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75 Years of Dungarvan Harbour Sailing

7th July 2021
A busy Dungarvan Sailing Club pontoon
A busy Dungarvan Sailing Club pontoon

I won a unique prize at Dungarvan Sailing Club – for the most capsized sailor. It was many years ago when I was still able to sail a 12ft. dinghy. It was a Vagabond, a unique craft of its kind and its time. The only Class of them was at my village club - Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour, which was on its annual "Overseas Championship" when the fleet would travel at one stage over twenty of them to race away from its home waters.

It was a reasonably windy weekend, and the Vagabonds were not easy to right once capsized. At the same gybe mark on the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend, disaster happened during two races and I ended up swimming twice in Dungarvan Harbour.

At the prizegiving, the club declared me 'the most capsized sailor in the harbour.' This I remember when passing through the County Waterford town and note with appreciation how it has developed the sport there, with an impressive clubhouse and a pontoon which can host visiting yachts.

Dungarvan Sailing Club in County Waterford celebrates its 75th birthday in 2021Dungarvan Sailing Club in County Waterford celebrates its 75th birthday in 2021

I recalled my 'capsizing weekend' again this week when the club told me how they would mark the 75th anniversary of its founding on August 2, 1946. That was at a meeting held in the Town Hall where the first officers elected were Bernard Mulcahy as Commodore; Reveille Farrell the Vice Commodore; Maurice Kiely, Secretary and Joe Donovan, Treasurer.

Four boats competed in the club's first race. Later the fishermen from Helvick and the Ring Gaeltacht challenged them with gaff-rigged salmon boats and were "usually well placed," according to the club's history. There was once an impressive Dungarvan Petrels fleet of 24 boats. Now there are active dinghy and cruiser fleets.

My Podcast guest this week is the Club Secretary, Joey Miller, who describes their plans for commemorating the foundation on this August Bank Holiday. The pandemic has required changes from the original celebration plans, but there will be racing, and there is a series of competitions under the heading 'Tales of Our Tides ', which she tells me about.

Listen to the interview with Joey Miller here

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the radio programme Maritime Ireland on radio stations around Ireland.

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