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Displaying items by tag: Sail Training Ireland

#tallships – Sail Training Ireland host its third Annual Launch and Prize Giving Event in the Mansion House in Dublin, courtesy of Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke tomorrow. Master of Ceremonies is's William M. Nixon who recently blogged on the topic of a New Tall Ship for Ireland

Having formed in 2011 to replace Coiste an Asgard as Ireland's umbrella organisation for Sail Training Activities, the charity is now on firm ground going into the 2015 voyage season and is supported jointly by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council. See programmes and timetables as attachments downloadable below as pdf files.

Since their foundation Sail training Ireland has facilitated well over 500 young people to undertake voyages at sea on Tall Ships and other Sailing Vessels. President Michael D. Higgins is Patron.

Tomorrow there will be some significant award winners listed here:

Trainee of the year award: Andrew Crowley:

Volunteer of the year award: Jonathan O'Brien

Special Contribution Award: Turlough Kennedy:

Special Achievement Award: Fiona Armson

Watch-leader of the Year: Sara Mason

Perpetual Asgard Award: For an outstanding contribution to, or achievement in Sail Training by an individual or group: Atlantic Youth Trust Foroige Trainee Group: Michael Collins, Dean Mc Keon.

The 2015 season looks to be very active due to the International Tall Ships Races Festival taking place in Belfast from July 2nd-5th. This results in a lot of activity in the Irish Sea and many ships and voyages taking place in the area.  During the Mansion House event, Sail Training Ireland will announce a voyage programme with capacity for near 300 trainees and a number of very exciting funded programmes.

The most exciting funding schemes for the charity are:

EU Commission "Youth Exchange" projects, under the new Erasmus + scheme- in partnership with Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust. These take place over 2 x 2 week voyages in June. One for 16-17 year olds and the other for over 18s. On the Dutch Tall Ship Morgenster.

Peace and Reconciliation Funded "Sea-Connections" voyages (North-South) in Partnership with Atlantic Youth Trust. This will create 6 voyages, with 5 trainees from each side of the border on each voyage. The 6 voyages together will result in a circumnavigation of Ireland.

A project which is under development in collaboration with An Garda Siochana and The Irish Naval Service using Lottery Funding through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. This is aimed at young people in the City of Dublin.

The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary Scheme is in its third year and will fund 20 young trainees from the area with the support of a number of local sponsors, through Drogheda Port Company.

The Belfast Tall Ships Races Festival will also support almost 100 young people to undertake a voyage to Norway as part of the Races. There will also likely be many other young people partaking in this race by their own means.

Many of the above voyages take place on Spirit of Oysterhaven, Ireland's only operational non-naval Sail Training Vessel. This beautiful 70 foot Classic Schooner was completely refit for purpose and is in it's second full season. This year the vessel looks likely to reach full capacity, which raises the question about the need for further Sail Training vessels in Ireland. A

Outside of the very exciting Belfast Tall Ships Races Festival, which expects record numbers of ships and at least 15 or 20 of the Large Square Riggers (Class A's), there are a number of other local Maritime Festivals which will host Tall Ships and with whom Sail Training Ireland work closely. Namely The Dublin Port River Festival (May 30th - June 1st) and The Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda (June 19th-21st). Each of these will have a fleet of 6-8 Small and Tall Ships visiting during the Month of June. Ships visiting Dublin can be seen in the attached document.

Further to this, Sail Training Ireland is working closely with The Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust in Liverpool (MAST) to develop an annual programme of Tall Ship Voyages around the Irish Sea, connecting the various cities and festivals and creating an "Annual Irish Sea Initiative".

Noted Guests:

Chairman is Seamus McLoughlin (Former Head of Operations of Dublin Port Company) 

Previous Chair: Kalanne O'Leary (Trustee of Sail Training International)

Amongst our Directors present will be Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding The Naval Service Brendan Kenny, Assistant Chief Executive of Dublin City Council may attend

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey may attend Charlie Murphy, Communications Manager of Dublin Port Company will attend Sean Flood – Retired Director and International Sail Training Ambassador


William M. Nixon Master of Ceremonies

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke

Seamus McLoughlin Chairman, Sail Training Ireland

Andrew Crowley Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust / Trainee of the Year.

Introducing a video of Spirit of Oysterhaven.

Foroige Trainees Introducing a Video

Neil O'Hagan Atlantic Youth Trust

Announcing the Peace and Reconciliation Voyage Scheme

Carolanna Foley Drogheda Voyage Scheme Account

Oliver Hart Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - Four RNLI lifeboats were involved in the rescue of 30 crew from the tall ship Astrid, which sank off the Cork coast earlier today (Wednesday 24 July).

The 42m Dutch training vessel reportedly hit rocks inside the Sovereign Islands at Ballymacus Point, near Kinsale.

All on board were brought to safety when the Kinsale lifeboat transferred the casualties from the sinking ship onto the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat and a local vessel. They were then taken to Kinsale.

Both Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboats were called out at 12 noon today to go to the immediate aid of the sail training vessel that had got into difficulties on the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour in Cork.

Ballycotton and Crosshaven RNLI were also launched, though the Kinsale RNLI lifeboat was first on scene. There was a 2m swell and winds were force five to six.

The training vessel had lost power and was apparently driven on to rocks by a strong southerly wind at the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour. The grounded vessel was taking on water and a crewmember from Kinsale RNLI was put onboard.

Eighteen of the casualties were taken off the Astrid by Kinsale RNLI lifeboat and transferred to Courtmacsherry lifeboa, before being brought to safety. The remaining 12 were put onto a liferaft deployed by the Astrid’s crew, which was towed to safety by the Kinsale lifeboat and picked up by a local vessel.

The people on board the liferaft were then taken to Kinsale harbour and assessed by medical teams.

Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon were also on scene along with ambulances and medical crews from Cork.

Speaking about the call-out, Courtmacsherry RNLI coxswain Sean O’Farrell said: “Everyone was very fortunate. I want to praise the quick thinking of the skipper and the crew from the Astrid. They kept calm and did everything we asked them to do. We were able to get them to safety quickly and a major tragedy was averted. To be able to recover 30 people safely was a great day for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Sailing Association has issued the following media statement on behalf of the tall ship Astrid:

Tall Ship Astrid was on a voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg calling in to Kinsale. On board were 23 trainees from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK and Spain. The crew were from Belgium and the captain, Pieter de Kam was from the Netherlands.

As the Astrid was leaving Oysterhaven, as part of The Gathering Cruise parade of sail to Kinsale, the vessel experienced engine failure. They notified a nearby RIB which was being helmed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) CEO Harry Hermon.

The RIB attempted to take a line from Astrid. However, due to the onshore winds and swell this was not possible. Captain de Kam issued a May Day.

The ISA RIB and the yachts in The Gathering Cruise flotilla stood by until the RNLI arrived. There was a safe rescue of all 30 crew who were brought to Kinsale on board the yacht Spirit of Oysterhaven and the lifeboat. All crew were brought to Kinsale Yacht Club where they were provided with showers, food and dry clothing. They were all medically checked and are in good health.

Sail Training Ireland and Kinsale Yacht Club are working together to make arrangements for accommodation and for returning the crew to their homes.

Commenting on the rescue, Captain Pieter de Kam of the Tall Ship Astrid stated: “I would like to thank the lifeboat and the coastguard for the safe rescue of all my crew. We very much appreciate their outstanding work.”

Harry Hermon, CEO of the Irish Sailing Association, commented: “It is thanks to the rescue services that all crew were rescued quickly and safely without injury. I would also like to thank all the sailors from the Gathering Cruise who stood by Astrid providing support to the crew.

"Kinsale Yacht Club has also been fantastic providing food and clothing and helping Sail Training Ireland find accommodation for all the crew”.

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips – A flotilla of Tallships are to descend along Dublin's North Wall Quay as part of the first ever Dublin Port River Festival, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on, the capitals newest premier 'riverfest' was officially launched today to mark the three-day festival this June Bank Holiday Weekend (Saturday 1 June to Monday 3 June).

Sail Training Ireland and the Dublin Port Compnay has promoted sailing for all ages to those on board the flotilla which is a combination of A & B class traditional tallships.

The Dublin bound flotilla departed Belfast this week, having attended the Titanic Maritime Festival and they are due to arrive this Friday 31 May (in advance) of the long-weekend riverfest. The hope is to make this initiative an annual sail-training programme to Dublin Port.

According to the festival website, the tallships will be open to the public are Soteria, Gulden Leeuw, Pelican of London, Johanna Lucretia and Irene. The latter pair recently took part in the 'Sail Home to Your Roots' project which culminated with an arrival at the Poolbeg YBC & Marina.

Joining in the festival fun are the Howth 17's which will race 'Between the Bridges' on the Liffey. Also not to be missed is the 'Parade of Sail' again on the river, where up to 60 traditional Old Gaffers sailing craft which will be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Old Gaffers Association.

The festival is not exclusively all matters maritime but also jammed packed for family entertainment with shore-side stalls, events and activities. For full details of the festival programme visit:

Published in Tall Ships

#RiverFestival – The new Dublin Port River Festival as previously reported on is approaching ever closer when it is to take place over the June Bank Holiday (1-4 June).

The event is part of an active summer season of tall ships gatherings and particularly a journey of a lifetime awaits those on board five Tall Ships which are to sail from Belfast to Dublin for the inaugural festival on the River Liffey.

To those who got bitten by The Tall Ships bug last summer when The Tall Ships Races culminated in Dublin, here's some good news. Once you are over 16, and equipped with a sense of adventure, you can sign up for the 4 day voyage on one of these Tall Ships from Belfast to Dublin.

These splendid vessels will take part in the New Dublin Port River Festival along with Currachs and 'Old Gaffers', with races happening on the river Liffey and in Dublin Bay – again all of which are to take place over the June bank holiday.

Speaking this week of her voyage from Liverpool to Drogheda on the Johanna Leucretia, Mel Gibney said 'This whole thing has been a brilliant experience, Highly recommended.'

As previously reported, last weekend Drogheda hosted The Fringe Festival and Maritime Festival which incorporated 16 local youth joining 'The Prolific' Tall Ship crew in a voyage from Liverpool to Drogheda.

Speaking as the ships sailed up the River Boyne, Minister Fergus O'Dowd TD commented 'These Sail Training Voyages can prove hugely important in personal development and in ones' personal sense of achievement - We're thrilled to hear the great stories from the 16 locals, who participated in this voyage.

Sail Training can be a truly life changing experience, so don't miss your opportunity to participate this summer. The five ships will leave Belfast on the 28 May and arrive in Dublin Port on 1 June.

There are berths still available on board the ships during this voyage for anyone that would like to experience life at sea on a traditional Tall Ship.

Age group from 16-99 years are accepted and 'No experience needed!...

If you cannot make these dates Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and The European Organisation 'Youth in Action' are also running sail training voyages in July and August around Ireland – So log on to for further information.


Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips -Funding will be made available for 20 young people from Drogheda to sail at reduced rates during the Tall Ship Sailing Voyages which is to involve six tall ships sailing from Liverpool to the Irish port.

As previously reported on, the event is part of the Drogheda Fringe and Maritime Tall Ships Festival (4-6 May), when the tall ships sail from Merseyside to the Co. Louth port between 28 April-3 May.

The vessels will be open to the public open during the festival Bank Holiday Weekend. On the following day of 6 May, a 'Parade of Sail' is to see the tallships depart the Boyne.

Sail Training Ireland and Drogheda Port Company have worked together to raise sponsorship from local businesses in Drogheda to part-fund voyages for young people aged 16-30 to sail across the Irish Sea.

Bursary's of €250 are being allocated through local organisations that work with young people, community, charity and voluntary organisations.

This brings the voyage cost to €135 per person. Any organisations such as youth groups, sports-clubs, schools, charities etc that are interested in nominating their members should contact Sail Training Ireland. Bursaries will be administered on a case by case basis.

The voyages are also available in general to anyone aged 16-99. Visit for information these and other voyages.

If you are interested in taking part in this voyage please contact Sail Training Ireland at: [email protected] or (01) 8876046 / 086 0346038


Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - Sail Training Ireland and Dutch based At Sea Sail Training are to the host the "Gathering at Sea" between 14-28 July.

This event will see the Tall Ship Astrid sail from Southampton to Cherbourg via Kinsale.

The 14 day voyage is part funded by the European Youth in Action Project and is the goal of International Exchanges to unite youngsters from all over Europe.

Sailing a vessel together is the best way to experience each other's cultures in real life. As we would like to offer this experience to as many young people as possible, we apply for funding with the EU program Youth in Action.

The Astrid, "Gathering at Sea" is available for 15-25 year olds and the European Union exchange programme as stated above to take in the following ports of Southampton to Cherbourg via Kinsale. Participating countries are from France, The Netherlands, UK and Ireland.

The costs are: €925 (normal fee €1,295), due to funding from the EU the price is reduced and where there is to be a 70 % of the transfer costs back). For further details contact Monique in At Sea Sail Training at this email: [email protected]

Published in Tall Ships

#DroghedaTALLSHIPS – Drogheda Port is to welcome an inaugural gathering of tallships during the Drogheda Fringe Festival in May, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sight of these tallships heading up the Boyne and to berth along the town's quay's, will be eagerly awaited and with the sense of adventure that goes with it.

The public will be able to board the six tallships along the Ballast and Deepwater Quays, on the Bank Holiday weekend of (4-5 May), before the flotilla head for Liverpool.
In fact, Drogheda, is the first port of call for these vessels which are also to visit Dublin, Belfast, Cobh, Gloucester, Liverpool, Whitehaven and Warrenpoint during May and June.

The visit of the tallships to the Co. Louth port, as previously reported on, is part of Sail Training Ireland's programme of sail training voyages in 2013, where there are more than 500 berths available, for details visit this LINK. It will also be possible to book a passage from Liverpool to Drogheda on one of these traditional sailing ships, just as it was in the 1800's!

Paul Fleming CEO said "Drogheda Port Company is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Tall Ships event. The port has a commercial heritage going back to 1790 and a historical one much further. The soft values of seaports are incredibly important to their local area, and the port community is fully supportive to the opening up of the town to tourism and recreation through the river and our port.

Following on from the first ever cruise ship to call to Drogheda Port, with the arrival of the 122 passenger 'Clipper Adventurer' last year, port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests with a view to developing maritime tourism infrastructure side by side with our important commercial activities.

"Port towns and cities stand apart, and by their nature tend to be more cosmopolitan and welcoming with a unique selling point for tourism. This year will be a significant maritime year for Drogheda, and the Boyne will continue to surprise and demonstrate its true value to the locality".

Local TD Gerald Nash said "the Tall Ships will give us a visual reminder of the past but also a glimpse into the future. We need to maximise the potential of our river in terms of tourism and leisure facilities." It will provide a huge boost to Drogheda not only in terms of visitor numbers and the knock on effect to the local economy, but also in terms of the sheer pleasure it will bring to the people.

Published in Tall Ships

#TALL SHIP- The tallship Tenacious which arrived yesterday to Dublin Port, is to host an Open Day to the public this Sunday 21st October at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, from 10am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm.

The 65m barque is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and alongside her fleetmate Lord Nelson, are the only such tallships in the world that cater for trainee sailors of all physical abilities.

Sail Training Ireland have announced that there are limited places still available for this October's Tall Ship voyages around the Irish Sea aboard the vessel. For further details contact the Irish Branch of the JST on 01 496 0735 and in general by visiting

Published in Tall Ships

The Celtic Mist, the new flagship of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, was berthed in Waterford city for the Tall Ships weekend writes Shay FennellyGifted to the IWDG in May 2011 by the family of a former Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey, who declared Irish waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary in 1991.

Celtic Mist left Waterford on Sunday morning in glorious sunshine on passage down the River Suir for the Tall Ships Parade of Sail off Dunmore East watched by thousands of people from the river bank at Passage east, Duncannon and Dunmore East.


Ireland's only entry in the 2011 Tall Ships race from Waterford to Greenock Irish Whale and Dolphin Groups's research vessel Celtic Mist in the Tall Ships Parade of Sail off Dunmore East in Waterford. Photo: Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto

The Tall Ships fleet was reviewed by Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Mark Mellet and Sean Flood Sail Training Ireland (Board) and a Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training International past the LE Aoife. Over 1200 young people, many who have never been to sea before, are onboard the 50 tall Ships sailing to Greenock.

On board Celtic Mist are Captain Fiacc Brolchain, Gary Davis, Eithne Griffith, Deirdre Slevin, Conor Ryan and trainees Siobhan Ardener (19) from Killarney, Co Kerry, and Keith Cleere (19) from New Ross, Co Wexford.

The race started slowly at 15.00hrs, five miles south of the Hook Lighthouse in 10 knots of wind and blue skies and headed for the Irish Sea to Scotland.


Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Mark Mellet (left) and Sean Flood Sail Training Ireland (Board) and a Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training International on board LE Aoife reviewing the Tall Ships fleet as they passed off Dunmore East, County Waterford. Photo: Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto


Published in Tall Ships

Tall Ship sailing latest: When Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development was formally launched in mid-April to take on the mantle of Coiste an Asgard while making itself a more accessible body which can sign up individual and corporate members, chairman Sheila Tyrrell announced that a process was already under way to appoint a manager who would work from an office in Dublin Port headquarters writes WM Nixon.

The appointment was made within the planned time frame, and today (Thursday May 19th) manager Michael Byrne set up STI's base in the Dublin Port offices. He started his own sailing while still very young on Blessington Lake in the Wicklow Hills, and comes to the job complete with a degree in Outdoor Education.

His initiation period will include spending a familiarisation period at Sail Training International, the recognized world authority, at their offices in Gosport in England. In Ireland, his first tasks will include the planning of structures for membership, fund-raising, and the administration of bursaries for sail training experience which have become possible through grants from Sail Training International, and also from the shipping companies and port authorities which have already shown their enthusiastic support for this initiative. Details at

Published in Tall Ships
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