On July 31, Gregor McGuckin crossed the symbolic line of the equator in undramatic fashion. His chosen route, west of the fleet as they head towards South Africa, is paying dividends and sees Hanley Energy Endurance currently in 7th place in a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.
Aug 1: Hanley Energy Endurance lying 7th
The race route is east-about, starting and finishing in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. Eighteen sailors from 13 countries crossed the starting line on July 1 in a 30,000-mile, 8-9-month race that will take the fleet southwards down the Atlantic, through the Indian and Pacific oceans, around Cape Horn and northwards through the Atlantic back to France.
When Gregor McGuckin slipped his lines from the pontoon at Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club and sailed quietly through Dalkey Sound, bound for Les Sables D’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast, his hope was not to see dry land again after July 1 — for about nine months. The young Dubliner faces a challenge of huge proportions, both physical and mental: a solo, non-stop voyage around the planet in the Vendee Golden Globe Race.
Gregor has a 'glass half-full attitude' not only thanks to Glendalough Distillery who presented him with a small barrel of 7-year-old single malt whiskey that is bolted to the foredeck, but in his approach to what lies ahead. With just fourteen days solo sailing experience in his wake, his mental preparation has been to ensure the boat is completely ready “and that helps my confidence,” he said.
Ireland's seafood development agency is backing the first female sailor from these shores, Joan Mulloy, in the Solitaire du Figaro race in late August.
Jim O'Toole, BIM chief executive with Joan Mulloy, Ireland's first female entry in the Solitaire due Figaro race
Explaining the rationale of the sponshorship, Jim O'Toole, BIM chief executive, said the agency's gastronomy seafod trail "ties Irish seafood production into Ireland's tourism."
Veteran sailor Enda O'Coineen is expected to round the notorious Cape Horn within the next twently-four hours in his endeavour to complete his solo lap of the globe.
O'Coineen set out from Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 6, 2016, in the Vendee Globe world circumnavigation. On New Year's Day 2017 however, his attempt came to dramatic end when he was demasted 180 miles south of New Zealand.
Determined to complete the course, O'Coineen teamed up with another Vendee competitor who has retired from the race, to create the 'Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland'.
Over 470 boats and 2,500 sailors gathered in the east coast town of Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, for the 2017 Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta.
Cruising classes, traditional and classic vessels, tacked across the race courses during the 2017 Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta . Photo Gillian Mills
Seven race courses, 290 races and almost 4,000 results were staged over four days of mostly light sea breezes at Ireland’s biggest sailing event.
A sailing route from the southcoast of Ireland along the west and north coasts, western Scotland, the Faroe Islands and western Norway, is being promoted to develop new business opportjunites for enterprises located in these peripheral coaastal communities.
Baltimore, West Cork, is a popular destination for local and visiting yachts
'Mile for nautical mile, the Cool Route boasts a wealth of archaeological, historical, cultural, musical and culinary treasures and experiences, combined by it amazing scenery, mountainous shorelines, the best pubs and distilleries in the world,' according project leader, the Hincks Centre of Entrepreneurship Excellence, in Cork Institute of Technology.
The project comprises eight partners located in each of the participating countries, specifically targetting the yacht, superyacht and the small liner market.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed support for a national sail training vessel for Ireland as part of the Atlantic Youth Trust movement.
The announcement follows the inclusion of the initiative in the 'A Fresh Start The Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan'; The Programme for Government and Capital Investment Plan.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Hildegarde Naughton TD; Neil O'Hagan and Owen Moorehead, Atlantic Youth Trust, on board Irish Lights vessel, Granuaile at Seafest 2017, Galway
The new vessel will be modelled on the Spirit of New Zealand which has over 40 years operational experience and is credited with one of the core youth development assets of the country.
Mark Pollock, Commonwealth medal winner in rowing; Round Ireland sailor; adventurer and Cure for Paralysis activist, has launched the inaugural Watersports Inclusion Games, organised by the Irish Sailing Association.
Hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire (June 25-26), this free event of sailing, rowing and canoeing, aims to attract people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectgrums, to try watersports.
Mark Pollock is accompanied by Oisin Putt, member of the Sailability Paralympic Pathway Team and Nadine Lattimore, London 2012 Paralympic athlete at Poolbeg Yacht Club. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Pollock, who lost his sight at 22 and was paralysed after an accident in 2010, said that watersports plays a significant role in his life.