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It was billed as the Squib Easterns. But in terms of results spread, it was more like an All-Ireland, with five different clubs listed for the first ten boats in a very representative fleet of 18 starters from many sailing centres taking to the waters close north of Howth. And though the first day was every bit as grey as Dublin Bay next door, the second suddenly pulled itself together, the sun broke through, and hey presto, we'd the luminous Fingal Riviera with a perfect onshore sailing breeze and some cracking racing under the direction of Derek Bothwell who – as a Squib sailor himself both at Howth and on Lough Derg – very crisply indicated that he was taking no messing about from anyone, ruling the racing with an iron hand.

The Squibs at Howth have had a chequered history since they started as a class at the harbour in 1979. Back in the previous millennium, they were particularly rampant during the 1990s, when a combined Irish & British Championship in 1995 saw 105 boats on the HYC starting line. At other times, the class is no more than a ghost of itself, but as longtime Howth Squib campaigner Emmet Dalton has put it, they're like cockroaches – you think they're gone, and suddenly they're everywhere again.

Running free in an unexpected outbreak of Indian Summer, Toys for the Boys (Peter Wallace) from Cultra chasing O'Leary (Simon Sheahan) from Howth. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyRunning free in an unexpected outbreak of Indian Summer, Toys for the Boys (Peter Wallace) from Cultra chasing O'Leary (Simon Sheahan) from Howth. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Winning combination. Neal Merry providing the leverage while Emmet Dalton ponders tactics aboard the new Squib Eastern Champion Kerfuffle. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWinning combination. Neal Merry providing the leverage while Emmet Dalton ponders tactics aboard the new Squib Eastern Champion Kerfuffle. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

After the weekend's racing, Skipper Dalton is permitted the use of such a crude analogy, for he and his crew Neal Merry were functioning so perfectly as a team racing Kerfuffle that they recorded a scoreline of 1,1,2,8,1,8. The other three race wins went to Ian Travers & Keith O'Riordan of Kinsale racing Outlaw, Peter Wallace & Martin Weatherstone of Royal North with Toys for the Boys, and frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) with Quickstep.

Suddenly, it's summer…..frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) had to be content with 5th overall this time round. Photo: Annraoi BlaneySuddenly, it's summer…..frequent champions Gordon Patterson & Ross Nolan (RNIYC) had to be content with 5th overall this time round. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

However, it was intriguing for championship analysts to note that, as ever, putting together a good series can be every bit as productive as the occasional spectacular win, for although Ian Travers was second overall with a scoreline of 5,3,3,1,6,2, third overall went to Stephen Bridges and Matthew Bolton with Firecracker from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough whose 4,6,3,3,4 was able to get them on the podium despite a UFD in Race 3.

Age cannot wither her….the vintage Kerfuffle (no 37) in the lead to demonstrate why certain batches of the Squib production history have a special cachet. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAge cannot wither her….the vintage Kerfuffle (no 37) in the lead to demonstrate why certain batches of the Squib production history have a special cachet. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The Silver Fleet also saw the prize stay with the host club, as it was topped by the Kay brothers in Crackertoo at 9th overall, while Kinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain & Michael O'Sullivan took second (and first female helm) at tenth overall, third in Silver going north to Killyleagh with Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers).

Kinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain, crewed by Michael O'Sullivan in Mucky Duck, was second in the Silver Division. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyKinsale's Cliodhna ni Shuillebhain, crewed by Michael O'Sullivan in Mucky Duck, was second in the Silver Division. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Even without the boost of this double success at the weekend, Howth's Squibs under the captaincy of Ronan MacDonnell are currently on a roll, as at least three boats new to the fleet will be joining the local division next year. Meanwhile the class nationally is not yet finished with 2021, as the Freshwater Regatta on Lough Derg early in October is taking shape as their closing major.

Detailed results here

Three of the Killyleagh fleet – 149: Firecracker (Steven Bridges & Matthew Bolton), 807: Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers) and 102: Slipstream (Neil Logan & Robert Marshall). Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThree of the Killyleagh fleet – 149: Firecracker (Steven Bridges & Matthew Bolton), 807: Volante (Simon Watson & Jordie Withers) and 102: Slipstream (Neil Logan & Robert Marshall). Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Control Centre – Howth YC's senior Committee Boat Star Point returns to the harbour on Sunday after a successful Squib Eastern Championship. Race Officer Derek Bothwell (at centre on bridge) has been busy all over Ireland with his workload increasing as the national sailing programme develops with pandemic restrictions lifting. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyControl Centre – Howth YC's senior Committee Boat Star Point returns to the harbour on Sunday after a successful Squib Eastern Championship. Race Officer Derek Bothwell (at centre on bridge) has been busy all over Ireland with his workload increasing as the national sailing programme develops with pandemic restrictions lifting. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

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While the thirty-one countries of the ILCA 4.7 fleet were completing the final race of their Youth World Championship in Dublin Bay, there was another close competition taking place in the bay under Barry O'Neill as P.R.O. This was under the burgee of Dublin Bay Sailing Club in the combined National Squib Class / Dublin Bay Mermaid fleet, of the Dublin Bay Green Fleet who completed two races on Saturday 14 August.

Race one was sailed over a windward-leeward course in a somewhat unstable wind of force two from the south-east. Tony Mullett's Allsorts, crewed by Paul Mills, started at the committee vessel Freebird. By the windward mark Noel Colclough's Periquin with Rupert Westrup crewing had closed the gap, and the two boats came to the windward mark with only half a boat length separating them. On the run it was Allsorts ahead, trying to keep her air clear. At the leeward mark, Allsorts had a problem with the spinnaker gybe to the finish, allowing Periquin to close the gap. After twenty-eight minutes racing, the margin between the two boats was three seconds which probably represents the distance from the bow to the mast.

Race two was sailed over the same course with the length of the beat reduced to compensate for a falling breeze. Allsorts won the start by hitting the line on port tack at the pin end. Again, she rounded the windward mark a boat-length ahead of her rival. This time Periquin was able to blanket Allsorts and thus was able to gain the inside berth which she held for the entire run to the leeward mark. Allsorts did a better rounding and managed to pass to lee of Periquin. Although the two boats split tacks on the second beat, when they came together again, Periquin on port passed across the bow of Allsorts, who was heading towards the favoured end of the line. In the official results, the margin between the boats after thirty-eight minutes racing was again three seconds, with Periquin taking the win.

This racing is great practice for the Irish East Coast Squib Championship at Howth Yacht Club on the first weekend of September.

Published in Squib

While Kinsale Yacht Club cruisers boats were racing around the Kowloon Bridge Buoy and the club also staged the Squib south coast championships, another West Cork Yacht Club was staging a Glandore Harbour race for Dragons and Squibs to Castletownshend.

11 Dragons and 11 Squibs sailed in the annual race in ideal sailing conditions of 10 to 12 knot breezes last Saturday.

In the Dragon fleet, Sonata, in her first major event since being relaunched by her new owners this week, was the winner, ahead of Aphrodite second and War Baby in third. 

Trojan was the first Squib home followed by Tequilla Chaser in second and Kingfisher in third place.

Fergus of Mary Ann’s Bar in Castletownsend provided bottles of wine for the prizewinners.

Diarmuid O’Donovan of Glenmar Shellfish donated lobsters for the winning boats in the race back to Glandore. The first Dragon was Aphrodite, the first Squib was again Trojan,

Published in Dragon

Wins in the second and third races in the Squib Southern Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club this afternoon has handed the overnight lead to Northern Ireland's Peter Wallace and Fiona Ward.

The Wallace and Ward partnership from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough have a four-point cushion over local Kinsale pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly on 11 points. 

KYC pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly are lying in second Photo: Bob BatemanKYC pair Matthias Hellstern and Colm Daly are lying in second place Photo: Bob Bateman

Currently in third place, Kinsale clubmates Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan are on 12 points. 

12 boats are competing with ten from the host club and two Northern visitors.

Full results are here

Racing continues tomorrow

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Despite a strong showing by the Killyleagh Yacht Club visitors from Strangford Lough on the first day of the Squib Northerns at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough, in the end it was the local crew, Greg Bell and Jayne Kearney in Prodigal who stamped their authority on the 17 strong fleet posting an emphatic run of low scores to win from the Killyleagh team of Steven Bridges and Colin Dougan in Firecracker.

First and second places were fairly well scattered among the fleet, but it was the Bell crew's consistency that rewarded them the Championship.

Greg Bell (left) with Commodore RNIYC Nigel Carson and Jayne Kearney Photo: Lindsay NolanGreg Bell (left) with Commodore RNIYC Nigel Carson and Jayne Kearney Photo: Lindsay Nolan

Race 1, started in an eight to ten knot northeasterly and a choppy sea. Hot out the blocks was Firecracker from Killyleagh (Bridges and Dougan) showing a clean pair of heels and disappearing over the horizon to win that race. Behind were Toy for the Boys with Peter Wallace and Martin Weatherstone on board, fighting it out with the Eccles/Wright duo in Inshallah to finish that order. Race 2 went to another Killyleagh boat, Slipstream crewed by Neil Logan and Robert Marshall, with Firecracker second. Toy for the Boys pulled back to win Race 3 with Bell's Prodigal securing runner up.

Jumini (702) on a run credit Photo: Jen DicksonJumini (702) on a run Photo: Jen Dickson

On Sunday a lengthy postponement until the wind filled in meant an anxious wait for the five boats vying for the title. Race 4 got underway in a light shifting breeze, with the Howth boat, Durt sailed by Fergus O'Kelly and Dave Cotter from Howth hot out the blocks, but after a position shifting race, it was the host club's Greg Bell in Prodigal in the first slot, followed by clubmate Ross Kearney in Jumini and the Killyleagh crew in Firecracker third

Prodigal took Race 5 to stamp Bell's authority on the event even further, but this time runner up went to Douglas and Mellor in Inismara, with Jumini 3rd. In the shifty breeze for Race 6, there were new faces to the front with locals Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan's Fagin leading the fleet and Gizmo (Park and Stinson) second.

Published in Squib
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The Notice of Race has been published for the Squib South Coast Championships taking place on 17 & 18 July at Kinsale Yacht Club.

With a return to racing expected for 7th June, Kinsale hopes to attract entries from Glandore to Killyleagh and all the Irish Squib fleets in between. 

Racing will take place in the waters outside Kinsale Harbour between the Old Head and the Sovereign Islands.

Competition, say organisers, is expected to be 'extremely high' as the Irish National Championships are scheduled just three weeks later in Killyleagh Yacht Club in Northern Ireland.

Entries will be accepted up until 12th July 2021.

Download the NOR and entry form below.

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With sailing slowly re-emerging in Ireland which is still some distance from being post-pandemic, we seem to be seeing our sport taking shape again with a series of baby steps.

In such circumstances, there’s much to be said for the purchase of a race-ready and versatile boat that only needs to be rigged to provide immediate activity at one of the country’s several Squib sailing centres.

And this well-maintained version of the Oliver Lee-designed 19ft classic keelboat fits the bill to perfection, as the details and specification make for fascinating racing for longtime Squib aficionados and newcomers alike.

Close action for Squib keelboats - while they still carry the original 1967 rig with the distinctive tanned sails, today’s Squib class have greatly advanced their sail-trimming techniques   Close action for Squib keelboats - while they still carry the original 1967 rig with the distinctive tanned sails, today’s Squib class have greatly advanced their sail-trimming techniques  

Newcomers will find it intriguing that a 1968 boat is still seen as a prime contender, but that’s the way it is with the Squibs. Having a brand new boat is by no means a guarantee of success, and dyed-in-the-wool Squib connoisseurs are well able to debate for hours which particular generation of Squibs produced the most successful boats.

Then too, apart from the sport of the racing and the class camaraderie that goes with it, the bonus with the Squib is that this really is a proper tittle yacht with a genuine sit-in cockpit, such that she’s a very practical proposition for simply taking the family out for a day sail.

See Squib 42 for sale here

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The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Squib fleet is making its plans for the 2021 season. Assuming that levels of Covid will drop sufficiently Dublin Bay Sailing Club have agreed to provide racing for a combined fleet of three-man wooden Mermaids and two-man GRP Squibs.

The Squibs give the Mermaids an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing.

The Dun Laoghaire Squib Fleet have reassessed their financial needs and realise they had enough money in their fleet bank account to buy a very good second-hand Squib.

Second-hand Squibs change hands for anything between €500 and €12,000 depending on manufacturer and condition.

Squibs (above) will give the Mermaids (below) an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing in DBSC racing this Summer. Photos Bob Bateman

mermaid racing

At an AGM held on Zoom last autumn, it was decided to make a substantial presentation to the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat.

The presentation of a cheque for €4,500 was made by Jill Fleming, Derek Jago and Gillian Fletcher on behalf of the Squib Fleet in late February 2021.

Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat was delighted to receive the presentation.

Vincent Delany
Dun Laoghaire Squib Captain

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The Irish Squib keelboat class will kick off its 2021 season at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough on May 29th, according to the provisional 2021 fixtures calendar released this week.

Next on the 2021 list is the Southern Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club in July. This is the venue for the class's 2022 Squib Combined Irish & UK Championships with an expected fleet of 75 or more Squibs, so the Southerns represents valuable practice time on the championship racecourse for the Irish fleet. Full 2021 fixtures are below. 

Irish Squib Event Dates for 2021 (subject to Covid restrictions)

  • Northerns RNIYC, May 29th & 30th
  • Southerns Kinsale, July 17th & 18th
  • Irish Nationals Killyleagh Yacht Club, August 6th, 7th & 8th
  • Easterns September 4th & 5th Howth Yacht Club
  • Inlands, October 16th & 17th October Lough Derg Yacht Club
Published in Squib
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At the recent Squib one-design keelboat class Irish AGM held on Zoom, it was confirmed that Kinsale Yacht Club will host the combined Irish and UK National Championships 19-24 June 2022 with an expected fleet of 75 or more Squibs.

A good number of members attended the AGM from the North, East and South coasts.

Robert Marshall of Killyleagh Yacht Club was unanimously elected Chairman of the Irish Squib Forum (the representative body for Squib Owners in Ireland north and south), Ian Travers of Kinsale Yacht Club was elected Vice-Chairman. Ronan MacDonnell of Howth Yacht Club was elected Hon. Treasurer and Fergus O'Kelly also of Howth Yacht Club was re-elected Technical Advisor.

Colm Dunne of Kinsale Y.C. was re-elected Irish Representative to the National Squib Owners Association in the United Kingdom.

Squib one design keelboat sailingThe 2021 Irish National Squib Championships will be held at Killyleagh from 6-8 August

Subject to Covid 19 restrictions the proposed programme for 2021 is as follows:

  • Irish National Championships in Killyleagh 6-8 August.
  • NSOA championships in Abersoch (Wales) 27 June- 3 July.
  • Northern Championships in Royal North Yacht Club in May.
  • Eastern Championship in Howth Yacht Club in September.
  • Southern Championship to be confirmed.

Squib Events for 2022

It was confirmed at the AGM that Kinsale Yacht Club will host the combined Irish and UK National Championships 19-24 June 2022 with an expected fleet of 75 or more Squibs.

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