ISORA News Items all in date order.
The first speaker was Capt Mick Liddy who gave a talk on "Preparation for Offshore Racing"
Capt. “Mick” Liddy is an Air Corp Helicopter pilot / flight instructor with extensive Search & Rescue experience. Mick has recently spent time flying the Garda Air Support Helicopter and served with the UN in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He has also flown politicians and heads of state as part of his government service duties.
On the water, Mick has received even more plaudits. As one of Ireland’s most accomplished amateur offshore yachtsmen, he has held two World Sailing Records, including the record for the fastest solo sailing time around Ireland, and won the Double-handed Round Britain and Ireland race in 2006. He added a win in the Maxi World Championships in 2009, one of his many successful appearances for Ireland on the international yachting stage.
In 2010 he completed the Round Ireland Race with, visually impaired sailor, Mark Pollock.
The ISORA Chairman, Peter Ryan, gave a presentation about ISORA, the Clubs and ports involved, a brief outlook of the races in the 2011 program and some tips on the tides involved.
The last speaker was Maurice "Prof" O'Connell. Maurice has competed successfully in the Sydney Hobart, Fastnet and Round Ireland offshore races, has won numerous one-design national and international titles, was a member of the coaching team at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and campaigned for selection for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He recently skippered "Legally Brunette" to victory in the 2009 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. He currently assists teams from dinghies to big boats in maximising their performance on the water and also represents North Sails in Ireland. Prof is a member of the RCYC and RStGYC.
Capt Mick Liddy: Mick Liddy OFFSHORE RACING (pdf 542kb)
Peter Ryan: Introduction to Offshore Racing Part 1 (pdf 4.8Mb) Introduction to Offshore Racing Part 2 (pdf 3.1Mb)
Maurice "Prof" O'Connell: Prof OConnell (pdf 3.5Mb)
Thinking of racing offshore? This will be of interest to you.
JB Room, National Yacht Club - 7th April 2011 at 19.30
Informal talk followed by reception.
Speakers to include:
Maurice “Prof” O’Connell – “The Dingle Race – Tactics”
Mick Liddy – “Preparing for Offshores”
Peter Ryan – “ISORA- Strategies & Tips”
· This is a unique opportunity to gain from the Speaker’s years of experience of Offshore Racing in one night.
· Experienced offshore racers will learn from or contribute to the evening.
· An opportunity to share offshore experiences.
· If you need crew for offshore racing, they will be there.
· If you are interested in crewing, find a boat owner at the meeting.
ALL WELCOME & BRING A FRIEND!!!!!!
22nd – 26th August
Get ready for the 2011 Keelboat Week at Abersoch. This year will be bigger and better than ever with more on and off the water fun planned for all. The Regatta will also be the North West IRC Championships and will be raced under the burgee of SCYC.
For more details follow go to www.abersochkeelboatweek.org
On the 13th November, at the request of the Irish Cruisier Racing Association (ICRA), I presented a paper to their annual conference helf on Carrigaline, Co. Cork. ICRA have been particularly interested in promoting offshore racing in Ireland and I was asked to present my views and ideas on how ISORA has progressed.
The presentation was well received by the conference and there appeared to be a keen interest, not only in the progress of ISORA, but in South Coats Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) and West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA).
I attach a pdf version of the powerpoint presentation given at the event.
Revival of Offshore Racing - Final (pdf 5.3Mb)
As you may have noticed, the site has a new look and feel. This will enable the site to be updated more efficiently, as well as allowing new features such as a mobile phone friendly version to be automatically viewed when using a mobile browser.
A new version of the forum as well as a gallery will be added soon.
The D2D – Dun Laoghaire to Destruction?
by Simon Byrne
Like all sporting contests, the “before” is sometimes the best part. Nothing has actually happened yet. Nobody has lost so therefore everyone is still a winner, or at least harbors genuine thoughts of winning. Excitement is high. People are giddy with probable unrealistic dreams of how they see their chances of winning panning out. Adrenaline kicks in to add an extra frisson to proceedings. So, it’s all good. The calm before the storm, no doubt.
“Lula Belle’s” WhatsApp crew group is buzzing. Confirmation of who’s aboard. Shore crew divvy ups. Logistics. Weather forecasts and grib files. Catering. Last minute lift out and scrub timings. Paperwork. Ah yes, the paperwork. Big race now the D2D so no messing around. RORC accreditation in the pipeline. Lots of paperwork. Crew members details. Next of kin details (a forewarning of what was to come perhaps?). Medical histories of all crew. Medical histories? Tah Dah! Let the fun and games commence.
He assumes all of the crew get his whacky sense of humour. Or at least he hopes so. Late Tuesday evening he can’t help himself. Skipper asks through WhattsApp for any medical history. He switches onto smart arse autopilot. He unleashes a tome. Taking the Michael but he thinks it’s expected of him. His medical history? Fair enough so. Brace yourself Skipper. Here’s what he penned in reply (and all true):
Medical conditions Skipper? Ok so – in chronological order:
Scarlet Fever in ’78 – fortnight in quarantine in Cherry Orchard Hospital, then bedridden at home for three months – nearly died, just sayin’.
Broken patella ’79.
It’s Mr. Chairman’s birthday. We don’t love him quite enough to procure either a Marilyn lookalike (in your dreams Peter) or a Marilyn soundalike to seduce him with “Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman” in a sexy, husky, sultry voice. Although he probably deserved it – more than Jack Kennedy did anyhow. Or perhaps we did, very late on in the fantastic Poolbeg Yacht & Sailing Club, but if so it was as I was home in my cot, snoring to my hearts content, full of Uncle Arthurs finest.
What we did give him for his birthday though was a kind of BOGOF (buy one get one free) sailing event in that last Saturday saw yet another first for the new look, all singing, all dancing, don’t stop me now ‘cause I’m having such a good time, ISORA season of 2017 – two races incorporated into one. Ye what, Gay? Yep two races in one on a perfect early summer’s day for sailing with an average 15 knots of wind and little or no sea – just what anyone would want on their birthday, no?
So Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman, you don’t look a day over 58!
Cards on the table time - I love Poolbeg Yacht & Sailing Club. Nothing like cutting to the chase and getting it all out, up front, early doors. First time there but wow, great club, great people, great welcome. There are clubs, let’s be honest here, that ISORA rocks up to each season (Pwhelli & Douglas most definitely excluded) and I always feel we're like those relatives coming to town – you know, the one’s that we put up with rather than look forward to their arrival. Yes they're family, yes it's tradition and all that, they visit annually, but really? We're a bit sick of you actually? Anyone? You know I'm right. But certainly not here in Poolbeg.
ISORA – bloody hell. One steps off the offshore roundabout for the final couple of races last season due to “personal circumstances” and returns this year to a completely different canvas. What the actual hell is going on? Eleventy billion boats on the start line in Holyhead? A new fancy website? An updated Facebook page that posts nearly daily? The wonderfully erudite scribe that is W.M. Nixon writing a detailed and lengthy ISORA season preview?
Erm, hello, when exactly did we start getting big? Big as in race reports on Yachts & Yachting as well as Afloat. Big as in one of the largest ISORA fleets in years hitting the start line. Big as in three young fillies manning the finish line with proper functioning VHF radios so they actually reply to your announcing your impending arrival and then have the cheek to not only notify you of when you cross the line but also have the temerity to welcome you to Dun Laoghaire? Ah here, stop the world, I want to get off!
ISORA 2016 Race 5 Dun Laoghaire to Douglas, Isle of Man
Epic weekend, truly epic. Thank God it was a Bank Holiday in Ireland as it transpired that we truly needed every one of those three days. Douglas never disappoints, like never. Douglas is always a challenge, never more so than last weekend. Nineteen clearly deluded but likeminded crews motor their yachts out on a balmy Friday evening to the Kish Bank in a glassy Dublin Bay to our first ever silent ISORA race start courtesy of Yellow Brick. The lighthouse keepers on the Kish must have wondered what the bloody hell was going on. So a silent start with no flags, no rib/committee boat and probably no sound signals. Novel approach but, as ever, technology moves ahead, faster than a J109 downwind, so we can actually pull this off. In the giddy spirit of the holiday weekend the first of many notables was witnessed. No sound signals? Eh, not really under the trade descriptions act but we had sound signals of a uniqueness that could only be pulled off in ISORA. The bould Peter Ryan on Sgrech decided to attempt to vocally issue the warnings and starting signals via Channel 37. The only true and genuine sound heard on the eerily still water of the start zone was the guffaws of laughter from the fleet as Chairman Ryan failed miserably in his attempt to vocally imitate a fog horn on each warning signal – hilariously awful on the five minute warning, even worse on the four minute, truly useless on one minute and he sounded like the late, great Benny Hill on the start signal. Back to stage school for you Peter. You should have had Huw Williams on board – bet he would have nailed it.
Five knots of wind at best. A strong spring flood tide carried the fleet north over the line. All fine and dandy but this wispy wind is forecast to die – what’ll happen when this tide turns? And turns, and turns? This is going to be another marathon by the look of it. We fart around all night heading very slowly north (apart from when Garret stalled Lula Belle while the skipper was in his bunk). Not a great career move my friend - naughty step up for’ard for Garret as Liam was not amused. We drift around in circles for thirty minutes before Liam eventually powers her back up. Crawl north(ish) again until dawn,
Holyhead. Strange place? Perhaps. Mention the name Holyhead in Ireland and an older generation of people will think of pre Ryanair days, pre Italia ’90 days, those black and white telly days and the sad, lonely and mostly unwanted trip that many thousands of Irish people took in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (Jaysus that was a thirty year recession, wasn’t it?) as they endured forced emigration to that most Perfidious Albion. Weird that Holyhead is actually in Wales but for our Irish emigrants it’s dreaded name conjures up deep seated uncomfortable memories of their first port of call, to be followed by a long, usually overnight, train journey down through the spine of England (Chester and Crewe stations ring a bell – Crewe in particular, squaddies anyone?) before finally reaching the streets of London. Not paved with gold as they soon found out. No blacks, no dogs and no Irish. Indeed.