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Displaying items by tag: Howth Yacht Club

Saturday's unseasonably torrid air quality was like breathing in soup ashore, even if it was a clear broth. So, being afloat was obviously the place to be, particularly off Howth. There, while you'd hardly call it a breath of fresh air, there was at least enough breeze for all classes to finish a short race in the current Autumn League, which continues for another two weekends.

Some classes experienced encouragingly close finishes to liven up the atmosphere, with the Squibs tops in this department. Tom McMahon of the host club took the win by just seven seconds from Aidan O'Connell from the Royal Irish YC of Dun Laoghaire, with Robert Marshall from Killyleagh YC in Strangford Lough notching third just another six seconds
astern.

By contrast, the biggest boat in the fleet, Dave Cullen & Nigel's Biggs' First 50 Checkmate XX (HYC) in Class 1, was all of ten minutes ahead on the water of the chasing J/109 Storm (Pat Kelly Rush SC) and J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, HYC). And she still held the lead albeit by a much tighter margin - under the rigours of IRC, but the locally-angled HPH system gave the win to Nobby Reilly's Ghost Raider, but with Checkmate XX still very much in the frame at second.

Published in Howth YC
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One of the most popularly acclaimed victories in sailing in Ireland in 2023 was Johnny Murphy’s September winning of the “Champion Boat” award at the conclusion of the ICRA Nationals at his home port of Howth with his J/109 Outrajeous. With only one good – admittedly very good – day of racing out of a schedule of three, it was a nerve-racking contest, and Outrajeous has been having difficulty in showing the kind of success which her owner-skipper had shown in campaigning an Albin Express and a 1720. But with emotionally-acknowledged crew support – particularly from first mate Neil Spain – Outrajeous emerged victorious to achieve well-earned and tumultuous applause at the prize-giving.

Published in Sailor of the Month
21st September 2023

Sean Flood RIP

We regret to announce the death at the age of 91 of Sean Flood of Howth, originally of Clontarf.

In a long and active life, he played a leading and popular role in business in Dublin, and in many areas of national and international maritime interest, including a remarkable career in sailing and boat ownership.

A former Commodore of Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, he went on to be much involved in Howth Yacht Club, the Royal St George Yacht Club, the Irish Cruising Club, ISORA, Coiste an Asgard, Sail Training Ireland and Sail Training International. His enthusiasm for our sport has been carried through to succeeding generations of his family, and our thoughts are with them and his very many friends at home and abroad. A full appreciation will be published on Afloat.ie in due course.

Published in Howth YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club and Howth Yacht Club both compete in tomorrow's Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Racing will take place off of Newport, either offshore on Rhode Island Sound or inshore on Narragansett Bay, and up to 12 races are planned for the series, with as many as four on any given day.

In the 2021 edition of the Cup, Howth finished 18th, and RCYC were fourth.

As previously reported by Afloat, sailing for Howth is Gary Cullen, Graham Curran, Johnny Durcan, Carla Fagan, Colin Kavanagh, Diana Kissane, William Maguire, David Maguire and Luke Malcolm. 

The Royal Cork lineup is: Shawn Bennett, Cliodhna Connolly, Harry Durcan, Ben Field, Mark Hassett, Tom Murphy, Sally O Flynn, Robert O'Leary and Anthony O'Leary.

Of the many illustrious clubs from around the world that have competed in the Cup, the premiere fleet regatta for Corinthian crews, two have most consistently demonstrated the slick boatspeed and smooth crew handling that are the hallmarks of winning one-design crews: Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (above) of Australia. One of the two has placed first and/or second in the past three editions, dating to 2017.

The two teams’ run of success began six years ago, when Southern Yacht Club posted a 12-point victory over Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for its first victory in the prestigious regatta. Two years later, in 2019, it was Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s turn to win its first Invitational Cup, posting a four-point victory that went down to the final day of racing, while Southern Yacht Club placed fifth.

Yearning to defend their historic title—Royal Sydney was the first team from the Southern Hemisphere to win the coveted trophy—in 2021, helmsman Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and crew were “very disappointed” when they were denied the opportunity due to travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, Southern Yacht Club, helmed by 2004 Olympic Silver medalist (Tornado) John Lovell, posted a 10-point victory for its second title in three editions.

“We watched the 2021 Invitational Cup with fascination, jealousy and frustration,” said Belgiorno-Nettis. “Sitting on the couch, my team were sure we could’ve given the 2021 competing teams a good run for their money. But I know that reality will set the record straight when we turn up at the start line. Then the talk stops and the action will begin.”

So, when racing for this year’s regatta begins tomorrow, the Invitational Cup will in effect have two defending champions. The two teams are returning the same helmsmen from 2021 and 2019, Lovell for Southern Yacht Club and Belgiorno-Nettis for Royal Sydney, and each crew has been on the water the past couple of days practicing. Both helmsmen feel more practice is needed.

“We’ve been working the kinks out the past couple of days,” said Lovell  “I think our crew work is pretty good, but time and distance is what we’ve been struggling with and working on. Hitting the start line at full speed within three to four meters of the start line and being able to sail straight for two minutes is critical. If you can do that, you’ll be in the game.”

“We’re very rusty. We haven’t done any sailing as a team since 2019,” said Belgiorno-Nettis. “You have to be good sailors; you have to have a great team. A quiet team is a fast team. Most important, you have to be consistent. You don’t have to win every race, but if you have good results eventually it comes your way, I think.”

Nineteen teams from 14 countries are on hand to race the eighth Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, 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 51 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 22 countries.

After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2023 event will be the third 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 9, through Saturday, September 16, with racing starting on Tuesday, September 12. 

Of the 19 teams entered this year, 17 have previous experience in the regatta. The two first-time entrants are the Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, Mass., and Yacht Club Punta del Este of Uruguay.

Two of the 17 returning clubs, New York Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club of Ireland, have raced each edition of the Invitational Cup. And two sailors in this year’s fleet have also raced in each edition of the Invitational Cup: Royal Cork helmsman Anthony O’Leary and Royal Canadian Yacht Club crewmember John Millen.

“The standard of competition goes without saying, but what we really have great confidence in is the ability of the Technical Committee to prepare boats of equal standing for each competing team at the Invitational Cup,” said O’Leary, who has helmed the Royal Cork entry at each previous event. “This is important for competitors and gives us all a belief that we are as close to a ‘level playing pitch’ as is possible for an event of this nature.”

“This regatta, you have people who come to it from all around the world,” said Millen, who has raced with Royal Canadian six times and the New York Yacht Club once. “Racing in Swan 42s was fantastic. With the IC37s, the modern boats, even practicing racing, is incredibly tight. The importance of being consistent, the margins of victory and loss are so tiny, and so it can be incredibly satisfying or painful, and that makes it fun.”

The following yacht clubs will compete for the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Howth Yacht Club (IRL), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), Japan Sailing Federation, New York Yacht Club, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN), Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (CHN), Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Argentino, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Yacht Club Punte del Este (URY)

The J24 National Championships, being raced as part of the Monday.com Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships at Howth Yacht Club on Friday, were the only class to manage a race with winds of less than three knots across three race courses. 

Racing had to be abandoned for the IRC classes due to lack of wind, despite all efforts to start the fleets at 11:45 am. However, the sub-three-knot variable winds and haze persisted well into the afternoon, making it impossible to begin the annual event for the cruiser-racer divisions.

'There's nothing anyone could have asked of the race management teams today that would have made a difference,' ICRA Commodore David Cullen, who is competing in Class Zero, said.

Abandonment flags fly on the Howth Yacht Club Committee Vessel Photo: AfloatAbandonment flags fly on the Howth Yacht Club Committee Vessel Starpoint on day one of the ICRA Nationals Photo: Afloat

Kinsale Yacht Club's Under 25 Kinsailor team are now top of the J24 leaderboard after their win on a windward leeward course in the northernmost race area. Wicklow Sailing Club's Conor Haughton in Jade took second. Third was Diarmaid Mullen's Smugairle róin. See the results below.

Eight boats were scrutinised on Friday as part of competition rules, and organisers report 'good compliance'. However, some boats had to return for items such as anchors, flares and fire extinguishers. The organisers say more boats will be subject to checks on Saturday.

Despite the forecast of more light winds, organisers plan to restart the IRC championship on Saturday with up to four races scheduled.

The racing will continue until Sunday, hopefully giving organisers ample opportunity to make up for the lost time on Friday.

As previously noted by Afloat's WM Nixon, the ICRA Nats 2023 event is a contemporary take on a time-honoured tradition in the North Dublin harbour.

Published in ICRA
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The 2023 Squib Easterns at the weekend hosted by Howth YC and sponsored by Challenge, the Medical Insurance Company, provided an event held with light breezes, but basking in the glow of the recently unfamiliar glare of glorious sunshine. The fleet of 23 boats included sailors from all over Ireland, with the leading boats in particular apparently taking a leaf out of classes such as the International 29er in having different sailing centres provide the basis of the two-handed racing teams. This can surely only help in enhancing understanding among the various tribes of our socially-complex sport.

Saturday morning’s clearing fog left Principal Race Officer Derek Bothwell with no option but to delay for a short time before the pea soup diluted, and the fleet snaked out of the harbour.

Once the breeze settled, Derek promptly sent the competitors on their way, with a long-held early lead by the host club’s Kerfuffle - Emmet Dalton of Howth crewed by Royal Cork’s Neal Merry - being eventually overtaken by the Granat team of David Stewart & Brian Hare from the Royal Irish YC to seal the Race 1 deal. Howth’s Cool Beans (Class Captain Tom O’Reilly and Phil Merry) pocketed a tasty second place as Dalton & Merry kerfuffled their way down to fourth on the line, where Robert Marshall of Killyleagh was ahead in third.

 The Spit Mark in Howth Sound is one to be avoided when the tide is strong, except in a complete flat calm when it makes for a handy mooring as you wait for the sea breeze. Photo: Emmet Dalton The Spit Mark in Howth Sound is one to be avoided when the tide is strong, except in a complete flat calm when it makes for a handy mooring as you wait for the sea breeze. Photo: Emmet Dalton

“DROVE HER LIKE SHE WAS STOLEN”

The bit was now between Granat’s teeth, and they drove her like she was stolen to dominate Race 2, but Kerfuffle was back in touch with second, while third was Dogwatch (Terry Rowan from Royal North of Ireland YC, with total personnel mixing on board as his crew was HYC Puppeteer 22 Class Captain Crew Paul McMahon). Speed was of the essence to rein in Granat and Kerfuffle as they hit the hyperspace button for a Race 3 win. The second swift RIYC boat Ruby Blue (Aidan O’Connell & Ben O’Donoghue) followed, with Blue (David Hanna & Brian Kelly from Killyleagh YC) taking 3rd.

FRIED BRAINS

The delayed start to the first day and fried brains from the downwind legs sent the fleet ashore for recuperation and a dinner arranged in a characteristically weird Tetras layout (Afloat.ie Webmaster’s Note: This “weird” was in the report as posted by the Squib Association) Kerfuffle was leading Granat by a single point as the balmy and convivial night set in. Yet while Sunday morning may have seen the fleet being “spat out of the harbour and sent up the Sound on Sunday morning by a strong flood tide”, the near-zero breeze caused some boats to moor by a line the Spit Mark at Ireland’s Eye to wait for the fun to begin. Once the wind appeared, the Race Management team wasn’t long opening the traps for Race 4.

That magic moment when a developing sea breeze becomes a racing proposition – Emmet Dalton’s Kerfuffle coming to life with justified anticipation. Kerfuffle laid her claim to that race, chased by multiple championship winners Quickstep III (Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan from RNIYC), with third going to the fleet’s oldest boat, Squib 24 Femme Fatale (multi-club Vincent Delany & Jamie Fenton representing RStGYC and Arklow SC).That magic moment when a developing sea breeze becomes a racing proposition – Emmet Dalton’s Kerfuffle coming to life with justified anticipation. Kerfuffle laid her claim to that race, chased by multiple championship winners Quickstep III (Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan from RNIYC), with third going to the fleet’s oldest boat, Squib 24 Femme Fatale (multi-club Vincent Delany & Jamie Fenton representing RStGYC and Arklow SC)

BATTLE ROYALE

At this stage, Kerfuffle and Granat were locked in a battle royale, and the two boats knew the championship outcome would depend on one leading the other over the line in the final two races. Sacrificing a maybe, coulda-woulda-been Race 5 win, the Howth boat made sure the Dublin Bay boat didn’t escape. It was maths at play. Femme Fatale took that race win ahead of Quickstep III, with third going to Howth’s Durt (Fergus O’Kelly & Robert Stanley).

SHOWDOWN AT HOWTH SOUND

Last race…. Granat had to beat Kerfuffle by 5 places to take the title. Pre-start match racing was the order of the day, but the Howth boat shook off its rival at a bumpy start line and kept the points gap high enough to take the silverware and keep the trophy on the Peninsula. Kinsale’s Outlaw” (Ian Travers & Keith O’Riordan) demolished the fleet in this final race, chased by Quickstep III and Durt, a performance which rocketed the Kinsale boat up the rankings “Outlaw” to nip into second overall and split Kerfuffle” and Granat overall while Cool Beans (Tom O’Reilly & Phil Merry) took the Silver Fleet honours just ahead of Howth’s Tears in Heaven (Tom McMahon & Jill Sommerville)

At the tea and medals ceremony, Commodore Neil Murphy acknowledged the work put in by Class Captain Thomas O’Reilly, Fergus O’Kelly, Ronan MacDonell and Emmet Dalton for pulling the event together. Derek Bothwell went away well balanced with a bottle of his favourite tipple for each arm and sponsors Challenge were given a warm round of applause from the assembled sailors and supporters.

Peak Squib time at Howth – 105 boats on the starting line during the 1995 combined Irish & British Championships. Photo: Mandy MurnanePeak Squib time at Howth – 105 boats on the starting line during the 1995 combined Irish & British Championships. Photo: Mandy Murnane

In all, the event served as a reminder of how well suited the Squib is to both Howth conditions and the volatile times in which we live, and the news that Howth YC will be staging the 2024 Irish Squib Nationals has reinforced rumours that at least two noted Peninsula sailor are scrolling through the Squibs for Sale listings.

Published in Squib
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It would have been easy to make two quick assumptions in advance of the past weekend’s sailing. The first would have been the reasonable expectation that Storm Betty, accurately forecast as she was, and sweeping right across Ireland in an almost personally-vindictive and very focused way, would have made any racing - and particularly a national championship – more or less meaningless.

That’s despite the fact that the name “Storm Betty” doesn’t really carry the necessary air of menace. In the same way, can you imagine a lethal “Storm Jimmy”? Nevertheless, doubtless some day we’ll have to gear ourselves up to face Storm Jimmy, and treat him with proper seriousness despite his equally unthreatening name.

 The Optimists in action at Ballyholme – concerned parents can rest assured there is a boat in there somewhere. Photo: Simon MacIlwaine The Optimists in action at Ballyholme – concerned parents can rest assured there is a boat in there somewhere. Photo: Simon MacIlwaine

Betty moves out, and the ILCA/Lasers move in, storming along towards the steep island of Ireland’s Eye whose presence off Howth often makes sailing possible in otherwise impossible conditions. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyBetty moves out, and the ILCA/Lasers move in, storming along towards the steep island of Ireland’s Eye whose presence off Howth often makes sailing possible in otherwise impossible conditions. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

BETTY BELIES AMIABLE NAME

But that’s all in due course. Meanwhile, we’ve seen Storm Betty come and go, and despite her amiable moniker, she was a vicious one, with a literally deadly sting in her tail. Yet close on either side of her, there were sunny days with great if decidedly brisk sailing that might put you in mind of summer, if you can remember that we used to have such a season.

Be that as it may, with patience and the strength of mind needed to take the long view, experienced Race Officers were able to carve great championships out of the sailable conditions that was there to be found around the closely-monitored mayhem-creating progress of this sweetly-named piece of very foul weather.

The ILCA 4.7s start to find their feet at Howth, with Craig O’Neill (Royal Cork) ahead. Overall winner of the ILCA 4 class was Lucy Ives of Carlingford SC. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe ILCA 4.7s start to find their feet at Howth, with Craig O’Neill (Royal Cork) ahead. Overall winner of the ILCA 4 class was Lucy Ives of Carlingford SC. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

And one club can take all the credit for producing Race Officers of the required calibre to handle Betty. Let’s hear it for Sutton Dinghy Club. There, the continuing challenge of providing good racing in the mouth of a south-facing drying creek on the exposed north side of Dublin Bay has produced a cadre of elite race officers.

SUTTON DC’S SPECIAL EXPERIENCE BENEFITS ALL IRISH SAILING

These are seasoned experts for whom the challenge of organising worthwhile racing at more versatile venues last weekend, such as Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough, or Howth with its extensive race area tucked in behind Ireland’s Eye, was something to be done with accomplished style.

With judicious use of high water to get extra racing space, Race Officer Scorie Walls found the ILCA Championship some extra sheltered water along the Portmarnock shore. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWith judicious use of high water to get extra racing space, Race Officer Scorie Walls found the ILCA Championship some extra sheltered water along the Portmarnock shore. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

For it was Ruan O’Tiarnaigh – originally of Sutton but now northern-based – who successfully called the shots (and when not to shoot) for the 116-strong fleet racing the Irish Open Optimist Nationals at Ballyholme. And back home, it was Scorie Walls – who lives right on high water mark beside Sutton DC, and can tell you a thing or two about what a real southwest gale is like – who came over the Hill of Howth like Queen Maeve on campaign to ensure that the ILCA Irish Opens 2023 went through to a real result at Howth Yacht Club.

Optimists getting the best of a challenging weather pattern on Belfast Lough. Photo: Simon MacIlwaineOptimists getting the best of a challenging weather pattern on Belfast Lough. Photo: Simon MacIlwaine

HOWTH RESTING ON “CLUB OF YEAR” LAURELS?

At Howth, we might find a reasonable assumption by outsiders that the recent hand-over of the MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year 2023 ” award has resulted in a certain resting on the laurels. And perhaps it has. But thanks to the enthusiasm of the large and varied junior sailing establishment in this numerically enormous club, the senior Howth YC pillars of society have been able to do a certain amount of laurel-reclining while the Young Turks afloat have been shaking the trees to ensure that the tastiest fruits of success have continued to fall neatly beside the HYC Flag Officers for gracious consumption at their Lordships’ leisure.

DUNNE DEAL FOR HOWTH AT BALLYHOLME

In the Optimists at Ballyholme, young Harry Dunne of Howth was on top form, getting ahead and staying ahead to win clearly overall by 13pts to the 22 of Gemma Brady of the National and Lough Derg, with Charlotte Crosbie of the special Cork-Spain/Javea linkup third with 25.

Full results here

CLOSE-RUN LASERS

But the Lasers back home in Howth went right to the wire, with Jamie McMahon of the host club eventually wearing down a seemingly unassailable early lead established by visiting Australian star Isaac Schotte of Brisbane. In an eight-race series, things went pear-shaped for Schotte with a BFD in Race 6, but he was back in possible contention with a first to the second of McMahon in Race 7.

Tom Coulter of East Antrim BC, Irish ILCA 6 National Champion 2023. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyTom Coulter of East Antrim BC, Irish ILCA 6 National Champion 2023. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Thus in classic style it came down to the final race, which McMahon clinched to total 12 with Schotte second on 13 and Royal Cork’s Jonathan O’Shaughnessy – always there or thereabouts in the overall frame – taking fourth and third overall on 19.

Results here

COUNTRYWIDE FLEET SPREADS

With fleets of this size, a more leisurely study of the wide-ranging results lineup is always educational, as it shows the in-depth national strength of two long-established classes, indicating the power of their national associations.

Bringing it all back home…2023 ILCA 7 Irish Champion Jamie McMahon of Howth clinches the deal. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyBringing it all back home…2023 ILCA 7 Irish Champion Jamie McMahon of Howth clinches the deal. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

For as four times Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Elvstrom observed after he’d failed to introduce a very promising new boat many years ago, if you’re up against a well-run and determined class association with global spread and an established and slightly comparable boat, then you’re on a hiding to nothing with any bright new boat idea.

The Optimist is arguably unique. But there are some boats which might think they deserve comparison with the ILCA/Laser. However, the ILCA/Laser is something very special. It is the only sailing class which is greater than its Olympic status. In fact, the Olympics need the ILCA/Laser more than the ILCA/Laser needs the Olympics. And an event like the Storm Betty ILCA Nats at Howth showed us why.

Published in Howth YC
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The Howth Yacht Club (HYC) hosted International Laser Class Association (ILCA) National Championships and saw sailors from three different clubs take the top spots across the three fleets.

Despite losing a day of racing due to strong winds and rough seas, the remaining two days provided plenty of action.

On Saturday, the start of the races was delayed due to the remnants of Friday's storm, but the wind eventually moderated to 15-23 knots, allowing the ILCA 7s to complete four races and the ILCA 6 and 4 fleets to complete three races each. The choppy conditions from the south-easterly breeze made it a challenging race course.

Sunday saw more manageable conditions, with a 12-20 knot breeze welcoming the sailors to the race course. Scorie Walls and her team completed four races for each of the fleets.

Local sailor Jamie McMahon, who had just returned from a summer in the USA, took the crown in the ILCA 7s, narrowly beating Australian Isaac Schotte by one point.

Jonathan O'Shaughnessy from the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) had remarkably consistent results and came in third, while Ballyholme's Colin Leonard was the first master and came in fourth.

In the ILCA 6s, East Antrim's Tom Coulter won by one point from RStGYC's Fiachra McDonnell, despite McDonnell's storming day two with three of four race wins. HYC's Sienna Wright was first lady and secured her spot to represent Ireland at the World Sailing Youth Championships.

Carlingford Sailing Club's Lucy Ives showed the rest how it's done in the ILCA 4s, winning the fleet, followed by Liam Duggan (RCYC) and Patrick Foley (RStGYC).

The team trophy was awarded to the club with the best result across the three fleets, which went to RCYC for the second year in a row. HYC and RStGYC were also contenders, but RCYC was the strongest across the fleets.

The event was sponsored by Rooster, who provided prizes for the event, as well as bibs for competitors. HYC played host well, providing food and entertainment ashore for all sailors, with photos from the day's racing displayed on a big screen and music playing, creating a great atmosphere for all involved.

Results here

Published in Laser
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Although the announcement that Howth Yacht Club had become the latest MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year 2023” was made at the beginning of the year following outstanding achievements at home and abroad by the club and its members throughout 2022, the actual presentation of the time-honoured ship’s wheel trophy for this informal annual contest – which dates back to 1979 - can be made at any time during the season in which the winning club holds the title.

However, setting a date for this first full post-pandemic awards ceremony was a complex matter of co-ordinating many moving targets, as Howth Yacht Club in 2023 – with new Commodore Neil Murphy leading his 2000-plus members in the usual kaleidoscope of activities – is as busy as ever afloat and ashore, at home and away in Ireland, and in international racing competition. That’s all in addition as voyaging and cruising achievement to the highest levels, thereby continuing the process of active sailing which had reached new heights in 2022.

https://www.mg.ie/mg4-ev/

Added to this was the fact that sponsors MG Motor found themselves rapidly moving into fresh levels of success with their innovative and developing range of Electric Vehicles as the new year gathered pace. The announcement that the new MG E4 had been chosen as The Irish Times “Car of the Year” 2023 coincided with the accolade for Howth Yacht Club, and it contributed to an already rapidly-expanding marketing operation at MG Motor Ireland, part of the Frank Keane Group.

A sailing club and its community – Howth Yacht Club has played a key role in the transformation of Howth Harbour since the 1980sA sailing club and its community – Howth Yacht Club has played a key role in the transformation of Howth Harbour since the 1980s

MG MOVE TO TOP LEADERBOARD ON ELECTRIC VEHICLE SALES

Thus having the awards ceremony in August at Howth Yacht Cub enabled Andrew Johnson, National Sales Manager with MG Motor, to announce that 2023 had seen MG Motor leading electric vehicle sales in Ireland in July, with a better than 200% year-on-year increase.

https://www.mg.ie/mg4-ev/

Howth sailing has played its part in this, as HYC world sailing Gold Medallist Eve McMahon became an MG Brand Ambassador early this year, and the “Club of the Year” gathering had something of the air of an MG Owners Club about it, as several members – including at least one former Commodore and his wife – have concluded that this new incarnation of the MG marque, with its historical and distinctive symbol, provides the best route into greener motoring.

Moving us into green motoring. Natasha Maher (left, Marketing & PR Manager MG Motor Ireland), and Elaine DeVries (Digital Marketing Executive) with the venerable ship’s wheel Club of the Year trophy, and the all-electric MG4 Exclusive. Photo: Brian TurveyMoving us into green motoring. Natasha Maher (left, Marketing & PR Manager MG Motor Ireland), and Elaine DeVries (Digital Marketing Executive) with the venerable ship’s wheel Club of the Year trophy, and the all-electric MG4 Exclusive. Photo: Brian Turvey

MAINTAINING THE SAILING PACE AND CLUB VITALITY

Much of Howth YC’s enviable sailing pace during 2022 was achieved under the Commodoreship of Paddy Judge, while his predecessor Ian Byrne, Commodore in the depths of the pandemic years, skillfully steered the club through the lockdown regulations with an analysis of what was and was not permissible afloat. He did this in such a detailed and authoritative way that it proved of value to every club in the country.

Paddy Judge – as Club Manager and then as Commodore, he kept the show on the road for Howth Yacht Club through the Pandemic. Photo: Brian TurveyPaddy Judge – as Club Manager and then as Commodore, he kept the show on the road for Howth Yacht Club through the Pandemic. Photo: Brian Turvey

Howth’s Eve McMahon on her way to another inspirational Gold Medal for Ireland in 2022Howth’s Eve McMahon on her way to another inspirational Gold Medal for Ireland in 2022

But while 2022 saw sailing gradually resuming at full pace as the regulations fell away, much of 2023 has been plagued by poor weather. Yet it was typical of the serendipity of this award ceremony that it was held in pleasant conditions in late afternoon on Wednesday, neatly timed to permit those whose boats raced on Wednesday evening to make the starting line and enjoy a warm breeze which kept up to provide good racing for regular contenders, and the newcomers who are being introduced to Howth sailing by the best method – active participation in the regular club racing programme.

TOUGH TIMES FOR HOWTH SAILORS IN EUROPE

In Europe at the moment, sailing conditions are tougher for Howth sailors racing in the big pre-Olympic regatta on the North Sea at The Hague in The Netherlands, where they’re still recovering from onshore gales which have served as a reminder that this can be one very grown-up sailing venue.

https://www.mg.ie/mg4-ev/

For Howth’s three Gold Medals star of 2022, Eve McMahon, the sense of being under global analysis is challenging, but it is encouraging for the club that rising talents such as Sienna Wright – winner of two Silver Medals in 2023 already - are stepping forward to keep up the pace.

Maintaining the pace in 2023 – Howth’s Sienna Wright receives a Silver Medal in Poland.Maintaining the pace in 2023 – Howth’s Sienna Wright receives a Silver Medal in Poland

Both Sienna and her high-achiever brother Rocco will be active on home waters in a week’s time when Howth stages the ILCA Nationals from August 18th to 20th. And the club features again on the national stage from September 8th to 10th, when its hosts the 2023 Irish Cruiser Racing Association Nationals in the full knowledge that ICRA’s current “Boat of the Year” is the Howth-based J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans).

Piling on the points….Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot from Howth on her way to a very close second overall and top Irish boat in the 2022 Round Ireland race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienPiling on the points….Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot from Howth on her way to a very close second overall and top Irish boat in the 2022 Round Ireland race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

But a significant element in the strength of Howth’s sailing is found in the fact that the same attention is given to providing first-class racing to the club’s indigenous One-Design classes. Thus the Howth 17s – having hit the headlines already with their notably-successful 125th Anniversary Fastnet Rock-rounding visit to West Cork ports under the leadership of Class Captain David O’Shea –are back on home waters with their annual Championship this weekend, with Scorie Walls as Race Officer. And the totally Howth-minded Puppeteer 22s will be staging their 2023 championship “at the only port they know” from 26th to the 27th August.

Now that’s how you celebrate a 125th birthday – the Howth 17s Anita (David O’Connell) and Rosemary (Davy Jones) salute the Fastnet Rock at the end of June 2023. Photo: Ann KirwanNow that’s how you celebrate a 125th birthday – the Howth 17s Anita (David O’Connell) and Rosemary (Davy Jones) salute the Fastnet Rock at the end of June 2023. Photo: Ann Kirwan

The sheer joy of sailing is captured in this image of David O’Connell’s rebuilt Howth 17 Anita in her way to North Harbour on Cape Cear Island in West Cork after rounding the Fastnet Rock in celebration of the class’s 125th birthday. Photo: David O’SheaThe sheer joy of sailing is captured in this image of David O’Connell’s rebuilt Howth 17 Anita in her way to North Harbour on Cape Cear Island in West Cork after rounding the Fastnet Rock in celebration of the class’s 125th birthday. Photo: Karolina Batz

HOWTH’S LARGEST SAILING SECTION

Yet despite the high profile the racing receives, the largest sector in Howth sailing attracts little in the way of headlines. When the new clubhouse was opened beside the marina on St Patrick’s Day 1987, the then Commodore Tom Fitzpatrick had already set the wheels in motion for an HYC Cruising Group to be formed with Gary McGuire as co-ordinator.

Ian Malcolm, who has played a central role in the continuing vitality and growth of the 125-year-old Howth 17 Class, with HYC Vice Commodore Kevin Monks. Photo: Brian TurveyIan Malcolm, who has played a central role in the continuing vitality and growth of the 125-year-old Howth 17 Class, with HYC Vice Commodore Kevin Monks. Photo: Brian Turvey

A significant number of boats in the club are purely used for cruising, and in its quiet way the Cruising Group has become the successful silent giant, going on its friendly way with regular winter gatherings in the clubhouse, and cruises-in-company in summer. 2023’s was to Scotland when the weather was still good, following on to a similar quietly busy yet worthwhile programme in 2022.

https://www.mg.ie/mg4-ev/

INTERACTING WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY

With sociable sub-sections such as this, positive interaction with the local community is second nature to Howth Yacht Club, and this interaction is dynamic to all levels, and across all areas to the national stage.

Welcome visitor – the presence of Eithne Fenlen, Deputy CEO of Fingal County Council, spoke of the dynamic interaction and friendly relations between Howth YC and the local authority. Photo: Brian TurveyWelcome visitor – the presence of Eithne Fenlen, Deputy CEO of Fingal County Council, spoke of the dynamic interaction and friendly relations between Howth YC and the local authority. Photo: Brian Turvey

Thus it was entirely normal for Howth sailing that a welcome guest on Wednesday was Eithne Felten, the Deputy CEO of Fingal County Council, as Fingal recognises the key role that Howth Yacht Club has played in the transformation of Howth from a very workaday fishing harbour, which was also home port to a few yachts and a small club, into a notably attractive and picturesque destination sailing/fishing port, renowned for its seafood restaurants with a modern yacht club/marina complex that provides the base for the numerically largest sailing club membership in the country.

Lara Jameson and her mother Daire – the Jameson family have been actively involved in Howth sailing since pre-club times in the 1880s. Photo: Brian TurveyLara Jameson and her mother Daire – the Jameson family have been actively involved in Howth sailing since pre-club times in the 1880s. Photo: Brian Turvey

THE STORY OF THE MG MOTOR “SAILING CLUB OF THE YEAR” AWARD

Although it was possible to find a winner for the “Club of the Year” award right through the Pandemic, the highly-sociable nature of the awards ceremony has meant that it has only been possible this year to resume completely normal service, which makes it timely to consider this informal contest’s history, and what is involved:

MG MOTOR "Sailing Club of the Year" Award

This unique and informal competition was inaugurated in 1979, with Mitsubishi Motors becoming main sponsors in 1986, and MG Motor taking over in 2022 The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort that goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs.

https://www.mg.ie/mg4-ev/

In making their assessment, the adjudicators take many factors into consideration. In addition to the obvious one of sailing success at local, national and international level, considerable attention is also paid to the satisfaction which members in every branch of sailing and boating feel with the way their club is run, and how effectively it meets their specific needs, while also encouraging sailing development and training.

Former Howth 17 part-owner Georgina Campbell with Class Captain Dave O’Shea, whose inspired leadership of the class to West Cork for their Quasquecentennial Cruise-in-Company is already one of the highlights of 2023. The breadth of Howth sailing interests is reflected by the fact that of the six Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month” for July 2023, the two from Howth were Sienna Wright and Dave O’Shea. Photo: Brian TurveyFormer Howth 17 part-owner Georgina Campbell with Class Captain Dave O’Shea, whose inspired leadership of the class to West Cork for their Quasquecentennial Cruise-in-Company is already one of the highlights of 2023. The breadth of Howth sailing interests is reflected by the fact that of the six Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month” for July 2023, the two from Howth were Sienna Wright and Dave O’Shea. Photo: Brian Turvey

The successful staging of events, whether local, national or international, is also a factor in making the assessment, and the adjudicators place particular emphasis on the level of effective voluntary input which the membership is ready and willing to give in support of their club’s activities.

The importance of a dynamic and fruitful interaction with the local community is emphasised, and also with the relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level. The adjudicators expect to find a genuine sense of continuity in club life and administration. Thus although the award is held in a specific year in celebration of achievements in the previous year, it is intended that it should reflect an ongoing story of success, and well-planned programmes for future implementation

Over the years, the adjudication system has been continually refined in order to be able to make realistic comparisons between clubs of varying types and size. With the competition's expansion to include class associations and specialist national watersports bodies, the "Sailing Club of the Year" competition continues to keep pace with developing trends, while at the same time reflecting the fact that Ireland's leading sailing clubs are themselves national and global pace-setters.

 Afloat.ie’s W M Nixon (left) co-ordinator of the adjudication for the MG Motor Sailing Club of the Year Award, outlining the 2023 award with Andrew Johnson of MG Motor. Photo: Brian Turvey Afloat.ie’s W M Nixon (left) co-ordinator of the adjudication for the MG Motor Sailing Club of the Year Award, outlining the 2023 award with Andrew Johnson of MG Motor. Photo: Brian Turvey

SAILING CLUB OF THE YEAR WINNERS

  • 1979 Wicklow SC
  • 1980 Malahide YC
  • 198l National YC
  • 1982 Howth YC
  • 1983 Royal St George YC
  • 1984 Dundalk SC
  • 1985 National YC

(SPONSORSHIP BY MITSUBISHI MOTORS BEGAN iN 1985-86)

  • 1986 Howth YC
  • 1987 Royal Cork YC
  • 1988 Dublin University SC
  • 1989 Irish Cr. C
  • 1990 Glenans Irish SC
  • 1991 Galway Bay SC
  • 1992 Royal Cork YC
  • 1993 Cumann Badoiri Naomh Bhreannain (Dingle) & National YC

(after 1993, the year indicated is one in which the trophy is held)

  • 1995 Howth Yacht Club
  • 1996 National Yacht Club
  • 1997 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 1998 Kinsale Yacht Club
  • 1999 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club
  • 2000 Royal Cork Yacht Club

(in 2000, competition extended to include class associations and specialist organisations)

  • 2001 Howth Sailing Club Seventeen Footer Association
  • 2002 Galway Bay Sailing Club
  • 2003 Coiste an Asgard
  • 2004 Royal St George Yacht Club
  • 2005 Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • 2006 Royal Cork Yacht Club (Water Club of the Harbour of Cork)
  • 2007 Dublin Bay Sailing Club
  • 2008 Lough Ree YC & Shannon One Design Assoc.
  • 2009 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2010 Royal St George YC
  • 2011 Irish Cruiser Racing Association
  • 2012 National Yacht Club
  • 2013 Royal St George YC
  • 2014 Kinsale YC
  • 2015 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2016 Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • 2017 Wicklow Sailing Club
  • 2018 National Yacht Club
  • 2019 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2020 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2021 Dublin Bay Sailing Club

(SPONSORSHIP BY MG MOTOR BEGAN IN 2021-2022)

  • 2022 Lough Ree YC & Shannon OD Association
  • 2023 Howth Yacht Club

A timeless symbol for our timesA timeless symbol for our times

Published in W M Nixon
Tagged under

First staged in 1904, Howth YC’s annual Lambay Race claims to be unique in offering keelboats of all types a taste of the offshore racing experience while remaining within safe coastal limits. It could be argued that the race round the Fastnet Rock during Calves Week at Schull in August offers something similar. But that’s exclusively for cruiser-racers, whereas at Howth – where this year’s annual Lambay challenge is on Saturday June 3rd – the fleet will include the venerable Howth 17s celebrating their 125th Anniversary with this special race which has been part of their programme since its inception in 1899, and the Squibs - now back up to 14 in Howth - which likewise began Lambay racing from their first year in Howth in 1979.

From time to time, other classes from elsewhere like to make the Lambay a feature of some special season, and the Ruffian 23s in their Golden Jubilee Year will be out in force from their main bases in Dun Laoghaire and Poolbeg, while the E-Boats from Clontarf and Skerries will be making the pilgrimage, either north round The Baily or south from St Patrick’s Island, to savour some sailing in waters very different from their drying home bases.

Great sailing but no sun – Class 2 off Lambay’s North Coast in the 2019 raceGreat sailing but no sun – Class 2 off Lambay’s North Coast in the 2019 race

CLUBHOUSE CATERING AVAILABLE ALL DAY

With other classes being augmented by visiting boats which may be trailing significant distances, the Howth Yacht Club marina/clubhouse complex will be fully operational from an early hour for this full-day event, and the Club’s hospitality team will be on hand from early morning to provide pre-sailing tea, coffee and breakfast rolls. After sailing, competitors will be greeted with a barbeque on the Club deck area with music from a DJ in the bar area. Into the evening, the restaurant and bar will cater for all with music provided by a live band.

THE PROGRAMME AFLOAT

The starting areas will be in the vicinity of Howth Harbour, and boats will race north to round Lambay Island before returning to finish beside Ireland’s Eye after a course that, depending on wind direction, might be as short as 15 miles but is always posing challenges. Local features such as headlands, inlets, high ground and a range of water depths and tidal directions require decisions about which should be sought or avoided but, while they are being debated, those aboard can enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Fingal coast and the islands that mark the north and south ends of the racecourse.

The boat mix is always fascinatng – the classic Half Tonners King One and Mata battle it out with the X class Xebec. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe boat mix is always fascinatng – the classic Half Tonners King One and Mata battle it out with the X class Xebec. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

2023 will be the first time the race will run as a standalone event since pre-pandemic 2019. In 2022 it was part of the Wave Regatta, but for 2023 HYC hope to exceed the 2019 entry of just over 100 boats, so newcomers will be welcomed, and visiting boats will be much appreciated. Racing will be provided for all types of keelboats, whether racing on handicap or as one-designs. Crews intending to compete in the 2023 ICRA Championships will also get the opportunity to study the waters on which that event will be raced in September.

CLOSE COMPETITION EXPECTED

The Handicap Classes will see close competition between Snapshot, the 2022 Boat of the Year, which will be seeking to retain primacy over both its bigger and smaller sisters, the J109s and the J97s, while a locally based J111 will be trying to show them that size does matter. The X302s will be the boats to beat in Class 2, while In Class 3, the mix will include some quick Sigma 33s, Impalas, a newly refurbished and modified Bolero, and a Laser 28, all of them looking to take their first silverware of 2023. The Whitesails Class may have the biggest spread of boat sizes competing, although HYC’s Bite the Bullet and MYC’s White Pearl have shown that a well-sailed Elan 33 is hard to beat in a race like the Lambay.

Lambay is an ideal challenge – big enough to be interesting, small enough to be manageable, and a beautiful islamd with it.Lambay is an ideal challenge – big enough to be interesting, small enough to be manageable, and a beautiful islamd with it

In the One-Design category, we will have dedicated races and trophies for visiting Classes, including the Ruffian 23s, who are celebrating 50 years of sailing, and the E-Boats from Clontarf Y&BC and Skerries SC. They will be joining the Howth YC-based One Designs, including the Howth 17s, celebrating the 125th anniversary of their adoption as a Howth icon, the Puppeteer 22 Class that has recently expanded further with three more boats joining the Club’s fleet of 30+ and the Squibs, which continue their fleet revival and now have 14 boats racing from Howth.

TWO STARTING AREAS

Racing is arranged with two starting areas, each with their own Committee Vessels and under the direction of our most senior Race Officers. This will allow the extended list of Class starts to be completed promptly, with boats sent off to Lambay from two directions to minimise congestion. The prize list includes an extensive range of trophies and prizes for IRC, handicap and one-design racing. Class specific trophies for the Sigma 33s and Shipman 28s are provided although both will also be competing in Class 3. A photographer will be there to capture the action afloat and to ensure that the formal prize giving later in the afternoon is properly recorded.

The cliffs on Lambay’s northeast coast provide interesting windward work for Howth 17s. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe cliffs on Lambay’s northeast coast provide interesting windward work for Howth 17s. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Further details can be accessed here and entries can be made online via the link provided at that address. Owners are encouraged to enter before 22.00 on Sunday, May 28th, after which a late-entry fee will apply.

Those seeking berthage or craneage can contact the HYC marina team, either by phone at 01 839 2777 or by email at [email protected]

At day’s end after racing round the rugged island, the fleet returns to all mod cons at Howth Yacht ClubAt day’s end after racing round the rugged island, the fleet returns to all mod cons at Howth Yacht Club

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under
Page 4 of 58

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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