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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

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Summer dinghy parking at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire ended this past Sunday 11 October, and all dinghies were expected to be removed by that date to facilitate the club’s annual lift-out.

A limited number of storage slots are available for those signed up for winter training and/or the DMYC Frostbite racing series, and anyone who has not yet done so is invited to apply HERE.

Temporary space has also been secured in the Old Ferry Terminal until Friday 30 October for boats that do not yet have a winter parking slot. Please note that you will need to bring over your own boat and collect it on the assigned dates.

Optimists are currently exempt from these requirements, but storage space is available — with preference given to those actively sailing, who will get the bottom racks.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring National Yacht Club is now taking applications for dinghy platform parking over the winter.

Dinghies taking part in either the junior training sessions or the Frostbite series must complete this form prior to bringing their boats back on the platform.

Boaters must note that platform parking does not reopen before Saturday 31 October as the boathouse still has to lift many keelboats on trailers and position them on the platform following the main lift-out scheduled for Saturday 24 October.

Published in RStGYC
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The National Yacht Club welcomes new general manager John O’Grady, who started this morning (Tuesday 29 September) and brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality sector, particularly with the neighbouring Royal Marine Hotel.

O’Grady joins at a crucial time, as Level 3 lockdown restrictions in Dublin put paid to so much hard work by the NYC staff in ensuring safe dining for members in the clubhouse.

The club says it is learning from its first week of Level 3 catering, with upgrades to the outdoor shelter and heating, and reconfiguring the balcony and outside the JB Room to make things more comfortable.

There is a rolling catering programme from noon to 7pm each day, and these hours may be extended if weather allows. Chef Cormac and his team are also offering a full takeaway service.

In the meantime, O’Grady and the clubhouse team have started planning for events for once Dublin emerges from Level 3 and following next month’s scheduled lift-out, with quiz nights, awards nights, speakers’ suppers, ladies’ lunches and more.

They may take on a different format, the NYC says, but with the adjustments everyone has made this year they can still bring members together.

Published in National YC
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Dun Laoghaire sailors are advised that lift-out day on the National Yacht Club platform is scheduled for Saturday 24 October, weather permitting.

Platform space for winter storage is limited and, for essential planning purposes, applications for keelboats should be returned prior to Monday 21 September.

Applications must include a cheque made payable to the National Yacht Club and come with confirmation of intention via email to [email protected]

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The National Yacht Club hosts the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championship in Dublin Bay next weekend, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September.

The Notice of Race is available to read or download, and the online entry form can be found HERE.

Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no race office for the event.

All competitors, skippers and crews, are invited to join the WhatsApp group dedicated to facilitate communications for this event.

The competitors’ briefing will be via Zoom (link emailed to competitors) on Saturday 19 September at 9am and all helms and crews are encouraged to download and unstall the Zoom app ahead of time.

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The National Yacht Club’s planned two-day race weekend for its own 150th anniversary has been scaled down to a single-day event now known as the Sesquicentennial Race Day.

The decision was reached earlier this week following the latest Government announcements concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

Now scheduled solely on Saturday 5 September, the event will be on-the-water only with no social events or catering on land other than regular offerings available to club members by prior booking.

The NYC website has further details of the reconfigured event and how to enter.

Elsewhere, Wicklow Sailing Club has offered its apologies to the catamarans that were expected to visit the club next weekend as due to the current restrictions, the club is not in a position to host visiting boats.

The East Coast club, which last month was forced to cancel this year’s edition of the Round Ireland Yacht Race, says it hopes to welcome the catamarans again in 2021.

The Notice of Race and entry form are now available for next month’s Dun Laoghaire Regatta, celebrating the National Yacht Club’s 150th anniversary.

This special event, an initiative of all five Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs, will take place over the weekend of 5-6 September and comprises the Rationel J80 National Championships and Shipman National Championships, as well as the respective Eastern Championships for the SB20 and 29er classes.

The Notice of Race is available to download below, and entry is online via the NYC website HERE.

Published in National YC

It is with great reluctance that Irish Sailing have decided, along with hosts the National Yacht Club, to cancel the Women at the Helm regatta that had been set to take place later this month, writes Gail McAllister.

Despite the tremendous energy behind the event, the health and safety of sailors is our number one priority, and in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the complexities arising from this it became clear that the event could not go ahead.

Irish Sailing are extremely disappointed for yet another event to be lost to Covid this year, but now look forward to next year and the Women at the Helm in Royal Cork Yacht Club on the weekend of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and enthusiasm for Women at the Helm as an event and the Take the Helm campaign to encourage more women to move into positions of leadership. The campaign goes beyond the race course and creates leaders on committees, instructor teams and management.

The Transition Year Sailing Member Programme has run for a number of years between the Dun Laoghaire Waterfront clubs, and has proven important for keeping teenagers involved in sailing.

Heading into the 2020/21 academic year, another programme of youth sailing events has been established for the latest cohort of TY students — a challenging feat while coronavirus restrictions are in place, and as such it remains subject to change.

This year’s programme can only run if supported by volunteer parents. The National Yacht Club will be looking for assistance throughout the year, and parents will also be asked to volunteer during individual course registration sign-ups.

A summary of what’s been planned to offer during the school year is on the NYC website — families are asked to study this carefully before completing the expression of interest form, which should be submitted by this Friday 10 July.

Published in National YC
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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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This event has now been cancelled over continued concerns surrounding Covid-19. For more see HERE.

The National Yacht Club has confirmed that its planned hosting of the Irish Sailing Women at the Helm National Regatta will go ahead as scheduled on 29-30 August.

Organisers are planning for a safe social and sailing environment and working within the Irish Sailing and Government guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants and volunteers, as well as the local community.

CANCELKLEDThe success of last year’s inaugural event at the NYC “shows what a great opportunity the regatta is to showcase the strength and leadership of women in sport and their ability to adapt in a changing environment”, the club said.

Women at the Helm aims to encourage women to move from shore to boat, crew to helm and club to regional event and generally to take on leadership roles in sailing.

The event is open to PY dinghy and keelboat racing from teens to seniors. Men are welcome to participate but crews must be at least 50% female and all boats must be helmed by women.

Expression of interest registration is now open, and sailors and volunteers can register their interest in helming, crewing, chartering or volunteering. The Notice of Race will be available shortly.

Published in National YC
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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

In order to facilitate social distancing and be Covid-19 compliant a new regatta format will comprise a One Design Championship (2nd – 4th July 2021) specifically tailored for sailors in the one-design keelboat and dinghy classes. This to be followed by an Open Cruiser Championship (8th – 11th July 2021) catering for the full range of Cruiser Handicap classes.

 

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