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Full championship racing got under way in Schull Harbour yesterday as twelve international sailing teams contest the ISAF Open World Team Racing Championship and eight compete for the Youth Worlds.

The first day of full competitive racing took place in perfect conditions with a strong easterly breeze,which gradually swung southeast , allowing for a full round robin of 96 scheduled races to be completed on the day. At this early stage of competition, the top four places in the Open Championship are occupied by American and British teams.


The American first team ,NYCC Team Extreme, this year's winners of the Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship, dominated exchanges with ten wins from eleven races. Two British teams, the British University Sailing Association (BUSA) team and West Kirby Hawks share the second and third spots with nine wins from ten races and USA team The Rockets from Newport, Rhode Island, in fourth place on the round robin table.

In the Youth Worlds section of the event, the Spanish team proved to be the surprise package on the first day , winning all their races until defeated by the Irish Youth Champions, Schull Community College, in their final race. This resulted in both these teams jointly topping the table at the the end of the first day's racing.


The Official Opening of the Championship took place on Tuesday Evening, performed by Mr. Tomasz Holc, Vice-president of the International Sailing Federation, ISAF, with the hoisting of the ISAF flag and the flags of the competing nations. A highlight of the evening was a performance for the assembled teams, officials, sponsors and guests by internationally famous accordion virtuoso, Liam O' Connor, of Lord of the Dance fame and now touring internationally with his own show.

Published in Team Racing
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The seaside village of Schull was en fete yesterday as, in bright sunshine, locals and visitors alike turned out in huge numbers to welcome sailors from around the globe to a world event based in a village setting.

Already, the Australian team , early midweek arrivals, have expressed their wonder and appreciation at the West Cork welcome afforded them, the beauty of the Mizen Peninsula and its proximity to that iconic sailing landmark–the Fastnet Rock.

They have now been joined by teams from the USA, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Japan, Thailand and Ireland to contest the ISAF World Team Racing Championships throughout this week.


Schull village welcomes the ISAF Team Racing event yesterday. Photo: Brian Carlin. Scroll down for more photos.

The village was a riot of colour as the parade of nations made its way up the main street, with premises flying the flags of their adopted nations and their window displays imaginatively paying tribute to the visiting teams. The parade was led by ten vintage cars, with ten more bringing up the rear, and the ever popular Skibbereen Silver Band Providing the music.

The entourage reflected elements of the sporting, cultural and artistic life of the local area with groups representing Irish traditional music and dance, local youth and sports clubs and Schull Drama Club providing a particularly interactive and quirky element to the proceedings. The international teams, interspersed throughout the parade were treated to a rapturous welcoming reception from the kerbside audience which, judging by their responses, they thoroughly enjoyed.

At the reviewing stand an official welcome from the Schull community was extended by Schull And District Community Council Chairman, Sean Lannin. A charming touch was added to the occasion in the form of each participating country being welcomed in their own language by a native of that country now resident in West Cork, emphasising once again the cosmopilitan nature of the region's population.

The parade continued on its way to The Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre at Schull Community College where the teams were officially welcomed to the sailing venue by Tim O' Connor, college principal and chairman of the local organising team for the event and by Declan Hurley, Chairman of Cork Council's Western Committee, Cork County Council being one of the major sponsors of the Championship.

There followed a short Irish music and dance performance and a recital by the Skibbereen Silver Band in the spacious marquee erected at the scenic shoreline site.

An informal reception was enjoyed by visitors and community setting the tone for an exciting and enjoyable week both on the water and in the village.
Action on the water kicks off on Monday with a training and familiarisation day in the new and locally built TR3.6 metre dinghies. Practice Race Day takes place on Tuesday with Championship Racing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. World Youth Finals take place on Saturday and World Open Finals and Prizegiving Ceremony on Sunday, September 4.

Published in Team Racing
Sailing teams from Australia, Japan, United States, Thailand, Italy, Spain and Ireland will converge on Schull next week (August 27th - September 4th) to contest the ISAF World Team Racing Championships at both open and youth level writes Vincent Ahern. The seaside village looks resplendent as it prepares to welcome the influx of sailors with their supporters as well as visitors from far and near. This is the first World Sailing Event to be hosted by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre located on the campus of Schull Community College at the edge of Schull Harbour.

All championship racing will take place within the harbour with full commentary to facilitate spectators and visitors to the event.


The final entry tally totals twenty teams. Twelve participate the Open World Championship and eight in the Youth Worlds of the Open Championship  twelve teams vying for the title favourites will be the United States, winners of the last four consecutive World Championships.  Their number one team boasts an impressive profile: it consists of Stu McNay, Michael Hession, Pete Levesque, Marla Menninger, Zach Brown and Emmet Smith.  Each member of the team has won at least two of the triple crown trophies in team racing: the USA's Hinman Trophy, the UK's Wilson Trophy and the World Championship title.  Pete Levesque, the most winning team race skipper at this year's Worlds, has won 2 Team Race World Championships, 2 Wilson Trophy Championships and 5 Hinman Trophy Championships.

The UK first team, West Kirby Hawks, featuring Andy Cornah, Hamish Walker, Ben Field, Tom Foster, Dom Johnson and Deborah Steele come with an equally impressive CV of winning experience ranging across national, international and world events.

The Australian team arrives early to the event, intent on getting acclimatised to the venue and conditions.  They bring some high achievers in Christopher Jones, current Tasmania Laser Champion and Australia 4.7 Champion in 2007, Rohan Langford, current Tasmania Laser Radial Champion and Australia Laser 4.7 Champion in 2008.  Elliot Noye was a 2010 Australia Youth Match Racing Champion and previously a winner of the Australian Youth Championships in the Laser Radial class.  Anna Vaughan recently won a heat at the Laser 4.7 World Championships in San Francisco, while Lucy Shephard has won Australian Championships in International Cadets and in 420s and was part of the Australian team at the Team Racing Worlds in Gandia, Spain in 2007.  Amelia Catt sailed with Lucy when they won the Australian 420 Women's Championship.


On previous form and experience the US No 1 team should be favourites to take the title with the US having won five of the nine World Team Racing Championships sailed to date.  However, the strength of the sport in the UK and Australia also augurs well for keen competition at the top.  From an experience viewpoint, other competing nations are on a learning curve but, with team racing becoming rapidly more popular in the sailing world, are still capable of producing a few surprises!

The Youth Championship consists of eight teams representing Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Thailand and Ireland competing for the honours. British team, West Kirby Youth, multiple winners of the Royal Yachting Association  Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships and boasting bronze medal winner in the 2009 event, Cameron Douglas, in their lineup, would look to have the edge in experience. However, the second British team, Sevenoaks, has a long tradition in competitive team racing also. The Spanish, Italian and Thai teams have, up to now, not revealed the extent of their team racing experience and achievements so we await their performances on the water when they arrive. Good performances are expected from the home youth teams and we especially look forward to seeing  in action the Schull Community College combination of Connor Miller, Oisin O' Driscoll, Jay Stacey, Ellen O' Regan, Katie Moynihan and Kasper Snashall, current holders of the Irish Youth Team Racing title and recent runners up in the British Schools International Team Racing Finals which they also won in 2010.


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Published in World Sailing

The final two races of the 27th Calves Week in Schull were sailed in light, unpredictable winds writes Oonagh Buckley

Friday's traditional feeder race to Crookhaven, around the Fastnet Rock, is a highlight of the week, particularly for the crews of visiting boats. They can then say with honesty that they have been in a Fastnet Race and have the photographs to prove it. Over recent years, wind conditions have forced the fleet to be split, with only the larger boats rounding the Rock. This year however, race officer Neil Prendiville sent the full fleet of over 60 boats through the Calf Islands and around the iconic lighthouse. He reckoned however without the unpredictable winds which dropped as the boats passed the Bill of Cape Clear. Around a third of the boats retired and the course was shortened to finish at the Rock itself for Classes 3 and 4. Those that held on were rewarded with a 10 to 12 knot breeze in later afternoon for an evening finish in Crookhaven Harbour.

Anchor Challenge (E Rohan) in Class 3 was first to finish over the line, commensurate with his results all week. Kieran Twomey in Gloves Off was second and won Class 0/1 from ISOR (P. O'Donovan) and Coirín (F. Leyden). Growler (D. Dineen), one of the two of that name sailing in the fleet this year, won in Class 2, Tete a Tete (T&O Buckley) in Class 4, Fizz (C. Geoghegan) in Whitesail 1 and La Perle Noir (J&D Crowley) in Whitesail 2.

Saturday was a lay day for Calves Week, with some boats participating in Crookhaven Regatta.

Schull Regatta is the traditional Sunday finish to the week. Despite heavy winds and rain overnight, the race officer had to delay the start to the race by an hour, as the winds had dropped to one or two knots by midday. As the forecast was for the wind to pick up in mid afternoon, a short course around placed marks was set, with all classes rounding the course twice. The wind duly came up with a spinnaker finish in 10 to 12 knots over the line in Schull Harbour.

Aidan Heffernan on Indulgence took final honours in Class 0/1, ahead of Donal O'Leary on D-Tox and Brian Siggins on Arís Maria. Growler (D. Dineen) again took honours in Class 2, Outrigger (J. Nyhan) in Class 3, Chinook (A Bradley) in Class 4, Becca (D. Madden) in Whitesail 1, and Zeezwan (D. Buckley) in Whitesail 2.

A correction to the previous results is that Samba won in Whitesails 1 (including IRC) in Tuesday's Offshore Race.

The trophy for overall IRC Helmsman was Eamonn Rohan in Anchor Challenge. Overall Echo Helmsman was Diarmuid Dineen in Growler. The 'Best Local Boat' Trophy was won for the first time by Ted and Oonagh Buckley on Tête a Tête.


OverallClass 0/ Echo: D-Tox (D O'Leary)
Class 0/1 IRC: D-tox (D O'Leary)
Class 2 Echo: Growler (D Dineen)
Class 2 IRC: Allure (B Goggin)
Class 3 Echo: Chameleon (P O'Donovan)
Class 3 IRC: Anchor Challenge (E Rohan)
Class 4 Echo: Tête a Tête (T&O Buckley)
Class 4 IRC: Saoirse (R Hanley)
Whitesail 1 IRC: Samba (J Downing)
Whitesail 1: Samba (J Downing)
Whitesail 2: Wild Dreams (N Groom)

Saab Schull to Crookhaven
Class 0/1 IRC 1 Gloves Off (K. Twomey) 2. D-Tox (D. O'Leary) 3 ISOR (P. O'Donovan)
Class 0/1 Echo 1 Gloves Off (K. Twomey) 2 ISOR (P. O'Donovan)3 Coilín (F. Leyden)
Class 2 IRC 1 Sandrine (Conboy/Kelly) 2 Allure (B. Goggin) 3 Catalpa (D. Nash)
Class 2 Echo 1 Growler (D. Dineen) 2 Sandrine (Conboy/Kelly) 3. Polly (J. Pollard)
Class 3 IRC 1 Anchor Challenge (E Rohan) 2. Whyte Knight (F. Coughlan) 3 Outrigger (J. Nyhan)
Class 3 Echo 1 Anchor Challenge (E Rohan) 2 Whyte Knight (F. Coughlan) 3. Outrigger (J. Nyhan)
Class 4 Echo 1 Tete a Tete (T and O Buckley) 2. Barossa (E. Krugel)
Whitesail 1 IRC 1 Samba (J Downing) 2 VSOP (D. McCarthy) 3 Just Jasmin (P Smith)
Whitesail 1: Fizz (C Geoghegan) 2. Samba (J Downing) 3 VSOP (D McCarthy)
Whitesail 2: 1 La Perle Noire (J &D Crowley) 2 Brazen Huzie (T O'Dwyer) 3 Chinook (F O'Hara)

Schull Regatta
Class 0/1 IRC: 1 D-Tox (D O'Leary) 2 Black Velvet (L. Parnell) 3. Gloves Off (K Twomey)
Class 0/1 Echo: 1 Indulgence (A Heffernan) 2. D-Tox (D O'Leary) 3 Arís Maria (B Siggins)
Class 2 IRC: 1 Allure (B Goggin) 2 Cochise (B Appelbe) 3 Val Kriss (Dann/Murphy/Hennessey)
Class 2 Echo: 1 Growler (D Dineen) 2 Val Kriss (Dann/Murphy/Hennessey) 3 Allure (B Goggin)
Class 3 IRC: 1 Seconds Count (D O'Donovan) 2 Outrigger (J Nyhan) 3 Full Pelt (P Murray)
Class 3 Echo 1 Outrigger (J Nyhan) 2 Chameleon (P O'Donovan) 3 Fult Pelt (P Murray)
Class 4 IRC 1 Saoirse (R Hanley) 2 Shelly D (M Murphy)
Class 4 Echo 1 Chinook (A Bradley) 2 Barossa (E Krugel) 3 Witchcraft (S Nelson)
Whitesail 1 IRC 1 VSOP (D McCarthy) 2 Just Jasmine (P Smith) 3 Aisling (B Heffernan)
Whitesail 1 Becca (D Madden) 2 Just Jasmine (P Smith) 3 Windborne (N Palmer-Sheehan)
Whitesail 2 1 Zeezwan (D Buckley) 2 Kileena (J Molloy) 3 La Perle Noir (D & J Crowley)

Published in Calves Week
Schull Harbour Sailing Club has announced the programme for Calves Week 2011 and as well as full programme of coastal, offshore and overnight races, the top sailing event in West Cork has also announced Heineken Lager has come on board as title sponsor writes Claire Bateman. Calves Week runs from Friday 29th July to Sunday 7th August.

With the high powered excitement of the ICRA National Championships and the Sovereign’s Cup behind them, the eyes of the sailors are now turning westward with the first of the visiting boats already arriving in Schull Harbour to enjoy leisurely cruising prior to joining the racing action on the August weekend.

Principal Race Officer, Neill Prendeville of Kinsale YC, will take charge of the on the water events and has promised a mixture of laid and natural courses using the many islands of Roaring Water Bay, while Denis Kiely of SCORA, will oversee the handicaps and results.

The opening SCORA overnight race will start from Crosshaven on Friday 29th July and will round the Fastnet before finishing in Schull Harbour, while the Whitesail Fleet will have an early start in Kinsale on Saturday morning, July 30th.

The opening and closing receptions will take place in the Fastnet Marine Centre that is currently undergoing major refurbishing prior to staging the World Team Racing championships at the end of August, and the Thursday prizegiving ceremony will take place in the historic Grove House on the Colla road.

With confirmed entries now approaching the fifty mark, it is hoped that the many hundreds of sailors and friends that will crowd into Schull for the week of exciting racing and onshore festivities will provide a major tourist lift for the area .

Calves Week Schedule of races

Fri 29th July.  Crosshaven-Fastnet –Schull  (Overnight SCORA Offshore Series)

Sat 30th July. Kinsale –Schull  ( WhiteSail Offshore day race)

Sun 31st July. Schull - Baltimore (Coastal Race)

Mon 1st August  Baltimore Regatta.

Tue 2nd August  Offshore Trophy Race

Thr 4th August  Coastal Trophy Race

Fri 5th August  Schull-Fastnet-Crookhaven

Sun 7th August Schull Regatta.

Published in Calves Week

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
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.


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

For Thursday's Inter Island race series Race Officer Neil Prendeville sent the fleets on a long course around many of the scenic marks in Roaring Water Bay writes Claire Bateman. The arrival of the forecasted rain late in the afternoon resulted in the westerly wind dropping off to a gentle breeze, necessitating the shortening of the Class Two and White Sail One courses after five hours of sailing. In class zero Kieran Twomey's "Gloves Off" showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the fleet, by comfortably winning both IRC and Echo with"Crackerjack" and "Infinity" in second and third. In class one, Donal O'Leary continued his run of good results in winning both divisions with Simon Coveney's "Wavetrain" second in IRC and Derry Good's "Exhale" second in Echo.

The Royal Cork dominance continued in Class Two where the Desmond, Ivers, Deasy trio in "Bad Company" captured both trophies, with Conor Ronan's "Ruthless" second in IRC and John Mc Gowan's"Mackey G" filling second place in Echo. In Class Three IRC David Kenefick's Quarter Tonner,"Tiger" is proving to beunbeatable, while Paul Murray in "Full Pelt" had a slender ten second advantage in Echo .In Class Four, Richard Hanley in "Saoirse" led his family crew to victory inboth handicap divisions ahead of "Shelly D" in IRC and "Witchcraft" in Echo.In the White Sail One class Frank Whelan added another win to his recentstring of victories with Don McCarthy's "VSOP" in second and Julian Dockery's "Flying Fox" in third, while in White Sail Two it was a cleansweep for local Schull boats with Frank Murphy's "Dreamcatcher" taking thetrophy ahead of Paul and David Kiely sailing their Norfolk Smuggler "Cu NaMara" and the Crowley family in "La Perle Noire".


Published in Calves Week

Summer weather finally returned to Schull on Tuesday with a fresh westerly breeze. All fleets sailed a course taking in the Calf Islands and Goat Island as a weather mark.

In Class Zero L. J. Mc Mahon of the Killyeagh YC sailed 'Crackerjack' to victory in both divisions, helped by the retiral of 'Loco' with sail damage and 'Gloves Off' who had a brush with the Middle Calves reef fortunately without sustaining damage.

In Class One IRC Simon Coveney's 'Wavetrain' recovered from a poor start to take the Costal Trophy ahead of Donal O Leary's 'D Tox', who also had to
settle for second in Echo behind Derry Goods 'Exhale.

In Class Two, it was a clean sweep in both divisions for the Applebe family in 'Cochise, with 'Bad Company' second in IRC and Andrew Mackey's 'Lornadrew' filling second place in Echo.

In Class Three David Kenefick continued his impressive run in "Tiger" to win IRC from Paul Murray's 'Full Pelt, with Murray taking the Echo division ahead of Padraig O'Donovan's 'Chameleon'.

In Class Four the fresh conditions ideally suited Mark and Michelle Murphy in 'Shelly D"'who captured both trophies from the Hanley brothers in

In White Sail One Bryan Heffernan in 'Aisling' notched up another win from Brian Siggens' 'Aris Maria', while Julian Dockery's 'Flying Fish' required the assistance of the inshore lifeboat service when stranded on the reef southeast of the Middle Calf Islands.

White Sail Two saw the prizes go to local boats, with the Crowley family sailing 'La Perle Noire' to victory ahead of Hugh O Donnell and crew in 'Aoife' and Tadgh Dwyers 'Brazen Huzie'.

Published in Calves Week
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