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2020 was a record season for the Dublin Bay Laser Class, and by all accounts, they’re expecting an even bigger season in 2021.

While continuous sailing has been difficult for all fleets since the start of the pandemic, the single-handed Laser fleet has fared better than most, and as a result, its popularity has surged. For the 2020 Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) summer series, the Laser had the highest number of entries compared with any other fleet, with over 90 boats registered. Entries were split across the Standard, Radial and 4.7 rigs with both adult and junior sailors taking part.

Lasers are proving to be a very versatile boat, especially in these turbulent times. Local active sailors range in age from teenagers as young as 13 right through to adults in their 50s and 60s. The fleet is also very well balanced between female and male sailors with both genders across the ages competing as equals, particularly in the Radial and 4.7 rigs.

"with the constant changes in COVID restrictions, the Laser is providing a more consistent sailing experience"

Local class captain Brendan Hughes explained why there is an expectation of even bigger numbers in 2021; “We’ve seen interest in the fleet continue to grow especially amongst adults. Many of these already sail cruisers but with the constant changes in restrictions, the Laser is providing a more consistent sailing experience. We’re the only large fleet that has been able to get out on the water in nearly all levels of lockdown.”

As a competitive single-hander, Hughes acknowledges that the Laser can be perceived by some as a challenging boat to sail. “In 20 knots, the Laser can be a challenge for sure! However, there has been a lot of effort put into training across Dun Laoghaire. Right throughout the year, there is coaching taking place for beginners and competitive sailors at both junior and adult level.” The increase in coaching availability over the past number of years is acknowledged by many new sailors as being critical in making this class more accessible.

Dublin Bay's new Laser dinghy Class Captain Brendan HughesDublin Bay's new Laser dinghy Class Captain Brendan Hughes

In addition, constant adjustments to racing formats have helped to ensure the Laser fleet remains vibrant. During 2020, the DBSC dinghy race officers introduced Saturday racing in addition to Tuesday evening racing for the Laser fleet. This proved to be extremely popular and the Laser fleet was eager to see this continued in 2021. The club has confirmed that the format will continue for the new season of the AIB DBSC Summer Series with the entry fee covering both Tuesdays and Saturdays for all sailors.

A number of headline events in 2021 taking place in Dublin Bay are expected to drive continued interest from new sailors. The Irish Laser Master Nationals event will be hosted in Dun Laoghaire’s Royal St George Yacht Club from 12th -13th June. This event is open to all sailors over the age of 35 and the organisers expect to have 50+ boats from across the country participate.

A recent survey of local Laser sailors revealed that over 120 boats intend to participate in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta One Design Championship taking place 2nd - 4th July. “If even two-thirds of that number participate in this new format, it would be the largest one-design fleet on the water at this year’s event, which is very exciting.” says Hughes.

August sees the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) 4.7 World Championship coming to Dublin Bay. Local organisers are expecting several hundred youth sailors from across the globe to participate in this event. This event will be one of the biggest sailing events to take place in Ireland this year and is a great opportunity for our younger sailors to participate on the world stage.

Afloat also hears that planning has begun amongst the Masters fleet to send a delegation to Malta in November. EurILCA, the European Laser organisation is holding its Euro Masters Regatta at Royal Malta Yacht Club from 4th - 7th November.

With a mix of local, national and international Laser events taking place in Dublin Bay this summer, it sounds like another big year for the fleet. More information on Laser sailing in Dun Laoghaire is available by emailing [email protected]

Published in DBSC
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The National Yacht Club has offered its congratulations to Dublin Bay Sailing Club on its recognition as Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year for 2021.

As our own WM Nixon wrote last week, it marks only the second time that the unique Dublin organisation — primarily comprising members of the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs, the NYC included — has received the accolade.

“DBSC did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances in 2020 to get our members out sailing for most of the summer,” said National Yacht Club Commodore Martin McCarthy.

“The NYC is delighted that our member Ann Kirwan has taken on the role of Commodore of DBSC this year, with club stalwart Chris Moore being Hon Sec, and other NYC members also heavily involved on other fronts.

“Congratulations also to 2020 Commodore Jonathan Nicholson on his fine stewardship of the club.”

Published in National YC
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Two of 2021's early-season cruiser-racer sailing fixtures on Dublin Bay are up in the air due to January's lockdown restrictions. 

A new ISORA 'Early Season Series' originally planned for this month was to continue the offshore's body's successful 2020 coastal racing out of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. However, the current lockdown has put paid to those plans, leaving ISORA boss Peter Ryan to reschedule.

"We had planned for January but that's not going to happen. So, rather than cancel, we will reschedule those races into a potentially tighter programme as soon as possible", Ryan told Afloat.

The 2020 ISORA Coastal Series attracted a dozen or more entries and typically involved a race using virtual marks along the County Dublin and Wicklow coasts.

Ryan's offshore enterprise won him an end of the year gong. The NYC sailor took an Afloat Sailor of the Month Award in December for his success in staging an ISORA series in lockdown in 2020.

DBSC Spring Chicken

Meanwhile, following the total abandonment of its popular Turkey Shoot pre-Christmas event, the hope is that Dublin Bay Sailing Club will be in a position to run its Spring Chicken Series that starts traditionally in the first week of February. 

The series of six races are held on Sunday mornings and organised by DBSC attracting as many as 40 boats.

However, as COVID lockdown restrictions are set to continue nationally until January 30th, fears are that there is now every chance that restrictions could also impact DBSC's spring fixture too.

The popular Spring Chicken format features short, sharp races typically of around one hour in duration.

In a new year announcement, DBSC was named as 2021 Sailing Club of the Year for its achievements in keeping sailing going on Dublin Bay during the lockdown in 2020.

Published in ISORA
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club's recognition today as the Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" 2021 on the strength of achieving a remarkably full programme in 2020 when Pandemic Regulations permitted is well merited. Yet it's only the second time that the unique Dun Laoghaire umbrella organisation has received this supreme accolade. Not surprisingly, the Royal Cork Yacht Club – the world's premier club - has been the holder seven times: in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015 and 2020. But the fact that this is only the second time that DBSC has won does not reflect the reality that the club is almost always on the shortlist. And the circumstance of its previous time as holder in 2007 well illustrate why DBSC has successfully been with us for so long through times good and bad. 

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For in 2006 – the year for which it actually last won the trophy - DBSC had a real problem of success. Sailing numbers in Dublin Bay were expanding at an unprecedented rate with the new Dun Laoghaire marina in place, while the Celtic Tiger was roaring with economic growth. Under Commodore Tim Costello and Honorary Secretary Donal O'Sullivan, DBSC had to upgrade its services while stream-lining its functioning in a massive voluntary effort, and it did so with such success that the "Club of the Year" accolade made for the perfect fit, helped by the fact that the Commodore's Mills 40 Tiamat, with an all-Dun Laoghaire crew including Brendan Foley on the helm, had won the British Open IRC Championship in Cowes.

At the presentation of the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2007 award to Dublin Bay Sailing Club in Dublin Port Centre were (left to right, Enda Connellan (CEO Dublin Port, sponsors of the DBSC programme), Tim Costello (Commodore, DBSC), and Frank Keane, Chairman of Mitsubishi MotorsAt the presentation of the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2007 award to Dublin Bay Sailing Club in Dublin Port Centre were (left to right, Enda Connellan (CEO Dublin Port, sponsors of the DBSC programme), Tim Costello (Commodore, DBSC), and Frank Keane, Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors

Having dealt successfully with the hazards of the exceptionally good times back in 2006, fourteen years later DBSC has handled exceptionally bad times with the same calm competence. For the Club has had to deal with the circumstances afloat and ashore in 2020 which - in 2006 - would have been laughed out of court if they had been proposed as the nightmare scenario for some sort of very sick future fantasy horror drama.

Yet it has come to pass. But the club has braced itself, re-thought its functioning, and implemented emergency measures such that Dun Laoghaire has come out of 2020 with a sense that, within the inevitable pandemic boundaries, Dublin Bay SC provided its members and service-users with as much sailing as was reasonably possible in pandemic circumstances

The background to the club gives us some idea of how it finds a hidden strength when the need arises. Although DBSC at its foundation 137 years ago in 1884 was undoubtedly what would now be called a disruptor start-up, today it is effectively the quietly powerful sailing government for the vast majority of the competitive sailors in the most numerous fleet based in one place in Ireland.

In an exceptionally difficult year for all sports, the performance of Dublin Bay Sailing Club in providing a viable racing programme in 2020 for a large and varied fleet pf 22 classes drawn from all four of Dun Laoghaire Harbour's bricks-and-mortar Yacht Clubs is a remarkable achievement. DBSC's emergence with a complete set of end-of-season results – albeit after a pandemic-truncated season – was an outstanding performance by any standards, and they are clear ahead in being acclaimed as the 2021 holders of the Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" trophy.

DBSC's only "premises" consist of the Race Management Hut on the West Pier, but in 2020's special circumstances, it was kept in store and not commissioned……….DBSC's only "premises" consist of the Race Management Hut on the West Pier, but in 2020's special circumstances, it was kept in store and not commissioned……….

……while all racing was started and finished from Committee Boats whose crews had been isolated in pods.  Photo: Afloat.ie……while all racing was started and finished from Committee Boats whose crews had been isolated in pods. Photo: Afloat.ie

Mitsubishi Motors are Irish sailing's most committed longterm sponsors, as they've supported the "Sailing Club of the Year" accolade for 35 years. This unique and informal competition was first inaugurated in 1979 and initially only covered Leinster, but after Mitsubishi Motors had become the enthusiastic sponsors in 1986, it went nationwide and the title of "Irish Sailing Club of the
Year" became one of real prestige, based on a rigorous set of standards.

An underlying purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled quality of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs, and the dedication of their members.

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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 levels, 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 at all ages.

In the four decades through which this informal comparison between sailing clubs has been running, the basic expectations have been continually refined to reflect a changing sailing world in changing national and global circumstances, a developing adjudication situation to which the Commodores of the winning clubs have made a really worthwhile contribution over the years, with thoughtful acceptance speeches in which they've outlined their visions for their clubs, and their role in the local community and in all aspects of sailing.

DBSC's racing programme is so accessible and popular that it attracts regular participation by boats which would be seen elsewhere purely as cruisers, such as the Nich 31 Saki.  Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'BrienDBSC's racing programme is so accessible and popular that it attracts regular participation by boats which would be seen elsewhere purely as cruisers, such as the Nich 31 Saki. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Few other clubs have a sense of communal interaction as strong as DBSC. The change from disruptor to central body had come about as early as the mid 1890s, when it was realised that if an impartial unaligned organisation such as DBSC didn't already exist to administer the routine Dublin Bay sailing summer season, then they'd have to go through all the hassle of inventing something very like it.

For sure, with Dun Laoghaire Harbour providing the nautical focal point for a large, generally affluent, and often innovation-providing community, new ideas tend to arise on a regular basis as to how sailing in general, and racing in particular, might be re-configured for the sport's improvement.

But equally, that same south Dublin population is notably settled in its outlook, and for many, the continuation of the proven ways, with only carefully moderated change from time to time, is the only method for maintainable progress.

Thus Dublin Bay and Howth to the northeast provide the boat-minded communities and sailing waters where One-Design classes thrive as active fleets for much longer than anywhere else, so much so that the world's first One-Design class - the Dublin Bay Water Wags of 1887 – now prospers more than ever, with new-built boats regularly joining the fleet.

The Dublin Bay Water Wags were achieving the best One-design turnouts in 2020's shortened season.  Photo: Con MurphyThe Dublin Bay Water Wags were achieving the best local One-design turnouts in 2020’s shortened season. The Lasers were the most numerous class, with 91 entered, of which 53 were Laser Radials. Photo: Con Murphy

In such circumstances, getting a now instinctively conservative behemoth such as DBSC – with its racing for 22 classes - to implement a rapid and significant adjustment to its way of doing things is – as current DBSC Honorary Secretary and former Commodore Chris Moore has remarked – not unlike expecting a sudden change of course in a supertanker, where in normal circumstances any alteration of the rudder setting needs six miles of continued straight line progress before any change of course becomes perceptible.

DBSC Honorary Secretary Chris Moore on his J/109 Powder Monkey. In addition to his current role, he has served as Commodore of DBSC, and also as Commodore of the National YC.DBSC Honorary Secretary Chris Moore on his J/109 Powder Monkey. In addition to his current role, he has served as Commodore of DBSC, and also as Commodore of the National YC.

But like any alert organisation, back in the early days of 2020 while DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson and his team were looking forward to the proper celebration of a new sponsorship deal with AIB, they were also prudently noting that as the pandemic developed, the most switched-on organisations such as the big tech companies in Dublin were talking of limiting office access until the summer of 2021, which was way beyond official predictions. Another factor which reinforced their realisation of the severity of the approaching shutdown was the postponement of the launching of the latest James Bond movie

These may seem off-the-wall indicators in the running of a sailing club, but DBSC's intensely urban location meant that every piece of possible useful information had to be taken into account while working out just when it was possible they might get a realistic programme under way, and how best it might be done.

Jonathan Nicholson, DBSC Commodore 2019-2020, found himself in one of the hottest seats in Irish sailing. Jonathan Nicholson, DBSC Commodore 2019-2020, found himself in one of the hottest seats in Irish sailing.

It was soon realised that the seasonal installation of the Race Officer's hut on the West Pier – used mainly for finishing races – was out of bounds as it's a gregarious focal point, and so the only way forward was the creation of pods to crew the club's Committee Boats, which would now both start and finish all races.

Thus an even greater effort and commitment was required from Committee Boat Volunteers, and in our feature about Ann Kirwan succeeding Jonathan Nicholson as Commodore on December 7th, the names of the leading volunteers who made this possible were listed.

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Yet all the time the developing situation had to be monitored in order to maximize sailing and minimise risk while at the same time instilling an awareness in sailors that when the inevitable second save began to show on the horizon, the sailors would have to accept a sudden stop to their activities with good grace.

Newly-elected DBSC Commodore Ann Kirwan at the helm of the Ruffian 23 bandit, which she shares with Brian Cullen and Ciara BrownNewly-elected DBSC Commodore Ann Kirwan at the helm of the Ruffian 23 bandit, which she shares with Brian Cullen and Ciara Brown

It was good while it lasted, with best turnouts pushing towards the 150 boat mark, while the Water Wags were the best One-Designs with 23 boats, reflecting the fact that although some people were determined to get racing if at all possible, equally they'd to respect those who felt the best way to see the pandemic out was to give sailing a miss for 2020.

Those who did go sailing found their enjoyment enhanced through the DBSC programme, and the mood of it was best captured aboard Jimmy Fischer's Billy Whizz in the Beneteau 211 Class, which swept the board in the trophy department with their haul including the supreme award, the George Arthur Newsom Cup.

Small boats, big prize haul – the increasingly popular Beneteau 211s saw their champion, Jimmy Fischer's Billy Whizz, take DBSC's supreme prize in 2020.   Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien    Small boats, big prize haul – the increasingly popular Beneteau 211s saw their champion, Jimmy Fischer's Billy Whizz, take DBSC's supreme prize in 2020. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

The Cup is awarded to the boat which performs best compared to all One Design classes in Dublin Bay, and the way Billy Whizz is organised well illustrates the strong attraction of DBSC sailing, for although most of the participants are from the immediate South Dublin area, there are boats like Billy Whizz which find they can successfully cast the net wider.

Their unrivalled trophy haul included:

  • The George Arthur Newsom Cup - for the most successful boat in one-design racing
  • The Facet Jewellers Cup - for Thursdays scratch overall
  • The Beneteau 21 Tray - for Thursdays ECHO overall
  • The Beneteau Cup - for Saturdays scratch overall

The feat was achieved by Jimmy with two different crews, one on Thursdays comprising Joe Smyth, Annette Ni Murchu and her brother Brian Murphy. Not only did they win Thursdays on scratch, but they managed the rare feat of winning Thursdays on ECHO also. Joe, Annette and Brian are all longterm members of Blessington Sailing Club.

Sailing with Jimmy on Saturdays, Peter Duggan and Les Richards won the series on scratch. Peter is another graduate of Blessington Sailing Club, and has foredeck experience on the J/109 Jalapeño with Paul Barrington et al from the National YC, while Les is a partner in a Trapper 501 in Bray Sailing Club.

In all, a diverse crew lineup which shows that, fourteen years after getting the recipe exactly right to provide the best of sailing in exceptionally good times, Dublin Bay Sailing Club has been equally adept in getting the recipe exactly right to provide the best of sailing in exceptionally bad times, providing us with a worthy new addition to the Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year listings:

  • 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, year indicated is one in which 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

Click the link to read more on the Mitsubishi Motors 'Sailing Club of the Year' Award on Afloat's dedicated page 

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This week, Ann Kirwan of the National Yacht Club became the 25th Commodore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club at the club's 136th Annual General Meeting, in succession to Jonathan Nicholson of the Royal St George YC. This harmonious change of the watch comes at the conclusion of a truncated season in which, despite the adverse effects of the pandemic, DBSC managed to put through a very complete yet still fully COVID-compliant AIB-sponsored racing programme.

In order to understand how this was possible, we need to look at the origins of the club, and how it comes to be in the unique position it fills today. For if there's another sailing body in the world which can be reasonably ranked with Dublin Bay Sailing Club, then we'd be interested to hear about it for purposes of comparison.

The extraordinary Dun Laoghaire organisation is at the core of a seemingly unique sailing structure which is based on the competitive waterborne needs of a notably affluent, cohesive and compact maritime population in South Dublin, a population which gets to the sea via the one harbour of Dun Laoghaire through four different waterfront clubs in combination with the largest marina in Ireland.

A possibly unique setup. Virtually all of South Dublin's recreational boating activity on Dublin Bay has to be funneled through the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and thus the development of the overall co-ordinating body of Dublin Bay Sailing Club became inevitable.  A possibly unique setup. Virtually all of South Dublin's recreational boating activity on Dublin Bay has to be funnelled through the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and thus the development of the overall co-ordinating body of Dublin Bay Sailing Club became inevitable.

The only tangible evidence of the existence of Dublin Bay SC is in its Committee Boats and its extraordinary collection of historic annual prizesThe only tangible evidence of the existence of Dublin Bay SC is in its Committee Boats and its extraordinary collection of historic annual prizes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Yet the over-arching DBSC itself has neither a clubhouse nor even the most modest jetty, although it does have three Committee Boats. But the three more stately clubhouses were already in being when Dublin Bay SC was founded in 1884. Yet although those established clubs had substantial fleets – with the Royal St George YC supposedly rivalled only by the Royal Yacht Squadron in the combined tonnage of its affiliated yachts – the number of races which actually took place was surprisingly small.

Admittedly the racing programme was becoming more busy with the "homeless" Royal Alfred YC - founded 1870 in Dublin Bay - leading the way in codifying the rules in order to establish the Yacht Racing Association and put a fresh emphasis on amateur crewing. But the notion of a season-long regular weekly programme including evening events was still barely in its infancy.

ne hundred and thirty six years down the line, and the DBSC racing goes on – in 2020, Patrick Burke's First 40 Prima Forte was winner of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy for the best new DBSC yacht.  Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'BrienOne hundred and thirty-six years down the line, and the DBSC racing goes on – in 2020, Patrick Burke's First 40 Prima Forte was the winner of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy for the best new DBSC yacht. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Indeed, it used to be thought quite an achievement to "cram" three races into the mad social whirl which was Cowes Week, something which had been underlined back in 1851 when the race round the Isle of Wight for what was to become the America's Cup was included almost as an after-thought on the Friday, when many liverish aristocratic Cowes Week participants were already thinking of heading home towards their stately piles.

But in 1884, Dublin Bay Sailing Club – nowadays the very heart of the Establishment – was set up to be The Disruptor. At variance with the large yachts which needed numerous crew, DBSC was avowedly in favour of small inexpensive craft sailed by their owners with a crew of amateur friends. Its purpose was to fit in as many races as could reasonably be accommodated during the course of the season, with any heavy social side being a very secondary consideration, if it figured at all.

The new club captured the mood of the moment, which was already being expressed in a lower key by the 1887-established Water Wag Class. But where the Wags were a one-boat-type setup, the new DBSC had a broader outlook. It went well with the new spirit of the last two decades of the 19th century, and was to be perfectly in tune with the desire for sailing innovation and boat-improvement which set the tone of the Golden Age of Yachting from 1890 to 1914.

A new One-Design Class from the early days – the Dublin Bay 25s racing in 1901. Photo courtesy DBSCA new One-Design Class from the early days – the Dublin Bay 25s racing in 1901. Photo courtesy DBSC

21st Century One Design – the Beneteau First 21 is the most recent class to be adopted as a Dublin Bay One Design. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien21st Century One Design – the Beneteau First 21 is the most recent class to be adopted as a Dublin Bay One Design. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Thus within a decade of its establishment, even though it was set up seven years after the establishment of the world-pioneering Water Wag class, DBSC had become the "go to" organisation – and was often the originator - for any group of fellow-minded enthusiasts who had a new restricted or One-Design class in mind. Thus by the turn of the Century it was DBSC which was mustering Dublin Bay-based racing fleets of such numbers that it had become the de facto central body for organizing regular weekly racing in the bay, regardless of which shore-based clubs claimed the loyalties of the participants.

All this may have been taking place more than a century ago. But the special spirit of the club has endured. It has developed and become reinforced ever since to such an extent that to be part of the large group of volunteers which keeps DBSC running smoothly – a group who sail all sorts of boats and are drawn from all four waterfront clubs – is to share an active vocation.

In this, the new Commodore sees herself as being representative of a large like-minded grouping of equals. Yet the fact is that being Commodore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club means that you're in one of Irish sailing's most significant individual roles. And while DBSC is run in such a way that the changing of personnel in the key administrative positions is phased to keep the overall machinery functioning smoothly, being Commodore is where the buck stops.

The numerically largest One-Design keelboat class currently racing on the bay is the Flying Fifteen, with former NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne seen here crewing for David Mulvin. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien   The numerically largest One-Design keelboat class currently racing on the bay is the Flying Fifteen, with former NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne seen here crewing for David Mulvin. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Time was when the Commodore was more of a figurehead role, and thus it is only relatively recently in DBSC history that the position has been rationed to just two years in office. But this means that while the longer-serving role of Honorary Secretary (currently filled in succession to the wonderfully long-serving Donal O'Sullivan by Chris Moore, himself a former DBSC Commodore) is the conduit through which club communications, directives and notices flow, the Commodore can now have a much more hands-on role.

And when you get an active sailing enthusiast and ideas-person like Ann Kirwan in the top position, their sailing background and their approach to the problems which sailing – like all sports – faces in these pandemic times will directly affect how life afloat develops for Dun Laoghaire's large sailing population in 2021 and 2022.

In Commodore Kirwan, the racing sailors of Dun Laoghaire have a leader who shares their enthusiasm for the best of sport afloat with an energetic capacity for working effectively with other volunteers for the good of their shared interest, and at the same time having professional experience of functioning in a large working organization, while bringing an inspirational zest to everything she does.

Ann Kirwan in action in the crewing department, quite prepared to believe that Dublin Bay can match the RORC Caribbean 600 for a heady mixture of sunshine and strong winds.Ann Kirwan in action in the crewing department, quite prepared to believe that Dublin Bay can match the RORC Caribbean 600 for a heady mixture of sunshine and strong winds.

Although not quite a cradle sailor, among her earliest memories are being afloat aged around seven in the vintage Howth 17 Mimosa which her parents Paddy and Barbara co-owned with Jim and Sheila Higginbotham. Paddy Kirwan was originally from Cork, but service in the Air Corps brought him to Dublin and flying from Baldonnell, while the new family home was south side Dublin, in Mount Merrion.

But a transfer to Aer Lingus where he was to become a Boeing 747 Captain saw connections with the Howth-based Aer Lingus group and their sailing. Yet while his Dublin sailing began in Howth with the Seventeens, the relative proximity of Dun Laoghaire soon saw the family's sailing focus transfer to the National YC, where Ann's mother Barbara's links to the Mermaid Class reinforced a commitment to sailing which was soon manifesting itself in many ways.

Along with Carmel Winkelmann, Johnny Hooper and others in the club, Paddy Kirwan was instrumental in introducing the first Optimist dinghies in Ireland at the National Yacht Club in 1966-67, so much so that the Kirwan children were very much involved in this game-changing addition to the Irish junior sailing scene. Thus in 2017 Ann Kirwan – in her best quietly effective style – was at the heart of organising the Golden Jubilee celebrations of this with special reference to Carmel Winkelann's contribution

For DBSC's future Commodore, the Optimist sailing was soon succeeded by further busy learning experience in Herons, Mirrors, 420s and Lasers, but when Paddy Kirwan – who was later to go on to become a very active President of the Irish Sailing Association – acquired the Ron Holland-designed Club Shamrock Boomerang, cruiser-racer sailing of all kinds became a significant part of family life.

And at a later stage when the focus had moved upwards again to the Sigma 38 Errislannan, Ann's experience was further broadened by extensive cruiser-racing which included two Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Races in addition to dedication to the regular DBSC programme.

When you sail in Dublin Bay as often as Ann Kirwan, you're bound to find sunshine…When you sail in Dublin Bay as often as Ann Kirwan, you're bound to find sunshine…

But that was only what happened in the summer. Her winter sport was hockey, where she rose through the ranks and found an additional talent as a coach to such an extent that in time she became President of her hockey club. As for professional life, she made a career in the commercial side of Aer Lingus, retiring as recently as March this year, while at a personal level she married within the maritime community to hydrographic surveyor Brendan Briscoe, and they made their home in Sandymount, that remarkable corner of south Dublin which somehow manages to be a secluded village within walking distance of both open sea and city centre.

While all this was going on, her sailing continued apace, and around twenty years ago in the Ruffian 23 class she found like-minded folk who shared her dedication to One-Design racing, the Dublin Bay programme, and the spirit of Dun Laoghaire sailing. She went into partnership with Brian Cullen and Ciara Brown, at first in the basic boat Ruff'n Reddy. But having an outboard motor as the auxiliary proved tiresome, and when the fully-equipped inboard-engined Bandit came attractively on the market, they snapped her up, and the trio on Bandit have been happily and successfully sailing together ever since.

Dublin Bay SC may have long-established routines - some of which go back to 1884 - but when a window of opportunity for sailing emerged in the pandemic-plagued summer of 2020, the club immediately produced a virtual yearbook in conjunction with sponsors AIB and Afloat.ieDublin Bay SC may have long-established routines - some of which go back to 1884 - but when a window of opportunity for sailing emerged in the pandemic-plagued summer of 2020, the club immediately produced a virtual yearbook in conjunction with sponsors AIB and Afloat.ie

This is typical of the long-lived boat partnerships which the DBSC ambience seems to encourage. In many other places, there's a notion that One-Design classes and boat-owning partnerships have only a limited – sometimes a very limited – time span of successful functioning. But in Dun Laoghaire, they're civilised, they're in for the long haul, and there's a feeling that all the right and proper things for the greater good will come to pass in the long run.

Thus anyone who knew Ann Kirwan will have reckoned that it was only a matter of time - once her hockey club duties had been fulfilled – before she was drawn into a deeper role in sailing administration, where she was already known as a willing volunteer when one was needed.

Certainly, it would have been a real waste if someone so instinctively immersed in the best of Dun Laoghaire sailing administrative traditions and their development was not able to make her contribution in the most effective style. So it was reassuring when she was drawn into the DBSC Committee, and in time succeeded Mermaid and Water Wag ace, Jonathan O'Rourke, as Rear Commodore in 2015.

In her time in the DBSC's officer lineup, the Commodores she has worked with were Pat Shannon (RIYC), Chris Moore (NYC) and Jonathan Nicholson (RStGYC). Her own particular interests and instincts incline her to looking after the needs of the large DBSC volunteer race administration group, and while the Bandit partnership are no strangers to the trophy list at the end of each season, she reckons that maybe the most important trophy the club has is The Viking Award for the volunteer who has contributed most.

Former Irish sailing President Jack Roy – seen here racing the family Squib – is one of many volunteers who have contributed to DBSC's success over the years. Former Irish sailing President Jack Roy – seen here racing the family Squib – is one of many volunteers who have contributed to DBSC's success over the years.

But in 2020 with the demands of COVID-compliance, the extra effort from all volunteers afloat and ashore was such that the Committee reckoned that the right and proper thing to do was to give them all The Viking Award jointly in honouring and celebrating a group effort, and when Ann Kirwan name-checks the senior volunteers, it gives us some idea of the calibre of the people attracted to giving freely of their time to this venerable yet ever-young organization. She writes: 

"The Volunteers: The Viking Award, for a notable contribution to sailing, one of DBSC's premier trophies, was awarded to the DBSC volunteers who truly deserved to be honoured in recognition of their efforts in the 2020 season. The volunteer group includes committee boat drivers, the race management teams, patrol crew organisers, patrol crews, and mark layers. They are a fantastic group of people who give freely of their time to ensure we get great racing

The Race Officers: We are very lucky to have a team of very experienced Race Officers - those who ran our racing in 2020 were: PRO Jack Roy; Ed Totterdell, Suzanne McGarry, Barry O'Neill, Con Murphy, Harry Gallagher, Barbara Conroy, Brian Mathews, Tim Costello, Ian Mathews, Neil Murphy, Jonathan O'Rourke, Ben Mulligan, Mairead Ni Cheallachain, and Michael Tyrrell. I look forward to their continued support in 2021, along with our other regulars who for various reasons were not available this season.

The DBSC Committee members: I am really looking forward to working with fellow DBSC officers Vice Commodore Ed Totterdell, Rear Commodore Jacqueline McStay, Honorary Secretary Chris Moore, Treasurer Peter Fleming, as well as our hard-working, great team of committee members Brian Mathews, Declan Traynor, Philip Ferguson, Gerry Jones, Debbie Horan, Ian Bowring, Suzi Roy, and Louise McKenna."

In addition to the large volunteer corps, for years Dublin Bay computer genius Colin McMullen has been developing his internationally-recognised systems for the electronic analysis of yacht racing through the numerous and varied fleets and extensive data which DBSC provides. Although this is a professional operation to facilitate the smooth running of Dublin Bay's numerous classes and handicap systems, the McMullen readiness to provide info at all hours is a reflection of the DBSC spirit.

That is a notably special spirit for which Ann Kirwan will be providing the very visible leadership – leadership by personal example – during the next two years. While Dublin Bay Sailing Club may have come into being with all the characteristics of a Disruptor, it now has to accept its important position as a major role model not just for sailing, but for Irish society as a whole.

For sure, the Club has to provide just as much sailing as is possible in whatever circumstances we find as the usual time for the 2021 main season gets under way in April. But in what will probably still be a state of national emergency, a measured approach by an organisation of such eminence is essential.

Certainly during 2020 before the full enormity of the pandemic was apparent, we wrote here about the possibilities of pushing the sailing envelope to the limit despite coronavirus boundaries, and there were certainly some exceptional pop-up events which kept the sailing spirit alive while being on the edge of possibilities.

But a prominent, highly respected and centrally-located organisation like DBSC simply cannot include "guerilla sailing" in its activities. As it is, its members are in a naturally healthier position in terms of lifestyle than the vast majority of the population, and a keen mind like Ann Kirwan's is well aware of the responsibilities this carries as she outlines her hope for the next two years, with improved communication with members a priority in what will continue to be a fluid situation, albeit with useful input from the many lessons learned in 2020.

Looking at the broader picture, she was particularly encouraged by the increase in dinghy numbers during 2020's season, and while recognizing that to some extent this may have been a lockdown effect, she's getting enough feedback to suggest that it could be a more permanent trend.

Lasers shaping up for a DBSC start. Dinghy numbers were up in 2020, despite the racing being confined to the harbourLasers shaping up for a DBSC start. Dinghy numbers were up in 2020, despite the racing being confined to the harbour. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

Equally, she's aware that while she and her fellow sailors of Bandit enjoy the cut-and-thrust of a starting sequence, for many more senior crews just one start sequence per day can be quite enough, so she and her committee are looking at the possibility of including longer coastal races as an option when some sort of normality returns.

And with a keen eye to the remarkable history of the organisation she now heads, the new Commodore is keenly anticipating the return of at least three of the restored Dublin Bay 21s under the regeneration project headed by Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, for it was in 1903 that Dublin Bay SC first introduced the DB21s, and their re-appearance in 2021 has a symbolic rightness about it.

The restored 1905 Dun Laoghaire-built Dublin Bay 21 Naneen is expected back in her birthplace in 2021The restored 1905 Dun Laoghaire-built Dublin Bay 21 Naneen is expected back in her birthplace in 2021

Then too, with the lifestyle changes becoming evident before the pandemic, she realises that location commitment is being replaced - for some people at least – by double-focused lives, and therefore a Super League within the annual DBSC programme will free those no longer available to be on Dublin Bay week after week.

Certainly, in her case, she and Brendan have always expected to spend the August fortnight in Schull, where they now have a second home and a spare Ruffian 23 which has yet to be commissioned for local cruising purposes. But so devoted is she to Dublin Bay racing that she'll readily interrupt her time in West Cork to get to that Dun Laoghaire starting line in mid-holiday.

Her energy and buzz of ideas is prodigious. Some time ago in Schull, she was particularly struck by the wastefulness of the variety of torn oldish sails being dumped in the harbour skip. So Schull being Schull, she was able to buy a classic sewing machine in the village, and set at it to see if she could make a useful holdall cum super-large handbag from abandoned sails.

Ann Kirwan's reaction to discarded sails has been to make a range of bags and hold-alls out of the best of the surviving cloth. This is the useful and cherished AK Sail Bag of Sandra Moore, wife of DBSC Hon. Sec. and former Commodore Chris MooreLady Bracknell, eat your heart out……Ann Kirwan's reaction to discarded sails has been to make a range of bags and hold-alls out of the best of the surviving cloth. This is the useful and cherished AK Sail Bag of Sandra Moore, wife of DBSC Hon. Sec. and former Commodore Chris Moore. Photo: Chris Moore

The result is the AK Sailbag range, which has become quite the thing for those in the know. And it further demonstrates that Dublin Bay SC's new Commodore is a turbo-powered dynamo at whatever she turns her hand to. They say that if you want anything done, then ask a busy man to do it. But you can forget that. First choice should always be: Ask a busy woman.

Outgoing Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Jonathan Nicholson handed over the tiller to Ruffian 23 helmswoman Ann Kirwan by Zoom last night at DBSC's virtual AGM. 

Kirwan takes over the role for the next two years, becoming the second only female DBSC Commodore in the 136-year history of the club, the first being Margaret Woods in 1997.

Eddie Totterdell was voted in as Vice Commodore and Jacqueline McStay as Rear Commodore. 

Chris Moore stays on as Honorary  Secretary, with Peter Fleming remaining as Honorary Treasurer.

Nicholson was presented with a Sterling Silver lapel pin, and DBSC burgee.

In his closing report, Nicholson paraphrased the Tanaiste when he said: "this year has been like no other". 

It's no understatement and regular Afloat readers will know how DBSC navigated with Style over COVID-19's challenging seas as W M Nixon reported here.

Huge changes were implemented in order to run and manage DBSC racing that caters for as many s 150 boats on a typical Thursday evening. Many of these changes have proven to be positive and may be retained for the coming season.

A number of other changes were also planned but were not relevant under the current circumstance. These include a re-imagined Super League, the reappearance of the Dublin Bay 21s which hopefully will re-emerge in the coming years.

DBSC Boat Fees and subscriptions

Although at a high-level, boat entry numbers were broadly similar to 2019, their composition was quite different. This year the Laser class and to a lesser extent, the PY class were far more popular, with almost twice as many Lasers entering. On average, entries across the other classes entries were down by around 25%.

A notable exception is Cruisers 0 which saw a 30% increase.

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Any hope for DBSC Turkey Shoot Series racing on Dublin Bay this Sunday was dashed last night when three pre-Christmas training sessions off Dun Laoghaire Harbour were also ruled out.

It had been suggested that the move to reduced Covid-19 restrictions to Level 3 on Tuesday may have provided an opportunity to run racing even though the club's Hon Sec Chris Moore had posted a notice here on Nov 29th to confirm the club was not in a position to race. 

Moore told members "DBSC is committed to, and indeed eager, to run racing for our members. Should the current position change we will be ready to run Turkey Shoot racing as soon as the guidelines permit". 

Last night, however, Turkey Shoot organiser Fintan Cairns confirmed in a notice to competitors that neither the event itself or any training sessions operating within the new COVID-19 guidelines would not go ahead after consultation with DBSC Flag Officers. 

Cairns thanked supporters of the popular winter sailing series and all those involved in seeking a pre-Christmas workaround for the cruiser-racer event.

"I would like to thank Barry MacNeaney, chairman of the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs, for all his effort in dealing with the powers that be in an attempt to get training".

"In the 20th year of DBSC winter racing, this is very unfortunate", Cairns added.

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Expectations are raised that winter sailing for cruisers in addition to two-handed dinghies will be possible in December if COVID restrictions are lifted later this week. 

Sailing was part of a joint submission made to Government a fortnight ago that included 24 other non-contact sports that argued for the re-introduction of competition under Level 3 and Level 4 in the mixed households, pod system. There has been no definitive response to the submission and insiders say it is still very much '50:50'. 'A lot rests on what the Taoiseach says this Friday', Afloat was told.

The country's biggest winter race series organiser, Fintan Cairns of Dublin Bay Sailing Club says he is "hopeful our own NGB will retract its prescription re sailing under Level 3 and that this healthy, safe, non-threatening pastime can get going again". 

Winter yacht racing could return to Dublin Bay as soon as December 6th if restrictions are liftedWinter yacht racing could return to Dublin Bay as soon as December 6th if restrictions are lifted Photo: Afloat

"We have to be optimistic that we will get sailing again after December 1st - to sail Sundays 6th, 13th and 20th December," he added.

Cairns says that Turkey Shoot competitors, that regularly attracts entries of up to 60 boats, will need to be prepared to move quickly if racing is reinstated. He has urged skippers to organise boats and crew this week in anticipation. 

He also says DBSC are ready to sail with Sailing Instructions and handicaps ready to go for the cut short series.

Cork Harbour Winter Racing

In Cork Harbour, Royal Cork Yacht Club was in the middle of its Autumn League when restrictions hit, cancelling the rest of the league along with the scheduled annual O'Leary Insurances Winter League from November 1.

When racing was cancelled on October 6th, it was expected RCYC would attempt to salvage some racing pre-Christmas with RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats Daragh Connolly telling competitors at the time 'the club aims to resume racing when the guidelines allow'. 

However, fast forward two months, the winter league is scheduled to conclude on December 6th and with many boats now hauled out, it is unclear what might now be feasible.

Royal Cork Yacht Club Winter LeagueRacing in a previous edition of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurances Winter League Photo: Bob Bateman

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This year, for one of the first times in a proud history stretching back to 1884, there was no gala event for Dublin Bay Sailing Club's annual prizegiving but as most Dun Laoghaire Harbour observers will attest, most of the sailors in the country's biggest sailing club feel fortunate there was any racing at all, given the ravages of COVID-19.

Despite the absence of the regular Royal St George hosted affair, DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson has been online to congratulate over 100 different winners from 22 DBSC classes and there has been an impressive roll call of division winners that includes DBSC's six premier awards for best performances (see full list below). 

DBSC has welcomed onboard new sponsor AIBDBSC has welcomed onboard new sponsor AIB

In a season like no other, there was a late start to proceedings and then a final curtailment all due to the pandemic that now threatens the club's Winter Turkey Shoot Series too.

Regardless, the club has been carrying on and preparing for hopefully a more buoyant start to 2021 and announced a new title sponsor this year that was celebrated recently with an online Zoom presentation featuring some of Ireland's top solo sailors on the appropriate theme of resilience

DBSC Premier awards 2020

Patrick Burke's Prima Forte, the 2020 delivered Beneteau First 40 has won the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy for the best new DBSC yacht in the 2020 season. As regular Afloat readers will know, the Royal Irish yacht in its former life was known as La Response and Courier Zen, a top UK and French Commodore's Cup campaigner.

Patrick Burke's Prima Forte was the DBSC Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy winnerPatrick Burke's Prima Forte was the DBSC Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy winner Photo: Afloat

Lindsay Casey's Royal St. George Yacht Club J97 Windjammer that has performed on both inshore and offshore circuits this season was the winner of the best yacht on handicap.

Lindsay Casey's J112 WindjammerLindsay Casey's J97 Windjammer from the Royal St. George Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

The best yacht in the one-design divisions was James Conboy-Fischer's Billy Whizz, the first time a B211 has lifted the George Arthur Newsom Cup as Afloat reported here.

Laser Radial ace Rian Geraghty McDonnell won the Dr Alf Delany Cup for the best dinghy performance of the season.

Brendan Ebril Memorial Cup Best yacht for most frequent participation was won by David Meeke and Martin McCarthy in the Ruffian 23 Alias.

Cruisers Classes

The JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI, skippered by Paul O'Higgins Photo: Afloat

The ISORA coastal champion, the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI, skippered by Paul O'Higgins was the Martin Cup winner for Thursday's IRC Racing in Cruisers Zero. The Saturday IRC series Knox-Gore Cup trophy was won by George Sisk's XP 44, Wow from the Royal Irish Yacht Club

George Sisk's XP 44George Sisk's XP 44, Wow Photo: Afloat

In Cruisers One, Thursdays IRC Racing for the West Pier Officer's Cup was won by another Royal Irish yacht, the J109, White Mischief jointly skippered by the father and son team of Tim and Richard Goodbody.

Saturday's IRC racing in class one was won by the National Yacht Club's Jalapeno (Paul Barrington) who lifts the Weir Cup.

J109 JalapenoPaul Barrington at the helm of the National Yacht Club J109, Jalapeno

In Cruisers Two, the premier award winner, Windjammer won both the Lady Shamrock Trophy for Thursdays IRC racing and the Silver Salver for Saturdays IRC competition.

Starlet Kevin ByrneKevin Byrne's Starlet was the top performer in DBSC Cruisers Three Photo: Afloat

In the Cruisers Three division, Kevin Byrne's Starlet was the winner of both Thursdays and Saturday's IRC picking up the Smalldridge Cup and Jack Kennedy Memorial Cup respectively.

In the One Design classes, Chris Johnston's Prospect from the National Yacht Club was the winner of the Beneteau 31.7s Feanor Trophy for Thursday Scratch Racing.

John Power and Michael Leahy's Beneteau 31.7 Levante	John Power and Michael Leahy's Beneteau 31.7 Levante was the Saturday Scratch winner

The National Yacht Club's Ignus Caput sailed by David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne were the winners of the Fifty Something Cup for Tuesday Racing in the Flying Fifteen class. The pair also won the Brian S Ryan Trophy for Saturday Racing. The Flying Fifteen Gun Trophy went to Chris Doorly's Frequent Flyer for Thursday Racing 

David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne in the Flying Fifteen Ignus CaputDavid Mulvin and Ronan Beirne in the Flying Fifteen Ignus Caput

In the dinghy classes, the stand out class of the season was the singlehanded Laser that mustered up to 60 boats for its season. In the standard division, Ronan Wallace was the winner of the Tuesdays Overall Lanavere Cup while Finn Walker took the Sanderling Trophy for his Saturday performance. Rian Geraghty McDonnell was the Sailcraft Tray Trophy winner for Tuesdays and Saturday's combined.  Sean Craig won Tuesdays Overall in the Radial and Connor Gorman won Saturdays. Luke Turvey won both Tuesdays and Saturdays in the 4.7 class.

DBSC Radial winner, Sean Craig from the Royal St. George Yacht ClubDBSC Radial winner, Sean Craig from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Julie Ascoop's IDRA 14 Slipstream won The Halfway Trophy for the most successful yacht. 

For the full list of 2020 DBSC prizewinners see below

DBSC 2020 Prizewinners

    
       
Premier Trophies      
Dun Laoghaire Harbour Trophy Best new DBSC yacht 2020 Prima Forte Patrick Burke
Dr Alf Delany Cup Best Dinghy for the season Laser Radial Rian Geraghty-McDonnell
Waterhouse Shield Best yacht in Handicapped series Windjammer Lindsay Casey
George Arthur Newsom Cup Best yacht in one design racing Billy Whizz James Conboy-Fischer
Brendan Ebril Memorial Cup Best yacht frequently participated Alias David Meeke Martin McCarthy
The Viking Award A notable contribution to DBSC sailing DBSC Volunteers 2020 DBSC Volunteers 2020
Cruisers 0      
Martin Cup Thursdays IRC Racing Rockabill VI Paul O' Higgins
Knox-Gore Bowl Thursdays Echo Racing Hot Cookie John O'Gorman
Knox-Gore Cup Saturdays IRC Racing Wow George Sisk
Centenary Trophy Saturdays Echo Racing Prima Forte Patrick Burke
Cruisers 1      
West Pier Officer's Cup Thursdays IRC Racing White Mischief Tim and Richard Goodbody
Tiamat Trophy Thursdays Echo Racing White Mischief Tim and Richard Goodbody
Weir Cup Saturdays IRC Racing Jalapeno Paul Barrington
Osterburg Trophy Saturdays Echo Racing Raptor Paul Bradley Fintan Cairns
Cruisers 2      
Centenary Cup Thursdays Echo Racing Peridot Jim McCann
Lady Shamrock Trophy Thursdays IRC Racing Windjammer Lindsay Casey
Silver Salver Saturdays IRC Racing Windjammer Lindsay Casey
TP Early Memorial Cup Saturdays Echo Racing Windjammer Lindsay Casey
Brendan Brisco Cup Tuesdays Racing Boojum Stephanie Bourke
Silver Foam Trophy Most Improved Boat Cr 2 Boojum Stephanie Bourke
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesday Sigma Racing Boojum Stephanie Bourke
JB Stephens Trophy Thurs and Sat Comb-Sigmas Rupert R&P Lovegrove
Cruisers 3      
Annette Cup Thursdays ECHO Racing Saki Paget McCormack
Mercia Cup Saturdays ECHO Racing Papytoo Frank Guilfoyle
Sanderling Trophy Tuesdays ECHO Racing Papytoo Frank Guilfoyle
Smalldridge Cup Thursdays IRC Racing Starlet Kevin Byrne
Jack Kennedy Memorial Cup Saturdays IRC Racing Starlet Kevin Byrne
Whimbrel Rose Bowl Tuesdays IRC Racing Starlet Kevin Byrne
B211s      
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesday SCRATCH Overall Yikes Peter Carroll
Optec Trophy Tuesday ECHO Overall Ventuno Rowan Fogarty
Facet Jewellers Cup Thursdays SCRATCH Overall Billy Whiz James Conboy-Fischer
Beneteau 21 Tray Thursdays ECHO Overall Billy Whiz James Conboy-Fischer
Beneteau 21 Cup Saturdays SCRATCH Overall Billy Whiz James Conboy-Fischer
Jimmy Fischer Trophy Saturdays ECHO Overall Ventuno Rowan Fogarty
Waterhouse Rose Bowl Thurs/Sat Comb ECHO Beeswing Pat Shannon
Cruisers 5      
Burford Trophy Thursdays IRC Overall Div A Persistence Charles Broadhead
Gerry Henry Salver Thursdays ECHO Overall Div A Katienua Thomas Dunne
Trevor Wood Trophy Thursdays ECHO Overall Div B Gung-ho Grainne O' Shea
White Sail Class Trophy Sats A and B IRC Overall Gung-ho Grainne O' Shea
Ana Livia Trophy Sats A and B ECHO Overall Spirit C O'Brien and E Gill
Galileo Cup Not winning another trophy The Great Escape P and D Rigney
31.7s      
Feanor Trophy Thursday Racing Scratch Prospect Chris Johnston
Horrigan Cup Thursday Racing Echo Kernach Eoin O'Driscoll
Arandora Trophy Saturday Racing Scratch Levante John Power Michael Leahy
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesday Racing Scratch Levante John Power Michael Leahy
Long John Silver Cup Saturday Racing Echo Attitude Trina Milner
Dragons      
Oxford and Cambridge Cup Thursday Racing Zin Zan Adrian Masterson
RIYC Cup Saturday Racing Phantom David Williams
Old Time Cup Comb. Thurs and Sats Phantom David Williams
Torry Cup Not winning another trophy D-cision Joey Mason
Glens      
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesday racing Glenroan Keith Malcolm
The McMullen Cup Sat and Thurs Combined Glendun David Houlton
Pterodactyl Cup Thursdays Racing Glendun David Houlton
Harry Maguire Memorial Cup Saturday Racing Glenluce R O'Connor L Grant & M Pearson 
Ruffians      
British Airways Trophy Saturday Racing Bandit A Kirwan/B Cullen/C Brown
J. Lamont Trophy Thurs and Sats combined Bandit A Kirwan/B Cullen/C Brown
John Donnelly Perpetual Cup Tuesday Racing Bandit A Kirwan/B Cullen/C Brown
Huet Trophy Thursday Racing Shannagh Stephen Gill
Shipmans      
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesday Racing Poppy Alan Deladiennee
The Melindi Cup Saturday Racing Jo Slim John Clark
Shipman Perpetual Trophy Thurs and Sats combined Jo Slim John Clark
SB20      
The Crichton Cup Thursday Racing Ted M O'Connor, D Taylor, Ed Cook 
Saturday SB Cup Saturday Racing Ted M O'Connor, D Taylor, Ed Cook 
Bealtaine Trophy Saturdays series A Carpe Diem Richard Hayes
Lunasa Trophy Saturdays series B Venues World Gerry Dempsey, Chris Nolan
Equinox Trophy Saturdays series C So Blue J Burke, C Helme, A Claffey
Mixed Sportsboats      
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesdays George 5 Jonathan Craig
Thursday Sportsboat Cup Thursdays Overall 8 Races Jester Declan Curtin
Saturday Sportsboat Cup Saturdays Overall 16 Races Jambiya Martin Ryan
Water Wags      
Goldsmith Cup Wednesday 1st Place Swift Guy Kilroy
Bluebird Trophy Wednesday 2nd Place Pansey Vincent Delany
G.Pugin Meldon Trophy Wednesday 3rd Place Tortoise W and L Prentice
Flying 15's      
Fifty Something Cup Tuesday Racing Ignus Caput David Mulvin
Brian S Ryan Trophy Saturday Racing Ignus Caput David Mulvin
Flying Fifteen Gun Thursday Racing Frequent Flyer Chris Doorly
Blake Cup Midweek Handicap racing Rodrigues Ken Dumpleton
Fireballs      
Nuit St. George Trophy Tuesday overall 14990 E Butler F Miller
The Fireball Saturday Cup Saturdays overall 14990 E Butler F Miller
IDRA 14's      
Bay Cup Tuesdays Scratch Dart 161 Yves and Paul Long
Melampus Cup Tuesday Handicap Dutch Courage Sailing in Dublin
The Kennedy Cup Saturdays Overall Dart 161 Yves and Paul Long
Cr Challenge Cup Special Conditions Dart 161 Yves and Paul Long
The Halfway Trophy Most successful Yacht Slipstream Julie Ascoop
PY Single Handed      
Windmill Cup Tuesdays Overall RS Aero Orion 328 Noel Butler
Early Bird Trophy Saturdays overall RS Aero Minty 1321 Brendan Foley
Lasers      
Lanavere Cup Tuesdays Overall Std 166313 Ronan Wallace
Sanderling Trophy Saturdays Overall Std 211099 Finn Walker
Sailcraft Tray Trophy Tues and Sats Std 216894 Rian Geraghty McDonnell
Jimmy MooneyTrophy Tues and Sats Radial 213042 Sean Craig
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesdays Overall Radial 213042 Sean Craig
Cut Glass Tumbler Saturdays Overall Radial 207800 Connor Gorman
Cut Glass Tumbler Tuesdays Overall 4.7 194650 Luke Turvey
Cut Glass Tumbler Saturdays Overall 4.7 194650 Luke Turvey
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) will hold a virtual event next Thursday, 12th November 2020 at 19.30hrs to welcome its exciting new sponsorship with AIB Private Banking.

As Afloat previously reported, Ireland's largest yacht racing club is hosting the live panel discussion on “Stories of resilience from Irish Professional sailors…on and off the water”

DBSC's Gerry Jones told Afloat he chose the topics for the online event 'as it's a really interesting one & particularly relevant now in these COVID times'.

Fergal Keane of RTE’s Seascapes radio show will chat with four of Ireland’s top professional sailors.

Sports psychology has traditionally been viewed as only having application to high performance or professional sports. However, many of the techniques in sport psychology have just as much relevance for recreational athletes and can be applied to our personal and professional lives. We will hear from these professional sailors about their approach to sports psychology and how resilience forms an essential part of this.

Jones says 'This will be an exciting event, to hear how participants use sports psychology techniques and resilience in shaping their professional and personal lives'.

The contributors are:

Annalise Murphy Olympic Silver Medalist

Annalise Murphy is nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021Annalise Murphy is nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021

Annalise Murphy competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women’s Laser Radial class, she finished in 4th, her personal best at a world-class regatta.

Annalise won her first major medal at an international event when she won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championship. On 16 August 2016, she went on to win the silver medal in the Laser Radial at the 2016 Summer Olympics In December 2016, she was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year and the 2016 Afloat Sailor of the Year.

Annalise was a crew member on ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ in the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race and is the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Regatta.

Damian Foxall, six-time Volvo Ocean veteran

County Kerry's Damian Foxall has competed in ten round-the-world racesCounty Kerry's Damian Foxall has competed in ten round-the-world races

Damian Foxall has competed in ten round-the-world races including four wins.

In 2008, he won the Double-handed non-stop round-the-world Barcelona World Race, with Jean Pierre Dick on Virbac

He has competed in 6 Volvo Ocean races with a win in 2011 with Team Groupama and an outright Round the World Record circumnavigation in 2004 with Steve Fossett.

In 1997 Damian became the first non-French entry to win the rookie class in the Single-handed offshore race – La Solitaire du Figaro, he went on to confirm his success in 1998-1999 with a leg win, before changing to the ORMA 60` Trimaran class.

Over the last ten years, Damian has been focusing on the implementation of sustainability within our sport and is currently Sustainability program manager for the 11th Hour Racing team entered in The Ocean Race.

Tom Dolan, Figaro Solo Sailor

Tom Dolan is preparing to compete in the 2024 Olympics Games where double handed offshore sailing will make its debutTom Dolan (right) is preparing to compete in the 2024 Olympics Games where double-handed offshore sailing will make its debut

Tom Dolan is a professional sailor, based in France, who competes in the Figaro Class.

He has competed in 3 Solitaire Du Figaro on his boat “Smurfit Kappa”. The Solitaire du Figaro lasts just over three weeks and is made up of four races totalling 1800 miles: it is considered to be the most competitive offshore race in the world. The boats are all identical meaning the skipper makes the difference.

Tom finished in 5th place in 2020 and only four places behind Armel Le Cleac’h who was the winner of the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe. Tom is preparing to compete in the 2024 Olympics games where double handed offshore sailing will be a medal event for the first time.

Dr. Kate Kirby, Sports Psychologist

Dr Kate KirbyDr Kate Kirby is the lead psychologist of the Irish Olympic team for Tokyo 2021

Dr. Kate Kirby has worked in high-performance sport for over 15 years and has been the consultant sport psychologist to multiple Olympic, World, and European medallists. She attended the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games as a member of Annalise Murphy’s support team. In 2019 she was appointed as the lead psychologist of the Irish Olympic team for Tokyo 2020.

Attendees can join using any device, questions and comments during the live talk are welcome and will be answered by the participants at the end.

This is a free public event but you need to join here

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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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