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Displaying items by tag: Sandefjord

There’s a small but sure glow of stardust in Dun Laoghaire Marina at the moment. Rugged stardust perhaps, but unmistakably genuine stardust nevertheless. The Norwegian gaff ketch Sandefjord, the quintessential Colin Archer-created rescue vessel of 1913 vintage which added ocean voyaging and global circumnavigation to her extraordinary life-path after she’d been retired from at-sea support and life-saving work for the national fishing fleet in 1935, is in port primarily to visit a legendary Dublin Bay seafarer who was on her crew when she sailed round the world in 1965-66.

Sandefjord is 15 metres (49ft) hull length and all boat, as her beam of 5 metres gives an unusually hefty 1/3 ratio. Her gaff rig is squat but powerful, while the scantlings of her hull construction are massive. Officially numbered R28 when built at Risor, she was the 28th redningsskoyte constructed for the Norwegian Lifeboat Society to Archer’s designs, and in 22 years of service was credited with saving 117 lives and guiding 258 vessels to safety, while also providing medical assistance as she was a miniature hospital ship.

Sandefjord sailing off Durban in February 1966 before departing on her world voyageSandefjord sailing off Durban in February 1966 before departing on her world voyage

Colin Archer (1832-1921), the Norwegian naval architect and shipwright of Scottish descent, was widely renowned for his successful yachts of which our own Asgard (1905) is now the best-known. But his sailing lifeboats had such a special cachet that even before they were replaced by powered craft in the 1930s, many clients had commissioned cruising yachts based directly on the classic rescue boat hull.

Through several ownerships, Sandefjord inspired special thoughts – this was from the time of Tilly Penso of Capetown, who owned Sandefjord for more than twenty years until his death in 1961.Through several ownerships, Sandefjord inspired special thoughts – this was from the time of Tilly Penso of Capetown, who owned Sandefjord for more than twenty years until his death in 1961

Nevertheless there was something special about seafaring in a genuine retired Colin Archer lifeboat, and they gradually spread across the world. But after thousands of miles of ocean sailing, many ended up in distant places in an abandoned and deteriorating condition.

Tobias Revold, owner of Sandefjord. Nowadays in Norway, ownership of a Colin Archer rescue boat is regarded as a sacred mission. Photo: W M NixonTobias Revold, owner of Sandefjord. Nowadays in Norway, ownership of a Colin Archer rescue boat is regarded as a sacred mission. Photo: W M Nixon

Fortunately a movement for their eventually re-patriation to Norway for restoration and active preservation through busily sailing began to develop, but along the way there were many side adventures, and one such - starting in South Africa in Durban in the 1960s - involved Ireland’s Tim Magennis.

We looked at it in some depth on Afloat.ie in 2013 here when Tim was President of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association as they were in the throes of organising one of the main events in the international OGA’s Golden Jubilee.

Tim has since very deservedly become an OGA Honorary Member, but this month the circumnavigation he made with his shipmates 56 years ago has been released as a full-length documentary on Youtube 

You’re strongly advised not to watch it if the approaching prospect of an Irish Autumn and Winter seems somewhat gloomily over-powering. However, for those who can’t resist at least thinking of the South Sea escape, it’s a reminder of a time when we all thought the world was a dangerous Cold War-dominated place, and yet life seemed so much simpler, something to be lived to the fullest and very much in the present, with little thought for tomorrow.

Tim Magennis on Sandefjord in the South Pacific in 1966, “being Jack Nicholson before Jack Nicholson was fully formed”.Tim Magennis on Sandefjord in the South Pacific in 1966, “being Jack Nicholson before Jack Nicholson was fully formed”

Thus we find that in the South Pacific islands in 1966, our own much-loved Tim Magennis mutated into a sort of prototype of Hollywood superstar Jack Nicholson some years before the complete Jack Nicholson Tinseltown persona had been been created. Since then, Tim has gone on through many successful roles, and yesterday in Dun Laoghaire aboard Sandefjord he was right in character as patriarch, father, grandfather, friend to many and admired by all as someone who has lived at least ten lives, and enjoys it all as much as ever.

Tim Magennis in 2013 as President of the Dublin Bay Old gaffers Association at the time of the OGA Golden Jubilee celebrations. Photo: W M NixonTim Magennis in 2013 as President of the Dublin Bay Old gaffers Association at the time of the OGA Golden Jubilee celebrations. Photo: W M Nixon

Tim Magennis back on board Sandefjord in Dun Laoghaire this week. Photo: W M NixonTim Magennis back on board Sandefjord in Dun Laoghaire this week. Photo: W M Nixon

Sandefjord in her restored form has been owned for some years now by Tobias Revold, and it was at the suggestion of Sean Cullen, the captain of Ireland’s national survey vessel and son of one of Tim’s shipmates on Sandefjord’s circumnavigation, that Sandefjord came for her first visit from Norway to Ireland.

Noted ship restorer Paddy Murphy of Renvyle with Sean Cullen. Photo: W M NixonNoted ship restorer Paddy Murphy of Renvyle with Sean Cullen

Sean himself has impeccable crewing credentials with the ship, as post-circumnavigation he sailed as a very youthful crewman when Sandefjord was voyaging from South Africa to her base for several years at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. But even so it took some serendipity to get it all together yesterday afternoon, yet it was clear something special was in the air at the entrance to Dun Laoghaire marina when the great Paddy Murphy of Renvyle in far Connemara, restorer of the legendary Manx nobby Aigh Vie and central to many other projects, arrived like me to pay our respects to a very special vessel and celebrate Tim Magennis’s links with her.

 The extensive flush deck was kept as clear as possible in the assumption that it would regularly be swept by heavily-breaking seas. Photo: W M NixonThe extensive flush deck was kept as clear as possible in the assumption that it would regularly be swept by heavily-breaking seas. Photo: W M Nixon

 With the original tiller steering restored, the only concession to a cockpit is a tiny steering well which is deep enough for the helmsman to crouch down in some shelter if the ship is swept by a really big breaker. Photo: W M NixonWith the original tiller steering restored, the only concession to a cockpit is a tiny steering well which is deep enough for the helmsman to crouch down in some shelter if the ship is swept by a really big breaker. Photo: W M Nixon

Aboard, we found former Cruising Association of Ireland longtime former Commodore John Leahy already being bowled over by the Sandefjord presence, for that’s the effect this very special vessel has on anyone who can grasp just what she means. With all due respect to the many fine yachts based in Dun Laoghaire Marina, she makes them seem slightly frivolous.

Despite Sandefjord’s enormous carrying power, Colin Archer took considerable trouble to keep the weight out of the ends, and the heavy anchor chain was led aft……Photo: W M NixonDespite Sandefjord’s enormous carrying power, Colin Archer took considerable trouble to keep the weight out of the ends, and the heavy anchor chain was led aft……Photo: W M Nixon

…..to a powerful windlass aft of the mainmast, and then lowered into a chain-locker abeam of the mast. Photo: W M Nixon…..to a powerful windlass aft of the mainmast, and then lowered into a chain-locker abeam of the mast. Photo: W M Nixon

Meanwhile, the sense of occasion was a-building towards the arrival of the Main Man. If you’re berthed on the furthest pontoon of Dun Laoghaire Marina, you’ve to walk for exactly one kilometre before you reach dry land. But though Sandefjord was berthed opposite the Irish Lights base and by no means as far away as she might have been, we of the osteo-arthritic brigade knew it was plenty far by the time we got there. However, Sean had thought of this for Tim, far and away the most senior of our brigade, and had organised a RIB to convey him from the marina gates to the scene of the action. Marina del Rey, how are you?

While Sandefjord is as authentic as possible above decks, some concessions to contemporary comfort have been made in her accommodation, but there are still signs of her original existence as a mini-Hospital Ship. Photo: W M NixonWhile Sandefjord is as authentic as possible above decks, some concessions to contemporary comfort have been made in her accommodation, but there are still signs of her original existence as a mini-Hospital Ship. Photo: W M Nixon

It turned out to be such a stylish mode of access that I couldn’t help but think of the arrival of herself in Antony & Cleopatra - “the barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne…purple the sails etc etc…”. But you have to understand that for anyone with the slightest knowledge of the Sandefjord story, with its links to Colin Archer and thereby to Asgard and much else, we were all going through a charisma-filled experience which is going to take quite a bit of processing over the next few days.

Tobias Revold and his crew will be preparing Sandefjord for departure through Thursday (August 18th), so Dun Laoghaire’s time with The Presence is limited. But if you happen to see her in the meantime, she deserves a pause for thought and respect.

Sandefjord has real charisma, she deserves a pause for thought and respect. Photo: John LeahySandefjord has real charisma, she deserves a pause for thought and respect. Photo: John Leahy

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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