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Displaying items by tag: Malahide

#fingal – The Government's recent move to create a framework for the direct election of a new all-powerful Mayor for Dublin was expected to be a shoo-in. The new Super-Mayor's authority would incorporate the current four local councils of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin, Dublin City, and Fingal, each one of which had to vote in favour. But Fingal's councillors voted firmly against it, despite emphatic support of the proposal by the councillors in the other three areas. As a Fingallion by adoption, W M Nixon strongly supports this independent move by a largely rural and coastal region which has a longer shoreline than all the other Dublin areas put together, and is clearly not a naturally integral part of the city.

Fingal is the Ukraine of Leinster, and the glowering monster of Dublin is the Russia within Ireland, intent on the conquest of its smaller freedom-seeking neighbour. Vigorous, all-powerful, intensely urban, and distinctly impressed with itself, Dublin is certain that the further its bounds are spread, the better it will be for all its citizens. And the more citizens it can claim, then the better for Dublin.

But Fingal is different. For sure, it can seem a bit sleepy and rural by comparison with central Dublin, but that's the way we like it. It's a place of odd little ports and much fishing, a region of offshore islands, rocky coasts and many beaches on one side, and the profound heart of the fertile country on the other. A place where – as you move north within it - you might make a living in many ways at once, taking in growing vegetables, raising animals, running a dairy herd, and keeping a lobster boat down at the local quay, while perhaps having a horse or two as well. And if you feel like more shore sport, the golfing options are truly world class.

As for the sailing and all other forms of recreational boating, Fingal is not just a place of remarkable variety – it's a universe. With five islands – six if you count Rockabill – its 88 kilometre coastline is one for sport, relaxation and exploration. Sea angling is well up the agenda, and it's a kayakers' paradise, while Irish speed records in sailboarding and kite-surfing have been established in the natural sand-girt canal which forms for much of the tidal cycle in the outer Baldoyle estuary immediately west of Howth.

Apart from fishing boats – and inshore they're usually only the smaller ones – it has no commercial traffic. And though there are tidal streams, in southern Fingal's main racing area between Ireland's Eye and Lambay, they're not excessively strong, and run in a reasonably clear-defined way, while the flukey winds which so often bedevil Dublin Bay away to the south are much less of a problem in sailing off Fingal, where the winds blow free.

The range of boat and sailing clubs of Fingal matches the variety of its coast. The most southerly is Sutton Dinghy Club, rare among Ireland's yacht clubs in being south-facing. It may be focused on sailing in Dublin Bay, but scratch any SDC sailor, and you'll find a Fingallion. Round the corner of the Baily – not a headland to be trifled with - Howth has two clubs, the yacht club with its own marina, and Cumann na Bhad Binn Eadair (the Howth Sailing & Boat Club) in the northeast corner of the harbour, while Howth Sea Angling Club with its large premises on the West Pier is one of the tops in the country.

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The sunny south. Sutton Dinghy Club is Fingal's most southerly sailing club, and is also rare in Ireland through being south facing.

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Islands of Fingal seen across the eastern part of Howth marina, with Ireland's Eye in the foreground, and Lambay beyond. Photo: W M Nixon

As for the waters they share, their most immediate neighbour is the steep island of Ireland's Eye with its pleasant southwest-facing beach, the island itself a remarkable wild nesting site, particularly when you remember that it's close beside an intensely urban setting. When a discerning visitor described Ireland's Eye as "an astonishing and perfect miniature St Kilda", he wasn't exaggerating.

Across in Malahide, where we find Fingal's other marina, Malahide YC - which recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee and currently has Graham Smith as its first second-generation Commodore – is in the curious position of having two clubhouses. One is a charming and hospitable place among trees within easy stroll of the marina, while the other is west of the long railway embankment which retains the extensive inner waters of Broadmeadow. This makes the waters into a marvellous recreational amenity and boating and sailing nursery, so not surprisingly it is home to active sailing schools. And it is also the base of Malahide YC "west", a dinghy sailing club on the Broadmeadow shore at Yellow Walls, while further west of it again is yet another club, the more recently formed Swords Sailing & Boating Club.

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The map of modern Fingal shows how the southwest corner of the present region seems remote from the largely coastal and rural nature of much of the rest of the county. And it also confirms the surprise (to many) that the Phoenix Park is in Fingal.

North from Malahide, and you're into "Fingal profonde", its deeply rural nature occasionally emphasised by the sea nearby. The long Rogerstown Estuary, the next inlet after Malahide, sometimes found itself providing the northern boundary of The Pale, and as recently as the early 1800s the river at Rogerstown and the tiny port of Rush were a veritable nest of smugglers, privateers and occasionally pirates, with buccaneering captains of myth and legend such as Luke Ryan and James Mathews proving to have been real people who were pillars of society when back home in their secretive little communities after their lengthy business forays to God know where.

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Muddy situation. Low water in the Rogerstown Estuary. The hill in the distance on the left is new – for years, it was the largest dump in Ireland, the Balleally Landfill. But now it is well on its way to rehabilitation as an enhancement of the landscape. Photo: W M Nixon

The Rogerstown Estuary went through an unpleasant period when its inner waters were dominated by the nearby presence of the biggest waste dump in Dublin, Balleally Landfill. It rose and rose, but now it's closed, and is in process of being revived to some sort of natural state. The result is that the vista westward from Rogerstown is much improved by a pleasant and completely new hill which so enhances the view at sunset that shrewd locals have built themselves a row of fine new houses facing west, along the quirkily named Spout Lane which runs inland from the estuary.

Whatever about the legality-pushing privateer skippers who used Rogerstown Estuary as their base in days of yore, these days it's home to the quay and storehouse which serves the ferry to Lambay, which is Fingal's only inhabited island when there are no bird wardens resident on Rockabill, and it's also the setting for another south-facing club, Rush SC. It is spiritual home these days to the historic 17ft Mermaid Class (they still occasionally build new ones in an old mill nearby), but despite the very strong tidal streams where the estuary narrows as it meets the sea, RSC also has a large cruiser fleet whose moorings are so tide-rode that unless there's a boat on the buoy, it tends to disappear under water in the final urge of the flood. This can make things distinctly interesting for strangers arriving in and hoping to borrow a mooring while avoiding getting fouled in those moorings already submerged. Not surprisingly, with their boat sizes becoming larger like everywhere else, Rush SC find that their bigger cruisers use Malahide Marina.

To seaward of Rogerstown, with the little port of Rush just round the corner, the view is dominated by Lambay. A fine big island with is own little "miniature Dun Laoghaire" to provide a harbour on its west side, it has a notable Lutyens house set among the trees. But for many years now Lambay has been a major Nature Reserve, so landing is banned, though anchorage is available in its three or four bays provided you don't interfere with the wildlife along the shore. This makes it off bounds to kayakers who might hope for a leg stretch on land, though it's still well worth paddling round close inshore.

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Racing round Lambay. Close competition between the Howth 17s Aura (left) and Pauline, which have been racing annually round Lambay since 1904. Photo: John Deane

Along the Fingal mainland coast, the next inlet after Rush is Loughshinny, a lovely natural harbour with a quay to further improve the bay's shelter. There's a very active little fishing fleet, while the shoreside architecture is, how shall we say, decidedly eclectic and individualistic? Go there and you'll see what I mean.

Six miles offshore, Rockabill marks the northeast limits of Fingal. It's a fine big double-rock, with a substantial lighthouse and characterful keepers' houses attached. But as it's now automated, the only time Rockabill is inhabited is for the four summer months when a bird warden or two take up residence to monitor the rocky island's most distinguished summer residents, Europe's largest breeding colony of roseate terns.

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Rockabill, where the shy roseate terns feel at home. Photo: W M Nixon

In Fingal we tend to take these pretty but noisy summer visitors for granted, but the word is that south of Dublin Bay the tern buffs are so incensed by Rockabill having a clear run that they're tried to start a rival colony of roseate terns on the Muglins, and built a row of tern houses (one good tern deserves another) to facilitate their residence. The potential nest sites may not have survived the past severe winter. But in any case, one wonders if they had planning permission from Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown council for this development? Persons suggesting that such a development would almost certainly be terned down will not be given any attention whatsoever.

Skerries and Balbriggan are the two main sea towns of north Fingal, and they're as different as can be, the difference being emphasised by historic rivalry. It's said that back in the government harbour-building days of the late 19th Century a grant was made available to assist local landowners to make significant improvements to one of the harbours, and this meant war.

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Balbriggan may very definitely dry out, but it provides a secure home port for both trawlers and other boats prepared to settle on the mud and sand. Photo: W M Nixon

So eventually the grant was split with half going to improve Balbriggan, and the other half to Skerries, with neither being a total success. If you seek total shelter in either today, you have to be prepared to dry out, while the anchorage off Skerries is also subject to a large tidal whorl which means that when the ebb is running in a strong onshore wind, the moorings are doubly rough and diabolically uncomfortable. And every so often after an exceptional nor'easter, we have another litany of boats driven ashore and Skerries yacht insurance going even further through the roof.

It's a situation which needs proper attention from an administration which is genuinely interested in the port. And the proper development of the harbour at Skerries, while retaining the little old place's special character, is surely something which could be much better done by Fingal Council rather than some remote Mayor of Dublin for whom Skerries will be the outermost periphery, a place seldom visited, if at all.

We've seen it all before. Time was when Fingal was simply the North County, little noticed in the centres of power which were basically Dublin City and Dublin County, their head offices in the heart of the city. But then in 2001 the new four-council setup was created, and the old name of Fingal – never forgotten by those who cherished the area – was revived. A very fine new user-friendly County Hall – it has even been praised by Frank McDonald of The Irish Times – was built in the re-born county town of Swords. Out on the new boundaries meanwhile, the signs went up saying "Welcome to Fingal County". But we old Fingallion fogeys pointed out that as Fingal means "Territory of the Fair Strangers" (i.e the Norsemen rather than the Danes), it was superfluous to be describing it as "the county of the territory", so these days it's just Fingal, and we're happy with that.

Here in Howth, we sort of slipped into acceptance of the new setup. Once upon a time, from 1917 to 1943, Howth had its own Urban District Council. It says much for the place's remoteness from the world that the HUDC was established in the midst of one global war, and quietly wound up in the midst of another. In 1943, Commissioners had to be imposed on the tiny fiefdom to offset the fact that some local interests thought the HUDC existed entirely for their own personal benefit. So at various times since, Howth was run either by Dublin County Council, or even by Dublin City Corporation. We were assured that this latter setup was all to our benefit, as the powers-that-be in City Hall had a soft spot for Howth, sure wasn't it the place where the mammy went every Thursday evening to buy the family's fish, and wouldn't she want to see it looking well?

Maybe so, but when it came to doing something more useful with the harbour, Howth Yacht Club – having re-constituted itself in 1968 from an amalgamation of Howth Sailing Club (founded 1895) and Howth Motor Yacht Club (founded 1934) - found itself dealing with a bewildering variety of government departments as the lowly interests of fishing and its ports seemed to be shifted whenever possible by civil servants who reckoned that banging the drum on behalf of fisheries in particular, and maritime interests in general, was not a shrewd career move for anyone planning a steady progress up the very landbound Irish public service ladder to the sunlit uplands of a long and prosperous retirement.

So if at times absolutely nothing seemed to be happening in a harbour which was painfully inadequate for expanding boating and fishing needs, it was partly because the club officers and fishermen's leaders could find it difficult to discern just who in authority could or would make the decisive call. In those days it turned out to be somewhere in the hidden recesses of the Office of Public Works. Suddenly, in 1979, a plan for the major re-development of the harbour was promulgated at official level, with a radical rationalisation planned for its future use. The western part, it was proposed, would become totally fisheries, while the eastern part was to be given over to recreational boating, all of it involving major civil engineering and harbour works projects.

Looking at the successful harbour today, it all seems perfectly reasonable and sensible. But back in 1979 when HYC were presented with a time-limited take-it-or-leave-it choice, the way ahead was not at all clear. Friendships were sundered and family feuds emerged from the heated progress towards accepting the offer that the club agree to vacate its premises on the West Pier - a clubhouse which it had renovated and extended only ten years earlier – and commit itself to the installation, at members' cost, of a marina in the eastern harbour with the obligation to build a completely new clubhouse there.

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Today's Howth Harbour didn't happen overnight. This is how it was from 1982 until the new clubhouse was completed in 1987. Photo: W M Nixon

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Multiple activities under way at Howth YC this week. The club's setup may seem only natural now, but it was quite a struggle to get there. Photo: W M Nixon

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Howth's vibrant mix of a working fishing port and busy sailing centre has provided the ideal setting for the development of a successful visitor and seafood destination. Photo: W M Nixon

It's all history now, but it was done. And done so well by those involved that today it's simply taken for granted. Arguably, it's a compliment to those who created the Howth YC setup, that newer members should seldom wonder how it all came to happen, it just seems so right and natural. And as for those running the club, they in turn have to build on past achievements in dealing with an ever-changing administrative environment in which the changeover to being part of Fingal was only one of several evolutions.

Yet the recent attempt to abolish Fingal was a wake-up call. In Howth we may have wandered into it, but in just a dozen years, a dormant Fingal identity has come quietly but strongly awake. In Howth village it's natural enough, as our backs are turned to Dublin and we look to the rest of Fingal. But even on the south side of the hill, where fine houses face across Dublin Bay and you'd expect a sense of identity with households in similarly choice locations for all that they look north out of Dun Laoghaire, you find that the attraction of visiting the southside has the exotic appeal of going foreign, while those of us more humbly placed in the village, if visiting remote places like Rathmines or Terenure, find it positively unnerving to think of all the houses between us and the sea.

Then too, while Fingal Council has been establishing itself in our hearts and minds, it has been a good time for Howth Harbour. Good fences have been making good neighbours, and though marine administration in government has been kicked from pillar to post, an underlying Department of Fisheries recognition that their harbours cannot be only about fishing has led to a re-think on the use of buildings about the harbour, with Howth becoming an extraordinary nexus of good seafood restaurants, such that on a summer evening, despite the presence of a traditional fish and chip shop, the seafood aroma is of a proper fishing port in Brittany or Galicia. In fact, rents from the hospitality and sailing and marine industries in Howth have now reached such a level that fish landing fees – formerly the bedrock of the harbour economy – only contribute about 10% of the overall income.

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The man from County Hall. Fingal Mayor Kieran Dennison is comfortable with his county's busy sailing activities, and the sailors are comfortable with him. He is seen here officially opening the J/24 Worlds at Howth in August 2013. Photo: W M Nixon

As for how we've been getting on with our new masters in County Hall up in Swords, the news is good. Most recently, we've been having direct contact with the current Mayor of Fingal, Kieran Dennison, who hit just the right note when he officially opened the J/24 Worlds in Howth in August 2013. Following that, he was back at the annual Commodore's Lunch in HYC in the dark days of November when a review of the past season lightens the onset of winter, and he was able to tell us that thanks to contacts made at the Worlds, his invitation to visit the America's Cup in San Francisco in September was made even more enjoyable. Those of us who reckoned the only way to visit the 34th America's Cup was on the television screen were reassured by the thought that if somebody was going to represent us in the San Francisco bear-pit, then our Mayor, our very own Mayor of Fingal, was just the man for the job.

So we very much want to keep Fingal in existence and in robust good health, but we appreciate that its current boundaries might be creating a bit of a Ukraine-versus-Russia situation. In particular, the southwest of the county could well be Fingal's Crimea and Donetsk regions. There, relatively new settlements of ethnic Dubs in places like Clonsilla, Castleknock, Blanchardstown could become such a source of trouble that it might be better to transfer them peacefully to administration by either Dublin city or South Dublin before there is unnecessary bloodshed.

The situation arises because, when the boundaries were being drawn, southwest Fingal was set out all the way down to the Liffey. The Fingallion instinct would be to see the border drawn along the Tolka, in other words the M3. But there could be trouble because of the discovery – always something of a surprise – that the Phoenix Park is in Fingal. I could see that when some people find our Fingal includes the Park, they'll want to fight for it, particularly as, in the southeast of the county, the excellent St Anne's Park in Raheny was somehow allowed to slip into Dublin City.

One thing which is definitely not for transfer is the Airport. It is naturally, utterly and totally part of Fingal. For sure, it contributes a fifth of the county's annual income from business rates, making Fingal the economically healthiest Irish county. But we in Fingal have to live with the airport very much in our midst. If Dublin really wants to take over the airport, then a first condition before negotiations even begin would be that all flight paths are to be re-routed directly over Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey. A few weeks of that would soon soften their cough.

Whatever, the recent kerfuffle about Fingal rejecting involvement in administration by an all-powerful Mayor of Dublin has been a powerful stimulant to thinking about how our own county might best be run. Everyone will have their own pet local projects, and most of us will reckon that decision-making in Swords, rather than in some vast and impenetrable office in the middle of Dublin, will be the best way to bring it about. For those of us who go afloat, the fact that Fingal Council shows that it cherishes its long and varied sea coast, rather than preferring to ignore it, is very encouraging. And the fact that this prospering county has some financial muscle all of its own gives us hope that we can build on what the past has taught us, and spread improved facilities to every port. Should that happen, it will in turn benefit Irish sailing and boating generally to a greater extent than would restricted development under one closely-controlled central administration headed by some southside megalomaniac.

Published in W M Nixon

#malahide – To capitalise on its investment in its new state-of-the-art Dinghy Sailing Centre and on its increasing membership, Malahide Yacht Club is seeking proposals from individuals or organisations interested in working with the Club to maximise the potential of its dinghy, keelboat and training activities and facilities.

The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a vision for the future and the drive to improve services to existing members, attract new members, promote the sport of sailing in Fingal and make better use of the club's two facilities at Broadmeadows and St.James's Terrace.

Proposals, which should be accompanied by relevant CVs, should indicate the candidate's approach based on the Club's specification and should also provide proposals on costings and revenue-earning potential.

Interested parties should register with the Commodore at [email protected] by Friday 25th January by 5.00pm to receive a copy of the Club's information sheet detailing this opportunity. Registered parties will be invited to a briefing session at the Club on or by Sunday 3rd February and proposals must be submitted by Sunday 17th February by 12 noon.

Shortlisted proposals, if any, will be required to make a short presentation of their ideas before a final decision is made on the eventual outcome.

Published in Malahide YC
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Royal Cork YC helms won both the senior and junior divisions of the Joe Duffy BMW Optimist Connacht Championships hosted by Malahide Yacht Club, with the honours going to Douglas Elmes and James McCann respectively.

Sailed on the Broadmeadows on behalf of the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland, the event attracted an entry of 130 boats which included 30 entries in the Regatta Fleet. In light to moderate, shifting southerlies, Race Officer Neil Murphy and his team successfully completed the full schedule of six races.

In the Senior Division, Douglas Elmes counted two wins, two seconds and a third to take the Connacht title by five points from clubmate Ronan Cournane while two other RCYC helms, Harry Durcan and his brother Johnny, filled the next two places.

Colin O'Sullivan was the highest placed MYC finisher (11th) while MYC's Isobel Shackleton topped the Silver Fleet from Alex Kavanagh (Howth) and George O'Connor (Skerries).

The Junior Division had a large 75-boat turn-out and the eventual (Gold Fleet) winner James McCann only had two points to spare over runner-up Peter Fagan of the National YC, while only one point separated Alix Buckley (Skerries) in third place from Loghlen Rickard (National YC) in 4th.

Silver fleet honours went to another NYC helm Nicola Ferguson, comfortably ahead of second-placed Aaron Rogers of Skerries. Gemma McDowell was the top MYC finisher, 12th overall.

Published in Optimist
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#malahide – The Royal Irish Yacht Club had a successful foray to Dublin's northside last weekend when three boats sailing under the team name of 'Royal Irish Slugs' won the Team Trophy at the Cruisers III East Coast Championship hosted by Malahide Yacht Club and the quarter-tonner Quest (Barry Cunningham) won the individual title.

Sailed under Modified ECHO handicap, the event involved four races in varied wind conditions over two days and was dominated by the Royal Irish boats. Runner-up was another RIYC quarter-tonner Supernova (Lawless/McCormack/Shannon) while the third member of the team, the J/24 Gossip (Barron/Meredith/Rowley) finished 8th, a result that gave them a narrow win overall from the Howth team of three J/24s.

Another Dun Laoghaire boat, Lady Rowena (David Bolger) won on standard ECHO while Quest was also the winner on IRC.

Sponsored by Union Chandlery and Malahide Marina, the championship had one race over a triangular course and three windward-leeward races, with courses set by PRO Neil Murphy. As a result of winning, the Royal Irish YC has offered to host next year's East Coast Championship.

Published in Malahide YC

Boats and teams from Howth, Dun Laoghaire and Malahide will contest this year's Cruisers 3 East Coast Championships being hosted by Malahide Yacht Club this weekend and sponsored by Union Chandlery and Malahide Marina.

The Championship schedule is for three races on Saturday 17th August and one on the Sunday, although provision is being made for a second race on the 18th if only two are sailed on the first day. Race Officer is Neil Murphy.

A BBQ for crews will be held on the Saturday evening and a light lunch and prize-giving will take place on Sunday after racing.

Further information from MYC's Cruiser Secretary Brian Stewart on [email protected] or 087-3298598

Published in Malahide YC
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# rnli – A new Velvet Strand Race is a charity sea race aimed at the novice and elite competitors with the intention of showcasing the coastal stretch between Malahide and Portmarnock. There will be three courses, Novice/Junior (5kms), Standard (12kms) and Elite (20kms). Rescue boats will provide safety cover and the RNLI will be in attendance also. The course will be held close to the shore to allow spectators to get a close view of the race as it runs between Malahide and Portmarnock beach.

'This is the race's inaugural year and we are looking forward to seeing  SeaKayakers, Rowers and Standup Paddleboarders taking part. The course is designed to accommodate those new to these sports with a novice course and also a longer course for more experienced competitors', said William Irwin the event's organiser.

Entries cost €10 and are taken on the day in the public car park opposite Oscar Taylors Restaurant. Anyone wishing to take part should register before 4pm. The race starts at 5pm and finishes in Malahide, with the competitors following a route from Malahide Estuary to Velvet Strand Beach.

The race is being held to promote watersports and to highlight the work done by the RNLI and also in aid of The Mark Pollock Trust.

'The Mark Pollock Trust hopes to raise significant funds to assist with the capital and ongoing costs specifically associated with his spinal injury - including a team of rehabilitation specialists, physiotherapy equipment, visits to specialised spinal injury activity-based recovery centres and mobility solutions', according to Piers White, a spokesperson for The Mark Pollock Trust.

Rose Michael, Howth RNLI Fundraising Chairperson, explained how donations will be used, 'Funds raised will ensure that our lifeboat crews go to sea with the best equipment available to ensure their safety when saving lives at sea. Your donations will be put to the Lifejacket fund for new state-of-the-art lifejackets for our volunteer crew.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two Malahide Yacht Club girls – Lizzy McDowell and Orlagh Thompson – will be Ireland's representatives at the 420 World Championships starting in Austria next week (first race Monday 30th July).

The 12-race championship, which will have qualifying and final series in both the Ladies and Open fleets, will be sailed at Neusiedl am See, just south of Vienna and the Malahide crew will be competing against 180 boats from 27 other countries. The Championship finishes on August 5th.

The qualifying events were the 420 Connachts and the ISA Youth Nationals and Lizzy and Orlagh were the leading female crew in all Irish events this year. Lizzy recently won the Topaz Nationals at her home club, crewed by her cousin Gemma.

Ireland will be represented at two other international 420 events in August, the Junior Europeans at Lake Garda and the British Nationals at Torbay.

The event website is http://www.420sailing.org/content_main.asp?id=5441

Published in Malahide YC
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Following on from its hosting of the 420 Class Leinster Championships the previous weekend, Malahide Yacht Club’s newly re-developed Dinghy Sailing Centre at the Broadmeadows was the scene for a highly successful Early Bird Regatta (Saturday 31st March) which attracted 60 boats in four classes from Dun Laoghaire, Howth, Sutton, Rush, Skerries and Malahide.

The event, supported by Dinghy Supplies, Starbucks and Dunnes Stores, had three races for each class, sailed in moderate northerly winds on Olympic courses set by Race Officer Neil Murphy. The outstanding performance on the days was Howth’s Ronan Cull who topped the Laser class with three wins to finish 1st overall ahead of Daragh Peelo (MYC) and Daragh Sheridan (HYC).

The Laser Radial division was dominated by MYC sailors, with Derek Sheehan, Ciaran Costello and Darren Griffin heading the rankings while Stephen Craig of the Royal St.George YC won the Laser 4.7s.

His younger brother Harry headed the senior Optimist fleet ahead of Skerries’ Ben Walsh and Conor Kneafsey (National YC) while another NYC sailor Peter Fagan topped the junior fleet ahead of Malahide’s Gemma McDowell and Nicola Ferguson (NYC).

Philip McDowell (with crew Cian Buckley) of the host club won the 420 Class and the Topaz honours went to Malahide’s Conor Costello from clubmates Diarmuid Marron and Peter Cunning.

Malahide Yacht Club’s next open event on the Broadmeadows is the Topaz National Championships in late June while in April, introductory sailing courses will be provided for the three local primary schools and an Open Day for those interested in joining the club will be held on Saturday 21st April.

Published in Malahide YC

#WATER SAFETY - This coming Friday 30 March is the closing date for applications for Fingal County Council beach lifeguards for the 2012 summer season.

Lifeguard cover will be provided on Fingal beaches on weekdays and weekends 11am to 7pm from 2 July till the last week of August, depending on weather and staff levels.

Beaches and bathing places scheduled to be guarded this summer include Balbriggan (front beach), Skerries South, Loughskinny, Rush North and South Shores, Portrane (Tower Bay and The Brook), Donabate, Malahide, Portmarnock, Sutton (Burrow Road) and Howth (Claremount).

Applicants must be not less than 17 years of age on 1 May 2012. Application forms are available to download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#SAILING CLUBMalahide Yacht Club has unveiled its newly re-developed Dinghy Sailing Centre at the Broadmeadows to herald a new era in the Club’s dinghy racing and sail training activities, a move that coincides with a new membership drive.

Club members attending the Official Opening celebration on Sunday 11th March were addressed by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Gerry McGuire, the President of the Irish Sailing Association Niamh McCutcheon and the Club’s 1980 Olympic Silver Medallist David Wilkins (who travelled from the UK specially for the occasion). Other speakers included Club Commodore Bob Sugrue and his predecessor Martin Clancy who spearheaded the development.

The distinctive split-level ultra-modern facility on the Sea Road, built at a cost of €450,000, features a general purpose area/classroom, changing rooms and showers on the ground floor, while on the new first-floor level, there is a large lounge/viewing area, a committee room and storage room.

The project, which took 6 months to complete, was funded by Club savings, a bank loan and ongoing members’ fund-raising initiatives, and without any grants, lottery funding etc. Considerable savings on costs were achieved through a significant level of voluntary effort by many members who gave of their time and professional expertise to see the project through to completion.

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MYC Commodore Bob Sugrue, ISA President Niamh McCutcheon, Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Gerry McGuire and 1980 Olympic Silver Medallist David Wilkins

The Club, founded in 1958, was at the forefront of dinghy sailing development in Ireland in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and has produced six Olympians (sailing in nine of the last 10 Olympic Games) and 28 national championship winners in its 54-year history.  MYC’s David Burrows has qualified to compete in his fourth Games this summer in the Star Class while Scott Flanigan, crewing in the 470 Class, still has the opportunity to qualify.

Growing numbers of Laser, Optimist, Topaz and 420 Class dinghies in recent years underlined the need to replace the previous old and outdated structure at the Broadmeadows, widely acknowledged as one of the finest stretches of water in Ireland on which to learn to sail. The Club is actively seeking new members and now has the facilities which can attract both new and experienced sailors to the Broadmeadows.

According to Club Commodore Bob Sugrue, the new facility means the Club is now geared to run regional and national events on the Broadmeadows. “We have already been invited to host a number of events this season, starting with the 420 Class Leinster Championships on March 24/25, the Topaz National Championships in June and the Optimist Western Championships in September which is expected to attract over 100 entries”.

The Club is unusual in sailing terms in that it is the only sailing club with two separate clubhouses – one on the original site at St. James’s Terrace in the village and the other at Broadmeadows – and two separate sailing areas – the tidal Lower Estuary for keelboat racing and cruising and the non-tidal Upper Estuary for dinghies.

Published in Malahide YC
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