ISA Cruising Conference in HYC on February 20th

11 January 2016

Of specific interest to our cruising sailors and in celebration of our natural coastline, the ISA are organising the 'inaugural ISA Cruising Conference' at Howth Yacht Club on February 20th 2016, with inspiring speakers and interactive talks that will benefit experienced sailors and new comers alike. Adventure sailors Eddie Nicholson and his crew will be the keynote speakers, opening up the talks for the day with talks and slide shows of their adventures in Greenland and back to Kinsale on a Najad 440, Mollihawk’s Shadow.

There will also be talks on weather charts and ‘grib’ files with Met Eireann and experienced Yachtmaster Instructor and pilot John Leahy. Inspiration for “Women on the Helm” comes from adventure sailor and writer Daria Blackwell and an insight in to the activities of the Coastguard, Marine Institute and CAI and what they do for Irish cruising sailors. ICC Publications editor and experienced navigator Norman Kean will share is knowledge to help us see the potential pit falls of electronic navigation, while Zoologist and Yachtmaster Instructor Niall MacAllister give us some tips on whales and wildlife hotspots and protocols. Ever needed crew to help with long and short journeys, or just wanted to head out for a short spin? Round the world sailor Pat Murphy will give us a few tips on finding and looking after new crew.

A break out session of groups is scheduled to discuss personal cruising experiences, problems and discoveries and a summary of the sessions will be presented with an open discussion. Every delegate will be entered in to a draw for a full set of Offshore Gear courtesy of Union Chandlery, plus copies of ICC Publications thanks to the Irish Cruising Club and every delegate will head home with a goodie bag. The generous time given by these experienced speakers, sponsorship by Union Chandlery, support from Cruising Association of Ireland and the Irish Sailing Association have made all this possible.

Participation cost for HYC Members is €10 (Non-ISA Members €15) and a 'Club buffet lunch' will be available on the day for €15 (plus booking fee) - you can book directly here.


10:00 Start

  • Eddie Nicholson and Crew Share their incredible adventures Cruising Greenland
  • Weather Charts, Grib Files and Forecast Sources with Met Eireann and Yachtmaster Instructor & pilot John Leahy
  • Women at the Helm ” Get out and do it” with Adventure Sailor & Writer Daria Blackwell
  • Coastal Safety Protocols and Activities with Coast Guard
  • Break Out Sessions – your cruising experiences, problems and discoveries shared

13:00 -14:00 Club buffet lunch - €15

  • Hydrographics and Survey Activities of the Marine Institute Survey Vessels with Marine Institute
  • Electronic Navigation – potential pitfals, Raster v Vector with ICC Publications Editor Norman Kean
  • Whales & Wildlife Hot Spots & Protocol with Marine Zoologist and Yachtmaster Instructor Niall MacAllister
  • Cruising-in-Company with Cruising Association of Ireland
  • 'Managing New Crew' with Round-the-World-Sailor Pat Murphy
  • Summary of Break Out Sessions and Open Discussion
  • Supported by Cruising Association of Ireland

19:00 - Skipper's Supper €22.50 - 2 courses with an additional choice of 'pot luck' dessert or HYC's famous Ice Cream cones!

(The menu will be 'gluten-free' and anyone with specialist dietary requirements should contact the club in advance. Slight changes to the agenda may occur)


  • Delegates will be entered in to a draw for a full set of Offshore Gear and sign up for Union Chandlery Crew Card for monthly offers.
  • Plus, copies of ICC Publications courtesy of the Irish Cruising Club
  • Goodie bags for all delegates too
  • And if you want to enjoy some more sailors chat and share a few sea tales we are organising a Skipper’s Supper at Howth Yacht Club, Supported by the fabulous fishmongers on Howth Pier, Nicky’s Plaice – the plaice for fresh fish and friendly service on Howth Pier. – details will be forwarded to signed up delegates.
  • Marine Hotel, Sutton Cross, are offering delegates a special room rate of €69 for single occupancy and €99 for double.

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