Displaying items by tag: Greystones Harbour
Taking advantage of the glorious weather and the lifting of restrictions, Greystones Sailing Club launched a fleet of 37 dinghies last Saturday, and another 18 went out last night (Thursday). This was the second week of a race training programme organised by the club aimed at single handed and double-handed from the same household sailors.
The usual fleet of RS 400s, 200s and Fevas was boosted by an exploding fleet of Lasers recently added to the club, not to mention a number of adults who shoe-horned themselves into the clubs fleet of Laser Picos as the only option for sailing under the current Irish Sailing advisory.
Managing what she described as “quite a logistical challenge” club Commodore, Daphne Hoolahan patrolled the beach ensuring that all participants were signed in and out to comply with contact tracing requirements. The fleet took part in a series of practice starts and sprint races.
Coaching organiser, Fiachra Etchingham, was delighted with the outcome. “As Saturday progressed, you could see significant improvement in our sailors who’d had a longer than usual off season” he commented. “The current restrictions have compelled us to do something we do so little of, train for our sport!”
The training programme will continue in the coming weeks with North Sails Shane Hughes being lined up for a master class in due course.
After so much promise with sun-filled races towards Greystones on Saturday, as a local observer has wrily remarked, Sunday was more Factor 6 than Force 6…….Perhaps in other places, local coastal anomalies and neighbourhood weakness in tidal streams made events possible. But off Greystones, you need a good working breeze to deal with those very real tides, and the summery weekend’s entire allocation of wind for Greystones seems to gave been used up by late Saturday afternoon.
Thankfully, most competitors had experienced good racing in the sunshine on Saturday in the many feeder races that have become a key part of the Taste of Greystones event. With Saturday night partying at many locations ashore and aboard boats in the marina much in evidence, there were some who said that a lack of racing on Sunday was no great loss. But as the results of the feeder races show, there were some serious competitors heading towards the hospitable North Wicklow port looking to strut their stuff in the combined fleet programme on Sunday morning.
Admittedly the very light or non-existent wind forecast for Sunday’s wind had kept numbers down a bit, but even so 25 yachts raced from Dublin Bay, ten from Poolbeg, they raced from Clontarf too, while eight more from Wicklow swelled the fleet to a significant number when added to the high-powered 14 who’d sailed in the early-start ISORA race. But the fresh winds winds that had initially favoured the South-bound boats were not so kind to the Arklow boats which had to motor to Greystones after experiencing the same wind hole as the later-arriving ISORA boats off North India Buoy, a wind hole which saw its mission in life as being a general expansion of calm with mist for Sunday morning
Thus the morning so keenly anticipated offered wind with no visibility, or visibility with no wind, and the Race Officer had little choice but to invite all to zip up the sailbags and head to the clubhouse for the complimentary lunch.
A fine lot of crystal and silver waits for a good home, and Greystones SC hope to rerun the event in some form or other, but maybe not this year as a very crowded fixture list makes September and early October difficult to navigate. Though the thinking behind a Taste Of Greystones Regatta is as a seasonal ender to mark the rich harvest in the Garden County, GSC Regatta in 2019 had too much of the mists and mellow fruitfulness and calm of early Autumn, and not nearly enough of the wind that shakes the barley. So the club may rerun yesterday’s races as a season opener in 2020, on the Sunday before club racing commences along the East Coast.
Details will be shared with all entrants as they become clearer.
Feeder Races Results
Poolbeg Class 1 1st Chipita 2nd Extension
Class 2 1st Black Opel 2nd HillyBilly
Clontarf 1st Wylie Coyote 2nd Enchantress
Wicklow 1st Big Cheers 2nd Ruff Nuff
ISORA 1st Eleuthera 2nd Aurelia
DBSC Class 1 1st White Mischief 2nd Gringo
Class 3 1st Dubious 2nd Starlet
Class 5 1st Shearwater 2nd Katienua
The problem with Greystones is that it faces the sea writes W M Nixon. Or at the very least, there isn’t a part of the north Wicklow town in which you aren’t very aware that the sea is nearby. The Victorian and Edwardian enthusiasts for sea-air breathing and salt-water bathing who turned this quaint fishing village into a niche seaside resort and healthy residential area would scoff at the idea that always facing the sea in this way was a “problem”. But we’re talking about the optics here, folks.
The thing is that, when you’re in Greystones, you’re somehow unaware that it is located at the heart of one of the most scenically-blessed parts of Ireland. In fact, in looking at a selection of aerial images of Greystones as it snuggles by the coast in close relation to the most wonderful mixture of farm and woodland and uplands and fascinating purple mountains which draw the eye over the hills and far away, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the most beautiful part of Ireland, full stop. And in fact, you might well be right.
Yet in the old days, only the occasional lone aviator and those of us sailing past were fully aware of this magnificent backdrop to the little town. And as the harbour was a somewhat ramshackle affair based around the re-cycling of the failed first attempt to build the Kish Lighthouse (even here, we don’t have the space to tell the full story of that extraordinary saga), any passing cruising yacht was reluctant to go into the tiny, shallow, rough and ready small-boat-packed haven and tell the clientele at the harbourside Beach House what an utterly fantastic place they lived in.
However, some locals did appreciate it properly. Greystones Sailing Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee last year, and among its founder members were the parents of current Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, who cut his own sailing teeth in Greystones, still thinks of the place as home, and was Guest of Honour among a convivial crowd of distinguished folk from every walk of north Wicklow life at the 50th Anniversary party in June 2018.
But the Greystones Harbour area of 2018 and 2019 is a very different waterfront place from the Greystones of 1968 when the new sailing club began to stake its claim to a place along the beach and a compound to keep its sailing dinghies, plus a bit of space in the tiny harbour for its flotilla of small cruisers. For Greystones Harbour is now a proper marina with complete shoreside facilities run by BJ Marine and a shared clubhouse beside a spacious and secure dinghy park.
Progress towards this vibrant state of affairs has of course not always been smooth, particularly as key parts of it were happening during the Great Recession of a decade ago. But now, instead of being a place you sailed past and marvelled at the scenery in which it is set, it has become a destination harbour three times over.
For it is not only a strategically located and totally sheltered haven, conveniently near Dublin yet far enough away to stand out as a place in its own right, it’s also a gastronomic destination from land and sea, with attractions to suit foodies and gourmets of all persuasions, together with those who just like a hospitable and friendly place serving decent pints and good home-cooked fare. And on top of all that, Greystones Sailing Club has become a pace-setter on the national scene.
Commodore Daphne Hoolahan leads an enthusiastic membership with a formidably talented lineup of specialist officers, and while it may be unfair to single out individuals, when you have people of the calibre of Monica Schaefer as Honorary Sailing Secretary and Daragh Cafferky as the man in charge of keelboats and clubhouse matters, not to mention Norman Lee as Honorary Club Bo’sun in addition to managing the dinghies, then it’s clear we’re dealing with efficient can-do people, rather than dreamy ’twill-do folk.
The results bear it up. Just last weekend, Greystones’ own Shane McCarthy, crewed by clubmate Damien Bracken, regained the Irish GP 14 National title in blustery conditions at Skerries against a truly international fleet which reflected the fact that in 2020, Skerries will be hosting the International GP 14 Worlds.
But Skerries can only envy Greystones in its soaring success, for the Fingal port bears much the same relationship to the Greater Dublin area to the north as Greystones does to the south. Yet while Skerries continues to struggle to persuade the powers that be that its primitive harbour badly needs development to allow water and boat sports to grow properly and safely, Greystones sails securely on with confidence in a proper harbour.
And 2019 saw the Greystones hosting of a world dinghy championship too. The fact that it was the Wayfarer Worlds in July is in the best-established traditions of Greystones as something of a niche place, for the superb 16ft Ian Proctor-designed Wayfarer would be much more popular globally if more people were aware of its exceptional versatility - excellent club racing and a record of Icelandic and trans-North Sea voyaging are only two of its many attributes.
But Wayfarer people are a special crowd, they prefer personal quality to mindless quantity in the crews they race against. Yet even with that selective approach, the 2019 International Wayfarer Worlds attracted a cracking fleet of 53 quality boats from seven nations on both sides of the Atlantic, and while UK crews made up the bulk of the visitors, there was a very strong turnout from Denmark.
Yes, Denmark…..world leaders in the marine industry, yet the Danes have the savvy to cop on that the Wayfarer is something very special. And it makes this an extraordinary week on Afloat.ie. For we can go for months with little mention of Denmark apart from the occasional reference to the Irish success of some Danish-built X Yacht. Yet in recent days, we’ve carried a story about how the rape and pillage of the Vikings (many of whom were Danish) actually did a world of good for the degenerating Irish genetic line (something which, as the home of the world’s leading equine bloodstock industry, we should truly appreciate), we’ve also carried the story of how gallant little Denmark on behalf of its large island of Greenland has said thanks but no thanks to Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland even as our own beloved ketch Ilen of Limerick was port-hopping along the Greenland coast, and now we are reminded again that it is the Danes who are among those who best appreciate the virtues of the Wayfarer dinghy.
In fact, they almost won the Wayfarer Worlds at Greystones in July. Mogens Just and Anders Frils from Kalovig Badelaug in Denmark won the first race, and they logged two more wins and a second and third before being pipped at the post by the legendary sailmaker Mike McNamara of Rollesbury Broad SC in the heart of England’s Norfolk Broads, crewed by Simon Townsend.
Sailing Wayfarers keeps you young – Mike McNamara is reputedly 76, but his performance afloat belies it, and his performance to finish with a final score of 7 points to the 8 of Mogens Just said most things. Yet despite his Irish name, it couldn’t be claimed as a home win, for he operates as the sixth generation of sailmakers in the family firm, and six generations away from the McNamara heartlands around Lisdoonvarna and Ennistymon in north Clare is a very long time indeed.
But at Greystones while McNamara and Townsend may have won by one point from the Danish Just/Fris crew, although two UK helms – Andrew Whitney and Bill Wilson – were next in line, the Danes then took seven places in a row in the shape of Niels Aislev (5th), Bjarne Lindquist (6th), Christian Elkjaer Iverson (7th), Christian Milert Hansen (8th), Christian Milert Hansen (9th), Jan Kjeldsen (10th) and Stephan Nandrup-Bus (11th), making it the most successful yet friendly Viking invasion on the Wicklow coast in a long time which the Irish had to accept gracefully, our best place being first in the Silver Fleet for the host club’s John Turner and Ken Lee, but in a fleet of this calibre that made them 15th overall. Full results here
Just to look back on the photos of the sunlit Wayfarer Worlds at Greystones in July is a real tonic after the cold and heartless weather of August. But for this weekend’s multi-dimensional Greystones Regatta – sponsored by BJ Marine and in association with Taste of Greystones - the seemingly unstoppable Greystones good fortune looks like returning with Indian summer conditions, and everyone is mad keen to make the best of it at this jewel of the Wicklow coast.
It is certainly rating very high with the cruiser-racing crowd, for the success of Greystones’ own Frank Whelan with his young crew on the keenly-campaigned Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera - for two years and more now - brings heightened respect for the entire Greystones sailing scene. The word is that at least two of the classic Half Tonners associated with Howth – Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV and Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XIII - are going to make a proper weekend of it, while ISORA’s time-honoured annual James C Eadie Cup Race is being tailored in such a way that the leaders, having started in Dun Laoghaire at 1000 hrs, should be getting to the finish line at Greystones around 1600hrs this afternoon in an updated version of the ISORA feeder race which last year was won by Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia.
Meanwhile the Dublin Bay Sailing Club fleet will be limbering up towards their usual Saturday starting sequence around 1400 hrs, but in this instance the finish will be at Greystones, bringing upwards of 70 boats from Dun Laoghaire, while additional feeder races from both Clontarf Y & BC and Poolbeg Y & BC will make Greystones Harbour a distinctly busy and convivial place this (Saturday) night.
Tomorrow (Sunday) the hope is to fit in two races with a reasonably early conclusion in five classes under ECHO, making it a hectic weekend for the volunteer element in Greystones SC, for the club’s total membership is around the 360 mark. The demand for the proper Committee Boat starting line means that Daragh Cafferky won’t be able to race his own A35 Another Adventure (just back from a “hugely enjoyable” visit to West Cork and Calves Week), as Another Adventure has to serve as Committee Boat, but needs must.
Last year Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush and Howth was top boat overall and winner of Class 1 to win the Taste of Greystones Trophy, with second OA going to sister-ship White Mischief (Tim Goodbody, RIYC), while Dermot Cafferky’s Another Adventure was allowed at the racing in 2018, and was rewarded with third overall.
Class 2 went to Checkmate XVIII, while James Kirwan’s First 36.7 Boomerang of RStGYC and Greystones was second and local boat Virgin Triangle (Graham Noonan) took third. In Class 3, Brendan Foley’s impressively-optimised Impala 28 Running Wild (RStGYC) won out from Barry Cunningham’s Quarter Tonner Quest (RIYC) while Luke Fegan’s Hustler 32 Smokehaze, all the way down from Malahide, was third.
In White Sails Class 4, the Byrne family’s Jeanneau 34 Alphida from Howth was tops with Elantic (C Allen, Arklow SC) second and the Greystones boat Run’n’L8 (C McGuire) third, while in White Sails Class 5 J Raughter’s Chase Me from Bray took the title from E Lynch’s Alfresco from Wicklow, with another Bray boat, Fegan’s Nymadzi, getting third.
The impressive range of the prize winners’ home ports, from Arklow in the south to Malahide in the north while including every sailing centre in between, speaks volumes about what a marvellous celebration of East Coast sailing and its shoreside hospitality the Taste of Greystones has become.
Yet just to show that this weekend’s popularity of Greystones Harbour isn’t a flash in the pan, in a week’s time the Irish Cruising Club will be holding its Annual East Coast Rally at Greystones, while thanks to the foul weather of mid-August, the annual Greystones Junior Regatta originally scheduled for August 18th had to be postponed, and is still something to be keenly anticipated.
And as a continually repeated theme underlying all sailing and boating, there is now the enduring fact that Greystones has become a very useful port of call for cruisers as they make their quiet way up and down the coast. Those of us with a taste for the East Coast for a long time always had to admit that while it was beautiful to look at and sail along, you were distracted from enjoying its beauty by concerns about how far it was to the next safe haven, particularly if the weather was acting up. The arrival of Greystones Marina has been transformative. We can only hope that its success will encourage other currently inadequate East Coast ports to see where their best future is to be found.
Speaking at the Clubs 2019 launch, the incoming Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Daphne Hoolahan, said that “2019 is looking like a busy year.
Greystones Sailing Club is honoured to be hosting the Wayfarer World Championships in July and we expect over 100 boats with up to 250 guests from around the world to take part in this week-long event. Already we have entries from Denmark, Holland, France, UK, Cyprus, the USA, Canada and South Africa. It will showcase Greystones yet again, as a landmark sailing centre on the East Coast of Ireland. As well as this, the RS Eastern Championships will kick off the season in April and we will also host, yet again, the annual Taste of Greystones Regatta in August, which brings in over 500 sailors in over 100 keel boats to Greystones Harbour Marina on an annual basis, bringing welcome tourism revenue to the town.”
“Greystones Sailing Club has an active training and sailing program, providing sailing instruction to both children and adults and is open for membership. Everyone is encouraged to try sailing on our many adult or child courses, and we welcome new members to contact us, to be part of this growing, vibrant club,” Daphne added.
The Club has over 300 members sailing a variety of dinghy classes and offers exciting and enjoyable dinghy racing for all ages and abilities. It has a well-earned reputation as one of the top dinghy sailing clubs in Ireland with its sailors competing successfully in many open events over the years, both nationally and internationally. The Club also boasts an active and growing keelboat fleet with over 30 keelboats giving competitive racing on a twice weekly basis.
Greystones Sailing Club Regatta drew a fleet of over 80 boats for its annual regatta today. Despite the wet and windy forecast, the popular end–of–season fixture drew boats from clubs as far north as Malahide in County Dublin and as far south as Arklow in County Wicklow but by far and away the biggest visiting contingent were from Dublin Bay with nearly half the regatta fleet coming from Dun Laoghaire.
Although Greystones Harbour's embryonic 16–boat cruiser fleet did not manage to win any of the regatta's five divisions, GSC boats were on the podium in classes one, two and the white sails division.
After a one hour postponement, conditions were light for race one with winds from zero to 15 km/h but breezier for race two with wind speeds increasing to 20 to 35km/h.
Howth's Storm Continues Class One Wins
One of the biggest class one turnouts of the season featured three entries from the host club, including the hotly tipped Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera skippered by Frank Whelan. But in a continuation of a season of successes for Howth Yacht Club J109 Storm, the Kelly family boat now adds the Taste of Greystones title too with two race wins today, just a week after being awarded the inaugural Celtic Cup for her season's long exploits across the Irish Sea Race area. Second to Storm was another J109, Tim Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish Yacht Club while Greystones own A35 Another Adventure (Daragh Cafferkey) was third overall.
Keating's Checkmate Wins Class Two
Howth Half Tonner Checkmate (not that one) was the winner of the ten boat Cruisers 2 fleet with Boomerang (James Kirwan) second. The Half Tonner competing in Greystones was Checkmate XVIII, the Nigel Biggs restored half-tonner entered for the Wicklow Regatta by Ross Keating.
Third was Greystones Sailing Club's own 'Virgin Triangle' skippered by Graham Noonan.
Running Wild Wins Class Three
In Cruisers 3, the biggest fleet of the BJ Marine sponsored regatta with 22 boats, Brendan Foley's Impala Running Wild from the Royal St. George Yacht Club, was the clear winner with two first places from Barry Cunningham's Quarter Tonner Quest of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Third was Luke Fegan's Hustler 32, Smokehaze from Malahide Yacht Club.
Full results are downloadable below
The buoyant Dublin yacht racing scene moves en masse to County Wicklow this weekend as two of the country's leading yacht racing organisations prepare separate feeder races for the Taste of Greystones Regatta on Sunday afternoon.
A 25–boat ISORA fleet will have a feeder race starting at 10.00 on Saturday morning from Dun Laoghaire as one of the final races of the offshore season.
And from 12.45 on Saturday, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) feeder races to the County Wicklow port will also be sailed.
For participating DBSC classes namely, Cruisers 1, Cruisers 3 and Cruisers 5, the race south – that could see as many as 50 DBSC yachts competing – replaces the regular DBSC fixed-mark courses scheduled for this date.
The Greystones results will also count for DBSC Saturday Series 2 (ECHO, IRC and scratch where applicable).
On Sunday, the combined fleets with assorted other boats from the East coast will compete in two ECHO handicap races in the 'Taste of Greystones Regatta' sponsored by BJ Marine.
A target time of 14:30 for completion of two race series has been set and prize giving is targeted for 15:30 to allow visiting boats reasonable departure time. Only one race is required to be completed to constitute a series.
The entry fee for all Classes is €75.00 and this includes a free marina berth on Saturday night, a complimentary drink voucher at the sailing club and Beach House Pub plus a free Breakfast on Sunday morning before racing!
Download both the Regatta Notice of Race and the DBSC Feeder Race Course Card below
Cruisers 1, Cruisers 2, Cruisers 3, B211s and Cruisers 5 are all racing to the County Wicklow Regatta instead of the regular DBSC fixed–mark courses originally scheduled.
The DBSC boats are part of a wider fleet of boats leaving the Bay for the end–of–season afffair in Wicklow that includes a 27-boat ISORA fleet.
Like ISORA, DBSC has anticipated light winds for the race and Courses may be shortened by a committee boat (or RIB) displaying Flag S taking up position at one of the course locations (see below).
Feeder Race results will count for DBSC Saturday Series 2 (ECHO, IRC and scratch where applicable).
This weekend's East Coast Cruisers Three Championships is using both Saturday's DBSC Feeder Races and the Greystones Regatta to form its championship Series.
The race is the deciding race in the Viking Marine Coastal Series and the Royal Alfred Coastal Series.
ISORA chiefs are preparing for the possibility of fickle winds under Bray Head by posting a revision to sailing instructions (downloadable below). The final course to be sailed will not be selected until later this afternoon.
The warning signal for the burgeoning offshore fleet will sound off Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow at 0955 for the 12–mile coastal race.
Organisers are emphasising that the finish line will not be the Gresystones yellow buoy but a co–ordinate immediately south of the stated position of that buoy.
It is anticipated onboard trackers on each of the competing boats will record the finish time.
The East Coast Championship for Cruisers Three takes place this weekend with an 'innovative mix of racing' using the DBSC Saturday feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Greystones and combining this race with two races on Sunday as part of the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta.
Read the Greystones Regatta preview here.
NOR is available from Michael Ryan at [email protected]
East Coast sailing fans are expecting a big weekend for the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta this Sunday and, as the name suggests, Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow is about a night–out followed by a morning's racing. 'The night out is guaranteed, says Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Darragh Cafferkey, 'the racing now lies with the wind gods'.
'All this week the weather forecasts have been bouncing from five to 25–knots and from factor 50 to umbrellas', Cafferkey told Afloat.ie
It must surely be a case of third time lucky for the Wicklow initiative because the last two editions have been cut short due to lack of wind.
As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, 55 boats are already entered – and that's ahead of 2016 numbers at this stage – to the extent that Cafferkey, himself a top Irish Sea Offshore campaigner, estimates 140 boats are expected for the raft–up at Greystones Marina in preparation for the two race series on Sunday morning that marks the end of the Summer sailing season on the East coast.
This year the event will be split into two courses with Class 1, 2, 3 racing on North course and White Sails in two fleets on South Course.
As Afloat.ie reported in August 2013, the regatta was originally established in a format that would attract all the East Coast clubs that don’t typically travel, it has grown in size with the following clubs all confirming feeder races.
Wexford/Courtown will race to Arklow and join the Arklow fleet for a race to Greystones Harbour.
Dublin Bay will have a feeder race available for all classes and ISORA have over 25 entries confirmed for its race to Greystones.
Over ten boats from Howth have also entered meaning almost every club on the East coast plan to attend.
A feature of the event is that it is run both on IRC/Standard ECHO and current ECHO. IRC/Standard Echo with only a few points between them means all boats regardless of certs can race based on the boat' s rating, according to Cafferkey.
The current Echo means that the many non Dublin Bay clubs can use their own local ratings to come to a joint event . There is a limit on current echo to 3%+/- the boats standard handicap.
It is this decision four years ago that made it realistic for all East Coast clubs to come and compete. 'So prizes based on your boat and prizes based on your club performance. Something for everybody', Cafferkey says.
The support of sponsor BJ Marine has allowed Greystones Sailing Club organisers extend hospitality at its new club house that opened over a year ago on the South Pier, to include berth, BBQ, beer in Club and Beachouse plus Breakfast on Sunday. 'Throw in some Musto discounts, Water, bars and sandwiches on the water and there is little left uncovered', Cafferkey says.
First gun at Greystones on Sunday is at 10.55am.