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Displaying items by tag: Dragon

#loughderg – Lough Derg's annual Keelboat Freshwater Regatta in October is meant to round out the season with some gentle lake sailing for salty folk in big boats. But 2014's event last weekend was just too near a ferociously active bad weather system which had lows sometimes down to the 950s spinning around each other out in the Atlantic close to Ireland's West Coast. Thus although it was possible to get in the racing in the CH Marine Autumn Series down at Crosshaven, while the MSL Park Motors Autumn League at Howth concluded in balmy if breezy conditions across on the east coast, over to the west on Lough Derg they were lashed by the tails of two storms, and two classes failed to get any racing at all. But if you happened to be with the stately Dragons or the perky Squibs, then there was some great sport which has W M Nixon reflecting on the way our keelboat classes are developing.

Of all Ireland's lakes, it is Lough Derg which most truly merits the description of "Inland Sea'. Lough Neagh may have greater area, but in the final analysis it's only an oddly characterless shallow basin which happens to be filled with water. Lough Erne is marvellous, but too convoluted. Lough Ree has the area and the intricate coastline, but lacks the scenery. And while Lough Corrib is right up there in the beauty stakes, it's isolated from the rest of the world.

But Lough Derg – now there really is a proper inland sea. It has splendid scenery, and historic little ports with ancient quaysides all round its complex coastline, while beside them you'll find modern marinas which host an astonishing variety and number of boats, including some quite substantial sailing cruisers.

Not only is it a splendid place unto itself, but Lough Derg is part of the greater world. From it, you can undertake inland voyages to every part of Ireland, yet it takes only a day to access the sea and the oceans beyond. It's the sort of place where boating and sailing ambitions can seem endless, so it's not surprising that in recent years the Autumn keelboat regatta has become a trendy annual fixture.

Last weekend, sixty boats from four classes headed Dromineer way, to a hospitable bay and village where Lough Derg YC has been established since 1835. Keelboat racing is nothing new on Lough Derg, but boat numbers at this level is something new, and the logistics of getting the visitors launched, and organising racing on two courses when the weather was being massively unco-operative, caused something of an overload on the club system.

As well, being slightly later in October than is usual, some key members of LDYC's small core of voluntary workers afloat and ashore were already out of the country on their usual mid-Autumn breaks. So although it would have been manageable if the weather had been clement, with the main part of the racing planned for mid-lake there simply weren't the service boats and personnel available to make a sudden shift of some of the racing to a second inshore course in Dromineer Bay.

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Lough Derg isn't just a lake – it's a proper inland sea with connections to the wide world.

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There's nothing new about keelboats on Lough Derg. This is the 7-ton cutter Tessa (Trahern Holmes, LDYC) on the lake in 1884......

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....and this is the keelboat class at Dromineer in the late 1920s. The Bermuda rigged sail number L11 is a former Olympic 6 Metre from Finland

Happily for the Dragons racing in their well-established challenge for the Jack Craig Cup, the trophy which started the whole Dromineer Autumn Keelboat event, their racing was planned for three days. In the end, they only managed the required mid-lake racing on the Friday, but it gave great sport.

derg5.jpgThe Dragons start on the Friday. It was the introduction of the Jack Craig Cup for the International Dragons which inaugurated the Lough Derg Keelboat Regatta. The overall winner was to be Phantom (Neil Hegarty, RStGYC, no 176) Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

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Diva (Richard Goodbody) holds the lead downwind from Dublin Bay (Gary Treacy), Little Fella (Cameron Good) and Mar J (Adrian Bendon) Photo Gareth Craig/fotosail

derg6a.jpgWhen the going was good for the Dragons at Dromineer, it was very good. Gary Treacy's Dublin Bay from Dun Laoghaire and Adrian Bendon's Mar J from Kinsale neck and neck on the run, with Lough Derg YC's clubhouse and harbour on the shoreline beyond. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

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Gary Treacy's Dublin Bay settles into the groove upwind. Photo: Gareth Craig /fotosail

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Richard Goodbody's Diva showing the form which won second overall. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

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Martin Byrne's Jaguar at the finish on starboard. A former Edinburgh Cup winner, Jaguar placed third on Lough Derg. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

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The Lough Derg 2014 Dragon Champions – Neil Hegarty's Phantom (right) won from Richard Goodbody's Diva (left). Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

derg11.jpgAutumn sailing at its best – Adrian Bendon's Mar J from Kinsale closes in on the finish and tenth place overall at Dromineer. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

However, for the SB20s and the Flying Fifteens, trying to race the same waters on Saturday proved a non-event, and again on Sunday too. All of which made it even more galling that the Squibs, the biggest fleet of all, had requested their own simple windward-leeward course set further into Dromineer Bay on the Saturday. As long as the wind stayed in the south, the Squibs were able to race on into Saturday afternoon until, with a slight veering and further freshening of the already strong wind, all options were off.

Then on the Sunday with the wind firmly in the southwest and strong, only the Squibs had racing with one contest out on the lake, and another – with very short legs – in the inner bay. With hindsight, it seems reasonable to think that room might have been found in the bay for the two other classes of smaller boats, though admittedly the SB20s at full cry do need quite a bit of space. But that would have needed some very slick manoeuvres by more supporting RIBs, committee boats and personnel than were available.

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Revelling in it. Veteran skipper Vincent Delany (who also races Water Wags and Shannon ODs) puts his vintage Squib Femme Fatale (no 24) through her paces on Lough Derg. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

Come to think of it, the Dragons might also have been given racing on Saturday morning if they'd been prepared to set out early and get over to the shelter of the Garrykennedy shore. But in truth, after their super sailing during Friday, the night had passed in turbo-powered conviviality, and as the Dragon crews came very slowly to life on Saturday morning on various motor-cruisers and in other accommodation, they reckoned to let the approaching storm have its way, and made arrangements to watch the rugby in the Whiskey Still in Dromineer, while other more intrepid Dragoneers battled across the lake in their vast hired Shannon motor-cruiser for a slight change of scene to watch the match in Larkin's of Garrykennedy.

But meanwhile the little Squibs were having themselves a fine old time. It was of extra interest in Dromineer, as that great stalwart of Shannon sailing Reggie Goodbody, supported by David Meredith and others, has been quietly beavering away during the past couple of years to get the Squibs going as a local class at Lough Derg Yacht Club.

As of Thursday of this week, they'd got numbers up to nine boats with others interested, which is good going from a standing start late in the summer of 2012. And though they knew that Squibs from the more experienced classes from all round Ireland would be giving them a hard time on the water, they were there ready and willing to welcome them as they drove into Dromineer on the Friday night last weekend, with twenty visiting Squibs being rigged and launched in one-and-a-half hours.

The Lough Derg people are keen to keep their new class in manageable parameters, so they've set a purchase price limit of €4,500 on people buying Squibs new to the area, which still allows for shrewd purchases in sailing centres in Great Britain, where at this time of the year it's a happy hunting ground for Squib seekers.

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The breeze is building. One of the newest Squibs racing was Tonia McAllister's Pintail from the National YC, which finished 7th. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

derg14.jpgStorm? What storm? Despite dire weather predictions, at first on the Saturday morning the Squibs had perfect sailing conditions. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

derg15.jpgSailing as it should be. In foreground is Rupert Bowen's Sidewinder (138, RStGYC) and beyond is clubmate Gerry O'Connor's Buzzlite (125). Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

The attraction of the Squib for Dromineer is that it is so easily managed and maintained, a real bonus for people who may find they no longer have the energy and enthusiasm to maintain and tune a Shannon One Design, let alone the athletic ability to race one flat out. As I well recall from my own happy year of owning a Squib, they really are proper little sit-in keelboats despite being only 19ft LOA, and with our family including three small boys, a Squib proved ideal for mini-cruises along the Fingal coast and out to the islands of Ireland's Eye and Lambay, while the rapid development of the class at Howth meant we were getting good racing by the early summer of 1979.

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One of the attractions of the Squib is that though she is only 19ft long, there's a proper sit-in cockpit. These are some very junior Nixons sailing on the family Squib Huppatee while returning to Howth from Ireland's Eye (hence the dinghy towing astern) in 1979. The only drawback of the Squib was she had only one tiller, so not all could steer, thus the most junior crewmember needed special consolation from his Mum.

These days the Squibs in Howth are in something of a fallow period, as many of the people who would have raced the boat in times past have moved on and up to the Puppeteer 22 which, with its little cabin and easily handled fractional rig, ticks very many boxes. However, the British & Irish Squib Championship 2015 is scheduled for Howth next June 26th- July 3rd, so doubtless that will lead to a local revival, though whether the magic number of a hundred boat racing in the same championship at the Howth venue in 1996 will be reached again is a moot point.

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Off Dromineer, there's starting to be a real bite to the breeze as Pintail chases Femme Fatale (right) and Lola..........Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

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....while keeping an eye on Sidewinder off the starboard quarter. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

But you never know. New boats are being built, so the class's enduring attraction is still proven, and certainly the way they got themselves back into some very confined berths at Dromineer on Saturday afternoon as further racing was being blown out was testament to their quality design and very positive handling qualities. Admittedly they may seem almost too smoothly-handling for sailing's thrill seekers, but growing classes in Dun Laoghaire and Kinsale, and the continuing health of the Squib fleets in Northern Ireland, means that the new Squib fleet at Lough Derg need never feel lonely.

That said, because the Squib has a countrywide spread, trying to keep it first and foremost a local class - as they hope to do at Dromineer - is quite a challenge. Many inshore keelboat classes today find they are becoming event boats, with crew concentrating on big happenings to which they travel perhaps every other weekend, or every three weeks or so, and they simply don't bother trying to keep up the twice-weekly commitment of club racing.

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Experiment under way. Jill Fleming of Dun Laoghaire was testing a new variant on Squib sails, but although her rig looked very potent, she was back in 8th place overall with seven suits of standard tan sails ahead of her. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

Certainly that's often the case with the Dragons, but then the Dragon class in Ireland offers its members a very attractive package of events all round the country at the most pleasant and glamorous sailing centres. Thus Dragon racing today in Ireland is a high-powered and potentially very expensive way of sailing, and just about as far removed as possible from Reggie Goodbody's ambitions for inexpensive Squibs at Dromineer.

He hopes to see the them develop as a good-value local class which will bring life back to Lough Derg Yacht Club during the more everyday times, when there isn't a championship going on, or it isn't the annual Lough Derg Week in August. This isn't at all the style of the Dragons' jet-setters – they're big-event performers.

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Cool sailing. One of the reasons the Squib appeals to former Shannon One Design sailors in Dromineer is that even on a busy run, you can still be relaxed and comfortable (very comfortable for the helmsman), whereas a SOD would be providing a hairy ride. Photo: Gareth Craig/fotosail

So it was fascinating to see the two very different classes sharing the lake and harbour space at Dromineer, though it was clear that if you wished to take the cheque book sailing route, the Squibs offer that as well, so Reggie and his team will have to keep the expenditure lid very firmly clamped in place.

The racing results well reflected the nationwide appeal of this event, for though the Dragons may seem to have emerged with a Dun Laoghaire dominance, winner Neil Hegarty of Royal St George YC originally hailed from Cork, and Cameron Good of Kinsale was consistent with a 6th and 3rd to take fourth behind two Dublin Bay boats.

In the Squibs, James Matthews and Rob Jacob of Kinsale racing the vintage Mucky Duck were notably consistent with a final scoreline of two firsts, a second and a third, but almost equally good were Gordon Paterson and Ross Nolan of Royal North of Ireland YC with two firsts, a second and a fifth. Another RNIYC boat from Cultra, Des and Chris Clayton's Inismara, got into the frame with the win in the final race, and the complete Squib scoreline shows the longterm health of the class, as the top six boats range in sail numbers from 24 to 820.

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The Squibs might have been invented with Lough Derg YC's facilities in mind, as they are easy to berth on the outer harbour....Photo: W M Nixon

derg22.jpg...yet even in an awkward breeze, they can head confidently for the narrow little East Dock.......Photo: W M Nixon

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....and stay nicely under control while assessing the situation. This is Peter Kennedy's Whipper Snapper, which was top of the local boats at 11th overall in the Dromineer regatta. Photo: W M Nixon

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The Squib is so well mannered she'll wriggle up the most unlikely channel whatever the wind.........Photo: W M Nixon

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....and so Whipper Snapper reaches her berth right at the top of the dock with no bother at all. Photo: W M Nixon

As to the longterm health of the event, despite this year's problems for which we have to make some allowance for the extreme weather, there's no doubt everyone very much wants Dromineer to succeed as the venue for what has the potential to be a major and rather special keelboat regatta.

But as an outside observer who has been notably unsuccessful in running races himself, it seemed to me that when number start pushing towards the sixty mark and four classes are involved, then the visiting classes will have to expect to be bringing back-up support boats and some race officials with them. And that in turn will require a certain amount of diplomacy between the visitors and the established race administration at the hosting club. Yet that would be well worth the effort. For when the going was good at Dromineer, it was very good indeed.

LOUGH DERG YACHT CLUB KEELBOAT REGATTA 2014

International Dragon Class: 1st Phantom (Neil Hegarty, RStGYC) 3pts; 2nd Diva (Richard Goodbody, RIYC) 4pt; 3rd Jaguar (Martin Byrne, RStGYC) 7 pts; 4th Little Fella (Cameron Good, KYC) 9 pts; 5th Sir Ossis (Denis Bergin, RIYC) 13pts; 6th Cloud (Claire Hogan, RStGYC) 14pts. (15 raced).

National Squib Class: 1st Mucky Duck (James Matthews, KYC) 7pts; 2nd Quickstep (Gordon Paterson, RNIYC) 9pts; 3rd Inismara (Des Clayton, RNIYC) 15pts; 4th Fagan (Cian O'Regan, KYC) 15pts; 5th Femme Fatale (Vincent Delany, RStGYC) 15 pts; 6th Perfection (Jill Fleming, RStGYC) 17pts; 7th Pintail (Tonia McAllister, NYC) 37pts; 8th Sidewinder (Rupert Bowen, RStGYC) 40 pts (23 raced).

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When the going gets too rough on Lough Derg, the prudent Dromineer mariner will seek a secure berth in the Whiskey Still to watch the rugby. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in W M Nixon

#dragon – Defending champion Markus Wieser  has retained the Dragon Gold Cup. The professional sailor, competing for the United Arab Emirates, was in the lead of the 70th Dragon Gold Cup the whole week, but didn't get it all his own way. Lawrie Smith (GBR), Yevgen Braslativ (UAE) and Lars Haigh (DEN) were close at various points. Dutchman Pieter Heerema scored a second place overall after six races. First Corinthian was Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who finished in sixth place overall. Ireland's Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Prof O'Connell, the only Irish boat competing were 44th in the 86-boat fleet.

The 70th Dragon Gold Cup in Medemblik, was sailed from 7 to 12 September. On the opening day on Sunday there was no race due to lack of wind and also on Tuesday. These races were resailed on Monday and Wednesday, therefore all six scheduled races eventually were sailed. The conditions were perfect, especially on the two last days. Moderate to strong wind, a light chop and plenty of Sun.

Final top five:

1. Markus Wieser, Pugachev Sergey, Leonchuk Georgii, UAE, 42
2. Pieter Heerema, Theis Palm, Claus Olesen, NED, 59
3. Braslavets Yevgen, Sidorov Igor, Timokhov Sergiy, UAE, 61
4. Lars Hendriksen, Frithjof Kleen, Pedro Andrade, DEN, 70
5. Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko, Alexander Shalagin, RUS, 74

More here

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#dragonsailing – Lawrie Smith showed his mettle to take the 2014 Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale YC today writes Claire Bateman. Britian's Smith with crew Adam Bowers and Jack Wilson and sailing under the Burgee of the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club won today's two races to take the title on a day when the wind never went above 8 knots from the south east. It was a close run thing with two other boats on similar points and it went to a tie break to decide the winner. Neil Hegarty's Phantom with crew David and Peter Bowring from RStGYC were second and first Corinthian entrants. Martin Payne and crew Dominic and Olivia Bakker in Little Hooka from Salcombe Yacht Club were third overall.

Due to lack of wind no racing took place on Friday. An early start was made on Saturday in an attempt to get in three races but this was not to be and two races were sailed in a breeze of about six knots. A patient Race Committee waited about an hour after the second race to watch an approaching shower in the hope there would be some wind following but this did not happen and racing finished for the day. However that being said six of the seven races scheduled for the event were sailed.

Results HERE.

Published in Dragon

#dragon – The second day of the Irish Dragon nationals at Kinsale in County Cork has been scrubbed due to lack of wind. Racing is scheduled to start an hour earlier tomorrow  at 11am.

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#dragons – On driving to Kinsale yesterday to photograph the 2014 Irish Dragon Nationals it was a miserable outlook with the rain thundering down in quantities not experienced for some months writes Claire Bateman. Even while waiting around in Kinsale the rain was still incessant. However, some thirty minutes later it was as if a miracle had occurred, the rain ceased, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone gloriously. The wind filled in from a different direction going from south easterly of some 15 knots with a lumpy sea to west/south west 12 knots.

With the marks re-laid on the windward/leeward course Race Officer Alan Crosbie got the race underway for the twenty one boat fleet of which ten are Irish and the remainder of the fleet are visitors from outside the country.

In Race two leading the fleet was Neil Hegarty, David Williams and Peter Bowring from the RStGYC sailing Phantom and, trying to make amends for a poor 15th in the first race, did just that by taking the winning gun. From the Kinsale team, a consistent result in both races was achieved by Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston sailing 'Little Fella'. They had a second in the first race and third in the second race. This result has now placed them at the top of the leader board. Following 'Little Fella' and second on the leader board is the wily fox from the RStGYC, Andrew Craig, sailing with Brian Mathews and Mark Pettit counting a first and a sixth.

The fleet is very strong and includes two former Olympians Robin Hennessy. who sailed in the 1972 Olympics in Kiel, sailing Aphrodite with John Wolfe and John O"Connor, sailing under the burgee of the Royal Palma Yacht Club. Making a welcome return to Kinsale is the second Olympian and Round the World Sailor Lawrie Smith with Adam Bowers and Jack Wilson.

The seven race series will continue until Sunday.

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#dragon – Race officer was Barry O'Neill, who ran six great races in perfect Dragon conditions - 12-15 knots, and calm sea with all but short waves. With windward leeward courses around 1 hour, three races were sailed on Saturday and three on Sunday, completing the six races series one day earlier than planned. Results are downloadable below as an excel file.

Andrew Craig (RStGYC) in Chimaera was overall winner of the event. He went into the last race as leader, and needed at least a 6h place in the final race to retain his position. However, the final race proved very tricky, with very fickle winds, and during past of the race he found himself in unfamiliar territory, way down the fleet. In the end, Andrew Craig retained his first overall, on the same amount of net points as Cameron Good from (KYC) in Little Fella, but with two bullets in his series.

The fleet was joined by James Peters, Dave Cummings and Richard Robinson in Yeah Baby from the Abersoch Dragon Fleet.

The East Coasts were managed by Ronan Adams (RStGYC), sail manager, and crew.

This was the first graded Dragon regatta of the reason. The Dragon Nationals will be held in Kinsale 26-29 June, with several international Dragon teams on the list of competitors, and the Dragon South Coasts in Glandore 29-31 August. The final main Dragon regatta of the season is the Jack Craig Memorial Bell at the LDYC Freshwater Regatta in Lough Derg 17-19 October.

Dragon East Coasts (full results downloadable below as Excel)

I. Chimaera. Andrew Craig, Brian Mathews and Mark Petitt
2. Little Fella. Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston
3. Phantom. Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and Nevin Powell
4. Jaguar. Martin Byrne, Adam Winkleman, Maurice O'Connell
5. Zu. Tim Pearson, Conor Grimley, and Matt Minch

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#kinsale – The May bank holiday event saw the inaugural 'Axiom sponsored One Design keelboat Regatta' held in Kinsale YC. Twelve Squibs and five Dragons came out to do battle for the very generous prizes and newly commissioned trophy.

PRO Tony Ireson and his team provided great racing with 6 races held over the two days on a windward leeward course. Saturdays racing was held in 12-18 knots from the south west with the opening races in Dragons been taken by Little fella sailed by Cameron Good/Simon Furney and Henry Kingston.

The Squibs were having a fierce battle with places at the top constantly been swapped with National Champion James Mathews in Mucky Duck, Colm Dunne and Rob Gill in Allegro and Finbarr and Cian O'Regan in Fagin. Kevin Downey knocked in a great day with 4, 4, 5 in his new squib Grey Matter.

Day two saw the wind blowing from due south so Tony Ireson set his line at the mouth of the harbour. Lumpy seas and slightly lighter winds made for difficult sailing but Colm Dunne and Cameron Good found the groove and extended their leads with both finishing as overall winners.

At the prize giving there was great excitement as to which boat would win the newly commissioned trophy and after the criteria was spelt out by sailing secretary John Stallard the first name to go on the trophy is Allegro sailed by Colm Dunne and Rob Gill.

Such was the success of the event club Commodore Finbarr O' Regan was able to announce that Axiom Private Clients are to come on board for 2015 as the main sponsor and the dates were announced as May 2nd &3rd 2015.

Published in Kinsale

#hyc – A Sportsboat Cup for Irish keelboat classes to be held around Midsummers day and tailored especially for 1720s, SB20s, Quarter Tonners, J24s, RS Elites, Dragons, J80s and J70s, is to be staged for the first time at Howth Yacht Club in north Dublin from 20th - 22nd June 2014.

At this multiclass event each of the sportsboat classes will be given their own start, results and prizes.

The event will incorporate the 1720 European championships as part of the event and there is an expectation of visiting UK and continental crews too.

Racing will be one design with the exception of the quarter tonners and mixed class who will race under IRC. Class rules will apply where applicable.

HYC says any other sportsboat type that has an IRC cert will also be accommodated in a mixed sportsboat fleet.

Howth is using the event to champion its sailing facilities both on the water and ashore at the 'bustling fishing village' venue that is also close to Dublin airport.

The largest club in the country has two cranes, a 300–berth marina, sizeable hardstanding, a large club house with bar, terrace and dining facilities not to mention secure changing and showering facilities

HYC is ideally placed to host this Sportsboat Cup. Car parking, craning, berthing and trailer storage are all included in the entry fee and racing will be organised by top National and International Race Officers.

With no racing starting before 12 each day there will be ample time to freshen up in the morning after the great social that is planned for each evening.

Online Entry available by clicking the HYC advert at the top of the Afloat homepage.

Published in Howth YC

Weymouth finally showed herself at her best for day three of the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship where the fleet enjoyed two stunning races, races two and three of the eight race series.

Sole Irish trio competing Garry Treacy, Don O'Dowd and Paul Maguire are lying 6th in the Corinthian classification. Results here.

 

With a north westerly wind ranging from as little as 6 knots all the way up to around 18 knots and constantly shifting, the race committee rose to the occasion and produced spot on courses. The Dragons like to sail long legs for their World Championships and typically run with a 2.2 to 2.5 mile first beat. Despite this the fleet was still rounding the first mark tightly packed and the jury had a number of customers this evening following mark rounding incidents.
The quality of the fleet is truly exceptional and contains multiple Olympic medalists, America's Cup veterans and World and Continental Champions and it is clear from the results that there is a huge depth of talent as some very big names are to be found well down the rankings tonight.

Boat of the day was without any doubt Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen's Danish Blue crewed by Hamish Mackay and Andrew Norden. Having won Sunday's opening race they consolidated their lead by taking a good steady fifth in race two, then going on to win race three in exceptional style. A double Olympic Gold Medallist, Poul is also the winner of five Dragon Gold Cups, four European Championships and is one of only two helms to have won the Worlds twice, first in 1989 and again in 2009. Known to the Dragon fleet as simply "The Man", Hoj-Jensen proved today that his physical and mental strength are in no way diminished as he approaches his 70th year and he is still more than able to give the young pretenders a good whipping. He led from the first mark and by the time he rounded the last gate for the beat home he had a comfortable lead. The fleet split evenly port and starboard for the final leg making it impossible to cover everyone, but Poul's final beat was a master class in how to defend a position and was the talk of the regatta village post racing.
The only man who came close to Hoj-Jensen's performance was Russia's Andrey Kirilyuc who is sailing with Aleksey Bushuev and Alina Dotsenko. Kirilyuc is another Olympian who raced for Russia in the Laser in '96, in the Soling in 2000 and in the Tornado in 2004. Better known in the Dragon fleet as one of the top tacticians this has been Aleksey's first chance to show his skills as a helm. He only discovered he would helm the boat late last week when owner and regular helm Dmitry Samokhin was forced to pull out. A quick phone call brought Russian match racer Alina Dotsenko into the team and despite having no practice time they rapidly found their feet taking fourth in the opening race. Today they came off the port end of the start of race two like the proverbial scalded cat and never looked back winning by a comfortable margin. This afternoon they again sailed very consistently finishing in seventh place to put them into second overall.
In the overall standings Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen now leads the regatta on 7 points with Andrey Kirilyuk second on 12 points. Third place overall is held by Hendrik Witzmann, Michael Koch and Markus Koy sailing for the United Arab Emirates, who added a seventh and third to Sunday's ninth place to give them 19 points overall and an eight point margin on fourth placed Inna Shternberg of Russia. Places fifth to eighth are all held by Brits with Martin Payne fifth, Klaus Diederich's sixth, Quentin Strauss seventh and defending champion Lawrie Smith eighth. After his crew Tim Tavinor sustained a nasty hand injury when fending off another boat on the dock after racing on day one Lawrie was left one man short and facing the prospect of having to withdraw from the regatta. Fortunately good friend Bill Masterman, who has sailed with Lawrie and third man Ossie Stewart in the past, was able to drop everything and rush down to Weymouth to step in.
In the Corinthian Division for amateur crews Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen also leads the way with Mark Wade in second, Peter Froschel third, Remy Arnaud fourth and Rob Campbell fifth. One Corinthian team who got more than they bargained for today was Julia Bailey's Aimee. Going up the first beat of race two they were looking very nice on the left hand side. They went to tack and Julia's husband Graham, who calls tactics in the boat, pulled on the runner. He'd just put his full weight into the final adjustment when a block gave way and he effectively threw himself out of the boat. Fortunately he managed to remain in contact and within less than a minute fellow crew members Richard Powell and Will Heritage had fished him out and they were on their way again. Sadly though the advantage was lost and they finished the race in 63rd place.
As always at the post racing prize giving there were some special lucky draw presentations with Tommy Mueller's team taking home three sets of Maui Jim sunglasses and Julian Sowery claiming goodies from Zhik.
Later in the evening the teams enjoyed a wonderful cocktail party at Portland Castle where guests could take a guided tour of this 16th century Tudor Castle, built by Henry VIII to protect against French and Spanish invasion and now owned by English Heritage and open to the public. As well as delicious canapes and English sparkling wine the guests also enjoyed a traditional Morris Dancing display - an entertainment all too familiar to the British competitors but baffling and entertaining in equal measure to the international visitors. All together a thoroughly British evening.
Tomorrow's two further races are planned and the forecast is for 10+ knots, again from the north west. You can keep up with the latest from the race course via the Pantaenius Live Tracking, where you can also replay past races. News, results and further information will be posted at the event website. The regatta will continue until Friday 13 September with a maximum of eight races scheduled and a single discard coming into play after the completion of race six.

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#dragon – Peter Bowring's Phantom was the winner of the ten-boat Irish Dragon nationals at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at the weekend. Second was Royal North's Simon Brien with Bowring's Royal St. George club mate Andrew Craig third in Chimaera.  Download full results as a jpeg file below.

Meanwhile, Glandore Harbour Yacht Club has issued a Notice of Race for the South Coast Dragon Championships to be held from August 30th to September 1st and it is available to download below as a word file. 

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Page 11 of 19

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