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Are you in search of an exhilarating aquatic adventure this October? Look no further! The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School are thrilled to introduce an exclusive offer that promises to make your weekend unforgettable.

October Exclusive Season Finale: Boat Trip Excursions

Embark on an exciting boat ride along the enchanting Dublin Bay for just €20 per adult and €5 per child.

These captivating excursions take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. throughout October. It's the perfect opportunity to gather your family and friends for a memorable outing.

Embark on an exciting boat ride along the enchanting Dublin Bay for just €20 per adult and €5 per child.Embark on an exciting boat ride along the enchanting Dublin Bay for just €20 per adult and €5 per child.

Why Choose an Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School?

Their boat trips are designed to accommodate adventurers of all ages, with commercially licensed skippers and vessels meeting the Department of the Marine's MSO requirements.

Dalkey Island:  A site of ancient and historic remains on Dublin BayDalkey Island:  A site of ancient and historic remains on Dublin Bay

What's on the Itinerary?

Commence your adventure by meeting at their West Pier headquarters, where you'll be provided with the latest waterproof overalls (just in case of a splash!) and equipped with life jackets. Then, you depart from the heart of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Begin your INSS adventure on Dublin Bay with waterproof overalls (just in case of a splash!) and equipped with life jackets. Then, you depart from the heart of Dun Laoghaire HarbourBegin your INSS adventure on Dublin Bay with waterproof overalls (just in case of a splash!) and equipped with life jackets. Then, you depart from the heart of Dun Laoghaire Harbour

This journey offers a fresh perspective on the West and East Piers, guiding you to Dun Laoghaire Baths, Sandycove, where you'll see the iconic 40 Foot, Coliemore Harbour, Dalkey Island, and Killiney Beach, where you may spot the Sugarloaf Mountain and Bono's house! This enchanting voyage unveils a unique view of some of Ireland's most breathtaking coastal vistas.

Wildlife Encounters:

Keep an eye out for the chance to witness dolphins, seals, and seagulls in their natural habitat. You are bound to come across these animals throughout the voyage so don't forget to have the cameras at the ready!

A Touch of History:

Dun Laoghaire Baths:  Recently reopened after an €18 million refurbishment, featuring a new 35-metre-long jetty and a statue of Roger Casement.

Sandycove 40ft:  Wave to the swimmers! -This iconic location has been a year-round swimming spot for over 250 years.

Dalkey Island:  A site of ancient and historic remains, with artefacts dating back to the Mesolithic era!

Killiney Beach:  Located about 10 miles south of Dublin city, easily accessible via the nearby Dart line, which you will be able to spot from the boat!

Wicklow Sugar Loaf:  A distinctive conical-shaped mountain dominating the Wicklow skyline, viewable from afar!

Whether you're a seasoned sailor or someone who's never set foot on a boat before, these boat trips are the ideal introduction to the world of water adventures, ensuring that everyone can participate and enjoy. To secure your spot on one of the highly sought-after boat trips, please click here. Don't delay; seats are limited, and this exclusive October offer won't last forever!

Published in INSS
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A yacht that had been moored in Dublin Bay was discovered on the inside of the Great South Wall on Saturday after it had broken its moorings.

The sinking of the vessel has been confirmed by Afloat, however, no further details about the incident have been provided as of yet.

The maritime community has been advised to exercise caution while sailing in the River Liffey area. The crew of the yacht, as well as the reason for the yacht breaking its moorings, remain unknown at this time.

Published in Dublin Bay
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A group of swimmers were rescued by Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI this morning near Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay.

The crew was on a training exercise in the station’s inshore lifeboat when they were alerted to an incident unfolding at Dalkey Island. The swimmers had become separated from their main group, and upon reaching shore, became concerned for their friends who had not returned.

A passing Dive Support RIB was flagged down and alerted the Coast Guard, who promptly tasked Dun Laoghaire’s inshore lifeboat. All swimmers were accounted for, and the remaining swimmers were brought safely ashore and assessed by ambulance crews.

This was the first callout for volunteer crew member Andrew Sykes, who had recently passed out as a Helm at Dun Laoghaire RNLI for the station’s Inshore lifeboat. Andrew joined the station at the age of 18 and has worked his way up to the senior position of lifeboat Helm after six years on the lifeboat crew.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Deputy Launch Authority Dara Totterdell urged all swimmers to keep safety in mind, advising them to know the area they are swimming in, watch the tides and the sea state, have an agreed plan, and know their limits. The RNLI’s Float to Live campaign recommends anyone in difficulty to float on their back if in trouble and never hesitate to call for help.

“We would encourage anyone planning a water-based activity to be wary of sea temperatures and to wear a wetsuit as hypothermia can set in within minutes,” Totterdell said. “If you see someone who may be in trouble in the water, raise the alarm immediately and call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. Time is always of the essence in these situations.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Tim and Richard Goodbody's J109 White Mischief was the winner of a fine turnout of ten boats in Dublin Bay Sailing Club's IRC One Thursday night AIB Summer Series.

Light southerly winds with occasional bursts of fresh energy from numerous rain clouds over Dublin Bay permitted a full programme of races for the club. 

Finishing one minute behind White Mischief on corrected time in the strong fleet was Fintan Cairns's Mills 31 Raptor. Third was Colin Byrne's XP33 Bon Exemple.

As the top DBSC performer in IRC One at this month's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Goodbody's top form continues as last night's result puts the Royal Irish Yacht Club boat top of the overall Thursday series. 

Full results in all DBSC classes are below.

Published in DBSC
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For anyone interested in the new Melges 15 fleet that has arrived in Dublin Bay, a selection of dates for demo sails are available in the next couple of weeks. Slots are available on a range of dates and times at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club and can be booked here 

The boat has exceeded expectations so far, with a wide age and skill range of sailors enjoying the fast, stable platform that the Melges 15 provides, despite the lighter breezes of the last few weeks.

The top recorded speed is currently held by father-daughter combo Theo and Alanna Lyttle with 14.4 knots. 

The above and below screenshots are from Theo Lyttle's Strava app that lets you track your running and riding with GPSThe (above and below) screenshots are from Melges 15 sailor Theo Lyttle's Strava app that lets you track your running and riding with GPS

The video below shows why US sailors are enjoying the boats so much.

Published in Melges 15
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None of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) 22 racing classes managed to race on Saturday, June 11, due to light and variable easterly winds on Dublin Bay.

Race Officers put the fleets to sea but later were forced to cancel due to insufficient breeze.

Racing continues next week. The overall results are below.

Published in DBSC
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This weekend sees ancient gaff-rigged and other craft of multiple vintages gathering at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club in Ringsend in the heart of Dublin Port, within sight of some of the most modern ships afloat. It’s the 60th Anniversary of the Old Gaffers Association, and the fact that Dublin is central to the OGA’s Diamond Jubilee Cruise-in-Company speaks volumes for the welcome the port provided for the Golden Jubilee Cruise in 2013, when it became clear that owners of vintage or classical Bermudan-rigged boats were also welcome. It seems that being part of the community is a matter of the right attitude rather than undue fussiness about exactitude of rig.

Yet it’s a curiosity of international sailing history that in 1963 the definitive gaff-rigged One Designs of Dun Laoghaire - the 1902-originating Dublin Bay 21s - were in the process of changing to Bermuda rig. For at the same time, separate meetings in the south and southeast of England were - unbeknownst to each other – laying the foundations for the beginnings of the Old Gaffers Association for the preservation of gaff-rigged sailing skills.

THE MAN FROM THE ELEPHANT BOATYARD

As one of the main movers in the initial south coast meeting in Winchester was Mike Richardson of the renowned and distinctly characterful Elephant Boatyard on the upper reaches of the Hamble River, it’s not surprising that over the years, it was recognised that a contemporary meeting at Maldon in Essex was where the Old Gaffers Association really came into being.

The rapid development of the OGA on England’s East Coast soon meant there was a keen Dutch branch, and they were present in strength in Dublin Bay in 2013, with the steel-built Cinne Mara (based on the design of a Galway hooker) seen here chasing fellow Dutch boat Raven, built to a Lyle Hess design. Photo: W M NixonThe rapid development of the OGA on England’s East Coast soon meant there was a keen Dutch branch, and they were present in strength in Dublin Bay in 2013, with the steel-built Cinne Mara (based on the design of a Galway hooker) seen here chasing fellow Dutch boat Raven, built to a Lyle Hess design. Photo: W M Nixon

For they could focus on moving things forward in a single-minded way, whereas Mike of the Elephant and his friends – unaware of any developments on the East Coast – had so many boat interests on the go at the same time that the progressing of an idea for a new association had to take its place in the queue. For sure, they did eventually run a couple of races for old gaffers in the Solent. But once they realized that things had been happening in a more clear-cut form on the East Coast, the two groupings became one with the East Coast setting the pace.

INTERNATIONAL LINKS

Soon they were drawing in fellow enthusiasts, both countrywide and with international links. Success was such that by the time the Golden Jubilee came around in 2013, they had the strength and enthusiasm to organise a well-supported Round Britain Rally with many interesting ports visited, and with two stops on Ireland’s East Coast - at Poolbeg in Dublin, and in Belfast Port in Northern Ireland hosted by the NIOGA.

Legends of the sea. Dickie Gomes, first winner in 2013 of the Leinster Plate with the 101-year-old Ringsend-built Ainmara, with Tim Magennis, President at the time of the hosting Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association, and himself a veteran of a round the world voyage in the gaff-rigged Colin Archer ketch Sandefjord. Photo: W M NixonLegends of the sea. Dickie Gomes, first winner in 2013 of the Leinster Plate with the 101-year-old Ringsend-built Ainmara, with Tim Magennis, President at the time of the hosting Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association, and himself a veteran of a round the world voyage in the gaff-rigged Colin Archer ketch Sandefjord. Photo: W M Nixon

The Irish stopovers were extensively covered on Afloat.ie with special enthusiasm, as your columnist happened to be sailing throughout all the happenings on the Irish coast with Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough aboard the Ringsend-built 9-ton J B Kearney yawl Ainmara. And our enjoyment was in no way lessened by winning the inaugural race for the Leinster Trophy in Dublin Bay, with the trophy being handed over about 200 yards from where Ainmara had been born 101 years earlier.

Even ten years ago, Bermudan rigged vintage boats were welcomed as OGA members, and here Ainmara is leading the inaugural race for the Leinster Plate in Dublin Bay at the OGA Golden Jubilee in 2013. Photo: Dave OwensEven ten years ago, Bermudan rigged vintage boats were welcomed as OGA members, and here Ainmara is leading the inaugural race for the Leinster Plate in Dublin Bay at the OGA Golden Jubilee in 2013. Photo: Dave Owens

TWO IRISH BRANCHES HAVE BECOME ONE FOR ALL

Since then, the two Irish branches of the OGA have become one, with the DBOGA in effect covering the whole country, as the President is Adrian “Stu” Spence whose 47ft ketch El Paradiso is based in Ringhaddy Sound in Strangford Lough, while the Honorary Secretary Darryl Hughes now lives in Crosshaven, where he bases his 43ft gaff ketch Maybird, designed by Fred Shepherd and built by Jack Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937.

This national spread is further emphasized by former international OGA President Sean Walsh – in 2013, he was Dun Laoghaire-based with his Heard 28 gaff cutter Turn a nOg – now being a Kinsale sailor. He and Darryl Hughes have combined forces to sail Tir na nOg east and north to Ringsend to help co-ordinate the Poolbeg events, which are under the overall direction of Adrian Spence and former PY&BC Commodore Johnny Wedick.

Local boats join the international fleet – Sean Walsh’s Tir na nOg from Dun Laoghaire dicing in Dublin Bay with Paul Holden’s Peapod from Howth. Photo: Dave OwensLocal boats join the international fleet – Sean Walsh’s Tir na nOg from Dun Laoghaire dicing in Dublin Bay with Paul Holden’s Peapod from Howth. Photo: Dave Owens

The friendly atmosphere in Poolbeg Y & BC lends itself well to mutlti-generational events of this type, an excellent example being the recent launching of marine and civic historian Cormac Lowth’s fascinating book about the Ringsend sailing trawlers. The Ringsend fishery began to be of major significance when the Brixham fishermen from Devon started expanding their operations after the ending of the Napoleonic Wars around 1818. And they succeeded so well in their new Ringsend base that by the 1880s the renowned Murphy family in Ringsend built and very successfully fished the largest Brixham-type fishing boat ever, the legendary St Patrick.

So successful were the Ringsend fishermen in adopting and developing the technology brought to them by their immigrants from Brixham that the largest fishing boat built to the Brixham trawler concept was the famous St Patrick – designed, built and fished by the Murphy family of Ringsend. Photo: Courtesy Cormac LowthSo successful were the Ringsend fishermen in adopting and developing the technology brought to them by their immigrants from Brixham that the largest fishing boat built to the Brixham trawler concept was the famous St Patrick – designed, built and fished by the Murphy family of Ringsend. Photo: Courtesy Cormac Lowth

RAYTOWN

Modern developments on the Ringsend waterfront mean that it is now difficult to imagine this area as a thriving fishery services foreshore, but such was very much the case. And the visit of a group such as the Old Gaffers is a timely occasion to reflect on the period when this was known to Dubliners as Raytown. The local fishing community kept the despised ray for their own consumption while selling the more profitable sought-after species. Consequently it was observed that you could find Ringsend in fog or total darkness relying only on the all-pervading smell of ray being wind-dried on lines for preservation for winter consumption.

THE DUN LAOGHAIRE WAY

Needless to say the arrival of the idea of local Old Gaffers Associations in Ireland was greeted with mixed feelings. It’s doubtful if those such as Cass Smullen, who were arguing to keep the DB21s gaff-rigged, would have been known that at the same time two separate groups in England were thinking in the same general way. Or if he did, then he would have been well aware that support from that quarter might not have helped his cause at all, as Dun Laoghaire has always liked its own way of doing things.

The Dublin Bay 21 Geraldine arrives back in Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday of this week, after being re-born under the skills of Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard. Photo: DB21The Dublin Bay 21 Geraldine arrives back in Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday of this week, after being re-born under the skills of Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard. Photo: DB21

The restored DB21 Garavogue, setting her new “American gunter” rig, winning the last race of the 2022 season. The Dublin Bay 21s had decided to change to Bermudan rig in 1963 just as the Old Gaffers Association came into being to preserve gaff rig and the skills needed to use it.The restored DB21 Garavogue, setting her new “American gunter” rig, winning the last race of the 2022 season. The Dublin Bay 21s had decided to change to Bermudan rig in 1963 just as the Old Gaffers Association came into being to preserve gaff rig and the skills needed to use it.

For despite the interest in Bermuda rig, the fact is we were up to our tonsils in gaff rigged boats, and still are. But they are mainly used very actively for racing, such that boats like the Dublin Bay Water Wags and the Howth 17s don’t see themselves as Old Gaffers at all - on the contrary, their self-image is of a hot racing class which just happens to be gaff rigged.

ENGLISH CULTURAL IMPERIALISM?

This relaxed acceptance of gaff rig as being very much alive and a natural part of the contemporary Irish sailing scene was brought home to me many years ago when an English gaff-rigged enthusiast called Alan Hidden arrived to work in Northern Ireland, and although a decent enough person, he carried the usual baggage of English cultural imperialism in some maritime matters.

One of the most interesting boats due in Poolbeg is the former Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Letty of 1905 vintage. But don’t assume that her impressive presence will be a subtle case of English maritime cultural imperialism. Her owner-skipper Steve Cogdell proudly flies the Cornish ensign, which suggests that he and his crew see themselves as being completely independent of just about everyone else on the planet. Photo: Patrick Vyvyan-RobinsonOne of the most interesting boats due in Poolbeg is the former Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Letty of 1905 vintage. But don’t assume that her impressive presence will be a subtle case of English maritime cultural imperialism. Her owner-skipper Steve Cogdell proudly flies the Cornish ensign, which suggests that he and his crew see themselves as being completely independent of just about everyone else on the planet. Photo: Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson

For very soon, we had a letter from him to Afloat Magazine saying that he had discovered a marvellous old clinker-built gunter-rigged 14ft sailing dinghy called Mantis which once upon a time had belonged to a “long extinct” class called the Ballyholme Insects, and his plan was to restore her and use her as the foundation on which to build a Northern Ireland branch of the Old Gaffers Association.

THE PICKLE FORK CLUB

“Mixed feelings” barely begins to describe the reaction in the luxuriously-appointed editorial offices of Afloat Verbiage Industries plc.. For once upon a time, we owned, sailed, raced, cruised and did many others things of a rites-of-passage and highly educational nature with an Insect. Thus the thought that somebody should see them as quaint Old Gaffers was appalling.

Worse still was kitting an Insect with tan sails sporting an OGA number and the Old Gaffer symbol. It’s supposed to be based on a set of classic gaff boom jaws, but a totally Bermuda-rigged shipmate always refers to the OGA as “The Pickle Fork Club”, and on this evidence of English cultural imperialism as applied to a Ballyholme Insect, I was inclined to agree with him.

Sacrilege! The Ballyholme Insect Class Mantis being re-purposed as a propaganda tool for the Old Gaffers Association, showing clearly why sniffy Bermuda-rig enthusiasts refer to the OGA as “The Pickle-Fork Club”. This photo of Mantis was taken at the very tidal inlet of Dundrum on the County Down coast, where Regatta Day is selected so that at low water ponies can conveniently be raced around the same course that sailing craft use at high water.Sacrilege! The Ballyholme Insect Class Mantis being re-purposed as a propaganda tool for the Old Gaffers Association, showing clearly why sniffy Bermuda-rig enthusiasts refer to the OGA as “The Pickle-Fork Club”. This photo of Mantis was taken at the very tidal inlet of Dundrum on the County Down coast, where Regatta Day is selected so that at low water ponies can conveniently be raced around the same course that sailing craft use at high water.

THE DBOGA ARE OKAY

Until, that is, I found that the Dublin Bay Branch of the Old Gaffers Association included such solidly maritime souls as Tim Magennis and Johnny Wedick and Denis Aylmer and the merry band with Paul Keogh on the Clondalkin-built Galway hooker Naomh Cronan and many others.

So we threw ourselves with enthusiasm into the DBOGA’s prominent role in the Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2013, albeit with the Bermudan-rigged Ainmara. But then, her antique Ringsend associations probably gave her more right to be there than any other boat in the fleet.

Solid sailing citizen. DBOGA pioneer Dennis Aylmer of Dun Laoghaire may sail the “plastic fantastic” Mona these days, but back in the 1960s he was one of the key enthusiasts for Galway Hookers in Dublin Bay.Solid sailing citizen. DBOGA pioneer Dennis Aylmer of Dun Laoghaire may sail the “plastic fantastic” Mona these days, but back in the 1960s he was one of the key enthusiasts for Galway Hookers in Dublin Bay.

Yet now with the Diamond Jubilee upon us, it’s disconcerting to find how much has changed in just ten years, which you’d think in Old Gaffer terms is just the twinkling of an eye. Ainmara has been sold to Swiss owners, Adrian Spence’s 1873-built Madcap has been sold to France, Joe Pennington’s Master Frank, the pride of the Isle of Man, is very much on the market, and now the Naomh Cronan is based in Galway.

THE GOOD NEWS

Yet the news is not all one way. On the upside, Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra of Dun Laoghaire are more than halfway towards the restoration of the Dublin Bay 21 Class, with the arrival in Dun Laoghaire this week of the newly-restored Geraldine from the skilled hands of Steve Morris and his team in Kilrush.

Current DBOGA President Adrian Spence (right) absorbing wisdom (and much else) with old salts Joe Pennington (left) and Dickie Gomes. Photo: W M NixonCurrent DBOGA President Adrian Spence (right) absorbing wisdom (and much else) with old salts Joe Pennington (left) and Dickie Gomes. Photo: W M Nixon

And in Strangford Lough, the classic Manx nobby White Heather has returned, complete with her authentic widow-maker of a dipping lug rig, brought back to her longtime home by Gary Lyons who apparently more or less did a straight swap with his vintage Bermuda ketch Ocean Dove with previous White Heather owner Mike Clarke of Peel.

And as for this weekend at Poolbeg, the fact that all places were booked out within a few days of bookings becoming available tells us that the OGA – and Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club with it - are in good health.

Summer’s evening at Poolbeg in Dublin Port during the 2013 visit of the Old Gaffers Association. Photo: W M NixonSummer’s evening at Poolbeg in Dublin Port during the 2013 visit of the Old Gaffers Association. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in W M Nixon

None of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) 22 racing classes managed to race on Saturday, May 21, due to a glassy calm on Dublin Bay.

Race Officers flew N/A at 1300 hours.

Racing continues next week. Overall results are below.

Published in DBSC
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To kick start the 2023 AIB Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Racing Season, UK Sailmakers, in conjunction with the Offshore Racing Academy and INSS, are organising a Pre-Season Race Training day on Saturday, 22nd April.

All keelboats are welcome, and they will pick up tips, tricks, and advice to get the most from their sails in 2023.

The morning starts with a briefing followed by on-the-water training to include:

Windward Leeward course simulations with between three and five starts (depending on numbers)

UK Sailmakers and Irish Offshore Academy crew will be on the water, observing and videoing boats at:

  • start line
  • beating to the weather mark
  • mark rounding
  • spinnaker

The afternoon continues with a debrief, discussion, and video footage on mark rounding, start line tactics, and sail trim. The team will look at improving performance based on what they saw on the water.

"DBSC welcomes this great initiative to get boats in the 2023 AIB DBSC sailing season off to a great start", the club's Hon Sec Rosemary Roy told Afloat

Published in DBSC
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Broadcaster, author and activist Emer O’Neill today launched the 16th annual Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk which will take place on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday 17th March from 10.30 am. Over 2,000 enthusiastic walkers are expected to take on the 26km challenge, with the option of starting from Howth Harbour or Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Suitable for most fitness levels, the walk will take participants along the scenic Dublin Bay route with a ‘Halfway Hooley’ hosted at sponsor Dublin Port Company’s historic Pumphouse.

An official event of the St Patrick’s Day One City Festival Programme, the Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk is now open for registration at www.aware.ie/harbour2harbour at a cost of €25 per person.

Ambassador Emer O’Neill commented: “I am delighted to be involved with the Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk. Having experienced depression myself, I know how important it is for us to open up the conversation around mental health. The services provided by organisations like Aware are invaluable to anyone experiencing depression or bipolar disorder and I would encourage anyone struggling with their mental health to reach out for support. We all know how beneficial fresh air and exercise is for both your physical and mental health, so I hope to see lots of people from around Dublin joining us on St Patrick’s Day to raise both awareness and vital funds for Aware.”

Emer O'Neil broadcaster, author & activist pictured with Scruff at Dublin Port Company at the launch of the 16th annual Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk which takes place on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday 17th March.Emer O'Neil broadcaster, author and activist pictured at Dublin Port Company at the launch of the 16th annual Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk which takes place on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday 17th March Photo: Andres Poveda

The Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk is a flagship fundraising event for Aware, the national charity supporting people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder. This event will help raise vital funds to ensure the organisation can continue to deliver its free support, education and information services to individuals and communities nationwide.

Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware commented: “The Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk is a lovely way to get friends and family together to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in a fun and healthy way, while demonstrating your support for mental health. Each year Aware directly supports up to 50,000 people via our support and education services. All proceeds from this event will go towards these services, helping to ensure that people across Ireland impacted by depression and bipolar disorder know they are not alone and are provided with the knowledge and tools they need to improve their wellbeing. We are incredibly grateful for the generous sponsorship from Dublin Port Company who have supported this event since 2014.”

All participants will receive a t-shirt when they arrive for the event and are encouraged to wear these as they take part to raise awareness and show their support for mental health. People can also join the conversation online, using the hashtag #WeAreAware when sharing on social media.

Speaking about Dublin Port’s involvement, Barry O’Connell, Chief Executive at Dublin Port Company commented: “Dublin Port is delighted to be partnering with Aware and supporting the annual Harbour2Harbour Walk. It’s a great family day out and the perfect way to see Dublin’s harbours, river and city, all while raising funds for Aware’s vital services. The ‘Halfway Hooley’, which this year is being hosted at our Pumphouse, will provide a welcome and celebratory mid-way break for all those taking part. We look forward to welcoming the thousands of walkers to the Port and showcasing the beauty of Dublin Bay.”

Aware Support Services include Support & Self Care Groups and a Support Line and Support Mail service, both of which operate 365 days a year. Aware also delivers a range of positive mental health programmes to adults and senior cycle students nationwide, designed to build resilience and empower people with the skills and tools to manage their mental health. All Aware services are now available in-person and in virtual environments.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Irish Sailing Performance Head Quarters

Irish Sailing's base for the exclusive use of its own teams are located on the grounds of the Commissioners of Irish Lights in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The Irish Sailing Performance HQ houses the senior Irish sailing teams such as Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy

The HQ plans were announced in May 2018 and opened in March 2019.

The HQ comprises a number of three converted shipping containers and a floating slipway and pontoon

The HQ aim is to improve both training and educational opportunities for them, thereby creating systematic medal potential.

The Performance HQ is entirely mobile and has space for briefings and athlete education, a gym, gear storage and a boat maintenance area.

The athlete briefing room can then be shipped directly to international competitions such as the Olympics Regatta and provide a base for athletes overseas.