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The Waszp national championships were hosted again this year in the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin on August 6-7th.

There were 18 boats competing, including two boats from overseas, one from Hawaii and one from Wales!

Fresh from the world championships with 9th place, Charlie Cullen RSGYC was back to fight for the National title against Henry Start RSGYC and Max Goodbody RIYC, who were in Gold fleet at the recent world championships as Afloat reported here.

The racing got off to a good start, with Race officer Barry O'Neill getting three good races in on Saturday morning August 6th, before the breeze turned off. Barry commented that the standard of competitors was up significantly since last year with most boats completing all laps. Some notable new faces since last year included current RS400 national champion Robert Espey BYC and current RS200 national champion Frank O'Rourke RSGYC along with 2x 49er Olympian Matt McGovern of BYC.

18 Waszps competed including two boats from overseas, one from Hawaii and one from Wales18 Waszps competed including two boats from overseas, one from Hawaii and one from Wales

The fleet was certainly a star-studded line up with almost every sailor having competed internationally for some years.

After day 1 Charlie Cullen had a commanding performance with 3 bullets with the internationals Zac Blomeley (Funsport Rhosneigr Wales) in 2nd and Gavin Ball (Hawaii Kai Boat Club) in 3rd. The fight for first girl and first master was as tight as can be with both having two competitors on equal points.

The sailors then had dinner at Royal St. George Yacht club and got up early for 10am first gun to get four races in before the breeze vanished again.

When all the races were completed Charlie Cullen only dropped one race and finished in first on 6 points winning the Irish National Championship and the Nations Trophy for Ireland.

Georgia Goodbody managed to separate from Elysia O'Leary to win 1st girl and Frank O'Rourke managed to get some points between him and the defending Masters champion Tom Hogan to secure the victory. Second place went to Zac Blomeley and 3rd to Gavin Ball, definitely the farthest to travel to the Irish Nationals!

Max Goodbody finished as the 1st Junior and Robert Espey won the Apprentice category.

Henry Start, Chairperson to Irish Waszp Association and competing sailor commented "Everyone was happy to get good races over the weekend in fabulous conditions and I'd love to see even more boats next year!"

Gavin Ball from Hawaii Kai Boat Club, USA, said "Tight racing in exciting conditions made for fun and competitive racing".

The fleet has continued to grow with its diverse age and weight groups with sailors from 16 to 60 years old sailing with competitors ranging from 50 kg to 90 kg.

Published in Waszp

2021 Slalom and U20 Waszp European Champion Charlie Cullen of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour was joined by six other Irish sailors for the 2022 Waszp Games where over 170 competitors gathered at beautiful Vela Malcesine in Lake Garda Italy.

It is the biggest event in the history of the Waszp fleet to date with the best coming from all over the World to fight for the World title. Cullen (20) was considered one of the favourites after his recent silver medal at the Foiling Week in Lake Garda at the beginning of July.

Day 1 of the regatta was Slalom racing. Slalom is a tight quick downwind format racing with 20 boats heat flights. The top 10 from each flight move to the next round with the bottom 10 getting knocked out. Cullen being the current champion in this discipline set out to defend his title. The Royal St. George sailor qualified for the final and finished 10th overall in the Slalom.

But it was the Spaniards who dominated - 2 time European Champion Joan Costa was on top form getting 2 bullets in the first 2 races in the 3 race final. However, the slalom is a very unforgiving format where one mistake hits hard. In the final race Costa set for a guaranteed win, threw it all away after capsizing 10 metres from the finish line in the final race, handing the win to fellow Spaniard Jaime Framis.

Championship racing followed. Cullen had a flying start getting a bullet in race 3 putting him in 2nd position after the first days of racing. With the days to follow, Cullen would qualify for gold fleet in 6th position - Max Goodbody & Henry Start also qualified for gold fleet. With Marcus O’Leary and Georgia Goodbody qualifying in silver fleet.

Finals Racing was concluded with Sam Street of New Zealand taking the Gold and becoming the 2022 World Champion. GBR Sam Whaley took silver and Enzio Savoini of Italy took 3rd. Charlie Finished 9th overall being the first ever Irish sailor to finish in the top 10 at the World Championships.

There was a record number of girl representation at this event with 40 females taking to the start line compared to only 2 females at the previous Worlds held in Perth in 2019. Georgia Goodbody was Irelands girl representative at only 16 years of age racing in the main fleet with the full 8.2 meter rig. Georgia sailed a great regatta finishing 113th in the 170 boat fleet. Emirates Team New Zealand Engineer Elise Beavis of New Zealand finished 22nd overall and took the overall female title, with Nora Doksrod and Mathilde Roberstad of Norway filling the female podium.

The other Irish had great events with Max Goodbody finishing 55th, Henry Start finishing 58th & Marcus O’Leary finishing 105th. 

Royal Irish's Max Goodbody won the top speed prize for the weekend with a speed of 23.5 knotsRoyal Irish's Max Goodbody won the top speed prize for the weekend with a speed of 23.5 knots

The next event on the Waszp calendar is the Irish Waszp & Moth nationals that will be held out of the Royal St. George from the 5th to the 7th of August.

Results are here

Published in Waszp
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Under the picturesque mountain faces of Lake Garda Italy over 160 competitors gathered for Foiling Week. Foiling Week is a World Sailing Special event for which the top foilers from various classes come from all over the world to share new ideas, give demos and to race.

There was a large gathering in the Moth Fleet with the likes of Olympic Gold medallists Dylan Fletcher, Paul Goodison and Rugero Tita, racing in the regatta.

In the 66-boat Waszp fleet, 2021 Waszp U20 & Slalom European Champion Charlie Cullen (20) of the Royal St. George was reckoned to join the usual protagonists at the top of the Waszp Fleet.

Day one of the Foiling Week saw a tricky gusty 10-knot Ora south wind, which Charlie took advantage of, taking an early lead in the regatta, with a race win in race 3 of the day. But with Italian Enzio Savoini getting 2 bullets in race 1 and 2 and Jann Schuepbach of Switzerland 1 point behind, the competition was going to be tight.

Under the picturesque mountain faces of Lake Garda Italy over 160 competitors gathered for Foiling Week Photo: Angela TrawoegerUnder the picturesque mountain faces of Lake Garda Italy over 160 competitors gathered for Foiling Week Photo: Angela Trawoeger

Day two came with similar conditions. Charlie, staying consistent, maintained his lead grabbing another race win on the day. Enzio Savoini jumped to second overall after another race win

Day three saw very light conditions with at times no foiling. Italian sailor Ettore Botticini thrived in this wind getting a 3, 2, and 1 on the day. After these results and a 2nd discard kicking in the Italian took the overall lead, with Enzio holding 2nd and Charlie dropping to 3rd overall.

Going into the final day any of the top 5 could take the title. This also included 29er European Champion Ewan Wilson of Scotland and Italian Emanuele Savoini.

However, Charlie maintaining a consistent score throughout the regatta had great discards guaranteeing himself a spot in the top three. After super tough light wind racing on the final day, after 10 races the overall win went to Ettore Botticini on 23 points with Charlie taking 2nd with 25 points and first U25 - behind and Enzio Savoini on 28 points took 3rd. 

Waszp winners - Ettore Botticini (centre) with Charlie Cullen (left) second and first U25 with Enzio Savoini thirdWaszp winners - Ettore Botticini (centre) with Charlie Cullen (left) second and first U25 with Enzio Savoini third

“It was super fun racing” Charlie told Afloat. “ Conditions were incredibly tough, super shifty and patchy winds – but I was happy with my consistency in these conditions which is really promising going into the worlds Championships which will also be here in Lake Garda in the next weeks”

Charlie took the final race win, finishing on a high and securing his silver medal for the second year running. His super consistent scores during the regatta meant he finished with a total of 46 points with the next best having a total of 99 points.

Other Irish at the event, some of whom had also competed at the Weymouth UK Nationals in June as Afloat reports here, were sibling pair Max and Georgia Goodbody of the Royal Irish and Marcus O’Leary & Andrew Conan of the Royal St. George who all also had great performances during the regatta.

There are expected to be six Irish boats at this year’s Waszp World Championships that will be held from the 11th to 16th of July in Fraglia Vela Malcesine in Lake Garda.

Results here

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Royal St. George's Henry Start finished the best of the Irish at the 2022 Waszp UK nationals held in the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) in Portland late in June.

The sailing area is claimed to be one of the best in the world for foiling as it is sheltered on three sides by land, and has an outer pier wall protecting the side open to the sea.

Wind conditions were nevertheless challenging throughout the whole competition, with lots of sailors capsizing, every race was a battle.

Start, Class Chairman of Ireland and RStGYC captain of the foiling dinghy class, had a consistent first two days with no race worse than a 10th, which allowed him to take 10th place overall and first Irish boat.

Max Goodbody (RIYC) won the speed demon competition with a top speed of 23.9 knots and also was third junior.

It was Andrew Conan's (RStGYC) first time competing in the Waszp and he came third in the 6.9 m class.

It was great to get the practice in with some of the best sailors in the world, before our Irish sailors head to Lake Garda the World Championships in July 9-16th.

RStGYC are again hosting the Waszp nationals this year, on August 6-7th, which promises to be an exciting event for all Ireland's Waszp sailors.

Results here 

Published in Waszp

The North Channel isn’t a very enticing place when you want to sail to Portpatrick on the Mull of Galloway in Scotland in windy conditions in a hydrofoiling Waszp dinghy and even less so when you’re attempting to set a Guinness World Record.

So Matt McGovern and Bob Espey from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough had to postpone their first attempt to do just that in a fundraiser for Jodi’s Giants, a group set up to raise money for children’s cancer charities. The focus of this attempt is the Tomalin family whose little boy Jodi was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Jodi's parents said: "Only Bob and Matt could come up with this idea! It will be some laugh watching how wet they get. We can't wait”.

The first attempt on 12th June was scuppered by strong winds and big seas but on the evening of 16th June, the boys were successful and made it the twenty-two miles to Portpatrick and back by midnight.

Bob has been a long-time sailing competitor at Ballyholme, having raced Lasers, 49ers and RS 400s. Matt represented Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 49er class alongside Ryan Seaton, finishing 14th. He participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as well.

On last Thursday evening, Matt and Bob set off with little warning in a perfect 12 -14 knot southerly breeze and arrived just off Portpatrick Harbour in 1 hour 30mins.

Matt said he is not sure if it will be accepted as a Guinness Record, but they do have a GPS record of the trip.

A view of Donaghadee from a foiling Waszp dinghyA view of Donaghadee from a foiling Waszp dinghy

But those who know the North Channel, are aware of its vagaries and unfortunately, the steady breeze didn’t last. And, as the wind and waves built, they had 18 knots with more at times and capsized frequently.

Then that was followed by no wind at all and a strong tide near the Copeland Islands off the North Down coast. So, it was a midnight finish after a 3 hours 23 mins crossing.

Bob Espey (left) with Matt McGovern and their families before the charity sail to ScotlandBob Espey (left) with Matt McGovern and their families before the charity sail to Scotland

Safety cover was provided by Safer Waters, a charity which provided safety cover for community events.

Published in Waszp

Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Charlie Cullen grabbed a bronze podium position at the Waszp Italian Cup event last weekend just over a month after he finished eighth at the Waszp European Championships in Spain.

This bodes well for the 20-year-old sailor's campaign towards the Waszp Worlds that will be held in Lake Garda Italy this July.

The first stop for the 2021 U20 & Slalom European Champion was the Italian Cup event held last weekend in beautiful Circolo Vela Bellano on Lake Como. All the top Italian sailors met at the event, including 2022 Waszp European Champion Francesco Bertone, and top 10 finishers Enzio Savoini & Emanuele Savoini.

Day 1 of racing saw unusual conditions with a very gusty and shifty north breeze, making for exciting and tactical racing. Charlie told Afloat, “ I had to ensure that I stayed in the pressure and just sail my own race. If we didn’t get it right the boat would fall into no wind and fall off the foils”.

The young sailor stayed consistent and grabbed himself a bullet in race 2 after an exciting, tactical downwind battle with 2022 European Champion Francesco Bertone. After day one Charlie lay in third overall with Enzio Savoini in 1st and Francesco Bertone close second. Day two saw light winds with only one race being held.

“Delighted to finish third on the podium in a fleet of 33 boats after such tough conditions, it’s promising going forward this summer into the worlds and foiling week”, said Charlie.

There is a strong Irish contingent planning to compete at the Worlds this summer with the fleet expecting to reach nearly 200 boats.

Published in Waszp

2021 Waszp Slalom and U20 European Champion, Charlie Cullen of the Royal St. George Yacht Club finished eighth overall at the 2022 Europeans held on the lagoon of Mar Menor in Spain.

The competition was tight with nine of the top 10 from last year’s Europeans racing once again, all with a chance of taking the title.

Day one of the regatta saw light winds. causing most boats to fall off their foils but after a tough start Cullen finished the day placing sixth.

Day two saw an earlier start with a strong breeze and with 5 races scheduled, a shift in the leaderboard was expected. Winds up to 25 knots blew down the Mar Menor lagoon making for some exciting racing. A capsize in the first race saw the Royal St George sailor drop back to 8th but he recovered well with a 2, 6, 2 in the following races ending the day in 4th position.

Charlie Cullen finished eighth overall at the 2022 EuropeansCharlie Cullen finished eighth overall at the 2022 Europeans

Light winds saw racing abandoned for Day three but Day four saw Cullen in second place after eight races. With little margin for error and a few unfortunate mistakes, he went into the final day in 6th position overall. There was a spread of only 10 points between the first six sailors and only five points separating sailors from 2nd to 6th position, with one point between each sailor, which made for a nail-biting event.

But after a scintillating battle between Italy’s Francesco Bertone and GB’s Ross Banham, the Italian came on top finishing one point behind the Brit. For Cullen, a podium finish wasn’t meant to be after two tricky races. He said, “ I want to say huge congrats to Francesco, Ross and Jann. They sailed a great event. For me, it was a tough finish but I learned a lot which will stand to me going into the Worlds in Lake Garda this summer”.

Cullen finished eighth overall tied on points with last year’s 2021 champion Matt Beck who took seventh on countback. It is a great result for the young sailor improving on his 10th overall finish in last year’s European event, making it Ireland’s best-ever performance at the Waszp Europeans. Next up is the World Championships in Lake Garda this summer.

Results here

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Slalom and U20 European Waszp Champion Charlie Cullen of the Royal St. George Yacht Club finished third in his first event of the season held in Imperia Italy. The event run by Dry Laps and Yacht Club Imperia from March 11th to 13th had a small but strong contingent of sailors, four of whom, including Cullen, finished in the top ten at last year’s Europeans in Lake Garda.

The three days followed with tight and tricky racing, with Imperia delivering big waves and strong winds. “It was great racing, after 10 races the top 5 boats were within 1 point of each other going into the last race, so I couldn’t have asked for a better challenge to start off the season,” said the Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor.

Ettore Botticini of Italy took first overall with Enzio Savoini taking second and Cullen taking the final spot on the podium.Ettore Botticini of Italy took first overall with Enzio Savoini taking second and Cullen (second from right) taking the final spot on the podium

The next stop on the international Waszp calendar is the European Championships in Mar Menor Spain from April 11th to 17th where over 80 boats are expected to compete.

Published in Waszp

The EuroCup series returns to the WASZP calendar for 2022, adding even more high-quality racing opportunities for WASZP sailors around Europe.

It follows the publication of an Irish calendar for the foiling class that is growing in Ireland.

This edition of the series makes six stops at some of Europe's best foiling venues. Scores from three events are required to contest the overall prizes, giving sailors plenty of opportunity to get their names on the series scoreboard.

The first event heads to Lanveoc, France for the 21st edition of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale.

"This edition of the series makes six stops at some of Europe's best foiling venues"

Next the series heads to the Netherlands for the first international WASZP event for the Dutch. Medemblik, the famous sailing town, is hosting a new concept regatta - the High-Performance Regatta.

Foiling Week is the third regatta on the list. This year the event, which has just been awarded World Sailing Special Event status, is perfectly positioned ahead of the WASZP Games in Malcesine, so the turnout is expected to be massive.

To celebrate the recent formation of the Danish WASZP Association, the series heads to Copenhagen for round four.

In September, the series heads to Santander for event number five. This event also forms the Spanish National Championship and the qualifier for the Spanish SailGP Inspire event

The final EuroCup event of 2022 heads to Germany and Bayerischer Yacht Club.

WASZP 2022 EuroCup SeriesWASZP 2022 EuroCup Series

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Bob Espey is a long-time sailor at Ballyholme Yacht Club having raced Lasers, 49ers and RS400s, he now owns a Waszp dinghy. A ‘bonkers’ plan is what he has called his standout fundraising effort for little Jodi Tomalin who has, along with his parents Jeremy and Lisa been through the mill for most of 2021. A year ago Jodi was diagnosed with cancer.

Bob explains “To help raise money for the three charities who supported them through this I’ve come up with a plan of trying to sail a hydrofoiling dinghy (Waszp) across the Irish Sea and back. And so as not to be lonely, I’ve roped in my brother-in-law Matt McGovern (49er Olympian) to accompany me in his own Waszp. It’s about 20 miles from Ballyholme to Portpatrick on the Ayrshire coast across the North Channel and of course the date, which is most likely to be in March, is weather dependent. Bob estimates a time of 3 to 4 hours nonstop and, for their wives reassurance, amongst other reasons, they will be accompanied by safety boats.

Bob continues “A trip like this has never been attempted in a hydrofoiling dinghy and I’ve no doubt it will be a big challenge. I hope you will get behind us to say, “Buzz off to cancer” and hopefully we can raise some money for three very worthy charities – The Cancer Fund for Children, the Children’s Cancer Unit and Angel Wishes”.

Published in Waszp
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About Kinsale Yacht Club's Inishtearaght Offshore Yacht Race

To meet growing demand for offshore racing, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern along with Dave Cullinane (SCORA Vice-Commodore) launched the inaugural Inishtearaght Race in Kinsale on Wednesday, December 23rd in 2021.

The race is a new south coast offshore race to be held biennially commencing in 2022.


The course will be approximately 240nm long and will run along the spectacular coast of West Cork and Kerry, round Inistearaght island and back to Kinsale. The first race start is scheduled for Friday, 20th May 2022 with a fleet of seven entries for the first race.


The Thuillier family have kindly allowed the oldest trophy in Kinsale YC to be presented as the line honours trophy for the race. The Thuillier Cup is 150 years old, having been originally presented by the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers in 1871 and won by Michael Thuillier. The cup was presented to Kinsale YC by the Thuillier family to acknowledge the long tradition of yacht racing in Kinsale.






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