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Displaying items by tag: windsurfing

The 2021 Kona windsurfing national championships were hosted by Malahide Yacht Club on Sunday, 5th September. Under the direction of race officer Niall Gallagher of MYC, the sailors enjoyed a windward-leeward course in a 10 to 15 knot south easterly on Malahide estuary.

In the final race, Joe Galeckas of MYC dominated to gain victory over RStGYC sailor and 2020 titleholder Robbie Walker.

Fellow RStGYC sailor, Des Gibney, earned a well-deserved 3rd place whilst Damien Dion of NYC placed 4th overall and Miha Rothl came in 5th. The youth category was won by Mika Sacolax, who placed 11th overall.

After 4 races and going into the final race of the day, Walker and Galeckas were on equal points, and the title was up for grabs. A good start and excellent windward beat put Galeckas in a commanding position, and he was able to hold his lead and claim victory.

This is the 9th Year that the National Kona Windsurfing championships have been staged, with the winners receiving the Alan Harris memorial trophy. MYC sailors have dominated the event with 6 winners in the last 9 years. More recently, RSGYC sailors have challenged the MYC stronghold, winning the trophy on 3 occasions.

The sailors extend their thanks and congratulations to MYC for hosting an excellent event and to Surfdock for their generous sponsorship.

A group of the Kona windsurfers on a windward leg in 15 to 20 knot south easterly breeze on Malahide EstuaryA group of the Kona windsurfers on a windward leg in 15 to 20-knot south-easterly breeze on Malahide Estuary 

Roy Guinan is in the foreground. The Kona Fleet on a leeward leg of the national championships hosted by MYC. 

 Des Gibney of the RSGYC, with sail number 2677 finished 3rd overall in the Kona National Championships.Des Gibney of the RSGYC, with sail number 2677, finished 3rd overall in the Kona National Championships.

The fleet were challenged with shifty wind conditions at the top mark, close to Malahide villageThe fleet was challenged with shifty wind conditions at the top mark, close to Malahide village. 

David Jullo of the NYC placed 8th overall, participating in the event for the second timeDavid Jullo of the NYC placed 8th overall, participating in the event for the second time.

Winner, Joe Galeckas of the MYC, cruising to victory in the 5th race of the dayWinner Joe Galeckas of the MYC, cruising to victory in the 5th race of the day

Published in Malahide YC

This Sunday, 5th September sees the return of the Kona Windsurfing class to contest their national championships on the Malahide estuary in County Dublin.

The class has over 20 members in Ireland and is unique in that sailors of all ages and weights compete on the same course. Each weight category has a different sized sail to compensate for weight so that all competitors have equal speed. Unlike with Olympic classes, the Kona doesn't allow pumping which means racing is more about strategy and skill, and less about strength. This event is in its ninth year with racing normally held on a classic windward-leeward course.

Current national champion, Robbie Walker of RSGYC is expected to face stiff competition from Joe Galeckas of MYC who won the championships in 2019. Also vying for podium finishes this year will be Cormac O'Brien and Andrew Christofides, both of Malahide Yacht club who both previously held the title. Another favourite for this year's title is Des Gibney, of RSGYC who has narrowly missed out in previous years but has recently shown strong performance on his home waters of Dun Laoghaire.

Charter equipment is still available, and entries don't close until midnight on Wednesday 1st September. Further information on the event and entries can be found on the MYC website.

Published in Malahide YC
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After a successful 2020 event in late October last year, a fleet of 38 women and 69 men for a total of 107 windsurfers gathered on Lake Garda for the 2021 iQFOiL International Games hosted by Univela Sailing in Campione del Garda. 20 nations are represented here despite the still standing international travel restrictions.

This new one-design windsurfing class will be raced at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Racing on Day One started around noon as the typical local thermic breeze from the South filled in to reach about 12-15 knots. The first to hit the water were the men with three flawless slalom races, followed by the women who had to face a major wind drop and could only finish two races.

The provisional ranking at the end of Day One is a French affair, they occupy all top three spots in the Men. Nicholas Goyard won all of three matches, followed by Clement Burgeois and Adrien Mestre. The defending champion Sebastian Koerdel (GER) closed the day in the fifth position with a win in the last race and a ‘dive’ in the first one.

“We had some strong wind slalom races today, and I have to admit I was a bit rusty, and in the first race I fell into the water and had to swim a bit, but then the next two races were better with a 5 and 1, so overall not a dominant performance but I am getting there. The last race was a win and I plan on continuing like that” said the German 2020 iQFOiL International Games winner, Sebastian Koerdel.

Two French sailers within the best three also in the Women fleet, outstripped by one of the only two female British boarders here, Islay Watson. Delphine Cousin capped the day in second place and fellow countrywoman Lucie Belbeoch in third.

Among the athletes coming from far away Sarah Quita Offringa, from Aruba, today tasted the still winterish cold water and cool breeze.. “It was the first day of the event and we had two good windy slaloms, I thought it was cool to start in the line with 20 women and it was exhilarating, I didn’t do too great but it was definitely a good learning experience. One of the biggest challenges was the temperature for me, I’m from the Caribbean and in Aruba when the sun is shining is 30 degrees, and I went out at first in my sleeveless wetsuit, then went back inside and wore the thick one, but no more races for the day.”

Tomorrow’s conditions won’t be as sunny with potential rain in the afternoon, and the Race Committee opted for a morning start, with the ladies going out first at 10 am and the boys following them at 10,30.

Tagged under

Kilkeel RNLI launched to the rescue a windsurfer who got into difficulty off Cranfield Point on Saturday (14 November).

The volunteer crew set out on their inshore lifeboat at 3.25pm on Saturday as part of a multi-agency tasking that also involved Kilkeel Coastguard, Greenore Coast Guard and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin.

Onshore, Kilkeel Coastguard had spotted the sail of the windsurfer just north of Carlingford Lough’s shipping channel and directed lifeboat helm Gerry Smyth towards the casualty, who had been one of a group of eight.

The other seven members of the group had made it safely to shore. In Force 5-6 winds and in a moderate sea, the casualty and his gear were taken onboard.

The exhausted casualty was checked by the lifeboat crew for injury, water inhalation and the effects of the cold conditions. He was then made comfortable and brought safely ashore. The lifeboat returned at 4.15pm where the grateful surfer was met by Kilkeel Coastguard.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel’s lifeboat operations manager John Fisher said: “The crew did everything in a thoroughly professional manner and we would like to wish the casualty well.

“Because of Covid-19, the crew have been restricted in their training exercises but this afternoon they demonstrated their skills with this rescue also highlighting how well multiple agencies work together.”

The crew readied to launch for a second time over the weekend at 2.15pm yesterday (Sunday 15 November) following a call that an EPIRB had been activated.

However, after an extensive local onshore search it was found that the EPIRB was faulty and was located in a boat owner’s garage.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were called out at 3.50pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 20 June) to go to the aid of a lone windsurfer who had got into difficulty just offshore of Harbour View in Courtmacsherry Bay.

The alarm was raised by concerned persons on shore that the surfer was unable to return to his base as the winds were escalating.

While the winds were beginning to blow a gale off the South West Coast, both the Trent class lifeboat and the station’s inshore lifeboat were launched under coxswain Mark Gannon and a combined crew of nine volunteers.

After conducting a thorough search of the coastline from Burren Pier to Coolmain Strand, the windsurfer was finally located as he got ashore by himself downstream of Harbour View. The crew of the inshore lifeboat approached to confrm his status and found he was tired but uninjured.

Lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer thanked all the lifeboat crew members for the quick response and carrying out the search operation in a very professional fashion.

He reiterated that it is always best to raise the alarm quickly in the event of a difficulty being spotted from shore by dialling 999 or 112 and asking specifically for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 17 July) to rescue a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The inshore lifeboat launched at 2.01pm after a member of the public alerted the Irish Coast Guard that a windsurfer was being blown against the shoreline at Reengarogy.

With four volunteer crew aboard — helm Kieran Collins and crew members Micheal Cottrell, David Ryan and Ian Lynch — the lifeboat arrived on scene two minutes later to find the casualty in the water, swimming hard to keep clear of the rocks.

The casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat, along with his board, and once satisfied that he was unharmed, the crew took him back to the beach in Baltimore he had originally set out from.

While the inshore lifeboat crew were dealing with their casualty on the shoreline, instructors from Baltimore Sailing Club went to the assistance of another windsurfer who was in difficulty in the middle of the harbour and brought them safely to shore.

Weather conditions at the time of the call were blustery with a south-westerly Force 5 wind and sloppy sea.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “This was a particularly fast response as the inshore lifeboat was on scene with the casualty within seven minutes of the lifeboat pagers going off.

“Thankfully a member of the public had spotted the danger that the windsurfer was in and did the correct thing in alerting the coastguard.

“If you see anyone that you think is in difficulty on the water or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The dinghy classes are not the only subjects of open letters to World Sailing chiefs as they meet in London this weekend, with Dutch windsurfer Dorian van Rijsselberghe issuing his own missive criticising the retention of the RS:X class without holding sea trials.

Sail World reports on the letter from the current world and Olympic champion in the class, who argues that World Sailing has on its hands “a great opportunity to re-invigorate the sport of sailing and windsurfing and to inspire the next generation” were it to trial alternative classes such as windfoils alongside the RS:X, which itself replaced the Mistral in Beijing 2008.

“Despite the dominant position [my country the Netherlands holds] in the RS:X, I believe it is our duty not only to foster talent and bring it to the top – but in fact that the overriding duty is to act in the best interests of the sport and to ensure its future, prosperity and continued success,” he writes.

Van Rijsselberghe also hit out at the perceived monopoly in manufacturing for the class and is effect on costs for windsurfers, while also highlighting the dearth of youth competitors in the Netherland and New Zealand, historically among the biggest windsurfing nations.

Sail World has much more on the story HERE.

Published in World Sailing

Force 10 winds forecast for this weekend will attract eight of the world’s more fearless windsurfers to Ireland’s Atlantic coast for a competition three years in the making.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the precise date and venue for the Red Bull Storm Chase along the Wild Atlantic Way have not yet been decided, being influenced by where the squalls currently tracking towards Ireland ahead of two major storm systems will make landfall.

But if conditions prove optimal, the brave boarders will take to the big waves — judged on the size of their high-flying jumps, their artistry in the air and their overall style amid winds in excess of 100kmh.

BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

Vintage windsurfers from all over Ireland are coming together for the first time in more than 30 years in Dun Laoghaire this weekend.

Tomorrow (Saturday 20 October) the National Yacht Club plays host to The Gathering, organised by Two Score & Still Standing! and running from noon till late.

Veteran boarders will be joined by Dufour, Mistral, Sandal and Tiga sailors for a fun afternoon of relay racing, following by an evening social with memorabilia highlighting Irish windsurfing over the years — including a number of Afloat yearbooks — and dinner in the NYC clubhouse.

To register your interest in tomorrow’s event, contact Daphne at 087 256 0269 or [email protected], or Helga at 087 286 3116 or [email protected]

Two Score and Still Standing Gathering 2018

Tagged under

#SpeedRecord - Oisín van Gelderen has released an extended video of his Irish speed sailing record-setting run in the south of France last spring.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the windsurfer took to the lagoon at La Palme in the Occitanie region on 6 April 2017, after many days of waiting for the right conditions.

His new outright Irish speed sailing record of 42.16 knots over 500 metres was later ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSR), smashing the late John Kenny’s then longstanding record.

“All along it was my goal to try and break the 50 knot barrier (even as a VMax peak), and push my 500m speed (and the Irish record) up as close to 50 as I could,” he told Afloat.ie.

“Unfortunately the conditions didn't allow (wind not strong enough or at the wrong angle), and although the speed I set in La Palme broke my late friend John Kenny’s previous WSSRC 500m Irish Record by a couple of knots, ironically my own GPS Speeds are much faster.

Van Gelderen added: “I have national GPS Records too by GPS - which is much cheaper to do as I can concentrate on chasing the wind and finding the perfect location such as BunBeg in Donegal, or the Dungarvan Speed Strip at Abbeyside.

“But WSSRC 500m ratified speeds are still considered the ‘official’ national/world records.”

Afloat’s sailor of the month for September 2010 said that the current season has so far not been conducive to GPS speed sailing in Ireland.

“We have had plenty of wind, but never at the right angle - when the tide is also correct to give the right conditions.

“So for me the chase continues. and I will enter the two other WSSRC events this year – one again in the south of France at Le Rouet beach, and the second in Luderitz, Namibia."

Van Gelderen said he has tried to get to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, where Paul Larsen set the outright record on Vestas Sailrocket 2 in 2012, for a number of years.

“It’s the ultimate course,” he says of the Luderitz Speed Challenge, “where all the world records and top 40 fastest speeds in the world come from.”

Afloat.ie wishes Oisín the best of luck in his efforts to make a mark for Ireland on the world speed sailing stage.

Published in Surfing
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