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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.

glandore dragon missfireGHYC Dragon class Captain Kevin sailing Miss Fire

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.

glandore sailingGlandore Harbour Yacht Club national school sail training in West Cork

 

Published in Dragon

Upwards of 160 Dragon sailors attended a classic dragon sailors reunion this month at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

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.

dragon start tokyo olympicsIreland in the front row of a Dragon start at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. IR2, Isolde – E.Kelliher, R.Dalton and H.Maguire. Photo: Hashimoto

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.

Published in Dragon

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 

1968

1689

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

Published in Dragon

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Winners

Year Helm Yacht Location
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
1973 N.J.Streeter Sandpiper (K459) Clyde
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
1951 T.Warrer Lil (D116) Clyde
1950 FR Woodroffe & CW Wallow Blue Skies (K214) Lowestoft
1949 FR Woodroffe & CW Wallow Blue Skies (K214) Cowes
Published in Dragon

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.

Published in Dragon

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)

Published in Dragon

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.

 
Published in Dragon

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.

Published in Dragon

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?

Published in Dragon

Dragons from the Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale and UK fleets joined the large Glandore Harbour Yacht Club fleet for the Irish South Coast Championships last 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.

Martin Byrne JaguarMartin 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

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.

Published in Dragon
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