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15th July 2009

Lough Ree Yacht Club

History

lough_ree_yc.jpgFounded in 1770, Lough Ree Yacht Club is the second oldest sailing club in the world. The tradition of organised pleasure boating in Athlone goes back to at least 1731, with a regatta on the Shannon amongst the 'diversions' promised for a festival week in the town. Early activities appear to have involved a rendezvous at some agreed place and a cruise in company in the manner of a naval flotilla but racing eventually developed.

From its earliest days it was known as Athlone Yacht Club and was renamed Lough Ree Yacht Club in 1895. At that time the lion and roses from the arms of Athlone town were also adopted as the Club burgee.

Junior sailing was introduced to the Club in 1968 in the form of a dozen Optimist dinghies, and this fleet has expanded and thrived most successfully since that time being joined by Mirrors and Lasers in recent years.

Cruiser racing has returned to prominence over the past thirty years with a mixed handicap fleet and the J24 one design was adopted as a Club class in 2000.

The Club has made rapid strides in recent years, particularly by the acquisition of more property, and the extension and improvement of the premises and provision of fixed and floating jetties. Sailing activity is currently at a high level and the Club continues in the tradition of its 237 years to be a convivial centre of sailing on Lough Ree and the host to many important sailing events.

(The above information and image courtesy of Lough Ree Yacht Club) 

Lough Ree Yacht Club, Ballyglass, Coosan, Athlone. Tel: 0906 475976, Email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs

First introduced in England in 1963, the Mirror quickly became the most popular one-design dinghy class in the world. The design allows the boat to be built from a kit, at home, with a basic knowledge of carpentry in about 120 hours. Since its introduction, over 70,000 Mirrors have been built around the world. Click here for all the latest Mirror Sailing News.

In 1990, the Mirror dinghy achieved "International status", recognized by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF – the international governing body of the sport) as a class to be promoted for active international competition.

The Mirror Class is administered by the ISAF and the International Mirror Class Association. Member countries of the IMCA include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Graham Smith wrote, in the February 2009 issue of Afloat: "Rumour has it that the Mirror is no longer the force it once was in Irish sailing but the numbers suggest it is still in good health, even if fleets at the various championships appear to be down on previous years. The Class Association knows of 100 boats but is well aware that there a lot more which are under-utilised. Ten clubs were represented at Mirror events during the year although there are other centres where Mirrors are active.

With 27 boats, Sligo has a particularly strong fleet, reflected in the biggest fleet of the year at the Westerns, won by locals Mark and Ronan Armstrong ahead of 40 rivals. The Skerries pair of Mark Boylan and Eoin Hickey did the Easterns and Southerns double while Michael and Sarah Hill from Cultra took the Northern title before finishing fourth overall at the Europeans in Sweden. In fact, two other Irish entries finished in the top ten at that event.

But pride of place went to Adam and Toby McCullagh of Royal North of Ireland who ended the year as Irish Mirror Champions having beaten 31 other boats on their home Belfast Lough waters. Champions: Adam and Toby McCullagh, RNIYC" 

International Mirror Class of Ireland – IMCAI

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here

Other Afloat Mirror posts:

Mirrors start World Championship  

Mirror Worlds – Light and flukey on day 3

Published in Classes & Assoc
14th July 2009

Lough Erne Yacht Club

Lough Erne Yacht Club now occupies a former WW2 RAF site built in 1941 for Catalina flying boats

The former slipway, moorings and hangar are now used for members' sailing boats, power boats and caravans. The Clubhouse, with changing rooms, bar and social facilities was built in the 1960s & 1980s. A marina containing berths with full water and electricity was completed in 1992 and an extension with space for an additional 28 berths has recently been added.


WWII History of LEYC

Winter 1940 brought flying boats to Gublusk Bay. RAF Stranraer had been set up in August, but Lough Erne was over a hundred miles closer to the mid-Atlantic, where air cover was urgently needed by convoys under attack from U-boats.

Two boats from Stranraer surveyed the Lough from the air at Christmas. In January, the Free State Government secretly allowed flying straight to the Atlantic via the Donegal Corridor. In February, RAF Stranraer’s 209 and 240 Squadrons were re-equipping and training with Catalinas, and began to use Lough Erne. These handy aircraft carried a full service kit so their crews could set up a first base quickly on any sheltered beach. Thus did RAF Killadeas begin along the sheltered north shore of Gublusk Bay, nowadays the home of our Lough Erne Yacht Club.

The first photograph shows Catalinas on Gublusk shore in mid-winter 1941, engines under corrugated iron canopies for servicing, a hospital under construction on land north to the Manor House, and a big boat shed, half built – today called the Hangar. A hatched line marks the edge of the planned concrete hard standing. The work was done by US servicemen under Ivan Bicklehaupt USN, in civilian clothing. A couple of years later, his men used Killadeas experiences as similar US Navy Catalina forward bases were set up on Pacific island beaches in the Japanese war.

On 12 March, first casualties were all of a 240 squadron crew in a Catalina out of RAF Killadeas that hit a hill and burnt in Leitrim. On 27 March, 209 and 240 transferred from Stranraer to RAF Killadeas. Another 240 crew were all lost on 7 May when a Catalina from RAF Killadeas crashed in flames mistaking a landing onto mirror-calm water near Gay Island. They are remembered today by one of Joe O’Loughlin’s memorial stones nearby at the Marina beacon.

Training was rewarded three weeks later on 26 May, when a Catalina from 209 found the Bismarck on her way to France after sinking the Hood, and handed over to another from 240 to follow this dangerous battleship. She was sunk next day. Thereafter, for the crews of the Catalinas, and the Sunderlands from Castle Archdale, the war was rarely so glamorous, but often dangerous, uncomfortable and boring. They flew whatever the weather. Landing in summer sunshine from clear air to calm water was a puzzling danger. Navigation, hundreds of miles off-shore was another dangerous puzzle, particularly in the dark, freezing, blinding fury of winter Atlantic gales and driving snow storms.

A few planes were shot down. Many flew out and did not return. Perhaps fifty crashed on coastal headlands in the lough or on inland hilltops. Joe O’Loughlin recorded 330 casualties onto Rolls of Honour by Catalina, Sunderland and land plane, and presented these on Remembrance Sunday 2005 for display at LEYC, Castle Archdale and St Angelo.

RAF Killadeas expanded in mid-1942 to include OTU 131, an Operational Training Unit, where individual pilots, navigators, gunners and radio operators, trained in Galloway and elsewhere, became crews and learned to operate together patrolling the Atlantic hunting submarines in Catalinas, and later in Sunderlands. RAF Killadeas became a big place, with accommodation for 2,800 RAF personnel, and a new Catalina slipway on the east shore of Gublusk Bay.

Most from OTU 131 were posted elsewhere. Canadian pilot, Bud Crooks, who unveiled Joe O’Loughlin’s OTU 131 memorial stone at LEYC Flagstaff in 2000, remembered flying his Sunderland to the Far East after training. When the war ended, and its longest running battle, the Battle of the Atlantic, RAF Killadeas closed down, leaving surplus buildings and scrap aircraft, boats, tools and equipment. A plan to make the site into a Butlin’s Holiday Camp did not happen. Corrugated iron scrap from buildings was sold to Belfast, and some used for Casement Park GAA stadium.

LEYC has been on the site since 1950. Likewise, Stranraer Sailing Club is on the old RAF slipway there. Our historic Fairy keelboats have wintered in the Hangar for over 50 years, a major reason for their survival to centenary in 2006. In summer, they launch down a WW2 slipway to lie on flying boat moorings, while hoisting their 1906 gunter mainsails. Catalina service bays now hold the RNLI Station, LEYC’s BBQ and children’s dinghy racks. Rings that held Catalinas down in gales now secure catamarans. The refuelling jetty snugly berths a barge. Peace now, where once was war.

A second picture show Catalinas over RAF Killadeas about 1943, left foreground is the amphibian Catalina slipway under construction, with boats and aircraft in Gublusk Bay and around, and Devenish in the distance. A third shows Doreen, about 45 years later, moored by a chain to a clump on the bottom made for flying boats, her crew raising sail.
Copies of longer reports in the local Fermanagh press and loan of a DVD of the ceremony at LEYC are available.
Michael Clarke, LEYC Historian, Email [email protected]

 

'Sailing History of Lough Erne' is the title of an article in the local history journal, Clogher Record, 2005 edition

A century ago, the grand Crom era in LEYC’s history was at its height. A water-colour from then, showing a becalmed Two-Rater racing yacht off Crom Castle, graces the front cover of this 2005 editionof the Clogher Record.

Inside The Sailing History of Lough Erne is set out in 40 pages, from the Maguires in the 1500s, to Big Houses and ‘pretty yachts’ in the 1700s, to yacht racing’s 1818 pioneers, The Subscribers to the Boat Races on Lough Erne, for the encouragement of fast Sailing Boats, and for the improvement of the Navigation, then Two-Raters, Colleens and Fairy keelboats, Enniskillen Yacht Club, and today’s LEYC sited on the former WW2 flying boat base RAF Killadeas.

The Clogher Record, journal of the Clogher Historical Society, is circulated to its members and to many universities, libraries, museums and historical societies. The then LEYC Admiral, John Phillips acepted a copy presented to the Club which is in the Secretary's files and available to members. Ther is also a copy in Enniskillen Library, local history collection. 

The club is located on Lower Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh, about 6 miles north of Enniskillen just off the main Enniskillen- Kesh-Belleek Road.

LEYC has a long history of competitive sailing at a national and international level and was one of the first clubs in Northern to achieve the national standard of Volvo RYA Champion Club in 2002 To gain the award, clubs must operate an approved scheme of youth sailing and race coaching which both introduces young people to sailing and helps them compete at different levels up to international standard.

The club has active J24, GP14, Laser and Topper fleets as well as a fleet of classic wooden sailing boats designed by Linton Hope known as the Fairies. LEYC hosts a number of major sailing events each year and its superb facilities, including a pillar crane for smaller boats and a straddle hoist for the larger boats and spacious camping and parking areas are much appreciated by visiting fleets

A large fleet of sailing cruisers, motor cruisers and smaller boats is also based at the LEYC with immediate access to the glorious cruising waters of the Erne Lakeland. With over 250 active members, there is a full sailing and social calendar every season. To apply for membership, contact [email protected] To enquire about courses, Try Sailing, or other information contact [email protected]

Lough Erne Yacht Club, Gublusk Bay, Co Fermanagh BT94 1NZ. Tel: 028 66388432, fax: 028 66389857, email:[email protected]

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Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Iniscealtra Sailing Club

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Above: Harbour View. Photo: Gerard Stundon

Iniscealtra Sailing Club (ISC) is located on the shores of Lough Derg at Mountshannon, Co Clare, Ireland. It takes its name from the nearby monastic island known as Inis Cealtra or Holy Island (English).

The club was founded in the late sixties and is comprised mainly of a sailing cruiser fleet. Initially the small number of boat owners met, socialised and raced from the main harbour in Mountshannon. Most members hailed from the Limerick region.

However with the increase in numbers gathering, plus the increase in boats using the main harbour, the club looked around the immediate area and made a decision to purchase a prime site on the shores of the lake, adjacent to the main harbour, from where they could run the club events. In 1984 the club formed as a company limited and in 1985 land was purchased by the club, adjacent to the public harbour in Mountshannon. The deeds were signed and ISC became the proud owners of the new club site. Plans to develop this land were started and today a fine harbour, club house, parking and recreational areas have been developed and nurtured by the loyal members. The number of members increased and the interest in sailing and racing the sail boats grew progressively.

In the late ‘80s, plans were drawn up for a club house facility which has now been built and comprises of toilet facilities, showers, kitchen and a meeting/general use room. There is on shore water and power with berthing facilities to tie along side. The site is private and maintained by the members and allows for families and sailors to meet and socialise together when using their boats. A small slip allows sailors to access their moorings with the use of the club dinghy. The depth of the water is approximately 6-7 foot providing sufficient depth for most sailing boats.

The club is run by a committee who meet monthly to discuss all the club activities, planned events, racing calendar and other general issues. The committee operates on a voluntary basis and work to provide a well run, family orientated and sporting club for all members. The aim is to provide facilities for both larger and smaller boats and to introduce junior members to dinghy sailing.

(The above information and image courtesy of Iniscealtra Sailing Club) 

Iniscealtra Sailing Club, Mountshannon, Co. Clare. Membership information and application forms from Der O'Mahony, 12 Tullyglass Court, Shannon, Co. Clare. Tel: 086 342 8333, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs
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Above: Action from the 2009 Oyster Pearl event at D&CSC

2006 was a year of great importance for Carlingford Sailing Club, as the new Club House opened in May that year. The development indicates the great confidence of the Club Members and Officers in the future of sailing and shore-based related activities on the Lough.

The Club is now actively seeking new members to become part of a new chapter and new challenges. Commodore John Mc Kevitt is quick to point out that the future is being built on the solid foundations of the great traditions of the past. Now, the new Club House development marks the beginning of the next chapter in the life of Carlingford Sailing Club. That chapter will see the Members as customers, sailors and their friends who are deserving of the very best of quality service. 

(The above information and image courtesy of Dundalk & Carlingford Sailing Club)

 
Dundalk & Carlingford Sailing Club, Carlingford. Tel: 042 937 3238, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Baltimore Sailing Club

Baltimore Sailing Club was founded in 1956 as a summer sailing club. From its inception it has been successfully developing leisure and competitive sailing in Baltimore Harbour. The Club over the years has continued to expand and teach safe sailing skills to young people from all backgrounds. With a function room, kitchen and bar it is very active in the summer months running sailing events, courses and many social activities.

Situated in West Cork on the edge of Roaringwater Bay. The clubhouse is on the pier and close to all facilities. Baltimore Harbour is a busy fishing village all year around with a regular ferry service to the many islands.

Baltimore is also a RNLI community with the local lifeboat house in the village. Many local people give freely of their time and energy to help make our coastal waters safer for all mariners. All crewmembers automatically become honorary members of Baltimore Sailing Club.

Baltimore is a sheltered harbour and a favourite spot for many Irish sailors and foreign cruising boats. There are excellent facilities, a pontoon to tie up at, or one may anchor off. There are some fine restaurants and pubs.

Within Roaringwater Bay there are numerous places to sail to. The famous Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is 14 miles out from Baltimore. Cape Clear Island with a lovely small harbour is the most southerly island off Ireland. Schull and Crookhaven are within in easy reach for the cruising person. Sherkin Island across the bay from Baltimore has a fine pier and a pontoon, belonging to the Island's hotel. For smaller boats there are many islands some uninhabited which have beautiful coves and some sandy beaches to day sail to.

The highlight of the summer season is the Baltimore Regatta always held on the 1st Monday in August. There are many activities and yachts converge on the harbour for a race out around the Islands. These yachts then partake in a week of regattas aroun Roaringwater Bay, now known as Calves Week.

 

History – The following are extracts from archives, compiled by Richard Perry, courtesy of the Baltimore Club website


The club premises had originally started in Salters Shed in the Harbour and was gradually added to.

The exact year of the foundation of Baltimore Sailing Club is somewhat uncertain! Above the bar, in the Club House, is the formal list of Commodores starting in 1952. In a letter, dated 3rd August 1976, Frank Murphy, who was the first Secretary of the club, stated that the club was founded in the summer of 1953. The Minutes of a Meeting held at Messrs Salters Baltimore on Saturday 28th July 1956 state that "It was unanimously felt that a Sailing Club should be formed.

Present were Thomas Fuller, Davis Wolfe, Hugh Musgrave, Ivo Kennedy, Robin Atkins, Alan Marten and Frank Murphy. At that meeting, on the proposal of Mr Musgrave, seconded by Mr Murphy, Mr Thomas Fuller was elected Commodore and on the proposal of Mr. Fuller, seconded by Mr Musgrave, Mr Frank Murphy was elected Secretary

The following Committee was appointed, which would also act as Sailing Committee: Commodore, Secretary, Robin Atkins and Pip Marten. Baltimore Sailing Club appeared to be the most suitable name but it was decided to withold a decision on this until the next meeting". So there are three years with a claim to be the start date!

There is no doubt that there was dinghy sailing before 1953, first at Tragumna and then at Baltimore and since the official list of Commodores starts in 1952, this should be the start year. It also enables us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Club in 2002! Those who contest this can organise celebrations in 2003 and 2006!

The most interesting account of the founding of the Baltimore Sailing Club is contained in a letter from Frank Murphy to John Newenham (Commodore 1976) dated 3rd August 1976 from which I quote:

"You asked me about Tom and the foundation of the Club. The real background is not generally known. Tom was always deeply concerned at the emigration from Baltimore and Skibbereen and spent much time and money here and abroad, and over a long period, in attempts to establish industries to give employment, but without success. I went with him in one of these efforts which took us to Zurich in 1952. Eventually we discussed expanding and developing the indigenous industry of boat building and promoting Baltimore and the islands as a resort for centreboard sailing which would also benefit local tourism.The first step was to get the people who came there "doing it". Apart from a few motor boats there was only an International 12', one unclassified 12' and an old 2.1/2 ton yacht.

There were increasing numbers of young people both local and summer visitors who could be interested and taught to sail; to start a club was an obvious necessity. I wanted to push on with it but Tom was against doing so until we could be sure of more support. In the early summer of 1953 two more International 12's arrived; in the week following a third was bought in Crosshaven and, when I called to Tom on the Saturday, he had already heard all and declared we start the club immediately and was passing the news all around for a meeting that night, which was duly held in Salter's Lounge (now Bushe's Bar).

He was elected Commodore, and henceforth he and Olive gave it most of their spare time, winter and summer. For years they never missed a weekend on the pier, in fact I only remember one absence in all their years of office when they had to attend the funeral of a relative in England."

Tom Fuller remained Commodore of the Club until 1966. His successor was Frank Murphy who held the position for a year, followed by Hugh Musgrave for two years. Since then the post has been held 17 Commodores, changing approximately every two years. Above all Baltimore Sailing Club was a family club run on a completely voluntary basis. Today many of the children and grandchildren of the founding families are most active participants. There are a total of approximately 200 members.

Undoubtedly the events which put Baltimore on the Sailing Map of Ireland were the Dinghy Weeks. The first one was held in 1960 and was a huge success. By 1969 the Dinghy Week fleet had risen to 250 boats! In the early days Pip Marten was oustanding in that he would turn his hand to absolutely anything which needed to be repaired or done.

He was a good friend of Tom Fuller and a great help to him. Pip was Treasurer for several years. He now lives in Wisborough Green in Sussex and remembers the early days of the club very well. The dinghy weeks were great events. Reg Fraser (Marys Murphy's uncle) illuminated the village, castle and church with flood lights. There was a huge amount of work for the Dinghy Weeks. The Ladies Committee had their own bank account from which all the catering was done. They went out for quotes for a whole range of foodstuffs and kitchen equipment well before the event.

In the early days, starts were in the cove between the Rocket House next to the Baltimore House Hotel (now the Field's residence) and a car parked on the grass opposite on Coney Island (now tree covered) in which Olive Fuller sat and beeped the horn. As the fleet grew the start was moved to Fishery Point.

Baltimore Sailing Club
, Baltimore, West Cork. Email: [email protected]

About Baltimore Sailing Club

· Situated in West Cork, the village of Baltimore is just outside Skibbereen.

· Baltimore Sailing Club was founded 1952 and is located on the pier in Baltimore.

· Run by a voluntary committee drawn from local and visiting members.

· 300 members (local and international)

· Current Commodore: Joan Collins from Baltimore.

· From its inception the Club has been successfully developing leisure and competitive sailing in Baltimore Harbour and has continued to expand and teach safe sailing skills to young people from all backgrounds. With a function room, kitchen and bar it is very active in the summer months running sailing events, courses and many social activities.

· Baltimore Harbour is a busy fishing village all year around with a regular ferry service to the many islands.

2014 – New Clubhouse project

The project was seen through to fruition under the leadership of former Commodore, Tony O'Driscoll and his team of volunteers.
Architect:
John McCarthy of McCarthy O'Brien Architects – Dublin/Baltimore.
Builder:
Mikey Joe Leonard – Baltimore.
Works carried out:
· The existing shower rooms which were both cramped and substandard were replaced by a new larger shower block adjoining the existing building. This allowed for the original shower room areas to be adapted as additional teaching/meeting/social space within the main building and replace the marquee previously used to accommodate functions and events.

· New permanent storage facilities now also replace the previous portakabin store.

· The removal of these temporary structures in turn improves dinghy parking facilities.

· Urgent remedial works including replacement of the corrugated iron roof and rewiring were also carried out.

· Materials included white render finish, iroko timber cladding, aluclad windows and zinc cladding to the roofs as appropriate to the prominent location in the village harbour setting.

· Solar collectors are located on the south facing roof of the changing rooms to provide hot water and some underfloor heating to the changing rooms.

· The works commenced in September 2013 and despite the severe weather conditions at the beginning of the year were sufficiently complete to accommodate the Laser Dinghy Munster Championships, a large sailing event in Easter 2014.

Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Arklow Sailing Club

This year (2009) Arklow Sailing Club celebrates their 40th anniversary with increased vigour and energy. Originally founded by a handful of local enthusiasts in 1969, the club operates from a base on the North Quay in Arklow town, on the east coast.

arklow_sc.jpgLeft: some of the entrants in the Arklow SC Kilmichael Challenge 2009

Membership is currently over 130 registered members, but there are many more that go sailing on a regular basis; taking advantage of crewing positions on members’ boats.

Although there are a number of power boat and dinghy owners in the club, the majority of boats are yachts. In fact there are over 50 yachts within the club, involved in either cruising or racing, although some members are interested in both activities.

Club activities range from cruising in company, cruiser races on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, Squib racing, training and a number of Annual Regattas.

Recently the Club have undertaken work to a defined development plan for the next ten years. Developed in conjunction with the ISA, Arklow Sailing Club aims to encourage increased activity with current members, but more crucially, they identified a need to attract and retain potential new members.

As early as 2005, the Club were looking towards the future and under the leadership of Brian Dempsey (Commodore 2005–2007) the development of an attractive training programme was identified as the way forward. The decision was taken to focus on adult training using small keelboats instead of dinghies. Not only would this enable the instructor to be in the boat with two beginners but additionally it would be more suitable to operate in the prevailing conditions.

Arklow Sailing Club is now the proud owner of a fleet of Squib keelboats. This fleet was funded through local sponsorship. Local businesses Arklow Shipping, Bridgewater Shopping Centre, Qualceram and George Kearon Ltd each provided a Squib and safety equipment to the Club.  

With the successful introduction of the Squibs, individuals are now beginning to invest in individually owned Squibs thereby helping to build the fleet further.

Not all of those who try sailing catch the bug. However for those who do, this new club fleet is additionally available to the newcomers outside their training programme. This increases their opportunity to join in club cruises and racing using boats they are familiar with.

That this training programme is successful is obvious. 2008 has seen a 22% increase in new members, the majority of which were introduced to sailing and the Club structure through this new fleet of boats. 

In 2008, under the Commodoreship of Paul Barrett, Arklow Sailing Club was certified as an ISA Training Centre and they continue to expand the range of ISA Training on offer.

One area that is popular is powerboat training. This again provides a means for the Club to attract new members, particularly as they recognise that not all boat users wish to rely solely on sail power.
 
Arklow Sailing Club also successfully applied for a grant under the Department of Arts, Sport & Tourism Sports Capital Programme. This allowed the Club purchase a brand new RIB from Lencraft, which is now used as their Safety Boat.

2008 also saw the Club host the South East Coast Regatta, which attached visiting boats from clubs to the north and south of Arklow. This two day event rotates annually between the east coast clubs and Arklow worked hard to create a holiday atmosphere for the duration.

For 2009 the Club hosted a 40th Anniversary Regatta in June to celebrate their ongoing growth and success.

Arklow Sailing Club, c/o Paul Barrett, North Quay, Arklow, Co Wicklow, tel: 087 250 9330

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Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Skerries Sailing Club

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Overlooking scenic island-studded waters, Skerries is a vibrant and fast growing dinghy and cruiser club for adults and children. Racing (May-December) three times weekly in high season. Adult, children, newcomers to sailing and family members are especially welcomed. The bar has remarkable sea views. Slipway, car/boat park and punt service to moorings. We offer ISA Dinghy courses for children from beginners to Advanced Boat Handling and Racing 1 as well as ISA Dinghy courses for adults from beginners to Improving Skills plus Powerboat and Safetyboat courses.

SSC prides itself on its friendly atmosphere. Newcomers to sailing are warmly welcomed. A small fleet of adult and junior dinghies is available to newcomers at nominal rates to help them improve their sailing. Friendly coaching is also available. In 2008, SSC celebrated the 75th anniversary of its foundation in 1933.

In addition we are hosting three regional, national and international events for Optimists, Mirrors and Wayfarers. For details of events click the appropriate button on the left.

The affairs of Skerries Sailing Club are governed by its officers and a committee, totalling 12. The committee is chaired by a Commodore elected directly by the membership at the club's Annual General Meeting. The membership also approves the committee on an annual basis. The officers and committee are listed on the Committee page. The notice for the latest Annual General Meeting is provided on the AGM page.

Administration of the club is guided by its constitution. The text of the Constitution is available on the Constitution page of the website.

 

Skerries Sailing Club, Harbour Road, Skerries, Co. Dublin. Tel: +353 1 849 1233, email: [email protected]

or c/o Siobhan Boylan, Bayview, 15 Harbour Road, Skerries 

 

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Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Lough Derg Yacht Club

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Lough Derg Yacht Club, founded in 1835, is situated in Dromineer, close to Nenagh, in Co Tipperary.

Day membership is available to visitors to the club and adult sailing classes are available for non-members. The club offers great sailing and cruising for all types of boats. Dingy classes sailed include Optimist, Mirrors, Lasers, 420s and the Shannon One Design.

Fishermen at the club are always willing to lend their knowledge and skill to visitors and new members.

The Clubhouse hosts many formal and informal social gatherings the highlight of which is the Midsummers Night Ball.

Children and teenagers receive excellent tuition during the junior sailing courses, which can lead to ISA instructor qualifications.

The annual regatta is the highlight of the sailing calendar for adults and children combing racing with a vibrant social scene.

Dromineer Bay is a regular venue for regional and national sailing competitions hosted by the club.

 

Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer, Co. Tipperary. Tel (clubhouse): 067 244 55, (membership secretary): 067 222 66, email: [email protected] or [email protected] (membership)

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Published in Clubs
14th July 2009

Sutton Dinghy Club

History

right.jpgSince the turn of the century, sailors in the Sutton Creek area had made various attempts to establish a club, and around 1930 an liaison was formed with Howth Sailing club, with meetings and social events taking place in the Howth club premises, and actual dinghy sailing taking place in Sutton Creek. As the yachtsmen in Howth and Dun Laoghaire turned their attention more towards the larger keelboats, local dinghy enthusiasts took the opportunity to 'go it alone'. Early in May 1940, Sutton Dinghy Club was launched, adding to the growing list of East Coast sailing clubs.

For the first ten years of its existence, the members used a small boathouse loaned by Desmond Keatinge, the first Captain (the club could not afford a Commodore at that time!). With Desmond at the helm, the committee got down to the task of introducing a fleet of boats to convince well wishers that the club was really alive, and seven International 12 ft. Dinghies sailed their first race under the new club burgee, which was (and still is) blue with a white silhouette of the International 12ft dinghy. The 'Twelves' no longer race here (but one member has just brought one back this year!), and the burgee is a reminder of those early days.

left.jpg The official opening of the new clubhouse took place on June 1st, 1951, by Douglas Heard, the then President of the Irish Dinghy Racing Association (later the Irish Yachting Association, now the Irish Sailing Association). The boat park (or 'Hardspace') could originally only accommodate six dinghies, but was increased to between thirty and forty over the following years. In 1967 the hardspace was increased to its present size, and the clubhouse was extended in 1980 to provide the function room and better changing facilities, which were further developed again during 1986, to improve the quality of life ashore! The boats on the hard are also changing: the International 'Twelves' were soon joined by the IDRA14s, then Hornets, Enterprises, Fireballs, Mirrors, GP14s, Optimists and Lasers, among others, became part of the ever-evolving scene at Sutton Dinghy Club.

The membership also evolved- Sutton sailors were family men and women, and their children inevitably took to the waters. Over the years, Junior sailing and Junior training became more and more an important aspect of the Club activities. At the same time, sailors everywhere sought to improve the enjoyment of their sport by providing a safer environment, particularly for novices: rescue boats and equipment were bought and put into service in every Club. The Sutton Dinghy Club fleet now consists of three boats: a 16-foot Workboat and two Sea Rider 14-foot semi-rigid inflatable rescue launches.

center.jpg One of the Sutton Dinghy Club members who spoke on the subject at length at that AGM was Hugh Gill, who has been representing the Club at the top national and international level of the GP14 fleet. At that time, Hugh was involved with the Irish National Sailing School (INSS), who operated out of Dun Laoghaire. He discussed the situation both with his INSS colleagues and with the Club Commodore, Charles Sargent, and his Committee. These discussions eventually resulted in an agreement to extend the INSS activities to the north side of the Bay, basing a fleet of dinghies and a rescue boat in Sutton Dinghy Club. These boats were used to provide sailing courses, both for the general public, and for Club members. This arrangement, which was designed to be of benefit to both the Club and the INSS, achieved the following:

· broadened the appeal of sailing to the wider public

· developed Sutton Dinghy Club as a base for sailing tuition

· encouraged full take-up of sailing courses on offer

· promoted Club membership among course graduates

· increased Club sailing by providing a fleet of dinghies for charter

The agreement provided an ongoing series of Adult Sailing Courses, and Junior introductory courses, throughout the sailing season, which attracted many graduates to take up Club membership. In addition, the full ISA Junior Training programme was provided for Sutton Dinghy Club junior members, using the Club rescue boats in addition to the INSS boat. This initial venture with the INSS was so successful that the Club decided to continue the concept, but under the full control of its membership, and in conjunction with a FAS-sponsored Community Employment Project.

As the Club activities expanded, and membership numbers expanded beyond the existing capacity for boat parking, discussion among members centred around the need for a long-term plan for the club in order to ensure its survival and viability beyond the millennium. The latest development provides an additional 750 sq metres of parking for boats and cars, to cater for the existing membership numbers.

The level and extent of Club activity increased with the housing developments locally, and the Club facilities were developed over the years to meet the changing aspects of dinghy sailing in Sutton:

1960s: Increased membership, increasing number of boats involved

Action: Leased area extended (50-60 boats)

1970s: Greater concentration on social aspect of membership

Action: Clubhouse improved to provide social room & showers

1980s: Club involved in hosting National and Regional championships

Action: Extension to changing rooms and viewing balcony

1990s: Malicious attacks on Clubhouse, Rescue Boats and members' boats

Action: Erected security fence and steel container for rescue boats

2000s: Insufficient parking space for members' boats

Action: Extended existing 'hard' to provide additional boat & car parking

Some things don't change: every year, in conjunction with the Royal Cork Yacht Club, there are inter-club team races for both junior and senior sailors on a 'home and away' basis. For each winning team, there is a most unique prize – they get to keep custody for twelve months of the 'Book', which is a written account, added to year by year, of each race and the teams involved. This sixty-year-old saga (apart from a few gaps here and there when weather or illness intervened) of friendly rivalry between these two Clubs includes many sailors who went on to become internationally-renowned names in the sailing world – read this Book to understand where Harold Cudmore learned his tactical skills – by bitter experience when racing against the Sutton sailors!
 

The Club today 

Sailing from Sutton Dinghy Club has improved significantly since 2007. The new boat park extension provides easy access to over 100 boat spaces. This is a wonderful resource, and it is marvellous to see new and restored boats joining the Senior fleets.

Junior level sailors are eager to attend club racing and improve their skills. Our summer courses continue to thrive under the ever enthusiastic stewardship of Hugh Gill. The combination of fun, learning and activity, often at a frenetic pace, is inspiring to see. I, on behalf of the members, extend grateful thanks to both the staff in the club and the 'beach parents' who facilitate these wonderful courses each year.

We look forward to the continued challenge of increasing the number of active sailors on the water, providing training in sailing, power boat handling and race management, allowing us to enjoy our fantastic sailing environment at Sutton Creek.

The various committees are busy throughout the year ensuring that we all enjoy our club whether afloat or ashore. They deserve our thanks and on your behalf I do so gladly. Between the sailing and social events there is something for everyone to enjoy.

To quote that great authority on all things boating: "There is nothing", said the Water Rat (in The Wind in the Willows), "absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats... in boats – or with boats... in or out of 'em, it doesn't matter!"

(The above information and images courtesy of Sutton Dinghy Club) 

 
Sutton Dinghy Club, Strand Road, Sutton, Dublin 13. Tel: 01 839 3135, fax: 01 839 0174, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs
Page 13 of 15

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