The Howth 17s – widely regarded as the world's oldest one-design keelboat class still racing as originally designed – will play centre stage of a three-day sailing regatta in Dublin Bay on June 1.
Adding backdrop splendour along the city quays will be five Class A&B Tall Ships, as part of the OGA50th/ Dublin Port River Festival which will see classic craft competing for the inaugural RMS Leinster Trophy and Asgard Trophy, and the Howth 17s competing in the River Liffey Race between the East Link and Samuel Beckett Bridges.
SATURDAY JUNE 1
Inaugural race following the course towards the final resting place of the Royal Mailboat RMS Leinster which was torpeoded and sunk on October 10, 1918, while on passage from Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) to Holyhead, just five miles east of the Kish Lighthouse in Dublin Bay.
Howth 17s - Howth to Dublin feeder race
SUNDAY JUNE 2
Liffey Race and Parade of Sail
1pm: Liffey Race
(East Link-Sam Beckett)
The Howth 17s were designed in 1897 by Howth lawyer and founding Commodore of Howth YC, Herbert Boyd. The first five boats were built by John Hilditch, Carrickfergus.
Two years later another three boats were built in Dún Laoghaire and five more in Portrush in 1906. During the next six years, four more boats were built, bringing the fleet to 17.
MONDAY JUNE 3
Participants in this unique race in Dublin Bay will be competing for the trophy crafted from original and new timbers used in the construction and restoration of the famous Howth gun-runner, Asgard.
The splendidly restored vessel is now on view in Collins Barracks, National Museum of Ireland.