Where Are They Now: Conor Fogerty
Conor Fogerty was voted Irish Sailor of the Year in 2017 for his outstanding performance in the transatlantic single-handed OSTAR race, surviving a mid-ocean storm, in his Jeanneau 3600 Bam!, and far outstripping the rest of the fleet to place second overall and first in the Gipsy Moth class. Since then Fogerty has been speeding onto bigger and better things: he has launched a campaign for the 2020 Vendee Globe race, a single-handed non-stop global race in which he will sail Ireland’s first foiling keelboat, Raw, and will then be aiming for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Q. What are you up to currently? Tell me a little bit about what kind of work you do now.
A. My current project is “Raw” a Foiling Figaro 3, This year I’m racing the RORC circuit, including a Transatlantic and the Caribbean 600. Next year I will be doing the Solitair de Figaro single handed circuit, leading up to the possibility of the Olympics in 2024 in the double handed mixed keel boat.
Q. How did you first meet Nick, or start working for Reliance?
A. I first met Nick in 1995, almost 25 years ago! A lot of water has passed under the keel since then, for both of us. I signed up as crew to do a delivery, a Mooring 505, from St.Gills to Tortola, with Tobais Arnold as skipper. It was a wonderful experience, and gave me a thirst for more.
Q. How long did you work for Reliance, and what work did you get up to? Do you have any highlights?
A. My first skipper’s Job with Reliance was a Med Job for Sunsail in 1996, I then went on to do numerous Transatlantic’s, Med and Indian Ocean jobs, accumulating over 200,000nm. Some of the more memorable trips where: The longest Delivery ever! Sailing from Australia to the BVI, instead of heading East in to headwinds, it was decided to head West, an extra 4knm ontop! So Sailing half the world plus the extra 4k must be some sort of record… Or Canalling through France, passing some 150 locks and the stunning aqueduct in Lyon, whilst on passage from Greece to the UK.
Q. What skills did you require and/or develop while working at Reliance?
A. I think the most important skills I learnt from my time with Reliance, was people management, which came into play when I was selected as Skipper for the Clipper Round the world race in 2005/06, managing a crew of 18 racing around the world takes skill and experience, and my many miles as skipper with novice crew when working with Reliance was a definite advantage. I also believe that high standard of boat preparation (as with every delivery) has played a major role in my career. Having the knowledge and experience of what to expect, helped in winning the Single handed Transatlantic OSTAR in 2017.
Q. How did working at Reliance help you get to where you are now?
A. Through doing back to back deliveries to the BVI, I have met some characters, one was so impressed with my deliveries and stories, that plans where made under the Caribbean sun to buy him an Oster 70, which I ended up sailing around the world for three years with my wife back in 2000-03.
Q. What influence did Reliance have on your career?
A. I am now a professional offshore racer, without gaining valuable miles (100’s of thousands) with Reliance, I’m sure the path would have been different. And in the back of mind, I’m pretty sure my days with Reliance aren’t done!
Conor’s website, focussing upon his RAW project: http://conorfogertyracing.com/
For more in this series check out: Where Are They Now: Dùghall Maclachlainn