Orla Buckley // Day Skipper All-in-One

I have been sailing since I was a child – crewing for my father on his racing yachts and then crewing and helming on racing dinghies at the local clubs. I own my own 28 foot boat with my partner and we planned to sail it around Ireland for the last 2 years but haven’t done it.

I was always confident in smaller boats under sail but under power I had very little experience. I had no experience with coming alongside pontoons or marinas safely and securing the boat (as I always left this to someone else). I had no idea how read a chart and I want to sail around Ireland so reading charts and making it safely into unknown areas will be essential.

I felt very anxious about this planned trip to sail around Ireland until completed this course. Now I feel confident that I know enough to do it safely. I had considered letting other people teach me on the way around Ireland. I’m very glad I reconsidered this now.

The course was recommended to me by a number of people and luckily for me it was local and the dates suited :)

I think if I had not done this course, I would keep putting off the plan to sail around Ireland due to the anxiety of not knowing enough to do it safely. I might even have gone another whole season without sailing at all.

The biggest obstacle to me was the dates. I have a super hectic life and the previous year I couldn’t fit the course in at all. But luckily the course was delivered in 2 parts – the Theory in the winter months over 5 weeks and the practle in the early summer over 2 weekends. There were several options for course dates too which was great. The cost was a consideration – but when I broke it down its only €100 per day which is a Bargain for what you get!

My only fear was will I enjoy this or will it be like work ? Will I be cold and sore hahaha?

But it was very enjoyable – I had a great time :)

I am way more confident after completing this course, I have a new enthusiasm for sailing and I am really looking forward to heading out again :)

I had loads of fun. FUN FUN FUN :)

Orla Buckley

By |2024-02-07T15:00:36+00:00February 6th, 2024|Reviews|0 Comments

Aideen Kilkelly // Round Ireland 2021

What’s Your Background in terms of Sailing Experience?
I had dinghy sailing experience and big dinghy (part owner of gleoiteog beag).
Some yacht racing crew experience

What Problem Were You Trying to Solve?
Very little Coastal Passages done. Wanted more confidence sailing a larger boat and spending more time at sea.

How Was The Problem Affecting You?
I wanted to improve my sailing skills I needed to be under more pressure and push through sea sickness as well.

What Possible Solutions Did You Consider before coming to Wild West Sailing?
Took every opportunity to get out sailing either dinghy or Gleoiteog. Read books and watched YouTube too.

Why Did You Choose Wild West Sailing?
Well that is an easy question … I have done sailing course before but Wild West Sailing is an incredible school offering excellent training. I would say it has instilled in me even more love for sailing.

What Would Have Happened If You Had NOT chosen to progress your passion for sailing further with Wild West Sailing?
I would not be out on the water as much for sure.

What Risks Did You Consider?
Being Sea sick for most of the trip. This did not happen thankfully and I got some great advice from the skipper.

What Measurable Benefits Have You Seen?
1000% … Thank you to a very trusting and skillful skipper who encouraged me to no end.

Did you have any fun?
The best fun seriously would do it 10 times over. Thank you Dave for making this all come together. It really is incredible what you are doing for sailors all across Ireland.

By |2024-02-07T15:03:37+00:00February 5th, 2024|Questionnaire|0 Comments

John & James MacDonald // Zero-to-Hero Day Skippers

What’s Your Background in terms of Sailing Experience?
My twin brother and I had some dinghy sailing experience before the 11 days total that we spent with Wild West Sailing. We had spent some small periods boating in our youth, but nothing significant.

What Problem Were You Trying to Solve?
We had a desire to learn to sail as being out on the ocean is one of our favorite things and one of the most calming experiences I find. My father always told me that one of the most important things that I should do in my life is, learn to sail. Our older brother is an old seadog and had requested that we upskill to be able to join him on some proper voyages. So, we decided that it was time to heed my father’s advice and learn to sail properly. However, when we do something, we like to do it right and whole-heartedly, which led us to Wild West Sailing :)

How Was The Problem Affecting You?
The main problem was lack of knowledge and skills in this area. This led to a lack of confidence and a hesitation to get properly stuck in.

What Possible Solutions Did You Consider before coming to Wild West Sailing?
Before coming to Wild West Sailing, we had read some books, watched videos online etc., but these yield limited progress, as there is always a significant difference between what obtained from utilizing such second-hand information, with what one gets from experiencing a thing first-hand.

Why Did You Choose Wild West Sailing?
When looking for somewhere to learn to sail properly, we did the usual googling. The Wild West Sailing website really hit the right note for us. It was well presented, clear, concise and had a nice level of integrated video media to set the scene. It also clearly conveys the level of the instructor and his passion for sailing very well. It really captures the dream well, if that is a good way to put it? :)

What Would Have Happened If You Had NOT chosen to progress your passion for sailing further with Wild West Sailing?
This is a great question, as, at that time, our interest was strong, but I would not say that we had an instilled inherent passion for sailing. However, the time we spent with Wild West Sailing was so truly amazing that without doubt, was a turning point, Dave took a strong interest, and converted it into what’s shaping up to be a life-long passion. If we had not chosen to progress with Wild West Sailing, things could have been very different. Small choices in life can certainly have profound affects :)

What Risks Did You Consider?
Before signing up for courses in sailing in general, we were concerned about the potential elitist nature of something like sailing and that the on-board experience would be formal and tense. Wild West Sailing was the absolute opposite to our delight :) Extremely friendly, approachable, informal, easy-going… The whole experience for sure, set us on the path we are on today with a real passion for sailing.

What Reservations Did You Have?
Really, our fears would have been related to being out of our depth and if the course turned out to be a formal and intense environment, this would have not been enjoyable and would have inevitably led to poor learning. This could also quench an aspiring interest in sailing as a whole.

What Measurable Benefits Have You Seen?
After the course, we have a true passion for sailing and a significant boost in confidence. On top of this important confidence boost, it gave us the knowledge and skills to be able to sail and manoeuvre a boat confidently. For sure, after the course, we are significantly better sailors and have an unquenchable passion for sailing. To be honest, as a direct result of the wonderful experience with Wild West Sailing, we are currently in the process of buying our very own racing yacht. So, I think it is fair to say that, on and above our time with Wild West Sailing being an utterly wonderful experience, it was a truly life-changing experience.

Did you have any fun?
We had great fun! Given that our initial reservations in taking a proper sailing course, were related to it maybe being formal, intense and not a lot of fun, it came as a massive surprise that it was the complete opposite while we learned the skills and knowledge to set us on a course for a life-long passion.

By |2024-02-07T15:05:49+00:00February 4th, 2024|Questionnaire, Reviews|0 Comments

5 Reasons to Round IRL with Wild West Sailing

5 Reasons to Round IRL with Wild West Sailing

1. The Sailing

I suppose it might seem obvious as number one on the list but what is it about the sailing that’s so good? Our vessel “Lynx” (Reflex 38) is a fast and very capable yacht, designed and equipped to handle all offshore sailing conditions.

Our extensive wardrobe of sails and the very nature of a Round IRL Voyage means you will sail on all points of the wind. You will learn how to rig the boat properly and trim the sails for optimal performance upwind and downwind.

Helming “Lynx” is an absolute joy! You will learn, practice, and love it beating, reaching, and running while working in unison with your crew, executing seamless maneuvers with controlled sail handling.

It’s often been said that sailing is the easy part but how do you know where to go? What do you need to consider? What happens when it’s dark? These voyages will hone your navigation and passage planning skills and you will gain experience in both day and nighttime situations. You will learn invaluable practical techniques and develop new skills under the tutelage of our skippers who are only too keen to coach and answer your questions.

2. The Experience… and sense of achievement!

There is nothing like setting a goal and getting there. Wild West Sailing will do this and more! The crews on our Round Irl Voyages can vary in experience from novice to expert but ALL come home with a newfound confidence in their ability on the water, on the helm, and in navigation. Some crew signs up looking for an adventure with a difference; after all, how many of your friends have sailed right around Ireland?

However, everyone has a goal they wish to achieve and we are there to facilitate that in every way we can. Build QUALITY miles towards Yachtmaster qualification. Learn practical sailing tips while troubleshooting as you go. Learn from skippers and crew with thousands of miles and years of experience. Learn as much about yourself as you will about sailing and have the craic while you’re doing it!

Discuss your goals and expectations with the Wild West Sailing team and we will support you every step of the way.

3. The Irish wildlife and iconic sights

Whether you’re in it to hone your sailing skills or for the challenge, this unique experience is the ultimate staycation adventure. See the entirety of the Irish coastline in one epic voyage.

Visit the remote islands of Ireland such as Tory, Rathlin, Cape Clear, Inisbofin, and wherever else the wind blows us. Witness the breathtaking headlands and lighthouses you’ve probably heard of but possibly never seen such as Fair Head, Skellig Michael, Fastnet, and Tuskar Rock.

A Round IRL Voyage will open your eyes to the abundance of wildlife we have on our shores and allow you to reconnect with nature. You’re guaranteed to experience dolphins playfully approaching as we sail by on a daily basis and depending on the month, humpback or pilot whales and basking sharks.

We have had puffins land on deck and close-ups of sea birds such as oystercatchers, gannets, terns, and herons are commonplace and mesmerising as they dive for fish and glide through the air, seemingly without a care in the world.

4. Crew, Craic, and Comradery

We love to bring a new group of people together and see the camaraderie develop almost instantly! Everyone is on-board to share the same experience and help each other under the guidance of our amazing skippers. Off the boat, we eat in fantastic restaurants, (the island’s hidden gems) and we toast to the adventures just past and of course, the ones to come.

You will forget the world’s chaos and connect with people and nature. Lost in the simplicity of the natural beauty, your friendships on board are made to last. You will always be the crew that circumnavigated the island of Ireland as one… plus your Instagram will be the envy of many :)

5. Because with Wild West Sailing you can!

One of our core values at WWS is to make sailing as accessible as possible for those who wish to give it a try. Our Social Sailing and various weekend improvers courses are designed to introduce you to sailing, get you comfortable onboard and, then build your experience further.

WWS Round IRL Voyages are the perfect platform to enhance your experience. You automatically qualify for an Irish Sailing Competent Crew certificate having completed a Round IRL Voyage.

For our more experienced sailors, we build in your Coastal Skipper Certificate and you will gain valuable mileage, the required passages and the necessary night-time hours for your Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Exam.

Wherever you are in your sailing journey Wild West Sailing will bring you to the next level.

By |2024-02-07T15:07:36+00:00February 3rd, 2024|News, Reviews|0 Comments

Joe Attwood // FairWinds.ie – WWS Schools Sailing

I started sailing back in second year with the FairWinds program that was run in Summerhill College. When I first stepped on the boat I didn’t expect to like the sport but after being given the helm a few times I quickly began to get interested in the sport.

I kept up the Fairwinds program till it was in TY but in the midst of that I also started doing my levels out in Sligo Yacht Club on Picos and Mirror dinghies.

I was then recommended by Dave to do a J24 racing course which then got me into keelboat racing in which I’ve competed in Europeans, Nationals and many local events. After a lot of time just building on my skills and abilities I got offered to crew on Lynx for the Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022 in which we won the Sailing Schools class.. Last year I also became fully qualified as a Sailing instructor under Irish Sailing.

I spent my time instructing between Wild West Sailing and Sligo Yacht Club. I’m slowly beginning to work my way onto yacht deliveries with my first one being a 976 mile delivery starting in Jakobstad, Finland to Kristianstand , Norway on a brand new Swan 48 yacht. 

By |2023-09-07T14:34:03+00:00September 7th, 2023|Reviews|0 Comments

Matthew Ballintine // FairWinds.ie – WWS Schools Sailing

I started sailing back in second year with the FairWinds program that was run in Summerhill College. When I first stepped on the boat I didn’t expect to like the sport but after being given the helm a few times I quickly began to get interested in the sport.

I kept up the Fairwinds program till it was in TY but in the midst of that I also started doing my levels out in Sligo Yacht Club on Picos and Mirror dinghies.

I was then recommended by Dave to do a J24 racing course which then got me into keelboat racing in which I’ve competed in Europeans, Nationals and many local events. After a lot of time just building on my skills and abilities I got offered to crew on Lynx for the Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022 in which we won the Sailing Schools class.. Last year I also became fully qualified as a Sailing instructor under Irish Sailing.

I spent my time instructing between Wild West Sailing and Sligo Yacht Club. I’m slowly beginning to work my way onto yacht deliveries with my first one being a 976 mile delivery starting in Jakobstad, Finland to Kristianstand , Norway on a brand new Swan 48 yacht. 

By |2023-08-30T20:50:41+00:00August 30th, 2023|Reviews|0 Comments

Lynx Wild West Sailing onboard reporter, meet Damien

Lynx Wild West Sailing onboard reporter for the SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race Damien shares a little about himself, from 4 legs to two wheels and Atlantic swell he’s no stranger to ups and downs.

Name

Damien Duggan

What’s your job/profession? 

CMO of MODMO, wannabe Wild West Sailing ship mate and on board reporter for the race.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

There are so many people who I admire who have inspired me in life but having spent a lifetime involved in sports and racing of one type or another, the people I admire the most are those volunteers and coaches that give up their free time for the love of their sport just to help others, they are the unsung heroes in my opinion and they are right across society in every aspect of life.

Tell me three pet peeves.

Being late, being disorganised, and anything to do with dishwashers. (The machines)

What’s a typical day like for you? 

“I get up in the evening, and I ain’t got nothing to say” I come home in the morning, I go to bed feeling the same way” ah them were the days!! 

Not very exciting. Up at 7:30 am, get ready and herd the kids out to school. Usually into a few meetings then breakfast around 11:30 am. More meetings, then school run before feeding time at the zoo. I try to get sailing or ride my mountain bike most days or at least do some work on one of the above.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about or maybe would prefer not to know about?

I used to be a national hunt jockey in a previous life so I guess that’s a skill or maybe a surprise to some people.

If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?

Oh probably sailing to some exotic like Inis Mor or Martinique!!

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m still not sure I know the answer to that one but I did want to be a jockey and achieved that goal and did so for many years. 

If we went to happy hour, what would you order?

Several Mojitos.

Name three words that describe you.

Stubborn, resilient, and loyal, though I’m sure my friends would have a few others to add!

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

For sure it’s to successfully complete the SSE round Ireland yacht race this year and do our best as a crew, and enjoy the challenge along the way.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Outside of family, either sailing or riding my mountain bike, something with an element of adventure, I don’t do relaxing very well.

What would be your personal motto?

Not sure I have a specific one but I heard a saying once that I think is very relevant for happiness and success in life which is ‘go where you’re celebrated not where you are tolerated” In other words surround yourself with like-minded people and don’t worry about the detractors.  

What inspired you to do the SSE race around Ireland?

I’ve been sailing now for 4 years and prior to that have spent a lifetime competing and racing be that on horses or two wheels. The temptation has always been there to try yacht racing. Having done several courses with Wild West Sailing I was inspired by David and Cian when I saw the programme the guys put together for this year’s race. Spanning 18 days was just a no-brainer for me with the opportunity to learn so much, meet like-minded people and challenge myself along the way. I just can’t wait to be on the start line, or maybe the finish line!

Sign up for the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Wild West Sailing Race Programme today. https://wildwestsailing.com/racing/


Tune in to our social channels to hear from the Lynx Wild West Sailing crew on the SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race

By |2022-07-29T18:58:16+00:00June 13th, 2022|Questionnaire, SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race|0 Comments

Race Around Ireland Bow Man Number 2 // Matthew “Living the Dream” Ballantyne.

Meet bow-man number two, Matthew “living the dream” Ballantyne ahead of his biggest challenge to date the Race Around Ireland.

Name

Matthew Ballantyne 

What’s your job/profession? 

Sailing instructor and handyman for wild west sailing, also Cians apprentice.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

I admire my grandad as he was a man that had an answer for everything and introduced me to a lot of the stuff I’m interested in now, and he was a man that could do any job from mechanics to singing to painting.

Tell me three pet peeves. 

Being told I’m wrong when I’m right, people biting their forks when eating, being in Cians car when he’s playing Katy perry.

What’s a typical day like for you? 

Waking up at whatever time I feel like, or an hour before work if I have it, I normally check if I’ve work for the day and work around it if I wanna hang out with mates or watch Netflix then walk my dog is the only guarantee. It’s pretty much your average teenager’s day

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about or maybe would prefer not to know about?

I can do belly rolls, don’t ask why.

If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?

Probably in my own bed.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

It was either a mechanic or a Jedi.

If we went to happy hour, what would you order?

Whatever’s cheapest, (you mean Fanta!)

Name three words that describe you.

Cocky, overconfident, and clumsy 

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

Mainly to finish the around Ireland yacht race, and to be Cian or Dave in J24 racing. 

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Listening to music is my go-to, nothing is better than music.

What would be your personal motto?

“Ships don’t sink because of water around them, ships sink cause of water in them. Don’t let what’s going on around you bring you down”.

What inspired you to do the SSE race around Ireland?

I was mainly inspired by my competitiveness and my desire to race yachts and to have big bragging rights on my mates and family.


Keep up to date on the wild West Sailing crew’s journey on the Race Around Ireland by following our social channels.

By |2022-06-13T15:10:42+00:00June 13th, 2022|Questionnaire, SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lynx Bowman Number One Joe Attwood // Wild West Sailing

Lynx bowman number one Joe Attwood. He’s a man of few words (almost none) but when he speaks we all listen. His center of gravity is low and his spirits are always high, he’s the right man for the job!

Name 

Joe Attwood 

What’s your job/profession? 

Hospitality.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

My dad because he inspires me to work harder every day.

Tell me three pet peeves.

Lazy people and small-mindedness are the only things that bother me.

What’s a typical day like for you? 

Wake up shower eat steak and eggs go sailing in Sligo then get a burrito watch pulp fiction and read a book.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about or maybe would prefer not to know about?

Play the didgeridoo.

If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?

In the Mediterranean soaking up the sun.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A marine biologist.

 If we went to happy hour, what would you order?

Dark and stormy 

Name three words that describe you.

Confident, personable, trustworthy 

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

Begin working in the sailing industry 

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

I enjoy my own company so just relax and chilling out.

What would be your personal motto?

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you but make allowance for their doubting too”

What inspired you to do the SSE race around Ireland?

To improve my sailing skills and push myself out of my comfort zone. Being assigned the role of Lynx Bowman Number One gives me that challenge.


Follow us on social media and stay tuned to see how Lynx bowman number one Joe, and the rest of the Wild West Sailing Crew get on in the SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race.

By |2022-06-13T14:58:02+00:00June 13th, 2022|Questionnaire, SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race|0 Comments

SSE Yacht Race Around Ireland // Wild West Sailing Crew // Dale Patterson

On his travels and going with the flow, meet Dale who found himself getting roped into the Wild West Sailing SSE Yacht Race Around Ireland Crew.

Name

Dale Patterson

What’s your job/profession?

I own an Engineering/Import/Export company that enables me to do a bunch of sailing.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

A friend who unfortunately passed away, he knew who was and didn’t care what people thought of him. There was a valuable lesson in not caring too much about what others think.

Tell me three pet peeves.

People who aren’t on time just kill me, really the only thing that rips my shorts.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I check the weather, then I shop for boats, then I check the markets, then I shop for smaller boats.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about or maybe would prefer not to know about?

I can snore I’m told.

If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?

Anywhere warm.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I wanted to build boats, mission accomplished.

If we went to happy hour, what would you order?

3 Dark and stormy thanks.

Name three words that describe you.

A competent quiet sometimes Idiot.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

I’d like to make it home to New Zealand.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

I like to do a bit of cooking and a bit of gardening when I’m able.

What would be your personal motto?

Be the change you want to see in the world.

What inspired you to do the SSE yacht race around Ireland.

Not inspired but rather told it would be amazing and it probably will be.


Follow the Wild West sailing social media channels to stay up to date on how we are doing on the SSE Yacht Race Around Ireland.

By |2022-06-13T14:46:36+00:00June 12th, 2022|Questionnaire, SSE Round Ireland Yacht Race|0 Comments

Title

Go to Top