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In response to the continuing Covid-19 situation, the National Yacht Club has revised its plans for 2020 in preparation for the eventual resumption of sailing activity.

Commodore Martin McCarthy says cost and staffing adjustments have been made to complete some major maintenance works at the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubhouse, including just-completed upgrades to the hot water system.

Another protect, the renovation of the wooden benches in the changing rooms, falls under the sustainability efforts that saw the NYC recognised as Sustainable Club of the Year (along with Bray Sailing Club) in Saturday night’s Irish Sailing Awards.

Commodore McCarthy said: “Grainne Ryan has led our effort on that front so congrats and well done to Grainne.”

In an email update to club members, the commodore added that “the fabric of the club and esprit de corps are vital assets we are working hard to protect” — as he confirmed plans are still in train for lift-in day on Saturday 11 April.

Meanwhile, many members are working on their boats and are encouraged to do so in compliance with physical distancing and Department of Health hygiene regulations.

“As a club, our primary focus is the welfare and safety of our staff and members,” Commodore McCarthy said. “Observing the guidelines on physical distancing as the storm of Covid-19 blows through in the coming weeks is a top priority.”

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club has scheduled its lift-in day for large keelboats stored on the hard this winter on Saturday 4 April, as the following weekend coincides with the Easter Bank Holiday.

Smaller keelboats boats on trailers will be launched with the club’s cranes (by appointment) during the previous week starting Monday 30 March.

All dinghies will have to be removed from the platform by the evening of Sunday 29 March.

In addition, the NYC has added some new dates to its special events schedule for 2020.

This coming Friday 15 February will see the American Song Book dinner and music night from 7.30pm, priced at €35 per person.

Joe Dunne and friends will host a Trad Night on Thursday 15 March (8pm, €10pp), while Saturday 9 May is the date for the Caviston’s fish night (8pm, €50pp).

For bookings contact Tim, Louise or Kristina at [email protected] or [email protected] or 01 280 5725.

Published in National YC
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Only a handful of spots remain for youth sailors in spring training programmes for Optimist, Topper and RS Feva sailors organised by the National Yacht Club for the 2020 season.

Spring training for Oppys runs for five Sunday afternoons beginning on 1 March. Only two places remain as of time of writing — to register (and optionally charter a club boat) see the NYC website HERE.

The Topper spring coaching programme is already under way, but a handful of places remain in the Advanced Racer and Improvers groups. More details and online registration can be found HERE.

And coaching for RS Feva juniors begins later this month on 23 February, with only two spots to spare. Details and registration HERE.

This month will also see a team racing clinic at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February during the upcoming midterm break.

The Irish Sailing-supported initiative for team racing is offered at the special price of only €25 for the two days of training, and is open to anyone (including non-club members) who has a competent level of sailing experience but is most suited to at least Level 3 or equivalent.

Sign-ups are still open for the Dun Laoghaire Youth Laser spring training programme, which continues this month with a focus on preparing 4.7 sailors for Easter trials and Radials for the Europeans at Ballyholme in July.

And dates have been finalised for NYC’s junior summer courses, each of two weeks’ duration:

  • Course 1: Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 June
  • Course 2: Monday 15 to Friday 26 June
  • Course 3: Monday 29 June to Friday 10 July
  • Course 4: Monday 13 July to Friday 24 July
  • Course 5: Monday 27 July to Friday 7 August

These will involve the full suite of Irish Sailing levels (Start Sailing, Basic Skills, Improving Skills, Racing, Advanced Boat Handling, Adventure) over each course.

Published in Team Racing

Dublin Bay Sailing Club in conjunction with Dublin Port will present a navigation talk at the next ‘Speaker Supper’ on Friday 21 February.

Patrick Cafferky will give the talk on ‘Marine and Navigation Safety from a Marine Pilot’s Perspective’ in the National Yacht Club dining room from 8.30pm, following supper at 7.30pm sharp.

The meal is €25 a head and all waterfront clubs are welcome to attend. To book please contact Tim at [email protected], Louise or Kristyna at [email protected] or phone 01 280 5725.

Published in DBSC

If you are interested in sailing in the National Yacht Club’s Spring Match Racing series this year, the club is now seeking expressions of interest on its website.

The online form is available HERE, and the NYC emphasises that it does not confirm you as an entrant as entries will be managed based on demand.

This year’s Spring Match Racing Series will run for six weekends from the weekend of Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February.

The NYC has space for 12 teams (six on Saturdays, six on Sundays) and each day from 9.30am to 1.30pm will consist of one round robin of races in the clubs Elliot 6s.

The cost for the series will remain the same as the last series at €315 per team (€105pp if not a full team) plus damage deposit. This fee includes the use of all equipment needed as well as a free training weekend before the series starts.

Published in Match Racing
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The first of 2020’s wine suppers, held on Wednesday 15 January, kicked off the National Yacht Club’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

This follows the launching at Christmas of the splendid Sesquicentennial Anniversary gin and wines, which have been hugely popular with fellow members.

Post-Commodore Ronan Beirne chairs the Sesquicentennial Organising Committee and its remit covers House, Sailing, Building and Legacy aspects.

On the water, the Sesquicentennial Regatta, supported by Davy, will be a major five-day gathering, the Notice of Race for which has been put together by race director Con Murphy and his team.

The NYC is working with Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cove Sailing Club to pull together a Kingstown-to-Queenstown race which would celebrate RCYC’s 300th anniversary and the NYC’s 150th in a combined nautical endeavour, with a vintage flavour.

A 150-year history of the National Yacht Club is under way, written by DBSC stalwart Donal O’Sullivan and contributors. It is in the final stages of preparation and any members with significant memorabilia, stories and photographs might send them to [email protected] for consideration.

If funds allow, the club will have a Legacy Capital Project which will involve beautifying the front of the club — façade, railings and front garden area — being mindful that the clubhouse is a protected structure.

The special events schedule for 2020 is as follows:

  • Saturday 29 February: Sailing Awards Dinner
  • Saturday 28 March: Sesquicentennial Black Tie Gala Dinner
  • Saturday 18 April: Street Food Festival and Musical Celebration
  • Saturday 23 May: Spanish Tapas Evening
  • Wednesday 10 June: Sesquicentennial Regatta Extravaganza begins
  • Sunday 14 June: 150th Anniversary Regatta Extravaganza
  • Saturday 4 July: American-Themed Cook-Out, BBQ and Entertainment
  • Saturday 19 September: Street Food Festival Evening
  • Saturday 31 October: Fancy dress themed Gala Dinner
  • Saturday 14 November: Italian Opera Dinner
  • Thursday 31 December: New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner
Published in National YC
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Be sure to visit the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon (Sunday 24 November) for the junior section’s Bring & Buy Cake and Gear Sale from 12-2pm.

If you’ve been doing a clear-out of any unwanted gear or gear that you’ve outgrown, this is a great opportunity to sell or to buy some much loved gear for your own sailor.

Cake donations are also welcome, and the club promises coffee will be available!

Meanwhile, there’s still time to make plans for the NYC’s annual Junior Awards Dinner this coming Saturday 30 November.

Dinner for junior sailors starts at 7pm in the dining room, followed by prize giving and a disco until 10.30pm.

For parents, a social evening buffet meal with glass of wine will be offered in the JB Room from 7pm. The evening is €15 for juniors and €25 for parents to be pad on the night.

Published in National YC
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The widower of the late member Sue McDonnell has presented the National Yacht Club with a new perpetual trophy in her memory that will be recognise excellence in women’s sailing.

In agreement with her family and the NYC club committee, the Sue McDonnell Trophy will be awarded to the female club member who has contributed most to the advancement of women in sailing.

The NYC says the new award is timely as the club was selected to host the inaugural Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta this year, and has been reconfirmed as host club in 2020.

Sue McDonnell who joined the club in 2002 when she and John Hall bought their Beneteau 31.7, 30 Something.

In 2007, having sold the Beneteau, she also co-owned the very successful J109 Something Else until her untimely death in 2014.

Sue started sailing out of Bray Sailing Club in the early 1960 and was for many years, and still is, a role model for gender equality and active women participation in our sport.

To nominate a fellow member for the new Sue McDonnell Trophy, or for any other existing Club Sailing Award, click HERE. The deadline for nominations has been extended to next Friday 29 November.

Published in National YC
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Thinking of chartering a boat abroad? Thinking of refreshing your navigation and chart work skills? Do you remember what lights vessels towing at night should show? Are you looking for something to do on wintery Monday nights?

There are many reasons why you should consider enrolling in an Enhanced International Certificate of Competency Course with the National Yacht Club in 2019/2020.

Theory courses for the International Certificate of Competency (ICC) will be held in the NYC during the coming winter months.

Each theory course will consist of five Monday evenings of tuition and one evening written test, with classes running for two-and-a-half hours from 7.15pm.

Course one begins on Monday 4 November and continues to Monday 9 December. Course two begins Monday 13 January and runs until Monday 17 February.

A minimum of four students are required for course to go ahead, with a maximum of 12 students per course to insure quality of tuition.

For more information and to book a place, click HERE.

Published in National YC
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The Royal St George Yacht Club had reason to celebrate when members of the U25 squad took Class 1 and won the overall team prize in the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta this past weekend.

With Niamh Henry at the helm, Alanna Lyttle on main trim, Ellen Murray on pit, Roberta Bell King on bow and Gillian Ballesty on kite trim, the Class 1 team won both of their Saturday races on Dublin Bay in the event hosted by the neighbouring National Yacht Club.

“It was tough going but we worked well as a team and had some fun with the spinnaker in the big wind,” the crew said later.

The RSGYC also won the overall team prize with Helen O’Beirne in the Laser Radial and Grace O’Beirne in the 420.

Sligo Yacht Club’s sailors were the big winners on the day, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RStGYC
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Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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