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AFOAT - Irish Sailing News

AfloatLogoMagazineAFLOAT - all the latest news for sailors in the Irish Sea and beyondNews feed from Afloat - to read these in AFLOAT read here or click the article title

  1. That winning feeling….the crew of the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi in Plymouth after winning Class 3B in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 are (left to right, back row): Deirdre Foley, Lorcan Tighe, Fearghus McCormack, George Tottenham, Kylie McMillan and Kenneth Rumball. Front row: Conor Kinsella and Keith Kiernan

    With 312 entries in the IRC divisions alone, and numbers pushing towards the 400 mark when all classes are included, the record-breaking Fastnet Race 2017 was surely on the edge of becoming an unwieldy beast as it got under way in classic style westward down the Solent on Sunday August 6th. Add in the fact that the mountain of results was only being finalised on the following Friday, when the rhythm of the sporting week was already starting to bring major weekend arena events to the top of the demanding media agenda, and you inevitably have the prescription for a hasty allocation of subsidiary awards which risks seeing some trophies going to the wrong recipients. W M Nixon takes a look at how it all eventually came right in one very special case.

    The Roger Justice Trophy is a handsome cup in the Rolex Fastnet Race array of silverware, yet it’s a cup for which nobody specifically competes. It goes to whichever offshore sailing school has done best in the overall results, and there were upwards of thirty boats eligible for it in 2017. But as Kenneth Rumball of the Irish National Sailing School tersely comments, if you’re racing a school boat in the Fastnet and you’re only interested in the Roger Justice Trophy, then you’re missing the point completely.

    For as he sees it, the entire purpose of taking your training vessel in the Fastnet is to throw the tyro crew into open competition. You’re not seeking any special concessions because you’re a school boat. On the contrary, you’re there because this is the big boys’ game. You’re playing by the big boys’ rules. And you’re taking on the very best of them head-to-head, with no concessions expected.

    jedi fastnet start2

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  2. The team who will be racing onboard the Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing are currently waiting for an optimum weather window

    Four young offshore sailors, including two from Northern Ireland, Mikey Ferguson and Andrew Baker, are on standby for an assault on the Length of Britain Challenge, from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The current record held by British sailor Phil Sharp stands at 3 days, 11 hours, 52 minutes, 15 seconds at an average speed of 7.39 knots.

    The team who will be racing onboard the Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing are currently waiting for an optimum weather window for this iconic 620 nm British course. The team sails along the English & Welsh coastline westabout up to Pentland Firth on the north coast of Scotland, the final marker before the finish line off John O’Groats.

    Launched in 2016, Vendee2020Vision is an initiative to nurture Britain’s Offshore sailing talent along the path to success in yacht racing’s most challenging event - the Vendée Globe, the quadrennial singlehanded non-stop round the world race. This record attempt will see the current candidates test their skills in some of the coldest and most challenging conditions off Britain’s coastline.

    No stranger to setting records, in 2014 Artemis Ocean Racing took the World Record for Monohulls 60 feet and less for Round Britain and Ireland in a time of 5 days, 14 hours, 00 minutes and 54 seconds.

    The crew features two of the Vendee2020Vision’s current candidates, Lizzy Foreman and Andrew Baker. They will be joined by Artemis Skipper and Boat Captain Mikey Ferguson and a new addition to the team for this record sail is Jack Trigger. Jack is one of Britain’s up and coming offshore sailing talents, and also the youngest crew member onboard. He has sailed across a variety of classes most notably he has been part of the record-breaking crew onboard the MOD70 Concise.

    Alongside the assault on this British record, the team will also use this opportunity to test several pieces of wearable technology to provide vital data to assist the team in improving overall performance and health at sea. From monitoring sleep cycles and baseline vitals during an offshore race, the team will also work with Jack Trigger, a Type 1 diabetic, to see how

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  3. J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox) is overall ISORA champion

    A solid season for Welsh offshore campaigners Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox was crowned in the pitch dark of Dublin Bay last night when the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race runners–up became overall ISORA champions.

    The Irish Sea’s Wolf Head Trophy was decided in Saturday’s blustery last race of the 2017 offshore series.

    Mojito Crew photoThe Mojito Crew celebrate their overall win at the National Yacht Club Photo: Peter Ryan

    Sgrech J109 isora 0238Defending Champion Sgrech (Stephen Tudor) was beaten in the final stages of the final race. Photo: Afloat.ie

    In an epic climax to a memorable offshore season, the outcome of the 2017 ISORA season only unfolded in the final miles of a 60–mile race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire.

    Just as the 37–boat season started, four dominant J109s were in the top position in yesterday's race including a Sailing School entry from Dun Laoghaire, the INSS's Jedi skippered by Kenneith Rumball.

    Jedi J109 isora 0363Last race winner Jedi (Kenneth Rumball) finished third overall. Photo: Afloat.ie

    It’s been a good summer for Rumball and his INSS students, having picked up a VDLR podium place and Fastnet

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  4. J109 Jedi (skippered by Kenny Rumball) crosses the offshore finish line of Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July. The Sailing School entry is the winner of the Viking Marine Coastal Series

    With the completion of ISORA's race 11, the Pwllheli night race, the two coastal series, held on both sides of the Irish Sea are now complete, and ISORA has announced the winners of the two coastal series writes Mark Thompson.

    The five race Viking Marine Coastal Series coastal series, held in Dublin bay, started races in both Dún Laoghaire and Howth and visited Poolberg, Greystones and Wicklow. It also incorporated the Lee Overlays Partners Lighthouse race, which this year formed part of the Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta offshore class, and a night coastal race. 43 boats competed in this popular series, and the winners were as follows:

    Class 0 J122 "Aurelia" Chris and Pattane Power Smith
    Class 1 J109 "Jedi" Kenneth Rumball
    Class 2 Swan 371 "Albireo" David A Simpson

    Overall Viking Marine Coastal series winner "Jedi" - Kenneth Rumball

    The Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series was a three race series, which raced to all corners of Cardigan bay, and included a night race. With new sponsors this year; Global Displays, we were able to provide the fleet with yellow brick trackers which enabled the use of virtual marks, unmanned finish lines and the ability of shore based supporters to follow the races. 18 boats competed in this series and enjoyed great racing and popular social events after racing was completed. The winner are as follows:

    Class 0 J125 "Jackknife" Andrew Hall
    Class 1 J109 "Mojito" Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox
    Class 2 Dufour 405 "Aquaplane" Mark and Jo Thompson

    Overall Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series winner "Mojito" - Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox  Michael Boyd is “Sailor of the Month (Offshore) for August

    The RORC Commodore has to be omni-present at the conclusion of the biennia Fastnet Race. Michael Boyd is seen here (left) with Overall 2017 Winner Didier Gaodoux of the JNA 39 Lann Ael 2 and his wife in Plymouth

    Michael Boyd of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is so successful in his multi-tasking as an impressive Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and a very competent and frequently-competing skipper in in its annual 12-race Mainseries Points Championship, that we risk taking his achievements for granted.

    Yet in August he excelled himself with a brilliantly consistent Fastnet Race, well-placed at both the Rock and the finish in skippering the First 44.7 Lisa to place second in class, and becoming far and away the leading Irish skipper to win the Gull Salver and become our “Sailor of the Month (Offshore)” for August.

    But the duties were only beginning for the RORC Commodore as the Fastnet finishers in this record fleet crossed the line. In Plymouth he recorded an early-morning video just after finishing which so eloquently expressed the deeper meaning of this great race that he spoke for all competitors in a memorable display of quiet yet very committed enthusiasm.

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    In this current weekend, Boyd and his crew – with includes some other noted Irish offshore racing names – are shaping up to place well in the RORC’s penultimate race of the 2017 season. But we would remind everyone that September finished on Thursday, Afloat.ie then take two days for the adjudication process, and our current batch of awards refer only to achievement in August.