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Entries are now open for RYA Northern Ireland’s Team Racing Programme, following on from a successful coach development weekend last month.

This RYANI programme, which is the first of its kind for Northern Ireland, aims to provide more double-handed pathway opportunities for junior and youth sailors.

Five open training sessions will be run over the next few months at Ballyholme Yacht Club and Strangford Lough Yacht Club with the support of Queen’s University Sailing Club.

These sessions will cover boat handling, tactics and strategy, racing rules, scenarios and teamwork — with a view to sending a Northern Ireland U19 team to compete for the Elmo Trophy at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire this August.

For further details, see the RYA website HERE.

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After a staggering 190 races, UK visitors the Rutland Raiders emerged victorious with a comprehensive 2-0 victory in the final against last year’s winners, the Nautibuoys, at the weekend's eighth edition of team racing's Elmo Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

In what was the biggest team race event ever staged in Ireland, 196 sailors from across the country competed in the 32 supplied Firefly dinghies lighting up a sometimes-gloomy Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the weekend.

After a challenging Saturday, Race Officer David Bolger and his team started race 97 at 9 am on Sunday morning. No lie in for the sailors who had enjoyed themselves at the Elmo dinner the night before. This year, a very detailed computer programme on loan from West Kirby Sailing Club matched up teams round by round based on who was winning and who was losing. It led to incredibly close racing all weekend as the program quickly established the pecking order for racing.

An Elmo Trophy semi-final start - what a start! An Elmo Trophy semi-final start - what a start! 

As the morning continued, the wind held firm, allowing for races to fire off every three minutes as the six fleets of firefly dinghies raced teams off sequentially. Typically, this allowed for three different races to be on the race course at the same time, thankfully on different parts of the Starboard S course used for the event. By 2 pm, Round 11 was complete, meaning 176 races had been sailed, and teams anxiously watched to see who had made the final 8 for the quarter-final showdown.

Aquaholics (N) vs Nautibuoys (D) in the quarter-finals of the Elmo Trophy at Dun LaoghaireAquaholics (N) vs Nautibuoys (D) in the quarter-finals of the Elmo Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

So close was the racing that teams ranked 8th to 16th all had the same amount of wins, with only 1 getting the coveted 8th spot and a chance at the knockouts. Thankfully, race organisers could rely on the algorithm that determines how special each win is based on who it was against, thus enabling ties to be broken fairly and quickly.

The ‘Forget Me knots' from the Royal St. George Yacht ClubThe ‘knot too shabby' team from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

In 9th place and just missing out were the ‘Forget Me knots, ’ an all-female crew from the host club. They at least had the consolation of winning the Elmo Plate, a new perpetual trophy kindly donated by the Elmes family, which is awarded to the top-ranked team to miss out on the knockout stages. Spare a thought too, for the Glandore Harbour Dangers, who had run in the top 8 all weekend only to hit the round-robin rocks and miss out on quarters by losing their last race.

With a solid breeze of 10 knots and full sails, quarter-finals commenced. This year, in a first for the event, live commentary of the quarter-finals was provided over VHF, which enabled the many watching knocked-out teams to enjoy the action and cheer on their favourites in watching RIBS. It helps too, when one of the commentators, Steve Tylecote, was the very first Team Race World winner and an author of the only printed book on Team Racing.

Schull Sharks competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun LaoghaireSchull Sharks competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

The quarter-finals eventually went to form after some contested races with Aquaholics, Berth Ctrl, Anchor management and Motorsailors getting knocked out. It seems as much thought goes into team name strategy as anything else for the Elmo trophy!

Anchor management competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun LaoghaireAnchor management competing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire

The semis saw Round Robin winners ‘Prestige Worldwide' face off against ‘Nautibouys’. Would there be a changing of the guard? Two frantic races determined the result, and the Round Robin winners were out. A young team, they will surely come again next year.

The Second Semi matched off SAC4CUP, a team packed with academy sailors and schoolmates, against the UK raiders from Rutland. It was at this stage in the event that Rutland moved up a gear and comprehensively won 2-0 despite some excellent starting from the St. Andrews team.

Star Martinis watching the knockouts at the Elmo Team Racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire HarbourStar Martinis watching the knockouts at the Elmo Team Racing Trophy at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Pier pressure changing from Storm to Full sails at the Elmo team racing trophyPier pressure changing from Storm to Full sails at the Elmo team racing trophy

So, after a staggering 188 races, it had come down to the final. With spectators and commentators getting excited and the time past 4 pm, Rutland Raiders and Nautibuoys lined up in the RSGYC Green and Yellow fireflies to battle it out. This was a match-up of team racing experts versus super fast sailors. Who would win out? Well, yet again, Rutland moved up another gear with the team racing experts suddenly showing they were super fast as well and started race one like a tornado as they blew last year's winners off the start line with a coveted 1-2-3 combination. Despite some gallant sailing, the Nautibuoys were quickly down 1-0 in the first to two finals.

The Elmo Trophy Final - Rutland In green Nautibuoys in yellowThe Elmo Trophy Final - Rutland In green, Nautibuoys in yellow

Race 2 was do-or-die stuff, but despite raising their game, the Nautibuoys were powerless to stop Rutland from taking control of the race down the run and easing to 1-3-4 win and, thus, the title.

So the 8th Elmo trophy, Ireland’s top youth team racing event, goes to the UK this year, as the Rutland captain Jamie Tylecote dryly observed it was a sweet revenge after Irish universities took the UK crown earlier this year.

The Rutland Raiders winning team was Jamie Tylecote, Harry Burges, Tom Coates, Harry Rowlands, William Fearn and Dylan Beatty.

Elmo Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.Elmo Trophy 2023 results

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Challenging winds kept sailors and race management on their toes on day one of the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Some of the early racing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourSome of the early racing at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

In conditions that ranged from zero to 20 knots, heavy rain to sunshine and storm sails to full sails, Race Officer David Bolger and his team delivered 96 races, completing six rounds of sailing for the 32 teams racing.

Prestige Worldwide have merged as overnight leaders at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourPrestige Worldwide have merged as overnight leaders at the Elmo team racing Trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Two teams are undefeated on six wins, with home side, Prestige Worldwide narrowly ahead of the Rutland Raiders from the UK. With a further five rounds expected before moving to the quarter-finals, many teams are ready to leap from the pack and seal their place in the final eight.

As Afloat reported earlier, this year's event sees 192 sailors from around the country representing various classes and clubs compete equally in the 36 supplied firefly dinghies. In races that typically last eight minutes around a starboard S-shaped course, two teams face off each race as they try to grab a precious win and move up the overall ranking.

 Schull Dolphins looking sharp at the Elmo team racing trophy event dinner at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Schull Dolphins looking sharp at the Elmo team racing trophy event dinner at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Racing starts on Sunday at 08:45, with quarter-finals expected to start at 14:00.

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The eighth Elmo Trophy is set to take place this weekend in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This exciting youth team racing competition has grown significantly since its inception in 2015, with 32 teams set to participate this year, compared to the original eight teams.

The event is expected to be the largest team racing competition ever held in Irish waters, with 192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies. The races will determine the winner, with approximately 200 races expected to take place.

A special computer programme, on loan from West Kirby Sailing Club, will dynamically create team match-ups. In each round, teams with equal wins will race off, leading to close and fun racing. Sailors will compete on a ‘Starboard S’ shaped course, with a separate start and finish line, facilitating up to 3 races on the track and allowing for quick changeovers after racing to enable new teams to race.

"The event is expected to be the largest team racing competition ever held in Irish waters"

On the water umpires, led by Chief Umpire Ailbe Millerick, will provide on-the-water judging, enabling quick protest decisions and results being determined on the water. This year, the umpire panel is supported by many former Elmo sailors who will add their valued input to the rapid decision process.

192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies in the Elmo Trophy Team Racing event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour192 sailors aged 19 and under set to compete in 36 supplied Firefly dinghies in the Elmo Trophy Team Racing event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Teams from around the country will compete, with each team consisting of six sailors, all 19 or under, 2 of whom must be under 16, and none attending university. New entries this year include teams from Malahide, Lough Ree, and from the UK, Rutland Raiders. Seasoned Irish team racers will recognise the name Tylecote, which appears on the Rutland Raider lineup.

The Elmo Trophy has become quite a logistical exercise, with races taking place every three minutes from 10:45 on Saturday until 18:00 on Saturday evening. This gives the teams a short break to ‘glam’ up for the Elmo Trophy Dinner in the Dining Room and Balcony in the RStGYC. The sailing will re-commence early on Sunday morning, moving to quarter-finals in the afternoon, with a new innovation this year, commentary supplied over VHF.

The Elmo Trophy - the eighth staging of the event this weekend at the Royal St. George will be its biggest so farThe Elmo Trophy - the eighth staging of the event this weekend at the Royal St. George will be its biggest so far. The trophy is named after the late Graham Elmes, the founder of the Irish Team Racing Association

With 32 teams participating, predicting a winner is difficult, but teams from the home club, Howth, and the UK Raiders, are expected to make it to the quarter-finals. Glandore, with two teams and a growing team race community, could also be in the shake-up. The competition promises to be an exciting event, with close and fun racing expected throughout the weekend.

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Entries are building to Ireland’s biggest team racing event, the Elmo Trophy, held at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, on Dublin Bay.

This year’s event, which will be held on August 26th and 27th, will feature 32 youth teams from around the country, enabling 192 sailors to compete for the trophy.

Six flights of Firefly dinghies will be provided for competitors meaning that there will be 36 brightly coloured dinghies racing around the starboard ‘S-shaped course over the weekend.

Waiting to team race in Firefly dinghies at the Royal St. George Yacht Club Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire HarbourWaiting to team race in Firefly dinghies at the Royal St. George Yacht Club Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

This year’s event will see a Swiss league format being used, where teams of equal standards will race, with the results of each race determining what teams race in the next round. An innovative computer programme will carefully manage this process supplied by West Kirby Sailing Club, which has been crafting and refining its efficiency over many years at the Wilson Trophy.

Firefly dinghies prepare for a start at the Royal St. George Yacht Club Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire HarbourFirefly dinghies prepare for a start at the Royal St. George Yacht Club Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The new competitor bib design for this August's Elmo Trophy team racing event at the Royal Saint George Yacht ClubThe new competitor bib design for this August's Elmo Trophy team racing event at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club

As always, the event dinner will take place on Saturday night, where over 200 hungry sailors and volunteers will be fed, with the club's dining room and upper decks overflowing with tales of mark traps and conversions from the day's racing.

Elmo Trophy competitors waiting for a changeover at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Elmo Trophy competitors waiting for a changeover at Dun Laoghaire Harbour 

One hundred twenty-eight races is the target for Saturday.

With entries closing on August 18th, interested teams can enter here

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It’s hard to imagine that racing in three knots of breeze could produce a thrilling finish, but this year's Elmo team racing Trophy final between ‘Nautibuoys’ and ‘Port Hub’ produced exactly that. After 148 races over the weekend, the final result was decided by inches at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The record 29 teams this year saw the very best of Dun Laoghaire harbour over the weekend, with spectacular conditions on Saturday allowing for 100 races across the 5 flights of firefly dinghies.

Race Officer David Bolger ably assisted by Team Racing Experts, Conal Casey and Liam Glynn fired off the races, maxing out at 20 races per hour. This led to the sailors quickly moving through the initial rounds and moving into seeded leagues for Round 2.

Team racing works best when teams of equal standards race and Round 2 saw some close, frantic races between the teams. The umpire team led by Ailbe Millerick and Eunice Kennedy had their hands full managing the on-the-water protests enabling racing to continue at pace.

Change over RIB for the quick change of teams at the Elmo TrophyA change over RIB for the quick change of teams at the Elmo Trophy

Elmo Trophy umpire Eunice Kennedy Elmo Trophy umpire Eunice Kennedy

By the close of racing on Saturday, the home team captained by Trevor Bolger were undefeated and looking good for success on Sunday. There were notable performances by the debutantes from Rathmullan Sailing club and the Topper class, showing that sometimes sailing fast is all that is needed.

Sunday morning dawned with lighter winds, and greyer skies as the race team looked to complete the 40 races needed to complete round 2 and move to the knockouts. The lighter airs saw a change in results, where at the top, the ‘Nauti Buoys’ and ‘Port Hub’ began to rise to the top.

At the end of round 2, the light winds vanished entirely as the sailors waited to start the knockouts and the organizers looked at their watches - time was running out.

Getting ready to race at the seventh Elmo Trophy - the biggest team racing event ever held in IrelandGetting ready to race at the seventh Elmo Trophy - the biggest team racing event ever held in Ireland

Finally, 4 knots appeared, allowing for racing for the top 4 teams. The ‘knocked out sailors’ then took to the water to watch the action in spectator ribs. The ‘Nauti Buoys’ won their semi against ‘Boats and Hose’ leaving a team containing last year's runner-up and winner now fighting for third. ‘Port Hub’ won a closer semi-final as the clock moved on.

The final race saw the 6 boats racing hit the finish at the same time, where finish officer Frank Elmes and his team needed all their experience to call the result.

The Nautibouys took the title, a combined super team from Howth, Royal Cork and Royal Saint George. With youth on their side and another chance to compete again next year, they will be the team to beat!

The organisers aim for 36 teams next year at the 8th Elmo trophy on August 26th/27th.

Seventh Elmo Trophy winners Seventh Elmo Trophy winners

Winners: Nauti Buoys: Harry Twomey (captain) and Thea Daly; Archie Daly and Alana Twomey and Rocco Wright and Emily Conan.

Elmo Trophy second overallElmo Trophy second overall

Elmo Trophy third overallElmo Trophy third overall

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour delivered excellent sailing conditions for the 29 teams on the first day of the Elmo team racing trophy at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Racing is tight across the fleets, with early leaders coming from the home side at Dun Laoghaire.

As Afloat reported earlier, a record number of 174 sailors are involved in the two-day regatta.  

Another 100 races are expected on Sunday, with finals expected to be sailed inside the harbour walls at 3 pm.

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An impressive 29 teams (which means 174 sailors) will battle for team racing's Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this weekend.

Five flights of firefly dinghies (which means 30 boats) will be launched from the Royal Saint George Yacht Club on Saturday morning.  This youth team racing event for sailors aged 19 and under launched in 2015 and has grown steadily ever since.

With 29 teams and five flights, it will be the biggest team racing event ever sailed in Ireland.

This year sees new entries from Donegal (Rathmullan Sailing Club) and Ballyholme (Topper veterans) along with many returning competitors.  The home team will be looking to defend the title with one of its many teams, but is expecting close competition from their neighbours in the National Yacht Club.

Over 200 races are hoped for over the weekend with finals around 3 O'Clock on Sunday.

While of course, the sailing is important, the uniquely social element of Team racing will lend itself well to the competitors' dinner on Saturday night, where the tables are set for 195!

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Entries continue to build for the 7th Elmo trophy, a youth team racing event in Dun Laoghaire. It takes place on 27/28 August at the Royal Saint George yacht club.

This year sees the return of last year's debutants Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, as well as the first ever Donegal entry, Rathmullan Sailing Club.

The home club will look to defend the trophy after the success of ‘Sea Buoys’ last year as Afloat reported here.

The event will be sailed in three flights of Firefly dinghies, where teams of six crews will race each other in a round-robin format.

The very special Elmo Trophy that commemorates the late RStGYC team racer Graham ElmesThe very special Elmo Trophy that commemorates the late RStGYC team racer Graham Elmes

Teams must consist of six members from the same club, school or dinghy association. At least two members must be aged 16 and under on 31st December 2022.

All team members must be aged 19 or under on 31st December 2022 and still attending second-level education in 2022 (i.e. the event is not aimed at University Students).

Entries are still open and the entry form and NOR can be found here.

 

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After a staggering 137 races sailed over the weekend and a stirring comeback on the Sunday morning, RStGYC Sea Buoys won the sixth Elmo team racing trophy with a convincing 2-0 victory in the final.

Gentle breezes were the order of the day on Sunday, with teams trying to put wins on the board to make the finals. Three rounds of racing saw each team complete 15 races before a final between the top two teams from the host club, Sea Buoys and 29ers.
The competition was close across the fleets, with The National Yacht Club first team winning the Silver league unbeaten. The 'Leftovers' made up of a mixed clubs team, proved they should not have been left behind by taking the Bronze Fleet.

The event in its sixth year continues to attract a mix of boy/girl teams across clubs and classes. The firefly dinghy allows crews to quickly get up to speed with roll tacks and gybes as they manoeuvre around the starboard S course. Races typically last 6-7 minutes, but this is more than enough time for plenty of tactics, fast sailing and teamwork.

For next years seventh edition, organisers RSGYC are aiming for 5 flights of firefly dinghies and 30 teams! 180 youth team racers would be epic!

Team Bullship at the Elmo Trophy dinnerTeam Bullship at the Elmo Trophy dinner

Overall: 1st Sea Bouys, 2nd 29ers, 3rd Bullship.

Silver Fleet: NYC1

Bronze Fleet: 'LeftOvers'

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Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023 Cruisers One

A 24-boat fleet will contest Cruisers IRC One at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023: 

  • IRL 2160 Blast on Chimaera J109 Barry Cunningham
  • GBR 8529C Mocking-J J109 Ben Shelley
  • IRL 29213 Something Else J109 Brian John Hall
  • GBR 9470 Banshee Corby 33 Charlie Frize
  • IRL 28898 Powder Monkey J109 Chris Moore
  • GBR 8933R Bon Exemple Colin Byrne
  • GBR 1508R Salamander XXIII J109 Craig Corson
  • IRL 9898 Indecision J109 Declan Hayes
  • IRL 1095 Dear Prudence J109 Dp Partners
  • IRL 1003 FINAL CALL II RC35, ARCHAMBAULT A35 Gareth Flannigan
  • IRL 19109 Outrajeous J109 John And Suzie Murphy
  • IRL 1206 Joker 2 J109 John Maybury
  • IRL 3307 JACOB VII Corby 33 John Stamp
  • GBR 2068R Blue Jay J109 John Stanley-Whyte
  • IRL 13500 D-TOX X-35 Kyran McStay
  • IRL 1699 Snapshot Michael and Richard Evans
  • IRL 1141 Storm J109 Pat Kelly
  • GBR 9498R Going to Red J109 Peter Holden
  • GBR 7377 Imposter Corby 33 Richard Fildes
  • GBP 1242R White Mischief J109 Richard Timothy Goodbody
  • IRL 53222 Riders on the Storm J109 Robert Kerr
  • GBR 8543R Jings J109 Robin Young
  • GBR 704R Game Changer Beneteau 40.7 Shaun Douglas
  • IRL 1543 Indian J109 Simon Knowles
  • GBR 732R HIJACKER CUSTOM KER 32 Stuart Cranston
  • IRL 1383 Ruth J109 Tom Shanahan