18th December

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'Coineed 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'Coineed celebrates Vendee Equator crossing

Volvo Round Ireland 2016 attracts record numbers

A record number of yachts have entered the Volvo Round Ireland 2016  race which will see 64 boats and teams from ten countries competiting in what is described as one of the 'most gruelling off-shore challenges' on the globe.

Volvo Round Ireland 2016

Race organiser Theo Phelan in Dalkey Sound awaits Phaedo 3. The  trimaran is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and the crew includes Ireland's Justin Slattery

The 704 nm race starts at 1300 tomorrow (June 18) from Wickow and has a 'simple course', say the organisers: 'Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.' But the teams will have to negotiate complex wind angles, tides and open ocean sailing along Ireland's west coast.

This year's event welcomes newcomer multihulls and three MOD70s who will be chasing the course record set by Musadam-Oman Sail of 40 hours, 51 minutes and 57 seconds and reaching speeds of 38 knots off the west coast. Hot favourite for monohull line honours is RORC member George David's American Maxi Rambler 88.

Countries represented are Belgium, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Oman, Switzerland, USA and Ireland.





First time for multihulls, in Round Ireland 2016

Multihull class Team Concise  is to enter three boats  - the MOD 70 and two Class 40 boats - in the 2016 Round Ireland Yacht Race. This is the first time that multihulls have been invited to compete.Team Concise

Multihull, Team Concise

The multihulls will compete against each other for a new race trophy and course record. Last May, Omani trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail set a new Ireland circumnavigation record of 1 day, 16 hours, 51 minutes and 57 seconds, but not in a 'race setting'.

Read more: First time for multihulls, in Round Ireland 2016

National Watersports Centre proposed for Dún Laoghaire

Termination of the HSS ferry service in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Co Dublin, has created a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for the town and harbour to provide a new facility of ‘national significance for water-based sports’.

Solitaire Le Figaro 2011

Almost fifty boats competed in the 1,700 nm single-handed race Solitaire du Figaro 2011 which stopped into Dún Laoghaire. Photo Gillian Mills

The proposal is the brainchild of the Dún Laoghaire Combined Clubs (Royal St George YC; National YC; Royal Irish YC and Dún Laoghaire Motor YC) who tabled the idea during the recent An Bord Pleanála oral hearing on plans for a super terminal for cruise liners in the harbour.

The National Watersports Centre (NWC) would be a focal point for training and could host ‘major international and national sailing and other water- sports events’ such as kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, windsurfing and scuba diving.  Dublin Bay has moderate sea and tidal conditions combined with interesting and varied wind patterns, ideal for these activities, it contends.

The site vacated by the ferry service at St Michael’s Wharf at end of Marine Road, would further develop the historical, physical and visual connection between the town and the harbour.  The large atrium space could be used as a coordination centre for national and international sailing championships, along with conferences, exhibitions, food fairs, and boat shows. Such events can attract up to 500 boats and up to 1,000 sailors, support crews and families who would stay in the town for up to a week.

Modelled against existing centres in Weymouth and Pwllheli in UK, and Medemblik in Holland, the group contends 30 events could be attracted annually, generating ‘substantial additional revenue’ to the local economy.  

In 2012, Dún Laoghaire hosted the ISAF Youth World Championships, described by its president, Göran Petersson, as a “spectacular world class sailing venue both on and off the water.”  A National Watersports Centre could also bid for the ISAF World Championships held every four years, valued at €25m to the host country, and the Youth Olympic Games 2022 for Dublin.

The east coast harbour town is a regular venue for the biennial four-day Volvo Regatta, attracting circa 21,000 visitors and contributing over €500,000 to the local retail economy.

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