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Displaying items by tag: Lough

Close to where the ferry pulls in to Strangford Village a new pontoon facilty enables visiting boats to berth.

Published in Irish Marinas
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#SAILOR OF THE MONTH – George Kenefick of Crosshaven is the Independent Sailor of the Month for October after rounding out an already successful season with an inspired performance in the Student Worlds in France.

The 23-year-old helmsman won the Quarter Ton Classics Corinthian Division in July with his immaculately-restored boat Tiger, racing against a top lineup in the Solent. That performance saw him recruited to helm the English-owned boat Chimp in the Half Ton Worlds at the same venue in August. Kenefick showed the quality of his abilities by interacting with a crew he'd never sailed with before to become overall winner against an impressive international fleet.


George Kenefick, Mel Collins and John Downey celebrate their win on Lough Derg. Photo: Brendan Fogarty

Back in home waters, next up was the Waterways Ireland ISA National Championship on Lough Derg in the ISA's SailFleet flotilla of J/80s at the beginning of October. For this series Kenefick recruited Crosshaven clubmates John Downey and Mel Collins as crew. The opposition included former champion Mark Mansfield, who had returned to competitive sailing by winning the 1720 Europeans in Baltimore against a fleet including Anthony and Nicholas O'Leary, both former Irish Open Champions.

It went right down to the wire, with Mansfield and O'Leary emerging well ahead on 12–points apiece. On the countback, Kenefick was the new champion. Almost immediately, he was back in the thick of logistics and personnel organization in taking the Cork Institute of Technology sailing team to France for the Student Worlds, CIT representing Ireland as winners of our national series.

With sixteen college teams from all over the world, even in resources-rich French sailing the organizers were stretched in finding an evenly-matched fleet of sixteen Archambault keelboats. There were top class new boats, but some not so new boats, and a trio of boats well past their sell-by date. It was all in the luck of the draw, and the Irish and much-fancied Portuguese found themselves drawing the shortest straw.

In a demanding series, the Portuguese were never at the races with their tired mount, but the Irish simply refused to give up despite a boat which, with its equipment, was falling apart. There was ample opportunity to do this, as the series in the Bay of Biscay off La Trinite included some really rough stuff. In fact, the Irish revelled in the strong breeze, but in the light airs which settled in as the week drew on, it took pure skill.

By the final races last Saturday, they'd got themselves an unassailable third position, but the two British teams – defending champions are allowed an extra place – had miscalculated the points situation. So on the final day, they team raced, one of their boats sailing the Irish crew down the fleet in the best Ben Ainslie style. It was the first time Ireland had finished outside the top six, but they still had the bronze, the Brits took silver, and the French were well ahead to win overall.

More from WM Nixon in the Irish Independent here

#LIFEBOATS – The RNLI in Ireland is to trial an inshore lifeboat on one of the biggest loughs on the River Shannon. At a recent meeting of the RNLI Board of Trustees the decision was taken to place an inshore lifeboat on Lough Ree for at least 12 months to assess whether a permanent lifeboat station should be established.

Formal representations were made to the RNLI by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland with support from lough users and various statutory bodies including the Irish Coast Guard, for a declared search and rescue asset to be present on the Lough.

The charity already operates 43 lifeboat stations around the coast of Ireland and inland on Lough Derg and Lough Erne with around 1,500 volunteer lifeboat crew members. There are estimates of upwards of 1,000 boats moored in or around the Lough, which also has a number of large marinas.  The Lough is also a major intersection on the Shannon-Erne navigation route.

The RNLI will initially operate a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat from temporary station facilities.  The lifeboat will come from the existing RNLI relief fleet and a decision will be taken following the year-long trial whether to establish a permanent station.

Martyn Smith, RNLI Divisional Inspector for Ireland, said: 'I am delighted that the RNLI Trustees have agreed to place a lifeboat on Lough Ree. The support and enthusiasm for an RNLI lifeboat on Lough Ree from the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, lough users and statutory agencies has been enormous. As a charity which relies on volunteers and the generosity of the public we were very impressed with the level of interest and engagement from everyone we encountered.'

Lough Ree is at present the only major lake on the Shannon that lacks a dedicated search and rescue presence.  It is the centre for a variety of leisure pursuits based both afloat and ashore and has a significant amount of marine traffic passing through.  It therefore makes sense for the RNLI to have a presence here which will see us take local volunteers, train them to the highest standards, provide them with the best equipment and enable them to deliver a life-saving service that Lough Ree needs.'

Initial meetings have already been held by the RNLI locally to gauge interest and support and moves will now be made to recruit the volunteers needed to run the lifeboat station.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Former Olympic sailor Peter Kennedy won the 2011 SB3 Midland Championships held at Lough Ree Yacht Club at the weekend. This was Kennedy's third Midlands victory in a row. Six races were sailed over two days with everything from light airs and blue skies to heavy rain and squalls.

PRO Vincent Rafter and his team did a great job to get all races sailed in tricky conditions.

Ben Duncan was on fire on Saturday scoring a 1,2,1 with Peter Kennedy scoring a very solid 2,3,2. The conditions on Saturday were mixed with the day starting with 10 to 12 knots of breeze gradually dropping during race 2 & 3. Sunday morning dawned with clear blue skies and sunshine but the breeze built all day to over twenty knots but the last race. Ridgefence started the day with a 1st but Ben was 7th so it was game on for Kennedy.

Doug Smith, sailing with Killian Collins & Mary Creedon on Sacre Bleu, did very well in the breeze scoring a 2,2,4 on Sunday. The building breeze made for some great downwind action as the SB3's took off sailing hot angles. The black flag had to be used on Sunday to put manners on the eager fleet with Ruby Blue (Aidan O'Connell) being caught OCS in race 5 thus pushing him out of the top 5.

Peter Kennedy completed the series with a 1st, and discarding a 5th place, he finished 8 points clear of Ben Duncan on Sharkbait. Ben didn't have his regular crew onboard for the weekend instead sailing with Andrew Vaughan and Joe Turner. Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy & John Phelan on Dinghy Supplies had a poor first race but really got going after that with all top 5 places and a first in Race 5. Dinghy Supplies finished joint on points with Doug Smith on Sacre Bleu but Dinghy Supplies got the 3rd place on countback. Darren Martin on Soda Bread from Strangford Lough completed the top 5 positions.

The Silver fleet was decided by removing the top ten boats after the first three races. Colin Galavan on Defiant was 1st, Guy O'Leary was 2nd and Rob Howe on Milvus Milvus was 3rd.

The first lady helm was Selina Dicker on Kicker Off and the 1st Master was Justin Burke on Alert Packaging.

The organisers would like to thank Galway Maritime and English Braids for their kind sponsorship of prizes of sheet sets for the top 3 boats and the winner of the silver fleet.

3500 Ridgefence Peter Kennedy 2 3 2 1 5 1 14 5 9 1
3287 Sharkbait Ben Duncan 1 2 1 7 6 5 22 7 15 2
3490 Dinghy Supplies Daragh Sheridan 15 4 5 4 1 2 31 15 16 3
3164 Sacre Bleu Doug Smith 5 9 3 2 2 4 25 9 16 4
3501 Soda Bread Darren Martin 7 1 8 3 7 8 34 8 26 5
3072 Ruby Blue Aidan O'Connell 3 5 7 9 20 6 50 20 30 6
3548 Flutter Andrew Algeo 6 7 20 6 4 10 53 20 33 7
3323 Alert Packaging Justin Burke 8 6 4 17 9 7 51 17 34 8
3313 Defiant Colin Galavan 11 16 20 10 3 3 63 20 43 9
3226 Quantitive Easing Paul McMahon 4 10 13 12 13 11 63 13 50 10
3281 No Name Guy O'Leary 13 14 12 8 8 9 64 14 50 11
3338 Milvus Milvus Rob Howe 20 11 14 5 10 12 72 20 52 12
3257 Kicker Off Selina Dicker 12 12 6 11 11 13 65 13 52 13
3297 Sunday Brunch Richard Tate 9 8 10 14 14 14 69 14 55 15
3241 Indecision Martin McNamara 10 18 11 16 12 15 82 18 64 15
3165 Sinabhuill Gillian Guinness 16 15 9 13 15 17 85 17 68 16
3320 Smoke on the Water Bob Hobby 14 13 15 15 16 16 89 16 73 17
3315 Sirius Black Ken Hudson 17 17 16 19 17 18 104 19 85 18
3532 Bumble B Fionnuala Loughrey 20 20 20 18 18 19 115 20 95 19

Published in SB20
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At 09.35hrs this morning, Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of five persons, on board a 37ft cruiser on rocks and which was now taking on considerable amounts of water. The cruiser Laura was standing by, but was unable to get close.

At 09.49hrs the lifeboat launched, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Peter Clarke and Colin Knight on board. The lifeboat carried its salvage pump. The wind was southwest, Force 3 to 4 gusting 5 (9knots gusting 18), with visibility very good. At 10.12hrs the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel which was listing severely to starboard and on rocks. There were five persons on board, all safe and unharmed and wearing lifejackets. Two RNLI crew members went on board to assess damage to the vessel and, finding that she was holed and taking on water, it was decided to take all persons onto the lifeboat and transfer them to Castle Harbour where they were met by the rest of their group. The lifeboat thanked the skipper of Laura for standing by. The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service at 12midday.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

What better way to energise yourself on a Sunday morning than going sailing? Last Sunday provided great conditions for the third race of the Mackey Eyecare Autumn Series. With winds gusting over 25 knots there was plenty of excitement to be watched from the shore, as the fleets were running downwind with spinnakers up and the odd death roll - mind you, the spinnakers were 'chicken chutes'. Despite the strong winds, racing was very close in the IRC class.

The top four boats finished within a minute of each other on corrected time. Ken Halliwell in CHAIN GANG was only 16 seconds ahead of Ian Wilson's RESPECT, despite Ken having two reefs in his mainsail. Ian flew his asymmetric spinnaker which kept him upright. The crew in TROUBLE had plenty of excitement when they broached and eventually ripped their spinnaker in two!


Cruiser racers run into problems on Belfast Lough

The six boat Sigma fleet had great close racing with some flying spinnakers and others not doing so. The Sherwoods and Taylors in SULA led from the start and managed to stay ahead of Paul Prentice in SQUAWK. IMPULZ put in a good race with the Johnston Brothers sticking to whitesails and still finishing third.

The IRC Whitesail shortened sails like the rest of the fleets and once again John Moorhead in MARGARITA notched up another win from Messrs Adair, Johnston and Jordan in ENIGMA.

There are two more weeks to go in the Mackey Opticians Autumn Series and with one discard to kick in, it's close competition in the IRC and Sigma classes.

IRC 1st Chain Gang - Ken Halliwell
2nd Respect - Ian Wilson
3rd Rattle 'n Hmm – Messrs Harrington, McVicar & McClugan
Sigma 33 – 1st Sula – Taylor & Sherwood
2nd Squawk – Paul & Emma Prentice
3rd IMPULZ – Johnston Bros
Whitesail 1st Margarita – J Moorhead
2nd Enigma – Messrs Adair, Johnston & Jordan

Published in Belfast Lough
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Three Cork keelboat sailors top the fleet after today's qualifying rounds of the Waterways Ireland All Irieland Sailing Championships at Lough Derg Yacht Club. Royal Cork's George Kenefick leads on four points. Flor O'Driscoll, orignally from West Cork but sailing under the Howth YC burgee this weekend, is second on five points. Sharing the same points is four time Olympic Star sailor Mark Mansfield.

Gale force winds are forecast for tomorrow's final on Lough Derg.

Half of the invited helms have been eliminated and although a pre-event favourite Anthony O'Leary has been the major surprise casualty of the event so far, others that failed to qualify included Roger Bannon, Brian Goggin, David Gorman and Alan Henry.

Also through to tomorrow's final is Olympic dinghy campainer Ryan Seaton, one of three Belfast Lough sailors to make it in to the final eight. Seaton's club mate Adrian Allen is also through as is Squib sailor Gordon Patterson from Royal North.

The only Dun Laoghaire sailor through is Fireball ace Noel Butler.

Final Flight Competitors:







George Kenefick

Royal Cork Yacht Club





Flor O’Driscoll

Howth Yacht Club





Mark Mansfield

Royal Cork Yacht Club





Ryan Seaton

Ballyholme Yacht Club





Noel Butler






Gordon Patterson

Royal North Yacht Club





Adrian Allen

Ballyholme Yacht Club





Ben Duncan

Howth Yacht Club





Published in All Irelands
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat assisted three persons after their yacht capsized and sank close to Hare Island on Lough Der. SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO.

At 17.04hrs Saturday September 10, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard following a report of two persons in the water off Hare Island, on Lough Derg. At 17.15hrs, the lifeboat was launched with Helm Colin knight, Johnny Hoare and Ger Egan on board, and was on scene 17.20hrs. The wind was southwest, force 6, with a 5ft to 6ft swell, visibility was good.

When the RNL lifeboat arrived on scene, a passing yacht was recovering two persons onto their yacht, but had lost a visual on the third person. The lifeboat immediately carried out a search pattern, located the third casualty some four or five hundred metres away, and recovered them to the lifeboat.

Lifeboat Helm Colin Knight said "these three people were very very lucky; the passing yacht only became aware of their plight when, on tacking, one of sailors heard calls for help on the wind and raised the alarm". He continued, "the persons were in the water for at least thirty minutes, in fairly hostile conditions, when the only boat in the vicinity heard their calls for help, someone was looking after them today".

Tasked by Valentia Coast Guard, the Irish Coast Guard Search & Rescue Helicopter team, Rescue 115, took off from their base at Shannon at 17.34hrs. Killaloe Coast Guard had also launched to assist. After establishing that the RNLI lifeboat could be at their station within 5 minutes, Rescue 115 requested the crew to take the casualties to Dromineer from where they5 would transfer the casualties to hospital.

The RNLI lifeboat returned to the yacht, and took a second casualty on board. Killaloe Coast Guard boat took the third person. All were then rushed back to Drominneer where they were met by the helicopter and transferred to Limerick Regional hospital for further treatment.

The lifeboat then returned to 'The Hare' to see if the sunken vessel was a navigational hazard, but there was no sign of wreckage or of the yacht. The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 18.50hrs.


Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Shannon Boat Builder Jimmy Furey will be a special guest at the Dromineer Literary Festival at the end of the month. The appearance conicides with a screening of David Shaw-Smith's landmark documentary series
'Hands' featuring the Shannon-one-Design Boatbuilder.

The eighth annual Dromineer Literary Festival will take place from Thursday September 29 to Sunday October 2 at Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer village.

At 8pm, Thursday night September 29, Dermot Healy, Kerry Hardie and Catherine Phil McCarthy will give a poetry reading at 8pm, Lough Derg Yacht Club, and on Saturday night, October 1, The Poetry Divas will perform at The Whiskey Still pub in the village.

The Meet the Authors event attracts huge audiences each year, and we are delighted that Jennifer Johnston and John MacKenna will be reading and in discussion on Saturday night, October 1, at 8pm at Lough Derg Yacht Club. We encourage our audience to read these authors to increase their enjoyment of the event.

A performance presented by the renowned Nenagh Players to close the weekend is of CS Lewis' A Grief Observed. This one man show, adapted and performed by Ronan Dodd, will take place from 8pm, Sunday night, October 2. A Grief Observed was written by Lewis after the death of his wife, Joy Gresham, from cancer in 1960.

The Sunday afternoon event afloat aboard the passenger vessel The Spirit of Killaloe, is entitled The Living Lake. Scientists Rick Boelens and Dan Minchin will give a talk on the hidden depths of Lough Derg; its biodiversity and environmental heritage. Places are strictly limited, to ensure a place, please contact Eleanor at emhooker@

This year, for the first time, the festival will feature film. A Short Movie written and directed by George Hooker, and produced by Sorcha MacKenna, students at DIT, will be premiered at 3pm on Saturday afternoon October 1 at Lough Derg Yacht Club. Filmed on location in Dromineer in June 2010, the short movie stars Nenagh Players actors, the late Stephen Toohey (with the kind blessings of his family), Niamh Hogan and Olly Griffin. All welcome. Admission is free.

Also on Saturday October 1, David Shaw-Smith will give a talk on his landmark documentary series 'Hands' Boatbuilder with Shannon-one-Design Boatbuilder Jimmy Furey attending as our special guest. Other films in the Hands series will be screened at Neddy's Cottage in the village, thoughout the weekend.

Committee is pleased to announce the 2011 festival programme.  Highlights include authors Jennifer Johnston, Dermot Healy, John MacKenna, and Vincent McDonnell, Poets Kerrie Hardie, Catherine Phil McCarthy and The Poetry Divas, a Short Movie by young filmmakers from Dublin Institute of Technology and more.

Thursday 29 September, 8pm Lough Derg Yacht Club (Adm - €5)
– Dromineer Festival Poetry with Dermot Healy, Kerrie Hardie and Catherine Phil McCarthy
Saturday 1 October, The Whiskey Still, Dromineer Village
– 10.30pm The Poetry Divas will perform their poetry in The Whiskey Still pub

Friday 30 September, 7.30pm, Lough Derg Yacht Club
– Offical Opening with Dr. Ed Walsh.
– Competition Results & Readings

Saturday 1 October, 8-10pm, Lough Derg Yacht Club
– Meet the Authors with Jennifer Johnston and John MacKenna (Adm €12/€10)

Saturday 1 October, Lough Derg Yacht Club
– 3-4pm Short Film Premiere by Media Arts Students, DIT, Dublin.  Written & Directed by George Hooker. Directed by Sorcha MacKenna (Free Adm)
– 4-5.30pm Hands Boatbuilder.  Talk by David Shaw-Smith, followed by screening of his landmark documentary.  Special guest Jimmy Furey. (Adm - €5)

Sunday 2 October, Sunday Afternoon Afloat
– The Living Lake, a talk by scientists Rick Boelens & Dan Minchin aboard The Spirit of Killaloe (Adm €12/€10)

DRAMA - Festival Finale
Sunday 2 October, 8pm, Lough Derg Yacht Club,
– The Nenagh Players present Ronan Dodd 'A Grief Observed'

Published in Maritime Festivals

Howth's Ben Duncan sailing Sharbait has etched another victory in the SB3 class following a weekend of very up and down conditions with some sizeable shifts and changes in pressure at the SB3 Northern Championships at Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

But the PRO team were well able and a full schedule of racing was completed on the Lough. Three of the top four Irish boats from the Worlds took three of the top four spots and had pace on pretty much every one, a further indication that going to Torbay has definitely given these boats a lift.

The Vaughan brothers continued their upward trajectory with a very solid second place. Andrew Ageo had a win in race 2 and pretty steady results to finish third. Dave Cheyne had an up and down regatta. The local sailors was very fast in patches but got buried a couple too many times to challenge.

Sharbait was lucky enough to not have to make too much of the conditions and sailed the fleet to produce another overall win.

Highlights of the weekend for the winners were winning the first race by 2:30 minutes and getting caught up in a match racine with Dave Cheyne for race 3. Cheyne pipped the Howth boat on the line by about a foot.

The next event in the SB3 calendar is the national champs in four weeks time. Flipper and Mel Collins are expected to be back in the fleet along with plenty of further competition.

1st Sharkbait
2nd Toucan 3
3rd Flutter
4th Team Cheyne


Royal Ulster presents Sharkbait their winning prize. Photos: Ken Hunter

Published in SB20
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