As part of the execution of the Irish Sailing Association’s strategic plan, the ISA Board is now reporting upon its monthly meetings, as a means of progressing its mission to communicate more about the development of sailing in union with clubs, training centres and associated organisations.
The ISA Board meetings typically cover all core areas of work that the organisation carries out on a daily basis. All aspects of sailing in Ireland are discussed and crucial, relevant issues are addressed and action items agreed upon for execution by board members and staff.
The ISA Board met in late September in Howth Yacht Club, and welcomed new Board member Sarah Byrne of Greystones Sailing Club. As a former Club Commodore, Sarah joins the Board with a wealth of sailing club and class association experience, and the Board very much looks forward to working with her. Sarah replaces Muriel Rumball who recently stepped down. ISA President David Lovegrove and the Board extended their thanks Muriel for her service and in particular for her work on the Access and Participation policy group.
Neil Murphy has agreed to take up a role, overseeing the roll out of the strategic plan. Neil was instrumental in the building of the strategic plan, and chaired the planning group, whose work included the survey of members and clubs to ascertain what was required to move forward positively.
It was also reported that the audit of the ISA website and micro sites is underway with a view to having a new website in place by the end of the year.
The date has been set for the 2016 Irish Sailing Awards, which will now take place on 4th February next year, during the afternoon in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. The four featured awards are:
• ‘Afloat Sailor of the Year’,
• ‘ISA Youth Sailor of the Year’,
• ‘Mitsubishi Sailing Club of the Year’,
• ‘ISA Training Centre of the Year’.
The ISA made a submission to An Bord Pleanála regarding the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s proposed plans to bring international cruise ships to the harbour. We are working closely with the combined clubs in Dun Laoghaire on this issue – protecting this historic amenity for future generations is a priority for the ISA.
October is an important month in club calendars as preparations for 2016 get underway. The ISA President, David Lovegrove confirmed that board members will attend regional cluster meetings with clubs and centres around the country to discuss issues that affect them and where the ISA can be more engaged.
Access & Participation
Early 2015 saw Try Sailing kick-off with Minister Coveney in Dublin, and to date has proven successful, with some 50 clubs and centres taking up the initiative and many more set to join in 2016. The ISA staff are working on the development of a marketing and engagement strategy for 2016, in order to take this programme further and expand its reach across the nation – stay tuned to sailing.ie for more on this.
The ISA Cruising Scheme has been undergoing a review since late 2014, in order to identify the most effective and sustainable system for training cruising sailors in Ireland. The views of stakeholders with an interest in the development of cruiser training were sought, along with discussions with Cruising Schools, the Royal Yachting Association and the Marine Survey Office. The creation of a Working group to present proposals to the Training Policy Group led to final recommendations, which have now been approved by the ISA Training Policy Group.
For years now, it has been noted that training has been hampered by the absence of a robust log-book system for sailors. The Training Policy Group has been working on a solution for the Irish market. Paddy Boyd of Sail Canada has been working with the group to bring the electronic sailing passport and log book to this market. The sailing passport was tested and piloted this summer by several clubs in Ireland to iron out any glitches and personalisation within the Irish market. The intention is to roll it out in 2016 on an incentivised basis to clubs and centres. Sail Canada has been using this technology for over three years now with much success.
The ISA Small Craft Registry was closed in 2014 as a result of a Department of Transport request, which, and this has had serious knock-on implications for many Irish seafarers. The Department of Transport advised the ISA that the revised statutory Ship Registration process for leisure craft will not be available until 2018. The ISA is continuing to lobby for an interim solution for those who are unable to access the current statutory register, and is working on position paper to lobby to this effect.