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ISORA Celebrates Golden Jubilee with Return to Traditional Irish Offshore Racing Season in 2022

8th December 2021
ISORA Irish Champion 2021 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) negotiates Dalkey Sound in light winds during a coastal race in July
ISORA Irish Champion 2021 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) negotiates Dalkey Sound in light winds during a coastal race in July Credit: Afloat

Following its AGM, ISORA aims to run the full traditional offshore series including the Wolf’s Head overall trophy in what will be its 50th season. 

There are great plans for the 2022 season. We have proposed a separate Coastal Series on each side of the Irish Sea and an Offshore Series. We propose to move back to our traditional offshores by making them longer. We are proposing staggered starts for the races to ensure that as many boats arrive at the finish at the same time. This should revive the great social part of ISORA. We will be working with the host clubs to ensure that there will be “facilities” open for crew no matter what time they arrive at the finish. If sufficient interest exists, we would encourage cruising boast to follow the race fleet, as a “Rally”, and take part in the pre and post-race social events.

ISORA will be working with the Irish National Sail and Powerboat School, INSS, in placing newly qualified crews onto appropriate ISORA Offshore and Coastal boats. ISORA will also be working with the newly formed “Offshore Racing Academy” to promote the technical aspects of offshore racing and to inform and update Skippers on appropriate offshore data. Kenneth Rumball gave a very useful series of pre-race weather and tactical briefings immediately before some of the major races this season. These were well received by Skippers. It is hoped as part of the Offshore Racing Academy, these briefings will continue next season.

Kingstown to Queenstown Race (K2Q Race)

Obviously, the main offshore event is the Round Ireland Race. ISORA will be working with Wicklow Sailing Club and fully supporting and promoting this great race. ISORA have included this in their race schedule and will be preparing boats to qualify for this epic race. ISORA will also be providing tracker service to the race. The other great offshore race in 2022 will be the recommencement of the “Kingstown to Queenstown Race”, (K2Q Race), a 270-mile race that starts in Dun Laoghaire, rounds the Fastnet and finishes in Cork Harbour. It is run by the Royal Cork Yacht Club in conjunction with the National Yacht Club and ISORA.

Let’s hope that the 2022 season will see ISORA grow again, in its 50th Season, promoting offshore racing in the Irish Sea.

To mark this 50th season we hope to finish an offshore in Howth in June and run a celebratory party.

Some of the ISORA fleet in Howth after a cross-channel race in 1980, with the fleet including (at centre) Dai Mouse III (now Sunstone) and the McGruer yawl Frenesi, as well as the first Round Ireland Race winner Force Tension (Johnny Morris) on right. Despite the primitive facilities at most ports, more than a hundred boats regularly entered the ISORA Championship each season. Photo: W M NixonSome of the ISORA fleet in Howth after a cross-channel race in 1980, with the fleet including (at centre) Dai Mouse III (now Sunstone) and the McGruer yawl Frenesi, as well as the first Round Ireland Race winner Force Tension (Johnny Morris) on right. Despite the primitive facilities at most ports, more than a hundred boats regularly entered the ISORA Championship each season. Photo: W M Nixon

ISORA 50th

Afloat's Winkie Nixon wrote about ISORA's birth earlier this year: 

ISORA had its preliminary informal launching to emerge out of the North-West Offshore Association (formerly the Mersey & North Wales Joint Offshore Committee) in the old Howth YC on the West Pier at lunchtime on Sunday 29th August 1971, the day after the Abersoch-Howth Race (the James C Eadie Cup).

The main movers and shakers in making the up-grade were Dickie Richardson from Holyhead SC and Hal Sisk from the National YC. Among those present were Alan Stead and Bert Whitehead (both HSC and Tranmere SC, subsequently officers of ISORA) Ronnie Wayte of Setanta of Skerries, and myself, together with sundry others who were keen to get the business done so that the proper post-race party could progress at its usual ferocious pace.

The first season in 1972 had an awesomely busy and complex programme, by the mid-'70s there were 107 boats in the annual points championship, and it all reached a sort of height in 1976 when the biennial ISORA Week was staged in Crosshaven with a huge turnout which made the Corkmen wonder why they were going to all this effort for the benefit of a bunch of madmen from the Irish Sea, and thus Cork Week was born.

Read the full article on ISORA's Golden Jubilee

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Published in ISORA, National YC, INSS
Peter Ryan

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Peter Ryan

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Peter Ryan is Chairman of ISORA

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