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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay Sailing Club

In a week when Ireland's biggest yacht racing club was due to start its summer schedule, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is instead surveying members in lockdown for their thoughts on the prospect of racing on the Bay later this summer as the COVID-19 emergency greatly affects 2020 Irish sailing fixtures.

The survey is being conducted as the club sees a delayed start to the season and 'potentially reduced budgets and resources'.

In the online poll, Commodore Jonathan Nicholson urges as many skippers and crew to complete the three short questions to help the club decide what can be offered. 

The club is the umbrella organisation that runs year-round racing for members from all Dun Laoghaire Harbour's waterfront yacht clubs; the National Yacht Club, the Royal St. George Yacht Club, the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as sailors based at the town marina.

"We want to try and plan for this as best we can in order to deliver our members the best possible racing, as soon as it is safe to do so," Nicholson tells members.

SB20 dbsc2020 1230The Dublin Bay SB20 sportsboat fleet Photo: Afloat

The 2020 DBSC season was due to start on the capital's waters this Saturday for over 250 boats in 20 classes and some estimated 1,500 sailors.

As Afloat previously reported, the timing of the questionnaire is in line with Sport Ireland's own bid to frame protocols for a return to sport with social distancing. Protocols for sailing are being drawn up by Irish Sailing, according to its CEO Harry Hermon yesterday.

"How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

The DBSC survey says 'We would like to know your initial thoughts before you think too deeply about this season. Please answer this question without thinking too hard! We will ask it again when we have outlined some options.

The multiple-choice survey's first question probes 'Given the current situation with COVID 19 if all rules were relaxed and we could go sailing from the 1st of June how likely are you to join DBSC this year? Answer options range from Very likely to Very Unlikely.

The second question is "How important to your decision to go racing is the Apres Sail at your club? How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

Published in DBSC

The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) buoyant Cruiser Two fleet has an A31-type yacht added to its number this season. 

The French-built Archambault A31 is arguably one of the most competitive IRC boats of its size. The new arrival is a National Yacht Club campaign that will be moored at Dun Laoghaire Marina. A sistership La Republique from Liverpool competes on the Irish Sea in ISORA racing but this new arrival is the only A31 in Ireland.

The A31 is a 31’4” (9.55m) cruiser-racer sailboat designed by Joubert Nivelt Design (France). She was built between 2009 and 2017 by Archambault (France) and BG Race (France).

The A31 design comes straight off the back of the successful larger Archambault A35 of which there are several in Ireland including the Sovereign's Cup winner Fools Gold from Waterford. Another A35, Gringo, is a club mate of this Bay new arrival at the NYC and another A35 Endgame campaigns from Royal Cork.

Starlight for DBSC Cruiser Five

In Cruiser Division Five, the white sails division, a Starlight 35 has also joined the fleet. The new addition comes from the Hamble to Ireland.

DBSC Cruiser Zero fleet expands

As Afloat reported previously, the DBSC Cruiser Zero fleet was also boosted for this season when El Pocko, a German Frers Puma 42, arrived at the  Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It is the second new addition for the Bay's big boat class. 

In January the First 40 La Response, formerly known as Courier Zen and a veteran of several Commodore's Cup teams joined the fleet. The RIYC boat is a fillip to a now eight-boat (or more) DBSC Cruiser Zero class racing that itself was in question only a couple of years ago.

ElPocko SternThe angular stern of the Frers design

Racing in Dublin Bay Sailing Club has been postponed this year but the hope is for the season to get underway at some point.

Published in DBSC

The opening of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's summer season scheduled for the last week in April has been postponed due to Government Covid-19 measures. The revised start date is so far unknown. 

The club, one of the largest yacht racing clubs in Europe, is the umbrella organisation for weekly yacht racing on Dublin Bay for all the waterfront yacht clubs in Dun Laoghaire.

The first races for a combined fleet of up to 250 boats were scheduled to get underway on Tuesday, April 25.

It was inevitable, however, when waterfront clubs lift-ins were postponed at the weekend that it would impact on DBSC arrangements. 

"Even before the latest measures were introduced it was almost inconceivable that our sailing season would start on time. As such DBSC is following the waterfront clubs and postponing the start of the season until the current situation improves, " DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson said in a statement on the club website.

Significantly, however, Nicholson, also added: "DBSC is still working on the premise that there will be racing this year and are preparing accordingly". 

Published in DBSC

The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Cruiser Zero fleet got a further boost this week when another addition to the rekindled fleet appeared under the crane at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The 2004 41-footer yacht (for a senior yacht racing administrator in the Bay) is El Pocko, a German Frers Puma 42.

Previously based in the Netherlands, she is currently keelless following transportation to the RStGYC forecourt from Flevoland.

ElPocko SternThe angular stern of the Frers design

It is the second new addition for the bay's big boat class.  In January the First 40 La Response, formerly known as Courier Zen and a veteran of several Commodore's Cup teams joined the fleet.

El Pocko will be on the line for the first of DBSC's first summer races in April and is understood to be optimised for the ORCi rule with a carbon mast and a new keel in 2014.

The RStGYC boat is a fillip to a now eight-boat (or more) DBSC Cruiser Zero class racing that itself was in question only a couple of years ago.

Published in DBSC

Dublin Bay Sailing Club will add an extra race to its Spring Chicken Series following the second successive weekend cancellation due to storms.

This Sunday's race was scrubbed this morning after Storm Dennis forecasts revealed that it is 'highly unlikely' that conditions would be sailable on Dublin Bay.

On Friday, it had been hoped that a window of opportunity might give the 50-boat fleet a chance to sail but organisers cancelled after tracking forecasts and charts for tomorrow's 10 am start that showed increasing heavy gusts during race time.

The final race of the Citroen South six-race series will now be sailed on Sunday 22nd March and that date will also feature the post-race prizegiving at the National Yacht Club.

Flat seas but strong gusts up to 50mph are a feature of the south-westerly Storm Dennis on Dublin Bay. See live Dublin Bay webcam here.

Published in DBSC

Dublin Bay Sailing Club organisers say they will be making every effort to get sailing on Sunday morning in the third race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series despite the gale warnings issued in advance of Storm Dennis.

Start sequences for the fleet have been issued and are downloadable below.

The hope is that conditions will be like the first race of the series, 'breezy but sailable'. 

If very obvious tomorrow or early Sunday, DBSC may send an email to competitors issuing a cancellation notice but otherwise, the club says it will be making every effort to sail, including going out on the Committee Boat Freebird to check conditions on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, the DMYC has cancelled its Dinghy Frostbites scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Published in DBSC

This week the Dublin Bay Squib one-design keelboat fleet held their Annual General Meeting this week.

Outgoing Captain Noel Colclough confirmed that the had negotiated new racing arrangements with Dublin Bay Sailing Club and Squibs will race on Tuesday evenings with the dinghy fleet.

This will give the Squibs more competition and more interesting racing.

The new Team organising the Squib fleet for 2020 is to be:

  • Vincent Delany- Captain
  • Rupert Westrup - Vice Captain
  • Gillian Fletcher - Hon Treasurer
  • Eddie McCarron -Hon. Record keeper
Published in DBSC

There has been excellent progress on the revival of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Twenty One project the world’s oldest intact on design keelboat class as they prepare for a new season racing again on Dublin Bay.

Chris Moore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club has confirmed the original DBSC class has been granted a racing start for 2020 Tuesday evening racing starting this April.

Initially, two twenty ones will race then three as the boat building project based in Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary completes the six-boat project. 

The restored boats will be welcomed back to the bay in a special DBSC gun salute from committee boat Mac Lir at the start of the season.

Back to the Future

You can join the '21 project leaders Hal Sisk and Fionán de Barra for a sailing talk and a two-course dinner on Thursday the 13th of February in the RStGYC Dining Room in Dun Laoghaire. The talk, “Back to the Future, the Revival of the DBSC Twenty Ones—the World’s Oldest Cruiser Racer Class" will be a visual presentation on the revival plans.

Published in Historic Boats

Dublin Bay Sailing Club has announced its annual six races 'Spring Chicken' Series for cruisers will be held on Sunday mornings from February 2nd to March 8th. 

Racing under modified ECHO. Cruisers, cruising boats, one-designs and boats that do not normally race are very welcome to compete. 

The first gun is at 10.10 hrs each Sunday and the series is sponsored by Citroen South.

An entry fee of €60.00 that includes temporary membership of DBSC. and the National Yacht Club is included.

Entries can be made online at

Sailing Instructions will be made available by the club on Sunday 2nd February and will be emailed to entrants beforehand.

After sailing, food will be available to competitors in the National Y.C.

Last date for entries – Wednesday 28th January.

Published in DBSC

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Commodore Jonathan Nicholson delivered the following report to the club's AGM last month describing the activities and achievements of the country's biggest yacht racing club.

Once again at the start of the 2019 season, DBSC found itself in a challenging situation. Following the introduction of a fairway and temporary anchorage beside it by Dublin Port, two marks, Zebra and Harbour were removed and a further seven marks on the west side of the bay replaced with new design marks having both radar reflectors and lights.

These new marks and tackle were sourced and a new contractor was found to deploy the larger marks and paraphernalia all in time for the start of the sailing season. A huge thanks to those involved as there was a very considerable effort undertaken in a short time to ensure that the appropriate equipment was available for the first race.

New Ross Buoy 2887DBSC's new style 'New Ross' Buoy Photo: Afloat

There have been comments that the new marks are hard to distinguish from each other. Due to the composition of the marks, there is no effective way to change their inherent yellow colour, so each mark will bear only the designated letter next season.

DBSC Committee Boats

As with all boats problems always arise. This year we have been fortunate as both committee boats have operated without serious issue. This can be attributed to the care and attention given to both the boats throughout the year and the preventative maintenance programme that has been undertaken.

Freebird 0448DBSC Committee Boat Freebird in action Photo: Afloat

The need for both committee boats cannot be understated. In the club, we are fortunate to have two world-class platforms from which the race management team can operate and provide the high-quality racing we have become accustomed too.

Race Management

The Club’s key resource has to be its panel of race management personnel. These teams are the reason we have racing. Running racing is not trivial and is often demanding, needing the ability to think on your feet when unexpected situations emerge, a detailed knowledge of the extraordinary complex rules of sailing, an insight into the Bay’s variable (and sometimes vexatious) wind pattern, and the characteristics of the club’s various, all done in unison.

Gorman 6691George Arthur Newsom Cup winners were Flying Fifteen duo Betty David and Chris Doorly Photo: Afloat

Boat Fees and subscriptions

This year boat entries and subscriptions amounted to 340 and 1220, compared to 314 and 1235 respectively in 2018. Boat and subscription income has been hovering at this level for some time. Despite the economic upturn, DBSC (and, it seems, sailing in general) shows no sign of returning to the peaks of the halcyon days when our boat entries topped 400 and membership 1700.


The rapid entry and hence presentation of the results has continued again this year. It should be noted that on a Thursday night up to 150 boats may compete, which would be the envy of many international regattas. I would be surprised if many organisations could compare to the speed and quality of the output from our results secretary Colin McMullan.

There is a huge challenge at the start of each season as boats still enter late and, in some instances, have provided incorrect data, particularly sail numbers and email addresses. With this in mind, we are updating the club’s membership database to integrate with the results system to streamline the operation.

Online Entry

For the 2020 season, DBSC will move towards an online-only entry policy. There are numerous reasons, including improving data integratory, easier system integration and removal of any liability associated with handling cash and cheques.


The beautiful balmy weather during the summer of 2018 was not replicated this year and as such we had, not unexpectedly, more race cancellations. There were two Saturdays, two Wednesday’s and one Thursday’s racing lost due to excess wind. On the other hand, four Thursday’s, three Tuesday’s and one Wednesday’s racing lost because of no wind whatsoever.


This year the club made a very modest profit thanks to close management of the accounts and an accurate budget. As mentioned in last year’s report the search for sponsorship continues. Extra income is essential to ensure the future viability of the club.


A special thanks to our supports MGM Boats, Viking Marine, Citroen South, Dublin Port, Killen Marine, Sage Pay, Gunpowder Gin and most recently Dun Laoghaire Marina.


Again this year the number of protests was much reduced compared to other years. Time was when the Protest Committee had to deal with up to forty protests in the season. This year they amounted to just under a dozen.


Firstly, there are the various flag-officers and committee members who to an extent not suspected by the general membership have devoted an extraordinary amount of their free time to DBSC’s affairs. We are all deeply in their debt.

I should mention particularly Brendan Finucane, who leaves the committee at the AGM, after many years dedicated service to DBSC. Brendan’s particular sphere of interest has been the West Pier hut along with health and safety. Also leaving us is Chris Corrigan, whose help with the dinghy section has been much appreciated.

DBSC Donal The Viking Award went to the former Hon Sec of the club, Donal O'Sullivan (left) for his notable contribution to DBSC Sailing and was presented by Commodore Jonathan Nicholson

As mentioned above this year we replaced seven marks. This would not have happened without the combined efforts of Committee member Phillip Ferguson and our Honorary Secretary Chris Moore. I would also like to mention Brendan Dalton who helped both Chris and Phillip prepare the marks for launch.

Then there are the many volunteers who, whatever the weather and personal inconvenience, have manned the West Pier hut and Club’s committee vessels. Without volunteers we do not have a club. We cannot say this often enough

I would also like to mention the rib crews who are skilfully supported by our Bosun and Patrol officer Declan Traynor. Special note must be given to Joanne Sheehan who has co-ordinated the rib teams for over a decade.

I should not forget, either, Fintan Cairns, Race Officer Henry Leonard and the teams of the Turkey Shoot and Spring Chicken series, who provide most enjoyable, popular winter sailing and plenty of après-sail entertainment.

I thank, also, the management and staffs of the waterfront Clubs, Irish Sailing and the harbour masters of Dun Laoghaire harbour, Captains Simon Coate and Tim Ryan, as well as Dublin Port Harbour Master, Captain Michael McKenna.

Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my predecessor and our current Honorary Secretary Chris Moore. Following Donal O’Sullivan’s departure after twenty-seven years in the role and a further thirteen on committee I was wondering how we could survive without him.

I need not have worried. Chris has worked tirelessly throughout the year, far exceeding the role of honorary secretary. Be it maintaining the committee boats, supporting member’s enquiries, compiling the yearbook, I could go on, he has ensured the smooth running of the club.

As commodore, I have been given the proverbial armchair ride and I am truly thankful as I am sure are, we all.

Jonathan Nicholson,

See Afloat's report on the 2019 DBSC Prizegiving here

Published in DBSC
Page 6 of 52

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