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Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs are preparing for their long-awaited reopening to members this week after the latest relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.

The National Yacht Club will throw open its doors to members from tomorrow, Tuesday 30 June, with revised opening and closing times to adhere to Government guidelines.

The clubhouse will be closed on Mondays but will be open from 10 am to 10 pm Tuesday to Saturday, with the clubhouse closing at 6pm on a Sunday.

Tea, coffee and scones will be available Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am. Food service will run all day from 12pm to 8pm Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday lunch will be served from 12pm to 4pm.

Members will need to reserve a table by phoning the club on 01 280 5725 or by email to [email protected] [email protected] or [email protected]

The dining room will operate a strict two-metre social distancing regime which will be reflected in a maximum capacity of 50 persons.

The Bar will operate strictly in compliance with current regulations while the JB room will cater for pods and smaller group and also with a maximum capacity overall of 50 persons.

Once you enter the club you will be greeted and asked to sanitise your hands and to sign in (only the lead member of the booking need sign in), with an optional temperature check. You will then be shown to your table.

Alcohol will be strictly to table bookings only. There is no alcohol permitted in the Snooker Room, again in line with Government regulations.

Each table will be cleaned down and sanitised after use, and surfaces throughout will be sanitised, with bathrooms cleaned four times per hour.

Royal St George Yacht Club

Meanwhile, the Royal St George Yacht Club reopens its clubhouse for lunch at 12.30pm this Wednesday 1 July.

The club will comply with current guidelines regarding social distancing, contact tracing and an enhanced hygiene regime. A simple ‘one way’ circulation system will be in operation.

And as with the NYC, alcohol will only be served with meals, and bookings must be made in advance (up to 11am on day of booking). For full details see the RStGYC website HERE.

Published in RStGYC
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Places are still available for the latest powerboat training course at the Royal St George Yacht Club later this month.

The two-day course, on Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March from 8.45am to 5pm, provides the ideal way to get afloat for the first time, or to build on skills you already have.

The Irish Sailing syllabus Powerboat II course (National Powerboat Certificate) will formally teach you the fundamentals in the safe operation of a powerboat, its preparation and allied aspects, while helping you to build your confidence on the water and get the most from your RIB or powerboat in a safe and comfortable manner.

This weekend course (which will also run in May) is priced at €260 which includes all course materials, instruction and certifications. Book online via the RSGYC website HERE.

Published in Power

The Royal St George Yacht Club will host a table quiz on Friday 6 March to raise funds for Rehab Care Dun Laoghaire.

Join quizmaster Sarah Mullen-Rackow as she challenges with questions on an evening of fun and prizes that’s not to be missed.

Tables are €50 and the quizzing begins at 8pm in the dining room, with platters of sandwiches served at half time. Places are limited so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

For any queries contact Danielle Gagg at reception and marketing on 01 280 1811.

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A special workshop that aims to demystify the area of sailing results for events will take place at the Royal St George Yacht Club on Saturday 29 February.

The workshop day will also provide attendees with the skills and confidence to expertly run results for a sailing race or event of their own.

Attendees should bring their own laptop (which runs Windows) to the workshop, which starts at 10 am on the day in the Club Room and continues to the afternoon with a break for lunch.

This workshop is open to all RSGYC members, with spaces limited to 15 attendees. The fee is just €5 and online registration is required.

Any questions should be directed to Karin in the Sailing Office on 01 280 1811.

Published in RStGYC
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Barry Hayes from UK Sailmakers Ireland begins a new series of talks with Top Tips For Sailors next Thursday 16 January at Howth Yacht Club from 7.30pm.

Members and guests alike are welcome to attend the two-part session which will cover both optimisation for racing or cruising vessels, and learning how to service your deck hardware — overalls recommended.

Barry will also visit the Royal St George on Thursday 30 January (time TBC) and Kinsale Yacht Club on Thursday 13 February at 7.30pm.

UK Sailmakers Flyer

Published in Howth YC

The CH Marine sponsored 'Final Fling' Dinghy Regatta takes place for the 3rd consecutive year, this Sept 28th in Dun Laoghaire writes Gavan Murphy, Dublin Bay Laser Class Captain

This year, the regatta will offer a very innovative format in that there will be two fleets, a Regatta Fleet and a Main Fleet.

The Regatta Fleet, facilitated by the Royal St George Yacht Club, is designed to accommodate less confident Laser (only) sailors. This fleet with race 5 short races inside the Harbour, with plenty of RIB support and on the water coaching. It will comprise of sailors that have perhaps done some of the Laser 'Kindergarten' workshops that have been running throughout the season in locations including Dun Laoghaire, Malahide & Wexford. Other participants in this group may include parents whose child has a Laser but their own sailing has lapsed and they're a little rusty. Regatta Fleet sailors are expected to be able to sail around a simple triangular course. There will be a briefing and debriefing session in the Royal St George to help the learning experience and a 15-minute workshop looking at rigging and sail control lines, all given by Sean Craig, local Laser sailor and Regatta Fleet Race Officer for the day.

The Main Fleet will be facilitated by the DBSC and will comprise of PY's (IDRA, Fireball, Vago etc.), Laser Standards, Laser Radials and Laser 4.7's who will complete 4 quick-fire races for the coveted 'Final Fling' prizes!

Prizegiving for both fleets will take place in the Royal St George from 6 pm. This will be followed by the 'now infamous' end of season Laser fleet dinner and social in the George that evening.

Follow this link to enter both the Regatta & Main Fleet here

Published in CH Marine Chandlery
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In any sailing event, the helmsman must concentrate on his sails, and on the motion of the vessel through the water. Most crews really don’t have much to do except when the boat arrives at the corners on the course writes Vincent Delany

At the International 12-foot Dinghy Championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on 15th September, young Henry Shackleton knowing that he had nothing to do until he heard the words ‘Ready about’ from his dad, David, took the opportunity of a quick nap after a hard night on the town. Despite, Henry napping, he finished in second place in the competition for the historic Altair Cup originally won by Billy Mooney.

We look forward to Henry competing as a helmsman in the Irish 12 Foot Dinghy Championship in ten year’s time in his grandfather’s 12-foot dinghy which is due for restoration in the near future.

Aus 1 and othersAus 1 and others

Published in RStGYC
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The Royal St George Yacht Club had reason to celebrate when members of the U25 squad took Class 1 and won the overall team prize in the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta this past weekend.

With Niamh Henry at the helm, Alanna Lyttle on main trim, Ellen Murray on pit, Roberta Bell King on bow and Gillian Ballesty on kite trim, the Class 1 team won both of their Saturday races on Dublin Bay in the event hosted by the neighbouring National Yacht Club.

“It was tough going but we worked well as a team and had some fun with the spinnaker in the big wind,” the crew said later.

The RSGYC also won the overall team prize with Helen O’Beirne in the Laser Radial and Grace O’Beirne in the 420.

Sligo Yacht Club’s sailors were the big winners on the day, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club has revealed the nominees for its Annual Sailing Awards, otherwise known as the RStGYC Oscars.

Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia is guaranteed a share in the Commodore’s Cup for best offshore performance as the nominees comprise Team Joshua Trio (Aurelia, Platinum Blonde and Windjammer) and his own campaign.

Keelboats and crew in the running for the Enriquetta Cup this year are Brendan and Sarah Foley and their Impala Running Wild (pictured top), Michael O’Connor’s SB20 Sin Bin, and Richard and Philip Lovegrove with their Sigma 33 Rupert.

Aurelia 4142Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia

Significant dinghy performance is rewarded with the Vice-Commodore’s Cup, whose nominees include promising Optimist talent Charlie Cullen and Laser sailors Jack Fahy, Tom Higgins and Shirley Gilmore.

Gilmore is also nominated for the Causeway Trophy for sportsmanship alongside Harriet Walker, Ross O’Leary and Emily Riordan.

Ross oleary 2296 2Ross O'Leary

Optimist sailor Riordan shows up again in the shortlist for the Youth Award, with Laser 4.7/Waszp sailor Alana Coakley, 420 pair Grace O’Beirne and Kathy Kelly, RS Feva duo Elysia O’Leary and Lily Dwyer, and former Oppy and now Laser competitor Moss Simington.

Ross O’Leary, meanwhile, is also in the running for the Waterfront Award for significant contribution to the sport of sailing.

His excellent work as Laser class captain is recognised along with Laser Masters Worlds committee chair David Kelly, rowing fitness instructor John Sheehy, and Irish Sailing Pathway Nationals chair Ian Simington.

And rounding out the awards, Paul Conway’s Cervantes and Birmayne (Justin McKenna, Paul Dobbyn and Crew) are up for the O’Hanlon Cup for best cruise of 2018.

The RStGYC Oscars will be awarded on Friday night 6 April at a black tie gala dinner in the clubhouse from 6.30pm. Members can book their places HERE.

Published in RStGYC
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‘Flying Irishman’ Tom Dolan will join Royal St George Yacht Club members for brunch at the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubhouse from noon this Saturday 19 January.

Tom was nominated for Irish Sailor of the Year 2017 and again in 2018, and his adventures feature prominently in the 2019 Afloat Irish Sailing Annual.

The France-based Irish sailing professional has been nicknamed ‘l’irlandais volant — or ‘the Flying Irishman’ — for his accomplishments in the challenging solo offshore Figaro race.

Tom will tell RStGYC members about his intense 2018 season which culminated in the Solitaire du Figaro, a story illustrated with slides and videos that he’s already brought around Ireland.

He will also elaborate on his plans for this year’s race with his new boat, the revolutionary foiling Beneteau Figaro 3, which he previously revealed in a talk at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Cub earlier this month.

The offshore sailor’s visit comes after a welcome talk by Annalise Murphy last week, and should be of interest to sailors young and old alike.

The talk starts at noon sharp, with the usual George Brunch available from 11am to 2.30pm. There is no extra cost for the talk. To book call Laura in Reception at 01 280 1811.

Published in Solo Sailing
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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 dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021

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