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Displaying items by tag: Laser

DBSC dinghy sailing continued its strong turnout for the first Saturday racing of the 2020 season. Over 40 Dinghies turned out for three races in a moderate westerly wind inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday.

Royal St. George's Theo Lyttle won two races in the Laser standard division and the National Yacht Club's Conor Gorman was a double race winner in the Radial. Full results below:

Race 1

PY Class: 1.  B Foley, 2. R Tate, 3. C O'Kelly

Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott

Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. T Lyttle, 3. M Hennessy

Laser Radial: 1. C Gorman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. K Walker

Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. A Irvin, 3. F McDonnell

Race 2

PY Class: 1. B Foley, 2. R Tate

Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott

Laser Standard: 1. T Lyttle, 2. M Hennessy, 3. B Owens-Murphy

Laser Radial: 1. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 2. S Craig, 3. C Gorman

Laser 4.7: 1. F McDonnell, 2. L Turvey, 3. A Daly

Race 3

PY Class: 1. R Tate, 2. B Foley, 3. C O'Kelly

Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott

Laser Standard: 1. T Lyttle, 2. M Hennessy, 3. F Walker

Laser Radial: 1. C Gorman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. M Norman

Laser 4.7: 1. L Turvey, 2. F McDonnell, 3. A Daly

Published in DBSC

As was announced today, the Dublin Bay Sailing Club has taken the extraordinary decision to shift dinghy racing to inside Dun Laoghaire harbour DBSC writes Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy. However, these are extraordinary times we live in and require extraordinary measures in order to get Summer racing going once again. Thankfully, the DBSC are a group of individuals who have all sailed and raced in Dublin Bay for decades and recognised the fantastic opportunity that Dun Laoghaire harbour provides for great dinghy racing.

The 150-strong Dun Laoghaire Laser fleet (65 race regularly in both the DBSC summer and DMYC winter series) was delighted to hear of this decision as it provides for a wonderful opportunity to not only get out racing again much earlier than anticipated, but it does so in a fantastic amphitheatre that will provide for close, fun, competitive and safe racing.

We have seen a huge level of interest in the Laser class from varying age categories over the last few weeks. Everyone from youths migrating from double handers, adults stepping down from big boats and families looking at additional dinghy options. This renewed interest is in part due to the social distancing requirements of double handers and larger boats, however, it’s also due to the broad age appeal, affordability and fun, competitive nature of the class.

The DBSC Summer Series now includes both Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons to the dinghy racing schedule, which will provide for something in the region of 50+ races over the course of the Summer. The discounted rates DBSC have announced make this the most competitively priced race series in the country, music to the ears of many during these difficult times.

As a class, we’re delighted to be supporting the DBSC who have provided us with wonderful race management over the years and are very much looking forward to a super Summer series.

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Olympic and International coach Maurice "Prof" O'Connell will be running Laser racing coaching sessions in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this week starting on Tuesday, May 26th.

The format will be some short sharp boat handling sessions, in four boat groups, followed by four to five short races including some practice starts.

Fun racing will be the theme with the aim of sharpening everyone's skills for when full-on racing resumes, according to the Prof.

Video analysis will be used and shared afterwards using Dropbox/Google Drive.

Here's a video clip of a Laser Radial start with coach Prof below:

The Schedule

  • Tues 26th May 6 pm - 9 pm and
  • Wed 27th May 10 am - 1 pm and 6 pm - 9 pm

The Venue

will be Dun Laoghaire Harbour - meet in the centre, off the ferry terminal.

Full rigs, radial rigs, 4.7's, masters, apprentices, juniors - all are welcome!

If there is sufficient demand, more sessions will be planned and Prof will group/stream the sessions appropriately if numbers grow.

The fee for the three-hour session will be €40 payable to Prof directly. Whatsapp / SMS him on 086 236 4200 to arrange pre-payment.

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Two solo dinghy events look set to clash at Dun Laoghaire Harbour in a revised Irish sailing fixture list that is taking shape as the sport plots a return to sailing after COVID-19.

The RS Aero Open Championships that has been rescheduled for September 19/20 will clash dates with the Irish Laser Master National Championships also rescheduled for that weekend at the same venue.

There is no problem accomodating both fleets on any one of Dublin Bay's many race tracks but given the solo nature of both dinghy types there will, unfortunately, be overlap between competitors hoping to compete in both events, especially those sailors keen to try out the new RS Aero design on offer from the Irish National Sailing School.

RS Aero Chairman Brendan Foley adds:

I'm dropping you a note to update on the inaugural RS Aero Irish Open which clashes with the Laser Masters event in September. In my capacity as RS Aero Ireland Class Chairman, we would be absolutely delighted for sailors from other fleets to try out the RS Aero, so it's a pity about the date clash in September with the Lasers. The reason for running at that date is that it's the only window we have to get the UK charter fleet over.

For anyone who would like to experience the Aero on another date - Kenneth Rumball at the INSS or Rob Hasting at Bosun Bobs will be happy to arrange it. Private owners are also pretty good about giving people a go in their boats. It's a very friendly and open class and we welcome anyone who has an interest in learning more. I'm at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Mark Gavin is at the National Yacht Club, Paul McMahon is at Howth Yacht Club and Robin Gray is at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

All are happy to share their experiences of the amazing Aero. We are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather on September 19th/20th and hoping that the Covid-19 situation will have improved by then, allowing us to have a great inaugural RS Aero Irish Open. Until then - stay safe, stay calm, stay positive.

Published in RS Sailing
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A new sailing video of youth Laser Radial star Eve McMahon gives a clear understanding of why the Howth Yacht Club ace was awarded the 2019 Irish Youth Sailor of the Year Award in February.

The video below prepared for HYC members also gives an interview with the rising star who is one of four sailors seeking the Irish Radial nomination for the Tokyo Olympic Regatta, a trial that sees her up against Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

McMahon had an outstanding 2019 season becoming Irish youth national Radial Champion at Royal Cork in May 2019 before going on to take the Under-17 World title in Kingston, Ontario in August, also impressively finishing 3rd in the overall competition.

She was certainly the in-form competitor at the World Championships in Melbourne in February this year, where she won the Gold Medal again in the U17 event. 

Advancing to senior competition at 15 years-of-age is one thing but Eve has taken this a step further with her involvement in the Olympic trials, a campaign that should prove invaluable for her long-term career prospects on the international sailing circuit, not least for her ambition to advance to Olympic competition level. Eve made the most of her Transition Year by linking up and training with the Irish Olympic squad, battling back from injury and showing a determination and grit that will undoubtedly stand to her in the future.

In a first for Irish Sailing, the 2021 trialists now feature McMahon siblings in two classes with Eve’s older brother Ewan competing in the men’s Laser class and with Olympic qualification in his sights.

Eve took some time out before the COVID-19 'lockdown' to post a video on youtube to tell HYC members of her year and her plans ahead in a specially recorded interview with her other brother Jamie. The interview is below.

Published in Youth Sailing

Ballyholme Yacht Club was to have been the venue in early July for the huge Laser Radial European Championships but the Iatest news from the EurILCA team is that due to the COVID-19 situation and expected restrictions on travel during July and possibly August (and to help allay fears of people having to travel abroad during those months), EurILCA and Ballyholme Yacht Club have come to the very difficult decision to cancel the event this summer. This will hopefully allow EurILCA enough time to try and reschedule it elsewhere possibly in October or November at a different “warmer” venue.

Although there is virtually year-round dinghy racing at Ballyholme, the weather is too unpredictable in the Autumn for a week-long championship and the days are too short to fit in the necessary number of races.
Ballyholme has said thank you to all who applied to race there this summer; “Hopefully you will get the chance to come here in the future for a different event, or just come here on holiday – we are always happy to welcome other sailors to our club”.

In a message from EurILCA they said: “Dear sailors, due to the situation with the COVID-19, it is with great regret that Ballyholme Yacht Club and EurILCA have decided to cancel the event”.

Ballyholme Yacht Club and its volunteers have been preparing for months for this event and EurILCA has thanked them for the effort, time and energy they put in the preparation. BYC are bidding for the same event in 2023 and the EurILCA is working to find a new location to hold this 2020 event later in the season - maybe October or November 2020.

In a message, this morning event chairman Mark Mackey said “Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers who have worked on this over the past 18 months to set up what should have been a fantastic event. And to those who had already volunteered to help during the weeks of the event -there are too many to single out by name – events like these can use well over 100 volunteers – but thank you".

Ireland will keep its only Tokyo 2020 berth so far and could benefit from another if final outstanding qualification events do not take place, according to the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

Confirmation that the place Lough Derg Yacht Club's Aisling Keller won for Ireland in the women's Laser Radial class remains intact was welcome news last week but there was mixed news for the rest of the squad if it proves impossible to host 'fair qualifications' later this year or early next.

Irish campaigns chasing last places in the 49er, Laser and Finn classes were in turmoil last month when COVID-19 hit key final European qualifications in Italy and Spain, ultimately postponing the Games itself.

The race to win the right to represent Ireland in the Radial has also been upset by the disease spread and the four-way trial currently led by Annalise Murphy has sailed only one of three legs so far. 

15% of quota places using 'historical results'

World Sailing President Kim Andersen said on April 2nd that after consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the sport will be able to complete its outstanding qualification events for Africa, Asia and Europe before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021 but if that proves unworkable Andersen also said it would allocate the remaining 15% of quota places using 'historical results'.

In such a scenario, Ireland could increase its representation in Tokyo but only by one boat. There were no details of the proposed 'system', to be used but if the last world championship scoresheets are scrutinised, it will impact Irish campaigns; one positively and two negatively.

As Afloat reported previously, It would be good news for Ireland in the 49er class. Ireland is competing with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggests that Irish sailors would be favourites for the place having finished ahead of the other three candidates.

In the men's Laser class, there are two European places yet to be won or allocated with four countries in the running – Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Ireland. Unfortunately, Ireland finished behind all of these at the last World Championships.

In the Finn class, Ireland is well out of the running. There is one European slot remaining, but six as yet to qualify countries finished ahead of Ireland at the recent Gold Cup.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The Irish Laser Class Association Committee has postponed all events until August. It means that the Munsters at Baltimore Sailing Club in April, the Leinsters in Howth Yacht Club in May, the Masters at the Royal St. George YC in June plus the Connaught Championships in Wexford in July will all fall to COVID-19.

Accordin to class chairman, Aidan Staunton, a full refund of fees was issued to entrants for the Munster Championships last night and further refunds will issue for the small amount of entries for the other regional events now scrubbed.

The hope is that the National Championships scheduled for Royal Cork Yacht Club on August 20th in Cork Harbour can take place.

All membership that is currently paid will be carried forward towards next year membership subscription.

Published in Laser
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Irish Laser Association and Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork have decided that it will not be possible to hold the Munster's in compliance with current advice issued from HSE.

It is not possible to run an event of this size and comply with separation protocols on the shore, and although these are currently in place until 29th March, Baltimore SC and Irish Laser Association have taken the decision now to postpone the event, giving everyone as much notice as possible.

Details of the rescheduled event will follow on Afloat in due course

Published in Laser

All-Ireland Junior Champion Chris Bateman of Monkstown Bay SC on Cork Harbour and seasoned participant Ronan Wallace of Wexford showed that local knowledge is not a pre-requisite to success in taking the top places in the time-honoured Round Ireland’s Eye Race, which on Saturday concluded Howth YC’s traditional Laser Winter Frostbite Series, a fixture event since 1974.

With the breeze already brisk and forecast to build, some of the competitors decided that discretion was better than valour and spectating had distinct advantages. The remaining 15 Standards and 3 Radials headed out for the Warm-up, or to be more accurate, Cool-down Race in the Sound. As a concession to the conditions - south-westerly gusting to 20 knots and changeable in direction - and to avoid wearing the sailors out too early, the ‘three triangles’ course was signalled by the Race Committee, always popular with the fleet on windy days when running dead downwind in a Laser with the water temperature below 10oC becomes unappealing.

A general recall showed the fleet was well up for the day and a U flag was broken out for the restart with Chris Bateman, visiting from Monkstown Bay SC for the day’s racing, being the only casualty. With swimming practice well underway, there was a ferocious battle between 4 or 5 sailors to avoid finishing last, with positions gained and lost on each leg as they each struggled to get to grips with the conditions.

Conor Costello was involved for a while but his heavy weather ability allowed him to break away, leaving Zander Mackay and Mark Kennedy to fight it out for the honour of being the last finisher - but with bragging rights over the retirees - before Mark ultimately took the place due to an unfortunate capsize at the last mark rounding. At the front of the fleet, the honours were equally hard-fought before Ronan Wallace took the gun in the Standards and Peter Kilmartin led the Radials home.

sheltered water2Close quarters racing inshore before the offshore sections provided a “Capsizefest”
Paul McMahon and Darach Dinneen gave a masterclass in tactical thinking by opting to skip the warm-up race in favour of last-minute refreshments ashore, staying fresh and dry to then increase the fleet for the main event round the multi-faceted and challenging Ireland’s Eye. By the time of its start, the conditions had become even more challenging, with the dense-air breeze now regularly heading for the mid-twenties and a steeply-building sea. The late arrivals joined the rest of a fleet by now somewhat tired and wet and were rewarded with a clean start for the concluding highlight.

What followed would later be described as a fast, memorable, terrifying and challenging Capsizefest, with lots of what older generations of Laser sailors are rumoured to have called ‘orgasmic planing’.

A feature of the event is that sailors have the choice of leaving the Island to port or starboard, their assessment based on the impact of wind direction, tide, sea state and the extent of wind shadowing expected from the Island’s high points. Only two sailors, both in Standard rigs, chose the clockwise route this year, Mike Evans doing best of them to eventually finish fourth. The second decided to head for home after reaching his self-imposed capsize limit before reaching the Martello Tower at the north-west end of the Island, with approximately a fifth of distance completed and the long legs along the north and east still to do.

For those choosing anti-clockwise, sailing into an ebb tide on the seaward side of the island with a very confused win-over-tide sea to deal with at the corners meant the rounding of the southern tip and the Stack challenged many, resulting in lots of shiny hull bottoms being put on display as capsizes quickly turned into energy-sapping turtles. Having swum and sailed their way around, the leading pack rounded the northwest corner at the Martello Tower to head down the Sound for the finish with a close battle still underway in both fleets, the outcome being mainly determined by who had the fewest capsizes and most energy left.

Chris Bateman’s victory in his first outing at the event gave the Standard rig sailors with more experience of the local waters a lot to think about, and his return next year to defend his title - allowing them a chance to redeem their pride - is much anticipated. Ronan Wallace and Darragh Sheridan filled the remaining podium positions while in the Radials, Peter Hassett was the top survivor, followed by Peter Kilmartin in second.

chris bateman wins3 He came, he saw, he conquered…..Chris Bateman’s debut in Howth’s classic Laser race Round Ireland’s Eye was a convincing success. He is seen here (left) with Howth Laser Captain Zander Mackay.

The fleet adjourned to the Clubhouse to ease tired bodies, rehydrate, share tales of adventure and enjoy the lunch and prizegiving for the Frostbite and Round the Island.

Next event for the Laser fleet is Howth’s Icebreaker Series (Sundays, March 22nd – Apr 12th) before the 2020 Laser Class Leinster Championship is hosted at HYC on the weekend of May 9/10.

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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