23rd October

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

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.





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