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Displaying items by tag: Portrush

Christmas is a time for family and, for many, a time for sharing stories of times and generations past. For the Chambers family from Portrush, on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, these stories often involve saving lives at sea.

Jason Chambers and Karl O’Neill are cousins and are following a long line of their family who have served on Portrush RNLI lifeboats.

Karl and Jason’s great grandfather Karl D Chambers was mechanic at Portrush from 1924 to 1947. Karl had spent 17 years in the Royal Navy serving in destroyers on the North Sea. Gilbert Chambers, Karl’s son, had assisted his father in the engine room took over as mechanic in June 1947. Gilbert received two thanks on vellum and a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 1975. Gilbert was also second coxswain.

Gilbert’s son Derek was then appointed mechanic and coxswain, becoming one of the few full-time coxswain/mechanics in the RNLI. Derek’s brother Anthony succeeded him as mechanic and subsequently as coxswain/mechanic, serving Portrush RNLI for 40 years until his retirement in 2020. Anthony was awarded a bronze medal from the RNLI in recognition of his rescue of two boys who were trapped in a cave at Castlerock in 2010.

Jason Chambers, carrying on the family tradition, is a helm on the D boat and relief mechanic. Karl O’Neill is a deputy coxswain on the all-weather lifeboat and area supervisor for the RNLI Lifeguards in Northern Ireland.

Both Karl and Jason said: “There’s no feeling quite like bringing someone home safe to their families — especially at Christmas. But as volunteer lifeboat crew we couldn’t launch without kind donations from the public which fund the kit, training and equipment we need to save others and get home safely to our own families.

“We are proud to be carrying on the family tradition serving the community at Portrush RNLI — we like to think they would be very proud.”

On average, RNLI lifeboats launch over 100 times during the Christmas period every year. Whatever weather winter throws at them, RNLI crews are ready to battle the elements to save lives at sea.

These rescues, and others all year round, are only made possible by the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the RNLI is launching its annual Christmas fundraising appeal for 2023 with a focus on the generations of families who have volunteered their time and commitment to ensure the charity’s lifesaving service has continued for nearly 200 years.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, and enable the charity to continue its lifesaving work, visit RNLI.org/WinterAppeal.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush RNLI volunteers were tasked by HM Coastguard at 12:50pm on Saturday afternoon (19 August) to respond to a Mayday call made by a pleasure boat with three on board which was taking on water between Portstewart and Barmouth.

Launching at 1.15pm in Force 5 winds and moderate seas, the Portrush all-weather lifeboat made its way to the casualty vessel’s reported location off Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

With reports that the vessel had sunk and three people in the water, the Portrush lifeboat arrived on scene within minutes — joining the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 and three other local boats who had also responded to the Mayday call.

One of the other local boats spotted the casualties and her crew brought two back to harbour. The Portrush lifeboat picked up the other casualty and returned to harbour where they were met by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and coastguard.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush said: “The three casualties were very lucky in that they had buoyancy aids and also means of communication to call for help. Thank you too to our local boat-owners who responded so quickly to the call.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Wednesday (12 July) Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew carried out a joint simulation exercise with RNLI lifeguards on the East Strand in Portrush, on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

The exercise was a simulation of a sea swimmer who had suffered a heart attack while swimming.

The lifeguards performed a rescue to recover unconscious casualty, bringing the person to shore and performing casualty care, while the inshore lifeboat recovered another swimmer who was conscious.

Both teams continued performing rounds of CPR and defibrillation before the exercise came to a close.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush RNLI said: “This simulation demonstrated the good collaboration and great working relationship between the volunteer lifeboat crew and the RNLI lifeguards.

“We hope this will be the first of many similar exercises, as we work closely together during the summer months. Exercises like this can only enhance that vital relationship.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 7.15pm on Tuesday evening to reports of a person who had fallen onto rocks between Portrush and Portstewart on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

The all-weather lifeboat was already out on exercise so was diverted to the scene and was able to arrive some 10 minutes after the pagers were activated.

Once on scene, the crew realised that the person was unresponsive, and liaising with the PSNI and coastguard on a plan of action. At this point the inshore lifeboat was requested to launch to assist evacuation of the casualty.

The volunteer crew were then able to assist the casualty into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, coastguard and the waiting Air Ambulance at the top of the cliff.

Perry Walton, deputy coxswain at Portrush said: “Because the crew were already out on an exercise, we were able to respond to the page from HMCG very quickly.

“Added to the fact that weather conditions were good, we had good visibility and a fairly calm sea, we could locate the casualty immediately and help with the evacuation of the casualty to the cliff top.

“We would always ask people to be careful when walking along the cliff edges as its very easy to lose footing. If you see someone in difficulty, please ring 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI was requested to launch its all-weather lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 1.26am on Sunday morning (11 June) following reports of a small motor cruiser with three people onboard that had broken down around a mile off Ballycastle.

The lifeboat launched at 1.46am and arrived on scene at 3am. By the time the lifeboat and the volunteer crew had located the small boat, the tide had pulled it east in line between Rue Point on Rathlin Island and Torr Head.

Conditions were near perfect, with some partial cloud with a smooth sea and a light southeasterly breeze.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew risk-assessed the situation and a decision was made to attach a towline to the boat and the crew started a slow tow to Ballycastle Harbour on Northern Ireland’s North Antrim coast.

Speaking following the callout, Johnny Weston, deputy coxswain at Portrush RNLI said: “Because of the size of the motor cruiser, we had to make sure it was a sure steady tow back to Ballycastle Harbour, but it was a beautiful morning and sea conditions were good.

“The crew of the small boat did the right thing in alerting the coastguard especially as the tide had started to pull them eastwards. This was the third launch for our all-weather within a 24-hour period.”

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Portrush RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 8.13pm on Friday evening (9 June) to reports of a person cut off by the tide while climbing around the base of Benbane Head.

The all-weather lifeboat and crew under coxswain Johnny Weston launched at 8.35pm to the scene in perfect weather and sea conditions.

They were guided to the casualty by HM Coastguard who were on the cliffs above the scene.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched the Y boat from the all-weather lifeboat and were able to rescue the person from the pebble beach underneath the cliff, returning to harbour at 9.20pm.

The individual wasn’t injured and was very grateful for the speedy assistance

Charles Grossie, deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI said: “This was a classic shout for our crew, the volunteer crew launched into a calm sea and a beautiful Portrush evening and were able to arrive on scene very quickly and rescue the person from the base of the cliff and bring him back safely to Harbour.

“As we are now entering our busy summer season, we would ask people [in Northern Ireland] if they see anyone in difficulty to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Portrush RNLI hosted a special ceremony on Saturday (15 April) at the harbour when their new D class lifeboat was officially named The Ken Blair by Sylvia Blair.

The lifeboat, funded by Sylvia in memory of her late husband, arrived at the Northern Ireland lifeboat station in November 2022 and has already been on service.

Ken spent his school holidays on the Copeland Islands off the coast at Donaghadee and his grandfather was friendly with the local lifeboat crew. It was this which initially fuelled Ken’s interest in the RNLI and the couple were Shoreline members of the charity for many years. Ken had told Sylvia it would be lovely to have a lifeboat named in memory of a person.

Sylvia said: “He was such a wonderful, caring, dearly loved husband, whose sole aim in life was to help others. He was so contented and happy with his lot, I felt it a fitting tribute, following his death in July 2020 to fund The Ken Blair in his memory. It will provide a very valuable rescue service on the North Antrim Coast, a place that he loved dearly.”

Deputy launching authority and former volunteer lifeboat crew member Charles Grossie was master of ceremonies at the naming event. Attendees included family and close friends of Ken and Sylvia, former crew and their families, fundraising volunteers,and raft race teams as well as representatives from RNLI stations at Lough Swilly, Red Bay, Larne and Donaghadee.

Other guests included the Northern Ireland Fire Service, HM Coastguard and the Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.

RNLI head of region Anna Classon accepted the lifeboat from Sylvia Blair on behalf of the institution before passing it into the care of Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager for Portrush RNLI, who represented the station.

Ballywillan Band, who are closely associated with the station, provided a wonderful ensemble of music and the local Sea Cadets assisted with seating the guests and handing out programmes.

Local clergy conducted the service of dedication before Sylvia officially named The Ken Blair with a bottle of Bushmills Whiskey. For the occasion, the lifeboat displayed maritime flags which spelled out the letter ‘K’ and ‘B’ in honour of Ken Blair.

McAllister added: “The naming ceremony was a very proud day for everyone associated with Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Station. We are incredibly fortunate that, thanks to the generosity of Sylvia Blair and the relationship they have with the RNLI, we have this wonderful lifeboat to bring our volunteer crew members, and the casualties that need them, home safely, time and time again.

“The naming ceremony to mark our new inshore lifeboat marks new chapter in saving lives at sea on the North Coast. We will keep Ken and Sylvia Blair in our thoughts. Such generosity and support is the lifeblood of our charity and ensures that we’re able to continue our vital role of saving lives at sea, today and for future generations.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI held a special ceremony on Friday 3 March to celebrate its crew members who were recently recognised by the charity for their role in saving the life of a teenager in 2020.

RNLI gallantry awards are given for saving life at sea and celebrate the courage, skill and dedication shown by the charity’s lifesavers.

Anna Classon, RNLI head of region for Ireland attended the ceremony in Portrush where station mechanic Dave Robinson was celebrated locally for being accorded a Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, for his actions in saving the life of a teenage boy in the sea off Portstewart Head on Northern Ireland’s North Coast in 2020.

Robinson had already received his award from HRH The Duke of Kent, the RNLI’s president, at a lunch held in St James’s Palace in London last May.

Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat approaches the teenager off Portstewart Head on 25 September 2020 | Credit: Harry HigginsonPortrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat approaches the teenager off Portstewart Head on 25 September 2020 | Credit: Harry Higginson

During Friday’s celebration, Portrush RNLI coxswain Des Austin was also presented with a Chairman’s Letter of Thanks for his professionalism, seamanship and leadership under severe pressure during the rescue.

Five other volunteers including lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister and crew members Lisa Abernethy, Ben Durrant, Mark Mitchell, Raymond Fletcher were presented with Letters of Thanks from the Institution in recognition of their part in the dramatic rescue.

The rescue, which happened on 25 September 2020, saw the lifeboat crew respond to reports of a young boy spotted in the water off Portstewart Head. On arrival at the scene, lifeboat crew observed a teenage boy in the surf, waving his arms and flailing, while being pulled out to sea by the tide.

In the dramatic rescue, a heaving line was attached to mechanic Dave Robinson’s lifejacket, and he entered the water to reach the teenager, keeping hold of him in the choppy waters.

Coxswain and mechanic Dave Robinson with RNLI’s head of region for Ireland, Anna Classon | Credit: RNLI/Tim NelsonCoxswain and mechanic Dave Robinson with RNLI’s head of region for Ireland, Anna Classon | Credit: RNLI/Tim Nelson

Meanwhile, coxswain Des Austin manoeuvred the lifeboat in the breaking swell to keep as close as possible to the casualty, while the mechanic kept hold of the boy until the lifeboat crew were able to hoist both to safety and return to shore.

Commenting on the honour for the station, Beni McAllister said: “Words can’t describe how proud I am of our incredible lifeboat crew in Portrush. We are all delighted for Dave on his gallantry award and for Des and the crew members who were all recognised for their roles in the rescue.

“No crew member goes out to get recognition or reward. They are selfless people who drop everything to answer a call for help and the people they leave behind at home and in the community take great pride in their actions. We had a full crew onboard the lifeboat that day, each one of them focused on saving that young boy’s life.”

Dave Robinson added: “Receiving the RNLI gallantry award from HRH the Duke of Kent was a huge honour and I felt I was receiving it on behalf of all the crew in Portrush RNLI.

Coxswain Des Austin with Anna Classon | Credit: RNLI/Tim NelsonCoxswain Des Austin with Anna Classon | Credit: RNLI/Tim Nelson

“I remember that day so clearly and I knew that boy had only minutes left before he was in danger of drowning. I entered the water and trusted in my crew and my training and just went for it. That poor boy was exhausted when I reached him and the whole crew were elated that he was saved. I’m grateful for the Vellum and to receive it with my wife, Livvy, by my side.

“Equally to be back here receiving the Vellum from Anna Classon, our RNLI head of region in front of my family, friends and crew is very special.“”

Des Austin said: “The all-weather Lifeboat had already been requested to launched to a shout and was redirected to Portstewart, so this was a timely interaction.

“The teamwork deployed by the crew that day was outstanding, everyone knew exactly what they had to do, even though our training had been restricted due to Covid at that time. I am very proud of them all.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI systems technician Euan Noble was enjoying his weekend off at Portrush’s East Strand when his girlfriend Charlotte spotted two children struggling in the water on Sunday afternoon (21 August).

Euan, an experienced surfer who works to maintain the mechanics of lifeguard equipment in the Ballymoney RNLI Support Centre, knew that there was a rip current in that area of the bay next to the Arcadia building.

Back on shore, RNLI lifeguard Luca, who was on patrol along the East Strand on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, also noticed the children struggling with bodyboards by the rocks.

Luca radioed RNLI lifeguards Michael and Jenna, who were out on a paddleboard exercise. Michael started to paddle out to the rocks, about 200 metres away from the black-and-white-flagged area where Euan had been surfing.

Jenna went back to shore and ran along the water’s edge before picking up a rescue board to swim out to help Euan and Michael.

Euan could see the lifeguards respond but based on his own location in the water he knew that he would reach the children first, so he quickly paddled around to them.

He reached out to the young girl in the water and managed to pull her up and out of the rip current, onto his own surfboard.

In the meantime, the girl’s brother had managed to get himself up onto the rocks, so Euan manoeuvred his board around to him where they could safely stay until the lifeguards reached them.

Lifeguards Michael and Jenna arrived on scene and carried out casualty care for some minor injuries before getting the children back to shore on the rescue boards.

Given the strength of the rip, Michael held the boy under the arms and waded to shore with the rescue board over the rocky coastline.

On his impromptu role change from technician to lifesaver, Euan said: “I’ve been caught out by this particular rip current before, they are unpredictable and they can catch you very quickly, these things do happen.

“I usually work with lifeguard equipment, and I’ve never been a lifeguard, so my priority was getting the children into the hands of the lifeguards as safely as possible.

“I am an experienced surfer and familiar with the sea state around this area. Luckily, the children were at a lifeguarded beach, where they could be rescued quickly.”

RNLI lifeguard Michael also notes the dangers of the rip current by Arcadia, saying: “This spot, at the rocks near the corner of the bay by the Arcadia building, is dangerous for bathing because of this strong, permanent rip current.

“When you visit a lifeguarded beach, always check the flags. The area safest for swimming and bodyboarding is always between the red-and-yellow flags, and the area safest for paddleboarding and surfing is always between the black-and-white flags.

“I’m proud of our RNLI team, that includes my lifeguarding colleagues and our staff, in [Sunday’s] rescue that was Euan who knew what to do to support us.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI stations in Northern Ireland are celebrating several volunteers who were presented with long-service medals at Belfast Castle recently.

Held this year for the first time since the Covid pandemic, the event was attended by the deputy chairman of the RNLI, Eddie Donaldson; RNLI head of region (Ireland) Anna Classon; and trustee and council member for Great Britain and Ireland, Paddy McLaughlin.

The celebration was held to recognise the long service of volunteers from stations across Northern Ireland.

Patricia Crossley from the Ballymoney fundraising team received her 50-year award. Pat first got involved after when returning from a family outing to Belfast on 31 January 1953 and saw the lit-up revolving news on a building which said the Princess Victoria had sunk and the Donaghadee lifeboat was involved in the rescue.

Pat’s family had always holidayed in Donaghadee, and her father was a lifeboat supporter, so the following morning they went to Donaghadee and watched as the lifeboat The Sir Samuel Kelly returned with some survivors.

On that day Pat said to her father that when she was older, she’d love to do something to help lifeboats. So, from the 1960s to the present day Pat has been involved with the RNLI.

She was a flag day collector in Lisburn and Hillsborough, and since moving north 40 years ago has been involved with the Ballymoney branch, at the invitation of the then branch secretary and headmaster of Dalriada School, the late Alan Reynolds.

Pat became Flag Day organiser, a post she still holds. Pat also holds her silver and gold badge presented by the RNLI.

Jo May from Portrush and Portstewart fundraising team received her 40-year award. Jo first got involved with the Portrush branch of the RNLI after she was SCUBA diving at Ballintoy in the early 1980s and got caught in a rip tide.

Luckily, she didn’t need the lifeboat that day as she was rescued by a fisherman who happened to be on scene. But from that day has had a healthy respect for the power of the sea and has always been an enthusiastic supporter.

Jo has been a stalwart of the fundraising events, and with her sense of style and expertise in hospitality her events are always expertly run and organised.

Jo’s latest triumph and her proudest achievement was the champagne breakfast with Graeme McDowell that she organised during the Open when it first came to Portrush, raising £36,000. Jo’s particular event is the annual RNLI BBQ held at 55º North in Portrush.

Jo said recently: “I love volunteering with the RNLI, and will continue to fundraise as long as I am physically able. The team was called the Ladies’ Guild in the early days, but it has certainly evolved since then. I enjoy being part of such a vibrant team.”

Those recognised on the day also include the following:

  • Kerry Gregg, ex-coxswain and deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI received his 20-year award.
  • Carl Kennedy, water safety officer and deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI received his 20-year award.
  • Bernie Riley of the Ballymoney branch received a 20-year award.

Others who were awarded long service medals but couldn’t attend the ceremony were:

  • Rodney Byrne, box secretary — 40-year award (Portrush)
  • Mac Pollock - 40 years (Ballymoney)
  • Anne McCusker – 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • David Elliot - 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • Bill McCormick - 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • Dorothy and John Weeks, retired shop supervisors - 20-year award (Portrush)
  • Judy Nelson, volunteer lifeboat press officer - 20-year award (Portrush)
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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]