Displaying items by tag: Mermaid
It is with great honour and privilege that after seven years of volunteering on the committee of the Mermaid Sailing Association (MSA), I now move into my two-year term as President.
The Mermaids are a class very close to my heart, first getting involved at the age of 15 when my father brought 119 Three Chevrons into our lives. I was instantly hooked and we have been at every championship since then. It has been a fantastic experience; I now look at the Mermaid class as my extended family and every year it is the Mermaid events that I most look forward to.
As sailors, I’m sure you all echo my own personal love for our oceans and waterways. In recent years, however, the damage that has been caused from pollution of plastics and other harmful waste materials has become too serious to ignore. Now, more than ever, we need to play our part to safeguard our seas and ensure future generations get to experience what we have been so lucky to.
"values embedded in the Mermaid class are refreshingly sustainable"
This is something I am very passionate about and am trying my best in my own life to make positive changes. The reason I am highlighting it here is that I feel many of the values embedded in the Mermaid class are refreshingly sustainable. For example, appreciating and upholding skills and craftsmanship, something that many other classes have lost.
The Dublin Bay Mermaid, being a wooden boat steeped in history holds on to a lot of tradition and values otherwise dying out. Guess what? You can’t order a mermaid online, or “just throw it away” if something breaks. These boats are special and demand the effort, something incredibly rewarding for those willing to do so. We mend, we repair, we sustain, we cherish our boats and give them new life… perhaps we should look at applying for some kind of sustainability award to recognise this dedication that is so rare to come across in our modern age!
As a result of the hours and elbow grease you have to put in, often in sheds with friends, making memories, picking up the phone and actually talking to people, learning skills and spending quality time with family, you will see that most Mermaiders get unusually attached to their boats, with many refusing to part with them even after they stop sailing them. They become more than just boats, they become a part of our lives, our families and memories. Every Mermaid, each one special with its own story to tell, and all the people who dedicate themselves to upholding these values, make this class the most special one I have ever encountered.
I am really excited for the next 2 years where I will contribute as much value as I can to the class especially through my own personal skills and experience in Sales and Marketing.
"I want to get a controlled revision history process in place"
Following on from our most recent AGM, the MSA association already has a number of clear goals to tackle over the next two years. In addition to these, for myself personally in my role as President, I want to get a fully up-to-date, digital version of the ‘Blue Book’, with a controlled revision history process in place. I want to get all class documentation and processes online (as much as is possible). I want to reinvigorate club racing by working with the class captains and generating some buzz and momentum around the class in their local clubs (watch this space!).
Building on the success of a fantastic National Championship in Cork in 2019, I want to replicate this by bringing the fleet to more new venues. This gets people excited to go somewhere new, spreads awareness of our fantastic fleet getting us in front of new potential Mermaiders and, recognising that these 4-6 days are also a holiday for participants, means we get to travel to new places and experience new things. This year’s upcoming National Championship is going to be one not to be missed and we will push hard for 30 entries. Lots of new and fun incentives are currently in development so keep an eye out for updates and mark it in your diary.
The MSA is run entirely by volunteered efforts so I want to thank everyone in advance who will help to make 2020 a great year for the class. I look forward to meeting you all on the water and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any ideas, feedback or questions.
Yours in Sailing,
Roisin Mc Cormack
The DBSC Mermaid Class and Skerries Sailing Club have lost one of their iconic long-standing members when Joe Boylan (88 years of age) died peacefully last Monday surrounded by his family in his home writes Roger Bannon.
Joe will be long remembered, in his younger days for his prowess on the rugby field and for his lifelong involvement in the Skerries sailing community. However, he is probably best known as a very skilful builder of quick elegant Mermaids and as an accomplished competitive sailor. Joe, along with his brother Matt, was in that famous group known during the 1950s as the Barkyard Mermaids when Joe’s first Mermaid creation, the famous Akita no 85, was constructed. Akita was subsequently followed by many boats built for himself and several of his friends. The most famous of these was Zeila no 138 in which he won 4 Mermaid Championships during the 1970s and ’80s. He also found time to act as Commodore of Skerries Sailing Club and ultimately become President of the Mermaid Sailing Association.
Joe never lost his enthusiasm for building boats and competitive sailing. His last Mermaid creation, the aptly named “This is it” no 177, was skippered by his grandson Mark to a Mermaid Championship win in Galway a few years ago.
Joe will be very sadly missed not only by the Skerries community in which he was a leading light but throughout Ireland’s sailing community, particularly anywhere Mermaids were sailed.
Rest in Peace, Joe.
There were jubilant scenes at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Sunday evening when Paul Smith, President of the Mermaid Sailing Association presented the Foynes Yacht Club triplets Darragh, Noel and Mark McCormack with the National Championship trophy writes Bob Bateman.
The trio successfully defended their title on the last day of the Championships coming from third overall with two races left to sail in the ten race series, as Afloat reported here.
See all Bob Bateman's reports and photos on the 2019 Mermaid Championships in one handy link here
The Championship prizegiving in the RCYC dining room also included day prize presentations by RCYC Rear Admiral Dinghies, Brian Jones and MSA President Paul Smith. See selection of photos below
Mermaid National Champion Darragh McCormack of Foynes Yacht Club has successfully defended his national title at Royal Cork Yacht Club moving from third place and into the overall lead in today's final races of the ten race championships.
McCormack eeked out a 2.25 winning margin and overtook the overnight leader Paddy Dillon to retain the title. Third overall was Wexford's Derek Joyce.
Overall results are downloadable below. Scroll down for photo gallery. Prizegiving photos here
Day 4 Mermaid Nationals Gallery below:
Dillon leads Derek Joyce (Sail number 187) by three points going into the final day of competition in the Clinker class.
Overall, defending champion Darragh McCormack of Foynes lies in third place in the 22-boat fleet.
Download results below. Racing continues tomorrow.
Scroll down for photos by Bob Bateman below
Overall, defending champion Darragh McCormack of Foynes leads on 7 points from Mark Boylan by .5 of a point. In third place is Patrick Dillon on 11 points in the 22-boat fleet.
Download results below. Racing continues tomorrow.
Scroll down for photos by Bob Bateman below
The eagerly-awaited national Mermaid Championship getting underway today in Crosshaven with the Royal Cork YC has experienced two shoreside setbacks which have served to underline what a close-knit community is to be found this very special class. Senior skipper and former ISA President Roger Bannon of Dun Laoghaire’s return to the class is now ruled out for the time being, as he was taken ill yesterday but has happily recovered – though not enough for active sailing competition – after hospital treatment.
But noted class stars Jonathan and Carol O’Rourke of the National YC have not been so fortunate. While nearing the end of their road trail with their famous boat Tiller Girl to Crosshaven, a truck collided with them, and Jonathan, Carol and his son Alan all sustained serious injuries which saw their emergency treatment in hospital for broken bones, concussion and shock.
This morning, all are reported to be doing well, and as for Tilller Girll, while there has been damage it is by no means terminal. As racing gets under way, the thoughts of the Mermaid community and indeed all Irish sailing are with Roger Bannon, Jonathan & Carol O’Rourke, and Alan O’Rourke.
For the first time, The DBSC Mermaids are holding their annual Championship in Crosshaven over 4 days from 1st - 4th August hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The fleet has enjoyed numbers in excess of 25 to 30 boats at its most recent championships but this year’s event is shaping up to be something special with a fistful of former champions deciding to rejoin the fray and relive old memories and try to put the current crop of recent younger winners under a little pressure.
Current form would have to recognise Daragh Mc Cormack, last year’s champion on home waters, in his exceptional boat Innocence no 188, as the firm favourite. He won the Munster’s earlier this year and dominated the Skerries regatta last weekend. In the hands his club mate Vincent Mc Cormack Innocence was also a clear winner in a competitive fleet at the Leinster’s during the Volvo Regatta earlier this month.
Regular winner Jonathan O'Rourke in Tiller Girl 77 will be certain to be in the hunt as will Mark Boylan, the youngest ever winner a few years ago in a very windy Galway Bay.
Sam Shields, twice winner, has bought the famous Helen 76 and completely rebuilt her and would have high expectations of being in the frame with his experienced crew.
Also returning is the noted Rush sailor Paddy Dillon, another former winner, in Wild Wind 131 who will be anxious to build on his experience with the outstandingly successful J 109 Storm Team over the last couple of years. A solid 2nd in Skerries as his first outing in years consolidates his credentials for consideration as a serious contender.
Long-time Mermaid stalwart, Derek Joyce has refurbished his unbeatable steed from the 2000s, Zeila 187 and he will be attempting to match Roger Bannon’s record of six wins over the years. It is also expected that Roger Bannon might be there with rumours circulating that Kate Grimes is returning from Dubai especially for the event to crew for him.
News is also circulating of several rebuilding projects around the country with the hope that some may make it to the starting line in Crosshaven, including Nichapando 114 and Perhaps 111.
Exciting times for this iconic class!
Paul Smith and Pat Mangan sailing 'Jill' from the Royal Irish Yacht Club lead the 15-boat Dublin Bay Mermaid clinker class after two races of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta that incorporates the Clinker class Leinster Championships.
The RIYC duo lead former multi-class champion Roger Bannon from the National Yacht Club sailing Endeavour.
Third is Francis Browne's Cara 2 from Skerries Sailing Club.
In a busy month for the traditional class, Skerries Regatta 2019 is next weekend 20th & 21st July. The National Championships are being staged at Royal Cork Yacht Club from 1st – 4th August.
The 2018 Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship came to a close today following four great days of racing at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary. With 22 boats competing in what proved to be an extremely competitive fleet, Race Officer for the event, Scorie Walls perfectly executed the scheduled racing with 10 races and 1 crew race all in the bag as planned.
The leaderboard changed daily with local Foynes boat 188, Innocence helmed by Darragh Mc Cormack and crew Mark Mc Cormack and Johnny Dillon coming out of day 1 with an 8-point lead. Day 2 saw National Yacht Club boat, number 77 Tiller Girl helmed by Jonathan O’Rourke with crew Carol O’Rourke and Dermot O’Neill moving into the top spot. The lead moved back again to Darragh after day 3 of racing and 9 Championship races in the bag.
Going into the final day of racing today, Darragh Mc Cormack had a 4-point lead on 77 Tiller Girl. The day started with a very shifty breeze that kept clocking left and right, tough work for the mark boat and patience required from the Race Committee! Eventually, the course was laid and a clear start saw the fleet underway. The first windward mark saw 77 out in the lead, and this extended as the race went on securing them a perfect bullet for the last race of the Championship. The pressure was on for 188 Innocence who needed to finish 4th or better to claim the title. With Jonathan out in the lead, Darragh rounded the first weather mark in 7th place and work to do! He kept his cool working his way up and secured a comfortable 4th on the 2nd last leg of the race. On the final tack to the finish line, he did one better just pipping 189, reigning National Champion Sam Shiels on the line to secure 3rd place and the National title.
"The club is now setting up for a huge prizegiving dinner this evening with over 100 people"
This is the first time since the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship event started in 1953 that a Foynes boat has claimed the title. Needless to say, the onshore welcome party didn’t hold back with hooters, champagne and friends and family coming to greet the new Champions as Innocence came back into the slip! The club is now setting up for a huge prizegiving dinner this evening with over 100 people booked in and a lot more expected to join afterwards for the brilliant live ‘Comic Book Heroes’ band who are no strangers to the Mermaid fleet.
Overall it was a very enjoyable Championship with great, close racing. A number of new boats, in particular, young helms did an excellent job. A brand new uUnder–25 trophy was also won by a local Foynes boat, 165 Sea Fox helmed by Oisin Finucane with crew Sean Finucane and Chris McDaid. The overall Daphne went to 185 The Message, helmed by Ross Galbraith with crew Mary Whitty and Conor Magner. Well done to 2nd place Daphne finishers 179 Bean Adhmaid and 3rd place 190 Mayhem. The overall Designer goes to 121 Red Seal helmed by Darrach Dineen with 2nd place going to 90 Deirdre and 3rd to 191 Maybe. In the overall Championship, 2nd place went very deservedly to 77 Tiller Girl with only 2 points in the difference between them and first. Third overall went to 177 This Is It, Mark Boylan who sailed a great championship getting the most bullets (3). A special mention to Race Officer Scorie Walls who everyone complemented throughout the event for her excellent race management and fantastic attitude and support of the class. Congratulations to all competitors on a highly successful event and host club Foynes Yacht Club who pulled out all the stops on and off the water.