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    Villerstown_Boating1.jpgAs previewed by Afloat.ie, last Saturday four visiting and five local GP14 dinghies crewed by 21 seafarers and two sea dogs set off from Youghal quay in County Cork at low water on the second annual Y2V Blackwater river cruise writes Norman Lee.

    Molly the younger sea dog soon got the hang of scrambling to windward on almost every tack but sometimes preferred to stay to leeward to view the wildlife better and she probably set the tone for the many pre teen crews getting a taste for competitive/fun sailing in their respective dads racing machines.

    The youngest boat was a beautiful Duffin built this year for Simon Culley and Libby Tierney of Blessington and the oldest, a lovely Bell Woodworking boat nearly 60–years–old and still in perfect fettle, now owned by 16–year–old Jack Nolan of Youghal.

    One Mermaid and one Feva came along for the trip which included forming part of the backdrop for a society wedding in Ballintra House a classic yellow mansion, where a band serenaded us as we sailed by on a wide sweep of the river.

    Villierstown Boating & Activities Club members at their brand new three week old facility on the riverbank couldn't do enough to make us welcome with hot soup tea and sambos and home cookies when we arrived and a massive fry on Sunday morning and free run of their facilities for the duration.

    The value these guys have got from their sports council grant is unbelievable and great credit to all concerned and the welcome the GP visitors get in both Villierstown and Youghal makes it very possible this will be a well attended new addition to the annual GP circuit where the utility design of our boat comes to the fore.


    GP14s berth on the river bank


    Molly, just one of two seadogs on the cruise keeps a look out


    Getting the tents ready at the new Villierstown clubhouse

     More on dinghy cruising possibilities here:  Is 'Adventure Sailing' a New Tack for Dinghy Sailors?

    CORK, IRELAND—Subsidence in the aisle at St. Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal, a prosperous medieval port town, has led to the discovery of three burial vaults dating to the seventeenth century. The church, which was built in 1250, is the oldest continuously used church in Ireland. “We have unearthed some pottery and coins from the seventeenth century and a fabulous underground central heating system which was modelled on the Roman aqua duct system. It dates to the eighteenth century and boiling water was poured in to provide the heating,” archaeologist Caroline Desmond told The Irish Examiner. Desmond and her team will stabilize the area where they have been working and continue the investigation next year because the church’s annals indicate that another five tombs remain to be found under the aisle. “We will undoubtedly find more archaeology there. The roof of the church is still the original and it was built by French carpenters. That also goes to show that Youghal was a very prosperous town at the time as the merchants were able to pay to bring in skilled labor from abroad,” she explained

    DRAFT of the ISA Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 is now available for review.
    The Plan is a follow on from the Strategic Review Group’s report on the performance and perception of the Association, which was commenced in 2013. That Group consulted extensively with Clubs, Classes, Training Centres and other stakeholders before submitting their Report to the Board in 2014. The Board accepted the Report and commissioned a group to prepare a Strategic Plan to chart the priorities of the ISA from 2015 to 2020.
    The Planning Group members are Neil Murphy (Chairman), ISA President David Lovegrove, ISA Director Brian Craig, Ruth Ennis, Peter Redden, Sean Craig and ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon and administrative support provided by Ciara Dowling. Their draft Plan was given to the Board in December 2014 and they have instructed that the draft should be circulated to allow ISA members and stakeholders to consider it and give their views. 

    Regional meetings will be held to allow discussion of the Plan before the 2015 AGM, when the final draft of the Plan will be proposed for adoption. We welcome a good attendance at these meetings and ask that you email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inform us of your intentions to attend.

    Regional Meetings

    Wed 21 Jan 15 7pm-9pm Dublin Royal St George Yacht Club 
    Tue 17 Feb 15 7pm-9pm Cork Rochestown Park Hotel
    Tue 24 Feb 15 7pm-9pm Galway Galway Bay Sailng Club

    Register your intentions to attend with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you

    The Plan proposes that the ‘Mission for the years 2015 – 2020’ is to ‘Develop the sport of Sailing in union with Clubs, Training Centres and Associated Organisations’. The core philosophy is that the success of the sport is dependent on having strong Clubs managing their own affairs well.  
    The Plan divides the ISA role into a number of ‘Pillars’ – namely Clubs, Access and Participation, Training, Competition and High Performance. The ISA’s internal functioning is also dealt with in a self-contained section to the rear of the Plan. It includes the Strategies proposed for the various Pillars, the metrics by which the success of the Strategies will be measured and, where available, what the current position is. No implementation measures are included, on the basis that it is the role of the Board to determine how best to do so and then to manage the measures decided on.
    Some points of note in the proposed strategies are:
    Clubs – strong Clubs delivering services to sailors and promoting the sport are seen as the key to future success, with ISA Regional Development Officers assisting with specific advice.  Linkages between Clubs and ISA Training Centres, for the benefit of both, are encouraged.
    Access and Participation – retaining existing members, encouraging them to take part and attracting newcomers are the principles behind the strategies.
    Training – the Plan recognises that there is always more to learn about the sport, that competency is developed through time afloat and that certificates are not an alternative to practicing new skills. The re-assessment of how training schemes are structured and implemented is proposed, as is the adoption of the ‘Sailing Passport’ online monitoring system.
    Competition – an increased emphasis on supporting the involvement of sailors who are not competing in the Olympic arena and on local competition is proposed. It is recognised that access to Club and Class coaching needs to be improved and it is also suggested that the concept of nominated dinghy classes being deemed to form a ‘High Performance’ Pathway should be dropped. It is proposed that participation should be encouraged on the basis of the Sport being an enjoyable, challenging and sociable recreation.
    High Performance – the widespread misunderstanding amongst the sailing community about the remit of the High Performance section and its funding are seen as challenges to be overcome but the success of the HP section in delivering its primary objective is acknowledged. It is proposed that greater skills transfer from the High Performance area into the sport at large should be encouraged. A review of how the High Performance programmes for younger sailors are operated and how sailors with the potential to succeed in the Olympic arena are discovered should be reviewed.

    If you would like forward any comments on the Draft Strategic Plan, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will be forwarded to the organising committee. Thank you.

    Link to DRAFT Plan here: DRAFT ISA StrategicPlan 2015-2020

    The judges of MasterChef Italia (l-r) Bruno Barbieri, Carlo Cracco and Joe Bastianich, during filming at Kinsale Rugby club last July. Pic: Sky Uno

    The judges of MasterChef Italia (l-r) Bruno Barbieri, Carlo Cracco and Joe Bastianich, during filming at Kinsale Rugby club last July. Pic: Sky Uno

    IMAGES of West Cork and Kinsale were beamed into the homes of more than 1.1 million Italians this recently, when an episode of MasterChef Italia – filmed here last summer – aired on Italian TV channel, Sky Uno.

    Tourism Ireland in Milan – in conjunction with Bord Bia – secured the famous culinary talent show for Ireland. Ireland was chosen for its exceptional, fresh produce – particularly our beef – as well as our spectacular scenery, which provides such a wonderful backdrop for the show. Already, each episode of this series of MasterChef Italia has attracted an audience of more than 1.1 million viewers.

    Filming MasterChef Italia’s Irish experience took place here last July. Charles Fort in Kinsale provided the backdrop for the opening scenes, as well as Cork’s English Market, which was the setting for the contestants to buy the produce they used to prepare their dishes. The challenge itself took place in Kinsale Rugby Club. The aspiring chefs preparing their dishes, using all Irish produce of the finest quality.

    Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager Italy, said, “We were delighted to co-operate with Bord Bia to bring MasterChef Italy to Ireland. Ireland’s starring role in MasterChef Italia allows us to demonstrate that the island of Ireland offers extremely high quality food, as well as spectacular scenery. Food is such a vital component of the holiday experience nowadays, with travellers becoming more and more discerning about food and where they eat. Gastronomy and the extremely high quality of our food is a key theme being promoted by Tourism Ireland in Italy,” she said.

    kinsaletownKINSALE town centre is set for major improvements with the news that plans are being finalised for Cork County Council to purchase the car park between Pier Road and Long Quay.

    It has been a long-term aim for the council to purchase the underdeveloped car park in the heart of the town centre that is currently owned by NAMA, and West Cork Times understands that plans for the purchase are now nearing completion.

    Proposals for the car park will include dedicated bus bays; part of a plan to address major road safety and traffic congestion problems in the town centre caused by buses having to drop and pick up passengers in the middle of the street.

    In a separate development, moves to relocate the “Great Wall of Kinsale” sculpture which has been located on Pier Road for almost 20 years are also gathering momentum.

    Local county councillor Kevin Murphy has proposed relocating the sculpture to a less central location.

    “We are not talking about removing it altogether,” he said, “just moving it somewhere it will be less of a target for vandalism and graffiti,” he told West Cork Times.

    “It is very expensive to maintain it and keep it clean and unfortunately it has become a bit of a magnet for vandalism too,” he said.

    Cllr Murphy said that from talking to people in the town he felt there was widespread support for the idea of relocating the sculpture.

    “It’s been there a long time and a change of scenery every once in a while is not a bad thing anyway,” he said.

    Cllr Murphy said there had been widespread support for the idea on social media with the Bowling Green a popular choice for an alternative location.

    “At the end of the day it will be up to the people of Kinsale to decide what to do about it,” he said, “so we need to hear the views of as many people as possible”.

    Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton also paid a visit to Kinsale recently where she met with representatives from the local chamber and tourism bodies.

    New chamber chairman Tomás O’Brien told West Cork Times, “We had a very good discussion and of particular importance were our concerns about the future of Cork Airport. Joan Burton agreed to raise the issue with the Transport Minister and the Taoiseach. The development of the airport is not only vital for Kinsale but also for West Cork and indeed the whole south west of Ireland,” he said.

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