ISORA News Items all in date order.
ISORA Congratulates the NYC on being awarded the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2018
Offshore racing has been increasing in popularity in recent years. 2017 was the best season for ISORA in many years with 68 boats taking part in the 15-race series. In 2016, 54 boats took part. To put these numbers in context, in 1978, when ISORA was in its “hayday”, 70 boats raced with an average race entry of 32 boats. We are very close to this again and I am confident that those numbers will be exceeded in 2018.
The ethos of ISORA is to provide challenging and satisfying offshore and coastal races for it’s members and, just as importantly, provide a convivial social scene for those skippers and crews who take part. What is unique about the boats who participate in ISORA is that while they are extremely competitive during races the camaradie that exists between all skippers and crew, ensures that assistance and encouragement is offered to competing boats at all times. Safety within the fleet is paramount.
A 15 race schedule is planned for 2018 that will include 7 offshore races, a 4-race coastal series on the Irish side and a 4-race coastal series on the UK side. The Round Ireland, although the offshore racing apex of the season, is not included in the overall ISORA Offshore Series but ISORA will be presenting prizes and trophies to ISORA boats taking part in this epic race.
The race schedule has been compiled to minimise clashes with other events and to work with these events where possible. To this end ISORA will be working with Liverpool and Tranmere Yacht Clubs on the Midnight Race, Howth Yacht Club on the Lambay Race and Wicklow Sailing Club on the Round Ireland. There is also a delivery race to the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championship (details here)
ISORA will be running an offshore weekend on the 8th-10th June that, together with deliveries, will allow a boat and crew to qualify for the Round Ireland in one weekend. This weekend consists of the Midnight Race from Liverpool to Douglas on the Friday evening and a race from Douglas on the Sunday morning.
ISORA will be organising a pre-season coastal race on the 14th April from and back to Dun Laoghaire. Although not part of the ISORA Series, prizes will be presented after the race. It is hoped that this introductory race will attract new boats that have not yet taken part in ISORA. A party will be organised in the NYC after the race for all participants and members.
ISORA congratulate Peter and Vicky and the Mojito team who collected the RDYC Wolf's Head Trophy at the ISORA Prize Giving Dinner on Saturday night, 11th November.
The Dinner was held at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire where 240 ISORA competitors and guests were treated to a superb evening.
Further information and more official photos available here shortly.
240 ISORA competitors and guests attended the 2017 awards ceremony and dinner at the National Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire on Saturday, and were treated to a champagne reception, followed by an outstanding four course meal devised and cooked by head chef Cormac Healy, served with fine wines and Jack Ryan “Beggars Bush” whisky to finish. ISORA chairman Peter Ryan kept the evening on track, with awards of both the perpetual trophies and Crystal glassware to the top three placed boats in all three fleets, plus prizes the individual results for all competitors in the 14 races series which started in April, and culminated in the season defining “James Eadie” 75 mile race from Pwllheli to Dún Laoghaire which this year decided the ISORA overall champion.
It was a great pleasure to see Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox (J109 Mojito) receive the prestigious “Wolfs Head” Trophy from Peter and Anne-Marie Ryan crowning them 2017 champions
Michael Boyd RORC chairman and ISORA guest delivered a humorous story of how the Lyver Race medallions managed to stay at his house, and generously bought Champagne for all the Lyver race competitors present.
Other notable awards during the evening were the 2017 Spirit of ISORA “Penmaen Plate” awarded to Charlene Howard who raced “AJ Wanderlust” very consistently all year, often two handed and being based in the Isle of Man faced the greatest number of deliveries. Indeed Charlene and her crew even sailed over for the awards Dinner! Awesome.
The Silver fleet and IRC class 2 was won by Joe Conway in Elandra, and the Victoria Cup team award, was presented to Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club for the highest aggregate club scores in the race series, by Mojito/Sgrech/Jackknife and Aquaplane
Full results at www.isora.org where there is also a link to our 2017 yearbook with race reports and the full results.
It was a memorable evening with the spirit of ISORA in full flow with great plans being made for a bigger and better 2018
Thanks must go to the National Yacht Club Dún Laoghaire, and in particular to General Manager Tim O’Brien and his staff, for the exceptional planning and smooth running of the evening.
Prior to the dinner, ISORA held its AGM where the 2018 rules amendments and racing programme were discussed, and a draft schedule published for consideration. Closing the AGM, Peter Ryan, ISORA Chairman, paid tribute to retiring Vice Chairman Gerry Williams for his tireless efforts in promoting ISORA both as a competitor and committee member spanning 27 years. Thanks Gerry and Gwen for your hard work and support, much appreciated by all connected and involved with ISORA.
Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for September - announced in Afloat Magazine - here
Peter and Vicky campaigned J109 Mojito, not only in the ISORA Series which they won overall but also in the Fastnet Race, the D2D race from Dun Laoghaire to Dingle and also the winners of the ISORA Global Exhibitions Offshore Series in Pwllheli.
Congratulations on this fantastic honour.
September 8-10, 2017 – Final ISORA race of the 2017 season. A late Thursday night departure with Jen Kneale. As we request permission to exit the harbour, the Manannan ferry hails on VHF and advises to expect 25 knot winds and lumpy seas. We decide to poke our nose out and see for ourselves, as we can always run back to the shelter of Douglas. AJ Wanderlust sets sail, and enjoys a fast beam reach romp toward Holyhead. It starts off as a very dark night, but soon the clouds clear a little to reveal a brilliant full moon and stars. The seas grow as we approach the tides off Skerries and Holyhead, but AJ Wanderlust flies along, entering the harbour at 6 am. A couple hours sleep and the rigger arrives at 8 am to inspect AJ Wanderlust’s rig and mast. Inspection complete at 10 am, and just after 11:30 am we set sail for Pwllheli, Wales.
We motor out to the Stacks off Holy Island, the tide is with us and the wind is on the nose. AJ Wanderlust bounds up and down in the big waves, a prelude to what will be in tomorrow’s ISORA race. Around the Stacks and the seas moderate. Engine off and sails up, we enjoy a sunny sail toward Pwllheli. The tide is with us and makes for a fast passage. In route, more sailboats begin to appear on AIS. They are ISORA boats, also in passage to the race. It is nice to have the company nearby. An earlier than expected arrival put us in Pwllheli at 8 pm, time enough to enjoy a couple beers at the Plas Heli Sailing Club. And then off to bed for a proper sleep.
J Boats dominated the last race of the Avery Crest ISORA Offshore Series 2017 that took place on Saturday 9th September. The race was an 80 mile course from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire.
What made this race so significant was that it was to decide the ISORA Offshore 2017 Championship. The currant Champion, Stephen Tudor in J109 “Sgrech” from Pwllheli was competing against fellow Pwllheli sailors Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox in J109 “Mojito. Also in the race was Kenneth Rumball’s INNS J109 “Jedi”, Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles J109, “Indian” form Howth and Chris Power Smith’s J122 “Aurelia” from Dun Laoghaire. Andrew Hall’s J125 “Jackknife” was also racing
Prior to the race, Tudor’s “Sgrech” would win the Championship and retain the coveted “Wolf’s Head” if they beat “Mojito” or even if they were within one place behind “Mojito” in the results, irrespective of the placings. This tight situation led to a build-up of apprehension before the race.
The weather conditions for the race were not ideal with strong north westerly winds forecast providing a long beat for the fleet. Also the fact that there were spring tides on the day just made conditions worse.The course for the race was from the Start at Pwllheli to round a local racing mark PSC2 before heading through St Tudwal’s Sound, Bardsey Sound and a long 60 mile beat to Kish Lighthouse before the final fetch across Dublin Bay to the finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire.
Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association Race 11
Race 11 was the rescheduled Pwllheli night race, always a popular race for the UK based fleet, and the final race of the Global Displays Welsh Coastal Series.
Once again in the build up to the race, forecast light winds dropping to 1-2 kts by midnight left the race committee with great difficulties setting a course. With many of the lit marks not appropriate for the wind direction, a decision was taken to use a "virtual mark" as part of the course.
This is one of the advantages of using Yellow Brick trackers and one of many innovative race management decisions ISORA has made over the years.
With breeze most likely to be found to the SW a course was set for a 20:15 start: PSC start/PSC2/Carreg Y Trai/52 44N 004 31W/Carreg Y Trai/Plas heli Finish
The fleet assembled for the 20:15 start for a gentle fetch down to the west end mark into a glorious sunset, with many electing to fly an A3 even at a fairly tight angle to save a sail change at the mark. Mojito used a code zero and peel to A3 around the first mark with a text book demonstration, getting ahead of Sgrech. Meanwhile Jackknife got away in the 5-6 kt breeze toward Carreg y Trai and darkness came very quickly.
The wind held for the leg up to the virtual mark, but with the wind starting to veer a little sail choices were difficult with many boats changing between Jibs and A sails. A clear gap opened up, between the leading J's and the pack at the rear of the fleet, but with decent speeds being maintained, we elected to retain the A3 for the whole of the leg up to the virtual mark, and with thoughts of making it back for last orders, and a fast race, we broke out the wine gums! this signalled a sudden drop in the wind and with the direction fluctuating widely we were buried ..again. This affected the group of four boats at the rear, and certainly dampened the high spirits.! With the next leg a reciprocal, we knew it would also have an impact on the leading pack, so hopefully not a disaster. Luckily the wind although reduced steadied, and we were able to make reasonable progress up to the mark, and hoped to see the sail choices of the leading boats as they passed in the moonlight. With Jackknife Sgrech and Mojito all using different sails, we learnt nothing!
Round the virtual mark, steady progress with three sail changes back down to Carreg y trai with the breeze steady from the North at 3-4kts. With careful trimming, minimal movement and a bit of tide, we were able to maintain a steady 2-3 kts on the flat oily sea, and noticed the leading pack were parked 1/2 a mile or so from the finish, and we were closing the gap! Queue spirits back up! So decision time....it looked like the wind was slowly veering, so we elected sacrifice a little boat speed to keep pushing North of the Rhumb line, and try and use the weak flood and lay the finish in one tack, hoping the wind would not veer too much. Hearing nothing on the radio we continued to close the gap at a steady rate with one eye on the ais! Constant trimming and hard work by the crew kept the boat moving at a reasonable VMG. We heard Sgrech finish at 01:30 but nothing from Jackknife and Mojito. As we crept into the home straight we got a massive and sudden wind shift requiring a 45 degree heading change ....doh! hearing Jackknife and Mojito finish gave us the encouragement that although shifted, there was still some breeze at the finish. One tack and we crossed the long Plas Heli line in the company of XP33 Darling xx and got the finish signalled by ISORA vice chairman Jerry Williams and Gwen Williams. Another great race with Line honours and overall win by Sgrech, who now leads the series overall table from Mojito by 3 points.
The fleet all finished within an hour or so, and a great Aprês sail was held in Plas Heli, with race sponsors Tudor estate agents buying a huge round for the whole fleet. Great discussions were had, lots of "refreshing beverages" consumed, with the ever competitive "Mojito" crew last to leave at 10:30am, much to the amusement of the dinghy sailors arriving for Saturday racing! Special mention to Charlene Howard and crew on "AJ Wanderlust" coming al the way from the IOM for the race, and to race sponsor Stephen Tudor, and Global Displays Welsh coastal series sponsor Richard Cook for their valuable contributions.
The next race is the series ending "James Eadie" race to Dùn Laoghaire, with places up for grabs in all classes, and a great match race in prospect between Mojito and Sgrech for the Wolfs head. Results and information at www.isora.org
Race 13 is race 2 of the Global Displays Welsh Coastal series and also part of the ISORA overall series. In the build up to this race, the forecast for light winds, seemingly decreasing as the day got nearer, caused the race committee great difficulties setting a course, with light winds and forecast direction widely fluctuating! The Irish fleet in Race 12, sailing the Dun Laoghaire to Greystones race faced the same issues. A further complication was the desire for all competitors to make it back in time for the Clwb Hwlio Pwllheli Sailing Club summer BBQ.
A smaller than normal fleet came to the line after a fair few withdrawals, possibly due to the forecast but also due to "fixture congestion" and with a reasonable 4-5 kts breeze from the SW filling in, the fleet started from the PSC line on a 15 mile course to PSC2 EURWYN PSC5 and finishing at the Plas Heli line.
A steady beat down to number 2 against the tide caused no issues before a reach to Eurwyn Buoy.
What has been ideal night sailing conditions for this race in past seasons was certainly not ideal last Friday night, 18th August, for ISORA’s Night Race. Weather forecasts all agreed on what faced the fleet of 18 boats that came to the start line. Four other boats had earlier pulled out. All forecasts were promising westerly winds of 25 knots and gusting. This was to remain before moderating by early morning.
Due to the conditions the Sailing Committee decided not to use the traditional turning mark on the course, North Arklow, but instead use an inshore course, keeping the fleet away from the banks. The course was: Start at Dun Laoghaire – North Burford (S) – Killiney Outfall (P) – Breeches Buoy (P) – South Burford (S) – Finish between the pier heads in Dun Laoghaire – 36 miles.
The race started in the 25 knots of westerly wind, sending the fleet fast broad reaching towards North Burford. Some of the boats attempted to hoist spinnakers but no great advantage was gained due to handling difficulties as the westerly winds gusted up to 32 knots. Daragh Cafferkey’s “Another Adventure” was first to round followed by Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia”.
The next leg was a loose fetch / tight reach down to Killiney Bay. The fleet had split at this stage. “Aurelia” had passed “Another Adventure” to round that mark first. Close behind the leaders was Kenneth Rumball’s “Jedi” and Roger Smith’s “Wakey Wakey” and Vincent Farrell’s “Tsunami”.
The next long leg south to Breeches was another broad reach but this time those boats who ventured to hoist spinnakers broke away from the fleet, despite the many broaches. Rounding Breeches Buoy, “Aurelia” still was maintaining its lead just ahead of “Another Adventure”.
The following leg was a fetch north to South Burford. “Aurelia” had by this time extended its lead from “Another Adventure” followed by “Jedi”, Colm Buckley’s “Indian”, “Tsunami” and Paul Egan’s “Platinum Blonde”.
The last leg to the finish was a beat. “Aurelia” continued to extend his lead and took Line Honours, IRC Overall and IRC Class 0. “Jedi” just pipped “Another Adventure” by 26 seconds to take 2nd IRC Overall and IRC Class 1. Derek Dillon’s “Big Deal” took IRC Class 2.
In ECHO, Jim Schofield’s “Thisbe” took Overall and Class 2. “Aurelia” took Class 0 while “Jedi” took Class 1. Full results can be found on the ISORA website www.isora.org
The next race takes place next Saturday 26th August, a day race from Dun Laoghaire to Greystones. This is one feeder race to the Greystones Regatta to take place the following day. A fleet of 25 boats from a list of 33 entries are expected to make their way to the start line.
The Overall Avery Crest Offshore Championship is hotting up with “Mojito” slightly ahead of the current Champion “Sgrech” and followed closely by “Jedi” and “Aurelia”. With a large fleet expected for the last offshore from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire on the 9th September, it is possible for any one of those boats to snatch the coveted “Wolf’s Head” trophy.
The AveryCrest ISORA 2017 Series Results have been updated to include the re-scheduled Night Race in Pwllheli on 1st September - see here
Mojito, the IRC series leaders are being chased by Sgrech, Jedi, Aurelia, Jackknife and Rockabill VI - and the series is setting up for another dramatic conclusion!
The next races is the final race in the Series - The popular Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire Race on Saturday 9th September.
Many of our ISORA boats are competing in the Fastnet Race, including overall ISORA leader Mojito and runner up Jedi. Also listed as Fast net competitors are regular ISORA boats Thalia, Platinum Blond, Piperdreamer VI, Wakes Wakey, Windshift, Harriet Marwood, AJ Wanderlust, Kerrageous, Mojo, Desert Star and Big Deal
We wish all ISORA boats well in this Classic Offshore Race and I am sure that many of you will follow their exploits on the Race Tracker.