. The 35-year-old Galway man took 49 days to complete the row from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua in the West Indies. He became the fastest Irishman to row across the Atlantic, less than half the time taken by Sean McGowan (118 days) on this route in 2010; he also beat the record set by Irish-born Briton Tom McClean, who rowed across the North Atlantic in 55 days in 1987.

 Hennigan (35) won an exciting battle with the three-man American Oarsmen to take third of the 12 boats in the race. The American crew pushed hard over the final week and almost caught the Irishman. Though they covered impressive distances each day, Hennigan matched and even outpaced them.

 The crew which won, Latitude 35, set a new world record. It had a four-man crew, as did the second boat to finish, Row for James.

 Taking their places behind Hennigan are a four, three trios, two pairs and three solos.

 Hennigan is not the fastest man to row solo across the Atlantic, as stated in one media outlet. In 2013, Charlie Pitcher became the fastest solo rower to cross the Atlantic in an open class boat: he crossed from La Gomera to Barbados in 35 days and 33 minutes. The statistics are available on oceanrowing.com.

 

 What a wonderful achievement by Gavan Hennigan. When he said he thought he could complete the race in 50 days, I thought it was hugely ambitious for a first-timer. And then he beat it! Amazing.

 You might be able to confirm something for me. Is he now the fastest solo rower over the La Gomera to Antigua course? And do you know where he ranks in the list of solo rowers to cross the Atlantic?

 He told me you were a key part of the team he had ‘on land’. Well done to all!

 Yours,

 Liam Gorman, Rowing Correspondent, The Irish Times

 00353 (0)86 8051830

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: After 5,000 kilometres of rowing, Gavan Hennigan is in a race to the line in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The three men of American Oarsmen are finishing fast, hoping to take third from the Irishman in the row from the Canary Islands to the West Indies. The American boat has been hitting remarkable numbers (93 nautical miles per day/172 km) but Hennigan retains a slight lead as the crews dash to the finish in English Harbour in Antigua. Both crews should finish late on Wednesday night or early on Thursday.

 The race started on December 14th in the Canary Islands. Hennigan (35) is set for a new Irish record for a solo oarsman rowing across an ocean. The crew which won, Latitude 35, set a new world record. It had a four-man crew, as did the second boat to finish, Row for James.   

Published in Rowing

Regular Afloat readers will recall Green Dragon's departure from Dingle in County Kerry crewed by sea scouts last year but now after debuting in new colours at last October's Middle Sea Race, the 2008/9 Irish Volvo Ocean Race veteran is sailing around the Caribbean and is available to charter.

Miramar Sailing based in Antigua has places available on Green Dragon at the forthcoming 49th edition of Antigua Sailing Week.

From Russia to Australia, yachts and crew from over 20 nations will be competing in the regattta. 

Green Dragon was specifically built as the Irish entry in the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race, in which she finished fifth of seven. In 2012 she took line honours in the Round Ireland Race.

Miramar sailing took delivery of the Irish yacht last September

The Volvo Ocean 70 (also known as the Volvo Open 70) is the former class of racing yachts designed for the Volvo Ocean Race. It was first used in the 2005–06 race (replacing the Volvo Ocean 60 yachts which were first used in 1993) and use a Canting keel which is capable of canting transversely up to an angle of 40 degrees.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Tagged under

2008 Irish Olympic Finn sailor Timothy Goodbody completed the Round Antigua race last Saturday covering the course of just over 50 nm in a Laser dinghy in a time of 10 hours and 48 minutes.

According to an Afloat.ie source, no dinghy has ever entered the race before, so the Irish helmsman from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire picked up a "double" first for his efforts. The organisers have now set the time as a race record to be beaten.

Down the north side of the island Goodbody sailed through a sea of turtles in great big surfing rollers. He ran out of wind at the bottom of the island and then had a long beat to the finish line in Falmouth Harbour. Goodbody reckons with the right conditions it could be done in approx nine hours.

He carried a VHF, EPIRP, GPS and about 10 litres of water for the circumnavigation.

Published in Laser
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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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