15th October

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.

Rally against cruise berth proposal

Opponents to the proposed 390m cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire Harbour arrived by foot and by boat to the East Pier yesterday. 

Organised by Save our Seafront, the rally heard that the future of the harbour 'hangs in the balance' as Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company pushes forward plans to provide berthage for super sized cruise ships up to 320m long.

SOS Rally Oct 15

Protesters against the planned 390m cruise berth gathered on the East Pier of Dún Laoghaire and as a flotilla. Photo Gillian Mills  

Claiming the plan is a 'dangerous financial gamble', the group believes it is linked to a proposal to build 'hundreds of exclusive' apartments on St Micchael's Wharf thereby privatising large parts of the harbour.

Read more: Rally against cruise berth proposal

Dromod Marina - the jewel of the River Shannon

Described as the finest mooring facility on the River Shannon which itself enjoys acclaim throughout Europe as a premier crusing destination, the Waterfront Marina in Dromod, Co Leitrim, is under new ownership having been bought by local couple Paul & Patsy Garland.

Dromod Marina

Built in 1997, the marina offers over 50 berths in a mix of 50:50 sports boats and cruisers. It enjoys a full and active season of cruises in company and rallies, supported by full chandlery facilities, valeting and storage (with Smartphone CCTV surveillance), along with informal events, BBQs and other social events.

The North Shannon Power Boat School also runs courses in boat handling where participants can progress from novice to full International Certificate of Competence, allowing the holder to navigate craft up to 20m and 80t within Europe.

The Garland family are no strangers to the Shannon. Paul is a Past President of Inland Waterways Association of Ireland and is an Irish Sailing Association Senior Powerboat and Cruiser instructor.

Patsy has many years involvement with the Shannon as a former commodore of the Shannon Boat Rally and watch leader on Ireland's former sail training vessel, Asgard II.

"The future of the marina is in good hands," remarked Paul. "It is for the enjoyment of berth holders and their families, and we will do all we can to improve that experience."

Described by Joyce as ‘snot green', just how green in the sea?

The 70ft classic steel schooner, Spirit of Oysterhaven, is sailing around the island of Ireland throughout the summer (weather permitting) and is participating in the international Citclops Citizen Science Seawater Project.

In late June on sunny day, the crew of three and 10 teenage trainees set sail from Drogheda, Co Louth, bound for Cobh, Co Cork. Discussing the sea beneath the vessel the consensus was that the water was ‘cold, quite clear and bluish, blue green, or greenish’.


Trainees onboard Spirit of Oysterhaven with iconic Fastnet Lighthouse in the background

A new Citclops app (www.citclops.eu ) and Coastwatch methods were tested to give more precise observations. Jonno lowered a white Secchi disc into the water on a long rope which sank two metres and disappeared from sight.

Read more: Described by Joyce as ‘snot green', just how green in the sea?

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