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Displaying items by tag: Rosslare Small Boats Festival

Welsh boat ‘Seawitch’ has won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival for the first time — and set a new record for the event with 34 species landed.

Seawitch beat 34 other boats with 105 anglers from across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Wight at the 34th edition of the festival, which took place from 6-14 September.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Garmin and Daiwa, and supported by Saltwater Boat Angling Magazine, the Rosslare Small Boats Festival is the most prestigious sea angling boat competition in Europe, generating in the region of €300,000 for the local Wexford economy in the off-peak tourist season.

Throughout the competition, favourable weather conditions and calm seas enabled the anglers to fish without restrictions.

This resulted in 42 species being landed across the fleet, including some rarely seen by the public such as black bream, red mullet, spotted ray and gurnards.

At the end of a close competition, which saw many boats neck and neck throughout the week, Welsh boat Seawitch came out on top after the final fishing day.

Crewed by Rob Shefford, Gareth Protheroe and Arthur Beechey, the boat took first place at the competition with 34 species for 13.67kg.

Second place went to the boat Shy Torque (Gavin Parker, Daniel Parker and Kevin Martland) from Merseyside in England with 33 species for 14.08kg. In third place was Irish Shamrock (Martin Kennedy, Pat Condon, Dan Lynch and Joe McPeske) with 32 species for 15.93kg.

IFI’s Josie Mahon with Shamrock crew (in green, from left) Pat Condon, Dan Lynch, Joe McPeske and Martyn Kennedy, Barry O’Connor (IFI) and John Belger (UK festival organiser)IFI’s Josie Mahon with Shamrock crew (in green, from left) Pat Condon, Dan Lynch, Joe McPeske and Martyn Kennedy, Barry O’Connor (IFI) and John Belger (UK festival organiser)

Arthur Beechey from the winning boat won best specimen of the week with a red mullet of 0.48kg.

The heaviest fish was a bull huss of 5.8kg, caught by the boat Safelyduzit from Scotland, for which the crew received a cash prize and a perpetual trophy, sponsored by IFI.

The Ken Evason Memorial trophy for the biggest cod was won by the boat Uptide Girl whose crew caught a cod of 2.18kg.

And the Conningbeg Trophy for the longest bass of 56cm was won by John Meaning, aboard the boat Joe 90 from the Isle of Wight.

Successful conservation initiatives for marine species have been introduced to the competition. Many fish are now caught, photographed on IFI measuring mats and released by anglers at sea.

IFI officiated at the photographic identification of fish species, and also provided a marine fish tank for the purpose of displaying fish species that were caught and later released during the competition.

Staff from IFI were also on hand to share information with festival participants and the public about the fish species on offer from Kilmore Quay.

The prize-giving ceremony took place at the Coast Hotel on Rosslare Strand, where prizes included fishing equipment, cash prizes and engraved trophies.

Barry O’Connor, director of the National Strategy for Angling Development, presented the prizes and said: “I am delighted to attend the Rosslare Small Boats Festival for the first time and am very impressed with the high-quality angling and the dedication and obvious skill and knowledge displayed by all anglers who participated in the competition.

“I would like to congratulate all winners on their success at the 34th Rosslare Small Boats Festival, and would like to say a particular thank you to John Belger and his committee in the UK and Ireland for organising this fantastic competition.”

The event was supported by Kilmore Quay harbour master and staff at Wexford County Council.

Next year’s 35th Rosslare Small Boats Festival is scheduled for 4-11 September 2020.

Published in Angling

The recent 32nd Rosslare Small Boats Festival attracted more than 120 anglers from Wales, Scotland, Isle of Wight, Ireland and many parts of England, including Manchester, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Garmin, DAIWA and Sea Angler magazine, the prestigious competition was held the week of 9th to 16th September and generated in the region of €300,000 for the local economy, bringing jobs and employment to Wexford.

And, for the first time in eight years, the Festival produced a new winner.

The English boat ‘Even Less’ from Gosport and District Angling club in Portsmouth won the competition for the first time. The crew of Wesley Lewis, Steve Mills and Steve Arnold beat 40 boats from Britain and Ireland, catching 22 different species of fish for 13.79 kilos.

During the week, weather conditions were very challenging with strong south westerly winds delaying the start of the competition. The Rosslare small boats festival committee, in tandem with the harbour master’s office in Wexford County Council, worked tirelessly to enable boats to be launched during short windows of weather which brought some relief from the windy conditions.

Redmond’s The Bay, was the centre of the competition where competitors met each evening to discuss their catches and make plans for the following day.

Inland Fisheries Ireland staff was present at the event with a marine fish tank for the purpose of displaying fish species that were caught during the competition and identifying them for the public. The educational benefits of the marine tank and practising catch and release for marine species are hugely beneficial in terms of conservation and creating public awareness of Ireland’s marine resource. Indeed, a new conservation initiative was introduced this year to encourage anglers to catch, photograph and release smoothounds and spurdogs which proved to be very successful.
The high standard competition, combined with a quality angling product, continues to attract the best boat anglers in Great Britain and Ireland in what is now regarded as the best small boat fishing competition in Europe. There were 10 new boats to the competition this year from all over the UK while there were two specimen fish caught during the week, the largest of which was a Ballan Wrasse of 2.3 kilos caught by Bill Walker on board the boat ‘Outcast’.

The prizegiving night took place in Rosslare Harbour Hotel where there were fantastic prizes worth in the region of €30,000 including fishing equipment, cash prizes and engraved trophies.

The Mayor of Wexford, Councillor Jim Moore, the festival’s special guest, said: “I would like to congratulate all competitors on their success at the 32nd Rosslare Small Boats festival. It is a wonderful achievement and we are delighted that you come to Wexford to fish. I would like to thank the sponsors of the festival - Inland Fisheries Ireland, Garmin, DAIWA and Sea Angler and I look forward to seeing you return next year”.

The 33rd Rosslare Small Boats Festival is scheduled to take place from the 8-15th September 2018.

Published in Angling

The Irish boat ‘Screaming Reels’ has won the Rosslare Small Boats Angling Festival for a record eighth year in what was a very tight competition. This is the sixth year in a row that the crew from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club from Midleton in Cork, who first started fishing the competition in 2008, has won. They beat 43 other boats from Britain and Ireland catching 30 different species of fish for 28.03 kilos. This prestigious competition generates in the region of €300,000 for the local economy, bringing jobs and employment to Wexford.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Garmin, DAIWA, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Sea Angler magazine and IPB Insurance, the 31st festival attracted more than 138 anglers from Wales, Scotland, Isle of Wight, Manchester, Liverpool and Portsmouth as well as domestic anglers from Ireland. The high standard of competition, combined with a quality angling product, continues to attract the best boat anglers in Great Britain and Ireland in what is now regarded as the finest small boat fishing competition in Europe. This was evident again this year with 12 new boats attending the Festival, with many coming from Wales.

Weather conditions on the day were challenging with gale force winds delaying the start of the competition. The winds eased during the week allowing boats to be launched from Kilmore Quay every day enabling them to target all species. The competition was fierce and the boats recorded up to 21 species on the first day (a new record) with the boat ‘Even Less’ in the lead for the first two days. This continued throughout the week with many boats neck and neck over a number of days.

One third of the boats caught 22 different types of fish species with 36 different fish species recorded in total throughout the festival. It was ‘Screaming Reels’ from Midleton, Cork however who got to the finish line first with 30 species of fish after four days fishing. The heaviest fish was a bull huss of 6.25kgs caught by Ralph Barkley on the boat ‘Seeker’.

The winning boat ‘Screaming Reels’ consisted of crew Martyn Rayner (skipper) Seirt Shults and Neville Murphy who have continued to raise the bar of the Rosslare Small Boats Fishing Competition. Second place went to the boat ‘Even Less’ (Wesley Lewis, Steve Mills and Steve Arnold) from Gosport Angling Club in Portsmouth with 28 species for 16.10 kilos. In third place was ‘Joe 90’ (John Meaning, Dave Weatherby and Graham Cuff) from the Isle of Wight with 26 species for 21.16 kilos.

Inland Fisheries Ireland was present at the event with a marine fish tank for the purpose of displaying fish species that were caught during the competition. Staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland were on hand to educate the public about the fish species on offer from Kilmore Quay. The educational benefits of the marine tank and practising catch and release for marine species are hugely beneficial in terms of conservation and creating public awareness of Ireland’s marine resource. The public were able to view marine fish such as ballan wrasse, smoothound, gurnard and dabs which were kept in the fish tank and released back into their marine habitat alive. An overwhelming effort was made by anglers to release marine species back alive to the ocean, which was hugely supported by Kilmore Quay harbour master and staff at Wexford County Council.

The prize giving ceremony took place at ‘Redmond’s The Bay, where there were fantastic prizes worth in the region of €20,000 on offer including fishing equipment, cash prizes and engraved trophies. A presentation was made to the RNLI in Kilmore Quay who were represented by Johnny Moore who anglers thanked for their generosity.

John Belger, UK organiser of the competition said: ‘I would like to congratulate all competitors on their success at the 31st Rosslare Small Boats festival. I would also like to thank our sponsors Garmin, DAIWA, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland, Sea Angler magazine and IPB Insurance for their generosity and look forward to seeing you all next year’.

The Rosslare Small Boats Festival 2017 will take place from the 9th – 16th September 2017.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Screaming Reels celebrated its fourth win in a row at the Rosslare Small Boats Festival recently where it also set a new contest record.

In the best competition seen in many years, the boat from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork raised the bar with 32 different species of fish caught, beating 35 other boats from Britain and Ireland.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Fáilte Ireland, DAIWA Sports UK, Lowrance and Sea Angler Magazine, the sea angling event – now in its 29th year – attracted more than 110 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

For the first time in many years, persistent high pressure over Ireland meant that competitors were blessed with sunshine and very light winds resulting in flat calm seas.

This gave them a great chance as they could launch their boats from Kilmore Quay every day, enabling them to target all species.

There were seven new boats to the competition from Wales, Cornwall and Scotland which marked a significant increase especially during challenging economic times.

And the competition was fierce, with boats recording up to 18 species on the first day and 16 on the days thereafter.

With Mediterranean-like weather conditions continuing all week and a very tight leaderboard, the finale was an exciting one, with 41 different types of fish species recorded.

The overall results demonstrated this, with first place going once again to Screaming Reels – Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults and Neville Murphy – with 32 species for 26.1kg. They were followed closely in second place by Sea Witch (Rob Shefford, G Prothergoe and Paul O’Connor) from Penally in Wales with 29 species for 15.6kg. In third place was Nirvana (Richie Stead and Keith Pemberton) from the Wirral Boat Angling Club with 28 species for 18.35kg.

Of the 41 species, a number of streaked gurnard were caught, making it a new species for the competition. Other unusual fish caught were tadpole fish, black goby, black bream and painted ray.

The huge variety of species caught demonstrates the quality of the fishing in Wexford and indeed the very high standard of the competitors.

There were five specimen fish caught during the week (four in the competition). A specimen red mullet, close to the Irish record, was caught by Phil Dawson on board the Liverpool boat Seeker, which won him specimen of the week.

Other specimen fish included a Ballan wrasse of 2.3kg caught by David Jones from Wales, a black bream of 1kg caught by Eddie Butler from Kilkenny and a cuckoo wrasse of 0.56kg by Bert Williams from the Wirral in England. A pollack weighing 5.5kg was caught by Gavin Parker. All specimen fish are pending verification by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee.

The heaviest round fish was a conger eel of 8.65kg caught by Keith Gray from Liverpool on board the boat Seeker, and he was also awarded a perpetual trophy sponsored by IFI for the biggest fish caught of the week.

The heaviest flat fish was a turbot of 0.7kg caught by Richie Stead from Nirvana. James Cherry (16) from Dunshaughlin in Co Meath, aboard the Irish boat Fin Chaser, won the best juvenile of the competition with 18 species for 18.2kg.

Redmond’s The Bay in Rosslare Strand hosted the prize-giving ceremony which was a great success with outstanding hospitality. Other sponsors included Wigeon’s Rest Tackle Shop in Rosslare Strand, Shamrock Tackle and the Kilmore Quay Harbour office.

The total prize fund for the competition was €12,000 including fishing equipment and substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies.

The prizes were presented by IFI director Brian Beckett, who congratulated all competitors and thanked them for visiting Wexford, for the invaluable contribution to the Irish economy that they make which is estimated to be in the region of €100,000.

In addition, over €1,000 was raised for the Oncology Unit at Wexford General Hospital and a presentation was made to them on behalf of the festival.

Next year’s event will take place from the 5-12 September 2015, and IFI is inviting all small boat anglers to take part.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Irish boat Screaming Reels has won the Rosslare Small Boats festival for the third year in a row.

In a fantastic finale, the boat from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork won the competition with 27 different species of fish, beating 25 other boats from Britain and Ireland.

Screaming Reels are a mighty force to be reckoned with in the small boat sea angling scene in Ireland and Britain, having won this competition five out of the last six years.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Fáilte Ireland, DAIWA Sports UK and Sea Angler magazine, the event – now in its 28th year – attracted more than 70 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Wales and Ireland.

Weather conditions proved to be challenging for the competition with blustery winds making boat fishing difficult. However, as the week wore on, conditions improved and competitors managed to fish the full four-day competition by launching their boats twice from Kilrane in Rosslare and twice from Kilmore Quay.

The competition ended on a high note with the final day’s fishing taking place from Kilmore Quay, where anglers could target all species, making it a very exciting finish.

Organisers went out of their way to facilitate boats getting the full four day’s fishing in by organising early morning launches which proved to be a big hit with competitors.

This fantastic finale brought great excitement to the competition. The overall results demonstrated this with first place going to Screaming Reels (Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults, Neville Murphy from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork) with 27 species for 22.86kg.

They were followed closely in second place by Jay Jay (Andrew Jones, David Jones and Steve Jones from Newport in Wales) with 26 species for 18kg. In third place was Shy Torque (Kevin Martland, Kenny Carr and Gavin Parker from Liverpool) with 25 species for 21.24kg.

A great variety of fish were recorded during the week, with 37 different types of species including coalfish, dogfish, dab, flounder, pollack, bull huss and some unusual species such as black goby, shanny, black bream and painted ray.

A specimen garfish, which was close to the Irish record weighing 0.92kg was caught by Steve Jones from Newport in Wales. A shore rockling of 0.66kg caught by Mark Rogan of Rogie’s Girl from Liverpool was a near specimen (pending verifiication by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee).

The heaviest round fish was a conger of 7.46kg caught by Ian Jenkins of Sandstorm from Wales, who was also awarded a perpetual trophy sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland for the biggest fish caught of the week. The heaviest flat fish was a flounder of 0.58kg caught by Richie Stead from Nirvana.

This year there were two juniors in the competition: 16-year-old Lewis Radcliffe from Wigan, aboard the boat Cod n Bass, who had 18 species for 15.08kg; and James Cherry (16) from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath aboard the Irish boat Fin Chaser, a newcomer to the competition who had 17 species for 13.88kg.

Redmond’s The Bay in Rosslare Strand hosted the prizegiving ceremony, and IFI cited the hospitality of John Redmond and his staff as "outstanding". Other sponsors included Widgeon’s Rest Tackle shop in Rosslare Strand; Shamrock Tackle; Kilmore Quay Harbour office; and the Small Boat Owners Association at Rosslare Safe.

The total prize fund for the competition was €10,000 including fishing equipment and substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies. The prizes were presented by Fergus O’Dowd, Minister of State at Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and Orla Woods, angling product manager at Fáilte Ireland.

Minister O’Dowd said: "I am delighted to be at this fantastic fishing festival and to see so many of you here from all over Britain and Ireland. I know that many of you are very loyal visitors to Ireland, coming here to fish year after year.

"The festival is very important not only to promote the great sea fishing we have on the East Coast, and in particular, the variety of species available but also the investment it brings to the local businesses in the area each year. I would like to congratulate all competitors for their participation in this competition and encourage you to spread the word to your friends about fishing in Ireland."

Next year’s event will take place from 6-13 September 2014, and IFI invites all small boat anglers to take part. Further information is available from Josie Mahon at IFI who can be contacted at 01 278 7022 or [email protected]

Published in Angling

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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