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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Regatta

The President of Irish Sailing, Jack Roy, is on a busy schedule at the moment. Today he is in Cill Ronan in the Aran Islands for the opening ceremony and first day of racing in the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association’s Annual Championship. And tomorrow, he’ll be in Dun Laoghaire for the opening festivities and first day of racing in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017.

With 45 boats entered in the western event, and an additional 20 traditional Galway Hookers expected to be visiting the Aran Islands during the course of the weekend, Kilronan will be busy. But with the turnout in the East Coast’s main event in Dublin Bay now thrusting towards the 490 mark, Dun Laoghaire will simply be heaving.

WIORA fleet by night2By last night, the full WIORA fleet had assembled at Cill Ronan in the Aran Islands

Published in ISA

Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which takes place from tomorrow until Sunday, 9th July 2017, is set to be an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay. There will be a fantastic festival atmosphere across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The area will be a hive of activity for the 7th staging of this event and there will be plenty of action out on the water with over 2,500 participants, 475 boats competing in 35 different classes of boats, large and small, old and new, racing on seven race course areas over the four days of the regatta.

The quality of sailing will be extremely high with some of the country’s top class sailors taking part including Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy. The event attracts yachts from the Netherlands, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, England and all four provinces of Ireland.
Most notably this year there will be a Classic Yacht Division in VDLR 2017 competing for the ‘Kingstown 200’ Bicentenary Cup as part of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bicentenary Festival.

There will also be a wonderful variety of entertainment around the waterfront for those on land including live music from the St. Maur’s Pipe Band at the East Pier Bandstand. Also on the East Pier will be Marine Artists, Living Earth Photography, Teddy’s Ice-Cream and the Fish Shack and entertainment will be spread out along the waterfront to ensure you’re kept amused at all times!

Dun Laoghaire will be the perfect location for a family day out with the delicious People’s Park Market offering some of the best market food available in Dublin. Volvo Cars Ireland will also be displaying their latest range of cars at The People’s Park, the East Pier and the Harbour Plaza.

The event is also set to bring in a significant amount to the local economy. Using the standard tourism formula, the four day event is expected to bring in €150,000 per day and €600,000 overall across the four days.

Speaking in advance of the event, Tim Goodbody, Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta said; “As we celebrate the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, we are looking forward to seeing 2,500 sailors and hundreds of spectators to the 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. This event has grown from strength to strength, and we believe that this year’s instalment will be the finest to date. We will have more than 300 volunteers who give their time and energy to ensure the Regatta runs smoothly, as well as the active cooperation of local area businesses and the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. We look forward to welcoming our sponsors, sailors, and the thousands of spectators to Dublin Bay this weekend.”

David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Car Ireland, added; “Having been involved in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta since 2007, we have seen first-hand what a magnificent event this is. The Volvo brand is synonymous with sailing around the world and we are delighted to continue this associated in Ireland with the country’s biggest sailing event. Together with Spirit Motor Group we work to support what we see as important events in the community where our customers live, work and engage in sporting activities as an important part of life. We wish all the participants the best of luck.”

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta takes place from Thursday 6th July until Sunday 9th July 2017.

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Director of Racing Con Murphy has signalled a series of changes to the Sailing Instructions for tomorrow's first race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Ireland's biggest sailing event.

Over four days, 290 races for a mix of cruiser–racers, one-design keelboats and dinghies, plus a unique classics division, all wrapped up in one Irish Sea sail-fest. Read our preview here

The Changes to Sailing Instructions include a new 'offshore' course card for the popular offshore class. 

The GP14 dinghies will now discard the worst score when up to seven races are completed and discard the two worst scores when all eight races scheduled are completed. This is to meet class guidelines for their Leinster Championships.

In the SB20 class, GR10 also applies which means if a boat has to take a penalty for an infringement on the water a 360 degree turn will apply.

For the full change in sailing instructions to date download the addendum below.

Published in Volvo Regatta
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Due to the postponement of the Lyver Race last weekend it has be announced that the Royal Dee Jack Ryan Whiskey Irish Sea Offshore Championship will be decided by the four Offshore Class races of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to take place this week.

All boats entered for the VDLR Offshore Class qualify for the Offshore Championship. Download the flyer attached below.

While the VDLR has only two classes on the Offshore section – IRC and ECHO, the Offshore Championship will have three IRC classes and three ECHO classes.

There will be daily prizes for each class winner that will be presented immediately after the daily VDLR prize giving, to take place in each club. The Overall champions will be awarded two Royal Dee YC Trophies – the “Tide Race Cup” for IRC Overall Champion and the “Mostyn Vicar Memorial Trophy” for the ECHO Champion.

All races can be followed as each boats will have a YB tracker.

Jack Ryan whiskey

Published in ISORA

With Frank Kowalski’s Safehaven team in Thunder Child in the midst of their challenge for the Round Rockall & Ireland Record, it’s timely to remember that one of the entries in the Classics Division racing for the Kingstown 200 Trophy in this week’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has a very special link with Rockall writes W M Nixon.

Brian Comerford and his family sail their lovely Arthur Robb-designed 37ft yawl Verve from Dun Laoghaire, and compete regularly in classics events, so naturally they’re entered for the Kingstown 200. But Verve – built by Tyrrell’s of Arklow in 1963 for leading Irish Cruising Club sailor Paul Campbell – was much better known in he early days as a voyager which often took in distant places.

Verve also frequently cruised round Ireland, as her owner was for years the Honorary Editor of the Irish Cruising Club Sailing Directions. But in 1975 with noted cruising man Mickey d’Alton and sailor/mountaineer Willie Dick in his ship’s complement, Paul Campbell undertook an unusual venture which started from Donegal.

verve rockall2Made it! Out at Rockall in the summer of 1975, Willie Dick has made it safely onto the cliff face after a very judiciously-timed leap from the little Avon inflatable rowed by Mickey d’Alton

At the time, Britain had laid claim to the 70ft–high Rockall as being an outlier of Scotland, and to reinforce the territorial claim with its many potential economic benefits, had built a small lighthouse on top. But with all access had been made by helicopter. Although there had been attempts before to land by boat on the isolated rock, all had failed.

But Willie Dick had studied the challenge closely, and reckoned he could see a way up if only the sea was calm enough on the day. It was indeed calm on the summer’s day in 1975 when Verve arrived at Rockall, yet even so the restless ocean seemed to tug endlessly at the battered rock face. But with some masterful boat-handling by Mickey d’Alton (he had, after all, commanded a Tank Landing Craft on D Day), Willie Dick managed to leap cleanly from the little Avon inflatable, and the actual climb to the top was soon completed.

verve rockall2Monarch of all he surveys…. Willie Dick on top of Rockall. He was the first person to succeed in landing from a boat, as the lighthouse had been built with the use of helicopters

Published in Volvo Regatta
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No matter what Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers did it was never going to be easy to get a quart into a pint pot. Tomorrow's first race will now see 33% of all competing IRC boats in class one. It's the creation of a 'super class' for the biennial regatta, a sign of the popularity of this size of boat.

It will be the test of the season as class one boats gather from across Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales for the VDLR 'Cruisers One' crown. Ironically, the only boats missing – in a who's who line-up of talent – are the winners of May's Scottish Series (J109, Storm, Pat Kelly) and last month's Sovereign's Cup (A35, Fools Gold, Rob McConnell). Read the full IRC one entry list below.

Just how to manage the class breaks in such an impressive but diverse IRC fleet has been occupying the minds of the VDLR committee and its Director of Racing, Con Murphy, an Olympic Games Race Officer from Rio, for some time.

Last week stuck its neck out on the thorny subject and gave some predictions on class splits and prospective winners. You can read those predictions here. pointed to the possibility of moving boats from the very big class one line-up into class zero as a means of dealing with a class double the size of the other IRC classes.

An amendment to the Notice of Race (NOR) published on Monday, however, shows the regatta has instead introduced a sixth IRC class.

'We've ended up with six distinct groups that are of similar speed, rather than six evenly sized fleets', Murphy told who admits that it has been a vexed question.

It's a move that at first glance seems unnecessary because 88 IRC boats should fit into five classes but it has come about largely as a consequence of the popularity of boats in and around 33–36 feet length and a desire on the part of the J109 fleet to race under IRC rather than as a one design class.

rockabill icraDublin Bay's own Rockabill VI, the JPK10.80 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race winner will race in class one Photo: Bob Bateman

The net result is VDLR 2017 will set sail with a 'super class' by combining 15 mainly race orientated, well sailed and crewed various designs (JPK 10.80, Corby 33's, Archambault 35's, XP33s, Ker and Mills custom yachts) and then adding to it an uber–competitive 14 x J109 fleet.

VDLR had bowed to the agm–wishes of a 14-strong Dublin Bay J109 fleet as far back as January to allow them race in IRC class one as opposed to a separate class as they had done previously in 2015.

It's been no easy job striking the balance and Murphy has consulted far and wide in trying to reach an equitable solution.

RC35 Scottish seriesIrish boats racing in the RC35 fleet at the Scottish Series in May. The Scottish class says that having a restricted handicap of 1.015 to 1.040 has encourage tight, competitive racing. Scottish boats will be racing in Dun Laoghaire Photo: Marc Turner

Among the lobbyists, Scottish entries argued against some of their boats being moved into class zero. At May's Scottish Series this 'RC35' group had its own class with four boats from Ireland (including an Irish J109 winner) and the racing was tight and competitive. Having a restricted handicap of 1.015 to 1.040 has encouraged tight, competitive racing and has seen four new owners buy boats to fit into this banding.

If there is a split at VDLR, the new Scottish class argued, it will 'dilute our class and our campaign to encourage its development.'

In correspondence seen by, other skippers argued, however, that class one's higher rated yachts (of 1.045) will make racing 'grossly unfair' as such boats will get 'clear air off the start line while the balance of the relatively level rated fleet will fight for clear air throughout the race and arrive at marks in unison. Meanwhile, the faster boats 'get richer', one Dublin Bay skipper pointed out.

The problem for Murphy is that the bottom of class one fleet is all J109s so there is 'nobody left to move down to class two'. There is a big gap between 1.045 and class zero so moving such boats into class zero would give them 'poor racing'.

If VDLR did move to split class one, it would leave the J109s racing with just one other class one type yacht.

To say the least, the question has put the organisers between a rock and a hard place.

In one sense, of course, it's a good problem to have because so many other regattas these days have been scratching around looking for entries.

As an additional consideration for organisers, this year's VDLR programme will also feature more racing, up to three races per day, so there is a big onus on VDLR to keep fleets together in order to turn races around quickly.

The net result is VDLR 2017 will now have 29 of the 88 boats in class one, that's 33% of all competing IRC boats.

Start lines

It's an imbalance that admittedly could have unintended consequences for class zero, one and two racing that are racing on the same courses.

For example, how do you set proper lines when class zero will start with five boats and, on the same line, class one will start with 29?

Do they make the line too small for the big class? Or if they make it the right length for the larger class, it will be huge (estimated at 400 metres) for the small class, thus allowing boats that don't start well, the chance to get great starts. It's something Murphy acknowledges and as a means of dealing with the issue he will be using pin end committee boats instead of a buoy to facilitate the setting of the suitably long line for the big class one.

'We plan to set appropriately long start lines and 1.5 mile or longer first beats for the fleet to help reduce bunching at marks' 

Equally, Murphy is also investigating the possibility of tying to put in a shorter line for the smaller zero fleet but that will be a tricky thing to achieve within the starting sequence timeframe.

Boat of the Regatta

Another consequence might be its affect on one of the great VDLR traditions and that is its popular 'overall yacht of the week' prize. It's a prestigious award, especially this year when drawn from a total fleet of a near record entry of 473 entries.

How can someone be expected to dominate such a competitive class as class one when it is likely another eight or nine boat classes may produce a dominating boat? It's a factor for organisers to consider because the status of the regatta is diminished if IRC classes are not in the running for this top prize.

Class two and three

Moving down the bands, there are now 17 boats in class two yet only nine in class three. It is, perhaps, a reasonable question to ask why these two classes cannot be combined to make it a 26–boat fleet? If VDLR did this, the spread between the fastest boat and slowest boat would be 57 points. In class one, as they have it now, the spread between fastest and slowest is 50 points.

The answer, says Murphy, after extensive consultation, is that class three is largely made up of vintage –yet modified – Half–Tonners and it is 'unfair to put them with modern class two yachts' because of potential speed differentials.

Racing gets under way tomorrow afternoon.

Cruiser Class One – The Entries

Animal Royal Northern and Clyde YC GBR3627L First 36.7 1.021 Kevin Aitken

Banshee Clyde Cruising Club GBR9470R Corby 33 1.040 Charlie Frize

Bon Exemple Royal Irish Yacht Club GBR8933R X-Yachts 1.017 Colin Byrne

Carmen II Helensburgh Sailing Club IRL1666 First 36.7 1.019 Alan Jeffrey

Ruth National Yacht Club IRL1383 J109 1.015 Shanahan Family

Something Else National Yacht Club IRL29213 J109 1.011 John Hall

Chimaera Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL2160 J109 1.015 Andrew Craig

Jalapeno National Yacht Club IRL5109 J109 1.014 Paul Barrington

Jigamaree Royal Irish Yacht Club IR7991 J109 1.011 Ronan Harris

Joker 2 Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL1206 J109 1.013 John Maybury

Juggerknot Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL3660 J109 1.017 Andrew Algeo

Jump The Gun Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL1129 J109 1.012 John Kelly

Indecision Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL9898 J109 TBA Declan Hayes

Powder Monkey 2 National Yacht Club IRL28898 J109 1.009 Christopher Moore

D-Tox Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL13500 X 35 1.043 Patrick McSwiney

Gringo National Yacht Club Irl 7778 A 35 1.023 Anthony Fox

Impostor South Caernarvonshire YC GBR7377 Corby 33 1.035 Richard Fildes

Jacob VII Port Edgar IRL3307 Corby 33 1.039 John Stamp

Now or Never 3 Fairlie Yacht Club GBR7667R MAT 1010 1.032 Neill Sandford

Prima Luce Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL3504 First 35 1.017 Patrick Burke

Raptor Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL811 Mills 30CR 1.013 Denis Hewitt

Rockabill VI Royal Irish Yacht Club IRL10800 JPK 10.80 1.048 Paul O’Higgins

Thalia National Yacht Club IRL733 Sigma 400 1.035 Aubrey Leggett

Triple Elf Clyde Cruising Club FRA37296 Beneteau First 35 1.020 Christine Murray

Valkerie Liverpool Yacht Club GBR7031T Ker 31 1.027 Austin Harbison

White Mischief Royal Irish YC/National YC GBR1242R J109 1.010 Richard Goodbody

Wavetrain Greystones Sailing Club IRL 1477 Channel 32 1.014 Frank Whelan

Published in Volvo Regatta

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta early bird entry closed on Friday, reaching 400 entries for the July event. Entry remains open but without the discounted rate.

2,500 sailors are expected to race across 22 classes making it Ireland's biggest regatta but also one of Ireland’s biggest participant sporting events when the first gun fires on July 6.

The 30% discount was extended until last Friday following technical difficulties with the event website. 

74 different Sailing Clubs drawn from across Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and Isle of Man are involved.

Only once since its inaugural outing in 2005 have numbers dipped below 400 for the biennial sailfest and that was in the teeth of recession in 2013. But even then the fleet only dropped to 393, just 93 lower than 2007's record of 486. With 400 boats already signed up, could 2017 could threaten that record ten year record and bring numbers closer to the elusive 500? 

It would be entirely appropriate timing given the harbour's special anniversary. Entries are stronger than expected this year as all four Dun Laoghaire yacht clubs bang the drum for the harbour's bicentenary year. A special 'Kingstown 200' Cup will be presented to the winner of the regatta's classic boat division that includes a 'parade of sail'.

All the latest news on our dedicated regatta page here

Published in Volvo Regatta
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As Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta readies for its official launch on Wednesday, early bird numbers for for Ireland's biggest sailing regatta continue to grow with over half the expected total fleet of 400 boats now signed up, four months before the first gun on July 6.

It's a satisfying result for regatta chairman Tim Goodbody of the Royal Irish Yacht Club who will toast the ongoing success of the biennial event that first set sailed in 2005.

The biennial event is masterminded by all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs and has become the major sailing fixture on the Irish Sea.

This summer's edition will incorporate a 'Kingstown 200' Anniversary Cup marking the bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. A special classic boat regatta, shaping up to be the biggest of its kind in Irish waters, will sail as part of the four day event and includes a harbour 'Parade of Sail' on Saturday, July 8 as a highlight.

The strong flow of early entries were secured by a generous discount (of 30%) system if skippers enter before March 31st. When entries opened in December, 30 entries were received in the first week. By January, 18 boats from 180 entries listed were awarded a free entry after a draw among 'super early bird entries'.

The 232–boat entry so far is of course boosted by Dun Laoghaire's own local fleet but there is a big travelling contingent from across the Irish Sea too. Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man are all racing at Dun Laoghaire. This is on top of boats traveling from all four coasts of Ireland.

Goodbody says 'we have a number of National and Regional events within the overall regatta which makes it more attractive for many to travel and compete'.

VDLR 2017 Entries to date

ClassBoat NameSail NumberFirst NameSurnameHome Club
420   GBR 54979 Daniel Thompson Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club
420   IRL 56032 Nicola Ferguson National Yacht Club
Beneteau 211 Small Wonder IRL 7007 Hugh Kelly Royal Irish Yacht Club
Beneteau 211 MonReve IRL2113 Brian Stewart Malahide Yacht Club
Beneteau 211 Chinook IRL2121 Andrew Bradley Royal Irish Yacht Club
Beneteau 211 Carousel 362 Derek Beddows Windemere Motor Boat Racing Club
Beneteau 211 Carna GBR4167L Stu Spence Clyde Cruising Club
Beneteau 211 Ventuno IRL 2111 Rowan Fogarty Royal Irish Yacht Club
Beneteau 211 Wild Thing IRL 1363 Louis Byrne Tralee Bay Sailing Club
Beneteau 211 Billy Whiz IRL2170 Pat Shannon Royal Irish Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Levante IRL3107 John Power National Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Crazyhorse IRL2004 Frank Heath Royal Irish YC / Royal St George YC
Beneteau 31.7 Prospect Irl 1565 Chris Johnston National Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Camira IRL 2474 Peter Beamish Royal Irish Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Extreme Reality IRL 6909 Lorcan Balfe National Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Eauvation GBR7221T Jason Corlett Isle Of Man Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 Fiddly Bits IRL 5317 Bill Quigley National Yacht Club
Beneteau 31.7 (Scratch & ECHO) Bluefin Two IRL6662 Michael Bryson National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy Samphire none John Keogh Other...
Classic Dinghy No Name 10 Fiacc OBrolchain Other...
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Atomic 14/71 Donal Heney Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Dubious 14/134 Simon Revill Sutton Dinghy Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Doody 14/137 John Fitzgerald Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Starfish 38 Alan Carr Sutton Dinghy Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Diane 14/122 Brian Murphy Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Dunmoanin 140 Frank Hamilton Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Smurfette 14/126 Charles Sargent Sutton Dinghy Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 DART 161 Mr Long Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: IDRA 14 Sapphire 138 Lorcan O'Sullivan Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Aideen 21 Brendan Martin National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid The Message 185 Ross Galbraith Skerries Sailing Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Gentoo 186 Brian McNally Skerries Sailing Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Three Chevrons 119 Vincent Mc Cormack Foynes Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Lively Lady 73 Geraldine O'Neill National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Jill 134 Paul Smith Royal Irish Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Mermaid Tiller Girl 77 Jonathan O'Rourke National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Shannon One Design   178 Finn Murphy National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Chloe 34 Kate O'Leary Royal Irish Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Mollie 41 Cathy Mac Aleavey National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Mariposa 45 Claudine Murphy National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Little Tern 36 Tim Pearson Royal St George Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Swift 38 Guy Kilroy Royal Irish Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Marcia 37 Brendan McCormack National Yacht Club
Classic Dinghy: Waterwag Mademoiselle 46 Adam Winkelmann Royal Irish Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat Peggy Bawn - Watson 1894 Cutter None Hal Sisk Royal Irish Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat Drascombe Coaster - Tyboat IRL1640 Jack O'Keeffee Other...
Classic Keelboat: Howth 17 Eileen 16 Rima Macken Howth Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Howth 17 Oona 17 Peter Courtney Howth Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Howth 17 Aura 7 Ian Malcolm Howth Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Howth 17 Isobel 19 Conor Turvey Howth Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Howth 17 Silver Moon 5 Susan Morgan Howth Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Cornish Shrimper Purple Haze 369 Kevin Collins Sligo Yacht Club
Classic Keelboat: Cornish Shrimper Scallywag 750 Olivier Prouveur National Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Checkmate XVIII GBR66R   Performance Solutions Ltd Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) White Mischief GBR1242R Richard Goodbody Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Rockabill VI IRL 10800 Paul O'Higgins Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) D-TOX IRL 13500 Patrick McSwiney Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Dux Irl988 Anthony Gore-Grimes Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Forty Licks GBR 4041R Jay Colville East Down Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Kamikaze IRL 8223 Peter Nash Royal St George Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Juggerknot IRL 3660 Andrew Algeo  
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Chimaera IRL2160 Andrew Craig Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Injenious GBR2728L Mike Crompton South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Checkmate XV IRL2016 David Cullen Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) RAPTOR IRL 811 DENIS HEWITT Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Jigamaree IR7991 Ronan Harris Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Eazi tiger 2909 Jonathan Oliver Liverpool Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) JACOB VII IRL3307 John Stamp Port Edgar Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) TRIPLE ELF FRA37296 Christine Murray Clyde Cruising Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Wynward irl307 McCormack Family Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Chase Me 397 John Raughter Bray Sailing Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Movistar Bleu GBR 8747 Raymond Killops Killyleagh Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Starflash GBR7149 Alan Morrison Ballyholme YC / Royal Ulster YC
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Cacciatore IRL8069 Mairead Ni Cheallachain National Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Now or Never 3 GBR7667R Neill Sandford Fairlie Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Aurora GBR 7737R Roderick Stuart Clyde Cruising Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Indecision IRL 9898 Declan Hayes Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) TBA IRL1103 Kevin Darmody Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Alpaca IRL 35221 Paul & Deirdre Tingle Royal Cork Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Jump The Gun IRL 1129 John Kelly Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Prima Luce IRL 3504 Patrick Burke Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Ruthless IRL26026 Conor Ronan Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Challenger IRL6556 Paul Rossiter Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Fusion IRL2552 Richard Colwell Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) SOMETHING ELSE IRL 29213 JOHN HALL National Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Samurai J GBR9292c Alan Macleod Cove Sailing Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Boomerang IRL1367 Family Kirwan Royal St George Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Jalapeno IRL5109 Paul Barrington National Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Maximus IRL 7495 Paddy Kyne Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Joker 2 IRL 1206 John Maybury Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) ShakerMaker GBR 7031T Austin Harbison Liverpool Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Apache 1192c Jonathan Gifford Quoile Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Dubious 1654 Peter Richardson Royal Cork YC / Royal Irish YC / Royal St George YC
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Fait accompli Gbr 7707 Charlie McAllister Antrim Boat Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Axiom IRL 3709 Michael O'Neill Royal Irish Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Happy GBR 9518 Ian Macdonald Clyde Cruising Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Carmen11 IRL 1666 Alan Jeffrey Helensburgh Sailing Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Running Wild IRL 9538 Brendan Foley Royal St George Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) Maranda 11 Myles Kelly Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) X-Rated IRL7066 John Gordon Mayo Sailing Club / Royal St George YC
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - 0.912 > TCC > 0.820 K-Nine IRL 9541 Enda Mulvihill Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - 0.912 > TCC > 0.820 Asterix 8245N Frazer Meredith Other...
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - 0.912 > TCC > 0.820 Kahera IRL9554 Russell Camier Malahide Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - 0.912 > TCC > 0.820 Autism on the Water GBR 749 Murray MacDonald Other...
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - 0.979 > TCC > 0.913 kodachi irl2706 Rick De Neve Howth Yacht Club
Cruiser (IRC & ECHO) - TCC > 0.980, LOA < 12m Powder Monkey 2 IRL28898 Christopher Moore Other...
Dragon DCision 195 Joey Mason Royal St George Yacht Club
Dragon ZinZan IRL 127 Tim Carpenter Royal Irish Yacht Club
Dragon Phantom 176 David Williams Royal St George Yacht Club
Fife PEGGY 14 Tak Kershaw Other...
Fife SIAN No 1 Richard Tudor Other...
Fife Fiona 41 Nicki Yates Other...
Flying Fifteen Derranged IRL 3665 Neil Colin Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Flying Fifteen FFASTIDIOTS 3837 Peter Cronin National Yacht Club
Flying Fifteen Gruffalo IRL3864 Keith Poole National Yacht Club
Flying Fifteen Perfect Ten IRL3995 Alan Balfe National Yacht Club
Flying Fifteen No Name 4045 Gerry Ryan Other...
Glen Glen Luce G67 Richard O'Connor Royal St George Yacht Club
Glen GlenDun G9 David Houlton Royal St George Yacht Club
Glen Glenshesk G1 Liz Faulkner Royal St George Yacht Club
GP14 Trouble on the way TBA Curly Morris East Antrim Boat Club
GP14   14074 Cathal Sheridan Skerries Sailing Club
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Squib Periquin 48 Noel Colclough Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
Squib Little Demon 95 Sheila Power Royal St George Yacht Club
Waterwag Marie Louise 9 John J Magner Royal Irish Yacht Club
Waterwag peggy 47 David Corcoran National Yacht Club
Wayfarer Mistral II W10935 Margie Crawford East Down Yacht Club
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Wayfarer Lightning W10934 Seamus O'Cleirigh Greystones Sailing Club
Published in Volvo Regatta
Tagged under

Ireland will be the base for the Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII Half Ton campagin this season with a programme that includes the ICRA Nationals, Sovereigns Cup, Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale.

In a previous Irish campaign, Biggs was the overall winner of the 2013 'Boat of the Week' at a massive Dun Laoghaire Regatta edition with seven straight wins in class two.

Biggs's 'new' Half–Tonner that is currently very much a work in progress (see photo above) is the old Emiliano Zapata, ex Dick Dastardly, ex French Beret, ex Concorde from 1985. As with his previous two successful half–tonners (Harmony and Checkmate XV) she has been 'breathed on' by Wicklow yacht designer Mark Mills with a revised sailplan and keel. All the work is being undertaken at his team base near Bangor in North Wales and he anticipates launching early May.

Having campaigned his C&C 30 in the US in the US last year, (debuting in Dun Laoghaire in 2015) Biggs say his 12–year–old daughter had been nagging him to get a boat over this side of the Atlantic so she could sail with him more often. 'What father could refuse such a request?' he told

Checkmate XVIII boat will be sailed by his usual team, some of whom have sailed together for over 20 years and some of whom have only joined over the last couple of years ( Dun Laoghaire's Adam Hyland and Cian Guilfoyle) plus his daughter, of course.

Published in Half Tonners

There could well be as many opinions as to what constitutes a true classic or traditional boat as there are owners of these often highly individual craft. As part of the celebration of the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour – where the first stone was officially laid by the Viceroy on 31st May 1817 - the organisers of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 (it’s from July 6th to 9th) will be including a Classics, Traditional and Old Gaffer section. This will, in addition to putting extra emphasis on older classes already regularly involved such as the Glens, the Mermaids, the Howth 17s, the IDRA 14s and the Water Wags, be extending a welcome to older boats of other types, and to classic classes from Ireland and around the Irish Sea. W M Nixon reports on progress in this special feature of a very attractive new dimension to Ireland’s biggest sailing event.

If you want anything done in introducing a new twist to sailing, make Cathy MacAleavey the organiser of the special sub-committee in charge of moving things along. And if you want to be sure things are going in the right direction as regards classics and traditional craft, make sure that that Hal Sisk is being consulted and will be personally involved in one or maybe all of his classic craft, for the contribution he has made to the appreciation of our boat heritage in Ireland is unmatched.

Former Olympic sailor and round Ireland record holder Cathy is now herself very much a mover and shaker in the classics, as she has built a Water Wag and a Shannon One Design working alongside the great Jimmy Furey of Leecarrow in Roscommon, and races regularly in both classes.

On being appointed to this completely new post last Autumn by top honcho Tim Goodbody, Chair of the overall Organising Committee, one of the first things she remembered was that while taking part in the Glandore Classics some years ago, she’d been much taken with the Fife One Designs from the Menai Straits, little gems some 24ft 6ins LOA whose design origins go back to 1926, and have been thriving as a class since the 1930s.

Royal Anglesey Fife yachtsThe Royal Anglesey Fifes racing in the Menai Straits. Although the class was first designed in 1926, and gained full strength early in the 1930s, this will be their first visit to Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Ian bradley
These days they hunt as a pack and many of them are well organised for road trailing, so on the assumption that they would be heading to the Glandore Classics 2017 on July 23rd, she sent an email to class chairman Richard Tudor suggesting that they might like to take in Dun Laoghaire on the way. It turns out that they won’t be at Glandore in late July as they’re expected to take part in the four yearly Celtic Festival in the Menai Straits at much the same time. But their diary was reasonably clear for the 6th to 9th of July and the Dun Laoghaire festivities, and they’re coming to race for the new Kingstown Cup big time.

This is doubly interesting, for they’re very much a William Fife design and only six inches shorter than the Alfred Mylne-designed Glens, yet the two comparable classes have never raced in the same event. Needless to say the chances of an inter-fleet race in Dun Laoghaire is now high on the agenda.

Alfred Mylne Glen Class  yachtAn Alfred Mylne-designed Glen Class OD on her home waters of Dublin Bay in the kind of conditions everyone hopes for in July 2017.

 Glen yacht dublin bayThe Glen class neatly demonstrate their need for traditional moorings in their allocated area off the Royal St George YC

Howth 17 traditional yachtThe 1898 Howth 17s will be coming in force from Howth, but they’ve adapted the programme to suit their needs, with a race from Howth to Dun Laoghaire on the Friday, a full day’s racing on the Saturday, a morning race on the Sunday, and then a race home after the prize-giving ceremony.

So at a stroke, Cathy had given wings to the new event. But at the same time she was casting a fly over Hal Sisk, against whom she regularly races in the Water Wags, but who had his 1894 Watson-designed, Hilditch-built 36ft classic gaff cutter Peggy Bawn on the market, as more than ten years have elapsed since his team completed the wellnigh perfect restoration of this boat in 2005.

Peggy Bawn had been based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour continuously since 1919, and then after her restoration, she became a much-admired feature in classic regattas on both sides of the Atlantic. To say that Hal Sisk has done his duty by her is under-stating the case, yet when Cathy approached him about making Peggy Bawn the centrepiece of the VDLR Classics Regatta, he said he’d already decided to do so, and was looking forward to it very much.

Peggy Bawn yachtPeggy Bawn in her newly-restored form in 2005. Anyone contemplating a similar project should spend hours studying this image……Photo W M Nixon

While all this was going on in the background, one of the members of Cathy’s sub-committee, Guy Kilroy, was constructing a database of all the classic and traditional classes within Ireland or within reasonable reach. Although most of them are very location-specific and few have the trailers for a long road journey, you just never know who might be swept up in the general enthusiasm for an event which is really beginning to buzz, and certainly the exotic Shannon One Designs will be turning up in strength.

Meanwhile, there’s the mysterious territory which is the Old Gaffer’s Association, which came into being in 1963 when people realised there wasn’t any organisation looking after the needs of boats which weren’t really classics in the strictest sense, yet fitted into so many other categories that they almost defied definition.

Ironically, the OGA was founded in the very year that Dublin Bay’s perfect exemplars of the gaff-rigged racing cutter, the Dublin Bay 21s, changed over to Bermudan rig. Yet as the 2013 Golden Jubilee Round Britain and Ireland cruise of the OGA showed, the Old Gaffers thrive as never before. And as it happened, in 2015 and 2016 the President of the overall Old Gaffers Association was Dun Laoghaire’s own Sean Walsh, owner-skipper of the very gaff-rigged Heard 28 Tir na nOg.

But Sean was due to stand down as President in London in January 14th 2017 – last weekend, in other words. Fortunately, there was just time to convene a meeting of key people before that happened, and a gathering in the NYC of Sean Walsh, Dublin Bay OGA President Denis Aylmer, Ian Malcolm of the Howth Seventeen and Water Wag classes, and Cathy MacAleavey and her husband Con Murphy, did a lot to improve mutual understanding and clarify the in-port needs of Old Gaffers, which are different from those of Classics, which are in turn very different from those of easily-manoeuvred modern craft with auxiliary engines.

old gaffers association dun aloghaireA meeting of minds. At the key gathering to assess the needs of the Old Gaffers Association were (left to right) Denis Aylmer (President Dublin Bay OGA), Sean Walsh (President, OGA), Ian Macolm (Howth 17 and Water Wag classes), Cathy MacAleavey, and Con Murphy. Photo: W M Nixon

Even before Sean and his team had left for London for the OGA changeover, the word had come through from Paul Keogh, skipper of the Clondalkin community-owned-and-built full-size Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan, that he and his crew would be delighted to take part in Dun Laoghaire in July.

This was another key decision, for the Naomh Cronan is now the only full-sized traditional Galway type on the Irish Sea. But while the great hooker voyager Paddy Barry now sails the seas in a 45ft Frers-designed cutter, it was also confirmed that he too would be taking part, as crew aboard Sean Walsh’s Tir n nOg.

Galway Hooker Naomh CronanThe Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan. Her commitment to the Dun Laoghaire Traditional regatta has greatly encouraged the organisers. Photo: W M Nixon

Heard 28 Tir n nOg yachtSean Walsh’s Heard 28 Tir n nOg in racing mode. In Dun Laoghaire in July 2017, his crew will include legendary Galway hooker voyager Paddy Barry. Photo: Dave Owens

So the main building blocks of a great event are now going into place, and it’s a matter of building on this sound foundation. With the organisers fully aware of the need to provide proper liaison officers for each special group or class, the need for designated berthing between the Carlisle Pier and the East Pier is also being addressed, as it is the most suitable space, and has the bonus of providing the best possible public view of some of the most interesting-looking boats around.

Thus invitations are on their way to the likes of Scott and Ruth Metcalfe with their characterful schooner Vilma on the Menai Straits, and Mike Clark with his traditional Manx nobby White Heather at Peel in the Isle of Man.

Menai Straits-based schooner VilmaThe Menai Straits-based schooner Vilma (Scott & Ruth Metcalf) is exactly the kind of vessel the Dun Laoghaire event is aimed at. Photo: W M Nixon

Manx Nobby White HeatherMike Clark’s Manx Nobby White Heather
At the other end of the Isle of Man is Joe Pennington with his restored Manx longliner Master Frank, an asset to any regatta, while across in Strangford Lough Dickie Gomes may have his 1912-built 36ft Kearney yawl Ainmara on the market after 51 years of ownership, but if she doesn’t move he says he is on for Dun Laoghaire.

For several years. Ainmara was Dun Laoghaire-based, but the Dun Laoghaire class which everyone would most particularly welcome back would be the Dublin Bay 24s which raced in the bay from 1947 to 2004. Here’s a rough-cut vid from their final race in the bay in 2004, since then they’ve been taken to Brittany in hope of restoration, but only one has had the complete job done. Originally called Periwinkle, she is now re-named Grace, and is based at Douarnenez, but if she could be persuaded back to Dublin Bay for July 2017, who knows what doors might be opened.

Dublin Bay 24 yacht Grace PeriwinkleThe restored Dublin Bay 24 Grace (ex-Periwinkle) is now reported to be based in Douarnenenz, but she would be very welcome back in Dublin Bay

Boats of a very different kind came centre stage many years ago in another Hal Sisk initiative, the Bantry Boats built to the design of the ship’s longboat left behind in Bantry after the unsuccessful French invasion of 1796. From the new involvement came the Atlantic Challenge, and you’ll find Bantry Boats at many ports, though there are few enough of them in Ireland. But the Dun Laoghaire festivities would provide an ideal opportunity for them, as the final day of the regatta, Sunday 9th July, is also being pencilled in for a full-on traditional rowing competition for the East Coast Skiffs.

Pembrokeshire Bantry Boat The Pembrokeshire Bantry Boat sailing off the coast of southwest Wales. Some racing for these very special craft is another proposal for the Dun Laoghaire regatta

In fact, with so much effort being made to provide proper waterfront facilities in Dun Laoghaire, it’s a case of the more the merrier, and another interesting vessel whose management have indicated positive interest is the Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen, currently nearing completion of her restoration through the Ilen Boat Building School of Limerick at Liam Hegarty’s boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore.

Ilen is due to be launched in April and will be in full commission by July. The very fact of having a complete suit of new sails will make her look better than she ever has since she was built in 1927, and if she does turn up to Dun Laoghaire welcome, it will be a very different boat from the tired-looking vessel at the end of her working days in the Falkands, the vessel which was finally, thanks to Gary MacMahon’s initiative, returned to Ireland in 1998.

In other words, so many ideas are flying around about the fresh shapes and new vitality that the Kingstown Bicentenary can add to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta that all things are possible.

Conor O’Brien ketch IlenThe Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen towards the end of her working days in the Falkland Islands. In fully restored form, she is expected to launch in April of this year, and may well include the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in her 2017 programme. Photo courtesy Ilen Boatbuilding School

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