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#J24 – Four top crews from the USA and Britain will be in action at the J24 National Championship at Howth this weekend as they use the event as an ideal warm-up and familiarisation session before the BMW J24 World Championship takes place on the same waters a week later.

Ian Southworth, from Royal Corinthian YC, who won the Europeans in Howth two years ago, and Bob Turner from Castle Cove SC, head the British challenge while Tony Parker from Annapolis and Keith Whittemore from Seattle are the two American skippers taking the event seriously.

Lough Erne's J-P McCaldin is the defending Irish Champion and he can expect stiff competition from multiple champion Flor O'Driscoll of the host club. Many eyes, however, will be on the performance of the Howth Under-25 Keelboat Team that has been making steady progress in the build-up to the Worlds.

A baptism of fire in the Europeans in 2011 has been followed by ongoing development and improvement, culminating in success recently in winning the J24 Eastern Championship. The team comprises Cillian Dickson, Joseph Murphy, Harry O'Reilly, Ross Darmody and Gordon Stirling.

The Irish Nationals has eight races scheduled and has attracted 20 entries from 10 different clubs.

Published in J24

Flor O’Driscoll, who recently retained his J24 National title and won Class 3 in the Dublin Bay Challenge, added to his season’s haul of trophies by winning the Malahide Marina-sponsored J24 Eastern Championships hosted by Malahide Yacht Club last weekend.

Something of a dress rehearsal for Irish entries in next week’s BMW J24 Europeans at Howth, the second day of the event was hampered by bad weather which prevented racing. Four good races on the Saturday however, with courses set by PRO Neil Murphy, produced competitive racing with four different race winners.

‘Hard on Port’ (Flor O’Driscoll, HYC) had a 3, 4, 1, 3 scoreline, giving him a one point advantage over second-placed ‘Crazy Horse’ (Mossy Shanahan, HYC) who edged out ‘Jibberish’ (O’Kelly/Wormald/Walsh, HYC) on count-back.

Malahide Marina J24 Eastern Championship results:

  1. Hard on Port       Flor O’Driscoll      HYC           11 points
  2. Crazy Horse        Mossy Shanahan HYC           12 points
  3. Jibberish            O’Kelly etc          HYC           12 points
  4. Sayonara           Murphy/Darrer    HYC           14 points
  5. Jeb Stuart          Andrew Mannion  LRYC         17 points
  6. Scandal             Brian McDowell   MYC          18 points


Published in J24

Ten Irish boats from the 41 international entries for the forthcoming BMW J24 European Championships at Howth are availing of the opportunity to practise in the same race area this weekend by competing in the J24 Eastern Championships hosted by Malahide Yacht Club and sponsored by Malahide Marina.

The event will provide six races over two days, with Neil Murphy as Principal Race Officer, and the favourite to add to his string of titles will be Flor O’Driscoll on ‘Hard on Port’, who recently retained the national championship at Lough Erne.

Among those expected to challenge that supremacy are former champion Stefan Hyde and Howth’s Fergus O’Kelly while John Murphy and Martin Darrer in the recently-acquired ‘Sayonara’ could also be in contention. The forecast for the weekend is for fresh south-westerlies which will test the fleet fully in advance of the Europeans which start on September 12th.

That event has attracted 41 entries with the latest entrant from Hungary bringing to nine the number of nations represented at that major championship. Seven of the top eight finishers in the recent UK J24 Nationals in Weymouth are travelling for the event, with a multi-national crew on ‘Reloaded’ (Mark Penfold) sailing under the US flag.

Published in J24

Entries for the BMW J24 European Championships, to be hosted by Howth Yacht Club in two weeks’ time, have now reached the 40-boat mark from eight nations, making for an impressive fleet when racing starts on September 12th.

Irish and British entries account for 13 boats each, there are eight from Germany and two from Italy, while Holland, USA, France and Greece each have one representative.

“We are delighted with the entry level,” said Organising Committee Chairman Derek Bothwell. “Forty boats represent 200 sailors plus additional numbers with family members in Howth for the event, so it is a major occasion in every respect.” A social programme has also been arranged to keep the visitors entertained after racing each day.


Flor O'Driscoll's Hard on Port will be sailing in Howth

The 10-race series starts on Monday 12th under the control of PRO David Lovegrove and his team, and is preceded by three days of registration and measurement and a practice race on Sunday 11th.

Irish entries will have the opportunity of extra practice on the European race track the previous weekend when neighbouring club Malahide YC hosts the J24 Eastern Championships over two days


Published in J24

Flor O’Driscoll and his crew on ‘Hard on Port’ successfully defended their Irish J24 Championship title at Lough Erne last weekend but they were pushed hard all the way by the two McCaldins, Mickey and son JP, from the host club.

The eight-race championship, sponsored by Waterways Ireland, was sailed in a wide variety of wind strengths, with rain showers a feature on both days and particularly heavy conditions for the final race.

O’Driscoll, from the Royal St.George YC but sailing out of Howth this year in readiness for the forthcoming Europeans there, started slowly by his standards with a 3rd and 4th while the McCaldins took it in turns to cross the line first. He got more into his stride in race three and five with bullets but had an OCS in race 4, ultimately his discard.


Flor O'Driscoll's Hard on Port was the winner of the weekend J24 Nationals

Andrew Mannion of Lough Ree YC sailing ‘Jeb Stuart’ won the fourth race comfortably while a former champion Stefan Hyde on ‘Kilcullen’ took the last race of the day.

With the McCaldins the only major threat, O’Driscoll sailed two tactically clever races to ensure that neither could overtake his lead, finishing second to Mickey in race 7 and one place (4th) ahead of JP in the final race (won by Stefan Hyde again). After discards, he had a 7-point margin of victory, a reward for consistently finishing in the top three in six of eight races.

The 16-boat event also included a separate trophy for the ‘silver fleet’ which was won by Javelin (Stan Bradbury) from Lough Ree YC.


Waterways Ireland Irish J24 National Championships – Lough Erne YC

  1. Hard on Port       Flor O’Driscoll     RSt.GYC               17 points
  2. Murder Picture     Mickey McCaldin  LEYC                 24 points
  3. Jamais Encore     JP McCaldin      LEYC                      25 points
  4. Kilcullen             Stefan Hyde       RCYC                      26 points
  5. Sayanara            Martin Darrer      RCYC                     26 points
  6. Jeb Stuart          Andrew Mannion  LRYC                     34 points
Published in J24
With the inclusion of a Mini-Series sponsored by 'WD-40', Howth Yacht Club's annual Autumn League hopes to enhance its successful formula for high quality keelboat racing at the end of the season.

The 2010 Autumn League starts on 19th September 19th and offers a five-week series made up of four Sunday races and a final Saturday with two windward-leeward races on October 16th.

All Cruiser Class boats will enjoy a bonus mini-series that encompasses the final 3 days (4 races), facilitating Dublin Bay Sailing Club entries to join an event that provides a highly competitive and enjoyable finish to the season for many keelboat crews.

Other changes to the Autumn League include the addition of the J/24 Class following its National Championships in Howth on September 11th/12th, as well as a later start time for all participating classes on each day's racing.

Entries can be made online at or by completing the standard entry form and returning it with the entry fee to the HYC office. A discounted fee is available until September 8th.


Howth Autumn League chairperson Joan Harris with Lynn Reilly of sponsors WD-40

Published in Howth YC

The stranglehold that Flor O'Driscoll and his crew on 'Hard on Port' from the Royal St.George Yacht Club seem to have on the Irish J/24 Class was maintained with yet another win, this time the Northern Championships hosted by Lough Erne Yacht Club on August 7th/8th, writes Graham Smith.

After a slow start, with a 4th and 6th in the first two races, the Dun Laoghaire boat showed her transom to the other 11 boats in the fleet over the remaining four races in varied wind conditions. The result was an emphatic win by ten points from the runner-up, J.P.McCaldin of the host club sailing 'Jamais Encore'.

Class President Robin Eagleson sailed so consistently on his veteran 'Luder Too' that he tied on points with 'Jamais Encore' and only lost out on a countback, an impressive result considering a 30-year gap in the boats' ages. Third overall and winning the Silver Fleet award for the older J/24s was just reward for an outstanding series.

Current National Champion Mickey McCaldin ('Murder Picture') was consistently in the top six but never really got going and had to settle for 4th overall while the same could be said of Brian McDowell's 'Scandal' from Malahide in 5th place. 'Javlin' (Stan Bradbury from Lough Ree YC) started the event with a bang, recording a 1st and 2nd in the opening races, but two OCSs later on put paid to their chances.

Having already won the Western Championships at Lough Ree in mid-June and an impressive 2nd overall in Class 3 at the ICRA Nationals on Dublin Bay, Flor O'Driscoll and his crew are looking the outstanding favourites to add the national title to their year's tally.

The 2-day event takes place on September 11th/12th at Howth Yacht Club, venue for the J/24 European Championships next year. It will provide J/24 sailors, especially those from the inland lake clubs, to familiarise themselves with the tidal Howth waters before the big event in 2011.

Published in J24

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At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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