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Displaying items by tag: Foynes

The National YC's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race of Wednesday, June 9th – just two days after such things became permissible on June 7th - may have been hailed here as "a spectacular pillar event to launch the 2021 Irish sailing season out of the pandemic penumbra". But the truth is that the season currently getting under way is more like a gentle tide flooding into a winding and shallow creek, rather than a sudden eruption of activity across a wide front.

As with the new tide, if you watch closely and persistently for things happening, you'll see little change. But if your focus switches elsewhere for a while, then look back again and you'll find real signs of things starting to happen, of development taking place and sailing centres coming more vibrantly to life with events which are in themselves a testing of the waters.

This sense of testing of the waters reflects a commendable maturity in the sailing community. Our sport manifests itself in so many ways afloat and ashore that it is simply impossible to devise rules about distancing and so forth which comply precisely with each and every requirement. Thus as each event takes shape, a substantial input of common sense is required to ensure that it optimizes the sport while minimising any infection hazard.

When the going gets tough….overall winner Nieulargo (Denis Murphy RCYC, left) and Pete Smyth's Sun Fast 3600 Searcher (NYC) getting their teeth into the early stages of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. Photo: Michael ChesterWhen the going gets tough….overall winner Nieulargo (Denis Murphy RCYC, left) and Pete Smyth's Sun Fast 3600 Searcher (NYC) getting their teeth into the early stages of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. Photo: Michael Chester

Of course we can claim that the hazard is decreasing on a daily basis. But no sooner is this assumed that some new twist arises, and having shared the battle for so long, it would be at odds with the remarkable overall cohesiveness of Irish society to flaunt the rules with blatant disregard, even if some very small sections seem to take a pleasure in doing so.

Thus although the D2D was indeed a spectacular event, it only impinged on landward life at the carefully regulated start and finish. For the rest of the time it was taking place in the very model of a healthy environment, sometimes with more fresh air than even the very keenest were looking for.

For those who don’t feel they have to spend nights at sea in order to get their necessary dose of fresh maritime air, mid-June also brought the Dragon South Coast Championship at Glandore for a cracking fleet of 19 boats, with Cameron Good of Kinsale and Neil Hegarty of Dun Laoghaire’s Royal St George YC on a tie break after six races, the break going in favour of the Kinsale skipper who saw his clubmate James Matthews taking third overall.

Meanwhile, in the upper reaches of Strangford Lough, Newtownards SC hosted the GP 14 Ulster Championship with Ger Owens of Royal St George, crewed by northern sailor Melanie Morris, winning overall, with second going to Ross and Jane Kearney while Shane McCarthy of Greystones was third, with the Silver Fleet topped by James Hockley while the Bronze went to Michael Brines.

Today (Saturday) sees the conclusion of the four day O'Leary Insurances Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale, and while inevitably there has been a shoreside element morning and evening, it has been happening with a manageable fleet – as ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell approvingly put it after considering the close Class 1 results: "It's great to be back in Kinsale, and there's a quiet buzz about the place - as it should be with the restrictions and the smaller numbers."

Jump Juice (Conor Phelan) and Freya (Conor Doyle) make a neat call on the start in Day 2 of the Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale. Photo: Robert BatemanJump Juice (Conor Phelan) and Freya (Conor Doyle) make a neat call on the start in Day 2 of the Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale. Photo: Robert Bateman

This weekend sees the pace continue its incremental increase, with locally emphasized events on all coasts. Across in Connacht, the new popularity of the very ancient Cong to Galway Race down Lough Corrib hopes to see the recent day's better weather of the west continuing. And although defending champion Yannick Lemonnier was reported yesterday as being safe in Lampaul, that extraordinary bay on the west coast of Ouessant, with the mast of his MiniTransat boat down around his ears, it wouldn't surprise us at all if he somehow still turned up for the start, but in his absence his able young son and regular crew Sean might be making alternative arrangements under the radar.


Currently, it's largely a question of keeping things local, and there's nothing more utterly local than the Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club's annual At Home on the north shores of Dublin Bay. It's an event that goes back most of the way to the club's founding in 1875, but last year's on-off lockdowns affected Clontarf more than any other club.

This is because their substantial and growing cruiser-racer fleet is entirely dependent on drying moorings in the Tolka Estuary, just across the main shore road from the club. Thus any activity afloat involves much communal to-ing and fro-ing in a decidedly busy neighbourhood. So CY & BC had to take it on the chin, and their cruisers stayed ashore for the entire season last year, even if a spot of dinghy sailing was possible in times of eased restriction.

Sean Langan, Commodore of Clontarf Y & BC, led his cruiser fleet afloat this year at the earliest permitted opportunity. In 2020's lockdown, the Clontarf fleet – all of which lie to drying moorings – had to stay ashore out of commission. Photo: Courtesy CY&BC)   Sean Langan, Commodore of Clontarf Y & BC, led his cruiser fleet afloat this year at the earliest permitted opportunity. In 2020's lockdown, the Clontarf fleet – all of which lie to drying moorings – had to stay ashore out of commission. Photo: Courtesy CY&BC)  

However, this year, as soon as the official signs were favourable, Commodore Sean Langan and his members heaved their fleet afloat in a choreographed operation involving two cranes, and today (Saturday, June 26th) is the Clontarf At Home, with the IDRA 14 dinghies launching into their 75th Anniversary Year, while the Howth 17s race round the Baily from their home port in a precisely-timed race to optimise the day's high water and provide good racing for an ancient class which is pushing towards having twenty boats in full commission.

The 1898-founded Howth 17s – seen here in the Lambay Race on June 12th - are gradually pushing towards their full number of 20 boats for the 2021 season. Photo: Patricia NixonThe 1898-founded Howth 17s – seen here in the Lambay Race on June 12th - are gradually pushing towards their full number of 20 boats for the 2021 season. Photo: Patricia Nixon


In all, it's a celebration of local sailing in local classes, and time was when the Glens from Dun Laoghaire used to come across the bay to Clontarf as well. Who knows, it may happen again, as the 1947-vintage 25ft Mylne-designed Glens are having a revival with some boats undergoing very extensive restorations, a topic to which we'll return in the near future.

Meanwhile, one of the restored boats, Ailbe Millerick's Glenluce, made her re-vitalised debut last Saturday in some style to take a win. Admittedly it was with the formidable imported talent of John Duggan on the helm while the owner sweated away at working the pit, making the mistake of doing it so efficiently that it could well become a regular position……..

The newly-restored 25ft Glen OD Glenluce (Ailbe Millerick) on her way to winning her first race of 2021 last Saturday in Dublin BayThe newly-restored 25ft Glen OD Glenluce (Ailbe Millerick) on her way to winning her first race of 2021 last Saturday in Dublin Bay

Of course, when it comes to 2021's sailing revival, the sheer weight of numbers in the greater Dublin region means that significant fleets can quickly be assembled, and there could well be thirty boats gathering in Dublin's River Liffey today for the final meet of the Cruising Association of Ireland's pop-up East Coast rally, which has ranged between Skerries and Arklow.

The Cruising Association of Ireland rallying in the heart of Dublin. Photo: W M Nixon   The Cruising Association of Ireland rallying in the heart of Dublin. Photo: W M Nixon  

As for competitive sailing, weekly racing numbers in the Dublin Bay Sailing Club programme at Dun Laoghaire regularly chime in at comfortably more than a hundred boats and counting, but in the current climate, that's something to be carefully monitored rather than shouted from the rooftops.

Nevertheless, if you happen to be on a Dun Laoghaire rooftop, every Wednesday evening reveals an increasing fleet of Water Wags out racing. Their best turnout so far this year was 26 boats on Bloomsday, the 16th June, but with 50 boats now registered with racing numbers, it's surely only a matter of time before they manage an evening with 40 boats, as they topped the 30 mark turnout three years ago.

The Water Wag fleet blossoming for Bloomsday, June 16th, with 26 boats racing. They should top the 40 turnout in one race for the fist time ever in 2021.The Water Wag fleet blossoming for Bloomsday, June 16th, with 26 boats racing. They should top the 40 turnout in one race for the fist time ever in 2021.


The quiet putting-through of a first racing event was seen last weekend at Foynes, where the J/24s assembled in socially-distanced groups for their seasonal starter, the Southern Championship. That said, trying to be socially-distant anywhere near the notoriously-hospitable Foynes Yacht Club is almost an impossibility – after all, even the family dog goes out on the big committee boat with visiting race Officer Derek Bothwell - but it seems to have been a largely health-compliant happening.

The J24s start their 2021 Irish season with last weekend's Southerns at Foynes, and overall winner Headcase (4547) narrowly getting the best of it. Photo: Foynes YCThe J24s start their 2021 Irish season with last weekend's Southerns at Foynes, and overall winner Headcase (4547) narrowly getting the best of it. Photo: Foynes YC

Thus when we suggested to Cillian Dickson - helm of the winning boat Headcase with all-Ireland crew of Ryan Glynn, Louis Mulloy and Sam O'Byrne - that they might have been over-celebrating on Saturday night with a scorecard of straight wins all through Saturday as against a couple of seconds on Sunday, he earnestly demurred, assuring us that the opposition was just a little bit less rusty on Sunday, and he expects them to be competition-honed by the Nationals in Sligo on August 6th-8th.

Truly, today's young sailors are a very serious lot. Time was when the Enterprise dinghy was all the rage throughout Ireland, and it was a fact of life in the class that the Saturday night leaders in any two-day regional championship simply wouldn't figure in Sunday's racing, so easily would they have been led completely astray by their attentive classmates in celebrating their initial points lead.

At Foynes, everyone rallies round to support the race team. Photo: FYCAt Foynes, everyone rallies round to support the race team. Photo: FYC

Published in W M Nixon

Following an onshore briefing at 11am, a fleet of 118 Optimists headed on to the water for Day 1 of the Optimist Connaught Championships 2016 at Foynes Yacht Club. Lack of wind and very poor visibility due to constant heavy drizzle caused a postponement as the race committee monitored conditions for a pick-up in the wind to counteract the 3 knots of tide on the course.

Prevailing light winds of between 1.5 – 3.5 knots which were no match for the strong ebbing tide led to a long postponement with hopes of getting at least one race in. At 4.20pm, having consulted the Coaches, Safety team and other on the water team members, the Race Committee made a final decision to abandon racing for the day. A more promising forecast for tomorrow should mean at least 3 races for the Main Fleet, first gun is scheduled for 10.25am.

The Regatta fleet of 26 boats managed to successfully complete 4 races as their racing zone was well in out of the tide. Full results can be found on the Iodai website: Here’s to a great day of racing tomorrow for the 2nd and final day of the 2016 Connaughts.

Published in Optimist

#foynesairshow – One of the largest search and rescue (SAR) training exercises ever undertaken in Ireland will open the 2015 Foynes Air Show on Sunday, 26th July.

The Irish Air Corps, Naval Service (LÉ Samuel Beckett), Irish Coastguard, and Search and Rescue teams from all over the country will carry out their annual exercise in front of the estimated 15,000 people expected to attend the second annual air show.

Hosted by Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, the Air Show will also feature aircraft displays from across Europe, along with some of the world's top aerobatic pilots.

Among the aircraft taking to the skies over West Limerick and the Shannon Estuary will be a Russian Mini MiG, authentic World War Two aeroplanes, a Hawker Hunter fighter, a P51 Mustang and James Bond's BD-5 Micro-Jet. Meanwhile, Aer Lingus' first plane, the Iolar, will be flying in formation for one of the first times ever at a public display with three de Havilland Chipmunks in Air Corps colours.

The Air Show will also feature the world's only formation wingwalking display team, The Breitling Wingwalkers who will perform a sequence of formation loops and rolls while wingwalkers perform acrobatics on the wings.

The Air Show, which gets underway at 1pm and continues until 6pm, will also feature live music, food stalls and children's entertainment. Organisers say that Park and Ride services will be provided throughout the event to enhance access to and from the Air Show site

The Foynes Air Show was first held in 2014 when the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum marked the 75th anniversary of the first transatlantic commercial passenger flight that took place to the Flyingboat base, located 23 miles from Limerick City.

"We look forward to hosting a thrilling and exciting Air Show of an international standard which will feature even more aircraft and participants than our hugely successful inaugural show in 2014," commented Margaret O Shaughnessy the Director of Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum.

"Foynes has a strong association with international aviation and has the world's only Flying Boat Museum featuring the world's only replica of B314 flying boat. The Air Show not only provides a wonderful day out for aviation enthusiasts and people of all ages but it also celebrates Foynes' historic place in world aviation history," she added.

Gerry Humphreys, Foynes Air Show Director said: "We are very excited to bring this free air show to Foynes again this year. We would like to thank our many sponsors without whose support this event would not be possible."

Aircraft taking part in the 2015 Foynes Air Show include:

Cold War Russian Aircraft - The Somerset-based Yakovlevs will perform a specialist airborne display team flying authentic cold war Russian war-bird aircraft in precise combinations of tight formations and aerobatics, high-speed passes and crosses.
BD5 - Made famous in the opening sequence of the James Bond film, Octopussy, the BD5 is a single-seat homebuilt aircraft created in the late 1960s by US aircraft designer Jim Bede
Sukhoi Su-26 - A single-seater aerobatics plane from the former Soviet Union, flown by ond of Ireland's top aerobatic pilots and engineers Dave Bruton
Hawker Hunter - A UK jet fighter flown by highly experienced former RAF Harrier pilot and Airbus Captain Andy Hill
Christen Eagle - Described as a true sports car of the sky, the 2-seat Eagle flown by Andrew Fenton will perform aerobatics
CAP 231 – Top Aerobstic Pilot Eddie Goggins "The Flying Dentist" returns to Foynes to fly an aircraft designed for competition aerobatics
Aviatika-MAI-890 (Mini-MiG) – 21 year old Pilot Harry Humphreys will fly his Aviatika-MAI-890, a pod-and-boom, pusher configuration biplane designed and built by the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) in Russia in the 1980s
RV4/8 - UK-based Team Raven will perform a 5-ship RV4/8 Aerobatic formation display
Vans RV7 - Gerry Humphreys and Eddie Goggins, known collectively as AerDynamics, are the first ever Irish civilian aerobatic formation team and will be flying the versatile Vans RV7 and the Cap 231 in a unique display of low level formation aerobatics and exciting head-on passes.

Killorglin based Approved Productions are the event managers for the upcoming Air Show, which is being supported and sponsored by Limerick City and County Council, The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Avolon, Wild Atlantic Way, Shannon Foynes Port Company, Irelandia Aviation, AerCap, Air Contractors, Rusal Aughinish and CPL Fuels.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#foynesyachtclub – After a late start getting the boats launched, the members of Foynes Yacht Club made the most of the month of May on the water, despite the mixed conditions. 
The sailing season kicked off with the annual Cruise to Limerick for the Limerick Riverfest on the May Bank Holiday weekend where 9 cruisers headed off to spend the weekend in the city. The oppie fleet travelled by road to meet them and the young sailors, aged 8 - 14yrs, braved the cold, rain & wind to go for a sail in the city. The cruise in company spent two nights in Limerick docks and had their annual catch up and a few drinks with the Inland Waterways Cruising Club and took in many of the activities going on for the Riverfest.
Commodore's Day was a family affair as Darragh McCormack took 1st place in IRC on his J24 Maximus, while his sister Mary won the dinghy race in the morning and followed that up with a win in the cruiser race in White Sails on their Dufour 35, Alpara. No nepotism involved, honestly! The Competent Crew Course run by Alan McEniff which started with a dry sailing evening in April with 16 participants continued throughout the month during the May Series on Wednesday evenings. Darragh kept the trophy cabinet full by also taking 1st place in IRC for the May Series while Tom Murray, who was relishing the heavy winds, was 1st in White Sails on his Kerry Sloop, Kerry Dream.
The Estuary Rugby Club had their end of year prize giving ceremony in the clubhouse early in the month. The young rugby players also got a taste of sailing as many of the cruiser fleet turned up to take them out in what started out a pleasant enough 15kts westerly before a squall bringing 35kt winds and lashing rain passed through. Luckily enough all the visiting crews were safely ashore by then. After a BBQ (& the rain), the point outside the clubhouse was turned into a rugby pitch for a game of tag rugby. The rugby club extended an invitation to the members for a follow up game at their club.... but I think I'de rather be out in the 35kt winds!!! The local St Senan's Youth Club also concluded their season by bringing about 70 youngsters down to the club for a sail around Foynes Island. For a change the sun peaked its head out & we had a lovely 12-15kts NW, just right for a nice leisurely sail & it was back to the clubhouse after that for another BBQ. Again, many thanks to all the boat owners who made their boats available and gave up their time to take our visitors out. These were two particularly enjoyable evenings in the club and it's great to see so much integration amongst the different clubs in the community.
The dinghy fleet returned to the club after participating in an April Series in Tralee Bay Sailing Club and the TBSC Spring Regatta in early May. FYC held its own Open Dinghy Event on the 3rd weekend in May in 15-18kts WNW breeze with 27 entries. 1st place for Adults in the Open Dinghy Fleet went to Tadgh O'Loinsigh from TBSC while Paddy Cunnane from DSC took 1st in the Junior fleet. 1st in the Oppies went to David McDaid from FYC.
The month concluded with the Munster Mermaid Championships. FYC will host the Mermaid National Championships in August so this was an opportunity for visiting boats to get some practice in local waters before the main event. There were 19 entries with three races scheduled over two days and as anyone who ventured out on the June Bank Holiday weekend knows, conditions were very challenging! Day one brought cold & very blustery 20-25kts winds gusting over 30kts and so the fleet was much depleted by day two which brought saw even stronger winds and even more nasty squalls! 1st place went to Paddy Dillon on Wild Wind (couldn't have been more aptly named!), Darragh McCormack (another trophy!) was 2nd on Innocence and Jim Carthy was 3rd on Vee.
Sailing will continue every Wednesday in June. First gun 1925. Let's hope for better and more consistent weather!

Published in Shannon Estuary

#CruiseCallers – A pair of cruiseships from the high-end of the luxury market, are to visit the Shannon Estuary with calls to Foynes Port in the 2015 season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to Shannon Foynes Port Company, the cruise calls will both take place in May with Compagnie du Ponant's mega-yacht styled cruiseship Le Boréal followed within the same week by the six-star Silver Whisper.

Le Boréal only takes a maximum of 264 passengers pampered in luxurious and intimate surroundings from the hand of French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. The 142m vessel built by Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri has up to 132 cabins and all are outside.

The leadship of a quartet was rewarded 'Best New ship of the Year 2010' by the European Cruiser Association.

Silver Whisper, a Millenium class vessel of the SilverSeas Cruises accommodates for 382 guests. The operators of 28,258 tonnes cruiseship, offers a highly individualized service.

The floating resort includes shopping experiences to that of a boutique hotel. In The Telegraph - Ultratravel 100 Awards, the company were awarded 'Best Small Luxury Cruise Line' 2014.

Published in Cruise Liners

The September series of racing concluded at Foynes Yacht Club on Sunday last writes Gerry Ryan.

The south-easterly wind with 15 knots of breeze ensured that superb racing took place east of Foynes Island. The Officer of the Day, vice commodore, James McCormack set a challenging course for the competitors. In Class 1 the boats raced to the 8 metre mark and back down to Sturamus and back up river to the 8 metre and back to the club finish line.

In the White Sails division the boats were sent to the 8 metre mark and down to Sturamus and home. In Class 1 Darragh McCormack in Maximus received the Dan O'Sullivan Cup; second was Dis-A-Ray, with Ray McGibney at the helm, and third was Battle with John-Paul Buckley as skpper. In the White Sails division, Pat Finucane in Marengo received the John Maher Cup; while Kerry Dream with Commodore Tom Murray on the helm.

The October series for Mermaids will be starting on Sunday next with first gun at 1pm. Racing will take place for the three Sunday's in October and on the Monday of the October bank holiday weekend.
Skipper and crews are asked to be at the clubhouse at 12noon on Sunday for a briefing.

The Royal Western Yacht Club will be hosting the annual October series from next Sunday. Details on this event are available on

Published in Shannon Estuary

#sailforcancer – Two Foynes Yacht Club (FYC) Sailors on the Shannon Estuary, Chris Egan and Dave Bevin, will sail around Ireland this summer to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
Both men are facing their own personal Cancer challenges and are determined to do something positive to support the amazing work currently being done by the Cancer Society in Ireland.
Over the summer months, the voyage around Ireland will cover up to 1200 nautical miles and the sailors will be visiting over thirty coastal safe havens, keeping the average distance per day sailed to around 40 nautical miles.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution are collaborating closely on the planning of the trip the yacht "Inizi" is a 30ft Jeanneau Rush and is currently on the hard stand at FYC and being prepared for the trip.
The yacht will undergo a full RNLI Sea Safety Check before launch.  The two intrepid voyagers are experienced coastal and offshore sailors and a third crew spot will be filled in rotation by the members of Foynes Yacht Club as the journey progresses.
A promotion and fundraising organisation will be in place to support the crew of Inizi and will be coordinated by Foynes Yacht Club, the Irish Cancer Society and the RNLI.
This website will be the key hub for all fundraising and communication.
The sailors will publish on the webpage a Cruising Log of each leg.  This will give an entertaining and detailed account of the journey and will be of interest to anybody who might take such a trip in the future or indeed to anybody who might simply like to enjoy reading about the experiences of a crew of small boat sailors making their way around the amazing Irish Coast.

Email: [email protected] Mobile 087 2264661

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Kilrush RNLI launched on Thursday afternoon (21 February) after pagers were set off by Valentia Coast Guard to the Foynes area, where it was reported that a boat had lost engine power with five people on board.

Within minutes the crew assembled and set out to the location to investigate. Within 25 minutes they located the vessel and quickly set up a long tow. Tides were running and weather conditions were reaching force 7 to 8.

For their safety the five men were taken on board the lifeboat, while a lifeboat crew member was transferred onto the casualty vessel to oversee the tow. On establishing that the men were fine, the lifeboat proceeded to Tarbert Pier. At this stage the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also on scene.

Within an hour the Kilrush RNLI lifeboat reached Tarbert Pier, where the lifeboat crew assisted the men in tying up their vessel.

Lifeboat helm Tom Blunnie praised the work of his crewmen in this rescue, stating that “under such conditions it’s great to know that our training pays off when calls like this occur.”

The crew on the day were helm Tom Blunnie, Pauline Dunleavy, Fintan Keating and Charlie Glynn.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Shannon - The Shannon Foynes Port Company has launched its master plan for the development of port infrastructure and services along the Shannon Estuary.

RTÉ News reports on the 30-year plan, titled Vision 2041, which will involve the construction of a new deepwater birth at Foynes, the development of warehousing and facilities across 300 acres of additional land - and the potential reopening of the Foynes-Limerick railway line, which has lain dormant since 2001.

As one of the deepest waterways in Europe, the estuary is also in prime position to take advantage of the new 'post-panamax' supertanker shipping era, and talks on securing future foreign direct investment as a priority.

As previously reported on, submissions for the accompanying strategic plan for the development and management of marine-related industry and tourism in the Shannon Estuary region closed last week.

The Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, the first of its type to be developed in Ireland, identifies a number of strategic sites along the estuary for future possible development in the areas of industry, tourism, energy, fishing and aquaculture and marine-related industry.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#foynes – The Foynes Flying Boat Museum took a major step toward receiving full accreditation from the Heritage Council under a programme that aims to raise minimum standards in the sector.

The County Limerick tourist attraction, which entered the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) in 2010, was presented with interim accreditation by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan at a ceremony in the Architectural Archive in Dublin this week. Minister Deenihan said the accreditation was being presented for excellence in caring for the collection, museum management, education, exhibitions and visitor services.

Administered by the Heritage Council, the voluntary programme includes seven categories consisting of 34 standards, 25 of which are interim standards and nine are full. Nationally to date,15 museums have achieved full accreditation and 10 have received interim accreditation.

'Museum Standards for Ireland, working towards the care of Ireland's heritage, certify Foynes Flying Boat Museum has been awarded Interim Accreditation in the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland

Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Cllr. Jerome Scanlan congratulated the staff and Board of Foynes Flying Boat Museum for their continued efforts to further enhance the West Limerick museum's status as one of Ireland's leading visitor attractions.

"In receiving this accreditation, the management and staff of the Museum have once again underlined their commitment and creative approach to remembering and celebrating Limerick's and Ireland's unique position in aviation history. As a result, the story that this museum first told remains as fascinating today as it did when the facility was established in 1989," stated Cllr. Scanlon.

He added: "From the installation of the replica Yankee Clipper to the completion of works on the reinstated control tower, those involved with the Museum have helped to conserve and protect a key part of the history and heritage of the local area. Limerick County Council is committed to continuing its support for a project that has produced huge dividends for the local economy and the tourism product that County Limerick has to offer."

Reacting to the news, Museum Director Margaret O'Shaughnessy said: "I'm absolutely delighted we have achieved this accreditation. It presents further recognition of the quality museum that is operated by staff and the Board of Directors. It is especially pleasing that we have secured interim accreditation under the MSPI less than two years after we commenced our participation in the programme."

Ms. O'Shaughnessy explained that the Museum will seek to receive full accreditation before the end of 2013.

"The 25 interim standards that we have already achieved are wide ranging and have helped to further enhance the product on offer at the museum. They include a strategic management plan for next three years, a financial plan, safeguarding the condition of the museum collection, the cataloguing of the collection, presentation of collections, development of community education initiatives, and the development of a comprehensive visitor care and access plan."

Last March, the Museum launched the country's First National Aviation Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Tony Ryan, who as founder of Guinness Peat Aviation became the museum's first sponsor, was the first recipient of the National Aviation Award.

Published in Shannon Estuary
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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