Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: dmyc

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has made an early decision to cancel its Sunday afternoon dinghy frostbite series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Met Eireann say South to southwest winds will reach gale force later today on all Irish coasts and on the Irish Sea.

Southwest to west winds will further increase strong gale to storm force on Irish coasts from Roche's Point to Slyne Head to Fair Head Sunday morning and afternoon.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

A misty, almost windless start to the day left frostbiters wondering if they would get afloat all at the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites. Earlier DBSC Turkey Shoot Keelboat racing was cancelled on Sunday morning with north-westerly zephyrs peaking at two knots. However, by about 12.30 the ghostly air had started to swing in the forecast direction so dinghy racers gathered at the waterfront clubs and optimistically pulled off covers and prepared their boats in almost zero wind. Their positivity was rewarded as the air settled into the predicted southeasterly and reached five or six knots. So it was that racing got away with only the slightest delay.

The mixed PY fleet included nine of the eleven Fireballs entered in the series, along with an assortment of Wayfarers, RS 400s, 200s and single-handers. The start line was frankly messy with a favoured pin end and anyone who got away cleanly counted their blessings!

Amongst those were Fireballers Neil Colin and Alistair Court who led the mixed fleet most of the way around the course. Ultimately Neil Colin sailing with John McAree prevailed on the water but on handicap Monica Schaefer won the Windward-Leeward race in the light airs by impressively steady and fast sailing in patchy conditions.

"Special mention for the volunteer race team for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions"

For race two the pin end bias on the start line was even more pronounced and again the trick was to get off the line in good shape, with an individual recall flag flying to nag those with a guilty conscience. In this race, Newtownards sailor and heroic commuter Josh Porter crewed by Cara McDowell got clean away and led around the course. Followed by series leaders Noel Butler/Stephen Oram they held their lead to the finish. Again in the light airs, they were denied the mug which went to Des Fortune in his Finn who maintained a steady, fast and trouble-free path around the windward-leeward course.

Amongst the three laser fleet divisions the races were won in race one by John Marmelstein, Conor Gorman and Rian Geraghty McDonnell; and in race two by Vasily Shamkov, Hugh O'Connor and Rian Geraghty McDonnell.

Special mention for the volunteer race team led by PRO Ben Mulligan for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions. The popular series continues until the end of March. Entries at present remain open with more sailors welcome to join the fray.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

The opening round of the 2019/2020 Frostbites, hosted by the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club was sailed in sunshine and air temperatures that were around the 9 - 11º mark in a westerly wind that fluctuated a little during the first race and necessitated a shift of the weather mark for the second race writes Cormac Bradley.

Sixty-one boats took to the water with the fleets split as follows; PY – 21 boats, Laser Full Rig – 8 boats, Laser 4.7s – 10 boats and Laser Radials – 22 boats. In the PY fleet there was a very healthy turnout for the Fireballs with eight boats, including one helmsman that we haven’t see for a while – Dr Kieran Harkin sailing with Michael Keegan in 14676. Given that the Fireballs will be having their Worlds hosted by Howth Yacht Club in August 2020, maybe this is the start of a new injection of enthusiasm for the class in the build-up to the Worlds. Also included in the PY fleet were two Wayfarers, sailed by Frostbite regulars Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy and newcomers from the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet, David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne. Another combination with Flying Fifteen connections raced the solitary GP14, Ciara Mulvey and Peter Murphy. Sailing in Dublin (SID) had four Laser Vagos on the water, one sailing single-handed, and the RS fraternity were represented by the RS 200s of Sarah Byrne and Jemima Owens/Henry Start and a RS400 from Greystones in the form of Paul Phelan & Alan Leddy. We also had a RS Aero 7 sailed by Brendan Foley. Conspicuous absentees on Day 1 were the Kona Windsurfers, the Solo of Shane McCarthy and the K1 of Tom Murphy – maybe they are affording the others a chance to get warmed up. Also conspicuous by their complete absence were the IDRA fleet without a single representative.

In the Laser fleets my knowledge of the names isn’t as good but regular “Frostbiters” in the form of Shirley Gilmore, Sean Craig, Gavan Murphy, Chris Arrowsmith, Kenny Rumball, fresh from a line honours win in the big-boat Turkey shoot that morning, Conor Kinsella, defending Frostbite overall champion Conor Gorman, Alana Coakley, Mary Chambers and a number of others were in attendance.

With the wind direction being around the 290º mark, the committee boat set up close to the weather station on the East Pier and set a triangular course with the weather-mark close to the INSS’ green raft, the gybe mark, about 150m downwind of the entrance to the marina and the leeward mark down by the East Pier. As per the race management team briefing in advance of the racing, the committee boat was offset from the line between the leeward and windward marks to afford the recorders a better chance to get sail numbers.

General Recalls were the order of the day for the first starts of the new Frostbites season with both the PY fleet, led by the Wayfarer of Schaeffer/McCarthy and closely followed by Court & Syme in their Fireball and the other Fireballs breaking the line early to the extent that the limit mark completely disappeared with the Laser/4.7 fleet following suit. That left the Radials as the only fleet to get away cleanly and based on last year’s experience, that was a turn-up for the books.

In the restart of the PY fleet, under black flag, there were only two transgressors a Fireball and a RS. It might be argued that the use of the black flag was premature but given the day’s ambition for two races and the time of year, there is pressure to get races away promptly.

The trend appeared to be for the fleet to go left off the start line and my sense was that the leaders stayed left for the majority of the beat before making their way left to right to get around the weather mark.

In the PY Class Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball 15061) led both races from start to finish to get the business of securing a Frostbite Mug out of the way early. They had an easy opening win on the water relative to the second-placed boat on handicap, the RS 200 of Sarah Byrne, but the 2:25 margin on the water was whittled down to 25 seconds on corrected time. But even from within the Fireball Class itself, the challenge to this pair was modest, with the RS400 of Phelan/Leddy leading the chase. In Fireball-only terms the finishing order was Butler/Oram, Alistair Court/Gordon Syme (14706) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775). In the second race, it was more competitive but Butler/Oram still got home by 1:05 relative to Kieran Harkin/Michael Keegan with Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) completing the podium. Of note in Race 1 was the fourth-place finish on handicap of Patrick Hassett in the 2.4.

In the Lasers, two competitors each took a podium place in each race. While Alan Hodgins took the first race win of the new series, Chris Arrowsmith scored a 3,1 to take the second Frostbite Mug of the day and Kenny Rumball scored a 2,3 for the day. In the second race, John Marmelstein finished between Arrowsmith and Rumball.

In the first race of the 4.7s it was a family affair with Kitty Flanagan taking the win with her sister (assumed) taking third place. Rian McGeraghty – McDonnell Rian separated the sisters and repeated his second place in the second race, finishing behind the other sister, Katie and ahead of Jacques Murphy, with Kitty fourth.

Juniors dominate the Radial entry list and Alana Coakley gave them all something to aim for by taking the first two races wins of the 2019/2020 season. Hugh O’Connor and Conor Gorman trailed her home in Race 1 while in Race 2 Gorman went up a place to second while one of the “more-seasoned” Radials, Sean Craig, took third.

As stated, the races were sailed in sunshine and wind that started out at about 10 knots and dropped to as low as six knots as recorded on the committee boat. An adjustment to the weather mark was needed for the second race as the wind went northwards, resulting in a placement that might have been a “smidgeon” too close to the West Pier. It was either that or move the committee boat and re-jig the course. Fortunately for me, only one person whispered in my shell-like ear to point this out. I’ll put it down to a first-day default!

Results are here

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

After a Bumper DMYC Dinghy Frostbite on Dublin Bay last year with approximately 70 Lasers spread over three rig sizes and approximately 40 various Portsmouth Yardsticks  (PY) taking part, the DMYC has set its stall out again to replicate the format and success of last year’s series, with a few “lessons learnt” adjustments writes series organiser Neil Colin.

Starting on Sunday 3rd November, series 1 runs to Sunday 15th December, and Series 2 from Jan 5th to March 29th.

The option is there to enter either the series before Christmas, after Christmas, or both on a reduced entry fee.

While we hope to race inside and outside the harbour, the emphasis will be on shorter multiple races on each day, with the objective of at least two races per afternoon.

Subject to numbers we hope to run the same start order as last year, with the Radials having a dedicated start.

Entries are online here where we can also view the entries to date. The entry list currently stands at 33 of which 12 are Radials.

Entries will be capped at 120, almost reached last year!

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

Leslie Parnell's Beneteau First 34.7 'Black Velvet' is the 2019 winner of a shortened DMYC Kish Race on Dublin Bay today, the “last major” in the Bay summer season.

Second was the National Yacht Club J109 Jalapeno (William Despard) with Greystones Champion Eleuthera, a Grand Soleil 44, skippered by Frank Whelan in third.

As Afloat reported earlier, Handicapping was based on ECHO Standard, giving those with revised ECHOs a good chance at the prizes.

Fifty-two boats entered the race this year, and 47 showed up on the start line. Neil Colin, the Race Officer, delayed the start until 1110, to give a few stragglers a chance to get out of the harbour and up to the line.

Jalapeno J109William Despard's J109 Jalapeno was second Photo: Afloat

Eleuthera 2Wicklow visitor Eleuthera was third overall Photo: Afloat

The pin end was favoured by most of the bigger boats, with Aster1x joining in. A flooding tide ensured the start was all clear (by several boat lengths in many cases), and the fleet was away. Well, most of it was away; the last boat cleared the line at 1140 – the flooding tide and a falling wind close to the land was the undoing of several competitors. Those who favoured the pin end, despite a stronger tide, benefited from more of the wind that was sweeping over the Muglins and Dalkey.

After a bit of rain, the wind filled in again, and reigning champion Eleuthera was first around South Burford (the course was shortened due to a forecasted lack of wind) and back just after 1245. The rest of the fleet came home over the next two hours, with the final boat crossing the line at 1520.

Results for the race are here.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

While last year it was the threat of a gale warning decreased numbers, this year, it is an unfortunate clash with the opening Irish match at the Rugby World Cup. Accordingly, the DMYC has postponed the first gun to 10.55 this Sunday to allow sailors to see the bulk of the game and still have time to enjoy competing in the Annual DMYC Kish Race.

In the event the breeze is not as strong as last year, the organisers may use a shorter course length, to ensure a good duration of a sail, for the last major race of the year, despite the later start time.

The event is designed to attract recreation and cruiser sailors as well as the regular racing community.

The DMYC looks forward to welcoming all sailors to the prize giving and Après Sail after their voyage.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has published the Notice of Race for the 2019 Edition of its annual Kish Race.

The round Kish and back race will take place on Sunday 22nd with the first gun at10.25 a.m.

Starting at the town's West Pier and racing to the Kish and back, it is a distance of approximately 28 km.

As Afloat reported in 2018, the last race saw Hot Cookie (Sunfast 3600 - John O’Gorman) leading to the Kish Lighthouse some 13.9 km out from Dun Laoghaire. An inside overtake at the mark by the bigger Eleuthera (Frank Whelan) saw them lead all the way to the finish. The reward for Hot Cookie (second on the water) was an overall win, on corrected time.

Race organiser Neil Colin says that 'as this is the “last major” in the Dublin Bay summer season before the lift out or winter racing, the club is looking forward to an enthusiastic entry'.

Handicapping will be based on ECHO Standard, giving those with revised ECHOs a good chance at the prizes.

The Notice of Race and entry can be found here 

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

The last Sunday of the 2018/19 DMYC Frostbites coincided with the first day of BST – British (and Irish) Summer Time and the race management team and contestants were treated to a good day on the water to close out the event.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley, having discharged his Mother’s Day responsibilities the evening before in Warrenpoint, travelled down from the north in what looked like favourable conditions, only to find that Frostbites Coordinator Neil Colin was suggesting that what wind we had was dropping rapidly in strength! On getting out to the race area, a host of Lasers were already afloat – seemingly having a Royal St George Yacht Club facilitated coaching session in advance of the days racing proceedings.

At this stage the wind was from due East - 90º putting the weather mark somewhere between the weather station and the Boyd Memorial on the upper level of the East Pier. Bob Hobby was despatched to the area with instructions not to lay immediately as the wind was flicking a bit. Ultimately, it settled, and the weather mark went in closer to the Boyd memorial. Early participants in practice beat were able to report that the beat was fair but there were holes at the upwind end of the leg. The leeward gate was set up just north of the entrance to the marine and the fleet of over 60 boats were set a three-lap Windward-Leeward to get the day’s proceedings underway.

A substantial PY Fleet of 20-boats was dominated by an 11-boat Fireball entry with the regulars being joined by David Turner, sailing with his daughter (14362), the Keegans (Owen and Michael) (14676), the SID Team and the all-girl team of Cariosa Power and Marie Barry (14854) who in the recent heavier Sundays have stayed ashore. Also getting their new boat wet for the first time were Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe (15116), though they disguised the fact by dressing her in Louise’s former sails (14691). After a couple of weeks’ absence, Shane McCarthy (Solo) was back out again as was the IDRA of Frank Hamilton and Jenny Byrne and the Wayfarer of Monica Shaefer and Miriam McCarthy (11152) had the company of a couple more. The two Kona Windsurfers were also in attendance.

A shorter than usual start line saw boats along its full length with a concentration at the pin. One Fireball was adjudged to be too early, was signalled accordingly but sailed on. In getting the next starts away, I was able to glance upwind and see that the leading Fireballs were tightly clustered after the spreader mark – a good sign that the beat was one-sided. At this stage, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (14775) were well up but Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were in close contact and despite the lighter airs Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) were well to the fore. Also having a good session was Louise and Hermine. The favoured approach to the downwind leg was to go to the right-hand side of the downwind leg and leave the gybe in to the gate late.

FB IMG 1554107387236Frostbite volunteers

The Lasers adopted a more direct route and it was great to see the total fleet (of 60-odd boats) spread across the full width of the course. The Laser starts also had a single OCS, neither of which went back but the errant competitor in the Laser start took his silent crossing of the finish line in extremely good humour by admitting that al least it was evidence of his trying to get a great start. The full Laser rigs had a modest entry of 6 boats, but the other Laser number were very healthy.

Reports from the top of the course suggested that the wind was light, and on the committee boat the wind dropped to a low of about 5 knots, but at our end of the course the boats were moving well.

For the second race of the day, adjustment was necessary! At the start of the afternoon the wind had been showing a tendency to flick right, but at the latter stages of the race the suggestion was that it was itching to go left – northwards. In the process of finishing the fleets, the course was re-jigged to set up a four-lap Olympic configuration to accommodate a 30º shift in the wind direction to 60º. This allowed the weather mark to be placed just inside the end of the East Pier, with a top reach across the harbour mouth to a mark that was laid in the approximate location of the blockhouse on the West Pier and a gybe mark that sat in the entrance to the marine. The breeze also increased giving us a steady 10 knots plus for the last race of the series.

Again, OCSs were a feature of the second set of starts with individuals identified but not returning and some admitting afterwards that they had benefitted form being hidden by those identified. From a RO perspective, it was great to see that the verbal warning to unfurl the Black Flag in advance of the key starting signals was acted on by the normally (over) enthusiastic 4.7 Laser fleet, who all kept their noses clean for the last Sunday of the Series.

In the PY fleet, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey stole a march on everyone and enjoyed a start to finish lead on the entire fleet. It was very fitting that they should enjoy this success given the work that Neil has put into the Frostbites and their finishing signal was enhanced by a cheer from the team on the committee boat.

In order to try and speed up the results processing to accommodate the Series prize-giving, the day’s racing had started 30 minutes earlier at 13:30 and the results of the first race were processed on the water by Brian Mulkeen.    

DMYC Frostbites: 31st March Race 1

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Peter Fagan

Kitty Flanagan

Moss Simington

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Gavan Murphy

Adam Walsh

Sean Craig

3rd

Sarah Byrne

(RS200)

Conor Kinsella

Conn Murphy

Jack Fahy

4th

Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne

(IDRA 14)

Gary O’Hare

Hugh O’Connor

Conor Clancy

5th

Aidan Geraghty & Bernadette Fox

(Enterprise)

Alan Hodgins

Conor Gorman

Marco Sorgassi

DMYC Frostbites: 31st March Race 2

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Peter Fagan

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Alan Hodgins

Hugh O’Connor

Jack Fahy

3rd

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

(Fireball)

Gary O’Hare

Kitty Flanagan

Clare Gorman

4th

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Conor Kinsella

Adam Walsh

Conor Clancy

5th

Alastair Court & Gordon Syme

(Fireball)

Gavan Murphy

Oisin Hughes

Judy O’Bierne

 

Race day Frostbite Mugs went to Maeve Rafferty (RS 200) and Lucy Nicol in the Laser Radials in Race 1. In Race 2, the PY Frostbite Mug went to Dave Turner & his daughter Deirdre in the Fireball.

And so! Onto the overall prizegiving! The DMYC Clubhouse was well filled for the Series Prizegiving and Frostbites Coordinator, Neil Colin and DMYC Commodore, Frank Guilfoyle welcomed the competitors to the prize-giving. Neil opened the proceedings by thanking all the participants and acknowledging the huge entry for this version of the Frostbites – 115 boats. In particular, he acknowledged the efforts of the Dun Laoghaire Laser Fleet in encouraging the Junior fleets to get involved. This has manifested itself in a very big 4.7 fleet. Frank Guilfoyle said he was delighted to see so many people in the club and assured them that they would be most welcome all year round, not just on the occasion of the Frostbite prize-giving. Neil then went on to highlight some future events in Dublin Bay – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta – for which early bird entries were about to close – and the Flying Fifteen Worlds scheduled for September under the burgee of the National Yacht Club. He also referenced the Wayfarer Worlds scheduled for Greystones and put no pressure whatsoever on Monica and Miriam by wishing them every success in that event.

Thanks were recorded to the Race Management Team, the RIB drivers and assistants, the Results Team and the DMYC staff and volunteers who provide the food every Sunday. Without these dedicated volunteers, it was stated that the Frostbites simply couldn’t happen. Tokens of appreciation were handed over to all these individuals.  

Neil Colin highlighted the fact that the format of the Frostbites had been subjected to a rigorous review over the past “post season” which had resulted in changes which he felt has benefitted the running of the 2018-19 event. However, he assured the fleet that if more changes were felt to be necessary, he was quite happy to receive a justification for these by text or E-mail or, indeed by general conversation. One thing he intended to change was the number of discards that would be applicable as these had already been exhausted before we got to the end of the scheduled racing.

Series 2 Overall places were announced but prizes were only awarded to those who had not been placed inside the top 1-2-3 in the Frostbites overall, i.e. the combination of Series 1 & 2.

DMYC Frostbites: Series 2 Overall

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Peter Fagan

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Chris Arrowsmith

Pepe de Sintas

Marcon Sorgassi

3rd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Gavan Murphy

Hugh O’Connor

Judy O’Bierne

4th

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

(Fireball)

Conor Kinsella

Adam Walsh

Conor Clancy

5th

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

(Fireball)

Conor O’Leary

Kitty Flanagan

Shirley Gilmore

The results for the 2018-19 Frostbites were initially posted and were then subjected to a stewards’ enquiry when it turned out that the start time for the last race of the series had not been properly inserted into the handicap results for the PY fleet. This had the effect of creating a one-point swing in the final overall results.

DMYC Frostbites: 2018-19 Overall Results (Series 1 & 2)

 

PY Fleet

(43 boats)

Full Rig Lasers

(19 boats)

Laser 4.7s

(18 boats)

Laser Radials

(37 boats)

1st

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Chris Arrowsmith

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Gavan Murphy

Adam Walsh

Marcon Sorgassi

3rd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Gary O’Hare

Hugh O’Connor

Shirley Gilmore

4th

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

(Fireball)

Conor O’Leary

Haemish Munro

Judy O’Bierne

5th

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

(Fireball)

Alan Hodgins

Kitty Flanagan

Sean Flanagan

Winners in the four classes complimented the various on-the-water volunteers and the frostbites management team who had contributed to what they believed was one of the best Frostbite Series that they had ever participated in – and there are some individuals with very substantial records of participation. They noted the willingness to change courses, to use different course types on the same day, the speed with which races were reset and the commitment to maximise the opportunity to facilitate racing even when the weather forecast suggested otherwise. Early calls to abandon racing in severe conditions were just as welcome as late calls when the weather was marginal. The support of the families of the younger participants was also acknowledged – the likes of the Gormans, the Fahys, the Flanagans, and others and, in the Fireballs, the Thompsons (editor’s addition) is very welcome and critically important. The point was made that while training in the Bay is essential, race exposure in a series such as the Frostbites is equally valuable in the development of our young sailors.

The prize-giving the concluded by noting that the 2019/20 Series gets underway on 3rd November 2019.  

FB IMG 1554107396744Miriam McCarthy (L) & Monica Schaefer

FB IMG 1554107396744Conor Gorman

FB IMG 1554107396744Adam Walsh

FB IMG 1554107396744Sean Craig

FB IMG 1554107396744Marco Sorgassi

FB IMG 1554107396744Shirley Gilmore

FB IMG 1554107396744Pepe de Sintas

FB IMG 1554107396744Frank Guilfoyle & Cormac Bradley

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

Despite a forecast that suggested 15 - 19knots for today's DMYC Frostbites on Dublin Bay, the live wind situation has a bit more "oomph" to it with gusts in excess of thirty knots being recorded at Dublin Bay Buoy. As this is being typed, the wind is whistling through the rigging of the boats on the hard.

Next Sunday sees the conclusion of the Frostbites with two races programmed and a 13:30 start to accommodate the earlier processing of results.

The Series 2 and Overall prizegiving will follow racing next Sunday.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under

There has been an early by the DMYC call to scrub Sunday afternoon's dinghy Frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire to give sailors a chance to make alternative arrangements, "like cheer on the men in green", says series organiser Neil Colin.

There will be no racing next week either on St Patricks Day, leaving two further Sundays to complete the 2019 Frostbite Series.

Overall results to date are here.

Published in DMYC
Tagged under
Page 1 of 15

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
cork300 sidebutton
roundire sidebutton
Wave Regatta button full size

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating