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Displaying items by tag: 29er

Following the first event of the year in Tralee Bay in County Kerry in early May, Blessington in County Dublin will welcome the 29ers, 49ers and any skiffs to the Easterns over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of June (NOR below). The event is the second-ranking event of the year for the 29ers.

29er Western champions Ben O'Shaugnessy and crew Ethan Spain will have to once more fend off fierce opposition from Johnny Flynn and James Dwyer. Both teams are freshly returning from the Netherlands where they competed in one of the most competitive Eurocups of the year. The event may see the return of Leaving and Junior Cert partnerships who will be eager to catch up on lost sailing hours while in May and June study mode.

Skiff sailors and coaches Chris Bateman and Thomas Chaix have already indicated they are keen to compete again at the skiff event, but this time possibly as partners in a 49er. Will the 49er young guns from Lough Ree or the Royal St George outpace them?

Any skiff can compete and more importantly it will be an opportunity to share information and help less experienced skiff sailors to get the most out of their boat with both Chris and Thomas (who are Skiff coaches) prepared to help out on set-up and giving away tweaks and tricks.

Download the Notice of Race for Blessington below

Published in 29er
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Over the May bank holiday weekend, Tralee Bay welcomed a few speed addicts for the first Skiff West event (also incorporating the second edition of the 29er westerns).

Saturday set the scene with the TBSC opening regatta. The local dinghy sailors saw the addition of the visiting 29er youth team. Three races were completed in a brisk 14-16 knots westerly. The 29ers trusted the front positions in these planning conditions with National YC sailors Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain taking all three races on PY. Johnny Flynn and James Dwyer were equally consistent in second. There was certainly more of a battle for the last podium position with locals making the most of the mistakes of the remaining 29ers. Ellie Cunnane (radial) eventually edged out her brother Paddy (Std rig), Riain Kelly (4.7 rigs) and father and son Mirror partnership.

On Sunday the skiffs took to the water again in a lovely 10-12 knots from the northwest. The local dolphins joined again to set the scene for great sailing.

Skiff West champions - Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan SpainSkiff West champions - Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain

In the first race, the two single handers Thomas Chaix (RS700) and Chris Bateman (Musto Skiff) made the best of the 29er errors to take an early lead with a very close finish within a pole length of each other. It was however short of a few boat lengths for both of them when times were recalculated with 29er Johnny Flynn and James Dwyer squeezing the win for just a few seconds.

The breeze picked up a bit putting pressure on the single-handers boat handling allowing the 29ers to enjoy more comfortable wins with Ben O'Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain leading the pack with Johnny and James close second each time. Four well-fought races were completed to put the tally at 5 for the day.

Monday welcomed the sailors with a glass mirror in the bay... The forecast was not encouraging so the race officer called it a championship early. The 29ers elected to pack but Chris and Thomas rigged up the Musto, the RS and a 49er and the fleet was rewarded with an hour of great wind just after lunch.

Overall, NYC sailors Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain secured the overall of "Skiff West 2022" and the 29er Westerns ahead of Johnny Flynn and James Dwyer also on a 29er and Chris Bateman (MBSC) on his Musto Skiff. Chris secured the first perpetual trophy of the open skiff fleet.

If numbers could certainly have been a bit higher, anyone who made the trip to Kerry enjoyed a fast and fun weekend and we will keep working at building a fleet mixing informal coaching skiff weekends with more serious skiff racing.

The next event is 25-26 June in Blessington.

Published in 29er
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With five wins from 11 races, skiff sailors Ben O'Shaughnessy with Eimer McMorrow Moriarty of Royal Cork Yacht Club won the 29er youth sailing nationals event at Ballyohlme on Belfast Lough.

The consistent sailing put them nine points clear at the top of the table from clubmates James Dwyer and Andrew Conan in second overall. 

Johnny Flynn and Ethan Spain from Howth Yacht Club finished third overall, just one point adrift of Dwyer and Conan.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the two top helmsmen sailed together until recently but are now gone on separate campaigns. 

Although Ben sailed with Eimear at the weekend to great effect, Ben's aim this season is to qualify for July's Youth World Championships where, unfortunately, mixed teams are not permitted in this class.

Afloat notes Ben is entered with Ethan Spain to compete at the Dutch Youth Regatta at Workum at the end of May, a regatta at which World Championship qualification could be reached.

Published in 29er
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Tralee Bay Sailing Club in County Kerry is gearing up for a weekend of sailing on the west coast over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The weekend will start with the club's yearly "Spring Regatta". Four races are scheduled on Saturday, the 3rd of April for the Optimist and dinghy fleets of the club.

The regatta is however open to visitors and last year saw the addition of 29er sailors from Dublin, GP14s from Cullaun and sailors from neighbouring club Foynes.

The weekend will then carry on with the combined 29er westerns and the first-ever "Open Skiff West" event.

The return of a regular season at home has been long awaited for the 29er fleet and the Westerns will launch a great summer of sailing and racing for the fleet. It will be the opportunity for the seasoned partnerships who have raced abroad over the winter to chase home waters honours and for the new partnerships to get finally introduced to racing. Who will add their name under 2019 champions Atlee Kohl and Jonathan O'Shaugnessy?

Skiff sailing is fun and there are many sailors around the country who have enjoyed the thrills of fast downwinds in their local club races. TBSC is offering the opportunity to gather all these speed addicts in a single venue for two days giving the opportunity to share tricks and stories with the more experienced sailors helping out the less experienced to get the most out of their boat. 49er and 49erFX should provide the bulk of the fleet yet we are also expecting a few of the trapezing RS (600, 700 and 800), Musto skiffs and some of the older skiff designs which still line up in various club boat parks around the country.

The event will be run under PY.

Details and entry form are on the Tralee Bay Sailing Club website, download the two NORs below. 

Published in 29er

Although our own domestic season is still many weeks away, six 29er partnerships elected to travel to the UK to compete in the 48 boats UK Winters. Grafham Water is the traditional venue for the event and despite a challenging forecast, the event did not disappoint with five competitive races completed.

We were kept on deck Saturday until all hope of racing was blown away in winds averaging 25-30 kts from the west. The race officer certainly tried and even had his course set up, but the wind never dropped and an attempt to launch at 14.00 was eventually abandoned.

Coaches Thomas Chaix and Chris Bateman focussed on boat work and venue specifics with the sailors to use the time effectively.

Sunday welcomed the sailors with a very different picture! Sunny, cold and light.

The first race started in 4-6 knots and It was an Irish boat making its move from the right side of the course. New partnership with 14-year-old Emily Conan and recently transferring from helming to crewing Lauren O'Callaghan had a narrow lead at the first windward. They worked hard and eventually settled with 4th in the initial race. The rest of the Irish contingent were certainly a bit rusty with mid fleet finishes.

The second race remained light enough but this time the team had warmed up with Clementine Van steenberge crewed by her brother Nathan leading the charge just ahead of Cork boys Ben O'Shaughnessy and James Dwyer. Unfortunately, gear issues forced the NYC partnership to retire, letting their teammates take line honours. Emily and Lauren were once more solid securing 10th.

A fast repair was completed back ashore with the help of the ever-inventive Chris Bateman and the Van Steenberges were rushed back afloat making the 3rd race start on time. The breeze picked up to 8-9 kts. The Irish secured another few solid results with the Cork boys taking 3rd, the Van Steenberge 5th and Emily and Lauren yet another 10th bringing them into the lead in the ladies. Johnny Flynn and crew Ethan Spain also progressed with the breeze picking up.

The 4th race was certainly the windiest with 12-14 kts. The Van Steenberge siblings showed their skills and despite a boat not operating at 100% of capabilities downwind they took the lead and never let go. Johnny and Ethan enjoyed the extra pressure to secure 3rd, just one ahead of Ben and James. It was all to play for the overall trophy with the RCYC partnership only a couple of points off before the last race and the discard yet to kick in.

The breeze dropped a little in the final race. Both the leading GBR boat and the Irish were deep at the first windward, so started the big comeback. Ben and James climbed to 5th with their opponent up to 7th... It, unfortunately, proved to be one mere point short and the event went to their GBR opponent on count back. Clementine and Nathan started strong losing a few places on the final run. Their 8th was enough to climb them back into the prizes (6th overall and 2nd Mixed team). Lauren McDowell and Erin McIllwain scored their best finish of the day in 16th just ahead of Emily and Lauren who, for their first event together finished 7th overall and won the ladies.

Junior pairing William Walsh (who was still sailing his optimist in October) and Sorcha Gannon-O'Connor had a challenging event but it is such exposure to good racing that will support their progress going forward.

Full results here

The next stop for the Irish 29ers is the Med Cup in El Balis (Spain)

Published in 29er
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Lough Ree was the perfect arena for the first "skiffs weekend". 13 hardy sailors launched and sailed in 29ers, 49ers, Int14 and RS700.

The concept was to try out fast boats and enjoy the thrills of high-speed sailing. 

29er: The 29er is the most popular skiff for youth sailors. There is an active class in Ireland with events regrouping up to 15 boats at present.

The class is growing and results internationally have been excellent.

Recently, Ireland took third position at the Europeans Nations Cup which regrouped the best three finishers from each country.

49er sailing49er sailing

49er: Natural progression from the 29er, the 49er is an Olympic class. Following in the footsteps of our Olympians, there are a handful of boat owners in Ireland enjoying the challenge of controlling the overpowered rig.

International 14(Above and below) International 14 

Int14: The International 14 is a development class that has led to great designs of skiffs with massive spinnakers and full carbon hulls. "Chocolate Girl" raised a few heart rates when hoisting the yellow kite on Lough Ree at the weekend,

RS700: Along with the Musto skiff, the 700 is the single-handed ultimate skiff, the boat you wonder how it is possible to gybe safely with the spinnaker up.

RS 700(Above and below) RS 700


A wet and blustery westerly welcomed the participants so the weekend started indoors with a shore-based session delivered by skiff coaches Thomas Chaix and Chris Bateman.

Eventually, the wind dropped enough to launch for an evening session on the open lake and the sailors managed a few fun runs before dark.

Sunday morning was chilly but the 12-14 kts on the lake proved perfect for hours of fast sailing swapping crews, helms and boats for the participants. The display of skills was excellent in ideal conditions. Ethan Spain developed a liking for the RS700 whilst the 29er sailors really enjoyed giving it a go in the 49ers. The wind eventually started to drop to give a gentle sail into the sunset.

The smiles all around and the boat park chats were unanimous and the weekend was only the start towards building a group of skiffs enthusiasts keen for more of these weekends of fast fun, friendly regattas and coaching development.

Big thanks to Lough Ree YC and its team of dedicated members John McGonigle, Emmet Duffy and Garrett Leech for making the weekend happen.

Published in 29er
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The cut short Investwise Irish Youth Sailing National Championships on Cork Harbour had produced some clear winners in five classes regardless of today's Yellow Alert weather warning at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Five titles were divided between Dublin and Cork sailors with the host club taking two crowns, the biggest haul of any single club with the 29er and Topper titles won by local sailors.

Both Laser titles go to Dublin, with Howth Yacht Club taking the ILCA 6 and the National Yacht Club winning in the ILCA 4.

The 420 title is shared by a combined Malahide and Wexford duo.

McMahon wins ILCA 6 but Crosbie's Reinstatement Makes it Close

ILCA 6 Champion - Eve McMahon of Howth

As Afloat reported earlier, the final results from Saturday’s long day afloat weren’t initially confirmed as two titles were eventually settled ashore in the protest room this morning.

On Saturday evening, a protest by ILCA6 (Laser Radial) overall leader Eve McMahon saw the Howth Yacht Club sailor extend her lead over Michael Crosbie of the Royal Cork YC when he was disqualified from Race 10 due to a port and starboard incident.

However, the Crosshaven sailor returned to the protest room on Sunday morning to have his result reinstated as McMahon had not informed the race committee of her protest on Saturday.

McMahon still emerged as ILCA6 Youth National Champion after the tie-break with Crosbie.

O'Shaughnessy & Dwyer Lift 29er Skiff Title 

29er Champions Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman29er Champions - Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman

Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) won the 29er skiff national title by a single point as Afloat reported here after a close contest with Tim Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge from the Royal Irish YC and National YC respectively in their eleven strong demonstration class that immediately followed a European Championships campaign on Lake Garda last week.

The runners-up were also in the protest room on Sunday morning seeking redress for equipment failure in their second race of the series on Friday but their submission was ruled out of time.

Collins top Toppers, Newcomer Ledoux Wins 4.7s

Rian CollinsTopper Champion - Rian Collins of Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat reported earlier, Crosshaven’s Rian Collins won the 38-boat Topper class with a 12-point lead over his clubmate Dan O’Leary taking the runner-up place in their seven-race series. Bobby Driscoll's third overall kept the Belfast Lough Topper flag flying.

Sam Ledoux of the National YCILCA 4 Champion - Sam Ledoux of the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

The Topper fleet shared the same course as the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) class, the second largest of the event with 31 boats where a newcomer to the class, Sam Ledoux of the National YC, emerged youth national champion. 

Five wins Give McDowell & Thompson the 420 Title

420  champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman420 champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman

The Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson continued their three-day lead of the 420 class to win comfortably as Afloat reports here over Eoghan Duffy with Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC in a disappointingly small nine boat class.

Published in Youth Sailing

James Dwyer and Ben O'Shaughnessy of the RCYC continue to lead the 29er skiff class Investwise youth sailing nationals but only by a single point from Royal Irish rivals Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge. 

After nine races sailed at Crosshaven, the three Irish boats that raced in the gold fleet at last week's Europeans in Lake Garda now occupy the top three slots at the Cork Harbour based championships.

Norwood and van Steenberge (who posted the top Irish result of 11th in Italy) have climbed back up the leaderboard from fourth place after four races to be in reach of the title after winning races eight and nine on Saturday afternoon. 

Third is the well sailed girls National YC/Royal St. George YC combination of Clementine van Steenberge and Chiara Carra. 

Racing is scheduled for Sunday, but a strong wind forecast may yet curtail racing. 

Update Sunday 09.24: Due to current wind conditions and forecast, the race committee has decided to cancel sailing for the day. Prizegiving at 10 am in the marquee

29er: Sailed: 9, Discards: 1, To count: 8, Entries: 1129er: Sailed: 9, Discards: 1, To count: 8, Entries: 11

Published in 29er

After three races sailed in the 29er Skiff Class at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships at Royal Cork, two of the Irish gold fleet finishers at the European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy on Wednesday continue neck and neck in Cork Harbour on Friday.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Royal Cork's James Dwyer and Ben O'Shaughnessy of the RCYC  finished 18th at the Euros with Clementine van Steenberge with Chiara Carra of the Royal St. George YC, three places behind in 21st place. 

After four races sailed in Cork Harbour, the battle continues with Dwyer and O'Shaughnessy one point ahead of the Royal St George girls. Another George pairing, sisters Emily and Jessica Riordan, are lying third. 

The fight for the lead of the 29er fleet was very impressive with the level of competition and standard of racingThe fight for the lead of the 29er fleet was very impressive with the level of competition and standard of racing on show Photo: Bob Bateman.

Top Irish performers at the Euros (finishing 11th), Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge of the Royal Irish, are in fourth place, principally due to retiral in the second race this morning. They won the opening race and were fifth in the third.

The Irish team is adjusting from the big fleet tactics required for the massive 200 boats European fleet earlier this week to the much more modest 11 boat domestic fleet gathered on the Cuskinny Bank.

Racing continues tomorrow.

29er: Sailed: 4, Discards: 0, To count: 4, Entries: 1129er: Sailed: 4, Discards: 0, To count: 4, Entries: 11

 29er Youth Nationals Day 2 Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

Published in 29er

Royal Irish's Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge finished in 11th place overall at the 29er European Championships that ended on Lake Garda, Italy yesterday. 

After a consistent preliminary round that saw them as high as fourth, Royal Cork's Ben O'Shaughnessy and James Dwyer Matthews finished 18th. Clementine van Steenberge and Chiara Carra were 21st in a 50-strong Gold Fleet.

The overall lead changed many times during the championships but consistent sailing from Danish entry DEN-3 (Jens Christian and Jens Philip Dehn-Toftehoj) gave them victory. Second was FRA-9 (Keo Devaux and Enale Rio) and third DEN-21 (Gustav and Clement Asholm-Bradley).

The top female crew of the event were DEN-14 Rebekka Johannesen and Silje Cerup-Simonsen.

There was a silver fleet finish for Ireland's Lauren O' Callaghan and Fiona Ferguson of the National Yacht Club. Royal St. George's Emily and Jessica Riordan raced in the bronze fleet.

Some of the crews will be making a quick turnaround now to race on Friday at the Investwise Youth National Championships underway for other classes at Royal Cork Yacht Club from Thursday.

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