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After what might prove to be the last of the mild autumnal weather for the MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Autumn League in Howth Yacht Club this weekend, the completion of the fourth race in this series means that a discard now applies, allowing the competing boats to rid themselves of their worst score and concentrating the minds of the strategists.

On the Inshore 'one-design fleet' Course, some very close racing has led to four boats battling for the scratch prize, with Algie Pearson's Trick or Treating leading the chasing pack that includes Gold Dust, Yellow Peril and Harlequin. The Murphy/ Costello owned Yellow Peril is also in the leading position on handicap scoring, with 3 points separating them from Gerry Kennedy's Schiggy. Discarding an initial 'Did Not Start' for the first race of the series, Jeff Kay's Chatterbox completed a hat-trick of wins in the Squib class ensuring top spot in the scratch competition as well as dominating the handicap division. As per the Notce of Race, it should be noted that boats receiving scratch or IRC prizes (daily and overall) are not eligible for performance-rated handicap prizes. A second place this week for Peter Courtney's Howth 17 Oona consolidates their team's position at the top of the scratch leaderboard, putting it up to the chasing fleet within the 117 year-old class. They also top the handicap division which, as noted previously, sees 2nd placed Hera as the real contender once not appearing on the scratch division podium.

On the more northerly racecourse, the cruiser classes also encountered light winds and tricky conditions. However Pat Kelly's J109 Storm demonstrated that it's name belies the ability to manage the light airs with equal authority and will give 2nd placed Flashback no favours as both boats contend the Class 1 IRC honours over the remaining 2 weeks. Whilst it's far from over just yet, Flashback and Dear Prudence may be left to battle for the ECHO prize. Another win for Dave Cullen and crew on Checkmate XV sees them just 2 points clear of 2nd-placed Lambay Rules in Class 2 IRC while all the prominent IRC teams also dominate the ECHO pole positions - that prize is certainly up for grabs.

In Class 3, the HYC K25 team on Kilcullen showed their strength in their squad by finishing second in IRC and consolidating their top spot despite many of their team contending the ISA Senior All Ireland Helmsman's Championships in Dun Laoghaire this weekend. It would appear to this writer that Tobago could be prominently positioned to battle for the ECHO prize by the end of the series. In Class 4, White Lotus and Splashdance share top spot in the IRC division, while the maths suggest that Changeling might be clearing a spot on the mantlepiece for the ECHO prize. The Class 5 fleet is an extraordinary combination of experience and racing prowess, with Harry Byrne's Alphida leading the IRC division from Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis' Demelza and Robert Micheal's Mistique of Malahide. With 2 races to go, and in the ECHO division, all eyes will be on Kevin O'Byrne's Mary Ellen and Richard McAllister's Force Five.

Published in Howth YC

Glorious sunshine and a balmy southerly breeze greeted the cruiser classes for this week's MSL Park Motors Autumn League race at Howth Yacht Club. Five racing classes enjoyed the opportunity to race around Lambay Island in what was a 'combination event' - incorporating the previously cancelled Davy sponsored Lambay Races and the third in the series of our Autumn League races. Competitors in the cruiser classes enjoyed a 'double helping' of prizes, with the Lambay Trophies and glassware adding to the regular MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz daily race prizes.

In Class 5 Non-Spinnaker, Harry Byrne and his team on Alphida took the IRC prize and Andrew Knowles'Sandpiper won the Bamford Trophy for ECHO. Howard McMullen's Splashdance won the Fitzpatrick Salver for Class 4 IRC Non-Spinnaker while Spellbound's Hugh Burrows won the ECHO top spot.

Class 3 IRC was dominated by the HYC K25 team on their J24 Kilcullen, who won the Peninsula Trophy and following their decisive margin of victory over second-placed Starlet, they also won the overall event and 'Lambay Lady' trophy. The Douglas/ Keane owned Shenanigans won the ECHO handicap trophy in the same class.

Davy's Graham Cawley (centre) with HYC's K25 Team (Kilcullen), overall winners of the 'Lambay Lady'
Davy's Graham Cawley (centre) with HYC's K25 Team (Kilcullen), overall winners of the 'Lambay Lady'
 

The highly-competitive Class 2 fleet saw Dave Cullen's half-tonner Checkmate XV emerge victorious in IRC to win the Heineken Trophy and Dermot Skehan's Toughnut finished ahead of Colm Birmingham's Bite the Bulletin the ECHO division. In Class 1, it was business-as-usual for Pat Kelly and the team on his J109 Storm, winning the Juno Cup for IRC as well as the Longyearbyn Trophy for best Howth boat, while the Boyd Cup for ECHO went to the Breen/ Gregory/ Hogg team on Flashback. 

Other special trophies included the Whelan Cup for the leading Beneteau First 31.7 which was won by C'est la Vie, The Knights Trophy for J24s was won by the other K25 Squad in Johnny Bravo and the E-Boat prize went to Pat O'Neill's OctopussE.

On the Inshore Course, PRO Susan Cummins ensured that the Puppeteers, Squibs and Howth Seventeens got their money's worth with almost 3 hours of racing in the superb weather and conditions. Alan Pearson's Puppeteer Trick or Treat managed to get a valuable win which put his boat on top of the Scratch division, while a win by Gerry Kennedy's Schiggy closes the gap to 3 points from Handicap division leader Yellow Peril. The ISA Sailfleet J80s miss racing for this and next week because of their date with the All Ireland Helmsmans Championships in the NYC next weekend. In the Squibs, Jeff Kay's Chatterbox won the scratch prize for a second week in a row and shares top spot in the Handicap division with Roxanne.

In the Howth Seventeen class, Peter Courtney's Oona crossed the line first with only 30 seconds remaining before the time limit and the resulting time extension enabled all but previous series leader 'Isobel' finish the race.

isobel dismasted

Isobel was unfortunate to be de-masted on the final leg

Summer conditions all day long in Howth
Summer conditions all day long in Howth
Rima Macken with Commodore Brian Turvey and flanked by MSL Park Motors team members Keith and Lisa
Rima Macken with Commodore Brian Turvey and flanked by MSL Park Motors team members Keith and Lisa
Published in Howth YC
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#squib – A three-way tie at the top of the 2015 Squib Nationals leaderboard was settled in favour of David Jones and Mark Hogan from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club writes Emmet Dalton. Saturday's final race was led from start to finish by the duo. That race saw the second overall going to their clubmates Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. The champagne-splashed podium was completed by Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

On the final day, Principal Race Officer, David Lovegrove, set the fleet off under the U-Flag penalty system after some misbehaving during the first attempt. The 20kt southeasterly breeze in glorious Howth sunshine, with five 1,700m windward legs, made sure that the crews got their bang for buck. Without exception, "Squib Arse" was suffered by hard-hiking sailors! The visiting sailors would later express their gratitude to David for his skill and engagement with a fleet that enjoyed his communicative banter on the VHF all during the week.

The event was made all the more epic by the championship dinner. Even the traditional Howth Seventeen Footer Class would have been impressed by the array of precious metals and rare timbers presented. Top Irish boat was "Aficionado" (RNIYC), hard driven by John Driscoll and David Cagney to 9th place. The leading HYC Squib was the super-slippery "Kerfuffle" in the hands of Emmet Dalton and Neal Merry which ended the week in 22nd place.

Woe betide anyone who thinks that grey (or no) hair indicates an easy crew to pass. Such was the quality of the fleet that one previous champion noted that he would have been happy to end up in the top ten at the end of the week!

Howth looked fabulous in a week of sun and the competitors enjoyed a warm welcome from the members and fabulous food and service. So good was the championship dinner that the Squib Association Chairman announced that it was the best meal at any Squib Championships in 40 years! That opinion was roundly applauded by the 130 guests.

Thanks was also expressed to the Race Office team, Orla Sweeney, Dara and Lara Jameson, Emma Inglis and Alice Kissane and to the ever-watchful Fergus O'Kelly and his group of friendly tape-wielding equipment inspectors for ensuring that each boat complied with the rules.

Launching, berthing and retrieval of the boats was coordinated like a North Korean political rally by Pat McCaughey. Slick!

Finally, the top speed of the week was shared by "Alchemy" from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club and Howth's "Kerfuffle" both hitting 10.2kts during Monday's screaming reaches. 

Additional reporting Vincent Delany

SQUIB NATIONALS 2015- day 6- Final Day.

The level and depth of talent in the 49 boat National Squib fleet was seen in today's race off Ireland's Eye at Howth. The wind was between 15 and 20 knots from the south-east. The outcome of the Squib Championship 2015 was yet to be decided. The three leading contenders being Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay from R.C.Y.C. in 'Lady Penelope', on 12 points, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C., in 'Banshee', on 14 points, and David Jones and Mark Hogan, from S.C.Y.C. in 'Ric O'Shea', on 20 points. Which of these talented sailors had the ability to pull the championship out of the bag?
Unusually, the scoring system used allowed for two discards in eight race series. Would the winner be an older boat such as 'Banshee', no.65, or 'Ric O'Shea', no.136, or would it be the newer boat, 'Lady Penelope', no. 819? There was another significant variable in the mix, would the winner use Batt Sails or Hyde Sails? 'Ric O'Shea' is the only one of the three to use a complete wardrobe of Batt Sails the others only use Hyde Sails.
The course selected by race officer Dick Lovegrove was Course Number Two, a windward-leeward race of with five beats of 1.7km. each. The sea conditions were a little 'lumpy', and the tide was due to change mid-race.
On the start line the tide was flowing against the Squibs, which enabled the fleet to start on their first attempt, without recourse to the 'U' flag, which had been used for most of the races earlier in the week. The race officer did not use the dreaded 'black flag' at any race this week.
On the first beat against the tide it was 'Ric O'Shea' which appeared to get the bit between their teeth. The wind was steady in strength and direction, so it was a boatspeed race. At the first windward mark 'Ric-O-Shea' led from Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall in 'Alchemy'. The locally Howth based 'Too Dee' sailed by Dave and Simon Sheahan rounded the mark within the top six boats. 'Banshee' rounded in about eighth place and 'Lady Penelope' about five places behind. These two had a lot of work to do, it was going to be a long nine mile race. On each round 'Ric O'Shea' sailed to her pre-determined tactical plan, and increased her lead until she was more than 100m. ahead of the bunch of Squibs following. 'Crossfire' sailed by Dave Best and Pete Richards worked their way into second place.
At the last leeward gate marks it appeared that 'Lady Penelope' had done enough to take her place on the podium and lift the championship trophy. But there was still one more beat to be completed, and the tide had turned. 'Lady Penelope' and 'Banshee' rounded different leeward gate marks, and by the end of the beat at the finish line, 'Banshee' had overhauled her opponent. As they passed the finish line the order was:
1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Crossfire' 797, Dave Best and Pete Richards, S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Alchemy', 800, Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall, R.Y.Y.C.
4th.'Helmut Shoing II', Nigel and Jack Grogan, R.C.Y.C.
5th. 'White Magic', David Wines and Keith Davies, W.H.S.C.
6th. 'Moonstone', Malcolm Blackburn and David Shiel, S.C.Y.C.
7th. 'Pani-Munta', Mike Probert and Richard Delves, R.C.Y.C.
8th. 'Banshee', Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
9th. 'Lady Penelope', Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

So, who had won the championship?
Remarkably after eight races and two discards, 'Ric O'Shea', 'Banshee', and 'Lady Penelope' were all on equal points. Each had 21 points after discards.
'Ric O'Shea' discarded a 15th. and 21st. place. 'Lady Penelope' discarded 25th. and 26th. places. 'Banshee' discarded an 8th. and 29th. These figures are not relevant under the current scoring system, where a draw is resolved by the highest place boat in the last race which, as noted above, was won by 'Ric O'Shea.

RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL SQUIB CHAMPIONSHIP 2015.

1st. 1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Banshee', 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

The top Irish Squib is 'Aficionado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney in 9th place.

Of the top ten places overall, 4 were from South Caernarvonshire Y.C., 4 were from Royal Corinthian Y.C., one from Royal North of Ireland Y.C., and one from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, which indicates that strong fleets at the local clubs are significant to developing the boatspeed necessary to win championship races under all conditions.

The top lady helmsman is Megan Pascoe with crew Hannah Stodel in 'Squibble' from Weymouth who finished in 31st. place. Their performance in this fleet is commendable. The also won the trophy for the top 'ParaSquibbers'. They were thrilled by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which exists in the Squib fleet. They are newcomers in this fleet, and are more accustomed to the 2.4m. class, and Sonar parolympic circuits.

Published in Squib
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#isafworldcup – Annalise Murphy is in the top three of the women's Laser Radial fleet at the ISAF World Cup fleet in Weymouth after today's two opening races in an 'uncommon' 15–knot easterly breeze. The Dun Laoghaire star scored a second in the first race and a sixth this afternoon in her 36–boat fleet. 16–year–old Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club, who earned her place by virtue of her performance (40th overall in an 82–boat fleet) at last month's Delta Lloyd regatta in Holland, lies 35th.

Belfast Lough's Ryan Seaton and Matt Mc Govern are 27th from 39th in the 49er skiff dinghy after counting a 13 and a disappointing 35 this afternoon. 

In the women's skiff, Royal Irish pair Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are scored as 'did not compete' in the first three races of the 49erFX class. Unfortunately the Dun Laoghaire pair were unable to race as a result of Tidey's 'suspected food poisoning' or 'some sort of vomiting bug'.

Ranging from 10-15 knots, the breeze coupled with glorious sunshine, resulted in some exceptional racing on the 2012 Olympic waters.

The stakes have been described as high by the competitors competing in Great Britain and rightly so with internal Rio qualification battles on-going, ISAF Sailing World Cup honours, a share of the prize fund and Abu Dhabi Final spots up for grab.

Racing commenced at 11:00 local time and wrapped up early evening with the ten Olympic, three Paralympic and Kiteboarding events completing their race schedule.

Laser

New Zealand's Andy Maloney came out with intent in the Laser, taking the day one lead with a strong performance as he explained, "We had good breeze between 10 and 15 knots. It was pretty shifty on the course but I had good pace and played the shifts and managed to come away with a first and second which is pretty solid. It was a good day."

The Road to Rio is a hard one and as well as international threats, Maloney also has to contend with domestic rivals on his journey. With the likes of his compatriots Sam Meech, Mike Bullot and Thomas Saunders all capable of challenging for medals, Maloney feels no internal pressure, "It's good for us and the Australians to have a good squad and we're all pushing each other hard.

"It's exciting more than anything now in the Laser because it's coming down to the final part of the cycle so it's crunch time now."

Yachting New Zealand named six crews for the Olympic Test Event on 18 May – see release here - . And as stated, will consider nominations the Laser following the World Cup Weymouth and Portland. A good performance by Maloney could go a long way for selection with Bullot in 15th, Saunders 20th and Sam Meech 21st after the opening day.

Nick Thompson (GBR) was not far off of Maloney's pace, finishing behind him in both races to sit in second.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides (CYP) was almost as strong in Weymouth and Portland's conditions as he did so well three years prior. A seventh and a fourth puts him third overall but he's got his eye on the top, "I'm satisfied with my performance and races today but there's still a long way to go and I hope to move up. Having 40 top guys with this new ISAF World Cup, the stakes are high.

"You have to push to the end and every race counts. You can win this event without winning any races. Consistency will prove vital in the end."

The day's remaining race win went the way of Jesper Stalheim (SWE) who is fourth overall.

Laser Radial

The last time Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Annalise Murphy (IRL) competed against each other at Weymouth and Portland they were locked in a battle for Olympic medals.

Fast forward three years and they're fighting it out again at the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was assertive on the race course, winning both races by a comfortable margin. The Dutch sailor, who won silver at London 2012, sits atop the pile with Evi Van Acker, London 2012 bronze medallist, trailing on five points following a 3-2 scoreline.

Murphy came through in second in the opening race and followed it up with a sixth in Race 2. She is third on eight points.

Great Britain's Alison Young sits fourth on 13 points.

49er and 49erFX

On the face of the 49er results it would be quick to assume that leaders Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) were the stand out performers of the day. However, regattas aren't won on the first they. It takes a consistent performance across five days of racing to come out on top and the most consistent team of the day were the first placed John Pink and Stu Bithell (GBR).

The pair recorded a 8-3-9 scoreline and were the only team to record three single digit scores. "On the first day of the regatta it's always nice to start well and we're thrilled to bits with three top tens. We're fifth overall which is great and tomorrow brings another challenge because it's going to be windy and we'll be pushing on and hopefully get into that top three.

"It's a great fleet, the top boats in the world are here and no one is really missing. It's great that everyone is competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup."

Bithell won silver in the Men's 470 at London 2012 and on his home waters he knows what the venue is all about, "You could argue that I know Weymouth fairly well," he said with a smile. "I've lived here for some years now, did the Olympic Games here and is there a home advantage," he pondered, "yes there probably is but incidentally we don't always get the wind direction we had today."

The Polish crew lead on seven points with Pink and Bithell four points off the leaders. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) are tied on 8 points in second and third.

Maiken Foght Schutt and Anne-Julie Schutt (DEN) lead the way in the 49erFX on three points following scores of 6-2-1. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) follow in second place on six points.

Sarah Steyaert and Aude Compan (FRA), Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are tied on seven points from third to fifth.

Men's and Women's RS:X

It's a British 1-2 in the Men's RS:X and Women's RS:X. Nick Dempsey and Tom Squires are locked on three points apiece in the men's whilst Isobel Hamilton leads Bryony Shaw by a single point in the women's.

From three races Dempsey and Squires took a race victory each with the third place Mattia Camboni (ITA) taking the other.

"We had nice racing, very close," exclaimed Dempsey. "Tom and I are quicker than the fleet. Our training's gone really well and we're starting to sail well. It's nice and quite good fun racing."

The pair train together on a daily basis which has helped them in the build-up to the regatta as Dempsey explained, "It's nice having a competitive training partner. When we train we know we're training against one of the fastest people in the world.

"You never have to compensate. If you're beating Tom then you know you're going fast. That is what we've always missed having with our training partners so it's brilliant news."

"It's nice and quite good fun racing Tom."

In the Women's RS:X, Hamilton enjoyed a solid day on the water, staying at the front of the pack notching up a 6-2-2 scoreline. "It was definitely my best first day at a World Cup so far," said the smiling Hamilton, "I would love to be able to hold on to first for the whole week.

"It was really good racing and it's really nice to be racing at home. Weymouth is a fantastic venue and it's really great to be back here."

Shaw is a point off of Hamitlon after her 4-1-4 with London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Tuuli Petaja-Siren third overall. The day's race wins went to Joanna Sterling (AUS), Shaw and Ingrid Puusta (EST).

Finn

Andrew Murdoch (NZL) opened his Weymouth and Portland account with a strong display in the Finn, notching up a 3-2 to lead the 24-boat fleet.

Murdoch, a 2012 OIympian in the Laser, used his experience to full effect at the front of the fleet. He has opened up a four point lead over Jonathan Lobert (FRA).

Giles Scott (GBR) took the opening race victory of the day and followed it up with a 12th. He is third overall. The remaining race victory went the way of Josh Junior (NZL) who is sixth overall but just three points off the third placed Scott.

Men's and Women's 470

It's like London 2012 repeated in the Women's 470 with the gold and silver medallists occupying the spots they claimed three years ago.

Gold medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) dominated the day by taking both bullets whilst silver Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) were forced to look at the back of the Kiwi boat in both races as they settled for two seconds.

Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) sit in third after the opening two races following a 4-3.

In the Men's 470, Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) have a tasty six point lead over World #1 Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE). A fourth and a second gives them the lead at the early stage but with their experience, they won't be getting carried away.

Victories on the day went to the Greeks and Ferdinand Gerz and Oliver Szymanski (GER) who are sixth overall.

Nacra 17

As of 19:20 local time Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) lead the way in the Nacra 17. However, many of the competitors sailed the wrong course in Race 1 with Race Committee protests and vice versa. A handful of protests remain open that may result in further amendments.

As it stands the Austrians top the pile on four points followed by Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) and Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS).

Paralympic Events

London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas (GBR) began her World Cup campaign with intent. Double bullets give her a two point lead over Antonio Squizzato (ITA) who finished directly behind the Briton in both of the days races.

Malaysia's Al Mustakim Matrin sits in third overall.

In the SKUD18, Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are level on three points.

The Italian and British teams shared the top two places on the day, taking a bullet and a second apiece.

Will Street and Megan Pascoe (GBR) are third overall.

It is tight at the top in the Sonar with four crews locked on five points.

Norway's Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen took the opening bullet of the day and followed it up by a fourth.

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) took the second bullet of the day but like the Norwegians also count a fourth.

Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) and John Twomey, Austrin O'Carroll and Ian Costelloe (IRL) notched up a second and a third each and are also tied with the Norwegian and Irish crews.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Thursday 11 July with some great race action on the cards.

Published in Olympic

#hyc – Disappointment in Howth Yacht Club this afternoon after the cancellation of its eagerly anticipated Lambay race was scrubbed because of strong westerly winds. The Howth fixture is the second major sailing fixture in the Capital's waters to fall victim to today's weather. Earlier, Dublin Bay Sailing Club scrubbed club racing for an estimated 200 boats off Dun Laoghaire.

Published in Howth YC

#sb20 – There was not much enthusiasm on the SB20 dock Saturday morning due to the wet and dreary climate. The breeze of 20 to 25 knots in the first race soon brightened up everybody's mood once the kites went up. Sin Bin (Michael O Connor, Owen Laverty, Kevin Johnson) dominated the first race winning the slightly biased pin off the start line. Sin Bin showed great boat speed to comfortably lead all of the way to the finish. Sin Bin looked to be back on form following their Spring Warmer win. After the first downwind leg Rugby Blue (Aidan O'Connell, Killian Collins, Ben O' Donohoe) and Corona Extra (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing, Breffni Jones) pulled away from the rest of the fleet and engaged in a duel up the next beat with Corona Extra climbing to second by the next weather mark. This is where the top 3 finished with Venuesworld.com (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan, Rory Groves) winning the battle of the pack to take 4th. Overall results downloadable below as a jpeg file.

The breeze moderated for the second race with the tide becoming more of a prominent force to the east, carrying the boats north to the weather mark. Corona Extra pulled out a sizeable lead on the first downwind leg only to see the lion's share of it disappear on the second beat when a 30 degree shift to the east pulled everybody on the right side of the course up to their transom. Corona Extra just held off The Bear (Kieran Dorgan, Jason Losty, Ewan O' Keffe) at the second leeward gate to lead them to the finish. Sharkbait (Darren Martin, Simon Murray, Andrew Killops) held off Venueworld and the rest of the pack for third.

The third race of the day saw the breeze drop to approx. 10/ 12 knots negating any chance of planning downwind. Thankfully the rain eased off as the breeze calmed down. Corona Extra got off the middle of the line fast and caught the first shift to jump into the lead. The downwind legs where considerably more trying with narrow lines of breeze streaking down the course. Corona Extra lead to the finish with Venuesworld.com building on their consistency with a comfortable second followed by Dinghy Supplies grabing a decent result of third to help ease the pain of the previous 2 sevenths.
The crews hit the bar early to try and warm up after the wet days sailing. With the prawn festivel on in Howth that weekend, the club surpassed itself with a fantastic meal that evening. The first days sailing left Corona Extra out in front on 4 points followed by Venuesworld.com on 10 points and Sin Bin on 17 points with effectively the rest of the fleet just behind them, all looking to discard a race from their first days sailing to get back in the hunt. The Sunday was a much sunnier affair with enough of a light breeze for the day, varying between 5 to 10 knots.
Race 4 saw Corona Extra get buried off the line and sucked to the back of the fleet rounding the weather mark in fourteenth. The race was won by Dinghy Supplies building on their third in race 3 followed by Seriously Bonkers (Stephen Lee, Peter Lee, Michael Galvin) in second and Venuesworld.com maintaining their consistency with a third.
Race 5 was won by Sharkbait with Bad Kilcullen (Stefan Hyde, Enda O'Coineen, Jimmy Dowling) taking second and Dinghy Supplies taking third. The race was dominated by 2 persistent shifts to the east which accounted for a lot of snakes and ladders with the fleet. After allowing for a discard, this left Corona Extra with a much narrower overall lead of 3 points on 10 points overall after scoring 2 sixths in races 4 & 5. The very consistent Venuesworld.com held second place on 13 points with Dinghy Supplies now after charging up to third on 14 points.
Race 6 featured a wobbly and puffy light breeze which contributed to lead changes at every mark between Seriously Bonkers, Dinghy Supplies and Bad Kilcullen. Corona Extra was reeling in the lead pack at the first leeward mark but only managed 4th by the second windward. Seriously Bonkers hit the weather mark handing the lead to Dinghy Supplies with Bad Kilcullen and Corona Extra hot on their heels and a good jump ahead of the remaining fleet. This lead to a double cover gybe from Corona Extra when Bad Kilcullen gybed on top of Dinghy Supplies. This manoeuvre switched the positions around with Dinghies and Bad getting their air blanketed by Corona Extra. Corona Extra lead to the finish with Bad Kilcullen taking second and Dinghy Supplies taking third. Venuesworld.com came sixth in the last race which moved Dinghy Supplies up to second overall ahead of Venuesworld.com. Corona Extra won the regatta by a six point margin on 11 points overall.

Published in SB20
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#hyc – Howth Yacht Club's traditional season opener is run over three Saturdays with six great Windward /Leeward races, starting on Saturday 4th April 2015 with cranes and storage all included. There are starts for Cruisers 1, 2 & 3, SB20's, J24's, Puppeteers and Squibs. 'It's a fantastic way to start the season and to get your crews back into full race mode', says HYC's Darragh Sheridan. Download the sailing instructions below as a wrod file.
There will be particularly strong competition in Class 2 with a number of new runners and riders joining existing owners and crews. The SB20s will also be looking to get in some time on the water with their Eastern Championships being held in Howth on the weekend after the Spring Series.
As with previous years Key Capital Private are back as sponsors and the Royal Alfred races will be incorporated into the racing on 18th April 2015. Competitors are very welcome to just sail the Alfred races on the final day of the series.
The notice of race, online entry and sailing instructions are available on the HYC website

Published in Howth YC
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#checkmateforhowth – The story is that there has been a bit of re-juggling in the Half Tonner lineup at Howth, where Dave Cullen has moved on from the historic King One which once upon a time took the Half–Ton World Cup for the legendary Paul Elvstrom of Denmark, whose Olympic gold medal scoreline is bested only by Ben Ainslie.

The good news is that King One is going to continue to sail the waters of fair Fingal. She now has a Rush-based owner, who plans to continue to keep her at Howth where they've a handy little group of classic Half Tonners sharpening up for 2015.

And a further welcome word is that Dave Cullen himself will be returning to the fray, having taken over Nigel Biggs' all-conquering Half Tonner Checkmate. This little honey has had so much TLC and classy mods made in recent years that 'tis said a statement had to be issued saying the boat is NOT called Cheque Mate...........

Published in Half Tonners

#laser – Seventeen Laser dinghies braved the cold blustery conditions for the final two races of Howth Yacht Club's Spring Series. It was an interesting preamble to the Round Island race on Saturday 14th March. The racing was incident packed. In the first incident of the day Dave Kirwan broke his mast on his way to the starting area, leaving him watching from the committee boat.

Race 1 started with an offshore breeze over twenty knots, kicking up a short chop. The steep waves made progress upwind difficult and on occasion helped the laser to become a submarine off the wind.

The race management team decided on a triangle sausage course and set a pin end starting line bias. This bias was just enough to allow Daragh Sheridan to pull off a dream port tack start, he even crossed the bow of Dave Cotter.

Ronan Cull led the fleet to the top mark closely followed by the pack headed by Daragh Sheridan, Ronan was to hold the lead to the finish, despite giving the fleet a chance to catch him with an upwind capsize on the second beat during one of his "roll tacks".

Dan O'Connell deviated from his usual silky style and dropped out of the racing with a capsize and a 360 degree rig rotation.

Michael Evans finished second taking advantage of a fearful capsize on the last gybe of the race by McMahon.

Race 1:

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Michael Evans

3rd Paul McMahon

4th Stephen Quinn

5th Daragh Sheridan

1st Radial Aoife Hopkins

1st 4.7 Sarah Gallagher

Race 2

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Paul McMahon

3rd Stephen Quinn

4th Michael Evans

5th Dan O'Connell

1st Radial Aoife Hopkins

1st 4.7 Sarah Gallagher

Race 2 very much a scaled down version of race 1, another pin end bias was set. This time no sailor was gutsy enough to chance a port tack start. Dan made running repairs to his boat and to his credit endured the cold to wait on the second race. and rejoin the fleet. Race two was a tighter affair with Cull piping McMahon to make it 2 wins from two races. These wins topped a great spring series by Ronan who topped the rankings by 19 points from Dan O'Connell, with Daragh Sheridan taking third place overall.

The form book will be thrown out the window for next Saturdays stand alone Round the Island Race, this classic Laser race never fails to throw out a few surprises.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#laserfrostbite – Overall Ronan Cull has a safe lead with five firsts at Howth Yacht Club's Laser frostbites series, followed by Dave Quinn and Darragh Kelleher while it's a family affair in the other fleets; Aoife Hopkins leads the radial fleet, with brother Daniel leading the 4.7's.

Yesterday's fourth day of the winter series started in 12 knots of wind from the west, brilliant sunshine with a sharp chill in the air and a strong ebb tide. Twenty-six Lasers competed on Sunday with the welcome return of the handsome Dan O'Connell and the brave but injury plagued Dave Mulligan.

A slight starboard bias at the start of race 1 favoured Darrell Reamsbottom, Dan O'Connell and Ian McSweeney, but it wasn't long before Ronan Cull and Dave Quinn emerged to be likely leaders at mark 1. The fleet split, but those on the middle left, playing the shifts, got out ahead, with Cull, Quinn, Mike Evans, Ian McSweeney, and Darrell Reamsbottom rounding first. While Cull and Quinn were safely away, there was a good fight for the next slots between McSweeney, Evans, Reamsbottom, Darragh Sherdan, and O'Connell. McSweeney was able to defend 3rd until O'Connell took advantage of a left hand shift at the top of the last full beat. McSweeney got back at him by beating toward the finish line, but a poorly timed tack allowed O'Connell to squeeze in at the pin taking 3rd. Darragh Sheridan finished 5th.

Date: 23/11/2014

Wind: SW, 12-14 knots

Races sailed: 7 & 8, Olympic triangle followed by Windward/Leeward,

Race length: 40 min each

Leader, standard: Ronan Cull

Leader, radial: Aoife Hopkins

Leader, 4.7: Daniel Hopkins

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Ronan Cull

2. Dave Quinn

3. Dan O'Connell

4. Ian McSweeney

5. Darragh Sheridan

Approximately 1 second elapsed between the last finisher of race 7, and the warning signal of race 8 – PRO Liam Dineen opting for a windward/leeward course, making for challenging and competitve downwind legs. Dan O'Connell was on the money at the pin with a slight port bias, and at one point it looked like he was going to cross the fleet. He tacked and led the fleet toward the left, in a strengthening ebb. There was plenty of jostling for position off the line, and the majority of the fleet hit the left layline early. Dave Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom, and Ian McSweeney led around mark 1, having played it more safely up the middle left. The second round saw Cull taking a convincing lead (from 4th around the leeward), not missing a shift, or any extra breeze on offer as the wind abated. Dave Quinn fell back to fourth and to a battle with Stephen Quinn, leaving McSweeney and Reamsbottom to fight for 2nd. McSweeney got ahead on the last full beat, Reamsottom having gone too far left, and a closely fought run ended with Reamsbottom establishing an inside overlap in the zone at the last leeward mark. McSweeney got a lucky jump ahead at the critical moment and was able to sneak around ahead and in 2nd place. Cull was well ahead at this stage and a worthy winner once more. 4th was also hotly contested by the two Quinns. They had split up the final beat and coming to the line Stephen - on starboard coming from the right – forced Dave to duck, and be postally pipped.

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Ronan Cull

2. Ian McSweeney

3. Darrell Reamsbottom

4. Stephen Quinn

5. Dave Quinn

Published in Laser
Page 7 of 12

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