ISORA News Items all in date order.
The Course for the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead Avery Crest 2016 ISORA (Race 3) race has been announced and is as follows:
The largest ISORA fleet since the 1980's is gathering in Dun Laghaire for the first cross channel race of the AveryCrest 2016 ISORA series.
The story is reported in AFLOAT here.
The race entry list extending to 28 boats is available below - over 200 crew!
The race will start at 0800hrs and can be followed on the YB tracker here.
These results include the latest overall table (after 3 races) and the results for Silver Class, Class 1 and Class 2- and the Club Team Trophy points.
Provisional results from yesterday's 55–mile ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead reveal Royal St George Yacht Club J122 Aurelia (Chris & Patanne Power Smith) were winners in a bumper turnout for race three of the 2016 season. Second was former ISORA champion Sgrech skippered by Pwllheli Sailing Club's Stephen Tudor. Third place went to Peter Hall's First 34.7 Adelie of Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club.
The fleet for Race 3 of the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Series was the largest assembled for many years. 28 boats took part. It is hoped that this number will increase for the next race when 29 boats are expected to return to Holyhead for the 100 mile return leg to Dun Laoghaire on the 28th May.
The weather forecast for the race was not good since the beginning of the week. All indications pointed to a “drifter”. However, a window was spotted by the Sailing Committee that showed easterly winds backing northerly 8-12 knots would prevail from the start to late into the evening. However the “drifter” conditions would form on the west side of the course from mid-morning. With this limited window of opportunity available, the Sailing Committee decided to shorten the course to go direct to Holyhead.
On the 29th April the National Yacht Club saw a gathering of NYC members who raced in ISORA in the 1980’s. The dinner was attended by over 40 members and guests, representing the Skippers and crew of 6 boats.
Represented there were:
• “Lightening” – Liam Shanahan Snr
• “Emircedes” – Michael Horgan Snr & Peter Ryan
• “Humphrey Go Kart “- Vincent Farrell
• “Eliminator” - Peter Cullen.
• “Boomerang” – Paul Kirwan
• “Avanti “ - (Brendan Briscoe)
The night was organised by Anita begley who raced on “Avanti”, owned by the late Brendan Briscoe. Anita also raced on “Emircedes” and “Eliminator”.
The dinner was a great social event with amusing anecdotes of taking part in ISORA races being recounted in the many casual after dinner speeches.
Present Chairman of ISORA, Peter Ryan , reiterated that is was great to see the keen and constant interest in ISORA by those members who sailed in races over 30 years ago. The memories of those incidents that occurred during and after the races years ago, as recounted by those after dinner speeches, was a testament to the future longevity and success of ISORA.
The evening was such a success that there were suggestions that the dinner could become an annual event and involve all previous skippers and crew who sailed in ISORA in the past.
Pwllheli P2P race and ISORA race 2 23/4/16
PSC2 – Ynysoedd Gwylan - Causeway Buoy - PSC2
A view from Aquaplane!
The provisional results are now published. These results were affected by a protest and a copy of the decission can be found here.
A great race starting from the traditional Pwllheli start line along the beach to PSC No.2 and then a coastal scenic course to Aberdaron Bay and around Gwylan Islands - then spinnakers up on the leg to Causeway Buoy. Then a hard beat back to PSC No. 2 and then to the new finish line using the Academy bridge.
Jackknife kept her early lead throughout the race for line honours and overall win.
A full race report will be published here when available.
The first race in the Avery Crest ISORA Offshore Series 2016 takes place on the 23rd April with the day race from Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow.
As the first race of the season it is anticipated that the selected course will allow boats and crew to ease into the 2016 season while having enough time after the race to sample the hospitality of Wicklow Sailing Club while waiting for the north going tide.
The second race in the Avery Crest ISORA Offshore Series 2016 is the Pwllheli Bay Day Race also on 23rd April. This race will take the fleet along the scenic Welsh Coastline and out into the spectacular and World renowned sailing waters of Cardigan Bay. After racing the crews will retire to the new Sailing Club in the iconic Academy where there will be opportunities to discuss the 2016 offshore campaigns and the challenge to retain the ISORA Team Trophy again this year.
The time has come again to park all our interests in rugby and other winter sports and turn our attention to Offshore Racing. This year promises to be another great year for Offshore Racing, particularly with the highpoint in offshore racing taking place in June, the Round Ireland Race.
ISORA has always supported the Round Ireland race and this year is no exception. The ISORA race schedule allows boats to gain the experience required by the Round Ireland race organisers between the start of the season and the race itself. I am hoping that this will bring some new boats to take part in ISORA. We understand from the race organisers that there will be some “high profile” boats taking part in the race and there is even mention of a JPK 10.8???
With the help of our Main Sponsor, “Avery Crest”, all races in 2016 will be tracked using the “Avery Crest YB Trackers”. This tracking generates greater exposure of our sport by allowing those on shore to follow the race and get up to the minute information on the placings. We hope to expand the use of the trackers this season to give better coverage at “virtual” marks and more accurate finish times. The use of the YB Trackers has also given a huge boost to the safety aspects of our sport by providing up to the minute locations of every boats taking part. I am actively looking for a volunteer to manage the YB system for ISORA. This shore based work ideally would be carried out by someone who is interested in Offshore Racing but does not take part. If you are interested in this important position, please contact me as soon as possible.
As well as the main “Offshore Series”, there is also the four race “Coastal Series” that we run in conjunction with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club. This is very popular and allows those boats to venture out onto the “blue water” and gain valuable offshore experience. We hope that two of these races will also be run in conjunction with other regattas.
This season we are expecting some of our usual sailors at appear in new boats to the ISORA fleet. We know that there is another First 40.7 and a Sigma 400 due to appear on the start lines. There are mention of even more J109’s interested in trying the knock our Champion, Liam Shanahan and “Ruth”, off his throne and prevent him from taking the Wolf’s Head for an unprecedented third time in a row.
On the social side, we will be working on providing our usual pre and après race get-togethers.
The main factor that limits boats taking part in ISORA is the inability of boats to crew up with sufficient experienced people. This should not be a problem as there are many very experienced people looking for berths. I would like to try again to provide introductions between Skippers seeking crew and the potential crew. Again, if I could get a volunteer to help me with this work it would be greatly appreciated.
Last, but certainly not least, ISORA needs sponsorship to run the YB trackers while still providing crew buses and social events. Although we have raised the race entry fees to cover some of these costs, they will not cover them all. I am hoping that our present race sponsors will continue but I am actively looking for new race sponsors. I am happy to talk to anyone who might be interested in being associated with this great racing organisation. Everyone can contribute in a small way by purchasing the “ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Series 2016” race series for the YB Tracker app.
I am working on our usual Pre-Season talk for next month. Dermot Cronin – “Encore” has volunteered to give a talk on his great Rolex Middle Sea Race experience. I also hope to have a talk on the preparation and taking part in the Round Ireland Race.
Volvo Round Ireland Message from Wicklow to ISORA
If it’s an even number year, then it’s a Round Ireland year! This year the Round Ireland Yacht Race is scheduled to start in Wicklow on 18th June at 13:00 hrs; and it’s looking interesting.
First up, Volvo is the title sponsor. The race has had some big sponsors in the past, Cork Dry Gin and BMW for example, but Volvo would seem to be a perfect fit. Allied to their big boat and ocean racing experience, they are also title sponsors for Cork Week and Dun Laoghaire regatta here in Ireland.
ISORA 2016 Race Schedule The offshore racing in the Irish Sea just gets better and by working in partnership with our supporting clubs a great series of races has been designed for 2016 to provide something for everyone’s taste.
In addition to our traditional cross channel ISORA races we have shorter offshore day and night races on both sides of the Irish Sea.
All races are standalone races with good competition for IRC Class 1 and Class 2 boats. We also cater for the cruiser yachts in the keenly contested Silver Fleet and for the brave a two handed class.
Report on Race 4 & 5 – Avery Crest ISORA Offshore Series 2015 – Isle of Man Offshore Weekend.
Race 4 & 5 were part of the Isle of Man Offshore weekend. Race 4, from Holyhead to Douglas, started at 19.20 on Friday evening 22nd May. Race 5 was the return race from Douglas to Dun Laoghaire and started at 06.35 on Sunday 24th May.
To facilitate the setting up of the race on the YB tracker system, the course had to be set on the previous day. At that stage the forecast for the weekend was bleak. Light northerly winds were forecast for the Friday night and moderate south westerly were forecast for the Sunday. This would provide a beat for the full duration of both races. For this reason the Sailing Committee decided to have the course for both races direct from start to finish. Another complication arose for the Friday evening race. The course took the fleet through the traffic separation zone to the north of Holyhead. To avoid any possible dispute about the use or abuse of this zone, the Sailing Committee decided to treat the zone as an “exclusion zone” for the race.
The start of race 4 in Holyhead was not its usual format as works to the pier prevented the usual starter position at the lighthouse been used. Dawn Russell of Holyhead Sailing Club took control of the committee boat and anchored at the opposite end of the line at the Clippera buoy.
18 boats for the entry list of 20 came to the start line. “Mahalar”, a new entry from Conwy and “Adelie” headed direct to Douglas and did not take part in the race. All boats taking part were fitted with the recently acquired Avery Crest YB Trackers.
Wind conditions at the start of Race were very light and there was a strong south going tide ripping across the pier end. The boats bunched on the line struggling to get going. “Sgrech” was the first boat to break out west towards fresher winds and headed on its way towards Carmel Rock and the exclusion zone. Soon after, the fleet started moving. “Jackknife” persisted east and this paid off hugely when they shot up the Carmel Rock in a back eddy while the remainder of the fleet plugged the last of the foul tide.
Avoiding the exclusion zone was not a problem for most of the fleet. It kept them bunched. At this stage the tide has turned and the usual Irish Sea north going tide was now flowing east towards Liverpool pulling the fleet in that direction.
The winds during the night were fluky continually coming and going, backing and veering. By day light, most of the fleet had stayed bunched but some had managed to break away. “Aurelia” appeared to have headed west immediately after the exclusion zone despite plugging the east going tide. This paid dividends as he appeared to cruise to the finish line in Douglas while avoiding the huge holes that laid in wait for most of the fleet. “Jackknife” appeared to have missed the holes as well and crossed the finish line after “Aurelia”.
Frustration awaited the rest of the fleets as the winds died and the boats were being pushed, first east, then west while looking at the Isle of Man and Douglas. After several hours the sea breeze started to fill and one by one the boats bunched out in the Irish Sea started to peel away and head for the finish.
“Aurleia” took Overall and Class 1. Class 2 was taken by our Isle of Man resident, Kuba Szymanski and “Polish manx”. Kuba also took Silver Class.
The fleet were met by the Sea Cadets of Isle of Man who distributed a complimentary hot meal to all the crew while they waited on the Visitors Pontoons for the bridge to rise to access the Inner Harbour. The cadets also arranged a BBQ in Douglas Bay Yacht Club that evening. A special prize giving was also arranged by the cadets – the prizes had little to do with racing!!!
Most of the crew retired reasonably early as the fleet had to vacate the Inner harbour at 05.45 latest on Sunday morning to go to the start for the 06.35 start. A record 22 boats from the 23 entries came to the start. “Mahalar”, who was to race had to pull out of the race and generously acted as Committee boat for the start.
The winds were fresh north westerly, up to 20 knots. This was looking like a “drag race” to Dun Laoghaire as the fleet blasted along the IOM coast and head to seas towards Dun Laoghaire with the ebbing tide.
“Jackknife” led the charge with “Lively Lady” behind along the coast. “Aurelia” took the alternative route, taking a more southerly course. Expectations for a fast race were dashed at Lambay island where another hole waited to trap the then weary fleet. “Jackknife”, who was just a dot on the horizon for most of the race, started to get “bigger”!!! “Lively Lady”, “Ruth” and “Mojito”, who were some distance behind the leader, started to slow. The fleet seeing this attempted to circumnavigate the hole by heading out further to sea. All this was fruitless and the fleet stopped. This was not to be a fast race.
Zephyrs eventually started to appear and eventually “Jackknife” broke through the hole and head past Howth head to Dun Laoghaire. “Lively lady” and “Bam” were next to get going and turned into the bay only to smash into what can only be described as a “wind wall”!!! The two boats came to a sudden halt. “Bam” stopped but “Lively Lady”, who was close to “Bam” at that stage, managed to keep momentum and broke through the wall. The wind on the other side of the wind wall was from a directly opposite direction.
Most of the fleet did not witness this strange wind effect. However “Sgrech” who was following did, and tried to take the same route as “Lively Lady”, but to no avail as they also slammed to a halt beside “Bam”. Along came “Ruth” who took a more northerly path around “Bam” and Sgrech” but again slammed into the wall. Next to attempt the wall was “Adelie” – same fate. 2-handed “Jedi “ – same fate. When all chances of getting through the wall appeared to have failed, “Mojito” approached the wall and a door opened and they stalled for a brief moment, sails backed onto the opposite side and they dashed off towards the finish line. Very slowly the remaining boats made their way, tacking and gybing, towards the finish.
“Jackknife” took Overall and Class 1 while “Desert Star” took Class 2 and Silver.
All told, it was a very frustrating, sociable and enjoyable offshore racing weekend.
The tracks of both races can be viewed on the ISORA website www.isora.org or the YB Tracker app.
The Provisional Results are now available for Race 4 and Race 5.
Race 4 - Holyhead to Douglas - Race Winner - Aurelia
Race 5 - Douglas to Dun Laoghaire - Race Winner - Jacknife
Overall Seieies leader for the series after 5 races - Mojito - see the race series table here
Silver Fleet leader (after 5 races) - Windshift - see the table here
Class 1 and Class 2 - (series leaders) published here
Photos in Douglas Yacht Club Prize giving
Wakey Wakey - Video - watch out for the dolphins!
The Biggest Step for Offshore Racing in Ireland – Avery Crest YB Trackers.
ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Series 2015 – Race 3 – Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead – 9th May 2015.
The Race 3 of the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Series was very special as it was the first time that an ISORA Race was to be recorded using Yellow Brick (YB) satellite trackers. This huge step for ISORA was facilitated by the generous sponsorship of “Avery Crest Ski Chalets Meribel”. Avery Crest provides luxury quality ski chalets in the best ski resorts in Europe.
Their sponsorship allowed ISORA to acquire YB trackers to be used in all their races in the future. The use of the trackers brings the challenges and progress of offshore racing “right into your sitting room”. In the past the fleet headed off from the start line and disappeared over the horizon, out of sight and unfortunately, out of mind. Now with the superb quality product, YB Trackers, all the boats taking part can be tracked and their progress followed by those left behind. As part of this leading tracking system, people can now download the YB Tracking app and buy the entire ISORA 2015 series of races for €2.99. All races can be replayed and analysed after the race in the comfort of your own home.
As you are aware our main sponsor for this season, Avery Crest, have donated 20 YB trackers to ISORA. This will enable the boats taking part in each race to be tracked on websites and on smart phone apps for greater exposure of ISORA and offshore racing. This is a unique facility and will attract greater media and public attention. The system is used in all the best offshore races such as the Round Ireland, Fastnet, Middle Sea Race etc. For more information on the YB trackers see: https://www.ybtracking.com/
To date ISORA has been run on a voluntary basis with entries covering the prizes and other minimal expenses. With the use of the YB trackers ISORA now have an additional cost to cover the set up of each race by YellowBrick, line rental and data for each of the tracker units. This will amount to approximately £750 (€1,000) for each race.
The opportunity of being given the trackers only arose after the race entry fee for the year were set so we were unable to increase the race entries to cover the running of the trackers. Next year we intend to increase the race entry cost to cover the use of the trackers. To offset this cost this year we are asking supporters of the ISORA to sponsor a race or make a donation to help meet these additional costs. The benefits of such a sponsorship are outlined on the attached document
I am asking you if you or your company could sponsor a race this year. If not, do you have any contacts on companies who might be interested in this sponsorship.
I would be happy to discuss any proposals you might have for this sponsorship.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest.