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Displaying items by tag: Howth Yacht Club

With all eyes on the pre-Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Quest Howth has recently proven a big hit in the Land of the Rising Sun. While the focus in recent days may have been on the Olympic sailing at Enoshima with anticipation now shifting to Ireland playing rugby in Shizuoka in Japan next month, Quest Howth – which teaches sailing from the Howth Yacht Club marina complex - welcomed 17 pupils from an international background from the globally-renowned Tokai School at Nagoya, and introduced them to their first ever experience of sailing. And the students certainly enjoyed the fresh cool airs of Howth - unlike their hometown, which regularly hits temperatures of over 40 degrees.

As part of their curriculum with the 1962-founded Irish College of English (ICE) in Malahide, the students have a busy programme combining English lessons with cultural and sports activities. Their chosen activity was a Quest Howth Sailing Programme, which offers a different kind of learning through teamwork and individual specialities on the HYC’s own J/80 Sports boats.

group sailing with instructor2Thomas Natin is Instructor with three of the Tokai group

Tokai is a highly-regarded international academic school in Nagoya, renowned as an educational powerhouse which has many kids who not only study hard during the school day, but often go to cram school straight afterwards. The school itself is in an urban environment close to the famous Toyota Motor Company, so the legendary Japanese work ethic is in the very air they breathe.

diarmuid brodie student3Instructor Diarmuid Brodie with a Tokai student – though most are Japanese, the school draws in pupils from all over the world, and the throughput at Quest included Russian, French, Chinese and others
They work hard, so they play hard, and this is the twelfth year they have been coming to Ireland, Scotland and England to have fun and sport while developing their communication skills. Ian McIlhinney is the Social Activities Officer, and it was his idea to introduce sailing into the curriculum. He is delighted with how well the programme went, and confirmed that: “Coming to Howth to sail has been the highlight of their time in Ireland.”

mcdowell tatsuya4Brian McDowell, Training Manager at Howth, with Tatsuya Ito, co-ordinator of activities at Tokai School. Brian McDowell has made a remarkable contribution to the development of junior sailing in Ireland in addition to the Quest project. Last weekend, he stood down after a successful Presidency of the Irish J/24 Class Association in which the expansion of the U25 scheme – which was started in Howth by Noel Davidson in 2011 and then Fergus O’Leary in 2012 before HYC hosted the J/24 Worlds in 2013 - has come to play a central role in the J/24 class countrywide. The conclusion of the McDowell Presidency came on the weekend that one of the Howth U25 crews – skippered by Cillian Dickson – won the well-supported Irish J/24 Nationals on Lough Erne
Speaking about Quest Howth’s sailing, Manager Tatsuya Ito, the Japanese coordinator of the trip, says that: “Brian McDowell, the Training Manager in Howth, is excellent. He is always very kind to the students and teachers. His daughter Lizzy is also a good coach, and she has been in Kyushu to teach sailing. In Howth, our boys were very excited and enjoyed the sailing and the coast with its islands.”

Lizzy McDowell with her Japanese teaching experience particularly enjoyed meeting with the Tokai boys, and hearing and learning more about their life and hometown. Risako Oya, one of the teachers with the group explained: “It was a very good opportunity for students from many countries to interact by spending time together on the boats. I was amazed to see students raise and lower sails by themselves, and also with good cooperation. I'm sure they developed a certain bond through the four-day sailing course. We really appreciate having such a good opportunity.”

j80 irelands eye5The fascinating island of Ireland’s Eye became a central feature of the Tokai school’s sailing programme at Howth……

irelands eye prayer6……so much so that one of the Japanese students felt it had earned a daily prayer dedication

Patrick Jackson of Howth, who taught in Japan at Tokai and made the introductions to ICE, says he is: “Very happy to see these guys enjoying the beautiful environment of Howth and all the fun and camaraderie that sailing offers. It’s been great to get them out on the water. And they became so involved in the life of the harbour and our coastline that we even had them actively engaged in a beach-clean……..” 

many nationalities7Global outlook – Quest instructor Andrew Coyle with a Tokai school trainee crew of many nationalities
beach clean tokai students8Environmental awareness and positive action is high on the priorities for the overall programme – the Tokai students after a successful Irish beach clean, with Patrick Jackson and Andrew Ralph (Activities Leader at ICE) in middle of back row, and Tatsuya Ito, co-ordinator for Tokai, at right.

Published in Howth YC
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The weather gods conspired against sailors on the final day of the 2019 Optimist Nationals At Howth YC.

The senior fleet were sent out first this morning on their own in a strong breeze, to race and to test the conditions for the younger fleets. This turned out be an inspired call by the race committee as the wind immediately started to build. The seniors then enjoyed a race in exhilarating conditions with capsizes and nosedives aplenty. The cream always rises to the top, and James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC / KYC finished the event in fine style with another bullet. However conditions were deteriorating with gusts in excess of 30 knots, and the decision was rightly taken to bring sailors ashore.

With the help of this final race win, James Dwyer Matthews emerged as the winner of both the Irish Nationals and Open titles, with Freddie Parkin of USA in second overall. They were followed by Luke Turvey, Rocco Wright and Johnny Flynn - all of HYC.

James dwyerJames Dwyer Matthews of RCYC / KYC receives his ISA Gold Medal from Colin Kavanagh of the ISA. James also won the UK Nationals overall in Weymouth last month

With no change in the Juniors, the event was won by Nathan Pine of Team USA. William Walsh of HYC / TBSC / MYC was the deserving winner of the Junior Irish Nationals crown from Des Turvey and Cillian Twomey, both from the host club.

William WalshWilliam Walsh of HYC / TBSC / MYC receives his Junior Nationals Trophy from Tim Lucas, President of IODAI

The coached Regatta Fleet was won by Conor Cronin from Malahide.

Optimist closing Ceremony HYCClosing ceremony of the Irish Optimist Nationals

A very well attended closing ceremony and prize-giving followed that was enjoyed by all. The host club Howth YC under the leadership of the main event organiser Darren Wright, and aided by a 70+ strong team of volunteers ran a superb event, with the bar raised significantly for RCYC who will host the event as part of their 300 years anniversary celebrations next year. 

Full results here

Published in Howth YC
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Saturday brought a change of fortune for sailors at the Optimist National Championships at Howth Yacht Club with champagne sailing conditions that overflowed a little for some.

The seniors were the main action of the day. They got four races in to make up for the challenges of the previous day. Freddie Parkin from Team USA is leading the field after eight races into the last day, with James Dwyer Matthews from RCYC hot on his heels and leading the Irish Nationals. The locals though have not given up the fight with Luke Turvey, Rocco Wright and Johnny Flynn - all of HYC still in contention. Sam Ledoux from Dun Laoghaire who was well in contention, suffered a broken rudder which hurt his chances - however, a 2nd discard which will happen after the next race could bring him back into the mix.

The Juniors only got two races in, as the building wind that gusted in excess of 25/26 knots was too much for some of these younger and lighter sailors. The decision was taken to send them home after two exhilarating races, but at that stage, there were probably too many boats ending up upside down. Nathan Pine from the USA is leading out the Juniors with USA & GBR sailors filling the first 4 places. William Walsh from the host club (and TBSC / MYC) is leading the Irish challenge and the Junior Nationals with a highly credible 5th position in a strong international field. He is followed in the Irish Nationals by Des Turvey and Cillian Twomey, both also of HYC and with a lot to do if they are to take the national title.

In the Regatta Fleet, Conor Cronin from Malahide leads going into the finals day, followed by Benjamin Barry of RCYC. However again the locals have not given up the chase again here, with Keelan Darby from Howth YC pushing them all the way.

Racing concludes on Sunday. Results are here

Published in Optimist
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When Howth Yacht Club hosted the 1981 Optimist Worlds, it was while the harbour was in the midst of a major redevelopment project writes W M Nixon. Yet young sailors from 26 nations provided a fleet of 130 boats, and getting them afloat each morning from a special slipway at what was then the Claremont Hotel on the beach to the west of the harbour was a major logistics challenge writes W M Nixon.

Tomorrow, the Irish Optimist Nationals get under way at Howth, and there’s a fleet of 185 boats – seven more than at Kinsale last year – and their young and sometimes very young helms come from eleven nations. Clearly, our Optimist Class is in great good health.

In 1981, some of the competitors from warmer climes complained about the rugged weather, but being the Worlds they knew they’d to take what was on offer. However, the fact of eleven nations – including a strong squad from the US - taking part in the competition over the next four days tells us much about the current strength of the Irish class, which is on something of a roll these days.

justin lucas2Defending champion Justin Lucas (Royal Cork YC). Photo Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Back in the 1981 Worlds, the overall winner was Guido Tavelli of Argentina, while the top girl was Ireland’s Denise Lyttle of the Natinal YC, who was 17th in the open division. The Argentines were on top form in 1981, the last year before the Falklands War, and they also won the Team Prize, while the folk in Howth were drily informed by one of the sophisticated people accompanying the squad that your classic Argentine is an Italian who speaks Spanish and thinks he is English. This would seem to be at odds with the efforts of a certain Government minister, who spoke Italian to the Argentina-born Pope on his visit to Ireland last year, under the impression that this was his native language.

With Oppie sailors being exiled into the big bad world when they become 15, the turnover of talent is inevitably very rapid, and it’s more than difficult to keep tabs on the fact-moving production line of winners.

Defending champion is Justin Lucas who currently lists Royal Cork as his home club, and also well in the frame of serious contenders is James Dwyer Hickey of Crosshaven and Kinsale, while the host club’s Rocco Wright is progressing so rapidly in major events at home and abroad that any overall contemplation of the front runners in the Senior Fleet is akin to ranking a gladiatorial contest, and it’s a gladiatorial contest in which the obtuse August 2019 weather seems determined to make things even more difficult.

rocco wright3Rising star – Rocco Wright of Howth YC
Meanwhile, in these times of tight budgets and shy sponsors, it’s intriguing to recall that back in 1981, after the Claremont Hotel had been returned to normal on its waterfront site and Howth Yacht Club was able to resume its battle towards having an in-harbour marina which finally opened in its first sections in July 1982, it was discovered that staging the 1981 Optimist Worlds had left HYC Events Ltd with a surplus of just over 5,000 pounds. It was used to buy a new rescue boat.

Published in Howth YC
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The 2019 ILCA Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Kingston, Canada concluded with a win for Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon in the U17 division of the Girls fleet.

As Afloat previously reported, McMahon entered the final day in second place in the U19 category, but two race wins by the Australian sailor dropped McMahon to third overall. Clare Gorman (NYC) retained her overall fifth place.

In the Boys fleet, Tom Higgins finished strongly to gain three places on the final day to finish fifth overall, while Michéal O’Sulleabhain ended the regatta in 13th place and Jamie McMahon jumped from 34th to 19th overall.

Girls Gold Fleet:

3. Eve McMahon

5. Clare Gorman (NYC)

Boys Gold Fleet:

5. Tom Higgins

12. Michéal O’Suilleabhain

19. Jamie McMahon (HYC)

Silver Fleet:

53. James Delaney (NYC)

Bronze Fleet:

49. Sam Rutherford

Full results here

Published in Youth Sailing
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Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (NYC) have retained their Fireball National Champions title after nine races at Howth Yacht Club.

The pair scored seven first places discarding a third and a fourth to take the title in style in a three-day event which featured a good variety of sailing conditions. The event started with light and patchy winds on Friday progressing to decent if shifty breezes on Saturday and to full on wind by Sunday.

Second place was won by Niall McGrotty and Neil Cramer (SSC) who sailed consistently well and counted a string of second and third places in their scores to consolidate their second overall.

Butler OramNoel Butler and Stephen Oram (NYC) Photo: Frank Miller

Third were the up and coming youth team brothers Daniel and Harry Thompson from Wexford who were noticeably fast on the water. Just one point behind veteran Mick Creighton with crew Hermine O’Keeffe showed he hadn’t forgotten any tricks. Winners of the silver fleet prize were Cariosa Power and Marie Barry and the Classic Boat Trophy was taken home by Nick Miller and Cearball Daly of SID in the class loan boat.

Fireball McGrottyHowth Vice Commodore Paddy Judge (left) with Niall McGrotty (right) and Neil Cramer (SSC) Photo: Frank Miller

The theme of youth and experience was a feature of the event, with veterans and new teams both jumping into the fray in the run up to the #Howth2020 World Championships in August next year. Thus we had Robin Nash (15) helming with her father Glen on the wire, the youthful Thompsons (17 and 14 respectively), and young bloods Josh Porter and helm Conor Twohig from Newtownards.

Fireball thirdDaniel and Harry Thompson from Wexford

Besides Mick Creighton Eddie Ferris made a welcome return to action with another veteran Francis Rowan on the wire.

Also returning was Owen Sinnott with Paul Horst crewing.

International Race Officer for next year’s Worlds David Lovegrove agreed to take on PRO duties for this Nationals and he and his team ran things like clockwork, seamlessly getting in three races on a difficult and patchy first day and moving marks quickly and efficiently to keep courses square throughout the weekend. David is actually a veteran Fireballer himself and his name crops up on several key trophies including the National Championships of 1967.

Friday’s painful memories of patchy shifty airs were wiped away with perfect conditions on Saturday in breezes between 10 and 18 knots and Sunday presented the most exciting conditions with full-on 20-knot breezes at times and very exciting planing conditions both upwind and down. Another feature of the event was a coaching day on Saturday run by Barry McCartin. After helping people with optimum rig set up for the conditions Barry videoed the racing, gave tips between races and gave a debrief after racing which provided much food for thought for the Irish teams competing in these same waters for next year’s Worlds.

Among the challenges on the Saturday was judging which side to take on the beat, how far to go towards shore to pick up sometimes better offshore winds and the odd wind bend and even a slightly hooked tide in the sweep of the bay.

Although everyone had their ups and downs there was no disputing Noel and Stephen’s dominance over the nine races. With a little more speed and height on the beats and carving high angles down the runs the pair remained in control for most races with just the odd breakthrough by Niall and Neil and Mick and Hermine snatching the top spots.

There were signs however that the young pairings, in particular, were improving rapidly and may present a challenge by the time the Worlds land in Howth next year. After an exciting and brilliantly run event it’s championships everyone is relishing.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon leads Irish hopes of Irish Olympic Qualification in the Laser class after four races sailed at the Laser World Championships in Japan.

Out of the 44 countries seeking a Tokyo berth, Ireland is currently 12th in the hunt for one of five-nation places on offer this week. See overall results here

After a faltering start, Finn Lynch returned to more familiar form earlier today by placing tenth and eleventh in his flight. The results move him from 78th to 46th place overall with two more races on Saturday set to decide the Gold fleet split before the final series of six races begins on Sunday.

Conditions were windier than Thursday with a warm sea breeze of 12-17 knots.

"Finn definitely looked better this morning and he definitely performed although he is still off what he is capable of," commented Vasilij Zbogar, the Irish Sailing head Laser coach. "He needs to stop thinking of the overall result and just sail race by race."

"I tried to tell him that he doesn’t have to do anything special, just do as he knows and not over-think; if you have too many things in your head then everything can fall apart."

Meanwhile, McMahon moved up to 42nd overall after scoring a 17th and 22nd places for the day. Liam Glynn dropped from 35th overnight to 65th after two mid-fleet results.

Saturday's races will now be critical to overall Irish hopes for the championship and qualification for Tokyo 2020. After the sixth race, the top 50 boats overall will form the Gold fleet.

Once the Gold fleet is decided, the task facing Irish sailors who reach this standard will be clearer in terms of what nations have already qualified and those remaining for the five countries to be allocated at this event but already there is work to be done to move up from 12th country in the overall standings.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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After Storm Emma wrought extensive destruction through the seven Howth Seventeens stored in their much-damaged shed on Howth’s East Pier at the beginning of March 2018, it was feared that several of the boats – which since 1898 have been the very heart of Howth sailing – would be written off writes W M Nixon.
But in the end only one – David O’Connell’s Anita built in 1900 by James Clancy of Dun Laoghaire – was assessed as needing a complete re-build.

anita 2018 march2Definitely a re-build…….Anita as she was on 5th March 2018. Photo: W M Nixon

Anita is a very special Seventeen - for very many years from 1965 onwards she was the personal boat of the late Brendan Cassidy, the long-time Honorary Secretary of HYC. So the Howth Seventeen Association set about making resources available for her re-build, and the class’s action man Ian Malcolm negotiated a deal in France through the Government boat-building school scheme, whereby the customer has only to cover the cost of the materials, while the school provides the premises and the trainee labour under the direction of qualified instructors.

The boat-building schools like to test their pupils and staff through building a variety of boats. So although Skol ar Mor near the Morbihan has already built the new Howth 17 Orla, for Anita’s re-birth the Howth 17 Association went to Paul Robert’s Les Ateliers d’Enfer in Douarnenez in Brittany.

anita rebuild3 The re-born Anita taking shape in January 2019. Photo Ian Malcolm

Howth 17 AnitaSecond life. The re-born Anita emerges from the Workshops of Hell. Photo: Paul Robert
It is called the “Workshops of Hell” through its location in the midst of what was formerly the fish-smoking area of this ancient fishing port, where for centuries at least 25 massively malodourous smokeries used to make the place seem truly hellish. But today the boat-building school is a little piece of heaven, and when the re-born Anita emerged this week to spend a symbolic day afloat in the bay, she was clearly a divine bit of work.

The re-born Anita is to return to Howth via road trailing and ferry, and all being well she’ll be back in her home port by Saturday evening.

anita rebuild team5Anita would originally have been built by two men and a boy (at most) in 1900, but in 2019 it took this team of apprentices (Ian Malcolm on left) to do the job. Photo: Judith Malcolm

Published in Boatyards
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Howth Yacht Club hosted nineteen boats for the Squib Eastern Championships sponsored by Provident CRM last weekend writes Ronan MacDonell, HYC Squib Class Captain.

The event was run alongside the J24 Easterns which made for a busy clubhouse. While the weather played ball for the most part, wind conditions did offer a stern test for the race management team, ably led by Derek Bothwell. We had a series of shifts on Saturday which caused delays but the fleets were very grateful that the race management team were patient.

As Afloat reported previously, the Squibs sailed trapezoid courses for the weekend which was a change from the normal windward/leeward. Crews felt it the most as there was a lot of kite work over both days. We completed five races.

Race 1 got away clean and was dominated by Inshallah (Dave Eccles and Michael Wright). Volante (Simon Watson & Jordy Winters) took 2nd which was a great result for them, followed by Quickstep (Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan).

After a delay, Race 2 got underway with a much-changed wind direction. There was a strong ebb now flowing and the Squib fleet was jumpy. We pushed the line and ended up with two recalls. Derek was forced to whip out the U Flag, followed by the Black Flag, which claimed three deserving victims. Game over for them! There was a robust tussle for the race win finally claimed by Outlaw (Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan). Allegro (Collie Dunne and Fiona Ward) and Quickstep completed the podium positions.

Within minutes of the completion of the second race, Race 3 was in sequence, with everyone starting to look forward to a beer after a long day on the water. A Howth boat Tears in Heaven sailed by Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone burst out of the blocks and led from the traps to the winning post. Peter couldn’t wait to get to his usual tipple of “Howth Gin and Slimline”. Inshallah and Allegro made up the podium and we all faced a robust sail back to the marina.

The weather on Sunday was as good as it has been on the East coast of late. Light conditions with frequent sunny spells. Race 4 started in a fickle breeze which died off considerably downwind. The leading boats got around the bottom mark before the worst of the lull. The calm lasted about 10 minutes and soon there was breeze enough to get us upwind again. The race management team had the experience to shorten us up and tick Race 4 as “Done”. The race was won by Prodigal followed by Quickstep and Firecracker (Stephen Bridges and Kyle, Killyleagh YC).

A brief pause ensued before Race 5 got underway. The increasing breeze brought with it a modified direction, so the mark layers were busy again. The wind remained fickle at times, so tidal flows made the downwind legs tricky and then it steadied again to get us home. Outlaw got the gun followed by Periquin (Noel Colclough and Vincent Delaney) followed by Quickstep.

Congratulations to Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan taking the Championship trophy back to Royal North of Ireland YC. 

The Silver fleet was won by 3point9 Emmet Dalton and Peter Malone from HYC (Peter in his first Squib event!). Howth was represented by 9 boats, one of which was sailed by a crew from RNIYC. It is the best Howth representation at a regionals for quite a while. Results did not go our way but the positive is the re-emergence of the fleet on its 40th Anniversary in HYC. After a few years off the circuit, we will need a little time to get back up to speed!!

The event was awarded Silver Level Certification by Sailors For The Sea. The Sailors For The Sea Award for Sustainability went to Noel Colclough for retrieving more plastic from the sea than any other competitor.

Full Results here

Published in Squib
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The J/24 Eastern Championships took place last weekend at Howth Yacht Club writes Elaine O'Mahoney. The two-day event was run in conjunction with the Squib Easterns which made for a very busy lifting schedule for the cranes at HYC with thirty-five boats between both fleets.

The weekend brought challenging weather conditions for OOD Derek Bothwell and his team and wind shifts of 20 to 40 degrees were commonplace throughout day one keeping the race team very busy. While the seventeen J/24s taking part were racing windward-leeward courses the OOD was also laying a trapezoid course for the Squib fleet with a rolling start, Squibs followed by J24s.

1. J24 EasternsThe J24 Easterns fleet at Howth

After a brief delay waiting for the wind to settle race one got off in just over 10kts westerly breeze. Mark Usher on Jumpin Jive IRL3060 took the early lead which he held all the way to the finish and left the battle for places to the remainder of the fleet behind him. The changes in wind direction meant there was a considerable delay before the next race. When race two eventually got underway the J24 fleet had the benefit of seeing the strengthening tide push the Squib fleet over the line for two general recalls and were on their best behaviour to get a clear start first time. In race two and three, Fergus Kelliher’s Jibe IRL4252 from Tralee Bay Sailing Club and JP McCaldin’s IRL5219 El Rico from Lough Erne Yacht Club traded the first two places. After seven hours on the water, the fleet was happy to head for home and a well-earned dinner in Howth Yacht Club.

2. J24 Easterns Jibe ahead of Gala RacingJibe ahead of Gala Racing at the J24 Easterns at HYC

Sunday brought sunshine and more settled wind direction from the south but this time the challenge was wind strength. Race four started in a steady 6-knots but was shortened on the second beat as winds lessened. Simon McGibney’s Gala Racing IRL5278 took first place. Thankfully wind, as forecast, increased to 8 to 10 knots as the morning progressed enabling the OOD to complete two more races. Steve Atkinson’s Bád IRL4628 from Carrickfergus Sailing Club won race five. The final result for the overall winner came down to the final race between JP McCaldin’s El Rico and Fergus Kelliher’s Jibe. While Headcase IRL4247, helmed by Killian Dickson, won their first race of the event, Jibe’s third place finish ahead of El Rico’s sixth was enough for them to take their first regional championship win in the Gold Fleet.

This was a hugely competitive event with no boat dominating the series and six different winners in each of the six races. All participants complemented Howth Yacht Club for hosting a fantastic event and in particular the crane operators for their efficiency and the OOD Derek Bothwell for completing all six scheduled races in extremely challenging conditions.

The next event in the J/24 calendar is the J/24 National Championships at Lough Erne Yacht Club from the 23rd to the 25th August. The fleet are pushing for thirty boats to take part. Any boats needing crew or logistics to do with the event are encouraged to contact Lough Erne Yacht Club or the J/24 Association who will assist in any way they can.

Results:
Gold Fleet:
1st Jibe Fergus Kelliher Tralee Bay Sailing Club
2nd El Rico JP McCaldin Lough Erne Yacht Club
3rd Headcase O’Byrne, Ryan & Others Howth Yacht Club/Lough Ree Yacht Club/Mayo Sailing Club

Silver Fleet:
1st Gala Racing Simon McGibney Foynes Yacht Club
2nd Jana Colm O’Flaherty Sligo Yacht Club
3rd Gossip Brian Rafferty Sligo Yacht Club

Full results here

Published in J24
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