17th December

Ireland takes silver at ISAF Youth World sailing event

Séafra Guilfoyle, Crosshaven, Co Cork, has won silver at the 44th ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Portugal. The 18-year-old was competing against 56 nations in the boys laser radial class and is the third only Irish sailor to take a medal at this event.

ISA-Lasers montage

"My plan with my coach Russell was to sail as fast as I could and I went out there and won the race. I nearly had gold but in the last minute, Joel moved up to finish fourth. I tried my best and I'm thrilled with the result," he said. 

Read more: Ireland takes silver at ISAF Youth World sailing event

Local boat lies 4th in world race as yachts head for Irish finish line

In the final 2,800nm leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht race from New York to Derry, local boat Londonderry-Derry Doire curently lies in first position and remains in hot contention to take 'virtual' line honours on Sunday. 

Due to the stationary high pressure system centred over the west coast of Ireland and a head wind before the fleet, racing will cease at 1300 on Sunday when distance to finish at that time will be used to award places and enable boats to make 'best speed' to the finsh by motor-sail.


Londonderry-Derry Doire skippered by Sean McCarter and 11 other identical 70 ft clipper boats have endured mountainous seas, freezing temperatures and gael force winds since the race began in the Thames Estuary on September 1.

Read more: Local boat lies 4th in world race as yachts head for Irish finish line

East & North Coast of Ireland Sailing Directions

Fiacc OBrolchain

It was the pilotage instructions for the passage between the Saltee Islands that gave me my first taste of inshore navigation. Sometime in the late 1960s on my first passage from Dún Laoghaire to Dunmore East, the late Frank Ryan gave me a copy of the ICC’s Sailing Directions and said: "Here professor, have a look for how we make it through here and give me the compass headings."

review Sailing-Directio

It would be hard to imagine trying to navigate strange waters without the benefit of a good pilot, and the pleasure of exploring new havens and making good landfall is greatly enhanced by these publications. There is barely a creek that is not described in full, while many of Ireland’s smaller harbours are drying, this does not mean they are not in sheltered areas.

Read more: East & North Coast of Ireland Sailing Directions

Visitors' moorings - an opportunity

Norman Kean

Two yachts, visitors to Ireland, arrive in two widely separated bays of a summer evening. The forecast is bad. The crew of Silent Night is very glad to find a row of big yellow buoys, each with a pickup buoy and a hefty bridle attached along with an information tag.

10.1Yourview marina

Clare Island: busy but room for all                                                             Photo Geraldine Hennigan

Securely moored, they enjoy a pub meal and a pint or two ashore, pay their tenner for the mooring and head back to their bunks in the knowledge that no matter how hard it blows, they aren’t going to be wakened by that awful yaw and scrape that speaks of a dragging anchor.

Restless finds one of the same yellow buoys in her bay, but as she approaches it she is gruffly warned off by someone who seems to regard it as his own. They hurriedly turn about and go in search of an anchorage where they have a sleepless night, disturbed as much by the memory of the threatening reception as by the rising gale.

Read more: Visitors' moorings - an opportunity

Where is Ireland's marine leisure infrastructure?

Norman Kean, marine consultant, author and editor

Ireland has some of the finest sailing waters in the world, yet its marine leisure industry is hugely underdeveloped. But trying to invest in it is usually a bureaucratic nightmare. Planning guidelines are vague; planning decisions are made in a knowledge vacuum, and foreshore licensing can take years and cost fortunes.

The Government report: Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth shows a sign of good intention, but so often in maritime matters, the devil is in the detail and the agencies of the State just don’t seem to get it.

Schull - was ever a marina more needed? Planning permission has been granted, but many challenges remain. Photo Geraldine Hennigan

Schull - was ever a marina more needed? Planning permission has been granted, but many challenges remain. Photo Geraldine Hennigan

By ‘marine leisure infrastructure’ I mean visitors’ moorings; pontoons; piers; harbours; slipways and – at the top end of the scale – marinas of (say) 50 berths and more.Here are some key points about marinas in particular:

• they’re not necessarily profitable. A marina smaller than 200 berths has a struggle to remain viable as a stand-alone business

• they provide the nucleus for a lot of economic activity. The annual Reeds Marina Guide carries adverts for 43 different types of businesses - everything from pubs to haulage contractors. Marinas create jobs

• they are (at worst) environmentally neutral. They don’t cause pollution; they don’t disrupt wildlife and they aren’t noisy or dirty. And despite the previous point, they seldom look busy with people.

Read more: Where is Ireland's marine leisure infrastructure?

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