Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Tom MacSweeney

Tom MacSweeney

Email The Author

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

Adrian O'Connell at Kilrush Boatyard
When I walked into Adrian O’Connell’s office in Kilrush Boatyard on the edge of the Shannon Estuary in County Clare, a photograph on the wall caught my attention – a boat sailing at speed, red sails dramatic atop a black…
ICOYC President Andy Anderson
The shortage of young sailors on racing boats is a universal problem. That is the opinion of Andy Anderson, President of the International Council of Yacht Clubs. It is one of the issues which clubs need to deal with in…
What Is To Be The Future of Irish Sailing?
My Podcast this week is an interview with the Chief Executive of Irish Sailing, Harry Hermon, in which he discusses a decline in yacht ownership, lifestyle changes which have reduced the time people can give to organised club sailing, the…
Naneen about to be launched
I won’t be challenging Hal Sisk’s confident declaration that he is Chairman of “the world’s oldest cruiser-racer class!” His offer to anyone to challenge him sounded across Kilrush Boatyard to where I had driven over 400 kilometres from Cork to…
Cruiser racing in the Cobh to Blackrock Race in Cork Harbour
This will be an exceptionally busy sailing weekend in Cork Harbour. Cork Dinghy Fest, the Cobh-to-Blackrock Race, the National 18s Championships, the Irish Multihull Championships, the RS 200, 400 and Feva Nationals, the Mirror Southerns, the 29er Southerns and the…
Sailors discuss the finer points of Rankin sailing
Ardmore is a lovely village on the Waterford coastline, not far from Youghal. It’s a seaside resort and was once a busy fishing village, though that period has largely passed. The meaning of its name in Irish is ‘Great Height’…
Wooden boats gathered at Baltimore
A revival of interest in the traditional working craft of West Cork started in Baltimore in 1997 with the construction of the Noble Shamrock, a 33-foot long mackerel yawl built by Hegarty’s Boatyard at Old Court. This was done from…
The Maiden crew with Angela Heath (nee Farrell) right in front row
One of the things I have done in my life is an iceberg watch on the bow of an offshore yacht racing in the Atlantic during the dark hours of night, keeping an eye out for ‘growlers’. These are small…
Kinsale's Gina Griffin, the World Disabled Sailing Championships sailor came second overall in the European 2.4 Para section at Gydnya, Poland Regatta in 2017
Four hundred and fifty participants have registered for the Watersports Inclusion Games according to Dave O’Sullivan, Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club where a Disability Awareness Training Day this Saturday is a prelude to the hosting of the Games on the…
Waterford City River Rescue Community Lifeboat
There are 15 Community Rescue Boats around Ireland. These are a nationwide group of independent, voluntary rescue boats, which reflect the concern of local communities for water safety in their areas and which were generally established following local drowning tragedies.…
The Betelgeuse oil tanker sinks at Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay forty years ago
The families of the 50 victims of the Betelgeuse oil tanker tragedy at Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay have decided to take legal action against the State. The French-Irish Association of Relatives and Friends of the Betelgeuse are applying to…
 Nine yachts entered last weekend's Monkstown Bay Sailing Club’s Cruiser Class race
The combined clubs Cork Harbour league concluded on Saturday, run by Monkstown Bay Sailing Club’s Cruiser Class and with nine yachts racing writes Tom MacSweeney The race started at No.9 buoy with a beat to No.5, then swinging on a…
Eoin Ryan at the stern of 'Free State C1'
In recent podcasts I’ve reported on the Cork Harbour T Boats, a Class now extinct apart from the restored original boat, which I highlighted last week here; the successful revival of the Rankins; the restoration underway of the gaff-cutter Lady…
Rankin dinghies in Cork Harbour
There is satisfaction in being associated with a good news story about sailing, so the latest step in the Rankin dinghy development, which we have followed for four years on the Afloat website is the announcement that the revived, restored…
The restored Cliona
How many coats of varnish would you put on a wooden dinghy? “Ten if I had the chance,” so Owen O’Connell answered when he told me the story of the Cork Harbour ‘T’ Boats. “And there’s ten years. in time,…
A Boyne Sailing Currach
On what type of boat did the original settlers of Ireland arrive? They probably came over 10,000 years ago and began populating the coastal regions. Could they have come on some type of sailing currach? The Currach Association of Ireland…
Donal Hickey who organises the Sailability programme at Kinsale Yacht Club
While the Sovereigns Cup is the focus at Kinsale Yacht Club this week, there is another aspect of the club which is very impressive - its commitment to inclusiveness in sailing. "People of different abilities can sail a boat. Sailability…
Former Cove Sailing Club Commodores were part of the gathering in Cobh to mark the centenary of the Cork Harbour Club on Friday. From left Adrian Tyle, Richard Marshall, Johanna Murphy, Noel O'Regan, Dave Doyle, Kieran Dorgan and Robert Keating. Missing from photo is John Doyle. Scroll down for photo gallery
Sailing has its ‘ups-and-downs’ and a hundred years brings many changes as the years roll by, both good times and those that are more difficult. Sailing in the Cork Harbour town of Cobh has experienced this, an experience which underlines…
Bird in the hand - Tom Dolan arrives on the dock with a feathered friend in Roscoff last night after another tough leg of the Figaro Race
“You need to be mentally strong for this type of sailing. You have to make tough decisions when you’re tired.” “Being by yourself, sailing solo, depends very much on the person and how you use your own resources,” The first…
A traditional Currach goes on display at Seafest
Currachs are important to preserving the maritime history and culture of an island nation a seminar about these iconic boats was told in Cork Harbour today reports Tom MacSweeney. The seminar on the antiquity and sustainability of currachs was part…
Page 5 of 10

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 Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating