Introduction to the 2014 ISORA Series

The days are getting longer, the winds are moderating and the temperature is rising!!!! It must be time to talk about racing offshore!!!!!

This 2014 season promises to be a great one with some new ideas for races being tried. The Friday “Midnight Race” from Liverpool to IOM followed soon by the Sunday race from IOM to Dun Laoghaire promises to be a great offshore weekend. We are planning for two spectacular races and social scenes to match. We hope to have a “get together”  in Liverpool before the start, a party in the  IOM in the middle and a soirée in Dun Laoghaire after the race. A weekend not to be missed!!! It will also be good offshore experience for any boat doing the Round Ireland race this season.

It is hoped that many ISORA boats will take part in the Round Ireland Race. Already there is a building interest with queries received from individuals and groups looking for boats to join to take part in the race. If any boat owner is considering taking part but is unsure of obtaining sufficient experienced crew, just contact me and we will get him to the start in Wicklow. ISORA have scheduled their early races to assist boats wanting to meet the qualifying criteria for the Round Ireland Race, so there is no excuse not to take part!!!

Another innovative proposal to take place this years is the combining of results for the ICRA Irish National Championship and the Welsh IRC Nationals. The ICRA event takes place in Dun Laoghaire in June while the Welsh Nationals takes place in Pwllheli in August. These are two great  inshore events not to be missed this season.

We are also organising an ISORA  Inshore Series with the Royal Alfred Yacht Club, where only inshore results will be taken for the overall inshore series. This will encourage those boats to participate fully in ISORA that have not yet taken the plunge over the horizon!!

There is also a team competition for the races during the season. To encourage participation, circulation and maximise peer pressure to take part, it is proposed that boats will be selected randomly by the sailing Committee for each team. This was run many years ago in ISORA and was known as the “Victoria Cup”.

You will probably have noticed that the website has changed. The new website will give us better facilities and allow easier circulation to the members using Newsletters. Please subscribe to receive messages and racing information from ISORA.

A huge amount of work has gone into the website change over and I want to thank our Webmaster, Mark Southee, Project Manager, Stephen Tudor and Advisors, Peter Dunlop, Vicky Cox and Kuba Szymanski. They have put a huge amount of time into this process.

A most interesting part of the development of the new website is the introduction of the Archive section. We have scanned old yearbooks that included the winners in those years. There is also a number of very interesting articles from way back with names of boats and skippers that we know of. I am particularly anxious to get any information on ISORA from the past. I would appreciate it if you could scan any item you may have or loan it to me and I will scan it and return it. I am keen to get hold of photographs.

This season it is intended to use “waypoint marks” extensively during our races. This will allow us to have a run and a beat in every race. We also propose to use the Predict Wind Tracker and hope that all boats using iPhone or smart phones will participate. This will allow us to show the ” land lubbers” what we do and what they are missing. We will also be showing the track of each race on our website home page. It will also promote ISORA and offshore yacht racing. I would also like to thank Mike Butterfield, ISAF International Judge, who has examined our Notice of Race and other documents and has recommended various changes.

We are pleased to announce that lynx metmAsts now known as KONA, who generously sponsored our series last year, have decided to continue to sponsor another race this season – the Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli feeder race to the Welsh IRC Nationals. We are actively looking for companies or individuals to sponsor a race(s). If you think you or your company would benefit from the exposure to ISORA, please contact me directly.

Lastly, the success of any boat taking part in ISORA is a measure of the strength of its crew. Crew are the strength and weakness of an offshore racing boat. If you want to crew on an offshore racing yacht in ISORA, just contact me. If you have the commitment and the metal to race offshore, I can find you the place!!!!


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