No Irish ports expected to feature in Volvo route


SAILING:With the announcement this week that Newport, Rhode Island, has won the North American stopover of the next Volvo Ocean Race in 2015, the full route will be known within weeks.

Gothenburg in Sweden will host the finale while it is understood that there will be no Irish port in the next edition.

South Africa also appears to have been dropped from the route as Recife in Brazil will mark the end of the foreshortened first leg of the race from Alicante starting in October 2014.

The next port has yet to be confirmed but is widely expected to be Abu Dhabi, though whether the Somalian piracy situation will be an issue cannot be foreseen at this time.

Other Asian ports will be announced before the race returns to Auckland.

Itajai in Brazil is a likely stop-over port before heading to Newport and then a penultimate European port.

Galway has hosted the race twice and though considered successful, an official entry would in the past have helped secure a return visit. Negative publicity following a funding shortfall for last year’s finale may also have been a factor against a return visit in 2015 despite the obvious following the race has in Ireland.

Irish sailing awards

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Damian Foxall, who was on the winning crew of the last Volvo Ocean Race on French entry Groupama is one of three top sailors shortlisted for the annual awards at next month’s Irish Sailing Association conference in Dún Laoghaire.

The Kerry sailor is included with Olympian’s Annalise Murphy for her fourth place at London 2012 along with Peter O’Leary and David Burrows for winning Gold at the pre-Olympic regatta last summer.

The shortlist is for the ISA Sailing Achievement of the Year, sponsored by BHP Insurance, while five other categories bring together several regular awards to the combined occasion, including the long-running Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year, which features Baltimore Sailing Club, the Royal St George Yacht Club, UCD Sailing Club and Wicklow Sailing Club in its nominees.

Sarah Eames from Strangford Lough YC, Finn Lynch from the National YC, Dougie Power from Waterford Harbour SC and Harry Whitaker from the Royal Cork Yacht Club are all strong candidates for the Youth Sailor of the Year award, sponsored by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company.

The people behind the scenes of many clubs and events feature in the Volunteer of the Year, with Eoghan Lavelle of Scouting Ireland, Rick LeVert of Rathmullan SC in Co Donegal, Dennis Noonan of Wicklow SC and Vincent Rafter of Lough Ree YC in Co Westmeath offering decades of combined service inland and around the coast of Ireland.

Similarly, the Instructor of the Year, sponsored by Parasol Sun Care, shortlists Simon Doran of Courtown SC with Claire Lambert of Lough Derg YC, Aileen Mann of the Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre, Daragh Mathews of Aquatrek, Co Cork and Pearse O’Flynn of the Fastnet Marine OEC in Schull.

Sought-after award

The final award is the sought-after title of Training Centre of the Year, which sees Coláiste Uisce in Co Mayo featured along with Greystones SC, Howth YC, Rusheen Bay Windsurfing in Co Galway and the Oysterhaven Centre in Co Cork.

The awards will be presented on the evening of Saturday March 2th at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire.

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