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Paul McMahon of the host club took home the 2024 Irish RS Aero National Championships in convincing style at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend. The KODC Advisory sponsored event saw twenty competitors including two very welcome visitors from the USA facing challenging, shifty and gusty conditions. After six eventful races McMahon’s consistency in handling all that was thrown at him meant he retained the title he won in 2023.

In a one, two for Howth, Daragh Sheridan came in second with Madahavan Thirumulai from Cedar Point Yacht Club in America completing the podium. On a great weekend for Howth Abby Kinsella also took home the first youth prize.

The RS Aero national championships saw 20 competitors including two very welcome visitors from the USAThe RS Aero national championships saw 20 competitors including two very welcome visitors from the USA

Great credit goes to Race officer Nigel Biggs and his team for completing the full programme of six races in such testing conditions.

Howth Yacht Club Commodore Neil Murphy (left) congratulates 2024 RS Aero National Champion Paul McMahonHowth Yacht Club Commodore Neil Murphy (left) congratulates 2024 RS Aero National Champion Paul McMahon

Thanks to Thomas Chaix who provided a top-class coaching session on the Friday afternoon before the event. This is a key part of the Irish RS Aero class events offering and has proved popular with the sailors in helping all to improve and help each other.

Other prize winners were:

  • - 1st Female : Sarah Dwyer (RSGYC)
  • - 1st Master: Roy Van Maanen (Greystones SC)
  • - 1st Youth : Abby Kinsella (Howth YC)
  • - 1st Overseas: Boris Mezhibovskiy ( Cedar Point YC)
  • - 1st 6 Rig: Noel Butler (National YC)
  • - 1st 7 Rig: Rob Howe (Monkstown Bay SC)

Next up for the Irish Aero fleet is the Europeans next weekend in Carnac, France, which sees several Irish sailors travelling. The next home event is the Aero Westerns being held as part of the RS Fest in Lough Derg on the 6th & 7th of July.

Also on the horizon is the 2026 Aero Europeans which will take place at Howth on the last weekend in August 2026.

Full results available below

Published in RS Aero
Tagged under

It may seem odd to mention an event which is already a sell-out. But it’s now 44 years since John Gore-Grimes of Howth was first awarded the Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America for his remarkable Arctic voyages in the Nicholson 31 Shardana. And these days - like several ultra-senior sailors - he is a participating member of the Forget-Me-Knots Choir of kindred spirits.

This remarkable group radiates outwards from the former Viking port of Baldoyle, taking in most of south Fingal, and Howth in all its glorious eccentricities. They’ve decided to hold a celebratory night for the skipper of Shardana with a choral performance in Howth Yacht Club on the evening of Thursday, June 20th - doors open at 7.30pm, and the show starts at 8.0pm.

The word is that it’s already a sell-out “unless you have an inside track to the organisers”. But either way, we thought we’d spread this welcome news about a man who is truly a giant in Irish sailing and voyaging history.

So much meticulous preparation by John Gore-Grimes went into each Arctic voyage with Shardana that the departures could always be festive – this well-crewed departure may look like regatta time, but it is 1989 and they’re going to go very far indeed into the Arctic ice with (left to right) Christine Heath, Bob Fannin Jnr at mast, John Gore-Grimes on helm, Andrew Hegarty, Peter Culleton and Natasha Gore-Grimes. Photo: W M NixonSo much meticulous preparation by John Gore-Grimes went into each Arctic voyage with Shardana that the departures could always be festive – this well-crewed departure may look like regatta time, but it is 1989 and they’re going to go very far indeed into the Arctic ice with (left to right) Christine Heath, Bob Fannin Jnr at mast, John Gore-Grimes on helm, Andrew Hegarty, Peter Culleton and Natasha Gore-Grimes. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Howth YC

Owner-skippers like Colm Bermingham with his Elan 333 Bite the Bullet are the backbone of Irish sailing. Over the years, he has defined his area of interest in racing, and then campaigns it to the uttermost, crewed by friends who fit neatly together as a team afloat and ashore.

Each year, Bite the Bullet is regularly in the frame, and his overall victory last weekend in the Howth Wave 24 is in the best Bermingham style.

Colm Bermingham successfully seeks clear air on the beat as another boat threatens to take his wind. Photo: Afloat.ieColm Bermingham successfully seeks clear air on the beat as another boat threatens to take his wind. Photo: Afloat.ie

Published in Sailor of the Month

This weekend, the GP14 Leinster Championship fleet comes to Howth Yacht Club. This is the third event of the season and the first on the sea, with both the Munsters and the O'Tiarnaigh Challenge held on Lough Derg and Owel, respectively.

With the Worlds across the water in Pwhelli in August and 30 Irish boats amongst the 80+ entries, this is an important event for the Irish fleet in its build-up to Plas Heli.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Chris Bateman and Adrian Lee are in Howth for the GP14 Leinster ChampionshipsMonkstown Bay Sailing Club's Chris Bateman and Adrian Lee are in Howth for the GP14 Leinster Championships

At this stage, it looks like we will have 34 boats come to the line on Saturday. Score Walls, the PRO, has said that conditions permitting, she will try to facilitate some gate starts, enabling some preparation for the Worlds.

Top GP14 Ireland pairing and current Leinster Champions Ger Owens and Mel Morris will not make the event. The pair took the title when held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in 2023. While the pair will not defend their title, the fleet lacks some excellent crews. Ross Kearney & Daniel Nelson (Royal North of Ireland YC), Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle (R St George & Sutton) and Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles (Skerries), who all shone at various stages last season, will be joined by some new but no less experienced faces.

Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson (Royal North of Ireland YC) are the reigning GP14 Ulster ChampionsRoss Kearney (right) and Daniel Nelson (Royal North of Ireland YC) are the reigning GP14 Ulster Champions

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon jumps from his Olympics Laser to join his dad in their first GP14 event of the season. It is great to see Diane Kisaane and Graham Curran, also from Howth Yacht Club, back in the fleet, with former Junior Helmsman Champion Chris Bateman from Monkstown Bay and Royal Cork Yacht Club starting to become a regular.

David Evan and William Draper were the winners of the 2024 GP14 O'Tiarnaigh ChallengeDavid Evan and William Draper were the winners of the 2024 GP14 O'Tiarnaigh Challenge

The peninsula is well represented, with Alan Blay and Hugh McNally, Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter, Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley, David Johnston and Oscar Langan, and Hugh Gill and Richard Street not having too far to travel! It was also great to see Ruan and Charlotte O'Tiarnaigh, runners-up in the Championship of Ireland last season, representing Sutton Dinghy Club this season.

Howth has also laid on facilities to welcome crews from as far as Sligo, Malahide, Cullaun, Skerries, Lough Erne, Rush, Lough Foyle, Moville, Donaghdee, Newtownards, Blessington, Mullingar, Greystones and East Antrim.

The GP14 Class continues to encourage and attract good young sailors. Its yearly coaching week in Plas Heli, under the watchful eye of Neil Marsden and Sam Watson, is certainly starting to reap its rewards, with young crews prominent at the top of big races in the last few seasons.

This season has been a whirlwind for young David Evans and William Draper from Sligo. Having just turned 17, David and William took second behind Ger and Mel at the Munsters in Killaloe in April and then took the top podium spot two weeks ago at the O’Tiarnaigh Challenge in Mullingar.

Sam Street and Josh Lloyd were first time race winners in the GP 14 fleet last seasonSam Street and Josh Lloyd were first time race winners in the GP 14 fleet last season

Light weather events both, but the pair are ones to watch along with Sam Street & Josh Lloyd from Blessington, who sprang into life last season with multiple race wins.

It should make for a great few days with six races over the two days and the weather gods looking like they might play ball.

Published in GP14
Tagged under

It’s not widely known that when the Danes of Howth were being pressurised to become Christians, being Vikings they had a side deal to the effect that, forever afterwards, when the Annual Fete in late Spring at the new church they were signing up to was staged, said Fete would always be blessed with good weather.

As to other distractions in regatta event staging at Howth, it’s only 120 years ago that the first recorded Howth YC Lambay Race was being sailed. But over its relatively few years since first being staged in 1904, the organisers have learned that it goes best when high water is around lunchtime, thereby enabling a mid-morning start to carry the fleet north on the last of the flood and bring them home again southwards on the ebb.

So ideally the best day for the race round Lambay is firstly, when the Fete is being held, and secondly, when the tides are right. Obviously it can be quite a job to get all your ducks in a row when organising this ideal Lambay setup. So when it all additionally has to be fitted into the new-fangled three day Howth Wave Regatta, you’d think it was wellnigh impossible.

 “Clear the Way…” The First 50 Checkmate XX powering through to another good day. Photo: Annraoi Blaney“Clear the Way…” The First 50 Checkmate XX powering through to another good day. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Hot stuff off Portmarnock House is a reminder it was once the home of ace helm Willie Jameson. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyHot stuff off Portmarnock House is a reminder it was once the home of ace helm Willie Jameson. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

PERFECT IN EVERY WAY

Yet today’s (Saturday May 25th) Lambay Race was perfect in every way, despite being preceded by yesterday’s grimly Arctic conditions, and with further Unknown Unknowns in the meteorological pipeline for the final Wave day tomorrow (Sunday May 26th).

The veteran Club Shamrock 30 Demelza – now owned by Steff & Windsor – doing some neat calculation on how close you can go to the north cliffs of Lambay without getting into the baffling wind cushion. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe veteran Club Shamrock 30 Demelza – now owned by Steff & Windsor – doing some neat calculation on how close you can go to the north cliffs of Lambay without getting into the baffling wind cushion. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The innocent and idealistic might well think that such a perfect conjunction of requirements, with the piety of the annual Church Fete and a fine southeasterly racing breeze as the double creams on the cake, might have resulted in a bit of relaxation afloat, an element of give and take.

DOG EAT DOG

Not a bit of it. It was dog eat dog out there on the sunny blue waters of Fingal, with the ferocious pace being set by the Classic Half Tonners. The recently acquired Two Farr of the unlikely but all-powerful Rush-Crosshaven-Howth-Baltimore syndicate squeaked in ahead of near sister Swuzzlebubble (James Dwyer, Royal Cork YC) by just three seconds on IRC, after three hours of racing.

Wind over tide in Lambay Sound brings everything to life. Photo: Annrai BlaneyWind over tide in Lambay Sound brings everything to life. Photo: Annrai Blaney

RUSH SC MAKING HAY

In fact, Rush Sailing Club were making hay (it’s the next item on the agricultural schedule anyway), as Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm (RSC) nipped in by ten seconds ahead of current Irish J/109 champion Chimaera (Barry Cunningham, Royal Irish YC) in Class 1, with John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II from Belfast Lough just one second (repeat: one second) behind the Cunningham boat, while John and Suzie Murphy put in a shout for the Hills of the Naul with their J/109 Outrajeous barely a minute after Final Call II, but with Mike & Richard Evans J/99 Snapshot (HYC) only another seven seconds behind them.

Everything is as it should be – Pat Kelly’s Storm on her way to another win, and all in sight of home. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyEverything is as it should be – Pat Kelly’s Storm on her way to another win, and all in sight of home. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The Boys Are Back In Town – the usual suspects squeezing the last ounce of performance out of Final Call II. Phot: Annraoi BlaneyThe Boys Are Back In Town – the usual suspects squeezing the last ounce of performance out of Final Call II. Phot: Annraoi Blaney

FIBRILLATOR FINISH

As you might well say if you were in a morbid frame of mind, it was a Fibrillator Finish for the IRC classes. And on beyond the Half Tonners in Class 2, things continued close, although it was a strike for the home club when Stephen Mullaney’s immaculate Sigma 33 Insider in Class 3 managed to get home 36 seconds ahead of Wicklow Sailing Club’s Haughton-Flood-Heather-Kinnane team on Jupiter, with Courtown SC further down the East Coast taking third with the Quarter Tonner Snoopy (Joanne Hall & Martin Mahon.

With our climate, every worthwhile Irish home should have a porch – and a Porsche beside it. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWith our climate, every worthwhile Irish home should have a porch – and a Porsche beside it. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

MORE GENTEEL IN CLASS 0

Meanwhile at the other end of the size scale, the timings were more genteel in Class 0, with the First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Cullen, HYC) having another good day to finish on IRC CT more than five minutes ahead of Johnny Treanor’s J/112 ValenTina (NYC) with another J, Nobby Reilly’s Ghost Raider, in third ahead of Cork’s Jelly Baby campaigned by the Jones family.

Worry not – Stephen Mullaney’s Sigma 33 Insider is simply ploughing through, one her way to another win. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWorry not – Stephen Mullaney’s Sigma 33 Insider is simply ploughing through, one her way to another win. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

NON SPIN

The first of the non-spinnaker divisions, Class 4, relies totally on ECHO handicap, and there’ll be dancing in the streets of Skerries, as Terry McCoy of that town took it convincingly with his handsome vintage First 38 Out & About. Howver, super-chef McCoy keeps O&A in Howth, so those points go to HYC, while the score for second goes across the harbour to John Beckett and Andy George’s Splashdance of Howth Sailing & Boating Club, with third slot being filled by overall defending champion Dermot Skehan with the MG34 Toughnut (HYC).

ONE DESIGNS

It is intriguing to look at the “artificial” closeness of the handicap classes’ finishes, and then set them against the more rough and ready reality of One Design Racing, where such close finishes are wellnigh impossible, as one-for-one boats get in each other’s way.

Peter Courtney’s Howth 17 Oonagh (his family have been involved with the class since 1907) on her way to third place, ahead of Roddy Cooper’s Leila. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPeter Courtney’s Howth 17 Oonagh (his family have been involved with the class since 1907) on her way to third place, ahead of Roddy Cooper’s Leila. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Thus with the Puppeteer 22s we see that Ian Dickson’s Weyhey won by more than two minutes from 2023 form boat Trick or Treat (Alan Pearson & Alan Blay), with Dave Clarke’s Harlequin third by another clear minute and three seconds.

As for the Howth 17s, former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey’s continuing successful efforts in keeping Wave top of the agenda were suitably rewarded, as Isobel which he co-owns with brother Conor took the bullet by one and a half minutes from the white-hot Massey-Toomey-Kenny syndicate’s Deilginis, with third generation Howth 17 sailor Peter Courtney (his family have been involved with the class since 1907) getting third.

SQUIBS QUANDARY

The Squibs are in a real quandary this weekend, as ambitious boats will have wished to do the performance-defining Northerns at Cultra with the RNIYC on Belfast Lough, but nevertheless three of them stayed behind to do the Lambay trot, and Emmet Dalton seems to have won on scratch, but Simon Sheahan was out of sight on HPH.

Though several of the re-growing fleet of Squibs from Howth were away at the Northerns, a colouful trio put in their best display. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThough several of the re-growing fleet of Squibs from Howth were away at the Northerns, a colouful trio put in their best display. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

SUN SHONE ON INTO EVENNG

Following that devilish deal of the ancient Vikings of Howth, the sun is still shining in Howth as evening draws in on this excellent Lambay Day, when we were meant to get rain and much cloud by early afternoon. The Wave Regatta Financial Returns are looking good, but as for profits on the Church Fete, we will of course have to wait until after the Sabbath for news of trading realities on holy ground.

Although Final Call II was hot to trot, she didn’t have it all her own way by any means. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAlthough Final Call II was hot to trot, she didn’t have it all her own way by any means. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Half Tonners and friends battling it out. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyHalf Tonners and friends battling it out. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Results below

Published in Wave Regatta

Howth's three-day Wave Regatta 2024, the biennial seafest with Porsche as lead sponsors, rolls into action this morning (Friday, May 24th) with a total of 104 entries, ranging from the veterans of the 1898-founded Howth 17 class to many of the most keenly campaigned cruiser racers in Ireland. Boats from all Irish coastlines and across from Wales and England are ready to race on various courses, including the time-honoured circuit of Lambay tomorrow (Saturday).

Dermot Skehan's veteran Humphreys-designed MG34 Toughnut from the host club is the defending Wave Regatta championDermot Skehan's veteran Humphreys-designed MG34 Toughnut from the host club is the defending Wave Regatta champion

Particular interest will focus on the J/109s, where several current and former Irish champions are in the mix, while the classic Half Tonners, such as Swuzzlebubble and the recently-acquired Two Farr, will be seeing
a high-quality input of special sailing talent. That said, it's an event for everyone, and the defending overall champion from 2022 is Dermot Skehan's veteran Humphreys-designed MG34 Toughnut from the host club.

Swuzzlebubble competing at the 2022 Wave Regatta at Howth Yacht Club Photo: AfloatSwuzzlebubble competing at the 2022 Wave Regatta at Howth Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

Ashore, the Howth Peninsula is en fete with a traditional music festival headed by Sharon Shannon, but Wave participants need to go no further than the Howth YC compound for a high-powered mix of entertainment and the much enjoyed "de-briefings" about the racing, which looks set to enjoy a variety of conditions, with Saturday, in particular, looking good.

Published in Wave Regatta

In electricity-generating circles, wave power may be seen as a potential though often challenging way of generating energy. But in Howth, energy and Wave power seem to have got together to have everything in mutually beneficial co-ordination for the biennial Wave Regatta, starting this Friday (May 24th) and concluding Sunday.

The latest high-powered entries to push the total towards the hundred mark are both from the Royal Irish YC’s own private power-house in the form of the Goodbody family’s silver-bedecked J/109 White Mischief, and the Burke syndicate’s First 40 Prima Forte, a breeze-loving boat.

She’s silver-bedecked. The Goodbody family’s J/109 White Mischief (Royal Irish YC) will be lining up for serious competition at Howth this Friday. Photo: Afloat.ieShe’s silver-bedecked. The Goodbody family’s J/109 White Mischief (Royal Irish YC) will be lining up for serious competition at Howth this Friday. Photo: Afloat.ie

But as to whether or not Prima Forte will get her favoured conditions remains to be seen. For although the forecasts suggest the racing will begin with ridge-induced northerlies and conclude with a brisk southerly, the fact is that most forecasts for Howth have been off-target or just plain wrong for at least six weeks now, however accurate (or not) they may have been for other places. Folk on the peninsula have expecting the right type of rain to help new lawns along, but a good rainfall of any kind has yet to occur, whatever might be happening in nearby Ireland or across channel in Wales.

WEATHER PREDICTIONS FOR HOWTH HAVE TO BE UNPREDICTABLE

So whether a really good weather pattern will develop remains to be seen, for as far as the Howth Peninsula is concerned, any recent predictions pointed to it ultimately being unpredictable.

Meanwhile, another theme which has recently been rising on the agenda is local pride. And we mean really local, not regional. Thus our recent piece about the remarkable performances that have been put in by North Fingal cruiser-racers such as Storm and King One from Rogerstown, Rush and Skerries, with an intriguing direct but almost-hidden link to West Cork, havr drawn a blast from on high, and we really mean on high.

For it seems that the skipper we think of as the Admiral of the Royal Hills of the Naul Yacht Squadron thinks his local place should get a fair shout, as he can see all from his resident Naul eyrie, and it helps in crew-recruiting to encourage ultra-local pride. And after all, when he and his team came down from the Fingal Alps aka the Naul Hills last year, they won the ICRA Nationals at Howth, and they’ll be back again on Friday with the J/109 Outrajeous.

Kilian’s of The Naul might be a potential HQ for the Royal Hills of The Naul Yacht SquadronKilian’s of The Naul might be a potential HQ for the Royal Hills of The Naul Yacht Squadron

RURAL ENTHUSIASM CAN BE CHANNELED

This idea of very rural communities having some sailing focus seems odd until we consider the Chipping Norton Yacht Club. It’s in the heart of the Cotswolds in the midst of England and more than a hundred miles from the nearest sea. Yet as each weekend approaches, sea sailing enthusiasts stream southwards from CN, mostly with the RORC programme in mind, and return exhausted but happily salt-stained and wind-battered late on Sunday night.

Yet by Tuesday they’ve started to think slightly enviously of their coast-dwelling fellow sailors gathering in their clubs to talk endlessly about sailing. So the Chipping Norton Yacht Club came into being to inflict a sailing-clothing-wearing boat-talking group on the local pub every Tuesday evening

Maybe it’s time to start thinking of getting a sailing photo or two hung on the walls of Killian’s in The Naul. For now, the good news is that Wave 2024 from Friday onwards is starting to look very interesting indeed. Watch this space.

Published in Wave Regatta

Those who are unaware of some of the more offbeat aspects of Irish maritime history can be forgiven for wondering how it is that Rogerstown, Rush and Skerries – all in the heart of heavily horticultural North Fingal - between them produce so many formidable sailors.

“How on earth” they demand, “can growing so many admittedly excellent potatoes, cabbages and strawberries make you a genius in a sailing boat?”



The intriguing sailing-talent-producing Rogerstown Estuary is almost boat-free in winter, but the well-filled Rush SC winter boat park speaks volumes about the local sailing interest.

LEGALLY ABSENT

The question is asked after a quick glance at the crème de la crème entry list for Howth’s three day Wave Regatta with Porsche as lead sponsors, where racing starts on this coming Friday (May 24th). Overall, it reveals an intriguing absence of lawyers, and a remarkable presence of established and rising talent from Rush SC and Skerries SC.

We were given a word to the wise on the legal scarcities.

“It would be a very unwise career move for a prominent figure in the law courts to be so conspicuously absent from the Law Library when the courts are sitting in a traditionally very busy period, and no Bank Holiday is being availed of.”

POTATO POTENTATES

Quite so. You can always easily get publicity when you least need it. But as to the sailing power of the Potato Potentates from the hidden acres of Fingal, that’s much more easily explained. Up there, fast sailing is in the blood. The emphasis on vegetables is only a recent innovation. But the sailing prowess long-outlasted the Vikings.

In the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, the tiny port of Rush and the nearby tide-riven estuary of Rogerstown produced Ireland’s two greatest sea captains in privateering and smuggling. The late 1700s saw the career peaks for privateering legend Luke Ryan, while the early 1800s witnessed the achievements of James Mathews, a highly-organised smuggler at a time when smuggling was a perfectly reasonable response to the actions of rabidly exploitative governments.

Lost but now found – the special Farr-designed Half Tonner Two Farr has been at worldwide locations during her long journey from Australia to RushLost but now found – the special Farr-designed Half Tonner Two Farr has been at worldwide locations during her long journey from Australia to Rush

If there is a key component in both maritime legends, it is surely the ability to sail fast offshore, while also being well able, when necessary, for both navigation and intricate inshore pilotage. In other words, exactly the skills set for success with a competitive cruiser-racer.

STORM OF RUSH

For some time now, Pat Kelly and his Fingal team from Rush with Storm have been among the top performers in the J/109 class. Well, Storm will be there at Wave, taking on local talent such as Simon Knowles’ Indian, and visiting talent such as Barry Cunningham’s current champion J/109 Chimaera from the Royal Irish YC.

A frequently-seen view of the J/109 Storm. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienA frequently-seen view of the J/109 Storm. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

The mixing of Howth and Rush might be assumed to be neighbourliness, but that would be a mistake. The fact that Rush and Howth can keep an eye on each other along a northwest-southeast sightline across the Malahide Estuary Approaches only serves to emphasise how different they are, and that’s the way they want to keep it.

VIKINGS RE-TAKE HOWTH CASTLE

Thus the word is that the North Fingal contingent are establishing an encampment at Howth Castle, and admission will either be by invitation, or a password known to few, and spoken in ancient Norse, as in everyday use around Lusk.

The Vikings of Fingal will be setting up their encampment at Howth Castle (left)The Vikings of Fingal will be setting up their encampment at Howth Castle (left)

But the Rush tentacles spread further, and in 2022 the linkup between North Fingal and West Cork was revealed in high profile when sometime Baltimore SC Commodore and “temporary permanent” BSC Honorary Sailing Secretary Rob O’Leary was on the Rush SC team that won the Half Ton Classic Worlds in the Solent on Paul Elvstrom’s former boat King One.

FINGAL WEST CORK LINKUP

That linkup has gone a stage further in order to compete directly with the world’s most-loved Half Tonner, the 1976 Farr-designed Swuzzlebubble. The thinking had been that surely more boats were built to this wonderful way-out design, particularly as Swuzzlebubble has in recent years been based at Crosshaven in the successful ownership of James Dwyer, and currently the ICRA “Boat of the Year”.

Belfast Lough’s top A35 Final Call II (John Minnis) seen in action in a previous visit to Howth. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyBelfast Lough’s top A35 Final Call II (John Minnis) seen in action in a previous visit to Howth. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

And it seems the sleuth-hounds of the Rush & O’Leary teams have come up with just such a boat, originally built in Australia but more recently racing under German designation. She’s called Two Farr, she’s unmistakable bright red, and with Rob O’Leary now in owning partnership with Fingal’s crème de la crème, so many all-Ireland club affiliations are listed that we are reminded of the extraordinarily all-Ireland personality of the J/24 Hard Case.

LAST MINUTE LOCALS

Entries for Wave don’t close until tonight (Tuesday 21st May) at midnight, but organiser Brian Turvey reckons the heavy metal from elsewhere have been long in, it’s only the last minute locals who will finally access that useful circular device, a round tuit, approaching the witching hour.

Meanwhile, with a general lineup including such formidable talent as John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II from Belfast Lough, the entry list makes for intriguing reading: 

Wave Regatta Entries 2024

1 Biggs/Cullen Howth Yacht Club   IRL66 Checkmate XX First 50 Class 0
2 Brian & Conor Turvey Howth Yacht Club   19 Isobel Howth 17  
3 Simon Knowles Howth Yacht Club   IRL1543 Indian J109 Class 1
4 Thomas O’Reilly Howth Yacht Club   770 Cool Beans Squib  
5 Emmet Dalton Howth Yacht Club   37 Kerfuffle Squib  
6 Ian Bowring Royal St. George Yacht Club   IRL 4464 Springer Sigma 33 One Design
7 Stephen Mullaney Howth Yacht Club   IRL4444 Insider Sigma 33 One Design
8 Caroline and Nico Gore-Grimes Howth Yacht Club   Irl988 Dux X302 Class 3
9 Tom mc mahon Howth Yacht Club   869 Tears in Heaven Squib  
10 DENIS HEWITT % ORS. Royal Irish Yacht Club   IRL811 RAPTOR MILLS 30CR Class 1
11 Vincent Gaffney Howth Yacht Club   IRL8188 Alliance II Laser 28 Class 3
12 Barry O'Connor Royal Irish Yacht Club   31310 Katanca Elan31  
13 Wright/De Neve Howth Yacht Club   2794 Mata Half tonne Class 2
14 Wormald Walsh O'Neill Howth Yacht Club   IRL 1972 No Excuse X302 Class 3
15 Colin & Kathy Kavanagh Howth Yacht Club   IRL 6697 Jeneral Lee J97 Class 2
16 Susan Sheridan Howth Yacht Club   385 Ibis Puppeteer  
17 Norbert Reillly Howth Yacht Club   IRL 985 Ghost Raider J111 Class 0
18 Jones Family Royal Cork Yacht Club   IRL9753 Jellybaby J122 Class 0
19 Lee Douglas / Aidan Keane Malahide Yacht Club   791 Shenanigans Feeling  
20 Michael & Richard Howth Yacht Club   1699 Snapshot j99 Class 1
21 Alan Pearson Alan Blay Howth Yacht Club   IRL15 Trick or Treat Puppeteer  
22 JOHN MINNIS Club not listed ROYAL ULSTER YACHT CLUB & RNIYC IRL1003 FINAL CALL II ARCHAMBAULT A35 Class 1
23 Brian Skehan Howth Yacht Club   IRL 17793 Chinook First 300 Spirit  
24 John Beckett and Andy George Howth Sailing and Boating Club   IRL4073 Splashdance Dufour 40 Non Spinny 33ft+
25 Colm Bermingham Howth Yacht Club   3335C Bite the Bullet Elan 333  
26 Stephen Quinn Howth Yacht Club   Irl9970 Lambay Rules J97 Class 2
27 Kevin Darmody Howth Yacht Club   IRL7115 Gecko Quarter Ton Class 3
28 Davie Nixon Howth Yacht Club   18 Erica H17  
29 Terence Prendiville Club not listed no club (Dun Laoghaire Marina) 139 (Non ISA) Maggie Bee Anderson 22  
30 Brian McDowell Howth Yacht Club   IRL4212 Scandal J24  
31 Simon Sheahan Howth Yacht Club   123 O'Leary Squib  
32 Ian malcolm Howth Yacht Club   7 Aura 17  
33 Massey, Toomey, Kenny Howth Yacht Club   11 Deilginis H17  
34 Tim Chillingworth Howth Yacht Club   IR386 Gannet Puppeteer  
35 Windsor & Steffi Howth Yacht Club   IR 100 Demelza Club Shamrock  
36 Charlie McAllister Club not listed Antrim Boat Club HKG2133 SKB Fauroux quarter tonner Class 3
37 Eamonn Burke & Jay Murray Howth Yacht Club   IRL 971 Leeuwin Sigma 33  
38 Terry Mc Coy Howth Yacht Club   2070 Out & About Beneteau 38 Non Spinny 33ft+
39 kyran o grady Howth Yacht Club wicklow sailing club ir 2848 bandersnatch of howth swan 37  
40 PJ Moran Dun Laoghaire Marina   1685C Rajah Sigma 33 OOD One Design
41 John & Suzie Murphy Howth Yacht Club   IRL 19109 Outrajeous J109 Class 1
42 Gerard Loughran/Ross Hattaway Howth Yacht Club   493 3point9 Squib  
43 bourke mc girr ball Howth Yacht Club   IRL 3002 XEBEC X 302 Class 2
44 Roslyn Byrne Howth Yacht Club   50 Odyssey Puppeteer  
45 Dermot Skehan Howth Yacht Club   1411 Toughnut - Non Spinny 33ft+
46 Stephen Harris / Frank Hughes Howth Yacht Club   IRL 4077 Tiger Beneteau First 40.7 Non Spinny 33ft+
47 Howth Yacht Club K25 Team Howth Yacht Club   IRL 680 Killcullen - Class 3
48 OReilly/McDyer Howth Yacht Club   219 Geppetto Puppeteer  
49 E Ferris &I Byrne Howth Yacht Club   14 Gladys Howth 17  
50 Gallagher and Fitzgibbon Howth Yacht Club   21 Orla Howth 17  
51 K&B Barker Howth Yacht Club   318 Papagena Puppeteer 22  
52 Jane & Michael Duffy Howth Yacht Club HYC 9 HERA Howth 17  
53 Peter & Declan McCabe Howth Yacht Club   IRL 1343 Arcturus Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37  
54 Ian Dickson Howth Yacht Club HYC 22 Weyhey Puppeteer  
55 Gerard Kennedy Howth Yacht Club   5526 Blue Velvet Puppeteer  
56 Fergal McNamara Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club   297 Equaliser EBoat  
57 Shane Russell and Dave Carolan Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club   152 Wile E Coyote E-boat  
58 Cormac Farrelly Howth Yacht Club   IRL4123 Pepperbox First 32s5  
59 Sean Hawkshaw Club not listed Mullaghmore Sailing Club IRL 7360 Wardance Sigma 38 Class 2
60 Patrick Higginbotham Neil HIgginbotham Malahide Yacht Club   158 Lazy Bones Beneteau First Class 8 Class 3
61 Matthew Knowles Howth Yacht Club   34 Intersceptre Puppeteer 22  
62 Micheal Carroll Howth Yacht Club   1950 Flexit -  
63 Craig O’Neill Royal Cork Yacht Club   IRL4064 Legal Alien J/24 One Design
64 Peter Levins, Brendan Foley, Colm O'Buachalla, Mark Hennessey, Patrick Ryan, Conor Twoney Royal St. George Yacht Club   FR111 ALLIG8R First Class 8 Class 3
65 Neil Murphy / Conor Costello Howth Yacht Club   6413 Yellow Peril Puppeteer 22  
66 Conor Haughton, Jonny Flood, Charles Heather, Garrett Kinnane Wicklow Sailing Club   5270 Jupiter J24 Class 3
67 Nicola & Stuart Harris Waterford Harbour Sailing Club   3370 Moxy X332 sport Class 1
68 pat kelly Rush Sailing Club rsc hyc irl1141 storm j 109 Class 1
69 kelly boardman oleary Club not listed rsc bsc hyc rcyc irl 2269 two farr half tonner Class 2
70 Joanne Hall / Martin Mahon Club not listed Courtown Sailing Club IRL90210 SNOOPY Quarter Tonner Class 3
71 Flood/Greene Howth Yacht Club   IRL8151 Jokers Wild Beneteau 32S5  
72 Roger Conan Royal St. George Yacht Club   1041 Avalon 31.7  
73 Mark Chambers & Alan Switzer Club not listed Courtown sailing club IRL1707 Artemis Sigma 33c  
74 Peter Courtney Howth Yacht Club   17 Oona Howth 17  
75 Miller, Crompton & Hodges Club not listed South Caenarvonshire Yacht Club GBR7737R Impetuous Corby 37 Class 0
76 Barry Cunningham Royal Irish Yacht Club   IRL 2160 Chimaera J109 Class 1
77 Rima Macken Howth Yacht Club   16 Eileen Howth 17  
78 paul conway Royal St. George Yacht Club   IRL 932 CERVANTES Contessa 32  
79 Cliff Waddilove Skerries Sailing Club   279 Aoife E-Boat  
80 Dave Clarke Howth Yacht Club   2021c Harlequin Puppeteer  
81 Kieran Jameson Howth Yacht Club   IRL 8331 Changeling Sigma 38  
82 Donal Harkin Howth Yacht Club   1048 Ghosty Ned Puppeteer  
83 Paddy Kyne Howth Yacht Club   7495 Maximus X 302 Class 3
84 James Dwyer Royal Cork Yacht Club   KZ3494 Swuzzlebubble Farr halftonner Class 2
85 Johnny Treanor National Yacht Club   IRL 3721 ValenTina J112e Class 0
86 Declan Gray Howth Yacht Club   Irl3230 Sapphire Oceanis 323 Clipper  
87 Ger Smith / Niall Sabongi Skerries Sailing Club   IRL4443 An Oifig Sigma 33  
88 Carty Finucane O'Byrne Howth Yacht Club   IRL 1430 Mary Ellen .  
89 Roddy cooper Howth Yacht Club   3 LEILA 17 footer  
90 William Lacy Howth Yacht Club   IRL 8322 Sojourn Arcona 400
Published in Wave Regatta

Two US-based sailors will add an international flavour to the fourth Irish RS Aero National Championships on the 15th & 16th of June at Howth Yacht Club.

Paul McMahon of the host club is the defending champion and will be hoping for a repeat on home waters. The sailors will also be hoping for a repeat of the classic Howth Easterly conditions of last October’s event.

The Principal Race Officer for the event is top sailor Nigel Biggs.

The Nationals will once again be supported by KODC Advisory who also sponsored the Easterns in Howth last year.

A key feature of many RS Aero events, which has proved very popular, is top-class coaching before the event and Thomas Chaix has agreed to provide a session on Friday afternoon.

Entry can be made here. There may be opportunities to charter an Aero for the event. Please contact Daragh Sheridan at [email protected] for further information.

Published in RS Aero
Tagged under

The ILCA Masters National Championships proved that the ILCA is a boat for all ages. The masters travelled to Howth Yacht Club to race in the sunshine and a steady south-easterly breeze ranging from 8 to 14 knots. Under the watchful eye of Race Officer Neil Murphy and his team, six races took place over two days in the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 fleets.

Masters sailors are split into five categories: Apprentices aged 30 to 45, Masters aged 45 to 54, Grand Masters 55 – 64, Great Grand Masters 65 – 74, and Legends 75+. Within each fleet, multiple contests take place, and prizes are awarded in each category and for overall winners.

2024 ILCA Masters National Championship Masters Championships competitors post racing on Sunday at Howth Yacht Club2024 ILCA Masters National Championship Masters Championships competitors post racing on Sunday at Howth Yacht Club

In the 24-boat ILCA 7 fleet, Dan O’Connell and Rory Lynch, both regular Howth winter sailors, battled hard for the top spot, while Conor Byrne, last year's winner, was not far behind. After two wins in race 4 and 6, Rory Lynch topped the fleet and Apprentice category. Dan O’Connell, was second overall and first Master. while Conor Byrne last year 39s Masters Champion had to settle for third overall and second Apprentice. The top Grand Master was Nick Walshe, starting and finishing strong with a third in race one and a second in race six.

Baltimore Sailing Club's Rory Lynch - ILCA 7 Masters National ChampionBaltimore Sailing Club's Rory Lynch - ILCA 7 Masters National Champion

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Conor Clancy and Sean Craig were well-matched rivals, both finishing all races in the top four. Sean Craig showed his experience with three race wins, discarding a fourth to take first overall and top Grand Master. Conor Clancy was just three points behind and finished second overall and top Apprentice. Conor Barry sailed a very consistent series, winning race six to take third place and top Master.

Royal St. George Yacht Club's Shirley Gilmore, the Women's Irish Masters ILCA 6 National Champion Royal St. George Yacht Club's Shirley Gilmore, the Women's Irish Masters ILCA 6 National Champion 

In the ILCA 6 Women's category Shirley Gilmore, Judy O’Byrne, Mary Chambers, Alison Pigot and Carla Fagan were racing hard. Shirley Gilmore inched ahead after day one and, with a fourth in race six, did enough to retain her Women’s Masters title, with Judy O’Beirne finishing second and Mary Chambers third overall. Alison Pigot was second in the Grand Master category, while Carla Fagan was the top Apprentice.

As always, Howth Yacht Club ran a top-class event. Jill Sommerville and Conor Murphy did an exceptional job organising it.

ILCA Ireland’s next event is the Ulster Championships which takes place in County Antrim Yacht Club on the 22 and 23 of June.

Full results below

Published in Laser
Tagged under
Page 1 of 59

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