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The 121-year-old Howth Yacht Club, which has one of the largest yacht or sailing club memberships in the country, saw Joe McPeake succeed Berchmans Gannon unopposed as Commodore at a very well-attended Annual General Meeting in the club on Thursday December 8th writes W M Nixon.

What may well be a record AGM turnout of 275 voting members gave strong support to the new management team, which retains former officers Emmet Dalton as Vice Commodore, Ian Byrne and Jonathan Wormald as Rear Commodores, and Bernadette Condy as Honorary Secretary, while the new Honorary Treasurer is David Mulligan. He is an experienced financial administrator while also being a sailor’s sailor who actively campaigned a classic Howth 17 and then an Etchells 22, following which he has been a stalwart as an owner-skipper in the white-sail cruiser class.

New Commodore Joe McPeake – who was formerly Rear Commodore – is a lawyer and property developer who has been an HYC member for 26 years, and is a boat owner who has recently concentrated on cruising under both power and sail, his ventures including reaching the Arctic Circle along the Norwegian coast in a Contest ketch. But he has also raced locally, and in national regatta weeks, as well as racing round Ireland.

A strong committee moves into place combining much new talent with many experienced long time voluntary workers for sailing and HYC. While - like many clubs - Howth has gone through difficulties during the lean years, the meeting concluded in an optimistic mood, as the good news included the fact that a much-needed roof replacement project has come in on time and within budget.

HOWTH YACHT CLUB J80Some of the record fleet in the current Brass Monkeys series at Howth competing their final race of the first half on Sunday, with an HYC-owned J/80 foreground .

As though to emphasise the spirit of can-do optimism which became the HYC mood around mid-meeting, next day saw the annual and decidedly convivial charity lunch organized by top offshore skipper Dave Cullen. It featured a presentation by Marcus Hutchinson (originally of Howth) about the Vendee Globe and Enda O’Coineen’s participation in it, including a live interview with the gallant man himself deep into the Southern Ocean, while the event raised €27,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Research.

Then next day the annual HYC Brass Monkeys Winter League – now approaching its 30th year of organisation by Pat Connolly – concluded its first half with a record fleet racing including J/80s from HYC’s own training fleet.

Following that, the noted toy distributor S Claus of North Pole Enterprises came to call on Sunday (yesterday), and then this Thursday (December 15th) sees perhaps the most legendary annual event in the HYC social calendar, the Ladies Lunch organised by Martina Gannon and her team, this year in support of The Ross Nugent Foundation. Guest speaker this year is Howth’s own Susan Whelan, who is CEO of Premiership champions Leicester City Football Club. Needless to say, the event has long been a sell-out.

santa yacht reindeerComing to a club near you – the noted Toy Distributor S Claus of North Pole Enterprises has been using some novel ways of going about his business this year

Published in Howth YC

In an event and at a time of the year that always promises to challenge the skills of keelboat sailors, the 37th consecutive year of Howth Yacht Club’s Autumn League didn’t disappoint the hundreds of competitors who entered and completed the six-week series this weekend. Losing two of the race days due to the contrasting weather conditions that are to be expected in September and October in these latitudes, only demonstrated that those who emerged as winners in the eight competing classes (and 15 divisions) could rightfully boast about having the ability to succeed in a variety of weather conditions, sea states and in a mix of ‘round the cans’ and ‘windward-leeward’ race courses.

The final day gave the competitors a light breeze of 10-12 knots from the southeast, increasing steadily over the 90 to 120 minutes that they would take to complete their last race of the series. The race management team cleverly utilised the race schedule to ensure that the event would be completed having given the competing teams 5 races, including two windward-leeward on one of the days – this despite having to cancel two race days as mentioned above.

HYC’s Commodore Berchmans Gannon praised the race management teams for their skillful work and relayed the thanks of the 600 competing sailors. He also thanked event sponsors MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz for the huge added value that they were able to bring to the event, observing how they have become an integral partner to the club and their support is greatly appreciated by the members, guests, event competitors and visitors.

The final prizegiving is always a lengthy affair and this year’s presentations were no exception with over 40 different prizes awarded, including presentations to the ‘Team Event’ winners – Howth 17 ‘Aura’, Puppeteer ‘Gold Dust’ and the Half Tonner ‘Harmony’. David Cullen’s ‘Checkmate’ won the overall event and Heineken Trophy and the trophy was presented to crew Aidan Beggan.

A special presentation was made to Howth RNLI and Rupert Jeffares by event sponsors Brendan Grace and Dean Fullston from MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz, with a cheque for €1000.

Competitors and their guests enjoyed the post event celebrations at the event dinner in HYC and in the very many local restaurants that were booked out everywhere in the village and then returned back to the club for the live entertainment and late DJ.

The other winners:

IRC 
Class 1 Storm (Pat Kelly) 

Class 2 Checkmate XV (Cullen/ Biggs)

Class 3 Alliance II (Vincent Gaffney)

Class 4 Tiger (Harris/ Hughes)

Class 5 Demelza (Steffi Ennis/ Windsor Lauden)

ECHO

Class 1 Sourfiere (Stephen O'Flaherty) 

Class 2 Kodachi (Wright/ DeNeve)

Class 3 Kahera (R Camier)

Class 4 Splashdance (Howard McMullen)

Class 5 Mary Ellen (Kevin O'Byrne)

Scratch Handicap

Puppeteers Harlequin (David Clarke/ Liam Egan) Flycatcher (Frank Dillon)

Howth 17s Isobel (Brian & Conor Turvey) Silver Moon (Susan Morgan)

Taste of Racing Leahanne McHenry

Published in Howth YC

Following the cancellation of two days racing in mid-series due to adverse weather, this year's MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz Autumn League competitors enjoyed two races this Saturday, affording the competing teams a real opportunity to challenge the leaders in all 8 classes. Aided by an ever-increasing wind forecast, the race management teams chose to run two windward-leeward courses for both inshore and offshore fleets. Multiple windward-leeward race starts are always a risky undertaking, but the HYC teams used their considerable experience to manage two races for each fleet within the time limit.

Having now completed 4 races, a discard now applies and allows competitors to accumulate their best 3 results before including next Saturday's last race of the six week series. The limited time to complete this week's two races made for very close and exciting racing with short legs and very busy mark-roundings. Boat handling was crucial as only seconds separated many of the classes in each race.

It was business as usual on the 'Offshore' course, with Pat Kelly's Storm winning the first race but their DNC (Did Not Compete) in the second race leaves it all to play for in Class 1 IRC. It would appear that Stephen O'Flaherty's immaculate Spirit 54 Soufriere will certainly be a contender for the ECHO prize in that class next week.

A first and second place for Dave Cullen and his team on Checkmate guarantees that the Cullen/Biggs Half-Tonner will collect the Class 2 IRC trophy next week and meant that they could pack the boat into its winter storage a week earlier than anyone else. Second place will certainly go the last race, with two other Half-Tonners The Big Picture and King One along with Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbe's Fusion all contending for the remaining spoils. A late-season run of form sees Darren Wright and Rick DeNeve's Kodachi 'neck-and-neck' with Dux and Harmony for next week's overall ECHO result.

The application of discards certainly condenses the leaderboard in Class 3, which presents itself as anyone's game with one day to go. Always prominent at the top of the Autumn League scoresheet, Vince Gaffney's Alliance II will race the two K25 teams on their J24s Johnny Bravo and Scandal as well as Kahera and Fulmar Fever for the top prize. The fact that a 4th place IRC prize will be presented means that Fulmar Fever is also likely to be jousting for the ECHO trophy with Jonathan Wormald's Formula 28 Starlet.

The Harris/ Hughes team on their Beneteau Tiger are being hunted down by Dermot Skehan's Toughnut in Class 4, with Harry Byrne's Alphida only 2 points behind. This class is notable for the pedigree of its 'senior' racers, proving that skill and determination are more than a match for youth and enthusiasm in our sport! The ECHO prize might go to either Howard McMullen's Splashdance or Kieran Jameson's Changeling in a result that might replicate the event statistics of many previous decades.

An impressive string of wins in Class 5 means that Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis's Shamrock 28 Demelza is already guaranteed the trophy while Declan Gray's Sapphire and Vincent Lundy's Cheyenne lead the class for the ECHO prize and the Denis Wickham Trophy.

Nothing separates Gold Dust and Harlequin in the Puppeteer Class and it's very unlikely that the chasing boats (Trick or Treat and Yellow Peril) will manage to make an impression on the leaders, whose impressive results show them tied on 4 points each after 4 races. However in the Handicap division, the bookies won't be taking any money on Frank Dillon's Flycatcher whose results suggest a remarkable improvement in form within the 17-boat fleet.

Never a class to sit quietly, the Howth Seventeens emerged from a protest that saw just 6 boats scored in a race 2 weeks ago, and consequently many must have been glad to be able to apply their discard following the races this weekend. Two wins by the Turveys' Isobel puts their team at the top of the leaderboard, just ahead of Peter Courtney's Oona and Michael and Jane Duffy's Hera is a further 3 points behind. An effective class handicapping system means that the improved performances of Silver Moon and Eileen affords them the opportunity to compete for the Alphida Cup next week.

One of the most remarkable successes of this year's Autumn League has been the popularity of the 'Taste of Racing', a formula devised by Fergus O'Kelly and utilising the four ISA Sailfleet J80s with a selection of experienced HYC keelboat racers offering a tutorial to keen and prospective racing sailors that are new to the sport. Four of the clubs new J80s are also being chartered by members and are competing in Class 2.

The race management team have confirmed that they will be running a single final race next week and remind competitors of the earlier first warning signal time of 13:00. There are still limited places available at the event dinner and bookings can be made by contacting the office at 01 8322141.

Published in Howth YC

Following its national championships at Howth Yacht Club in June, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) is seeking feedback on the event via an online questionnaire.

ICRA commodore Simon McGibney says the survey aims to get views on how the event went for attendees but it also seeks the views of non attendees. The survery can be taken here

The next ICRA National Championships take place in at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 2017

Published in ICRA

ICRA has published provisional class divisions for next week's 73–boat national championship fleet at Howth Yacht Club. The divisions are as expected but this year's class two has been forced to combine boats that in previous championships sailed in classes two and three but due to numbers in 2016 are sailing as one class next week. See full table below with divisions, IRC TCC and ECHO handicaps.

The cruiser–racer national championships is to be staged at the north Dublin venue for a record fifth time. The three day event, from next Friday, will decide eight national titles and Corinthian Cups across a combined fleet Read more about the championships here.

Sail NumberBoat NameModelOwnerClubIRC TCCECHODIV
IRL4208 WOW Farr 42 George Sisk Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.123 1.125 0
IRL4076 Meridian Salona 45 Tom Roche Kinsale Yacht Club 1.112 1.115 0
IRL2007 Jump Juice Ker 36.7 Conor Phelan Royal Cork Yacht Club 1.109 1.105 0
GBR8038 ROXSTAR XP38i FINDLAY & ANDERSON Clyde crusing club #N/A #N/A 0
IRL1507 Aquelina J/122 Sheila Tyrrell James Tyrrell Arklow Sailing Club #N/A #N/A 0
GBR4041 LICKS First 40 Jay Colville East Down Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 0
               
               
IRL10800 Rockabill VI JPK 10.80 2.15 fin6 Paul O'Higgins Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.046 1.045 1
IRL13500 D-TOX X 35 McSwiney, McStay, Sherry & O'Rafferty Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.044 1.045 1
GBR7377 Impostor Corby 33 Richard Fildes SCYC 1.035 #N/A 1
IRL7778 Gringo Archambault A 35 Tony Fox National Yacht Club 1.024 1.025 1
IRL3061 Fools Gold Archambault A 35 Robert Mc Connell WHSC 1.022 1.025 1
IRL9898 Indecision J/109 declan hayes & patrick halpenny Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.021 1.015 1
FRA37296 TRIPLE ELF First 35 CHRISTINE AND ROBIN MURRAY FAIRLIE YC /CLYDE CRUISING CLUB 1.020 #N/A 1
IRL1383 Ruth J/109 Shanahan Family National Yacht Club 1.015 1.015 1
IRL1141 storm J/109 pat kelly rsc/hyc 1.014 1.015 1
IRL1206 Joker 2 J/109 John Maybury Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.014 1.015 1
IRL5109 Jalapeno J/109 Barrington/Despard/O'Sullivan National Yacht Club 1.014 1.015 1
IRL811 RAPTOR Mills 30 CR DENIS HEWITT & ORS. Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.013 1.020 1
GBR2342 White Mischief J/109 Timothy and Richard Goodbody Royal Irish Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 1
GBR7709R Justjay J/109 Nigel Ingram Holyhead 1.012 #N/A 0
IRL29213 Something Else J/109 Brian & John Hall National Yacht Club 1.011 1.015 1
GBR8933R Bon Exemple XP 33 1.90 Colin Byrne Royal Irish Yacht Club 1.009 1.015 1
IRL3470 Flashback First 34.7 Breen/Hogg Howth Yacht Club 0.987 1.000 1
IR7991 Jigamaree J/109 Ronan Harris Royal Irish Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 1
IRL3670 Altair First 36.7 Losty/Dorgan Cove Sailing Club #N/A #N/A 1
               
               
               
IRL1332 Equinox X 332 Ross McDonald Howth Yacht Club 0.980 0.980 2
IRL9970 Lambay Rules J/97 Stephen Quinn Howth Yacht Club 0.971 0.980 2
IRL8094 king one First Evolution 30 David Kelly rsc/hyc 0.958 0.955 2
IRL2706 Kodachi Corby 27 Rick de Neve Howth Yacht Club 0.955 0.955 2
IRL1343 Arcturus Sun Odyssey 37 Peter & Declan McCabe Howth Yacht Club #N/A 0.945 2
IRL5522 the Big Picture MG HS30 michael & Richard Evans Howth Yacht Club 0.945 0.945 2
IRL2016 Checkmate XV MG HS30 David Cullen Howth Yacht Club 0.944 0.945 2
IRL1484 Harmony #N/A John Swan Howth Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 2
IRL2552 Fusion Corby 25 Colwell & Cobbe Howth Yacht Club 0.934 0.935 2
IRL988 Dux X 302 Anthony Gore-Grimes Howth Yacht Club 0.927 0.930 2
IRL3022 XEBEC X 302 Bourke,McGirr,Ball Howth Yacht Club 0.927 0.930 2
IRL7495 Maximus X 302 Paddy Kyne Howth Yacht Club 0.924 0.930 2
IRL1103 Viking X 302 K.Darmody & M.Patterson Howth Yacht Club 0.923 0.930 2
IRL8223 Kamikaze #N/A Peter Nash Royal St. George Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 2
               
             
IRL4571 Flyover Sigma 33ood David Marchant Waterford Harbour Sailing Club 0.913 0.910 3
IRL508 Quest Humphreys 1/4 Ton Barry Cunningham & Jonathan Skerritt Royal Irish Yacht Club 0.906 0.905 3
IRL6559 White Hunter Formula 28 MOD Joss Walsh Howth Yacht Club 0.906 0.905 3
IRL6136 Starlet Formula 28 Wormald / Walsh Howth Yacht Club 0.905 0.905 3
FRA9186 Cartoon Quarter Ton Fauroux Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack Royal Irish Yacht Club 0.895 0.900 3
IRL9538 Running Wild - Seachange Now Impala 28ood Brendan Foley Royal St. George Yacht Club 0.889 0.890 3
IRL3060 Jumpin' Jive J/24 Mark Usher Greystones Sailing Club 0.887 0.885 3
IRL4794 Hard on Port J/24 Flor O'Driscoll Howth Yacht Club 0.887 0.885 3
IRL4115 K25 HYC Johnny Bravo J/24 White Ciaran Howth Yacht Club 0.887 0.885 3
IRL4384 Gala Racing J/24 Simon McGibney Foynes Yacht Club 0.884 0.885 3
GBR9612 Bambi Impala 28 I/B 1.78 Richard Harding National Yacht Club #N/A 0.885 3
I8709 Cri Cri #N/A Paul Colton Royal Irish Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 3
IRL8245N Asterix #N/A Boushell, Counihan, Meredith Dun Laoghaire Marina #N/A #N/A 3?
           
               
IRL6556 Challenger Europe Challenger Paul Rossiter Howth Yacht Club #N/A 0.845 4
IRL35 ELEINT Trapper 300 Michal Matulka Dunlaoghaire Motor YC #N/A 0.830 4
E127 OctopussE E Boat PATRICK O NEILL Howth Yacht Club 0.824 0.825 4
IR3052 Tobago #N/A Ray, Costello, McShera, Quigley Malahide Yacht Club #N/A #N/A ?
               
               
WHITESAIL            
               
GBR1345 Samatom XC45 Robert Rendell Howth Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 5
IRL3335 Bite the Bullet #N/A Colm Bermingham Howth Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 5
GB58571 Spellbound #N/A H. & G. Burrows, L. Skeffington Howth Yacht Club #N/A #N/A 5
                             
WHITESAIL 1            
               
IRL6001 REBELLION Nicholson 58 Hughes, Hanlon & O'Mahony Howth Yacht Club 1.051 1.055 5
IRL4007 Tsunami First 40.7 Distinction 2.40 Vincent Farrell National Yacht Club 1.042 1.055 5
IRL4073 Splashdance Dufour 40 Howard McMullan Howth Yacht Club 1.011 1.030 5
IRL1166 edenpark Sun Odyssey 36i liam farmer Royal Irish Yacht Club 0.976 0.985 5
IRL1357 Humdinger Sunfast 37 Michael Mc Cabe Carlingford 0.971 0.980 5
GBR3550 Lolly Folly Hanse 350 Colm Howth Yacht Club #N/A 0.965 5
IRL1333 White Lotus Elan 333 PaulTully Dunlaoghaire Motor YC 0.956 0.965 5
IRL3339 Indulgence Elan 333 David Sargent Howth Yacht Club 0.952 0.965 5
IRL2706 Kodachi Corby 27 De neve Howth Yacht Club 0.937 0.955 5
               
WHITESAIL 2            
               
IRL2070 Out & About First 38 Terry Mc Coy Howth Yacht Club 0.929 0.950 6
IRL5643 Calypso Oceanis 361 Howard Knott Royal St. George Yacht Club 0.927 0.930 6
IRL1502 Vespucci Dehler 31 Sean + Kristina O'Regan Royal Irish Yacht Club #N/A 0.890 6
GBR4183 Poppy #N/A John Roberts Whitehaven sailing association 0.902 #N/A 6
IRL100 Demelza Club Shamrock Windsor & Steffi Howth Yacht Club 0.876 0.875 6
Published in ICRA

CIT won the IUSA Student Yachting National Championships at Howth Yacht Club, Dublin last Friday by a single point and qualified to represent Ireland at the Student Yachting World Championships in La Rochelle, France in November 2016.

This is the first time CIT have claimed victory at the event in five years. Competing against four other colleges, CIT managed to successfully win the event by a single point over UCD1 and UCD 2. In a day that saw varying weather conditions with both strong and light air sailing, consistency was the key to winning the event.

In a fleet of 7 teams, CIT scored a 3, 2, 2, 2, 1 over 5 races. Coming into the final race of the day, the wind had increased dramatically and shaped up to be a pivotal race where CIT needed to just beat UCD by one place to take home the trophy. The extremely close race saw CIT and UCD alongside each other for the entire race until the last leg of the course where CIT extended a small lead and managed to claim the win by just one boat length gifting them the title of IUSA National Yachting Champions. 

The team consisted of:

Skipper: Jay Stacy (Architectural Technology 3rd year).
Main Trimmer: Marcus Ryan (Marine Engineering 4th year).
Jib Trim: Pearse O’Flynn (Business Information Systems 4th year).
Pit: Amy Harrington (Business Information Systems 3rd year).
Bowman: Louis Mulloy (Energy Systems Engineering 4th year)

Final Standings
1. CIT 10 points
2. UCD 1 11 points
3. UCD 2 11 points
4. DIT 12 points
5. TCD 17 points
6. CIT 2 21 points
7. NUIG 35 points

Published in Youth Sailing
The latest half tonner in to Howth Yacht Club a Corby design called Kodachi will debut at the North Dublin Club's Key Capital Private Spring Warmer Series this Saturday. The traditional season opener is being run over two Saturdays this year, with four windward /leeward races There will be starts for Cruisers 1, 2 & 3, SB20s, J24s, Puppeteers, Squibs and J80s. 
 
As well as the Corby HYC Captain of Class 2 Paddy Kyne's Maximus is also entered. As last year, there will be particularly strong competition in class two.
 

The SB20s will also be looking to use the event as a 'shake down' and to get in some quality racing time on the water before their Northern Championships which are being held in Carlingford Lough on the weekend immediately after the Spring Warmer Series.The winner for the last two years, Michael O'Connor on Sin Bin, and new Class chairman Peter Lee on Seriously Bonkers are among the line up.

 

Published in Howth YC

For those reared in the simple certainties of the course in the offshore classics like the Rolex Fastnet Race and the even more clearly defined Volvo Round Ireland Race, the multi-island RORC Caribbean 600 which starts tomorrow (Monday) morning at Antigua is a strange beast writes W M Nixon.

Set against the straight-line austerity of other long-established classics such as the Newport-Bermuda and the Rolex Sydney-Hobart, its weaving course makes it seem almost fussy. But in a typical February in the Northern Hemisphere, people will happily race round as many islands as are required to make the magic 600 miles total. Just so long as it’s in those marvellous Caribbean sailing and climatic conditions which contrast so totally with what many other areas of the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing in this dank dark cold month.

RORC Caribbean 600 course
It’s a busy course – with so many islands to be ticked off, navigators could usefully employ the services of a continuity director…

Eleven islands are required to act as race marks in order to put sufficient mileage in the course. But with 77 boats – many of them noted superstars – tuned up and ready to go, it’s clear that the huge variety of legs both long and short which have to be sailed is no deterrent, and Irish interest is high both in terms of participation, and in the presence of international contenders expected for the Volvo Round Ireland Race in June.

Then too we’ve a certain proprietorial interest. The Caribbean 600 having been inaugurated as recently as 2009, it’s a modern classic. And the fact that on its first staging, it was won overall by Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners from Dun Laoghaire, makes it extra special. For in her previous life as Ger O’Rourke’s Chieftain, the Lee ship had been overall winner in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2007, providing the rare if not unique situation that the same Irish boat won two classics in the space of just 18 months.

Six years later, the ever-green Cookson 50 is such a good all-rounder that she’s still very much in the hunt, and Lee Overlay Partners is in the listings for tomorrow’s start, the smallest boat in the six strong canting-keel division which includes such giants as Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s mega-powerful hundred footer Comanche.

We’ve interest throughout the race, as in addition to Lee Overlay Partners, the fleet includes two Howth Yacht Club crews. Howth sailors with the likes of Kieran Jameson on the strength have already got involved in past seasons in the Rolex Middle Sea Race with a Performance Yacht Charter’s First 40, and now with two of PWC’s boats of this proven marque on the other side of the Atlantic, there with PYC’s Lucy Johnson on Southern Child are Howth men raring to go Caribbean island-rounding. Much of the Howth team assembled by Darren Wright for the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race are re-joining the same boat, Southern Child, and their lineup incudes Kieran Jameson, Frank Dillon, Rick de Neve, Jonny White, Colm Bermingham, while new talent in the form of Michael Wright, recently-retired HYC Commodore Brian Turvey, and young Howth K25 squad member Luke Malcolm are also on the strength.

First 40 Southern Child
One of the two Howth crews will be racing the First 40 Southern Child, which they’ve already campaigned in the Rolex Middle Sea Race

Villa Touloulou

Howth Yacht Club Headquarters for the RORC 600: Villa Touloulou

Up against them to provide a spot of in-club competition is HYC’s Conor Fogerty who is doing an Atlantic circuit as a mix of racing and cruising with his new Sunfast 3600 Bam, a boat which might have been designed with RORC Caribbean 600 enjoyment in mind. Bam’s racing crew coming out from home include Simon Knowles, Daragh Heagney, Paddy Gregory, Roger Smith and Anthony Doyle. After Bam sister-ship Red Shift’s success in last year’s race, Conor Fogerty has great hopes for his stylish boats showing once tomorrow has seen the start – usually a very challenging business in itself – get cleanly away.

Conor Fogerty Sunfast 36 Bam
Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 36 Bam from Howth is doing the RORC Caribbean 600 as part of an Atlantic odyysey

Ireland’s own RORC Commodore Michael Boyd of the RIYC, who won the Gull Salver for best-placed Irish boat in last year’s Fastnet Race with the Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8, is helping to pass the time while waiting for delivery of his new JPK 10.80 by racing the Caribbean as navigator on Andy McIrvine’s Grand Soleil 46 Bella Donna.

As for pointers towards the Volvo Round Ireland Race in June, the two MOD 70 trimarans already signed up for it, Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3 and Concise 10 (Tony Lawson & Ned Collier Waefield) are both g0ing for the Caribbean 600.

car5
Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 Phaedo 3 is one of two sister-ships entered for the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 which are also doing the Caribbean 600, the other being Concise 10.

In fact it’s a very eclectic fleet, as Eric de Turckheim’s noted Commodore’s Cup contender of 2014, Teasing Machine from France, has somehow got herself to the Caribbean after being far away to cut a successful swathe through the recent Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. And up towards the top of the fleet, the 72ft mini-maxi Momo, which was best of the bigger boats in last summer’s Fastnet, find herself up against Hap Fauth’s similarly-sized superstar Bella Mente, which had to scratch from the 2015 Fastnet Race for personal reasons after a blisteringly successful Cowes Week, but is now set to go in a race in which she is the defending champion.

Bella Mente
Back to the fray. Having been forced to scratch from the Rolex Fastnet 2015 in which she was a favourite, Hap Fauth’s 72ft mini-maxi Bella Mente is very much in the hunt in tomorrow morning’s RORC Caribbean 600, in which she is defending champion.

The 72ft mini-maxis seem to be the favoured size of boat o the most recent peformances, as Nik Zennstrom’s Ran won in 2012, George Sakellaris’s Shockwave won in 2014, and Bella Mente won in 2015. But the evergreen Cookson 50 is a good steady bet, with Lee Overlay Partners; win in 2009, and Ron O’Hanley’s with Privateer in 2013.

The RORC Caribbean 600 starting process gets under way at 1030hrs local time tomorrow morning off Antigua, and there are going to be 77 very busy crews having more than a few dry-mouth moments before they get clear away around this island’s beautiful east coast.

Published in RORC

#HYC - Howth Yacht Club has posted a draft letter for all club members and harbour users to send to their public representatives highlighting the urgent need to dredge Howth Harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, levels of silt build-up in the North Co Dublin harbour have accumulated to around 1.5 metres, rendering low-water spring-tide launches impossible.

The Harbour Users Action Group claims that various Governments since the 1980s have passed the buck for responsibility.

As such, the issue should be a priority among Howth voters heading into the General Election later this month.

In other HYC news, the club will host the ISA Cruising Conference on 20 February (more details HERE) a week before the club's race management team attends the ISA Race Officials Conference the at the Green Isle Hotel on 28 February.

The club is also hosting a prizegiving dinner for all Class 3 racing teams tomorrow evening Friday 12 February (contact the office for reservations) and another dinner next month in honour of the club's first commodore WH Boyd on Saturday 12 March, with a talk by Brian Turvey and Afloat.ie's own WM Nixon.

Published in Howth YC

An opportunity to clarify your sailing decisions will be provided by the Irish SB20 class association when it stages a racing strategy clinic run in conjunction with the Howth Yacht Club Spring Warmer Series in April.

The sportsboat class has also launched a new website for the 2016 season. Click here to see the new site.

The new coaching initiative from 9-16th April will take place during HYC racing and outside assistance will be permitted in the series to facilitate coaching.

SB20 sailor Jimmy Dowling says it is a 'great opportunity to hone decision making skills under the guidance of world renowned coach, Mark Rhodes'.

Areas covered include:

● The three segments of the first beat (The Law of Before)

● Creating a starting priority list = creation of strategy = start

● 5 key areas to position at the start (with additional one extra)

● Double tacking – How, why, when

● Fleet / boat control – How, why, when, where

The cost per boat is €100

The annual SB20 class dinner will be held upstairs in the dining room of the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Friday 4th March (19:30hrs for 20:00hrs). The 3 course dinner is €35pp.

Published in SB20
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Featured Sailing School

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Featured Chandlery

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
RTE Seascapes
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