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Displaying items by tag: HYC

The wait is finally over as Howth Yacht Club welcomes its new fleet of Melges 15 dinghies, which arrived from Wisconsin last week.

Growing from a single boat purchased last year by Cormac Farrelly to a baker’s dozen, the fleet — all going to plan — will be out racing next Thursday 6 June.

The club is also planning a Sunday morning series featuring a sprint format and some fun novelty races, like a race around the island.

Already on the calendar is an action-packed Melges 15 Junior Day for Saturday 29 June, complete with a disco to follow.

The buzz about the new boats is also hoped to drum up local interest in the Melges 15 National Championships in Howth from 24-25 August.

HYC expects the 11-boat fleet from Dun Laoghaire to come across Dublin Bay, and possibly some visitors from the UK too.

Meanwhile, the new Melges 15s will be available for chartering by members who have completed a training course and demonstrated their competence in sailing it.

There are several members contemplating buying a Melges, and in support of promoting a revival of dinghy racing at HYC, the club is providing interested members the option to race one during summer 2024 before they hopefully commit to buying.

The club’s goal is to get as many boats on the water as possible, and for that, regular crew are needed. Members interested in getting involved are invited to register on the dedicated WhatsApp group. For more details, see the HYC Melges 15 web page at

Published in Howth YC
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Attention all keelboat sailors: Howth Yacht Club is running a one-day spring warmers event on Saturday 27 April for Cruiser Classes 1, 2, 3 and J80s.

The club says this is a perfect opportunity to dust down the cobwebs and get ready for the season. In other words: race, train and have fun!

First gun will be at 10:55 am with four sprint style races and 50 tacks and gybes to get crews mobilised after the winter break.

The day will also feature on-the-water coaching and a video debrief from sailmaker Barry Hayes and offshore sailor Kenny Rumball.

Sign up for the HYC Spring Warmers HERE.

If you are interested in chartering one of the club J80s for the day, contact the HYC sailing office.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth Yacht Club is celebrating the recent installation of its new pontoons adjacent to the crane in the marina.

Supplied by Inland and Coastal Marina Systems, the pontoons provide a safer area for launches, refuelling and boat crane-in and crane-out.

Half the project costs were approved for grant aid support under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme, and HYC has now submitted its application for grant assistance from BIM under the scheme.

Published in Howth YC
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Howth Yacht Club’s staple Autumn League series has been off to a rough start this year, with two of the first three race days — half of the six-week schedule — cancelled due to poor weather.

But week two was a chance for many of the 82 entrants to battle it out as Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove maximised everyone’s time on the water.

Southerly winds between 20 and 16 knots greeted Class 1, whose race was won in convincing style by Checkmate (Dave Cullen and Nigel Bigg). Class 2 saw a similarly confident performance by Mojo (Pat O’Neill).

A stronger breeze kept some of Class 3 from taking to the start, with only eight boats making start line, and it was a tighter contest for first with Insider (Stephen Mullaney) followed closely by Alliance II (Vincent Gaffney) and Gecko (Kevin Darmody).

The HYC website has much more on last Saturday’s racing from open events chair Jill Sommerville HERE.

Published in Howth YC
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The National Yacht Club has announced the Dun Laoghaire Match Racing Cup to take place on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October.

Ten teams will complete in the club’s Elliott 6M fleet on what promises to be an action-packed weekend, with a full round-robin of races set for the Saturday while the Sunday kicks off with a repechage phase before the knockout finals.

What that means for those taking part is many an opportunity to race, progress and turn the cards around before a true champion emerges. Read the Notice of Race and more on the race format HERE.

NYC head coach Thomas Chaix will also be afloat taking notes and videos towards a Saturday evening discussion around winning moves, overtaking opportunities and “how the races were ultimately won”.

With the fleet limited to 10 teams, don’t miss out — lodge your team’s expression of interest now to ensure your receive your invitation.

Published in National YC

With the forecast showing the makings of an Indian summer, Howth Yacht Club is looking forward to decent weather for the start of its Autumn League in just two weeks’ time on Saturday 16 September.

While Howth’s keelboats are understandably focusing their attention on next week’s ICRA Nationals, the club is encouraging boats to join Checkmate XX — recently the overall winner in the offshore fleet at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regattaand others in the Autumn League as soon as possible so the class bands can be sorted ahead of the first race.

Keelboat crews can read the Notice of Race and sign up on the HYC website HERE.

This year’s Autumn League runs over six Saturdays from 16 September to 21 October: six individual race days with first gun at 1400 (except for the final race on 21 October with first gun at 1300).

With the rugby on most Saturdays, there will be a lively après-sail scene at the clubhouse where the bar will have weekly drink specials.

And the opening weekend will be a something of a double header, with the rescheduled Gibney Classic, previously set for early August, confirmed for Sunday 17 September. Online registration, the Notice of Race and entry list are on the HYC website.

Published in Howth YC

This year has already seen a plethora of successes for Howth Yacht Club in the ILCA division, including a one-two brother-sister punch from Ewan and Eve McMahon — who won the ILCA 7 and ILCA 6 fleets respectively in the ILCA Ulster Championships last month — and a double-silver for Sienna Wright in the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds and Europeans.

Now, Laser-heads set their sights on HYC for the ILCA National Championships over the weekend of 18-20 August, which the club says will be one for the books.

Entry forms and the Notice of Race are available on the ILCA Ireland website, while will have more details on race specifics and onshore entertainment throughout the weekend in the coming weeks.

Published in Laser
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Entries are now open for Howth Yacht Club’s Gibney Classic on Saturday 5 August.

Sponsored by Gibbey’s Pub of Malahide, the renowned ‘Northside’ keelboat regatta is an open event with a low entry fee — just €10 — to promote inclusiveness for what’s annually proved to be an unforgettable day of racing, camaraderie and celebration.

The Gibney Classic is also part of HYC’s Fingal Cruiser Challenge series, attracting a highly competitive fleet alongside boats from the HYC Cruising Group and Malahide Yacht Club.

Indeed, all manner of boats will be sailing on 5 August, with handicaps organised accordingly. Moreover, the event is open to all keelboats in Fingal that weekend, ensuring a diverse and spirited competition.

“Since its inception in 1992, the Gibney Classic has been an eagerly anticipated fixture in the sailing calendar, captivating sailors and enthusiasts alike,” HYC says. “This year's edition is set to be a spectacular showcase of entertainment, determination, and sheer love for the sport.”

Enter now on the HYC website HERE.

Published in Howth YC
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Based on feedback from members, Howth Yacht Club is rolling out two new initiatives for the 2023 sailing season: the HYC Race School and HYC Crew Finder.

The Race School offers HYC members a chance to get certified and get racing, whether you’re new to the line or a seasoned sailing veteran.

If you have never raced, if you already crew on someone else’s boat, or even if you have your own boat, the Race School offers opportunities for all levels to join in training sessions and improve their skills.

The first step to get started is a free consultation with sailing development officer Matthew Cotter — sign up on the HYC website HERE.

The new Crew Finder page, meanwhile, connects those looking for a chance to crew with those seeking an extra pair of hands on board, all in a single, easy-to-use platform powered by RailMeets.

Watch the demo video and sign up on the HYC website HERE.

All Race School participants will also gain HYC Crew Finder certification which will make it easier to match individual crew to boats looking for crew.

Published in Howth YC
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This year’s Fingal Cruiser Challenge kicks off on Saturday 13 May with the Fingal Coastal, the first in a nine-event series that also includes the famed Lambay Races, the Asgard Race and much more.

Organised by Howth Yacht Club in association with Malahide Yacht Club, the open series of Saturday races is touted as the only alternative on the East Coast to ISORA for coastal racing.

It regularly brings together a variety of keelboat owners and racers to enjoy the action on the water, not to mention the social gatherings after the racing.

Entry is €40 which includes six races in the waters north and east of Howth Harbour, plus three combined with other events and regattas.

The full calendar for the Fingal Cruiser Challenge 2023 is as follows:

  • 13 May - Fingal Coastal
  • 27 May - Asgard Race
  • 3 June - Lambay Races
  • 17 June - Kish & Back Challenge
  • 15 July - Howth-Rockabill-Coastal
  • 22 July - Malahide Regatta
  • 5 August - Gibney Classic
  • 19 August - Dublin Bay Coastal Race
  • 2 September - Fingal Coastal Challenge

The Notice of Race is available from the HYC website HERE.

Published in Howth YC
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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates six separate courses for 21 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 Ireland's 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. 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. A flotilla of 25 boats regularly races 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.

No other regatta in the Irish Sea area can 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 – closes temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of six 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.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta FAQs

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland's biggest sailing event. It is held every second Summer at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is held every two years, typically in the first weekend of July.

As its name suggests, the event is based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Racing is held on Dublin Bay over as many as six different courses with a coastal route that extends out into the Irish Sea. Ashore, the festivities are held across the town but mostly in the four organising yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is the largest sailing regatta in Ireland and on the Irish Sea and the second largest in the British Isles. It has a fleet of 500 competing boats and up to 3,000 sailors. Scotland's biggest regatta on the Clyde is less than half the size of the Dun Laoghaire event. After the Dublin city marathon, the regatta is one of the most significant single participant sporting events in the country in terms of Irish sporting events.

The modern Dublin Bay Regatta began in 2005, but it owes its roots to earlier combined Dublin Bay Regattas of the 1960s.

Up to 500 boats regularly compete.

Up to 70 different yacht clubs are represented.

The Channel Islands, Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland countrywide, and Dublin clubs.

Nearly half the sailors, over 1,000, travel to participate from outside of Dun Laoghaire and from overseas to race and socialise in Dun Laoghaire.

21 different classes are competing at Dun Laoghaire Regatta. As well as four IRC Divisions from 50-footers down to 20-foot day boats and White Sails, there are also extensive one-design keelboat and dinghy fleets to include all the fleets that regularly race on the Bay such as Beneteau 31.7s, Ruffian 23s, Sigma 33s as well as Flying Fifteens, Laser SB20s plus some visiting fleets such as the RS Elites from Belfast Lough to name by one.


Some sailing household names are regular competitors at the biennial Dun Laoghaire event including Dun Laoghaire Olympic silver medalist, Annalise Murphy. International sailing stars are competing too such as Mike McIntyre, a British Olympic Gold medalist and a raft of World and European class champions.

There are different entry fees for different size boats. A 40-foot yacht will pay up to €550, but a 14-foot dinghy such as Laser will pay €95. Full entry fee details are contained in the Regatta Notice of Race document.

Spectators can see the boats racing on six courses from any vantage point on the southern shore of Dublin Bay. As well as from the Harbour walls itself, it is also possible to see the boats from Sandycove, Dalkey and Killiney, especially when the boats compete over inshore coastal courses or have in-harbour finishes.

Very favourably. It is often compared to Cowes, Britain's biggest regatta on the Isle of Wight that has 1,000 entries. However, sailors based in the north of England have to travel three times the distance to get to Cowes as they do to Dun Laoghaire.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is unique because of its compact site offering four different yacht clubs within the harbour and the race tracks' proximity, just a five-minute sail from shore. International sailors also speak of its international travel connections and being so close to Dublin city. The regatta also prides itself on balancing excellent competition with good fun ashore.

The Organising Authority (OA) of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Dublin Bay Regattas Ltd, a not-for-profit company, beneficially owned by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC), National Yacht Club (NYC), Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Royal St George Yacht Club (RSGYC).

The Irish Marine Federation launched a case study on the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta's socio-economic significance. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly €3million to the local economy over the four days of the event. Typically the Royal Marine Hotel and Haddington Hotel and other local providers are fully booked for the event.

©Afloat 2020