ISORA News Items all in date order.
Now that the days are getting longer it is time to think about sailing. We have a great race schedule for 2017 that combines with many top class regattas. Details can be found on the ISORA website.
Two significant events took place over the winter. The first is that Global Displays Ltd generously provided 10 new YellowBrick tracker units to ISORA. They are to be used for the Coastal Races that take place on the Welsh side. This now means that ALL ISORA races will be tracked using this technology.
The second is that we will be using “Progressive ECHO” rating in all races this season. It is hoped that this performance based rating will produce a greater spread in the results and prizes. Much work has been done with the help of Denis Kiely to re-run all last season’s results under the ECHO rating to ensure that those boats who have not used ECHO in the past will have their appropriate performance handicap for the first race, based on their last year’s ISORA performance.
Most boats in Ireland would have an ECHO rating issued with their IRC Rating for the Irish Sailing Association (ISA). To encourage UK boats to take part in the ECHO rating, ISORA have negotiated an initial fee for the ECHO rating of €10 for those UK boats competing in ISORA. Applications for the ECHO rating should be made through ISORA.
One of the highlights of the season will be the D2D Race on the 14th June. The official launch of this race is on the 4th April in the NYC. All ISORA sailors are very welcome to attend.
Our Pre-Season Talk and Reception takes place in the NYC on the 19th April at 19.30. The theme of the talk with be “Preparation and Navigation for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle (D2D) Race. Maurice “Prof” O’Connell (North Sails) will give a talk. This will be of huge interest for anyone considering taking part in this race. It will also a great social occasion where Skippers and Crew get together at the start of the season. Also attending will be people looking for positions on offshore boats in 2017.
The following is an article in the Irish Times by David Branigan
Evidence of a continued resurgence in offshore racing will not be in short supply this season as a new trend appears to suggest a trend away from short inshore races and regattas. Fixture list congestion could also be linked to the dropping numbers in the latter.Offshore races involving overnight and sometimes weekend commitments seem to be returning to vogue having previously been dismissed as too time-consuming for crews with limited free time.
Long legs up sections of coast requiring crews to “sit-out” were often seen as pointless compared to technically “pure” windward-leeward type courses.
Arguments that offshore racing involved more seamanship as well as valuable delivery miles gained little popular support. More recently however, the biennial Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Rolex Fastnet Race has seen a capacity entry received in record time.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has given early notification to Boat owners, shipping companies and anyone who puts out to sea about a change in some of the VHF channel numbers used to contact UK Coastguard.
Three ISORA sailors received awards in the Volvo ISA Sailor of the Year Ceremony in the RDS Dublin on Friday evening 27th January
Howth YC sailors Conor Fogerty for his global exploits on BAM and Dave Cullen on J/109 Euro Car Parks for the Class Win in the 2016 Round Ireland Race. The third was the 2016 ISORA Champion - Stephen Tudor
Read Winkie Nixon's article on the Award Ceremony in Afloat here
With so many visiting super-boats, it was quite something to get into the frame in any division, and only one Irish boat actually won her class.
This was the J/109 Euro Car Parks skippered by Dave Cullen of Howth, coming from behind to be outright winner of Class 3 after a very closely-fought race. You can read more about Dave's Roud Ireland Race here .
Stephen's award read : The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association is in a healthy growth phase these days, and a key player is Stephen Tudor of Pwllheli in North Wales, where has also done much to re-vitalise his home port. Thus his overall win of the 2016 ISORA Championship in the final race of the season was hugely popular on both sides of the channel.
Stephen said 'It was a great honour to receive the ISA Sailor of the Month award in September 2016 following the ISORA overall win. To be nominated for the ISA Sailor of the Year Award was truly amazing. I was flattered by the support shown in the voting in AFLOAT and to receive an award in the #Volvo ISA Sailor of The Year Award Ceremony amongst so many distinguished sailors was a humbling experience.
ISORA is delighted to announce Global Displays Ltd as a sponsor of the Welsh Coastal Series, part of the ISORA overall series in 2017.
Global Display have provided ISORA with an additional 10 Yellow Brick trackers to enable races on both sides of the Irish Sea to benefit from competitors using YB. This is great news for both competitors and shore based supporters, but crucially enables the ISORA race management committee to set courses using virtual waypoints and remote finish/start lines.
Richard Cook, an experienced offshore sailor and managing director of Global Displays (www.globaldisplays.co.uk) commented "Global Displays is delighted to be associated with ISORA and its use of YB trackers for innovative race management"
The trackers will be used in the three Coastal Races in Pwllheli starting with the Pwllheli Castel Race on 22nd April, the Coastal Night Race in Tremadog Bay on 18th August and the last Coastal Race from Pwllheli on Saturday 26th August. The trackers will be distributed to competitors on a first come basis.
ISORA now has 35 YB Trackers and now has sufficient capacity to track the growing fleet of competitors in all of the Cross Channel Races.
There is a very useful section on the ISORA web page on 'Safety Considerations and Supporting Documents' - please check it out and become familiar with the requirements for offshore racing.
Did you know that there was a significant change in the RORC Prescriptions to the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations 2016? This states that a combined harness and lifejacket shall be worn when on deck:
a) between the hours of sunset and sunrise; b) when alone on deck; c) when reefed; d) when the true wind speed is 25 knots or above and e) when the visibility is less than 1 nautical mile
Also at night each crew member shall carry a waterproof torch/light.
ISORA has received an enquiry from a competitor about the use of electronic flares (LED and/or Laser) for our offshore racing Category 3 and Category 3+ liferaft
We note that there is no mention of them in ‘World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations - January 2016- December 2017’
ISORA is making enquiries with RORC about this issue and we will puplish the response here.
The response from RORC is that electronic flares are not allowed. There have been discussions about the use of electronic flares, they are being considered but not in the short term and there is a long way to go in setting acceptable standards and acceptance by SAR (Search and Rescue). ISORA will let you know if the situation changes but for now continue as usual and plesase check the dates on your flares!
The 2017 'Notice of Race' is published here and please note Amendment 1, 2, 3 & 4 below
The 'Group 3' sailors are redefined as 'ISORA Group 3' - Group 3 sailors are persons who are paid to sail on boats competing in an ISORA race (reasonable expenses allowed. This amends the 'ISORA 2017 Notice of Race and General Conditions'
Explanation: Following the instructions received at the AGM on this matter and in keeping with the Spirit of ISORA, the definition provided by World Sailing for Group 3 has been considered by most skippers to be overly onerous and potentially detrimental to the growth and advancement of ISORA.
dated 21st April 2017
The Class split for the 2017 ISORA Series will be as follows
dated 21st April 2017
The 2017 Coastal Series (Day Races) will be Category 4
This amends the Notice of Race 1.2 and 2.1
dated 11th April 2017
The 2017 Series will be scored using the 'ISORA ECHO' in addition to the ICR and NHC
This amends the Notice of Race 4, 9 and 11
dated 11th April 2017
'ISORA is at the cutting edge of race management' said ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan in the 2016 ISORA AGM which was held in the National Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire on Saturday 12th November.
At the AGM it was agreed that the ISORA 2017 race schedule would star the Classic 'D2D ~ Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle' Race in June.
Another big feature of the 2017 race series is the 'RORC/Liverpool and Royal Dee Yacht Clubs' Lyver Trophy' race will form part of the Royal Dee Yacht Club's Offshore Championship with the coastal races in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July whilst the race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli would be a great feeder race for the IRC Welsh National Championships hosted in Pwllheli in August.
The AGM also confirmed the use of auto helms in ISORA races and that the race schedule is designed to encourage new participants into the Irish Sea offshore scene from both sides of the channel with two coastal series and a good mix of race ports. Peter also confirmed that 'Virtual marks, combined with the latest Avery Crest YB Trakers would provide exciting and imaginative courses which could also feature virtual start lines and finishes'
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