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The National Yacht Club's annual Sailing Awards Dinner was held at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday night. The event saw the presentation of fifteen awards for outstanding sailing achievements.

The club's Commodore, Peter Sherry, awarded the prizes to several deserving recipients, including international yachtsmen and women, international skiff performers, Olympians, youth sailors and administrators.

The East Pier club was filled with applause and cheers as the club's sailing stars were recognized for their remarkable achievements in 2023.

The awards were: 

The Boyne Regatta Cup – for best performance in offshore racing of the year

Will Byrne

For his professional achievements on offshore one-design circuits (Swan 36, Cape 31, Mills 41 and many other offshore yachts), including third place overall in the Sydney Hobart race this year on mini-maxi ‘Moneypenny’.

The Concorde Plate – for circumnavigating Ireland

Tom Dolan

For his two Round Ireland Record attempts and finishing in second place in the Solitaire du Figaro into Kinsale, the highest place achieved ever by a non-French competitor.

The O’Leary Cup – for best performance of the year in one designs

Clementine and Nathan Van Steenberge

For winning the 29er World Championships 2023

The O’Leary Cup (1945) was awarded to Clementine and Nathan Van Steenberge who achieved the best performance of the year in designs Photo: Michael ChesterThe O’Leary Cup (1945) was awarded to Clementine and Nathan Van Steenberge who achieved the best performance of the year in one designs Photo: Michael Chester

The Edward Yacht Club Trophy – for best performance of the year in dinghies, Mermaids or Flying Fifteens

Noel Butler

For his successes in the RS Aero Class, including:

  • Winning DSBC Tuesday and Saturday series, awarded DBSC Premier Awards, the Dr. Alf Delany Memorial Cup for the most successful Dinghy of the season
  • Winning the 2022/2023 DMYC Frostbite (PY Class)
  • 2nd RS Aero National Championships (hosted at NYC)
  • 2nd RS Aero 2023 Aero Traveller series
  • 2nd RS Aero 2023 US Midwinter Championships, Davis Island YC, Florida

The Edward Yacht Club Trophy (1919) was awarded to Noel Butler who achieve the best NYC performance of the year in dinghies, Mermaids or Flying Fifteens Photo: Michael ChesterThe Edward Yacht Club Trophy (1919) was awarded to Noel Butler who achieve the best NYC performance of the year in dinghies, Mermaids or Flying Fifteens Photo: Michael Chester

John Byrne Memorial Trophy – for the greatest contribution to sailing in the NYC during the year

Adam Winkelmann

Adam was presented with the trophy by two of the late John Byrne's sons, Martin and Rory, for organising yet another edition of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race

The John Byrne Memorial Trophy (1989) was presented by Martin (left) and Rory Byrne to Adam Winkelmann (centre)The John Byrne Memorial Trophy (1989) was presented by Martin (left) and Rory Byrne to Adam Winkelmann (centre) Photo: Michael Chester

The Winkelmann Trophy – for Cadet(s) of the year

Ethan Spain and Ben O’Shaughnessy

For their amazing campaign in the 29er Class:

  • 29er European champion
  • Bronze medalist youth worlds (29er class)
  • 29er national champion
  • 29er youth nationals champion
  • Runner up UK Open nationals
  • Runner up Eurocup finals (Garda)

The Winkelmann Trophy (2003) was awarded to the Cadet Member who has had the finest sailing achievement of the year Ethan Spain (right) and Ben O’Shaughnessy (not in picture) and presented by Adam Winkelmann Photo: Michael ChesterThe Winkelmann Trophy (2003) was awarded to the Cadet Member who has had the finest sailing achievement of the year Ethan Spain (right) and Ben O’Shaughnessy (not in picture) and presented by Adam Winkelmann Photo: Michael Chester

The Greystones 1892 Regatta Cup – for the team who represented the Club with distinction

Ann Kirwan and her Ruffian 23 crew

For their performance in Hong Kong in winning the Trieniel Interport Ruffian 2023 Championships

The Greystones 1892 Regatta Cup was awarded to Ann Kirwan and her Crew for best representing the Club at a team event during the year Photo: Michael ChesterThe Greystones 1892 Regatta Cup was awarded to Ann Kirwan and her Crew for best representing the Club at a team event during the year Photo: Michael Chester

The Paul Murphy Cup – for the sailing management volunteer of the year

Michael Conway

For selflessly volunteering as race officer at several events in his first year of membership of the Club.

The Township Cup – for the best cruise of the year

Paul Barrington

For his cruise on the catamaran ‘Jadamama’ from St. Lucia through the Panama Canal, Columbia, The Galapagos Islands and on to Polynesia.

The Township Cup (1927) is awarded to Paul Barrington, the member who achieved the best cruise of the year Photo: Michael ChesterThe Township Cup (1927) is awarded to Paul Barrington, the member who achieved the best cruise of the year Photo: Michael Chester

The Muglins Cup – for the most interesting family cruise

Grace, Hugh, Gemma, Johnnie and Frank Cassidy

Frank cruised down the west coast of France, Portugal and on to the Canary Islands and to the Azores accompanied for various legs by members of the Cassidy family for which the ICC awarded him the Wild Goose Cup

The Muglins Cup (1949) is awarded to the most interesting family cruise of the year Grace,(not in Photo) Hugh, Gemma, Johnnie, John Joe and Frank Cassidy and presented by NYC Commodore, Peter Sherry Photo: Michael ChesterThe Muglins Cup (1949) is awarded to the most interesting family cruise of the year Grace,(not in Photo) Hugh, Gemma, Johnnie, John Joe and Frank Cassidy and presented by NYC Commodore, Peter Sherry Photo: Michael Chester

Martin Crotty Trophy Award – for a younger member who shows sailing endeavour

Oisin Cullen

For his tireless work and commitment to promoting and developing Match Racing in the Club and nationwide

The Martin Crotty Cup (2017) is awarded to the younger member(s) who show outstamding sailing endeavour and in 2023 went to Oisin Cullen. The trophy was presented by Sabine Sarr  Photo: Michael ChesterThe Martin Crotty Cup (2017) is awarded to the younger member(s) who show outstamding sailing endeavour and in 2023 went to Oisin Cullen. The trophy was presented by Sabine Sarr  Photo: Michael Chester

The Wild Geese Trophy – for The Overseas member who achieves the best performance in racing or distinguishes himself/herself in sailing

Mark O’Connor

For his continuing French sailing adventure, where he is preparing for the 2025 Mini Transat – 2023 saw another year of challenging sailing and more learning, culminating in Marks's involvement in the recent Transat Jacques Vabre. He is now ranked 55 out of 340 Class Mini competitors and rising steadily. Mark is such an inspiration to other young sailors and a fantastic ambassador for the NYC. 

The Wild Geese Trophy (2018) is awarded to Mark O’Connor, the Overseas member who achieved the best performance in racing Photo: Michael ChesterThe Wild Geese Trophy (2018) is awarded to Mark O’Connor, the Overseas member who achieved the best performance in racing Photo: Michael Chester

The Sue McDonnell Trophy – for the female club member who has contributed most to the advancement of women in sailing

Aisling Murphy

For her continuous volunteering for and active sailing participation across all classes and members age groups. 

The Sue Mc Donnell Trophy (2019) is awarded to the female club member who has contributed most to the advancement of women in sailing and went to Aisling Murphy (Rosemary Cadogan Vice Commodore – received the trophy on behalf of Aisling) and it was presented by Fiona Mc Donnell Photo: Michael ChesterThe Sue Mc Donnell Trophy (2019) is awarded to the female club member who has contributed most to the advancement of women in sailing and went to Aisling Murphy (Rosemary Cadogan Vice Commodore – received the trophy on behalf of Aisling) and it was presented by Fiona Mc Donnell Photo: Michael Chester

The Totterdell Trophy – for the member who has contributed most to promoting and developing the Laser class in the club

Finn Lynch 

For his 2023 campaign on the International ILCA 7 circuit, resulting in qualifying Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the most competitive sailing class. Lynch went on to win the Irish trial at the ILCA 7 Europeans, where he won a bronze medal and earned the Irish nomination for Paris in February 2024 in Athens.

The Totterdell Trophy (2020) is awarded to the NYC member who has contributed most to promoting and developing the Laser class in the Club. Finn Lynch (accepted by Peter Sherry on Finn’s behalf) and presented by Eddie Totterdell Photo: Michael ChesterThe Totterdell Trophy (2020) is awarded to the NYC member who has contributed most to promoting and developing the Laser class in the Club. Finn Lynch (accepted by Peter Sherry on Finn’s behalf) and presented by Eddie Totterdell Photo: Michael Chester

The Jack Roy Flying Fifteen Trophy – for the best-placed NYC flying fifteen in the Championships of Ireland

Ian Matthews & Keith Poole

For second overall and best NYC boat in the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland 2023 in Co. Antrim

The Jack Roy Memorial Trophy (2023) was presented by Peter Sherry, NYC Commodore to the best-placed NYC Flying Fifteen in the Championship of Ireland to Ian Mathews (left) and Keith Poole (right)  Photo: Michael ChesterThe Jack Roy Memorial Trophy (2023) was presented by Peter Sherry, NYC Commodore to the best-placed NYC Flying Fifteen in the Championship of Ireland to Ian Mathews (left) and Keith Poole (right)  Photo: Michael Chester

The Commodore’s Cup

Rebecca Hall

For her leadership and commitment to Junior Sailing in NYC and her contribution to sailing on the water.

Commodore’s Award Rebecca Hall has been awarded the Commodore’s Prize, presented  by Peter Sherry, NYC Commodore, for her leadership and commitment to junior sailing in NYC and her contribution to sailing on the water Photo: Michael ChesterCommodore’s Award Rebecca Hall has been awarded the Commodore’s Prize, presented  by Peter Sherry, NYC Commodore, for her leadership and commitment to junior sailing in NYC and her contribution to sailing on the water Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Sailing Awards – Commodore’s Commendations 2023

NYC Commodore’s Commendations 2023  were presented by Commodore Peter Sherry to Estella Rosique, Grant Kinsman, Bill Quigley, Flore Dion, Ruth Shanahan,(Not in Picture) Johnnt Treanor, Data Totterdell, Pete Smyth. Photo: Michael ChesterNYC Commodore’s Commendations 2023  were presented by Commodore Peter Sherry to Estella Rosique, Grant Kinsman, Bill Quigley, Flore Dion, Ruth Shanahan,(Not in Picture) Johnnt Treanor, Data Totterdell, Pete Smyth. Photo: Michael Chester

Estella Rosique & Grant Kinsman For their huge contribution to adult sail training, showcasing commitment, enthusiasm, and principled and fair attitude towards all trainees of all abilities.

Bill Quigley For his cruise from Saint Annaland on the inland sea, the Netherlands, out to Breskens on the North Sea, down to Nieuwpoort in Belgium, down along the coast of France, past Dunkirk then across the channel, the Irish Sea and home to Dun Laoghaire

Flore Dion For her amazing contribution to the junior section, for being a super role model for younger female sailors & for being consistent
in her positivity in the NYC.

Ruth Shanahan For her ongoing work in the 2.4 class and the very successful national championship as well as her commitment to Dun Laoghaire Sailability

Johnny Treanor For winning his class at the UK’s Key Yachting J-Cup Regatta at the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the Hamble river on his new J112e Valentina

Dara Totterdell For her continuous enthusiastic work on producing event results and training new volunteers in all aspects of event management 

Pete Smyth For his 3rd place in IRC overall in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and his overall offshore campaign in 2023

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The National Yacht Club (NYC) in Dun Laoghaire Harbour bid farewell to Chef Cormac Healy on Saturday night, as he retired from his role after 30 years of service. The event was attended by present and past Commodores, Flag Officers, Club Managers, a big turnout of members and Healy's family and friends from the nearby Dublin Bay Forty Foot Swimming spot.

Master of Ceremonies Ian Meldon kicked off the party dressed in a dry robe, swim hat, and goggles, welcoming everyone to the packed dining room. Commodore Peter Sherry led the tributes to Healy, praising his enthusiasm for detail in preparation and perfection in the presentation of all his dishes, which earned the National Yacht Club the title of having the best menu in Dun Laoghaire.

During his time at the NYC, Healy had the opportunity to work with many celebrity chefs in the Club's kitchens to prepare club feasts. Some of these chefs included Rick Stein, Peter Caviston, and Kevin Dundon.

Healy's retirement marks the end of an era at the National Yacht Club, where he will be deeply missed by all those who had the pleasure of working with him.

Chef Cormac Healy Retires from the National Yacht Club Photo Gallery By Michael Chester

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It is not unprecedented for leading clubs and one of the key class organisations within their ambit to share the MG Motor Sailing Club of the Year Award. It began with an added convention (the informal contest has been based on convention and precedent rather than rigid rules since it began 45 years ago) back in 1990, when class associations were first included. And while the contest’s gaining of traction resulted in another convention - that the same club could not receive the award two years running - it also emerged that Class Associations could better carry the venerable ship’s wheel trophy when the award was shared with the club with which they had most actively interacted during the year in question.

The most recent example of this was in 2022, when the 250-year-old-plus Lough Ree Yacht Club became a hotbed of activity with the Centenary-celebrating Shannon One Design Association, neatly acronymed SODA.

MG ALL-ELECTRIC VISION NOW PART OF IRISH MOTORING

That was the first time MG Motor were comprehensively on board as sponsors, and since then the pioneering all-electric brand has become part of the motoring scene in Ireland, attracting a host of accolades and awards while going well with this appropriate “sail-powered” sponsorship. The core of the range is in a comprehensive selection of saloons, but those who associate the MG brand with sports cars are well aware that the new MG Cyberster is coming down the line.

The new MG Cyberster is an all-electric sports car that will ring bells for classic MG enthusiastsThe new MG Cyberster is an all-electric sports car that will ring bells for classic MG enthusiasts

TURBO-POWERED OUT OF PANDEMIC SLOWDOWN

For 2024’s award, we’re dealing with organisations that emerged turbo-powered in 2023 from the lingering sense of restriction left by the pandemic. This has meant that the National YC (already a frequent former winner) would have been in the front line for the title regardless of the classes with which they were having dynamic interactions at different times during the past year.

The Ruffian 23s in sparkling form at their NYC-hosted Nationals in Dublin Bay in July. Photo: Afloat.ieThe Ruffian 23s in sparkling form at their NYC-hosted Nationals in Dublin Bay in July. Photo: Afloat.ie

But equally, while the Ruffian 23s were celebrating their Golden Jubilee on an all-Ireland and global scale involving several clubs, it was when they interacted with the National YC (both as their main home base, and also as the host club for their Golden Jubilee 2023 National Championship) that something akin to nuclear fusion took place.

https://www.mg.ie/

This provided an event and setting that was sailing in Ireland at its very best for sport, camaraderie, and a sense of something special, with visiting skipper Stephen Penney of Carrickfergus emerging as champion with his team on Hot Orange, thereby providing a result which was as healthy as the spirit of the class itself, and of the club hosting it too.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT

For there is no mistaking the sheer quality of spirit and community which underpins everything the National YC and its members achieved during 2023 under Commodore Peter Sherry, an owner-helm with the club’s Flying Fifteen fleet. It is one of the most active F/F groups in Ireland, though that position is increasingly matched by the Connemara fleet, whose growth the Dun Laoghaire fleet have encouraged with the broad-minded National YC way of doing things.

 The National Yacht Club’s relatively secluded location at bottom right gives it a useful sense of identity away from the town, while providing the quickest club access from the seafront suburbs The National Yacht Club’s relatively secluded location at bottom right gives it a useful sense of identity away from the town, while providing the quickest club access from the seafront suburbs

But as it happens, this week Thomas Chaix - whose role as NYC Performance Coach for the past couple of seasons has upped the club’s success on all fronts – went ahead and posted his annual NYC Progress Report and Manifesto. This is purest serendipity, as the basic MG Motor Sailing Club of the Year 2024 decision was made - though very much under wraps - before Christmas. There were one or two provisos that had to be met before the end of the year, but the way that 2023’s final events concluded meant there was no change to the mid-December’s decision.

So the Chaix Gung-ho New Year 2024 Report and Mission Statement for the National YC is as valid as ever, as Thomas was unaware when he wrote it of the MG Motor award coming down the road this morning, and we posted his thoughts and images in full as seen here, meanwhile wondering what might be the French translation of gung-ho, and found that one possibility was tout feu tout flame.

MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year 2024” Award

NATIONAL YC IS WHERE TOP LEVEL SAILING MEETS LOCAL COMMUNITY SPIRIT

That does have a certain je ne sais quoi, but lacks the simple power of the original Anglicised Chinese gung-ho. Yet the fact that we’ve wandered into this very tangential discussion tells us much about the National YC. For its special location in the southeast corner of Dun Laoghaire, closest of all the clubs to the open sea while being clear of the crowded bustle of the town centre, means it has a real advantage through having the closest access to the suburbs – walking distance, in fact – such that it has perhaps the largest pavilion membership of any of the clubs. And the eclectic groups that gather there through the day to enjoy the club’s ambience and hospitality could be readily visualised as having an amiable discussion over coffee or something stronger about how best to translate gung-ho into French.

 An aerial view of Dun Laoghaire harbour from seaward emphasizes the special nature of the National YC’s location at top left An aerial view of Dun Laoghaire harbour from seaward emphasizes the special nature of the National YC’s location at top left

FAMILY TRADITIONS

All of this provides a charming contrast with the club’s very focused sailing, which is nevertheless all of a piece with the easygoing social side, as much of it is very firmly family-based.

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The pace here is set by the Mac Aleavey-Murphy clan. Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey have logged a incredible life-path through our sport, with an impressive new Round Ireland record set in 1993 (it stood until 216) with Steve Fossett’s superb 60ft trimaran Lakota, while before that Cathy Mac Aleavey was an Olympic sailor in 1988, and after it Con served as NYC Commodore while their daughter Annalise Murphy was to go on to take Silver in the 2016 Olympics.

Olympic Sailing Medalist Annalise Murphy with her parents Cathy Mac Aaleavey (left) and father Con Murphy, a former NYC CommodoreOlympic Sailing Medalist Annalise Murphy with her parents Cathy Mac Aaleavey (left) and father Con Murphy, a former NYC Commodore

On another tack, Cathy was a pace-setter in the new growth of the Dublin Bay Water Wags, the harbour’s oldest class dating back to 1887, and at the same time became involved with the classic Shannon One Designs to such an extent that the NYC is now the venue for the Shannon’s annual Dublin Dinner in March, while at home the Water Wags current focus of expansion is in the National, with the latest addition to the class, the classic new-build Cormac, being commissioned by NYC Hon. Sail. Sec. Susan Spain in September 2023.

The National YC is the latest focal point for the continuing expansion of the 1887-founded Water Wags, seen here in their 1900 version during their midweek two-race programme in Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe National YC is the latest focal point for the continuing expansion of the 1887-founded Water Wags, seen here in their 1900 version during their midweek two-race programme in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The boat was named in honour of her father Cormac McHenry, a longtime NYC Trustee who put the club on the world cruising map in a big way, reflecting the fact that the Commodore preceding Peter Sherry was Conor O’Regan, an out-and-out cruising man whose CV includes a global circumnavigation with the Rival 38 Pamina.

INTERESTING LINE OF COMMODORES

Conor’s predecessor as Commodore was in turn Martin McCarthy, who guided the club through the worst of the Pandemic lockdowns while managing to join his fellow syndicate owners in their frequently-raced Ruffian 23, a linkup which emphasizes the special interaction between the club and the Ruffians 23s.

NYC Commodore Peter Sherry with the NYC’s Ethan Spain and Cork’s Ben O’Shaugnessy after they’d won the Irish National 49er Championship 2023 hosted by the NYCNYC Commodore Peter Sherry with the NYC’s Ethan Spain and Cork’s Ben O’Shaugnessy after they’d won the Irish National 29er Championship 2023 hosted by the NYC

This lineup is shared by NYC and Dublin Bay SC activist and historian Donal O’Sullivan, something which reminds us that the National is currently contributing the lion’s share of voluntary effort to the administration of Dublin Bay SC, the world’s largest organiser of sailing races in terms of membership. In DBSC, Eddie Totterdell (National YC) has succeeded clubmate Ann Kirwan as Commodore, while she in turn has re-focussed her considerable sailing organisational energies towards the impressive Golden Jubilee programme of the Ruffian 23s, where she races Bandit with success in Dublin Bay, while in West Cork she races her “other Ruffian”, Orla II, with Schull Harbour SC.

https://www.mg.ie/

Female sailors and administrators are so central to National YC life afloat and ashore that it scarcely is mentioned of late, what with the club having their first woman Commodore with the late Ida Kiernan nearly a quarter of a century back, while the club’s Rosemary Roy is currently DBSC’s Honorary Secretary, and in due course Commodore Peter Sherry will be succeeded by Vice Commodore Rosemary Cadogan.

Empowered….Water Wag female sailors gathered in the National YC for the Woman on Water Regatta, 2022Empowered….Water Wag female sailors gathered in the National YC for the Woman on Water Regatta, 2022

CARMEL WINKELMANN’S MISSION

This input was highlighted by the late Carmel Winkelmann, whose special mission in sailing life was the encouragement of promising young sailors to fulfil their highest potential. The classic case in point was ILCA sailor Finn Lynch, who back in 2016 was in the doldrums resources-wise, yet Carmel put a substantial support package together by the simple expedient of refusing to take “no” for an answer when approaching potential backers, and thus in 2023 Finn Lynch was the first to put Ireland’s 2024 Olympic sailing hopes back on track.

The late Carmel Winkelmann with Olympic hopeful Finn Lynch in July 2016 as they prepare to mark the completion of the package which will set Finn firmly on the road to an Olympic career, with an al fresco lunch on the HYC veranda providing the appropriate setting. Photo: W M NixonThe late Carmel Winkelmann with Olympic hopeful Finn Lynch in July 2016 as they prepare to mark the completion of the package which will set Finn firmly on the road to an Olympic career, with an al fresco lunch on the HYC veranda providing the appropriate setting. Photo: W M Nixon

FIGARO SUCCESS

Another international sailor who hails from the National YC is Figaro skipper Tom Dolan, who celebrated the Figaro programme’s return post-Pandemic to international courses by winning the first leg of the 2023 Figaro contest, a long 610-mile race going round several turning marks in difficult sailing waters to get from Caen in Normandy to Kinsale, a real once-in-a-lifetime home-coming.

The National YC’s Tom Dolan coming into Kinsale on the last day of August 2023 to win the first 610-mile leg of the International Figaro Solo Paprec 2023The National YC’s Tom Dolan coming into Kinsale on the last day of August 2023 to win the first 610-mile leg of the International Figaro Solo Paprec 2023

ISORA STRONGHOLD

As for offshore racing directly from the club, it is former NYC Commodore Peter Ryan who – as Chairman of the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association – is the main man in much of this. Although non-signature “ordinary” offshore races find difficulty in maintaining their popularity in the face of biennial big name events, the fact that Chairman Ryan is able to host the well-supported annual black-tie ISORA Dinner and Prize-giving in the National YC every November is something which helps to keep the show on the road.

ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan (right) with several times ISORA Champions Vicky Cox and Peter Dunlop of Pwllheli SC of the J/109 Mojito at the Annual ISORA Dinner & Prize-giving in the National Yacht ClubISORA Chairman Peter Ryan (right) with several times ISORA Champions Vicky Cox and Peter Dunlop of Pwllheli SC of the J/109 Mojito at the Annual ISORA Dinner & Prize-giving in the National Yacht Club

And finally, before we turn to the Ruffian 23’s extraordinary Golden Jubilee Year with its highlight at the National YC at the end of July, looking both to the future and the past it is encouraging to hear that negotiations are well advanced for the NYC to allocate seven highly-visible moorings along the East Pier to accommodate the 1902-founded Dublin Bay 21s. These have been or are being beautifully restored by Steve Morris in Kilrush for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, both of whom have links to the National YC going way back into the previous Millennium. Providing them and the restored DB21 class with this high level of visual accessibility to public and club observers alike can only help a truly worthy cause.

The Dublin Bay 21 Naneen – originally built in Dun Laoghaire in 1905 – returns in restored form to Dun Laoghaire, where the re-born class have found their natural home at the National Yacht Club. Photo: W M NixonThe Dublin Bay 21 Naneen – originally built in Dun Laoghaire in 1905 – returns in restored form to Dun Laoghaire, where the re-born class have found their natural home at the National Yacht Club. Photo: W M Nixon

RUFFIAN 23s GOLDEN JUBILEE

It says much about how radical changes in the perception of word meaning can be achieved when we reflect that these days in Irish sailing, the word Ruffian no longer means “a violent or lawless person”. On the contrary, it immediately brings to mind a class of very able and popular little 23ft mini-offshore-racers that can trace their origins back to the original Ruffian, a very successful and much-liked 35-footer designed and built by Billy and Dickie Brown in Portaferry at the entrance to Strangford Lough in 1971.

The National YC’s Ann Kirwan, former Commodore of Dublin Bay SC, racing her Ruffian 23 Bandit in Dublin BayThe National YC’s Ann Kirwan, former Commodore of Dublin Bay SC, racing her Ruffian 23 Bandit in Dublin Bay

Perhaps they called her Ruffian to get their naming retaliation in first, in the expectation that nobody could come at you later with any worse nickname. Be that as it may, by the time Ruffian had sailed and raced for just one month in 1971, her name had become a term of affection, and when they unveiled the production-built 23ft version in March 1973, it was given an immediate rocket-boost of favourable publicity through being called the Ruffian 23.

https://www.mg.ie/

We covered the entire and wonderful Golden Jubilee year with this anticipation of the season-concluding expedition by a team of 20 Iris Ruffian sailors to Hong Kong in October here and concluded it here then, before that we carried reports of the National Championship in July here

All of this rightly indicates a spirited class that fits in well at many clubs, but after 50 years it is the National Yacht Club and Dublin Bay SC which seem to best exemplify just what a successful local One Design the Ruffian 23 can be, and thus the joint award of the MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year 2024 ” to the National Yacht Club and the Ruffian 23 perfectly expressed the overall mood of all that is best in Irish sailing as we move into 2024.

An all-inclusive and outgoing “Sailing Support Machine” - the National Yacht Club, home for 2024 of the MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year” trophyAn all-inclusive and outgoing “Sailing Support Machine” - the National Yacht Club, home for 2024 of the MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year” trophy

4th January 2024

Cormac McHenry 1936-2023

Cormac McHenry of Dun Laoghaire, who died on December 22nd at the age of 87, was a highly-regarded sailing enthusiast with a particular interest in short-handed long-distance cruising, a quietly determined enthusiast who had many other interests including Leinster rugby, all of which he pursued with the same devoted, serious and intelligent focus that he brought to the world of boats.

His boyhood as the oldest of four children was in Dublin in Rathgar and Terenure, and he acquired his lifelong love of rugby in Terenure College. But by the time he was taking Electrical Engineering in University College Dublin, he was into motor-cycling and car rallying, a speciality in the latter being as a navigator.

Initially developing his career in the corporate world as an engineer after further training with General Electric in England, he went on to several postings in Ireland with major companies. This involved a peripatetic lifestyle for his already expanding young family, for in UCD he’d taken the first steps towards a long and happy marriage of 67 years to Barbara Nevin, the daughter of the UCD Professor of Physics.

STARTING WITH SELF-BUILD ENTERPRISE DINGHY

They’d five daughters whose earliest childhood memories include an early period of living near Drogheda in County Louth, while their busy father - having worked through his fascination with high speed cars to the conclusion it was dangerously inappropriate for a young husband with a growing family - was to build himself an Enterprise dinghy to develop his interest in sailing, initially with the Boyne Yacht Club at Mornington.

Early days – Enterprise Class (and one lone GP14) racing with the Boyne Yacht Club at Mornington. Photo courtesy Linda PattonEarly days – Enterprise Class (and one lone GP14) racing with the Boyne Yacht Club at Mornington. Photo courtesy Linda Patton

This was taken a stage higher with an aspiration to the Olympic ideal with an International Finn, which seemed to the children to involve complex family holidays featuring long and dusty driving with the heavy boat in the car roof down the sometimes rudimentary Spanish and Portuguese roads of those days, in order to reach some major Finn regatta venue, representing Ireland at places like Cascais.

Cormac’s final seasons of dinghy racing were with the demanding International Finn ClassCormac’s final seasons of dinghy racing were with the demanding International Finn Class

However, by the time he took up a position in Waterford his interest in sailing had developed into what became his lifelong enthusiasm for cruising and voyaging, and in due course he launched his 6-ton Kerry Class cruiser Ring of Kerry for the first time, lowering her gently into the river for the first time afloat in the heart of Waterford.

SELF-COMPLETED KERRY CLASS

He’d finished the boat himself from a bare hull to a notably high standard with skills developed with both the Enterprise and the Finn and other DIY projects which gave him special satisfaction. But while he was to make many longtime sailing friends in Waterford sailing’s focal point in Dunmore East with WHSC, a further career change of direction brought him back to Dublin, where in time Barbara reinforced her links to UCD administration by becoming the Examinations Officer for every branch of that expanding university.

The extensively-voyaged Kerry Class 6-tonner Ring of Kerry was completed by Cormac from a bare hull, and her first sailing was with Waterford Harbour SC at Dunmore East. She is seen here at an ICC Rally in Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits in North Wales. Photo: Ronan BeirneThe extensively-voyaged Kerry Class 6-tonner Ring of Kerry was completed by Cormac from a bare hull, and her first sailing was with Waterford Harbour SC at Dunmore East. She is seen here at an ICC Rally in Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits in North Wales. Photo: Ronan Beirne

Cormac in turn had found his real and spiritual nautical home in the National Yacht Club, which he joined in 1967. From the very beginning of his 56 years of membership, he found the National to be congenial, so much so that his daughter Susan Spain – currently the NYC Honorary Sailing Secretary – said in her Eulogy at his very well-attended funeral on December 27th that the NYC is now in the McHenry DNA, something reflected in the fact that in his mature years, Cormac served for a long time as a National YC Trustee.

His long career - both ashore and afloat – had taken the ideal course to achieve that highly-respected position in club administration. In professional life, despite his engineering qualifications his particular interest developed in labour relations and the resolution of workplace disputes, and by the time he retired, he had become a much-respected Member of the Labour Court, a satisfying involvement in a key area of Irish life that had come about with a fresh career change in the mid 1980s.

SAIL TRAINING IDEAL

Meanwhile, in developing his sailing experiences, he was naturally drawn to the sail training ideal, and was one of the few in the Irish maritime community in recent years who could still look back to a long interaction with Coiste an Asgard, first with the original Asgard in her sail training role from 1968, then with her successor the ketch Creidne which is now with the Naval Service Yacht Squadron in Haulbowline on Cork Harbour, and most rewardingly with the 84ft Sail Training Brigantine Asgard II from 1981 onwards.

The original Asgard in Dublin Bay in her time as a sail training vessel – Cormac McHenry was one of the few in the contemporary Irish sailing scene who had sailed as a Watch Officer on Asgard, on her successor Creidne, and also on the brigantine Asgard II. Photo: Des BarringtonThe original Asgard in Dublin Bay in her time as a sail training vessel – Cormac McHenry was one of the few in the contemporary Irish sailing scene who had sailed as a Watch Officer on Asgard, on her successor Creidne, and also on the brigantine Asgard II. Photo: Des Barrington

However, despite his active involvement with other sailors and their boats, he was always determined to have one of his own, and thus completing Ring of Kerry had been satisfying in many ways, not least in its opportunities for technical and philosophical exchanges with the boat’s designer O’Brien Kennedy MRINA, whose seagoing experience was reflected in his membership of the Irish Cruising Club, an organisation to which Cormac himself was to be elected in 1980, with Barbara joining in 1993.

In his 43 years of membership of the ICC, he cruised extensively firstly in Ring of Kerry, then the Nicholson 31 Erquy (named for the Breton port in which he and Barbara has spent their honeymoon), and finally in the remarkably comfortable American-designed and built Island Packet 40, whose name of Island Life reflected Cormac’s sense of self-reliance afloat, while also providing the perfect boat for his later years, when he and Barbara spent several seasons based at Portosin on northwest Spain’s Galician coast.

The Nicholson 31 Erquy returnes to the National YC in 1997 at the conclusion of a much-awarded solo Atlantic circuit cruise. Photo: Ronan BeirneThe Nicholson 31 Erquy returnes to the National YC in 1997 at the conclusion of a much-awarded solo Atlantic circuit cruise. Photo: Ronan Beirne

His many years of cruising of every kind brought a return to his fellow enthusiasts, for during his 43 years of membership of the Irish Cruising Club, he gave unstintingly of his time in voluntary roles for a continuous 17 of those years, starting as a Committee Member and then going on to become the Honorary Secretary from 1990 to 2003, the Rear Commodore in 2003-2004, then Vice Commodore in 2003-2004, and finally Commodore in 2004-2005.

Additionally, he served as standby Editor of the ICC Annual if the official Editor happened to be away in an extended cruise, and in all his roles, his fastidious attention to detail and the procedurally correct made a major contribution to the Irish Cruising Club’s ability to take on its growing status in the international cruising and voyaging world.

This in turn saw his own international cruising club memberships and friendships expanding. He joined the Ocean Cruising Club in 1990, and was elected to the 1880-founded Royal Cruising Club in 1999, while his significant positions in the ICC saw friendships develop with both the Clyde Cruising Club and the Cruising Club of America.

INTENSELY PERSONAL VOYAGING

But all this was the outward manifestation of a friendly and helpful yet very private person, whose own special interest continued to develop in his own intensely personal voyaging. This initially was undertaken in the pre-GPS area, when he derived much satisfaction from using his own skills in celestial navigation to arrive precisely on target at the conclusion of his first ocean passage, from Ireland to the Azores single-handed in the little Ring of Kerry in 1989. This venture had become such a satisfyingly complete cruise on his return that he was awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s premier trophy, the Faulkner Cup.

Game for adventure – Cormac and Barbara in expedition mode in 2011.Game for adventure – Cormac and Barbara in expedition mode in 2011

He was to go on to receive the Faulkner Cup again in 1997, for a solo Atlantic Circuit cruise with the Nicholson 31 Erquy, but his cruising by this stage was so frequent and extensive that at various stages he had been awarded the ICC’s Strangford Cup for an alternative best cruise in 1996 and the Atlantic Trophy in the same year, while earlier - to underline his deeply-felt interest in all things Irish - he was awarded the Round Ireland Cup with Erquy in 1995.

Ocean voyaging continued with the acquisition of Island Packet, and like many more senior Irish cruising folk, he and Barbara were drawn to the attractions of northwest Spain, with his final cruising years being happily spent there with Island Life.

Home from home for a senior cruising man – Island Life in Galicia in Northwest SpainHome from home for a senior cruising man – Island Life in Galicia in Northwest Spain

However, back home the new generation was coming along in Dun Laoghaire sailing with his daughter Susan - now Susan Spain – moving through the ranks of National YC administration to become the Honorary Sailing Secretary of the Club. She has done this in such a clearly defined personal way that not all the club’s large membership were aware that she was the daughter of their long-serving Trustee, Cormac McHenry.

REMEMBERED WITH THE DUBLIN BAY WATER WAGS

But this relationship was demonstrated in a very Dun Laoghaire style when Susan commissioned and launched her new Dublin Bay Water Wag at the NYC last September. Classically built by master craftsman Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob in West Cork, this latest manifestation of a local class dating back to 1887 was to be named Cormac, and it was the man himself who made one of his last appearances when asked to perform the naming ceremony in traditional style.

 The 1887-founded Water Wags in action in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The newest boat for the class, the 2023-built Cormac, was named in honour of her father Cormac McHenry by owner Susan Spain, the Honorary Sailing Secretary of the National YC. Photo: W M Nixon The 1887-founded Water Wags in action in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The newest boat for the class, the 2023-built Cormac, was named in honour of her father Cormac McHenry by owner Susan Spain, the Honorary Sailing Secretary of the National YC. Photo: W M Nixon

Typically, in his special appreciation of the workmanship involved, Cormac flatly refused to smash the bottle over the stemhead. Instead, he poured some of the champagne with gentle and loving care over a small area of the immaculate varnishwork, leaving everyone with an abiding final memory of a great sailor and assiduous servant of sailing, a skilled technician and craftsman who, when asked, was always generous with practical and sound advice, particularly when it was something to do with boats and sailing and the people who go with them.

RB & WMN

Published in National YC

National Yacht Club sailors at Dun Laoghaire Harbour have had an incredible 2023, ranging from great cruising adventures to local, national, and international glory in the various classes we sail at the club.

This is a recap of the club achievements, which we hope will inspire young and young at heart sailors to continue progressing and deliver on their personal 2024 goals.

On the world stage

NYC sailors competed in no less than eight world championships during the course of 2023. 29ers, RS Aero, Optimist, Topper, Mirror, Flying15, ILCA6 and ILCA7 Worlds were attended and delivered great successes.

The year started down under for two Flying 15 partnerships, completing the Australian nationals and the worlds in Perth. Veteran ace John Lavery and crew Alan Green ended their challenge in 14th.

The National Yacht Club's Flying 15 crews in trainingThe National Yacht Club's Flying 15 crews in training

Then we waited for the summer...

The Van Steenberge siblings delivered a stellar performance at the 29er Worlds with a steady series, snatching the title on the final day in the waters of Weymouth. Finn Lynch's performance in the ILCA 7 in The Hague gave Ireland its first berth for the Olympics in Marseille.

Finn Lynch took a berth for Ireland in the ILCA 7 class in The HagueFinn Lynch took a berth for Ireland in the ILCA 7 class in The Hague

Noel Butler travelled to Sardinia to compete in the RS Aero6 event, ending his challenge in 15th overall.

Head coach Thomas Chaix competed at the Mirror Worlds with his son Ben, finishing 12th and winning the classic category. The largest NYC team, composed of eight strong young sailors, competed at the Topper Worlds in Cork, and we also had representation at the ILCA6 and Optimist worlds.

We had two teams representing the club at the Youth Sailing World in Brazil. Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain (29er) finished strong to secure a bronze medal, wrapping up an excellent year.

Ben O Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain at the Youth WorldsBen O Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain at the Youth Worlds

The 29er class had representation at the Europeans in Sweden. NYC sailors snatched Gold in both the male (Ben and Ethan yet again) and female (Lucia Cullen and Alanna Twomey-RCYC) categories.

Sam Ledoux competed at the ILCA 6, and Finn Lynch scored a solid 10th at the ILCA7 Europeans.

The UK is a great playground for our international sailors. NYC sailors competed at the UK Nationals in Optimist, Topper, 29er, Mirror, Feva and Flying15, picking up honours and medals.

The National Yacht Club's RS Feva Team  at the UK NationalsThe National Yacht Club's RS Feva Team  at the UK Nationals

The club also had a strong representation, with five young sailors taking part in the Optimist French Summer Cup in Brittany.

National championships podiums

Club sailors competed at many national events over the course of the year, and all the classes we sail at the club had representation. From our youngest sailor, aged 7, to our most seasoned veterans, from the Optimist dinghy to Class Zero IRC teams, NYC sailors excelled.

EVENT Gold Silver Bronze
29er Youth nationals Ben O Shaughnessy & Ethan Spain Clementine & Nathan van Steenberge Lucia Cullen & Alanna Twomey
29er class nationals Ben O Shaughnessy & Ethan Spain Clementine & Nathan van Steenberge Lauren O'Callaghan & James Dwyer
Fireball nationals Noel Butler & Stephen Oram    
Optimist Regatta Racing Nationals Michael Hanley    
RS Feva Nationals   Grace Keating & Hannah Walsh Felix Dion & Lucas Browne
ICRA class 0 Nationals   Valen Tina (John Treanor) Searcher (Pete Smyth)
RS Aero Nationals   Noel Butler  
Optimist Senior Nationals   Gemma Brady  
Kona windsurfing Nationals     Damien Dion
Flying 15 Nationals   Ian Mathews & Keith Poole

 

NYC sailors also participated in SB20, ILCA6, ILCA4, Topper, Wazsp, ICRA class 1, RS400, Optimist Junior and the Ruffian class.

Versatile sailors

NYC prides itself as a club for families and versatile sailors, enhancing enjoyment whether racing competitively or enjoying club sailing. A few sailors are showing the way, enjoying sailing different classes, sometimes to a very competitive level. Amongst these sailing addicts, 15-year-old Felix Dion has raced in four different classes during the course of the year (Optimist, Topper, RS Feva and Kona) and has enjoyed trying out other boats. 17-year-old Alexander Trickett raced three different classes (Wazsp, 29er and RS Aero) and is always volunteering to step on cruisers and keelboats. He also tried a few fun sessions on his 49er.

2024

Club sailors are looking forward to 2024... The club diary is filling up with great events, and sailors are set for some winter practice. We now wish for a year of the best winds, enjoyable sails and great competitions.

Happy New Year.

Published in National YC
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23rd December 2023

Cormac McHenry RIP

Afloat.ie regrets to record the death of Cormac McHenry, for many years a leading figure in the Irish Cruising Club. He also served as a Trustee and was a Life Member of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

An enthusiastic long-distance sailor and member of the Ocean Cruising Club, he made several ocean passages, a number of them single-handed.

A fuller appreciation of Cormac and his wide involvement in many areas of sailing in Ireland will appear in Afloat.ie in due course.

Meanwhile, our heartfelt condolences are with Barbara, his wife of 67 years, and his family and many friends in sailing and his other interests.

Published in National YC

National Yacht Club Vice Commodore Rosemary Cadogan led the 2023 junior summer sailing achievement celebrations at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Friday night.

The junior and youth sailors produced results at home and abroad in a variety of classes, including Optimist and Laser, but it was this summer's 29er World Championships victory of  NYC youth sailors the Van Steenberg siblings, Clementine and Nathan, that really brought the house down! 

As Afloat reported elsewhere this weekend, the really searing spot in the hottest Irish junior sailing area was with the high-performance unit in the 29er Class, which was centred on Dun Laoghaire with input from other locations.

Through the summer of 2023, this developing force in sailing in Ireland spread out across major events in several European countries to see the Worlds at Weymouth taken by the Van Steenberg siblings from Dun Laoghaire, while the top girls' placing in the EuroCup on Lake Garda in Italy was secured by the new team of Clementine van Steenberge (National YC) and Jessica Riordan (Royal St George YC).

At the Euros in Sweden, meanwhile, the Cork-Dublin combo of Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork and Ethan Spain of the National Yacht Club had been dominant to return with the gold, as too did Lucia Cullen (Dun Laoghaire) with Alana Twomey (Cork), a high point in a fleet of 173 teams from 24 countries for an exceptionally well-focused Irish project which catapulted an already talented group of young sailors towards fulfilling their true potential. The future beckons, and it shines.

NYC Summer Course 2022 Achievement Awards were also presented.

Daniel Blake Hickey and James Hall won the Most Improved Adventure Sailors Award.

The most improved racing sailor was Felicia de Vreeze.

The most improved from the Improving Skills course were Dylan Hall and Caoileann Fitzpatrick.

Photo Gallery by Michael Chester

Published in National YC
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At home...

Last weekend provided plenty of action on the back of a stormy Friday, with many club sailors enjoying a great weekend of training and racing.

Fireballs blast along on Dublin Bay at the end of season regattaFireballs blast along on Dublin Bay at the end of season regatta

The Fireballs End of Season Regatta was set at short notice by the DMYC, and the organising team delivered a great and fun event with three breezy races on Saturday and 3 (and a bit) tactical light air races on Sunday to the enjoyment of "weekend warriors". Two partnerships from the club competed. Seasoned partnership Noel Butler and Steven Oram dominated the proceedings with four race wins, taking the event with a sizeable lead. Newly formed partnership Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix were in the chasing pack (only 3 points separating 2nd from 5th), eventually settling in 4th for their first event. See full report here

A Flying 15 win for Green and Shane MacCarthy in the annual NYC Frostbite Series A Flying 15 win for Green and Shane MacCarthy in the annual NYC Frostbite Series 

The Flying 15s enjoyed two races on Saturday, with Alan Green and Shane MacCarthy taking both guns in the bay as Afloat reports here.

...and abroad

The 29er squad is still very hungry after a stellar summer made of titles.

The Eurocup finals in Garda is a must-attend event for the best partnerships in the class, and as in each year, it did not disappoint with 170 competitors from well over 20 countries taking part.

Four (of which three sailed under the NYC burgee) Irish partnerships made the journey to Italy. European champions Ben O'Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain grew stronger as the event progressed, climbing right back up to 2nd overall, only a few points off local favourite and number 3 in the world.

World champion Clementine van Steenberge partnered up with world female runner-up Jessica Riordan (from the RstGYC) just a few weeks ago, and they are already making their skills known with a strong 7th-place finish and a comfortable gold in the girls.

William Walsh was also validating a new partnership with Eoin Byrne. They had difficulties early on but finished their event with stronger results, giving them confidence in the future.

A busy Halloween week

NYC coaches will be on deck for a busy week at the club and in Cork. The club Performance programmes are in full swing with clinics in all our supported classes (Topper, ILCA, Feva, 29er and Optimist).

The Topper class success story continues, with well over 25 sailors expected on the platform for the NYC club squad and the National squad clinic over the next few days.

After the final October session for our regular Optimist Autumn training, NYC coaches and sailors will travel to Crosshaven to train and compete at the annual National Training Week.

The week will conclude with the start of the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Published in National YC
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The annual lift out of cruisers at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour is usually a good sign that winter is not far, and last weekend inevitably saw the first single-digit temperatures and a sure sign winter Performance training, DMYC Frostbites and the final events of the year are around the corner.

The National YC Autumn programme started mid-September and will resume this weekend after a two-week break to facilitate the liftout.

Optimists, Toppers, Fevas, ILCA and 29ers have settled into a training phase with coaching delivered by strong lead coaches under the guidance of the club head coach.

The Topper class: a success story!

Just a year ago, the NYC Topper squad was heavily depleted, with sailors having graduated to bigger boats and "the COVID gap" directly affecting entry into the class. The club, however, maintained the programme despite the low numbers, allowing a few talents to emerge and a regular entry in the class from sailors graduating from the Optimist and our summer courses. From 3 sailors regularly training last Autumn, we now have over 20 sailors signed up for this year's programme.

Club charters have helped speed up entry into the class by starting training and sailing the boat whilst sourcing their own.

Lead coach Ellie Cunnane and NYC coach Hugh O'Connor have their hands full managing a range of ambitious young sailors.

The year's final events certainly showed that the club Topper class is back to full health, with no less than five sailors completing the four races series of the Malahide Traveller Series inside the top 10. The club also has four sailors selected in the Irish Sailing national squad, making it the ideal base for the squad training sessions when in Dun Laoghaire.

Optimist rankings are out!

The final Optimist ranking event was in September, and we are now waiting to meet nationally one last time in 2023 with the National Training Week and Halloween regatta.

In the meantime, the national rankings came out with a strong show by our younger sailors. We had three very successful progressions from regatta racing into the main fleet during the season with encouraging results. The more seasoned sailors who started in the main fleets had a strong season, as the club placed six out of nine sailors in the top 10. In Juniors, all four sailors who started the season in the main fleet secured the top 10 nationally. In seniors, Gemma Brady was the top lady in third overall. Louise Hanley, who just transferred into the Topper, was 10th.

Gemma has strong ambitions for the next few months before making her transition, and it started at the weekend, taking a strong 5th place at the UK end-of-season.

Malahide fun!

For the second year in a row, a few sailors used the Malahide Dinghy regatta to get a bit of sailing whilst Dun Laoghaire was tied up with the lift out.

Damien Dion took third place at the Kona Nationals in MalahideDamien Dion took third place at the Kona Nationals in Malahide

The sailors were welcomed by winter sunshine and light air. If the first race ended up being a drifter, the second one was lovely in 5-6 kts from the East.

Windsurfer Tryout fun for National Yacht Club sailors in Malahide Windsurfer Tryout fun for National Yacht Club sailors in Malahide 

The club entered sailors in the Optimist, RS Feva, Mirror and the Kona (windsurfing) classes and secured three podium finishes with Alex Butcher 2nd in the Optimist, Aurele Dion and Ben Chaix 2nd in the PY (sailing a Mirror) and Damien Dion 3rd in the Kona.

Junior podium places for the National Yacht Club's (from left to right) Ben Chaix, Alex Butcher and Aurele DionJunior podium places for the National Yacht Club's (from left to right) Ben Chaix, Alex Butcher and Aurele Dion

The day's highlight was probably all the kids messing and swapping boats between races one and two, with Felix Dion's Kona becoming the "must-do" tryout.

Flying 15 and SB20 in Lough Derg

Another way to use the lift-out weekend effectively was to travel to Dromineer to compete at the Freshwater One Design Keelboat Regatta. One NYC SB20 and five Flying Fifteens journeyed west to enjoy Lough Derg YC hospitality. Alan Green and Keith Poole were just a point shy of second and settled with third overall in the FF15 fleet.

All Ireland win!

As reported earlier by Afloat, NYC Finn Lynch completed a season rich in emotions by taking the All-Ireland Trophy 2023 in Foynes.

The club has three juniors ready to follow in his footsteps in Schull next weekend at the Junior All Ireland event. Gemma Brady (Optimist) crewed by Hannah Walsh, Ben O'Shaughnessy (29er) with his usual crew, Ethan Spain and Lucia Cullen (29er) with her usual crew, Alanna Twomey.

29er tryout: Oct 29th

The club has set up a 29er tryout day The NYC has set up a 29er tryout day

The club has set up a 29er tryout day (weather permitting) on Sunday, the 29th of October, alongside the club's regular training.

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The winter lift-out of sailing cruisers was completed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday, October 14th.

About sixty yachts and cruisers were hauled out of the water in chilly but otherwise, near-perfect weather conditions as the 2023 summer season ended at Ireland's biggest boating centre.

The Royal St. George YC and neighbouring National Yacht Club at the East Pier, lifted approximately 30 cruisers apiece using a mobile crane on their decks.

The boats will overwinter on the hardstanding at the waterfront clubhouses, where space is at a premium with winter sailing series for dinghies and cruisers starting next month.

The winter DBSC Turkey Shoot Series, which attracts over 70 boats, mainly from the town marina, is scheduled to start on Sunday, Nov 5th, and the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series will run in-harbour racing until March. It already has buoyant entries for its November 6th first race.

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