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AFOAT - Irish Sailing News

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  1. Rambler 88 continued its dominating form at the Isle of Wight this past weekend

    #Rambler88 - Last weekend’s RORC Channel Race has clearly demonstrated two things writes W M Nixon. Firstly, the way that George David’s hugely impressive Rambler 88 won the Volvo Round Ireland race 2016 every which way was no flash in the pan. Until Rambler 88 came along, line honours and the Corrected Time overall win were thought well-nigh impossible of achievement. Yet now the big silver bullet has done it in Wicklow’s Round Ireland, in the RORC’s Cowes-Dinard/St Malo race, and now she’s done it yet again in the RORC Channel Race.

    The second Big Thing which has been demonstrated is that in RORC racing, the IRC is working mighty well. On Corrected Time, Rambler 88 was first, Piet Vroon’s Ker 51 Tonnere 4 was second, and the French two-handed JPK 10.10 Night & Day (Pascal Loison) was third. Night & Day incidentally also won out in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race in the same two-handed configuration, so she’s some boat and some crew. But as we read on through tho official report, what emerges most obviously is the incredible spread of successful boats, and the tiny time margins between them. There’s life in the IRC yet……

    Days after winning the King Edward VII Cup in this year’s Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race, David’s Rambler 88 has made it two in a row with victory in the 2017 RORC Channel Race.

    The American Maxi took line honours and was the overall winner in the 160nm, 109-boat race at the weekend — the last stage in the RORC Season's Points Championship before the Rolex Fastnet Race from Sunday 6 August.

    “We wanted to race in good breeze, and we certainly got that in this race,” said Rambler 88’s project manager Mick Harvey, who added that the race around the Isle of Wight “has been a good build up to the Fastnet, which is the big event for us.”


  2. Stephen Tudor's Sgrech from Pwllheli was a winner in the Lyver Race

    The Lyver Race, after the postponement from the 30th June, took place on Friday 21st July writes Peter Ryan, Chairman of ISORA. The race is also an ISORA, RORC and a qualifier for the Fastnet Race. While 32 boats had entered the race for the original date, only 13 boats came to the start line in Holyhead last Friday.

    The weather forecast for the race was for light to moderate southerly winds to back to westerly during the night and early morning. There was also strong tides.

    The race start was provided by Liverpool Yacht Club committee boat at the Clipera buoy outside Holyhead Harbour. The course was as follows: Start - TSS Area (P) – M2 (S) – Rockabill (P) – Kish Light (S) – South Burford (S) and Finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire – 100 miles.

    The area of the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) was identified by a series of coordinates and all boats were to keep out of this area.

     The downwind start saw “Rockabill VI” and “Jackknife” making a clean start and leading the fleet north in a light easterly breeze. Immediately behind these were the three J109’s “Sgrech”, Mojito” and Jedi”. These boats continued to match race for the entire 100 miles.

    Rounding the top of the TSS the fleet were still under spinnaker as they headed towards M2. On this leg the fleet split with “Jackknife” and “Rockabill VI” taking a southerly route and the other maintaining a more northerly line. Even after the M2 the fleet were still under spinnaker and as the fleet approached Rockabill it was evident that the northerly line was paying off. The winds remained south easterly and had not backed as forecast.

    “Jackknife”, although first around Rockabill, had not made sufficient distance from the following fleet and “Mojito” followed next and was leading the fleet. At that stage only three boat lengths serapated “Mojito” from “Sgrech”. “Jedi” had fall a small distance behind.

    The leg to the Kish was a fetch against the tide. On this leg “Sgrech” just managed to inch in front of “Mojito” and

  3. Ballycotton RNLI tows a stricken yacht back to Cork in one of the lifeboat station’s longest ever callouts

    #RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday morning (Saturday 22 July) following a request from Falmouth coastguard, who reported the activation of an emergency beacon some 60 miles off the Cork coast.

    The three-person crew of a 40ft yacht had activated their EPIRB as the vessel was taking on water and needed immediate assistance.

    Ballycotton’s lifeboat crew launched at at 9.28am — and resulting tow saw the lifeboat crew on service for 14 hours, eventually bringing the vessel and its crew into Crosshaven last night.

    Sennen Cove lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter from Newquay were also dispatched to the scene, but were stood down with the arrival of Ballycotton RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117.

    Once it was confirmed that the water was receding, Rescue 117 was stood down and Ballycotton RNLI established a tow with the vessel to bring it safely to Cork Harbour.

    With the lifeboat being such a long distance off shore, radio coverage was challenging. The vessel Ocean Spey, which was on standby at the gas fields halfway between the Cork coast and the yacht, helped by relaying comms between the lifeboat and the coastguard.

    “This was one of the longest callouts for our lifeboat crew as they spent nearly a day at sea,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh.

    “Many agencies and vessels played a part in the successful resolution of this and thankfully nobody was injured with both crew and yacht been brought safely to

  4. First to round Fastnet Rock is the goal for the world’s biggest offshore fleet

    #FastnetRace - What does it take to win the Rolex Fastnet Race? That’s the question Yachting World posed to four former podium finishers in what’s arguably the world’s greatest offshore challenge.

    For 2015 winner Gery Trentesaux, the key is keeping the yacht light — and manual routeing to stay on top of conditions.

    For smaller crews, such as Pascal Loison and son’s winning two-handed partnership from 2013, it means having to “think carefully about how you sail the boat”.

    Mixed ability teams work together more effectively, and achieve better results, according to Fastnet charter specialists — and podium regulars — Sailing Logic.

    Meanwhile, for professional tactician Adrian Stead, a winner in 2009 and 2011, it’s all about doing the work well before the starting line.

    “I think any well sailed, well prepared, well optimised boat has always got a chance of winning the Fastnet Race,” he says. “It’s about doing your preparation and not giving things away.”

    Their advice might prove very useful for the 11 Irish entries confirmed thus far for the latest running of the Fastnet Race two weeks from tomorrow.

  5. Spindrift 2 can reach speeds of nearly 50–knots

    The massive French trimaran Maxi Spindrift 2 is en route to Dun Laoghaire from France to attempt to beat Phaedo's Round Ireland Speed Sailing Record set in a time of 36 hours and 52 minutes in August last year.

    The current low pressure over Ireland has attracted the attempt by the Brittany based Tri. The boat is capable of speeds up to 50–knots and can average over 30–knots for long distances in the right conditions. 

    Founded by French sailors, Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard in 2011, the 40-metre maxi-trimaran is on the hunt for global speed records. This November the crew will make a Round the World Record bid for the Jules Verne Trophy.

    Ireland's World Speed Sailing Commissioner, Chris Moore, of the National Yacht Club says the latest report is that Spindrift 2 is due to start in a line between Dun Laoghaire's East Pier and the Kish Lighthouse on Dublin Bay some time early tomorrow morning.