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Irish National Sailing Club Elect Patricia Kelly as Commodore

24th January 2021
INSC Commodore Patricia Kelly on the water in Dun Laoghaire INSC Commodore Patricia Kelly on the water in Dun Laoghaire

The Irish National Sailing Club is pleased to announce the election of Dun Laoghaire Laser sailor and dinghy instructor Patricia Kelly to the position of the first Commodore of the six-year-old club at their AGM held online on Monday the 21st of December 2020.

Patricia is a relatively recent convert to sailing, having taken a beginner course roughly five years ago onboard a keelboat before trying out dinghy sailing after joining the Irish National Sailing Club. Patricia embodies the ethos of the INSC, which promotes pay as you go sailing in a fun and safe way and becoming totally immersed in all things small boat sailing.

Patricia Kelly (right) with fellow INSC dinghy instructors Alex Wan, James Linton, Nick Smith and Joan Sheffield (R-L)Patricia Kelly (right) with (right to left) fellow INSC dinghy instructors Alex Wan, James Linton, Nick Smith and Joan Sheffield 

After a short while using the INSC Laser fleet, Patricia took the plunge and bought her own Laser, and was immediately an enthusiastic sailor and progressed quickly. She was instrumental in organising a small group of INSC members to get out on the water for a series of mid-week lessons with various coaches from Dun Laoghaire. This flare for making things happen was a natural asset when the club teamed up with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School to develop a group of adult dinghy and keelboat instructors in 2019.

Patricia flew through the various assessment and training modules qualifying as a dinghy instructor and was straight out onto the water that Summer introducing many new sailors to the sport, and most importantly encouraging them as they took their first steps after their courses while sailing with the club.

Patricia Kelly trials the INSC’s new RS Zest dinghy, before designing a training programme for new club members on these new craftPatricia Kelly trials the INSC’s new RS Zest dinghy, before designing a training programme for new club members on these new craft

Elected onto the INSC committee, Patricia was instrumental in driving numerous projects to help the Club develop a pathway and strategy to get more people afloat, and was a contributor to all club activities including putting in a number of shifts at the RS Super Series in the depths of Winter.

Patricia is regularly found on race courses, both in safety boat duties such as the 2019 Laser Masters and is also a regular competitor in her Laser in DBSC Summer and DMYC Frostbite series.

Patricia Kelly (helm) providing safety cover at a RS Super Series Event in Dun LaoghairePatricia Kelly (helm) providing safety cover at a RS Super Series Event in Dun Laoghaire

A contribution of particular note was the heading of a subcommittee tasked with developing a training programme for INSC member for the 2020 season. A comprehensive and truly ambitious programme was developed, drawing on her own experience. The programme was full of specific actions all linked to a measurable outcome and had total support from the entire INSC committee as well as a very supportive and excited membership. Alas, the pandemic has postponed some of the plans, however Patricia did lead the INSC women afloat programme, developing a coaching day with support from Irish Sailing as part of the Women at the Helm initiative that saw one of the busiest and most successful days afloat for the INSC in 2020.

Not a tough choice for Club members, Patricia was elected unanimously, and the Club is looking forward to an exciting 2021 under Commodore Patricia Kelly’s leadership.

Published in INSS Team

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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.

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