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The Royal Irish Yacht Club's successful 'Home Together' series of virtual talks returns this Wednesday 27th January at 19:30hrs with Maurice “Prof” O’Connell.

O'Connell from North Sails Ireland never misses a Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) race with his customers unless he is out of the country.

Over the years, he has raced in 100's of DBSC races in everything from the biggest IRC Cruiser 0 yachts to the smaller one-designs. He has put together his "10 Top Tips for racing in Dublin Bay" which he will share with RIYC members and guests.

Commences 19:30hrs contact [email protected] to register.

Across the Atlantic by Inflatable & Other Ways to Get Wet with Enda O’Coineen

On Thursday, 4th February Enda O’Coineen reprises memories of his epic transatlantic solo voyage onboard his 16-foot inflatable, the Kilcullen just over 35 years ago.

Having first made landfall in Dunmore East, upon arriving finally in Dun Laoghaire, Enda promptly sold the Kilcullen. It subsequently changed hands several times before Enda finally bought her back and restored her, reviving memories of some extraordinary adventures, long submerged and almost deliberately forgotten.

Commences 19:30hrs contact [email protected] to register.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

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
Tagged under

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
Tagged under

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
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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.

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