What’s this about the tiny Glandore Harbour Yacht Club having the largest, most active Dragon Fleet in the country? Sally Fegan-Wyles reports from West Cork
On a cold winter night fifteen years ago, a bar-side conversation turned a great idea into reality. GHYC members were reflecting on the lack of local participation in the summer sailing school. Children were coming from Dublin and Cork, or even further afield, but not from the area around Glandore. The problem was that there was no tradition of sailing for fun in the local farming or fishing families. Yachts were for blow-ins.
It was Debbie Bendon who suggested providing free introductory classes to children from the local primary schools, hoping that if they had a great time, some of them might persuade their parents that they should come to the summer school courses. Debbie, Avril Cooke, and Neville Scott started to work with Glandore Primary School Headmaster Vincent O’Neill, and parents Noreen O’Mahoney and Kathleen Hayes to make it happen.
Fast forward 15 years, and meet Kevin Hayes, dairy farmer, former senior sailing instructor GHYC ISA training, and Captain of the Glandore Fleet of 13 Dragons. No one in Kevin’s family had been on the water before the national schools programme started, but now there are five sailing Hayes’, Michele, Clare, Kevin, Rebecca and Peter, three of whom crewed at the 2016 Irish Dragon Championship in Kinsale.
And it’s not just the Hayes, hundreds of local youngsters from four local primary schools (Glandore, Leap, Union Hall and Abbystrewry) have been through the programme, which is now run by Anne O’Mahoney. Many of them have gone on to attend further sailing courses, and are now coming back as sailing instructors, either in Glandore, or in sailing clubs in the US, where GHYC graduates have a great reputation.
Interview with Kathleen Hayes
How did you feel when you first heard of the programme?
“Ever since I saw a line of little mirrors coming into the harbor, with the heads of the summer school children hardly up to the sides of the boat, I was determined that someday my children would learn to sail. So we jumped at the chance. Michele was the first, and I went down to the harbor with my camera to watch. She came off the water on such a ‘high’- the fun they had, and the level of excitement- if we could only bottle the joy that those children felt our fortune would be made.”
Was Kevin equally keen?
“He took to it like a duck to water. Normally a rather shy child, he could not wait for us to leave when we dropped him off. Already when he was 10-11, he was helping to teach the children from the other schools. All five of our children then went to the GHYC summer school for the full set of sailing courses, and then did the instructors course. So far Michelle, Clare and Kevin have all worked as instructors, with Rebecca starting this summer, and Peter chomping at the bit.”
And what about yourself?
“I would have loved to sail, but its too late for me to learn. Instead I get out on the water on any boat I can hitch a ride from, and I take pictures. Still trying to capture the joy of sailing”.
A simple idea has changed the nature of GHYC, building a level of local engagement that is not always seen in yacht clubs, and ensuring that GHYC has a very bright future.
Guests from Spain, France, UK, together with a large contingent from Kinsale and Glandore matched those from Dublin Bay.
Throughout the evening Dragon characters of the wooden era to recounted some amusing memories, notably Conor Doyle, John Kidney, Bill Riordan, Tom Fitzpatrick, Dan O'Connor, Reggie Goodbody, the present Dublin Bay class captain Conor Grimley and not forgetting Tony O'Gorman.
A wonderful "slide show" of over 200 pictures of Dragons and their crews from 1962 up to the present day ran during the proceedings in the background.
Among the memorabilia on display was part of a broken wooden mast, Eddie Keliher's souvenir medal from the 1964 Olympic Games and a letter from Paul Osterberg describing his father bringing the first Dragon named Alp(h)a, into Ireland in 1937, some 80 years ago, delivered with sails to Dublin docks at a cost of £300.
Irish National Dragon Champions
Year Boat Helm Crew Crew
1966 ADYAR G.F.Crosbie R.D’Alton P.D.Crosbie
1967 MEDUSA J.O.T.Hughes
1970 MAJ-BRITT A.Holm P.Holm P.R.Hoj-Jensen
1971 MEDUSA J.O.T.Hughes
1972 ALETTA S.A.Flood R.Michael R.Rafter
1973 ALPHIDA S.A.Flood H. Byrne J.McMenamin
1974 CRAZY IV T.N.Goodbody A.Smyth S.Dyke
1975 TRITON C.Good J.Fleurie F.O’Keefe
1976 GALAX A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll T.Ender
1977 PANCHO J.Kidney H.D.Boyd D.G.Nolan
1978 GALAX A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll T.Ender
1979 GALAX A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll T.Ender
1980 GALAX A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll T.Ender
1981 HIKARI J.Kidney L.Kidney D.G.Nolan
1982 WARLORD II P.Tolhurst J.McWilliams C.Melville
1983 TITAN G.Owens B.O’Connor R.Rafter/T.Fitzpatrick
1984 GALAX A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll T.Ender
1985 ALPHIDA C.Doyle G.O’Gorman K.Jolley
1986 HIKARI J.Kidney L.Kidney D.G.Nolan
1987 SABBATICAL R.D.Browne P.V.Maguire B.Pollett
1988 INFINITY A.O’Gorman G.O’Driscoll J.Mulcahy
1989 ELSA C.Doyle G.O’Gorman B.Lynch
1990 INFINITY A.O’Gorman W.O’Connor D.Mathews
1991 YANKEE-DOODLE G.Foster M.Covell G.Bailey
1992 IF G.A.Crosbie R.Jacob P.F.Crosbie
1993 DANISH BLUE P.R.Hoj-Jensen A.Shires C.Brittan
1994 DANISH BLUE P.R.Hoj-Jensen S.Brien C.Brittan
1995 KIN S.Brien M.Shanahan D.Caskey
1996 KIN S.Brien M.Brien D.Caskey
1997 DAS BOOT J.Lavery P.V.Maguire M.Covell
1998 WHISPER M.Cotter D.O’Dowd P.R.Hoj-Jensen
1999 DANISH BLUE P.R.Hoj-Jensen M.Payne W.Rappel Jnr
2000 WHISPER M.Cotter D.O’Dowd P.R.Hoj-Jensen
2001 CHIMERA A.Craig A.Shanks G.Elmes
2002 DANISH BLUE P.R.Hoj-Jensen W.Rappel Jnr J.Jordan
2003 PHANTOM N.Hegarty P.Bowring D.Williams
2004 KIN S.Brien P.R.Hoj-Jensen A.O’Connell
2005 STAMPEDE M.Payne J.Mortimer D.Grindley
2006 SINEWAVE T.Müller V.Hoesch M.Scheibmayr
2007 PHANTOM N.Hegarty P.Bowring D.Williams
2008 JAGUAR M.Byrne P.deAndrade A.Winkleman
2009 PHANTOM N.Hegarty P.Bowring D.Williams
2010 JAGUAR M.Byrne A.Winkleman P.deAndrade
2011 JAGUAR M.Byrne A.Winkleman P.deAndrade
2012 DANISH BLUE P.R.Hoj-Jensen A.Norden D.Ordenburg
Dragon Edinburgh Cup Winners
|2012||Simon Brien||KIN (IRL214)||Cultra|
|2011||Martin Byrne||Jaguar (IRL201)||Abersoch|
|2010||Klaus Diederichs||Fever (NOR282)||Cowes|
|2009||Bill Hardesty||Gorgeous Worgeous (GBR723)||Falmouth|
|2008||Don O'Donoghue||Seabird (IRL204)||Plymouth|
|2007||David Palmer||Princess Jalina (GBR 700)||Weymouth|
|2006||P R Hoj-Jensen||Danish Blue (GBR705)||Cowes|
|2005||P R Hoj-Jensen||Danish Blue (GBR705)||Lowestoft|
|2004||R Bowman||Yeah Baby (GBR662)||Torbay|
|2003||R Bowman||Yeah Baby (GBR662)||Clyde|
|2002||P R Hoj-Jensen||Danish Blue (GBR685)||Cowes|
|2001||R Bowman||Yeah Baby (GBR662)||Falmouth|
|2000||S Brien||Kin (IRL157)||Cultra, NI|
|1999||M Payne/D Hall||Flame Again (GBR617 )||Lowestoft|
|1998||P Dann||Tyr (GBR591)||Torbay|
|1997||R Bowman||Ygraine (GBR626)||Edinburgh|
|1996||P R Hoj-Jensen||Danish Blue (GBR612)||Cowes|
|1995||R Bowman||Loki (GBR503)||Falmouth|
|1994||R D Brown||Sabbatical (GBR591)||Bangor|
|1993||P R Hoj-Jensen||Danish Blue (GBR585)||Forth|
|1992||I Ratnage||Water Rat (DK552)||Lowestoft|
|1991||G Foster||Yankee Doodle (US299)||Clyde|
|1990||G Foster||Yankee Doodle (US294)||Cowes|
|1989||C J Thornton||Warrior (DK557)||Torquay|
|1988||S Fulford||Wisp (DK507)||Abersoch|
|1987||R Bowman||Loki (DK503)||Lowestoft|
|1986 - tie||R Bowman||Loki (DK503)||Strangford Lough (unofficial as only 4 races )|
|1986 - tie||T G Wade||Avalanche IV (DK497)||Strangford Lough (unofficial as only 4 races )|
|1985||B Borresen||BB XXIII (DD245)||Edinburgh|
|1984||T O'Gorman||Galax (IR4)||Cowes|
|1983||T G Wade||Avalanche IV (DK497)||Torbay|
|1982||T O'Gorman||Galax (IR4)||Abersoch|
|1981||N Truman||Tertius (DK415)||Lowestoft|
|1980||T O'Gorman||Galax (IR4)||Cultra, NI|
|1979||P Stuelken||Red Dot (G545)||Edinburgh|
|1978||A O'Gorman||Galax (IR4)||Cowes|
|1977||Brig.P.Henson & NJ Streeter||Fanfare (K480)||Torbay|
|1976||C. Doyle||Alphida (IR7)||Abersoch|
|1975||C. Doyle||Alphida (IR7)||Edinburgh|
|1974||J. Gilmour Manuel||Tarka (K448)||Lowestoft|
|1972||S. Tait||Royalist (K455)||Cowes|
|1971||J. McMenamin/R. Hennessy||Alphida (IR7)||Cultra, NI|
|1970||D & A Young||Jane (GBR374)||Torbay|
|1969||KL Gumley||Rogue (K445)||Absersoch|
|1968||P. Dyas||Jerboa II (K432)||Edinburgh|
|1967||RD Judah||Salamander (K370)||Clyde|
|1966||S. Tait||Nerus (K398)||Lowestoft|
|1965||Ros Miller & J Leask||Blue Haze (K375)||Cowes|
|1964||LD & KL Gumley||Karen II (K377)||Belfast|
|1963||M Parry||Andromeda (K381)||Torbay|
|1962||NG Booth||Adios (KA71)||Abersoch|
|1961||CO Svae||Spaghetti (N228)||Clyde|
|1960||Mr.MrS JA Caulcutt, JMF Orean||Venture (K313)||Lowestoft|
|1959||Bruce Banks & WC Lucas||Apollyon (K201)||Cowes|
|1958||AF Buckley/DR. AJ Mooney||Nirvana II (K254)||Cultra, NI|
|1957||P. Dyas||Viking (K276)||Torbay|
|1956||Marchese Paolo Pallacicino||Aretusa (I18)||Clyde|
|1955||KH Preston & J Raymond||Tania (K278)||Lowestoft|
|1954||W. Godon Smith||Vana (K272)||Bembridge|
|1953||AF Buckley||Ashaka (K92)||Cultra, NI|
|1952||JA Day||Taiseer (K83)||Torbay|
|1950||FR Woodroffe & CW Wallow||Blue Skies (K214)||Lowestoft|
|1949||FR Woodroffe & CW Wallow||Blue Skies (K214)||Cowes|
The 'George Dragon Team claimed victory yesterday at the International Dragon Team Racing Event with race wins in the final against the Dutch and British teams from Royal Netherlands Yacht Club and Royal Thames YC.
The Royal St. George Team with Martin Byrne, Tim Pearson & Peter Bowring (helms) and John O'Connor, Marcus Pearson and Paul Maguire (crew) were tied with the Dutch and British teams going into the finals. However a last minute "photo finish" on the line gave the Irish a 1,3,6 winning score against the Royal Thames Team. The 'George Team won all their races today.
The annual event was hosted this year by the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club in Amsterdam, Holland.
A single point margin gave Jaguar sailed by Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Donal Small the Irish Dragon title in Kinsale this afternoon. The RStGYC entry best local hope Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, David Good and Simon Furney sailing 'Little Fella' in a seven race series.
Royal St. George boats took three of the top four places in the 12–boat fleet. Cloud sailed by Clare Hogan, Neil Hogan, Bill Nolan and Graeme Grant took third overall beating defending champions Phantom David Williams, Arthur Meighan, Hilary Murray and Ed Butler in fourth overall.Despite the relatively small turnout, it was a very hard fought contest. Going into the final race both Good and Byrne were on equal points but to win Good had to beat Byrne and finish in the top six. It was not to be and the first five overall were only separated by a point each (22–26 points)
Royal St. George's Jaguar sailed by Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Donal Small lead the Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon National Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club after three races sailed writes Bob Bateman. The Dun Laoghaire crew lead by four points from Kinsale locals Cameron Good Henry Kingston/ David Good Simon Furney who were winners of the Glandore based South coast championshps held a fortnight ago. Third is Byrne's club mate Clare Hogan skippering Cloud on equal points with Good's Little Fella. Racing continues tomorrow. Full results sheet downloadable below.
After a one hour postponement at the Dragon National Championships the decision was taken to abandon today's first day of racing due to fog and light winds writes Bob Bateman in Kinsale. The first gun tomorrow is scheduled for 11.55.
Proving sailing really is 'a sport for life' are four generations of the Maguire family from Dun Laoghaire, afloat on Dublin Bay recently in a Dragon keelboat. The Royal St. George Yacht Club clan were out for a day sail aboard Garry Treacy’s Dragon 'Dublin Bay'. Pictured from left is Great–grandad Noel (92), Grandad Paul (66), grandson Rory (38) and great grandson Evan (2). All four are eldest sons.
Is it another record for the international class that races for national championship honours in Kinsale, West Cork this weekend?
Racing began on Friday in a fresh 15–knot breeze when International Race Officer, Alan Crosbie, added a third race to the schedule because of expected gales on Saturday.
Defending champion, Cameron Good sailing "Little Fella" from Kinsale, started well with two race wins and a third. David Williams in "Phantom" from the Royal St George YC was consistent ending their day with a 2,3,2.
Martin Byrne's "Jaguar Sailing Team" recovered well to finish 5th in race one but only after returning to the start line to pick up Adam Winkelmann who fell overboard after their first tack and got separated from the boat. The Royal St George YC sailors followed that drama with a 2nd and 1st to lie a close third overall at the end of day one.
On Friday evening Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, who now have the largest Dragon Fleet in Ireland, hosted an excellent reception for the competitors in their Clubhouse by the harbour.
Saturday morning brought the expected gales and huge waves so Alan Crosbie made an early decision to cancel racing for the day. This allowed the competitors to enjoy the delights of West Cork in various locations from Skibereen to Schull and Baltimore before the championship dinner in Glandore village later that evening.
The expected forecast of 10 to 12 knots did not materialise on Sunday and the fleet of 17 Dragons had to wait until 1230hrs before race 4 started in a very light breeze. This turned out to be the only race of the day ahead of a deadline of 1400hrs. It turned out to be a competitive race with regular place changes in the shifting breeze.
With no discard coming into play the podium positions were all up for grabs and "Little Fella", "Jaguar" and "Phantom" finished 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall after keeping a close covering eye on each other in very a tactical race.
However it was Patrick Gifford, sailing "Basilisk" GBR 515, from Aldeburgh Yacht Club who won this race easily after leading at the top mark to move up and take 4th overall. Anthony O'Neill sailing "Tenacious" and Adrian Bendon in "Mar J", both from Kinsale were 5th & 6th overall.
The Dragon fleet remain on the South Coast for their National Championships which take place in Kinsale in two weeks time.