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Four boats bravely fought the cold this evening and ventured out to the start line for the first Thursday race of the 2017 DBSC SB20 sailing programme. The forecast was an enticing 12knts gusting 18knts from a steady north west direction – ideal SB20 planing weather - and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Recently installed ISA President and OOD Jack Roy called for the longest course at his disposal for the wind direction, Q1 (all starboard roundings) and set up a fairly even line. At the start, the four boats were evenly spaced along the line. Alert Packaging (Justin, Henrik and Gareth) and Sin Bin (Michael, Owen and Ed) preferred the boat end while Sacre Bleu (Richard, Colin and Chris) preferred the pin. Defiant (Gerry et al) chose to hedge their bets and took the middle of the line.

The fleet raced off upwind towards harbour mark in a rising tide helping them towards the mark. Alert packaging tacked off early towards the right to clear their air and in expectation of more favourable tide away from shore while the other three boats drag raced out towards the left. Sacre Bleu tacked first shy of the layline but Defiant slapped an almighty close cover on them, forcing them back onto starboard. Sin Bin had weekdays out a couple of boatlengths lead on Defiant so placed a loose cover to weather, on the layline. As the boats converged at the weather mark, it was clear that the tack out to sea had helped Alert Packaging and they rounded just behind Sin Bin alongside Sacre Bleu. Defiant overlaid the mark and lost ground on the leaders having to reach back to the mark, going from second to fourth.

Once around the top mark, the kites were popped and the boats took off on starboard gybe in a gust, often reaching speeds in the early teens as they hurtled downwind towards the gybe mark (East mark). The clear air helped the leaders extend and by the second mark, Sin Bin had extended their lead on the following pack. The boats were fairly tightly strapped on port gybe heading back in to shore to Bullock mark but those able to keep the boat under the mast gained massively.

Thereafter, the boats sailed up and down the shore from Bullock to Bay, back to Battery and up to Bay again before close reaching out to sea once more to East mark on a tight reach where most boats could only hold their kites for a portion of the leg. After a gybe around East mark, the kites were set again for a final blast downwind on port gybe towards Island mark. From there the boats beat up to the finish close to the harbour. Alert Packaging and Sacre Bleu enjoyed a ding dong battle up the last beat, crossing a tacking to cover/break cover on numerous occasions.

At the finish it was Sin Bin in first, followed by Alert Packaging in second from Sacre Bleu in third. Unfortunately, Defiant never managed to recover from their earlier loss but battled on courageously to the finish, coming in fourth.

This weekend we have the first two Saturday races of series A, first gun is at 2.15pm on a three minute sequence. Several more boats are expected now that the cobwebs have been blown off and the boats are out of the sheds. Strong winds are forecast so there will be plenty of sleigh rides to enjoy!

Published in SB20
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SB20 sailor Jimmy Dowling will host a training session on the basic techniques of handling the gennaker on Saturday morning, May 6.

The session is aimed at the less experienced SB20 class members but all are welcome.

A brief lecture, a demonstration and Q & A session commencing at 9.00 will be held in the wet bar (downstairs) at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

To whet the appetite, a video of Mark Rushall (below) making an immaculate gybe, represents the new standard to be achieved in DBSC racing after this session.

 

Published in SB20

Sixteen SB20s battled it out off Ireland’s Eye last weekend in a hotly contested Eastern Championships. With 0-6 knots winds forecast for the weekend, PRO Paddy Judge and his Howth YC team did an excellent job getting six fair, high quality races completed over the two days.

Race 1 on Saturday saw the fleet head off from a in a patchy 6 knot easterly breeze. The holes were treacherous and highly localised and if you were unfortunate enough to find one, you could easily lose several boat lengths on a competitor mere boat lengths away from you. The boats that tacked off early and headed towards the island on the right hand side of the course fared best with Sacre Bleu (Colin Galavan, Chris Arrowsmith and Dave Cahill) rounding just ahead of Ridgefence (Peter Kennedy, James Espey and Steve Kane) and Sin Bin (Michael O’Connor, Owen Laverty and Ed Cooke) in a close third. Finding clear air and picking the right shifts and puffs downwind were of paramount importance and Ridgefence and Sacre Bleu called it to perfection extending their lead over the fleet down the run. Also making a charge to the front were the teams aboard Sharkbait (Darren Martin, Simon Murray, Roger Pannell) and Alert Packaging (Justin Burke, Henrik Olerund and Gareth Nolan). At the finish, Ridgefence had managed to overtake Sacre Bleu with Sharkbait completing the podium places.

With a dying wind forecast, PRO Paddy Judge very wisely chose to keep things moving along swiftly and once all the fleet had finished, the marks were re-laid and the fleet were quickly back into a starting sequence for Race 2. Defending champion Lia (Dave Barry, Phil Lawton and Kevin Johnson) stole the biased pin end and tore away from the line like a scalded cat. However, with the wind forecast to veer all day and the right side of the course being favoured up to that point, there were soon anxious glances over their shoulders looking for an opportunity to get back across to the right and consolidate their lead on the fleet. By the time that they did manage to get across, things had evened out somewhat and there was the usual melee at the windward mark with no quarter asked or given. Again, the ability to find clear air and pick the right shifts and laylines downwind resulted in large gains and Alert Packaging picked their way down the run beautifully to lead at the leeward mark from an overlapped Sin Bin and Ridgefence. The three lead boats battled it out over the next lap and at the finish it was Sin Bin in first from Ridgefence in second and Alert Packaging in third.

After a short break, the race team decided to get Race 3 off and running. Sacre Bleu showed a return to form and stormed into a healthy lead that they would not relinquish. Alert Packaging were relishing the light air conditions and added a solid second place to their already impressive 4, 3 scoreline from races one and two. Meanwhile, Bango (James Gorman, Isaac Mccarthy Fisher and Gleb Romantchik) with a new crew on board for the first event of the season seemed to have got the hang of things sailing together and sailed exquisitely to grab a very creditable third place, showing their nerve to keep the chasing pack at bay up the last short beat to finish.

At the end of day 1, the boats returned to shore mentally exhausted for the second half of the Munster match, pints and chats in the bar of the always hospitable Howth Yacht Club. It was very tight at the top of the scoreboard with Sacre Bleu (2,5,1) on 8 points leading from Alert Packaging in second (4,3,2) on 9 points. Ridgefence (1,2,8) and Sin Bin (6,1,4) were a further two points back on 11 points, with Sharkbait (3,4,6) on 13 points in fifth with a 7 point cushion on defending champion Lia (5,6,9) on 20 points in sixth. With more breeze forecast on Sunday and a discard to kick in after race 4, it was all still to play for on day 2.

Day 2 dawned without a zephyr showing on the water. With the forecast being for the wind to veer and build, the race committee signalled a brief postponement on shore and patiently waited for the wind to fill in. The wind (what little of it there was) shifted around from the north west to the east and began to build as promised so the race committee dropped the AP and made their way out to the race course in a 5 knot easterly. The course for Race 4 was set and the fleet were in sequence until a large right hand shift 1 minute before the start meant that the race committee abandoned the start sequence and again signalled a short postponement to allow them time to reset the marks and provide an even course. Once the course was re-laid, the fleet got away and again it was Colin Galavan and his crew on Sacre Bleu that showed a clean pair of heels to the fleet, taking their second gun of the weekend. This time, it was Darren Martin et al on Sharkbait doing the chasing on behalf of the pack with Michael O’Connor et al on Sin Bin taking third. Peter Kennedy and the team on Ridgefence were most unfortunate to be involved in a collision at the first top mark which threw them somewhat and they could only manage ninth in race 4. After the discard was applied, the team on Sacre Bleu were on an impressive 4 points overall (counting a 1,1,2) and had extended their lead to four points over Sin Bin and five points over Alert Packaging and Sharkbait.

As always in SB20 racing, you can’t count your chickens and Race 5 threw in a curve ball to make for a spectacular interesting finale. Race 5 got off at the second time of asking under U-flag and saw Timber (Marty Cuppage, David Bailey and Chris Chapman) boss the pin end of the line before making their way out to the better breeze on the left side of the course followed closely by Sin Bin on their hip. Series leader Sacre Bleu were for the first time a little line shy and were forced to tack onto port shortly after the start and head out to the less favoured right hand side of the course. At the weather mark, Timber led from Sin Bin with Sharkbait in a close third. One by one, the boats gradually peeled off onto port gybe to get out of the adverse current on the right hand side of the run. At the leeward mark, the three lead boats converged with Timber and Sharkbait coming in on starboard gybe and Sin Bin coming in on port gybe. All three of the lead boats rounded together with Timber on the inside, Sin Bin on the outside and Sharkbait the filling in the sandwich. The three lead boats battled hard around the next lap and in the end it was Sin Bin that took the gun from Sharkbait with Timber just pipped for third place by a charging Ridgefence. Another notable result was the newly formed team on Binn Eadair (Cillian Dickson, Diana Kissane, Sam O’Byrne and Gordon Stirling) bagging a fifth place in Race 5. They certainly didn’t take long to get the hang of things!

So, after five races and going into the sixth and final race, Sacre Bleu and Sin Bin were tied on 9 points with Sharkbait in third on 11 points and Ridgefence by no means out of it on 14 points. Any of these four boats had a realistic shot at the title and it was all to play for. By now, the breeze had increased to an oscillating 10 knot breeze from the south east. Again, there was a pin end bias on the line and with a favourable tide (going upwind) and more breeze on the left side of the course, competition for a place on the front row was vicious. Timber once again took the pin with Ridgefence drag racing with them up the beat, with Ridgefence leading Timber around the top mark. Race six also saw a welcome return to form of 2016 Western Champions Venuesworld.com (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan, Rory Groves and Graham Barker) and recent Spring Warmer victors Two Men and their Monkey (Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy and John Phelan), both boats picking their way skilfully up the beat to be in contention at the weather mark.

As Ridgefence extended their lead all the way to the finish for their second win of the regatta, followed by Two Men and their Monkey in second and Venuesworld.com in third, there was nothing more that Ridgefence could do other than see how the other three contenders behind them fared and see how the final points tallied up. Astern, the other three contenders for the title were in a tightly knit bunch. Going up the first half of the final beat, as the boats crossed tacks there was no more than three boat lengths separating Sacre Bleu, Sin Bin and Sharkbait, with Sharkbait leading the bunch and Sacre Bleu battling at the back of the trio. On the second half of the beat, both Sacre Bleu and Sharkbait tacked towards the right hand side of the course while Sin Bin split looking for pressure on the left hand side of the course. The pressure stayed steadier on the left and Sin Bin rounded the last weather mark in 5th one place and a few boat lengths ahead of Sharkbait with Sacrebleu a few places further back. Unfortunately for Sacre Bleu, they couldn’t make up the ground on the run and their race was effectively run. It was down to Sharkbait and Sin Bin to fight it out around the last few hundred metres. By the leeward mark, both boats had caught up with Timber (who were previously in fourth) so there was still hope for Sharkbait of putting Timber between them and Sin Bin in an effort to clinch the series. In the end, Sin Bin just held on to take fourth from Sharkbait in fifth, with Sacre Bleu finishing race 6 in eighth.

Overall, Sin Bin won the Eastern Championships with 13 points from Ridgefence in second on 15 points. Sacre Bleu took third place on countback from Sharkbait, both on 16 points. The winner of the Silver fleet was Timber. Next up is the Northern Championships in the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, Bangor on 27th/28th May.

SB20 Eastern Championship 2017

Howth Yacht Club

Provisional Results as of 15:05 on April 23, 2017

Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Rating system: TCF, Entries: 16, Scoring system: Appendix A

   Boat HelmClubR1
22/04
R2
22/04
R3
22/04
R4
23/04
R5
23/04
R6
23/04
TotalNett
1     Sin Bin Michael O'Connor RStGYC (6.0) 1.0 4.0 3.0 1.0 4.0 19.0 13.0
2     Ridgefence.com Peter Kennedy Strangford 1.0 2.0 8.0 (9.0) 3.0 1.0 24.0 15.0
3     Sacrebleu Colin Galavan RIYC 2.0 5.0 1.0 1.0 7.0 (8.0) 24.0 16.0
4     Shark Bait Darren Martin Strangford Lough YC 3.0 4.0 (6.0) 2.0 2.0 5.0 22.0 16.0
5     Alert Packaging Justin Burke NYC 4.0 3.0 2.0 7.0 11.0 (12.0) 39.0 27.0
6     Lia Dave Barry RCYC 5.0 6.0 9.0 4.0 (10.0) 7.0 41.0 31.0
7     Two Men & their Monkey Daragh Sheridan HYC (10.0) 9.0 5.0 10.0 6.0 2.0 42.0 32.0
8     venuesworld.com Ger Dempsey RIYC 9.0 8.0 (13.0) 5.0 12.0 3.0 50.0 37.0
9     Timber Marty Cuppage RStGYC 12.0 7.0 10.0 (17.0 DNF) 4.0 6.0 56.0 39.0
10     Binn Eadair Cillian Dickson HYC (13.0) 11.0 12.0 8.0 5.0 9.0 58.0 45.0
11     Monkey Keith Cassidy HYC 7.0 (17.0 OCS) 11.0 13.0 8.0 13.0 69.0 52.0
12     Scorpio Beag Dominic O'Connell   14.0 (17.0 OCS) 14.0 6.0 9.0 10.0 70.0 53.0
13     Bád/Kilcullen Jerry Dowling RIYC 8.0 13.0 7.0 12.0 13.0 (15.0) 68.0 53.0
14     Bango James Gorman NYC 11.0 12.0 3.0 (17.0 DNF) 17.0 DNF 17.0 DNC 77.0 60.0
15     Sunday Brunch David Dwyer RStGYC 15.0 10.0 (17.0 DNF) 11.0 17.0 DSQ 11.0 81.0 64.0
16     Defiant Gerard Jones NYC 16.0 14.0 15.0 (17.0 DNF) 14.0 14.0 90.0 73.0
Published in SB20
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Cork Harbour's Dave Barry will defend his SB20 Eastern title this weekend at the Eastern Championships at Howth Yacht Club

As Afloat.ie previously reported, the National 18s, the RS400 and RS200 fleets will share the limelight off Ireland's Eye. The SB20s and N18s will race on one course and the RS400 and RS200s on another. 

Back from the Vendee Globe, solo skipper Enda O'Coineen is set to rejoin the sportsboat fleet for the first championships of 2017 as is the National Yacht Club's Roger Bannon, who has taken on the role of class measurer. 

The 2017 season is an important build–up for the class as the SB20 Europeans will be staged by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in 2018.

Published in SB20
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No sooner has Howth Yacht Club completed its Spring Warmer Series for keelboats than it is preparing for its first dinghy event of the 2017 Summer season.  HYC will host the RS Eastern Championship over the 22nd April and 23rd April.

The RS classes will be joined by Cork Harbour's travelling National 18s and the SB20 sportsboat class. 

In the run up to the championships, the RS Feva class are staging a two day training session in Howth. Training is open to all sailors around the country regardless of ability. 20 boats are expected for the Easterns and there is a lot of renewed interest in the class now from Optimist sailors looking to try a two hander. 

An early bird entry discount has been extended until tomorrow (April 12), according to HYC's Ross MacDonald. Enter here.

Published in RS Sailing

The 2017 Spring Warmer series sponsored by Key Capital Private came to a conclusion at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday. The final day of the season opener provided the sailors with some champagne sailing conditions with 15–knots of breeze and glorious sunshine.

In the Cruiser Class Paddy Kyne’s Maximus with two race wins took the honours by one point from the very consistent Flashback (Patterson/Paddy Gregory /Don Breen). In third place was Stephen Quinn’s Lambay Rules.

The J24 racing was dominated by Steve Atkinson’s Bad with three first places and a fourth. Second was Jumpin Jive (M. Usher). The new K25 team completed the podium. It was great to see three K25 youth teams out competing.

Howth Yacht Club’s “Taste of Sailing” initiative goes from strength to strength. The programme sees experienced sailors racing with those new to the sport or new to HYC. Five teams took to the club J80s for the Spring Warmer this year.

The SB20 fleet was the largest fleet with 10 boats. Locals Shane Murphy, Daragh Sheridan and John Phelan on Two Men & Their Monkey won the event with a race to spare from Colin Galavan’s Sacrebleu who scored a race win in the final race with a fantastic first run setting them up for a big lead which they never relinquished. Third place was Dave Barry on Lia.

The SB20s are staying in the same venue for their Eastern Championships to be held in two weeks’ time on 21 & 22 April.

The prizegiving took place with Vice Commodore Emmet Dalton on hand to present the prizes.

Published in Howth YC

Roger Bannon, who has has returned to the Irish SB20 fleet this year, will take up the role of Class Measurer for 2017-2018.

Bannon, a former Flying fifteen and Mermaid champion, previously acted as class measurer in the sportsboat class.

The Irish class association is preparing to host the 2018 European Championships on Dublin Bay at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Published in SB20
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The Graham Elmes Memorial Trophy will be presented to Cork Harbour's Dave Barry and the crew of SB20 Lia as winners of the 2016 Travellers Trophy at Friday night's SB20 Annual Class Dinner at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

The class trophy is awarded to the top ranking boat across all regional events including the National Championships.

The 2018 SB20 European Championships will be hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and new class captain Ger Demspey is promising an exciting season ahead on Dublin Bay.

There are still a few tickets available for Friday's dinner and can be booked directly with the RIYC.

Published in SB20

Michael O'Connor, Owen Laverty and Davy Taylor had a convincing second day to take the SB20 honours with at the conclusion of the regatta at Lough Derg Yacht Club at the weekend.

A fresh breeze of 12 -16 knots allowed the boats to enjoy two final races superbly organised by LDYC.  Second was Justin Burke, Gareth Nolan and Ed Cooke in 'Alert Packaging'. Third was Aidan O'Connell, Jonathan Hogg & Domonic Hegarty in 'Upwind Casualty'.

The fleet enjoyed the convivial surroundings of Lough Derg, Co. Tipperary along with the Flying Fifteen and Squib fleets.

The autumnal colours adding to the relaxed atmosphere at this end of season regatta. 14 SB20s turned out to battle for line honours. 'OUTLAW' Gary Pollard, Owen McLernon & Trevor Darcy took the Silver Fleet trophy the Hermes Cup.

Results are below

Published in SB20
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The 2018 SB20 European Championships will be hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire it has been announced.

The Irish staging of the event in two years time will be in the same year as the World Championships are heading down under to Tasmania.

Next year's Europeans are in Cowes and the Irish class is hoping to attend the British south coast event in numbers in antcipation of the 2018 Dublin Bay fixture. The Irish class is keen to recruit new blood to contest the Irish event and noting top secnod hand boats are available to buy at around £10,000stg.

Published in SB20
Page 9 of 24

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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