Offshore sailing crews from up to ten yacht clubs across Wales and Ireland gathered at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire last weekend to hear details of the 2016 ISORA offshore sailing calendar that does not include June's 700–mile Round Ireland race as part of its points series.
While stressing ISORA's total support for the biennial Wicklow race (that has just signed Volvo as a new sponsor) chairman Peter Ryan said the decision was based solely on the fact that ISORA races are weighted based on difficulty and distance. 'The last time the Round Ireland was included in the series it was weighted 1.5. The effect of this was that if a boat did particularly well in the Round Ireland, they practically also had the ISORA series sewn up', Ryan said. 'We are always trying the encourage new boat to go offshore, compete and do well. The boat likely to do well in the Round Ireland would be one of our experienced boats and, it was felt, that this would discourage new boats racing in ISORA' he added.
The ISORA fleet typically gains on the year of the Round Ireland race as new boats attempt to attain the necessary offshore experience and take part in ISORA races before the Round Ireland.
ISORA will sail into Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, 23rd April for the finish of its first race of the 2016 season, a 50–mile coastal day race.
Read a review of the 2015 ISORA series and download the 2016 ISORA calendar of events here.