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New Years’ Resolutions and a fresh start for 2019 led to our biggest Laser turnout of the winter so far in Howth Yacht Club. A favourable forecast also helped. Conditions were perfect for Laser racing, with the wind starting off from the West at 9 knots and moved slowly right all morning, picking up to 22 knots by the end of the second race. 26 boats launched, one of biggest fleets of the season so far, including good representation of Radials and 4.7s. West to North West is the ideal direction for racing in Howth Sound, with relatively flat water and very little land influence over the breeze. We get steady oscillating shifts most of the time. However, yesterday was particularly tricky, with the wind veering and the ebbing spring tide flowing down the beat. The fleet was faced with the decision on whether to go left for the slacker water or right to maximise the benefit from the wind shift. Most of the fleet decided to play the shifts up the middle, protecting the right, but trying to stay out of the tide as much as possible.

 

The fleet was tightly bunched, but after a late start, Daragh Kelleher made the correct call, and came screaming in from the left corner to lead at the first mark. Dave Quinn, Eoin Delap, Stephen Quinn and Conor Murphy were all tightly bunched behind. Daragh led for the first lap, and maintained his lead for the rest of the race, despite a risky second beat where he attempted to avoid the tide on the island side of the course (much to the amusement of sailors after racing!). Dave Quinn finished second, with Ronan Wallace recovering well from a bad first beat to finish third.

Tom Fox radialTom Fox

The second race was windier, and most sailors decided staying out of the tide was far more important than any shifts so boat speed became paramount. After a General Recall, the fleet got away in a very tight start. Daragh Kelleher, Ronan Wallace and Dan Oconnell all rounded the first weather mark together and racing was very close throughout the Olympic format Course. Daragh was able to maintain a lead on the second beat and keep Dan behind him to the finish. Ronan Wallace finished third. It was great to see a few more Radials and 4.7’s out. Tom Fox won both races again, and continues to dominate, even putting plenty of the Standard Rigs under pressure each race. Sophie Kilmartin won both races in the 4.7 rig also. 

Orlagh ThompsonOrlagh Thompson

Published in Howth YC
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Laser sailors gathered on Monkstown Bay for Day Two of the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning dawned with a thick dreary fog laying over every inch of Cork Harbour. A beautiful sunrise cheered up the scene by illuminating the fog and casting an icy golden look over Monkstown Bay. Scroll down for photo gallery by Bob Bateman.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1There was an early fog in Monkstown Bay for the Laser racing Photo: Bob Bateman

Not a breath of wind could be felt and as the fog lifted slowly, the bay was revealed to be still as a mill pond. The sailors were not put off by the conditions and onlookers could see the competitors taking ice off their boats and eagerly raising sails.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay was like a mill pond Photo: Bob Bateman

A cold light wind filled in from the North West, blowing the rest of the fog away just in time as the sailors launched their boats from the Sandquay.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1

Race officer Alan Fehily set a windward/leeward course at the mouth of Monkstown Creek with time to spare for the 10:15 start.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1

The start sequence began for the first race and fourteen laser sailors scrambled into position on the start line. The sailors got away cleanly and it was a drag race out to the favoured left side of the course. It was a close battle between MBSC sailors Ronan Kenneally, Alex Barry and your correspondent. The light winds made for heated racing with tacking and gybing duels occurring throughout the race. Alex Barry decided to switch from the smaller radial to the standard rig and was proving to be very fast in the light conditions. Barry held first position on the downwind leg but capsized before the leeward mark. Kenneally then took the lead and went on to win the first race. Bateman finished second, Alex Barry finishing third.

In the Radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard revelled in the light conditions, winning the first race with a comfortable lead.

The second race proved difficult with the wind easing off to a steady five knots. The flood tide was becoming increasingly prominent on the course. Alex Barry poked out ahead of the fleet, rounding the windward mark in first. He was followed close behind in second by Inniscarra sailor James Long. Barry held on to his lead while steadily gaining distance on the fleet. All the action was behind him, with most of the fleet debating who has water at the leeward mark. In the end, Alex Barry took first position, this writer second and James Long in third.

In the Radial fleet, Harry Pritchard used local knowledge to get around the course the fastest way, and took first place.

Race three was more challenging than the rest. It was a battle between Alex Barry, Ronan Kenneally and Charles Dwyer. The wind slowly died away leaving the sailors becalmed. Pockets of breeze occasionally would hit the water. The course was shortened and the competitors finished the race at the windward mark. Alex Barry took his second win of the day. Ronan Kenneally finished second. Charles Dwyer who was on great form on the first day struggled in the lighter air but still managed to finish third, right behind Kenneally.

RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie took first place in the Radial fleet.

The Laser sailors then sailed ashore and were on dry land by 12 O’Clock. Hot drinks and sandwiches were in order, so the sailors gathered in Napoli to talk about what was another successful days racing.

Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1Monkstown Bay Lasers1

Results are downloadable below

Published in Laser
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Saturday, January 12 was the kick off of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League organised by the Laser sailors of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour writes Chris Bateman.

The morning was promising with patches of blue sky and a cool breeze blowing over DeVesci Place from the west. The threat of the ice-cold sea was not enough to put the eager laser sailors off from taking to the waters of Monkstown Bay.

It was an early start for the competitors. Sails could be seen on the Sandquay as early as nine o’clock. Race Officer Alan Fehily cast off in good time to set a windward/leeward course off Blackpoint, in perfect time for the 10:15 start.

The first day of the league attracted an excellent entry of 15 boats, 12 of which were standard rig lasers. The three radial entrants were welcome participants; inclusion of the radial rig is a new departure for the league.

The start sequence began for the first race, the sailors jostling for position on the line. It was an all-in start and the sailors got away cleanly to begin the first upwind leg. The competitors had been instructed to do three rounds of the course. Each upwind leg was a struggle against the strong ebb tide that Monkstown Bay is well known for. It was a battle between RCYC’s Johnny Durcan, and MBSC’s Charles Dwyer. Durcan held the lead until he was safely across the finish line, securing first. Dwyer finished just behind, putting pressure on the laser ace. Ronan Kenneally of MBSC finished third in hot pursuit.

In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Alex Barry was the first to cross the finish line after a tough race.

The second race proved equally challenging with winds gusting up to 15 knots and shifting through 30 degrees. Dwyer led off, keeping Kenneally and Durcan at bay. But it was not to be and on the downwind leg Durcan sailed through to take the lead at the finish. Dwyer came in second with Kenneally snapping at his heels in third.

Alex Barry proved to be quick once again, holding off RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie and MBSC’s Harry Pritchard up to the finish line.

The wind had eased by Race 3. Kenneally was first off the start line, covering the fleet out to the right-hand side of the course. Johnny Durcan played the left side of the course, battling against the tide in the deep water of the shipping channel. Dwyer overtook Kenneally and a rogue wind shift saw Kenneally slip back to fourth. Meanwhile, MBSC’s former UK Olympic Squad member Rob Howe sailed into third place. Charles Dwyer finished first in the standard fleet, holding off Durcan. Howe finished close behind in third.

Alex Barry sailed exceptionally well, as having not only come first in the radial category once again, he took line honours and finished ahead of Dwyer in the standard category. Sophie Crosbie finished second, holding off local Harry Pritchard who finished close behind in third.

All the happy competitors sailed to shore, many gathering in The Bosun to converse and reminisce over what was indeed a great day’s sailing.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Monkstown Bay Sailing Club has announced that their Laser Winter Series will be run again this year, starting this Saturday, with First Gun for a boat start at 10.15 a.m. The start, according to the club, will be “as close as possible to the Sand Quay.”

“We have opened the event up to Laser Radials this year but not 4.7s. This extended entry is to increase numbers and get more kids out sailing during the Winter,” says the Series Organiser, Charles Dwyer. “It’s an open event, so all are welcome.”

It will run for six weeks until February 16. There will be three races each day, with All-In starts and, to encourage participation, the assurance that competitors will be ashore by noon. Entry fee is €20 per boat.

More information: phone 086 1703289

Published in Cork Harbour
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A single race was deemed plenty for sailors to shake off the cobwebs at Howth Yacht Club. The Lasers got off to a great start for the 2019 season with a mild 10-12kt Westerly. The breeze shifted right, bang on schedule, but the strong ebb tide kept things interesting as heading right forced sailors out into the middle of the adverse current. The breeze ended up a few degrees past North by the end of the race.

Paul McMahon won the start and showed excellent boat speed up the beat, protecting the right but keeping out of the tide as much as possible. He rounded the first mark with a nice lead. The following pack were tightly bunched, with Daragh Sheridan in second, David Quinn third, Mike Evans fourth and Eoin Delap in fifth. A long deep reach allowed Evans and Delap to make gains. David Quinn went further right on the second beat than the others to move up to second, as McMahon maintained a comfortable lead. The bunch spread a little on the windward-leeward, and second lap, with McMahon winning the New Years Day Mug relatively easily, from Quinn in second and Evans in third. Apologies, Radial and 4.7 results not available at time of print.

Published in Laser
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As the days tick down to Christmas 2018, CH Marine Chandlery still has some special deals on Laser dinghies — but act fast as these offers are only available till Monday 24 December.

For just €6,950 (£6,185.50) including VAT you could have a standard Laser, Radial or 4.7 with XD rig and composite upper.

And that’s not all, as the price includes a trolley, top cover and foil bag, with sails fully numbered.

These popular packages have been selling fast and as of this morning (Thursday 20 December) there is only one Laser 4.7 deal remaining. If it’s what you’ve been looking for, don’t be disappointed this Christmas!

Be sure also to check out CH Marine’s daily deals on Facebook in the run-up to Santa’s arrival. Today you could save €70 on a Crewsaver Ergolift Offshore Lifejacket Auto 190N with light and hood.

Shop online at CHMarine.com or in store in Skibbereen, Cork and Newtownards — open from 9am to 2pm on Christmas Eve for any last-minute stocking-stuffers!

Published in CH Marine Chandlery

With one week to go in the Howth Yacht Club Laser Frostbites Winter Series, the winners of all three rigs have been decided. Ronan Wallace has claimed top spot in the Standard Rig Fleet, with Tom Fox winning the Radials and Sophie Kilmartin winning the 4.7’s. The weather cooperated again this week, after some mid-week concerns over forecasted winds above 30kts. In the end we had winds in the mid-twenties and bright sunny conditions.

The triangle courses were set perfectly to give fantastic downwind surfing conditions. For the past few weeks, the run was left out for each race as winds were deemed too high. Race Officials changed back to the traditional Olympic course this week, which caught out Dan O’Connell at one weather mark! Only for this error, Dan would have won both races on the day. Dan ended up with a first and second. Mike Evans continued his consistent form with a 3 and 4. Ronan Wallace had an uncharacteristic 5th place in the first race, which will give some of us some hope for the Spring Series, before winning the second race.

Next week concludes the Winter Series. There is the traditional New Years Day race, starting at 12pm, and all are welcome. The Spring Series starts on 5th January, and runs until Sunday 3rd March. The End of Season ‘Round the Island’ race is scheduled for Saturday 9th March.

Published in Howth YC
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Easterlies were in place again for this weekend’s Laser action in Howth. Unlike last weeks’ pleasant smooth rolling sea, the breeze was stronger and the ebb tide made for a steeper chop which was much harder work. With winds ranging from 17ts to 25kts, there was plenty of action for the rescue boats too, including a dramatic capsize to weather by your author in race 2. An eager fleet tested race committee patience with a general recall in race one, nicely recorded on video by Harry Gallagher. The fleet got away on the second start, with Conor Murphy leading at the first mark followed by Mike Evans and David Quinn. Evans and Quinn got through Murphy on the first lap with Evans establishing a nice lead on the second beat. Ronan Wallace sailed a superb first run to take the lead, which he kept to the finish. Mike Evans finished second with Quinn in third.

Wallace led from the start in race 2, with Dan O’Connell not far behind in second throughout the race. Mike Evans and Dave Quinn got tangled at the first weather mark (I was fully to blame after a terrible tack!!), leaving Daragh Sheridan to sail past the carnage and maintain third place to the finish. Ronan Wallace now has a commanding lead, winning 7 of the 8 races so far, with Dan O’Connell now lying second and Mike Evans in third overall.

In the Radial Fleet, Tom Fox continued his string of bullets, winning both races today, from Peter Hassett with 2 seconds. Sophie Kilmartin similarly dominates the 4.7 fleet, discarding a second after another 2 bullets yesterday.

Published in Laser
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Irish sailors were in the mix at the UK Laser Master Inlands at Grafham Water this weekend.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig took third overall in the Radials and in the much bigger fleet of Full rigs, the National Yacht Club's World Champ Mark Lyttle was edged out in a fairly tight finish between the top four overall.

The Dubliner gave a good talk on Saturday night recounting the recent Master Worlds and his 1996 Olympic campaign too.

Results from Grafham here

Published in Laser
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Week 3 of the Howth Yacht Club Laser Frostbites served up yet another perfect Autumn morning. Easterlies always add to the excitement in Howth with big waves rolling into the Sound from the Irish Sea. Numbers were down slightly this week, with post Rugby celebrations no doubt partly to blame!

The first race started with a steady 19kt breeze and Dan O'Connell showed his Masters Worlds form with a fast first beat to lead at the first weather mark. The first reach in big waves was exciting, with big gains to be made if you could stay on one the the rollers. Dan maintained a small lead from David Quinn throughout the race, with Ronan Wallace and Mike Evans also having a close tussle for 3rd. Tom Fox won the Radial fleet, and put pressure on many of the full rigs throughout the race. Carla Fagan took second

The breeze moderated slightly for race 2 with the ebb tide still encouraging the fleet to head left into the sound. David Quinn led at the first mark, and for the first lap, before Ronan Wallace overtook him on the second downwind. Wallace went on to win, with Quinn in second and Dan OConnell in third. Tom Fox won again in the Radial fleet, from Peter Hassett this time in second.

6 races into the series, Ronan Wallace has a commanding lead, with Mike Evans in second overall and David Quinn up to third. Tom Fox is dominating the Radial Fleet.

Published in Laser
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Page 10 of 47

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

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

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