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As if to confuse all concerned, the conditions encountered for race 4 of the Autumn League sailing were totally at odds with the forecasts being given in the days beforehand. Instead of the predicted balmy day, the fleets faced very fresh north-easterlies and a big sea, both of which had a significant input into the outcome of the day's racing.

Indeed, only a couple of series leaders across the nine classes managed to secure a win yet still retained their top positions with the final two races to go next Saturday morning. It was a day when jammed halyards, torn sails, a few broaches, some rapid downwind speeds, very wet foredeck crew, and even the odd bloodied forehead were to be witnessed.

The Squibs made a collective decision that their small craft might have some problems with such a large swell and opted for a civilised class breakfast instead. Some of those who sailed may have envied that option but the reaction was generally one of satisfaction in mastering the conditions over a two-hour period.

'Crazy Horse' (Chambers/Reilly) again took line honours in Class 1 but had to settle for 2nd on IRC while series leader 'Storm' (Pat Kelly) emerged as race winner on both handicaps. That 'double' secures a double overall lead, albeit only by two points on IRC and tying with 'Equinox' on ECHO.

The conditions were never going to favour Class 2 leader 'Kinetic' (Colwell/Murphy) and so it proved, yet 4th equal with main rival 'King One' (Dave Cullen) is hardly a disaster and doesn't alter their place at the top of the table. The 'twins' 'Xebec' and 'Dux' however revelled in the big seas and finished in that order on IRC, with 'Xebec' (with Francis Ennis on helm) also taking the ECHO honours. 'Kinetic' still heads both handicap tables but only by two points in each case, ahead of 'King One' and 'Maximus' respectively.

For the second week in a row, Vincent Gaffney's 'Alliance' didn't notch a win in Class 3, finishing second just behind 'Starlet' (E.Bourke) but it didn't adversely affect the overall position on IRC, with 'Alliance's' cause greatly helped by rival 'Gecko' (Kevin Darmody) having their worst result of the series. Malahide visitor 'Tobago' (Ray & Others) had a good day, winning on ECHO ahead of clubmate 'Shenanigans' (Douglas/Keane) to leapfrog over 'Rossinver' (C.Scott) to lead overall.

Class 4 leader 'On the Rox' (C&J Boyle) didn't finish the race so it becomes their discard and they still lead the fleet on ECHO but only by a single point from 'Bite the Bullet' (Colm Bermingham) who finished second in the fourth race behind 'FanatiX' (R. Fanning). 'Flashback' (Hogg et al) had a good day last Sunday and they followed it up with another, winning on IRC by a comfortable margin to stay ahead of 'Bite the Bullet' in the overall standings.

As the smallest boat in Class 5, 'Demelza' (Ennis/Laudan) was always going to struggle in the heavy conditions against much bigger boats and a 7th place confirmed that prediction but, allowing for a discard, the Shamrock still leads the field by two points from Denis Toomey's 'Harmony'. Andrew Knowles' 'Sandpiper' had a memorable day, winning on both handicaps, and now moves to 3rd overall on ECHO, while there's a tie for first on IRC between 'Alphida' (Harry Byrne) and 'Voyager' (Joe Carton).

The only non-HYC entry in the Etchells, Jay Bourke from the Royal St.George YC, in 'Northside Dragon' again showed the way, taking the gun just less than 30 seconds ahead of 'Jabberwocky' (Simon Knowles), a result which is mirrored in the overall standings too.

In the J/24s, national champion Flor O'Driscoll (who missed a couple of races, partly because of All-Ireland Championship duty) came back to fill his customary position but was pressured throughout by 'Jibberish' (Fergus O'Kelly & others) and in the end only 5 seconds separated them on the line. The Howth boat still leads overall by three points over 'Scandal' with O'Driscoll and crew only point adrift in third spot.

There was yet another new race winner in the Puppeteers, this time in the shape of 'Gold Dust' (Walls & Browne), 15 seconds clear of series leader 'Harlequin' (Clarke & Egan) and Alan Pearson's 'Trick or Treat' a further 15 seconds back. The result had the added bonus of moving 'Gold Dust' up to equal 2nd with Neil Murphy's Yellow Peril, while a handicap win for 'Gepetto' (Edward O'Reilly) jumps them ahead of 'Ghosty Ned' (Donal Harkin) on the HPH leaderboard.

Roddy Cooper's delight in steering 'Leila' to victory by a minute ahead of Ian Malcolm's 'Aura' was, it appears, short-lived. He was subsequently disqualified for not passing the Spit mark correctly so 'Aura' got the win on scratch and handicap ahead of 'Oona' (Peter Courtney) and 'Sheila' (Derek Bothwell) respectively. It means the Malcolm crew narrow the gap at the top behind series leader 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley) to one point and assume the HPH lead by two points over 'Sheila'.

The 2010 Autumn League, sponsored by WD-40, Crystal Holidays and The Food Room, concludes next Saturday 16th with two back-to-back races over windward-leeward courses to complete a six-race series.

Published in Howth YC
10th October 2010

Storm Wins IRC 1 in Howth

HOWTH YACHT CLUB. AUTUMN LEAGUE (RACE) 10/10/2010 Class 1 IRC: 1, Storm P Kelly HYC; 2, Crazy Horse Chambers/Reilly HYC; 3, Equinox R McDonald HYC; Class 1 ECHO: 1, Storm P Kelly HYC; 2, Equinox R McDonald HYC; 3, Aztec P Beamish RIYC; Class 2 IRC: 1, Xebec T Giles HYC; 2, Dux A Gore-Grimes HYC; 3, Sunburn I Byrne HYC; Class 2 ECHO: 1, Xebec T Giles HYC; 2, Maximus P Kyne HYC; 3, Impetuous Noonan/Chambers HYC; Class 3 IRC: 1, Starlet E Bourke HYC; 2, Alliance V Gaffney HYC; 3, Holly B MacMahon HYC; Class 3 ECHO: 1, Tobago Ray/Others MYC; 2, Shenanigans Douglas/Keane MYC; 3, Rossinver C Scott HYC; Class 4 ECHO: 1, FanatiX R Fanning HYC; 2, Bite the Bullet C Bermingham HYC; 3, Trinculo M Fleming HYC; Class 4 IRC: 1, Flashback Hogg/Others HYC; 2, Bite the Bullet C Bermingham HYC; 3, Trinculo M Fleming HYC; Class 5 ECHO: 1, Sandpiper A Knowles HYC; 2, Walter Mitty S & D Mullaney HYC; 3, Harmony D & H Toomey HYC; Class 5 IRC: 1, Sandpiper A Knowles HYC; 2, Alphida H Byrne HYC; 3, Harmony D & H Toomey HYC; Puppeteer SCRATCH: 1, Gold Dust Walls/Browne HYC; 2, Harlequin Clarke/Egan HYC; 3, Trick or Treat A Pearson HYC; Puppeteer HPH: 1, Gepetto E O'Reilly HYC; 2, Gold Dust Walls/Browne HYC; 3, Trick or Treat A Pearson HYC; 17 Footer SCRATCH: 1, Leila R Cooper HYC; 2, Aura I Malcolm HYC; 3, Oona P Courtney HYC; 17 Footer HPH: 1, Leila R Cooper HYC; 2, Aura I Malcolm HYC; 3, Sheila D Bothwell HYC; Etchells SCRATCH: 1, Northside Dragon J Bourke RStGYC; 2, Jabberwocky S Knowles HYC; 3, Gelert J Flynn HYC; J 24 SCRATCH: 1, Hard on Port F O'Driscoll RStGYC; 2, Jibberish O'Kelly/Others HYC; 3, Scandal B McDowell MYC
Published in Howth YC


The Autumn League reached its half-way point yesterday with the third race in the six-race series being sailed in light to moderate, constantly shifting westerlies, with boats in a number of classes further consolidating their positions at the top of their respective fleets in HYC.

A feature of the day was the addition of four Royal Irish YC boats joining the event for the first race in the new WD-40 4-race Cruiser Challenge, with two of them proving particularly competitive. 'Another Adventure' (D.Cafferkey) took the ECHO honours while Paul O'Higgins' 'Rockabill V' was second behind IRC behind race winner 'Crazy Horse' (Chambers/O'Reilly). The results of the race in the context of the overall Autumn League series will be calculated and posted in the next few days.

Without all of her regular crew, 'Kinetic' won Class 2 on both handicaps last week and with the crew returned to its full complement for race three, promptly repeated the exercise, this time even more emphatically. A cracker of a start helped them lead the 21-strong fleet around the course to win by a couple of minutes from 'MiniMumm' (Cobbe/McDonald) who took second on both handicaps. Dave Cullen's 'King One' remains in contention, just two points adrift, with the two boats opening a serious gap over third placed 'Impetuous' (Noonan/Chambers) while those two boats reverse the order on the ECHO overalls.


The 'Alliance' (Vincent Gaffney) dominance of Class 3 was shaken a little on Sunday when Kevin Darmody's 'Gecko' upset the odds, winning not just on the water but also with the calculator, although the latter result yielded a victory of just 3 seconds! That maintains second overall on IRC (albeit sharing that spot with the ever-consistent 'Holly' (Basil MacMahon) and ECHO, where 'K9' (C.O'Dea) headed series leader 'Rossinver' (C.Scott) on the day.


Class 4 witnessed the boldest start of the day, with 'Flashback' (Hogg etc) executing a port tack start at the pin end to perfection, crossing the entire fleet and leading all around the course to win comfortably on ECHO and take a well-earned 2nd place behind 'On the Rox' (C & J Boyle) on IRC. That opens up a mere two point lead for the Boyles over Colm Bermingham's 'Bite the Bullet' which only trails 'Flashback' by half a point overall on ECHO.


A second successive win for the oldest and smallest boat in Class 5 sees 'Demelza' (Stephanie Ennis and Windsor Laudan) jump to the head of the leaderboard on IRC while Joe Carton's ('Voyager') second ECHO win in a row gives her a share of the overall lead with Harry Byrne's 'Alphida'. 'Demelza's' success is all the more significant in that she led the fleet on the water for most of the race and was only a couple of minutes behind much larger boats at the end.


'Kootamundra Wattle' (Dan O'Grady/Paul Reilly) returned to winning ways in the Etchells, with 40 seconds to spare over second-placed Simon Knowles ('Jabberwocky'). Third place for Jay Bourke's 'Northside Dragon' was enough to keep the Royal St.George YC visitor at the top of the table, although Knowles is only a point behind and O'Grady is within striking distance.


It was a case of the same old story in the J24s, with the superior upwind speed of 'Jibberish' (Fergus O'Kelly & Others) more than enough to ensure a comfortable win over 'Scandal' from Malahide, the third time the two boats have finished in that order, while 'Hard on Port' (helmed by Des Fortune) had to be content with a third successive 3rd place.


Having lost out at the death on the previous Sunday, Neil Murphy and the crew of 'Yellow Peril' made no mistake in race 3, although only six seconds separated them from runner-up 'Ibis' (Garret May). Murphy has closed the gap at the top of the leaderboard to just three points behind 'Harlequin' (Clarke/Egan) while on handicap, it was a good day for the Jennings' 'Sanderling'. Second place for 'Ghosty Ned' (D.Harkin) ensures they stay top, four points ahead of 'Ile Molene' (Byrne/Stanley).


After an indifferent start to the series, 'Klipbok' (Emmet Dalton) returned to the familiar position of race winner, almost one and a half minutes ahead of series leader 'Kerfuffle' (Craig/Raune). Emer Harte's (Puffin) third on the water converted to a handicap win but 'Kerfuffle' also heads those standings too, just one point ahead of Phil Merry's 'Shadowfax'.


A second win in three races, this time by almost two minutes from Ian Malcolm's 'Aura', was sufficient for 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley) to take over at the top of the overall standings in the Howth 17 Footers, having previously shared that status with 'Aura'. 'Sheila', helmed by Derek Bothwell, enjoyed handicap success ahead of the Turvey's 'Isobel', a result that lifts the newest Seventeen to second overall behind 'Aura'.


The fourth race in the series – and second in the WD-40 Cruiser Challenge – takes place next Sunday 10th October and the series concludes on Saturday 16th with two back-to-back windward-leeward races.

Published in Howth YC

HOWTH YACHT CLUB. AUTUMN LEAGUE (RACE) 03/10/2010 Class 1 IRC: 1, Crazy Horse Chambers/Reilly HYC; 2, Rockabill V P O'Higgins NYC/RIYC; 3, Storm P Kelly HYC; Class 1 ECHO: 1, Another Adventure D Caffereky RIYC; 2, Raptor Hewitt/Others RIYC; 3, Equinox R McDonald HYC; Class 2 IRC: 1, Kinetic Colwell/Murphy HYC; 2, MiniMumm Cobbe/McDonald HYC; 3, King One D Cullen HYC; Class 2 ECHO: 1, Kinetic Colwell/Murphy HYC; 2, MiniMumm Cobbe/McDonald HYC; 3, Jokers Wild G Knaggs HYC; Class 3 IRC: 1, Gecko K Darmody HYC; 2, Alliance V Gaffney HYC; 3, Holly B MacMahon HYC; Class 3 ECHO: 1, K9 C O'Dea HYC; 2, Rossinver C Scott HYC; 3, Gecko K Darmody HYC; Class 4 ECHO: 1, On the Rox C & J Boyle HYC; 2, Flashback Hogg/Others HYC; 3, Bite the Bullet C Bermingham HYC; Class 4 IRC: 1, Flashback Hogg/Others HYC; 2, On the Rox C & J Boyle HYC; 3, Bite the Bullet C Bermingham HYC; Class 5 ECHO: 1, Demelza Ennis/Laudan HYC; 2, Voyager J Carton HYC; 3, Force Five R & J McAllister HYC; Class 5 IRC: 1, Voyager J Carton HYC; 2, Alphida H Byrne HYC; 3, Force Five R & J McAllister HYC; Puppeteer SCRATCH: 1, Yellow Peril N Murphy HYC; 2, Ibis G May HYC; 3, Harlequin Clarke/Egan HYC; Puppeteer HPH: 1, Sanderling D & B Jennings HYC; 2, Ghosty Ned D Harkin HYC; 3, Yellow Peril N Murphy HYC; Squib SCRATCH: 1, Klipbok E Dalton HYC; 2, Kerfuffle Craig/Raune HYC; 3, Puffin E Harte HYC; Squib HPH: 1, Puffin E Harte HYC; 2, Roxanne J O'Flynn HYC; 3, Shadowfax P Merry HYC; 17 Footer SCRATCH: 1, Rita Lynch/Curley HYC; 2, Aura I Malcolm HYC; 3, Deilginis Delginis Group HYC; 17 Footer HPH: 1, Sheila D Bothwell HYC; 2, Isobel B & C Turvey HYC; 3, Aura I Malcolm HYC; Etchells SCRATCH: 1, Kootamundra O'Grady/Reilly HYC; 2, Jabberwocky S Knowles HYC; 3, Northside Dragon J Bourke RStGYC; J 24 SCRATCH: 1, Jibberish O'Kelly/Others HYC; 2, Scandal B McDowell MYC; 3, Hard on Port F O'Driscoll RStGYC

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

In total contrast to the opening day's race, the second race in the Howth YC Autumn League was sailed in light airs of less than 10 knots and massive wind shifts which caused headaches for crews and messed up the race officers' best laid plans to have several good windward legs on both courses. Starting in light westerly winds and finishing in an even lighter easterly and an ebb tide illustrates how frustrating the conditions were for the 123 boats participating, reducing some races into a procession and forcing a number of DNFs.


On the offshore course, a second successive win for 'Storm' (P.Kelly), beating 'Crazy Horse' (Chambers/Reilly) by 20 seconds on the water but even more impressively on both handicaps, has helped them to extend their overall IRC lead over 'Equinox' (R.McDonald). The double victory also gives 'Storm' a share of the ECHO leadership with Equinox after two races.


Twenty-one boats made the start of Class 2 and all bar one completed the course, although there was a sizeable spread between first – 'Kinetic' (Colwell/Murphy) – and last. 'King One' (Dave Cullen) took line honours but Kinetic was less than a minute behind and that was enough to secure the IRC win and also the ECHO one too. As a result, the two rivals share the overall lead on IRC while 'Kinetic' has a one point advantage on ECHO over 'Maximus' (P.Kyne).


Vince Gaffney's 'Alliance' continues to live up to the pre-event favourites tag with a second win in a row to head Class 3 on IRC, this time ahead of 'Gecko' (Kevin Darmody) and 'Holly' (Basil MacMahon), the latter lying 2nd overall. Gecko, now 3rd overall on IRC, won on ECHO and now trails division leader 'Rossinver' (C.Scott) by just two points.


An emphatic win in Class 4 for 'Flashback' (Hogg & Others) on IRC (and 2nd on ECHO) has seen her move into 2nd overall behind 'Bite the Bullet' (Colm Bermingham – 2nd in race 2). Winner of ECHO was Charlie Boyle's 'On the Rox', a win which gives them equal first overall with 'Bite the Bullet'.


In the other White Sail division, Class 5, a boat which made a habit of winning races in the past returned to those winning ways when 'Demelza', now under the ownership of the Ennis/Laudan partnership, came up trumps on ECHO ahead of Joe Carton's 'Voyager' who won on IRC. 'Demelza' now ties with 'Harmony' (D&H Toomey) on ECHO while Harry Byrne's 'Alphida' has one point to spare overall on 'Voyager'.


On the inshore course, the Etchells led the way as always and in the true style of one-design racing, only 6 minutes separated first from ninth in the 9-boat fleet. Much to the chagrin of the class regulars, Brian O'Neill, who has barely sailed an Etchells in two years, won the race by a minute on 'Fuzzy Duck' from 'Kootamundra Wattle' (O'Grady/Reilly), with last week's winner 'Northside Dragon' (Jay Bourke, RStGYC) in third. The Dun Laoghaire visitor heads the rankings after two races, two points ahead of Simon Knowles' 'Jabberwocky'.


Half way through the J24 race, the four boats competing were within spitting distance of one another but getting around the West Mark first and benefitting from the ebb tide gave Fergus O'Kelly and the crew of 'Jibberish' the extra momentum to open out a good lead over second-placed 'Scandal' (Mossy Shanahan on the helm). The result was identical to the first Sunday so the overall standings stay the same.


'Harlequin' (Clarke/Egan) notched their second win on the trot but they were pushed all the way by Neil Murphy's 'Yellow Peril', so much so that only 7 seconds separated them on the line. That was good enough for Murphy to claim the handicap honours and move up to sharing second overall with 'Gold Dust' (Walls/Browne). 'Gepetto' (E.O'Reilly) now has a single point margin over 'Ghosty Ned' (D.Harkin) overall on handicap.


It was a case of a second successive win in the Squibs too, with the Craig/Raune partnership in 'Kerfuffle' enjoying a 5-minute lead over 'Klipbok' (Emmet Dalton), with the rest of the fleet a long way back. The result was the same on handicap, and on the overall rankings, 'Kerfuffle' leads on both scratch and handicap from 'Shadowfax' (P.Merry).


Ian Malcolm and the crew of 'Aura' were so far ahead of the Seventeens fleet – 14 minutes to be precise – that it was no surprise that they also took the handicap honours. 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley) and 'Deilginis' (Deilginis Group) took the next two places on scratch respectively, with the order reversed on handicap. 'Aura' now shares the overall lead with 'Rita' but has a 4 point gap over the same boat on handicap.


The Autumn League, sponsored by WD-40, Crystal Holidays and The Food Room, continues next Sunday with race 3 in the 6-race series.

Published in Howth YC
The 2010 Howth Yacht Club Autumn League – sponsored by WD-40, Crystal Holidays and The Food Room - got underway in fresh south-westerly winds with the first races for the 130 entries in ten classes. While conditions were damp to start with, as racing continued the rain eased until the very end and good racing was the order of the day on both sailing courses.

On the Inshore Course for one-designs, it was close enough in the Etchells, with the first three boats finishing within 30 seconds and the honours going to Jay Bourke of the Royal St.George YC on 'Northside Dragon'. Simon Knowles 'Jabberwocky' and Robert Dix's 'Glance' were hot on his heels, particularly on the final leg to the finish in the Sound. Ten boats have entered the League but two didn't make the start line for race 1.

The J/24s made their first appearance as a class in the Autumn League, a week after completing their National Championships at Howth, and although the numbers were small, the competition was tight until the final beat when Fergus O'Kelly's 'Jibberish' pulled out a healthy lead on second-placed 'Scandal' (MYC), helmed by Mossy Shanahan. The new National Champion Flor O'Driscoll had the misfortune to partly sail the wrong course and although he fought back well, it wasn't enough to trouble the front two.

The biggest fleet in the entire event is the Puppeteers with 23 boats but inevitably the leaders were familiar ones at the head of this competitive class. 'Harlequin' (Clarke/Egan) had just 23 seconds to spare over national champion Garret May on 'Ibis' while 'Mojo' (Stanley/Callen) was about the same distance behind in third. On handicap, 'Gepetto' (Ed O'Reilly) got the nod by a narrow margin over 'Haemoglobin' (Mullen/O'Dea).

The small Squib fleet was dominated by 'Kerfuffle' (Craig/Raune) and, 3 minutes behind, 'Shadowfax' (Phil Merry) to such an extent that they also finished first and second respectively on handicap while Emer Harte's 'Puffin' had to settle for third on the water.

Ten Seventeens started the race but only nine finished with HYC Sailing Secretary Brian Turvey and his crew on 'Isobel' suffering a broken mast at a time when they were challenging at the head of the fleet. The honours instead went to 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley), a minute ahead of Ian Malcolm's 'Aura' and the 17s' champion Roddy Cooper in 'Leila' in third. Perhaps a little surprisingly, Peter Courtney's 'Oona' was back in fourth slot.

Over on the Offshore Course for Cruiser Classes, Stephen O'Flaherty elegant 'Soufriere' took line honours but when the handicaps were calculated was relegated to the bottom end of the 9-boat fleet while 'Storm' (P.Kelly) and 'Tiger' won on IRC and ECHO respectively. Ross McDonald's 'Equinox' took 3rd and 2nd on the two handicap systems.

A minute separated the top five finishers in Class 2 and while Dave Cullen's 'King One' pipped 'Superhero' (Byrne/Banahan) by just five seconds on the line, it was 'Dux' (Anthony Gore-Grimes) who took the IRC honours in the 20-boat fleet. 'C'Est la Vie' (Flannelly & others), so impressive in last year's League on ECHO, maintained their performance levels to win again in that division, this time ahead of 'Maximus' (P.Kyne).

A smaller than usual Class 3 fleet saw Vince Gaffney's 'Alliance' again dominate matters on the water, heading 'Holly' (Basil McMahon) and the 11 other boats to win on IRC. Third was Malahide visitor 'Tobago' (Ray & others), a result good enough to earn them success on ECHO, just ahead of clubmates 'Shenanigans' (Douglas/Keane).

In the White Sail class 4, Colm Bermingham's 'Bite the Bullet' was third on the water behind 'Flashback' and 'FanatiX' but had done more than enough to win on both handicap systems. 'FanatiX' (R.Fanning) and 'Trinculo' (M.Fleming) were the runners-up on ECHO and IRC respectively. Class 5, the other non-spinnaker grouping, was led home by Harry Byrne's 'Alphida' who won on IRC while on ECHO, it was the Toomey's 'Harmony' which emerged on top.

The 6-race Autumn League continues with race 2 next Sunday 26th.

Published in Howth YC

Howth Yacht Club's annual 6-race Autumn League starts this Sunday (19th September) with 130 entries in 10 classes to date, a figure which is expected to increase with Dublin Bay boats joining the cruiser fleet to compete in the newly-introduced WD-40 4-Race Challenge Mini-Series over the last three days of the sailing series.

An invitation was extended to the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs to enter the Cruiser Challenge which coincides with the end of their summer racing programme.

The League, with sponsorship from WD-40, leading ski operator Crystal Holidays and The Food Room (on Clontarf Road) offers four Sunday races and then two back-to-back windward-leeward races on Saturday 16th October.

Other changes to the Autumn League include the addition of the J/24 Class, following its successful National Championships in Howth last weekend, as well as a later start time for all participating classes on each day's racing.

Published in Howth YC
With the inclusion of a Mini-Series sponsored by 'WD-40', Howth Yacht Club's annual Autumn League hopes to enhance its successful formula for high quality keelboat racing at the end of the season.

The 2010 Autumn League starts on 19th September 19th and offers a five-week series made up of four Sunday races and a final Saturday with two windward-leeward races on October 16th.

All Cruiser Class boats will enjoy a bonus mini-series that encompasses the final 3 days (4 races), facilitating Dublin Bay Sailing Club entries to join an event that provides a highly competitive and enjoyable finish to the season for many keelboat crews.

Other changes to the Autumn League include the addition of the J/24 Class following its National Championships in Howth on September 11th/12th, as well as a later start time for all participating classes on each day's racing.

Entries can be made online at or by completing the standard entry form and returning it with the entry fee to the HYC office. A discounted fee is available until September 8th.


Howth Autumn League chairperson Joan Harris with Lynn Reilly of sponsors WD-40

Published in Howth YC
A week after hosting the Etchells Worlds, Howth Yacht Club is back in high-powered action again this weekend with another fleet of over 40 boats, this time with the SB3s who gather for the Investwise National Championships over three days.


Among the highly competitive fleet will be four or five past or present Olympians, former national champions in several classes and a couple of All-Ireland Champions, a formidable line-up by any standards. Such is the quality of the field that any one of 10 crews is capable of taking the title, with consistency the key over the 8 races on the schedule.


The 'bookies favourite' is undoubtedly 'McCready's Gill Racing' sailed by Gareth Flannigan/Brian Spence/Jeremy Tomlinson from Ballyholme who already have two wins and two runners-up places in the four regional championships sailed this season. Former Olympian Peter Kennedy from RNIYC is the defending champion and with a new crew on 'Belfast Kitchens' has been building slowly throughout the year - their performance at the recent Westerns suggests they are very much in contention.


While the Northern fleet has been dominant in SB3s since the class was formed, they cannot discount the top performers from Dun Laoghaire, Howth and the South. Leading the southside challenge will be 'Yeti' (Sean Craig/Stephen Boyle/Alan Green), a prediction for a top 5 finish, while 'Bad' (Stefan Hyde/Jerry Dowling/Jimmy Dowling) has been improving ever since the Northern Championships


The host club's best bet is 'Sharkbait' sailed by Ben Duncan/Brian Moran/Ric Morris, a combination that is consistently at the top of the fleet (e.g. winning the Northerns) and tops the ranking ladder with Flannigan. A 'podium finish' is anticipated. The event sponsor David Quinn and his crew on 'Investwise' have enjoyed good form of late while 'Lia' (helmed by Dave Barry) has improved since a trip to Lake Garda.


The southern challenge is headed by 'Modus Operandi' (sailed by Ronan and Killian Collins and Donal Hegarty) which has the potential to upset the odds if they can put a steady campaign together.


Race Officer is David Lovegrove while Suzanne Carroll has masterminded the organisation of the event as chair of the Championship Committee.

Published in SB20

 John Bertrand's dominance of the Etchells World Championships at Howth Yacht Club continued on day 4 of the regatta with a win in the afternoon race after scoring a disappointing 9th earlier in the day. His lead, however, has been trimmed back by his main rival Ante Razmilovic whose 4th and 5th places have closed the gap to 7 points after discards The other Razmilovic – Nils – had mixed fortunes on the day and lies third overall, a further seven points adrift.



The Championship, sponsored by the local Fingal County Council, has three more races on the schedule, two on Friday and one on Saturday, with only one discard allowed for the 9-race series, underlining the need for consistency at this level. Four wins in six races by Bertrand is undoubtedly exceptional consistency!



The 42-boat fleet faced a freshening north-easterly for the start of Race 5, sailing in18 knots of wind and a choppy sea. Nils Razmilovic of the Royal Swedish YC (sailing for Singapore) enjoyed the conditions to lead from the first windward mark to the finish. He was followed at various stages by his brother Ante, Eamonn O'Nolan of the RORC, Jake Gunther of Royal Brighton YC and Julia Bailey of Royal Thames YC.



Somewhat surprisingly, series leader John Bertrand could not keep with the pace and indeed slipped from 5th to finish 9th, a disappointing result by his standards and one which he will no doubt hope to be his discard. Despite that setback, he still held a 6-point lead in the overall standings after the fifth race.



It was a good day for the British contingent, filling the next three places, with O'Nolan securing his best placing in 2nd spot and Julia Bailey taking a well-earned third while Ante Razmilovic's 4th was enough to retain 2nd overall, tied on points with his brother.



As if to exorcise the ghosts of his 9th place in the previous race, Bertrand got back to winning ways in the sixth race to extend his overall lead, although he left it late. He was behind the ever-improving Julia Bailey at each mark rounding but on the final beat – shortened earlier because of dropping wind strength – he pulled ahead of the Royal Thames helm by the finish.



Damien King of Australia, never out of the top three throughout the race, held on to that slot, with Eamonn O'Nolan completing a satisfying day with a 4th to add to his earlier 2nd. Ante Razmilovic had to settle for 5th while 6th for Marvin Beckmann of Houston represented the equal best American result in the series so far.



For the Burrows family – Richard on helm with son David and daughter Samantha crewing - seventh was an encouraging result, maintaining their 11th place on the leader-board and consolidating their position as the leading Irish boat.


Etchells World Championships – overall placings after 6 races:

John Bertrand (Australia) - 9 points  Ante Razmilovic (Britain) – 16 points  Nils Razmilovic (Singapore) – 23 points  Damien King (Australia) – 24 points  Jake Gunther (Australia) – 25 points  Graham Bailey (Britain) – 36 points

Follow the event on Twitter on the Championship website –

Published in Etchells
Page 56 of 57

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