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The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association (ISORA) has introduced short handed sailing to the Irish Sea offshore game this season, a recognition for the Irish boats acheiving success in the discipline on the international stage over the last few seasons.

Although ISORA has always encouraged short-handed racing (it accommodates single handed racing in its day races) the 2016 initative from Commodore Peter Ryan goes a step further with the new double handed class open to any boat sailed double handed for any of the ISORA races.

Reflecting the drive of the individual for the love of offshore sailing and noting Irish short–handed wins in the 2015 Middle Sea Race and the Round Britain and Ireland Race two years ago, it will be ineresting to see the take up for the new class on either side of the Irish Sea.

The Double Handed Overall Class winner will be determined by the best four Double Handed results for that boat. Race prizes for Double Handed will be allocated depending on the number of boats taking part in the race. Double Handed boats will also qualify for the normal Overall and Class prizes. 

The first race in the Avery Crest ISORA Offshore Series 2016 takes place on the 23rd April with the day race from Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow. 

As the first race of the season it is anticipated that the selected course will allow boats and crew to ease into the 2016 season while having enough time after the race to sample the hospitality of Wicklow Sailing Club while waiting for the north going tide.

The second race of the Offshore Series 2016 is the Pwllheli Bay Day Race also on 23rd April. This race will take the fleet along the scenic Welsh Coastline and out into the spectacular and World renowned sailing waters of Cardigan Bay. After racing the crews will retire to the new Sailing Club in the iconic Academy where there will be opportunities to discuss the 2016 offshore campaigns and the challenge to retain the ISORA Team Trophy again this year.

This sailing season’s highlight is the Volvo Round Ireland Race and it is hoped that this will encourage those boats taking part to gain the required experience and practice in offshore racing by taking part in ISORA.

As Afloat previously reported, this season sees some new boats entering: Kuba Szymanski’s First 40.7. Grant Kinsman’s Sigma 400 and Robert Floate’s Sydney 36 should make some competitive racing for the Class 1. George Sisk’s, ICRA 2015 Boat of the Year and overall winner of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, “WOW” is back racing in ISORA. There are persistent rumours of a JPK 10.8 appearing and a J105 from Wales?

 

Published in ISORA
Tagged under

The ISORA series this year promises extra spice with several new boats entering that could yet threaten the offshore dominance of the J109 design in recent seasons. The new boats on the scene are Kuba Szymanski’s 40.7, Grant Kinsman’s Sigma 400, Robert Floate’s Sydney 36 and there are whispers of a JPK 10.8 entering ISORA too.

This year is also Round Ireland Race year and this brings additional boats to take part in obtaining their required level of experience to qualify for this epic offshore race. Any boat considering doing the Round Ireland Race can qualify by taking part in the ISORA races prior to the Round Ireland in June.

ISORA's four race coastal series, run in conjunction with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club that merged this season with Dublin Bay Sailing Club, will be sponsored by Viking Marine. It is the latest sponsor into the offshore scene with Avery Crest still the title sponsors for the Overall Offshore Series. ISORA also have race sponsors such as Adrian Lee & Partners, LC Tyres and Irish Hospital Supplies. ISORA are finalising sponsorships for other races too.

All ISORA races will be tracked using the Avery Crest YB trackers. This allows the race to be followed by using the YB app or on the Internet.

The first ISORA race will be a coastal race on the 23rd April, starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire.

As well as providing great racing, ISORA also promotes a great social activity amongst the all the crews taking part, particularly after the Coastal Races. There is always a get “get together” in the National Yacht Club where crews from all participating boats mingle and chat about the day’s activities.

It is also hoped that UCD and Trinity Sailing Clubs will again provide crew to boats taking part in ISORA this season.

Any queries relating to taking part in ISORA can be forwarded to ISORA Chairman: Peter Ryan at [email protected]

Published in ISORA
16th February 2016

Gerry Haggas 1919-2016

For Irish sailors who put in the great times with ISORA from the 1970s onwards for three and more decades, it simply didn’t seem like a proper offshore race unless Gerry Haggas from Pwllheli was taking part with his pale blue Elizabethan 30 Sundancer. He and the boat and the ISORA programme became part of each other. Yet Sundancer was by no means the only boat he campaigned in a lifelong contribution to North Wales and Irish Sea competition, though she was the special one.

By the time he was making regular appearances in the frame with the new Sundancer in classic ISORA events, he could look back with satisfaction to a period when he was setting the pace in the development of Pwllheli as a sailing centre, as he served as Commodore of the 1958-founded Pwllheli Sailing Club (Clwb Hwylio) from 1962 to 1964 with the popular and enthusiastic support of his wife Olive, and was a regular contender as well as a developer of sailing against the magnificent backdrop of Snowdonia in Tremadoc Bay.Elizabethan 30 Sundancer

The late Gerry Haggas chose his boats well - he was most associated with the deservedly successful Elizabethan 30 Sundancer over decades of successful ISORA campaigning.

Yet like many summer sailors in this special area within the sheltering arm of the Lleyn Peninsula, his home was a long way away – it was in Yorkshire, and he was a Yorkshireman through and through in classic style. But he thought nothing of driving many miles over distances which conveniently-placed Irish sailors thought crazy, just to be able to get aboard his beloved boat in those long-gone days when Pwllheli was not yet blessed with a marina, and set out to race into the night.

Gerry’s relationship with Sundancer was rather special, as she was a David Thomas design, but built in Lymington by Peter Webster, a former Yorkshire baker who liked boats so much he upped sticks and moved south to build them beside the Solent. Webster liked this particular design best of all, so although he built many other boat types, he kept the Elizabethan 30 Liz of Lymington to be his pet boat until his death, when it emerged in his will that he’d left the boat to David Thomas, who in turn kept her until a very advanced age as his own boat.

So there’s something about the Elizabethan 30 which is rather special, and there still is though it was 1969 when she first appeared. With a new wave of Half Tonners coming along through the 1970s, Gerry Haggas quietly gave them a hard time. Quite rightly, his older boat rated a little lower, so in your hot new Half Tonner as night came on, you had to be fairly confident that you’d put Sundancer well astern in the myriad of navigation lights. But as sure as God made little apples, as first light came up, there he’d be, right beside you. Only the classic Yorkshire response would do in such circumstances.

Pwllheli
Pwllheli as it is today. Gerry Haggas played a key role in its growing popularity as a sailing centre, as he was Commodore of Pwllheli SC in 1962-64 just four years after the club was founded

But while Gerry himself was a quiet man, he had no doubt at all of the proper place of his beloved sailing area in the great scheme of things. I recall one wet evening coming ashore in Abersoch (where of course it rains only once a year) during a well-attended ISORA Week, and there sheltering in the lee of South Caernarvon SC was sailmaker Bruce Banks, a former Olympic sailor and multi-champion.

It turned out he was there because he’d made a new suit of sails for Sundancer, and Gerry (and maybe Peter Webster too) had quietly made it clear that he should travel north from the Solent and spend a day or two at ISORA Week in Tremadoc Bay making sure the guys in Sundancer were doing it right. He enjoyed it so much the “day or two” became the whole week. That was the quiet way with Gerry Haggas. He’d a great 96 years voyage through life. Our thoughts are with his family and especially his son Bill.

WMN

Published in ISORA

Things are on the move again. There’s a buzz in the air. W M Nixon anticipates the sailing possibilities for 2016 in a fixtures list so diverse that he reckons that anyone who thinks they know everything that’s going on clearly doesn’t.

If you want anything done, then ask a busy man to do it. And the busier people are ashore, the keener they are to get afloat when they can. There was nothing more sluggish than the sailing and boating scene during the recession years. There was less zest for going sailing when you’d all the time in the world to do it because there was nothing to do ashore. And anyway, as a vehicle sport, sailing was a very identifiable expense which could be reduced or even discarded as the recession rumbled on.

Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. Anyone with businesses to run knew they’d to keep a very close eye on things all the time if they were to survive at all. Thus we became experts at the short sailing break. The four day regatta became all the rage, and even if the good times roll again as never before, it seems likely the four day regatta is going to stay popular.

It’s indicative of amazingly changed times. Today, it’s beyond imagination to realise that at the height of Scotland’s industrial pomp around Glasgow for eighty years into the 1960s, there used to be a Clyde Fortnight. Two whole weeks of sailing on the trot. Except for Sundays of course, when the church services became yachting events. But even with that spiritual input, it was conspicuous consumption gone mad to be able to show you’d the resources and free time to go off yacht racing for a clear fortnight, knowing your employees – or rather, your inherited company’s employees – would keep those profits and dividends rolling in while you swanned about on the bonnie waters of the Firth.

It took special stamina, too. But times and tastes have changed in any case. There are so many other sports, entertainments and interests vying for our attention these days that sailing has to keep re-inventing itself to make its mark. Yet beneath it all there’s still that elementally simple appeal so eloquently expressed by the folksy Floridian Clark Mills, who in 1947 created the Optimist dinghy:

“A boat, by God, it’s just a gleamin’ beautiful creation. And when you pull the sail up on a boat, you’ve got a little bit of really somethin’ God-given. Man, it goes bleetin’ off like a bird’s wing, you know, and there’s nothin’ else like it”.

It’s still as simple as that. So apart from the usual frostbite races and leagues, it’s more than appropriate that the first major sailing event in Ireland in 2016 is the legendary Optimist Training Week at Baltimore during the half term break in February. Yes folks, February. For sure, we know that in the old Irish calendar, February 1st is St Brigid’s Day, and officially the first day of Spring. But for many sailors, St Patrick’s Day on March 17th is about as early as we want to get. And for most of us, Easter is quite soon enough, thank you.

162
A harvest of Optys – Optimists racing at the Cork Dinghyfest 2015 in conditions rather different from those they’ll be expecting at Baltimore in February. Photo: Robert Bateman

Nevertheless we salute the keen Opty kids who in February drag their families along with them down to Baltimore – even unto the family dog – in a caravanserai which tells us much about Irish sailing. But what we also know is that Irish sailing is universal, and from times past we’re well aware that our new season is reckoned to start with the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race on December 26th in the dying days of the old year. So the up-coming dash to Hobart is when our new year begins, and back in December 2012 when Gordon Maguire won it overall - his second overall win in this great Australian annual classic - he was undisputed Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for January 2013.

As we’re on the cruiser-racer theme, we’ll stay with it for now through to the August fixtures, and anyone totally into dinghies and nothing else is invited to scroll down a dozen paragraphs to where we emerge from the world of truck-racing for a consideration of the Olympics, the inshore racing classes, and the dinghies.

But for now staying with cruiser-racers, in recent months Gordon Maguire has been making the Mediterranean scene with success aboard the Mark Mills-designed Max 72 Caol Ila (ex-Alegre), but as the Australian season currently swings back into top gear, he’s in the Matt Allen camp aboard the Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban. However, another Irish line of interest continues with Wicklow-based designer Mark Mills, whose newest 45ft footer Concubine – fresh built in Dubai – is going to an Adelaide owner who will have her at optimum trim for her first big outing in the Hobart race.

163Flying machine. The new Mark Mills-designed 45ft Concubine arrives in Australia on November 22nd

Meanwhile, notwithstanding the Optimists gearing up for their February Sailfest in Baltimore, things at home really start on Friday February 4th when the Irish sailing focus closes in on the august yet friendly premises of the Royal College of Surgeons on Stephens Green in the heart of Dublin for the annual ISA/Afloat.ie National Sailing Awards. Sailors of the Month, Sailor of the Year, Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year and many other well-earned awards will be swept through in a festival of mutual congratulation and camaraderie which perfectly captures the spirit of a sport which has a longer history in Ireland than anywhere else.

164Can they do it again? The Royal Cork Yacht Club – with Marine Minister Simon Coveney – at the ISA/Afloat.ie Sailing Awards 2014 ceremony in the RCSI in Dublin on Friday 6th March 2015, when they swept the board and took the Mitsubishi Motors “Club of the Year” award for good measure. The 2015 awards will be presented at the same venue on Friday, February 4th 2016.

University sailing also comes top of the bill in the Springtime, with the Irish championship seeing titleholders UCD defend a position which also saw them representing Ireland at the Student Yachting Worlds in France in October, when they placed third overall. It sounds reasonable enough, but Ireland has won the Worlds a couple of times in the recent past, so there’s work to be done here.

Another area where work is being done is in the growing interest for Under 25 Squads in doing great things with revitalised J/24s. Cillian Dickson of Howth led his Under 25 group to success both in J/24 and open racing in 2015 with the J/24 Kilcullen, and the word is that 2016 will see at least three similar teams making the scene at national and local events.

But for boats with a lid, the top item on the agenda has to be the fact that this is a biennial Commodores’ Cup year, and we’re the defenders. In 2014, thanks to the single-minded determination of Anthony O’Leary, a competitive three boat team was somehow assembled from some very disparate parts, and the title - won in 2010 but undefended in 2012 in the depths of the recession - was re-taken in very positive style after a week of ferocious racing in late July in the Solent.

165Ireland nicely placed at the start of the Round the Island Race in the Commodore’s Cup 2014, with two British boats neatly sandwiched between Catapult (red hull) and Antix (silver hull). Catapult is now Antix, while the former Antix has been sold to Sweden.

The RORC Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup 2016 will be raced from Cowes from 23rd to 30th July 2016, and far from having to scrape around to assemble a team, the word is that ICRA may be mounting a two team defence/challenge on our behalf, as the RORC event has seen the rating band lowered to 1,000 to make it attractive to boats like J/109s. These super boats are finally taking off in Ireland as a premier class. It has taken some time, but as we’ve been saying for years, the J/109 might have been designed with the Irish context in mind, and they’re going to be a major part of our sailing for many years to come.

166They might have been designed precisely with Irish requirements in mind…….the J/109 class is finally beginning to take off at all main centres.

Through the season, cruiser-racer events swing into action at every level, both at home and nearby abroad, with the RORC Easter Challenge in the Solent (Antix defending for Ireland here), the Silver’s Marine Scottish Series at Tarbert from May 27-30 (Rob McConnell’s A35 Fool’s Gold from Dunmore East is the defender) and then the big home one, the ICRA Nats at Howth from June 10th to 12th, staged just a week after Howth’s at-home major, the Lambay Races on June 4th.

167ICRA racing at its best – Liam Burke’s Corby 25 Tribal from Galway making knots at Kinsale in the ICRA Nats 2015. The ICRA Nats 2016 are at Howth from June 10th to 12th. Photo: ICRA

Meanwhile the re-vitalised ISORA programme (defending champion is Shanahan family’s J/109 Ruth from the National YC) will have swung into action in the Irish Sea with a stated commitment to impinge adversely as little as possible – if at all – on long-established events, but for serious old salts the real story in June will be the countdown to the Volvo Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on Saturday June 18th.

Volvo Cars Ireland are in for the long haul on this one. So their first outing with the classic biennial circuit will be run fairly conservatively in the knowledge that legislation is going through the Dail to re-organise the administration of Wicklow Harbour (among other ports). Thus it’s on the cards that in the future, Wicklow Sailing Club and their supportive new sponsor will find they have a harbour much-improved to host visiting boats. But for 2016, the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire will be providing support berths for larger craft, as too will Greystones Marina in between.

168
International participation in the biennial Round Ireland Race – Piet Vroon’s famous Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens making away from the Wicklow starting line on a perect summer’s day. In 2016, Volvo Cars Ireland will be starting a longterm sponsorship of the race.

But even with the current facilities, it’s going to be quite a happening with serious multi-hulls involved for the first time, and Grand Prix racers of the calibre of George David’s Rambler 88 stepping up to the plate, while in the body of the fleet the Shanahan’s Ruth has unfinished business – in 2014 they missed the win by seven minutes to Richard Harris’s Tanit from Scotland.

Until this late-June stage of the season, the south coast will have been fairly quiet in terms of events with an international flavour, but all that changes between 10th and 15th July when the Royal Cork’s Volvo Cork Week swings into action with the added interest (to put it mildly) of the IRC European Championship. This completely new event – a joint venture between the RORC and the RCYC – is still at the developmental stage, but with some far-thinking organisers behind it such as Anthony O’Leary of Royal Cork and Michael Boyd of RORC, it has all the makings of something very special indeed, and will blend in well with July’s expanding European programme as teams work on their performance with the Commodores’ Cup at the end of July providing the Grand Finale.

But of course not everyone seeks the international limelight. There are plenty of local events to keep cruiser-racers busy, and the WIORA Championship 2016 will be from June 29th to July 02nd, hosted by the very venerable Royal Western of Ireland Yacht at Kilrush, which is itself a place re-born since the marina and harbour were taken over by leading harbour engineers L & M Keating.

Inevitably with the August Bank Holiday Monday being precisely on August 1st, traditional events in 2016 will find themselves being compressed into that first week of August, but if you were really keen it might be just be possible to finish the WIORA at Kilrush and then hare round to Schull for Calves Week from Tuesday August 2nd to Friday August 5th, but there are probably too many temptations on the way as you progress along Ireland’s top cruising coast.

However, if you’re not into total relax mode by the time August arrives, then there’s the Olympics in Rio to gather you up in its crazy five ring circus with the sailing events in a continuous tapestry from 5th August 21st August. The Irish challenge for the 2016 Olympiad is still in something of a state of flux as three places have been secured with other possibilities, but the whole thing is total melting-pot stuff, so it’s too early yet to make predictions.

But you don’t have to look to Rio for stellar performance in 2016 as we’ve top level dinghy racing coming to Ireland with the Laser Radial Youth World Championship being hosted in a joint venture by Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the Royal St George YC from Saturday July 23rd to Saturday July 30th, yet another event which has relevance in a different context as the administration of Dun Laoghaire Harbour could well be in a new context in the near future.

Any overview of the dinghy and inshore keelboat scene soon reminds you of the exasperation some observers feel at a global sport which boasts something like 143 recognised World Championships in its annual international programme. And that’s only counting World Championships. Add in Europeans, and numbers increase exponentially, but we have a Europeans in Ireland in 2016 with the Mirrors gathering from 7th to 12th August for racing with one of the most interesting little boats afloat at the RCYC in Crosshaven.

169Yet another new boat design. But the new Phil Morrison-designed National 18 has been making a very good impression in Cork Harbour. Photo: Robert Bateman

For their owners, all boats are interesting - that’s the way it is with boats. Indeed, for many participants, it’s not so much the sport as the vehicles themselves which are the raison d’etre of the whole business. And thus we find that in Ireland as elsewhere, traditional, classic and vintage boats are moving ever higher up the agenda with each season’s programme-making.

It could be argued that there’s nowhere better in the world to find such intriguing and individual boats playing an accepted and natural role in the sailing scene than in the Greater Dublin region. 2016 may also be witnessing the centenary of the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution. But despite the turmoil of a hundred years ago, we’re basically a very settled and civilised society, and when we find a boat type we like, we tend to stay with her. And equally as a reasonable society we will happily accept the restrictions of one design racing in order to provide affordable sport.

Thus around Dublin we can find the Water Wags whose class organisation dates back to 1886, even if the boats themselves are the new-fangled version from around 1902 or thereabouts. Equally part of the scene are the Howth 17s, undiluted since 1898. And even boats which we think of as new – such as the International Dragons – are now vintage and some of their best racing in 2016 will be in Glandore where the presiding genius is Don Street and Gypsy, numbering 167 years between them, though it’s rude to ask which way the division falls.

1610
Back to her birthplace. Ian Malcolm’s Howth 17 Aura at Carrickfergus, where she was built by John Hilditch in 1898. Several vintage Hilditch-built boats plan to join the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Carrickfergus Sailing Club and the Royal Ulster yacht Club on Belfast Lough next June. Photo: Damian Cronin

Part of the traditional and classic boat scene in Dublin is the annual Leinster Trophy Race of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association at the June Bank Holiday, and newly-elected DBOGA President denis Aylmer with his Cornish Crabber Mona is defending champion. But this year the classic focus shifts to Belfast Lough at the end of June, as both Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Royal Ulster Yacht Club are celebrating their 150th Anniveraries.

They’ll have many separate events, but as Carrickfergus was also the location of the famous Hilditch boat-building yard where many famous wooden one designs were built between 1892 and 1914, there’ll be a Hilditch Regatta at Carrickfergus morphing into a RUYC Classic Yacht Festival across Belfast Lough at Bangor between Wednesday June 22nd and Monday June 27th, with vintage fleets eligible including Strangford Lough Rivers, the Glens, Howth 17s, Belfast Lough Waverleys, Ballyholme Bays and indeed any classics willing to travel such as Water Wags and vintage Dragons.

1611
Senior Hilditch boat. The Mylne-designed Belfast Lough Island Class yawl Trasnagh, seen here under her new Bermudan rig in 1933, is expected to join the 150th Anniversary celebrations in Belfast Lough in the summer of 2016. Photo courtesy RNIYC

1612As she was, so she is again. Tern – seen here in 1898 – has been so faithfully restored in 2015 that she even has replicated the inverted 2 for her sail number 7. They couldn’t find a 7 in the sailmakers loft when the boats were being commissioned in a hurry in May 1897. Photo courtesy RUYC

There may even be an appearance by two of the Hilditch daddies of them all, the Fife-designed Belfast Lough Class I 25ft LWL OD Tern of 1897 vintage which has re-emerged in the Mediterranean so effectively restored that she won her class at Les Voiles de St Tropez in September 2015, and the Mylne-designed 39ft LOA Island Class yawl Trasnagh, built in 1913 to join her sisters at Cultra anchorage to make up a fleet of the worlds first true cruiser-racer one designs.

At the other end of the size scale, one of the best new events of 2015 was the Dinghyfest at Royal Cork in August, which was such a success straight out of the box that they’re going to run it again in 2016 on much the same format, and the word is that classes are already queuing to take part in something which could well be a very welcome distraction from Olympic angst.

MAIN 2016 SAILING EVENTS OF IRISH INTEREST 

February 4th ISA/Afloat.ie Annual Awards RCSI, Dublin

May 27th to 30th Silver’s Scottish Series Tarbert, Loch Fyne

June 10th to 12th ICRA Nats Howth

June 18th Volvo Round Ireland Race Wicklow

June 22nd to 27th Belfast Lough Classics Carrickfergus & Bangor

July 10th to 15th Volvo Cork Week & IRC Europeans Royal Cork YC

July 23rd to 30th Laser Youth Radial Worlds RStGYC

July 23rd to 30th Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup Cowes

August 5th to 21st Sailing Olympics 2016 Rio de Janeiro

August 7th to 12th Mirror Europeans Royal Cork YC

October 1st to 2nd All-Ireland Helmsman’s Championship

October Student Yachting World Cup France

October 22nd Rolex Middle Sea Race Malta

2016 ISA FIXTURE LIST

StartEndNameBoat ClassVenue
06/02/16 07/02/16 IUSA Westerns Fireflies Killaloe SC
25/02/16 28/02/16 IUSA Varsities Fireflies Kenmare
26/03/16 27/03/16 Munster Championships Laser Baltimore Sailing Club
10/04/16 10/04/16 Traveller 1 Topper East Down YC
23/04/16 24/04/16 Mirror Westerns Mirror Sligo YC
23/04/16 24/04/16 Ulster Championships Laser Coounty Antrim Yacht Club
23/04/16 24/04/16 RS400 Easterns RS Royal St George YC
23/04/16 24/04/16 RS200 Easterns RS Royal St George YC
24/04/16 24/04/16 Traveller 2 Topper Lough Derg YC
08/05/16 08/05/16 Traveller 3 Topper Wexford Harbour B&TC
14/05/16 16/05/16 Leinster Optimist Championships Optimist Royal St George YC
14/05/16 15/05/16 Optimist Leinsters Optimist Royal St George YC
21/05/16 22/05/16 Ulster Championships Topper Donaghadee SC
21/05/16 22/05/16 GP14 OT & Purcell GP14 Swords Sailing & BC
21/05/16 22/05/16 J/24 Northerrns J/24 Sligo YC
21/05/16 22/05/16 RS400 Northerns RS Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club
27/05/16 29/05/16 Sportsboat Cup 2016 Various Howth YC
27/05/16 29/05/16 Dragon East Coast Championship Dragon Royal Irish YC
28/05/16 29/05/16 Squib Northern Championship Squib Killyleagh SC
04/06/16 04/06/16 Lambay Races 2016 All Classes Howth YC
10/06/16 12/06/16 ICRA National Championships 2016 Cruisers Howth YC
10/06/16 12/06/16 Wayfarer National Championship Wayfarer Ramor Watersports Club
11/06/16 12/06/16 Optimist Connaughts Optimist Foynes YC
18/06/16   Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race Cruisers Wicklow SC
18/06/16 18/06/16 Royal Alfred Bloomsday Regatta All Classes National YC
18/06/16 19/06/16 Leinster Championships Topper Skerries SC
25/06/16 26/06/16 GP14 Ulsters GP14 East Down YC
25/06/16 26/06/16 RS400 Westerns RS Sligo YC
25/06/16 26/06/16 RS200 Westerns RS Sligo YC
01/07/16 01/07/16 Optimist VP Team Racing Cup Optimist Malahide YC
01/07/16 03/07/16 White Sails and Non Spinnaker Team Challenge Cruisers Royal St George YC
01/07/16 03/07/16 Dingy West 2016 - Sailing the Wild Atlantic All Dinghies Galway Bay Sailing Club
02/07/16 03/07/16 Connaught Championships Laser Lough Derg YC
02/07/16 03/07/16 Optimist Ulsters Optimist Malahide YC
02/07/16 03/07/16 J/24 Southerns J/24 Royal Cork YC
02/07/16 03/07/16 Fireball Leinsters Fireball Wexford Harbour B&TC
02/07/16 04/07/16 Irish Nationals Topper Royal Cork YC
10/07/16 15/07/16 Volvo Cork Week & IRC European Championships Various Royal Cork YC
15/07/16 17/07/16 Ruffian 23 National Championship Ruffian 23 Dun Laoghaire MYC
16/07/16 17/07/16 Optimist Crosbie Cup Optimist Lough Ree YC
16/07/16 17/07/16 Leinster Championships Laser National YC
17/07/16 17/07/16 Traveller 4 Topper Carrickfergus SC
22/07/16 24/07/16 Mirror National Championships Mirror Sutton Dinghy Club
23/07/16 30/07/16 Laser Radial World Championships (Men's & Youth's) Laser Royal St George YC
23/07/16 24/07/16 GP14 Leinsters GP14 Sutton Dinghy Club
23/07/16 24/07/16 RS400 Southerns RS Lough Ree YC
23/07/16 24/07/16 RS200 Southerns RS Lough Ree YC
23/07/16 29/07/16 World Championships Topper Ballyholme YC
29/06/16 02/07/16 WIORA 2016 Cruisers Royal Western YC
30/07/16 01/08/16 Arklow Maritime Festival All Classes Arklow SC
06/08/16 07/08/16 J/24 Westerns J/24 Lough Ree YC
07/08/16 07/08/16 Sutton Dinghy Regatta All Classes Sutton Dinghy Club
07/08/16 12/08/16 Mirror Europeans 2016 Mirror Royal Cork YC
09/08/16 11/08/16 420 Nationals 420 Howth YC
12/08/16 13/08/16 Sailability President's Cup Various Kinsale YC
12/08/16 14/08/16 Fireball Nationals Fireball Howth YC
15/08/16 19/08/16 Optimist Irish Nationals Optimist Lough Derg YC
19/08/16 21/08/16 Squib Irish National Championship Squib Kinsale YC
20/08/16 23/08/16 National Championships Laser Galway Bay Sailing Club
26/08/16 28/08/16 RS400 Irish Nationals RS Schull Harbour SC
26/08/16 28/08/16 RS400 Irish Nationals RS Schull Harbour SC
27/08/16 29/08/16 GP14 Irish & Masters GP14 Skerries SC
27/08/16 28/08/16 Munster Championships Topper Kinsale YC
27/08/16 28/08/16 Mirror Northerns Mirror Royal North Of Ireland YC
27/08/16 28/08/16 Topper Munster Championship Topper Kinsale YC
28/08/16 28/08/16 Taste of Greystones Cruiser Regatta Cruisers Greystones SC
31/08/16 04/09/16 Dragon Irish Championship Dragon Kinsale YC
02/09/16 04/09/16 J/24 Nationals J/24 Royal St George YC
03/09/16 04/09/16 Wayfarer Inland Championship Wayfarer Callaun SC
10/09/16 11/09/16 Optimist Munsters Optimist Royal Cork YC
10/09/16 11/09/16 Fireball Munsters Fireball Killaloe SC
11/09/16 11/09/16 Traveller 5 Topper Killyleagh SC
17/09/16 18/09/16 All Ireland Inter-Schools Championship All Classes Sutton Dinghy Club
24/09/16 25/09/16 GP14 Autumn & Youth GP14 Sligo YC
24/09/16 25/09/16 ISA All Ireland Youth Championships TBC TBC
01/10/16 02/10/16 ISA All Ireland Senior Championships J80 TBC
15/10/16 16/10/16 Squib Inland Championship/Freshwater Regatta Squib Lough Derg YC
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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

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ISORA Commodore Peter Ryan has delivered a buoyant review of 2015 Irish Sea racing activities – including the season highlight – at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay. We reproduce his speech from Saturday night's prizegiving and agm below. A PDF of the 2016 season fixtures list  is attached below. 

ISORA 2015 was an incredible season for ISORA. Probably the greatest advancement made in ISORA offshore racing occurred due the generous sponsorship of Liam Shanahan’s “Avery Crest” and their donation of 20 Yellow Brick trackers to ISORA. More about that later.

The ISORA series in 2015 consisted of 14 races in total - 7 offshore races including the D2D and Lyver Races and 7 coastal races. 4 Coastal races took place from Dun Laoghaire while 3 Coastal races took place from Pwllheli. This season, entries were received from 51 boats with an average fleet size of 18 boats. The weather did not help the number of boats starting with bad weather preventing some boats making the delivery trips.

The number of boats starting was slightly up on 2014 but the most encouraging aspect is that some new boats have joined ISORA for the first time and I believe will take part again next season. Paddy Gregory’s “Flashback” won the Coastal Race to Greystones after doing very well in the Offshore Series in the VDLR. For 2016 we know that a Sigma 400, “Thalia”, will be joining the ranks. There are rumours of another 40.7 and even a whisper of a JPK 10.8?

Recently the J109’sand other J boats have dominated the fleet. I believe that the J Boats will soon be under huge pressure to retain that dominance.

The offshore races included the usual ports of Dun Laoghaire, Holyhead, Pwllheli, Douglas and Dingle. A new venue was added with the Coastal Day races from both Dun Laoghaire and Pwllheli finishing in Greystones in time to take part in their Greystones Regatta.

Racing into Greystones in race 12 of the 2105 season

During the season ISORA worked with the: National Yacht Club, Royal Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Dee Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Liverpool Yacht Club, Pwllheli Sailing Club, Holyhead Sailing Club, Douglas Bay Yacht Club, Greystones Sailing Club. I would like to thank all these clubs for the facilities they freely provide to ISORA, without them, we would have no offshore racing or social life.

As regard the race management I would like to particularly acknowledge the assistance of the NYC Commodore, Larry Power and Commodore of the RAYC, Barry MacNeaney, who started all of the races from Dun Laoghaire and Kathryn Meghan, Anita Begley and Ian Meldon who finished the races in Dun Laoghaire. I would also like to thank all the other Starters and Finishers for their help and patience.

The Overall ISORA “Avery Crest” Offshore Champion for 2015 is Liam Shanahan and “Ruth”. This is well deserved as Liam and his family has been hugely involved in offshore racing since re-joining ISORA. Liam also won the 270 mile D2D Race. Liam was the ISORA Champion for 2014. I’m not sure anyone has ever won it three times in a row??

Another incredible offshore achievement by two more of “our own” was the performance of Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox and “Mojito” in the Fastnet Race and the recent great Two-Handed class win by Dermot and Paddy Cronin, “Encore” in the recent Middle Sea Race. As we write this report Conor Fogarty and “Bam” are on their way to join the ARC in Grand Canaria. We wish them a safe and fast passage. Conor has assured me that he will be back for ISORA next season.

The Silver Class was won by a David Simpson and “Albeiro”. Liam Shanahan and “Ruth” also won the Coastal Series. Pwllheli Sailing Club won the Team Series with the team including Andrew Halls’s “Jackknife”, Peter Dunlop’s Mojito and Stephen Tudor’s “Sgrech”.

Unfortunately this year we only got one chance to use the “virtual” marks” (GPS Coordinates) in the middle of the Irish Sea to give better courses. This was in the Lyver race. I hope next season that we can regularly use random virtual marks to ensure that not only is there is an upwind leg but that there is also a dead downwind leg. The use of the Avery Crest YB trackers will be a huge benefit as it will record the track a boat took during the race and particularly when rounding Virtual Marks.

The high point scoring system together with the race weighting is continuing to prove very effective and it is intended to keep using this system for the Series next season. The traditional low point system was used in the calculations for the four race Coastal Series. I have to thank Stephen Tudor for the huge work he puts into producing the very detailed overall and class results after each race.

Our long-standing and successful relationship with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club with whom we take part in the Coastal races from Dun Laoghaire, continues to be a very fruitful relationship. Also this season, as part of their 200th anniversary celebrations, we worked with the Royal Dee Yacht Club in running the very successful inaugural “Irish Sea Offshore Racing Championship”. It took place in July and involved five races – the stormy Lyver Race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and the four offshore day races as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. There are plans afoot to see if we can run this event every year, possibly alternating between Dun Laoghaire and Pwllheli. However, it will be part of the VDLR in 2017. I would like to see this event grow to become a unique International offshore event where we can crown the winner the “Great Britain & Ireland Offshore Racing Champion”. It is early days yet.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, 2015 was probably the most innovative year for ISORA’s offshore racing. Through the very generous sponsorship of “Avery Crest”, ISORA were presented with 20 YB tracker units. These trackers have revolutionised how offshore racing is managed. As well as the obvious tracking function that allows those “land lubbers” to follow the fleet in real time from start to finish, the YB trackers allows better management of the rounding of Virtual Marks. The YB Trackers also allows for remote finishing where the finish times of boats can be recorded without an official finisher. A test of this was in the last race to Dun Laoghaire when the times given by the
trackers were within a maximum of 10 seconds of the official recorded times – this did not even take into account that the tracker is normally located at the stern of the boat. It is also hope that the trackers will allow for shortening a race by setting a finish line anywhere on the course and recording the finish times of boats at that remote line.

In the past we have obtained generous sponsorship from KONA, Hendrick Ryan + Associates, Tudor and North Sails. This sponsorship allowed ISORA to promote offshore racing by hosting pre-season talks, taking out articles on yachting magazines, providing the Crew Bus etc. The presenting of the Avery Crest YB Trackers, while providing ISORA
with a huge opportunity, also now requires ISORA to be able to fund the continued running and development of the trackers.

As the offer from Avery Crest arrived when the 2015 season had started, we had no opportunity to increase our minimal boat entry fees for 2015 to cover the tracker expenses.

In order to cover the significant tracker running costs for 2015, I put out a plea to the ISORA members for sponsorship. I have to state that I was overwhelmed by the response. Some members donated funds but asked that it would be anonymous. We also got great generous sponsorship from members whose companies sponsored races. They included Adrian Lee & Partners, Irish Hospital Supplies and LC Tyres.

While it is proposed to raise the race entry fee to attempt to cover the costs for 2016, sponsorship is now essential to continue and develop ISORA offshore racing. I hope that our current sponsors will continue and that new sponsors will be found in 2016. Another great development in ISORA in 2015 was the association of ISORA with UCD Sailing Club. This innovative idea was arranged and managed by Ben Shanahan (“Ruth”). Ben arranged for members of the UCD Sailing Club to crew on boats taking part in ISORA. I believe that this was successful and rose the awareness of offshore racing with the younger sailors. As this work is critical for the advancement of offshore racing, I hope
Ben will continue this great work in 2016.

The ISORA website is fantastic. It was built and is maintained solely by Stephen Tudor. Probably the best compliment I ever heard for a website was a comment by my daughter, Grainne, after looking at the site. “Dad, that is an amazing site. That’s very sad”. It is the main information source for ISORA. Our Newsletters are circulated to over 1000 people. I
would also like to thank our Web Master, Mark Southee, who looks after the technical aspects of the site for no cost. I really appreciate his assistance and generosity. I would also particularly like to thank Vicky Cox who looks after the ISORA Facebook page. This is proving to be a huge success and a great way to communicate within ISORA. Maybe in
2016 we might consider the benefits of using Twitter? This season saw the appearance of the unique “Simon’s Blog” on the website after most races. I have to thank, Simon Byrne (“Yahtzee”), author of these insightful and entertaining (if you were not the butt of the blog) essays. Simon sails with Richard Mossop on Yahtzee and I believe that the idea arose when he felt that there should be an alternative race report from the “back of the fleet”. Personally I looked forward to what Simon would produce after each race and was never disappointed. He describes in a unique and witty
way the essence and spirit of ISORA. For demonstrating the “Spirit of ISORA”, Simon will be awarded tonight with what I consider one of the greatest awards from ISORA – The “Penmaen Plate”

As you know the ISORA website contains a significant amount of memorabilia from past years. I am constantly looking for old photographs etc that can be scanned and added to our archive. Any such items should be scanned and sent to me and I will ensure that it is properly catalogued and posted in the archives.

Next year, the main offshore event is the Round Ireland Race. In the past the lead up to this event has always helped to attract additional boats and new boats to offshore racing. I hope ISORA can again capitalise on this next season with boats seeking pre-race offshore experience. ISORA will be designing their 2016 race schedule to allow boats to gain the required offshore experience to allow them to qualify for the race. The race takes place Saturday 18
th June. I hope that ISORA boats will swell the ranks of starters at what I consider one of the world’s greatest offshore races.

The highlight of the year is the annual ISORA prize giving dinner in the NYC tonight. Our special guests tonight will be the Commodore of the National Yacht Club, Mr. Larry Power, the Commodore of the Royal Dee Yacht Club, Mr. Derek Matthews, who will present the ISORA Champion with the Royal Dee’s “Wolf’s Head Trophy, the Commodore of RORC, Mr. Michael Boyd, who will present the RORC medallions for the winning ISORA boats in the RORC Lyver Race and the Commodore of the Royal Alfred Yacht Club, Mr. Barry MacNeaney. These special guests represent the very best of offshore racing in Irish Waters and I am honoured that they are attending our annual dinner.

I would like to thank the National Yacht Club for their continued support and assistance for ISORA. Last but not least I would like to thank our Vice Chairman, Gerry Williams, Hon Treasurer – Vincent Farrell, IT - Vicky Cox and the general committee consisting of Liam Shanahan, Peter Dunlop, Peter Hall and Kuba Syzmanski for all their assistance, advice and dedication during the last year.

In finishing, I would particularly like to thank our Hon Secretary – Stephen Tudor. The amount of work that Stephen puts into making ISORA run efficiently is incredible. The assistance and advice that he gives to me is invaluable. ISORA would not run without him and I thank him for this dedication. I also want to congratulate Stephen on being recently awarded a Special Contribution Award by RYA for his work at Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and the huge personal contribution he has made in the development of the new Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events centre at Pwllheli.

Peter Ryan
Chairman ISORA, 14th November 2015

 

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174 ISORA members and guests were treated to a very special evening to celebrate the 2015 season at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in the annual ISORA Avery Crest Prize giving and Dinner dance on Saturday evening.

The evening was preceded by the ISORA Annual General Meeting when the 2016 race schedule was decided. ISORA Chairman, Peter Ryan, said 'the schedule has been designed to provide the best possible racing for offshore sailors in the Irish Sea and makes best use of boat movements between race. The race series is also arranged so that boats can also compete in the 'ICRA National Championship' in Howth and the 'Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championship and RDYC Offshore Championship' in Pwllheli and also in the classic Round Ireland and Midnight Races'.

There was a pre-Dinner Reception in the JB Room and Master of Ceremonies, Peter Ryan, welcomed the guests and the honorary guests: Commodore Royal Ocean Racing Club - Michael Boyd, Commodore National Yacht Club - Larry Power, Commodore Royal Dee Yacht Club - Derek Matthews, Commodore Royal Alfred Yacht Club - Barry MacNeaney.

Following the grace by ISORA Hon Secretary Stephen Tudor, the guests were treated to a delightfully presented and delicious meal. The traditional prize giving led by Peter Ryan culminated with the presentation of the Wolf's Head trophy to the overall winner Liam Shanahan and the 'Ruth' team.

The party was concluded with a dance and teams discussing their 2016 racing campaigns with visits planned to or from Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow, Douglas, Holyhead, Pwllheli and Greystones.

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ISORA will meet this Saturday to agree its offshore race schedule for 2016. The AGM will be held at 15.00Hrs at the National Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire. 

The Agenda and '2016 Race Schedule discussion Document' are attached for download below.

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The last race of the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore series that was sponsored by LC Tyres, took place on Saturday 12th September with the race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire (74 miles) writes ISORA's Peter Ryan. The boats compete for the famous “James Eadie” trophy. As like the same race last season, the weather forecast for the race and particularly the delivery to Pwllheli was not favourable all week. This put off many of taking part in what is normally a well supported end of season race.
The race was of more interest than usual due to the fact that the Overall Championship was still be be raced for with Liam Shanahan’s J109, “Ruth” and Andrew Hall’s J125, “Jackknife” only a 5 point apart and Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox’s J109 “Mojito” close behind. While either “Ruth” or “Jackknife” could have taken the Series with a good result in the race, “Mojito” needed a well attended race to secure sufficient points in the high points scoring used by ISORA.
Of the 26 entries received for the race, 19 had confirmed taking part on the Monday prior to the race but only 9 came to the start on Saturday morning. Several boats had left Dun Laoghaire the previous morning but turned back when they were met with strong south easterly winds on the nose and a big sloppy sea. Those that persevered were rewarded with nearly “champagne” sailing for the race. Bryan Mullarkey’s Collins 40, “Harriet Marwood” was taking part in an ISORA race for the first time. Richard Mossop’s Oceanis 411, “Yachtzee” and David Simpson’s Swan 371 “Albeiro” were battling for the Overall Class 2.

ruth

Liam Shanahan's Ruth from the National Yacht Club has successfully defended her 2015 ISORA offshore crown

Due to the uncertain forecast due to the presence of two depressions, north and south of the race area, the decision was taken to set the course from the start direct in Pwllheli to the finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire.
Despite the poor forecast, the lashing winds during the night and the strong winds, conditions were relative pleasant for the start. The wind was 10-12 knots from the south west giving a beat to the first corner at St Tudwal’s Sound. Stephen Tudor’s J109, “Sgrech” was first off the line and lead the fleet until the faster “Jackknife” too to the front. From the start “Ruth” and Mojito” were always in close contact leaving.
As the fleet approached St Tudwal’s Sound the wind had increased to 20knots and the expected overfalls at the end of the sound awaited the fleet. The next leg was the beat to Bardsay Sound. The wind appeared to veer westerly and maintained the 20-22 knots leaving the fleet to beat through the rough seas towards Bardsey Sound. Fortunately, the tide was right for a fast shoot through Bardsey Sound. Unfortunately, the overfalls in the sound were significant but had settled soon after exiting it.

LC Tyrehunter logo
By that stage the battle was on. “Jackknife” cracked sails and took the direct line to Dun Laoghaire in the last of the north going tide. The remainder of the fleet retained their height and the three J109’s with Conor Fogarty’s 2-handed Jenneau 3600, “Bam”, bunched together for the leg to Dun Laoghaire. Shortly after leaving Bardsey the wind backed allowing the boats to ease sails and speed up. Of the bunch of four, “Bam” lead the group with “Ruth” and “Mojito” close behind and “Sgrech” snapping at their heels. Paul Sutton’s “Pipedreamer VI” was just behind this pack.
As the fleet approached the Irish coast the winds abated to 12 knots and backed further to the south allowing those with Code Zeros to accelerate. The positions within the fleet did not change for the long leg despite continuous trimming and hard driving being done on all the boats. It was not until approaching Dublin Bay that “things started to happen”. The winds became fickle and dropped further in Killiney bay. While “Jackknife” avoided much of the light wind to keep powering towards the line, the three J109’s and “Bam” got into a tactical battle with rapid sail changes taking place to deal with the oscillating winds. As the fleet approached Dublin Bay the wind veered to the west and decreased again giving the boats a short final beat to the finish line. Despite the work on each boat the positions generally remained the same.
“Jackknife” took line honours but could only manage 5th Overall allowing “Ruth”, who won the Overall race and Class1 to regain the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Championship title. Class 2 was won by “Yahtzee” who also won Silver Class.
The crew of Liam Shanahan’s “Ruth” include his four sons. There is a great tradition of offshore racing in the Shanahan family with Liam Shanahan Snr playing a huge part in ISORA racing in the early days.
The race sponsor, LC Tyres, provided day prizes for the race. These were presented at the après sail party that took place in the NYC. The prizes were presented by Caroline Coyne aided by her son, Billy and daughter, Isobel.
The ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Championship trophy, the Wolf’s Head, will be presented to Liam Shanahan at the ISORA dinner in the NYC on the 14th November. “Jackknife” took 2nd place Overall and “Mojito” took 3rd place.
Overall Series Calls 1 was won by “Jackknife” and Class 2 was won by “Albeiro” who also took Overall Silver Class. The team prize, known as the “Victoria Cup”, was again won by Pwllheli Sailing Club.
All the results can be found on the ISORA website. The YB tracking of the race can also be accessed on the ISORA website and on the YB app for smart phones.

Published in ISORA

#isora – "Jackknife", owned by Royal Dee YC and Pwllheli SC member, Andrew Hall, won the very challenging 2015 Lyver Race and the first race in the 200th Anniversary Royal Dee YC Irish Sea Offshore Regatta. The 100 mile race started at 20.15 Friday 3rd July at Holyhead and finished in Dun Laoghaire with the first boat crossing the finish line after only 9 hours and 42 minutes.

The bi-ennial Lyver Race is organised by Liverpool YC in association with RORC, Royal Dee YC and ISORA and run with the assistance of Holyhead SC and the National YC.

25 boats came to the start line at Holyhead. The course for the race used all virtual waypoint marks. The 100 mile course was:

Start ( Holyhead)
W1 - 53° 30'N 5° 00'W (S)
W2 - 54° 00'N 5° 30'W (P)
Finish (Dun Laoghaire)

The course was largely determined to avoid the TSS zone to the north of Holyhead although the zone was not an excluded area in the race. The second leg took the fleet north-west towards Isle of Man.
The forecast for the race was for light easterly winds to increase to fresh and veer to the south west and later to increase further. Although gales were forecast on the west and south coasts of Ireland, nothing untoward was expected in the race area. The tides on the day were very strong springs and it had just turned north at the start of the race.

The race started in "champagne" sailing conditions with a light-moderate easterly wind. The fleet crossed the start line under spinnaker and a rapid advance was made by the fleet towards the first mark 17 miles away at a direction of 305°. During the first leg the easterly winds increased and were touching 20+ knots by the time the fleet arrived. The second leg was a "harden up" to 330° for 33 miles. Shortly after the first boats had rounded W1 the first signs of "what was to come" became apparent. The winds increased to 25-28 knots and remained easterly – that was not the plan!!

The seas driven by the strong easterly winds became sizable and the winds became gusty making spinnakers in a tight reach very difficult to control. After several gusts of over 30 knots hit the fleet, it became obvious to most boats that holding the spinnaker in those conditions was not very bright.The winds continued to increase touching 30 knots with higher gusts and the seas increased. As the fleet rounded W2, to add to the atmosphere, thunder and lightning started with heavy rain. The scene around the W2 was bizarre with red and green lights everywhere and going in all directions as there appeared to be a unanimous decision by all Skippers to reef their mains.

With boats rigged for heavy weather the fleet headed on the 50 mile reach towards Dun Laoghaire. As the first boats approached the finish, the wind started to veer. While the lead boats arrive comfortably the later boats were beating for the finish.

"Jackknife" crossed the line first after only 9 hours 42 minutes, over 1 hour clear of the next boat, Alan Hannon's "Katsu" from RUYC.

"Jackknife" took line honours, 1st Overall and 1st in Class 1. Liam Shanahan's J109, "Ruth", from the NYC, sailed an amazing race and took 2nd overall and class 1. Third overall and Class 1 was won by Keith and Rodney Martin's First 44.7, "Lively Lady" from the RIYC. Class 2 was won by Andy Napper's, "Bada Bing" from Liverpool YC. Another LYC boat Adam Kyffin's "Easy Tiger" took second place while Liam Coyne's "Lula Belle" from the NYC took 3rd place. Three boats sailed the race 2-handed and Conor Fogerty's "Bam" from HYC was presented with a special prize. Last to finish, and just before the time limit of 20.00, was Tom Hare's Westerly GK24, "Di Rich" from LYC. In the true spirit of offshore racing, Tom and crew received a huge applaud from their fellow competitors as they tied up at the NYC.

After the race the crews gathered in the NYC for the usual offshore race "après sail" before the prize-giving. Prizes were presented by Royal Dee YC Commodore Derek Matthews. RORC Commodore Michael Boyd was to be there to present the RORC medallions but travel problems prevented him attending.

The Lyver Race was a fitting start to the Royal Dee YC's 200th Anniversary Offshore Championship. The championship consists of five races - the Lyver Race and the four Offshore Series races as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. While boats taking part in those races qualify for the RDYC prizes only those boats who take part in all five races qualify for the overall prizes and the championship title.

The next ISORA race is the Adrian Lee & Partners "Lighthouse Race". A day race on the 18th July, starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire. 

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