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Veteran Dun Laoghaire Raptor Poised To Strike On Howth's Lambay

17th April 2022
One rudder or two....? The Mark Mills-designed 1996-vintage Dun Laoghaire
veteran Raptor (ex-Aztec) has aged very well, and will be challenging
all craft in Howth's Lambay Race on Saturday 4th June as part of the
Wave Regatta
One rudder or two....? The Mark Mills-designed 1996-vintage Dun Laoghaire veteran Raptor (ex-Aztec) has aged very well, and will be challenging all craft in Howth's Lambay Race on Saturday 4th June as part of the Wave Regatta Credit: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

The recent Sailing on Saturday for April 16th discussed how the new-to-Ireland Mark Mills Cape 31 design will be making its Irish debut with four boats at Howth's Wave Regata, which is built around the
long-established Lambay Race, scheduled in 2022 for Saturday, June 4th.

The story made the point that in 1996 the first Mark Mills design of note, the 31ft Aztec - built by David Harte & Gareth Connolly's Mizzen Marine for Peter Beamish - likewise set the world alight with her first race programme including the Lambay Race of 1996.

More than a quarter of a century later, Aztec is now Raptor, and owned by the Royal Irish YC syndicate known as FOFC (Friends of Fintan Cairns). And yes, the word today is that Raptor is poised to strike - as befits her name - on the Lambay Race of 2022.

All of which makes us look afresh at the most recent images of Raptor, and really the only significant change you'd expect nowadays is twin rudders. To which Mark Mills might very reasonably respond that in our header photo, she seems to be tracking very neatly indeed under just the one rudder, despite being well heeled. And of course, historical perfectionists would argue that if you took the twin rudder option, she'd no longer be a true classic to a completely original 1996 design.

Sailing sweetly to success - Aztec with Peter Beamish on the helm in the 1996 Lambay Race.Sailing sweetly to success - Aztec with Peter Beamish on the helm in the 1996 Lambay Race

Published in Wave Regatta
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Wave Regatta provides Howth Yacht Club and the community on the Howth peninsula in County Dublin with a biennial keelboat racing event that aims to be the most attractive sailing event in Ireland.

Maximising many of the local natural resources and involving allied Howth businesses and services, it attracted competitors, visitors and others on its first staging in 2018 with a weekend-long spectacle establishing Howth as a destination of choice for sailors, visitors and allied marine tourism.

Read Afloat's preview and review of the first staging of Wave Regatta.

At A Glance - Wave Regatta 2022

Howth Yacht Club's 2022 WAVE Regatta will be sailed from 3rd-5th June

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