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The Squib National Championships 2020 scheduled for 21 - 26 June at Kinsale Yacht Club has been cancelled.

Regatta Director, Ruth Ennis told Afloat: 'The Squib 2020 Organising Committee in conjunction with Kinsale Yacht Club and the N.S.O.A. reluctantly made this decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic'.

The prospect of the championships going ahead was discussed as recently as this week by Tom MacSweeney on Afloat here.

Ennis says Kinsale is looking at the 'possibility and logistics of hosting the event in Kinsale Yacht Club next year 2021'. All registration fees to the event will be refunded.

Published in Squib
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A “squib” I was told when first shown one of these boats by its owner, is “an explosive boat.

Several of them were riding nicely on the rippling water at Kinsale Marina that day two years ago when it was announced that Kinsale Yacht Club would be the location for a joint event bonding the Irish and Uk fleets in both their national championships together, then to be held in two years’ time.

“Explosive in performance, challenging and fast .. a great boat to sail,” I was told. That was back in 2018 and the Squib owner was making the point that they would be every bit as important to Kinsale as cruisers, “a major part of the club’s sailing fleet.”

Above and Below Local Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanAbove and Below: Local Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

There are Squibs in the fleets of several clubs around the country and they come to my mind this week because they were the last big racing fleet on the water before the shut down of sailing. We are at the stage where there is neither physical contact with our boats in most cases, as well as social isolation in our sport and uncertainty about when it will be able to resume.

Squib Kinsale2

The Squib is a racing keelboat for a crew of two, designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee as a successor to the Ajax 23. It is a one-design class of 5.79 metres long and a beam of 1.87 metres. The Royal Yachting Association in the UK gave them national keelboat recognition. They have the advantage of being trailed pretty easily, according to their advocates.

One of the big tactical successes in promoting Squibs was made by the class In 1974 when, with sail numbers approaching 400, leading British yachting journalists were invited to Burnham-on-Crouch to race Squibs, in an event called the ‘Squib Symposium.

“This resulted in raising the Squib's profile with the yachting press,” says the Class. And there was an extra benefit from all that publicity! Around this time, the UK Design Council put the Squib on its index of selected designs. A pretty good recognition.

The original boat design by Oliver Lee for Hunter Boats has had changes made by the Class as interest evolved. The dinghy is credited for having led to the building of the Hunter 19, which was described as putting “a lid on the Squib.” The Squib also spawned the Sandhopper, a boat with shoal draught and triple keels of which 45 have been built and raced on the British East Coast.

The Squib National Championships and UK Championships are due to be held this Summer at Kinsale Yacht Club, scheduled for June 21-26. A lot of work has been put into the preparation of the event and now, of course, the Coronavirus Covid-19 crisis is causing a degree of concern.

Squib Kinsale3A recent Squib class start at Kinsale in February 2020 Photo: Bob Bateman

The Committee in Kinsale, led by Regatta Director Ruth Ennis, announced this weekend that it remains “committed to running the championships. We are aware that the situation regarding Covid-19 continues to evolve.” If the event must be postponed or cancelled a full refund will be available it says to those who have already entered. The club has an experienced organising team in place, building on the success of many previous large events hosted by KYC.

Custom Rigging Frostbite Series at Kinsale Yacht Club

For the record, that last competitive event before the sailing close-down was the final day of the Custom Rigging Frostbite series at Kinsale Yacht Club and it was a testing one for all competitors. Wind speeds gusted to 30 knots, averaging between 19 and 21 with gusts going from 27 to 30.

"There were eleven Squibs racing in the Series"

There were eleven Squibs racing in the Series, with sponsor Harry Lewis amongst them. Sailing with Sean O’Riordan in Longshot, the duo won third prize overall.

The series winner was Allegro raced by Colm Dunne and Rob Gill. They had seven first places and finished third across the line in two other races. Second was Outlaw, sailed by Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan, who won two of the races in the series and had five second places. Allegro finished on 7 points, Outlaw had a total of 12 and Longshot 25 points.

The Squibs also raced under ECHO handicap, in which the final positions changed from the premier division. Under ECHO, Outlaw finished 1st, Allegro was 2nd and Sibu, sailed by Geraldine and Denis Kieran got third place.

And that explosive” comment about the performance of the boats, made by that Squib owner in Kinsale has an appropriate definition. The word “squib” is defined in dictionaries as “a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding….”

Listen to the podcast below:

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The 2020 UK Squib National Championships come to Ireland once every five years and this summer Kinsale Yacht Club is hosting the event. 

The event takes place from 21st to 26th June in one of the most scenic parts of the country, which also happens to be the Gourmet Capital of Ireland and voted one of the top ten most colourful towns in Ireland.

The club has announced some incentives to competitors to enter the event early. 

A series of draws will take place on the following dates. 

  • 29th February - draw for a Hyde cockpit cover
  • 17th March - draw for six bottles of wine
  • 1st April - win a bottle of champagne.

Results of each draw will be published and prizes may be collected from KYC Squib Class prior to or at registration. All entrants are eligible for each draw unless you are lucky enough to have won a prize.

Click here to enter.

Published in Squib
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Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting its annual keelboat regatta on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of October. The event will be a wrap up to the season for many of the competitors and over 50 entries are expected from three classes - making it one of the biggest sailing events of the year on the Shannon.

The big attraction for many sailors is the beautiful autumnal setting of Lough Derg but also the opportunity to thoroughly wash the boat out in freshwater at the end of the season. 

The Squibs will be welcoming visitors from the UK as well as Belfast, Strangford Lough, Howth, Kinsale and Dun Laoghaire. As Afloat reported earlier, Kinsale Yacht Club will be promoting their UK and Irish Nationals which are being held in June 2020.

Irish Sailing President Jack Roy and his daughter Jill have indicated they will compete as will UK champion Dick Batt. Squib stalwart Vincent Delany, second in the recent Irish Nationals, is also sailing as is Irish Champions Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from Royal North. 

The SB20s have just announced that the Irish Nationals will be hosted in Lough Ree in Sept 2020 and a good fleet is expected - including Lough Derg and Lough Ree entries.

The Flying Fifteen fleet, who have just completed a World Championship in Dun Laoghaire are also reported to be travelling to Dromineer in numbers, just a week after the class hosts the All Ireland Sailing Championships at the National Yacht Club. It may be the only winter sailing for the FF's at Dun Laoghaire Harbour given the current winter hard standing woes currently in place.

Unfortunately, the Dragons this year are not competing due to 90th birthday celebrations in Italy where nine Irish boats are competing.

Published in Inland Waterways

Day 1 of the 50th Anniversary Squib Irish National Championships at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough had all the hallmarks of champagne sailing, sun out, blue skies and a steady breeze but only for a few more knots to make it perfection. First round the windward mark was 601 Squiblet, sailed by Ian McMillan & Laura Fitzgerald, with Fagin and Inshallah and Outlaw close behind. Race one finished, Fagin 1st, Inshallah 2nd and Outlaw 3rd.

Race 2 took a little while to get under way after a brief postponement and general recall. The black flag was up and unfortunately, Fagin got caught out along with Lil Quickie and Born Wild. This time it was Outlaw, Prodigal, Firecracker and Femme Fatale, fighting it out at the front, Inshallah was showing great boat speed and managed to pull through the fleet to take 3rd from Femme. At the finish, it was Outlaw, Firecracker.

Squib spinnakers

Race 3, The race started in a light and shifty SE breeze, the fleet were away clean and, in true Holywood style, the underdog came good; Vincent Delaney and Joe O'Byrne had the bit between their teeth and sailed away from the fleet, with Inshallah showed amazing boat speed to pull through the fleet into 2nd and Maximus holding onto 3rd.

Race 4 started in similar breeze and direction but getting even more shifty, Prodigal, sailed by father and son duo Greg and Harry Bell, led round the windward mark. Again, as in any fairytale, Femme Fatale showing speed had a blinder and took the win, with Fagin 2nd and Outlaw 3rd.

Race 5. After a short postponement and movement of the committee boats to go and find the breeze, the race got under way in marginal racing conditions, Maximus lead round the first mark to later find out they had been Black-flagged after a very taxing run in little the fleet went inside out. At the finish it was Fagin making the most of the light, shifty conditions taking the win and Worm having a great race, sailed by Sam Lyness and Eric Heyes and Volante, sailed by Simon Watson and Jordy Withers, had a brilliant race finishing 3rd.

It was a battle royale with Outlaw and Fagin fighting it out for the overall win.

Race 6, started in a SE 6/7 knot breeze that was building. The race got away clean and a tricky beat saw Maximus, sailed by Wallace and Weatherstone, round the windward mark first closely followed by Born Wild, Thomas and Jack Anderson and Prodigal, Greg and Harry Bell. Prodigal closed the gap down to Maxiums up the beat but Maximus managed to take the win, while this was going on Fagin and Outlaw were fighting for the Championship down in 6th and 10th place with Femme Fatale finishing 9th place.

IMG 0857

Race 7, started in a stronger breeze 10/12 Knots from the SE. This time is was The Worm sailed by Sam Lyness and Eric Heyes that rounded the windward mark first, closely followed by Maximus and Outlaw and Femme Fatale. Maximus managed to get into the lead by the leeward gate but missed a shift up the last beat to allow The Worm back into the lead. Femme Fatale also clawed back into contention. The Worm took the win by the half a boat length, then Maximus and Femme Fatale. While this was going on, Fagin and Outlaw were still slugging it out in the fleet with Fagin finding the advantage and taking a 4th over outlaw in 6th.

This meant that Fagin sailed by Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan took the 2019 50th Anniversary Irish Squib Nationals.

Squib 50th

  • 2nd Femme Fatale, Vincent Delaney and Joe O'Byrne with Noel also crewing.
  • 3rd Outlaw, Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan.
  • 4th Maximus, Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone.
  • 5th Inshallah, David Eccles and Phil Hutchinson

squib 50 2

Squib 3

IMG 0875

Article by Martin Weatherstone. Photos by Lindsay Nolan and Martin Weatherstone

Published in Squib
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The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta takes place every two years, and each edition seems to grow both in status and in the number of boats competing. Between 11-14 July 500 boats competed in 34 classes. Did any of the classes stand out beyond the others?

The Black sails of Cruiser 1 Class were distinctive. The striped topsails of the Howth 17 foot one design encouraged the viewer to seek out an ice-cream stall. Some of the Seabird half-raters and Trearddur Bay Myths and the Classic Keelboats sported coloured sails, but the mace coloured sailed of the Squibs made them a distinctive entire fleet. On Thursday Squibs raced on the windward-leeward Centre course. In light winds, the recently acquired ‘Crackertoo’ sailed by Jeff Kay from Howth won by a good margin. Could he dominate the series to become the ‘Boat of the Regatta’?

On an overcast, Friday Squibs moved to the South Course which utilised the permanent Dublin Bay marks. ‘The Backstop’ sailed by Jill Fleming and Vincent Delany dominated the day with three first places in an 18-20 knot wind.

On a sunny Saturday with the light northerly winds on the windward-leeward North Course Rupert and Rory Westrup in ‘Sidewinder’ swopping helm and crewing positions as the race progressed won the first race, ‘The Backstop’ won race two, and ‘Sidewinder’ won race three to show her aspiration to win the series.

On Sunday there was a fading breeze, resulting in only one race being sailed on the ‘South Course’. This time ‘The Backstop’ held the lead from beginning to end to win the 8 race series with 9 points, compared with ‘Sidewinder’ on 12 points and ‘Crackertoo’ on 26 points.

Published in Squib
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Oh to be in Kinsale on a sunny Saturday with a breeze watching the wonderfully named Fagin, Outlaw, Slipstream, Allegro, Nimble and Kanaloa zipping around offshore marks battling like gladiators in Squibs for best positions at windward and leeward buoys, ducking and diving under the eagle eye of Race Officer Tony Small and his team aboard Destiny who got three races in… what a great first day reports Dave O'Sullivan.

The Championships was sponsored by Fusco Artisan, CH Marine and Mamuko.

Sunday turned out to be tougher for all with an overcast start followed by a sea mist later. Three races were once again sailed over a long day with boats finally alongside at 1600 with a crane awaiting to lift visitors ashore.

The nineteen boat fleet saw great competition with only four points separating first and fourth in the end after a discard.

Gold Fleet Results 

Fagin (Royal NIYC – G. Patterson & R .Nolan) were overall winners by one point to Outlaw (Kinsale YC – I. Travers & K. O’Riordan) with Slipstream (Killyeagh YC – R. Marshall & B. Kelly) third, just ahead of Allegro (Kinsale YC – C. Dunne & F. Ward).

Silver Fleet Results 

First place went to Sensation (Kinsale YC - B. & D. Cudmore) with Nebulette (Kinsale YC - M. Barry & L. Bond) second and Flora (Kinsale YC - B. Nash & D. Ross) third.

All agreed that it was a great test run for the Squib Nationals due to be held in Kinsale in late June 2020

Results here

Published in Squib
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Kinsale Yacht Club's Colm Dunne and Rob Gill are lying in third place overall in Torquay in Allegro in UK Squib Nationals after two races.

Dublin Bay's Jill Fleming and Vincent Delany finished 10th in race 2 in a fleet of 57 at the Royal Torbay hosted event.

Results are here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Results here

Published in Squib
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This ever-popular Squib Championship hosted by Howth Yacht Club was supported by a somewhat unusual list of competitors, firstly Peter Wallace, current Irish Squib Champion’s Toy for the Boys broke free from it’s moorings and went up on the rocks at Belfast Lough three days before the event, secondly, Gordon Patterson couldn’t make up his mind which of his two boats was fastest, so he brought the hull of Quickstep III and sails from former 1994 UK Championship winner Fagin. Other unfamiliar boats included Outlaw which has lost its colourful paint job and in order to be inconspicuous on starting lines has returned to British Standard off-white.

There was an entry of nineteen boats, seven from the home club where the revived Squib fleet is growing rapidly, four hot boats from the Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough, three from Killyleagh Y.C. on Strangford Lough, two from Kinsale, and one from Kilbarrack S.C where the average water depth is about 300mm., one from Lough Derg Y.C. and one from the Royal St George Y.C.

Various weather forecasts suggested both easterly and westerly winds which were to back/ veer to the south. Forecasters seemed unsure about the strength of the wind but they knew that it would never reach gale force.

Race one which was held in westerly winds of Force two with flat water and strong tides was won by former Champion David Eccles in Inshallagh, followed by Simon Watson in Volante and Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan in Quickstep III third. With northern boats taking the top three places, was this to be the pattern, yet again, for the championship.

Race two in similar conditions after the wind swung towards the south-west was won by Ian Travers in Outlaw, followed by Colm Dunne and Fiona Ward in the beautiful Allegro, boat boats from Kinsale, venue for the UK and Irish Squib Nationals next year.

The wind clocked around over a period of more than an hour from 250, to 180 and settled at about 150 degrees. It takes a patient race officer team to wait for the wind to settle to a championship standard. In the third race Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone were coming to terms with the borrowed Tears in Heaven which won the third race with their own Hyde sails from Toy for the Boys from Inshallagh and Allegro.

Overnight the results brought up some surprises due to the number of ‘U’ flag offenders, with Inshallagh in first place, Quickstep second and Noel Colclough’s consistent Periquin third.

On Sunday strong winds were expected from the south- but they never came. The competitors had a repeat of the previous days Force 2 winds which again backed all day. In race four the wind fell away completely and on a shortened course, was won by Greg Bell’s Prodigal crewed by Squib veteran Fred Campbell, Quickstep was second and Steve Bridges’ Firecracker third. At this point each race had a different winner.

The final race was won by Outlaw, with Periquin second and Quickstep III. Quickstep III had done enough to win the championship.

Download results below

Published in Squib
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