23rd July

Varadkar supports effort for national sail training vessel

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed support for a national sail training vessel for Ireland as part of the Atlantic Youth Trust movement.

The announcement follows the inclusion of the initiative in the 'A Fresh Start The Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan'; The Programme for Government and Capital Investment Plan. 

National sail training vessel seafest 2017

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Hildegarde Naughton TD; Neil O'Hagan and Owen Moorehead, Atlantic Youth Trust, on board Irish Lights vessel, Granuaile at Seafest 2017, Galway

The new vessel will be modelled on the Spirit of New Zealand which has over 40 years operational experience and is credited with one of the core youth development assets of the country. 

Read more: Varadkar supports effort for national sail training vessel

Watersports Inclusion Games launched in Dún Laoghaire

Mark Pollock, Commonwealth medal winner in rowing; Round Ireland sailor; adventurer and Cure for Paralysis activist, has launched the inaugural Watersports Inclusion Games, organised by the Irish Sailing Association.

Hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire (June 25-26), this free event of sailing, rowing and canoeing, aims to attract people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectgrums, to try watersports. 

Watersports Inclusion Games 2017

Mark Pollock is accompanied by Oisin Putt, member of the Sailability Paralympic Pathway Team and Nadine Lattimore, London 2012 Paralympic athlete at Poolbeg Yacht Club. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Pollock, who lost his sight at 22 and was paralysed after an accident in 2010, said that watersports plays a significant role in his life.

Read more: Watersports Inclusion Games launched in Dún Laoghaire

Volvo Irish sailing awards

Olympic Silver medalist, Annalise Murphy, was honoured 'Volvo Sailor of the Year' at the annual awards event, before a 300-strong crowd from across the sailing community. 

Volvo Sailor of the Year

Annalise Murphy, Volvo Irish Sailor of the Year' 2016. Photo Gary Carr, Inphotography

The shortlist included Vendée Globe sailor, Enda O'Coineen; Olymic sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, and Conor Clarke and crew of Embarr (winners of the Melges 24 World Championship in Miami).

Read more: Volvo Irish sailing awards

O'Coineen Vendée Globe hopes 'demast' south of New Zealand

Ireland's entry in the solo Vendée Globe race, Kilcullen Voyager, ended abruptly on New Year's Day following a dismasting 180 nautical miles southeast of Dunedin, New Zealand, while racing in 35 knots of SSE wind. 

Vendee Globe Kilcullen

                                                                                                                             Photo: RNZ/Lydia Anderson

Ten days later however, O'Coineen says he is "contemplating his next move": whether to ship the boat back to Europe or to refit and sail home.

"I'm not in a massive rush - my family don't expect me back for a while! It's tempting to get a mast and try to sail the boat home, but that's a huge logistics effort in itself. So I don't really know, the ball is in the air."

Messages of support worldwide have given an unexpected platform for O'Coineen to highlight his goal to secure a sail training vessel for Ireland under the Atlantic Youth Trust which aims to deliver a world-class educational programme on a purpose built ship for young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Read more: O'Coineen Vendée Globe hopes 'demast' south of New Zealand

O'Coineen celebrates Vendee Equator crossing

Enda O’Coineen, Ireland’s entrant in Vendee Globe 2016-2017– the 100-day solo non-stop circumnavigation - reached a major milestone when he crossed the Equator, celebrated "with a little bottle of champagne and chocolates!"

The boat is in “fantastic shape” he explains via video link.

VG Kilcullen

“I’m doing very well; I’ve got a very stable weather pattern. I went very fast east when I should have followed the old rule of staying west. I thought I could get back but it didn’t work."

Read more: O'Coineen celebrates Vendee Equator crossing

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