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In 1947 a group of sailors from Dun Laoghaire Harbour and West Kirby Sailing Club sat down in the bar in the RStGYC and devised rules to make inter-club racing more interesting.

You could engage in ungentlemanly conduct to win the match, such as ‘mislead & baulk’ your opponent, cover opposition boats to allow your teammates to advance; scores were cumulative and winning the race wasn’t all.

Thus, the first Team Racing rules were formulated. West Kirby had been invited to Dun Laoghaire for ‘open’ water racing, which was not then available on the west coast of England as the minefields protecting Liverpool Port had not yet been cleared.

The following year, Dun Laoghaire clubs got together to run the inaugural IDRA National Team Racing Championships in Fireflies a World first. 75 years later the event repeats under the auspices of ITRA (Irish Team Racing Assoc.) and the RStGYC on 18th/19th November in the ‘George’ and entries open next Tuesday (on rsgyc.ie).

Four youth teams will receive invitations. These comprise the Irish winners and runners-up from the Elmo and Schools Nationals '23 events, which were truly amazing events rallying 32 representative teams.

Demand for entries is expected to be brisk as this is the ultimate event of 2023.

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The RYA Eric Twiname Junior & Youth Team Racing Championships took place 7-8 October 2023 at Oxford Sailing Club on Farmoor Reservoir.

Possibly the world’s biggest event for youth team racing, this renowned regatta saw a huge 348 sailors turning up to participate. Racing started promptly on Saturday with a good strong breeze of 15-17 knots, and the race committee got in as many races as possible.

Unlike traditional fleet racing regattas, this event features kids aged 8 to 18 sharing RS Feva and Firefly dinghies. Teams do on-water changeovers and compete in short-burst races.

“What is brilliant about the event is that it's team racing, not fleet racing. This gives the sailors a better opportunity to learn and experience the racing rules of sailing. It starts to sew the seeds of team racing skills; sailing as slow as possible rather than as fast as possible to win” Jake Elsbury, Training & Fleet Co-Ordinator at RS Sailing. “It is unique to most other sailing events as the teams experience short, sharp, intense periods on the water. Races are just 6 minutes long but voracious compared to fleet racing in various ways.”

The 2023 Championships is the first time the event was run on three courses. Usually, it is just split into two; Youth (Under 19s) and Junior (Under 17s) and teams race 3 v 3. However, this year the committee wanted to make it more inclusive, so the Junior category was split into two classes; the Under 17s and the Under 15s.

wClassed as ‘pre-Junior’, the Under 15s competed in 2 v 2 races to make it more accessible for those who have never team raced before. “It’s very straight forward; don’t be last!” Jake explains. This decision was also taken considering the huge demand for the Junior event – there was an excess of 50 applicants this year.

The Junior categories raced in the RS Feva. “They’re sporty, fast, agile and robust.” Jake continues, “It is proper racing pedigree great for stop/start, tactical team racing. And it will bounce off others like bumper cars if there is a collision. They’re the perfect boat for youth sailors to showcase their skills and engage in friendly competition.”

The Championships are also known for their social side. When sailors are not racing, they are either on a rib together, engaging with the tactics on the water, or they are back on land. Families come with gazebos, BBQs and picnic and make a proper day of it. Between racing, sailors get to know competitors off the water too and have plenty of opportunities to make new friends.

On Day 2 there was slight delay as there was no wind to start with. Everyone got on the water as soon as possible and rafted up with fun and games. Racing started at 11am with a super light breeze that went on to build to 10 knots.

Event Director, Jake Fennick, ran the regatta on behalf of the RYA. “It was an unforgettable championship. A monster in size, we had 348 sailors at the venue! With 73 teams across the three courses, we did almost 300 races on the Saturday. That wouldn’t have been possible without the support from RS. We couldn’t have got those extra flights of boats in without them.”

There was a huge array of volunteers from straight-forward event support, administrators, juries, umpires and race officers. All-in-all it was a superb mix of fast and furious racing blended with some well-timed breaks for social time ashore. Click here for the Youth (Under 19s) results, Junior (Under 17s) results and the Pre-Junior (Under 15s) results.

The Eric Twiname Trust wants to see more people taking part in team racing and building confidence in youth sailors. As Jack put it: “This is your call to arms! If you experienced team racing, loved it and want to do more, contact the RYA for help and guidance to make it happen at your own club.”

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Team Racers Rian Geraghty McDonnell, Emily Arrowsmith, Isabelle Kearney, Kitty Flanagan, Finn Walker and Max Goodbody were the overall winners of St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship that took place in Dun Laoghaire harbour on October 21st. 

There were lots of thrills and spills but thankfully no rain for the St Andrew’s College Alumni Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht ClubThere were lots of thrills and spills but thankfully no rain for the St Andrew’s College Alumni Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

As Afloat reported earlier, the South Dublin college's event was hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club. Nine teams (54 SAC participants) and 30 volunteers were led by Principal Race Officer Robbie Walker and his team.

The St Andrew’s College Alumni Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht Club was held in club Firefly dinghies and raced inside Dun Laoghaire harbour The St Andrew’s College Alumni Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht Club was held in club Firefly dinghies and raced inside Dun Laoghaire harbour 

Thankfully, the breeze dropped from this week's recent Storm Babet conditions to provide ideal nine- 12 knot winds to the extent that the regatta had sunny spells and no rain!

There was an impressive turnout of 54 sailors for the St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht ClubThere was an impressive turnout of 54 sailors for the St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship Second place: Amy O’Halloran, Sam Ledoux, Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell, Oisin Hughes, Kei Walker and Matvey SorgassiSt Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship Second place: Amy O’Halloran, Sam Ledoux, Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell, Oisin Hughes, Kei Walker and Matvey Sorgassi

Second place (pictured above) was won by Amy O’Halloran, Sam Ledoux, Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell, Oisin Hughes, Kei Walker and Matvey Sorgassi.

Third overall at the St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship went to Peter Williams, Oscar Legge, Rachel Flood, Eva Spain, Georgia Goodbody and Ruby Slye O’Connell.Third overall at the St Andrew’s College Alumni inaugural Team Racing Championship went to Peter Williams, Oscar Legge, Rachel Flood, Eva Spain, Georgia Goodbody and Ruby Slye O’Connell

Third place (some of the team pictured above) went to Peter Williams, Oscar Legge, Rachel Flood, Eva Spain, Georgia Goodbody and Ruby Slye O’Connell.

Next year, the college's sailing administrator, Mary Justine Geraghty, told Afloat, 'We hope to build on the team numbers as our current SAC sailors progress to University level (become SAC Alumni Sailors) and our junior school sailors join SAC secondary school. It can only get bigger and better!'

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County Dublin's St Andrew's College (SAC) will stage its inaugural Alumni Team Racing Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday. 

Nine teams comprising 54 sailors will compete for a specially made half-model Firefly trophy.

A leather-bound book has also been produced to hold a list of the winning team names, the competitors and a brief summary of the annual event along with some photos. 

The Booterstown school currently has 150 active sailors with 90 training every Wednesday afternoon from the RSTGYC and the RIYC in both keelboat and team racing programmes for SAC primary and secondary schools.

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After a staggering 190 races, UK visitors the Rutland Raiders emerged victorious with a comprehensive 2-0 victory in the final against last year’s winners, the Nautibuoys, at the weekend's eighth edition of team racing's Elmo Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

In what was the biggest team race event ever staged in Ireland, 196 sailors from across the country competed in the 32 supplied Firefly dinghies lighting up a sometimes-gloomy Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the weekend.

After a challenging Saturday, Race Officer David Bolger and his team started race 97 at 9 am on Sunday morning. No lie in for the sailors who had enjoyed themselves at the Elmo dinner the night before. This year, a very detailed computer programme on loan from West Kirby Sailing Club matched up teams round by round based on who was winning and who was losing. It led to incredibly close racing all weekend as the program quickly established the pecking order for racing.

An Elmo Trophy semi-final start - what a start! An Elmo Trophy semi-final start - what a start! 

As the morning continued, the wind held firm, allowing for races to fire off every three minutes as the six fleets of firefly dinghies raced teams off sequentially. Typically, this allowed for three different races to be on the race course at the same time, thankfully on different parts of the Starboard S course used for the event. By 2 pm, Round 11 was complete, meaning 176 races had been sailed, and teams anxiously watched to see who had made the final 8 for the quarter-final showdown.

Aquaholics (N) vs Nautibuoys (D) in the quarter-finals of the Elmo Trophy at Dun LaoghaireAquaholics (N) vs Nautibuoys (D) in the quarter-finals of the Elmo Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

So close was the racing that teams ranked 8th to 16th all had the same amount of wins, with only 1 getting the coveted 8th spot and a chance at the knockouts. Thankfully, race organisers could rely on the algorithm that determines how special each win is based on who it was against, thus enabling ties to be broken fairly and quickly.

The ‘Forget Me knots' from the Royal St. George Yacht ClubThe ‘knot too shabby' team from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

In 9th place and just missing out were the ‘Forget Me knots, ’ an all-female crew from the host club. They at least had the consolation of winning the Elmo Plate, a new perpetual trophy kindly donated by the Elmes family, which is awarded to the top-ranked team to miss out on the knockout stages. Spare a thought too, for the Glandore Harbour Dangers, who had run in the top 8 all weekend only to hit the round-robin rocks and miss out on quarters by losing their last race.

With a solid breeze of 10 knots and full sails, quarter-finals commenced. This year, in a first for the event, live commentary of the quarter-finals was provided over VHF, which enabled the many watching knocked-out teams to enjoy the action and cheer on their favourites in watching RIBS. It helps too, when one of the commentators, Steve Tylecote, was the very first Team Race World winner and an author of the only printed book on Team Racing.

Schull Sharks competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun LaoghaireSchull Sharks competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

The quarter-finals eventually went to form after some contested races with Aquaholics, Berth Ctrl, Anchor management and Motorsailors getting knocked out. It seems as much thought goes into team name strategy as anything else for the Elmo trophy!

Anchor management competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun LaoghaireAnchor management competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

The semis saw Round Robin winners ‘Prestige Worldwide' face off against ‘Nautibouys’. Would there be a changing of the guard? Two frantic races determined the result, and the Round Robin winners were out. A young team, they will surely come again next year.

The Second Semi matched off SAC4CUP, a team packed with academy sailors and schoolmates, against the UK raiders from Rutland. It was at this stage in the event that Rutland moved up a gear and comprehensively won 2-0 despite some excellent starting from the St. Andrews team.

Star Martinis watching the knockouts at the Elmo Team Racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire HarbourStar Martinis watching the knockouts at the Elmo Team Racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Pier pressure changing from Storm to Full sails at the Elmo team racing trophyPier pressure changing from Storm to Full sails at the Elmo team racing trophy

So, after a staggering 188 races, it had come down to the final. With spectators and commentators getting excited and the time past 4 pm, Rutland Raiders and Nautibuoys lined up in the RSGYC Green and Yellow fireflies to battle it out. This was a match-up of team racing experts versus super fast sailors. Who would win out? Well, yet again, Rutland moved up another gear with the team racing experts suddenly showing they were super fast as well and started race one like a tornado as they blew last year's winners off the start line with a coveted 1-2-3 combination. Despite some gallant sailing, the Nautibuoys were quickly down 1-0 in the first to two finals.

The Elmo Trophy Final - Rutland In green Nautibuoys in yellowThe Elmo Trophy Final - Rutland In green, Nautibuoys in yellow

Race 2 was do-or-die stuff, but despite raising their game, the Nautibuoys were powerless to stop Rutland from taking control of the race down the run and easing to 1-3-4 win and, thus, the title.

So the 8th Elmo trophy, Ireland’s top youth team racing event, goes to the UK this year, as the Rutland captain Jamie Tylecote dryly observed it was a sweet revenge after Irish universities took the UK crown earlier this year.

The Rutland Raiders winning team was Jamie Tylecote, Harry Burges, Tom Coates, Harry Rowlands, William Fearn and Dylan Beatty.

Elmo Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.Elmo Trophy 2023 results

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Challenging winds kept sailors and race management on their toes on day one of the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Some of the early racing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourSome of the early racing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

In conditions that ranged from zero to 20 knots, heavy rain to sunshine and storm sails to full sails, Race Officer David Bolger and his team delivered 96 races, completing six rounds of sailing for the 32 teams racing.

Prestige Worldwide have merged as overnight leaders at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourPrestige Worldwide have merged as overnight leaders at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Two teams are undefeated on six wins, with home side, Prestige Worldwide narrowly ahead of the Rutland Raiders from the UK. With a further five rounds expected before moving to the quarter-finals, many teams are ready to leap from the pack and seal their place in the final eight.

As Afloat reported earlier, this year's event sees 192 sailors from around the country representing various classes and clubs compete equally in the 36 supplied firefly dinghies. In races that typically last eight minutes around a starboard S-shaped course, two teams face off each race as they try to grab a precious win and move up the overall ranking.

 Schull Dolphins looking sharp at the Elmo team racing trophy event dinner at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Schull Dolphins looking sharp at the Elmo team racing trophy event dinner at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Racing starts on Sunday at 08:45, with quarter-finals expected to start at 14:00.

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The eighth Elmo Trophy is set to take place this weekend in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This exciting youth team racing competition has grown significantly since its inception in 2015, with 32 teams set to participate this year, compared to the original eight teams.

The event is expected to be the largest team racing competition ever held in Irish waters, with 192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies. The races will determine the winner, with approximately 200 races expected to take place.

A special computer programme, on loan from West Kirby Sailing Club, will dynamically create team match-ups. In each round, teams with equal wins will race off, leading to close and fun racing. Sailors will compete on a ‘Starboard S’ shaped course, with a separate start and finish line, facilitating up to 3 races on the track and allowing for quick changeovers after racing to enable new teams to race.

"The event is expected to be the largest team racing competition ever held in Irish waters"

On the water umpires, led by Chief Umpire Ailbe Millerick, will provide on-the-water judging, enabling quick protest decisions and results being determined on the water. This year, the umpire panel is supported by many former Elmo sailors who will add their valued input to the rapid decision process.

192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies in the Elmo Trophy Team Racing event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies in the Elmo Trophy Team Racing event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Teams from around the country will compete, with each team consisting of six sailors, all 19 or under, 2 of whom must be under 16, and none attending university. New entries this year include teams from Malahide, Lough Ree, and from the UK, Rutland Raiders. Seasoned Irish team racers will recognise the name Tylecote, which appears on the Rutland Raider lineup.

The Elmo Trophy has become quite a logistical exercise, with races taking place every three minutes from 10:45 on Saturday until 18:00 on Saturday evening. This gives the teams a short break to ‘glam’ up for the Elmo Trophy Dinner in the Dining Room and Balcony in the RStGYC. The sailing will re-commence early on Sunday morning, moving to quarter-finals in the afternoon, with a new innovation this year, commentary supplied over VHF.

The Elmo Trophy - the eighth staging of the event this weekend at the Royal St. George will be its biggest so farThe Elmo Trophy - the eighth staging of the event this weekend at the Royal St. George will be its biggest so far. The trophy is named after the late Graham Elmes, the founder of the Irish Team Racing Association

With 32 teams participating, predicting a winner is difficult, but teams from the home club, Howth, and the UK Raiders, are expected to make it to the quarter-finals. Glandore, with two teams and a growing team race community, could also be in the shake-up. The competition promises to be an exciting event, with close and fun racing expected throughout the weekend.

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The annual alumni team racing event hosted by Queens University took place on the 20th of May. The event brought together eight teams consisting of past and present students from Queens University but Trinity College and UCD were also invited to participate. Ballyhome provided perfect conditions for team racing with a steady 12-knots while the rest of the country suffered from a lack of wind.

Throughout the event, over 50 races took place, showcasing the teams' skills and strategies. During the round-robin phase, Trinity demonstrated their sailing expertise by finishing top of the table. Their coordinated efforts and smart tactics quickly established them as a strong team.

In the semi-finals, Trinity faced-off against UCD in a closely-fought battle. Both teams displayed their sailing abilities, but Trinity's strategic choices and decision-making ultimately led them to success, securing their place in the final.

Luke Donagh (crew), Tim Norwood (helm), Trinity, at the Queens University Alumni Team Racing EventLuke Donagh (crew), Tim Norwood (helm), Trinity, at the Queens University Alumni Team Racing Event

The Queens 1st team prepared for a thrilling showdown against the unbeaten Trinity sailing team. An aggressive start line led to hails of protest from both teams. Splitting either side of the first beat, it was hard to tell which team was leading. There were multiple place changes throughout the race (with manoeuvres called pass-backs). Ultimately, Trinity's consistent performance and smart tactics paid off, as they emerged as the overall winners crossing the line with a 1,2,3 combination.

As the Queens University Alumni Team Racing Event drew to a close, it marked the end of a thrilling season for university sailing. The event provided a fitting finale, bringing together talented teams from UCD, Trinity, and Queens for one last exhilarating showdown on the water.

The winning Trinity College team (from left to right); Tim Norwood, Emily Arrowsmith, Madison O’Conaill, Finn Walker, Luke Donagh and Henry HigginsThe winning Trinity College team (from left to right); Tim Norwood, Emily Arrowsmith, Madison O’Conaill, Finn Walker, Luke Donagh and Henry Higgins

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The MG Motors All Ireland School Team Racing Championship took place in The Royal St George Yacht Club on Sat 29th and Sun 30th April 2023.

St Conleth’s College took first place, a first for the school as overall winners and, indeed, only the second time a Leinster school has won. St Conleth’s College came close last year as runners-up to Gonzaga, but it was St Andrews First team this year who gave St Conleth’s a close run and ended up in 2nd place in a very tightly fought contest.

A total of nineteen teams qualified for the event, with Munster schools sending eight teams. The most prolific winner of the Fastnet trophy, Schull Community College, with nine All Ireland wins since 2004 and recent winner of the Munster Championships, had three teams competing with the teams from Bandon Grammar, Skibbereen Community School (2 teams), CBC Cork (previous winner in 2011) and a team from Colaiste Mhuire, Crosshaven making up the Munster bidding for the trophy. The Leinster intent to retain the title was led by St Andrew’s (winners and runners-up of the Leinster Championship) with three teams, Holy Child Killiney with two teams (3rd place in Leinster Championship), St Michael’s College (winners of the Shanahan Cup), St Conleth’s, CBC Monkstown, St David’s/Holy Faith, Mount Anville and Blackrock College.

St Conleth's in yellow vs Schull Community College on the downwind from mark 2 at the The MG Motors All Ireland School Team Racing Championship at Dun Laoghaire HarbourSt Conleth's in yellow vs Schull Community College on the downwind from mark 2 at the The MG Motors All Ireland School Team Racing Championship at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

With 19 teams and light wind forecast for the event, the Organising Authority settled on a round robin format with two groups, A with 10 teams and B with 9 teams. As competitors and support teams gathered at 8.30 on Saturday morning, no wind was evident in the boat park or in the harbour. A one-hour AP from 8.50 was followed by a further one-hour AP until 10.50. The breeze started to fill and the fleet were able to launch around 11am and racing for Group A began around 11.30. The race team sailed 18 races for group A and then switched over to Group B where 21 races were sailed before switching back to Group A. A further 15 races for Group A were sailed when at 5.30 the race officer ordered the fleet ashore so that they could get their glad rags on for the All Ireland Gala dinner in the dining room of Royal Saint George Yacht Club. After the first days racing, Group A had 33 of their 45 races completed and Group B had 21 of their 36 races completed. With 54 races completed in the day, the contenders in each group were coming to fore but more racing would be needed on the following day.

"A total of nineteen teams qualified for the event, with Munster schools sending eight teams"

All 114 sailors changed into their smart suits, dresses, ties, tiaras and heels for dinner in the main dining room at 7.30 where banter and discussion on the days racing was loud and lively. It was great to see the social side of sailing and team racing as competitors from different provinces, clubs and schools swapped stories and made and renewed friendships which will last their sailing careers.

A tight start to one of the 69 races sailed at the 2023 MG MOTORS ISTRA All Ireland Team Racing Championship 2023A tight start to one of the 69 races sailed at the 2023 MG Motors ISTRA All Ireland Team Racing Championship 2023

As day two dawned for the Championships, the race team faced a difficult challenge with the wind conditions (or lack of) facing them. This time an indefinite AP was hoisted as the race team took to the water to be ready as soon as conditions allowed racing to recommence. Group B would sail first to allow them to have leaders emerge for the knock-out stages. Just after 10 am a 5-7 knot breeze from the east allowed the race team to get some racing in. However, a series of course shifts, APs and race abandonments meant that by 1pm, only a further 9 races had been completed in the Group B round robin. This was sufficient racing to proceed to knock out stages from the groups.

Max Cantwell, Captain of St Michael's team leads them to third place in the 2023 MG Motors All Ireland Team Racing Championships at the RStGYCMax Cantwell, Captain of St Michael's team leads them to third place in the 2023 MG Motors All Ireland Team Racing Championships at the RStGYC

In group A, Andrews 1 had 6 race wins from 7 races only losing to Andrews 2 who had 5 race wins from 7 races. CBC Cork also had 5 race wins from 7 races but had a higher average points score. Next was Andrews 3 with 4 race wins from 6 races. In Group B, St Conleth’s and St Michael’s both had 6 wins from 7 races with St Conleth’s having a lower average points per race. Next, was Schull 2 with 5 wins from 7 races. Battling for 4th position in the group was Blackrock and Skibbereen 1 both with 3 races wins from 7 races and with Blackrock having a lower average point score.

On this basis, the quarter finals would have consisted of Andrews 1, Andrews 2, CBC Cork, Andrew’s 3, St Conleth’s, St Michael’s, Schull 2 and Blackrock. With the weather behaving the way it was, the Organising Authority decided to proceed to semi-finals with semi-final 1 consisting of St Conleth’s v St Andrew’s 2 and semi-final 2 consisting of St Andrews 1 v St Michael’s. The trophy was destined to return to Leinster. The semi-finals were best of three and the breeze allowed the race team to get them started with the first races won by St Conleth’s and St Andrew’s 1. St Andrew’s 2 came back strong in the 2nd race to level the score with St Conleth’s. St Andrew’s 1 won their 2nd race against St Michael’s to proceed to the final. After a couple of APs, the last semi-final between St Conleth’s and St Andrew’s 2 saw St Conleth’s win with a very close 1,4,5 combination.

The final beckoned between St Conleth’s and St Andrew’s. After a long wait yet again due to the wind not playing ball, numerous course resets, the championship final was finally underway. It was a close first race but in the end St Conleth’s emerged on top with a 1,2,4 combination. Time had now run out for the race team as had the wind and N over A was displayed cancelling racing for the day and crowning St Conleth’s as All Ireland Schools Team Racing Championship winners.

The St Conleth’s team was captained by Russell Bolger, with Louis McGovern and Daniel O’Connor as helms and Saoirse Corry, Fergus O’Reilly and James O’Kelly as crew. St Andrew’s team was captained Oisin Hughes with Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell and Sam Ledoux as helms and Norah Tinney, Ruby Slye O’Connell and Matvey Sorgassi as crew. The third-place team was decided by coin toss won by St Michael’s team of Captain, Max Cantwell, helms, Christian Ennis and Rory McMullan and crews Peadar Doyle, Michael Byrne and Alex Deasy.

Thanks to the event sponsors, MG Motors and Mervue Laboratories without whose generosity, the event would not be as successful or as stylish with our the ISTRA bucket hats. A huge thanks are attributed to Eunice Kennedy as Event Director and her wonderful team of volunteers for running this Team Racing Event. The Irish Schools Team Racing Association is delighted with the result, as the competitors had a great weekend of racing and lots of fun ashore between their races. The competitors were exemplary with their good behaviour both on and off the water, and we express our Thanks as it enhanced the running of the event.

Captain Russell Bolger and crew James O’Kelly at the 2023 All Ireland Schools Team Racing Championship sport their ISTRA bucket hats sponsored by MG MotorsCaptain Russell Bolger and crew James O’Kelly at the 2023 All Ireland Schools Team Racing Championship sport their ISTRA bucket hats sponsored by MG Motors

Thanks go to Ailbe Millerick, Pat McCarthy and Dave Sheehan for their on-the-water umpiring, Ronan Flood, on water Safety Officers, David Bolger and his team of volunteers on the Start Boat, David Williams on the Finish Boat Team, Mark Layers, Keith Start the Beach Master and his team of volunteers, Lorraine O’Connor on Results, Harriet Walker and her Race Office Team, the Change Over Rib volunteers, Hal Fitzgerald as PRO and Robert Walker for acting as Bosun, the School Representatives who looked after their teams and assisted with the running of the event.

The SSAI would like to thank the Royal St George Yacht Club and Flag Officers, Ronan Adams, Sailing manager, Karin Ryan, Sailing Secretary and catering and boathouse staff.

The next major youth team racing event will be the Elmo Trophy hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club on the weekend of the 26th and 27th August. Over 30 teams are expected and planning has already commenced with great plans for what will be the largest and most competitive team racing in Ireland in 2023.

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University College Dublin is on such a roll in the 2023 Team Racing season that their captain Jack Fahy already took an SoM for the squad’s win of the Top Gun at Oxford back in February. And they still have the great Wilson Trophy to challenge for in mid-May. But meanwhile, in April at Grafham Water, they won the British Opens, the first time for an Irish team in 53 years since TCD took it in 1970 during a remarkable run of success.

Meanwhile, the news has just come through that one of their star helms, Tom Higgins of Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire has qualified for the Governor’s Cup in California, and we feel that this deserves to be added to the UCDSC (and RStGYC) 2023 Roll of Honour.

To the victors, the spoils – UCD Team at BUSA Opens 2023 with BUSA President Emma Hartley on right and Tom Higgins third from left. Photo: Georgie AtwellTo the victors, the spoils – UCD Team at BUSA Opens 2023 with BUSA President Emma Hartley on right and Tom Higgins third from left. Photo: Georgie Atwell

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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