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IDRA 14 Dinghy Will Celebrate 70th Anniversary In Style At Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club

21st August 2016
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The elegantly swept lines of the clinker planking makes the ever-young IDRA 14 a proper classic. This is IDRA 14 Number 38, Starfish, a multiple championship winning boat. See champions list below. The elegantly swept lines of the clinker planking makes the ever-young IDRA 14 a proper classic. This is IDRA 14 Number 38, Starfish, a multiple championship winning boat. See champions list below. Photo: Afloat.ie

It takes a leap of the imagination to realise what a remarkable breakthrough the introduction of the Irish Dinghy Racing Association 14ft One Design represented in 1946 writes W M Nixon. But the 70th Anniversary celebrations of this ever-young classic dinghy at Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club on the weekend of September 3rd and 4th will be a reminder of the contribution of a very special boat towards making Ireland the sort of sailing nation where Olympic medals come within the range of possibility and achievement.

The new boat came like a breath of fresh air in the post-war time of uncertainty, when everybody knew that Irish sailing was going to have to go in a new direction if it was to go anywhere, but precisely what that direction might be was a matter of debate and uncertainty.

The formation of a specifically dinghy-sailing national body was a first step, and the importation of the new Uffa Fox-designed mass-produced 12ft–Firefly gave a glimpse of the future. But what was also needed was a slightly larger modern boat with a distinctively Irish tinge.

Fortunately a young Irish yacht and boat designer, O’Brien Kennedy, was working in England, and he was keyed in to the latest concepts in racing dinghies. He had produced plans for clinker-built dinghies for racing which reflected the latest hull design trends, and it was felt that one of his designs would - with several modifications - be suitable to provide the IDRA with a 14ft dinghy to go with the Firefly in spreading the concepts of modern dinghy racing throughout Ireland.

IDRA_14_PLANSThe first public appearance – O’Brien Kennedy’s drawings for the new IDRA 14 as they appeared in The Yachting Year Annual 1946-47.
In fact, such was the interest and enthusiasm reaching O’Brien Kennedy from would-be owners in Ireland that he produced what were in effect the plans of a new boat, and in a matter of weeks forty-six of the new IDRA 14s were in the pipeline, either from commercial builders, or from capable enthusiasts so keen to get the new class into being that they were game to have a go at building the boats themselves.

They were profoundly satisfying boats to build, as O’Brien Kennedy had produced a set of lines which resulted in beautifully sweeping clinker-planked hulls, something which has been shown to perfection in the most recent boat Wicked Sadie, amateur built to professional standards by a group at Contarf, and much admired wherever she goes since her launching on June 25th this year.

So it’s appropriate that Clontarf is going to be the setting for celebrating the Class’s 70h birthday, as it was a hotbed for IDRA 14 growth in the late 1940s, with one leading local sailor so keen to get the show on the road that he donated one of the new boats to be the prize in a raffle.

IDRA 14 Champions 1947 – 2015

YearVenueBoat NameSail No.HelmClubCrewClub
               
1947 Royal St George YC "Error" 1 R.D. (Douglas) Heard RstGYC    
1948 Lough Ree YC "Dawn" 8 A.J. (Jimmy) Mooney RstGYC    
1949 Royal Munster YC "Dusk" 4 R.H. (Hugh) Allen RstGYC Alf Delany RstGYC
1950 Lough Derg YC "Monaveen" 56 George Bushe RMYC Kevin O'Regan RMYC
1951 Waterford Harbour SC "Mystery" 51 C.J. (Joe) Fitzgerald RMYC Michael Donnelly RMYC
1952 Lough Ree YC "Sheldrake" 36 Noel (Bunny) Conn SDC Mary Conn SDC
1953 Royal Munster YC "Miss Betty" 54 J. Clayton-Love Jnr RMYC Donal McClement RMYC
1954 Skerries SC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Patricia O'Reilly CY&BC
1955 Waterford Harbour SC "Miss Betty" 54 J Clayton-Love Jnr RMYC Hugh Barry RMYC
1956 Lough Derg YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC G.M. (Gerry) Sargent CY&BC
1957 Royal Munster YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Tommy O'Reilly CY&BC
1958 Wexford Harbour BC "Miss Betty" 54 Sean Flood CY&BC Brian McNally CY&BC
1959 Ballyholme YC "Miss Betty" 54 Sean Flood CY&BC Brian McNally CY&BC
1960 Baltimore SC  "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Gerry Burke CY&BC
1961 Royal Munster YC "Sheldrake" 36 Robert Hogg SDC Des O'Shea SDC
1962 Skerries SC "Starfish" 38 G.M. (Gerry) Sargent SDC Ian Sargent SDC
1963 No event held that year as Class Association declined to compete in "Dinghy Week" in Dun Laoghaire            
1964 Baltimore SC "Dryad" 104 P.R. (Philip) Jacob WHSC / RstGYC Bill Pigot RstGYC
1965 Royal Munster YC "Coulin" 7 J.K. (Jackie) O'Reilly CY&BC Gerry Burke CY&BC
1966 Ballyholme YC "Daydream" 111 J.S. (John) Godkin KYC Clive Latchford KYC
1967 Royal Cork YC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1968 Strangford Lough YC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1969 Baltimore SC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1970 Lough Derg YC "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1971 Wexford Harbour BC "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1972 Malahide SC (MYC) "Chloe" 30 Eric Allen CY&BC Brian Hurding CY&BC
1973 Mullingar SC "Sheldrake" 36 J.L.W. (John) Miller RstGYC Michael Toomey RstGYC
1974 Waterford Harbour SC "Dainty" 2 John & Rosemary Doorly RstGYC Rosemary Doorly RstGYC
1975 Tralee SC  "Cheetah" 65 E.F. (Teddy) Chandler CY&BC Cormac Smyth CY&BC
1976 Sligo YC "Daydream" 111 Terry Demsey CY&BC Sean Deane CY&BC
1977 Lough Ree YC "Chloe" 30 Terry Demsey CY&BC Sean Deane CY&BC
1978 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Joe Brennan SSBC
1979 Lough Ree YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1980 Royal Cork YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1981 Lough Derg YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC John Hensey SDC
1982 Sligo YC "Sea Urchin IV" 136 Ian Sargent CY&BC / SDC Frank O'Gorman CY&BC / SDC
1983 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1984 Lough Derg YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1985 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1986 Skerries SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1987 Wicklow SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1988 Sligo YC "Dainty" 2 Andrew Mollard RstGYC Paul Conway RstGYC
1989 Waterford Harbour SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1990 Galway Bay SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1991 Waterford Harbour SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1992 Galway Bay SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1993 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1994 Wicklow SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1995 Dundalk SC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1996 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1997 Royal Cork YC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
1998 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Terry Harvey SDC Scorie Walls SDC
1999 Dundalk & Carlingford SC "Dunmoanin" 140 Frank Miller DMYC Claire Sheil DMYC
2000 Galway Bay SC "Chance" 163 Scorie Walls SDC David Tillotson SDC
2001 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Scorie Walls SDC Colm O'Neill SDC
2002 Galway Bay SC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2003 Lough Erne YC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2004 Wexford Harbour B&TC "Charmian" 28 Alan Henry SDC Gerry O'Hanlon SDC
2005 Galway Bay SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2006 Lough Erne YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Barry Kelly SDC
2007 Carlingford Lough YC "Slipstream" 125 Alan Henry SDC William Gordon SDC
2008 Sligo YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Aoibhin de Burca SDC
2009 Newtownards SC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Aoibhin de Burca SDC
2010 Lough Ree YC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2011 Galway Bay SC "Slipstream" 125 Alan Henry SDC Simon Revill SDC
2012 Lough Erne YC "Chaos" 143 Julie Ascoop CY&BC Heather Keenan CY&BC
2013 Lough Ree YC "Starfish" 38 Alan Carr SDC Ian McCormack SDC
2014 Carlingford SC "Delos II" 15 Pat O'Neill CY&BC Jim O'Hara CY&BC
2015 Lough Ree YC "Dubious" 134 Alan Henry SDC Simon Revill SDC

 

The detailed listing of the Class Champions since 1947 deserves the closest study, for it shows just how central to the development of Irish sailing the IDRA 14 became. Just about every area of sailing, both inshore and offshore, dinghy and keelboat, has seen IDRA 14 sailors becoming involved to make a major contribution at the top levels, and the friendships formed have lasted down the years.

Thus the big party at Clontarf in the first weekend of September is going to work at many levels. And it even has an international aspect, as a sister class of the IDRA 14 is the Dragonfly at Waldringfield in Suffolk in eastern England. The newest Dragonfly – built last year – is going to be brought to Clontarf, accompanied by a party of eleven Dragonfly sailors.

Longtime IDRA 14 sailor and former Clontarf Y & BC Commodore Ian Sargent is at the heart of this remarkable celebration, which is going to lay on a major welcome for IDRA 14 sailors past and present. He can be contacted through [email protected], mobile 087-6791069, landline 01-8322196.

idra 14 dinghy A class in good heart – the modern IDRA fleet, seen here racing in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, incudes both timber and GRP boats. Photo courtesy VDLR

Published in Historic Boats

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