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Did you say 'recession'? Heir Island Sailing School is reporting a 'boom', according to its latest press release. Between 2009 and 2010 the sail training activity and generated income of this Sailing School situated at Heir (Hare) Island, West Cork, has largely increased in this extremely difficult year for sports and tourism industry.

The Principal John Moore has discounted all prices by 20 to 30%. All 2009 sailors returned in 2010 and brought friends with them. The French network of the newly appointed Director of Sailing Hugues Traonmilin has brought French families to the island and the French sailors were mixed with the Irish and British children and adults with great success. In addition to a busy summer season, 60 students of a South East College came for the very first time to the Sailing School in March 2010 as part of the Transition Year programme. They were hosted with full board accommodation at the Sailing School Guest house.

Definitely the location of the Sailing School plays a big part in this success story. Heir Island is located in the middle of Roaring Water Bay half way between Schull and Baltimore. Whatever direction you sail from the Sailing School beach, you'll encounter wonderful maritime landscapes and crystal clear waters. The Topaz dinghy fleet may sail to 3 or 4 different sandy beaches on one sailing day. The 3 Dublin Bay Mermaids sailing in flotilla explore the surrounding islands of Castle Island, Sherkin Island, the 3 Calves Islands and of course the Carthy's Islands to visit the seals colony.

Such a fantastic location has orientated the programme of this Sailing School towards the "Adventure" courses of the Irish Sailing Association. The school offers Adventure 1 & 2 courses as their "speciality" course.

2011 perspectives are already very encouraging with a second college to be hosted in Spring for a 10 day transition programme meanwhile the first one is returning after excellent feedback of the 2010 students and teachers. Being a family run business makes this small company very flexible and the range of their activities covers young sailors from 8 years old to adults, groups and families, on dinghies or on a traditional Heir Island Lobster Boat, and on kayaks if you don't want to sail. Also as a qualified Yachtmaster Instructor, the director of sailing has facilitated individually tailored sail training for yacht owners aboard their own yacht, an option that has proven both practical and successful.

More information HERE.

Published in Marine Trade

With the advent of 2011, preparations are now well under way for the holding of the ISAF World Team Racing Championships at Schull from August 27th, 2011 to September 23rd, 2011 writes Claire Bateman. It is a major triumph for the village of Schull, Co. Cork to host the World Championships. The organising committee on behalf of the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre (FMOEC) was set up in 1997 and is an adjunct of Schull Community College and the facilities function under the auspices of the Cork County Educational Committee. As Schull is a village community this event will be seen as a community undertaking and the Schull Development Association will be a co-operating organising authority.

The event will be sailed in TR3.6 dinghies which are not too dissimilar to a firefly and 26 boats will be built locally at a cost of €5000.00 each. The hulls will be manufactured in Midleton and the sails will be built by the local sailmaker, Fastnet Sails, in West Cork. So far twelve boats have been sponsored. One of these has been sponsored by Schull Harbour Sailing Club where members have come up with a novel idea to sponsor a second boat. This is a one hundred club where members and their friends each contribute €50.00 towards the project.

Team Racing is a very popular branch of sailing where everything happens very quickly and there is no better school for tactical decision making and understanding of the rules with six boats at a time performing an intricate and aggressive dance where two teams of three race to try and achieve a winning combination of places – with the lowest score winning.

ISAF wish to invite 28 teams to participate at the event in August with teams coning from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. with the host country having three teams. Teams are also expected from Italy, Japan, Poland, the U.K. France and Croatia.

Further information or queries regarding sponsorship for this exciting World Championship can obtained from Mr. Tim O'Connor, Principal, Schull Community College at [email protected] or Mr. David Harte, Manager, FMOEC at [email protected]

Schull is a unique part of Ireland for sailing and socialising. The scenery is breath taking, the sailing waters are magnificent, the reputation for organisation of major events is second to none and all our good wishes for the successful running of this major undertaking are with the organisers.

Published in Team Racing
Concern about an overdue small boat with two persons on board led to a call for Baltimore lifeboat to carry out a search and rescue operation in Dunmanus Bay, West Cork on December 30th.

Two men in a small dinghy had earlier put to sea in poor weather conditions on Wednesday 29 December. Visibility was restricted due to sea fog. When the dinghy did not return the Coast Guard were alerted. At 17:20, both the Baltimore lifeboat and the Castletownbere lifeboat were requested to provide support.

Coxswain Kieran Cotter was proceeding to Dunmanus Bay on the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett, when the Coast Guard indicated that the two men had been observed coming ashore safe and well. The search and rescue operation was stood down.

This incident echoes a similar one earlier this year. On the 5th January 2010 almost certain tragedy was averted when the inshore lifeboat rescued two men in a 7ft dinghy, which was drifting out to open sea when their outboard failed.

Lifeboat crew on this service ; Kieran Cotter, Micheal Cottrell, Ronnie Carty, Brian McSweeney, Diarmuid Collins.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
A member of the Naval Service has died after a tragic accident in West Cork in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Gardai are treating the death of the 34-year-old who fell in to the sea at Schull as an accident. The Irish Times has more on the tragic accident HERE.
Published in Navy

Last weekend's The Irish Team Racing Association National Team Racing Championships attracted it's largest entry for many years, with 21 teams registered.

The event was hosted by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre in Schull, West Cork.

Four teams travelled over from the UK, and 6 under 19 teams, all from County Cork, competed. They joined the keenest of the post-college teams and the leading university teams to constitute the largest Championships that Ireland has seen for many years. Schull, the venue for next year's World Championship, was a major attraction, but the change of date, from March to November, has made it easier for college students and school pupils to attend.

team_race

Weekend Team Racing action from Schull. More photos HERE. Photos: Brian Carlin

The weather forecasts had been predicting storms, floods and general mayhem for days if not weeks beforehand. But Saturday dawned to reveal Schull Harbour in an unusual state – the wind had disappeared! Racing started 3 hours later than planned. However, by the end of the day the first round had been completed. This was a seeded round robin, with each of the four League made up of a UK team, a leading Irish team, a leading college team and two others, including the youth teams.
The results of the first round determined entry into the second round – all the UK teams won all four leagues, with the George Knights, the George Gladiators, Supertroopers and UCD finishing second. These teams were joined in the Gold Leagues of the second round by the winners of play-offs between third place teams. The Bumsby Babes, a youth team from Royal Cork YC, had done well to win 2 races to qualify for a play-off against University of Limerick and they were in a strong position when equipment failure meant that one of their boats retired . In the subsequent re-sail UL managed to win the race and qualify.

On Sunday morning Schull was looking it's best in bright but cold sunshine. Unfortunately, the beauties of the West Cork landscape were exactly mirrored in the unruffled water of the harbour! Competitors, who had made a remarkable effort to arrive on time for an 0900 start, barely recovered from the reception organised the previous evening by the World Championship Committee, waited. When racing eventually got underway, in a fitful breeze, it quickly became obvious that there was no possibility of finishing the second round. Plan B was implemented, a knockout round between the four winners of Round One to determine the outright winner, another between the 4 Irish team placed second in the Round One Leagues to determine the ISA medal places and a Youth round.

GP14 World Champion Ian Dobson in Schull

Spinnaker came through the semis and final to win overall first place. The two Royal St George teams qualified for the final. Last year's winners, the Gladiators won the first race only after finishing places were confirmed by a redress hearing. However, the more experienced Knights went on to win the next to races to reclaim the trophy they had "lent" to the Gladiators last year. The third place play-off, which saw some of the noisiest races of the weekend, resulted in a win by Supertroopers over UCD.

In the Youth event Schull A beat Schull B to win the opportunity to take on, and eventually defeat the Bumsby Babes.

Next year's Championship will be sailed out of the Royal St. George on 12-13 November. However the next challenge for Irish team racers will be qualification for the World Championship, with selection trials planned for both the Youth and Open categories early in 2011.

The event was also the first opportunity to try the new TR3.6 which will be used for the Team Racing Worlds. Video below of the new TR3.6 and voice over from Team Racing World organiser David Harte in Schull. Stills by Brian Carlin HERE.

 

Published in Team Racing

I have long admired the commitment and dedication to sailing of David Harte in Schull. With his design of the TR 3.6 he has achieved what may well prove to be the ideal boat for team racing. This aspect of sailing is proving very popular amongst younger sailors. In the past few months I have been watching and reporting on the development of the sport by Match Racing Ireland which is now an integral part of the Irish Sailing Association. There is an excitement and enthusiasm which is good for the sport.

Now Schull and David Harte are adding a new dimension with the TR 3.6 which seems a bit like a Firefly when you look at it first, but then there are clear differences in design. The 3.6, a two-person dinghy, is just that in length. "It is robust, cheap to produce and the first boat customised for team racing. This is a boat for people who don't own a boat. It is a boat made for a situation where different crews will be using it and it has to be able to stand up to that pressure. I looked at the concept of the Firefly and then adapted it to what will prove to be a good boat for team racing," David told me.

The boat was shown for the first time at the announcement that Schull will host the ISAF Team Racing World Championships which will be held in the West Cork harbour in 2011. Twenty-four teams from around the world will compete, with the Fastnet Outdoor Education Centre as the base. It has a proven record of success in teaching sailing as a curricular subject at the adjacent Schull Community College which, through the foresight of the Cork County Vocational Education Committee, established this approach several years ago.

David Harte manages the operation. The success of the Schull students in winning the British championships this year, as well as their progress in the sport elsewhere after they leave the college is a testimony to his success.

Next weekend the Irish Team Racing Championships will be held in Schull, with 18 teams from around the country competing "and 40 per cent of the helms will come from Schull," David told me with a satisfied smile, which he deserves to have.

It is intended to raise funding for a fleet of 25 new TR 3.6 boats which Schull will provide for the world championships. Afterwards the boats will remain there, providing more years of sailing for young people. A sponsorship project has been launched and already seven boats have been funded. It is intended to build the boats in Cork and to have the sails made there. The world championships are scheduled to start on Saturday, August 27, 2011.

Photos of the new design afloat HERE

• This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO newspaper, Cork, where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation

Three men are dead and a fourth has been injured after a boat went on fire and sank off the West Cork coast this evening. It happened in waters south of Roundcarrig Lighthouse off Adrigole Harbour, Bantry Bay. It is understood a serious fire broke out on the 25-foot cruiser. The RNLI lifeboat went to the cruiser's rescue at 5.45pm. There is no information currently about the type of cruiser involved.

cruiseronfire

Photo: courtesy of Castletownbere lifeboat

A Coast Guard helicopter spotted the men in the water. The boat was on fire and sinking as they arrived.

The bodies of the three victims have been removed to hospital. It is understood all four men, who were in their 60s, were living in the Glengarriff area.

One of the victims is Irish and the other two men are from other European countries. A fourth man, who survived the incident, has also been taken to hospital.

The boat sank a short while later off Roancarrig, about seven miles from the fishing port. Conditions were calm at the time with some light fog in the bay, the spokeswoman said. Officials from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board will carry out an inquiry into the incident.
It is understood investigations will centre on whether an explosion in the engine caused the fire.

Press Release from RNLI: 

Lifeboat crew with Castletownbere RNLI responded to a callout out this evening (Monday 16 August 2010) to a 25-foot cruiser on fire seven miles off the coast of Castletownbere, off Adrigole Harbour in Bantry Bay. The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter was on scene and recovered four casualties from the water. Three were pronounced dead and one was taken to Cork University hospital for treatment.

The Castletownbere all weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 17.41 hrs in calm conditions. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat volunteers witnessed the vessel on fire and the CG helicopter was recovering the casualties from the water. The Shannon based helicopter had been out on a callout and was in the area. The lifeboat was designated on scene commander and stayed on scene until the burning cruiser sank.

Published in Rescue
The ten competitors in the Crosshaven to Schull overnight race had a glorious spinnaker run out of Cork harbour as far as Cork Head before settling in for the long trip west with the freshening western breeze writes Claire Bateman. The trip was uneventful until the Class One fleet had passed Galley Head when in the early hours of Saturday morning Aidan Heffernans 'Indulgence' developed a steering problem. With three of his fellow competitors standing by a call was put out to Baltimore Lifeboat who towed the casualty safely to Baltimore.

The race continued to Schull where Donal O'Learys 'D Tox' took line honours finishing shortly after 7am. With numerous requests for redress, the race committee had a busy time sorting Class One results, which resulted in 'D Tox' taking first in both IRC and Echo, with Exhale and Saxon Senator filling second and third.

The spoils were shared in Class Two With Kieran O Briens 'Magnet' taking the IRC trophy, with the Barrett/Conlon team in 'Y Knot' winning Echo.

In the combined Classes Three and Four dogged determination finally paid off for Eddie Higgins and the crew of La Maraquita who, sailing the smallest boat in the race, crossed the Schull line in an elapsed time of sixteen and a half hours to capture the Echo trophy, with David Kenefick's 'Tiger' winning IRC.

_81Y0024af

West Cork bound. Photo: Robert Bateman

Compared with their companions from the previous night, the five White Sail boats that started from Kinsale on Saturday morning had an uneventful long slog to Schull where Bryan Heffernans 'Aisling' took first ahead of Doherty and Co in 'Free Spirit' and Julian Dockery's 'Flying Fish',while Kieran Dwyer's 'Brazen Huzzie' was the sole finisher in White Sail Two.

On Sunday the Wind Gods totally deserted Schull, where Race Officer Neill Prendeville was finally forced to fly the abandonment flag after a four hour postponement.

Published in Calves Week

With over 60 confirmed entries at present, the 2010 Calves Week in Schull is expected to top the 80 boat mark for the annual West Cork festival of sailing. The week long sailing event is once again supported by the local business community together with sponsorship from Saab, Airtech Security and A&L Castors.

This year’s event will feature racing for eight cruiser classes, together with the growing West Cork 1720 fleet of sportsboats

Due to the dramatic increase in numbers, the White Sail fleet will be split into two, with a cut off point of approximately 35ft. Both fleets will begin the series in Kinsale, where they will start a daylight race to Schull at 8am on Saturday morning July 31st.

The cruiser fleets in Classes Zero, 1 and 2 will start the traditional Crosshaven/ Fastnet/Schull overnight race at an earlier time of 19.30 on Friday 30th from the Weavers Point line, while Classes 3 and 4 will sail a shorter course direct to Schull.

The opening reception and briefing has been moved from the event headquarters at the Fastnet Marine Centre to the Harbour View Hotel in Schull and will take place at 8.00 pm on Saturday 31st, and this venue will also host the final overall presentation of prizes on Sunday August 8th.   

The first race from Schull will start on Sunday 1st August when the fleets will sail a variety of courses which will all finish in Baltimore in the late afternoon. Some of the boats will stay overnight for Monday’s regatta with the full fleet again resuming for battle in Schull on Tuesday morning where a costal race is scheduled. 

On Wednesday the fleet will sail to Cape Clere Island for the fun regatta of the week. The racing boats will anchor in South Harbour while the support craft will tie up in North Harbour. This infamous event is run by the secret committee of the Cape Clere Yachting Association and has always proved to be the ideal location for the crews to “leave their hair down”

On Thursday the racing returns to Schull with a mid week presentation of trophies in the Courtyard on main street, while on Friday the fleet will round the Fastnet Rock with a finish in Crookhaven, where some of the  boats remain overnight for the following days regatta.

The exhausting week will finally conclude on Sunday August 8th with Schull Regatta where racing will take place on a variety of courses in Roaring Water Bay, with the closing ceremony and overall presentation of trophies at 8.00 pm at the  Harbour View Hotel.

 

 

 

 

Published in 1720

Royal Cork Boats were well represented today (Sun) at Glandore Harbour Yacht Club At Home writes Claire Bateman. Mediterranean conditions prevailed with sun, wind and sparkling blue water. When conditions such as existed today prevail this is a little piece of paradise tucked away in West Cork surrounded by glorious scenery. It was apt that they were rewarded with these conditions for the celebration of their 25th anniversary. The mouth of the harbour is marked by the Adam and Eve Islands and the cruisers had a start south east of this point using Neil Prendeville's Mary P as committee boat and a race officer team that included event organiser Cormac O'Carroll. The 16 knot breeze outside the harbour was from the south west, while inside the harbour there was a lighter breeze that one would guess was more from the north west and this was where the Squibs were sailing their two day championship.

The club is a hive of activity in furthering its amenities and they are very actively raising funds for a new club house. They had a raffle for a new car on offer today to further this project. Also they had a novel event of a Pig Roast-Barbeque with great music by the Roaring Forties and were looking forward to a great night of entertainment.

 

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 22 of 22

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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