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Displaying items by tag: Howth Yacht Club

With distinctly brisker weather forecast for this coming weekend, it may well be that Saturday’s second contest of the six weekend Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth was the Last of the Summer Wine, with just enough power in the pleasant easterly sea breeze to hold up against a gradient tendency for a westerly. Some new names appeared to the fore, but in Class I Nigel Biggs' Classic Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII held out against the usual showroom selection of various J/Boats, with the Evans brothers’ new J/99 Snapshot finding it was her turn to be second.

In Class 2 the Noonan/Chambers partnership in Impetuous likewise managed another win, but it was the turn of the Sigma 33 Insider (current Irish Class Champion) to get the win for the Mullaney team in Class 3, and another new name came to the fore with the Harris/Hughes family challenge with the First 40.7 Tiger winning out in White Sails.

2021 Squib Eastern Champion Emmet Dalton with Kerfuffle recorded his second win in the Autumn League at Howth on Saturday. Photo: Annraoi Blaney2021 Squib Eastern Champion Emmet Dalton with Kerfuffle recorded his second win in the Autumn League at Howth on Saturday. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

But although Emmet Dalton managed another win in the Squibs with Kerfuffle, in the big-fleet Puppeteer 22s, the previous weekend’s winner Shiggi Shiggi was pushed back to sixth, with Scorie Walls in Gold Dust taking the bullet, while the Howth 17s likewise saw an adjustment but not nearly so extreme - Ian Malcolm’s Aura - double winner of a week ago - was second, the winner being the Turvey brothers’ Isobel, making it quite a weekend for Clan Turvey as young Des was away in Larne winning the Optimist Ulster Championship at East Antrim Boat Club.

Full details here 

Scorie Walls with Gold Dust won on Saturday in the numerically largest class, the Puppeteer 22s. Photo HYCScorie Walls with Gold Dust won on Saturday in the numerically largest class, the Puppeteer 22s. Photo HYC

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

For the second time in three editions, Southern Yacht Club will leave the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court with the most prestigious trophy in Corinthian sailing, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, firmly in its collective grasp.

Ireland's two teams at the week-long event from Cork and Howth finished fourth and 18th respectively. 

The team from New Orleans—led by skipper John Lovell and tactician Marcus Eagan, and supported both here and in New Orleans by hundreds, if not thousands of family, friends and fellow members—were incredibly consistent through 12 races over 5 days, with 9 top-four finishes and not a single race result outside the top 10.

In some races, it looked simple as the team parlayed solid starts, prescient tactical calls and superior boatspeed into an express pass to the head of the 19-boat fleet of international yacht club teams. But in other races, particularly in the second half of the regatta, it was a battle as Southern Yacht Club spent a fair bit of time in the back half of the fleet.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

"It’s never easy," said Eagan, who skippered the team's winning 2017 entry, with Lovell as his tactician. "The leads are always marginal, it’s just crazy. Especially when you’re up the Bay in a light northerly. It was very dicey. It’s all about that one cross or that good start."

After four straight wins on Day 3 and Day 4, San Diego Yacht Club started the final day looking every bit a legitimate threat to overtake Southern for the championship. But the first race of the day couldn't have gone any worse; an 18th knocking San Diego out of contention. Royal Thames Yacht Club took the gun, and assumed second place in the overall standings.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

The regatta's final race was perhaps its most mentally challenging, with the breeze fading in and out and shifting frequently. Royal Thames started on the wrong foot by fouling Southern just seconds before the gun. But RTYC tactician Ian Dobson and skipper John Greenland made quick work of the variable breeze to climb right back into the hunt, rounding the first mark one place ahead of Southern.

Being in front was one small victory, but getting enough separation to overcome SYC's 13-point advantage proved too steep a climb. Greenland continued to slice through the fleet for a third, but Southern was able to follow suit, finishing sixth and becoming the second yacht club, after the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in 2011 and 2013, to win the trophy for a second time.

As is tradition at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the final day started with a Parade of Nations around Newport Harbor, complete with multiple cannon salutes. That ceremony completed, all 19 teams and assorted race committee and support craft headed north of Gould Island in Narragansett Bay's East Passage for an on-time start at 11 am.

It was apparent before the first gun that the day of racing would be anything but straightforward. The breeze, forecast for the middle teens, was barely holding onto double digit windspeeds and regularly dancing right or left of the median wind direction. For a crew with solid boat speed and a lead to defend, it was far from ideal.

"I was pretty stressed, I couldn’t even eat in between races," said Lovell, an Olympic silver medalist in the Tornado class. "You don’t want to choke. Our goal going into the day was 10 points, and I think we got nine. I can’t thank the crew enough.

"Our team just put it together. Everyone did their jobs and did them well. Marcus said it best at the beginning of the event, 'If everyone does their job, we’re going to be there.' And everyone did their job, and we didn’t make any real big mistakes, and that was it."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Also on the Southern team were Andrew Eagan, Dwight LeBlanc IV, Christian Gambel, Jay Kuebel, Miia Newman, Katy Lovell and Rick Merriman. Kuebel, both Eagans, Lovell and Merriman were all part of the winning team in 2017. Merriman is now the only three-time winner of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, having also won the inaugural edition as part of the New York Yacht Club team.

For host New York Yacht Club, it was an up-and-down regatta that included two race wins, but also a quartet of double-digit finishes. It ended on a strong note for Commodore Christopher J. Culver and his crew (Bow 19, at left) as they won the pin, hit the left corner and took the victory in the final race of the regatta.

"I'm so proud of the team," said Culver of his crew. "They worked so hard, first to qualify as the New York Yacht Club representative and then all week during the regatta. We feel we left a little bit out there on the racecourse, but every team probably feels that way. So it was really special to finish on a high note. I love our team, they really came together well and were so competitive. The camaraderie is really special as well."

Another team ending with a bang was the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, which followed New York Yacht Club across the line in the final race to record its best finish of the regatta.

"We were building up to this for three days," said Royal Swedish Yacht Club skipper Filip Engelbert. "We started off a little bit too hot tempted on board, I think, and then we decided, three days to go, just have a little bit of fun. We were gradually building up and finally we came through in the last race. A happy boat is a good boat."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Thanks to a second in the first race of the day, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda moved from ninth to seventh in the overall standings, by far its best finish in three Invitational Cup appearances.

"We changed our tactics for the start, and we had a really good start in the first race," said Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti, the team's main trimmer. "We had a really good tactician, we went on the left and turned the first mark first. It was a really good race for us and we gained two places in the final standings. This was my second Invitational Cup here in Newport, I just love this place and the IC37 is fantastic."

But no one was more pleased than Southern. A proud club with a strong sailing tradition, it has established a new standard of excellence at this event, and its domestic championship the Resolute Cup, which it won in 2016.

"It’s just incredible, a wonderful event," said Lovell. "This is, in my opinion, the best big boat regatta in the world."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Final Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 9, 2, 3, 6; 48
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2, 10, 3, 1, 3; 58
3. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1, 1, 1, 18, 11; 77
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9, 2, 16, 11, 9; 81
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11, 15, 10, 7, 1; 83
6. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5, 3, 14, 4, 4; 88
7. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14, 4, 12, 2, 13; 104
8. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16, 18, 8, 16, 8; 106
9. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15, 5, 4, 9, 15; 109
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6, 11, 6, 15, 5; 115
11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10, 6, 7, 10, 2; 123
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12, 19, 5, 8, 12; 136
13. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8, 14, 15, 12, 7; 146
14. Nyländska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7, 17, 19, 5, 10; 147
15. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3, 13, 17, 13, 17; 150
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13, 12, 18, 6, 14; 160
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17, 8, 11, 17, 16; 171
18. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19, 7, 9, 19, 19; 175
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18, 16, 13, 14, 18; 209

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club is lying fourth overall but can retain its 2019 bronze medal if strong results are secured in Saturday's final two races of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

Ireland's second team at the event, Howth Yacht Club had its best two results on Thursday at Newport, Rhode Island scoring a 7, 9, their first top tens of the series to be 16th overall.

The story line at the sharp end of the fleet on Day 4 of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup was much the same as on Day 3. San Diego Yacht Club played from in front, starting fast and stretching away to another two wins. For those keeping score at home, that's four consecutive wins across two very different race arenas for Tyler Sinks and crew. Meanwhile, Southern Yacht Club's crew showed again that no one can work out of a jam quite like they can, turning a potential clunker into a ninth, and following that up with a lunch-pail second.

When the dust cleared from a very challenging day on Narragansett Bay's East Passage, Southern Yacht Club remained the overall leader, with a nine-point advantage over second place, which is now occupied by San Diego. Royal Thames Yacht Club sits third. And that's the extent of the teams with a realistic shot at the championship, though Royal Cork Yacht Club and the host New York Yacht Club shouldn't be ruled out for a podium.

"It really comes down to technique and working together as a team," said San Diego tactician Jake LaDow, when asked about the team's speed advantage over the past two days. "That [includes] weight on and off the rail, loading the boat up, and really fine tuning the sail trim. That’s been what we’ve been getting better and better at. In these really tight races, you need these two-foot crosses every once in a while. The first couple of days, our speed wasn’t as good as it is at this point in the regatta, and we had a couple of unlucky breaks. Sometimes you need those small victories throughout the race to really punch through and allow your race to free up."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

After a punishing day on Rhode Island Sound on Thursday, the Race Committee moved the fleet inside Narragansett Bay, north of Gould Island. The flatter water and more moderate breeze was a welcome change for many competitors, but what today's conditions lacked in physical challenge was more than compensated for on the mental side of the sport. The breeze was shifty and puffy, and the tide was a factor, and few teams were immune to a bad race. In fact, of the top seven teams to begin the day, Southern and San Diego were the only two to avoid at least one double-digit finish.

San Diego stuck with a similar playbook to yesterday, starting at the pin and using superior speed to jump into the lead. Southern, once again, had to battle, particularly in the day's first race.

"We had a pretty decent first beat and rounded the weather mark in about sixth and everyone in the lead pack bore off initially on starboard," said Rick Merriman, Southern's main trimmer and a two-time winner of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. "The boats behind all jibed and got a jump on everyone. We went to jibe back, and there was a starboard tacker that pushed us to the right, and by then we’d pretty much lost everyone. We tried to keep our attitude strong and keep moving. We know we’ve got decent speed, so we just hung in there on the second beat and the run, kept passing boats and got in the top 10 again."

A second in the second race salvaged a very solid day, which will send the Southern Yacht Club team (Bow 3) into the final two races with a solid, but far from unsurmountable advantage.

Behind Southern, it was tough sledding for many top teams. Eastern, New York, Royal Cork, and Royal Canadian all saw their dreams of a podium, if not a win, take a significant hit.

Of the 19 teams in the regatta, just five put together two single-digit finishes on Day 4. The San Francisco Yacht Club, which has shown flashes of speed in multiple races, had a fifth and a fourth. The other two teams were more surprising.

Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Bow 6, at right) recorded its best two results of the regatta, a sixth and a seventh, and moved from 14th to 11th.

"I think the main reason was the starts," said tactician Johanna Sommarlund. "We got off the line today finally. We’ve been trying to find a way for the timing for the acceleration. We finally got that right today and then we played the shifts on the upwind.

"We’ve been trying some different things, working on, OK, let’s turn a little bit earlier, don’t think about the bias, just get clear air. Today we finally found the recipe to get off the start."

Then there were the viking hats. The team broke them out for Thursday evening's Lobster Bake, and at least one crew member decided to wear it on the water today.

"Some people say it’s bad luck to wear hats during the race," she said. "But apparently it’s been really good for us. We’ll be quicker with the viking helmets [tomorrow]."

Howth Yacht Club improve

Howth Yacht Club also had its best two results on Friday. Tactician Laura Dillon also chalked it up to trying something new. In the case of the Irish team, it was more input from the regatta's youngest participant, 15-year-old Rocco Wright.

"Rocco was feeding a lot of input today, and it was really helpful to have those extra pair of eyes looking around," said Dillon. "We definitely found today that the waves were less and we had good enough boatspeed across the course, so it was much more about the shifts and the gusts. That definitely helped level the playing field.

"We’re really enjoying the event, and it’s showing as we’re getting better every day."

Howth currently sits 16th in the regatta, but Dillon and her teammates were smiling wide tonight in the tent after racing and eagerly looking ahead to more progress over the final two races.

"A steady gain is really good," she said. "If we’re ending on a positive trajectory, then we’ll be hopefully looking forward to, in the future, coming back and continuing on that upward trajectory. We’d all love a podium position, but a steady gain would keep us all very happy."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 4 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 9, 2; 39
2. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1, 1, 1; 48
3. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2, 10, 3; 54
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9, 2, 16; 61
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11, 15, 10; 75
6. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5, 3, 14; 80
7. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16, 18, 8; 82
8. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15, 5, 4; 85
9. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14, 4, 12; 89
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6, 11, 6; 95
11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10, 6, 7; 111
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12, 19, 5; 116
13. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3, 13, 17; 120
14. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8, 14, 15; 127
15. Nyländska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7, 17, 19; 132
16. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19, 7, 9; 137
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17, 8, 11; 138
18. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13, 12, 18; 140
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18, 16, 13; 177
*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork team scored a 4 and a 9, in day three racing of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup to continue in third place overall.

If it wasn't the lumpy seas, it was the capricious breeze. Wherever sailors competing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup turned on Thursday, there was something standing between them and the groove so essential for a solid finish in a competitive fleet: a wave, a shift, a patch of no wind, a trench of disturbed air, a picket fence of competitors on starboard tack. It was one of the most challenging days on the water in the history of this storied event.

But intense pressure creates diamonds and with its back to the proverbial wall, San Diego Yacht Club turned in a gem of a performance, winning both races and saving its hopes of a podium finish after a middling start, by its lofty standards, to the regatta. The runner up from 2019 now sits fourth.

"We had couple of tough ones the last couple of days, and we knew we needed to go out and bounce back and find it," said San Diego Yacht Club tactician Jake LaDow. "We were able to execute two pin-end starts, which really set us up to have very simple races, minimizing tacks and staying away from other boats.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Southern Yacht Club also sparkled today, transforming a near disaster in Race 8 into a fourth and extending its overall lead to 13 points. With four races remaining, this regatta is Southern's to lose. They have shown exceptional speed and, save for one decision today, superb tactics. The race for the podium remains wide open, with at least five teams in contention. And, while teams in the bottom half of the fleet can no longer dream of a top-three finish, there remains plenty of pride on the line in the minor placings. For example, just 8 points separates 15th from 11th.

"Definitely" said LaDow when asked if the SDYC team reclaimed a bit of its mojo today. "We had a really good synergy between Tyler [Sinks, skipper] and Drew [Freides, main trimmer] keeping the boat at a constant level of heel in the super challenging, puffy conditions, and that gave us a lot of confidence."

Southern's comeback was noteworthy in large part due to the impact a bad result would've had on the regatta. Had SYC finished where it rounded the first mark—in the teens—the race for the 2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup would be wide open. But that race rescue wasn't the only Lazarus impression of the day. Royal Canadian Yacht Club was dead last, and by a margin, shortly after the start of Race 7, the day's first contest.

"We had a pretty shocker start, and ended up doing a 720 after the start," he said. "It’s really hard to come back. The good thing is when you’re that far back it’s pretty easy to sail a clear lane, and you can focus on boatspeed and sailing the numbers, which is what we did. We were able to sail our own race the entire race, including the downwinds. We made big big gains on the downwind legs by sailing by ourselves, and I think we had a pretty good mode going as well.

After an hour of tough sailing, the team crossed the finish line in fifth.

"It was a bit shocking even for us," Fraser said. "Terry [McLaughlin, RCYC skipper] did a great job, the whole team did a really good job just sticking with it, sailing fast, keeping to our mode, sailing to the numbers. When you’re doing that, good things happen, and we were lucky enough to get back to fifth."

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club has been a regular attendee at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, missing just one of seven, and finishing first twice and second once. Fraser is part of the Club's second generation of Invitational Cup sailors, participating for the second time.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

"The boats are amazing," he said. "It’s frustratingly close racing. Every inch matters, every tack matters, every shift matters. If you end up on the wrong side of a few things, you get deep and it’s really hard to get back. We’ve had an OK regatta so far, we need to keep pushing, basically no more mistakes at this point."

Royal Canadian Yacht Club currently sits seventh, 13 points out of the top five. But the team is trending in the right direction, with four straight results of fifth or better.

For San Diego Yacht Club, it's a similar situation, there's no margin for error if they have any hope of equaling its finish in 2019. However, this is no time to throw out a carefully crafted playbook that has proven effective in the past.

"Nothing changes," said LaDow. "We still have to trust the process, trust in ourselves and trust each person in their role to do the best we can. That said we're going to be looking for a similar day to today."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 3 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4; 28
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2; 41
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9; 43
4. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1; 46
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11; 50
6. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16; 56
7. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5; 63
8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14; 73
9. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15; 76
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6; 78
11. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3; 90
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12; 92
13. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7; 96
14. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10; 98
15. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8; 98
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13; 110
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17; 119
18. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19; 121
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18; 148

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

"We'd some grand spinnaker work. And there was some very good windward racing too. The only trouble is, it was sometimes all happening on the same leg of the course…." Even in an area of clear winds such as you find in Howth's main racing space north of Irelands Eye, when the overall weather pattern is undergoing a weird contortion to convert from being a shallow low-pressure area into a not very enthusiastic ridge, the winds bewilder both themselves, and those who are trying to use them for a spot of racing.

Yet in the early stages of Saturday's opening joust of the six weekends Beshoff Motors Autumn League at Howth, there was quite a respectable mostly westerly breeze to keep things moving along for eight classes of both cruiser-racers and One Designs. Turnouts averaged around the dozen per division, the pace being set by the established One Designs with the Howth Seventeens mustering thirteen in their 123rd year, while the Puppeteer 22s continued as the ideal lockdown revivalists, with a crisp fleet of sixteen boats.

Paul McMahon's Puppeteer 22 Shiggi-Shiggi took first in the biggest class in the HYC Beshoff Motors Autumn League opening race. Photo: Brian James MaguirePaul McMahon's Puppeteer 22 Shiggi-Shiggi took first in the biggest class in the HYC Beshoff Motors Autumn League opening race. Photo: Brian James Maguire

Thus it was Paul McMahon in the restored Pupp 22 Shiggi-Shiggi who'd the satisfaction of seeing most boats behind him at the finish. But the Dublin tradition of keeping every OD sailor interested by having an additional active handicap division saw him put in his box back at 11th on HPH, while the Byrne team in Odyssey took over the lead.

It meant that any One Design skipper who managed both the scratch and handicap win in the tricky going was very much on top of his game, but the only one who managed it was Ian Malcolm with Aura in the Seventeens, a right and proper reward for someone who – with Nick Massey – has done so much over the years to keep this ancient class in a thriving condition.

Ian Malcolm & Nick Massey, "Fathers" of the Howth 17s. In Saturday's opening race of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League, Ian Malcolm managed the rare achievement of pulling off both the scratch and handicap wins. Photo: W M NixonIan Malcolm & Nick Massey, "Fathers" of the Howth 17s. In Saturday's opening race of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League, Ian Malcolm managed the rare achievement of pulling off both the scratch and handicap wins. Photo: W M Nixon

In the august heights of Class 1, Nigel Biggs with the Classic Half Tonner Checkmate XVII continued his run of success from the ICRA Nats a week ago with a win, and then for five places it was a J Boats benefit with the J/97 Jeneral Lee second, the J/109 Outrajeous third, the J/80 Mojo fourth, the J/99 Snapshot 5th and the J/109 Indian sixth.

Details here 

It ended as the sort of day when people are glad enough to be able to claim: "We got a result", but in truth many competitors' minds were far away in the waters of Newport, Rhode island, where the first Howth YC team to take part in the Rolex NYYC Invitational were having their initial practice race on Saturday, and they sent back this snippet of onboard vid which put everyone in a cautiously good mood.

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

For the first time since the inaugural event in 2009, the fleet for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will hit the starting line without a defending champion, shaking up the form guide as teams and sailing fans look toward the start of sailing’s premiere Corinthian big-boat competition starts on Tuesday, September 14.

In another first for Ireland, as Afloat previously reported, Howth Yacht Club makes its debut alongside Royal Cork Yacht Club. It brings the number of Irish teams back up to two for the first time since Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George participation in 2009.

Re-entry concerns and strict quarantine protocols related to the COVID pandemic have forced clubs from Asia, the antipodes, and Europe to decline their spots in the regatta. The absence of the defending champions from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, along with a trio of clubs that sailed in each previous edition, has created opportunities for new international entrants and a handful of U.S. yacht clubs loaded with top amateur talent.

“While the COVID pandemic has made hosting an international sporting competition more challenging than ever, it pales in comparison to the hard work being done every day by frontline medical professionals around the globe. They have our enduring gratitude,” said Robbie Benjamin, the event chair. “We started this year with a superb entry list of 20 yacht clubs from around the world. It’s changed frequently over the past six months, but we’re tremendously proud that 19 teams that have made the commitment to travel to Newport to compete. Every former champion will compete in 2021, except for Royal Sydney. The seven U.S. clubs is a high for this regatta, but historically, the domestic teams have fared well, and we anticipate the level of competition being equal to, if not higher than, any previous edition.”

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 45 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. The strict one-design nature of this purpose-built class combined with the fact that each boat is owned and maintained by the New York Yacht Club, will ensure a level playing field not seen in any other amateur big-boat sailing competition. The regatta will run from Saturday, September 11, through Saturday, September 18, with racing starting on Tuesday, September 14.

A live broadcast on Facebook and YouTube, starting on Wednesday, September 15, will allow fellow club members, friends, family and sailing fans from around the world follow the action as it happens. Nineteen teams from nine countries will compete in 2021. 

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup has always been much more than a sailing competition. The onshore social schedule at Harbour Court and the resulting interclub camaraderie are integral components of the experience, which competitors say is unlike any other regatta in the world. But with the first gun less than a week away, the current focus is on who might win.

With the defending champions sitting out, 2019 runner-up San Diego Yacht Club is an obvious choice. Led once again by former college all-America selections Tyler Sinks (white hat) and Jake LaDow (far left), the team has the experience and talent to win, and the confidence of knowing they were just one break away from winning this regatta in 2019.

Four clubs that have won this regatta before—New York Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club and Southern Yacht Club—must also be considered among the favourites.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is the only two-time champion of the Invitational Cup. The team's preparation for 2021 included practising for and competing in the 25th edition of the Canada's Cup, the premier match-racing trophy in the Great Lakes. A 6-0 win over Youngstown (N.Y.) Yacht Club seems a strong indication the RCYC team will come to Newport with a fair bit of momentum. But skipper Terry McLaughlin wasn't willing to shoulder the yolk of pre-race favourite.

"I expect [the competition] to be as tough as ever," said McLaughlin, who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics. "I don’t want to say we're super prepared. We are reasonably prepared, but we haven't been fleet racing and we haven't been sailing in Newport."

McLaughlin's team is a combination of the old guard, including two teammates from Canada I campaign for the 1983 America's Cup, and the next generation of RCYC sailors, such as 28-year-old tactician Lance Fraser and Mariah Millen, who will be sailing with her dad.

"Our team is identical to the 2019 Invitational Cup team, with the exception of the mainsheet trimmer," said McLaughlin (white hat), who steered Royal Canadian to fourth in 2019. "Certainly for everybody else, they’re far more used to the IC37 this year. In 2019, we had some people in key positions on the boat who hadn't really sailed big boats much who learned quite quickly."

First-time competitors from Canada’s Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Howth Yacht Club in Ireland, and Noroton Yacht Club and American Yacht Club in the United States add an element of mystery to the pre-race discussion. Each team brings a collection of talented amateur sailors to the event. But how well they can assimilate to the IC37 and the unique format of the regatta won’t be known at least until the first race kicks off on Tuesday, September 14.

The following yacht clubs will compete for the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Howth Yacht Club (IRL), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), New York Yacht Club, Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, Conn.), Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN), Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN), San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club, The San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere, Calif.), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Argentino, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Yacht Club Italiano.

Published in Royal Cork YC

It was billed as the Squib Easterns. But in terms of results spread, it was more like an All-Ireland, with five different clubs listed for the first ten boats in a very representative fleet of 18 starters from many sailing centres taking to the waters close north of Howth. And though the first day was every bit as grey as Dublin Bay next door, the second suddenly pulled itself together, the sun broke through, and hey presto, we'd the luminous Fingal Riviera with a perfect onshore sailing breeze and some cracking racing under the direction of Derek Bothwell who – as a Squib sailor himself both at Howth and on Lough Derg – very crisply indicated that he was taking no messing about from anyone, ruling the racing with an iron hand.

The Squibs at Howth have had a chequered history since they started as a class at the harbour in 1979. Back in the previous millennium, they were particularly rampant during the 1990s, when a combined Irish & British Championship in 1995 saw 105 boats on the HYC starting line. At other times, the class is no more than a ghost of itself, but as longtime Howth Squib campaigner Emmet Dalton has put it, they're like cockroaches – you think they're gone, and suddenly they're everywhere again.

Running free in an unexpected outbreak of Indian Summer, Toys for the Boys (Peter Wallace) from Cultra chasing O'Leary (Simon Sheahan) from Howth. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyRunning free in an unexpected outbreak of Indian Summer, Toys for the Boys (Peter Wallace) from Cultra chasing O'Leary (Simon Sheahan) from Howth. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Winning combination. Neal Merry providing the leverage while Emmet Dalton ponders tactics aboard the new Squib Eastern Champion Kerfuffle. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWinning combination. Neal Merry providing the leverage while Emmet Dalton ponders tactics aboard the new Squib Eastern Champion Kerfuffle. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

After the weekend's racing, Skipper Dalton is permitted the use of such a crude analogy, for he and his crew Neal Merry were functioning so perfectly as a team racing Kerfuffle that they recorded a scoreline of 1,1,2,8,1,8. The other three race wins went to Ian Travers & Keith O'Riordan of Kinsale racing Outlaw, Peter Wallace & Martin Weatherstone of Royal North with Toys for the Boys, and frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) with Quickstep.

Suddenly, it's summer…..frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) had to be content with 5th overall this time round. Photo: Annraoi BlaneySuddenly, it's summer…..frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) had to be content with 5th overall this time round. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

However, it was intriguing for championship analysts to note that, as ever, putting together a good series can be every bit as productive as the occasional spectacular win, for although Ian Travers was second overall with a scoreline of 5,3,3,1,6,2, third overall went to Stephen Bridges and Matthew Bolton with Firecracker from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough whose 4,6,3,3,4 was able to get them on the podium despite a UFD in Race 3.

Age cannot wither her….the vintage Kerfuffle (no 37) in the lead to demonstrate why certain batches of the Squib production history have a special cachet. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAge cannot wither her….the vintage Kerfuffle (no 37) in the lead to demonstrate why certain batches of the Squib production history have a special cachet. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The Silver Fleet also saw the prize stay with the host club, as it was topped by the Kay brothers in Crackertoo at 9th overall, while Kinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain & Michael O'Sullivan took second (and first female helm) at tenth overall, third in Silver going north to Killyleagh with Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers).

Kinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain, crewed by Michael O'Sullivan in Mucky Duck, was second in the Silver Division. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyKinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain, crewed by Michael O'Sullivan in Mucky Duck, was second in the Silver Division. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Even without the boost of this double success at the weekend, Howth's Squibs under the captaincy of Ronan MacDonnell are currently on a roll, as at least three boats new to the fleet will be joining the local division next year. Meanwhile the class nationally is not yet finished with 2021, as the Freshwater Regatta on Lough Derg early in October is taking shape as their closing major.

Detailed results here

Three of the Killyleagh fleet – 149: Firecracker (Steven Bridges & Matthew Bolton), 807: Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers) and 102: Slipstream (Neil Logan & Robert Marshall). Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThree of the Killyleagh fleet – 149: Firecracker (Steven Bridges & Matthew Bolton), 807: Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers) and 102: Slipstream (Neil Logan & Robert Marshall). Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Control Centre – Howth YC's senior Committee Boat Star Point returns to the harbour on Sunday after a successful Squib Eastern Championship. Race Officer Derek Bothwell (at centre on bridge) has been busy all over Ireland with his workload increasing as the national sailing programme develops with pandemic restrictions lifting. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyControl Centre – Howth YC's senior Committee Boat Star Point returns to the harbour on Sunday after a successful Squib Eastern Championship. Race Officer Derek Bothwell (at centre on bridge) has been busy all over Ireland with his workload increasing as the national sailing programme develops with pandemic restrictions lifting. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Published in Squib
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Although it has only been running for seven years, the New York Yacht Club’s annual inter-club Invitational Event at Newport, Rhode Island has become one of the hottest tickets in international sailing. And since they moved the boat type up to the Mark Mills-designed Melges ILC37 (she’s like a big sister of the new Mills-designed Cape 31 that we’ll see in Ireland next year), the level of Corinthian competition has become stratospheric, and invitations to clubs are like gold dust.

For this year’s staging from September 11th to 18th, ten nations and 19 clubs are involved, and the Irish challenge has been boosted with a Howth Yacht Club team now in the mix, along with the highly-fancied Royal Cork squad in which the name of O’Leary figures significantly. There’s a family element with the Howth team too, as Michael and Darren Wright are at the core of it, but with talents such as Laura Dillon on the strength and dinghy ace Rocco Wright in back-up, it is a squad of all the talents, the full line-up being Darren Wright, Rick deNeve, Sam O'Byrne, Michael Wright, Laura Dillon, Brian Turvey, Luke Malcolm, Karena Knaggs and Rocco Wright.

As for the teams, they speak for themselves:

  • New York Yacht Club (USA)
  • Eastern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Howth Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Itchenor Sailing Club (UK)
  • San Francisco Yacht Club (USA)
  • Noroton Yacht Club (USA)
  • Nyländska Jaktklubben (Finland)
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Bermuda)
  • Yacht Club Argentino (Argentina)
  • American Yacht Club (USA)
  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Canada)
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Sweden)
  • Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy)
  • Royal Thames Yacht Club (UK)
  • Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (Canada)
  • San Diego Yacht Club (USA)
  • Southern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Yacht Club Italiano (Italy)

Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.

Published in Howth YC

The weekend's 420 Nationals at Howth enjoyed blissful sunshine but not quite enough easterly breeze on Saturday, and a reasonable-for-sailing but otherwise utterly grey northerly yesterday (Sunday) to get in the full quota of races for a fleet of 21 boats from six clubs

Either way, as far as the first six places were concerned, it was Lough Ree and Malahide pretty well rampant. So much so that we should hear it loud and clear for Adam McGrady and Allister O'Sullivan of Galway Bay SC – they managed to break the Lough Ree-Malahide hegemony by slipping into the listing at seventh overall, supported by clubmates Isabella Irwin and Mattie Kennedy at eighth.

Things get serious at the windward mark for Isabella Irwin & Mattie Kennedy (left, GBSC, eighth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall). Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThings get serious at the windward mark for Isabella Irwin & Mattie Kennedy (left, GBSC, eighth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall). Photo: Annraoi Blaney

But up at the sharp end, the first race was a clear declaration of intent with Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson of Malahide taking the bullet from Ben Graf and Anna Goerg of Lough Ree. Thereafter, regardless of wind amounts or sunshine quantities, it was almost entirely these two slugging it out for the win with the Graf und Goerg duo becoming dominant with four wins in the nine races while discarding a couple of thirds, though in fairness their Lough Ree clubmates Eoghan Duffy and Luke Johnston took third overall with a couple of firsts and a second.

Port tack assessment – Adam McGrady & Allister O'Sullivan (GBSC, 7th overall) weighing their chances Photo: Annraoi Blaney Port tack assessment – Adam McGrady & Allister O'Sullivan (GBSC, 7th overall) weighing their chances Photo: Annraoi Blaney 

As for the Malahide stars McDowell and Thompson, their scoreline was 1,2,2, (5), 2, (3), 1, 2 to give them 13 to the winning 10 of Graf and Goerg – full details here

Campaigning a 420 is a much greater logistical challenge for young sailors and their support teams than doing the circuit with the solo-sailed Optimists, Lasers or Toppers, so it's interesting to see how club involvement waxes and wanes. For instance, there were no boats from the host club, where much attention is now focused on U18 and U25 groups. But obviously for now Lough Ree and Malahide are giving it their best shot, and so too are Galway Bay, Waterford Harbour at Dunmore East, and Blessington up in the Wicklow Hills. It will be intriguing to see how this current pattern pans out in the next couple of years.

Saturday bliss - let us hope it wasn't the last real day of Summer 2021. Photo: Brian James MaguireSaturday bliss - let us hope it wasn't the last real day of Summer 2021. Photo: Brian James Maguire

420 Irish winners

1st overall Graf and Goerg 1st overall Graf and Goerg

2nd overall - McDowell Thompson2nd overall - McDowell and Thompson

3rd - overall Duffy Johnston3rd - overall Duffy and Johnston

420 Irish silver fleet winners

1st Silver Fleet - Sweetman and Jephson 1st Silver Fleet - Sweetman and Jephson

2nd Silver Fleet - Passberger and Maree2nd Silver Fleet - Passberger and Maree

3rd Silver Fleet - Dunne and O'Reilly 3rd Silver Fleet - Dunne and O'Reilly

Curraghbinny Cup Sarah Whyte and Sean Cronin with Tokyo 2020 sailor Sean Waddilove Curraghbinny Cupwinners -  Sarah Whyte and Sean Cronin with Tokyo 2020 sailor Sean Waddilove

 

Best Female Crew -  Campion and Soffe. Best Female Crew Campion Soffe

Published in 420
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For more than fifty years now, the 1898-founded Howth 17s have all been located at their port of origin, and the class has been thriving, so much so that serious damage to seven of the boats in winter storage in Storm Emma in March 2018 now seems like no more than a hiccup. The class recovered, with boats repaired or re-built and new ones added, such that assigned sail numbers have gone through the twenty mark. This may not seem such a big deal when international classes run into the thousands. But by local standards at any sailing centre, it's more than healthy, and the intriguing thing is how many locations internationally have contributed to this Howth growth.

With the port having only a limited local boat-building tradition - although two boats were built by the great John O'Reilly in a shed at Howth Castle in 1988 - the class's seemingly inexhaustible movers and shakers such as Nick Massey and Ian Malcolm have since had to cast the net wide for quality work, and this has used talent in Irish counties as diverse as Wicklow, Offaly, Meath, Fingal and West Cork in addition to availing of the subsidised boat-building schools of France.

A new Howth 17 being built at Skol ar Mor in South BrittanyA new Howth 17 being built at Skol ar Mor in South Brittany

Thus although they may be a one-place one-design, they've an international and forward-looking outlook. So it was an intriguing experience for eleven of the boat to go across to Dun Laoghaire last weekend to welcome home the first three restored Dublin Bay 21s to the National Yacht Club, and be greeted by some very senior sailors as "the Dublin Bay 17s from the noted northside club at Howth".

Fact is, DBSC had the use of the design for a sub-section of the class only from 1907 to 1964, by which time their crews had mostly moved into Glens, while the Dun Laoghaire Seventeens were all brought home to Howth and the TLC which has been lavished on them to varying degrees ever since.

The morning after…. Early on Saturday, July 31st at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, after eleven Howth 17s had sailed across to join the previous night's Welcome Home party for the three restored Dublin Bay 21s. Photo: David JonesThe morning after…. Early on Saturday, July 31st at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, after eleven Howth 17s had sailed across to join the previous night's Welcome Home party for the three restored Dublin Bay 21s. Photo: David Jones

As to Howth itself being northside Dublin, the reality is it is all actually east of the entire capital, and the sandy link (tombolo if you prefer) to Dublin's associated landmass is so tenuous that it's thought of as being "nearby Ireland".

But not to worry. The Howth-folk are generous of spirit, and in 2021 they've already visited Clontarf for the annual At Home – involving a sporty rounding of the Baily against a north-going tide with the race won by Deilginis – while going to Dun Laoghaire seemed right and proper even if some of the denizens thereof were confused about the type of boats they'd arrived in, and equally confused about points of the compass and relative geography.

Cutting the corner – with a fair wind but a foul tide, two of the Howth 17s try to find the weakest adverse stream right in on the pin of The Baily as they race into Dublin Bay, on course for the 2021 Clontarf At Home. Photo courtesy Howth Seventeen AssociationCutting the corner – with a fair wind but a foul tide, two of the Howth 17s try to find the weakest adverse stream right in on the pin of The Baily as they race into Dublin Bay, on course for the 2021 Clontarf At Home. Photo courtesy Howth Seventeen Association

This weekend it's back to local reality for the Howth 17 National Championship. It's officially designated as Friday, August 6th to Sunday, August 8th, but in time-honoured style, Sunday is very much the reserve day, they race on Friday evening and then pile on the races throughout Saturday until the quota is reached so that everything can be done and dusted by the Saturday night prize-giving dinner which - even in semi-socially-distanced times - will not be an event for shrinking violets.

As to results, the defending champions are the Shane O'Doherty team with the 1900-built Pauline. She is usually to be found in the middle of the fleet, but in the 2020 Championship, there were so many private battles going on between the more noted hotshots that Pauline was able to slip through the gaps into a popular overall win.

Back where they belong – Howth 17s racing in the Sound inside Ireland's Eye in July's drought conditions – Oona (foreground) is owned by Peter Courtney, whose family have been involved with the class since 1907. Photo: Jane Duffy

This year a noted pace-setter in club racing has been Isobel (Brian & Conor Turvey), while other names featuring at the front of the fleet have included Deilginis (Massey, Toomey, Kenny), Rita (Marcus Lynch & John Curley), Orla (Marc Fitzgibbon/Gallagher), Sheila (Dave Mulligan & Andy Johnston), Oona (Peter Courtney) and Aura (Ian Malcolm), which is the most recent top scorer as she won on Tuesday evening.

But with a turnout this weekend pushing towards fifteen of these unique boats, if the private battles for which the Howth 17s are renowned develop in their usual way, who knows what new name might come to the fore by nipping through the gaps, like the hero in Jurassic Park……..

After making a perfect job of rounding the final gybe mark, Shane O'Doherty with Pauline was on his way to victory in the Howth 17 2020 Nationals.After making a perfect job of rounding the final gybe mark, Shane O'Doherty with Pauline was on his way to victory in the Howth 17 2020 Nationals.

Published in Howth 17
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