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At the recent Dublin Bay Squib fleet AGM which was well attended by active members, the following decisions were taken:

  • Members of the Squib fleet will ensure that the turn out of Squibs at Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday and Saturday races will be superior to 2018.
  • It is expected that Allsorts and Karma will join the active fleet for club racing.
  • Class Captain Noel Colclough and his team will be organising crew coaching at the beginning of the season.
  • The Squib fleet will be supporting the Fun Fridays at the Royal St George Yacht Club.
  • The Dublin Bay Squib Fleet will endeavour to find new owners for any boats currently for sale.
Published in Squib

Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Championships in Dromineer last weekend was all about the weather! On Thursday and Friday when the teams were arriving from every part of Ireland, they were told to expect 100km/hr winds.

Fortunately, these winds did not materialise, and 21 one entries represented the best supported Squib event of the year, with three teams from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, three from Killyleagh Yacht Club, two from Kinsale Yacht Club, one from Baltimore Sailing Club, one from Howth Yacht Club, one from Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, one from Royal St George Yacht Club, and three from the home club. There were three very welcome visitors from Brexitland, one from Holyhead, one from Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and Dick Batt from Bosham. Two further entries didn’t arrive due to personal circumstances. Although there were no female helms, there were several female crews, including Fiona Ward in ‘Allegro’, Pamela Phelan in ‘Squib’, and Mary Faherty in ‘Sidewinder.’

"with only three races sailed, all race results counted"

Racing on Saturday took place in rain-drenched Dromineer Bay in shifty winds which varied from 4 to 8 knots. This made for difficult boat handling due to telltales being non- operational, and solar-powered compasses responding in the same manner. Over the duration of the day, the wind swung 180 degrees from the east through the south and then the west. Notwithstanding the conditions, there were three different winners. The PRO John Leech was persuaded by the competitors to abandon the fourth race due to the crews finding it difficult to concentrate under such conditions.

On Sunday the sun shone, but the wind stayed away- so the race which was started was abandoned by the PRO on the grounds of inadequate means of propulsion. Thus, with only three races sailed, all race results counted.

Full results downloadable below:

Published in Squib

Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting its annual Freshwater Keelboat Championships in Dromineer, County Tipperary this coming weekend with racing for Squibs and Flying Fifteens over two days.

The event is an end of season celebration and competition for sailors who love the autumnal conditions and the challenge of the vagaries of lake sailing.

Currently, the weather forecast indicates gusty, southerly winds on Saturday and Sunday

Competitors are travelling from as far afield as Norfolk, Holyhead, Strangford, Howth, Kinsale and Dun Laoghaire to join the local fleet.

LDYC Commodore John Leech is Race officer for the event.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Kinsale Yacht Club hosted the Squib Southern Championships this weekend. Six races were sailed over the two days with different wind and sea conditions each day. Saturday had a 12 – 15-knot breeze coming from due east so there was a swell which made for testing conditions while Sunday saw gusts over 20 knots but flat seas as the wind was due north.

Race 1 saw Colm Dunne & Fiona Ward on Allegro dominate from the start with Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan on Outlaw second and Denis and Brid Cudmore on Sensation third. With less than 3.5 mins between the last finisher and the warning signal for the next race Race Officer Peter Crowley had his team running like a well-oiled machine. Race two saw the lead boats reversed with Outlaw in command and Allegro in second. Bodacious with Jeff Cochrane and Finbarr O’Regan were battling with Sensation for third but Sensation prevailed.

Race four on Sunday had Allegro in front from the start. Sensation tacked up the middle of the course and gained several places to secure 2nd and Bodacious was third. Outlaw was 4th which meant that this was possibly his discard. Race 5 got underway and Allegro was 1st and Outlaw 2nd. Sensation was jockeying with Bodacious again but secured another 3rd.

Race six got underway with Allegro and Outlaw on equal points. They tacked up the beat covering each other. Outlaw got to the windward mark first on the final beat but Allegro caught him on the run and they arrived to the leeward mark together. Allegro managed to push Outlaw up after rounding and this gave Allegro the edge he needed to beat to the line and secure the championship.

Published in Squib

It’s still cold enough in boatyards to require determination to take off the covers, slide back the hatch and go below to start the annual preparation work. There are some more determined than others to have their boats ready to get the maximum out of the season but, having listened to a work colleague who presented me with a mathematical disassembly of the costs of owning a boat – the balance sheet he compiled in that cold analysis was on the financial red side - my emotional attachment to my boat and the sport of sailing didn’t impress him.

I hear, though, from other owners, telling me that they have also compared cost and usage, but I’m trying to cast aside such disturbing issues as news comes that the cruiser racing season will start on the South Coast on post–St.Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday next Monday – at Kinsale Yacht Club where the March League will provide an All-In introduction to the year for Spinnaker and White Sail Boats.

That notice came as I got a reminder that ICRA members will gather at the Maldron Hotel in Portlaoise on Wednesday night of next week, March 21, at 7.30 p.m. for the extraordinary general meeting which follows on the travails of the organisation in recent months,

The Interim Constitution, which will be voted on, mainly has changes to the management structure, as it appears from its publication on the Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s website, which says that the objective is to “allow the membership the greatest freedom to elect an Executive Committee while ensuring that the views of each region are represented.”

There is emphasis on ensuring a spread of representation from what is described as “the main cruiser fleets and areas…” It provides for the election of a Commodore and Vice Commodore, an Executive Officer and or a National Handicap Officer, a General Council and an Executive Committee, the latter to manage the business of the Association and with power to co-opt members.

The immediate task for the new Executive will be to carry out a review of the objectives and governance of the Association to ensure that it remains relevant to the membership. A 5-year plan and Constitution will be brought back to the membership for adoption.

Squibs 50th Anniversary

From that onshore debate, back to Kinsale and that club’s fleet of Squibs which, from continuing the club’s commitment to disabled sailing, has also become a highly competitive able-bodied boat, to judge from the Frosbite Series where the boats dealt with a wind gusting to 22 knots on the final day last Sunday. Not alone did that make it tough for the sailors but for the Race Committee whose boat was hit not once but three times by racing Squibs - once when one boat was approaching the finishing line; another when starting and the third after finishing a race.

I’m told from Kinsale that plans are underway to mark the 50th anniversary of the Squib Class this August at Calves Week. The prototype Squib was built by boat designer Oliver Lee in 1967, as a successor to the Ajax 23 and the first GRP version was launched in 1968.

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Published in Tom MacSweeney

Having lost three weeks to the vagaries of the Irish weather, flat seas and a 9 – 12 knot breeze greeted the fleets on Sunday morning for the last day of the 2018 Kinsale Yacht Club Frostbite Series.

13 Squibs left the marina and with only 4 points between the 1st to 3rd boats it was all to play for. As the wind was almost due east, and given the configuration of the harbour, the beat was going to be short so three rounds of the course per race was posted on the board.

In the first race the Squib fleet were all pushing the line which resulted in a General Recall. Second time around and with the U Flag flying they were much better behaved and we got them away at 11.07hrs. Allegro, Colm Dunne & Fiona Ward, took the lead at the windward mark. Fuggles, Jeff Condell & Jeff Cochrane, and Badger, Rob Doyle & Rob Gill, were battling for 2nd with Fuggles eventually taking it. Fifty Shades and Outlaw were also in the leading pack and got 4th and 5th respectively.

Race 2 saw the fleet much better behaved on the start line and they all got cleanly away. This time the leaders were reversed with Fuggles in front, Allegro got 2nd and Fifty Shades, Cliodhna & Finbarr O’Regan, were 3rd. At this stage the series was still undecided. Race 3 saw the wind rising to 12 – 14 knots with gusts of 19 knots and lots of shifts on the race course. Outlaw, Ian Travers & Keith O’Riordan, were challenging both Allegro and Fuggles around the course. Fuggles managed to take another bullet with Allegro in 2nd and Outlaw in 3rd.

As we had lost so many races the decision was made by RO John Stallard to give the Squib Fleet a fourth race. Race 4 started with the wind at 16 – 18 knots and gusts of 22 knots recorded on the committee boat. Outlaw lead from the off until they rounded the windward mark. Allegro decided to gybe and run down the middle of the course and this paid off handsomely. Outlaw managed to hold on to second place with Fuggles in 3rd. This however was enough to secure the series for Fuggles with Allegro in 2nd and Fifty Shades in 3rd.

Racing was so close in the Squib fleet that the front 3 – 4 boats were arriving at the leeward mark together most of the day. However the tight racing resulted in 3 boats hitting the committe boat at various times, 1 coming to the finish line, 1 starting and the other after finishing, they almost took the burgee off the bow. We also had a M.O.B just after the finish line, thankfully the now very wet crew managed to hang on to the boat, his helm almost followed him into the sea but he held on and then recovered his crew.

The Mixed Dinghy fleet was somewhat depleted today due to injury and other commitments. Race 1 saw Sean Collins in the Laser Radial take both line honours and 1st place, with Tom Good and Dave Carter, both in Laser 4.7’s, 2nd and 3rd. In Race 2 while Sean Collins took line honours again, Tom Good took 1st under PY with Sean Collins 2nd and Dave Carter 3rd. This result was replicated in Race 3. However Sean Collins had done enough to take the title with Micheal O’Suilleabhain and Michael Carroll, 420, 2nd and Tom Good, Laser 4.7, in 3rd. Well gone to the Laser 4.7 sailors who had recently moved up from the Topper fleet and performed so well.

A fleet of 7 Toppers took to the water with some of the sailors being very new to racing. Dorothy Matthews was very focused today and it showed with bullets in Race 1 & 2 today. However gear failure just before the start of Race 3 meant Dorothy had to sail for home. Francesca Lewis put in another strong performance but a capsize in Race 2 put paid to her chances of taking the title. However she took 2nd in the third race which was enough to secure 2nd overall. Frances Corkery was placing better each race and took a bullet in the third which placed her 3rd overall.

KYC would like to thank Bruce & June Matthews for providing Destiny as committee boat and also being an integral part of the team. Also thanks to all the mark layers on RIB’s and parents who provided safety cover. Our Race Officer, John Stallard, provided the fleets with excellent courses over the series so many thanks John and also to his team of helpers, Valerie, Susan, Michele, Siobhan and Sid. A final thanks is to our sponsor Osean74 without whom it wouldn’t be possible to run such events.

Overall results:

Squib Fleet
1st Fuggles Jeff Condell Jeff Cochrane
2nd Allegro Colm Dunne Fiona Ward
3rd Fifty Shades Cliodhna O’Regan Finbarr O’Regan

Mixed Dinghy Fleet
1st Sean Collins Laser Radial
2nd M O’Suilleabhain/M Carroll 420
3rd Tom Good Laser 4.7

Topper Fleet
1st Dorothy Matthews
2nd Francesca Lewis
3rd Frances Corkery

Published in Kinsale

The annual pilgrimage of the Squib Class to the Whiskey Still Pub Lough Derg Yacht Club in the picturesque village of Dromineer on Lough Derg was somewhat interrupted/disrupted this year by the passage of Storm Brian during the weekend of October 21st-22nd.

Part of the annual Freshwater Regatta, with the weekend also shared by the Dragon, SB20 and Flying Fifteen Classes, given the time of year there is always the strong possibility of some extreme of weather during the weekend, be it calm or gales! With the forecast clearly indicating that racing was going to be unlikely on Saturday, the organisers notified the competitors on Thursday that the Regatta would be going ahead anyway (the Dragon Class start their Regatta on Friday) with the intention of an earlier start on Sunday morning for the Classes that would likely miss racing on Saturday with the intention of getting four races in. For those who couldn’t travel early on Friday, the prospect of towing a boat in winds gusting 35-45 knots plus on Friday evening, or during Saturday, inevitably meant that many boats that had intended to travel decided to wisely stay at home. Nevertheless, 12 Squibs came to the start line early on Sunday morning in winds generally in the 12-14 knots range from the South West. With a slight delay to allow the last boats which had just launched to make their way to the course area North of the Corrikeen Islands (the Squibs and Flying 15’s shared the same course).

With a tight schedule, OOD John Leech wisely decided to keep the courses simple and run windward-leewards. Ably assisted by Start-Sequence-Controller-and-Master Adair Leech, assisted by Jenny Kent and Captain Patrick Blaney (who kindly provided his services and his wonderful motor cruiser Bo Derg as the Committee boat) racing ran smoothly and effortlessly all day (once the Leeward Gate was secured to the Lake bed!).

The first race gone underway without any drama with a well-set line and it wasn’t long before the usual suspects were at the top of the fleet in winds which were fluctuating in direction and generally increasing. There were some very close battles going on throughout the fleet which kept the race fun and interesting. Continuing the form that they have shown all year (outside of the Irish & UK National Championship and despite a late night in the Whiskey Still Pub with some other leading Squib aficionados) Colm Dunne with No.1 crew Fiona Ward on 134 Allegro showed that they meant business by leading the fleet home, followed by Sam Lyness and Eric Heyes on 824 The Worm who were keen to show that last years win wasn’t a flash in the pan! They were followed home by current National Champions Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone on 818 Toys for the Boys.

With a wind that was shifting 20-25 degrees at times requiring some adjustment of the course and increasing to 20-22 knots during the race, Race 2 was a livelier affair. After an uncharacteristically poor start from Allegro leaving them with it all to do to catch up, it was Toys for the Boys who took the win with a resurgent Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan on 100 Fagan taking the 2nd having shaken off the cobwebs, with Allegro recovering to take a well-deserved 3rd. With winds continuing to increase, despite the forecast (the OOD recorded a gust of 31 knots during the race), Race 3 was won with a convincing performance by none other than Irish Sailing President, Jack Roy, crewed by daughter Jill on 130 Kanola. They were followed home by Toys for the Boys with Allegro taking the 3rd to keep them in contention going into the last race. Race 4 saw the wind drop off dramatically, right down to 5-6 knots, resulting in the OOD shortening the final beat to keep more-or-less on schedule. Allegro went hard left up the beat while the others went middle to right. She got a ‘lucky’ wind shift (according to the lads elsewhere on the course!) and got a jump on the fleet giving them a comfortable win with Fagan taking 2nd and Toys for the Boys coming in 3rd.

This gave Colm & Fiona a well-deserved win with Toys for the Boys taking 2nd overall and Fagan 3rd.

Much thanks must go to LDYC for their persistence despite the weather, to the many volunteers ashore and on the mark boats and also to the OOD John Leech and his team on the Committee Boat.

We will be hoping for more favourable weather next year and a record turnout of Squibs for what is regularly the most popular event of the season.

Published in Squib

In Lough Derg Yacht Club over the weekend of 22-23 October, Squibs will come from the North, South and East coasts of Ireland as well as from Britain to compete in what will be one of the most enjoyable regattas of the year. The British visiting boat is remarkable in many ways, it is the first Squib ever built, therefore, its name is ‘SQUIB’, and despite being 50 years old, Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan managed to lead the UK national championships, and only lost the winning of the championships on count back. They won the South of Ireland Championship in Kinsale in August. Another Squib worth noting is Peter Wallace’s ‘Toy for the Boys’ from RNIYC which dominated the Irish championship in Killyleagh in July.

The owners of ‘Fagin’, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the same club, have been runner up in this event, innumerable times in their ‘old’ Squib, which is allegedly slower that their present Squib, which is number 100. Another competitor who should not be overlooked is ‘The Worm’, Sam Lyness who easily won the event in light winds last year.

A good turnout of local Squibs will also be competing.

The format is ideal, with four races on Saturday, with the first race starting at 11.00 am, which enables some competitors to travel on Saturday. On Sunday there are only two races, which allows enough time to wash out boats with fresh water, and lift them onto their trailers.

Lough Derg never overlook the social side of sailing, they will be putting on a grand dinner in the clubhouse on Saturday evening.

Published in Squib

Light airs and fog ensured that the Squib South Coast Race Officer, John Stallard, and his Kinsale Yacht Club team were tested to the limits over the past two days. Saturday saw bright sunny conditions but no wind so the decision was made to postpone the start. The fleet were towed to the racing area east of the Bulman buoy.

With 3 – 4 knots of breeze from the southeast racing finally got under way at 12.46hrs. Visiting from the Isle of Wight RVYC Dick & Pamela Batt in Squib lead from the start with Peter Wallace & Fergus O’Kelly in Toy ForThe Boys, RNIYC, hot on their heels. Colm Daly & Finbarr O’Regan in 50 Shades of Grey, KYC, came 3rd. Race 2 got underway but the wind was fading so RO John and Siobhan jumped into a rib and went to finish the fleet at the Windward mark. Squib was 1st with Jeff Condell & Jeff Cochrane in Fuggles, KYC, 2nd and 50 Shades of Grey putting in another solid performance to take 3rd. By now the hard decision had to be made to abandon racing for the day and head home.

Sunday morning saw the racing postponed again but due to fog. The Race Officer on the Mary P went out to the Bulman Buoy to see if the fog would lift while the fleet remained at the mouth of the harbour. Eventually there was enough visibility to lay a course and get racing underway at 12.35hrs. Toy For The Boys took the line in Race 3 with Sam Hunt & Ian Travers in Badger, KYC, taking 2nd and Squib took 3rd. With 3 races completed we now had a Championship Series. Race 4 saw Squib dominate again with Toy For The Boys challenging them all around the course and Badger took 3rd. This was enough to secure the Championship for Dick & Pamela Batt in Squib with Peter & Fergus in Toy For The Boys 2nd overall. Race 5 got underway and the fog had descended again. Fuggles lead from the start and with clear air continued throughout the race to stretch their lead. Badger was in 2nd and with Squib picking up places as the race progressed they finished the race in a solid 3rd. Having sailed a very consistent series Denis & Brid Cudmore in Sensation, KYC, took 4th in Race 5 with Julie Silfverberg & Liz Bond in Breakaway, KYC, in 5th.

Why is there a squib called Squib? Well, hull number 11 was the first one built in 1966 and is still winning races and Championships over 50 years later.

Published in Squib

Get ready for the most open Irish Squib championship in many years from 4-6 August at Killyleagh, on Strangford Lough sponsored by EBANISTI Cabinetmakers and Batt Sails. The National Squib Class of keelboats have already had three major championships this year.
The Irish Northern Championship held in May at Cultra, was hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Y.C. The winner was the boat which won last year’s National championship, 'Fagin' which now has new owners, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the host club. This pair previously owned ‘Quickstep III’ with which they won many championships. They have had their eyes on ‘Fagin’ for many years.
At the UK National championships at Holyhead, three Irish boats competed, with Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany in 'Periquin' from the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club taking the highest Irish place, finishing in a lowly 19th place in the 43 boat fleet. The joint winner of that championship, who only lost the title on count back, was Dick Batt crewed by Suttonian Pamela Phelan. Remarkably, they sail boat No 11, which is called 'Squib' as she was the first production boat from the Oliver Lee workshops in 1968. The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta was won by 'Periquin' who was pushed very hard by Peter Wallace in ‘Toy for the Boys' also from Royal North of Ireland Y.C..
No championship preview would be complete without a mention for 'Aficionado ' sailed by Olympian John Driscoll and David Cagney from Howth, who always seem to have the speed and ability, if not always the results.
The patterns above show that the home boats always have an advantage. Will any of the Killyleagh Squibs have the ability to win? Possibly not this year.
The turn out of Squibs at Killyleagh is likely to be impressive, with the fleet split between three sailmakers- Batt sails which excel in lighter and heavier winds, Hyde sails which are unbeatable in mid-strength winds, and the as yet untested Olympic Sails from Kinsale.

Published in Squib
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