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Results 2008

Rain, Hail or Snow! The NMCI Sailing Club gets Silver in the Bronze Fleet.

Article by Patrick Defense, March 2008

On the 5th of March 2008 the NMCI Sailing club were gearing themselves up for the I.U.S.A.’s National Sailing Championships in Killaloe, Co. Clare. The event was held at the University of Limerick Activity Centre in Killaloe and was hosted by the UL’s Sailing Club. There was a great deal of excitement and anticipation as this was the last event on the College Sailing Calendar.

Preparations for the event beforehand seemed an endless list of things to organise for the Committee. They included requests for damage deposit and entry fees (thanks NMCI), requests for accommodation fees (thanks CIT Sports Office), organising the Sailing gear (thanks Irish Naval Service), team selection, and transport arrangements. Worst of all was where to find a Tuxedo after five o’clock for the Intervarsity black-tie ball on Saturday.

NMCI Sailing Team at the IUSA National Sailing Championships

Patrick’s pickup truck became known as the “NMCI Hilux” and would be towing UCC Sailing Club’s boats to the event as rivalry always remains on the water and the clubs help each other out. It was later found that on a rainy day the Hilux could also take up to six people in its two seat cab whilst parked watching the races.

The pressure was on, given the sharp improvement of the NMCI Sailing Club’s performance when they made it to the quarter-finals at the previous competition in Baltimore. A good result would mean a great deal to the NMCI Sailing Club and to its sponsors and to add to the tension there was the small matter of Gale Force winds predicted for the duration of the event.

A Gale was forecast, and a Gale it blew…

Throughout the weekend the conditions proved to be the most challenging thus far. Killaloe is on the south side of Loch Derg and is surrounded by hills, which meant that the winds were never constant but very gusty. The wind could change direction in up to 30° shifts making it very hard to predict, and very likely to capsize the boat. To add to all of this the showers came in the form of rain, sleet and hail stones. All of this made for very cold but, with the adrenaline flowing, very exciting sailing.

The top 8 seeded teams were divided into 4 groups and the remaining 16 teams were divided into the 4 groups by means of a draw. The first team drawn was the NMCI and it felt like it like a good sign.

NMCI students sailing in Killaloe

The 1st day of sailing separated the teams into a Gold Fleet and a Silver Fleet. The NMCI started out in a tough group with some really talented sailors to contend with and they lost 5 of 6 races. It was great experience for the NMCI team to start the event up against the likes of DIT 1 and UCC 2. What was remarkable about the start, as UCC 2 found out and given the weather conditions where boats were capsizing left, right and centre, was that the NMCI sailors were not easily beaten.

The 2nd day of Racing would then divide the teams into Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets. Here once again the NMCI sailors in the Silver Fleet were once again up against some great sailors. So after a hard day of racing in very gusty conditions and a few capsizes later the NMCI was finally selected to sail in the bronze fleet.

On the last day of the event the NMCI were in the Finals of the bronze fleet, up against none other than CIT 2, our former team mates. The final would be decided on a best of three races. CIT 2 finally defeated the NMCI 2-0 but it seemed that the rivalry from the past were all forgotten and both teams sailed the boats home laughing and joking with each other. All that was left to do was go home get a hot shower and get ready for the Black tie Ball at the Radisson in Limerick.

Once again the NMCI sailors are very grateful to all those who’ve made it possible for the NMCI to have a sailing team in the intervarsity circuit. That help has come in many different forms and we have many people to thank. Firstly to all the Bovis Lend Lease staff at the National Maritime College of Ireland, to Jimmy, Sean, Tom, John and Pat for the slipway, compressors, miscellaneous bits and making room for the boats, to Catherine and Joanne and for mail and phone calls, to the Irish Naval Service, for the Musto sailing gear. Then to the CIT Staff both in Bishopstown and at the NMCI, John Clarence our Head of College, Ger Lowney for Finances, Miriam Deasy of the CIT Sports Office, to Breeda Cronin for putting up the articles on the web site, Noreen Kelleher, Gerry Horan and Peter Walter for help and guidance. Finally to the NMCI sailing Club Committee who believed they could do it.

NMCI Sailing Club make it to Quarter Finals in Southerns Championship

Article by Patrick Defense, February 2008

The NMCI sailing club attended the Intervarsity Southerns Championship in Baltimore on February 8th and made it to the quarter finals of the bronze fleet only to be eliminated following a controversial decision by the umpire.

NMCI Sailing Teams at the Southerns

After a tough qualifying round the NMCI went through with two convincing wins out of five races; their boats placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the first race and 1st and 2nd in their last race. This proved to be enough to get to the next round. In their final race against National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) the NMCI managed to successfully challenge the race organisers for a redress on a technicality. This was because one of the marks had been moved during the race.

When the 3 minute gun for the re-start was signalled by the committee boat, the NMCI managed to sail the NUIG boats away from the starting area, sufficiently so to give themselves the advantage for the starting gun.

The ‘S’ shaped course meant that the 1st leg of the race was a ‘beat’, sailing upwind to the ‘top mark’ in other words the 1st buoy on the course. A shift in the wind gave NUIG some advantage and the NMCI team rounded the ‘top mark’ 1st and 4th place. The NMCI had to react fast and the 1st boat by rule is allowed to slow down and force the opposition off course to give the tailing boat a chance to catch-up.

NMCI Sailing Team in action

At the ‘reach mark’ NUIG was forced onto and touched the buoy, was penalised, and were forced to do a 360° turn. The NMCI had once again regained some advantage and were in 1st and 3rd place which was enough to win.

When rounding the ‘bottom mark’ 4 boats arrived at once. NUIG should have given NMCI room to round the mark but did not, the boats made light contact the boom of one of their boats even catching the buoyancy aid of one of our crew and nearly dragging her into the water. The Protest flag was raised but the Umpire did not see it and gave it ‘all clear’ and NUIG went on to win the race. That race lasted a whole 8 and a half minutes.

The NMCI Sailing Club has gone from strength to strength with every event they attend and they were looking “the business” wearing new Musto Sailing gear provided to them by the Irish Naval Service. The NMCI Sailing Club is hugely grateful to the Irish Naval Service and to the NMCI Administration for their continued support.

NMCI Boats (grey sails) racing at the Southerns

This event was enough to send a clear message to the other sailing clubs that the NMCI Sailing Club is here to stay and that we are taking our club very seriously. The benefit of getting the respect of other sailing clubs is the invitation to future events and the raising of the profile of the College itself.

The team:
  • Gavin Lynch-Frahill (Captain)
  • Conor Quinn
  • Patrick Defense
  • Danniella Roessler
  • Fiona Murphy
  • Sean Murphy
  • Erika Gyurasz