ISORA News Items all in date order.
Dun Laoghaire – 18th May 2019
“Windjammer” gets their first ISORA win in tricky winds and strong tides.
The first Irish Coastal race of the Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Championship 2019 took place on the 18th May with a starting time of 10.00. 21 boats from the entry list of 22 came to the start line in Dun Laoghaire.
Setting the course was difficult for the Sailing Committee as very light northerly winds were forecast for the race. To add to the difficulty, strong spring tides were also predicted. With this combination it was decided that the course should try and accommodate the tide by heading north at the start and south later in the race. It had been hoped that the course would be 40 miles by heading to South Burford, Lambay Island and back by the Kish Light. Instead, Lambay was substituted by using Howth Yacht Club’s “East” racing mark and North Kish Cardinal mark was substituted for the Kish Light.
When this course was first published Dublin Port requested that South Burford not be used as it meant that the fleet would be crossing the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) at South Burford. To comply with their request, ISORA have now created a permanent virtual mark, “ISORA Dublin” mark, just south east of South Burford. It is now intended that this virtual mark will be used for all future ISORA races, acting as a Turning mark for boats entering or leaving Dublin Bay. It is also proposed that all TSS’s will be no-go areas in future races.
The above course provided a 30 mile race.
The wind at the start was as forecast – 4-7 knots north-easterly. The start at 08.00 was provided by NYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Grainne Ryan at the DBSC’s Pier Mark.
The fleet of 21 boats slowly moved east off the start line in a tight reach towards the new ISORA Dublin mark. Frank Whelan’s “Eleuthera” was the first to break from the pack but was soon overtaken by Ben Shanahan’s “Ruth”, Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” and Lindsay Casey’s “Windjammer”. Just south of these, Vincent Farrell’s “Tsunami” was sneaking along toward the first mark.
“Ruth” and “Aurelia” rounded the first mark and hardened onto a beat north toward HYC “East” mark. In an effort to minimise the effects of the tide and to seek stronger winds many of the fleet tacked out to sea while the remainder stayed close to the land. It was on this leg that the wind started to play tricks. On the outer east side of the course the wind was north east and varying while on the inside of the course the winds was north west and strengthening. At one stage boats on each side of the course were sailing the same heading while on opposite tacks!! The stronger winds on the inside were sufficient to counteract the strong tides against those boats close to Howth Head and these boats gained hugely.These wind conditions changed the whole dynamic of the race and allowed the smaller boats to take control. “Eleuthera” rounded the HYC East mark first followed by George Sisk’s “WOW” and then by “Ruth”. However, “Windjammer” was close by to the leading pack.
The leg to North Kish was a run south in the ebbing tide. When the first of the fleet rounded North Kish they had to beat for the ISORA Dublin turning mark and towards the finish line while the boats further back took advantage of another massive wind shift and they had a fast reach past the turning mark to the finish line.
While “Eleuthera” took line honours, “Windjammer” took the Overall win and Class 2. Second place went to another Class 2 boat, Leslie Parnell’s “Black Velvet” and Class 1 “Ruth” took third place. Class 0 boats only managed to get on the leader board at 9th position with Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI”. Sean Hawkshaw’s “Wardance” took Silver Class. Full results and the YB tracking of the race are on the ISORA website.
After the race, many of the crew headed to the National Yacht Club for the usual “Apres Race”.
On the same day a coastal race was held in Pwllheli. At this stage in the series Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” is just ahead of “Rockabill VI” in the leadership table for the Wolf’s Head.
The Race Organiser for Race 4 was Grainne Ryan. Anita Begley was Safety Officer. The finish was automatically recorded using the YB trackers.
The next race, is the second Offshore of the season and takes place on Saturday 25th May with an 08.00 start from Dun Laoghaire. The original race schedule was for the start to be in Holyhead and finish in Dun Laoghaire but Holyhead were unable to accommodate the start. The start and finish is now in Dun Laoghaire and it is hope that the race will be 60 miles. Boats considering taking part in this race can enter online at www.isora.org
During the build up to the race, a changeable forecast showed winds potentially less than 5 kts and as much as 12kts in Cardigan bay, giving the race committee a challenge to set a course catering predominantly for the class 2 boats, with big spring tides to contend with. With more gradient wind forecast to the west, a course was set to Gwylan Islands, close to Bardsey sound, and return to a mark outside of the St Tudwals Islands, a distance of 30 miles.
The fleet was a little depleted with several boats in Ireland, sailing in race 4, so just five boats left the Plas Heli pontoons for the midday start, with the wind just indicating 5kts. The forecast showed an increase after midday and for about four hours.
Luckily as the start time approached, the wind built to a steady 10 kts from the NNW, which looked favourable for a fast race.
Race Officers Robin Evans and Brian Metcalf started the fleet from the PSC bridge, and it was the two Sunfast 3200’s “Jac Y Do” (Mark and Jo Thompson) and “Zig Zag” (Pete Ashworth) that got way together at the front of the pack with a fetch down to PSC1 a turning mark just after the club start line. “Jac Y Do” along side and to windward of “Zig Zag” had a premature kite deployment when setting the tack, giving visibility issues for the helm, and whilst hoisting was unable to fully bear away due to “Zig Zag” having spinnaker issues of its own and holding its course. After a tense 30 secs or so, “Jac Y Do” was able to settle down with an A2 reachy run towards St Tudwals sound, pinching as much to windward to give a better angle through the sound where the winds can be notoriously fickle. The shenanigans at PSC1 allowed Andrew Halls J125 “Jackknife” to overtake the two Sunfasts, and start to open up an early lead. Once through the sound and turning more to the west towards hells mouth, the wind had built up to a steady 12 kts, and as the apparant wind came forward, and with a need to head a little inland, it was time to drop the kite and fetch the Gwylan Islands under white sails.
Keith Greenwood’s “Hullabaloo Encore” and Simon Windle’s “Shaula” were also making excellent progress, just behind the two SF3200’s, both under spinnaker.
First round Gwylan was “Jackknife” a mile ahead of “Jac Y Do” and “Zig Zag”, almost along side each other. “Jacknife” relished the conditions, flying an A5 to start really pulling away from the fleet, with the small boats holding the A2 back toward Abersoch Bay. “Jac Y Do” briefly flirted with a code zero, but finally settled on the Jib for the fetch to the finish after passing Carreg Y Trai, the final mark of the course. With the wind holding at a steady 9-10 kts the fleet all finished reasonably close to together. “Jackknife” took line honours, class 0 and overall, 6 minutes ahead of class 2 winner “Jac Y Do”
After racing crews had a great social evening in the Pwllheli Sailing Club Club bar at Plas Heli. The next race sees the fleets from both sides of the Irish Sea combine for an offshore race starting at Dun Laoghaire on May 25th
Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead – 4th May 2019
“Rockabill” takes first blood in 2019 series.
The first offshore race of the ISORA Offshore Championship 2019 took place on the 4th May with a starting time of 08.00. 19 boats from the entry list of 20 came to the start line in Dun Laoghaire.
The course was decided early by the Racing Committee due to the long term forecast of northerly winds. The forecast promised gusty and cold conditions in the Irish Sea. With Races 1 & 2 blown out due to Storm Hannah on the previous week, the fleet needed some “comfort racing” conditions. It was decided that the race would be from the start, direct to the finish in Holyhead harbour leaving South Burford to Port – approximately 55 miles.
The weather forecast for Race 3 was predicting northerly 15-20 knots however the winds picked up in the afternoon and veered more north-easterly.
The start at 08.00 was provided by NYC’s Barry MacNeaney and Larry Power at the DBSC’s Pier Mark. Difficulty in distributing trackers to boats at the line caused the race to be postponed for 5 minutes.
Technical issues arose with some boats even before leaving Dun Laoghaire harbour. Paul Sutton’s new J109, a replacement for “Pipedreamer” that was damaged on the Holyhead marina failure, developed a slight rudder problem and he decided to pull out of the race. Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox’s, “Mojito” form Pwllheli, the current ISORA Champion, developed a rig issue just at the start and also had to retire.
Early in the race John Hughes “Rebellion” and David Bolger’s “Lady Rowena” retired and returned safely to Dun Laoghaire.
Those less experienced with offshore racing would suggest that the course selected would just be a “soldier’s race”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The direction of the wind tested crew who attempted to fly Code 0s. The apparent wind direction was too far forward for those boats on the rhumb line to fly anything but a jib. Decisions had to be made whether pushing up north of the rhumb line early to allow the use of the Code O later in the race also taking into account the strong south going tides that will be present as the fleet approached Holyhead.
As the fleet crossed the Irish Sea, Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” led the way followed closely by Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia”, Brendan Coughlan’s “YoYo” and Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI”. The lead position on IRC changed constantly during the race amongst these four lead boats. However, it was “Rockabill VI” ability to fly a Code 0 for the last hour and a half of the race that got them over the line to take the race Overall and Class 0.
Class 1 was won by Nige Ingram’s “Jetstream” and Class 2 was won by Irish Offshore Sailing’s boat “Desert Star”. They also took the two handed prize.
After the race, many of the visiting boats tied up at the Holyhead Sailing Club who had put on entertainment for the arriving crew.
The Race Organiser for Race 3 was Grainne Ryan. Anita Begley was Safety Officer. The finish was provided by Dawn Russell of Holyhead Sailing Club.
The next two races, as part of the Viking Marine and Global Display Coastal Series, are on the 18th May. These are coastal races with one starting and finishing in Dun Laoghaire and the other in Pwllheli. It is hoped that great numbers will take part in these races as “champagne sailing conditions” have been booked for the events.
Boats considering taking part in these races can enter online >here
ICRA Offshore National Title Up for Grabs at RSGYC in Early June.
Recognising the strength of the Offshore fleet in Dublin over the last few years, the seed planted a few years ago with the introduction of coastal courses for the fleet at ICRA National Championships meets a golden opportunity for a strong offshore championship. With the 2019 ICRA National Championships taking part in Dublin waters at the Royal St George Yacht Club on the 7th - 9th of June, an ideal opportunity arises to crown an offshore champion amongst a strong fleet of contenders.
ISORA has been working with ICRA and the event organising committee to set up a good programme of day offshore races that will be exciting. Quite a lot of effort and planning has been made to offer boats that are more interested in offshore day racing a quality programme of demanding day races.
The Offshore day races will be held each day, with a start 30 mins before the other boats, and given a demanding coastal course that will last a good part of the day, and get back in time to enjoy the social scene planned each evening.
Additionally, complimentary berthing has been made available for those of you taking part later in the D2D Regatta starting in June 12th!
It would be great to support ISORA's efforts in trying to promote more coastal and offshore sailing with other sister organisations such as ICRA, so please do not delay entering so we can show the strength of the fleet.
If your boat has not yet registered for the 2019 ICRA National Championship now is the time. You can register here (https://cruiserracing.ie/icranats/registration).
See you in the water!
The 2019 Race schedule is as follows:
Amendment 1 - 14th April 2019 -
- Race 6 is Dun Laoghaire to Dun Laoghaire 27/03/19 - see suplemental SIs here
- Viking Marine Coastal Series 5 races 4 to count
- Global Coastal Series 4 races 3 to count
- Version Race Schedule 2b published
We have a great race schedule for 2019 that combines with many top class regattas. Details can be found on the ISORA website.
The series starts with the Viking Marine Coastal Races in Ireland and the Global Display Coastal Race in Wales, followed by the first Offshore race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead where a warm welcome is awaiting us.
We have again this year teamed up with other races in the Irish Sea and arranged the racing so that deliveries are mimnimised. This includes the Dun Laoghaire to Dinglr Race and the Liverpool to Douglas Midnight Race.
The Royal Dee Yacht Club, in conjunction with ISORA are running the RDYC Irish Sea Offshore Championship again this year as part of the VDLR.
The offshore race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli on the 5th August is a feeder race to the Spinlock Welsh IRC Nationals. The IRC Welsh National Championships at Pwllheli 9 - 11th August 2019 is planned to be bigger and better than last year! Racing for IRC Fleets as previously with windward/leeward courses plus a coastal race; and two new fleets, sports boats racing around the PSC Club marks, and a cruiser class with one race per day around various marks in Tremadog bay. Something for everyone with a warm welcome and great socials and fun ashore.
While good and challenging racing is a must for offshore and coastal races, the social side of ISORA is equally important. It is the social side of the races that binds the fleet together and allow crew to share experiences. Whenever possible, a social reception will be arranged either the night before or after each race. Courses will be selected that, where possible, will allow all boats taking part in any race to be able to partake in any post-race reception.
With the increasing exposure in the media of offshore racing, we are getting many requests from potential crew to take part in ISORA. It is important that we encourage as many people to take part and to have as many crew available for any race. Lack of crew is the most common cause of boats not taking part in a race.
Although ISORA is totally voluntary and all entry fees go towards prizes, additional funds are now needed to run the ISORA YB trackers and promote the important social side of ISORA. While many of our sponsors from last year are continuing to sponsor ISORA, we need new sponsors for 2019. If you would be interested in sponsoring an ISORA race, please contact me.
We are greatful for Viking Marine who are sponsor for the Irish Coastal Series and Global Display Ltd who are the sponsor of the Welsh /UK coastal Series. The full list of sponsors for 2019 will be published before the first race.
Hon. Sec ISORA
I know that offshore racing is one of the last things on your mind at Christmas, a time for celebrations, family gatherings and festivities.
Between celebrations, please take a moment to look at our 2019 racing program so that you can start planning your 2019 campaign, whether you want to target one of the two Coastal Series, just the classics Midnight Race from Liverpool to Douglas or the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, The Offshore Championship as part of the VDLR, offshore racing as qualifiers for the Fastnet Race, as deliveries to VDLR and the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championship (part of the RC35 Celtic Cup) or all races for a chance at the ISORA Offshore Champion Title for the prestigious Wolfs Head trophy.
Offshore racing in the Irish Sea has increased in popularity and I am sure that we will see this continue in 2019 and I hope that you will be part of the ISORA challenge.
I also hope that Father Christmas will remember your new sailing kit so that you will be ready!
Hon. Sec ISORA
At the ISORA AGM on Saturday 10th November it was decided that the fleet would have 16 races in 2019 which would include a race finish in Holyhead.
The fleet will also visit Liverpool and Douglas - the 100th year celebration for the LYC Classic 'Minight Race' with an onward race from Isle of Man to Dun Laoghaire in readiness for the VDLR a few days later.
There is a race to Dingle - ,another classic and additionally a feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli for the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championship.
The last race of the series is the tough race from Pwlheli to Dun Laoghaire which will be follwed by a past race gathering and celebration of the season end!
The 2018 ISORA Annual Dinner & Awards Prize Giving Dinner Booking form is available here -
Saturday 10th November 2018 - Confirmation of Bookings & Pre-Payment
Price: €75pp - Fill in the form and pay on-line and please indicate your boat name.
Report on Race 15 James Eadie Race – Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire - by Chairman Peter Ryan
The 2018 ISORA Offshore Championship was decided in a nail biting finish to the last race on Saturday. Reigning ISORA Offshore Champion, “Mojito” (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox), had lead the series for much of the season but Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” just had to win the last race to snatch the coveted Wolf’s Head trophy back from “Mojito”.
The race was the annual James Eadie Race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire, a distance of 80 miles. There were 27 entries for the race but only 15 were confirmed starters. Of these only 13 managed to get the Pwllehli for the start.
The forecast for the race was strong South-West winds backing to South later in the day. The forecast also indicated no winds in Dublin Bay for the finish. As well as the strong winds at the start, driving rain made the exit from Pwllheli challenging. The strong winds had whipped up big seas on the beat from the start to Bardsey, with mountainous overfalls at St Tudwals islands.
“Aurelia” took an early lead followed by Andrew Hall’s “Jackknife” with “Mojito” close behind. By the time the fleet had slipped through Bardsey Sound three distinct groupings were starting to form. “Aurelia” and “Jackknife” were out in front, “Mojito” and Brendan Coughlan’s “YoYo” formed the next group. The remainder of the fleet was led by Stephen Tudor’s “Sgrech J111”, Cris Miles “North Star” and Derek Matthew’s “Pleione of Dee”. Grant Kinsman “Thalia” and “Plieone of Dee” were sailing two handed.
ISORA Team Racing
The Victoria Cup - Irish Sea Cup
The Victoria Cup was presented to ISORA by the The Royal Mersey Yacht Club for the best Club team in the ISORA series.
At a later date the Irish Sea Cup was awarded in place of the Victoria Cup.
With the growing interest in ISORA it was agreed in the 2013 AGM that the team racing would be reintroduced with the aim of generating a team approach to the ISORA series and to encourage more competitors to offshore racing.
There have been various rules for the team racing in the past and the following is a modern variant to achive the objectives set out above.
Each Club must have three competitors to qualify
The scores are taken from the Overall Results Table applying the Clubs best three results overall. The club with the highest points wins!
Although the Club Race Points Table will be updated after each race it is the total at the end of the series that counts for the Trophy.
Competitors from clubs who do not have three boats participating in the ISORA race series will qualify for the 'Barbarians Team'.
The Barbarian team will be:
- drawn from the overall results table
- from clubs who do not qualify as a club team
- the best results in the overall table
The results for 2018 are available here and summarised in the table below