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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Tom MacSweeney

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the radio programme Maritime Ireland on radio stations around Ireland.

Removing the tarpaulin from Ilen as work continues on the historic vessel
Away back in 1997 I stood on the quayside at Alexandra Basin in Dublin Port, watching a very old boat being unloaded from a freighter … I was the only reporter there. The media generally weren’t interested in the story…
Owners are getting boats ready in Cork Harbour but this one hasn't moved for a while, it has a tree growing out of the boarding ladder
The sailing season in Cork Harbour is getting underway - slowly it has to be said - the effects of the long Winter weren’t encouraging owners to get their boats ready…… That is happening and launching is underway, but owners…
Sitting on the rail aboard Slack Alice in Kinsale's Spring Series
There has been controversy and disagreement in cruiser racing about crews ‘hiking out’ through lifelines on deck to get more upper body weight extended to help boat balance and performance … Rule changes have now come to “sitting on the…
Neil Prendiville's Mary P at Cape Clear Marina, the new facility is an added location on the West Cork coastline
South Harbour in Cape Clear is a favourite anchorage of mine. There are other beautiful West Cork locations - Schull, Baltimore, Crookhaven, Glandore and Kinsale to be enjoyed, but I have really loved a calm, moonlit night lying at anchor…
There was great excitement and media interest in the sighting of killer whales off West Kerry over a month ago.
The prognosis for killer whales in Europe is dire, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. There was great excitement and media interest in the sighting of killer whales off West Kerry over a month ago. The IWDG has…
In cruiser racing out of RCYC, just two classes will sail under spinnakers
The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour has decided on a change in the format of racing for the coming season which will reduce the number of starts and re-define the sailing classes. In cruiser racing out…
Emirates Team New Zealand say the yacht they intend to race at the next Americas Cup in 2021  is a flying monohull
Welcome to my weekly podcast…. That question – where is sailing going? - has been in my mind since Emirates Team New Zealand media information came to me this week about the yacht they intend to race at the next Americas…
Yachts competing off Cobh in Cork Harbour in the annual Cobh to Blackrock Race
Cork Harbour will have a new name in sailing this season - the Great Island Sailing Club, formed to ensure the continuance of sailing at Cobh, following difficulties which arose in Cove Sailing Club as it attempted to build a…
Squibs sailing off Kinsale. The distinctive racing keelboat with mace-coloured sails celebrates its 50th anniversary this year
It’s still cold enough in boatyards to require determination to take off the covers, slide back the hatch and go below to start the annual preparation work. There are some more determined than others to have their boats ready to…
More cruise ships at sea every year but what about their navigation lights
There have been a number of warnings about seamanship and navigational issues in the past few weeks that are important as the sailing season draws nearer. I wonder if the boating community takes enough notice of them? Gail McAllister, who ran…
1720 keelboats will be used for RCYC's new Under 25s Keelboat Academy
The loss of young sailors to the sport is an issue that has been identified by many clubs around the country and at national level. Other sports can be more attractive to younger age groups, particularly it seems as teenagers…
Sausage Island is a nickname for Ynys–Las in Anglesey in Wales
I wonder if the example of what FINTAN has done in Britain could be followed in Ireland? It is an innovative approach to adding to rescue knowledge. The UK Ordnance Survey and the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have…
The Commodore of ICRA Simon McGibney has called for an emergency meeting of the body that governs cruiser–racer activities
“These are difficult times for the Association. While robust debate is welcome and encouraged, respect for all must remain in all of our dealings with each other,” the Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, Simon McGibney, has said, in…
ICRA Class Zero yachts racing at last year's National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club
After 16 years of progressive existence it needs to negotiate choppy waters. The present Commodore, Simon McGibney, says that the Association is at the stage where it needs an “in-depth” look at its future. Former Commodore Norbert Reilly, who has…
Dun Laoghaire's Henry Williams, a Silver Medal Winner
Henry Williams was a renowned Dun Laoghaire lifeboat Coxswain. His son, Alexander, succeeded him and both died in the attempt to rescue the crew of the Palme in Dun Laoghaire Eve, 1895. That rescue is remembered in an evocative ceremony…
Rating is what we use in IRC to assess a boat’s potential performance – the ability, or lack of ability of the helmsman and crew is not included writes Peter Wykeham-Martin, Chairman of the IRC Congress
The IRC Yearbook arrived in the post as I prepared to write this week’s Podcast. It is sent out together with your notice to renew your Handicap for the season ahead. Only, ‘oops’, the word ‘Handicap’ is no longer acceptable.…
The rise in common dolphin strandings is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
For the past six years, the first few weeks of the year have seen an increase in the number of dolphins being washed up on the Irish coastline. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is making a determined effort this…
Enda O'Coineen on the bow of Kilcullen Voyager
“I’m that bad nobody would come with me….” That’s what Enda O Coineen told me when he confirmed that he will be completing his round-the-world voyage which he started as part of the Vendee Globe Race, alone to complete the…
SCORA Commodore – Kieran O'Connell
After a few negative years, resulting in some despondency about the future of cruiser racing, the annual meeting of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, had a more positive atmosphere, with a good attendance of skippers, boat owners and…
Are Sea Area Forecasts Necessary?
In this digital age, with so many available resources providing sea area weather forecasts, is there still a need for national radio to broadcast these forecasts? I heard an RTE Radio Presenter asking a Met Eireann meteorologist on-air whether there…
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