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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay

Despite the strong winds that scrubbed this afternoon's DMYC Dinghy Frostbites Series at Dun Laoghaire, up to 20 hardy cruiser-racers from a total entry of 47 braved the strong north westerlies on Dublin Bay this morning for the first race of the DBSC Citroen Spring Chicken Series for cruisers. 

Race organisers picked a sheltered spot in the western bay area at Seapoint to complete the first of the six-race series in winds gusting to over 20-knots. Results to follow. 

Gale force winds are predicted for the Irish Sea later today.

See live Dublin Bay webcam here.

Published in DBSC
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There has been excellent progress on the revival of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Twenty One project the world’s oldest intact on design keelboat class as they prepare for a new season racing again on Dublin Bay.

Chris Moore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club has confirmed the original DBSC class has been granted a racing start for 2020 Tuesday evening racing starting this April.

Initially, two twenty ones will race then three as the boat building project based in Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary completes the six-boat project. 

The restored boats will be welcomed back to the bay in a special DBSC gun salute from committee boat Mac Lir at the start of the season.

Back to the Future

You can join the '21 project leaders Hal Sisk and Fionán de Barra for a sailing talk and a two-course dinner on Thursday the 13th of February in the RStGYC Dining Room in Dun Laoghaire. The talk, “Back to the Future, the Revival of the DBSC Twenty Ones—the World’s Oldest Cruiser Racer Class" will be a visual presentation on the revival plans.

Published in Historic Boats

Water treatment in the capital is not fit for purpose, says the Green Party as it calls for action to improve water quality in Dublin Bay.

The party’s Dun Laoghaire General Election candidate Ossian Smyth told RTÉ News that existing development levies should fund badly needed improvements to the city’s water infrastructure.

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe added that was not acceptable for large parts of Dublin Bay to be unavailable to bathers in the summer months.

It comes after a series of bathing spot closures around the bay last summer — though some of these were prompted by algal blooms not directly related to the release of wastewater.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

At noon this Christmas Eve at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their predecessors who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock in 1895.

The annual ceremony also remembers all those who were lost around our coasts, rivers and inland waters in 2019. Included in this will be lifeboat volunteer Leigh Early from Arranmore RNLI in Donegal who died last month and the three crewmembers of the French SNSM lifeboat service who lost their lives while on service in June.

The ceremony takes place each Christmas Eve in all weathers and lifeboat crew are joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence who form an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats will launch, and the crew will lay wreaths off the east pier in view of the public.

"The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned"

On 24 December 1895 the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately, all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26 December by the SS Tearaght.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier. It includes an ecumenical blessing, a reading from a news article published at the time and music.

Commenting on the event Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Stephen Wynne said: ‘The loss of 15 lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory and pay tribute to them but also to remember all those lost to drowning in our waters.’

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. People are very welcome to come and join us at the end of the East Pier, it’s our Christmas tradition and one that is very dear to us.’

Published in Dublin Bay
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Commercial shipping traffic might be reduced to very little in Dun Laoghaire Harbour these days but it is not gone entirely as witnessed by the arrival of a tanker this weekend.

The 'Kowie' discharged in Dublin Port on Friday night but the city port did not have a berth available for the ship to bunker but was facilitated on the Carlisle Pier at Dun Laoghaire.

Perhaps such overflow may be a regular sight at the South Dublin Harbour with Brexit around the corner?

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Two scuba divers were rescued on Dublin Bay this afternoon by Dun Laoghaire RNLI after the pair became separated from their boat.

The incident occurred shortly before 3 pm when the divemaster on the surface reported the overdue divers to the Irish Coast Guard.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI All-Weather lifeboat was requested to launch immediately along with the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter based at Dublin Airport. The Dublin Port Pilot boat also responded to the ‘Pan-Pan’ alert and joined in the search close to Dalkey Island. The Dun Laoghaire RNLI Inshore lifeboat was also preparing to launch.

The RNLI All-Weather lifeboat located the casualties south-east of the Muglins Rock fifteen minutes after launching. The two divers had drifted approximately three-quarters of a nautical mile from their dive site. Conditions on scene included a difficult swell left-over from the tide flowing against a fresh northerly wind.

Both casualties were taken on board the lifeboat and taken back to Dun Laoghaire to a waiting HSE ambulance for precautionary checks. Both had been in the water for more than one hour when rescued.

‘This is the outcome that we always hope for and comes from co-operation and training between all the agencies involved,’ commented Stephen Wynne, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dun Laoghaire RNLI. ‘The casualties remained calm, followed procedure and linked together to ensure they could be spotted.’

Published in Dublin Bay

This live stream (below) looks northwards from the Scotsman's Bay shoreline at Sandycove out into Dublin Bay.

Left of screen is Dun Laoghaire's West Pier lighthouse, the harbour mouth and the back of the East Pier itself, showing the town bandstand, the Boyd monument and the lighthouse at the pierhead.

The east bight of the main harbour area is also visible showing yachts on moorings.

Also pictured is the Dublin Port Shipping Lane and in the background is Howth Peninsula and its Baily Lighthouse to the right of screen.

In the midground and only barely visible are Dublin Bay Sailing Club's Pier and Bay Racing Marks.

In the foreground is the Newtownsmith Promenade and its rocky shoreline at low water.

You can compare the live stream webcam pictures (above) with the local weather and sea condition tweets in real-time coming from the Irish Lights Dublin Bay Buoy (below)

Published in Dublin Bay Webcam
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Anyone sailing in Dun Laoghaire on one of those gentler days which have occasionally punctuated this Autumn’s meteorological extremities could have been forgiven if they thought they were seeing a ghost writes W M Nixon. White of hull – very white – and with antique-style hand-made sails of pale cream, her clipper bow and long counter stern place this elegant little vessel in the High Victorian era as she slips effortlessly along, leaving scarcely any trace of wake in the best ghost-like traditions.

But she was real. Real enough to evoke the time when Dublin Bay Sailing Club was still the newly-formed disruptor which had first appeared in 1884. Real enough to recall that the innovating 1870-formed Royal Alfred Yacht Club was continuing to develop fresh ideas in the forefront of the international codification of the yacht racing rules.

For this little wonder is Guy and Jackie Kilroy’s newly-restored 25ft cutter Marguerite, which first sailed in 1896, but was built by a traditionalist who reckoned the classic yachts of the late 1880s and early 1890s were the peak of naval architectural achievement both for beauty of line, and for performance and seaworthiness. In Marguerite, he built his dream.

marguerite entering port2Marguerite has her first sail in restored form, September 2019. Photo: David Williams

This boatbuilder was quite something. His busy little yard was in Malahide, but though he was called Jack Wellington, that was an adopted surname, for he was actually Norwegian or Swedish, though nobody quite knew which. It was an easy enough confusion to make, for until 1905 they were a united kingdom with Sweden the dominant partner. But in the small estuary community which was then Malahide, it didn’t much matter either way, as they were accustomed to seafaring men who appeared from God’s knows where, and found a peaceful place to settle in the little village, particularly if they were shipwrights before they were sailors, for the little boatyard was always busy.

Eventually, Jack took it over, and was doing well with fishing boat work such that in 1896 it was decided to build a little yacht. Whether it was for a customer or for Jack himself we don’t know, but we do know that for at least a quarter of a century thereafter, Jack Wellington was the main man on board when Marguerite went sailing and racing.

For her lines, he’d persuaded Herbert Boyd across in Howth – who had designed and built the remarkably accomplished 27ft Eithne in 1893 – to lend him Eithne’s very basic drawings, and he simply scaled them down a bit, and Marguerite was a 25ft version of Eithne.

Eithne in 1895 sailing3Herbert Boyd’s Eithne as she was in 1895, flying the Commodore’s burgee of the newly-established Howth SC

Herbert Boyd went on to design the Howth 17s in 1897, and they first raced in 1898. But though he would take the helm of one of them from time to time for a race, Eithne remained his first and truest love. She was possibly the smallest-ever yacht listed as owned by the Commodore of the Royal Alfred YC when he was elected to that role for a distinguished period in office, having by now inherited his father Judge Boyd’s baronetcy to become Sir Walter Boyd Bt. In fact, he kept Eithne from when he had built her in the boatshed beside Howth House in 1893 until his death in 1948, and until the late 1920s her closest rival in racing was often her little sister Marguerite from Malahide.

In time, Marguerite passed to members of the Jameson whiskey family, but continued to be based in Malahide, and in the late 1940s she was being sailed by a young Mungo Park - a direct descendant of the legendary explorer, he was Mungo Park VII - but Marguerite came to him through the fact that his mother was a Jameson. He soon moved on to larger boats, becoming one of the keenest owner-skippers in the Dublin Bay 24 Class, and in 1973 his Chance 37 Tam O’Shanter was the top-placed Irish boat in that year’s Fastnet Race, thereby making Mungo Park the first winner of the Gull Salver.

Marguerite 1896 sailing4Marguerite in 1896, the only surviving photo of her earliest days.

As for Marguerite, she was inevitably showing her age and was sold away from Malahide. But somehow she survived, and in the late 1990s, the newly-retired Tim Magennis of Dun Laoghaire – probably the only Irish sailor to have gone round the world under gaff rig, having done it in the 1960s in the Colin Archer ketch Sandefjord – was looking for a retirement project. He was inspired by the fact that Sean Cullen, the son of his skipper on Sandefjord, had restored Eithne in 1984, and when he got to hear that Marguerite was in Arklow in a somewhat sorry state but still eminently restorable, his life path was mapped out for the next twenty years.

He managed to get Marguerite moved to a shed in the old ESB pole-field on Dublin’s East Wall Road, where a select group of Poolbeg Y & BC members winterized their yachts, and there he was able to draw on East Wall’s long-established boat-building skills to bring Marguerite back to life. Her original elegant counter had long since been shortened, but Tim wanted it restored. So I was delegated to bring Mungo Park in from Howth for a conference on how that stern had originally looked, which resulted in what must have been the one and only yacht design consultation which had ever taken place in the Wharf Tavern with a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron leading the discussion.

Despite such high-flying advisers, as he lived on his retirement pension Tim was determined to keep the Marguerite restoration within very manageable expenditure and running costs, so paint was readily used instead of expensively applied varnish, and the “new” suit of sails was assembled from anything remotely suitable on the second-hand market – it is believed that the enormous light weather staysail originally graced an International Dragon, while the mainsail was on permanent loan from a Howth 17.

marguerite and eithne5 Marguerite and Eithne together at a Woodenboat Rally in Dun Laoghaire in 2003, shortly after the former’s 1999 restoration. Photo: W M Nixonmarguerite 2013 sailing6Marguerite as she was in 2013, run as economically as possible and using a mixture of sails. Photo: W M Nixon

However, a neat little new engine was installed in order to avail of a tight-fit mooring in the Coal Harbour – not something granted to everyone, but there were many who wanted to help Tim Magennis – and for fifteen years and more, Marguerite in her basically-restored but neatly maintained style was a welcome feature among the newer craft and the utilitarian boats of the Irish National Sailing School in the inner harbour.

Tim Magennis being an enthusiastic member of the Old Gaffers Association, for the season of 2012-2013 he was President of the Dublin Bay OGA when the cream of the OGA fleet came to Dublin Bay as part of their Golden Jubilee, and the little Marguerite gallantly played her role as the flagship of as diverse an assembly of boats as the Liffey has ever seen, with Sean Walsh of the DBOGA becoming the OGA’s President, an international role.

tim magennis7Tim Magennis in his role as President of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association. Photo: W M Nixon

In time, Tim Magennis became an Honorary Member of the OGA, but with his 90th birthday approaching, he was acutely aware that continuing to maintain the Marguerite was becoming too demanding, yet he realised that finding the right people to take her on and maybe give her a full-on classic boat restoration was going to be no easy task.

Looking back now, perhaps it’s a pity that Tim’s main career was in the publicity department of Bord Failte in its developing days, for although he was brilliant at his job, he would have been of great value to the Department of Foreign Affairs, as his skills as a diplomat, persuader and selector of People Who Get Things Done are world class. Having observed the remarkable selection of boats taking part in the OGA Golden Jubilee, he had reckoned that Ian Malcolm of the Howth 17s was in a league of his own in his networking abilities, and at some gaff-rigged gathering he took him aside and asked did he know of anyone who might take on the mission of bringing Marguerite to her true glory, and keeping her there.

Not only is Ian Malcolm one of the main movers in keeping the vintage Howth 17s intact, but he is a committed owner-sailor with the classic Water Wags in Dun Laoghaire, and among their number he knew that Guy Kilroy – who thought so much of the Water Wags that he’d had a completely new boat to the 1900 Maimie Doyle design built by Jack Jones of North Wales - but now was showing the signs, readily recognised by a fellow enthusiast, of needing a much more demanding new project.

And that project was right there with the Marguerite, which always needed work done just to keep her seaworthy, but needed a major job to lift her into classic boat status. By 2017 the outline of an agreement had been worked out between Tim and Guy. But the prospects for the project were made no easier by the fact that Guy and his wife Jackie preferred to have the job done in the Greater Dublin area so that he could keep a close eye on it, for decisions would be needed on an almost daily basis.

larry archer8Boatbuilder extraordinaire – Larry Archer is a skilled shipwright in almost every material
Fortunately, that star-of-all-trades in boat-building, Larry Archer of Malahide, had secured himself the use of a substantial shed out in the country behind the back of Dublin Airport, a pearl beyond price in a city almost totally devoid of proper marine industry premises. In it, Larry and his right-hand man Paul Fowley were always busy with keeping the Howth 17s in full working order, building a sweet little dinghy to go with the original Asgard in Collins Barracks in order to match the dinghy seen in the famous photo of Erskine & Molly Childers when they were cruising the Baltic in Asgard, and generally getting on with getting things done things.

Bringing Marguerite up to a standard which she had possibly never reached in her long life was right up Larry’s street, and in due course she became the main job in the shed, always gradually progressing even as other more minor jobs came and went.

marguerite in shed9Getting there – Marguerite in the shed “somewhere beyond the airport”, Spring 2019. Photo: W M Nixonmarguerite new deck10The new deck, hatch and cockpit set the style for the restoration. Photo: W M Nixon
The ambition was to make Marguerite as close as possible to what she had been in 1896. The boat herself was of course available for the basic concept, but despite that high-flown design conference in the Wharf Tavern twenty years ago, there was a feeling that the counter still wasn’t exactly 1896. As for the coachrooof, judging by the only 1890s photo available, the comfortable little cabin as maintained by Tim Magennis was very different from the rather austere virtually flush deck with sliding hatch arrangement indicated in the original.

As well, Marguerite has rather slim sections aft, which greatly helps her speed in light airs, but it meant that the little engine installed in 1999 tended to make her sit a bit by the stern, so Guy Kilroy was very clear that he wanted a new engine installed further forward.

Regarding the cockpit and deck generally, both were to be finished to the highest standards, while in the hull itself, any timber over which there was the slightest question was to be replaced, the ballast keel was to be new bolted, the hint of a clipper bow in the original was to be very definitely retained, and the question of a classic counter – a vague design area with both the restored Eithne and Marguerite - was solved by replicating as far as possible the counter on the Dublin Bay 21s, as good as was ever seen in Dublin Bay.

marguerite counter restored11At last….inspired by the lines of the Dublin Bay 21, Marguerite finally has a truly classic counter again. Photo: W M Nixon

The original gaff sloop rig was to be re-created using old photos, and the sails and spars in classic style were ordered from Paul Robert’s renowned L’Ateliers d’Enfer traditional marine industry and boat-working school complex in Douarnenez in Brittany, where Ian Malcolm was regularly visiting as it was the location for the re-build on the Howth 17 Anita, lost except for her ballast keel in the destruction of the pier-end boat store shed in Howth during Storm Emma in March 2018.

Thus in the end several different places contributed to the re-birth of Marguerite, but the real focus of the action was in the shed in the unlikely setting of that hugely productive agricultural territory west of the airport, and it was summer 2019 before Marguerite could finally be moved to her designated home port of Dun Laoghaire for the final finishing jobs and the sometimes trial-and-error fitting of the new rig.

She’d been finished in pure white topsides with copper-green underside in proper classic yacht style, but it was expected that the boot-top would have to be raised once she was in full day-cruising trim, and as the photos show, such is the case, and she’ll look even better for it.

marguerite sailing12She moves easily through the water with very little fuss, and when the boot-top has been raised as expected, she’ll look even better. Photo: David Williams

What with other distraction inevitable in a busy sailing season, it was well into September when Marguerite finally sailed again, and there’s still work to be done. But in due course Dun Laoghaire will have yet another addition to its increasingly varied line-up of true classic yachts, and with two official surveys now under way as to the harbour and harbour area’s future, we can only hope that this increasing interest in classics will be recognized as yet another asset for the harbour as it might be.

guy and jackie kilroy13Has it really happened? Guy and Jackie Kilroy on their first sail in their restored 1896-vintage Marguerite. Photo: Ian Malcolm
For Dun Laoghaire is a classic artificial harbour – indeed, it could probably be best described as a neo-classical harbour. A magnificent structure in itself, it is great augmented by the style and vitality of the three waterfront yacht clubs, each a splendid classical building in its own right.
So although new buildings and new boats will be needed for new and useful additions such as the proposed National Watersports Complex, proper attention should also be paid to the potential for a focal point for classic boats and yachts, and their special requirements.

The historic Water Wags are already a great strength of the harbour scene. The attractive International 12s – once such a feature of the harbour in times past – are making a comeback. The first of the restored Dublin Bay 24s – Periwinkle – is now back in the harbour. The reintroduction of the Dublin Bay 21s is only a matter of time. And the clinker-built Mermaids of 1932 and the IDRA 14s of 1946 also spring to mind for possible revival.

peggy bawn and myfanwy14A glimpse of what might be – Peggy Bawn (1894) and Myfanwy (1897) together in Dun Laoghaire in 2017. Photo: W M Nixon
Thus the arrival of Marguerite gives a new dimension to possibilities which were first revealed when Hal Sisk in 2005 brought the superbly-restored 1894-vintage Peggy Bawn back to the harbour which had been her home port since 1919, a dimension which had been emphasised when she got together with the 1897-vintage Myfanwy at the Harbour’s Bicentenary in 2017.

Dun Laoghaire’s past, and the living history of its sailing, become central its future. The story of the restoration of Marguerite, and what she has now become, has been drawn into the Dun Laoghaire Harbour story. And the story of Marguerite and her survival and restoration is a credit to all involved.

Published in Dublin Bay
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There was a good turnout of 102 boats for the last race of the DBSC Summer Series this afternoon on Dublin Bay with two races for all classes and 4 races for IDRA 14s.

The results of the last race day are below.

Race 1

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Tsunami, 2. Lively Lady, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Tsunami, 2. Lively Lady, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Raptor, 2. Something Else, 3. Dear Prudence

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Jump the Gun, 2. Raptor, 3. Dear Prudence

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. Something Else, 2. Dear Prudence, 3. Jump the Gun

31.7 One Design: 1. Attitude, 2. Fiddly Bits, 3. Kernach

31.7 Echo: 1. Fiddly Bits, 2. Kernach, 3. Attitude

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Gwili Two, 2. Leeuwin, 3. Peridot

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Gwili Two, 2. Leeuwin, 3. Springer

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Gwili Two, 2. Leeuwin, 3. Pastiche

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Dubious, 2. Asterix, 3. Ceol Na Mara

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Dubious, 2. Asterix, 3. Pamafe

Cruiser 5 NS-IRC: 1. Cevantes, 2. Act Two, 3. The Great Escape

Cruiser 5 Echo: 1. Cevantes, 2. Afternoon Delight, 3. Act Two

SB20: 1. Carpe Diem, 2. Venuesworld.com, 3. Black

Sportsboat Hcap: 1. Jester, 2. Jheetah, 3. Jambiya

Flying 15: 1. Flyer, 2. Fflagella, 3. Perfect Ten

Ruffian: 1. Ruffles, 2. Ruff Diamond, 3. Alias

Shipman: 1. Jo Slim, 2. Viking, 3. Invader

B211 One Design: 1. Ventuno, 2. Small Wonder, 3. Bees Wing

B211 Echo: 1. Ventuno, 2. Small Wonder, 3. Bees Wing

Squib: 1. Periquin, 2. Sidewinder

Glen: 1. Glencoe, 2. Pterodactyl, 3. Glendun

IDRA 14: 1. Slipstream, 2. Dart, 3. Dumoanin

Race 2

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Tsunami, 2. Wow, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Tsunami, 2. Wow, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Jalapeno, 2. Chimaera, 3. White Mischief

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Dear Prudence, 2. Jump the Gun, 3. Gringo

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. Jalapeno, 2. Chimaera, 3. White Mischief

31.7 One Design: 1. Bluefin Two, 2. Prospect, 3. Kernach

31.7 Echo: 1. Bluefin Two, 2. Kernach, 3. Kalamar

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Peridot, 2. Rupert, 3. Springer

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1=. Springer, 1=. Peridot, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Rupert, 2. Springer, 3. Leeuwin

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Cartoon, 2. Maranda, 3. Ceol Na Mara

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Maranda, 2. Ceol Na Mara, 3. Cartoon

Cruiser 5 NS-IRC: 1. Cevantes, 2. Act Two, 3. The Great Escape

Cruiser 5 Echo: 1. Cevantes, 2. Aurora, 3. Calypso

SB20: 1. Venuesworld.com, 2. Carpe Diem, 3. Black

Sportsboat: 1. Jester, 2. Jheetah, 3. Jambiya

Flying 15: 1. Fflagella, 2. Gulfstream, 3. Rhubarb

Ruffian: 1. Ruffles, 2. Carmen, 3. Alias

Shipman: 1. Viking, 2. Invader, 3. Jo Slim

B211 One Design: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Bees Wing, 3. Yikes

B211 Echo: 1. Ventuno, 2. Small Wonder, 3. Bees Wing

Squib: 1. Sidewinder, 2. Periquin

Glen: 1. Glendun, 2. Glenshesk, 3. Glencoe

IDRA 14: 1. Dumoanin, 2. Slipstream, 3. Dart

Race 3

IDRA 14: 1. Slipstream, 2. Dart, 3. Dumoanin

Race 4

IDRA 14: 1. Dumoanin, 2. Dart, 3. Slipstream

Published in DBSC
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As another weather system ahead of Hurricane Lorenzo starts to makes its presence felt on the Irish East coast today, below is the current scene at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay viewed northwards from Sandycove on this Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Sandycove webcam.

Met Eireann has said there is still some uncertainty over the future path of Hurricane Lorenzo, but it expects to have more precise details tomorrow. The forecaster has been working with the US National Hurricane Center and others to try and predict the storm's route. Met Eireann's Jean Byrne said: "The closer we get to the event, obviously, the better idea we should have. Luckily the models are coming in a little bit more into line, so I think we are fairly confident at this stage it will track close to Ireland, at least, if not over it.

High Water at Dun Laoghaire is 2pm

Page 3 of 91

Dun Laoghaire Regatta –  From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates eight separate courses for 25 different classes racing every two years for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In assembling its record-breaking armada, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta (VDLR) became, at its second staging, not only the country's biggest sailing event, with 3,500 sailors competing, but also one of its largest participant sporting events.

One of the reasons for this, ironically, is that competitors across Europe have become jaded by well-worn venue claims attempting to replicate Cowes and Cork Week.

'Never mind the quality, feel the width' has been a criticism of modern-day regattas where organisers mistakenly focus on being the biggest to be the best.

Dun Laoghaire, with its local fleet of 300 boats, never set out to be the biggest. Its priority focussed instead on quality racing even after it got off to a spectacularly wrong start when the event was becalmed for four days at its first attempt.

The idea to rekindle a combined Dublin bay event resurfaced after an absence of almost 40 years, mostly because of the persistence of a passionate race officer Brian Craig who believed that Dun Laoghaire could become the Cowes of the Irish Sea if the town and the local clubs worked together.

Although fickle winds conspired against him in 2005, the support of all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs since then (made up of Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St GYC), in association with the two racing clubs of Dublin Bay SC and Royal Alfred YC, gave him the momentum to carry on.

There is no doubt that sailors have also responded with their support from all four coasts. Entries closed last Friday with 520 boats in 25 classes, roughly doubling the size of any previous regatta held on the Bay.

Running for four days, the regatta is (after the large mini-marathons) the single most significant participant sports event in the country, requiring the services of 280 volunteers on and off the water, as well as top international race officers and an international jury, to resolve racing disputes representing five countries.

Craig went to some lengths to achieve his aims including the appointment of a Cork man, Alan Crosbie, to run the racing team; a decision that has raised more than an eyebrow along the waterfront.

A flotilla of 25 boats has raced from the Royal Dee near Liverpool to Dublin for the Lyver Trophy to coincide with the event. The race also doubles as a RORC qualifying race for the Fastnet.

Sailors from the Ribble, Mersey, the Menai Straits, Anglesey, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Man have to travel three times the distance to the Solent as they do to Dublin Bay. This, claims Craig, is one of the major selling points of the Irish event and explains the range of entries from marinas as far away as Yorkshire's Whitby YC and the Isle of Wight.

Until now, no other regatta in the Irish Sea area could claim to have such a reach. Dublin Bay weeks such as this petered out in the 1960s, and it has taken almost four decades for the waterfront clubs to come together to produce a spectacle on and off the water to rival Cowes.

"The fact that we are getting such numbers means it is inevitable that it is compared with Cowes," said Craig. However, there the comparison ends.

"We're doing our own thing here. Dun Laoghaire is unique, and we are making an extraordinary effort to welcome visitors from abroad," he added.

The busiest shipping lane in the country – across the bay to Dublin port – is to close temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of eight separate courses each day.

A fleet total of this size represents something of an unknown quantity on the bay as it is more than double the size of any other regatta ever held there.

The decision to alter the path of ships into the port was taken in 2005 when a Dublin Port control radar image showed an estimated fleet of over 400 yachts sailing across the closed southern shipping channel.

Ships coming into the bay, including the high-speed service to the port, will use the northern lane instead.

With 3,500 people afloat at any one time, a mandatory safety tally system for all skippers to sign in and out will also operate.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the appearance of four Super Zero class yachts, with Dun Laoghaire's Colm Barrington's TP52 'Flash Glove' expected to head the 'big boat' fleet. At the other end of the technology scale, the traditional clinker-built Water Wags will compete just as they did at a similar regatta over 100 years ago.

The arrival of three TP 52s and a Rogers 46 to Dun Laoghaire regatta is a feather in the cap of organisers because it brings Grand Prix racing to Dublin bay and the prospect of future prominent boat fixtures on the East Coast.

With 38 entries, the new Laser SB3s are set to make a significant impact although the White Sail Class five almost rivals them numerically. The Fireball is the biggest dinghy class, with 27 entries, while there are 25 entries for the Ecover Half Ton Classics Cup which began on Monday.

Class 0 is expected to be the most hotly contested, if the recent Saab IRC Nationals, Scottish Series and Sovereign's Cup are any indication. Three Cork boats ­- Jump Juice (Conor and Denise Phelan), Antix Dubh (Anthony O'Leary) and Blondie (Eamonn Rohan) - are expected to lead the fleet.

(First published in 2009)

Who: All four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Yacht clubs

What: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Why: A combined regatta to make Dun Laoghaire the Cowes of the Irish Sea.

Where: Ashore at Dun Laoghaire and afloat at eight separate race courses on Dublin Bay. Excellent views from both Dun Laoghaire piers, Sandycove and Seapoint.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

In order to facilitate social distancing and be Covid-19 compliant a new regatta format will comprise a One Design Championship (2nd – 4th July 2021) specifically tailored for sailors in the one-design keelboat and dinghy classes. This to be followed by an Open Cruiser Championship (8th – 11th July 2021) catering for the full range of Cruiser Handicap classes.

 

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