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Displaying items by tag: HYC

Howth Yacht Club’s Laura Dillon is among six women profiled by the Royal Ocean Racing Club ahead of their participation in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.

While crew lists for August’s race are not yet finalised, at present just over 10% of those competing in the biennial voyage will be women — more than double the rate of races in the 1990s.

The RORC cites role models such as Tracy Edwards, Ellen MacArthur and Dee Caffari as a reason for this increase in female participation — but notes that opportunities for women at all levels to go sailing are increasing “too slowly”.

For 40-year-old Laura Dillon, it was a high competitive drive from a young age that saw her progress from dinghies to 1720 Sportsboats to Beneteau Firsts in both the Round Ireland and Fastnet races.

This year she swaps the helm of Harry J Heijst’s S&S 41, Winsome, for a place on the four-strong crew of Conor Fogerty’s Figaro Beneteau 3, Raw — one of only three of the new offshore class in the race.

She observes that women’s participation in the Fastnet as enjoyed a considerable step up in the last generation — but says there is a direct parallel with women’s positions in the business world, and believes it will take another generation yet before their numbers increase substantially.

The Rolex Fastnet Race website has much more on this story HERE.

Published in Howth YC

Howth Yacht Club has paid tribute to long-time member John Leonard, who died last week.

Leonard sailed at HYC from the early 1980s to 2010, competing for two decades in the Cruiser III class with his Beneteau First 2, Birgitz, and later a Beneteau First 26, The Dawn Treader. He also sailed alongside the late Liam (Bill) Gallagher for three decades.

HYC.ie has Leonard’s death noice and details of funeral arrangements.

Published in Howth YC
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Some dazzling performances in the week’s final races saw Howth Yacht Club youth prospect Jamie McMahon sail 11 points clear of his closest rival to clinch the U21 Laser Radial title at the Laser European Championships in Porto yesterday (Saturday 25 May).

It’s been a high-achieving month for April’s Junior Sailor pick for Afloat.ie, as he and his sister Eve both qualified for the Irish Youth Sailing Team to compete at the Youth Worlds in Poland this July — the first Irish sibling pair to do so.

Jamie MedalHowth's Jamie McMahon on the Laser European Championship podium in Porto Photo: Irish Sailing/Twitter

Jamie McMahon in action | Photo: Sailing Energy/World SailingJamie McMahon in action | Photo: Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Elsewhere, Finn Lynch (National YC) nabbed 18th place in the senior men’s division while Ewan McMahon — Jamie and Eve’s older brother — held on to his respectable 24th position in his first senior European championship. Liam Glynn was 78th.

In other results, Aisling Keller (Lough Derg) and Aoife Hopkins (HYC) were close in the final tally at 43rd and 45th respectively in the women’s Laser Radial, while Tom Fox (HYC) placed 26th in the U21 Men’s Laser Radial.

Published in Laser

The first of the season’s ‘Fun Fridays’ at Howth Yacht Club takes place this coming Friday 17 May — where the first 20 entries for junior sailors and their friends will get to spend an evening on the club’s J/80s.

Fun Fridays are back again after a successful summer last year, with HYC members getting to share their time out on the water with their families and friends.

This year’s season runs on selected Fridays up to 23 August.

With each event commencing at 6pm, there will be a broad range of activities for all ages and abilities to enjoy, ranging from supervised sailing to stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and even a ‘pirate trip’ to Ireland’s Eye for fun and games.

And the fun isn’t confined to on-the-water activities, either, as there will be food and drinks specials and children’s menus available in the bar.

Each event is open one week in advance, and booking is open online until by noon of the day of the event.

Fun Fridays are open to all HYC members (minimum age 6) and also to summer sailing course participants. A full programme is available HERE.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth Yacht Club will be one of the hubs of the new-look Dublin Bay Prawn Festival next month.

Formerly held over St Patrick’s Weekend, this year’s festival has moved to 17-19 May and is expanding to better reflect the wealth of seafood options available fresh in the North Dublin port village.

And Howth Yacht Club has announced it will be an integral part of this year’s foodie festivities, following recent discussions with Fingal County Council.

The club will be opening its bar to visitors as well as hosting entertainment on an outdoor stage on a similar but smaller scale to last year’s Wave Regatta.

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

“This will be a ‘different’ event,” says HYC Commodore Ian Byrne, who adds that it “will serve the long-term interests and ambitions of the club.

“It will certainly be a very busy weekend and will help to make a great festival atmosphere.”

Byrne notes that Howth is presenting itself as ‘the Capital of Adventure’, and says HYC “will be key contributor through our dinghy and keelboat sailing experiences”.

“We hope that as many members as possible will enjoy the festival, and the organising committee would also be grateful for volunteer support,” he adds.

Published in Maritime Festivals

Howth Yacht Club’s annual Brassed Off Cup is once again being held on its traditional date of Good Friday, which falls this coming Friday 19 April.

The Optimist dinghy event is a great opportunity for junior racers to dust off their gear and get out to enjoy sailing in what’s forecast to be fine spring weather in the safe waters just north of Howth Harbour.

It will also help many sailors sharpen their skills for the trials which take place at the Royal Cork Yacht Club the following week.

Howth Yacht Club says the event has been built into a very popular and well-attended date on the Optimist sailing calendar over the past few years, with more than 60 young sailors from across Dublin expected to take part, including expected good participation from novice and regatta fleet sailors.

Three short races are planned from noon. The Notice of Race, Online Entry and Sailing Instructions are available on the HYC website HERE.

Friday will also see the prizegiving for Howth’s IceBreakers at 4.15pm after last Sunday’s race was called off due to the poor weather.

Published in Youth Sailing
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#HYC - Gregor McGuckin will be bringing his lecture on his experiences in the golden jubilee Golden Globe race to Howth Yacht Club this coming Thursday 28 March.

Last month McGuckin talked Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club members through the eventful solo offshore race that became even more so when both he and fellow competitor Abhilash Tony were caught up in a violent Southern Ocean storm.

Both vessels were rolled and lost their masts, and Tomy was left seriously injured in his boat.

As rescuers made their way to Tomy’s position, McGuckin abandoned his race to join in the effort — no mean feat with a jury-rigged mast and a boat using 1960s-era technology.

From 8pm this Thursday evening, Howth Yacht Club members (non-members are also welcome) will hear the whole story from McGuckin himself, from the rescue drama to the fate of McGuckin’s own abandoned yacht.

Published in Solo Sailing

UK Sailmakers Ireland agent and sailing professional/coach Mark Mansfield brings his Top Tips for Fast Sailing talk to Howth Yacht Club from 8pm tomorrow (Tuesday 12 March).

Mansfield and professional sailmaker Graham Curran will share their tips for getting the most speed out of your boat, and answer those questions that have bugged you all winter so you can start the 2019 season on even keel.

The pair’s expertise covers boats of all shapes and sizes, so sailors of all ages and disciplines are welcome — simply come with a notepad and pen, and your questions ready.

uk sails talk hyc

Published in UK Sailmakers Ireland
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It was a strong seventh-place finish overall for Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright at the International Palamós Optimist Trophy, which concluded yesterday (Sunday 17 February) on Spain’s Costa Brava.

The youngster remained in medal contention among a 110-boat gold fleet all the way till the final day’s racing, following a phenomenal week where he was rarely out of the top three of his groups.

James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork and Kinsale Yacht Clubs also had a strong showing bettering his performance in last month’s Torrevieja Trophy, placing 12th overall.

Jessica Riordan (Royal St George YC), Anna O’Connor (Royal Irish YC), Lucia Cullen (NYC/RStG), Rachel Flood (NYC), Trevor Bolger (RStG) and Peter Williams comprised the rest of the Irish contingent on the Costa Brava during the week.

Published in Howth YC

Two races were sailed by the Lasers at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday 10 February in demanding conditions, writes Dave Quinn.

We had westerly winds against a flooding tide, which generated a small but steep chop. Absolutely brilliant for reaching, but somewhat tougher upwind.

It was probably the fastest your correspondent has ever gone in a Laser. Winds were averaging 20 knots and gusting to 28.

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19

The first race was sailed over a lap-sausage-lap of a triangular course with the run and the gybe marks being where most capsizes occurred.

The race management team took pity on the fleet and changed to triangles without a run for the second race and, in recognition of the number of competitors who were swimming rather than sailing during that race, the course was shortened after just two laps.

The fleet was still left with a broad reach back to the sanctuary of the harbour, which gave further opportunity for some more Sunday morning swimming but all survived and there were plenty of tall tails to be told in the bar afterwards.

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19 04

Daragh Kelleher won both races in the Standard Rig, and Tom Fox showed some impressive speed to beat most of the standard rigs on his way to winning the Radial fleet. Sophie Kilmartin continued her winning ways also with two wins in the 4.7 fleet.

The impressive speeds on the reaches were vouched for by the Sailracer GPS trackers fitted to the boats for the event, confirming that over 14 knots can readily be achieved in a Laser, albeit not a comfortable situation to be in with the gybe mark approaching fast.

Published in Howth YC
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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