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Displaying items by tag: squib

The annual October Freshwater Keelboat Regatta at Dromineer, (hosted by Lough Derg Yacht Club and staged last weekend) has been no stranger to hyper-strong winds in times past. But in 2021's unusually gentle Autumn, it provided two to three days of very usable sailing breezes, mostly from the southwest. And if the sun tended not to put in an appearance until late afternoon despite the high-pressure area moving over the country, a least it provided welcome brightness when it did show up for the healthy outdoor prize-giving ceremonies.

LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin and his team, led by Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating, welcomed a strong fleet across four keelboat classes, with John Leech serving as Race Officer for the Dragon and SB20 area, while Liam Moloney looked after the Squibs and Flying Fifteens. All classes had sufficient numbers for good racing among boats which had come from many parts of Ireland. But it was the Squibs, currently on a roll and further buoyed by the prospect of the big championship – effectively the Squib Worlds – in Kinsale next June, which were in a league of their own, with a pandemic-defying turnout of 29 boats representing most Irish centres, and including a couple of cross-channel challengers.

Regatta time at Lough Derg Yacht ClubRegatta time at Lough Derg Yacht Club

Morning promise of a good day's racing as the breeze comes whispering in – Dragons, Squibs and SB20s in Dromineer HarbourMorning promise of a good day's racing as the breeze comes whispering in – Dragons, Squibs and SB20s in Dromineer Harbour

The Squibs had the biggest fleet, and here Slipstream (102, Robert Marshall & Neil Logan, Killyleagh YC) leads from Fuggles (Sean & Paul Murphy, Kinsale YC).The Squibs had the biggest fleet, and here Slipstream (102, Robert Marshall & Neil Logan, Killyleagh YC) leads from Fuggles (Sean & Paul Murphy, Kinsale YC).

Part of the Squibs' attraction is that they're not afraid to move away from standard white hulls, and LDYC Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating's Bodacious (crewed by David Maher) has had a particularly attractive paint job.Part of the Squibs' attraction is that they're not afraid to move away from standard white hulls, and LDYC Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating's Bodacious (crewed by David Maher) has had a particularly attractive paint job.

Part of the Squib's growing success lies in their entertaining and informative Irish Squib Forum, and its recently-posted enthusiastic response to the Lough Derg event by Fiona Sugrue-Ward of the Kinsale fleet joyfully captures the flavour of the class and the place and the pace very well indeed:

Lough Derg Yacht Club was the venue for the final Regional Squib Event of 2021. A bumper turnout of 29 Squibs raced in the Freshwater event, and it is great to see such numbers on the start line. The Fleet love going to Lough Derg, and as always the Club ran a super event, both on and off the water.

With six races held over the two days, conditions on the lake were almost perfect with southwesterlies averaging 10-12 knots making racing fair across the racecourse. There were 5 different individual race winners leading to a final race where any one of eight Squib combinations could have won outright.

Racing had been really close and placings up and down the fleet were impossible totally on the spot. When the numbers were finally crunched in the Race Office, it was Quickstep from Cultra with a consistent top and finishes and one race win which danced to overall victory with the Royal North of Ireland's Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan.

Sunshine finally breaking through – Fantome (730 Fergus O'Kelly & Ronan MacDonnell, Howth YC) chasing Granat (David Stewart & Brian Hare, Royal Irish & Royal Dee YCs)Sunshine finally breaking through – Fantome (730 Fergus O'Kelly & Ronan MacDonnell, Howth YC) chasing Granat (David Stewart & Brian Hare, Royal Irish & Royal Dee YCs)

Bookending the weekend with wins in Race 1 and 6, Kinsale's Outlaw 785 secured 2nd overall for Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan. Local Squib Femme Fatale 24, with Lough Derg's Joe O Byrne and Vincent Delany helming, went for 3rd overall.

Other notable mentions must go to race winners Toy for the Boys, Fantome and Firecracker. The fleet were delighted to have overseas visitors in Squib 11 with Pam and Dick Batt, and a Welsh Dragon was welcomed flying over Lil Quickie with Tudor Roberts and Ieuan Williams.

A fleet of 29 is a fabulous end to the 2021 Squib season, the close racing amongst the fleet makes for great events. The Class are already planning and looking forward to next year with Regional events and of course the combined UK & Irish National Squib Championships in Kinsale.

Squib Results Here

Volante is another boat from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough – sailed by Simon Watson & "Jordy", she place eighth overall. Volante is another boat from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough – sailed by Simon Watson & "Jordy", she place eighth overall. 

The overall format for the Freshwater Keelboat Regatta is the Dragons do three days starting on the Friday while the SB20s, Flying Fifteens and Squibs do two. But whatever your programme, the social highlight is the dinner on the Saturday night, an epic event even by the legendary hospitality standards of Lough Derg Yacht Club, which has been honing its hosting skills since 1835.

LOUGH DERG BOAT WINS SB20s

While there was convivial inter-class mingling, after the past 18 months of pandemic limitations, inevitably there were close-knit celebrations within classes that had seen little enough of each other since March 2020. The festive levels were notably high in the SB20s, where John Malone of Lough Ree Yacht Club was Presiding over his last on-water event, having served as top honcho with success despite lockdown limits, with the SB20s making a special effort to take their class message wherever and whenever it was permissible and welcome.

LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin (right) with Andrew Deakin's winning SB20 crew which included Aoife (11) and Claire (9).LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin (right) with Andrew Deakin's winning SB20 crew which included Aoife (11) and Clara (9).

This has been partially in anticipation of the Worlds being in Dun Laoghaire with the Royal Irish Yacht Club in 2022. But equally, there was a determination to make the best of the here and now with commendable attention to detail, which is one race saw the President taking time out to check the mooring lines on one of the race marks, unselfishly sacrificing what would have been a good result in Race 3 in order to do so.

SB20 President John Malone taking his Presidential duties very seriously with the time-honoured inspection of race mark moorings…..SB20 President John Malone taking his Presidential duties very seriously with the time-honoured inspection of race mark moorings…..

……which is a ritual process, and done very thoroughly……which is a ritual process, and done very thoroughly

Even with that, he and his crew of Emmet Sheridan and Alex Leech got to the 7th and final race well in contention for the win against the host club's Andrew Deakin crewed by Brian & Colm McElligott after notching victory in Race 6. But as the President candidly admits, they were having such lovely sailing that they failed to do the strategic calculations on how to conduct a cunning final race, and the Deakin boat Sonic Boom – whose crew betimes included Oppie sailors Aoife (11) and Clara (9) - took the bullet and the series one point ahead of El Presidente.

SB20 Result here

Things are looking rather better for the outgoing SB20 President, nicely placed in 3040, but in the end he was second by one point. Things are looking rather better for the outgoing SB20 President, nicely placed in 3040, but in the end he was second by one point. 

CARRICKFERGUS & CONNEMARA DOMINATE FLYING FIFTEENS

The Flying Fifteens in Ireland have a fascinating development with a seriously-raced class taking hold in the heart of Connemara in the strongholds of the ancient Galway Bay traditional boats. It all started quite far back with older boats brought down by families for holiday sailing, but as our report on the Cong-Galway Race down Lough Corrib this year revealed, the far sailing waters of Connacht now include some hot newer craft of all types. The Fifteens are reflecting this, with Niall & Ronan O'Brien of FF Chonamara turning up at Dromineer with Buckfast and competing to such good effect that they took second in a fleet of ten.

Flying Fifteens on the run, Squibs on the beatFlying Fifteens on the run, Squibs on the beat

Their scoreline included a couple of firsts, but it was Belfast Lough sailors Trevor D'Arcy and Alan McClernon of Carrickfergus who were on top of their game with three first and a second and fourth to win by one point, while Alan Green and David Mulvin of the NYC in Dun Laoghaire were third after notching best results of a first and two seconds.

Flying Fifteen results here

LITTLE FELLA WINS TIE BREAK IN DRAGONS

It doesn't do to rush the final few miles down the winding road to Dromineer from Nenagh with an International Dragon in tow, for it's a boreen which might have been set up with Advanced Towing Driving Tests in mind. But at least the boats which came from Dun Laoghaire had motorway most of the way until Nenagh, whereas the hotshots from Kinsale had to contend with some of those nationally-notorious bottlenecks on the Cork-Limerick road before getting anywhere near their destination

This may have sharpened their determination to succeed once they got the fresh air of Lough Derg in their lungs, and with their elite three-day programme providing eight races, it came right down to the wire between two Kinsale boats, with Brian Goggin's Serafina and Cameron Good's Little Fella both on 17 points.

Dragons finding some sunshine on the run, with eventual overall winner Little Fella (211, Cameron Good KYC, left) making a successful break for it.Dragons finding some sunshine on the run, with eventual overall winner Little Fella (211, Cameron Good KYC, left) making a successful break for it.

However, 2021 is Little Fella's year, and she added another title by winning the tie-break, with third place going to Peter Bowring of Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire with Phantom.

International Dragon Results here

The season is by no means completely over on Lough Derg, but there's no doubting that this year's successful Freshwater Keelboat marks a significant changing of the pace, with a distinct change in the weather now upon us to emphasise this. It's really anybody's guess what the country has to go through during the coming winter, but down Dromineer way they're already thinking of the bright weather of next summer. For in addition to its busy home programme and of course the Freshwater Keelboat Regatta in October (date is October 15th-16th, put it in the diary now), Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting the Fireball Worlds 2022 from August 20th to 26th.

Autumn is well upon us – evening sunlight at DromineerAutumn is well upon us – evening sunlight at Dromineer

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Derg Yacht Club in County Tipperary will welcome one design visitors back to Dromineer for the Keelboat regatta on the weekend of 15th to 17th of October.

Four fleets are expected to the lake, with the biggest likely to be the Squibs, according to Derg's Joe O'Byrne.

The distinctive mace-colour sailed fleet expects a 30 boat entry to include Northern Ireland, England, Kinsale and Howth boats to compete against a growing local fleet.

The SB20s who recently competed on Lough Ree are moving to Derg for their final event of the year, and a fleet of 18 is expected in the last event of 2021 before staging the world championships in Ireland on Dublin Bay in 2022.

LDYC PRO John Leech - two race areas for the keelboat regattaLDYC PRO John Leech - two race areas for the keelboat regatta

Lough Derg Yacht Club says it expects the Flying Fifteens will also be travelling, and estimates from the Dun Laoghaire fleet say up to a dozen will attend.

Up to a dozen Flying Fifteens are expected on Lough DergUp to a dozen Flying Fifteens are expected on Lough Derg

The Dragons will have competitors from Kinsale and Dublin.

The club has arranged a lift in/lift-out on-site, and, O'Byrne says, this will significantly assist the logistics for competitors.

LDYC PRO John Leech and his team have split the four fleets over two separate race areas.

Published in Inland Waterways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detailed results here

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

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

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While the thirty-one countries of the ILCA 4.7 fleet were completing the final race of their Youth World Championship in Dublin Bay, there was another close competition taking place in the bay under Barry O'Neill as P.R.O. This was under the burgee of Dublin Bay Sailing Club in the combined National Squib Class / Dublin Bay Mermaid fleet, of the Dublin Bay Green Fleet who completed two races on Saturday 14 August.

Race one was sailed over a windward-leeward course in a somewhat unstable wind of force two from the south-east. Tony Mullett's Allsorts, crewed by Paul Mills, started at the committee vessel Freebird. By the windward mark Noel Colclough's Periquin with Rupert Westrup crewing had closed the gap, and the two boats came to the windward mark with only half a boat length separating them. On the run it was Allsorts ahead, trying to keep her air clear. At the leeward mark, Allsorts had a problem with the spinnaker gybe to the finish, allowing Periquin to close the gap. After twenty-eight minutes racing, the margin between the two boats was three seconds which probably represents the distance from the bow to the mast.

Race two was sailed over the same course with the length of the beat reduced to compensate for a falling breeze. Allsorts won the start by hitting the line on port tack at the pin end. Again, she rounded the windward mark a boat-length ahead of her rival. This time Periquin was able to blanket Allsorts and thus was able to gain the inside berth which she held for the entire run to the leeward mark. Allsorts did a better rounding and managed to pass to lee of Periquin. Although the two boats split tacks on the second beat, when they came together again, Periquin on port passed across the bow of Allsorts, who was heading towards the favoured end of the line. In the official results, the margin between the boats after thirty-eight minutes racing was again three seconds, with Periquin taking the win.

This racing is great practice for the Irish East Coast Squib Championship at Howth Yacht Club on the first weekend of September.

Published in Squib

While Kinsale Yacht Club cruisers boats were racing around the Kowloon Bridge Buoy and the club also staged the Squib south coast championships, another West Cork Yacht Club was staging a Glandore Harbour race for Dragons and Squibs to Castletownshend.

11 Dragons and 11 Squibs sailed in the annual race in ideal sailing conditions of 10 to 12 knot breezes last Saturday.

In the Dragon fleet, Sonata, in her first major event since being relaunched by her new owners this week, was the winner, ahead of Aphrodite second and War Baby in third. 

Trojan was the first Squib home followed by Tequilla Chaser in second and Kingfisher in third place.

Fergus of Mary Ann’s Bar in Castletownsend provided bottles of wine for the prizewinners.

Diarmuid O’Donovan of Glenmar Shellfish donated lobsters for the winning boats in the race back to Glandore. The first Dragon was Aphrodite, the first Squib was again Trojan,

Published in Dragon

Wins in the second and third races in the Squib Southern Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club this afternoon has handed the overnight lead to Northern Ireland's Peter Wallace and Fiona Ward.

The Wallace and Ward partnership from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough have a four-point cushion over local Kinsale pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly on 11 points. 

KYC pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly are lying in second Photo: Bob BatemanKYC pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly are lying in second place Photo: Bob Bateman

Currently in third place, Kinsale clubmates Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan are on 12 points. 

12 boats are competing with ten from the host club and two Northern visitors.

Full results are here

Racing continues tomorrow

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Despite a strong showing by the Killyleagh Yacht Club visitors from Strangford Lough on the first day of the Squib Northerns at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough, in the end it was the local crew, Greg Bell and Jayne Kearney in Prodigal who stamped their authority on the 17 strong fleet posting an emphatic run of low scores to win from the Killyleagh team of Steven Bridges and Colin Dougan in Firecracker.

First and second places were fairly well scattered among the fleet, but it was the Bell crew's consistency that rewarded them the Championship.

Greg Bell (left) with Commodore RNIYC Nigel Carson and Jayne Kearney Photo: Lindsay NolanGreg Bell (left) with Commodore RNIYC Nigel Carson and Jayne Kearney Photo: Lindsay Nolan

Race 1, started in an eight to ten knot northeasterly and a choppy sea. Hot out the blocks was Firecracker from Killyleagh (Bridges and Dougan) showing a clean pair of heels and disappearing over the horizon to win that race. Behind were Toy for the Boys with Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone on board, fighting it out with the Eccles/Wright duo in Inshallah to finish that order. Race 2 went to another Killyleagh boat, Slipstream crewed by Neil Logan and Robert Marshall, with Firecracker second. Toy for the Boys pulled back to win Race 3 with Bell's Prodigal securing runner up.

Jumini (702) on a run credit Photo: Jen DicksonJumini (702) on a run Photo: Jen Dickson

On Sunday a lengthy postponement until the wind filled in meant an anxious wait for the five boats vying for the title. Race 4 got underway in a light shifting breeze, with the Howth boat, Durt sailed by Fergus O'Kelly and Dave Cotter from Howth hot out the blocks, but after a position shifting race, it was the host club's Greg Bell in Prodigal in the first slot, followed by clubmate Ross Kearney in Jumini and the Killyleagh crew in Firecracker third

Prodigal took Race 5 to stamp Bell's authority on the event even further, but this time runner up went to Douglas and Mellor in Inismara, with Jumini 3rd. In the shifty breeze for Race 6, there were new faces to the front with locals Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan's Fagin leading the fleet and Gizmo (Park and Stinson) second.

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The Notice of Race has been published for the Squib South Coast Championships taking place on 17 & 18 July at Kinsale Yacht Club.

With a return to racing expected for 7th June, Kinsale hopes to attract entries from Glandore to Killyleagh and all the Irish Squib fleets in between. 

Racing will take place in the waters outside Kinsale Harbour between the Old Head and the Sovereign Islands.

Competition, say organisers, is expected to be 'extremely high' as the Irish National Championships are scheduled just three weeks later in Killyleagh Yacht Club in Northern Ireland.

Entries will be accepted up until 12th July 2021.

Download the NOR and entry form below.

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With sailing slowly re-emerging in Ireland which is still some distance from being post-pandemic, we seem to be seeing our sport taking shape again with a series of baby steps.

In such circumstances, there’s much to be said for the purchase of a race-ready and versatile boat that only needs to be rigged to provide immediate activity at one of the country’s several Squib sailing centres.

And this well-maintained version of the Oliver Lee-designed 19ft classic keelboat fits the bill to perfection, as the details and specification make for fascinating racing for longtime Squib aficionados and newcomers alike.

Close action for Squib keelboats - while they still carry the original 1967 rig with the distinctive tanned sails, today’s Squib class have greatly advanced their sail-trimming techniques   Close action for Squib keelboats - while they still carry the original 1967 rig with the distinctive tanned sails, today’s Squib class have greatly advanced their sail-trimming techniques  

Newcomers will find it intriguing that a 1968 boat is still seen as a prime contender, but that’s the way it is with the Squibs. Having a brand new boat is by no means a guarantee of success, and dyed-in-the-wool Squib connoisseurs are well able to debate for hours which particular generation of Squibs produced the most successful boats.

Then too, apart from the sport of the racing and the class camaraderie that goes with it, the bonus with the Squib is that this really is a proper tittle yacht with a genuine sit-in cockpit, such that she’s a very practical proposition for simply taking the family out for a day sail.

See Squib 42 for sale here

Published in Boat Sales
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The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Squib fleet is making its plans for the 2021 season. Assuming that levels of Covid will drop sufficiently Dublin Bay Sailing Club have agreed to provide racing for a combined fleet of three-man wooden Mermaids and two-man GRP Squibs.

The Squibs give the Mermaids an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing.

The Dun Laoghaire Squib Fleet have reassessed their financial needs and realise they had enough money in their fleet bank account to buy a very good second-hand Squib.

Second-hand Squibs change hands for anything between €500 and €12,000 depending on manufacturer and condition.

Squibs (above) will give the Mermaids (below) an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing in DBSC racing this Summer. Photos Bob Bateman

mermaid racing

At an AGM held on Zoom last autumn, it was decided to make a substantial presentation to the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat.

The presentation of a cheque for €4,500 was made by Jill Fleming, Derek Jago and Gillian Fletcher on behalf of the Squib Fleet in late February 2021.

Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat was delighted to receive the presentation.

Vincent Delany
Dun Laoghaire Squib Captain

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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