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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Optimist

Howth Yacht Club teen Johnny Flynn overtook local ace and regatta leader Ben O'Shaughnessy to clinch the AIB sponsored Optimist Nationals by a single point at Royal Cork Yacht Club today. 

After four days of racing on the Curlane Bank and outside Cork Harbour, the Dubliner finished the ten-race light-air event on a tally of 16 points to the Crosshaven boy's 17.

Anthony O’Leary was the Race Officer for the Main Fleet and Barry Rose officiated for the Regatta Fleet.

Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: BatemanSecond overall - Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Bateman

Ben O'ShaughnessyThird overall Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club Photo: Bateman

Flynn's club mate, 14-year-old Rocco Wright, finished in third on 30-points in the 79-boat main fleet.

The National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the first girl in fifth overall. 

National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the first girl in fifth overallThe National Yacht Club's Clementine van Steenberge was the top girl in fifth overall Photo: Bob Bateman

The fight for gold in the 36-boat Junior Championships came down to who beat who in the final race and the NYC's Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell beat Des Turvey of Howth with Riona McMorrow Moriarty in third.

 Junior National Champion is Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell of NYC Junior National Champion is Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell of NYC

A 34-boat Regatta fleet was won by RCYC's Ethel Bateman who beat her brother Olin. Third place went to Henrietta Leech from Lough Ree Yacht Club.

Regatta champion Ethel Bateman of Royal CorkRegatta champion Ethel Bateman of Royal Cork

Prizes were presented by Royal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead, event organiser Brian Jones and IODAI President Tim Lucas.

Overall results are here

Bob Bateman's 2020 Optimist Championship Prizegiving slideshow below

Published in Optimist

After seven races sailed in light and tricky conditions in Cork Harbour, local Optimist dinghy ace Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club continues to lead the AIB sponsored National Championships overall. 

The 79-main boat fleet sailed again on day three of the championships on the Harbour's Curlane Bank in light winds.

The 14-year-old Crosshaven sailor is now nine points clear of nearest rival Johnny Flynn of Howth Yacht Club. Flynn has a similar cushion on his Dublin clubmate, Rocco Wright, in third place on 29 points. Full results are here

See Bob Bateman's photo slideshow below

Published in Optimist

Ben O'Shaughnessy of the host club leads the AIB Optimist Dinghy Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club after one race sailed in light conditions in Cork Harbour today with a number of postponements to the day's proceedings.

O'Shaughnessy leads Howth's Cillian Twomey. Third, in the 80-boat main fleet is Twomey's club mate Johnny Flynn.

Championship racing continues tomorrow. Results are here

Published in Optimist
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Excitement is building in the Royal Cork Yacht Club for this week’s AIB Optimist dinghy Nationals 2020 in Cork Harbour.

It will be the first time the Irish Optimist fleet will compete this year due to COVID and participant numbers at the event have been limited by organisers.

The event starts on Thursday but there has already been some pre-championship tuning going on at Crosshaven.

Photo slideshow below by Bob Bateman

Published in Optimist

Only a handful of spots remain for youth sailors in spring training programmes for Optimist, Topper and RS Feva sailors organised by the National Yacht Club for the 2020 season.

Spring training for Oppys runs for five Sunday afternoons beginning on 1 March. Only two places remain as of time of writing — to register (and optionally charter a club boat) see the NYC website HERE.

The Topper spring coaching programme is already under way, but a handful of places remain in the Advanced Racer and Improvers groups. More details and online registration can be found HERE.

And coaching for RS Feva juniors begins later this month on 23 February, with only two spots to spare. Details and registration HERE.

This month will also see a team racing clinic at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February during the upcoming midterm break.

The Irish Sailing-supported initiative for team racing is offered at the special price of only €25 for the two days of training, and is open to anyone (including non-club members) who has a competent level of sailing experience but is most suited to at least Level 3 or equivalent.

Sign-ups are still open for the Dun Laoghaire Youth Laser spring training programme, which continues this month with a focus on preparing 4.7 sailors for Easter trials and Radials for the Europeans at Ballyholme in July.

And dates have been finalised for NYC’s junior summer courses, each of two weeks’ duration:

  • Course 1: Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 June
  • Course 2: Monday 15 to Friday 26 June
  • Course 3: Monday 29 June to Friday 10 July
  • Course 4: Monday 13 July to Friday 24 July
  • Course 5: Monday 27 July to Friday 7 August

These will involve the full suite of Irish Sailing levels (Start Sailing, Basic Skills, Improving Skills, Racing, Advanced Boat Handling, Adventure) over each course.

Published in Youth Sailing

Howth Optimist ace Rocco Wright barely had time to gather breath - other than getting a haircut somewhere along the way - after taking second overall in the 225-boat Optimist fleet in Sail Melbourne 2020 in Australia before he was catapulted into the 401-boat fleet in the XIII Trofeo Euromarina 2020 at Torrevieja at Alicante in Spain. But while light and flukey airs in the final race may have denied him the overall win in Australia, in Spain it was heavy weather and gear breakages which were the problem.

Despite that, he was never out of the overall frame, and in the final tally, he took another silver medal to place second overall to Alessandro Cortese of Italy, with fellow-Italian Lisa Vucetti top girl and third overall.

Published in Optimist
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It all came down to the eleventh and final race of the Australian Optimist National Opens 2020 in Melbourne, with a total fleet of 255 boats from eight nations racing. Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright was overnight leader by just one point from the USA’s Samara Walsh, and in today’s first of two races he consolidated this with a third, with Walshe in fourth. But French star Zou Schemmel had got himself back in contention with a win, while the hopes of Australia were raised by 12-year-old Joel Beashel of Sydney back in the frame with a second.

At the start of the final race, things looked very good for the Irish and French campaigns, as Wright and Schemmel got clear away in the lead, and thus were able to take the usually favoured right hand on the first beat. But conditions were becoming increasingly volatile, and boats on the left began to show ahead, with completely new names emerging at the head of the fleet. In the end, the winner of the final joust was New Zealand’s Joe Leith, whose best placing until then had been a fourth. As it was, even with this final win, he still placed back in 12th overall.

Meanwhile the top contenders saw their final complete re-shuffling get Beashel a sixth in this last race. But as Wright was out of it with 37th while Walshe was 13th and Schemmel 25th, Beashel emerged as winner with Wright second by just one point, and in turn one point ahead of Walshe with Australia’s Matty Goss fourth and France's Schemmel fifth.

Results here

This notable placing by Rocco Wright (who won two major regattas in Sydney in December) continues a remarkable period for the Irish Optimist Dinghy Class, as James Dwyer Matthews of Royal Cork won the British Spring Opens 2019, the British Opens 2019, and the 185-boat 11 nations Irish Opens 2019, while Rocco Wright took tenth in the Worlds 2019, second in the North Americans 2019, and now second in the Australians 2020.

Published in Optimist
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Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club holds a one-point lead facing into the final day (January 9th) of the 255-boat Australian International Optimist Championship 2020 at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Melbourne on Port Philip Bay, with the complex championship continuing its full programme despite some experience of poor air quality ashore and afloat from the bush fire conditions continuing in nearby parts of the region.

Although the 13-year-old Howth sailor’s combined overall scoreline in the Gold Fleet after today (Wednesday’s) racing reads as 1,1,7,1,1,6,1,14, and 6, the final two days fleet lineup has seen the American sailor Samara Walshe making a challenge which has displaced Wright’s earlier closest contenders of France’s Zou Schemmel (now back in 9th) and Australia’s Joel Beashel (currently in 12th).

Current results here 

Published in Optimist
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Howth Yacht Club Optimist dinghy siblings Sienna and Rocco Wright have struck again Down Under!

This time the pair won their respective divisions in Sydney's Optimist Regatta with an extraordinary string of first places in each of their divisions over the past three days. Results here

As Afloat reported earlier this month, Optimist ace Rocco won the 2019 Sail Sydney Optimist Open Championships on December 14.

Next stop is the Australian National Championships which begins on Jan 2nd. 

In what is turning into epic sailing trip for the Wrights, the children's father Darren is the skipper of the Howth Yacht Club entry in the Sydney Hobart offshore Race that starts this St. Stephen's Day. More on that here.

Published in Optimist
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Optimist ace Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club has won the 2019 Sail Sydney Optimist Open Championships this weekend, just ten days before his father starts the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

It completes a remarkable season for the youngster, back in July Wright took 10th overall in the Worlds, and then in October, he notched second overall in the North Americans, giving him Ireland’s best international performance in 2019 and an Afloat Sailor of the Month award to boot! 

It's not the only Wright Optimist win of the weekend either, with Rocco's sister Sienna claiming the intermediate prize in Sydney.

WM Nixon writes about Rocco's father and the upcoming Howth Yacht Club Sydney Hobart Race challenge here

Sail Sydney results here

Published in Optimist
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020