WOW. What an amazing success. There is so much to say and share, but we have to keep it brief. We will definatley have to ensure we have a big enough venue next year to host you all if the feedback from this year is anything to go by.
85 sailors from across the nation joined each other to enjoy a day of incredible speakers at the Irish Sailing Cruising Conference in Lough Ree Yacht Club.
The broad range of speakers and timely presentations gave a great in sight to adventure, rescue, power, environment and wildlife, while the relaxed atmosphere allowed for plenty of talks and discussions amongst delegates.
The day kicked off with Paul Scannell and Mary Healy sharing their adventures of sailing round Ireland in a 41 year old inland waterways vessel and they had the entire room engaged with their detailed planning information and adventurous stories.
The following talk had everyone up and listening, as Kylie McMilan and John White share their first hand story of John’s man-over-board at night off the Blaskets in a heavy blow, while racing in the Volvo Round Ireland. It was great to see the equipment used and a stark reminder of the importance of training, practice and good equipment. John was wrapped in foil blankets and didn’t need a helicopter lift.
Our next speaker was reasssuring for any of us that may need a helicopter one day. Keith Devaney, Technical Crew manager for CHC Helicopters who currently operate the Irish Coastguard Sikorsky S92s joined us and it was fantastic to have such incredible detail of operations from such an experienced winchman.
The delegates were so enthralled by these speakers and had plenty of questions, so the scheduled Vlog by Vera Quinlan was postponed to after lunch. Vera and family pre-recorded a vlog explaining their planned adventure to sail around the Atlantic Circle following the theme of “Sailing for Climate Change” and deploying an ARGO float mid Atlantic. We all look forward to hearing about their travels at the conference in 2021!!
Damian Foxall showed everyone the incredible changes that were made to reduce the environmental impact of the Volvo Ocean Race and demonstrated how one small change by many can make a BIG difference. Damian is Irish Sailing’s Sustainability Ambassador and we are working together with World Sailing on programmes to help sailors and venues become a little greener and help keep our seas blue.
Toni OLeary of Union Chandlery gave an incredibly detailed presentation on the use and management of batteries on board. Sailors were making notes to bring back and make some adjustments on board.
Norman Kean brought in some hard facts on the future of green diesel and access along the coastline. This is real guys and from January onwards we will all need to know where we are going to by white while exploring our beautiful coastline.
The final talk was simply enchanting, as Niall Hatch of Bird Watch Ireland shared some incredible photography and valuable information on the lives of our coastal birds and how we can identify them. It was a spectacular way to end an information packed conference.
The every popular draw say delegates win a VHF from Union Chandlery, Kilrush Marina berth and wash down, Kilrush Marina pod overnights, ICC Publications books and McWilliam bag. Thanks has to go out to the sponsors and contributors of these prizes.
An added bonus to this event was the exhibitors at the venue alongside sponsor Union Chandlery and supporters Kilrush Marina, there was vhf training, boat design, sail training, sail makers and boat repair companies all on hand to answer queries.
Winkie Nixon summed it up nicely in Afloat for us here
Presentations are all available below to download, apart from the Coastguard, as this has sensitive material.
See you same weekend Dublin February 2020 - Venue TBA
Some of the feedback and our replies to requests ...
"In my opinion you have got the formulae perfectly right!"
"Excellent informative day"
"A greater demonstration of what Irish Sailing is, can and will do to promote sailing, as opposed to just racing, in Ireland"
"It was well organised, well run, well attended, and well presented."
"Better microphones please" ... we shall look into investing.
"More question time" ... Yes, we always try to fit too much in, we shall certainly try to give more free time for this.
"Keep up the excellent and varied topics"
"Dessert!!." ... Yum, we approve of this suggestion.