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Chairman’s Report to ISORA AGM.

16th November 2013 

This season has been unique in that for the first time we have had the support of our generous sponsor Mr. Michael Martyn, lynx metmAsts for the complete series. His support has facilitate us promote ISORA by having a feature item in the Afloat annual at the beginning of the year, our pre-season briefing evening in the NYC, our complimentary crew bus for races that start in Pwllheli and the provision of special personalised jackets to our overall race winners.

Michael also kindly donated an additional trophy for the winner the race from Pwllheli to Wicklow in June. The winner of this race was “Ruth” and the trophy was presented to Liam Shanahan. Recently lynx metmAsts have rebranded as KONA. I hope that our relationship with KONA and Michael Martyn will continue in 2014.

The ISORA series in 2013 consisted of 11 races in total - 7 offshore races including the Lyver Race and 4 day races. Three day races took place from Dun Laoghaire while one day races took place from Pwllheli. The races included the usual ports ofDun Laoghaire, Holyhead, Pwllheli, Wicklow and Howth. ISORA worked with the National Yacht Club, Royal Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Dee Yacht Club, Liverpool Yacht Club, Pwllheli Sailing Club, Holyhead Sailing Club, Howth Yacht Club, Wicklow Sailing Club and Douglas Bay Yacht Club. I would like to thank all these clubs for the facilities they freely provide to ISORA, without them, we would have no racing or social life.

 

The decider for the Overall ISORA Offshore Champion for 2013 went to the last race when Liam Shanahan’s “Ruth” and Stephen Tudor’s “Sgrech” set off from Pwllheli on a 80 mile match race for the title. The outcome of the race was determined by a tacking duel in Dublin Bay heading for the finish. “Sgrech” managed to nose ahead of “Ruth” to take the title for the second time in a row. It was great to see this level of competitiveness in ISORA up to the last race.

Boat numbers starting races have levelled out this year with an average of 13 boats starting the offshore races and the 17 for the day races. While it is disappointing that the numbers did not increase in 2013 it is hoped that some innovative changes to the race schedule in 2014 will increase the numbers.

The social part of our offshore racing is very important. This season with had some great social events. I have to thank our sponsor lynx metmAsts for hosting a great party in Pwllheli before the Pwllheli to Wicklow race. I also like to thank Kuba Szymanski for a brilliant pre-race social in Douglas before the IOM to Dun Laoghaire race. Great get-togethers took place after all the day races.

Again, unfortunately this year we did not get a chance to use the “virtual” marks (GPS Coordinates) in the middle of the Irish Sea to give better courses. However we did manage to have a beat in every race and sail our normal course. I hope next season that we can use random virtual marks to ensure that not only is there is an upwind leg but that there is also a dead downwind leg. I also hope that better use of the Predict Wind trackers will be a huge benefit as it will record the tracks boats took during the race. They will also be a huge advantage with the use of the virtual marks.

The high point scoring system together with the race weighting is continuing to prove very effective and it is intended to keep using this system for the Series next season. I have to thank Stephen Tudor for the huge work he puts into producing the very detailed overall and class results after each race.

Our long-standing and successful relationship with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club with whom we take part in the day races from Dun Laoghaire, continues to be a very fruitful relationship and I am anxious to continue to develop it. I hope that we will run a coastal series in conjunction with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club next season. For next year there are already discussions taking place with Liverpool YC and the Royal Dee YC about the Midnight Race.

The ISORA website is looking good and the content is building up. It was used as the main information source this season and I hope this will continue. I would like to thank our WebMaster, Mark Southee, who looks after the technical aspects of the site for no cost. I really appreciate his assistance and generosity. I would also particularly like to thank Vicky Howells who looks after the ISORA Facebook page. This is proving to be a huge success with a constant stream of people who want to be “our Friends”!!!

Next year, the main offshore event is the Round Ireland race. This event has always helped to attract additional boats and new boats to offshore racing. I hope ISORA can again capitalise on this next season with boats seeking pre-race offshore experience.

The highlight of the year is the annual ISORA prize giving dinner in the NYC tonight. We are honoured again that the Commodore of the Royal Dee Yacht Club, Mr. Derek Mathews, will be attending as guest and will present the champion boat with the “Wolf’s Head Trophy”. Also attending with be the Commodore of the Royal Alfred Yacht Club, Barry MacNeaney and Commodore of the NYC, Paul Barrington. James Cannon and Myles Hand of our series sponsor’s KONA / Lynx metmAsts will also be attending.

This year with the benefit of our sponsor’s lynx metmAsts (KONA) we have included a special personalised jacket for the overall winner of each race and the overall class winners in the series. I hope these will be treasured and will be eagerly sought after by all boats.

I would like to thank the National Yacht Club for their continued support for ISORA. Their assistance over the last eight years has been a critical part of the revival of ISORA.

Last but not least I would like to thank our Vice Chairman, Gerry Williams, Hon Secretary – Stephen Tudor and the Hon Treasurer – Vincent Farrell, IT  - Vicky Cox for all their assistance and dedication during the last year.

Peter Ryan
Chairman ISORA                                                                               16th November 2013