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The Squib South Coast Championships are scheduled for this weekend at Kinsale Yacht Club, where the class has strong support.

Racing is planned for Saturday and Sunday, with the rules requiring that boats be kept afloat during the event, no hauling-out and no cleaning below the waterline by any means allowed during the championships. Pretty strict regulations to keep the boats in equal conditions!

As Afloat previously reported, the National Squib Championships were raced at Weymouth Bay in Dorset, hosted by the local sailing club last week on the south coast of England. In strong conditions, with winds up to 25 knots, they did not thrive. Kinsale YC’s 'Outlaw' (Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan) was best Irish-placed, in 26th.

Squibs are two-person keelboats measuring seven metres long, originally designed in 1967 as a racing and teaching boat. There are 800 of what is a one-design class around Britain and Ireland.

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The final race of the National Squib Championships in Weymouth Bay, hosted by Weymouth Sailing Club, was to be a battle of the giants, Jono Browne and Chris Agar in 142, 'Two Counts' and six points behind, multi-championship winners Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan in 136 'Ric-o-Shea'.

On the day, the wind blew at 25 knots from the west, kicking up a short steep sea, which Squibs can easily handle (although it can be somewhat wet).

Peter Aikin, the PRO, laid a 'championship' course of four laps of a windward-leeward course with a beat of 1.25 miles - making the total course ten miles as the seagull flies.

On the first beat, Jono opted to head north towards the beach, where the waves were slightly less obstructive. His Lonton & Gray sails gave him enough power to round the first windward mark in the lead, with 'Ric-o-Shea' (using Batt sails) not far behind.

Despite trying all the tricks in the book 'Ric-o-Shea', they were unable to steal the lead and finished in first and second places, respectively.

The Irish teams did not thrive in the strong conditions, with 'Outlaw' Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan in 26th place, 'Volante' Simon Watson and Geordie Withers in 32nd., 'Femme Fatale' in 37th. 'Slipstream' in 38th and 'Incendio' in 40th.

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With no racing possible on the final day of Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series, the overall win went to Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan in Outlaw.

There were 15 races sailed and three discards in the 12-boat fleet, leaving Travers and O'Riordan with a 5.5-point winning margin. Colm Dunne and Fiona Ward were second in Allegro.

Third was Club Commodore Matthia Hellstern sailing with Colm Daly in third place.

Unfortunately, there was not enough wind to race on the final day of Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob BatemanUnfortunately, there was not enough wind to race on the final day of Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob Bateman

Squib winners Keith O'Riordan (left) and Ian Travers in Outlaw were the overall winners of Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob BatemanSquib winners Keith O'Riordan (left) and Ian Travers in Outlaw were the overall winners of Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob Bateman

Fiona Ward and Colm Dunne were second overall at Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob BatemanFiona Ward and Colm Dunne were second overall at Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Photo: Bob Bateman

Kinsale Yacht Club's Squib Frostbite Series Prizegiving Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman 

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Outlaw, sailed by Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan, is nearing overall victory in the Squib Class of the Frostbite Series at Kinsale Yacht Club.

They sailed to one first and two second places in Sunday’s three races. Outlaw is closely pursued by Colm Dunne and Fiona Ward in Allegro, which won two of those races but dropped to fourth at the finish of the third on Sunday.

Outlaw has 18 points overall going into the final day of the series this Sunday. Allegro is on 23.5. That should make for an interesting battle between these two crews for the final placings. Third is Fifty Shades (Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly) on 36.5 points and unlikely to affect the top two placings.

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Three different winners in three races on the fourth day of the Frostbite series at Kinsale Yacht Club on Sunday showed close competition at the top of the Squib fleet, where Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan continue to lead in Outlaw.

Allegro won the day's first race, sailed by Colm Dunne and Fiona Ward, who is in second place overall on 17.5 points. The second winner was the third overall crew, Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly, sailing Fifty Shades. The third race was won by Mucky Duck, sailed by the O’Sullivans – Michael and Micheál.

Outlaw had second place in the first race, followed by a third in the second and a fourth in the third. The second discard of the series has been applied, and Travers/O’Riordan are on a nett 13 points overall at the top, followed by Allegro 4.5 points behind and Fifty Shades on 27.5 in third. Mucky Duck is fourth overall on 33. 

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It is a long way to Tipperary and Lough Derg Yacht Club at Dromineer from the Squib strongholds on Belfast and Strangford Loughs in the North.

Dromineer lies on the shores of Lough Derg, on the River Shannon and 10km north of Nenagh.

Not to be deterred, at least seven Northern Squib owners will trail the 200 miles to the Freshwater One Design Regatta from 14th to 16th of October.

From Killyleagh on Strangford Lough and leading the charge will be the Irish Class Chairman, Robert Marshall with Slipstream, Simon Watson’s Volante and Stephen Bridges in Firecracker. From Royal North on Belfast Lough, last year’s winner Gordon Patterson will no doubt try to hold on to the top slot in Fegan: In Toy for the Boys is Peter Wallace, Stephen Stewart in Second Chance and Dot’s Boat sailed by Terry Rowan.

Robert Marshall is looking forward to the competition: “I’m hoping for a big entry for the last regional event of the year and seeing boats from England and Wales in Dromineer. The Commodore of LDYC, Joe Gilmartin, no doubt will provide top-class racing and social events”.

The new Squib trophy to be presented at Lough DergThe new Squib trophy to be presented at Lough Derg

So who will claim the brand new Irish Squib Class perpetual trophy that will be presented to this year’s victorious Squib?

Bryan Willis and John McPeake (4074) at the Northern FF championships photo Kathryn Anderson.jpgBryan Willis and John McPeake (4074) at the Northern FF championships Photo Kathryn Anderson

Another Northern entrant, but this time in a Flying Fifteen will be Bryan Willis in Simply Gold from County Antrim Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. He had a mixed season he said: “We were second in the Northerns at my home club and expect strong competition in this event.  As far as I am aware, we are the only Northern Flying Fifteen entry, but perhaps there’ll be more before entries close on Wednesday 12th “.

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It’s a double bill this weekend at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough where the RS Elite Irish Nationals and the McMillan Shield for Squibs will be held.

It has been a busy year for the local Elite fleet, with many of them having travelled to England for various events, culminating in the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix in Cowes, with 43 boats on the start line. Of these, Royal North’s Simon Brien finished fifth in Kin. The Irish Elite event will be smaller with ten expected, to be joined by ten Squibs.

It looks as if the RS Elite lineup could be an open field this year with Stephen Polly on Storm and Mike Browne’s Love Bug stiff competition. Polly took runner up in last year’s Irish Nationals Tiffany Brien will be helming the family’s Kin and given past performance will be in the pack. Jeff Ralston will also be a contender in Up Front along with the Vaughan family on Joint Venture.

The Squib Easterns at Howth Photo: Paddy JudgeThe Squib Easterns at Howth Photo: Paddy Judge

The Squib line up for the McMillan Shield looks like being headed up by Gordon Patterson on Fagan who won the Northerns at Killyleagh in May and more recently the Easterns at Howth. The RNIYC Squib Fleet are super competitive, and David Eccles on Inshallah will want to win this event. Hot on his heels will be Peter Wallace on Toy for the Boys who might be a thorn on the side. The Killiners are on Maximus are relatively new to the fleet so it will be good to see how they progress.

Race Officer is Sam Lynas, formerly of Squib Worm, and he will have a good understanding of both these fleets but given that the forecast is for light winds, may have to deal with delicate situations!

Racing gets underway on Saturday (27th) at 11.30 and again on Sunday 10.30 at Cultra.

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“Mixed feelings” might describe the ordinary host club members’ feelings in contemplating the results of the Squib Easterns at Howth. For although Derek Bothwell, one of HYC’s elite squad of Race Officers, managed to pull a very complete set of results out of what might be seen in future as the “last rose of summer” event, with sunny breezes having to be set off against king-sized Spring tides, the overall results sheet showed that the visitors did very nicely indeed, thank you.

The overall winner in the Gold Fleet was Fagin from Royal North of Ireland YC, sailed by Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan. And the overall winner of the Silver Fleet was Tiger Roll, sailed by Carla Fagan of the host club. Enthusiasts of Dickens will have a field day with all this, meanwhile, HYC members are increasingly wondering if the women sailors on the peninsula do all the winning while the men are fit for nothing but the washing up.

Rising star – Carla Fagan’s Tiger Roll enjoying the heatwave by stayng cool – and first in the final race – out in Fingal BayRising star – Carla Fagan’s Tiger Roll enjoying the heatwave by stayng cool – and first in the final race – out in Fingal Bay

Maybe ’twas ever thus. Anyway, in a good fleet of 24 boats in which the most northerly came from Belfast Lough, the most easterly from Holyhead in Wales, the most southerly from Kinsale and the most westerly from Lough Derg, it was actually Emmet Dalton and Neal Merry of the host club who were tops of the locals in fourth in the Gold Fleet. But rising HYC star Carla Fagan crewed by Stephen Quinn had the dream trajectory, as she started with a very L-plate 19th, but thereafter it was onwards and upwards with 13th, 3rd and 1st to provide first in the Silver fleet.

Striking a blow for the Crews’ Union – winning pit man Ross Nolan (RNIYC) with HYC Commodore Paddy JudgeStriking a blow for the Crews’ Union – winning pit man Ross Nolan (RNIYC) with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge

Silver stars – crewman Stephen Quinn with Silver Fleet winner Carla Fagan and Paddy Judge.Silver stars – crewman Stephen Quinn with Silver Fleet winner Carla Fagan and Paddy Judge

However, as the result sheets show, there was no gainsaying the fact that it was Fagin of RNIYC on first with 4,1,1,2, Firecracker of Killyleagh (Steven Bridges & Matthew Bolton) on second with 1,2,2,9, and Granat of Royal Irish YC (David Stewart & Brian Hare) on third at 2,5,5 and a discarded 11. It’s no wonder so many visitors have since been in touch to send thanks to HYC for providing such a lovely time……..

It was a very satisfactory spread of entriesIt was a very satisfactory spread of entries

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The fleet set out in classic Kinsale weather with 20 knots and waves. The championships were both decided on the water in the final race at the Bandon Co-op Squib National Championships.

After the many black flags of yesterday, the fleet got off first time with just an individual recall flag showing. Once again it was RicO’Shea who took an early lead and were well off into the distance (more on that later) however it was the Irish fleet who really had the hang of the big weather and it was going to be a hard-fought race throughout with Fagin, Allegro and Outlaw and Fuggles all battling for the win.

Fantastic surfing on the downwind legs was had by all and in the end, it was Bacchante VII, Joe Henry and Roly Wilson who took the win ahead of local Kinsale Commodore, Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly in Fifty Shades.

Championship Winner Tom Jeffgate and Mark Hogan receive the Chris Hogan Memorial Trophy From John O' Looney Bandon Co-Op Photo: Bob BatemanChampionship Winner Tom Jeffgate and Mark Hogan receive the Chris Hogan Memorial Trophy From John O' Looney Bandon Co-Op Photo: Bob Bateman

The team of Sean Murphy and his father Paul in Fuggles took a well-deserved third to assure that as crane driver the fleet would be lifted out in a super-efficient manner.

Ric O Shea were unfortunate to be one of the receivers of the individual recall flag.

John O'Looney of Bandon Co-Op presents Irish Squib National Championships winners Ian Travers and Keith O' Riordan with their trophy Photo: Bob BatemanJohn O'Looney of Bandon Co-Op presents Irish Squib National Championships winners Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan with their trophy Photo: Bob Bateman

Overall a fantastic week was had by all, with superb racing organised by the Race Offer, Peter Crowley, and his team on SpareTime and all the fleet are hugely appreciative of their time and effort in ensuring a great week of racing.

The Bandon Co-op Irish National Champions 2022 are local team Outlaw, Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan, second went to Royal North of Ireland team Fagan, Gordan Patterson and Ross Nolan whilst Kinsale’s Allegro, Colm Dunne and Rob Gill took the bronze.

The Squib National 2022 was won by South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club’s Ric O Shea, Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan. Second place went to Lucky Counts, Jono Brown and Chris Agar from the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club ahead of team mate Spoof, Micky Wright and Alex Porteous in third.

Squib Championships Kinsale 2022 Prizewinners Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

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The weather came in and the Bandon Co-op Squib Nationals fleet left the harbour to embark on a three-race day, the gentle breeze turned southerly and the first race today was race four of the Championships, a nice 10 knots saw the fleet split and the favoured side saw the newest squib in the fleet Harry VI take line honours ahead of the Lucky Counts and the ever quick Ric O Shea.

By race two, the predicted win was up just shy of 20 knots plus knots. A few starters fell fall foul of the black flag start penalty, including previous race winner Harry VI and Lady Penelope.

Ric O Shea had no such problems and won race five. Kinsale locals Outlaw took second and the highest placed first boat thus far this week. The third place was Lucky Counts.

The final race of the day and the wind had built further along with the wave, the ever consistent Ric O Shea took the lead from the start whilst the battle for second and third developed behind. Ultimately it was Aquabat who took second place whilst Spoof were able to reel Allegro in to grab third place. Ric O Shea is now the overnight leader in the final day’s racing.

On the other side of the results, the Irish nationals are being led by locals Outlaw with The Royal North's Fagin hot on their heels, Allegro sits currently in third having had an unlucky race 5 with an outhaul issue.

Results are provisional here

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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