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This week’s attempt by the Monaco-based Malizia II to set up a Transatlantic west-east record time for a fully-crewed IMOCA 60 with two Irish – Shane Diviney and Brian Carlin – in the crew of five, has been knocked off course by a crew injury which has necessitated a diversion on Day Three for medical assistance at St Pierre in southeast Newfoundland.

Fortunately the crew member – as yet un-named – is not seriously injured. But it has left Malizia’s delivery skipper Stuart Maclachlan and his shipmates on Malizia II in St Pierre with the problem of how to deal with Hurricane Dorian, which is moving steadily towards northwest Newfoundland along America’s east coast, and will be reaching Nova Scotia later today. Having seen the damage witch Dorian has done where it has hit land, there is no guarantee that the harbour at St Pierre will be totally sheltered.

Published in Offshore
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The IMOCA 60 Malizia II is one busy boat these days writes W M Nixon. She hit the global headlines by conveying climate activist Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic to New York in a carbon-neutral way courtesy of skipper Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco and shipmate Boris Herrmann of Germany. Now the big speed machine is busy again, gearing up for a west-east stab on the classic New York to Lizard Point Transatlantic course.

Skipper for this venture is Stuart Mclachlan and his no 1 crewman is noted international campaigner Shane Diviney of Howth, with Sharon Ferris-Choat and Arno Bonnert making up the sailing strength, while every aspect of the venture is being recorded by the very experienced cameras and other equipment of Brian Carlin of Tralee. The boat is being sorted to be ready to take advantage of hyper-active developments in the Atlantic weather systems, meanwhile here’s a vid of the busy on-board scene in New York: 

Published in Offshore
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One of the things I have done in my life is an iceberg watch on the bow of an offshore yacht racing in the Atlantic during the dark hours of night, keeping an eye out for ‘growlers’.

These are small chunks of floating ice that may only be barely visible above the surface of the water, perhaps a foot or two. They could do quite a bit of damage to a yacht. I was on the 83ft NCB Ireland at the time, racing across the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton.

It was the final leg of the 1989/1990 Round the World Whitbread Race, now named the Volvo Race. Because of the variety of weather conditions encountered on that leg, it was a microcosm of the entire race, quite rough and touch and benign at varying times. Somewhere around the cold Labrador Current which flows from the Arctic Ocean south along the coast of Labrador and passes around Newfoundland, continuing south along the east coast of Nova Scotia, a continuation of the West Greenland Current and the Baffin Island Current that meets the warm Gulf Stream at the Grand Banks southeast of Newfoundland, I learned about “iceberg watching” from the NCB crew! It was cold at night, but the warmth of the ‘nav station’ with radar sweeping around seemed to be where “iceberg watching” was done, so I thought that would be ok, only to find my watch was not there but on deck, in the cold, looking for “growlers”. In spring and early summer, when NCB was crossing the Atlantic the Labrador Current transports icebergs from the glaciers of Greenland southwards into the trans-Atlantic shipping lanes.

All that came back to mind this week when I heard Angela Heath, then Angela Farrell from Dun Laoghaire, describe “iceberg watching” as “terrifying”. Indeed, you didn’t know whether to call an alarm or hope that what you saw in the dark was only another wave.

Angela had done “iceberg watching” in much tougher waters in that race – the Southern Ocean – crewing on the all-women’s yacht, Maiden. That 58 ft. British boat was skippered by the legendary Tracy Edwards, then 27 years old and set a new level for women’s participation in sailing. This is the 30th anniversary year of Maiden’s trailblazing achievement which is the subject of a film documentary in the cinemas by Director Alex Holmes. Maiden changed the view of women in world sailing and Angela is still committed to that approach as part of Irish Sailing’s campaign to encourage more participation by women in sailing. Angela helmed the yacht ‘Crazy Horse’ in the Pathfinder Women At The Helm’ regatta in Dun Laoghaire where 200 sailors raced in 61 boats.

She was talking on my radio programme, This Island Nation, to my colleague Justin Maher. I was transfixed listening to her description of sailing on Maiden and “iceberg watching” and how, after having a family, she returned to sailing and how important the ‘Women at the Helm’ programme is.

She concluded her piece with the words about sailing: “Go and do it, it’s so good for you.”

It would be hard to find a better description of the lure, the attraction of our sport. It’s worth listening to.

• Listen to Angela Heath on the Podcast below where she starts by describing what ocean offshore racing is like.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Former Vendée Globe skipper Norbert Sedlacek on his Open 60 is sailing south of Ireland today on his way to the North-West Passage on his journey around the world.

Sedlacek's Open60AAL 'Innovation Yachts' officially crossed the starting line at 07:16:10 p.m. in ideal weather conditions and under the auspices of the World Speed Sailing Record Council to begin a record attempt on the five oceans.

Sedlacek has set a course for the Arctic Ocean, passing the Northwest Passage from east to west and then heading south to round Cape Horn for the first time.

He will then sail around Antarctica in the Southern Ocean and pass Cape Horn a second time before heading north back home to Les Sables d’Olonne.

Innovation Yachts is an Austrian-French shipyard designing and building unique customised racing and cruising yachts. The yard uses new trendsetting fully sustainable and recyclable materials to optimize quality, performance and the protection of the environment during and after construction.

The Open60AAL is the first 60’ which has been built in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. This revolutionary prototype launched in 2018 is made from volcanic rock fibre, balsa wood core and biocompatible epoxy.

The yacht represents the vanguard of a new generation of high-quality boats, very powerful, safe and, it is claimed, ecological.

If this record attempt is successful Norbert Sedlacek will be the first sailor ever who did a singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation without assistance through all oceans including the Arctic and the Southern Ocean.

This challenge represents approximately 34,000 nautical miles and around 200 days at sea.

Published in Vendee Globe

The clear record of Seamus Fitzpatrick’s First 50 Mermaid IV (RIYC) in the coastal racing of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta slipped today, taking quite a knock with an 11th while the Pwllheli J/109 (Peter Dunlop) was on top form to take the win, with second going to the J/97 Windjammer (Lindsay Casey & Denis Power, RStGYC), while Nigel Ingrams’ J/109 Jet Stream from Holyhead was third in a developing coastal wind pattern which suited the smaller boats. Mojito is now leading overall across the board with 7 points to the 13 of Mermaid IV and Jet Stream, fourth overall being held by the veteran Mills 30CR Raptor, where the owning RIYC syndicate is listed today as headed by Fintan Cairns – now there’s democracy in action for you, and no mistake.

Mermaid First 50 4443Second overall - First 50, Mermaid (Seamus Fitzpatrick)

Jet Stream 4576Third overall - J109, Jet Stream (Nigel Ingram)

Mermaid First 50 4587Fourth overall - Mills 30CR, Raptor (Fintan Cairns)

Windjammer 3138Fifth overall - J97, Windjammer (Lindsay J Casey & Denis Power)

WOW XP44 4477Sixth Overall - XP44, WOW (George Sisk)

Rockabill VI 3302Seventh overall, JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)

J109 JayDreamer 4628Eighth overall - J109, Jaydreamer (Paul Sutton)

Jackknife 4514Ninth overall - J125, Jackknife (Andrew Hall)

Express Martini 4407Tenth overall - Farr 40 Expresso Martini, Glyn Sheffield

Published in J109

The spirit of the Whitbread Round the World Race is back with the announcement of the 2023 'OCEAN GLOBE RACE' (OGR), a retro event starting from a European port on September 10th 2023 celebrating the 50th anniversary of this major milestone in adventure sailing according to organiser Don McIntyre who is also organiser of the Golden Globe Race.

In a world now dominated by professional sailors, foiling yachts and eye-watering budgets. This retro Race reopens once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for ordinary sailors and adventurous yacht owners to follow in the wake of Tabarly, Blake, Van Rietschoten, Blyth, Knox-Johnston and of course Mexican Ramon Carlin, winner of the first Whitbread fully crewed global challenge in 1973 with his production Swan 65 Sayula II

Ocean Globe RaceSleigh ride in the Southern Ocean, aboard Conny van Rietschoten's 1981/2 winning yacht Flyer. Photo: Julian Fuller/PPL

The Course

Organised by Australian adventurer Don McIntyre along similar lines to the highly successful 2018 Golden Globe Race, which he also founded, the 2023 Ocean Globe Race (OGR) will follow the original Clipper ship sailing route around the Globe, just as the Whitbread Race did in 1973. The course traces the classic four-leg route from Europe to Africa and on to Australasia, then back via a South American port: 27,000 miles and seven months passing under the three great Capes with Cape Horn the prize for most. The final course will be published in late 2020, together with the Final Notice of Race. Cities in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil are being invited to bid to host the ports of call

Retro Rules

Just like the 2018 GGR, this new fully-crewed challenge is equally retro, sailing similar well-proven yachts to those entered in the first Whitbread and with technology limited to what was available to those pioneers back in 1973. That means no high tech materials, computers, satellite systems (including phones and GPS), as well as mobile phones. Navigation will be limited to sextant plots on paper charts, communications via SSB and VHF radios, and music will be played on cassette tapes.

Yacht Types


Entries are limited to ‘approved’ fibreglass production yachts designed prior to 1988, from 47ft (14.32m) to 66ft (20.11m) LOA segregated into two groups:

ADVENTURE 47 to 56ft (14.32-17.06m) & SAYULA 56-66ft (17.07-20.11m) classes. In addition, original entries from the first three Whitbread Races (1973/4, 1977/8 and 1981/2) together with ‘Class surveyed’ production sail training yachts up to 68ft (20.73m) make up a third FLYER Class.

Nautor Swan production yachts that fall within the age/length parameters are currently approved, and similar well-proven production yachts will be considered on application. The fleet is limited to a maximum of 30 yachts and the Race will be sailed under the International Collision Regulations.

Race Concept

Race founder Don McIntyre says: “For the first time in 3 decades, ordinary sailors and yacht owners have an opportunity to experience racing around the world in an affordable, safe and fun way. You don’t need to be an elite sportsman nor require a huge support team. And as far as budgets go, the cost of a campaign need not cost any more than just one of the carbon fibre foils on an IMOCA 60.” (See breakdown budget below).

So many sailors harbour dreams of circling the Globe and racing around Cape Horn. The Ocean Globe Race now makes these ambitions possible once more.“

Best practice safety and security arrangements recognized by maritime agencies around the world have been adopted for the Race and strict minimum crew standards and numbers are specified for each class. Each yacht must also include at least one woman and youth crew aged under 24 at the start of the Race.

McIntyre went on to say that the experience of running the 2018 Golden Globe Race has shown up a strong appetite for simple adventurous sailing around the world and has created a great platform to launch the Ocean Globe Race. “The GGR was a huge success for competitors and attracted a large passionate following around the world. The Race achieved everything we set out to do on a very limited budget. We learned important things about what works and why, and now have a unique formula that provides strong point of difference to any other event.”

The 2023 Ocean Globe Race will be run under the auspices of by the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga and is underwritten by McIntyre Adventure Ltd.

Budgets

What will it cost to enter and campaign a competitive entry in the ORG?

A competitive ADVENTURE CLASS entry with 8-9 crew might start with a good NAUTOR SWAN 55 example on brokerage: 180,000 Euro 
Refit using crew labour:                                                                 100,000 Euro 
Entry fees:                                                                                      25,000 Euro  
Insurance and misc. costs:                                                             20,000 Euro 
Total Capital outlay:                                                                        325,000 Euro 

Your crew should contribute total operating cost around the world, food and maintenance. At the conclusion of the Race sell your SWAN for 200,000 Euros. The experience has cost 125,000 Euros. (You could do it for less with a smaller entry) 

*By comparison, just one carbon foil for an IMOCA 60 will set you back between 5-600,000 Euros, so you take on the challenge of the Ocean Globe Race for 25% of a set of foils!

More on the Ocean Globe Site here

Published in Offshore
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The sport of Irish sailing is mourning the loss of Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) member Tom Power (1946-2019), a leading offshore sailing campaigner who died on Saturday after a long illness.

Tributes were led today by his RIYC skipper and friend George Sisk, who spoke about the 'fun times' sailing with Tom on a succession of WOW keelboat campaigns, and prior to that in the 1960s where Tom began his keelboat racing on the Dublin Bay 21, Oola.

Up until last season, when illness prevented Tom going afloat, he was an integral part of George Sisk's crew winning across Ireland at Cork Week, the ICRA National Championships in Kinsale and Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta as well as being honoured with ICRA's 2015 Boat of the Year Award.

WoW Power 1609Tom Power (facing aft) onboard WOW in which he enjoyed so much success with friend George Sisk and the Royal Irish Yacht Club crew Photo: Afloat

Fastnet 1987

Prior to that successful partnership, Tom's international sailing included skippering Ireland's 1985 Admiral's Cup team, competing in the 1986 Sardinia Cup and taking Round Ireland Race line honours victory in the Maxi yacht Maza Drum in the same season.

But undoubtedly the highlight came in 1987, when, as skipper of the Dubois 40 Irish Independent, helmed by Tim Goodbody, the Irish crew won the Fastnet Race overall and became the top scorer for Ireland in the Admiral’s Cup.

It was a significant offshore victory for Ireland that was remembered in 2016 by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd at a special lunch in Tom's honour at the RIYC. More details of that commemoration here.

Fastnet IndoMonday 10th August 1987, and the Dubois 40 Irish Independent arrives at the Fastnet Rock, on her way to winning the Fastnet Race overall, and becoming top scorer for Ireland in the Admiral’s Cup

irish indo2 1The crew of 1987 Fastnet Race winner Irish Independent at the Royal Irish YC on 2nd December 2018 were (left to right) Billy Pope, Tom Power, Jo Richards, Stephen Fein, Sean Flood (Team Captain), Tim Goodbody, Tom Roche and Graham Deegan. Photo: W M Nixon

Such passion for Irish sailing inevitably led Tom into the promotion of the sport, and he served on the Irish Yachting Association's (now Irish Sailing) Executive Committee for many seasons.

Tom's keen ability to put winning campaigns together put him at the nexus between commerce and international sailing so that when Ireland's first ever entry into the Whitbread Round the World Race (now The Ocean Race) was launched, Tom was centrally involved.

As a successful businessman in the busy Dublin advertising and marketing scene, Tom used his many contacts and influence to great effect to help Irish sailing, but as many friends and colleagues have pointed out in tribute today, such unsung support was always given "discreetly and very much in the background".

Dun Laoghaire Marina Bid

His interest in marine leisure became a professional one when he teamed up with Dun Laoghaire sailing friends Michael O'Leary and John Bourke to bid against stiff UK competition to win the contract to build and operate the marina in his own home port in 2000. The marina, that had been talked about for 20 years, became a success almost overnight when the trio filled the new facility to a capacity of 850 boats, thereby creating Ireland's largest marina by 2007.

MCIB

In later life, his deep knowledge of marine affairs led to his appointment to the board of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) where he was a trusted advisor.

Tributes

Tom Power was a member of the RIYC for more than 41 years. In his memory, the Club Ensign is being flown at half-mast at the Dun Laoghaire clubhouse and a minute's silence will be observed at the next RIYC Committee meeting.

This Friday at the ICRA Championships, both race committee boats will signal one long hoot to begin one minute's silence onboard all 100 competing boats on Dublin Bay as a further tribute to Tom before the championships begin.

Celebration

A celebration of his life will take place at 12 noon on Wednesday in the Mariners' Church (National Maritime Museum), Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire.

Our condolences are extended to his wife Anne, sons Redmond and Robert, daughter-in-law Valerie and grandsons Redmond and Ruan; immediate family Redmond, Elizabeth, Leonine, Mary, Muriel, Dee, Tony, Jonathan, Kendra and Sian, Callum and Tomas; extended family, relatives and a large circle of his very good friends.

Afloat.ie

RIP.ie Notice is here

Published in Dublin Bay
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Dun Laoghaire sailors will get a double helping of coastal races this month with Viking Marine's ISORA coastal fixture set for next Saturday, a week after DBSC's own coastal race held on Saturday, results here.

The 40-mile ISORA race will have a start at 0955 and a finish off Dun Laoghaire Pierheads and the course will be announced on Thursday.

It is the second of five races in the Viking Marine Coastal Series from the National Yacht Club.

As Afloat readers will recall, Storm Hannah led to the cancellation of the first coastal of the season and a fortnight later Royal Irish's Paul O'Higgin's took early honours with a win for Rockabill VI in the first offshore of the season into Holyhead.

In Wales, the ISORA fleet in Pwllheli will sail the second of four races in the Global Displays Coastal Series on Saturday that is billed as 'one long bay race'.

Published in ISORA
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Peter Hall's Adélie of the National Yacht Club sailed to another success in the Ruta de la Sal from Denia to Ibiza this Easter.

There were very different conditions this year when the race started at 10 am on Thursday 18th April - grey, chilly, windy (blowing up to 20kts a lot of the race), lumpy confused seas, raining - very much not the champagne conditions of two years ago as Afloat reported here.

Close to 100 boats entered the Denia race, but only 50-odd came to the start, with only 14 finishing the 125-mile race.

Adélie topped her racing class A2 on this occasion, and the Salina class for a second time - coming 4th overall following a seriously exciting final 20 miles on Code 0 and then on a tight spinnaker reach into San Antonio Bay, Ibiza.

Published in ISORA
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ISORA has a full and exciting schedule of races in its 2019 series with a total of 16 races which will include the two Coastal Series, Night Races and, of course, its traditional Offshore Races. The series has been designed to combine with many top-class regattas and the classics races in the Irish Sea catchment area.

The 2019 series starts with the Viking Marine Coastal Races in Ireland and the Global Display Coastal Race in Wales, both on Saturday 27th April.

The coastal race weekend will be followed by the first Offshore race on 4th May from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead, an important return after the storm disaster there in 2017.

ISORA have again this year teamed up with other races in the Irish Sea and arranged the racing so that deliveries are minimised. This includes the Classics; Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race (D2D) and the 100th edition of the Liverpool to Douglas Midnight Race.

The Royal Dee Yacht Club, in conjunction with ISORA are running the RDYC Irish Sea Offshore Championship again this year as part of the VDLR. This includes the Race from IOM (Race 9) and the four coastal races in the VDLR.

ISORA has also been working with ICRA to set up a good programme of day offshore races that will be exciting. Quite a lot of effort and planning has been made to offer boats that are more interested in offshore day racing a quality programme of demanding day races. More Information about the ICRA Championships (7th - 9th July) here.

The full ISORA 2019 Schedule of 16 Races is available downloadable below as a pdf.

Published in Offshore
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