NewsISORA News Items all in date order.


June 13 to 21, 2017 - Sailing Round Ireland

After a Tuesday overnight delivery to Dun Laogharie, in which a seal on the port light window failed, a good part of Wednesday morning pre-D2D race was filled with repairs to ensure water would not gush into the boat whenever we were on a starboard tack. Big thanks to master window dresser Stu. More unwelcome excitement when in familiarizing with the inner forestay Ian was unable to remove the elongated shackle for repositioning the stay to the foredeck. Quick work with a hacksaw minutes before departing for the start line nearly gave this skipper heart palpitations.

D2DlogoVolvox100The results are published here ........... 


Innovative Race Format Works Well.

On Saturday, 3rd June, due to a clash of events, the Howth YC’s Lambay Races and the Poolbeg Y&BC’s Regatta, both of which ISORA committed to incorporate, a new race format evolved. The way to take part in both events was developed by ISORA. The ISORA fleet would have their start as part of the HYC Lambay Race and complete that course. The fleet would then sail through that finish line and continue on the Poolbeg Y&BC to a second finish at Poolbeg Lighthouse.

This was made manageable by the use of the YB trackers recording the first finish at “Stack” mark off Ireland’s Eye. The ISORA / Poolbeg Y&BC Race was sponsored by Dublin Port.

Howth Race Officer David Lovegrove started the fleet of 25 boats with an downwind leg from “Viceroy” mark towards Lambay Island. The weather forecast was for 5-15 Knots SE and this weather arrived at the start area.

DublinPortCo Logo1The full course for the race was:

Start at “Viceroy”
Taylor’s Buoy (S)
Lambay Island (S)
“Portmarknok” (P)
“Stack” (S) – Finish of Lambay Race
North Burford (S)
Finish off Poolbeg Lighthouse
25 miles approx

DublinPortCo Logo1The latest Results for Race No. 5 are published here .....

see the race YB tracks again here ..

and your race photos here ...

“The day all conflicting weather forecasts were correct – for a time anyway”

The latest Results for Race No. 4 are published here ..... see the race YB tracks again here

Race 4 in ISORA’s Averycrest Offshore Series 2017 took place on Saturday 27th May. From the original entry list of 36 boats, 28 confirmed starting. However 6 boats pulled out at the last minute.

StartThe Race Start in light conditions - Photo by David O'Brien

For the week leading up to the race, the weather forecasts were predicting southerly winds. There was also extremely strong tides that day.

As the day of the race approached the different sources of weather forecast varied widely. Some were predicting northerly winds, some southerly and other westerly. In wind strength, the forecasts varied for 0 to 25 knots!! Rain and no rain was also forecast. The feeling was that there was going to be light conditions at the start anyway and the fleet would be punished by the exceptional tide while trying to make their way south.

This uncertain weather with the strong tides was a major factor in the reason why some boats pulled out.

Due to the conditions forecast the course was:

Start at Dun Laoghaire
Muglins (S)
South Arklow (S)
Finish in Arklow

ThefleetinKillineybay3The fleet in Killiney bay - Photo by Andrew Algeo

The start was provided by at DBSC Pier mark by Larry Power and Barry MacNeaney. Just prior to the race the weather readings from the Dublin Bay Buoy was 2-3 knots South West. In preparation of this start scenario, where the entire fleet would be push back from the line at the start and not able to cross it, The Sailing Committee decided to invoke the “ISORA starting protocol”. In this protocol the committee boat would stand down at 10 minutes after the start signal and after that, any boats that have not crossed the start line would leave the pin end to (P).

Obviously the “Wind Gods” favour ISORA and Offshore Racing as they provided 5 knots westerly immediately before the start that was sufficient to propel the fleet under spinnaker towards the Muglins. However, even the Wind Gods can change their mind and the wind dropped soon after the start.

This drop in wind scattered the fleet, with some boats heading in towards land to get out of the foul tide while others hunted out to sea in search of zephyrs. It took over one and a half hours for the first boat to complete the 1.5miles to the Muglins.

It was Andrew Halls’s “Jackknife” and Chris Power-Smith’s “Aurelia” who appeared to dominate the position at the Muglins. Paul O’Higgins “Rockabill VI” who had taken the land side appeared to be stall against the land only to accelerate across Dalkey Sound and nudge in behind the leading boats.

At this stage the wind started to build to 5-7 Knots Northerly and just enough to allow most of the fleet to make progress south against the tide.

IMG 3884Peter Ryan, Stephen and Thomas Tudor and Andrew Rosewarne “enjoying” the torrential rain on “Sgrech” Wet, no wind under Wicklow Head but moving at 5 knots in the correct direction! Happy days - Photo by SarahFor such a huge tide, the tidal currents did not appear to be generally exceptional? As the fleet approached Wicklow Head the wind disappeared completely. Fortunately the tide had now started to ebb and was helping the fleet south. Despite no wind, the locally strong tides around Wicklow Head pushed the fleet south past the head at nearly 5.0 knots!!! Adding to the challenge of the race, torrential rain fell on the fleet around Wicklow.

The next decision after passing Wicklow Head was what side of the Arklow Bank would boats go? The decision was mostly easily made as boats “found” themselves one side or the other in the slack winds.

The next twist came at the Arklow Bank when suddenly the wind appeared from the West and increased rapidly to 20-24 knots. The boats that had found themselves in at the shore were now reaching fast towards South Arklow while those outside the Arklow Bank were beating for the mark.

Again at the South Arklow buoy, the enormity of the south going tide was obvious as boats “crabbed” around the mark trying to avoid hitting it!!

The final 10 mile leg to the finish in Arklow was a fetch in the strong westerly winds. As the first boats finished, the tide had turned again assisting those boats towards the back of the fleet.

“Jackknife” took line honours will Colm Buckley’s J109 “Indian”, who had no YB tracker fitted, took IRC Overall and Class 1. Two more J109’s, Peter Dunlop’s “Mojito” and Roger Smith’s “Wakey Wakey” took 2nd and 3rd place IRC Overall and Class 1. Paul O’Higgings “Rockabill VI” took IRC Class 0 while Joe Conway’s “Elandra” took Class 2.

The new “ISORA Progressive ECHO” proved to work well with Brian Hett’s “Oystercatcher” taking ECHO Overall and Class 1 while “Elandra” took 2nd ECHO Overall and Class 2 and Grant Kinsman’s “Thalia” took ECHO 3rd Overall and Class 0.

The ISORA fleet had not been to Arklow before but they were met with a huge welcome from Mark Fallon, Commodore of Arklow Sailing Club and all the members there. The large numbers of tired sailors who made their way to the very comfortable Clubhouse were reward with a complimentary BBQ and some live music. All this ensured that another great ISORA Apres Sail took place.

Stephen and MarkStephen Tudor with Mark Fallon Commodore of ASC announcing the race results

The next race in the Series will be a unique event in that the ISORA Day race will incorporate two other events and have two finishes. Howth YC will provide a start to the ISORA fleet and send them around their Lambay Race course and provide a finish to the Lambay Race off Howth. The fleet will pass though that finish line and proceed to the ISORA race finish line, provided by Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, that will be located at the mouth of the Dublin Port channel. They are taking part in the Dublin Port Riverfest being organised by Dublin Port. Berthing facilities will be available for competing yachts so they can take part in this festival along the river. Separate entry will be required for the HYC Lambay Race and this can be made online. HYC will be awarding prizes for this part of the race.

Peter Ryan
ISORA Chairman

Peter Ryan, Stephen and Thomas Tudor and Andrew Rosewarne “enjoying” the torrential rain on “Sgrech”
Stephen Tudor with Mark Fallon Commodore of ASC announcing the race results.

Another Adventure had a real adventure on the delivery trip to the ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire ......

Chairman’s Report on Race 3 – ISORA Averycrest Offshore Series 2017 Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire

Rockabill VI JPK10.80[1]Offshore from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire – Tough but Rewarding.  13th May 2017. 

There are great photos of the race in the 'Afloat' article by W M Nixon - here and Y& Y here

The Results are available here

The first offshore race of the ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Championship 2017 took place on the 13th May. 32 boats from the entry list of 36 came to the start line in Holyhead.

The weather forecast was predicting southerly winds increasing fresh to strong later in the day. For the first offshore of the season, and to minimise the exposure of the fleet to the later conditions, the course was chosen to be from the start at Holyhead, taking the M2 weather buoy to port, South Burford to starboard and then to the finish. A distance of 59 miles.

The start at 08.00 was provided by Dawn Russell of Holyhead Sailing Club using the Pier lighthouse and the Clipperra buoy. Despite a huge natural bias on the line for the lighthouse end, boats appeared to be happy spread along the start line in the gusting winds.

Not only was wind going to be the issue for the fleet but a very strong north going tide at the start would push the fleet northwards, turning what should have been a tight spinnaker leg to M2 into a loose fetch. The fleet headed towards M2, some allowing the tide to push them north while others sailed tighter and remained on the rhumb line. Conditions for the first leg were averaging 20knots SSW.

RealBoat2017Series36 boats have entered the first ISORA Offshore race to take place next Saturday. The race will be approximately 60miles depending on the weather, starting in Holyhead and finishing in Dun Laoghaire. 

Check out the Provisional Competitor list here  This list shows all 2017 competitors with IRC and ECHO ratings.

The fleet is a great cross section, from classic to high tech and from small to large, demonstrating the range of boats that are interested in racing offshore. The newly adopted “ISORA Progressive ECHO” will ensure a greater spread of prizes for the race with prizes for six classes and trophy for Overall as well as the famous “Race Winners Jacket”.

The gathering of such a large numbers of boats and their crew in Holyhead on the Friday evening and again hopefully at the NYC on Saturday evening will generate a great social atmosphere.

At this time there are 34 boats entered for Race 4 on the 27th May. This offshore race is unique as it will start and finish on the Irish side – starting in Dun Laoghaire and finishing in a new port for ISORA, Arklow. We are looking forward to a great reception from Arklow Sailing Club.

Global300x150Race 2 - Results and Report
Pwllheli Global Exhibitions Long Bay Race

By Vicky Ciox (Mojito)

ISORA race 2 was the Pwllheli Castle Race, the first of a three race coastal series within the full ISORA series, and sponsored by Global displays.

The sister race  to the Irish side's 'Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow' race also saw light winds and a fair weather forecast. On the pontoons the fleet saw an encouraging 12 kts on the instruments but heading out to the start line at Gimlet rock confirmed that the NW-NNW was going to make things interesting. With winds coming over the hills, flat seas were created but also very light, gusty and shifty conditions.

VikingMarine300x150Chairman’s Report on Race 1 – ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Series 2017 Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow
37 Boats Race in ISORA Day Races
23rd April 2017.

The first race of the Overall ISORA Avery Crest Offshore Championship 2017 was also the first race in the ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Series 2017 and the Royal Alfred Coastal Series 2017. The weather forecast for the race was for little or no wind leaving a very difficult task for the Sailing Committee to set the course.

ISORA dual scores racing using IRC and ECHO

ECHO is a performance based handicapping system administered by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA), the governing Body for the Sport of Boating in Ireland.

ECHO can be very simply summed up as a system that ranks boats in any fleet from fastest to slowest [or vice versa] and handicaps them accordingly. A boat with a higher average speed should always have a higher handicap than a boat with a lower average speed, or, which is the same thing, a boat should not have a lower handicap than a boat that regularly finishes behind it - on the water.

This principle is explained in greater detail in the document here. It answers the basic questions about the nature of ECHO and also explains the difference in approach between ECHO and IRC.

ISORA Chairman, Peter Ryan, explained that 'ECHO compliments the ISORA ethos of running many race results out of the same race. All boats will be dual-scored under IRC and ECHO'



The latest Results for Race No. 3 are published here... see the race tracks again here

Amendment No. 1 Class splits

The Class split for the 2017 ISORA Series will be as follows

  • IRC 0 = 1.030 or greater. Class 0
  • IRC 1 = 1.000 to 1.029. Class 1
  • IRC 2 = 0.999 or less.  Class 2

Amendment 4 : Group 3 Sailors

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.

National Yacht Club Wednesday 19th April at 19.30 in JB Room.
Speakers - Prof O'Connell North Sails
Kenneth Rumball - Irish National Sailing School
Reception after
Essential for all skippers and crew doing the race. A great opportunity for potential crew to meet skippers
All welcome
See you there

Follow this link here for a A QUICK OVERVIEW of the SIGNIFICANT RULE and GAME CHANGES  in the 2017-2020 RACING RULES OF SAILING by Dave Perry excerpted from Dave Perry’s Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2020 available from the US Sailing Store ( or 1-800 US SAIL-1)

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