Congratulations to Aodhan Fitzgerald, of the Marine Institute and Galway Bay Sailing Club, who skippered the Failte Ireland and Ireland west airport sponsored yachtIreland West to victory in the recent BMW Round Ireland yacht race.
Aodhan, who works in the Research Vessel Operations Section of the Marine Institute, has been a yachtsman for 15 years - covering almost 50,000 miles in that time - and has competed in a number of offshore races including 7 Round Ireland races, several Fastnet races as well as a Round Britain and Ireland race. The time for “Ireland West” to circumnavigate Ireland was 96 hours and 1 minute.
Describing some dramatic moments during the race, Aodhan said “it was an exciting race with strong to gale force winds for much of the time. The leg from Eagle Island to Tory in a solid force eight with average boat speed of 11.5 Knots was very tough but the crew and the boats were well up for the challenge.”
Research Vessel Operations, where Aodhan works, co-ordinates the Marine Institute’s two research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager which are employed on a wide range of duties in support of the fishing industry, seabed mapping, environmental monitoring and the deployment and servicing of a number of high technology projects including the weather buoy network and the new SmartBay initiative.