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    North U Race Tactics Seminars

    22 November 2009

    Prepare for next season at this 4-hour seminar covering everything from Starting Tactics, Upwind Trim, Wind Shift Strategy to Spinnaker Trim and Handling and more. Learn proven approaches to solving boat speed problems, and gain insight into proper tactical positioning to take advantage of windshifts and gain control. You can spend a lifetime learning to be a better sailor. North U. accelerates the process!

    Presented by Bill Gladstone, the Director of North U and  author of the North U Racing Tactics and Trim books and CDs.   Bill has been teaching sailing and racing for over 30 years.  Graduates of his seminars and clinics are winning
    races in fleets the world over.

    Royal Western Yacht Club  ...........02 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Lough Derg Yacht Club  ..............03 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Foynes Yacht Club  ..................04 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    National Yacht Club  ................05 December 20   9am - 1pm
    Skerries Sailing Club  ..............07 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Malahide Yacht Club .................08 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Royal Ulster Yacht Club*  ...........09 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Kinsale Yacht Club ..................10 December 20   7pm - 11pm
    Royal St George Yacht Club ..........12 December 20   9am - 1pm

    Pay at the door. €20 per person.  *RUYC £18 per person.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on North U Race Tactics Seminars

    Shorthanded Sailing Forum Scheduled

    19 November 2009

    Solo & Double Handed Sailing in Ireland

    Forum Meeting, Wednesday 16th December at 1900hrs
    The National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

    In the past two years Ireland has seen remarkable success on the sailing world stage.  Two of these successes have occurred in short handed ocean racing with Damian Foxall winning the double handed Barcelona World Race in 2008 alongside French co-skipper Jean Pierre-Dick onboard the Open 60 “Paprec-Virbac”.  In June 2009 Barry Hurley won his class in the Ostar (Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race) onboard his JOD 35 “Dinah” after a two year self funded campaign.  Besides these two incredible victories there has been a large increase in the number of Irish sailors who are participating in solo & double handed sailing.  Many are travelling to take part in events in the UK and France where this type of sailing is firmly established.

    All those interested in solo & double handed yacht racing in Ireland are invited to attend this open forum meeting to put forward & discuss ideas and ways to put in place the structure and events necessary to develop this type of sailing in Irish waters.

    The meeting will include two short informative talks by Barry Hurley about his Ostar campaign and by Paul Ó Riain on his experience competing in La Solitaire du Figaro and other Figaro events in France in 2007.

    All are welcome.  RSVP below.  Those unable to attend should forward their contact details to receive minutes of the meeting and updates on developments.

    The meeting is being chaired by Olivier Prouveur, Sailing Manager at the National Yacht Club.  Olivier can be contacted as follows: or +353 (0)1 280 5725 or +353 (0)87 7936212

    Topics: Sailing | 1 Comment »

    €8,000,000 invested, €55,000,000 Return

    13 November 2009

    Those are the numbers for the Volvo Ocean Race stop over in Galway last June.  The government stumped up the seed money and the region profited hugely.

    The impact was 30 per cent above initial estimates by consultants Deloitte LLP, with €45 million in direct expenditure and €10 million in indirect expenditure in Galway and the west.

    The event attracted a total of 650,000 spectators to the Galway harbour race village and Salthill promenade during the fortnight.

    The spend by spectators and media was twice that recorded at other stopover ports on the round-the-world race.

    More from Lorna Siggins, Irish Times Marine Correspondent here.

    Topics: Sailing, Volvo Ocean Race | Comments Off on €8,000,000 invested, €55,000,000 Return

    Recycle your broken spars

    10 November 2009

    In the past week I was speaking with two different sailboat racers who explained they each took their broken masts to the public amenity recycle centre in Ballyogan.

    And they each paid €20 for the privilege of dumping their spars!

    Aluminium is a commodity and scrap metal merchants will purchase bent and broken masts and stainless steel.  Here is what I have done in the past:

    Prices vary during the year depending upon international demand, but a tenner is a tenner!

    Topics: Miscellany, Sailing | Comments Off on Recycle your broken spars


    8 November 2009

    A brilliant afternoon of racing in the Harbour.  Two races 10 – 12 knots of breeze, lovely sailing.   Here are a few quick photos, Louise and Hermine followed by Noel and Seamus.

    EDIT to add:  Results

    frostbite 042 (2)

    frostbite 022 (2)

    Noel Butler and Seamus Moore hoist the kite

    Topics: Sailing | 3 Comments »

    Off round the world

    5 November 2009

    Franck Cammas and his crew aboard the giant 31.5 meter trimaran Groupama 3 have set off on their challenge for the Jules Verne Trophy.  I’m a fan of these giant racing sailboats and envious of how French sailors can attract such a huge public following which in turn provides huge sponsorship.  Groupama SA is a mutual insurance company, bank and financial services provider and has been sponsoring Cammas and his boats for 12 years.


    At 15h 50′ 22” UTC this afternoon the boat passed the start line off the Créac’h lighthouse on northUshant in a good NW’ly breeze and big seas. Cammas and his nine crew will have to be back from their circumnavigation of the globe spanning over 24,000 miles, prior to the morning of 26th December.

    The Jules Verne Trophy course (21,760 nautical miles).
    It begins by crossing the start line defined by an imaginary line linking the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant and the Lizard Point lighthouse. From there the aim is to circumnavigate the globe by leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port, and crossing the finish line, described above, in the opposite direction.

    Time to beat: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds
    On 20th April 1993 Bruno Peyron headed a team which completed the first legendary round the world in 79 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds and thus became the first crew to win the `Jules Verne Trophy’.

    In seventeen years there have been twenty attempts to beat the record, only six of which have borne fruit: Bruno Peyron in 1993, Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston in 1994, Olivier de Kersauson in 1997, Bruno Peyron in 2002, Olivier de Kersauson in 2004 and Bruno Peyron again in 2005.

    In 2005, Bruno Peyron placed the bar very high: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds.  As such Groupama 3 must cross the finish line off Ushant before 26th December (St Stephen’s Day) at 08h 09′ 26” UTC.

    The boat’s website and race tracker showing their pace compared with Peyron in 2005.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Off round the world


    25 October 2009

    Over the years, I’ve done the foredeck on a variety of boats, from Ruffian 23 to J24 to Benny 31.7 and 36.7.  It’s always a challenge, good fun, but hard work.

    At the windward mark, I’m so busy I don’t see any of the boat on boat close contact as I set the pole and sneak the tack and hoist the kite.

    At the leeward mark, I’m so busy hoisting the jib/genoa, dropping the pole, gathering the kite, tidying lines that I miss any close boat on boat manoeuvers, but I get to hear afterwards all manner of self-congratulatory comments from the back of the boat.  And, I get to hear all manner of accusatory yelps if anything untoward happens on the foredeck.

    Hence, I have always thought of the front of the boat as Adventureland, while the back of the boat is Fantasyland.  The guys in the middle?  They are stuck in Wonderland.

    A poster’s signature on Sailing Anarchy offers this brilliant take on the front of the boat:

    “Good day and thank you for calling the foredeck. Right now all our friendly foredeck staff are busy packing spinnakers or helping other crew members.

    Please press:
    one for a headsail change…
    two for a spinnaker peel…
    three for a windward douse..
    four for a leeward douse..
    five for a hoist…
    six for a gybe…
    or leave us a message and one of our courteous bow-people will get back to you as soon as possible.
    In a hurry? No problem! Simply email your request to and we will respond within twenty four boat lengths.
    For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit:

    Thanks again and have a good race.”

    Credit to SA poster Cats Rule.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Adventureland

    The Friday Oops!

    16 October 2009

    I have no idea what this one is about…or why the Lifeboat guy is smiling.

    This one happened in north Brittany.  The boat was floated off, undamaged, at the following high tide.


    Topics: Oops! | Comments Off on The Friday Oops!

    Irish in the Rolex Middle Sea Race

    15 October 2009

    Legally Brunette, the X-41 owned by Dubliners Cathal Drohan and Paul Egan is the sole Irish entry in the 77 boat Rolex Middle Sea Race which starts at noon on Saturday from Grand Harbour in Malta.  The race is hosted by Royal Malta Yacht Club.

    Starting from Grand Harbour, the boats will sail a course leaving to port the Island of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands (including Strombolicchio), the Egadi Islands (except Marettimo Island), Pantelleria and Lampedusa Islands, through the South Comino Channel, keeping Malta to starboard, to the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour. The Islands of Ustica, Linosa and Lampione are not marks of the course. The length of the course is approximately 606 nautical miles. The Course Record, established by “Rambler” in 2007, is 1day, 23hours, 55mins 3secs.

    The Brunette was a tad overpowered at the start of this year’s Dublin to Dingle Race but went on to win the event under IRC.

    legally brunette

    Also racing is Barry Hurley, of Dinah and OSTAR 2009 fame, who was asked to helm Italian entry Aziza, a Grand Soleil 40.

    barry hurley

    We’ll be following the Race Tracker.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Irish in the Rolex Middle Sea Race

    VOR Notice of Race and Rule changes

    10 October 2009

    Will the Green Dragon return for the next edition? Or will the syndicate sell her. Will there be an Irish entry in 2011?


    Portsmouth, England – 9 October 2009 — The new look Volvo Open 70 Rule, published today along with the Notice of Race, confirm changes set to enhance the fleet racing in the 11th Volvo Ocean Race, which will start from its new home base of Alicante in Spain in the autumn of 2011.

    The changes come as a result of extensive analysis carried out over the past 12 months by the Rule Management Group led by technical expert Ken McAlpine (Volvo Open 70 Rule) and rules expert Bill Edgerton (Notice of Race) in consultation with previous competitors.

    “This is the first time the race organisation has had a process in place to draft the Rule together with the sailors and teams to this extent,” commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad. “What we have come up with, I believe, are the right changes at the right time,” he said. “What this Rule does is limit what it takes to win the race, therefore making winning it more achievable and entry into race more attractive to a larger number of teams,” he explained.

    Changes include a move to furling or hanked headsails – no headfoils are allowed and a reduction from 24 to 17 race sails per boat. A single-boat team can only build 15 new sails prior to the race, and a team using a new boat and a second generation boat can build only 23 pre-race sails. Stacking of sails and equipment is restricted to the mid section of the boat below deck.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Sailing, Volvo Ocean Race | Comments Off on VOR Notice of Race and Rule changes

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