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Five Starts as 70-Boat Fleet Signs Up for Sunday's DBSC Turkey Shoot Series at Royal Irish Yacht Club (Sailing Instructions Here)

4th November 2021
John Maybury's National Championship winning J109 Joker II is one of five J109s entered for the DBSC AIB Turkey Shoot starting on Dublin Bay this Sunday morning
John Maybury's National Championship winning J109 Joker II is one of five J109s entered for the DBSC AIB Turkey Shoot starting on Dublin Bay this Sunday morning Credit: Afloat

The normal four-start race sequence will be expanded to five for this Sunday's first race of the impressive 70-boat fleet in the AIB-sponsored DBSC Turkey Shoot Series on Dublin Bay.

The 2021 entry of several 40-foot and above entries (including the past double winner, Seamus Fitzpatrick’s First 50 Mermaid V from the Royal Irish Yacht Club) has led Race Organiser Fintan Cairns to consider a fifth gun, for a combined fleet comprising an eclectic mix of sailing cruiser types.

While largely a Dun Laoghaire Habour based event, there are boats coming from as far as Sligo to compete.

Seamus Fitzpatrick’s First 50 Mermaid VSeamus Fitzpatrick’s First 50 Mermaid V passes the Muglins Light on Dublin Bay, a typical mark of the Turkey Shoot Series

The fleet reached its bumper turnout close as the entry deadline was reached this week for the pre-Christmas fixture celebrating its 21st edition

Jonathan Nicholson's EL PockoJonathan Nicholson's EL Pocko

Joining Mermaid V is former DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson's EL Pocko, a German Frers Puma 42 from the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Another forty-footer is a former DBSC boat of the year, Patrick Burke's Prima Forte of the RIYC.

Patrick Burke's Prima FortePatrick Burke's Prima Forte

While the growth of the big boats might make the Turkey Shoot headlines, equally impressive is the solid number of one design keelboats types joining the short sharp seven-race series.

As well as J109s there are six J80s, eight 1720s and six 31.7s one-design keelboats competing. The J80s include a keen turn out of RSTGYC boats including the all-girl 'Jeorgettes' crew.

John Maybury's National Championship winning J109 Joker II is one of five entered.

Michael Blaney's After U too, is one of six 31.7s enteredMichael Blaney's After U too, is one of six 31.7s entered

There is strong representation too from the offshore fraternity with ISORA's Sunfast 3600s, Hot Cookie (John O'Gorman) and Yoyo (Brendan Coghlan) both in along with the latest 3600 Searcher skippered by Pete Smyth. So is Grzegorz Kalinecki's First 310 More Mischief.

The series is scored under modified ECHO handicap and runs until December 19th with First Gun each Sunday at 10.10 hrs.

The early forecasts for Sunday show west north winds of 15 knots gusting to 20, ideal conditions for cruiser-racing.

The entry fee is €70 and includes temporary membership of DBSC and the Royal Irish Yacht Club who are hosting the Series.

The First Gun of the 2021 DBSC Turkey Shoot is this Sunday at 10.10 hrsThe First Gun of the 2021 DBSC Turkey Shoot is this Sunday at 10.10 hrs

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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Turkey Shoot Winter Series

Dublin Bay Sailing Club's Turkey Shoot Series reached its 20th year in 2020.

The popular yacht series racing provides winter-racing for all the sailing clubs on the southside of Dublin Bay in the run-up to Christmas.

It regularly attracts a fleet of up to 70 boats of different shapes and sizes from all four yachts clubs at Dun Laoghaire: The National Yacht Club, The Royal St. George Yacht Club, The Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as other clubs such as Sailing in Dublin. Typically the event is hosted by each club in rotation.

The series has a short, sharp format for racing that starts at approximately 10 am and concludes around noon. The event was the brainchild of former DBSC Commodore Fintan Cairns to give the club year-round racing on the Bay thanks to the arrival of the marina at Dun Laoghaire in 2001. Cairns, an IRC racer himself, continues to run the series each winter.

Typically, racing features separate starts for different cruiser-racers but in fact, any type of boat is allowed to participate, even those yachts that do not normally race are encouraged to do so.

Turkey Shoot results are calculated under a modified ECHO handicap system and there can be a fun aspect to some of the scoring in keeping with the Christmas spirit of the occasion.

As a result, the Turkey Shoot often receives entries from boats as large as Beneteau 50 footers and one designs as small as 20-foot flying Fifteens, all competing over the same course.

It also has legendary weekly prizegivings in the host waterfront yacht clubs immediately after racing. There are fun prizes and overall prizes based on series results.

Regular updates and DBSC Turkey Shoot Results are published on Afloat each week as the series progresses.


Cruisers, cruising boats, one-designs and boats that do not normally race are very welcome. Boats range in size from ocean-going cruisers at 60 and 60 feet right down to small one-design keelboats such as 20-foot Flying Fifteens. A listing of boats for different starts is announced on Channel 74 before racing each week.

Each winter from the first Sunday in November until the last week before Christmas.

Usually no more than two hours. The racecourse time limit is 12.30 hours.

Between six and eight with one or two discards applied.

Racing is organised by Dublin Bay Sailing Club and the Series is rotated across different waterfront yacht clubs for the popular after race party and prizegiving. The waterfront clubs are National Yacht Club (NYC), Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC), Royal St George Yacht Club (RSGYC) and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC).

© Afloat 2020