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Displaying items by tag: Ostar

Thanks to modern technology – and more than a bit of assistance from intrepid solo skipper Conor Fogerty himself – Afloat.ie aims to bring you Irish OSTAR entrant Bam! live this morning from the start of the Transatlantic Race off Plymouth.

The Howth Yacht Club solo skipper is already onboard his Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 and the 15–boat fleet is heading out to the start in some very light winds. This has led to the OSTAR race start being postponed for one hour.  Watch the live feed from BAM3600 below from 12.50

Fogerty is racing to Newport, Rhode Island a voyage of approximately three weeks. Tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing
Tagged under

The OSTAR transatlantic race start in Plymouth Sound today at 12:00 BST with Howth's solo sailor Conor Fogerty in the Sun Fast 3600 the sole Irish representative in the international 15–boat line–up. As Afloat.ie reported at the weekend, Forgety arrived safely in Plymouth and is ready for his race across the North Atlantic to Newport, RI, USA that is expected to last three week. See tracker below! 

Published in Solo Sailing
Tagged under

This month sees Conor Fogerty of Howth Yacht Club, preparing for one of the most prestigious and demanding solo ocean races in the international yachting calendar. 

The latest instalment of the OSTAR (Original Solo Transatlantic Race), commences on 29th May 2017.

This will see Fogerty, bring his much loved and widely campaigned Sunfast 3600 'Bam', to the start line off Plymouth Sound in the English Channel. This gruelling race which is taxing on both body and mind, heads across the North Atlantic Ocean, to Newport Rhode Island, over 3,000 miles of Ocean.

Although the race name OSTAR may trip easily off the tongue, this generally upwind race, is not for the faint hearted or indeed occasional offshore adventurer.

Conor fogerty Howth sailorFogerty and Bam surfing at 20–knots during a 2016 transatlantic crossing

The event sees the solo skippers pit themselves against strong gales and big seas as a matter of course, not to mention, ice, fog, shipping and the occasional whale attack is not unknown.

He will follow in the footsteps of a veritable who’s who of sailing greats and pioneers of ocean racing. The names of Chichester, Knox Johnson, Blyth, Tabarly, Peyron, not forgetting Ellen McArthur are some of those who have sailed this great race before him.

In an Irish context, solo sailor Barry Hurley of the Royal Irish Yacht Club took a class win in the 2009 Ostar after a 21–day match race with an Italian competitor.

OSTAR history can be traced to an English war veteran Blondie Hassler who set about organising the race in 1956 and saw it first run in 1960 under the guidance of The Royal Western Yacht Club. From those early days of sextants and hand bearing compasses, the race has witnessed the trialling of most major innovations in boat design and on board equipment common in modern day sailing. This includes the advent of multi hulls, autopilots, water ballast, GPS, and weather routing. Whilst all of the above have certainly revolutionised sailing for the modern day solo adventurer, they do little to diminish the stark reality of dealing with the conditions, the low pressure systems of the North Atlantic create.

dinah barry hurleyAfter 21 days at sea Barry Hurley makes a dawn finish and a class win in the 2009 Ostar

Conor is a seasoned campaigner. Last year alone saw his 11–metre Bam start the year with a win in the RORC Caribbean 600. From there a 16–day solo trip to the Azores and then after some much needed R &R in Horta, back to Ireland.

Next up were the ISORA races across the Irish Sea and forays to the South Coast of England and North of France competing in RORC races. Not forgetting a 3rd place finish in the Round Ireland and a Solo Fastnet (SORC) challenge, which but for a fickle wind at the end line, would have seen him claim the top of the podium. The season came down with the Middle Sea Race off Malta which saw Fogerty and Bam claim the 3rd overall in class for the RORC 2016 season.

This was a fitting reward for skipper and crew for the thousands of hard miles campaigning in 2016, without the big budgets of some competitors or indeed sponsorship.

It has been said that the major achievement racing the OSTAR is to get the boat to the start line.

These campaigns do not come easily or cheaply to the racing privateer. The aim now is to get as many sponsors as possible on board, to back this commendable Corinthian challenge.

Conor is in discussions with potential sponsors at the moment, but he also provides a grass route sponsorship option for an individual to have their name displayed on the hull to show support, and to give his attempt every chance of success, and to fly the Irish flag with distinction. If you are interested in providing support, please contact [email protected]

Published in Offshore

#ostar – Could Ireland's location be an advantage to any bid to win the rights to stage the the original solo race across the North Atlantic? The next edition of 'The Transat', the original solo race across the North Atlantic that was born as the OSTAR, will start in its historical time slot in May 2016 from the UK to North America but aftet that race the race start location is open to bidders. Is this a new opportunity for Ireland's former Volvo Ocean Race city, Galway to consider?

Start and finish host cities will be invited in January to put their case forward for hosting this event that is both steeped in history, and that helped create a sector of sailing that is now one of the major forces in the professional sport. Traditionally, The Transat has started from the iconic sea-faring port of Plymouth in the UK and finished in the USA. In New York in the first edition in 1960, then Newport, Rhode Island in the intervening years, before Boston became the arrival port in the last two editions in 2004 and 2008.

In 2009, Ireland's Barry Hurley and Italian sailor Luca Zuccoli had an exciting match-race to the OSTAR finish line in Newport, with Barry hugging the shore line (a trick learned from his years sailing in Cork Harbour) and crossing the line literally just minutes ahead after 21 days at sea. The result put him first over the line in his class, and also first on IRC corrected time.

OC Sport renamed the race 'The Transat' in 2004, and added Artemis as Title Partner in 2008, focusing in that year on the IMOCA 60 Class, the boats that compete in the Vendee Globe in the same year. The 2012 edition was deferred at the request of the Class.

With the next edition of The Transat planned for May 2016 in its traditional pre-Vendee Globe slot, consideration is now also being given to the classes that could be invited to compete.

When OC Sport acquired the rights to the race in 2004, it was determined to serve the needs of the professional end of the sport, whilst the Royal Western Yacht Club continued to run a Corinthian race for non-professional sailors restricted to boats of up to 50 feet. The 2004 edition was open to 50ft monohulls and the IMOCA class (60ft monohulls) and the ORMA class (60ft multihulls). In 2008, with the demise of the ORMA class, entry was restricted to the IMOCA class and the Class 40 only. The decision on classes invited to participate will be taken by December 2014.

More on this here

Published in Solo Sailing

Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have confirmed this week. Up to six boats have expressed interest in the new intiative and the organisers say the class will race over a mix of coastal and windward leeward courses. It's an exciting development for the regatta that is already receiving a flow of entries 11 weeks ahead of the entry deadline.

Double handed Class captain Olivier Prouveur of the National YC says boats that have expressed an interest so far are the regular ISORA participant Mojito from the UK, Team Windmill (J109), JBellino (J-122), Dinah (Barry Hurley's modified JOD 35 with which he won his class in the OSTAR 2009) and Oystercatcher (second in the two-handed class in the Round Ireland race).

Other boats are also likely now that the regatta has confirmed the class start, according to Prouveur. The hope of course is others, such as round Ireland winners Psipina Paddy Cronin and John Loden or Alchemiste Michael Murphy and Alex Voye might also be interested.

Published in Volvo Regatta
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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.

Competitions

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. 

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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