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Displaying items by tag: Howth Yacht Club

Howth Yacht Club has had 59 members sign up to take part in their Masts & Rigging-sponsored Virtual Regatta eRacing Spring Series. Thus with each eRace accommodating up to 20 “helms”, this past week saw three leagues being run side-by-side writes Christina Knowles. And with worthwhile marine equipment prizes provided by the sponsors through Gavin Laverty, interest is still rising among newcomers, who can join by signing up to a WhatsApp group to get Sailing Instructions and Race Codes to start, then log into Zoom to chat live at event time.

The entire eRacing programme was set up by techno-whizz Teddy Byrne, who is officially Brian Byrne, son-in-law of former ICRA supremo Nobby Reilly. He had initially started a League every Tuesday and Thursday evening since Lockdown began, and with the experience gained and the new muscle provided by the Masts & Riggings sponsorship, this week sees a sophisticated and attractive product being available for sailors frustrated from getting their racing afloat.

With Teddy Byrne still the “Principal Race Officer”, the two additional Leagues are run by Emmet Dalton and Ryan Sinnott.

There are two races run each Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm, and the banter-filled sessions have provided so much sport and entertainment that sometimes they add in an extra fun race whereby the winner gets a pint promised, and bragging rights guaranteed.

Results are online but in brief for Leagues 1, 2 & 3 the top placings went to:

  • League 1:1st Shane Diviney, 2nd Czema Pico and our organiser Teddy Byrne who had a great win last Tuesday
  • League 2: 1st Stephen Mullaney followed closely by 2nd George Curley and 3rd Sergio Olaya
  • League 3: 1st Emmet Dalton, 2nd Catherine Pitcher & 3rd Willem Harting

HYC have also donated a prize for each league of a bottle of rum, while Nobby Reilly has promised any outsider (HYC Guest) a bottle of finest Champagne if they have a win. It certainly helps everyone get through what is hoped are the final stages of Lockdown, and Howth YC are keenly anticipating the time when the prizes can be officially handed over in the Clubhouse, where competitors can finally enjoy the celebration with a few long-awaited pints.

Published in Howth YC
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It would appear that the decision to reschedule Wave Regatta to the second weekend in September is strengthening the event and the inclusion of the ICRA National Championships within the regatta in Howth will certainly focus the plans of many racing sailors at the end of the summer.

The Government's phased easing of restrictions announced last night also appear to favour the postponement even though large gatherings will still not be allowed in September. Event Chairman Brian Turvey told Afloat after the government announcement: "Although I haven’t spoken with Irish Sailing yet, it appears to me that all going well, August 10th might be the date where we can all go back sailing and racing on multi-crewed boats. That would give us a month to refine our already evolving COVID-19 preparations. We’re already looking at doing temperature control checks, online crew symptom checking and branded face masks for all competitors"

Cruiser racing 0293The ICRA National Championships will sail at Howth in September Photo: Afloat

The Notice of Race has been published (download below) and it explains that entry to the ICRA Nationals includes qualification (at no extra cost) for Wave Regatta prizes also. This three-day sailing event has always been presented as an innovative experience and notwithstanding the considerations about the current pandemic, the organising team in Howth have been working hard and creatively to plan for every eventuality.

Racing Director Dave Cullen explains ‘Our focus has been to be able to run an excellent racing regatta and championships for the many competing sailors, boats and keelboat classes. It was important that we chose the right dates in September to make the most of favourable neap tides, avoid clashing with other major events and importantly to allow us the time to plan the regatta in consultation with the various authorities. It would appear that the sport of sailing is one that will be high on the list of sports to recommence over the coming weeks and we’re ready to support sailors with the highest quality racing that Howth is synonymous with’. In addition to the ICRA Nationals, the September dates for Wave Regatta also affords many classes the opportunity of hosting their own National Championships at a time of the year that is often touted as being ideal and normally after a full summer of racing. A number of other National Championships will be incorporated including the Sigma 33s and J80s as well as the Half Ton Cup.

Chairman Brian Turvey said ‘Understanding the predicament that many classes will find themselves dealing with such a short season in 2020, we are keen to see if there might be other ’natural synergies’ for class championships albeit within the parameters of the Notice of Race. As such, we’re keen to hear from classes that find themselves in that position and where we might be able to accommodate’.

J24 racing 2040J24 racing

Visitors to Wave Regatta in 2018 will remember the scale and quality of the onshore hospitality that lifted the event beyond a level normally associated with a sailing regatta in Ireland and the 2020 organising team, with help from sponsors such as Michael Wright Group and Fingal County Council, have promised an original and creative solution to the likelihood of some social restrictions and assert that competitors will be delighted with what will be presented.

The event is open to all keelboats and entry can be made for the single day Lambay Races or the full 3-day regatta which runs from Friday 11th through to Sunday 13th September.

Full event details including Notice of Race (downloadable below) and online entry can be found at waveregatta.com

Published in Wave Regatta

A new sailing video of youth Laser Radial star Eve McMahon gives a clear understanding of why the Howth Yacht Club ace was awarded the 2019 Irish Youth Sailor of the Year Award in February.

The video below prepared for HYC members also gives an interview with the rising star who is one of four sailors seeking the Irish Radial nomination for the Tokyo Olympic Regatta, a trial that sees her up against Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

McMahon had an outstanding 2019 season becoming Irish youth national Radial Champion at Royal Cork in May 2019 before going on to take the Under-17 World title in Kingston, Ontario in August, also impressively finishing 3rd in the overall competition.

She was certainly the in-form competitor at the World Championships in Melbourne in February this year, where she won the Gold Medal again in the U17 event. 

Advancing to senior competition at 15 years-of-age is one thing but Eve has taken this a step further with her involvement in the Olympic trials, a campaign that should prove invaluable for her long-term career prospects on the international sailing circuit, not least for her ambition to advance to Olympic competition level. Eve made the most of her Transition Year by linking up and training with the Irish Olympic squad, battling back from injury and showing a determination and grit that will undoubtedly stand to her in the future.

In a first for Irish Sailing, the 2021 trialists now feature McMahon siblings in two classes with Eve’s older brother Ewan competing in the men’s Laser class and with Olympic qualification in his sights.

Eve took some time out before the COVID-19 'lockdown' to post a video on youtube to tell HYC members of her year and her plans ahead in a specially recorded interview with her other brother Jamie. The interview is below.

Published in Howth YC

2020 marks the 125th anniversary of organised sailing in Howth and to mark the occasion, Howth Yacht Club is publishing a book that looks back on the memorable events from HYC’s history.

Work is in progress and the aim is to publish before the end of the year.  The club is seeking “war stories” or other club memories for inclusion. HYC is particularly interested in noteworthy cruises and offshore events. Pictures are also very welcome. More details on the HYC website here

Across Dublin Bay in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the National Yacht Club, with reciprocal links to HYC, marks its 150th anniversary with a book by Bay sailing historian Donal O'Sullivan, also to be published later this year.

Published in Howth YC
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Following the cancellation of Cork Week 300, ICRA has decided to combine the National Championships with this year’s WAVE regatta which will take place at Howth Yacht Club from September 11-13th.

The decision was taken by unanimous vote by all the cruiser-racer representative Board Members at a strongly attended ICRA (remote) meeting this week, with the full support and backing of the RCYC Cork Week team.

The decision took into account a number of factors, including the desire to ensure that the event took place if at all possible and was not cancelled again, the costs and implications of running a standalone event at this stage and the understanding of ensuring boats and crews had some possible opportunity to get up to speed before the event.

The meeting chaired by Commodore Richard Colwell included Cxema Pico, RIYC; David Cullen, HYC; John Leech, LDYC; Ric Morris, RIYC; Johanna Murphy, GISC & SCORA; Peter Ryan, NYC; Denis Byrne, RCYC; Liam Lynch, TBSC. Brian Raftery of SBSC was absent.

The ICRA Committee also say they wish 'to thank generous offers from other clubs to host the regatta on alternate dates'.

Richard colwellICRA Commodore Richard Colwell

Commodore Richard Colwell commented “The ICRA Committee is saddened that the efforts of Cork Week cannot come to fruition so we have considered several alternative options for our annual ICRA National Championships. It was agreed that it would be prudent in the current environment, to delay the important National Championship regatta until as late as possible to try and ensure it goes ahead this year, so we have taken up the offer from Howth Yacht Club to combine the event with the WAVE regatta in September.”

"it would be prudent in the current environment, to delay the important National Championship regatta until as late as possible"

WAVE Chairman, Brian Turvey added “Our team in Howth is delighted to be able to lend support to ICRA for their 2020 Championships. Wave Regatta provides a relatively simple integration for the ICRA Nationals with much of the fleet already intending to compete and at a time of the year which suits many classes for their annual championships, not least that we are hopeful that the pandemic will have abated by then.”

Due to the uncertainty of which events will proceed, it has also been decided to cancel the original Boat of the Year schedule of races and keep under review.

Once we get clarity on what events will be proceeding, we will reissue a revised Notice of Race, ICRA spokesman Dave Cullen said.

Published in ICRA
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Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin has postponed it Club's Summer racing season, which was due to start on Tuesday, April 28th as a result of the Covid-19 emergency. The clubhouse, boat deck and marina are already closed until April 19 under Government restrictions and the club has already postponed its major summer WAVE Regatta in late May until September.

Howth plans to start its summer racing under in time for its second series. This would see the first club races held on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd June.

Secretary Caroline Gore-Grimes told members 'If it is possible to start earlier and run a shortened Series 1, at least two weeks notice will be provided to all Classes in advance of their first race'.

All Open Events scheduled for Howth YC during the period up to April 19th have already been cancelled or postponed. This includes the WAVE Regatta, incorporating the Lambay Races, which is now rescheduled for Sept 11 - 13th. The 125th Anniversary Cruise in Company to Scotland, scheduled for June, has unfortunately been cancelled.

In the light of the ongoing restrictions, the situation regarding Open Events scheduled for the period up to June 2nd is now as follows:

  • Spring Warmers: April 25th / 26th - cancelled.
  • Fingal Series Coastal Race: May 9th - postponed to a date that will be advised
  • Laser Leinsters – May 9th/10th - postponed to a date to be agreed with Irish Laser Class Association, possibly in Autumn 2020.
  • HYC Family Fun Day - June 1st – Postponed to later in 2020.
Published in Howth YC
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Irish Sailing and Howth Yacht Club have decided that it will not be possible to hold the Youth Sailing Nationals in compliance with current advice issued from HSE over Coronavirus spread.

It is not possible to run an event of this size and comply with separation protocols on the shore, and although these are currently in place until 29th March, HYC and Irish Sailing have taken the decision now to postpone the event, giving everyone as much notice as possible.

Details of the rescheduled event now planned sometime in the Autumn will follow.

Published in ISA

Howth Yacht Club has decided to move its WAVE Regatta from the end of May to 11-13th September.

The decision comes today as the Government moved to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

WAVE Regatta is the first of the Summer's big Irish sailing regattas and along with the second edition of the three-day event, the club's traditional Lambay Races will also move to the Autumn date.

The schedule will continue to offer keelboat classes the options of racing in the 3-day regatta or a single-day entry for Saturday’s Lambay Races.

More on the new date as we have it.

Published in Wave Regatta

All-Ireland Junior Champion Chris Bateman of Monkstown Bay SC on Cork Harbour and seasoned participant Ronan Wallace of Wexford showed that local knowledge is not a pre-requisite to success in taking the top places in the time-honoured Round Ireland’s Eye Race, which on Saturday concluded Howth YC’s traditional Laser Winter Frostbite Series, a fixture event since 1974.

With the breeze already brisk and forecast to build, some of the competitors decided that discretion was better than valour and spectating had distinct advantages. The remaining 15 Standards and 3 Radials headed out for the Warm-up, or to be more accurate, Cool-down Race in the Sound. As a concession to the conditions - south-westerly gusting to 20 knots and changeable in direction - and to avoid wearing the sailors out too early, the ‘three triangles’ course was signalled by the Race Committee, always popular with the fleet on windy days when running dead downwind in a Laser with the water temperature below 10oC becomes unappealing.

A general recall showed the fleet was well up for the day and a U flag was broken out for the restart with Chris Bateman, visiting from Monkstown Bay SC for the day’s racing, being the only casualty. With swimming practice well underway, there was a ferocious battle between 4 or 5 sailors to avoid finishing last, with positions gained and lost on each leg as they each struggled to get to grips with the conditions.

Conor Costello was involved for a while but his heavy weather ability allowed him to break away, leaving Zander Mackay and Mark Kennedy to fight it out for the honour of being the last finisher - but with bragging rights over the retirees - before Mark ultimately took the place due to an unfortunate capsize at the last mark rounding. At the front of the fleet, the honours were equally hard-fought before Ronan Wallace took the gun in the Standards and Peter Kilmartin led the Radials home.

sheltered water2Close quarters racing inshore before the offshore sections provided a “Capsizefest”
Paul McMahon and Darach Dinneen gave a masterclass in tactical thinking by opting to skip the warm-up race in favour of last-minute refreshments ashore, staying fresh and dry to then increase the fleet for the main event round the multi-faceted and challenging Ireland’s Eye. By the time of its start, the conditions had become even more challenging, with the dense-air breeze now regularly heading for the mid-twenties and a steeply-building sea. The late arrivals joined the rest of a fleet by now somewhat tired and wet and were rewarded with a clean start for the concluding highlight.

What followed would later be described as a fast, memorable, terrifying and challenging Capsizefest, with lots of what older generations of Laser sailors are rumoured to have called ‘orgasmic planing’.

A feature of the event is that sailors have the choice of leaving the Island to port or starboard, their assessment based on the impact of wind direction, tide, sea state and the extent of wind shadowing expected from the Island’s high points. Only two sailors, both in Standard rigs, chose the clockwise route this year, Mike Evans doing best of them to eventually finish fourth. The second decided to head for home after reaching his self-imposed capsize limit before reaching the Martello Tower at the north-west end of the Island, with approximately a fifth of distance completed and the long legs along the north and east still to do.

For those choosing anti-clockwise, sailing into an ebb tide on the seaward side of the island with a very confused win-over-tide sea to deal with at the corners meant the rounding of the southern tip and the Stack challenged many, resulting in lots of shiny hull bottoms being put on display as capsizes quickly turned into energy-sapping turtles. Having swum and sailed their way around, the leading pack rounded the northwest corner at the Martello Tower to head down the Sound for the finish with a close battle still underway in both fleets, the outcome being mainly determined by who had the fewest capsizes and most energy left.

Chris Bateman’s victory in his first outing at the event gave the Standard rig sailors with more experience of the local waters a lot to think about, and his return next year to defend his title - allowing them a chance to redeem their pride - is much anticipated. Ronan Wallace and Darragh Sheridan filled the remaining podium positions while in the Radials, Peter Hassett was the top survivor, followed by Peter Kilmartin in second.

chris bateman wins3 He came, he saw, he conquered…..Chris Bateman’s debut in Howth’s classic Laser race Round Ireland’s Eye was a convincing success. He is seen here (left) with Howth Laser Captain Zander Mackay.

The fleet adjourned to the Clubhouse to ease tired bodies, rehydrate, share tales of adventure and enjoy the lunch and prizegiving for the Frostbite and Round the Island.

Next event for the Laser fleet is Howth’s Icebreaker Series (Sundays, March 22nd – Apr 12th) before the 2020 Laser Class Leinster Championship is hosted at HYC on the weekend of May 9/10.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth and its peninsula have been actively interacting with the sea since recorded history began, and instances of Howth children being taken sailing date back at least to the famous visit of Connacht’s sea queen Granuaille to Howth in the 1590s and beyond

On that occasion, the Lord of Howth was absent from the castle, and the fiery woman sailor from Mayo felt that his staff failed in their duties of hospitality. So she took the son and heir away in her sailing ship until an apology was received. All was harmoniously resolved in due course, and ever since then an extra place has been laid for dinner each evening in Howth Castle in order to welcome any unexpected visitor.

These days, Howth is a byword for hospitality, sailing and schools. Yet despite the peninsula being home to many boats, there are still some local children who miss out on the chance of getting to learn about sailing despite many school-aimed courses being run at the clubs.

But now a pilot scheme is being introduced this year by Howth Yacht Club through its sailing & powerboat training brand Quest Howth, introducing a new boats and sailing Bursary Programme. It’s on offer to pupils at the four primary schools in the immediate Howth/Sutton area - the Burrow NS, St. Fintan’s NS, Scoil Mhuire NS and Sutton Park. The bursary is aimed at children between 1st and 3rd class, and it offers one voucher for a one week course in HYC’s successful Cara Na Mara programme.

The voucher can be split between 2 children, which means they pay 50% of the normal course fee - this is to be made at the time of application. Deadline for applications from each school must be received by 31st March and final booking can be made on or before the 15th April.

This bursary is designed to encourage participation in the sport of sailing by a child who otherwise may not have had any previous connections or links to the sailing world, or the opportunity of learning to sail.

The Cara Na Mara programme is a child-focused approach which introduces children to sailing, allowing them to discover, explore and practice the skills and knowledge they need as sailors, while under the leadership and supervision of Irish Sailing qualified instructors. The children are placed in groups of six, under guidance of an instructor and an assistant instructor in a 6:2 ratio.

The children learn to sail in Picos which can accommodate more than one sailor at a time, and allows children to sail with their friends. Elements of the S.T.E.M programme, (Wind and Wave; Tide and Navigation etc) are introduced during the week through hands-on learning, and the courses include a healthy lunch each day of hot food and fruit.
Each school has been asked to nominate a child after informing parents of this opportunity requesting expressions of interest. The exact format can be left to each school, but all applications must be in with Howth Yacht Club by the 31st March each year. The school’s expression of interest or nomination should include why the school feels this child is particularly suitable to avail of the bursary, and must be accompanied by the parent/guardian’s approval to take part in the course.

The nominations can be dropped into the office or emailed to [email protected] .

For further details on the course please see the link below or please call HYC on (01) 8322141 or here. Howth YC is also staging its Sailing Information Evening tonight (Thursday 5th March at 7.30pm), and any parents are welcome to come along and find out more about the Quest Howth Sailing Courses.

Published in Howth YC
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