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Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

Lough Ree Yacht Commodore John McGonigle on his plans for this month's 'Double Ree' youth sailing regatta at the end of August to showcase double-handed dinghy racing

The first edition of Double Ree was held in Lough Ree Yacht Club in 2018. The concept was to bring the main double-handed youth classes together in order that they could run one of their respective regional championships at the same venue. It was intended to highlight the benefits and fun of double-handed sailing and to showcase an alternative to the usual route of single-handed sailing.

This year, Double Ree was intended to form part of Lough Ree Yacht Club's 250th-anniversary celebrations. It had originally been scheduled for the weekend of the 18th– 19th of July. Then COVID 19 came along and the event was postponed.

It has now been rescheduled for the weekend of the 29th and 30th of this month.

The Mirror Northern Championship, 420 Connacht Championship and 29er Western Championship will all be decided on Lough Ree. While it's fantastic to be able to restore the event, we had to limit numbers in order to comply with the 200 person limit as dictated by the HSE and Irish Sailing. A host of measures have been put in place to ensure social distancing, sanitizing and contact tracing in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.

These measures have been well tried and tested at our annual regatta last week.

Lough Ree Yacht Club has invested a lot of effort into double-handed sailing. As in most clubs, our sailors generally start in Optimists. We quickly encourage them to try crewing in Mirrors while still developing their skills in the Optimist. Mirrors are particularly suited to very young crew as they do not have to manage the hoists and drops of the spinnaker. The helm does that. They absorb experience from the older more experienced helms and get to experience conditions that might be a bit too much for them were they in a single-handed boat.

As they grow older and develop their skills they moved to the back of the boat as a helm.

It's not unusual for a sailor to sail in a Mirror from age 9 to 15.

The 420 is the Lough Ree YC's choice of boat for the next step. It's a natural progression from a Mirror, where our sailors get to expand their skills with the addition of a trapeze and a highly tuneable rig.

Once the challenge of pairing crew and helm is overcome, it's a lot more friendly than single-handed sailing. This is very appealing for many.

Our main focus with youth sailors is to develop skills and to keep them in sailing for as long as we can.

We have found that if we can attract sailors into competitive double-handed sailing, they will generally keep sailing until their college years.

Double Ree is a fantastic opportunity to showcase double-handed sailing and for sailors to see other classes in action, as all the classes will be raced in the same location.

We hope that that the various fleets will come to appreciate the merits of each other's fleets.

Camping and mooring facilities are available at the club. There will be food available on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Registration will be open on Monday here

Published in Youth Sailing
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Once a Commodore, always a Commodore. And though it’s quite some time since Alan Algeo was Commodore of Lough Ree Yacht Club, in this its Quarter Millennium Year he feels that the frustrations of the COVID-denial of the full celebrations makes it more incumbent than ever upon everyone to keep up appearances, particularly when performing special ambassadorial duties on other waterways.

So when he was challenged the other day to a spot of water-skiing just down the road on Lough Derg, while he did abandon the reefer jacket in order to accommodate the lifejacket in more comfort, there was no way he was going to be seen in a semi-public setting without his club tie. And in a week when every other part of the country seems to have been under a perma-cover of grey near-fog, or smothered in full cloud burst downbursts, or worse still knocked out by mighty thunderstorms, Lough Derg was most appropriately looking particularly beautiful with the Tipperary Riviera along by Kilgarvan at its luscious best as the Algeo acceleration took off in style.

Published in Inland Waterways
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The overall winner of the Lough Ree 250 SB20 event was John Malone and Emmet Sheridan's 'Slippery Nipple' 3040, with Patrick Whyte as bowman.

There were race wins for five SB20s in the eight-race 250 Regatta to celebrate 250 years of the River Shannon club.

Eoin Leahy, Donie Hearaghty and Luke Johnson won the Andrew Mannion Trophy for race one.

Lough Ree 250 Regatta Plate PrizeHusband & Wife Team Liz & Martin MacNamara on-board Jude Kilmartin's Sharkbait took line Honours in race six to win the Lifeboat plate.

Racing continues this week with a lay day Tuesday.

Lough Ree Yacht Club Race Officer Alex HobbsLough Ree Yacht Club Race Officer Alex Hobbs

The regatta is warm-up for the first SB20 Regional event of 2020 will be hosted by RStGYC this coming weekend 8/9 August on Dublin Bay.

SB20 Lough Ree 250 results

 

Published in SB20
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Royal Ulster Yacht Club members John and Sally McKee played a crucial part in their motor cruiser in a dramatic incident on the Shannon waterway last Saturday.

A private cruiser from Limerick was making a passage northwards on Lough Ree but due to a navigational error ran aground on rocks in Cruit Bay, now known as Portrunny, on the western shore of the Lough. Onboard were two adults and three children and the boat suffered serious hull damage.

The Lifeboat was launched within 10 minutes and on station in 30 minutes. By then the children had been transferred to the cruiser's punt, along with the mother of two of the children and an aunt to the third. All were very wet and cold. The McKee's Mosquito offered assistance and stood by the casualty at a safe distance. The lady and children were taken on board Mosquito where Sally and John provided reassurance to the distressed Mum and children along with hot drinks, dry towels and a warm cabin. The Skipper remained on board the stricken vessel in an attempt to save it but eventually took the instructions from the RNLI coxswain and evacuated onto the lifeboat.

The nearest harbour was Portrunny where ‘Mosquito’ safely docked an hour later, keeping the crew onboard until transport was arranged back to Limerick.

Lough Ree lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McCarth said: "The vessel was badly damaged and the salvage pump put onboard was overwhelmed, there was no option other than abandoning the cruiser. The decision to put the mother and children aboard Mosquito was entirely rational as it would have been a very wet cold journey for them in an open RIB".

This was one of two callouts for Lough Ree RNLI who helped a total seven people to safety. The callouts were both to grounded cruisers and gave the lifeboat crew only nine minutes rest between them. The first was to help two people onboard a 27ft cruiser which had run aground near a navigation marker and the second was the incident in which Mosquito was involved.

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Lough Ree RNLI brought a drifting motor cruiser to safety on Saturday night.

At 9.35 pm on Saturday, (4 July) Lough Ree RNLI volunteers were requested by Malin Head Coast Guard to reports of a motor cruiser adrift near Portrunny Harbour on the north-west shore of Lough Ree.

The casualty vessel had broken its moorings and drifted out of the harbour with no one on board.

The inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall and her crew quickly found the casualty vessel and brought the boat safely back to the harbour and tied her up before making their return to the lifeboat station at Coosan Point.

Speaking after the call out, Lough Ree RNLI Helm Kieran Sloyan said: ‘Conditions on the lake were very rough with a strong westerly wind. We would like to remind all boat owners to regularly check their mooring lines to ensure their boat is suitably secured. If you do see a boat adrift, please call 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As part of the many events planned to mark the Club’s 250th anniversary, Lough Ree Yacht Club had scheduled a historical talk at the Club on the 15th February 2020, the presentations proved to be very popular with a full house on the day. People travelled from various parts of the country to attend.

The Club was lucky enough to have kicked off their celebrations before the Coronavirus began to impact on events. Subsequently, the Club has had to postpone their flagship celebratory event, Clinkerfest, which is to be run next year instead.

A History of Lough Ree, which took place on the 15th February was a half-day symposium featuring learned historians who spoke on specific but varying topics relating to the history of sailing on Lough Ree. These talks were delivered in a most informative and witty manner which portrayed the calibre of the speakers involved.

A huge thanks to Harman Murtagh who ultimately compiled the event but also to John Keane who chaired the talks and of course to Vincent Delany and Gearoid O’Brien. The Club is most grateful for the contributions.

These presentations (thanks to J Malone) were recorded for posterity on now on youtube and perhaps during these restricted times, people can view and enjoy at their leisure.

A History of Lough Ree Yacht Club, 15th February 2020

The Club hopes that sailing can start again soon and that the continued celebrations of this impressive birthday can recommence! There are some anxious youth and Senior sailors who are keen to get back on the water.

Published in Historic Boats
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Lough Ree Yacht Club junior sailors were out in force this morning with gusts of up to 30-knots writes Garret Leech.

Note the fine wipeout at 40 seconds into the video below! No children were harmed during the making of this film!

Meanwhile, the adults cowered ashore whispering words of advice into their coffee! The juniors are getting in some practice ahead of the Schull Winter Training and Munster Championships which is run by the Irish International 420 Class Association, this has become an annual pilgrimage for both Parents & Children.

The Club has a vibrant junior scene and has defined an affordable pathway of their own for youth sailing which they strongly advise parents to adhere to, affordability is key to keeping the kids sailing.

Children can either start in Optimist or Mirror and as they advance their skills, they either move to 420 or Laser, sometimes both.

The club has a strong association with double-handed boats which helps keep youth sailing strong post Optimist.

2020 is Lough Ree Yacht Club’s 250th Anniversary and to celebrate junior sailing at the Club, they will again run the successful Double Ree regatta during the weekend of 18th -19th July.

This regatta will host racing for 420s, 29ers, Mirrors and RS Feva and last time run it was dubbed the Electric Picnic of sailing!

Published in Youth Sailing
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Lough Ree RNLI together with Athlone Sub Aqua Club have been honoured by the Municipal District of Athlone-Moate on behalf of Westmeath County Council.

The recognition was awarded to the volunteers of Lough Ree RNLI and Athlone Sub Aqua Club as a symbol of acknowledgement of their lifesaving contribution to the community.

Lough Ree RNLI has been operational since 2012 and to date has assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs.

"Assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs"

Speaking at the ceremony of recognition, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McCarth thanked the Council for this honour, together with the support they have shown over the years, most especially in providing a location for the Lifeboat Station to call home until the new boathouse is built.

He paid special tribute to his predecessor, Damien Delaney who undertook setting up the operation in Lough Ree. Tony closed his speech with a special word of appreciation for Derry McMahon from Athlone Sub Aqua Club for his many years of service in the community as a diver.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Tara Scougall, has gone on service at Lough Ree RNLI. The lifeboat which arrived at the Coosan Point lifeboat station today, Tuesday 12 November 2019, replaces The Eric Rowse which has been used for rescues and to save lives on Lough Ree since August 2014.

Volunteers have been completing familiarisation training on another Atlantic 85 ahead of Tara Scougall’s arrival and started their training on Tara Scougall this evening.

The new lifeboat has been funded through the fundraising efforts of James Scougall in memory of his late wife Tara Scougall. James and his family wanted a lifeboat station with a strong sense of community and felt that Lough Ree was the perfect choice.

The Tara Scougall will be officially named at a special naming ceremony and service of dedication at Lough Ree Lifeboat station next year.

In her 5 years of service on Lough Ree, The Eric Rowse was launched on service 292 times, with its volunteer lifeboat crew assisting a total of 716 people.

The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 design, allows room for four crew members, and it has additional equipment and more advanced features than it’s predecessor, the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, which it replaces.

The lifeboat is powered by two 115 horse power engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Atlantic 85 which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005 also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Speaking following the arrival of the new lifeboat, Tony McCarth, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We are extremely grateful to James Scougall and his incredible fundraising efforts which have funded our new lifeboat. This is a very exciting time for all our volunteers as we enter a new chapter for the RNLI on Lough Ree. We will be building a new permanent Boat House (Lifeboat Station) for the Tara Scougall to call home in the near future.

‘We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and to save many more lives in the years to come.’

The RNLI is a charity which relies on voluntary contributions and legacies.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s lifeboat volunteer will be showcased on the small screen in an upcoming episode of BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Tune in to BBC Two on Tuesday 15 October at 8pm to see the Lough Ree crew on two callouts, firstly when they launch to the aid of two fishermen whose boat is swamped during a fishing competition.

Next they’re tasked come to the aid of an elderly man taken ill on the island of Inch Bofin — alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around Ireland and Britain’s coasts and inland waters.

Lough Ree’s appearance follows last year’s profile of Courtown’s lifesavers, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Lough Ree RNLI helm Tom Bradbury says: “It’s great to see the work we do on TV like this.

“We’re always grateful for the support we get from the public as we rely on donations to do what we do, so it great that all our supporters now get to see, from the comfort and safety of their own front rooms, exactly how they help us save lives.”

Filming for the fourth series of Saving Lives at Sea took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life.

Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and viewers can get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in Maritime TV
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