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Displaying items by tag: Match Racing

#corkharbour – Today the waters of Cork harbour saw the commencement of the first leg of the series to decide the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Championship writes Claire Bateman

The initial stages of the competition started today with a Round Robin series where each skipper is scheduled to sail against each other skipper once and from there the top eight skippers will move on to the quarter finals from whence they will move on to semi finals, petit finals and the final. Racing will take place on this basis until Sunday, June 8th. By this stage one hundred and thirty one on one races will have been sailed.

A perfect June sailing morning with some 14 to 18 knots of North Westerly breeze going more towards the west as the day progressed, greeted the competitors on their arrival at the Royal Cork Yacht Club . With International Race Officer Peter Crowley in charge racing got under way on time. As forecast, some squally showers were experienced and provided some thrills and spills for both competitors and spectators.

Among the 13 international teams representing eight nations are two Irish entries skippered by Laura Dillon from Howth Yacht Club and Mary O'Loughlin from Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin. The first race was between Dillon's Team Ireland 1 and Team Sweden 2 skippered by Caroline Sylvia. The first day nerves settled quickly and Dillon's team matched Team Sweden 2 on their every move. Team Ireland 1 crew Maria Coleman (ex-Irish Olympian) commented "The day was challenging for everyone, ensuring you gained the maximum of your upwind boat speed however this let us down a little today, but we know we have the pre- starts nailed". Unfortunately a mighty broach by Dillon cost the Irish team the race and it took some time to rectify.

Team New Zealand skippered by Claudia Pierce and crewed by her newly recruited Irish team mates had a sparkling day. "We had a great pre start against Anne Claire Le Berre's Team France pushing her out and making her do penalty turns at the start. This let us get away and sail clean for the race".

However, it was the two Danish teams that dominated the day. World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm and World #4 Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen ensured straight wins for all of their respective races. They were followed closely by Stephanie Roble of the USA with only one loss of the day

Forecast for tomorrow (Thurs) is for 10 to 14 knots from the south east.

Event organisers had planned a 'Sail in the City' festival for this Friday (06 June) but due to the forecast of heavy rain and strong winds the decision has been made to cancel the event.

All results provisional


Published in Match Racing

#matchracing – Two womens team are to go forward from three entries at last weekend's Irish trials for the the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in June.  After a short notice event in Howth last weekend Mary O'Loughlin (and her team of Karena Knaggs, Lynn Reilly and Niamh McDonald) Laura Dillon (and her team of Maria Coleman, Carol O'Kelly and Breffni Jones) are to go forward for the invitation only event. As hosts Ireland is fortunate to benefit from two wild card invitations after one foreign team set for Cork pulled out of the event.

The J80 racing was tight and wind conditions were windy, approximately 15-20 knots from a westerly direction. Racing started with full rig and spinnakers, but, with the wind increasing  races 2 and 3 were raced without spinnakers.

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds which will be hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club, from 3-8 June 2014.

Published in Match Racing

#matchracing – Ireland has been granted two wild card places at the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships to be held at Royal Cork Yacht Club from the 3rd - 8th of June 2014.

In order to select teams following earlier selection issues, a Selection Committee composed of Cxema Pico, Brian Mathews and Gordon Davies has been appointed. The committee was requested by the ISA to decide on the process to select the skippers (and teams) that will deliver the best result for Ireland at this event, and to be as fair as possible to all of applicant skippers.

Initially four skippers had expressed an interest, although only three have confirmed that they are available for selection. It was agreed, by both selectors and competitors, that the most appropriate way to choose between the sailors would be out on the water. The selection trials will be sailed in Howth this Sunday the 13th of April, using the same J80s that will be used for the World Championships.

The three candidates are :

Laura Dillon was the only female winner of the Senior Helmsmans Championship in 1996, Bronze Medallist at the 1996 ISAF Youth Worlds and, having competed in match racing she was at one time in the top 20 ranked female match racers, and is current Irish Women's Match Racing Champion (last sailed in 2010). Her crew includes double Olympian Maria Coleman.

Diane Kissane is a 470 sailor and current captain of the Trinity College sailing team Diane was 2008 Irish Laser 4.7 champion and won the 2009 Junior Helmsmans. Her crew all have recent team racing experience, including member so of this year's IUSA championship winning team, and have all represented Ireland at the Student World Yachting.

Mary O'Loughlin was the 1997 Mirror Ladies World Champion. She was a keen match racer here and abroad when the Irish circuit was developing in the mid 2000's. She has also extensive experience sailing an Etchells. Her crew is an interesting mix of keelboat sailors and dinghy/team racers.

Based on the results of next Sunday's competition the Selection Committee will recommend two skippers to the for selection.

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#matchracing – Laura Dillon sailing with Olympic helmswoman Maria Coleman were the winners of the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) hosted Invitational Match Racing event in aid of the Nathan Kirwan Trust in the heart of the Cork city on the River Lee.

Six teams competed including University College Cork, University Limerick, Cork Institute of Technology and Baltimore and Howth Ladies all battling it. The event was raced in 1720 Sportsboats with a crew of 5 per boat.

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#isaf – Following this morning's news in the Irish Times that the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has reversed a decision to fill the host nation's wild card place for the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship on Cork Harbour in June, Match Racing Ireland has urged organisers to consider the Irish skipper that missed the deadline for an invitation should one become available.

Controversy blew up after the nominations process allowed just eight days and that January 29th deadline expired with just one nomination received, the Irish Times reports.

The four-day event will be held in the J80s at Royal Cork Yacht Club, from June 3rd to 8th. 16 teams of a helm and three crew will be invited to enter as Afloat reported earlier this month.

After protests on the matter, the board of the ISA met on Monday and set aside the process. A sub-committee has been formed to re-open a nomination process and hold trials if necessary.

A statement from Ric Morris of Match Racing Ireland received this morning states:

"Nomination for international representation is the soul responsibility of the ISA. The NOR for the event also makes it clear that the wild card invitations for the event will be decided on by a combination of the ISA and ISAF.

The ISA is under no obligation to but often asks Match Racing Ireland to propose a team and they made contact on the 21st January regarding the ISAF Womens Match Racing World Championships and ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championships.

We agreed to put out a public request for teams to come forward and settled on a date that would allow the OA to issue an invitation to the womens team at the same time as the other competitors. A request, including the deadline, was posted on the ISA website and the Match Racing Ireland Facebook page and Afloat kindly carried the same notice for us.

Two teams had been tracking the events in question and came forward almost immediately with fully formed teams. For the Youth Worlds, Match Racing Ireland has proposed Phil Bandon and we understand that the ISA intends to put him forward for the event.

For the Womens Worlds a team of Royal Cork sailors who have been successfully competing in team racing came forward and where proposed by Match Racing Ireland. The ISA confirmed back to the team that they would inform ISAF and the OA of the proposal.

2 days after the deadline a well known and respected skipper came forward and expressed an interest in doing the event. In fairness to the team that had complied with the original request and given that the skipper them selves acknowledged that they did not have a team in place and had missed the deadline Match Racing Ireland did not feel that it was in a position to change its proposal. How ever, given the experience helm in question, it was suggested that, although they where under no obligation to do so, the proposed team considered combining forces.

If any of the invitations issue by the OA are declined they have the discretion to issue an invite as they see fit. Match Racing Ireland has made it clear to the ISA, ISAF and OA that they would be very keen for the skipper that missed the deadline to get an invitation should one become available.

We've had no further involvement in this matter"

Published in Match Racing

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Circuit arrives in Cork Harbour from June 3rd to 8th, 2014 and will be hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Claire Bateman.

What a prospect both exciting and daunting lies ahead for Royal Cork Yacht Club, organisers of the prestigious Women's Match Racing Worlds June 3rd to 8th, 2014. Not that the club is any stranger to such events having hosted the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in September 2006 with huge success and also the European leg of the ISAF Match racing circuit in the nineties. The event is part of the tour for the Women's International match Racing Association ( 

Match Racing is one of the more intensely exciting forms of racing and the pace never slows. Race Officers tasked with the running of racing for the sixteen teams in this event are Peter Crowley (IRO) assisted by Alan Crosbie (IRO) who incidentally also officiated at the 2006 Nations Cup Grand Final. The event is being run in the Sailfleet J80's. It will certainly be nice to see these boats back in Cork.

Numerous detailed site inspections and high level consultations took place before Cork was chosen ahead of all other venues such as such as Long Beach California to host the competition. Both Cork County Council and the Port of Cork have agreed to be joint title sponsors of the world rated event.

The planned sailing in the waters of Cork Harbour, close to shore and under Camden Fort Meagher, offers unrivalled viewing to the competitors' families, friends, supporters and general public, who can also avail of the magnificent facilities at the refurbished historic fort to enjoy close up viewing of the competition.

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds is an annual event that was first held in Genoa in 1999. Sailors are invited to attend based on their world ranking. Invitations will be issued by ISAF and the organising authority in February based on world rankings at that time. The 2013 Match Racing Worlds took place in Busan, Korea where 2012 Spanish Olympic Gold Medalist Tamara Echegoyen took the 2013 world match racing title.

Of course the event will also have a lighter side and an excellent entertainment plane is in place. On Friday, June 6th, a unique event is planned for the city. It is planned to hold a "Sailing in the City" day on the river in front of Kennedy Quay. An event will be held on the city quays followed by an early evening entertainment programme. This will provide the people of Cork with a wonderful opportunity to see and meet Olympic standard sailors close up and bring unparalleled top notch racing into the heart of the city. There is a match race planned for the sailors (watch out for fun on the river) and also an exhibition race where local schoolchildren could have the opportunity of sailing with these unrivalled top quality sportswomen.

The Women's Match Racing Worlds is a world sailing event of the highest calibre and is an opportunity for everybody to come to Crosshaven and enjoy the carnival atmosphere of the village for the event and experience a feast of intense sailing viewing from the world ranking surrounds of the magnificent Camden Fort Meagher.

Published in Match Racing

#matchrace – ISAF have released details of two international Grade 'W' match racing events for which Match Racing Ireland are seeking teams. They are the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and the ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship.

Event details:
The ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship
Venue: Royal Cork YC, Ireland
Dates June 3-8, 2014

ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship
Venue: Nylandska Jaktklubben, Finland
Dates: July 23-27, 2014

Representatives of interested teams should contact Ric Morris ([email protected]) with team details as set out in the NoRs before January 29 in order to give our selected teams the best opportunity of success in these competitions.

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#matchracing – The Champion vs the Pretender. The King vs the Prince. On paper the match between Peter Baylys Team Top Gun (Peter Bayly, Richie Murphy, Ian McNamee and Paddy Blackley) and Graham Barkers Whitefire Racing (Graham Barker, Ryan Scott, Sam O'Byrne, Luke Malcolm and Shane Diviney) looked to be a matchup between the nouse of Bayly for the champions and the exuberance of Ryan Scott at the helm of the challenger. The better prepared Whitefire Racings chance was to take it to the Bayly from the off, while the longer the match went on the more the champions would begin to find their groove.

In practice giving up 45kg in crew weight in the brisk 17-20kt open water conditions in Howth left the champions without their predicted ace and the sharper boat handling of Whitefire and prestart of Scott prevailed 3-0.

That Team Top Gun haven't match raced competitively since winning the title as the Royal St George Gladiators in 2011, whereas Scott and the DUC Sailing Team that made up Whitefire Racings crew, have been active for the last 18 months became immediately apparent. In race one Top Gun took a soft port/starboard penalty during circling in the prestart and, although given opportunity to pull away at the top of the first beat, never managed to open enough of a gap to take their turn before the finish loomed.

The second race began with Top Gun opting for the favoured pin end but seeding the power of the right. When Bayly chose to tack and duck before the layline and Scott took the opportunity to slam dunk the extra power and weight of the Whitefire Racing crew became apparent. Despite the entire crew hanging off sheets and bottle screws Top Gun couldn't get any bow forward and the challengers took control of the series 2-0.

A failed attempt to cross in prestart left Scott with a penalty and with a better round up off the start and power of the right the fight back from the Champion looked to be on. But as the breeze picked up to 20kts the challenges upwind advantage told and they managed take the starboard approach at the windward mark and lead the race, extending far enough by the finish to clear their penalty.

In the end a 3-0 win for Barker fairly reflected the difference between the crews with small advantages in all areas adding up to make Whitefire Racing the new Irish National Match Racing Champions.

The event gave rise to discussion on holding regular Friday night match racing at HYC. More news on that as we have it.

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#matchracing – Graham Barker and his Whitefire team, skippered by Ryan Scott, have challenged for the match racing national championship. The sail off against Peter Baily and the St George Gladiators will take place on the 14th April, hosted by Howth Yacht Club. Eight head to head races will take place off Ireland's Eye with the winner becoming the new national champion.

The Whitefire challenge is the first under the new format that allows anyone to challenge the current national champion, provided they can find two boats to use. In this case the Sailfleet J80s will be used but the only stipulation is that the boats chosen require 2 or more people to sail. Everything else related to running the event has been standardised to make challenging as easy, and fair, as possible and support is available from Match Racing Ireland to organise a challenge.

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#matchracing – Both the Leinsters and National Championships Irish Match Racing events didn't happen this year as the Irish Match Racing Association (IMRA) fell a couple of teams short of the number needed for a viable event each time. Here the IMRA's Ric Morris says that because the SailFleet J80 is also coming to the end of the current agreement with the clubs to fund the running of the fleet and although nothing is decided yet, IMRA needs to be ready for a future with out access to eight very equalized boats in one location.

While there's still a lot of interest in match racing from individuals - Peter Bayly is going to Germany to find racing early next year and an Irish team went to this year's World University Match Racing Championships - those things combined mean that it's not practical to run a large match racing event right at the moment.

So what we've tried to do is come up with a format that will allow absolutely anyone who can find a couple of boats of any class the opportunity to run a National Match Racing Championships for 2 teams (or Female or Youth Championships). Anyone familiar with the Americas Cup will be familiar with (the traditional!) idea of someone challenging the current champion to a game. I guess a 'stick winner' game of pool down the pub would be an equally apt analogy.

So everyone is clear who is responsible for what and in order to avoid some of the pit falls that can occur we've put some fairly basic rules together for a challenge. We'll also knock up a standard NOR and SIs too so that as much work has been done for people as possible. With a couple of volunteers running the racing and doing the umpiring running an evenings racing for 2 boats could be as cheep as the fuel for a couple of ribs.

Whether anyone will take it up we'll have to see. 3 or 4 people have already shown an interest and we'll do what ever we can to help them find boats and what ever they need to run the racing.

Challenge Rules and Notice of Challenge template attached below. We've set up a group called "Irish National Match Racing Champs" on Facebook fron which people can make a challenge.

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Page 4 of 7

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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