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#SAILING CLUBS - Sailing enthusiasts on AIB's staff have taken a blow to the wallet as the bank is to stop paying club membership fees for employees, the Irish Independent reports.

In an e-mail seen by the paper, AIB head of human resources John Conway said the cuts - which came into effect on 1 January - were the result of a review of benefit structures within the bank, which is dealing with "ongoing problems".

The change brings to an end two benefits-in-kind that had been considered significant attractions for new employees, the other being special lending rates for staff members.

Up till the end of 2011, AIB covered 50% of club membership fees up to €1,250 for rank and file employees, and 100% of fees up to €2,500 for management. Bank of Ireland staff continue to receive similar perks.

The moves comes not long after the Irish Sailing Association's announcement of proposals to revise its sailing club membership fee structure.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the ISA will convene an EGM next month to discuss changes to the 'joint membership scheme' in favour of a "single fee formula that is proportionate to a club's membership subscription income".

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in ISA

#ISA – The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is convening an extraordinary general meeting to propose a revised membership fee structure next month.

The introduction of the 'joint membership scheme' in 1993 fundamentally changed the representative base of the Association and now the ISA say that because clubs have changed over the past 20 years there is 'a need to introduce a single fee formula that is proportionate to a club's membership subscription income'.

The brainchild of former president Roger Bannon, the original scheme underpinned the financial viability of the ISA by making every member of a sailing club also a member of the ISA.

The current ISA subscription rate is 10% of a member's club subscription subject to a minimum of €24 and maximum of €36. For most of the bigger clubs such as Dun Laoghaire's waterfront clubs, the Royal Cork, Kinsale and Howth the rate is €36.

The ISA takes subscriptions from 73 sailing and powerboat clubs in the country ranging in size from the smallest clubs with only a dozen members to the largest in Dun Laoghaire, the Royal St. George Yacht Club with 1,858 members according to the ISA CEO Harry Hermon.

The total number of club members affiliated to the ISA is estimated at over 21,000.

In 2010 income from club member subscriptions generated €320,843 for the ISA but in 2011 this had dropped to 286,087.

The EGM is scheduled for February 11th at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

Published in ISA

#YOUTH SAILING – In spite of three separate attempts to stage it since October, the All Ireland Junior Sailing Championships for 2011 were finally scrubbed this morning in Dun Laoghaire after winds again blew over the maximum limit for youth racing.

In an unfortunate turn of events the ISA All Ireland Junior and Girls Sailing Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club will not take place this year after first suffering postponements on October 29th, November 26th and this weekend too.

Racing Manager Ed Alcock met with the Royal St. George team this morning and regretfully decided to 'call off the event' due to the increased winds. Met Eireann is forecasting 20 knots with gusts of 30-40 knots.

Published in Youth Sailing

#GALWAY BAY NEWS - Galway County Council has prohibited the parking of camper vans and yachts on Kinvara Pier "for the purpose of habitation".

The new by-law came into effect last month came following a number of complaints that camper vans and boats were remaining for extended periods in the vicinity of the pier.

However the move does not affect vessels used for "bona file navigation", after the ISA lobbied to protect the interests of visiting boaters wishing to use the pier for overnight stays.

Published in Galway Harbour

#SAILING– Gail MacAllister of West Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre has been appointed an Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Regional Development Officer starting December 5th.

In the new full time role McAllister, who has owned and managed West Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre & Boat House Café in Adrigole, West Cork since 1998 will be tasked with contacting local authorities to promote water based activities in the South. The work of the sailing school will be carried on by her husband and business partner Niall.

In May of this year the McAllister's brought a large sailing sloop to Irish waters to provide a 'temporary Tall Ship sail training solution'.

The McAllister's have extensive knowledge of both ISA and Royal Yachting Association courses as well as Clubs, Training Centres and Training Schemes as well as the general marine industry of Ireland, coastline and services.

Gail will work alongside the ISA's Regional Development Officer for the north of the country Ciaran Murphy.

The Regional Development Programme was launched 12 months ago and is aimed at helping clubs and training centres raise funds and develop initiatives to increase their membership.

Published in ISA
Tagged under
#SAILOR OF THE MONTH – George Kenefick of Crosshaven is the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent Sailor of the Month for October after rounding out an already successful season with an inspired performance in the Student Worlds in France.

The 23-year-old helmsman won the Quarter Ton Classics Corinthian Division in July with his immaculately-restored boat Tiger, racing against a top lineup in the Solent. That performance saw him recruited to helm the English-owned boat Chimp in the Half Ton Worlds at the same venue in August. Kenefick showed the quality of his abilities by interacting with a crew he'd never sailed with before to become overall winner against an impressive international fleet.

champions_BFP4387

George Kenefick, Mel Collins and John Downey celebrate their win on Lough Derg. Photo: Brendan Fogarty

Back in home waters, next up was the Waterways Ireland ISA National Championship on Lough Derg in the ISA's SailFleet flotilla of J/80s at the beginning of October. For this series Kenefick recruited Crosshaven clubmates John Downey and Mel Collins as crew. The opposition included former champion Mark Mansfield, who had returned to competitive sailing by winning the 1720 Europeans in Baltimore against a fleet including Anthony and Nicholas O'Leary, both former Irish Open Champions.

It went right down to the wire, with Mansfield and O'Leary emerging well ahead on 12–points apiece. On the countback, Kenefick was the new champion. Almost immediately, he was back in the thick of logistics and personnel organization in taking the Cork Institute of Technology sailing team to France for the Student Worlds, CIT representing Ireland as winners of our national series.

With sixteen college teams from all over the world, even in resources-rich French sailing the organizers were stretched in finding an evenly-matched fleet of sixteen Archambault keelboats. There were top class new boats, but some not so new boats, and a trio of boats well past their sell-by date. It was all in the luck of the draw, and the Irish and much-fancied Portuguese found themselves drawing the shortest straw.

In a demanding series, the Portuguese were never at the races with their tired mount, but the Irish simply refused to give up despite a boat which, with its equipment, was falling apart. There was ample opportunity to do this, as the series in the Bay of Biscay off La Trinite included some really rough stuff. In fact, the Irish revelled in the strong breeze, but in the light airs which settled in as the week drew on, it took pure skill.

By the final races last Saturday, they'd got themselves an unassailable third position, but the two British teams – defending champions are allowed an extra place – had miscalculated the points situation. So on the final day, they team raced, one of their boats sailing the Irish crew down the fleet in the best Ben Ainslie style. It was the first time Ireland had finished outside the top six, but they still had the bronze, the Brits took silver, and the French were well ahead to win overall.

More from WM Nixon in the Irish Independent here

A forecast for Southerly gales has led the Irish Sailing Association to postpone tomorrow's All Ireland junior sailing championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. 18 juniors were set to sail in firefly dinghies. The new date for the event is November 26th
Published in Youth Sailing
Ireland's junior sailing event, the ISA Junior & Girls All Ireland Sailing Championships, will take place on the 29th and 30th of October in the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire in a fleet of nine Fireflies. The invitational championship will see 18 of Ireland's leading junior sailors compete over the two days for the title of 2011 Champion.

Each competitor will sail with one crew member of their choice in one of the nine Fireflies. On Saturday the teams will be separated into two flights (groups) and will sail three races each. The same flights will then sail an additional two races on Sunday with the top three teams in each flight progressing through to the medal race.

The 18 competitors taking part in the 2011 ISA Junior & Girls All Ireland Sailing Championships are:

youthsailing_table

Published in Youth Sailing

Wayfarer Dinghy National Champion Trevor Fisher was not invited to sail in last weekend's Waterway's Ireland ISA All Ireland Sailing Championships. Here he outlines why and suggests the system for participation in 'Ireland's most prestigious sailing event' needs an overhaul. (First published: 12th October 2011)

For many people, the opportunity to sail in an event such as the 'Waterways Ireland All Ireland Sailing Championships' would be welcome, for some it would be the highlight of the summer sailing season. Why would it not be welcome? You have the chance to sail against some of the best sailors in the country, Olympic competitors, sailors who race week in, week out and work hard to promote their classes and develop sailing on the island. How does that opportunity come about? Previous winners include some of the best dinghy sailors that Ireland has produced, and without doubt, all winners of the event have been worthy champions.

In years gone by, participation in the event appeared to be straightforward – you won your class national championships and were invited by the ISA. In recent years, the event seems to have changed. It is now appears to be predominantly sailed for by keelboat sailors and the nomination / invitation process is unclear. Classes with 4 Irish based boats at their national championships were invited and represented, but other classes with higher attendance figures were not invited (but were nominated). This year, 2 of the 16 invitees won their dinghy classes national championships and were invited - many dinghy class national champions were not invited to take part. Invitees included the 3rd placed and 8th placed helm from 2 dinghy classes but not winners of other dinghy class national championships.

all ireland sailing

Racing at the All Ireland Sailing Competition. Photo: Brendan Fogarty

Interestingly, on the Yachts & Yachting home page today, 10th October,  the ISA All Ireland Championship is included in the KEELBOAT NEWS section of the website. Of the 16 participants in this year event, 10 were invited from keelboat classes, one from multihulls, one as an Olympic invite and 4 from dinghy classes. Is this reflective of the current state of racing in the country? Perhaps it is. Is it reflective of the current state of dinghy racing in the country – I don't think so. The UK equivalent of the ISA All Ireland Championship is the highly prestigious 'Endeavour Trophy', sailed for by the winners of many dinghy national championships in the UK. No keelboats are invited. Is it time for a change? I don't know. Is it time for a debate......I believe so.

endeavourstart

A start at this year's Endeavour trophy. Photo: Sue Pelling

So why am I asking these questions? Is this 'sour grapes' on my part? – It looks like it! Am I just a disgruntled dinghy sailor with a chip on my shoulder – possibly! Do I think the process for taking part in the event is not equitable and transparent? - Yes. A number of people that I have spoken to feel the same way and have asked many of the questions that I ask here. I don't begrudge any of this years invitees the opportunity of taking part, but would like the ISA's process for issuing invites clarified. There should be a transparent and equitable process.

So...there is a background. Many years ago, I raced a variety of classes and sailed in the Helmsman's Trophy (as the All Ireland Championship was then called) as both helm and crew. It was always a prestigious event, with the majority of participants coming from dinghy classes. All of the previous winners have been talented racers, from a range of classes.

I returned to sailing three years ago and now race Wayfarers in my local club. Having won the national Championships in 2010, I was nominated for the All Ireland Championships. I was not invited and was informed by the ISA that the only reason was that the Wayfarers didn't use an ISA National Race Officer for their event. The Notice of Race makes it clear that championships should be run under the management of an ISA National Race Officer (although classes not in compliance with this provision may be included in a later draw for invitations). I clarified that this was the sole reason that the Wayfarer class did not get an invite and this was confirmed – fair enough – the ISA have rules and I now knew the process for the following year!

In 2011, the Wayfarer class sailed a joint UK and Irish National Championships as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta. This was a fantastic event, well, with 30 boats taking part. The Wayfarers were the biggest dinghy class, second biggest one design fleet (SB3s had a few more boats) and third biggest fleet (IRC 3) had a few more boats. Again, I won the Irish Nationals and was nominated to take part, but did not receive an invite. When I sought clarification, I was told that the Wayfarers only had three Irish boats competing in the fleet of 30, which is not the case. 11 Irish boats took part, including 3 from Greystones SC, one from Cullaun SC, one from Dun Laoghaire and 6 from East Down YC. Although the Wayfarer is affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association, it appears that the 6 boats from East Down YC are not classed as Irish boats, despite being members of the Irish branch of the Wayfarer association, affiliated to the ISA. This had not been an issue in 2010, when there was a larger contingent from EDYC in the Wayfarer nationals.

On the 29th September, the ISA website stated the following:

All Ireland Sailing Championships, Royal Cork's Nicholas O'Leary will not be defending the title when the 2011 event is sailed in two weeks time. Names of the 16 invitees, drawn from dinghy and keelboat classes, were published today. Among those attending is O'Leary's father Anthony representing Cruiser Class Zero and his Crosshaven club mate, the 2011 1720 National Champion Mark Mansfield, a past winner of the event.

Nicholas O'Leary is one of 12 invitees – either national champions or top ranked sailors – who are unavailable to attend. Only 16 of 28 invitees had accepted the invitation by last week's entry deadline.

I would like the ISA to give some clarity to a number of issues surrounding the Waterways Ireland ISA Sailing Championships.

I would like the following information:

What is the selection process for issuing invites to the nominated classes (and for determining which nominated classes will not be invited)? Who decides who is invited and what are the criteria for determining this?

Who were the 28 invitees mentioned on the ISA website? Were they all National Champions, who won their class championships (or were the top ranked sailor in the class)?

How many people were nominated, but did not get invites? What classes were these?

Are some classes 'weighted' i.e. is there a requirement for a class to have a certain number of entries at its nationals? Why would one class, with 5 boats at its nationals, get an invite, yet another class with higher attendance, not?

Why were some participants in the event invited, who did not win their national championships (GP14, Fireball), when other winners of national championships were not invited?

Did all of the invitees win a national championship that was run under the management of an ISA National Race Officer? How many invitees were nominated from classes who did not have their national championship run under the management of an ISA National Race Officer? If there were any, why were they nominated ahead of classes who used an ISA National Race Officer?

Why was the event changed from a 3 day to a 2 day event, when there were a number of nominees who had not been invited to take part? In recent years, participants have been aware that the event was run over three days.

The ISA should confirm (or otherwise) that all invitees who attended were nominated before the closing date for nominations and that invitees accepted their invite before the relevant closing date.

Why were classes who had made a nomination not informed that they would not be invited to the event?

How is the number of Olympic nominees determined?

I have been told by the ISA that next year the event will be limited to 16 invites, will be sailed in J80s and will be sailed over 2 days. It is entirely feasible that next year they may be additional Olympic invites, additional keelboat nominations (Puppeteer / Dragon / Etchells / J109 / Sigma / Shipman etc) further reducing the likelihood of active, small classes getting invited to the event. This year, there were no participants from the Laser / Radial / 4.7, 420, 505, Shannon One Design, Mirror, Topper, Topaz, Wayfarer, National 18s, Laser 2000, RS200 and 400. If all of these classes are keen to take part next year, it is inevitable that many top helms, from a range of classes will be unable to take part. Is this a fair way to determine who the 'All Ireland Champion' is?

I believe that the requirement for classes to run their national championships under the management of an ISA National Race Officer should be an aspiration rather than a requirement. It may be difficult for smaller classes to achieve this and there are many competent regional race officers available. If a sailor were to come through an event that was run by someone other than an ISA National Race Officer, and then get the experience of sailing in an event such as the All Ireland Championship, they will likely see the benefit of using more experienced and qualified race officers, but to make it a requirement of small classes, is, in my view detrimental to these classes who are trying to develop their class structure and racing.

Is it time to split the event? Should there be a dinghy and keelboat event? There have always been and always will be discussion surrounding the most appropriate boat to use and this discussion will roll on and on. There are probably lots of valid reasons for using one class or another, but from an outsiders perspective, there is a fleet of 26 TR3.6 dinghies in Schull, recently constructed for the World Team Racing Championships – would these be available for an All Ireland Championships?

The ISA does a lot of work, in a range of areas, and is funded by the Irish Sports Council to do so. According to the Irish Sports Council website, the ISA currently gets over €1 million from the Irish Sports Council, including over €550k is 'High Performance Funding' and over €300k in 'Core Funding'. Surely an organisation that relies so much on the public purse needs to be and appear to be more transparent and equitable in its operation?

I do believe that the All Ireland Championships, which to many is a highlight of the year (Champion of Champions), should have a clearly defined, equitable and transparent process for nominating and inviting helms to take part. This does not appear to have been the case in 2011 and the answers obtained from the ISA to date, combined with the information on the website, have been contradictory and unclear.

Trevor Fisher

Published in Your Say
Surfers have hailed the recent ruling by An Bord Pleanála that Clare County Council must reapply for planning permission for its proposed €6 million redevelopment of Doolin Pier.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, local surfers and the Irish Surfing Association (ISA) had expressed dismay over the current development plans – approved by the council earlier this year – which they maintain would result in the destruction of the "world renowned" waves at Doolin Point and Crab Island.
The Irish Times reports that the council must now resubmit its planning application and prepare and environmental impact statement (EIS) due to the potential impact on tidal and wave patterns in the area, setting back plans for at least a year.
The proposed scheme already has support from the local business community and the Doolin Coast Guard unit, which argues that congestion on the pier in peak tourist periods may interfere with rescue efforts.
A spokesperson for the West Coast Surf Club said that both it and the ISA were available "to meet with the council to progress a mutually agreeable design for the pier".
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Surfers have hailed the recent ruling by An Bord Pleanála that Clare County Council must reapply for planning permission for its proposed €6 million redevelopment of Doolin Pier.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, local surfers and the Irish Surfing Association (ISA) had expressed dismay over the current development plans – approved by the council earlier this year – which they maintain would result in the destruction of the "world renowned" waves at Doolin Point and Crab Island.

The Irish Times reports that the council must now resubmit its planning application and prepare and environmental impact statement (EIS) due to the potential impact on tidal and wave patterns in the area, setting back plans for at least a year.

The proposed scheme already has support from the local business community and the Doolin Coast Guard unit, which argues that congestion on the pier in peak tourist periods may interfere with rescue efforts.

A spokesperson for the West Coast Surf Club said that both it and the ISA were available "to meet with the council to progress a mutually agreeable design for the pier".

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Page 13 of 17

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