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Displaying items by tag: Rockall

A British man is set to spend two months inside an eight foot water tank on a desolate island in the North Atlantic as he tries to raise money for charity.

Nick Hancock is planning to set two endurance records by living on the 100ft island of Rockall and raise money for the Help for Heroes charity.

Rockall is constantly pounded by 3,000 miles of Atlantic swell. The world's largest recorded oceanic waves of over 95 feet were recorded there in 2000 - some 19 feet higher than Rockall itself.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#rockall – Galway city will get its first taste of what a week of seafaring parties and prize-giving ceremonies for intrepid sailors, some of whom have sailed around the world; others who have raced around the remote North Atlantic Island of Rockall, will be like.

The crews of the three boats, which took part in the inaugural Galway/Round Rockall Race, will be feted on the Main Stage in the Race Village complex in Galway Harbour at 7.30pm.

The race organised by Galway Bay Sailing Club, in advance of the Volvo Ocean Race finale, was won by Cork sailor Barry Hurley in his JOD 35 "Dinah". He sailed the 750 mile race single handed beating the German boat "Bank Von Bremen", which has a crew of nine, by two hours on corrected time.

The third boat in the race Jamie Young's "Killary Flyer" got  back to Galway at 11.50 on Friday night. He also sailed the race single handed.

All three crews were given rousing receptions when they berthed in Galway Harbour. Tonight  they will take centre stage at a ceremony to be attended by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD will officiate the prize giving.

Rockall Race Director Aodhán Fitzgerald said they expected the crews of the boats which had taken part in this fascinating race would be given a huge "Galway" welcome home tonight

Huge crowds are expected in Galway for the opening night of the nine festival which has been organised around the finale of the 39,000 mile Volvo Ocean Race. The six boats taking part in the race are expected to arrive in Galway from Lorient late on Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

The race organisers say they issue further updates over the week end on the likely arrival time of the fleet.

Published in Offshore
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#roundrockall – Cobh sailor Barry Hurley is set to take the overall honours in the first ever 750 mile Galway/Round Rockall Race, in his 35 foot boat "Dinah" arriving back in Galway at lunchtime today.

The race organisers predict the single handers arrival time will be between 12.30 and 1.30. Hurley's OD 35 "Dinah" passed north of Inishmore earlier this morning and is currently winning the race by two hours on corrected time.

The third boat taking part in the race, Jamie Young's classic Admiral's Cup 50 foot Frerer's designed "Killary Flyers",  is expected to cross the finish line at Mutton Island  this evening or tonight. It is also  being sailed singlehanded.

The first boat home yesterday  was the German yacht "Bank Von Bremen". It has a crew of nine and is skippered by Rainer Persch.  It first made a 1,000 mile trip from its homeport of Bremerhaven to come to Galway for the race.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

#rockall – The three boats competing in the first ever Round Rockall race from Galway are due back in the West coast port sometime tomorrow after an epic 750 mile race. All three yachts - two Irish and one German- rounded Rockall around midnight on Tuesday.

The German yacht "Bank Von Bremen" first made a 1,000 mile trip from its homeport of Bremerhaven to come to Galway for the race around Rockall. It has a crew of nine and is skippered by Rainer Persch.

The two Irish boats are being raced by veteran single-handed sailors Jamie Young, from Killary in Connemara and Barry Hurley from Cobh in Cork.

Barry Hurley is sailing his JOD 35 "Dinah" the boat in which he won his class in the 2009 OSTAR the singlehanded 3,000 mile transatlantic race from Plymouth in England to Newport Rhode Island in the US. He completed the crossing in what race organisers described as "a flawless 21 day run"

Jamie Young has taken to the seas in his classic Admiral's Cup 50 foot Frerer's designed "Killary Flyers". He competed in the 1976 OSTAR Race and he and his wife Mary spent their honeymoon completing a two handed transatlantic crossing.  He now runs the Killary Adventure Centre in Connemara.

Race organiser Larry Hynes said "The idea of a non stop race around Rockall came about because of the enormous buzz created in Galway by the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race stopover. We thought we would like to do something spectacular to coincide with the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race finale and we ended up sending three boats racing around Rockall"

"The crews of the three boats are certainly taking the hard route to the party but they will certainly be given a great welcome home when they arrive back in the city tomorrow"

Published in Offshore
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Galway Bay Sailing Club has announced details of a new Irish offshore yacht race, the  Round Rockall Race 2012 that will start on the same day as Wicklow's biennial Round Ireland race and a week before the Volvo Ocean Race calls to Galway Port on July 5. Both the Round Ireland and Round Rockall races are of similar length, around 700 miles each. An entry limit of 40 boats has been put on the inaugural race. The 2010 Round Ireland race attracted a fleet of 36.

The new offshore race is organised by the Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) and the Round Rockall Race Committee. The start will be from inner Galway Bay on Sunday 24th June 2012 at 1800hrs.

The course will be from a start line in inner Galway Bay and around the islet of Rockall in the North East Atlantic and to a finish
line back in inner Galway Bay. Marks of the Course will be defined in the Sailing Instructions yet to be published. The approximate distance is 652 Nautical Miles.

Entries will be from IRC rated yachts of LOA 9.15m/30 feet and over.

Indicative Class bands which may be modified based on entries received are:

Class 1 : IRC 1.055 - 1.149
Class 2 : 1.00 - 1.054
Class 4 : Two-handed Class
Class 5: Single-handed class
Class 6 : Cruiser Class

Organisers stipulate in the notice of race that 'The Round Rockall Race' is an open ocean race. Every crew member must have experience of sailing a yacht offshore and be prepared to encounter heavy weather. Competitors will be required to provide evidence of offshore experience.

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The full Notice of Race is below.

Round Rockall Race 2012 - Notice of Race

The Race is organised by the Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) and the Round Rockall Race Committee.

2.1 The race will be sailed under the Racing Rules of Sailing, the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, and the additions detailed below:
2.1(a) This Notice of Race, the Entry Form and the Sailing Instructions.
2.1(b) The Race is subject to ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Category 1 with the exceptions/ amendments listed in this Notice of Race.
2.2 In the event of conflict the Sailing Instructions shall prevail.

The start will be from inner Galway Bay on Sunday 24th June 2012 at 1800hrs.

The course will be from a start line in inner Galway Bay, Ireland and around the islet of Rockall in the North East Atlantic and to a finish line in inner Galway Bay, Ireland. Marks of the Course will be defined in the Sailing Instructions. The approximate distance is 652 Nautical Miles

5.1 Entry forms can be completed online at or by post to: Larry Hynes, Caherfinesker, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland.
5.2 The closing date for entries is 1st June 2012.
5.3 Late entries will be accepted, for which there will be a late entry fee.
5.4 Entries will be from IRC rated yachts of LOA 9.15m/30 feet and over, with a minimum SSS of 34 or STIX of 32 combined with an AVS minimum of 130-0.002 x M (where M is minimum sailing weight in kg). STIX and AVS data is required for boats with a series date of 1995 and later.
5.4 A yacht which meets the entry requirements but does not have an IRC rating may enter the Cruiser Class.


7.1 Late entries will be subject to the entry fee +50%.
7.2 No entry will be accepted after 1st June 2012.
[email protected]

Cancellations can be accepted either:
(1) before the closing date, when a refund minus E50 may be claimed or
(2) between the closing date and the start, when 50% of the fee may be claimed.

The organisers reserve the right to decline an entry.

The number of starters shall not exceed forty.
11.1 Racing will take place under IRC. Classes will be allocated according to the number and type of entry.
11.2 Classes for cruiser and one design yachts may be assigned subject to the number of entries.
11.3 Indicative Class bands are as follows, (these may be modified based on entries received)
Class 1 : IRC 1.055 - 1.149
Class 2 :1.00 - 1.054
Class 4 : Two-handed Class
Class 5: Single-handed class
Class 6 : Cruiser Class

The organisers reserve the right to alter the rules and conditions of the race at any time. Changes will be posted on
Yachts whose entries have been accepted will be advised directly.

The following exceptions and amendments to Category 1 regulations apply:
Regulation 3.21.1(ii) not applicable (two separate water tanks not required)
Regulation 3.29.1(n) not applicable (AIS not required)
Regulation 4.08.1 a first aid manual of type listed in (b) is acceptable
Regulation 4.11.2 Reserve Navigation System Clarification: a separate handheld GPS is acceptable as a reserve form of navigation system.

14.1 The Round Rockall Race is an open ocean race. Every crew member must have experience of sailing a yacht offshore and be prepared to encounter
heavy weather. Competitors will be required to provide evidence of offshore experience.
14.2 The Skipper and at least half the crew must have completed, in the yacht in which they will race the Round Rockall Race, in the 24 months preceding the start:
1. 300 miles of offshore racing* or
2. Non-stop passage of at least 300 miles.
3. Other qualifications similar to 2. above to be proposed to and agreed
by the organisers by 1st May 2012.
*To qualify as offshore racing a race must be at least 75 miles duration and include at least one night at sea.

It is the Skipper's responsibility to ensure that the following criteria are met and that a certificate or letter of attendance from an establishment recognised by the ISA/RORC should be provided on completion of the following:
1. At least 30% of the crew, including the Skipper, shall have undertaken training to Section 6, (Appendix G) of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.
2. In the case of two-handed entries, both crew members must complete training to Section 6, (Appendix G) of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.
3. In addition at least one member of the crew shall hold a current Senior
First Aid Certificate or equivalent and should be familiar with the management of medical emergencies that may occur at sea, including hypothermia, and radio communications operations for obtaining medical advice by radio.
4. Copies of these certificates must be lodged with the organisers prior to the start of the race.

A full crew list with names, addresses and telephone numbers to be lodged with the Race Office on Registration.

Yachts shall assemble at Galway Harbour no later than 1200 hours on Friday, 22nd June 2012 for Special Regulations inspections.

Each entrant must complete an ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Check List and entrants must submit their completed copy to the organisers prior to the start of the race and retain a copy onboard.

Yachts may carry advertising according to the Racing Rules of Sailing and their class or rating authority. Yachts will be required to fly a race flag and may be required to apply a race sticker to each side of the hull.

It may be mandatory for yachts to carry a Tracker Unit for the duration of the race. A refundable deposit, which may be set against a credit-card, may be required.

Galway Harbour, Sunday 24th June 2012. Times are local and are approximate.
LW: 02:36 1.0m
14:51 1.3m
HW: 08:58 4.5m
21:11 4.7m

22.1 Where necessary, all competitors must apply to the RORC Rating Office
as early as possible prior to the race, in order to obtain their current Certificates in good time.
Please note, STIX and AVS data is required for boats with a series date of 1995 and later.
22.2 The cut-off date for amended Rating Certificates shall be the 1st June 2012.

Entrants should include, with their entry, two recent photographs of the yacht for publicity and safety purposes.

24.1 If required, entrants shall fit the satellite tracker provided by the organisers.
24.2 The organisers shall be authorised to claim payment for the cost of the tracker if it is not returned at the end of/retirement from the Race.
24.3 Entrants shall have a satellite communication system that allows two way communication throughout the duration of the race (eg Satcom C, mini M, Iridium).

25.1 The safety of each Skipper and boat and her entire management is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the Skipper.
25.2 The Skipper and crew must be physically and psychologically fit to start and continue the Race in the worst of conditions encountered in the North Atlantic.
25.3 The boat must be insured, be of appropriate design and construction,
adequately maintained, equipped and provisioned to meet these conditions.
25.4 Neither the establishment of the Notice of Race, its use by the organisers

or any Sponsoring Organisations, nor any spot check of the boat, under the NOR in any way limits or reduces the complete and unlimited responsibility of each Owner/ Skipper.

25.5 It is the sole and exclusive responsibility of each Skipper and crew to decide whether or not to start or continue to race.

26.1 Notwithstanding any other rule and condition, the Organising Authority, Race Committee and Race Sponsors, if applicable, jointly and severally are providing this Race on the understanding that they or their representatives bear no responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, or inconvenience
to boats or persons howsoever arising directly or indirectly from their rules, policy, or rulings before or during the Race or related activities.
26.2 By participating in the Race each Skipper and crew agrees to release the Organising Authority, Race Committee and Race Sponsors from and against all claims, damages, costs, torts, suits at law or in equity or otherwise, arising out of or in any way relating to the Race. This release shall be binding upon each entrant and their heirs, beneficiaries, representatives,
and estates of each entrant.

The Skipper / Owner shall have Third Party Liability insurance cover to a minimum of euro E1,250,000.00 or equivalent.

Published in Galway Harbour

A new offshore race will set a fleet of boats on a sprint to Rockall, a lonely rock around 270 miles north-west of Donegal. The 750-mile race will be timed to coincide with the arrival of boats in the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway. The Round Rockall Race is the brainchild of Larry Hynes, who sailed around Ireland solo in 2005. 

"We originally wanted to do it last in 2011," he said,  "which was the 200th anniversary of the first landing on Rockall."

However, Hynes said that when he heard the VOR was coming back to Galway, it made sense to postpone the event to make it more palatable to travelling boats from France and elsewhere.

Hynes says he wants to keep the race 'fairly Corinthian' and is welcoming all comers. With Galway being twinned with Lorient in France, Hynes hopes to tap into the offshore sailing spirit of the French and tempt some French offshore boats north with the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet for the finish and a race in Irish waters. 

The site already has a web presence, which puts many of the more established races to shame. He is working with former Round Ireland winner Aodhan Fitzgerald on a Notice of Race and says that he is steadfastly committed to running the event, whether he gets two or two hundred entries.

The Round Rockall website is at

Published in Galway Stop
Page 2 of 2

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. 

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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