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Tom MacSweeney

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

Mary Cooney and Leonard Skinner in Cork this week
I met two wonderful sailors this week who, sailing around the world, have come to two conclusions about yachting. One is: “There is a significant amount of horse manure that abounds in the yachting world; it would be a great…
Free diving world champion Umberto Pelizzari raises a flag below water to highlight the plight of life below water
According to the Government, as directed by the Dáil, Ireland is now in a climate emergency…added to which are biodiversity and marine eco problems… That crisis was declared within the parliamentary portals to which 158 TDs are elected to represent…
Ilen in Kinsale this week
The Ilen will be setting course for Dublin this weekend for a high profile launch at Dun Laoghaire on Friday of next week. She arrived at Kinsale this Wednesday night after what was described as a “bouncy bouncy run from…
Irish Sailing President Jack Roy (right) With Rory Fitzpatrick Head Coach of Irish Sailing
I like the direct approach of Irish Sailing President Jack Roy. He makes his points clearly, such as telling me that the sport is under pressure from other sports and needs more young people to become involved and ‘yes’ it…
Passage West rowing in Cork Harbour
Over the years, rowing has had its highs and lows in Cork Harbour, where the history of the sport on Leeside as the River Lee wends its way from the city towards the harbour mouth, can be traced to the…
Sailors Asked To Help Spot Migrating Puffins
I remember when I first saw the Puffin seabirds. It was my first time sailing along the Kerry coastline and it was off Portmagee, on the appropriately named Puffin Island. We had closed the small Island south of Valentia which…
Cork Harbour yachts will race against Dunmore East rivals, such as Robert Marchant’s yellow–hulled Fulmar 32 Fulmar Fever from Waterford Harbour SC, when they compete in a new Coastal Race to dominate the June Bank Holiday Weekend
Cork Harbour sailors are being offered a different opportunity this season – to turn left rather than right when they leave Roches’ Point at the mouth of the harbour… This will be a new departure for Cork Harbour boats. Apart…
Extreme sailing conditions
I don’t particularly like the ‘macho’ element which crept into sailing during the past few years. “Macho” has been defined as “behaving in a way that is thought to be typical of a man, especially by seeming strong and powerful…
Fourth placed sailor in Golden Globe Race Istan Koper who finished in Les Sables D'Olonne today
The last competitor still at sea of the eighteen yachts which started the Golden Globe Race last July is not expected to finish back in France until the middle of May. Finnish sailor Tapio Lehtinen is in fifth place in…
Yachts and motorboats in Cork Harbour
Cork Port Company says that mooring and boating fees for use of the harbour will all be reinvested in the marine leisure sector. They are being increased for this year. The port has increased the charges for having a mooring…
Damian Foxall
Sailing and yacht clubs should start appointing Sustainability Officers and every club and boat should immediately “kick out” single-use plastics from every aspect of their sport – both aboard and ashore. That is the view of one of Ireland’s top…
From June 26-29 Dragons will sail at the Sovereigns Cup
For the first time, Dragons will sail in the Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale this June, even though they have been part of the club for over 20 years. “Yes, it’s surprising that they haven’t been in it before, but they…
Is Your Boating Equipment Protected? Forcing a Change at Irish Water & The Battle on Dalkey Island
Thefts of outboard motors and break-ins to boats on moorings were prevalent a couple of years ago. My own boat suffered nearly €6,000 of damage and theft when it was broken into on the mooring at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour…
Baltimore RNLI lifeboat
When Baltimore Lifeboat Station in West Cork was established the First World War was raging in Europe. That was back in 1915 when the original station was built, but due to the War no lifeboat arrived in Baltimore until 1919…
A vintage yacht sailing on Dublin Bay - traditional techniques should not be forgotten says Tom MacSweeney
Yachts are marvels of engineering…. So I have been told – many times – at boat shows; by designers; builders; by sales staff; by sailors, amateur and professional; by proud owners….. Yachts are also nice to look at … I’ve…
73-year-old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede became the oldest man ever to complete and win a solo non-stop round-the-world race
I enjoyed watching world sailing history being made this week as 73-year-old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede became the oldest man ever to complete and win a solo non-stop round-the-world race. After 212 days alone at sea he won the Golden…
Rinn Voyager at the Dublin Tall Ships Festival on the River Liffey
Two of my favourite waterside places along the Liffey are in Dublin Port – Ringsend and Poolbeg. The maritime history of Ringsend is part of the marine story of Ireland, an area resonant of seafaring history and Poolbeg Yacht and…
The Square sail set on Ilen in Limerick
Joseph Conrad wrote many stories and novels with a nautical setting, based on his time in the British and French merchant marine and in the old sailing ships. They depict trials of the human spirit and one of his memorable…
We are never too far from the water and Maritime Safety must be uppermost in the public mind
Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here …. Ireland’s State commitment to maritime safety has been strongly questioned. Safety must not be taken casually and, at the start of a New Year, when most leisure craft…
RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan
Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here …. The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven is launching a new initiative to bridge the gap between dinghy and keelboat racing following the success of its Under 25 Academy…
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