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Yacht designer Mark Mills is the latest speaker in the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s special series of online talks tonight, Wednesday 10 June.

Mark Mills started Mills Design in 1995 with an order from Peter Beamish for the 31ft Aztec, built in Malahide by Mizzen Marine.

Building on her success, his custom designs have won numerous titles including the 100ft Wallycento Tango, the Maxi72 World Champion Alegre 3, multiple IRC Championship winners Mariners Cove and Tiamat, and the 69ft IMA Mini-Maxi Champion Alegre.

Equally his production designs such as the IC 37 for the NYYC, double ORC World Champion Landmark 43, C&C30, Cape 31, King 40 and DK 46 are well known worldwide.

Originally from California, Mills studied yacht design at the Southampton Institute while racing with some of the best teams in the UK.

He won with the Seahorse Sailor of the Month in December 2014, the 2009 Irish Sailor of the Year award, was named the Asian Marine & Boating Best Designer of 2010 and 2015, and recognised closer to home with Wicklow Sailing Club’s Irish Holly trophy.

Most recently, he won first prize at the premiere edition of the MDO Montecarlo prize for the Wallycento Tango.

A member of the RORC Technical Committee and an advisor to both the US and Irish IRC owners groups, Mills has spoken around the world on yacht design and rating rules for events such as IBEX both in the US and Europe, the International Yacht Forum, and regularly at ICRA meetings.

He was one of the initial HPR Committee members who helped draft the High Performance Rule for the NYYC, and subsequently joined the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) Advisory Board.

This evening, he follows the likes of Julian Everitt in the RIYC’s special series of talks with some of the world most renowned yacht designers. RIYC members should contact [email protected] to attend this talk, which starts at 7.30pm this evening, Wednesday 10 June, via the Zoom platform.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

The Royal Irish Yacht Club welcomes acclaimed yacht designer Julian Everitt as the latest speaker in its members-only series of online talks tomorrow evening, Wednesday 27 May.

First inspired to become a yacht designer when he saw Sceptre leaving Poole Harbour in 1958 in training for the America’s Cup, Julian Everitt produced his first full design with an RORC Rule half-tonner in 1968.

His first IOR design, for Bantam Yachts, provided the basis for a string of successful half-tonnes, then quarter-, three-quarter- and one-tonners.

Then came the E-Boat, designed in 1974 to the IOR, of which over 250 were built; the Mirador, a 20ft lifting keel yacht in collaboration with the Daily Mirror newspaper; and the radical Wavetrain, which currently sails out of Greystones.

Julian also edited Seahorse Magazine between 1970 and 1975, and has contributed to many sailing magazines and journals over the years — so expect strong views, such as his position on how ratings systems shape yacht design, and not always for the best.

Julian Everitt’s talk is part of the mini-series on yacht design that kicked off two weeks ago with Ron Holland. Only RIYC members can attend via the Zoom platform from 7.30pm on Wednesday 27 May. Contact [email protected] for details on how to attend.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

‘Cruising Scandinavia’ is the subject of this evening’s (Wednesday 20 May) online talk presented by Prof Andrew Curtain and hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

The Nordic region provides a huge variety of sailing opportunities and a single presentation could be devoted to just a small region.

This talk by Prof Curtain, RIYC member and Roving Rear Commodore for the Ocean Cruising Club, will offer a pictorial view — a virtual cruise, if you will — of three of the most popular areas and two never before visited by an Irish yacht.

These include the Norwegian fjords, Sweden’s west coast archipelago, the Gota Canal system, travel through a Russian canal to the Finnish lakes, and a cruise up the Bay of Bothnia to near the Arctic Circle in Lapland, with a surprise ending.

The Zoom talk begins at 7.30pm this evening. Get in touch with the RIYC for details.

Published in Cruising
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This week’s slot in the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s ‘Home Together’ series of online talks sees yacht designer Ron Holland headline a new mini-series featuring some of the best known names in international yacht design.

Julian Everitt, Mark Mills and John Corby are some of the other legendary figures who will give their own virtual talks over the coming weeks, following Holland’s introductory talk tomorrow evening (Wednesday 13 May)

And what’s more, Holland will be joined on this panel by Ireland’s own veteran sailing superstar Harold Cudmore.

For over 50 years, Ron Holland’s innovative designs have repeatedly shaken up the world of sailing.

Renowned as one of the most successful and sought-after designers in the highly competitive world of international ocean racing, he later brought his influence to — and continues his success in — the superyacht industry.

Holland’s online talk is set for 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 May. Contact [email protected] to register to attend.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

The latest in the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s ‘Home Together’ series of online talks will see Hal Sisk recount a brilliant season with Peggy Bawn in classic events across the Atlantic from Maine to New York.

Many members are familiar with images and tales of classic regattas in the Med, but New England is a different prospect.

Hal will describe a very special campaign in the classic regattas of New England in his historic cutter Peggy Bawn and the cruising in between such venues as Newport, Camden, Castine and Stonington.

The illustrated adventure will also include a professionally made short film of Clare Francis racing Peggy Bawn in Cowes in 2018. Clare was the first woman to race singlehanded across the Atlantic in 1973 and skippered a Swan 65 in the Round the World race in 1977.

Be sure to tune in from 7.30pm tomorrow evening, Wednesday 6 May. RIYC members should have their invite emails but contact the Club Secretary if there are any issues.

Upcoming talks include acclaimed yacht designer Ron Holland (13 May), Bobby Kerr on climbing Point Burnaby in the Alps (15 May) and Prof Andrew Curtain on cruising Scandivanva (20 May).

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

The Royal Irish Yacht Club begins a new series of online talks this evening, Wednesday 15 April.

Each talk will be presented by an RIYC member or invited speaker using the video conferencing platform Zoom, with the first event this evening from 7.30pm being a presentation by Des Cummins on The Peninsular War.

The Peninsular War was the only time that British troops fought Napoleon on land in Europe. The campaign from 1807 to 1814 was dubbed the ‘Spanish Ulcer’ by Napoleon for tying down as many as 350,000 troops and was a major contributor to his disastrous defeat in Russia.

Cummins will examine the strategy of the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley (born in Dublin in April 1769), who rose to prominence during this campaign, and the building of the Lines of Torres Vedras.

Talk attendees can join in via computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone — and questions and comments during the live talk are welcome.

Attendees are requested to follow the instructions on how to install and use Zoom, and to log on a few minutes before the scheduled start.

Click HERE to register to attend this evening's talk.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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Royal Irish Yacht Club cadet member Niall Malone has sent the club an update of his recent competitions in New Zealand, where he currently lives and races.

First up was two weeks of racing in Sydney, Australia last month — at the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred from 18-22 November, and the Musto Youth Match Racing Internationals at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from 26-29 November.

“We had a good two weeks racing in a very close fleet in Sydney,” Niall says, hailing the “extremely high level of sailors” at both events.

Musto was his team’s first ever Grade 1 event, the helm says, so it was “a great opportunity just to be among such a good fleet and we were able to learn a lot”.

Despite neither event seeing him get the results hoped for, the young Irishman is proud that he “had some very close races, finishing less than half a boat length behind the world number two [New Zealand youth Nick Egnot-Johnson] and taking two wins of the Musto Youth International defending champion Frankie Dair”.

Next up for Niall will be the first ever New Zealand Foiling Match Racing Championships, being held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron from 13-17 January, in which he will be representing the RIYC.

Published in Youth Sailing

The Royal Irish Yacht Club has acquired a Farr-designed one-tonner for sail training and members’ use.

The club has credited the acquisition to the generosity of club member George Sisk, whose own Farr 42 WOW! has made an impact in Irish yacht racing for over 10 years.

The club says the high performance one-tonner, designed for both short course racing and offshore, “will greatly enhance [its] sail training offering for both novice and more experienced sailors”.

And it will also be available for charter by club members participating in club racing and offshore events.

Rear Commodore (Sailing) Jerry Dowling and RIYC member Tim Kane will give a talk about the club’s new acquisition and plans for 2020 on Thursday 14 November.

The talk from 7pm is free to members and their guests, followed by supper at €30 per head. All are welcome. See the RIYC website for booking or email catering for details.

This article was updated to correct that the yacht in question is not a Farr 40 as previously stated but a 40ft one-tonner designed by Bruce Farr.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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The Royal Irish Yacht Club’s Saskia Tidey and her Team GB sailing partner Charlotte Dobson have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support their efforts to qualify for the 49erFX class in next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The pair, who finished seventh among a strong field of contender at the 49erFX Europeans last month, say they have reached a “hurdle” in their present fundraising efforts.

“The level of financial backing we have needed to maintain podium positions has now exceeded beyond what our campaign budget is capable of.”

But with additional backing, they say, “we absolutely believe we can complete and deliver the training programme we have planned to bring home a medal”.

Saskia and Charlotte have set a £5,000 of which they have raised nearly a quarter in less than a week.

For more on the pair’s campaign, see their GoFundMe page HERE.

Read the pair’s full appeal below:

We are Olympians Saskia Tidey & Charlotte Dobson. Team mates onboard our 49er FX Olympic class skiff dinghy representing Great Britain on the British Sailing team. We need your help!

After the Rio 2016 Olympic games concluded we left with fire in our bellies and our eyes and hearts set on the goal to medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

For three years we have battled on the International World Sailing circuit to bring home medal winning performances for Great Britain. It has been a honour to fly the flag and and a privilege to be under the pressure of striving for greatness.

Unfortunately we have reached a hurdle in our campaign which we are finding increasingly difficult to jump. The level of financial backing we have needed to maintain podium positions has now exceeded beyond what our campaign budget is capable of. With additional funds we absolutely believe we can complete and deliver the training programme we have planned to bring home a medal.

This summer we will represent Great Britain at the 2019 Olympic Test event in Japan. Please follow our journey and donate before August 2019 to help us reach the gold standard program we need to continue to succeed!

With Tokyo 2020 just around the corner we are seeking help and support from anyone would would like to join our journey and help us keep on the podium for Great Britain in 2020!

Sailing is a sport that can be overlooked and misunderstood but it is an exhilarating sport which is accessible to everyone and we would love to entice more viewers to enjoy it too!

Please help us on on our journey!

Follow our story on Instagram @gbr_44fx

Help Spread the word! 

Charlotte & Saskia xox

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

Irish Sailing will hold its Annual General Meeting for 2019 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club from 11am next Saturday 30 March.

The agenda will include minutes of the AGM of 10 March 2018, reception of the president’s report, and consideration of the company’s financial statements and auditors’ reports for last year.

There will also be an election of directors and the president of the board, who is elected annually in accordance with Article 57.

The full notice of Irish Sailing’s 2019 AGM is attached below.

Published in ISA
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Annalise Murphy Olympic Silver Medalist

The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy (born 1 February 1990) is a Dublin Bay sailor who won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is a native of Rathfarnham, a suburb of Dublin.

Murphy competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women's Laser Radial class. She won her first four days of sailing at the London Olympics and, on the fifth day, came in 8th and 19th position.

They were results that catapulted her on to the international stage but those within the tiny sport of Irish sailing already knew her of world-class capability in a breeze and were not surprised.

On the sixth day of the competition, she came 2nd and 10th and slipped down to second, just one point behind the Belgian world number one.

Annalise was a strong contender for the gold medal but in the medal race, she was overtaken on the final leg by her competitors and finished in 4th, her personal best at a world-class regatta and Ireland's best Olympic class result in 30 years.

Radial European Gold

Murphy won her first major medal at an international event the following year on home waters when she won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

Typically, her track record continues to show that she performs best in strong breezes that suit her large stature (height: 1.86 m Weight: 72 kg).

She had many international successes on her road to Rio 2016 but also some serious setbacks including a silver fleet finish in flukey winds at the world championships in the April of Olympic year itself.

Olympic Silver Medal

On 16 August 2016, Murphy won the silver medal in the Laser Radial at the 2016 Summer Olympics defying many who said her weight and size would go against her in Rio's light winds.

As Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien pointed out: " [The medal] was made all the more significant because her string of consistent results was achieved in a variety of conditions, the hallmark of a great sailor. The medal race itself was a sailing master class by the Dubliner in some decidedly fickle conditions under Sugarloaf mountain".

It was true that her eight-year voyage ended with a silver lining but even then Murphy was plotting to go one better in Tokyo four years later.

Sportswoman of the Year

In December 2016, she was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year.

In March, 2017, Annalise Murphy was chosen as the grand marshal of the Dublin St Patrick's day parade in recognition of her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She became the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July 2017 in Italy but it came at a high price for the Olympic Silver medallist. A violent capsize in the last race caused her to sustain a knee injury which subsequent scans revealed to be serious. 

Volvo Ocean Race

The injury was a blow for her return to the Olympic Laser Radial discipline and she withdrew from the 2017 World Championships. But, later that August, to the surprise of many, Murphy put her Tokyo 2020 ambitions on hold for a Volvo Ocean Race crew spot and joined Dee Caffari’s new Turn the Tide On Plastic team that would ultimately finish sixth from seventh overall in a global circumnavigation odyssey.

Quits Radial for 49erFX

There were further raised eyebrows nine months later when, during a break in Volvo Ocean Race proceedings, in May 2018 Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial dinghy and was launching a 49er FX campaign for Tokyo 2020. Critics said she had left too little time to get up to speed for Tokyo in a new double-handed class.

After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and her crew Katie Tingle, it was decided after the 2019 summer season that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign came to an end. Murphy saying in interviews “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal".

The pair raced in just six major regattas in a six-month timeframe. 

Return to Radial

In September 2019, Murphy returned to the Laser Radial dinghy and lead a four-way trial for the Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic spot after the first of three trials when she finished 12th at the Melbourne World Championships in February 2020.

Selection for Tokyo 2021

On June 11, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Murphy secured the Laser Radial nomination after the conclusion of a cut short trials in which rivals Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller and Eve McMahon also competed.

At A Glance – Annalise Murphy Significant Results

2016: Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Silver

2013: European Championships, Dublin, Ireland – Gold

2012: Summer Olympics, London, UK – 4th

2011: World Championships, Perth, Australia – 6th

2010: Skandia Sail for Gold regatta – 10th

2010: Became the first woman to win the Irish National Championships.

2009: World Championships – 8th

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