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In an exciting days racing in a strong westerly wind Flying Fifteen class Captain John O’Sullivan with UK guest crew Ben Longstaff stunned the fleet in Race 2 with a fantastic win to record his first ever race victory. It was well deserved and well celebrated!

This was the first day of the traditional six week frostbite series run by the NYC with Ian Matthews as PRO. The fleet set out in about 18-20knots from the west with a surprisingly strong flooding tide. A great turnout of sixteen boats got off at the first time of asking and most headed towards the shore, it was all very close and all very exciting. As they approached the weather mark it was Green, fresh back after getting second in the UK Nationals in Falmouth with Charles Apthorp, who led from Mulvin & Beirne closely followed by a cluster of boats. It was a three lap race and although it was close racing not a lot changed as Green read the shifts well and maintained his lead to take the gun with Mulvin second and Colman & Quinn third.

Race 2 followed shortly after, the wind was steady but PRO extended the beat and added a triangle so thrills and spills were sure to occur on the downwind legs! Off they went at the gun but Green was a bit too quick out of the blocks and had to go back as the rest of the fleet sailed on up the beat. The majority went towards the shore with O’Sullivan to weather of the other boats, meanwhile Coughlan & Marshal went right, these two fierce rivals rounded the mark together but O Sullivan kept his nerve and his head to take the lead and sailed a solid race to win his first race ever! Behind places were changing right up to the last leg. Mulvin, Coleman and Dooley were battling it out, Sherry was unlucky as his spinnaker went under his bow at the drop, Green was slowly catching up and at the last weather mark has nipped into third place but Dooley over took them and Mulvin on the last leg to get a second place with Mulvin finishing third.

It was a great start to the series, thanks to Ian Matthews and his team who worked hard on a breezy lumpy day providing great racing and great courses. The series continues next Sunday.

Published in Flying Fifteen
9th October 2017

Martin Crotty 1945-2017

Martin Crotty of the National Yacht Club, one of the great enhancers both of our sport and of life itself, has been taken from among us all too soon, and the thoughts of the Irish sailing community – and a broader community beyond it at home and abroad – are very much with his family, his many friends and his clubmates in a sad loss in which we all share.

He started sailing at an early age, and became a stalwart of the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen class in partnership with Jim Gorman, father of current Flying Fifteen pace-setter David Gorman. But Martin’s intellectual curiosity, and interest in a more complex form of sailing with a broader scope, then led to a partnership with Peter Cullen in the Everitt-designed Half Tonner Eliminator, which they campaigned very actively with increasing success.

By going into the Eliminator partnership, Martin began a dynamic boat-owning linkup with Peter Cullen which was to last the entire 38 years until his death on Saturday. Peter Cullen and Martin Crotty were much more than just a boat-owning duo – they were close friends, they complemented each other, their different abilities and personality traits were mutually beneficial, and they fairly crackled with ideas for the development and improvement of sailing.

Their partnership progressed through three more boats – the David Thomas-designed Bolero 35 Nyala (“rather over-canvased, but great sport and unbeatable in her special conditions”), and then another but very different David Thomas design, the hefty yet speedy Sigma 41 Koala which they campaigned and cruised from 1991 to 1999 through nine very active seasons, with thousands of miles logged.

They then “settled down a bit” with the handsome dark blue Beneteau 50 Zig Zag, which in fifteen and more seasons has cruised extensively to many parts of Ireland, but France and Spain – particularly northwest Spain – have also been much favoured. A couple of years ago, to mark Martin’s 70th birthday, he and Peter made what was to become their last extensive cruise together, out to northwest Spain and back again, two crossings of the Bay of Biscay.

martin crotty at helm2Quietly happy aboard his boat – Martin Crotty at the helm of Zig Zag. Photo: Peter Cullen

Ashore, Martin was a surprisingly private person for one who played so many key roles across a wide range of interests, some of them highly visible. He was actually qualified as a barrister, yet never practised, for despite his never-failing politeness and tendency to be a backroom operator, he was fascinated by the world of corporate business, and achieved notable success and fulfillment in his career in Corporate Design.

As for his input into sailing, his best-known innovation was the introduction, with the full backing of Peter Cullen, of the biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race in 1993. This really was totally new. Many people had thought of a non-stop Round Ireland Race long before Wicklow Sailing Club finally bit the bullet with total dedication in 1980. But absolutely no-one had thought of anything like a 280-mile race from the stately harbour of Dun Laoghaire in all its style on Dublin Bay, all the way to one of the most westerly fishing ports in Ireland, a place so redolent of the majesty of the Atlantic seaboard that it could have been on a different Continent. Yet thanks to the Crotty-Cullen initiative, the two very different ports were brought together and have maintained this unique, wonderful and growing seafaring and sporting bond ever since.

However, even an event as strong as this suffered from some numbers depletion during the Economic Recession. But although he had been running it for more than 15 dedicated years, Martin was determined to see the D2D back to full health before finally handing it over. In the Spring of 2017, with entries for the up-coming race in June already at record levels, he finally made the full administation handover to Adam Winkelmann, whom he had recruited to shadow his staging of the race in 2013, when signs of recovery were already beginning to become evident.

But although the hugely popular Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is Martin Crotty’s most tangible legacy in Irish sailing, he should be remembered for much else. He was himself an excellent sailor, with that perfect combination of courage, ability and good sense which provides the perfect shipmate. He was fascinated by traditional navigation – he was a skilled hand with the classic sextant – yet he was equally adept with the most modern technology, and as Peter Cullen puts it, “There was no better man to have around when the electronics were acting up – he was better than many professionals”.

Another aspect of his wide-ranging personality was an encyclopaedic knowledge of flag etiquette. Quite how he managed to find the brain space for this arcane subject in his already well-furnished mind is a matter of wonder, yet the way of thinking which this indicates made him a formidable committee man, and he rose through the ranks to become Vice Commodore of his beloved National YC.

It was his final role with the NYC which perhaps best defined Martin Crotty. Upwards of three years ago he was appointed a Trustee of the Club. Some club Trustees are sometimes no more than names at the top of headed notepaper. But at a difficult time for yacht club life throughout Ireland as we struggled out of recession, Martin Corry was a Trustee that the Commodore and every committee in the National Yacht Club knew they could readily call on for the most sage and useful advice for each and every difficult decision.

Speaking today in fond remembrance of his friend Martin Crotty, National Yacht Club Commodore Ronan Beirne remembered his many services to sailing, but he spoke in particular of his solid reliability in his final role as a Trustee: “He was our rock. He would be completely measured, sound and considered in his deliberations, and his advice would be proven right. We will miss him for so many things. And we will miss him for his excellent company.”

WMN

Published in National YC

Three wins from five races in conditions ranging from heavy to light winds kept the Irish J109 Trophy in Howth Yacht Club hands as Pat and David Kelly's Storm succesfully defended its title at the National Yacht Club today.

A strong performance from the Kelly family–boat saw the Rush and Howth crew finish the series on five nett points, six points clear of second placed White Mischief skippered by Richard Goodbody from the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC).

J109 Chimaera 3424Second overall – Richard Goodbody's White Mischief Photo: Afloat.ie

Goodbody's club-mates took the next three places with Andrew Craig's Chimaera third on 16 points, ICRA Class One Champion John Maybury in Joker II fourth and today's last race winner, Andrew Alego in Juggerknot rounding out the top five of the record–breaking 15–boat fleet.

J109 Chimaera 3424Third overall – Andrew Craig's Chimaera  Photo: Afloat.ie

After strong winds yesterday (pictures here), the J109 fleet got much softer conditions for the final two races on Dublin Bay today. 

J109 Chimaera 3424Fourth overall – John Maybury's Joker II  Photo: Afloat.ie

J109 Nationals 3183Fifth overall – Andrew Algeo's Joggernaut had Olympian Tom Fitzpatrick on board Photo: Afloat.ie

Today's victory is not the only success for the Storm crew this season either. In May, they showed the depth of their ambition in Scotland when they returned to Loch Fyne to claim the RC35 class. In June, the well known Howth boat was chartered for the 700–mile Round Ireland and rebadged as 'Euro Car Parks' and became a class winner and top Irish performance.

Full results are here.

J109 Nationals 3223Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles Indian from Howth had Laura Dillon on board

J109 Nationals 3223The North Sails Team checking out sail trim Photo: Afloat.ie

J109 Nationals 3303Dear Prudence (Patrick Cruise O'Brien) was sixth overall. The boat is currently for sale on Afloat.ie here

J109 Nationals 3312Liam Shanahan Jnr at the wheel of Ruth from the host club

Two J109s are currently for sale on Afloat.ie both priced at €95,000. Dear Prudence details here and Jedi details here.

Gallery of images from the J109 Nationals 2017 are here

Published in National YC
Tagged under

Defending champion Pat Kelly's Storm from Howth Yacht Club is three points clear at the top of the J109 leaderboard after the first three breezy races at the National Yacht Club

In a testing opening day on Dublin Bay, winds blew to 20–knots from 270 to 290 degrees. 

Kelly took the first two races in comfort but the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Andrew Craig sailing Chimaera won the last windward–leeward race of the day to put him second overall. Craig's clubmate Richard Goodbody lies third on the same eight points.

J109 National yacht club 2991The 15–boat fleet had three races today in testing conditions Photo: Afloat.ie

The record–breaking championship fleet included two UK entries Nigel Ingram's Just Jay from Holyhead Sailing Club and regular ISORA visitor Roger Smith's Wakey Wakey in seventh and ninth place respectively.

Full results are here.

J109 Andrew Craig 3277Andrew Craig sailing Chimaera from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is second Photo: Afloat.ie

J109 white mischief 3486Royal Irish's Richard Goodbody, sailing White Mischief, lies third overall Photo: Afloat.ie

Gallery of images from the J109 Nationals 2017 are here

Published in National YC
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The 2019 Flying Fifteen World Championships will be hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire it has been announced. The event will run from 2nd -13th September on the waters of Dublin Bay.

85 boats will compete with entries from as near as the UK, Europe and as far away as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand where the most recent World Championships were held.

As well as being a boost to the local Dun Laoghaire economy, it is hoped the event will increase interest in this exciting two–man boat. The event will showcase Dublin Bay as a premier racing venue as it follows on from other European and World Championships events in the Bay in 2018, such as the Laser Master World Championships.

Next season's Regional Championships will form the qualification series for the Irish boats so there promises to be some exciting sailing in the build up to the Worlds at the NYC.

This 22nd World Championships coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the local Dun Laoghaire fleet and many of the founding fathers are sure to come out and marvel at how these boats have developed.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Gail MacAllister, Irish Sailing’s Regional Development Officer and Co-ordinator for the Women on the Water Ireland (WOWI) programme talks to Helen Cooney about how the programme is run at the National Yacht Club.

Irish Sailing launched the WOWI programme in 2011 to create opportunities for women to learn, train and compete on the water together. Since then many women across the country have been introduced to sailing through various WOWI courses and events. One person spearheading WOWI is Helen Cooney, a dedicated volunteer from the National Yacht Club.

Helen Cooney and NYC WOWI Sailors 3Helen Cooney of the National Yacht Club

Helen wasn’t from a sailing family but started sailing at 14 in a Mirror dinghy in Lough Derg Yacht Club. She introduced her husband and children to sailing when they returned home from London. She knew from her own experience that this would be a great family sport. All three girls are still sailing. The youngest, Sarah, was Sailing Captain in UCD last year.

Helen was Junior Organiser (JO) in the National Yacht Club for a number of years, all while working as a physiotherapist and bringing up a young family. But even though Helen had given plenty of her time to sharing the love of sailing to children, she saw a need to encourage more women to sail, and set up her WOWI programme.

“Women sailing together as a group create great friendships and are naturally supportive of each other. Learning to sail in an all women's environment means having fun and takes the intimidation out of starting racing on a busy race course like DBSC. Many have got the bug and gone on to race in other club classes full of confidence in their abilities and what they can contribute to a new boat. We have had many beginners starting inspired by Annalise Murphy's achievements which highlight sailing as a women's sport; parents whose children sail and who want to now know more themselves; and experienced sailors returning to the sport after a break. Women feel comfortable in this inclusive atmosphere and work well as a team with everyone having a role on the boat.”

NYC WOWI Sailors End of season race sept 17 2WOWI sailors prepare to go afloat on NYC 1720 sportsboats for the club's 'End of Season' race

Helen’s team charter two 1720 keelboats from the club to use for their training and racing. There are 25 women on the programme, aged between 30 and 60. An experienced sailor in the group always helms on race night and they share the cost of a coach to help build up their sailing skills and confidence. They mainly race in the Thursday night Dublin Bay racing but have also entered teams in to the Volvo DL Regatta and Cork Week, which brought a new thrill to their achievements as a team. The programme also brings a new social world outside of the sailing with team theatre trips and club dinners or just a walk on the pier, “It is very bonding.” Helen tells us.

The WOWI programme is open to NYC members only but there is an independent crew membership rate available for 3 years to new non-boat owner members, which makes it accessible to a wider audience than the traditional buy a boat and join the club as a whole family. To support the WOWI team, the NYC also has a very successful Adult Training programme which is open to non members and members alike. This year interestingly there are now more women than men on the courses.
The club’s commitment to equality doesn’t stop on the water, the club committee currently has 4 women so there is a good gender balance and awareness of the importance of including women’s programmes.

Helen concludes “sailing is a sport that women and men can step into (or back into at any age) – it really is a sport for all. And if the sporty racing side isn’t for you, then relaxed cruising or adventure cruising is there too – solo or as a team or family. There aren’t many hobbies the whole family can participate in at an equal footing – women, children, grandparents”.

You can read more of Gail’s interview with Helen and more of her sailing colleagues in the Irish Sailing newsletter which goes out at the end of September.

Published in ISA

Defending Irish Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club are out of this weekend's Championships at Whitehead in County Antrim following a dismasting on Dublin Bay.

The excitement is building for the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland being hosted this weekend by County Antrim Sailing Club with sponsorship provided by the local Wrights Spar shop and P&O Ferries, a welcome move to entice visitors from the UK. It seems the weather is also building so it promises to be a weekend of drama and great racing for these one design boats.

With good numbers of Flying Fifteens turning out at club level in Dublin and Strangford Lough in particular they now take to the road and head to Whitehead a picturesque location at the tip of Belfast Lough. There is also a vibrant fleet along the north east coast in Larne and Cushendall so a good fleet is expected.

As usual in this fleet it is very hard to call the winner as the racing is always close and exciting and any of a number of boats could win.

Holders Gorman and Doorly of the National Yacht Club have had to pull out as they had a mast break in a windy DBSC race last weekend. This leaves it open for those who have been in form in the regional events where we have had a different winner in each event, Brian McKee & Ian Smith (SLSC) and Willis & McPeak (CAYC) along with Andy & Rory Martin (SLSC) are all in good form and sailing well. Others hoping to go well are Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (KYC), Ian Mathews, who has lost his regular crew to injury but Hugh Cahill is filling in. Word is that Alan Green has a top helm from the UK lined up to compete, all will be revealed on Friday but rumour is it is current World Champion Steve Goacher.

There is plenty to sail for and as this is the last ranking event of the season so the Travellers trophies for the Gold, Silver and bronze fleets are up for grabs.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The summer might officially have drawn to a close but the Autumn still offers plenty of opportunity for sailing by 420 crews. First up is the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships on the 23rd and 24th September which is the last competitive racing this side of the Irish Sea this year.

Sailing continues with the running of an open training event on the 28th, 29th and the 30th October at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay. Entry for the open training will soon be available on the National Yacht Club website but if you have any questions regarding the training or if you wish to reserve a place early then please contact [email protected] The training will be led by Graham Grant and it is open to all sailors, the fully equipped 420 class association boats will be available for rental during the training weekend for sailors who may not yet have acquired their own boats, reservation of boats can be confirmed with [email protected]

For any sailors who are considering the 420 as their next boat the association will also be offering the opportunity to come along and try the boat as part of an open day. Whether you wish to helm or try the thrill of crewing one of these performance pathway boats please contact [email protected] to find out more details.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
Tagged under

On a cloudy grey evening with stormy clouds hovering the Flying Fifteen fleet got more than they expected with strong force 4-5 winds from the west on Thursday evening. With no race last week, repaired DBSC Committee Boat Freebird was ready and waiting at the start line. Despite the peak holiday season a great turnout of 16 boats had an exciting evenings sail with Alan Green and Chris Doorly taking the gun in a close and exciting finish from Neil Colin & Margaret Casey. 

The start with its pin end bias was hotly contested with Dumpleton and Green vying for a position to get the pin. Green popped out and after a while managed to cross the fleet on port as the fleet headed towards Harbour mark. It seemed that the hard work was done and he was in control of the fleet but it was not to last as those who headed in towards the shore got to the mark first, Neil Colin led the way from David Mulvin and Neil Coleman.

The wind really picked up on an exciting tight reach led by Colin, behind there were thrills and spills with several broaches! On towards Poldy the fleet were busy trying to avoid Ruffians. As they approached the mark Green got inside Coleman and on rounding the mark squezed inside David & Valerie Mulvin to move into second place on the beat. This is how it stayed for a while but the gap closed as we approached Bay mark and the chase was on down to East mark where Colin & Casey still held their lead. He headed inshore while Green headed toward the dark looming clouds towards the city. On tacking in towards the finish it was all about boat speed- what would happen as they converged adjacent the line? As the finish loomed closer it was Green that crossed clear of Colin to take the gun, a great finish to a great race set by Jack Roy and his team. It was still close behind with Alistair & Conor just pipping Coleman for third with McCambridge fifth.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The skies were grey but this didn’t deter the keen young sailors who participated in the Davy National Yacht Club Junior Regatta last Wednesday writes Frieda Ford. With over 110 participants there was a buzz at the National.

Representatives from all Dun Laoghaire's clubs registered in the afternoon before the event and received a super goody bag containing plenty of treats including a great Davy SPF balm and a fidget spinner. 

After a comprehensive briefing both fleets commenced launching - the Harbour Fleet took to the water at 10:45 am and the Main Fleet at 11:15 am. Three races were completed by both fleets in gusty winds.

Presentations took place late in the afternoon before the other social part of the evening - the junior disco. While parents socialised on the balcony the junior sailors enjoyed a fun evening that was supervised by the fantastic NYC instructors.

Published in National YC
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Page 6 of 28

At A Glance – All Ireland Sailing Championships 2021

The 2021 Irish Sailing Senior All Ireland Championship will take place at the Royal Cork YC in National 18s, 2 & 3 October.

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