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Viking Marine turned the key to open the door of its Dun Laoghaire Harbour store this morning having missed the buzz of daily retailing and the goings-on in the yacht clubs, marina and on the water.

'While sailors are not out on the water just yet, we know how keen people are to get working on their boats and it is with this in mind that we opened this morning' Viking's Managing Director Ian O'Meara told Afloat. ' We are in the shop Monday to Saturday 10 - 5 for hardware and Chandlery and anything you need to get your boat out on the water.

We are directing you to our online shop for clothing, footwear and accessories here

The Viking Marine delivery service for our full range continues to operate as normal.

So with all retail displays removed Viking Marine have created great space in the middle of the shop to allow everyone stay safe and to provide counter service for hardware and chandlery.

"We Look forward to welcoming you all back into the shop and getting us all back out on the water over the coming weeks", Ian says.

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While Viking Marine’s Dun Laoghaire store remains closed to the public amid the measures against Covid-19, the chandlery remains open for online orders by debit or credit card.

And it’s also maintaining a limited delivery service, both locally and nationally via courier where available, as well as pre-arranged collections for essential items from its premises at The Pavilion — all while adhering to the protocols for workplace and customer safety.

Managing director Ian O’Meara says trade has been busy as people stick to social distancing and carry out boat repairs — and turn the same expertise to garden furniture and other household needs — in the safety and comfort of their own homes.

“Never before has the term uncharted waters being so true as we are surely in them now,” O’Meara wrote in a recent blog post on VikingMarine.ie.

“Whilst the sailing season has been disrupted, we in Viking Marine support the importance of essential mental health and our boats and our ocean have a big part to play in this.

“So if you are working on your boat and in need of supplies to get boat-ready, we are here for you.”

He added: “To our colleagues in essential retail, we say thank you for keeping your doors open, you have our appreciation and our respect.

“To you, our loyal and valued customers, we look forward to welcoming you all back during the summer months and getting you all out on the water again.”

Contact Viking Marine at 01 280 6654 and direct all email enquiries to [email protected]

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In response to yesterday’s Government Covid-19 announcement, Viking Marine has made further changes to ensure the safety of our customers and team writes Ian O'Meara.

While staying at home and working on boats we wish to ensure you have the parts and equipment you need and for anyone going on the water where social distancing is achievable, they have all the safety kit they need.

As of today, we will close our shop in Dun Laoghaire and we continue to operate online. We will operate a collection service from the shop and local delivery service to the yacht clubs. (Details below)

Never before has the term 'uncharted waters' been so true as we are surely in them now. While the sailing season has been disrupted we in Viking Marine support the importance of essential mental health and our boats and our ocean have a big part to play in this. So if you are working on your boat and in need of supplies to get your boat ready we are here for you.

Let us help keep our young sailors on the water where social distancing is achievable. So for any parts, especially safety equipment, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

If it is a rope to make a swing in the garden or to make up a new dog lead we will put the pack together for you.

For the creative ones who want to make friendship bracelets or rope plant pot hangers we have the supplies and be sure to send us pictures of your creativity.

I wish to extend an enormous 'Thank You' to Dean and all the team here in Viking Marine for their loyalty positivity and determination to ride through this storm, and that is exactly what we plan to do.

To our colleagues in essential retail, we say 'Thank You' for keeping your doors open, you have our appreciation and our respect.

To you our loyal and valued customers we look forward to welcoming you all back during the summer months and getting you all out on the water again.

Ian O’ Meara

Collection and Delivery Service:

Collections are at Viking Marine in Dun Laoghaire. To ensure social distancing we will provide a collection time on placement of order. Collection can be made from the shop or placed in the boot of your car.

Delivery is to the Yacht Clubs in Dun Laoghaire. To ensure social distancing we will arrange a delivery time and location for drop off at the Yacht Club.

Telephone and Email:

We are on the phone on 01 – 2806654

Email is to Ian directly at [email protected]

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Viking Marine is happy to deliver primer, paint, varnish and supplies to any of the local clubs as work starts on boats over the weekend in anticipation of next month's Summer sailing season.  

To avail of this service simply contact Viking Marine in the shop and we will have your order delivered to your club in Dun Laoghaire, Viking's Ian O' Meara told Afloat.

Click here for paint range and phone 01 280 6654

For deliveries outside of Dun Laoghaire contact us at the shop and we can arrange next day delivery anywhere in Ireland.

Viking Marine is Open St Patrick's Day 1 pm - 5 pm

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In light of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Viking Marine at Dun Laoghaire Harbour would like to reassure our customers as to the steps we have taken to provide a safe retail environment.

We continue to maintain the highest possible standards of cleanliness, in line with the advice and guidelines from the HSE.

All staff have been briefed on how best to prevent the virus from spreading and are implementing enhanced hygiene practices.

We reassure you that we are doing everything we can to provide our customer and staff with the safest retail environment we possibly can in the circumstances.

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When it comes to safety and warmth on the water, we all know how important our gear is, and we wouldn’t go sailing in summer without water and suncream.

But we often forget the importance of keeping our blood sugar up to stay warm on the water during the winter.

Making sure you have a snack on board is crucial in keeping warm on the water over the winter, even if you’re only out for a short time.

Bananas, protein bars, chocolate and sandwiches are all great grab-and-go options, whether you’re heading out for a leisurely sail or a Turkey Shoot race.

Winter swimming is also a growing trend, and Viking Marine has responded with a broader sea swimming range that includes dry robes and Zone 3 swim hats, Apollo Goggles and a full range of winter swimsuits now in stock.

And be sure to check out Viking Marine’s online clearance store, with up to 50% off both coastal and technical gear.

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Off the back of what they declare was their best ever year for sales of Beneteau outboard boats, Irish brokers BJ Marine were recently in attendance at the French builder’s global dealer conference in Valencia to get a special look at its fully Suzuki-powered range.

General manager James Kirwan told Afloat.ie: “The growth of the range of outboard boats inspired us to invest in our first ever Irish Barracuda Tour qualifier, an event that also supported by Viking Marine, our Suzuki partner in Ireland.”

Beneteau’s outboard range covers the Antares, Barracuda and Flyer models, from six metres up to the new Antares 11 which will be unveiled this winter.

“In particular, the Antares and Barracuda ranges offer the perfect versatility for use in Irish waters where rapidly changing weather and sea states are regular events,” Kirwan said.

“BeneteauBeneteau Barracuda with a Suzuki DF200AP outboard

Suzuki has been the outboard supplier of choice for Beneteau since 2013 and the French builder says its partnership continues to go from strength to strength.

Five Suzuki-powered boats were on the water in Valencia ready for dealers to test — including the new Flyer 10 and 7.

“We are very proud to work with and partner Beneteau,” said Daisuke Kawatari, general manager for Suzuki Motor Corporation’s European liaison office.

“Our partnership is a strong one and we are looking forward to taking it to the next level in order to continue to deliver the ultimate boat/engine packages for our customers.”

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Have you got what it takes to beat the best? Harken grinder pedestals are found on some of the most exciting race boats in the world, raced by sailors at the top of their game! But have you got what it takes to top our Viking Marine leaderboard this weekend?

Viking Marine has brought the Harken Grinder Challenge to the ICRA Championships on Dublin Bay this weekend.

Prizes include Viking Marine gift vouchers for First Time places for Ladies and Men on both Friday and Saturday.

You will find the Viking Marine Harken Challenge on the forecourt of the RSGYC Friday and Saturday after racing.

So get your name up on that leader board and the winning prize is yours.

Viking Marine rules of 'pure fun' and 'good sportsmanship' applies to this event. That will be interesting!

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After the Rio Olympics, the International Laser Class Association changed it's class rules to allow the use of digital compasses. The rule now is that 'Electronic, self-contained, digital compasses using only magnetic input are permitted.'

In conversation with Viking Marine Ambassador Finn Lynch before he headed off to the European Championships, the Tokyo 2020 campaigner discussed how he now uses the Raymarine TackTick micro compass.

"The digital compass takes away a lot of guesswork from Laser sailing"

'I find this to be a game changer for overall performance in Laser racing. At start time I use the compass for checking the exact degree of line bias and also it's a great tool to see what shift you are in straight off the line. Apart from making tacking on the shifts very easy, I also love the digital compass for straight out of the bottom mark for seeing what shift you are in, it makes a very stressful area of the course more simple'. And when asked about its role in winning races these were his parting words - 'Overall, the digital compass takes away a lot of guesswork from Laser sailing and allows you to put more attention to more important things, like making the boat fast!!

The Raymarine range along with others are available in the shop at €379.95 and online here

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The first Irish Coastal race of the Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Championship 2019 took place on the 18th May with a starting time of 10.00. 21 boats from the entry list of 22 came to the start line in Dun Laoghaire.

Setting the course was difficult for the Sailing Committee as very light northerly winds were forecast for the race. To add to the difficulty, strong spring tides were also predicted. With this combination, it was decided that the course should try and accommodate the tide by heading north at the start and south later in the race. It had been hoped that the course would be 40 miles by heading to South Burford, Lambay Island and back by the Kish Light. Instead, Lambay was substituted by using Howth Yacht Club’s “East” racing mark and North Kish Cardinal mark was substituted for the Kish Light.

When this course was first published Dublin Port requested that South Burford not be used as it meant that the fleet would be crossing the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) at South Burford. To comply with their request, ISORA has now created a permanent virtual mark, “ISORA Dublin” mark, just south-east of South Burford. It is now intended that this virtual mark will be used for all future ISORA races, acting as a Turning mark for boats entering or leaving Dublin Bay. It is also proposed that all TSS’s will be no-go areas in future races.

ISORA courseThe above course provided a 30-mile race

The wind at the start was as forecast – 4-7 knots north-easterly. The start at 08.00 was provided by NYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Grainne Ryan at the DBSC’s Pier Mark.

ISORA Coastal raceA packed 21-boat start line in a light easterly for the Viking Marine Coastal Race start on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie

coastal race ISORAFive minutes after the start Frank Whelan’s “Eleuthera” (second from right) was the first to break from the pack on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie
The fleet of 21 boats slowly moved east off the start line in a tight reach towards the new ISORA Dublin mark. Frank Whelan’s “Eleuthera” was the first to break from the pack but was soon overtaken by Ben Shanahan’s “Ruth”, Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” and Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer”. Just south of these, Vincent Farrell’s “Tsunami” was sneaking along toward the first mark.

“Ruth” and “Aurelia” rounded the first mark and hardened onto a beat north toward HYC “East” mark. In an effort to minimise the effects of the tide and to seek stronger winds many of the fleet tacked out to sea while the remainder stayed close to the land. It was on this leg that the wind started to play tricks. On the outer east side of the course, the wind was northeast and varying while on the inside of the course the winds was north-west and strengthening. At one stage boats on each side of the course were sailing the same heading while on opposite tacks!! The stronger winds on the inside were sufficient to counteract the strong tides against those boats close to Howth Head and these boats gained hugely.
These wind conditions changed the whole dynamic of the race and allowed the smaller boats to take control. “Eleuthera” rounded the HYC East mark first followed by George Sisk’s “WOW” and then by “Ruth”. However, “Windjammer” was close by to the leading pack.

The leg to North Kish was a run south in the ebbing tide. When the first of the fleet rounded North Kish they had to beat for the ISORA Dublin turning mark and towards the finish line while the boats further back took advantage of another massive wind shift and they had a fast reach past the turning mark to the finish line.

While “Eleuthera” took line honours, “Windjammer” took the Overall win and Class 2. Second place went to another Class 2 boat, Leslie Parnell’s “Black Velvet” and Class 1 “Ruth” took third place. Class 0 boats only managed to get on the leader board at 9th position with Paul O’Higgins' “Rockabill VI”. Sean Hawkshaw’s “Wardance” took Silver Class. 

After the race, many of the crew headed to the National Yacht Club for the usual “Apres Race”.

On the same day, a coastal race was held in Pwllheli. At this stage in the series Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” is just ahead of “Rockabill VI” in the leadership table for the Wolf’s Head. 

The Race Organiser for Race 4 was Grainne Ryan. Anita Begley was Safety Officer. The finish was automatically recorded using the YB trackers.

The next race is the second Offshore of the season and takes place on Saturday 25th May with an 08.00 start from Dun Laoghaire. The original race schedule was for the start to be in Holyhead and finish in Dun Laoghaire but Holyhead was unable to accommodate the start. The start and finish is now in Dun Laoghaire and it is hoped that the race will be 60 miles.

Full results and the YB tracking of the race are on the ISORA website here

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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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