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#OnTV - Clontarf’s new-build classic wooden dinghy Wicked Sadie will feature on RTÉ One’s Nationwide programme this evening at 7pm.

Nationwide’s team spent two days filming ‘Number 166’ and the build crew, both on the water and off, before her official maiden sailing.

The IDRA 14 was launched this past June after a three-year-long project by the Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club team, as previously reported on

“Wicked Sadie couldn't have come into existence without the physical and moral support of so many,” said the build crew in a statement, as they encouraged supporters to tune in and “see the results of all of your hard work and incredible support”.

Watch Nationwide this evening (Wednesday 26 October) at 7pm on RTÉ One to see the sneak peek of Wicked Sadie as she readied for launch.

But not to worry if you miss it as the programme will be available later for catch-up on RTÉ Player for the next 30 days.

Published in IDRA 14

The 70th Anniversary of the IDRA 14ft OD dinghy class has been marked in spectacular style throughout the 2016 season writes W M Nixon, with the latest newly-built classic clinker boat (no 166) being launched in June, a well-supported and hard-raced Annual Championship at Lough Derg Yacht Club at Dromineer in August, and a two day celebration afloat and ashore at one of the class’s spiritual homes, Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, in September. This convivial event was well attended by IDRA 14 sailors past and present - some from very far back – together with a boat and support team from the IDRA 14’s sister class, the Dragonfly OD at Waldringfield Sailing Club in Suffolk. Read's review here.

However, in the final analysis it’s arguable that the genesis of the class was born within the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire from the productive minds of Billy and Jimmy Money, together with Douglas Heard.

Douglas Heard was later RStGYC Commodore in addition to being founding President of the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, owner of IDRA 14 Number 1, and winner of the first Helmsman’s Championship in 1947. So all the logic pointed to rounding out the 70th Anniversary Season with a Gala Dinner this Saturday (October 15th) in the Royal St George Yacht Club, and although it’s already well-booked, we’re told there are still some places left which will be of interest to the hundreds of people who have been involved with this remarkable class at some time during the past 70th year.

One of these is Irish Sailing Association President David Lovegrove who raced IDRA No 107 Spray at Sutton Dinghy Club during the 1960s, and he and his wife Kate will be mingling with fellow enthusiasts who will all be talking clinker nine to the dozen on Saturday night. If you’re comfortable with the technology you can make your dinner bookings on line through the RStGYC website, if any queries please ring Ian Sargent at 087 6791069 or Suzanne McGarry at 087 2425331.

Those already booked for the dinner are bringing along IDRA 14 memorabilia including photos going back seventy years, and if you happen to have something in that line yourself you’ll be doubly welcome.

Published in IDRA 14

A two-day celebration in a coastal suburb of Dublin to mark the 70th birthday of a 14ft One-Design sailing dinghy class may not seem an event of major significance in an island nation which can trace its recreational sailing history back for 300 years and more. Yet in becoming involved at Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club in the IDRA 14 Class’s honouring of its three-score-years-and-ten last Sunday, W M Nixon found he was getting a special insight into what makes us tick both as a sailing community, and as part of Irish society as a whole.

Clontarf is a place which is comfortable with itself. It’s not Dublin’s poshest suburb. It doesn’t want to be. It just wants to be itself - an unassuming pleasantly leafy place with a south-facing waterfront, a place which is convenient to the city yet clearly has a healthy identity of its own. And Clontarf is quietly confident that, in its combination with its many and various clubs, organizations, and societies, it possesses a higher level of social capital than other smoother suburbs where the social structures might seem more glossy, but genuine depth of community may be lacking.

Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club is typical of this. For sailors from elsewhere, its setup at first seems challenging. For starters, you can only get sailing for half of the time. In the other half, the tide is out. They’ll tell you this has the benefit of providing alternative time for the local cricket and rugby clubs. Yet despite the apparent tidal inconvenience, every year there seem to be more boats on the drying moorings than ever before. And when the tide comes in, they really do go sailing, unlike other non-tidal clubs, where the continuous availability of sailing makes people more picky in choosing their weather.

Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club When the newly-formed Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club made the shoreside farmhouse of Belvedere their clubhouse in 1875, it was still set mostly countryside. Photo: W M Nixon
Another Clontarf factor which strangers find difficult is the existence of a busy road through the club’s dinghy park. Or at least it goes straight across the short distance from the dinghy park to the slipway. It’s something which the founders hadn’t planned. When Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club was set up in 1875, it established its HQ in a charming little shoreside farmhouse called Belvedere which was not only pleasantly south-facing, but had an uninterrupted and unrivalled view to the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains across the inner waters of Dublin Bay.

Pigeon House ChimneysClontarf Y & BC’s formerly clear view to the Wicklow Mountains is now somewhat interrupted, but the junior squad can still get in their training session afloat before the IDRA 14 fleet takes over the sailing water. Photo: W M Nixon

Over the years the clubhouse acquired some embellishments to become more pavilion-like, and what had been little more than a coastal path in front of it became almost roadlike as the built waterfront extended eastward. But thanks to the enormous presence of Lord Ardilaun’s St Anne’s Park estate further along the shore at Dollymount, the main road out to Howth continued to be the old post road going well inland through Raheny.

However, inevitably in time the James Larkin Road was created along the shore at Dollymount to provide a more direct main road to Howth, with traffic increasing year on year until now it seems to rumble by in a continuous stream between Belvedere and the sea.

In the circumstances, any club which wasn’t such an integral part of its community might well have considered re-location. But Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club is very much local and community-based, and it has adapted instead, even becoming accustomed to the fact that much of its once flawless view across the bay to the hills and mountains is now interrupted by the expansion of Dublin Port, with the latest addition to the intermediate skyline being the monumental new incinerator rapidly taking shape across in Ringsend.

IDRA 14 “It’s a bit different from Waldringfield….” Dragonfly sailors Neil Cawthorn (left) and James Palmer (who built the new boat) demonstrating the Clontarf road-crossing technique to perfection as they get their classic dinghy Phoenix safely to the slipway on the other side of the road. Photo: W M Nixon
Yet if it’s a half decent sailing day, and the tide is flooding, Clontarf leaps to sailing life. On Sunday afternoon when the good weather mercifully lasted much longer than predicted, the place was buzzing not only with good-humoured aficionados of the IDRA 14 Class celebrating their boat’s 70th birthday, but with a host of trainee juniors who got in their sailing session before the fine fleet of historic IDRA 14s took over the stage for their concluding review of the fleet parked in line along the green, in readiness for launching and rounding out the celebrations with a Parade of Sail afloat mostly close along the waterfront, something which was most easily organized simply by making it a race.

Throughout it all, Sunday walkers and locals of every speed and type moved along Clontarf’s fine promenade mingling with the boats and boat people and everyone – whether sailors or not – seemed to know everyone else, or at least felt they did, while the multiple presence of cheerful dogs of all shapes and sizes improved things even further.

IDRA 14 sailing dublinClassic boats and classic dogs……it’s the Clontarf waterfront on a sunny Sunday Photo: W M Nixon
As to the business of getting your boat out of the dinghy park and across that busy road to the slipway, former Clontarf Y & BC Commodore Ian Sargent demonstrated the technique to perfection: “You just step out slowly, you’ll find the traffic starts to slow down, then as they see what’s going on they’ll come to a stop if need be as you walk across in confident but unhurried style. Then as you get safely across, it is absolutely imperative that you wave your thanks to all involved”.

It was primarily thanks to Ian Sargent and his tolerant wife Rebecca that last weekend’s celebrations took place. He is the total IDRA 14 nut, lovingly researching and recording the history of every boat back to that immediately post-war time of precious hope, but little else, in 1946. Back then, far-sighted people like Douglas Heard and Billy & Jimmy Mooney in Dun Laoghaire in November 1945 set in train the movement which became the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, and in so doing they reached out to other clubs nationwide in mutual support with fellow-enthusiasts.

IDRA 14 plansThe IDRA 14 as first publicised in 1946. Within weeks, 46 boats were under construction by bot professionals and amateurs.

The flagship of the new Association became the IDRA 14, developed from a design by an Irish naval architect working in England, George O’Brien Kennedy. His period of working across the water was later fondly recalled by fellow yacht designer David Thomas, who used to say that Brian – as everyone knew him – would come up with more innovative boat ideas in a morning than the rest of the office produced all week.

Admittedly some of his ideas were frankly crazy. But in developing the design of the clinker–built IDRA 14 from a boat he’d designed for his own use in 1938 but whose possible expansion as a class was stymied by World War II in 1939, he produced an eminently sensible design which not only suited Irish needs at the time, but was also later successfully used in slightly modified form at three English sailing centres.

One of the clubs which immediately embraced the new Irish boats with huge enthusiasm was Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, and it has remained such a stronghold of the class that the very newest IDRA 14, Wicked Sadie number 166, was timber built in classic style in a shed out the back of the club by a team co-ordinated by Rowan Melling, a two year project which reached it successful conclusion to considerable acclaim with Sadie’s Gala Launching at Clontarf on June 25th 2016.

IDRA 14 dinghy sailing DublinThey’re both the newest things in town. The IDRA 14 Wicked Sadie was first launched on June 25th 2016, and beyond her is the newest part of the national infrastructure, the Ringsend Incinerator. Photo: W M NixonThe very first boats were built nearby in 1946, just across the Tolka Estuary from Clontarf in Jem Kearney’s boatyard at Dublin’s East Wall. A brother of the noted yacht designer and builder John Kearney, Jem was something of a rough diamond, but those who worked with him or learned something of the skills from his boat-building classes thought very highly of him and his work.

There isn’t the space here to detail the way the early sail numbers were allocated, as 46 boats were soon in various levels of construction – both by professionals and amateurs - from an early stage, and each club group which had signed up to the new class was given a batch of numbers with the boats getting afloat in random order.

Thus the first boat in commission was actually Number 14, Deirdre built by Jem Kearney for that renowned sailing cleric, the Reverend George Good, whose exuberant approach to life suggested that he might have felt much more at home in one of the livelier periods of the 18th Century. As to Deirdre, she almost immediately became a mystery which still hasn’t been explained to this day. All we really know is that in due course George God appeared with another new IDRA 14, but this time built by Walter Levinge of Athlone, yet still sporting sail Number 14 and still called Deirdre.

Meanwhile other boats were appearing in much more orthodox style in rapid succession, with Number 1 being built by Kearney for Douglas Heard himself, though quite why he called her Error we can only guess. But whatever the reason, she won the first championship in 1947, and she’s still gong strong and was at the Clontarf celebrations in the proud ownership of Jim Lambkin of Sutton Dinghy Club.

IDRA 14 Number 1The first IDRA 14 National Champion, Error (No 1) won the title for Douglas Heard in 1947. She is now owned by Jim Lambkin of Sutton DC (left), seen here (above and below) with her at Clontarf on Sunday with Sean Flood (champion 1958 and 1959), and Clayton Love Jnr (champion 1953 and 1955)

Sean Flood Clayton Love

Next in line numerically at Clontarf on Sunday was a boat which has more than a few connections with this parish, but we’ll come to that anon. No 4 Dusk was another 1946-built Jem Kearney boat whose first owner was Hugh Allen, who went on to crew for Alf Delany in the Swallow Two-Man class in the 1948 Olympics, sailing in the first-ever Irish Olympic Sailing Team.

In return, Alf Delany then crewed for Hugh in Dusk in the 1949 IDRA Championships at Crosshaven at what was then the Royal Munster, and they won overall. This staging of an event at Crosshaven was a great boost to the class’s development in Cork, and the local firm DBL – Driscoll, Bushe & Leonard, with George Bushe and Dick Leonard the main partners – became much involved with their construction.

But Cork owners were as canny then as they are now, and in 1950 Crosshaven sailing brothers Barry and Harold Cudmore ordered a new IDRA 14 from George Bushe on condition that he’d won the nationals with her. George was as good a helmsman as he was a boatbuilder, so he cheerfully took up the challenge, built the boat, signed up the legendary Kevin O’Regan as crew (see Afloat obit) and off they went to the 1950 Nationals at Dromineer. And they duly won, which left the Cudmore brothers with boat now called Monaveen, and a very high standard of performance to maintain.

Ian Sargent, Shane O’Brien Kennedy, Sean Flood, Clayton Love Jnr, James PalmerHistoric gathering at Clontarf with (left to right) Ian Sargent of the IDRA 14 Association, Shane O’Brien Kennedy (son of the designer), former champions Sean Flood and Clayton Love Jnr, and James Palmer, builder of the newest Waldringfield Dragonfly to the same O’Brien Kennedy design. Photo: W M Nixon
Histories of Ireland in the late 1940s and on through the 1950s paint the picture of a nation in total economic stagnation, yet the IDRA 14 class so captured the Irish sailing imagination that these became the class’s special years, good times which extended on into the early 1960s, for in 1960 the class had up-graded itself by permitting synthetic sails and adding a trapeze for zippier performance in a breeze.

The list of sailors who got involved with the IDRA 14s in these boom years reads like a Who’s Who of top Irish sailors, as people of the calibre of Douglas Heard, Jimmy Mooney, Hugh Allen, Jem Sullivan, Charlie Sargent and Peter Odlum were to be joined by the Cudmore clan, Denis Doyle, Conor Doyle, Joe Fitzgerald, Mick Sullivan, Ted Crosbie, Ian Morrison, Liam McGonagle, Desmond Keatinge, Bunny Conn, Roy Dickson, Dougie Deane, Jackie O’Reilly, Johnny Vaughan, Sid Shine, Philip Jacob, John Millar, John Godkin, Sean Flood, Clayton Love Jnr. and many others.

Crosshaven’s own Clayton Love Jnr’s involvement was undertaken with typical thoroughness, as he’d had George Bushe build him Miss Betty (IDRA 14 no 54) in 1949 with all those special skills which George Bushe could bring to a winning boat which was also a work of art. Then Clayton gave the IDRA 14 Class six years of his enthusiastic attention, winning just about everything with the Cork fleet, and taking the national title twice, in 1953 at Crosshaven, and 1955 at Dunmore East, crewed by Donal McClement in ’53 and Hugh Barry in ’55.

He then sold the boat on to Sean Flood of Clontarf, who in turn won the Nationals with her at Wexford in 1958 and Ballyholme in 1959. But by this time what had been Ireland’s premier dinghy class for a dozen years was beginning to feel the pinch as newer designs came forward, and several of the top IDRA 14 people moved into the exotic realms of the International 505 Class, which in Ireland became a sort of moveable feat, an elite group of upwards of a dozen top dinghy talents who might deign to take part in the annual IDRA Dinghy Week, but equally they might descend with their own road show on select places such as Dromineer on Lough Derg, where their activities afloat and ashore became the stuff of legend.

But while the exotic heights of the 505 class were all very well for those who could afford it, the solid citizens of the IDRA 14 class were determined to keep their much-loved boats as a viable racing option at both club and national level, and during the 1960s the contribution of the Sargent family to the class’s continuing health was remarkable.

The patriarch of the clan, Charlie Sargent, was general manager of timber merchants T & C Martin, so there were few people in Dublin who knew more about wood. But in his spare time, he was also a boat builder whose skills were way beyond those of many professionals, and near the family home firstly in Clontarf, and later in Sutton, he produced masterpieces of the boatwright’s art and craft.

IDRA 14Once a champion, always a champion……Error, champion boat in 1947, steps out in style at Clontarf on Sunday. Photo: W M Nixon
He’d been involved with the IDRA 14s as both builder and owner since 1946, but it was in 1962 in Sutton, working with his son Gerry, that he built what many would reckon to be his masterpiece, no 38 Starfish. With her combination of clear spruce planks and a beautiful mahogany sheerstrake, for appearance Starfish has become the definitive IDRA 14 by which other boats are rated. And she soon proved herself a winner too – in 1963 Gerry Sargent, crewed by his brother Ian, won the Nationals at Skerries with her.

By this time the class had to face off another challenge, the increasing popularity of glassfibre construction for new dinghy classes, and here too the Sargent family played a key role in moving things forward. Much and all as Charlie Sargent loved building boats in classic style in wood, the class eventually persuaded him that they desperately needed a fibreglass hull option if they were to continue moving forward. Having accepted this, Charlie Sargent gave it his full support, and he built the plug for the mould for the new GRP hulls which were made by Delcraft of Malahide.

Then he and his family finished the bare hull with the deck and other wood trim to have her racing under Ian Sargent’s command as Sea Urchin 3 (later Swift, no 114) in the 1977 season, and by 1979 they had the GRP boats up to speed, with Ian winning the championship at Lough Ree.

The continuing health of the class then found another option in 1993 when the restored Dusk (no 4) was one of the star exhibits at the Dublin Boat Show. She’d been mouldering since 1978, but was brought back to classic life by Tom O’Brien and his son David, editor of Afloat Magazine, in a project with WEST System agents Waller & Wickham which showed that epoxy saturation techniques worked very well in restoring vintage IDRA 14s. A number of specialist firms were involved in the Dusk project, with Alistair Duffin of Belfast (best known as the top International GP 14 builder) installing the deck, centreplate casing and the thwarts in the bare hull as finished by the O’Briens, while Wicklow Marine Services were in charge of the final stages.

IDRA 14 DuskOriginally built for Olympic sailor Hugh Allen in 1946, Dusk was restored in 1993 by Tom and David O’Brien in a demonstration of the potential of the WEST method. She placed second in Sunday’s 70th anniversary race. Photo: W M Nixon

IDRA 14 Dusk restoration"A page from Afloat Magazine for January-February 1993, the photo showing Tom O’Brien with the restored bare hull of Dusk being weighed as part of the stringent measurement rules of the IDRA 14 Class and below a cutting from the April 1993 issue shows Dusk did indeed make it for the Dublin Boat Show in March

Dusk restoration 2

David O’Brien had a successful year racing Dusk, taking the runner-up slot in the Nationals in 1993 at Carlingford to the evergreen Starfish (Terry Harvey, Sutton). Subsequently he moved into Fireballs with John Lavery with such success that by 1995 they were World Champions, but Terry Harvey went on to reap continuing success with Starfish in the IDRA 14s, with more championship wins than anyone else.

However, others have got in on the act, and the milestone of a first woman champion was reached by Scorie Walls of Sutton racing Chance (no 163) at Galway Bay in 2000, and she retained the title the following year at Lough Ree racing Starfish. As for the first all-female crew to take the title, that came in 2012 on Lough Erne when Julie Ascoop of Clontarf crewed by Heather Keenan won in Chaos.

The rich texture of the class’s history over the years has always been something to celebrate, and it was very special when O’Brien Kennedy himself turned up to be the Guest of Honour at the Golden Jubilee in 1996. The golden thread of the storyline in Ireland has been further reinforced by developing contacts with the sole remaining class of sister-ships, the Dragonflies at Waldringfield in Suffolk in the east of England on the lovely River Deben.

Waldringfield Dragonfly“It’s a bit different from home”. The new Waldringfield Dragonfly class Phoenix sails up the estuary of the Tolka River in. Her home club of Waldrinfgfield SC (below) is in a slightly more rural setting.

IDRA 14 14
The Dragonflies were founded in 1949, so when their 70th birthday comes along in 2019, a strong contingent of IDRA 14 sailors will be descending on Waldringfield and doubtless putting much business the way of the famous Maybush Inn as well as the bar of Waldringfield SC. But meanwhile the news from Suffolk was that classic boat enthusiast James Palmer, a former engineer but now born-again traditional boatbuilder, had just built the newest Dragonfly in classic style, so Ian Sargent set to work persuading him and ten of his fellow club members to come to Ireland for last weekend’s party at Clontarf, bringing the new boat Phoenix with them. It all came together in time, and there we were last Sunday in sunny Clontarf with upwards of thirty IDRA 14s of all vintages lined up along the promenande, with the new Wicked Sadie and the new Phoenix in pride of place, when the magic ingredient was added.

Clayton Love Jnr, IDRA 14 Champion in 1953 and 1955, and Sean Flood, IDRA Champion in 1958 and 1959, turned up to wish everyone well and inspect the fleet and then see the Parade of Sail, which already had all the makings of a good race.

But we’d to wait a while for it, for it seems that once you’re an IDRA 14 man you’re always an IDRA 14 man, regardless of the many famous boats with which you’ve been subsequently associated. So the two legends of the class’s history took their time in inspecting the fleet, having a particularly long chat with Jim Lambkin with Error, the boat with which Douglas Heard won the first championship in 1947.

The links with the past were then completed with the arrival of Shane O’Brien Kennedy, son of the late designer, who was soon fitted up with a berth for a race in which the Dragonfly visitors from Waldringfield were also spread through the fleet.

James Palmer himself raced Phoenix in what seemed at first a slightly unfair match, as the Waldringfield class have adhered strictly the their original 1949 specification, including wooden spars and traditionally-shaped sails, whereas the IDRA 14s have long since been into alloy spars with a rig as souped-up as it can be, with most of the top boats now setting sails made by Dick Batt, though it was very evident that Wicked Sadie has preferred North.

IDRA 14 15Seconds to go to the start….Gerry Sargent in Starfish (38) is exactly where he wants to be, and so too is Neil Cawthorn with Dusk (4). Photo: W M Nixon

But handsome is as handsome does, and there was no avoiding the imperatives of history. Shaping up for the start, Gerry Sargent sailing Starfish with Ian McCormick as crew was right there on the pin to keep himself on the left hand side of the first beat. Neil Cawthorn of Waldringfield with Andy Sargent on Dusk nipped past his stern on port but clear across the rest of the fleet still on starboard.

Most of them were keen to get onto port as soon as possible for the traditional win move along the Clontarf wall in the very last of the flood, with no lack of useful advice from helpful promenadeers within yards of them. But out on the left was the place to be, and Gerry Sargent scrunched Starfish up to the mid-river line of breeze at every opportunity, sailing in clear wind when fleet numbers meant that few other boats always had clean air, and Starfish had a fine lead from Dusk at the first mark.

IDRA 14 dinghy racing Clontarf Boat ClubIDRA 14s are comfortable at their spiritual home of Clontarf’s familiar sailing waters. Photo: W M Nixon
The wind lightened in the two long reaches to take in the south mark, and by the time the leaders were approaching the lee turn down toward the Royal Dublin Golf Club, the ebb had started as Gerry Sargent came round the mark with an enormous lead, and still next in line, and now equally clear of the boats behind, was Dusk, while in the midst of the tail-enders was Phoenix, feeling very far from home in the green fields of Suffolk.

But once the ebb starts running at Clontarf, it doesn’t hang about. It fairly sluices along the promenade and over the Clontarf slip, swirling towards the North Bull Wall. Yet having been so far ahead, Starfish had much less of this adverse tide, which only increased her enormous lead and she was able to work along the shore using the slightly better breeze there nearing the finish, as too was Dusk, though by now quite some time later.

IDRA 14Taking the win. Gerry Sargent and Ian McCormick (above and below) on the winner Starfish, arguably the best-looking IDRA 14 ever built. Gerry helped his father Charlie build her in 1962. Photos: W M NixonPHOTO HERE


But the rest of the fleet were getting in each other’s way hoping to find an eddy right inshore east of the slip. It was their undoing. James Palmer sensibly kept himself clear of this melee, and sought the new breeze out towards the middle. It paid off big time. Phoenix went from crab grass to contender in that final beat, and finished sixth with dozens of supposedly hotter boats well behind her.

IDRA 14 19Promenade racing. Dusk closing in on second place, with the Royal Dublin Golf Club in the background. Photo: W M Nixon

IDRA 14It all came right in the end. The visiting Dragonfly Class Phoenix (James Palmer) pulled herself up from being a tail-ender to 6th overall in the final beat. Photo: W M Nixon

It was a fairytale ending to a magic day. The winner was the most beautiful boat in the class, sailed by a man who built this most beautiful boat with his father 54 years ago. Second place was filled by the boat which won the championship in 1949, a boat which, in this year of Irish Olympic sailing medals, gives us a direct link back to that very first Irish Olympic team of 1948. She is also the boat which, in 1993 in another father-and-son project, showed what can be done to keep a classic IDRA 14 in good order through the newest techniques. And in a very honourable sixth place, there was a visitor who had come a long distance in many ways in order to join the IDRA 14 class in celebrating their 70th birthday.

It was a day to remember and cherish, so here’s the list of the top six: 1st Starfish (1962, sailed by Gerry Sargent); 2nd Dusk (1946, sailed by Neil Cawthorn); 3rd Siobhan (1979, sailed by Louise McKenna); 4th Delos 2 (1953, sailed by Derek Jacobs); 5th Slipstream (1978, sailed by David Rowland), 6th Phoenix (Dragonfly, 2016, sailed by James Palmer).

And if you’re minded to absorb further the special nature of the IDRA 14 Class, this video below from the 1950s which Lough Derg YC presented to the class when they held their 2016 Nationals down there three weeks ago, the winners being Alan Henry and Simon Revill from Sutton.


Published in IDRA 14

There were ideal saiing conditions at Lough Derg Yacht Club for the 22 boats competing at this year's IDRA 14 dinghy national championships writes Philip Hackett.

I set off for this year’s nationals thinking that a fairly sedate affair was in store; light winds set to weaken and lots of 70th anniversary yarns to sit through...fool me. The unexpected moderate winds and sunny spells made for ideal conditions in a superb location. That combined with the excellent facilities and hospitality afforded to us by LDYC made this one of the best nationals for our class in my experience.

IDRA 14New build IDRA 14 #166 Wicked Sadie

A quiet few days on the Shannon away from the crowds?.... The start line was worse than the M50 on a Friday bank holiday weekend and far more exciting. All very bad for the blood pressure but the starts really helped to mix up the fleet and gave some people a taste of glory up front for a while (Gordon and Mark race 6) and made the front runners work hard for points, having to battle up from the back of the fleet in several races. That all helped to make this event very competitive with a tight fleet and lots of tussles, front, middle and rear. The exception being the #1 spot with Alan Henry and Simon Revill (#134 Dubious) dominating the front without any serious challenge until they got snarled up on the start line on the final race. A little more on that later.

IDRA !4134 Dubious ….sometimes it's lonely at the top

The first day ended following a double win for #134. Pat O’Neill/Oisín O’Conor (#15 Delos II) tied for second position with Alan Carr/Ian MC Cormack (#38 Starfish) and third position also tied between myself/Fiachra Collins (#163 Chance), Frank Hamilton/Marjo Moonen (#140 Dunmoanin) and Andy Sargent/Callum Maher (#4 Dusk) and several others in close position thereafter.

The second day saw 134 again with a double win and second position still tied between Alan Carr/38 and Pat O’Neill/15. Pierre Long/John Parker(#161 Dart) moved up into 4th place behind them. The second race on this day had to be restarted due to the leeward mark drifting….post race chat revealed that most people reckoned the race was theirs if only it hadn't been restarted….indeed. Other notable events of the day saw Jim Lambkin/Wendy Rudd(#1 Error) mistakenly returning to the line for someone else's individual recall and Pat O’Neill receiving a schelp from our boom following an inadvertent jibe on the start line (sorry again Pat).

IDRA 14Pat O’Neill and Alan Carr….stern chasing

The final day was showdown time for second place between Alan Carr and Pat O’Neil but both were badly hemmed in on the start line in the first race and they finished 5th and 6th respectively. Second place went to Frank Hamilton/140 and third to Pierre Long/161. Running into the final race Alan Henry/134’s winning streak remained unbroken and just one point separated Alan Carr ahead of Pat O’Neil. The Committee Boat end of the line had been particularly busy in several of the previous races and so several people decided that the pin end would be the smart place to be…...however the pin end in this final race turned out to be the veritable eye of the needle….several  of the leading contenders either coming into contact with each other or the the mark or else stalling in the general melee. Myself and Fiachra managed to stay clear of it and crossed the start line with good speed and time. We kept our clear lead for the rest of the race. Gordon Kelly/Mark Masterson(#129 Del) had a lengthy taste of potential glory holding a good second position for most of the race until suffering a capsize at the end of the final reach.  Pat O’Neill started at the very back of the fleet and  #134 helmed by Simon Revill with Alan Henry now crewing also trailed the fleet at the start. However both these boats battled their way up through most of the fleet with Pat finally finishing 4th and Simon 2nd. Alan Carr also worked hard to make his way up and finished in 7th. Another very notable result being that of 3rd place taken by Catherine Martin/Brian Murphy(#122 Diane). Catherine is new to the class and had little prior experience of spinnaker sailing.

The final results saw Alan Henry/Simon Revill take 1st, Pat O’Neill/Oisín O’Connor  2nd and Alan Carr/Ian McCormack 3rd.

One very welcome innovation at this year’s Nationals being a rescue boat with a sun deck and onboard bar facilities…..Donal Heney/Louise Coulter(#71 Atomic) being taken in tow and aboard by a spectating motor cruiser. Ageing boy scouts John Lynch/Stephen Harrison(#158 Stoked) lived up to the motto Be Prepared by having a spare tiller to hand when they also suffered similar equipment failure.

The number of family members, over a 3 generation spread, racing with or against each other was also very notable this year...with the youngest competitor, SDC’s Caoimhe Fleming, aged 14 and the oldest being in his mid sixties. There was also a  big contingent of younger sailors from CYBC’s junior section attending the event with four boats either being crewed or helmed by them, Pat O’Neill’s crew, Oisín O’Connor, being one of these.

A thoroughly enjoyable and successful event. I am looking forward to returning to Lough Derg again soon.

Lough Derg Yacht Club..Race Officer John Leech with the IDRA 14 fleet

Published in IDRA 14

It takes a leap of the imagination to realise what a remarkable breakthrough the introduction of the Irish Dinghy Racing Association 14ft One Design represented in 1946 writes W M Nixon. But the 70th Anniversary celebrations of this ever-young classic dinghy at Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club on the weekend of September 3rd and 4th will be a reminder of the contribution of a very special boat towards making Ireland the sort of sailing nation where Olympic medals come within the range of possibility and achievement.

The new boat came like a breath of fresh air in the post-war time of uncertainty, when everybody knew that Irish sailing was going to have to go in a new direction if it was to go anywhere, but precisely what that direction might be was a matter of debate and uncertainty.

The formation of a specifically dinghy-sailing national body was a first step, and the importation of the new Uffa Fox-designed mass-produced 12ft–Firefly gave a glimpse of the future. But what was also needed was a slightly larger modern boat with a distinctively Irish tinge.

Fortunately a young Irish yacht and boat designer, O’Brien Kennedy, was working in England, and he was keyed in to the latest concepts in racing dinghies. He had produced plans for clinker-built dinghies for racing which reflected the latest hull design trends, and it was felt that one of his designs would - with several modifications - be suitable to provide the IDRA with a 14ft dinghy to go with the Firefly in spreading the concepts of modern dinghy racing throughout Ireland.

IDRA_14_PLANSThe first public appearance – O’Brien Kennedy’s drawings for the new IDRA 14 as they appeared in The Yachting Year Annual 1946-47.
In fact, such was the interest and enthusiasm reaching O’Brien Kennedy from would-be owners in Ireland that he produced what were in effect the plans of a new boat, and in a matter of weeks forty-six of the new IDRA 14s were in the pipeline, either from commercial builders, or from capable enthusiasts so keen to get the new class into being that they were game to have a go at building the boats themselves.

They were profoundly satisfying boats to build, as O’Brien Kennedy had produced a set of lines which resulted in beautifully sweeping clinker-planked hulls, something which has been shown to perfection in the most recent boat Wicked Sadie, amateur built to professional standards by a group at Contarf, and much admired wherever she goes since her launching on June 25th this year.

So it’s appropriate that Clontarf is going to be the setting for celebrating the Class’s 70h birthday, as it was a hotbed for IDRA 14 growth in the late 1940s, with one leading local sailor so keen to get the show on the road that he donated one of the new boats to be the prize in a raffle.

IDRA 14 Champions 1947 – 2015

YearVenueBoat NameSail No.HelmClubCrewClub
1947 Royal St George YC "Error" 1 R.D. (Douglas) Heard RstGYC    
1948 Lough Ree YC "Dawn" 8 A.J. (Jimmy) Mooney RstGYC    
1949 Royal Munster YC "Dusk" 4 R.H. (Hugh) Allen RstGYC Alf Delany RstGYC
1950 Lough Derg YC "Monaveen" 56 George Bushe RMYC Kevin O'Regan RMYC
1951 Waterford Harbour SC "Mystery" 51 C.J. (Joe) Fitzgerald RMYC Michael Donnelly RMYC
1952 Lough Ree YC "Sheldrake" 36 Noel (Bunny) Conn SDC Mary Conn SDC
1953 Royal Munster YC "Miss Betty" 54 J. Clayton-Love Jnr RMYC Donal McClement RMYC
1954 Skerries SC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Patricia O'Reilly CY&BC
1955 Waterford Harbour SC "Miss Betty" 54 J Clayton-Love Jnr RMYC Hugh Barry RMYC
1956 Lough Derg YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC G.M. (Gerry) Sargent CY&BC
1957 Royal Munster YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Tommy O'Reilly CY&BC
1958 Wexford Harbour BC "Miss Betty" 54 Sean Flood CY&BC Brian McNally CY&BC
1959 Ballyholme YC "Miss Betty" 54 Sean Flood CY&BC Brian McNally CY&BC
1960 Baltimore SC  "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Gerry Burke CY&BC
1961 Royal Munster YC "Sheldrake" 36 Robert Hogg SDC Des O'Shea SDC
1962 Skerries SC "Starfish" 38 G.M. (Gerry) Sargent SDC Ian Sargent SDC
1963 No event held that year as Class Association declined to compete in "Dinghy Week" in Dun Laoghaire            
1964 Baltimore SC "Dryad" 104 P.R. (Philip) Jacob WHSC / RstGYC Bill Pigot RstGYC
1965 Royal Munster YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Gerry Burke CY&BC
1966 Ballyholme YC "Daydream" 111 J.S. (John) Godkin KYC Clive Latchford KYC
1967 Royal Cork YC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1968 Strangford Lough YC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1969 Baltimore SC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1970 Lough Derg YC "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1971 Wexford Harbour BC "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1972 Malahide SC (MYC) "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1973 Mullingar SC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1974 Waterford Harbour SC "Dainty" 2 John & Rosemary Doorly RstGYC Rosemary Doorly RstGYC
1975 Tralee SC  "Cheetah" 65 E.F. (Teddy) Chandler CY&BC Cormac Smyth CY&BC
1976 Sligo YC "Daydream" 111 Terry Demsey CY&BC Sean Deane CY&BC
1977 Lough Ree YC "Chloe" 30 Terry Demsey CY&BC Sean Deane CY&BC
1978 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Joe Brennan SSBC
1979 Lough Ree YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1980 Royal Cork YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1981 Lough Derg YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC John Hensey SDC
1982 Sligo YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1983 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1984 Lough Derg YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1985 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1986 Skerries SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1987 Wicklow SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1988 Sligo YC "Dainty" 2 Andrew Mollard RstGYC Paul Conway RstGYC
1989 Waterford Harbour SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1990 Galway Bay SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1991 Waterford Harbour SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1992 Galway Bay SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1993 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1994 Wicklow SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1995 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1996 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1997 Royal Cork YC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1998 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1999 Dundalk & Carlingford SC "Dunmoanin" 140 Frank Miller DMYC Claire Sheil DMYC
2000 Galway Bay SC "Chance" 163 Scorie Walls SDC David Tillotson SDC
2001 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Scorie Walls SDC Colm O'Neill SDC
2002 Galway Bay SC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2003 Lough Erne YC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2004 Wexford Harbour B&TC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2005 Galway Bay SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2006 Lough Erne YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Barry Kelly SDC
2007 Carlingford Lough YC "Slipstream" 125 Alan Henry SDC William Gordon SDC
2008 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Aoibhin de Burca SDC
2009 Newtownards SC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Aoibhin de Burca SDC
2010 Lough Ree YC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2011 Galway Bay SC "Slipstream" 125 Alan Henry SDC Simon Revill SDC
2012 Lough Erne YC "Chaos" 143 Julie Ascoop CY&BC Heather Keenan CY&BC
2013 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Ian McCormack SDC
2014 Carlingford SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2015 Lough Ree YC "Dubious" 134 Alan Henry SDC Simon Revill SDC


The detailed listing of the Class Champions since 1947 deserves the closest study, for it shows just how central to the development of Irish sailing the IDRA 14 became. Just about every area of sailing, both inshore and offshore, dinghy and keelboat, has seen IDRA 14 sailors becoming involved to make a major contribution at the top levels, and the friendships formed have lasted down the years.

Thus the big party at Clontarf in the first weekend of September is going to work at many levels. And it even has an international aspect, as a sister class of the IDRA 14 is the Dragonfly at Waldringfield in Suffolk in eastern England. The newest Dragonfly – built last year – is going to be brought to Clontarf, accompanied by a party of eleven Dragonfly sailors.

Longtime IDRA 14 sailor and former Clontarf Y & BC Commodore Ian Sargent is at the heart of this remarkable celebration, which is going to lay on a major welcome for IDRA 14 sailors past and present. He can be contacted through [email protected], mobile 087-6791069, landline 01-8322196.

idra 14 dinghy A class in good heart – the modern IDRA fleet, seen here racing in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, incudes both timber and GRP boats. Photo courtesy VDLR

Published in IDRA 14

Following the launch of the new build IDRA 14 wooden dinghy on Saturday, after a three year long project, the Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club team lead and novice boat builder Ronan Melling has thanked all of those involved in making the day so successful.

"Three years ago I had a crazy idea to build a boat. It was crazy because I have never attempted anything like it before. I didn’t know then that it would take a team of amateurs almost three years, over six thousand hours, three different types of wood and almost 2000 rivets to build this boat. I couldn’t have comprehended how much I would learn. I didn’t know how many incredible people would respond to my calls for help, advice and support. I didn’t realise how many of these people, after willingly offering what they could, would stay with the project - through ups and downs, setbacks and challenges, breakthroughs and milestones.

"All of the blood (mostly Donal Heney’s) sweat and tears culminated in the launch of Wicked Sadie on Saturday the 25th of June.Wicked Sadie is a boat with soul. Her soul, my soul, the soul of the incredible build team, of the IDRA14 class, of CY&BC.

It was a passion for the sea, for wooden boats that inspired me to attempt this project but it would not have been possible without the support of my club and its Executive and membership. The Club provided the space for us to complete the project and our Commodore led others in promoting and supporting the project and all of the club members who lent a hand, particularly with the riveting and sanding. We also had huge support from other clubs, particularly the East Wall Water Sports club who shared their boat building expertise.

I owe all of these supporters and contributors a huge debt of gratitude. We wouldn’t be here without you.

"We were so delighted to see so many people turn out for the launch on Saturday – to sail off in Wicked Sadie and look back and see so many family, friends, supporters and visitors line along the sea wall to wave us off was incredible. A huge thanks to all of the IDRA14s who accompanied us on that first sail around – it was amazing to have such company on the water.

"This boat is all about family, not only mine who bore all my absences with patience and good grace, but the IDRA14 family. The work that we have done here in building Wicked Sadie, developing the plans, recording the stages, marking the best practice is all there for future generations, for all of those brave fools who want to pour their souls into a newbuild IDRA14. We have played our part and got our own Pearly Queen, our very own Wicked Sadie, who is a testament to the strength of the past and the potential of the future."

Published in IDRA 14

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the wooden dinghy IDRA 14, a group of amateur boat builders from Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club (CY&BC), led by Ronan Melling have built the first boat in almost 50 years.

The clinker boat has taken three years to build so the launch on the 25th of June at 12:30pm will be an historic occasion for CY&BC.

Speaking in advance of the launch, project lead and first-time boat builder Ronan Melling said, "The IDRA14 dinghies have a unique Irish history. They are single design wooden boats that were designed by an Irish naval architect, George O’Brien Kennedy in the winter of 1938 in Dorset. The design was adopted and adapted by the Irish Dinghy Racing Association in 1945 to regulate small boat sailing and encourage more people into the sport.

“The first IDRA14s were launched in the summer of 1946 and the first races were held in Clontarf and Dun Laoghaire so it is fitting that the first one built in almost 50 years will be launched from the same slipway.

"It has taken over 6,000 hours, the work of 30 plus volunteers and the incredible help and support of so many people from within Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and outside to get us to this point so we are really excited about sharing our official launch with boats from clubs across Dublin who will join our new IDRA14. There is a lot of excitement and speculation about the name of the new boat, which will be revealed on the day."

The Harold’s Cross Brass Band will be there to provide music for the launch. Afterwards from 3pm Bryan Smyth will entertain guests in the Club with live music. There will also be face painting and food available.

Date: Saturday 25th of June
Time: 12:30pm
Location: Slip opposite Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club, Clontarf Road, Dublin 3

Published in IDRA 14

June bank holiday weekend now features a joyous experience every year – driving down the main street in Warrenpoint, boat jangling on trailer behind, to emerge to the glorious panoramic vista of Carlingford Lough. A few miles further along the road to Rostrevor and Carlingford Lough Yacht Club welcomed the IDRA14 fleet for the 21st occasion spanning 20 years. Dubbed ‘Roastrevor’ this year, we were treated to stunning weather, warm sunshine and fresh sea-breezes.

This year being the 70th anniversary, the IDRA14 ethos of “Classic & Progressive” was very much in evidence, with classic wooden boats looking lustrous (SDC’s Alan Carr’s ever immaculate 14/38 “Starfish” and CYBC’s Donal Heney’s resplendent 14/71 “Atomic”) and a variety of new controls (some new spinnaker pole arrangements, some trying centre-sheeting for example) implemented across the fleet. With a decent turn-out of nine boats, the sailing promised to be good. And of course there was a big turn-out of friends, family, kids and dogs ashore, so spirits were high as the sun was soaked in, BBQs lit and pints were savoured.

Day 1 featured light winds with a clear divide amongst the fleet, with 134 taking two firsts and 38 and 140 swapping second/third for both races. Further back, the competition was tight in battling for best positions. Clontarf’s Ian Sargent and Dave Tillotson assisted in being Race Officer and Rescue on the day.

A strengthening breeze picked up for Day 2, as evidenced by four boats capsizing throughout the first race. For Race 3, a pin bias seemed apparent with both 134 and 142 starting on a port tack and slipped ahead of any oncoming boat on starboard. The windward mark was rounded first by 134, then 38, 142, and followed closely by 140 and 126. Close quarters sailing with the spinnakers aloft, but 142 tipped over following a gybe near the leeward mark. Both 160 and 71 slipped by, having both recovered rapidly from earlier capsizes.

The long race to Warrenpoint started promptly thereafter. 14/142, now drained post-capsize, again took a port start and executed a rapid tack in advance of the hollering starboard boats. After a short upwind leg, the windward mark was rounded in order of 134, 38, 142, 140, 126, 160 and 71. Sweeping around the mark, bows were pointed towards the steeple in Warrenpoint and the then invisible mark approximately three miles distant. Spinnakers were hoisted, set and filled and the boats surged forward, tearing down the Lough in chase of the local club Lasers starting earlier. At a broad reach, near run, the boats surfed down the waves rolling up the Lough. 134 extended their lead and 140 slipped into third place, with 142 and 126 rounding the leeward mark in close pursuit. Hardening up into the long beat back, 142 opted for the outer route into the middle of the lough while 140 and 126 tacked back inland. The finish line was out of sight, with just the mast of a giant moored trimaran being a reference point in the hazy sunshine. Crews leaning far out on trapeze, helms hiking over the side, everything stretched to keep the boat flat and slicing through the oncoming swell. With the fleet dispersed, it was difficult to gauge relative progress, with both 134 and 142 opting to sail slightly higher courses to allow to reach at speed for the line. With a clean sweep for the weekend, 134 crossed the line in first place followed a minute later by 38. Both 142 and 140 courses converged towards the line with the tiniest of margins separating them – 142 took 3rd place with 140 crossing 4 seconds later. 126, 160 and 71 took the remaining positions after a tough close-hauled sail up the lough.

Alan Henry / Simon Revill (14/134) of Sutton Dinghy Club claimed first place, with Alan Carr / Dana Kilroy (14/38) also of Sutton Dinghy Club in second place and Frank Hamilton / Jennifer Byrne (14/140) of Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club in third place. Proving that blood is indeed thicker than water, Charles Sargent and granddaughter Caoimhe Fleming (14/126) of Sutton Dinghy Club took home the Warrenpoint trophy on handicap. Overall a fantastic weekend of superb sailing conditions, fabulous weather and relaxing atmosphere, all graciously hosted with thanks to good folks in Carlingford Lough Yacht Club.

Published in IDRA 14
Tagged under

#idra14 – The IDRA14 National Championships at Carlingford Lough concluded on Sunday. A good representation from Royal St. George, DMYC, Clontarf Y&BC and Sutton Dinghy Club saw eighteen crews attending. Results sheet downloadable below.

Pat O'Neill and Jim O'Hara (pictured) of Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club sailed to an almost perfect score of 6 points with 4 bullets over the 6 races on board Delos II.
Second overall were former National Champions Alan Henry and Simon Revill of Sutton Dinghy Club scoring 12 points on board "Sunshine"
In third place just one point behind were Julie Ascoop and Heather Keenan of DMYC sailing "Chaos"
In the Silver fleet former Class Commodore Stephen Harrison took line honours along with crew Stephen Johnston on board "Squalls" also sailing out of DMYC.
In the Crew's Race Calum Maher of Sutton Dinghy Club was first home. Star of the future potentially.
Race Officer Ian Sargent with support from Carlingford SC volunteers ran 7 races over 3 days in sometimes very challenging conditions.
The IDRA14 Class wishes to acknowledge the great welcome, hospitality and assistance shown to members both on and off the water by all member of Carlingford Sailing Club. Vice Commodore Erin Finnegan has invited the class to return with the event again in the future.

Published in Racing

#idra14 – The June bank holiday weekend again saw the IDRA 14's head north to Killowen, near Rostrevor in Co. Down writes Ian Sargent. Carlingford Lough Yacht Club's location is nestled on the shore with the majestic Mourne mountains behind and stunning views of the Lough and the Cooley mountains to the front – surely the most scenic sailing location in Ireland.

The small number of boats (8 this year) was augmented by the Class entourage and a large number of tents, camper vans etc took up residence on the Friday. Sadly two of our regular attendees – Killain Sargent & Yvonne Murray (14/157) and Paddy O'Kelly (14/51) have emigrated to Australia since last year. They did however send their regards from Oz to us for the event on facebook.

The hospitality of the Club bar was enjoyed at length each night into the early hours of the morning – thank you Seamus McNally (the barman). On the Saturday evening were were entertained by the CLYC Choir who were followed by our young musicians Ronah Lonergan, Hazel O'Kelly & Emma Richardson,

Our racing schedule for the event is different than most Classes – we only want two one hour back to back races each day in the afternoon each day. This format has made the event very popular with the Class as the time spent on the water is not too long and so everyone brings their kids and grandkids etc which results in a great atmosphere on shore.

The sailing on the Saturday was a mixed bag as the renowned vagares of the winds in Carlingford again made themselves known – large patches of calm interspersed with other patches of wind that constantly varied in direction and later even rising enough to have one capsize. Also there were the usual early season gear failures. The race officer succeeded in getting the two races completed and the competitors happily returned to shore. Race 1 was won by 14/163 (Philip Hackett) and race 2 by 14/112 (Alan Henry).

On the Sunday afternoon we had two more races – one near the club and the second the usual long race taking in a mark at Warrenpoint. This long race is eagerly awaited each year as it can become a test of endurance if the wind gets up – and it did! More capsizes and gear failure followed. Two boats found a mark closer than the one at Warrenpoint and arrived back elated only to find they had not completed the full course. Everyone arrived back quite exhausted and were delighted that was the last race. The 3rd race was again won by Alan Henry and the long 4th race by 14/140 (Frank Hamilton) after a closely fought battle with 14/126 (Charles Sargent) and 14/38 (Alan Carr).

The prizegiving was held outside th Club in warm sunshine – in total contrast to recent years.

Special presentations were made to the Commodore of CLYC Philip O'Connor and to our Ciaran Browne who is emigrating shortly to the USA. Sadly emigration is now becoming more than an occasional event in our sport.

Next year will be our 20th visit to CLYC. Very few Classes have an away event in one location that has continued unbroken for such a long number of years. We have also built up a great rapport with thr CLYC members – many of whom come down each year to join us in the shoreside activities.

We would like to express our thanks to Carlingford Lough Yacht Club for their hospitality and continued support for this event. So now roll the 20th visit in 2015.

Northern Chanmpionship Results:

1st 14/112 "Sunshine" Alan Henry / Simon Reville SDC / HYC
2nd 14/140 "Dunmoanin" Frank Hamilton / Jennifer Byrne DMYC
3rd 14/38 "Starfish" Alan Carr / Dana Kilroy SDC
4th 14/126 "Smurfette" Charles Sargent / Fergal O'Flaherty SDC / DMYC
5th 14/163 "Chance" Philip Hackett / Fiachra Collins CY&BC
6th 14/31 "Shearwater" Ciaran Browne/ Peter Dignam CY&BC
7th 14/160 "Dragon" Ronan Melling / Lorraine Smith CY&BC
8th 14/71 "Atomic" Donal Heney / Louise Coulter CY&BC

Warrenpoint Trophy Race:
14/140 "Dunmaonin" Frank Hamilton / Jennifer Byrne DMYC

Published in Racing
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