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The Irish Team Racing Association (ITRA) National Championships 2022 has been 'disappointingly' cancelled due to very strong southerly then westerly winds this weekend.

The forecasted sea state for Baltimore Harbour in West Cork of up to 2m and 40-knot squalls necessitated the cancellation, ITRA Chair Ailbe Millerick told Afloat.

Baltimore Sailing Club had assembled a large team of volunteers and nine RIBs organised by Rob O'Leary to facilitate the eighteen entered teams and an umpiring team of eight led by Ailbe Millerick and Chris Lindsay.

The decision was reluctantly taken after consultation with ITRA and David Harte, who was to come out of retirement and act as PRO & course director.

The fleet of four flights of dinghies comprised Fireflies from the ISA and UCDSC and TRs from FOMEC school in Schull. The entrants consisted of Colleges, Clubs, Alumni teams and an ex-pat Shull team travelling from the UK who are coming over to party anyway.

Thanks are due also to BSC Commodore Graham Coppleton, Mark Hassett and Eunice Kennedy, ITRA Secretary.

The postponed ITRA AGM will be rescheduled by Zoom in the near future.

Next year's ITRA's will be in the RSGYC, and the 2024 event will be back in West Cork at Baltimore SC if accepted, Millerick said.

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More than 250 youngsters took to the water for an action-packed weekend of fun at the Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships.

The much-loved regatta – which pits junior and youth teams from across the country against one another in a series of short races – was near maximum capacity as it returned to its long-term home of Oxford Sailing Club.

A whopping 845 fast-paced races were held under clear blue skies over the course of the weekend as 29 junior teams and 28 youth teams battled it out for a sought-after top spot.

The junior fleet hit the water in teams of two, racing in RS Fevas, kindly supplied by RS Sailing. The youth competition took place in Fireflies, with teams of three going up against each other.

Lighter winds on an opening day saw some excellent tactical racing on display, while a fresh Sunday breeze allowed the teams to showcase their skills when fully powered up.

The junior title went to Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s team Danger Bear, who defeated North Toppers 2-1 in the final. TeraTastic took third.

The Eric Twiname Junior Team Racing Championships title went to Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s team Danger BearThe Eric Twiname Junior Team Racing Championships title went to Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s team Danger Bear

The youth fleet was won by Rutland Raiders from Rutland Sailing Club after they saw off Royal Hospital Blue 2-0 in their final.

Event director Niall McLeod, the RYA’s Racing Services Manager, said: “It was fantastic to see so many youngsters out on the water enjoying team racing. It's always my favourite event of the year to deliver as the volunteers and sailors are always so enthusiastic. Team racing is such a good advert for sailing – it’s fun, fast-paced and sociable. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

The regatta is named after famous sailor, author and journalist Eric Twiname, who made his name in sailing, winning numerous national titles in a range of dinghy classes, as well as in team racing, where he captained the British Universities Sailing Association.

He was also greatly influential in shaping the Racing Rules, which govern racing, sitting on the RYA’s Racing Rules Committee and working as the Racing Rules Advisor to the British Olympic Association.

Entries are subsidised by the Eric Twiname Trust, which was set up in Twiname's name following his untimely death in 1980.

The 2023 Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships will take place at Oxford Sailing Club on October 7 and 8 next year. More info here

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Established in 1944, the Sutton Book Trophy (‘the book’) is arguably the oldest team racing event in Ireland which has seen Royal Cork dinghy sailors do battle with Sutton Dinghy Club sailors on Dublin Bay in order to establish which club gets to win and retain ‘the book’ year on year.

Last weekend, Sutton Dinghy Club played host to the 2022 iteration, and as is always the case with Sutton Dinghy Club, the Royal Cork sailors were warmly received over breakfast prepared in the clubhouse prior to the race briefing.

Competing for the Junior Sutton Book, the Royal Cork Junior team were first to hit the race course in a light warm northerly breeze and the sun shining. The team was made up of a cross-section of our many talented junior dinghy sailors from the RCYC Laser, Optimist, 29er and Topper club fleets.

Isabel McCarthy, Megan O Sullivan, Fionn Daly, Oisin Pierce, Liam Duggan and Jonathan O Shaughnessy (Captain) all worked in a cohesive manner and sailed very well as a team to secure the overall win and retain the Junior Sutton book trophy for the second year in a row.

the rcyc Junior Sutton Book Winning TeamThe RCYC Junior Sutton Book Winning Team

Sutton DC commodore Ciara O‘ Tiarnaigh presenting the Sutton Junior bookSutton DC commodore Ciara O‘ Tiarnaigh (right) presenting the Sutton Junior Book

Next up were the senior teams, and by the time they were ready to compete, all the signs were that the breeze would fade as the afternoon wore on. Nonetheless, the race officer did very well to get three races completed, with Sutton winning by two races to one and deserved winners in the conditions.

The prize giving was conducted over dinner hosted by Sutton Dinghy club members for all competitors and their wider entourage. The Junior Sutton book was presented to the team and will remain in the Royal Cork clubhouse for another 12 months. The Senior Sutton Book will remain in Dublin for now but the Royal Cork sailors are already looking forward to try and wrestle the book back to Cork in 2023.

Special thanks to Royal Cork club member Richard McGlade for organising the 2022 team and great to see the competition is still very much alive 78 years on.

Published in Team Racing

Dun Laoghaire Harbour delivered excellent sailing conditions for the 29 teams on the first day of the Elmo team racing trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Racing is tight across the fleets, with early leaders coming from the home side at Dun Laoghaire.

As Afloat reported earlier, a record number of 174 sailors are involved in the two-day regatta.  

Another 100 races are expected on Sunday, with finals expected to be sailed inside the harbour walls at 3 pm.

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An impressive 29 teams (which means 174 sailors) will battle for team racing's Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this weekend.

Five flights of firefly dinghies (which means 30 boats) will be launched from the Royal Saint George Yacht Club on Saturday morning.  This youth team racing event for sailors aged 19 and under launched in 2015 and has grown steadily ever since.

With 29 teams and five flights, it will be the biggest team racing event ever sailed in Ireland.

This year sees new entries from Donegal (Rathmullan Sailing Club) and Ballyholme (Topper veterans) along with many returning competitors.  The home team will be looking to defend the title with one of its many teams, but is expecting close competition from their neighbours in the National Yacht Club.

Over 200 races are hoped for over the weekend with finals around 3 O'Clock on Sunday.

While of course, the sailing is important, the uniquely social element of Team racing will lend itself well to the competitors' dinner on Saturday night, where the tables are set for 195!

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Entries continue to build for the 7th Elmo trophy, a youth team racing event in Dun Laoghaire. It takes place on 27/28 August at the Royal Saint George yacht club.

This year sees the return of last year's debutants Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, as well as the first ever Donegal entry, Rathmullan Sailing Club.

The home club will look to defend the trophy after the success of ‘Sea Buoys’ last year as Afloat reported here.

The event will be sailed in three flights of Firefly dinghies, where teams of six crews will race each other in a round-robin format.

The very special Elmo Trophy that commemorates the late RStGYC team racer Graham ElmesThe very special Elmo Trophy that commemorates the late RStGYC team racer Graham Elmes

Teams must consist of six members from the same club, school or dinghy association. At least two members must be aged 16 and under on 31st December 2022.

All team members must be aged 19 or under on 31st December 2022 and still attending second-level education in 2022 (i.e. the event is not aimed at University Students).

Entries are still open and the entry form and NOR can be found here.


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Glandore Harbour Yacht Club hosted the annual West Cork interclub team racing Marconi Cup regatta on July 23rd.

The event had been absent for the past two years due to Covid, so excitement had been building for weeks along the coast of West Cork in anticipation of its return. One team from Baltimore Sailing Club, two teams from Crookhaven Sailing Club and one team from Bantry Bay Sailing Club all travelled to Glandore to race the two home teams from Glandore Harbour Yacht Club.

There were over 50 highly competitive and charged sailors on the water at Glandore for the Marconi Cup Photo: Kathleen HayesThere were over 50 highly competitive and charged sailors on the water at Glandore for the Marconi Cup Photo: Kathleen Hayes

The Marconi Cup is made up of two events, a relay race and a team event. The team event is a round-robin race format around a digital N course, and the winner of the regatta is decided based on the combined results from these two events. Current holders, Crookhaven, were eager to retain the title.

The organisers were especially excited this year to have two official team umpires attend to judge the event, Eunice Kennedy and Dave Sheahan. They had their work cut out for them with over 50 highly competitive and charged sailors on the water.

The weather was closely monitored in the days before the event, with a 28kn to 44kn Southerly wind forecast to hit the harbour in time with the first gun and the potential for a small craft warning to be in place. The Race Committee met on Friday evening, and a morning weather window was identified. The race briefing was brought forward to 8 am, with First Gun at 9 am.

The Marconi Cup team event is a round-robin race format around a digital N courseThe Marconi Cup team event is a round-robin race format around a digital N course

With the Regatta briefing and safety briefing complete, the sailors hit the water, and the relay race was in sequence by 09.15. Home advantage proved a winner for GHYC with them leading the race from the start. Two good crew changeovers on the pontoon helped them take the gun and ultimately the lead in the regatta.

The Round Robin team races were up next. On cumulative scores, Crookhaven 1 came out just ahead of the Baltimore Bulls, then only a hair’s breadth separated GHYC Adam and GHYC Eve teams, who were followed by the Nauti Bouys (Bantry Bay Sailing Club) with the second Crookhaven team bringing up the rear.

Glandore Harbour Yacht Club hosted the annual West Cork interclub team racing Marconi Cup regatta on July 23rd.Glandore Harbour Yacht Club hosted the annual West Cork interclub team racing Marconi Cup regatta on July 23rd

Unfortunately, with the weather window closing the final two team races were abandoned for safety reasons and all sailors were ordered to shore. The race officers and umpires retired to calculate results and after derigging, the sailors were all welcomed to the GHYC clubhouse, where a BBQ for competitors and sailors was a welcome way to help warm up and debate the morning’s racing.

After everyone had dried off and the race committee had double-checked the results GHYC Commodore, Tim Forde, began the prize giving. He started by thanking the incredible organising committee of the event especially as this was the third year GHYC had attempted to run it only to be hijacked by Covid in both of the previous two years.

A special mention was given to Harriet Emerson, GHYC Dinghy Captain, who had put countless hours into making the event such a success and a big roar from the GHYC team followed. Tim also thanked the two umpires, Eunice Kennedy and Dave Sheahan, for travelling to Glandore for the event. Baltimore Sailing Club was then presented with the Sportsmanship Award, GHYC won the Relay Race and Crookhaven Sailing Club was presented with Cup and crowned 2022 Marconi Cup Champions!

Glandore Harbour Yacht Club hosted the annual West Cork interclub team racing Marconi Cup regatta on July 23rd.Glandore Harbour Yacht Club hosted the annual West Cork interclub team racing Marconi Cup regatta on July 23rd.

The race umpires were impressed by good and, at times, very good tactical team racing from the West Cork sailors. They also complimented GHYC on their smooth running of the event and organiser teamwork that delivered such a successful, competitive and fun event in very challenging weather conditions.

Despite the awful weather conditions, everyone left Glandore with full tummies and happy after a successful morning's racing, already looking forward to Marconi 2023, which will be held in Crookhaven Sailing Club.

History of the Marconi Cup

The Marconi Cup was inaugurated in 2001 by Crookhaven Sailing Club as a way to bring local sailing clubs together and is now an important Summer club event for all West Cork junior sailors aged 18 and under. The regatta is named after the famous Nobel prize-winning Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi who pioneered the development of radio transmission. In 1919 he achieved the first trans-Atlantic wireless telephone conversation. Before this, Marconi had developed his technology using signalling stations on the Fastnet Rock and Brow Head near Crookhaven. Such was the monumental importance of Marconi’s work in West Cork is that it is likely no one would have survived the Titanic disaster only the ship got out a wireless distress call using Marconi's invention.

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Ireland's Royal Cork Yacht Club is one of 11 teams competing in this weekend's Global Team Race championships at New York Yacht Club this weekend.

Fred Cudmore is Royal Cork's Team Captain with Grattan Roberts, Sonia Minihane, Chloe Crosbie, Harry Durcan, Cian Jones, Peter McCann and Eimear O'Leary competing.

The last weekends of July are traditionally some of the busiest of the year on the waters in and around Newport Harbour. The annual Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival bring tens of thousands of music fans to Fort Adams on consecutive weekends, while thousands more gather on boats anchored just off the Fort's picturesque waterfront lawn.

For the competitors in the third edition of the Global Team Race, the mellifluous music of the 2022 Folk Fest wafting across the water will provide a contradictory soundtrack to the no-holds-barred, hand-to-hand combat—and occasional shouts—that are at the heart of two-on-two team racing. Both the regatta and the festival start on Friday and run through Sunday.

Global Team Race Regatta

Thursday was a practice day (above) for the 11 teams competing in the 2022 Global Team Race Regatta.

"Our confidence level is high," says Justin Law of Newport Harbor Yacht Club from Newport Beach, Calif. "But we expect every race to be a fight."

The Global Team Race Regatta was conceived by the New York Yacht Club, which hosted the first edition in October 2018. A second edition of the Global Team Race Regatta was held in England in 2019. The third edition was scheduled for Italy in 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-10 pandemic, and eventually rescheduled for this summer in Newport, R.I., where it will be held July 22 to 24 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court.

Team Racing, which features two teams of two of four boats each sailing against one another in a close-quarters win-or-lose format, is popular around the world. World Sailing ran the Team Racing World Championship 10 times between 1995 and 2015. That event featured three-on-three competition in two-person dinghies, which favored teams of younger and lighter sailors.

While the fundamentals are very much the same, the Global Team Race Regatta uses the two-on-two format, which makes the competition easier to follow. The team with the last boat across the finish line in an individual race loses the race. The Global Team Race also uses keelboats instead of dinghies, which makes the competition accessible to a wider variety of sailors—both from a size and age perspective—and brings the added complexity of spinnakers into the mix.

When it comes to the top team racing yacht clubs in the United States, Newport Harbor is always hovering at the top of the list.

"Our club has a very active team race base with members sailing year-round," says Law. "From January through April of this year alone we probably had organized practice at least every other week. Keep in mind, that sailing was done in our glorious Harbor 20s, but still provided a way for us to team race 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4.”

A fourth-place finish at the 2019 Global Team Race Regatta, sailed on the Solent in England in J/70s, and a track record of strong finishes at the New York Yacht Club’s team races every August, which use Sonars, proves the Newport Harbor team is as formidable on the road as they are on their home waters in Southern California. It will be one to watch.

With a first-place finish in the inaugural event in 2019 and a second-place on home waters in 2019, the Royal Thames Yacht Club would also appear to be a favorite for top honors at the third edition. But the team competing this year is significantly different from the team that won in 2018

”This is the first time this particular team has sailed together,” says Andy Cornah, who sailed for the Royal Thames in 2018 and also won a team racing world championship in 2015. “In terms of event preparation, we haven’t really done anything specific, but we all have a strong background in dinghy team racing and have done a few Sonar team racing events between us.”

The Royal Cork Yacht Club, of Ireland, is another team that comes to Newport with a lot of talent, but wondering whether the team will gel in the heat of battle.

“The club often competes on the 2K circuit in Europe,” says Fred Cudmore, the team captain. “But with COVID, we haven’t really sailed as a team in a number of years. We’ll have a better idea after the first race. We’ll give it our best, have fun and make the most of the great New York Yacht Club hospitality.”

Despite the fierceness of the competition on the water, team racing is perhaps the most collegial of sailing competitions. Win or lose, a good time is practically guaranteed.

”We are all excited about visiting Newport, especially those who are here for the first time,” says Cornah. “We always feel at home on Thames Street and we are looking forward to some great racing with teams from all over the world, renewing old rivalries and making new friends.”

Competing teams: Bayerischer Yacht Club, Starnberg, Germany; Japan Sailing Federation, Tokyo, Japan; New York Yacht Club, New York, N.Y.; Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Newport Beach, Calif.; Royal Belgian Sailing Club, Zeebrugge, Belgium (at right); Royal Cork Yacht Club, Cork, Ireland; Royal Thames Yacht Club, London, England; Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, England; Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, Sorrento, Australia; St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco; The Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass.

Download 2022 entries & team rosters below

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Gonzaga College was crowned as the Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022 at the event hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Since the event's inception in 2004, it is the first occasion that a Leinster School has taken this much-sought trophy.

Captained by Trevor Bolger, the Gonzaga Team attained a 100% race win victory over their competitors.

The team showed a first-class mastery of team racing tactics as they controlled all their races.

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022Photo: Andrew Conan

On average, their winning positions were from the pre-start and by mark one were clear with a 1 and 2 position.

The third helm focused on covering their opponents, and from there on, the opposition was playing catch up.

The Gonzaga Team were Trevor Bolger Helm 1, Jacques Murphy Helm 2, Archie Daly Helm 3, and the crew were Ethan Hunt, Cathal O'Reagan and Jules Start.

13 Schools competed in the event, 6 Munster, 1 Connacht and 6 Leinster, which was an excellent turnout as the maximum number of qualifiers were 14.

Irish Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022 ResultsIrish Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022 Results

There was another event included in the weekend championships, the Munster Provincial event, which did not take place this year for several reasons.

Munster Schools

Rochestown College was crowned the Munster Schools Team Racing Championships for 2022.

Running racing proved to be very challenging for Race Officer David Bolger as, at minimum the event had to complete 80% of the Round Robin, which was a schedule of 85 races, to achieve a result.  Congratulations to David on achieving this, as the wind was not playing ball with us over the two days.

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022Photo: Andrew Conan

Saturday started with the wind at 230 degrees at 6-8knots when racing commenced. The wind died entirely and swung to 130 degrees. Reset the course and swapped positions for start and finish boats. Later in the afternoon, the wind died again and reappeared at 250-270 degrees. This lost a minimum of 40 minutes of racing time. Max wind strength for the day was nine knots.

On Sunday, the course was set close to the Carlisle Pier with 250-260 degrees wind direction. On occasion, there were gusts of up to 12 knots, and the racing started at 9.42.

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022Photo: Andrew Conan

There was a significant wind shift in the middle of race 53, with the direction being 010. It was allowed to settle at 310-320. The course was repositioned around the committee boats in a new direction.

The wind continued to shift left and organisers continuously shifted the course accordingly.

After race 63, repositioned the course to the centre of the harbour with consistent 6-8 knots from 250 to 270 degrees.

Finally, at Race 73, the event hit the magic number of 80% when the wind died off.

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022Photo: Andrew Conan

No event takes place without the support and hard work of the volunteers. Organises say thank you to Team Leaders David Bolger Race Officer, Robbie Walker, P.R.O, Keith Start Beach Master/Changeover Coordinator and Lorraine O'Connor Results/Race Office, and their crew of volunteers, club members, and school representatives.

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022Photo: Andrew Conan

The S.S.A.I. would like to thank the following Royal St. George Yacht Club and Flag Officers for hosting the event, Ronan Adams, Sailing Manager, Karin Ryan, Sailing Secretary, Catering and Boat House staff.

Eunice Kennedy elected as Chairperson Schools Sailing Association of Ireland

The Schools Sailing Association of Ireland held their Annual General Meeting on Saturday evening (30th of April 2022), and Eunice Kennedy was elected as Chairperson. 

Schools National Team Racing Champions 2022 Photo Gallery by Andrew Clonan

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After a hiatus of two years due to Covid, the Schools National Team Racing Championships are being hosted by the Royal St.George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay.

The Royal St. George Yacht Club, home to team racing in Ireland welcomes 13 School Qualifiers from Connacht, Munster and Leinster.

As part of its team racing history, the club has two flights of Fireflies and organises Team Racing Clinics for Schools, Transition Year Modules and any groups who wish to learn more on this aspect of sailing. Details can be found on the club website.

The Royal St.George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe Royal St.George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

School team racing is increasing in popularity due to a successful government grant that provided a new national flight of Fireflies and a second order is on the way.

Team racing can be comprised of 2 boats v 2, 3 v 3 or as the Oppies class like to do it, 4 v 4.

"Team racing by nature is very inclusive as everyone has to work as a team, the races are short and the racing is very tactical", says Royal St.George Yacht Club's event organiser Eunice Kennedy, Royal St.George Yacht Club Event Organiser.

Team racing

"It is not about being the first to get a good start and to be the first over the finish line. It is all about teamwork, covering your opponents, and setting mark traps to assist your teammates into a winning combination. It is like a game of cat and mouse" she says.

"It enhances inclusivity between the stronger helms and the weaker ones, combined girl and boys teams, and time to make friends with other teams between races. The list is endless as to the value of Team Racing for developing young sailors and helps retain Junior involvement in the sport of sailing during their teenage years", Kennedy adds.

Team racing

The event this weekend is taking place in the harbour with the East Pier providing an idyllic viewing platform. It is a colourful sight, with green, yellow, red and orange sails.

Team racing

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