#ANGLING - The Atlantic Salmon Trust's 2012 Fishing Country Sports Auction went live this week, with some 300 lots offered - including three prime Irish fishing spots on the Blackwater, Mourne and Drowes.
“The annual auction remains our single most significant fundraising event and its success is essential to helping us continue our work,” said AST chief executive Tony Andrews in The Irish Times.
Aside from top fishing opportunities in England, Scotland and Wales, spots in Russia are also featured, as well as deer stalking excursions and shooting days.
For art lovers, sporting prints and watercolours are included in the lots, as is a limited edition of the acclaimed Atlantic Salmon Magic, and Salmon Rivers, one of the best recent publications on the Atlantic salmon. They could be the perfect gift for someone's Valentine's Day.
Bids will close on 14 February for the online auction at www.atlanticsalmontrust.org/auction/.
#WORRALL THOMPSON - Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson - in Dublin at the weekend for a fundraiser for Olympic hopefuls Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan - has credited his Irish wife with being the "rock" that kept him going through his recent shoplifing controversy.
"She is absolutely amazing," he told the Irish Independent of his Dublin-born wife Jacinta Shiel. "We met nearly 20 years ago. She's gorgeous, she's got a great heart and she's my rock."
Worrall Thompson was at Malahide Rugby Club on Saturday to judge a celebrity chef night in aid of the Olympic 470 duo's bid for a spot at the 2012 games, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
He kept his promise to attend the event following last Monday's public apology for his "stupid and irresponsible actions" after he was caught shoplifting cheese and wine from a Tesco store.
Worrall Thompson also donated his appearance fee from RTÉ's Saturday Night Show to Owens and Flanigan, who require sponsorship to supplement their support their funding from the Irish Saling Association.
#TALL SHIPS - Not only has the Celtic Mist finally been lifted into dry dock for refurbishing this week, but the Irish Independent reports that day trips will be offered on the yacht when it returns to the water next summer.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the one-time personal yacht of the late Taoiseach Charles Haughey is being repurposed as a research vessel by new owners the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at a cost of some €60,000.
In an effort to help fund the 52-foot ketch's refit bill and its estimated €20,000-per-year running costs, members of the public who pay €50 for a 'Celtic Mist Certificate' will be entitled to a day's sailing on board the newly retitled RV Celtic Mist.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We've a lot of work to carry out on the yacht before we can take it out for research," IWDG co-ordinator Simon Berrow told the Independent. "We are confident that we can raise the money to run it."
Here's a link to a TV3 clip
David Sargent was named as the new treasurer of Howth RNLI at the lifeboat branch's AGM and awards event recently, The Irish Times reports.
Sargent succeeds Capt Peter McKenna, who served as treasurer for the last 16 years and was awarded for his service by Howth RNLI chairman Russell Rafter.
The meeting at Howth Yacht Club saw Rafter recognise the efforts of the lifeboat's crew and fundraising volunteers - such as the Howth Sea Angling Club, who raised more than €2,000 from collection boxes last year.
Rafter awarded the organisations highest award for volunteers, the Gold Medal of the Institution, to the late former chairman Alastair McMillan, who was a committee member for 44 years.
Meanwhile, the Long Service Badge for 20 years’ service was presented to crew member Ian Massey.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has published a notice for its plans to refit the yacht Celtic Mist as a research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted to the IWDG by the Haughey family to help the group in its marine wildlife conservation work.
Under its new ownership, it completed a leg of this year's Tall Ships Race and found a new home at a sponsored berth at Kilrush, Co Clare.
Currently the IWDG is applying to the Clare Local Development Company for LEADER funding towards the refit.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We are eligible for 75% funding but need to provide 25% funding ourselves. We estimate this to be in the region of €12,500.
"Celtic Mist has already cost IWDG around €5,000-7,500 so we must start a fundraising campaign to cover these and other costs."
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the fundraising campaign can contact the IWDG at [email protected]. All donations above €250 are tax deductable.
A Limerick-based inventor has created what could soon become the 'Swiss Army Knife' for surfing enthusiasts the world over, The Irish Times reports.
The SurfBuckle, developed by Nick Ryan of new surfwear company LirChild, is a multi-purpose tool that allows surfers to adjust fins on their board as well as to remove and comb board wax, and can be worn as a belt buckle.
Ryan says he got the idea for the SurfBuckle from a friend who was stuck for a tool to remove fins from his surfboard at an airport.
The marketing and entrepreneurship student is currently using Fundit.ie to raise the €30,000 needed to start production of the tool, which will be built from steel and 'bioplastic'.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Well-wishers broke out the champagne to welcome home Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander as she completed her solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak yesterday.
The first woman from Northern Ireland to complete such a feat, Shooter landed at County Antrim Yacht Club 71 days after setting off from the same spot on her 1,000-mile challenge to raise funds for local charity SHARE.
Shooter's skills were regularly tested to the limit. On one occasion she suffered severe sea sickness after getting caught in a large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay.
“I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill,” she said.
But the challenge wasn't all doom and gloom. One highlight was when Shooter was joined by a pod of six dolphins for over an hour near Easkey on the Sligo coast. And above all, the people she met along the way have left a lasting impression.
“The support from the kayaking community and local fisherman has been great," she said. "Kayakers have paddled stretches with me, met me with tea and biscuits, gave me warm beds and hot showers, shared invaluable local knowledge – I can’t thank them enough."
Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander is set for hero’s welcome this week as she becomes the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate the island of Ireland by kayak.
The solo paddler is expected to reach the finish line at County Antrim Yacht Club on Wednesday after her 70-plus-day test of endurance.
Shooter began her epic 1,000-mile voyage on 3 May, facing a tough challenge navigating a coastline of cliffs and headlands, strong tides and brutal weather. She has been storm-bound for a total of 21 days, often only with a small tent for shelter.
When asked what home comfort she was most looking forward to, she simply replied: "A proper toilet and some clean clothes."
Shooter embarked on the challenge to raise funds for SHARE, a charity providing outdoor activity programmes that promote the inclusion of disabled and non-disabled people.
“I expected and had trained for the physical challenge but I don’t think you can ever prepare mentally," she commented.
"It has been a real struggle coping with the repetition of paddling, getting changed into wet clothes and packing up a wet tent every day. Especially on the windy days it has been hard just to push on that extra few miles each day.”
But connecting with fans and supporters through social media made a big difference.
“The Facebook page has really been a lifeline," she said. "There is nothing more motivating than coming off the water after a tough day to read so many supportive and funny comments from well wishers."
See below for a map showing Shooter's live position as she edges closer to the finish line.
Charlie McGibney (pictured below) presented a cheque recently to David Buttimer, chairman of the Fenit RNLI lifeboat fund-raising committee, for donations received at the funeral of his loving wife Ita McGibney.
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is a registered charity and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.
The death of Ita McGibney (neé Clonan) of Tieraclea Park, Tarbert and formerly of Dumcondra, Dublin, occurred on 20 February 20 2011. Ita is survived by her husband Charlie; sons Tom, George, Gerard, John, Raymond, Damien, Rory and Simon; daughter Dr Carol (Pierce); brother Pat; sisters Mary and Ann; as well as in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and friends.
Photograph by Digimac Photography, Fenit
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