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With less than two months to go before the first races in this year‘s Wave Regatta in Howth, entry levels across all classes reflect the pent-up demand for top class sailing events and anticipation of a return to near-normality from sailors around the country and beyond.

The Class One start-line might be one of the largest ever seen in Ireland. No doubt encouraged by the provision of deep-water berthing in Howth’s inner harbour, owners of these deepest-keeled racing boats have been quick to recognise the opportunity to enter and join a highly competitive racing fleet for the first time in many years.

In tandem with the rapidly-populating entry sheet, International Race Officer David Lovegrove and his team are building their race course plans to cater for the demands of both the large IRC fleet and one-design keelboat classes including Sigma 33s, J/24s, J/80s and 1720s as well as indigenous local classes such as Puppeteers, Squibs and Howth 17s.

Many J/24s will plan to use the event as an ‘acclimatisation' for their Easterns and European Championships which will be held in the same waters off Howth in August. This will present Wave Regatta as an attractive option for the many young teams including the vibrant Under-25 cohort that are enjoying superb growth in that class this year. The ‘youth’ theme will be further buoyed by the recent move to include some of the university sailing teams within the J/80 Class for the regatta.

Teams trailering yachts to the event (including sports boats) are being encouraged to enter as soon as possible so that trailer storage during the event can be efficiently accommodated. See notice of race for crane arrangements.

Wave regatta

The shoreside experience is also growing in ambition and Wave Regatta’s entertainment co-ordinator Grace McAleese explains: ‘We’ve been thrilled to benefit from the generous support from sponsors Fingal County Council, Michael J Wright Group, Euro Car Parks, WD40, Cassidy Travel and the recent addition of CKS Finance. This allows us to create a shoreside experience that breaks boundaries - even for such a major sailing event. We can’t wait to present the full weekend of entertainment and hospitality’.

Full details and online entry are available here

Published in Wave Regatta

Q – What is 18 + 15? A – XX of course! The arrival of a new First 50, Checkmate XX into Howth Yacht Club will see the crews of Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XVIII joining forces with Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV crew.

Biggs and Cullen first sailed together on John Biggs’ MGRS34 Checkmate over 30 years ago and they have been lifelong friends ever since racing together on various boats. More recently, Biggs’ interest in racing half tonners was contagious with the two friends racing against each other for the last few years on the two Checkmates.

As they came out of the pandemic, both realised that age was "rapidly catching up with them" and that perhaps the time had come "to sail something with a few more creature comforts and a proper tea set".

While Nigel’s Checkmate XVIII has found a new owner in Howth, Cullen is keeping Checkmate XV where he will try to retain his title at the Half Ton Cup in Cowes in August, whilst the crews will race separately at the forthcoming WAVE regatta in Howth before they come together for a number of events, including the Round Ireland, Kingstown/Queenstown, ISORA, Cork Week and of course Greystones Regatta amongst others.

Nigel Biggs commented “Covid has highlighted the importance of making the most out of each day and the privileged lives we have. There is little better than being able to share these experiences with lifelong friends. I look forward to continuing to help Dave learn about the sport I love and live in hope that one day he may eventually be able to call himself a sailor too.”

Recently appointed ICRA Commodore, Cullen commented “I have spent many years weaning Nigel over to the Irish way of doing things and look forward to sailing together for many more years to come! He is a great advocate and reminder that you should always sail with someone worse than you to make you look better. He frequently reminds that sailing with your friends is a far better prize than any trophy on a cabinet (although he does actually have a few of those)!”

Afloat predicts the banter will continue…

Published in Howth YC

The last weekend of March in Ireland is usually not noted for an almost-dangerous amount of highly-radiated sunshine and light breezes. But Race Officer Scorie Walls had to cope with both at Howth in putting through the full 18-race programme for the Irish Universities Sailing Association Keelboat Nats in the HYC J/80s over the two days, a pair of days when she skillfully chose the race areas where the fitful-enough breeze might be expected to fill in with most vigour.

Mad March day at Howth? Early morning calm, and a welcome tow to the race area. The only evidence that this isn’t mid-July is the Howth Boat Club fleet still in winter quarters on the East Pier. Photo: Emmet DaltonMad March day at Howth? Early morning calm, and a welcome tow to the race area. The only evidence that this isn’t mid-July is the Howth Boat Club fleet still in winter quarters on the East Pier. Photo: Emmet Dalton

Thanks to the pandemic lockdowns and the fact that the series is usually scheduled for this last weekend of March, it was 2019 which saw the last staging of this usually annual event. But despite lockdowns, the Irish third level education scene has been developing so rapidly during the three years since that the winners in 2019, Cork Institute of Technology skippered by Harry Durcan, no longer exists. It is now just the Cork Campus of the Munster Technological University, whose other main centre is in Tralee in County Kerry.

Race On – some crews were still slightly rusty after the long lay-off. Photo: Emmet DaltonRace On – some crews were still slightly rusty after the long lay-off. Photo: Emmet Dalton

In an age of acronyms, the greatest care is need in selecting the name for a new umbrella organization, and although the Munster University of Technology might have more accurately described the new setup, nobody at either centre wanted to attend MUT, while in Tralee they’d been thanking their lucky stars for years that it had been called IT Tralee, when it might so easily have been the acronymic disaster of Tralee Institute of Technology. So, MTU it has become.

As each day’s breeze developed, the racing sharpened. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAs each day’s breeze developed, the racing sharpened. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

That’s more like it…. On Day 2, some cobwebs needed blowing away Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThat’s more like it…. On Day 2, some cobwebs needed blowing away Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Be that as it may, even after three years it still seemed to be Cork Institute of Technology by any other name successfully defending the title as MTU, and with the same skipper too – HYC’s Emmet Dalton takes up the tale:

“Munster Technological University was crowned the Western Yacht & Small Craft Services IUSA Keelboat Champion 2022 during a weekend of glorious sunshine in Howth.

Skipper Harry Durcan and his team Ronan Cournane, Mark Murphy, Morgan McKnight and Charlie Moloney topped their Saturday qualifying group only 2 points ahead of nearest rivals TCD. Some “Interesting” spinnaker hoists and drops made sure that the dominance of some crews upwind was frequently equalised downwind.

“The great equalizers” – some crews found that advantages smoothly gained to windward soon disappeared when the coloured cloth came into the equation, but all quickly learned that having the transom clear of the water offwind in light airs is essential. Photo: Emmet Dalton“The great equalizers” – some crews found that advantages smoothly gained to windward soon disappeared when the coloured cloth came into the equation, but all quickly learned that having the transom clear of the water offwind in light airs is essential. Photo: Emmet Dalton

“Nose down, tail up - it’s the only way to fly….” Photo: Annraoi Blaney“Nose down, tail up - it’s the only way to fly….” Photo: Annraoi Blaney

By the close of business on Sunday, however, MTU had an impressive lead of 12 points over second-placed UCD, with TCD 2 points further behind. Yet that scoreline belied the closeness of the competition, with a number of races decided by hairs’ breadths.
Principal Race Officer Scorie Walls and her ever-professional team ran eighteen races over two days. The Daylight Savings Time change was not the main reason for some teams’ late start on Sunday morning, but cobwebs were soon dusted off and races 2 – 8 were close affairs.

“Done to a turn” – after two days of unremitting sunshine, the Race Team were burnt-out cases. Photo: Emmet Dalton“Done to a turn” – after two days of unremitting sunshine, the Race Team were burnt-out cases. Photo: Emmet Dalton

Hot stuff at close quarters. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyHot stuff at close quarters. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Thanking the title sponsor Western Yacht & Small Craft Services, Rear Commodore Larry Quinn paid tribute to the many volunteers including the mark layers led by Principal Mark Layer (and Commodore of Foynes YC) John Paul Buckley, who travelled all the way from Ardagh in County Limerick, home place of legendary voyager Conor O’Brien.

As for the ever-useful J/80s which in Howth are under the overall care of Kieran Jameson, J/80s bos’uns Brian McDowell and Paul Newport received special praise and thanks, as did support boat skipper David Jones and umpires Cxema Pico and Emmet Dalton.

The advice and assistance of the IUSA committee (David Carberry, Johnny Durcan, Niamh Doran and Robbie Dix) ensured that Howth provided what the competitors wanted from the championship.

HYC’s J80 fleet - the purchase of which was aided by a Sports Capital Grant in 2017 - continues to provide an ideal platform for quality racing and training. Maintaining and equalising five boats to this standard is only possible through the longterm volunteer efforts of the already-mentioned Kieran Jameson, and his other colleagues including Gerry and David Sargent.”

“So who needs Barcelona?” To get blues of this depth, you’d normally expect to be off Saint-Tropez in July, rather than Howth in March. Photo: Annraoi Blaney“So who needs Barcelona?” To get blues of this depth, you’d normally expect to be off Saint-Tropez in July, rather than Howth in March. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Published in Howth YC

Time was when the Student Yachting Worlds in France was quite the thing, and never more so than in October 2008 when National Universities Champion Nin O’Leary of Cork Institute of Technology won it for Ireland from a very international field. But as it’s “run by students for students” through the Paris Polytech, it has had a very uneven history for what should be a major world event, as the rapid turnover of Parisian college sailors and their club officers does not always provide the most solid administrative continuity.

Nevertheless, for the Irish Universities, it provided double value in its good times, as each year the Irish representative squad was simply the winner of the IUSA Keelboat Nationals. Thus even if there were glitches in the staging of the Worlds, the team from Ireland were already garlanded in the honour of the national title.

But with the uneven spread of the pandemic leading to major international sailing events being under total lockdown in different countries at different times, it has actually been three clear years since the Irish Universities Sailing Association Keelboat Nationals have been held, as the Worlds went into abeyance and are still in some sort of limbo.

In these weird circumstances, the best solution is simply to resume where they left off back in March 2019 at Howth as though the lost years never happened, with ten teams returning to race the HYC flotilla of J/80s on March 26th & 27th, and with Scorie Walls resuming her role as Race Officer.

If acronyms are your thing, then you can revel in all this, as the full preview of the event is summed up by stating that on 26-27 March 2022, HYC will be hosting the WY&SMS IUSA Nats 2022 for UCCx2, CITx2, UCD, TUD, DCU, NUIG, QUB & TCD.

IUSA sponsors 2022IUSA sponsors 2022

The elucidation of all that is that the Howth Yacht Club-hosted Western Yacht & Small Craft Surveyors-sponsored Irish Universities Sailing Association Keelboat Nationals for 2022 will see racing by two teams from University College Cork, two teams from Cork Institute of Technology, and teams from University College Dublin, Technological University Dublin (formerly DIT, alma mater of sailing legend Gordon Maguire), Dublin City University. National University of Ireland Galway, Queens University Belfast, and Trinity College Dublin.

In terms of college life and sport, a gap of three years is forever. But for those who are interested in pre-history, the word is that back in March 2019 in increasingly brisk winds, the winners were CIT with Harry Durcan as helm and Grattan Roberts as tactician with crew of Ewan O’Keeffe, Mark Murphy, and Morgan Knight. But it was a close run if very Corkonian thing, as they beat UCC by just one point.

 After a ferociously-fought final in a rising March wind, UCC lost by only one point. After a ferociously-fought final in a rising March wind, UCC lost by only one point.

Published in Howth YC
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After a week of intimidating forecasts threatened the hosting of the annual Howth YC Round the Island race sponsored by Key Capital, writes Neil Murphy, Saturday, March 12th delivered a welcome morning weather window of warm sunlight and a nice sailing breeze, although the big winds promised for the afternoon were indicated by a clear blue sky to the east contrasting with increasing greyness overhead to the west. The 43 boats entered, with a Portsmouth Yardstick fleet competing for the first time, took to the water to enjoy a ‘warm-up’ race before the main event produced a high speed spin around the Island under still-blue skies.

The clear blue sky to the eastward beyond Ian & Judith Malcolm’s 1915-vintage Water Wag Barbara………..The clear blue sky to the eastward beyond Ian & Judith Malcolm’s 1915-vintage Water Wag Barbara………..

……..contrasted with the ominously greying sky to the west.……..contrasted with the ominously greying sky to the west.

The Round Ireland’s Eye Race is the traditional conclusion to the HYC Laser Frostbite Series, now closing in on its 50th anniversary this Autumn. Over that time, the names of the sailors have changed and Lasers are now titled ILCAs, but the racers’ enthusiasm for the challenges of winter dinghy sailing remains a constant. For the first time, 2022 saw an invite being issued to the broader dinghy sailing fraternity to compete in a PY handicap event and not alone test their racing skills but their ability to assess the likely wind and tide implications of a clockwise or anti-clockwise rounding of the island.

“We’ve been at it all winter” - ILCAs going about their business. Photo: Harry Gallagher“We’ve been at it all winter” - ILCAs going about their business. Photo: Harry Gallagher

Despite the weather threat in the lead-up, 16 boats of various types took up the PY offer to provide a Boat Show Afloat with the Class entry list including some high tech modern racing dinghies such as RS Aeros (both 5 and 7 rigs), RS 600 and RS 800, the 1950s and ’60s era GP14, and 420 Classes along with a Water Wag and six IDRA 14s representing the more traditional clinker-built (or lapstrake-moulded) end of the dinghy racing spectrum.

A wide range of Clubs in PY was represented with Greystones, National YC, RStGYC, Skerries SC and Malahide YC figuring, while Clontarf’s six strong IDRA 14 fleet, along with their Laser entries, provided the biggest representation from a visiting Club. The Laser fleet also saw a turnout from around the country with boats from Monkstown Bay, Royal Cork, Rush, Lough Ree, Wexford Harbour and Blessington joining the home fleet.

“A Boat Show Afloat” – it’s not often that you’ll see a Water Wag and IDRA 14s sharing a starting line with an RS Aero. Photo: Harry Gallagher“A Boat Show Afloat” – it’s not often that you’ll see a Water Wag and IDRA 14s sharing a starting line with an RS Aero. Photo: Harry Gallagher

The event format is simple - a short Windward Leeward Race to get the competitors afloat and finalising their race strategy for the ‘big one’, followed by the RTI itself. The 6 – 8 knot breeze that welcomed the fleet to Howth Sound belied the 18 - 23 knot southerly on the forecasts but, with the opening act completed and the wind starting to prove the forecast correct, the Round the Island was ready for the off by 11.45. The course layout sees the boats race to a windward mark and then back downwind to a turning mark that this year, given the wind direction, had to be left to starboard. Arrival at the turning mark is final decision time for skippers – am I committed to the direction I decided on earlier, is there someone I want to follow or have I made a mess of the race so far and it’s time to do something different from the majority?

Another decision….D.Kirwan of Malahide choosing the offshore route as he rounds the island’s northeast corner at The Stack. Photo: Paddy JudgeAnother decision….D.Kirwan of Malahide choosing the offshore route as he rounds the island’s northeast corner at The Stack. Photo: Paddy Judge

The 15 boat PY Class was first away, followed by the 14 ILCA 7s (formerly Standard) rigs, while the ILCA 5s and 4s shared the third start. By now the breeze was hovering in the high teens and gusty and, despite Low Water not being for another 75 minutes, the tide had already started to flood north, upsetting some of the strategic decisions. Only four boats decided to chance a clockwise rounding and before they had even reached the Stack at the north east corner of the Island, less than half-way around, they were already resigned to 2023 being their next chance of success.

Close under the cliffs the Water Wag and an IDRA 14 find williwaws every which way………….Photo: Paddy JudgeClose under the cliffs the Water Wag and an IDRA 14 find williwaws every which way………….Photo: Paddy Judge

……while the newest IDRA 14 – communally built in CY & BC – seems to find the island’s cliffs overbearing after the wide open spaces of her home waters. Photo: Paddy Judge……while the newest IDRA 14 – communally built in CY & BC – seems to find the island’s cliffs overbearing after the wide open spaces of her home waters. Photo: Paddy Judge

In the anti-clockwise fleet, the RS800 of Mike Evans and Shane Hughes (HYC) streaked away but the broad reach up the east of the Island in the left-over sea from the week’s gales saw them horizontal a few times - not a good move for the scratch boat in a handicap fleet. Capsizes were frequent along the east side of the Island as the fleet broad reached on the gusty breeze, now occasionally hitting 23 knots, but the support craft were on standby to assist and only one boat needed help to return to the harbour. The Water Wag of Ian and Judith Malcolm (NYC/HYC), built in 1915 and sailing in its now-unaccustomed environment of the open sea and sizeable waves, was going well amongst its more youthful timber and GRP opposition.

Veteran Water Wag Barbara among some ILCAs in a real hint of SpringVeteran Water Wag Barbara among some ILCAs in a real hint of Spring.

The ILCA 7s saw a ding-dong battle along the north side of the island as the pathfinder group in the Class, Ronan Wallace (WHBTC), Ronan Kenneally (MBSC), Dan O’Connell (ISA) and Conor Murphy (HYC), tested their decisions on how close to go the lee of the cliffs, the best course to allow the shortest distance to be sailed and how to maximise the advantage from the tide.

After a relatively quick race, helped by the freshening southerly breeze and the flooding tide, the first boat to finish was the twin-trapeze RS 800, which completed the course in 30 minutes and 18 seconds. However, with a PY number of 820 and racing against boats with as high a number as 1281, it would need a big winning margin to get to the top of the list of corrected times.

The Line Honours winning RS 800 (Mike Evans & Shane Hughes). Photo: Paddy JudgeThe Line Honours winning RS 800 (Mike Evans & Shane Hughes). Photo: Paddy Judge

After a great day of sailing providing the top quality racing around the beautiful coast of a spectacular island that the sailors came to enjoy, they came ashore for lunch in HYC followed by the Ireland England rugby match and the prizegiving – happy faces all round. The winners in the ILCA Classes were ILCA 7 – Conor Murphy (HYC), ILCA 5 – Peter Hassett (DBSC) and ILCA 4 – Fiachra Farrelly (HYC).

After the computer had done its stuff, the winner of the PY Class on corrected time saw the Aeros take the top three spots, Roy van Maanen (Greystones SC) first in a 5 rig, just ahead of Daragh Sheridan (HYC) in a 7 with Sarah Dwyer (RStGYC) third in her 5 and pipping the Malcolm’s Water Wag by just 2 seconds. First of the IDRA 14s in the PY Class was Finlay McDonald of Clontarf Y&BC.

Daragh Sheridan’s Aero 7 took second in the PY Class. Photo: Harry GallagherDaragh Sheridan’s Aero 7 took second in the PY Class. Photo: Harry Gallagher

With winter sailing for the HYC dinghy fleet now completed, the next HYC Open Dinghy Event is the long-running Brassed Off Cup on Good Friday, so named because the young participants were originally those peeved at not being invited onto the team for the Easter Optimist Regatta on Lake Braassermeer in the Netherlands many years ago. Nowadays the Brassed Off Cup is the early season ‘must-do’ for juniors in the Dublin area and will be held this year on April 15th, and meanwhile, in the Fingal area on St Patrick’s Day, Malahide YC is hosting an all-comers dinghy regatta, so the new season is properly upon us.

Published in Howth YC
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Wave Regatta will return to Howth on June 3-5 this year with a determination to inspire the returning tide of major event sailing in Ireland following two years of pandemic and embracing the inevitable pent-up demand.

Last run in 2018, the timing of this three-day biennial keelboat regatta seems to present racing sailors with an ideal opportunity to return to celebrate the return of major event sailing and long-awaited entertainment.

Built around Howth’s historical Lambay Race, which was first run in 1904, Wave Regatta comprises of three full days of racing with the additional option of Saturday only (Lambay Race) participation for all keelboat classes. The anticipated arrival and inclusion of the new Mills designed ’Cape 31s’ will draw a lot of national and international attention to the event and will be the first opportunity for many to see these Grand Prix racing boats in action.

Best described as a ‘serious racing event wrapped inside a big party’, Wave Regatta is an unmissable experience for sailors as well as for the many visitors that come to Howth for the bank holiday weekend.

Friday’s first gun from Howth Yacht Club’s flagship on June 3rd will not only prepare Ireland’s yacht racing community for 3 days of top quality competition on Fingal’s ideal sailing waters, but it will also confirm the long-awaited return of a weekend full of big regatta hospitality onshore.

Wave Regatta Director Brian TurveyWave Regatta Director Brian Turvey

Full details of Wave Regatta including online entry (with early discount) and the entertainment schedule is available here

One-design keelboat classes that might wish to utilise the opportunity of joining the event should contact the Wave Regatta organising team via the link above.

Published in Wave Regatta

With outdoor covered seating now a prized facility for most clubs, Howth Yacht Club in North County Dublin commissioned its new and long-awaited pergola in time for the Christmas festivities.

In keeping with current trends, HYC is now offering a coffee or a cold drink, scones and paninis in a safe environment and the club is encouraging members to try the outdoor pergola newly installed on its deck.

The facility is now fully functional and the club has named the outdoor structure ‘The Light House’ in reference to there being so much light inside during the day and coming from it after dark, the view it has of the light at the end of the East Pier and the nature of the building’s construction.

Increasingly, the cub is finding members are stopping off at the club for refreshments in this new 'outdoor room' that provides much-needed shelter with heating but at the same time much needed ventilation as a beneficial covid measure.

Published in Howth YC
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In ancient Greece, the mythological Halcyon Days at mid-winter were the calm and bright time around the Winter Solstice. In Ireland, a calm at midwinter (the Solstice is at 3.59 pm this (Tuesday) afternoon) tends to bring grey days, and if the sky does clear, fog is often imminent. But the recent days of grey calm relented sufficiently on Sunday to provide the breeze for two races - nos. 11 & 12 - to round out the first half of the Howth YC KeyCapital Winter Frostbite Series for the long-lived Laser class and the fledgling RS Aeros. And the overall Laser results were startling in the variety of clubs hitting the top eight, the host club barely making the cut with Conor Murphy at sixth.

The convincing overall winner was one of the furthest travelled, Ronan Wallace of Wexford. But though it was mostly Fingal clubs thereafter down to sixth until two Dun Laoghaire helms - Richard Tate of RStGYC and Eoin Delap of DMYC - enter the listings at 7th and 8th overall, an outlier is Dan O’Connell at fourth for ISA. This makes him The Man From God Knows Where, so we’ve assumed he’s from Derrynane in County Kerry, as that’s where successful sailors called Dan O’Connell tend to hail from.

The Laser 4.7s were Howth all the way, with Charlie Keating winning from Fiachra Farrelly, who missed the concluding races as he’s away with his folks Cormac & Mandy for a two month Caribbean cruise. Meanwhile, the flotilla of RS Aeros saw John Phelan winning from Daragh Sheridan, with Paul McMahon third.

Laser Standard Results: 1st Ronan Wallace (Wexford Harbour BTC) 10 pts; 2nd Daragh Kelleher (Skerries SC) 31; 3rd Tom Fox (Rush SC) 35; 4th Dan O’Connell (ISA) 38; 5th Dave Kirwan (Malahide YC) 42; 6th Conor Murphy (Howth YC) 47; 7th Richard Tate (RStGYC) 69; 8th Eoin Delap (DMYC) 69pts.

Full results here: https://www.hyc.ie/results

Published in Howth YC

For casual observers, conditions looked miserably grey for yesterday (Saturday’s) final race of Part 1 of Howth YC’s annual Brass Monkey through-winter series. But those bustling cheerfully ashore afterwards were full of enthusiasm for a great racing breeze from the south, and a re-assertion of the old Norwegian saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing……

“Are those boots Norwegian Standard?” Clothing inspection on the weather rail of the First 40.7 Tiger (Stephen Harris & Frank Hughes), second yesterday and fifth overall in Class 1.“Are those boots Norwegian Standard?” Clothing inspection on the weather rail of the First 40.7 Tiger (Stephen Harris & Frank Hughes), second yesterday and fifth overall in Class 1.

“Of course our clothing is Norwegian standard. And so are we….” The X302 Viking (Kevin Darmody) finished third in the final race in Class 2, and 4th overall.“Of course our clothing is Norwegian standard. And so are we….” The X302 Viking (Kevin Darmody) finished third in the final race in Class 2, and 4th overall.

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 Arcturus (Declan & Peter McCabe, HUC) was overall winner of Class 1 HPHThe Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 Arcturus (Declan & Peter McCabe, HUC) was overall winner of Class 1 HPH

Whatever, it meant that in all, six scheduled races were well completed, and while the fleet had Howth boats very much in the majority, the visitors were right up to speed. Paul Harrison’s Helm’s Deep from Skerries took third overall in Class 1, while in Class 3 the smallest boat in class, the well-sailed Malahide-based Feeling 8.5 Shenanigans (Lee Douglas & Aidan Keane) took it right to the wire with the veteran and notably successful Club Shamrock Demelza (Steffi & Windsor, HYC). With victory from Demelza in the final race by 1min 33 seconds, Shenanigans had the overall title by one point, while Kyran O’Grady of Wicklow SC with the classic Swan 37 Bandersnatch in third overall ensured that the folk from elsewhere had Class 3 well in hand.

J/80s newbies of the Derby/Faherty crew getting to grips with one of the chartered HYC club boats – they finished eighth in the final raceJ/80s newbies of the Derby/Faherty crew

All results here 

Be that as it may, HPH were where the numbers were at, so we give it full rein in this final summation:

Class 1: 1st Arcturus (Sun Odyssey 37, Declan & Peter McCabe, HYC) 6.0pts; 2nd Voyager (Dehler 34, Joe Carton, HYC) 11.5pts; 3rd Helm’s Deep (Paul Harrison, (Skerries SC) 18.0pts.

Class 2: 1st Indian (J/109, Simon Knowles, HYC) 10pts; 2nd Lambay Rules (J/97, Holly Quinn, HYC) 14 pts; 3rd Mojo (J/80, Pat O’Neill, HYC) 16pts

Class 3: 1st Shenanigans (Douglas/Keane, Malahide YC) 9pts; 2nd Demelza (Club Shamrock, Steffi & Windsor, HYC) 10.pts, 3rd Bandersnatch (Swan 37, Kyran O’Grady, Wicklow SC) 21pts.

Holly Quinn raced the family’s J/97 Lambay Rules to place second OA in Class 2.Holly Quinn raced the family’s J/97 Lambay Rules to place second OA in Class 2.

As the beat progresses, Steffi and Windsor in the veteran Club Shamrock Demelza (right) are exactly where they planned to be. They placed second in Class 3 in the final race, and second (by one point) overallAs the beat progresses, Steffi and Windsor in the veteran Club Shamrock Demelza (right) are exactly where they planned to be. They placed second in Class 3 in the final race, and second (by one point) overall

Joe Carton’s Dehler 34 Voyager finishes second in the final race to place second overall in C1 HPHJoe Carton’s Dehler 34 Voyager finishes second in the final race to place second overall in C1 HPH

Sound performance…..Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian coming through Howth Sound to the finish for a first in the final race, and first overall in Class 2 HPH.Sound performance…..Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian coming through Howth Sound to the finish for a first in the final race, and first overall in Class 2 HPH.

Published in Howth YC
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With the shortest day of the year only a fortnight away, winter leagues at a number of centres in Ireland can already look back on a satisfying collection of good races which somehow hit on magic days between storms such as Arwen two weeks ago, and the steadily approaching and rapidly deepening Barra.

At Howth yesterday (Sunday) for the long-running Bright Motors Brass Monkeys Autumn League and the even-longer-running KeyCapital Laser Frostbites, PRO Derek Bothwell and his team had found themselves actually wondering at dawn if an obliging high pressure ridge, which was bringing in a classic pet day, might overdo its benevolence to provide a calm.

But as Race Team Management member HYC Vice Commodore Neil Murphy tersely reports of the racing: “Sunshine, wind approx 15 knots from 290, and a very big spring tide running on the ebb. Twenty-one boats racing across the three keelboat classes”.

A neat start by Steffi & Windsor in the veteran Club Shamrock Demelza……..A neat start by Steffi & Windsor in the veteran Club Shamrock Demelza……..

Warbling wordsmiths might add that the air was like well-chilled champagne, though the keelboat numbers (mainly Howth, but from four different East Coast clubs in all) don’t reflect the initial more numerous series entry, as some boats which weren’t in with a final podium chance had seen key elements of their afterguard press-ganged into shoreside Christmas-tree acquisition and gift-buying duties in a pre-emptive move in face of Tuesday’s approaching restrictions.

But for those who did sail this fifth race to keep the series on programme, the conditions were perfect, and in Class 1 HPH Peter & Declan McCabe’s Arcturus (HYC) confirmed a solid overall lead with another win to put her on 7 pts OA to the 15 of Joe Carton’s Dehler 34 Voyager (HYC) and the 18 of Helm’s Deep (Paul Harrison, Skerries SC).

Class 2 HPH has Pat O’Neill’s J/80 Mojo maintaining the winning form she was showing in Denmark back in the summer, for although third in this fifth race (which was won by Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian), Mojo has never been below 5th to put together a useful series pattern in a 13-boat entry, and thus she lies on 17pts to the 21 of Mark McLoughlins J’us, with Holly Quinn racing the family’s J/97 Lambay Rules equal on 21 points, but back a place on the tie break.

Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian, winner on Sunday, sweeping through Howth Sound on the sluicing ebb.Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian, winner on Sunday, sweeping through Howth Sound on the sluicing ebb.

Special interest is added to Class 2 as all five HYC-owned J/80s are racing under charter to likes to the likes of Darren Wright and Dave Cullen, who have learned on some of the breezier days that’s there’s more to keeping a fully-clothed J/80 under her mast than there is on one of their own Classic Half Tonners.

As for Class 3 HPH, the veteran Club Shamrock Demelza (Steffi & Windsor HYC) has been winning for more than forty years in both Cork and Howth, but although - despite a neat start - she finished second on Sunday, when the winner was Kevin O’Byrne’s Mary Ellen, Demelza continues in a shared overall lead with the Douglas/Keane Shenanigans (Malahide YC) with both on 12 pts, while the 50-years-racing classic Swan 37 Bandersnatch (brought new to Howth in 1971 by Ross & Peter Courtney) is on third at 21 points for longtime owner Kyran O’Grady of Wicklow SC.

The keelboats Brass Monkey series changes to Saturday for their final race of Series 1 this weekend (Saturday, December 11th) followed by the socially-distanced prize-giving (the traditional lunch would have been a Cheltenham-standard super-spreader), but the Lasers will keep going for another week.

Laser ding-dong – overall leader Ronan Wallace (Wexford, 166313) keeping tabs on Dan O’Connell (Derrynane perhaps?)Laser ding-dong – overall leader Ronan Wallace (Wexford, 166313) keeping tabs on Dan O’Connell (Derrynane perhaps?)

LASERS BUSY

While the keelboats may have felt quite pleased by drawing in an entry from four different clubs, they are only in the ha’penny place compared to the Lasers, whose long-running annual winter series (it goes back to 1974) has this time round drawn in entries from eleven Leinster clubs, and the first eight in the Standard Division reflect this. The current clear leader after nine races is Ronan Wallace of Wexford on 7pts, second is Daragh Kelleher of Skerries on 15, Conor Murphy maintains the honour of the host club with third overall for Howth (23 pts), Tom Fox of Rush SC is fourth on 28, Dave Kirwan (Malahide) is fifth on 34, Dan O’Connell (ISA) is 6th on 45, and Richard Tate (RStGYC) is seventh on 52 before another HYC sailor pops up with Conor Costello eighth on 53.

However, the Laser Radials are HYC all the way, with Charlie Keating leading from Fiachra Farrelly and Cillian Twomey, giving a glimpse of the future which is also reflected in the provision of racing for the RS Aero, where John Phelan leads from Paul McMahon and Daragh Sheridan.

A long way from Derrynane – Dan O’Connell on the run at HowthA long way from Derrynane – Dan O’Connell on the run at Howth

Quite how things will be next weekend in the aftermath of Barra heaven only knows, but Howth’s Happy Race Team can already claim “We have a series, we have a result”.

(Photos by Neil Murphy & Aideen Sargent)

Details here 

 The RS Aeros are also racing, and Paul McMahon (photo) currently lies second overall The RS Aeros are also racing, and Paul McMahon (photo) currently lies second overall

Published in Howth YC
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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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