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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!

Published in Viking Marine
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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

Published in Viking Marine
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Viking Marine will sponsor the ISORA Coastal Series again this year for the third year running writes Ian O'Meara.

I have always loved offshore sailing. To this day, I remember my first offshore in 1980 onboard Barry O'Donnell's Oyster Yacht 'Sundowner'. Great sailing and great fun brings out the best in all of us. 

As Afloat previously reported, the Coastal series kicks off this weekend and I will be onboard Paul and Finnoula O'Higgins' JPK 1080 'Rockabill VI'.

The 2019 series promises to be an exciting one with ISORA and Afloat keeping everyone up to date on racing Instructions and results.

Wishing everyone a great series and stay safe. On that note, Spinlock has launched the new Deckvest Vito Offshore 170n Hammar Lifejacket at €260.00 and with harness €289.95

VITO Front side three quarter webDeckvest Vito Offshore 170n Hammar Lifejacket

If you need any assistance with safety equipment for the Coastal Series please do pop into us.

Editor's note: It's clear that Ian O Meara's love for Oyster Yachts continues, this year O'Meara was appointed the Oyster Representative in Ireland

Published in Marine Clothing
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Before setting off for next week's World Cup Regatta in Genoa, Italy, Finn Lynch gives some thoughts on his great result last week at the Palma Regatta where the Viking Marine Ambassador placed fourth overall.

'I meant business in Palma. The only notable difference in this regatta to other regattas in the past was between my ears! Before the race, I created some strategies with some Irish Sailing coaches and my sports psych to help get me into the zone. It worked.

"I'm excited to have made a leap forwards & pumped to try back it up next week in Genoa"

In Laser sailing your focus needs to be constantly changing from speed, tactics, strategy, checking for the jury, risk management, thinking ahead, among other things and when you focus on one aspect at the wrong time you lose. An example might be if you are deciding whether you should tack or not and you hit a bad wave and lose a boat length that might cost you a lot later on in the race.

This makes Laser sailing so hard but so rewarding when things come together. 

I'm excited to have made a leap forwards and pumped to try back it up next week in the Genoa World Cup.'

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Looking for a Summer job? Dun Laoghaire's Viking Marine are recruiting right now for the summer season for its Dublin Bay based Chandlery.

Viking Marine is looking to recruit experienced sailing enthusiasts to work for the summer sailing season in our Dun Laoghaire store. 

Interviews will take place during April before exams and job to start early June.

If you are an experienced sailor with a sound knowledge of both dinghy and yachts and have worked in a 'customer interfacing space' contact Viking.

To apply for a position please send your CV with covering letter to: [email protected]

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It's like Christmas with the number of boxes full of our new summer stock arriving into Viking Marine in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay this week!

We have new product ranges, new suppliers and ongoing innovation from current and new - all just in time for the launching season! 

Call in and check it out! 

Published in Viking Marine
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Rio Laser sailor Finn Lynch who is campaigning for a place in Tokyo 2020 and who is a Viking Marine Brand Ambassador has endorsed the opening of the new Irish Sailing High-Performance centre (pictured above) for the Olympic Sailing team at Dun Laoghaire. 

According to Lynch, the HQ is a 'huge milestone for Irish sailing and a legacy that came from the great results at the Rio Olympics'.

'When we stepped over the line into the HQ last week we were buying into a set of standards that we as a group of sailors had developed'. The HQ has given us all the facilities we need to succeed and now it is up to us as the sailors to make it happen. And so, 'If it is to be - it's up to me', the National Yacht Club sailor declared.

Finn lynch viking marine

Published in Viking Marine
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It’s St Patrick’s Day weekend and Viking Marine is going green!

Check out Viking Marine’s new green Ecoworks range of cleaning products just in time for getting your boat ready for the new season.

These environmentally safe cleaning products come with a free spray bottle so you can dilute the concentrate and clean away till they’re all home from the parade.

If you have any questions on application or uses, just ask us in the shop at The Pavilion in Dun Laoghaire.

Viking Marine will be open all bank holiday weekend for anyone working on boats — today till 6pm and Sunday and Monday from 1pm to 5pm.

Published in Viking Marine

Viking Marine, the leading Chandlery and ‘go to’ for all things sailing in Dun Laoghaire have just announced Olympic sailor Finn Lynch as Brand Ambassador. Just home from a great campaign in Miami this month, Finn was back in action training all last week on Dublin Bay.

Ian O Meara, MD of Viking Marine, is an avid sponsor and supporter of sailing in Ireland. ‘Finn is a perfect brand ambassador for Viking Marine and truly represents all that is great about Irish Sailing – he is a true professional, his attention to detail is second to none, he is such a talented athlete and sailor and a great role model for sailors young and not so young, like me’, says O’ Meara.

Ian OMeara Finn LynchViking Marine's Ian O'Meara (left) with the Dun Laoghaire chandlery's newly appointed Brand Ambassador Finn Lynch, a Rio Olympian in the Laser Class

Furthermore, we love to see Finn coming into the shop, a great man to give feedback on what works and what doesn’t work on the boat whether that’s in training or racing. We love this kind of feedback, straight from the user, our customer.

"I have been going in and out of Viking Marine pretty much all my sailing life"

‘I have been going in and out of Viking Marine pretty much all my sailing life,’ says Finn. To be a brand ambassador for Viking Marine is great, giving me access to so much equipment and kit that I need to keep me on the water and at my best. And it's on my doorstep, perfect really’

Viking Marine both in their shop in Dun Laoghaire and their Boat Sales and Service business in Kilcoole are committed to supporting access to the water for all keen sailors and water enthusiasts. They continue to research, source and supply the best manufacturers and brands and with over 100 years of experience amongst the team at Viking Marine it is still the number one ‘go to’ for all sailors and water enthusiasts.

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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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