Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Adam Bowers

#fireball – Normally the start of the Irish Fireball summer season is heralded with a coaching session by a leading UK Fireballer doing the honours. For a few years this weekend session was undertaken by Adam Bowers of ABC for Winning. Last year, Adam was succeeded by Simon Potts who with Tom Gillard won the 2013 Fireball Worlds in Portoroz in Slovenia (15091). Simon's circumstances have changed so this year the training will be undertaken by Richard Wagstaff who is also a former World and European Championship winning crew.

In tandem with Matt Burge, Richard won the World Championships hosted by Sligo Yacht Club in 2011 (15036) and won the Europeans the following years in Bracciano in Italy (15084), and Portoroz, Slovenia, again with Matt (15093).

The weekend of coaching takes place this weekend at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club with a 09:00 start on the Saturday morning. Topics that are down for discussion include;

• Boat review & set up (in the dinghy park)

• Spinnaker hoist and acceleration on the top reach

• Straight line speed

• Crew tips and techniques

 At the start

 On the beat

 The hoist/gybe/drop

• Boat preparation – control lines set-up, rigging

• Regatta preparation, research.

Rigging and introductions will start off the proceedings on Saturday morning. Supper is proposed for the Purty Kitchen after the day's teaching is concluded. Sunday has a 09:30 start and it is expected that the Porsche Cup will be contested again.

The funding of the weekend avails of a scheme promoted by the Irish sailing Association and the Irish Fireball Class would like to acknowledge the support of the ISA in allowing us to offer this weekend of coaching to our members.

A recent class rule change however, prompted an earlier triggering of thoughts of summer racing. A reduction in the all up weight of the Fireball (hull, permanent fittings and weight correctors) from 79.4 to 76.4kg led to a very well organised weighing session that took place last Saturday, 18th April.

Approximately, fourteen Fireballs underwent a reweighing of either of two varieties – a full re-weighing in accordance with Class rules or a weighing of the correctors in individual boats. The Class rules require the boats to undergo a period of drying before the weighing takes place and Stephen Oram was able to organise premises for this purpose through work connections. Stephen also organised for appropriate scales to be available on the day. Irish Class Measurers, Eddie Ferris and Owen Sinnott documented the process which was a specific requirement of the rule change implantation and individual boat certificates of measurement were adjusted accordingly.

The statistics made for interesting discussion with some of the older boats putting relatively modest amounts of lead back into their boats. Most interestingly was the fact that one of the newest boats in the fleet was in actual fact carrying too much lead, so we can expect them to have an upturn in speed through the water. Despite a work schedule that embraced the prospect of weighing fourteen boats, a conveyor belt approach was taken to the weighing process and each boat was also checked for material left behind accidentally in the buoyancy tanks.

Class Chair, Marie Barry made sure that all those in attendance were properly looked after with sandwiches, biscuits, chocolate cake and tea/coffee available for all the participants.

Our thanks therefore go to Marie, Stephen, Eddie and Owen for giving of their time to the Class cause, and to Stephen for organising the premises and scales. The statistics of the day will be fed to Tom Egli, Technical Representative of Fireball International so that an assessment of the exercise worldwide can be undertaken.

A leaner Irish Fireball fleet is the favourable outcome of the day's proceedings!

With boats re-weighed last weekend and coaching this weekend, the advent of racing can be eagerly looked forward to and this gets underway with the first Tuesday night race next week, 28th April.

Published in Fireball

Why does the Irish Fireball fleet persist in inviting Adam Bowers to a coaching session at the start of every domestic season writes Cormac Bradley?

To answer that question, I will begin at the conclusion of his end of session briefing on the Sunday afternoon and testimonies from people in different constituencies in the Irish Fireball fleet; "I first came across Adam at a training session in the UK and made a point of going across for subsequent training sessions. He is a natural teacher, he could teach you anything, sailing, engineering.......... Now that I can access him here in Ireland, it makes it so much easier. He is excellent at what he does and he has the experience of doing it right at the highest level in regattas."

"I was contemplating giving up on the Fireball, but this weekend has boosted my enthusiasm. I am now looking forward to the rest of the season."

"First time I've seen my own sailing on video – great to have the input to how I can improve.

Looking from outside the boat with expert advice has made a huge difference."

Previous articles on Adam's training of the Irish Fireball fleet may have come across as being a bit gushy – hail fellow, well met type commentary, but as these two statements confirm there is a persona about the man that makes him very easy to listen to! Additionally as a World Championship winning crew in the Fireball, a committed and successful Osprey and J24 sailor and a highly regarded coach to the UK Cadet Class, Olympic aspirants and the RYA, it would be difficult to deny that he has all the credentials to coach at the highest level.

We like him in particular because of his infectious enthusiasm for what he is doing, his attention to our requirements and the tailoring of the classroom and on-the-water sessions to the goals of the weekend. Over and above that he gave specific attention to three boats on the shore in terms of mast and rigging setup.

The combination of whiteboard work to explain the principles of what he is teaching, his own experiences of what he is trying to get across, the on the water exercise and the video footage to conduct the post-mortem afterwards means that everyone in attendance can follow what the weekend is setting out to achieve. An additional bonus this year is the fact that he brought sunshine with him.

From a Fireball Class perspective, the turnout this weekend was small, 6 boats on Saturday and 8 on Sunday! For those who were in attendance, the advantage of the small numbers was that they got more one-on-one attention from Adam.

There was more room to do the exercises on the water.

Objectives for the weekend were;
· Straight line speed (upwind and downwind).
· Starting techniques.
· Tight spinnaker reaching.
· Spinnaker handling.
And the weekend was rounded off with the three race, back to back, no discard, Porsche Cup.
Concepts that were covered over the weekend included;
· PSSSTT – Position, Space, Speed, Slippage, Time, Transits.
· Gorgeousness
· Fastest Speed – Shortest Distance.
· Reducing the ability of other boats to RUIN YOUR DAY!
· Stop giving away parcels of time – first reach, gybe mark, leeward mark, 2nd beat!
· Importance of the long tack.
· Importance of layline calls
· Communication – a quiet boat is a slow boat!
· Spinnakers – 50% trimming, 50% communication.
· Spinnaker handling – windward set with windward pole, drops, trimming.
· Spinnaker adjustment – pole height, collapsing leeches – windward & leeward.
· Boats whisper, rudders shout!
· The concepts of Risk and Reward.
· When does strategy start and how do tactics influence the strategy?
· First beat is a race to the bottom of the 9th square!!

Weather conditions inside Dun Laoghaire harbour were ideal for the weekend. On Saturday morning we started in light winds and sunshine with the wind coming from the eastern quarter of the compass. As the morning progressed the wind strength gradually increased and became more blustery.

Some people took a swim in the afternoon. On Sunday the wind had completely changed direction to blow from the south and west, was stiffer and topped off with grey skies. However, as the day progressed, the grey skies gave way
to sunshine and the odd showers. The rain clouds had an interesting influence on the running of the Porsche Cup which was successfully defended by Noel Butler and Stephen Oram.

The weekend was hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, to whom we offer our thanks. Adam was hosted and chauffeured by Stephen Oram and Marie Barry and support for the event over the two days, in the form of rib drivers and crew was provided by Neil Colin, Margaret Casey, Alistair Court, Hermine O'Keeffe, Grattan Donnelly, Mick Creighton and Aidan Burke.

Thanks too, to those people who attended the course.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Joe Costello and the Vice-Commodore is Pat Shannon.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

Who is the Chief Executive of the Royal Irish Yacht Club? 

Padraig McCarthy is the RIYC CEO.  Tel  01 280 9452 extn 7 email: [email protected]

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club". 

At A Glance – Royal Irish Yacht Regatta 2020 Dates

RIYC Regatta 2020: Saturday 27 June

RIYC Junior Regatta 2020: Wednesday 29 July

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating