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#TURBINES RACE – A clash of offshore fixtures has led Arklow Sailing Club to cancel its fourth race round the Windmills on the Arklow bank on the East coast of Ireland that had been slated for June 3rd. 

The race would have followed the ISORA race on Sunday, June 3rd and had attracted a good following on recent stagings. The 34-mile race is open to IRC and ECHO classes as well as white sail fleets but with ISORA and Round Ireland race taking a priority the Arklow Race Committee want to 'make it an event that will happen in the odd years so there are less clashes', according to a club spokesman this morning. The next race therefore will take place in 2013 at a date still to be advised.

Published in Offshore
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#SAILING – Schull Youth Team from West Cork won the Under 21 Trophy at the Wilson Trophy in West Kirby in the UK yesterday and it represented a sweet revenge for the teenage three boat team.

Dublin's Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan final chance for Olympic selection at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona got off to a flying start yesterday with the double Olympian Owens finishing fifth in the opening race. It is an early boost for one of 7 remaining places left in the Summer Olympics.  Ross Hamilton is also trying to qualify in the Finn class, he lies

It may have been 'gutting' not to come away with a medal at the Star world championships where Peter O'Leary and and David Burrows finished fourth overall but it was nevertheless a fantastic performance for the London qualified pairing who were third overall for most of last week.

Ben Duncan continues his domination of the SB3 class with a win in the 2012 Eastern Championships yesterday at the National Yacht Club who celebrated its yacht club of the year award last Wednesday.

There was success for Class III champion Supernova plus results from all 19 DBSC classes on Saturday in Dublin Bay.

Cork Harbour's Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts were 420 dinghy winners at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

Offshore American Kenny Read and Team Puma is in back in the USA, a Volvo Ocean Race Win on the home waters of Miami all the more satisfying. The race will finish in Galway at the end of next month.

Billed as one of Europe's major yacht racing events, the 2012 Round Ireland Race starts on June 24th and an international fleet has been announced with UK entries at an all time high for Ireland's top offshore fixture.

Offshore sailing is on a high thanks largely to the pioneeing work of Peter Ryan with the Irish Sea fleet and why shouldn't we be our exploiting our offshore assets, sure don't we own 220 million acres? The third ISORA Race this weekend will feature virtual marks on the way to the Howth finish.

The title holder's absence may be Hong Kong's opportunity at the 2012 Commodore's Cup. Where is Team Ireland as Hong Kong builds up for the cup in just two month's time?

And in two week's time Howth Yacht Club report they have reached the magic number of 100 for the ICRA Cruiser Nationals at the North Dublin venue.

Published in Racing

#ISORA – Due to tide restrictions the start time of the third ISORA offshore race of the season from Conwy in North Wales to Howth in North Dublin has been delayed until 09.30 am next Saturday to allow boats to exit Conwy marina and get to the Fairway Buoy start line. The aim is also allow to boats get past the Skerries before the tide turns on the 100-mile long course.

The course may include 'Virtual' marks'. These are coordinates of a position that each yacht must round.

ISORA racing is on a high in 2012 with 18 boat turnouts for the races from Dun Laoghaire to both Wicklow and Holyhead. J109 yachts have established a strong showing to date with Stephen Tudor's Welsh based Sgrech, the latest winner in the race to Holyhead

Next weekend evidence of rounding the 'virtual' mark must be taken and may be requested by the Race Officer. The evidence may include photographic (iPhone or similar) evidence of the yacht's GPS showing its position at the mark. Yacht's chart plotter track showing the yacht rounding the "virtual" mark. This must be transmittable to ISORA by email. The onus of proof of having rounded the "virtual" mark will be with each yacht.

Sailing instructions for race three are downloadable below in pdf format.

Published in ISORA
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#OFFSHORE – A number of significant announcements for Irish offshore sailing are expected at tonight's launch of the Round Ireland yacht race in Wicklow Sailing Club including a number of key international entries for June's 704-mile race. Already a strong entry from the UK has been received.

ISORA Commodore Peter Ryan will also announce a new title sponsor Lynx Metmasts for the Irish Sea Race from Pwllheli to Wicklow, a race in ISORA's 2012 programme. It is hoped that the weather will allow the course to be around the Arklow bank wind turbines when it sets sail on June 2nd, just three weeks before the start of Ireland's biennial offshore classic. Lynx Metmasts MD, Michael Martyn will present a perpetual trophy to the overall winner at Wicklow Sailing Club.

Meanwhile Arklow Sailing Club's fourth race round the Windmills will follow the ISORA race on Sunday, June 3rd. The 34-mile race is open to IRC and ECHO classes as well as white sail fleets.

Published in Offshore

#ISORAJ109 yachts continue to show their prowess offshore taking three of the top four places in ISORA's second race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead on Saturday. Preliminary results have been revised and the latest overall results are attached below for download as an excel file.

Welsh J109 Sgrech bested a fleet of 16 and although the three J boats competing crossed the line one after the other, the two Dun Laoghaire Js, Joker 2 and Jedi, who shared the first race prizes last weekend, could not catch Sgrech.

Four boats including the JOD 35 double-hander Dinah campaigned by Ostar skipper Barry Hurley retired in the 60-mile race across the Irish Sea.

National Yacht Club Race Officer Larry Power, sent the fleet beating towards the M2 buoy in a 15-20 knot north easterly wind. The tide at the start was flooding pushing the fleet up towards the M2 but constantly shifting winds, both in direction and strength, made rounding the M2 weather buoy difficult.

First around the M2 was "English Mick" followed by "Sgrech". This order remained to the finish line in Holyhead. While the last leg was a fetch, the approach into Holyhead was tricky with strong tides. Boats that went south with the ebbing tide after the M2 were rewarded with being swept into Holyhead Bay by the following flood tide.

The next ISORA race is the 100–mile Round Ireland qualifier from Conwy to Howth on the 19th May.

Published in ISORA
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#ISORA – Both of the top J109 performers from last weekend's opening offshore race of the season are entered into tomorrow's second ISORA race of the season.

The race starts from Dun Laoghaire at 8am on Saturday and heads across the Irish sea to Holyhead via the M2 weather buoy.

Last weekend's winner Joker II skippered by John Maybury as well as runner up Andrew Sarratt's Jedi are competing in the 19-boat fleet.

The 60-mile race is held under the burgee of the National Yacht Club. Sailing instructions and an entry list are available for download below.

Published in ISORA
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#SAILING NEWS Stormy weather continues to frustrate early season sailing schedules. Wind and waves that produced spectacular trawler photos off Howth last week abated sufficiently to get Saturday morning's first ISORA race away and on Dublin Bay the second race of the Saturday afternoon series took place in excellent surfing conditions.

The strong winds have returned this morning though leaving anyone planning a trip across the Irish sea, be they coastal rowers, tall ships or dinghy experts, with a reminder about how rough things can get. From San Francisco, a survivor of the yachting tragedy there has spoken out about the need for tethering.

Yesterday afternoon the first race of the revised SB3 season on Dublin Bay was scrubbed and in other small craft news the Fireball class held its annual training clinic. Royal Cork Optimists are heading for Waterford in a strong position. A Portrush man is heading to Spain to defend his kayaking title and in rowing news Monika Dukarska came out on top after a battle with Afloat's Rower of the Year Holly Nixon.

And is adventure sailing a new tack for declining dinghy numbers?

All this and lots more on Afloat's home page this morning!

Published in Racing
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#OFFSHORE – The stable, easy to sail and performance attributes of the J109 came to the fore in a blustery start to the ISORA season on Saturday, the Rod Johnstone design taking the top two places overall in the 18-boat fleet. Photos from yesterday's start below plus full results in pdf format for download.

Racing in between gale forecasts the first race of the season from Dublin Bay to North Arklow and back was won by top DBSC performer John Maybury's J109 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Joker 2 beat 36–foot sistership Jedi skippered by offshore campaigner Andrew Saratt by a three minute corrected time margin.

Despite strong north-easterly winds, 18 boats (and a good cross section of sailing cruisers some drawn from the ranks of the local bay fleet), came to the Scotsman's bay start line from an entry list of 23 at 10.00am. The conditions were not as bad as last Tuesday when even trawlers found the going tough on the east coast but there was nevertheless a good sea running.

The 42–mile course took the fleet around South Burford and against the tide to North India. In the very lumpy seas around Codling Bank the fleet beat out to East Codling before turning to the finish.

Absent from the first race was Irish Sea champion Matt Davis' Sigma 400 Raging Bull. The 'Bull' is the ISORA Champion for 2010 and 2011 but was damaged last week during the north-easterly storms when moorings failed in Skerries in big seas and the yacht was blown onto rocks. Davis is hoping to get the boat repaired and to defend his title.

The second ISORA race is on Saturday 5th May, the 60–mile Round Ireland Yacht Race qualifier race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead where some some new additions to the ISORA fleet are expected into the race.


 Run in conjunction with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club racing was started by RAYC Commodore, Barry MacNeaney


Irish Offshore Sailing's Desert Star was the winner of the Silver fleet


Dinah, Barry Hurley's double-handed Jeanneau was third in the race from Dun Laoghaire to Arklow


Big seas on the way to Arklow for 18 yachts competing in the first ISORA of the season. More ISORA fleet photos below.

Published in ISORA
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#OFFSHORE – Storm damage means defending ISORA champion yacht Raging Bull, skippered by Matt Davis, from Skerries will not be on the start line off Dun Laoghaire tomorrow for the first ISORA race of the season.

According to locals the yacht broke its moorings when north easterly winds battered the east coast. The yacht was among others to be washed ashore in Skerries in north Dublin.

It is less than a week since the boats were craned in at Skerries Sailing Club. Below a photo of the conditions that led to yachts breaking moorings at the East coast port.


Riding the waves on moorings in Skerries Photo: Obscura Photography. For more shots of 'Stormy Skerries' on April 25th see the Obscura facebook page here.

The latest update on the situation comes from Des Fitz on Afloat's facebook page that 'skipper Matt Davis is hopeful to repair damage and try to compete in the end of the ISORA series'.

As the video above shows the 2010 and 2011 ISORA championship winning Sigma 400 was left on its side on the Skerries beach but it appears efforts to save the hull and rig were successful with the boat lifted by crane on to a truck and taken away for repair. Sad news for Matt and crew and all involved.

A video depicting the recovery of Raging Bull that was published on Vimeo is now a private view only

Published in ISORA
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