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Displaying items by tag: Team Racing

#teamracing – An Irish team has won a top Australian team sailing championship on Sydney Harbour.

The Gladiators - whose members have represented Ireland at almost all team sailing world championships since 2003 - have beaten 21 teams to take the New South Wales titles at Woolahra Sailing Club.
The NSW states, sailed in supplied 3.7m Pacer dinghies, is often more competitive and better-attended than the national championships.
The Gladiators were denied racing on the first day of the two-day event because of light winds on the short S-shaped course on Rose Bay on the first weekend of April.
And things were looking bad for a clean win on the Sunday with just four wins against two race losses.
But that was enough to slip into a tight three-race semi-final against Imperial Poona Yacht Club - captained by veteran racer Paddy Oliver (not Olliver), originally from Ballyholme, County Down, butbased in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, championship defenders and national match race champions Cruising Yacht Club Australia had lost the opposite semi to the unbeaten Sydney University.
Gladiators won the best-of-three final after only two races, scoring a 2,3,4 and a 1,3,6 in millpond conditions - making a miraculous recovery after a disastrous 2,5,6 windward mark rounding in the final race.
The six-strong team, accountant Sam Hunt, 30, Sydney/ Kinsale; carpenter and token Aussie Elliott Noye, 21, Hobart; journalist Conor Byrne, 29, Darwin/Skerries; engineer Claire Cassidy, 30, Sydney/Dublin; recruiter Gillian Burke, 28, Sydney/Howth; and Dr Frances O'Loughlin, 31, Nowra/Malahide; was third in the 2012 edition.

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#teamracing – The Royal St George Yacht Club continues to develop as the centre of team racing in Ireland. The "George Invitational" sailed on 23rd – 24th March marked another important step – with the inauguration of a flight of brand new Firefly dinghies.

Nine teams competed this year for the Invitational trophy The top Irish teams were competing: - the National Champions the George Knights; the newly crowned University Champs, University of Limerick and double School Champions (both UK and Ireland) from Schull Community College. Two teams from the UK competed, 'Spinnaker' and, above all 'Wessex Exempt' the current Irish Open Champions, who had drafted in World Champion Andy Cornah into their line up making them the pre-event favourites.

The weather did not cooperate. Event organiser Marty O'Leary, acting as OOD, ably assisted by Nin O'Leary and Richard Bruton did well to complete two rounds of sailing on Saturday in a gusty 25 knot south-easterly.

Competitors raced in the home club fireflies, 6 of which were the brand new Orange and Blue boats. The multiple mark rounding in winds gusting up to 30 knots meant for plenty of thrills and spills. With some marks within feet of the the East Pier the passing Saturday strollers were entertained by some skilled and spectacular sailing.

After an initial mini round robin, the 5 top teams went through to the Gold Fleet with the bottom 4 sailing in the Silver. After this round Wessex Exempt led the Gold Fleet with 3 wins, breaking the tie break with their Southampton rivals Spinnaker who also had three race wins. The home club's team the RSGYC knights had 2 wins to lie third, defending champions Howth Yacht club lay fourth with one win and the college stars of UL were fifth.

Sailors and Umpires enjoyed a great dinner in the Royal St. George's formal dining room on Saturday night, with Marty O'Leary acting as compere for the evening and encouraging each team to perform a party piece.

Sunday morning brought more South Easterly breezes but with winds now gusting 35 knots and an air temperature of 4 degrees, competitors, race committee and umpires were keen to stay ashore. A second Gold Silver league had been started on Saturday evening with the Knights making the early running. But ultimately the weather had the final say and the results of the previous Gold/Silver rounds determined the trophy.

So the team of Wessex Exempt ; Jon Pinner, Sharon Quigley, Andy Cornah, Rachel Williamson, Claire Lasko and Bethan Carden ended up winners of the 2013 RSGYC Invitational.

For further information on team racing in the Royal St George contact John Sheehy: [email protected]

For information on team racing in general contact Gordon Davies, Hon Sec Irish Team Racing Association: [email protected] and telephone 0861501220

Link to the latest Irish Team Racing News

Published in Team Racing

#teamracingThree days of great racing on Tralee Bay, snatched from under the decidedly unsettled Patrick's Day weekend weather, saw the annual Irish Universities Sailing Association (IUSA) team championship raced at full pressure from March 15th to 17th writes WM Nixon. University of Limerick (UL) took the title from University College Dublin (UCD) in a cliff-hanger finish for the Gold Fleet, while University College Cork 1 (UCC 1) topped the Silvers. And in a healthy geographical spread of champions which augurs very well for the growing strength of college sailing in Ireland, the Bronze Fleet was won by Queens University Belfast (QUB).

Traditionally, St Patrick's Day is when the keener Irish sailors take the winter covers off their boat. But the university year dictates that all college racing is done in the off season, and most of the 26 teams which descended on Tralee with snow and northerly gales forecast had already put in several team racing events in 2013.

They were rewarded by Tralee Bay having some of the best weather going in all Ireland for the long weekend. And with Commodore Pat Daly of TBSC heading up the support effort from a host club which is noted for its hospitality (and that in Kerry, which is Ireland's Hospitality HQ), the event went in great style, with 196 races completed to provide a comprehensive awards list.

Hosting club ULSC had its noted helm Robert O'Leary stand aside from sailing duties in order to put through the organizing of this hugely demanding series, and the Limerick college were supported in their administrative efforts by sponsorship from Ulster Bank, while Banna Beach Resort just up the Kerry coast from TBSC's base at Fenit were able to row in with accommodation support towards housing a total of 156 sailors.

There was an international element to the event, as the Scottish Universities Sailing Association (SUSA) sent a representative selected squad. But in the end, all the trophies stayed on the island of Ireland after three days of varying but sailable weather. The format meant that the Bronze fleet were decided first with QUB captained by Jack Alexander-Gebhard taking the title, and then in the Silvers UCC 2 captained by Robin O'Mahony had the best of it from UL2 captained by Peadar O'Suillebhan.

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Winning University of Limerick captain Ross Murray on Tralee Bay - he is also the current IUSA Sailor of the Year Photo: Cian Gallagher

In the Gold Fleet, UCC 1 (Rob Lehane captain) placed third, then in the final between UCD (captain Simon Doran) against UL captained by IUSA Sailor of the Year Ross Murray for best of five, it went to the wire with UL taking it on the line for three out of five wins.

With the team racing decided, this marks the conclusion of what could be called the college numbers game for 2013, although the UL team now have to go to England for the British Universities Team Opens at the end of April. But meanwhile elite crews are being selected by each university for the Irish selection trials for the Student Yachting Worlds in France. The selection will be a three day format, racing the ISA SailFleet J/80s (based this year in Howth) on April 6th, 13th and 20th. Interest is intense, as the Worlds will also be raced in J/80s, and Ireland will have two places. UCD well be there as of right, as current world champions, so there'll be a place for an additional Irish college team up for grabs in April.

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#teamracing – Eight Leinster schools gathered at the Royal St George Yacht Club on Sunday to battle for provincial bragging rights and coveted places at the Irish Nationals in Schull writes Heather King. The sailors raced in two six-boat flights of Firefly dinghies owned by the RStGYC, including one flight just out of the wrappers!
Under the stewardship of Organiser John Sheehy and Racing John Downey, the racing was slick and very competitive. Conditions were fairly light and tricky though, with the finish line just yards away from the changeover point halfway down the East Pier. Great spectating for competitors, parents and strollers.
After the twenty eight race round robin with each team racing seven times, a clear divide emerged with 4 teams ahead on 5 or 6 wins. Kilkenny College and Gonzaga both had six and St Andrews and Belvedere College were both on five. In the second half of the table Mount Anville emerged top on 3 wins with a young team that very nearly took one or two big scalps along the way. The other teams – Gonzaga B, St Gerards and a selection from Bray schools - all had their finer moments and consistently displayed great teamwork and camaraderie.

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Royal St. George organiser John Sheehy (left) with (top) Kilkenny College winners and (below) the third placed St. Andrews College team
By 1600 hours the harbour had become a glassy pond and despite an effort to run another round, the RO called a halt. The big round robin series decided the results with tie-breaks going the way of "who beat who" in individual matches.
This gave the title to Kilkenny College and their team of Heather O Connor, Conor O'Reilly, Scott Levie, Sean Landers, Douglas Elmes and Emily McGrath, with Gonzaga 2nd and St Andrews 3rd and Belvedere College 4th. Mount Anville in 5th took 1st all-girl team. It is top 5 that are guaranteed places at the All-Irelands in Schull on April 13,14.

Published in Team Racing

#teamracing – Schools from across Leinster will sail for the province's Schools Team Racing Championship title in March at the Royal St.George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

The Leinster Schools Team Racing Championship 2013, for three boat teams, will take place on Saturday March 16th. The Championship will be sailed in the club's two person Firefly dinghies. Last year the title was won by Dublin's Gonzaga College.

The event run by the Irish Schools Sailing Association is open to all secondary schools. Each school will put forward a team of 6 sailors aged 18 years of age and under on 14 April 2013.

Prizes will be awarded to the first three school teams with up to four top teams then being selected to represent Leinster at the National School Team Racing Championship in Schull from the 13th to the 14th of April (subject to eligibility).

Teams wishing to compete should contact Carol Healion in the Royal Saint George Yacht Club; 01 214 7859 or [email protected]

A notice of race and an entry form are available to download below.

Published in Team Racing

#teamracing – Despite the news from the Dun Laoghaire ISAF conference last week that there will be no ISAF Team Racing Worlds in 2013, team racing in Ireland is still thriving, this country having hosted the last worlds in Schull in 2011. 18 teams travelled to Schull over the weekend of 10th - 11th November for the Irish Team Racing Association National Championships.

Two of Britain's best teams made the trip, repeating their success of last year. Irish teams included the highly experienced George Knights, the young stars of Schull Youth, college teams from UCC ad UCD, not forgetting two teams from Presentation Brothers, Cork particiapting for the first time. Full results are downloadable as a pdf below.

The organising team from Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre ran racing with great efficiency. On Saturday the occasional squall with gusts up to 35 knots held up racing as boats sheltered in the lee of the harbour wall. Despite this, by the end of the day a first round league had been completed and the second round was under way. League C of the first round was extremely close fought, with 3 teams on 4 wins. The two teams promoted to the Round 2 Gold League were only decided after the third tie break!

After he second round the two British teams, Wessex Extreme and Vultures were leading, allowing them an easier draw in the quarter finals. The Irish teams progressing to the knock-out rounds were:

George Knights, Schull Alumni, PP&J, UCC1 and the first two from the Silver League, UCD and Schull Youth. The hierarchy established in the leagues was maintained with, with the top fou teams progressing to the semi-finals. Wessex Extreme and the George Knights emerged victorious to contest the final.

Anxious to make it to the airport in time for their flight home, Wessex Extreme pulled out all the stops to win the final in two straight races, retaining their overall winner title from last year.

The George Knights added their name, yet again, to the long list of Irish Champions.

Next year's championship will be sailed in Dun Laoghaire on 9th -10th November 2013.

Results

Overall Winner: Wessex Extreme

Overall Second and Irish Champions : George Knights

Irish Youth Champions : Schull Youth

ISA Silver Medal : Schull Alumni

ISA Bronze Medal : PP&J

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#teamracing – Fresh from the success of the Junior All Ireland's at the weekend the Irish Team Racing National Championships are next up in Schull, West Cork on 10th and 11th November.

Organised by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre, the event will be sailed in the fleet of dinghies TR3.6 specially built for the ISAF Team Racing Worlds.

Teams from all the top Irish colleges, as well as the senior teams that continue to compete in this exciting form racing. Sailors from Schull will be numerous, continuing the tradition of the successful Schull

Youth team. Entries have already been received from British teams attracted by the sailing in West Cork, not to mention the legendary socialising.

Teams, both senior and youth, who wish to compete should contact the Irish Team Racing Association ([email protected]). A Notice of Race and Entry Form are attached to download below as word docs.

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#TEAM RACING - The inaugural EUROSAF Team Racing European 2 Keelboat Championships will be sailed at Lelystad in the Netherlands on 21-23 September.

Entries are invited from teams of six sailors (only four of one gender) with no weight limit. The entry fee is €380, with a €500 damage deposit.

2K team racing is a spectacular form of the sport, as it is rare, when teams are evenly balanced, for one team to get in to a commanding lead.

The team with the last boat loses, so the only safe winning position is to be first and second, with a unassailable lead over the third boat. In all other situations attack and defence continue right up to the finishing line.

Irish teams would benefit greatly from their previous team racing experience, particularly suitable for sailors who have experience of team racing but who find that the Fireflies seem to have shrunk since they were in college! On the other hand the Dutch and the Italians have been honing their skills in 2K racing for several years. All in all, this should be a fascinating event.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are attached below, and the Irish Team Racing Association requests any team proposing to enter to contact them at [email protected]

Published in Team Racing

#WILSON TROPHY – West Cork's Schull Youth Team lifted the Under 21 trophy at the Wilson trophy at West Kirby in the UK this afternoon

Schull, one of three Irish team competing, finished the event half way down the leaderboard on eight wins. The team comprises four 18-year-olds and two 16-year-olds, all from Schull in southern Ireland, where team racing is part of their school curriculum. They competed at the ISAF Team Racing World Championship on home waters last year where they were narrowly beaten by West Kirby One (it came down to a penalty turn at the end of the deciding race). At the Wilson Trophy it was Schull Youth's turn.

"There is serious rivalry, but we beat them here - we got our revenge on their home turf," declared a satisfied Oisin O'Driscoll, a Schull Youth helm.

At one point on Saturday Schull Youth had pulled up to eighth overall, but O'Driscoll said they had made some silly mistakes due to their inexperience. "This was my first time at the Wilson Trophy – it is the most amazing team racing event ever. It is the best set-up I have ever seen. Every race is bang-bang-bang. We had over 200 races – it's incredible."

The 63rd Wilson Trophy will be remembered as the sunniest and windiest on record, but also for being the first time, in as long as anyone can remember, that competition at West Kirby Sailing Club's British Open Team Racing Championship had to be cut short mid-way through the quarter finals.

Ireland's two other teams Royal St. George YC and Howth YC finished tenth and 11th respectively. Dun Laoghaire's John Sheehy was the guest speaker at the event and Rachel McManus received the Joyce Evans Trophy. Full results table here. Below youtube footage of the race between Schull Youth and Royal Lymington YC 2012.

Because of this the final results reverted to the last complete round, or round 16 of the Wilson Trophy's Swiss league, where local favourites West Kirby Hawks had come out on top, followed by New Forest Pirates.

Racing today started at 0800 in 12 knots, the wind having backed into the west overnight. This enabled the race management team to bring the number of rounds completed up to 16, or an amazing 240 races sailed for the thirty teams taking part. Unfortunately, just as the final rounds were starting, the wind built significantly. The teams were sent back to fit smaller mainsails and the quarterfinals eventually got underway with the gathered crowd on the stadium seating adding their own unique commentary to the proceedings. Sadly the wind continued to build and with this came damage - jib tensioners and main halyards parting company and a broken rudder.

The big conditions were forecast, only for later in the afternoon, as Principle Race Officer Adam Whittle explained: "The wind came in a lot earlier than it was meant to. It was gusting 36 knots at Hilbre [the weather station nearby] and it just wasn't feasible to continue. We were having break downs and people were getting injured. It wasn't team racing – it was survival. Having sailed 16 rounds in perfect team racing conditions, I thought it would have been wrong of us to carry on."

Having suffered defeats to a US team in the last two Wilson Trophy finals, West Kirby Hawks finally came out on top for the first time since 2009.

Hawks helmsman Andy Cornah said they were right to stop racing. "The problem with these conditions is you are not team racing, you are just trying to get the boats around the course and it changes it a lot and it's not what you want."

West Kirby Hawks started the day on the back foot, a win behind Wessex Exempt and Royal Thames Red, but an excellent morning saw them complete the league in the lead, the sole team on 12 wins, ahead of New Forest Pirates, Tabby Cats, West Kirby SC and Wessex Exempt on 11.

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Winners West Kirby Hawks. Photo: James Boyd

"Yesterday was a little bit frustrating and we dropped a few races, which we were disappointed about," admitted Cornah. "We knew this forecast was here today and winning the league would be important, so we just forgot about yesterday and moved on and put a good series together."

West Kirby Hawks has a 'new' boat this season sailed by Matt Findlay and Toby Lewis, after Dom Johnson and Debs Steele retired following their ISAF Team Racing World Championship victory last year. However in a one-off appearance Johnson and Steele returned to this Wilson Trophy with New Forest Pirates and, clearly having lost none of their skill, came home second with Stuart and Jane Hudson and Owen Modral and Claire Wood.

Dom Johnson explained: "We are taking some time out and are not campaigning at the moment, so we took the opportunity to reform an old team we used to sail together as. My team mates haven't really done any team racing for the last four years, so it was nice to come back and do the best team racing event of the calendar and have some fun. We were really chuffed to end up with second place."

A highlight was beating the West Kirby Hawks early on yesterday, although they were subsequently beaten by the eventual victors when the two teams came head to head earlier today.

As to terminating racing, Johnson added: "It is a shame we haven't been able to finish off the event, but I think they made the right call – I snapped a rudder in the last race and it was a bit of a melee. We were at that stage of breeze where things were starting to give up. It must have been blowing over 30 knots in some of those gusts and masts and ripped sails would have been next."

Despite the weather not co-operating, West Kirby Sailing Club Commodore Chris Riley was satisfied with this year's event. "I think it has gone very well. It is a shame about the weather at the beginning and at the end, but that's sailing. This morning and Saturday the weather was perfect and we got over 200 races in and that was fantastic. We can't complain and all the competitors are very very happy. It is just a shame we didn't get the finals in."

Published in Team Racing

#WILSON TROPHY – Were the Wilson Trophy a speed sailing event, then today would have been perfect with sunshine and 20+ knot winds this afternoon . Unfortunately with the wind gusting up to 36 knots in the morning, racing was unable to take place at West Kirby Sailing Club's British Open Team Racing Championship, despite one false start at 1600.

"It dropped to mid-20s and continued to drop and then when I announced to the competitors that we'd go, we had had 20 minutes of 14-15 knots - so sailable conditions - then unfortunately it came back up," explained Principle Race Officer, Adam Whittle. "Yesterday when the tide turned, the wind went as well and I thought it would do the same today and the Hilbre forecast said it was dropping, but unfortunately that wasn't what happened."

Racing will now commence at 0800 tomorrow when conditions are looking more sedate, with 10 knots and sunshine forecast. "In the history of doing two and a half days we have never lost a half day, so it is a shame," admitted Whittle.

At the Wilson Trophy the great and good of team racing are instead reluctantly filling their time at West Kirby Sailing Club's bar. Among them is Steve Tylecote, author of Team Racing For Sailboats, who has competed at this event around 22 times and reckons he's won it six or seven times.

"It is a tough call with a very, very enthusiastic bunch of sailors here," Tylecote said of the lack of play today. "The Race Officer can never win – do they get lynched by the sailors or the owners of the boats? If it was the end of the regatta and we were in the knock-out phase, they would have gone sailing with reefed mains. One of the things they could consider is racing without jibs as well, but they have never done that here yet."

Tylecote is competing with the Rutland Raiders, a local team from Rutland with a line-up that includes former Olympic Finn turned Musto Skiff sailor, Richard Stenhouse.

Making the trip across from Ireland is Darragh O'Connor, a helm with the Howth Yacht Club team. This is only O'Connor's second participation at the Wilson Trophy, although he wishes he'd been able to come more. "I was asked four or five times over university to do it, but it always clashed with college exams. I finally finished college a couple of years ago and I have been doing it ever since and hopefully I'll be back for a lot more."

Only two of the six-strong line-up are Howth Yacht Club members, but O'Connor says they sail a lot out of that club, which also kindly put up some money to help send them across from Ireland to compete at West Kirby this weekend. Last year O'Connor's team narrowly missed out on reaching the quarter finals. "We hope to step it up this year and if we get to the quarter finals, we'll be very happy."

Personally O'Connor heralds from Schull in West Cork, which is where the ISAF Team Racing World Championship was held last year. Schull has this year sent a youth team to the Wilson Trophy.

As to not racing today, O'Connor agrees with the ultimate call not to go racing. "It is better to have good racing than forced. It takes away from team racing and puts it into survival mode."

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