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NMCI Sailing Club competes at CIT Southern Intervarsity, a fair winds varsity.

Monday 07 February 2011

The beginning to the adventure:
This weekend the NMCI Sailing Club travelled to the third IUSA Varsity on the 2010/11 calendar. The Bean Invitational’s, hosted by CIT Sailing Club in the picturesque setting of Kenmare bay, Co. Kerry would be one of the toughest challenges the club had faced in many months.

With the help of the Sailing Academy of Ireland, the NMCI Sailing Club exchanged training for assistance in boat preparations in time for the varsity. Following one of the coldest winters on record along with a long mid Semester break the club members had a serious amount of work and training to catch up on. On top of this the club had been tasked with the responsibility for towing the boats to support the event.

On an especially beautiful afternoon we took a break from intense training and sailed the boats around Spike Island. With the winter sun glistening and a cool North Easterly breeze we cruised around the island taking in the breathtaking scenery that Cork Harbour has to offer.
On another afternoon, after checking the harbour traffic and with favourable winds we set a challenge of sailing around Haulbowline Island, to the spectacle of a crowd from Cobh. Unfortunately with the looming darkness approaching and an ebbing tide we promptly sailed back to the slip before it dried out for the night.

The Regatta:
After a mighty feed of the full Irish breakie and the hunger lingering to return to Silver Fleet glory, the team got ready for what would be an intense and challenging regatta of sailing. Being sailors who weather stronger conditions as we tend to host extra ballast we met our first milestone; a disadvantageous calm and flat day of sailing. Our first race was against UCD4 who managed to miss the first gun and we were off to a one-two-three win, however our next race straight after against DIT1 proved a different kettle of fish, as the one minute gun was called the wind died and our team got caught out at the pin end ending in a third-fifth-sixth result.
Our next group of races were against old rivals; NUIG1 and CIT2. NUIG having purchased a brand new set of beautiful Firefly’s earlier in the season showed they had put their money where their mouth is and so tightly came second third and sixth. Another enjoyable race of the season, NUIG and NMCI always seem to prove the thrills and spills of what the Varsity spirit on and off the water truly is.
CIT2 having enrolled NMCI students from Schull Community College Sailing Club onto their team proved this was a worthwhile gamble causing us to choke up on the pin end of the start and closing up water on each mark as true team racers do.
Our final race for the day ended against UCD3 who showed they had thrown in the theory practice in The Square Pint the night before having their game faces on just pinched a first third fifth result on us.
A disappointing result to a fantastic day of sailing for the NMCI we retired to the holiday home in the Kenmare Bay Hotel for a serious team talk.
Unfortunately Sunday proved an even worse day for all as there wasn’t even a breath of wind by the afternoon so the Race Organisers, George Kenefick & Donagh Good, called an end to sailing and proceeded to the awards. Meanwhile the team recovered the boats from the water and packed them up for the long drive home.
The NMCI team included Commodore James Bedon, Patrick Deffense, Jordy O’Mahony, Carl D’Alton, Rob Cunningham and my good self.

Currently the NMCI are ranked 20th and therefore qualify for the final Intervarsity hosted by UCD sailing in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo on the 10th – 13th March. The club will continue to train Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons as well as Saturday mornings launching from the College. All NMCI and CIT Students are welcome along to come sailing.

For further details join our Facebook group NMCI Sailing Club or email

Stephen Higgins
Former Commodore
NMCI Sailing Club