Displaying items by tag: ISORA
The 2018 ISORA Offshore Championship was decided in a nail-biting finish to the last race on Saturday. Reigning ISORA Offshore Champion, “Mojito” (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox), had led the series for much of the season but Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” just had to win the last race to snatch the coveted Wolf’s Head trophy back from “Mojito”.
The race was the annual James Eadie Race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire, a distance of 80 miles. There were 27 entries for the race but only 15 were confirmed starters. Of these only 13 managed to get the Pwllheli for the start.
The forecast for the race was strong South-West winds backing to South later in the day. The forecast also indicated no winds in Dublin Bay for the finish. As well as the strong winds at the start, driving rain made the exit from Pwllheli challenging. The strong winds had whipped up big seas on the beat from the start to Bardsey, with mountainous overfalls at St Tudwals islands.
“Aurelia” took an early lead followed by Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” with “Mojito” close behind. By the time the fleet had slipped through Bardsey Sound three distinct groupings were starting to form. “Aurelia” and “Jackknife” were out in front, “Mojito” and Brendan Coughlan’s “YoYo” formed the next group. The remainder of the fleet was led by Stephen Tudor’s “Sgrech J111”, Cris Miles “North Star” and Derek Matthew’s “Pleione of Dee”. Grant Kinsman “Thalia” and “Pleione of Dee” were sailing two-handed.
Exiting Bardsey Sound the 60 mile leg to the finish was a tight reach. With the strong winds, gusting up to 30 knots, no boat attempted to fly anything but their main and jib. The feature of the last leg was the strong spring tides that had just started to ebb south against the fleet. The fleet would be approaching the Kish Bank at low springs and selecting the position for crossing the bank or not, was significant.
More drama unfolded in Dublin bay when “Jackknife” enter first only to find that the wind had totally disappeared and was limping towards the finish while “Aurelia” was thundering along behind them. However, “Jackknife” did enough to hold on and took Line Honours, IRC Overall and Class 0. “Aurelia” took 2nd IRC Overall and 2nd Class 0 but unfortunately “Mojito” survived the doldrums in Dublin Bay and finished ahead of “YoYo” and “Sgrech” to take 3rd IRC Overall and Class 1. This was enough for “Mojito” to block out “Aurelia” from the Championship win by only 3 points – 0.5% of the season score.
Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer” took Class 2 and “Plieone of Dee” took the 2-handed class.
After this difficult and challenging race “Mojito” were worthy ISORA Offshore Champions again, retaining the Wolf’s Head Trophy. “Aurelia”, despite been prevented from winning the Offshore Series, won the Series where all results count (no discards). They also won the ISORA Viking Marine Irish / Royal Alfred Coastal Series.
Full results as well as the YB tracking of the race can be found here
Prizes for the season will be presented at the Annual ISORA Dinner to be held in the NYC on 10th November.
With a clear lead of 27.1 points, defending ISORA champions Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox in the J109 Mojito look set to retain their title in tomorrow's final race of the season.
Royal St. George's J122 Aurelia skippered by Chris Power–Smith can still topple them but it will take some doing.
15 starters are expected for the Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire race where the season-long outcome for the Wolfs Head Trophy will be settled.
See race documents downloadable below.
ISORA's Race 14 was the final race of the Welsh coastal series, which would decide the Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series. With 23 boats competing in Ireland for the Viking Marine Coastal Series, and 7 in Pwllheli, both coastal series have been well supported this year writes Mark Thompson.
Leading up to race day, the forecast showed light northwesterly winds, with a potential to reduce through the day and back. After much discussion, the race committee set a 29-mile course from Pwllheli to the Westend mark, round St Tudwals Islands, Porthmadog Fairway and back to the finish via a turning mark at the south of the Westend.
With a steady 12-15kt breeze, the fleet got away cleanly for a fetch down to the west end before the reach down to St Tudwals. “Jackknife” lead the charge with “Sgrech J111” close behind. Round the first mark “Sgrech” elected to hoist an A5 which enabled a more direct course to the sound. Most of the fleet flew running A sails but struggled to stay high enough to make the sound and had to revert to white sails close to the islands. Once round St Tudwals West, a glorious 9-mile spinnaker run to Porthmadog, with just a few gusts to contend with, and crew working hard to stay high enough to lay the mark. It was great to be sailing in such fantastic conditions, with stunning views of Snowdonia and the Gwynedd coastline. This was very welcome after the previous three very wet and windy ISORA races and a breezy IRC Nationals.
The whole fleet made great progress down this leg and were all very close on corrected time approaching the Madog fairway. Round the mark it was a beat back towards Llanbedrog, with crew working hard to utilise the many shifts, to attempt to stay close to the rhumb line. J109 “Jetstream” elected to take an inshore route and managed to make the mark with minimal tacks. Most of the fleet stayed out in the bay, with potentially more breeze, particularly as the forecast showed the wind died during the afternoon. This never really happened and the wind stayed steady from the NW all day, giving flat water but shifty gusts. Round the final mark, a reach to the finish along the Westend and south beach, under spinnaker, a great spectacle for the many holidaymakers on the beach with a couple of decent broaches!
J125 “Jackknife” took like honours with “Sgrech” close behind and winning class O but it was “Jetstream” who took a fine overall win and class 1, after taking the inshore route.
Class 2 was won by “Hullabaloo Encore”, and the final results gave the series win to “Jackknife” winning the midland bowl and becoming the Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series winners for 2018.
After racing crews gathered in Plas Heli to discuss the race and Andrew Hall generously filled the midland bowl with a very tasty punch for all crews to enjoy.
It was a great day sailing, and we now look forward to the final race in two weeks time, the James Eadie 75 mile race from Pwllheli to Dún Laoghaire which will once again establish the 2018 ISORA overall series winner, to receive the much coveted wolfs head trophy.
The Chris Power Smith skippered entry, that is vying for the overall ISORA title as well as the Viking Marine Coastal Series, saw off a strong challenge today from Poolbeg J109 Roger Smith as well as a challenge from Frank Whelan's all-conquering Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera from Greystones Sailing Club.
A 23 boat fleet had a hectic start at the pin–end of the line in Dun Laoghaire before the reach south at 10 am this morning in the 24-mile race.
Making a return to ISORA racing after his retiral from the Round Britain and Ireland Race was Howth Yacht Club's Conor Fogerty in his Class II entry, the vintage Silver Shamrock.
See photos below
1 IRC Class 0 Aurelia IRL 35950 J122 Royal St George Yacht Club Chris & Patanne Power Smith
2 IRC Class 1 Wakey Wakey GBR 5909R J109 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Roger Smith
3 IRC Class 0 Eleluthera NED 7025 Grand Soleil 44 Race Frank Whelan
4 IRC Class 0 WOW IRL 4208 Farr 42 Royal Irish Yacht Club George Sisk
5 IRC Class 0 Lively Lady IRL 1644 First 44.7 Royal Irish Yacht Club Derek Martin
ISORA Full results here
The 12th race in the ISORA Offshore Series took place on Saturday the 11th of August, with 11 of the 13 entered boats coming to the start for an 08.00 gun writes ISORA Chief Peter Ryan. Many of the regular competitors were elsewhere engaged, with this month’s busy event calendar. Bam (Read about her retiral here) and AJ Wanderlust taking part in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. Others that did and did not take part were still suffering from the August “crew blues”.
The forecast was for moderate South Easterly winds steadily building throughout the day and veering to strong Southerly. It was decided that the course would be direct to Pwllheli with Bardsey Island not a mark of the course. The fleet was set on it’s way to windward from Pier Mark at Dun Laoghaire by race officers Larry Power and Barry MacNeaney of the National Yacht Club.
The first leg toward Bardsey was a beat against strong north going spring tides. The tide was due to change south at midday.
“Jacknife” and “Aurelia” lead the fleet out of the bay taking the middle course followed by “Mojito” and “Wakey Wakey”. “Mojo” and “YoYo” took the more Northerly side followed by “Andante”. Meanwhile “Sgrech J111” was heading South through Dalkey Sound taking the Southerly track to take advantage of the stronger tide later in the race and the forecast Southerly shift in the wind.
The race developed into a long one sided beat and a short tack towards Bardsey and the race was on to arrive before the tide turned in the notorious sound where a late arrival can be greeted by adverse tides of 6 knots and big seas. The wind strengthened to 25 to 30 knots and all of the forecasted rain arrived. There was little change in the positions across the Irish Sea. The wind never veered, as the fleet battled to windward most with one or two reefs and heavy weather jibs, and needing to tack down the welsh coats towards Badrsey Sound. Strangely, the south going tide never took hold with the wind preventing the tide gaining strength. This did not help the fleet, particularly “Sgrech J111” who had banked on this tidal assistance.
“Aurelia” lead the fleet through the sound followed by “Jacknife”. Next were “Sgrech J111” and closely behind, “Mojito”. At this time the tidal gate at Bardsey was closing fast. The first boats passed through the sound with slack tide closing out the following boats with the renewed strong north going tide. T
With all to play for and the race far from over, the closely spaced boats fought for advantage as they fetched to the headland at Trwyn Cilan where at last sails could be eased for a reach home to Pwllheli, through the sound at Tudwals Island. The winds were a steady 28 knots at this stage and gusting over 30. “Aurelia” whilst lightly crewed decided not to hoist a spinnaker but continued in the lead with a J2 at 10 knots while the chasing boats hoisted spinnakers bravely to try and catch up. “Jacknife” hoisted a code zero and made speeds of over 17 knots, whilst “Mojito” and “Sgrech J111” hoisted an A5. “Aurelia” held onto the lead and crossed the line first after 11 hours of racing to narrowly win IRC overall by only 3 minutes from “Mojito”, with “Sgrech J111” in third. “Aurelia” also took line honours and the Cruiser Zero Race. “Mojito” won the Cruiser One Race. “Windjammer” won the Cruiser Two Race.
All the very wet participants headed to the marina for complimentary berthing assisted and marshaled by Richard Tudor and up to the Plas Heli sailing centre where they received a wonderful Welsh welcome from Heidi and her staff with hot food and a few cold drinks. As crews sat tired, battered and bruised in the bar, there was a quite satisfaction in having taken part in what turned out to be another classic ISORA.
The results for this race has concentrated the Overall Series on existing Champion “Mojito” and “Aurelia”. These are followed closely behind by “Rockabill VI” and “Wakey Wakey”. While anything is possible, the two leading boats will have to battel out the last race to secure the coveted Wolf’s Head Trophy. The other two boats can in theory take the title but it will depend on a large fleet taking part producing additional points in the high point system.
The next race is the feeder coastal race to Greystones on the 25th August. The final offshore is the James Eadie race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire on the 8th September.
Full results can be found here
The 11th race in the ISORA Offshore Series took place on the 28th July with an 08.00 start from Dun Laoghaire writes Peter Ryan. 20 boats were due on the start line for the race but poor weather forecasts and a problem with adequate crewing levels for the race resulted in two boats withdrawing.
The 60-mile course was from the normal start at Dun Laoghaire – South Burford (P) – M2 Weather Buoy (P) – Rockabill (P) – Rowan Rocks (S) and to a virtual finish line set up just west of Rowan Rocks. M2 Weather buoy is located in the middle of the Irish Sea east of Lambay Island.
The weather started to deteriorate before the race when 20 Knots of wind built rapidly while boats were still in the marina. The weather forecasts for the race area varied widely. While Met Eireann was forecasting SW 7-8 for the general sea area north of Howth, other more site-specific weather forecasts were talking about SW 25 knots veering W and decreasing 15 knots. Unfortunately for the fleet, MET Eireann was more accurate.
At the start, the wind was 25 knots SW and gusty, as the fleet headed over the start line set by past Commodore of the NYC, Larry Power. Some boats attempted to set spinnakers for the short reach to South Burford but were very quickly knocked over. Boats started to retire very shortly after arriving at the race area.
By the time the fleet rounded South Burford and went on the 22–mile dead run towards M2 the winds had increased to 30 knots with stronger gusts. Nobody attempted to fly spinnakers and most boats had reefed mains.
Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” led the charge from start to finish and Paul O’Higgins’s “Rockabill VI” soon took their place on the rollercoaster behind “Jackknife”. On the leg to M2 Stephen Tudor’s “Sgrech J111” was following the lead boats with “Mojito”, Wakey Wakey” and “YoYo” in hot pursuit.
“Sgrech J111” recorded a maximum speed of 22.3 knots while surfing the top of a wave"
On the leg to M2 the winds were a steady 30-35 knots with stronger gusts. “Sgrech J111” recorded a gust of 42 knots. Boat speeds on this leg were extraordinary. Again “Sgrech J111” recorded a maximum speed of 22.3 knots while surfing the top of a wave.
The thrill of the rollercoaster ride was soon to be paid for in the fetch west towards Rockabill. Having sustained some sail damage “Sgrech J111” slipped behind the two J109’s. During this leg the wind and seas decreased significantly with 15 knots from the SW at Rockabill providing another fetch to Rowan Rocks, east of Howth. While Lambay Island was not on the course the fleet was divided with some boats taking the inshore passage towards Ireland’s Eye and the Rowan Rocks buoy and the finish Line. The inshore passage appeared to be the best choice with those boats pulling ahead,
By the time “Jackknife” crossed the finish line, 9 of the 18 starters had retired. While “Jackknife” took line honours, “Rockabill VI” took IRC Overall and Class 0. “Wakey Wakey” took 2nd Overall and Class 1 while “Windjammer” took Class 2. “More Mischief” won Silver Class.
With Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” early withdrawal from the race, it kicked the 2018 Overall Offshore Series wide open. After the race, “Mojito”, the 2017 champions, have taken the lead in the overall table with fours races to go. “Rockabill VI” has slipped into second place followed closely by “Aurelia” and “Wakey Wakey”. Only 30 points separate these four boats, not a significant amount considering that up to 120 points could be awarded to a winning boat using the High Points Scoring system.
The next race will be critical for the shape of the series. That race is an 85 mile Offshore from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli on the 11th August. A win by any of the leading four boats could push them beyond reasonable reach for the last race, The James Eadie race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire on the 8th September.
Full details of the results and the race tracker can be found here
The Royal St. George Yacht Club J122 Aurelia, skippered by Chris Power Smith, will defend its overall lead in the 11th race of the 2018 ISORA Championships on Saturday. Power Smith will be chased by Welsh defending champions Mojito (Vicky Cox and Peter Dunlop) who are second overall and five points adrift of the Dun Laoghaire entry.
The 60–mile race starts off Dun Laoghaire's East Pier at 8 am and will finish off Howth Yacht Club.
Download starters list below.
Crewman on Stephen Tudor's J111 Sgrech, Mark Thompson, reports on ISORA's race ten, the Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series Night race sponsored by Exposure Lights
With an entry list depleted due to regular entrants racing at Cork Week, three boats came to the line for a 25–mile race. The course had proved tricky to set, with changing forecasts and a big wind shift predicted as a weak occluded front passed through, promising a damp evening but the prospect for some wind during our period of racing.
With some concerns about light winds to the SE and potential for the wind to build from the North later in the night, a course was set as follow:
Pwllheli Bridge start - PSC1 - Causeway- St Tudwals Islands- Plas Heli Finish Line
The automated Pwllheli Bridge start system got the fleet away for a fetch in 7-8kts of southerly breeze down to CHPSC club mark number 1 before hardening up for the beat to Causeway. It was not clear which tack would be the favourable one, and with the wind straight up the rhumb line, J111 “Sgrech” and XP33 “Darling XX” elected to stay predominantly east of the line, with “Jackknife” staying to the West. With a forecast of the wind veering as the night progressed - it was unclear which strategy would pay off, with little tidal issues to impact. There was much debate on board as to which was the “paying tack” and I forget now if we ever came to a conclusion!.
After a long beat with patches of lighter airs, J125 “Jackknife” rounded Causeway first, with the two other boats not to far behind, though J111 “Sgrech” got stuck for a while in a difficult patch with light winds and chop slowing the boat down dramatically. Round Causeway and a great spinnaker run in the pitch black to St Tudwals, which certainly improved spirits, and just one gybe, and was (according to one crew member) “Champagne Sailing” he clearly hadn’t noticed the rain, which didn’t really abate for the whole race, lack of moonlight and stars making helming in the dark very difficult. The concentration and communication with the trimmers key.
Approaching the west of the St Tudwals Islands, the next phase of the race would begin, starting with a well-timed gybe in the sound between the west island and the mainland, which would need to give an angle to clear the east island. The issue, however, would be sailing into the wind shadow of the two islands, so the game plan was to time the gybe, then approaching the wind shadow, gybe again into Abersoch Bay, until free of the islands and then gybe back out into the bay. Just as we were about to execute this excellent plan, and gybe into the bay, the wind just shut down, and we were dead in the water.
After a few minutes of confusion, the wind gently picked up, just enough to give us sufficient boat speed to gybe. It became clear that the promised wind shift was starting, but the great surprise was it swung round very quickly, and built to 9kts or so, requiring us to get the jib out, drop the kite and beat to the finish. While not the tidiest drop, we got the kite away and hardened up.
This final phase required several tacks to lay the finish and again required great concentration by the Helmsman, having to largely steer by feel and reference to instruments, with nothing of use to see outside the boat. Tell tails stuck to the sails, making it tricky to trim as well.
Jackknife took line honours, class 0 and the overall win, with Darling XX a fine 1st in class 1. Thanks to Brian Metcalf for acting as the finisher.
After racing the competitors enjoyed a relaxed “apres sail” in Plas Heli discussing the challenges that the race posed. I think although it was a wet and dark, frustrating at times evening, everyone enjoyed it, and grateful that we maintained a decent breeze most of the night when the forecast showed that area of the bay having very little.
The next ISORA race is race 11, an offshore race from Dún Laoghaire to Howth next Saturday the 28th July.
The National Yacht Club's J109 Ruth skippered by Ben Shanahan was the winner of this morning's 16-boat Exposure Lights sponsored ISORA night race. The race was the ninth in the popular Viking Marine Coastal Series.
The fleet sailed a 33–mile course starting at 8pm on Friday from Dun Laoghaire round Lambay Island and back to Dun Laoghaire. Winds were eight to ten knots throughout except for the reach home to the Dun Laoghaire finish from South Burford when the breeze dropped away.
Full results here
Additional report by ISORA's Peter Ryan:
Race 9 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2018 took place from Dun Laoghaire on the 13th July 2018. The race was a Night Race with a 20.00 start. The race was sponsored by marine lighting specialist suppliers “Exposure Lights” and was also part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” Irish Coastal Series.
Despite the fact that the recent gruelling Round Ireland race finish was only a week away, many of the stars of that race came to the line to take part in the Night Race – “Aurelia”, “YoYo”, “Rockabill VI”, “Wakey Wakey”, “Windjammer”, “Samatom” and “Red Alert”.
Of the 20 entries, 17 boats came to the start line at DBSC “Pier” mark and were sent on their way by RAYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Grainne Ryan.
The weather forecast was forecasting light winds for the evening – SE 10k at the start dropping and veering around midnight before continuing the veer and increasing again to 10-15k W. The tides on the day were spring tides. The traditional course for this race was to head south to North India buoy but the weather forecast was indicating no wind at Bray Head. For this reason, the decision was taken to go north with the flooding spring tide and to round Lambay Island – 33 miles.
To avoid shipping traffic entering and exiting Dublin Port, ISORA have agreed with Dublin Port to always exit and enter Dublin Bay by going south of South Burford. The Course was:
Start outside Dun Laoghaire Harbour at DBSC racing mark “Pier” – South Burford (P) – leaving North Burford (P) – Taylors Rock (S) – Lambay Island (S) – leaving North Burford (S) – South Burford (S) and the finish line between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire harbour.
The tide at the start was strongly flooding north. The first leg was a tight fetch east out to South Burford with some boats being pushed too north by the tide and having to tack for the mark. First around the mark was a tight bunch consisting of “Lively Lady”, “Aurelia”, “Tsunami” and “Rockabill VI” with “Jackknife” having to tack before rounding.
The next leg to Taylors Road buoy, a cardinal mark immediately north-west of Lambay Island, was a dead run. On this leg, the J109’s particularly “Ruth” and “Wakey Wakey” made strong progress and joined the leading bunch at Taylors Rock and Lambay Island.
Rounding the island the winds increased and remained in SE giving a full beat back towards North and South Burford. The change in the tide at 00.44 did not suit the lead boats as they had to plug the last of the flooding tide as they beat south towards the Burfords. As the later boats rounded Lambay the turning ebb tide helped them in this leg south. This tidal situation tended to keep the fleet bunched.
Rounding the South Burford, the leg to the finish was a very tight reach that suit those boats with Asymmetrical spinnakers. Just as the boats arrived at Dun Laoghaire harbour there was very little wind in that localised area around the finish. The now strongly ebbing tide was against the approaching boats and made the finish trickier with the last boats being becalmed for a time within sight of the line.
The finish line was between the Pier heads. The finish times were being logged automatically by the YB trackers. This meant that finishers were not required to sit a night shift at the end of the pier.
“Jackknife” took line honours while J109 “Ruth” took IRC Overall and Class 1. “Aurelia” took Class 0 while “Windjammer” took Class 2. “First of September” took Silver Class.
The next race is the second Exposure Lights sponsored night race from Pwllheli on the 20th July.
It is appropriate that Exposure Lights, specialists in marine lighting is sponsoring the two ISORA night races in the Viking Marine Coastal Series writes Peter Ryan. The first is tomorrow evening with a start and finish in Dun Laoghaire. The second night race is on the 20th July with a start and a finish in Pwllheli in North Wales.
Following so close to the gruelling Volvo Round Ireland Race last week many of the boats entered took part in that race and are out again campaigning for the ISORA Offshore Series.
See the starters list downloadable below.
20 boats are expected to come to the start line in Scotsman’s Bay for the 20.00 start. The course has not been decided yet due to light winds forecast but it is hoped that the winds will pick up for this race. For Dublin Port traffic reasons the fleet will leave Dublin Bay by going south of South Burford and enter back by the same route.
"Strong spring tides tomorrow will also influence the course"
The course is likely to be 25-35 miles depending in the winds. Strong spring tides tomorrow will also influence the course.
All boats in the race will have YB trackers. The race can be followed using the YB app or on the ISORA website www.isora.org.
The race sponsor Exposure Lights are providing some of their marine products as prizes for the races. These will be presented at the annual ISORA prize-giving.