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Chairman of ISORA Peter Ryan sets out the 2011 programme for ISORA that kicks off on April 7th with an introductory evening on April 7th.

Spring has come and the days are getting longer. It is now time to be thinking about offshore racing again. The first race is on the 30th April from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead.

I attach again the latest Race Schedule, Notice of Race, Conditions and Entry Form for 2011. I also attach details of the proposed "Offshore Introduction" night for offshore racing on the 7th April. Even if you are experienced, you can add to the proceedings or just come for the reception after.

There is an extensive list of eleven races in the schedule. The types of race vary greatly to give a variety of racing experiences. There are Day Races, Night Races, Short Cross Channel Races, Medium Cross Channel Races, 100 mile Lyver Trophy Race and "The Dingle Skellig Hotel D2D" – Dingle Race. There is racing for IRC, IRC No Spinnaker and 2-handed classes.

This season, if the number of entries permits, we will be running a Classic Class in both Class 1 & 2. The boats eligible for the Classic Classes will be selected by the Sailing Committee before the start of the first race and the selection will be based on the boats performance / capability during the previous season. It is hoped that this will provide a much greater spread of prizes. The rating break for Class 1 and Class 2 will be decided at the same time.

The Race schedule has been carefully selected to ensure the maximum amount of sailing and social life is obtained. The usual "get together" will take place before and after each race. This season we have some additional attractions:

If desired, the race on the 28th May from Pwllheli to Wicklow can be followed by boats taking part in the "Turbine Race" (see www.arklowsc.com on Sunday 29th. This race starts and finishes in Arklow, 10 miles from Wicklow. This will allow the usual "get together" in Wicklow on Saturday evening and another one in Arklow on Sunday after the Turbine Race. This is the UK Bank Holiday weekend and will allow the UK boats time to return home on Monday!

After taking part in the "Dingle Skellig Hotel D2D Dingle Race" on the 11th June. Please note that a second separate entry to the NYC is required if taking part in this race in the series. After a few relaxing nights in Dingle, you can wander around to take part in the "ICRA Championships" in Crosshaven before making your way to Kinsale for the "Sovereign's Cup". The Dingle Race is a qulaifier race for the Fastnet Race.

The Lyver Race on the 1st July is a Feeder Race to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta from the 7th-10th July – a great few days sailing in Dublin Bay. This race is a RORC qualifier for the Fastnet Race. Again, seperate entry is required for the Liverpool Yacht Club sections of the event. 

The Sunday Race on the 14th August will take place directly after the start of the Solitaire du Figaro fleet from Dun Laoghaire. If possible we will set a course to follow the fleet down the coast. For visiting boats to Dun Laoghaire, the Figaro fleet will arrive in Dun Laoghaire on the Wednesday 10th August and there will be a festival in Dun Laoghaire for the couple of days to celebrate the event. There will be great craic in Dun Laoghaire for those days.

You may not have noticed but the ISORA website www.isora.org has been upgraded and will become very active this year. There is a "Crew Register" and a "Buy and Sell" section in the "Forum" page. I would encourage everyone to register for this facility and use it to get crew for races or for crew to get boats. Try the website out.

The "ISORA Introductory Evening" in the NYC on the 7th April. The purpose of this is to encourage those boats who are thinking of taking part in Offshore Racing by a series of talks about what is involved in this type of racing. I will also use this session to demonstrate the use of the new website's "Crew Register". I also hope to issue detailed instructions by email on the use of this facility. The session will be followed by a reception where people can solialise and relax. "Prof" O'Connell and Mick Liddy will be talking at the event. I will also be encouraging participation from the audience. It will be a great night so please come and bring a friend.

I look forward to receiving your entries very soon. I would appreciate it if you could also spread the good news about ISORA and Offshore Racing.

Published in ISORA

Two big names in Irish offshore racing are among the 30-boat fleet preparing for the Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011) this June. Last night the organisers, the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club, extended the deadline to enter the Race to March 31, 2011.

Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 from Dublin Bay and the Limerick Volvo 70 skippered by Ger O' Rourke's both make the entry list although the Shannon estuary's Chieftain is described only as a 'provisional' entry. For Entry list click HERE.

With the Transatlantic fleet now over 30 entries and many new inquiries following the success of the RORC Caribbean 600 - part of the companion Atlantic Ocean Racing Series - the organisers encourage those interested to enter the TR 2011 as soon as possible to secure a spot since the Notice of Race notes a maximum of 50 yachts for the race.

The TR 2011 will cover 2,975 miles from Newport, R.I., to the Lizard in England. The focus of pre-race activities will be the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, R.I. There will be three staggered starts from June 26 to July 3. The awards ceremony on August 9th and other post-race activities will be held at the Castle, the home of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England.

The fleet will include IRC Racing, IRC Racer/Cruiser, Classic and Open divisions with a minimum length overall (LOA) of 40 feet and no maximum. Competition is building within several segments of the diverse fleet, notably the 100' and up range which includes Sojana, Rambler 100, ICAP Leopard, and Maltese Falcon.

Tight racing is also expected in other classes and divisions, such as yachts in the under 50' range in IRC Racing and IRC Racer/Cruiser including the Class 40s - Concise 2, Dragon, and Kamoa'e, the Rogers 46s - Shakti and Varuna, as well as British Soldier ASA, Jacqueline IV, Sasha, Dawn Star, and Carina. For a complete list of entries click here.

All race documents are available HERE.

The TR 2011 is the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), and is organized in concert with the following clubs: Royal Malta Yacht Club, Annapolis Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Montego Bay Yacht Club, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Jamaica Yachting Association, Antigua Yacht Club and Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo.

Two races in the AORS have been completed: the Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race and the RORC Caribbean 600. The Pineapple Cup, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to Montego Bay, Jamaica, a distance of 811 miles, was won by Genuine Risk, a 97-foot canting keel super maxi skippered by Hugo Stenbeck. In the RORC Caribbean 600, George David's Rambler 100, took line and overall IRC honors and set the monohull record of one day, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 2 seconds for the course's 600 miles.

Published in Offshore

Forty entries are already in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, a fixture widely expected to be the biggest in Ireland this season when it sets sail on Dublin Bay in July.

Organisers are expecting up to 500 boats to keep it on a par with the 2009 event. The early entries, 11 weeks ahead of the entry deadline, is being taken as a thumbs up by competitors for the fun and vlaue theme of this year's VDLR.

So far 22 different clubs have entered from six countries. The bulk of the fleet is Irish but there are early entries from France, Isle of Man, UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. Another good turnout is exepcted from Liverpool and Holyhead for boats competing in the IRC Lyver Cup Race across the Irish Sea. Ten boats from the Clyde will also compete on the Bay.

Cork's Conor Phelan the skipper of Jump Juice is one of the first Royal Cork boats confirmed.

Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have also confirmed. Click HERE.

On the dinghy front, the Fireball class has confirmed it will be running an'Open Championship' within the regatta, an event that follows the class world championships in Sligo in June.

Published in Volvo Regatta

July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta has taken in 22 entries six months ahead of the first race. It's an encouraging figure that's on a par with the 2009 VDLR, the biggest regatta in Irish sailing that year.

The positive early response is an indication, says organiser Adam Winkelmann, that the 2011 fleet, should be a bumper one too when it sets sail on July 7th for the four day event.

The emphasis is again on providing quality racing over different courses each day but organisers are also aiming to live up up to the regatta's pre-event billing as a 'Mega Party'.

The event has opened a new website, a new Facebook page (with afloat.ie, so if you're a Facebook user please show your support and 'like it'). The regatta site is also featuring the youtube clip below of events on the bay two years ago.


So far entries received are spread across nine separate classes but it's a visiting Wayfarer fleet with eight boats named already that is setting the pace. The organisers are expecting up to 50 of the two man classic design for the class National Championships that's being staged as part of the regatta.

The notice of race (NOR) was published online in October and highlighted a reduced entry fee for 'earlybird entries'. Click HERE. or scroll down to download it as a PDF. If you participated in 2009 and entered online, this year you only need to enter your email address.

Three boats are entered in the non spinnaker class and another three in the Squib keelboat. Two entries have been received in both IRC 2 and 3.  

It's still too early for a table of bands to be decided but the organisers intend to give some indication of handicap break-ups as the entries build. The IRC bands will be in line with those laid down by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association.

Despite the fact the regatta's strength since 2007 is that it draws on the capital's own fleet of 400 boats it is in fact visitors from elsewhere on the east coast that are first in. East Down Yacht Club, for example, has four entries.

But locals are signing up too. Single entries have been received in the Mermaid, Beneteau 31.7, Dragon and IRC Zero classes.

Course areas are likely to stay the same according to principal Race officer con Muphy of the National YC. Th race team is Alan Crosbie - KYC, Peter Crowley - RCYC,
David Lovegrove - HYC, Harry Gallagher - HYC, Henry Leonard - RIYC, Jack Roy - RIYC and Con Murphy  - NYC. Mike Butterfield will head up the jury.

The organisers are on the look out for volunteers to assist in the run up to and during the country's biggest sailing event. In 2009 over 300 helped to make it the biggest participant sport event in the country after the city marathon, with over 3,500 sailors afloat. More details from Ciara in the event office HERE.

Published in Volvo Regatta

Today (7 January) Clyde Cruising Club, organisers of sailing's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series, announced exciting developments for the 2011 event. The Scottish Series will see a refreshed offering, both on the water and shoreside, benefitting competitors and spectators a like. The news will be of interest to members of ICRA,

The 2011 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series takes place over the bank holiday weekend from Friday 27 to Monday 30 May in Tarbert, Loch Fyne in the Clyde Estuary. Three race areas on the broad waters of the Loch will provide separate racing for IRC classes; One Design classes and CYCA classes (with and without spinnakers).

Clyde Cruising Club's main aim has been to provide fresh challenges for competitors, which has prompted changes including:
New courses for all fleets, providing variety to the standard windward/leeward course
The introduction of an Inshore Coastal (daytime) race for IRC classes which will take place during the weekend
Limitations to crew numbers
Some shore based start lines for the CYCA classes
Replacing the IRC sportsboats handicap starts with One Design class starts
2011 introduces a 'Laird of the Loch' event, an invitational competition between 2010 class winners in One Designs which will take place immediately before the Series on Thursday 26 May

Commodore John Watson, who takes over the role from Howard Morrison for the 2011 event, said "This is an exciting time for us, the event and the competitors. Over the last couple years we realised that the event needed rejuvenating and thought it was time to give it a bit of a shake up. Our main aim in changing the event has been to inject more fun and exciting elements of sailing to Tarbert.

"We hope that this refreshed offering will encourage more sailors from across the UK and further afield to consider entering the event and that past competitors will continue to return to the stunning waters of Loch Fyne."

Jamie Matheson, Chairman of Brewin Dolphin, title sponsors of the Scottish Series said "We have been sponsoring the Scottish Series for the past eleven years and think the proposed changes to the event format will offer something new and challenging for competitors."

"Clyde Cruising Club introduced these changes as a result of competitor consultation and it will be interesting to see how the developments influences sailing – it will no doubt make the event more enjoyable for all taking part."

Competitors are being encouraged to sign up early. Further details and race entry forms for this year's Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series are available now from the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series website.

Published in ICRA
French Manufacturer Beneteau, the world's largest production yacht builder is celebrating success in December's Sydney-Hobart race.

Following the historic success of 2009 when two FIRSTs occupied the first two places in the overall IRC and ORC rankings, the 2010 race has seen another Beneteau double as two Firsts won their class in the 600-mile offshore fixture.

True to its reputation, the 2010 race took place in extreme conditions with winds reaching 45 knots and the suspense maintaine right to the end.

The well-named FIRST 45 Victoire won the race in IRC2. The FIRST 40 Paca was the winner in IRC3.

The Irish agent for Beneteau is BJ Marine.

Published in Offshore
HOWTH YACHT CLUB. BRASS MONKEYS WINTER (RACE) 14/11/2010 Class 2 HPH: 1, Papillon B O'Halloran; 2, C'est la Vie Flannelly/Others; 3, Maximus P Kyne; Class 3 HPH: 1, Tobago Hanna/Others; 2, Runaway Higgins/Others; 3, Just Good Friends M Carroll; Class 1 Non Spinny HPH: 1, Thar Saile C O'Laoi; 2, Puffin Eile F & P Newport; 3, Demelza Ennis/Laudan; Class 3 Non Spinny HPH: 1, Sunchaser M Marr; 2, Hippocampus B O'Loughlin; 3, Midnight Sun Howard/Others. 
Published in Howth YC
The annual IRC Congress was held in Istanbul, Turkey over the weekend of 16 - 17 October.  Delegates from 18 countries reported on IRC activity in 2010 and plans for 2011. The IRC Technical Committee reported that the number of IRC rated boats in 2010 had held up to the same level as 2009, an excellent result in the continuing difficult economic times.  The news will be of interest to ICRA members.
Delegates considered 30 submissions for changes to IRC rules and processes. The most significant of these are:
- Rule 8.2.1 now requires that a boat holding a shorthanded certificate may not use her normal certificate for shorthanded races.
- New Rule 8.10 defines rated dimensions as maxima and minima and that a boat found during equipment inspection at an event to exceed any dimension is not in compliance with her certificate.
- Rule 21.8.1(c) is amended to limit the minimum size of headsail used by a boat rated for a single roller furling headsail.
- Rule 22.4 is amended by the deletion of old Rules 22.4.1, 22.4.3, 22.4.4 and 22.4.5. New Rule 22.4.2 now invokes Crew Number or alternatively maximum crew weight by default unless this is amended by a Notice of Race. Any event already including crew limitations in its Notice of Race will not need to do anything. However, any event which does not wish to enforce crew limitations will need to specifically say so in the Notice of Race. If a Notice of Race says nothing about crew, then IRC Crew Number or maximum weight will automatically apply. For further advice please go to the IRC website, www.ircrating.org.
Minutes of the IRC Congress and IRC Rules for 2011 will be posted on www.ircrating.org shortly.
Published in ICRA

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Union Nationale pour La Course au Large (UNCL), joint owners of the IRC rating rule, have been in discussion with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) about the possibility of creating a unified organisation to govern yacht ratings worldwide. This initiative to bring the world offshore rating systems together was endorsed by ISAF following its AGM in 2009 in Korea.

The intention is for RORC/UNCL and ORC to create a joint venture company which would run the existing rules, IRC and ORC and then in time, using the combined knowledge and resources, evolve new rating systems that combine the benefits of IRC and ORC to create fast, fun and seaworthy boats for unified competition all over the world.

Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC, working alongside Vice-Chairman Wolfgang Schaefer, are enthusiastic and confident about working with the RORC. "We appreciate the work and friendship with RORC and we believe it is finally time to get back to the IOR era and to the ORC founding spirit, when only one single rule was recognised as 'the international' rule in offshore sailing."

Chris Little, Admiral of the RORC, working with Commodore Andrew McIrvine agree that it is time to bring the development of rating systems under one umbrella.
"We have received strong support from a number of countries and potential owners to develop a rule that will allow us to recreate the international yacht racing circuit and we shall continue to work towards this goal."

Published in RORC

Details of the 2011 Sovereign's Cup were announced at a reception at Kinsale Yacht Club, hosted by Regatta Director, Gary Horgan. The Sovereign's Cup takes place from 22nd-25th June 2011 in the outer harbour of Kinsale which prides itself with excellent sailing conditions, as well as an extensive social programme ashore.
The Sovereign's Cup was established in 1995 as a biennial event and has been a very successful and hugely popular cruiser regatta, with over 140 boats from all over Ireland and the UK competing for the prestigious Sovereign's Cup for best all round score in IRC and The Portcullis Trophy for best progressive handicap.
There are many Classes for entry; including Class 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and two White Sails classes. Also, the Quarter Ton Class Championships will be taking place during the Sovereign's Cup, bringing many new visitors to Kinsale from the South of England and Wales in particular.
Eamonn Rohan in Blondie IV a Mills Design King 40, claimed the 2009 Sovereign's Cup as the 2009 Portcullis Trophy was awarded to Chapman / Reilly's Crazy Horse. Anchor Challenge captured Class 3-IRC and the Quarter Ton Class and was awarded the Keane's Jewellers Quarter Ton Perpetual Trophy.

DSCF0008

The Kinsale Yacht Club committee behind the 2011 Sovereigns Cup

"We have already received a number of entries for The 2011 Sovereign's Cup in June and we will be stepping up our sponsorship and communications programme as the months advance," said Gary Horgan, Race Director. "We are very grateful to Kinsale Yacht Club, the Race Management team and all the volunteers who get involved with the organisation of the Sovereign's Cup as we are working hard to organise an excellent programme both on and off the water. We are encouraging people to start thinking about their travel and accommodation plans and are delighted that the Cork Swansea ferry will enable more sailors to access Kinsale easily from the UK," he added.

Published in Sovereign's Cup
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