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Hammy Baker of Strangford Lough has won the RS Aero National Championships on an imposing score of three first places with a discard of a sixth. The RS Aero Nationals sponsored by Irish National Marine Services were held on Saturday and Sunday at the Irish National Sailing Club in Dun Laoghaire.

It was a repeat of Baker's unstoppable performance in July when he won the RS Aero Easterns at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

The event welcomed 18 RS Aeros with a stellar lineup of top-class competitors and those newer to the class looking to learn and bring on their racing. All sailors choose to compete in the seven rigs. Class President Brendan Foley was delighted "With 18 of the 30 Aeros in Ireland competing here today, the Aero class has arrived – there are few other classes where so many past champions in other classes are sailing together, and so many new people are starting their racing journey, all in a friendly, sharing environment".

On the water, Baker was pushed hard by Howth's Paul McMahon, who opened the series on the Saturday with a win in frustratingly light and fickle winds. Only just for McMahon, as Roy Van Maanen, who had been leading, started to sail an extra lap – letting McMahon in, who in his excitement roll gybed so hard he fell out of his boat. A quick re-righting was enough to get McMahon across the line in first. Noel Butler of the National Yacht Club was second, and Sean Craig, back to try his hand at Aeros, got into the third spot. So light was the wind after race one that Race Officer Michael Conway of Wexford decided to abandon and send the fleet home after two hours of waiting for race two.

Thankfully, Sunday brought the much-awaited breeze gusting at times into the low twenties. A clear 1,2,3 emerged in these conditions, with Hammy, Paul and Daragh Sheridan (HYC) consistently in the top 3. Hard hiking, playing the shifts and sound waves technique downwind were the order of the day and while the first three places were secured, a massive battle was going on for fourth between Brendan Foley of the Royal St George, Noel Butler and Robert Howe (ex UK Laser ace) now sailing from Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. All three boats finished on 14 points, with the tie-break falling in favour of Butler in 4th, Foley in 5th and Howe in 6th. Howe's clubmate Emmet O'Sullivan was fast in serious condition. He put in a very credible 9th with another Monkstown Bay sailor Robbie Sullivan swopping his RS 400 for a blast in the Aero coming home in 11th.

Joan Sheffield Captain INSC, Hammy Baker - National Champion, Kenneth Rumball RS Agent ROI and sponsorJoan Sheffield Captain INSC, Hammy Baker - National Champion, Kenneth Rumball RS Agent ROI and sponsor

Sarah ‘Skinny’ Dwyer (left) Sarah ‘Skinny’ Dwyer (left) - First Lady RS Aero sailor

In this brilliant one-design fleet, places traded faster than bitcoin, with a missed shift or bad tack resulting in areas lost or gained. Debutant competitors from Greystones Sailing Club Conor Galligan (10th) and Adam Leddy (12th) loved their introduction into the Aero class and put in a strong performance in a field stacked with champions. The first Master was Sean Craig of the Royal St George in 7th place who just edged Van Maanen of Greystones and George in 8th place and second Master. Emmet O'Sullivan was the third Master.

13th was lucky for some with Sarah 'Skinny' Dwyer battling her 7 rig around the course to win the first Lady prize. Normally a 5 rig sailor, completing all 4 races in a 7 was a great achievement and Skinny along with many of the competitors, as their legs were aching, dreamed of the forthcoming 6 rig. Demand for the 6 rig coming soon from RS is expected to be high with many sailors moving up from the 5 and down from the 7. The 6 is equivalent to the ILCA 6 is tipped to be the boat of choice for many sailors in Ireland.

Race management legend Robin Gray was first Grand Master in 14th with club mate from Ballyholme Christina Cunningham coming home in 15th place, who like skinny is normally a 5 sailor but stuck it out to get her 7 around the track. John Phelan of HYC, Mick Mc Cambridge of NYC and Keith Maxwell of EDYC certainly equipped themselves well in the very challenging conditions on the Sunday. Protest Committee Chair Gordon Davies was sad to not meet any of the competitors as there were no protests.

Joan Sheffield, Captain of the host Irish National Sailing Club presented the prizes in beautiful sunshine overlooking Dublin bay from their stunning outdoor roof deck. There was great buzz and everyone is looking for the next event at Greystones on 23/24th of October

Download results below as a PDF file 

Published in RS Aero
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With Saturday Dublin Bay Sailing Club cruiser-racing suspended to facilitate the ICRA National Championships at the National Yacht Club, the DBSC's racing was limited to the one-design and dinghy fleets. 

In the eight boat Glen class, Glenshesk (M. Reid, L Faulkner, G Walker) was the winner from Glencree (John Bligh & Henry Roche). Third was GlenDun (David Houlton)

A results summary in all classes is below 

DBSC Results for 04/09/2021

Race 1

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. Levante, 3. Attitude

31.7 Echo: 1. Indigo, 2. Attitude, 3. Kernach

SB20: 1. So Blue, 2., 3. Carpe Diem

Flying 15: 1. Ignis Caput II, 2. Mike Wazowski, 3. Enfant de Marie

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Jambiya, 2. Ram Jam

Sportsboat: 1. Jambiya, 2. Ram Jam

Ruffian: 1. Bandit, 2. Icicle

Shipman: 1. Invader, 2. Jo Slim 5, 3. Curraglass

B211 One Design: 1. Chinook, 2. Beeswing, 3. Billy Whizz

B211 Echo: 1. Beeswing, 2. Ventuno, 3. Chinook

Glen: 1. Glenshesk, 2. Glencree, 3. GlenDun

Squib/Mermaid: 1. Jill, 2. Aideen, 3. Periquin

PY Class: 1. Brendan Foley, 2. Richard Tate, 3. Michael McCambridge

IDRA 14: 1. Dunmoanin, 2. Dart, 3. Doody

Laser Standard: 1. Theo Lyttle, 2. Gary O'Hare, 3. Niall Cowman

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Peter Hassett, 3. Brendan Hughes

Race 2

SB20: 1., 2. So Blue, 3. Carpe Diem

Flying 15: 1. Fflagella, 2. Rodriguez, 3. Flyer

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Jambiya

Sportsboat: 1. Jambiya

Ruffian: 1. Ruffles, 2. Bandit, 3. Alias

B211 One Design: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Billy Whizz, 3. Chinook

B211 Echo: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Beeswing, 3. Ventuno

Squib/Mermaid: 1. Aideen, 2. Jill, 3. Periquin

PY Class: 1. Brendan Foley, 2. Richard Tate, 3. Michael McCambridge

IDRA 14: 1. Dunmoanin, 2. Doody, 3. Dart

Laser Standard: 1. Theo Lyttle, 2. Niall Cowman, 3. Chris Arrowsmith

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Brendan Hughes, 3. David Cahill

Race 3

PY Class: 1. Brendan Foley, 2. Richard Tate, 3. Michael McCambridge

IDRA 14: 1. Dunmoanin, 2. Dart, 3. Doody

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Brendan Hughes, 3. Peter Hassett

Published in DBSC
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The National Yacht Club hosts the ICRA Nationals on Friday. 80 boats are entered. As in previous years, Afloat sticks its neck out to predict the top boats and winners in each division at Dun Laoghaire

In a typical year, you would have a big event such as Cork Week or Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to gauge which boats are on form before predicting who will rise to the podium at a late-season ICRA Nationals. With VDLR cancelled in 2021, we will have to rely on events such as Sovereigns Cup, Calves Week, D2D, ISORA and DBSC to predict the likely winners.

Wind forecasting –this will play a big part this year. With only a day to go, the weather pattern indicates generally light to medium airs. Most wind models call light airs on Friday, a little more on Saturday, maybe around 10 knots. Sunday is generally light, though one wind model is showing 15 knots for the last day.

Class 0 will have only one race —a long coastal on Friday and one race Sunday with three short races on Saturday. All the other classes will have two races on Friday and Sunday and three on Saturday.

Clearly, with light wind predominating for the first two days, it must be expected that the winners will come from boats that do well in these conditions.

Class 0 

An excellent turnout of 13 yachts is expected from Northern Ireland, Cork and Dublin.

As Afloat previously reported, from Northern Ireland comes Shaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7, Gamechanger and Jay Colville's First 40, Forty Licks. These boats perform well and are well crewed but generally prefer medium conditions to let them use their waterline lengths. We are not sure they will get this breeze on Friday and Saturday.

Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI - likes the breezePaul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI - likes the breeze Photo: Afloat

If the conditions are medium to fresh, you would have to include Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 as one of the likely winners. However, as was seen at Calves Week this year, she struggles in light airs, and this weekend's forecast will not be to their liking. She will stay in the hunt, though.

Sovereigns Cup winner, the new Grand Soleil 44, Samatom, owned by Bob Rendell from Howth, showed great form in both light and windy conditions in Kinsale to take the series from some good entries. However, her talents at that event included Olympian Mark Mansfield, who for ICRA's will be aboard another Class 0 entry, Frank Whelan's Greystones debutante J/122 Kaya.

The three Sunfast 3600s, Yoyo, Hot Cookie and Searcher, will be competing, but the lighter airs will not be to their liking.

This leaves the two likely favourites in these conditions, Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from Royal Cork and Frank Whelan's J/122 Kaya. This could be an exciting battle with Mansfield calling the shots on Kaya and Maurice (Prof) O'Connell doing the same on Jump Juice. Should it stay light, there will be nothing in it.

If the breeze comes up a bit, Kaya will still be strong, so we will call for Kaya to take it from Jump, but not by much.

Class 1

With 26 entries, this will be the biggest class numerically. Nearly all from the Dublin area apart from the two well sailed J/109's From Cork (Brian Jones' Jelly Baby and Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger) and the Ker 32, Hijacker from Strangford lough, owned by Stuart Cranston. Hijacker will be the top-rated boat in its class, but if form is anything to go by, her performance at a light airs Scottish Series in 2021 will not bode well for this event.

Form boat - J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans)Form boat - J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans) Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 1 will likely be dominated by the many J/109s competing plus the new J/99 Snapshot, owned by Richard and Michael Evans from Howth. Snapshot won a competitive Sovereigns Cup Class 1 and is competitive in light and medium conditions. She will have Shane Hughes aboard, so expect her to make the podium.

The conditions will favour the J 109's, and there are 14 entered. Trying to pick who will emerge will be difficult. In 2021, Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger took the runner up spot at the Sovereign's Cup, but that is after John Murphy and Richard Colwell's Outrageous had two OCS results. Outrageous, if she stays clean, will be in the mix. From Dublin Bay, you have the trio of John Maybury's Joker 2 (a four times ICRA winner), Tim Goodbody's White Mischief and Brian and John Hall's Something Else. All three regularly perform well. From Howth, Outrageous (tactician Aoife Hopkins) will be joined by Pat Kelly's Storm (tactician Robert O'Leary), who favours a breeze typically, but will nevertheless be there or thereabouts. Depending on what talent these J109's have onboard will determine who will likely come to the top.

We will go for Outrajeous and Snapshot, taking the top two slots, with Snapshot taking it by a hair.

Class 2

14 entries in this class will undoubtedly be dominated by the Half Tonners who excel in lighter airs. If there is a breeze for the three days, you could see Anthony Gore Grimes Dux come into the picture, but it does not look like this breeze will be present. Likewise, the J 97's Lambay Rules and Windjammer.

Not to be ruled out - David Kelly's Half Tonner King OneNot to be ruled out - David Kelly's Half Tonner King One Photo: Bob Bateman

The battle of the Half Tonners will be intriguing. The three form Half tonners will unfortunately not include David Cullen's Checkmate XV. Instead Cullen will sail with Nigel Biggs on Checkmate XVIII. Darran Wright's Mata will include Howth's Ross McDonald and Olympian Killian Collins, who will no doubt make a difference. The form would say that Nigel Biggs always performs well on the big stage. We will call for Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII to take it from Mata and Jonny Swann sailing David Kelly's King One instead of his regular Harmony coming in third.

Class 3

Paul Coulton's Cri CriPaul Coulton's Cri Cri Photo: Afloat

Like Class 2, In lighter airs, the Quarter Tonners will like to rule the roost here. Paul Coulton's Cri Cri and Barry Cunningham and Jonathan Skeritt's Quest, both from the Royal Irish, will likely be the front runners. Of these two, Quest has the better record in the past and loves the light air.  Northern Ireland's Snoopy is still something of an unknown quantity here.

Were there to be breeze develop expect the J 24's to come into the picture, and of these, the wily Flor O'Driscoll could be one to watch.

Quest to win from Cri Cri and then a J24, possibly Flor.

Download the full entry list for the ICRA Championships here and download the Sailing Instructions below

This article was updated at 2 pm on Sept 2 to include additional crew and entry details

Published in ICRA

A year-long look at Dublin Bay’s ecosystem is the theme of a new television series on TG4 during the autumn.

Presented by Eoin Warner, “An Cuan” focuses on the fact that Dublin is the only city of its type in the world to have UNESCO biosphere designation.

The city has a population tipping 1.5 million and is one of Europe’s busiest commercial ports.

Biospheres are internationally recognised for their biological diversity but are also actively managed to promote a balanced relationship between people and nature.

The four-part series explores what it describes as “this unique urban area where nature and humanity at times live in harmony and at others battle to co-exist”.

“The series will take our audience on a journey through this beloved part of Ireland’s coastline and show it in a way rarely seen before,” TG4 says.

Warner focuses on “the natural beauty of Irish wildlife against the backdrop of the country’s urban centre”, it says.

The bay is a “beacon for how man and nature can and must co-exist to survive”, it adds.

“An Cuan” starts on TG4 on November 10th at 9.30 pm and is broadcast the following three Wednesdays.

Published in Dublin Bay
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The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships returns to Dublin Bay this weekend (September 3-5th) and brings one of the biggest Division Zero fleets the cruiser-racer body has ever seen.

An expected fleet of 13 Zeros is bigger than the fleet of ten that raced in the 2019 Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The National Yacht Club will host the championships, the biggest test for Irish cruiser-racers since West Cork's Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale in June and Calves Week in August.

In all, a total fleet of almost 80 boats has been mustered, and that's a welcome boost for the championships that was cancelled twice last year in the pandemic.

Class divisions are downloadable below (as an excel file) for the weekend championships as another strong fleet of Division One yachts is unveiled by ICRA, with 25 or so entries anticipated. 

National titles

The arrival of the championships mean national titles in four IRC classes plus a white sails event will be decided on the Bay by next Sunday.

A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented by 77 crews, a slight reduction in overall numbers (100 boats in 2019) attributed to the country's gradual reopening after Covid-19.

ICRA Nationals - A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented Photo: AfloatICRA Nationals - 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented. Photo: Afloat

“This year’s event is an opportunity for re-building crews and team bonding,” said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "This year hasn't been without regular club racing, but the ICRA championships will be the biggest test of the year with so many clubs represented in the fleet."

The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions in place mean that with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location, the championships will have to spread out a little. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions mean that the championships will have to spread out a little, with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.

ICRA Courses

Many former national champions are participating across all classes. Two inshore fleets, with Class 1 in White Fleet and Class 2, 3 and non-spinnaker in Orange fleet, will race windward/leeward and round the cans. Class 0 will race a mixture of coastal and windward/leeward courses, starting from the same line as Class 1.

International Race Officers Jack Roy and Con Murphy are running racing afloat. At the same time, Ailbe Millerick and Bill O'Hara will lead ICRA's Protest Committee, who will, as in 2019, be on the water to witness racing.

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 SamatomRobert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom will be racing in a bumper Class Zero Photo: Adam Winkelmann

After a great season with his previous boat Eleuthera, Frank Whelan's J122 Kaya from Greystones Sailing Club could well be the form boat in Division Zero, though with a slew of rivals in this hotly contested class. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from the Royal Cork YC and Paul O'Higgins' JPK1080 Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish YC are certain to be in the mix with Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth YC.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump JuiceConor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice Photo: Bob Bateman

After overall victory in Kinsale for the Sovereign's Cup in June, Mike & Richard Evans' J99 Snapshot will again try to disrupt the J109 fleet's dominance of Division 1. However, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32 Hijacker from Strangford Lough could add a fresh challenge.

Mike & Richard Evans' J99 SnapshotMike & Richard Evans' J/99 Snapshot Photo: Bob Bateman

Of the J109s, John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC will be looking for a result on home turf but can expect Howth's Colwell with John Murphy on Outrajeous to be on form as well as the Jones family's Jelly Baby from Crosshaven and the Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish YC.

John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob BatemanJohn and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

"We're all set and looking forward it - this is our first regatta in two years - we have a great crew, some of whom have sailed with me for 40 years," said Tim Goodbody (80). "Racing under IRC is great as we can sail with nine up so I can share the helm with Richard when I get tired."

The Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury has made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in his Class One J109 Yacht Joker IIThe Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in 2019 in his Class One J109 yacht Joker II Photo: Afloat.

Nigel Biggs from Howth YC moves out of his new Flying Fifteen one design and back into Checkmate XVIII and will be the boat to beat in Division 2 after a near-perfect track record of wins in Dublin Bay in recent years. The Wright/De Nieve owned Mata, also from Howth, are likely challengers amongst the half-tonners.

Nigel Biggs'Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Nigel Biggs' Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Photo: Afloat

If the event gets breeze, clubmates Dux, an X302 sailed by the Gore-Grimes family, could repeat their 2019 event win though Lindsay Casey and Denis Powers' J97 Windjammer from the Royal St George YC is also tipped for the fresher conditions.

Anthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo:AfloatAnthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo: Afloat.

Bray Sailing Club’s Flor O’Driscoll will be taking on the might of the Royal Irish YC with his J24 Hard On Port facing the likes of Paul Colton’s Cri Cri and Barry Cunningham with Jonathan Skerritts' Quest, both revamped quarter-tonners.

"I've always enjoyed the ICRA's as the J24 is rated pretty well under IRC," O'Driscoll said while preparing for East coast championships in Howth. "We raced for the first time in two years in Foynes for the southerns but could have done better with a sixth place."

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the abandonment of much of the 2020 and early 2021 fixtures. Still, measures have been relaxed enough to permit safe competition afloat though shoreside social activities continue to be severely curtailed for this season.

Howth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob BatemanHowth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob Bateman

"Our main priority is to deliver a strong racing series afloat this year which will certain to be a warm-up for hopefully a full 2022 season," said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "While social is more difficult in Covid restrictions, we have worked hard to make sure there will still be limited social activity spread across the Dun Laoghaire waterfront so everyone can enjoy the event as much as possible."

Racing begins this Friday at 1125hrs.

2021 ICRA National Championships Event Schedule

Thursday 6th June

2100hrs Skippers Briefing on Zoom (an invitation will be emailed in advance)

Friday 7th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1800hrs Sailing Buffet in Dining Room

Saturday 8th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1930hrs Regatta Dinner

Sunday 9th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1025hrs Racing
1500hrs BBQ on the forecourt
Approx. 1630hrs ICRA National Championships Prize Giving

Published in ICRA

John Ryan's planned arrival into Dublin Bay this evening by high speed RIB was scrubbed shortly after his UIM record bid started at Cork Harbour this morning.

Ryan told Afloat "We lost the middle engine, we'll be a no show today".

It's a frustrating scenario for the record-breaker given the current favourable weather forecasts and flat seas.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Royal Cork skipper was due to depart Cork Harbour at 11 am in the 85-mph RIB.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Ryan broke his own existing Cork Fastnet Cork speed record in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 7 seconds (Subject to ratification by UIM) last week as reported here.

The Zerodark team are expected to set a new date for the Cork-Dublin run and other Irish powerboat record attempts too.

Published in Powerboat Racing

Royal Cork Yacht Club member John Ryan and his ZeroDark RIB team are underway in a bid to set a new time powerboat record time between Cork and Dublin today.

Ryan told Afloat the bid is due to depart Cork Harbour at 11 am although sea fog may change plans. 

As regular Afloat readers will know, Ryan broke his own existing Cork Fastnet Cork speed record in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 7 seconds (Subject to ratification by UIM) last week as reported here.

The ZeroDark RIB was built by Ophardt Maritim in Duisburg, Germany and she arrived by road into Cork last week.

Designed by Andrew Lee of Norson Design specifically for the German Special Forces as a craft to be utilised for high-speed covert operations.

She has an aluminium hull and is the fastest of its type in the world and can reach speeds in excess of 85 knots.

Subject to a succesful record run to Dublin, the RIB is due to dock at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, according to Ryan.

Published in Powerboat Racing
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August's changeable weather has been on everybody's lips, especially among Dublin Bay boaters adding heft to the age-old query about whether the month is, in fact, Summer or Autumn?

Take these three pictures from the Bay, and it's hard to believe they were taken within hours of each other, let alone in the same season or even the same country. But that's what the weather has had to offer this late August to Dublin sailors - and also around Ireland -  where both gales and light winds have impacted championships.

Readers have been quick to send Afloat snaps of the sunny - and not so sunny - aspects of the dog days of summer from the Dun Laoghaire waterfront this past 72 hours. 

Local Cruisers Two Class champion Lindsay Casey snapped the image above of Saturday’s storm. The downpour was so ferocious that veteran competitors reported they hadn't seen the like in 25 years of DBSC racing. 

Less than 24 hours later, Royal St. George Race Officer Barry O'Neill took this pretty picture of the newly restored Dublin Bay 21s on their east bight moorings in glorious sunshine.

Dublin Bay 21s looking pretty as a picture in the August sunshine at Dun Laoghaire HarbourDublin Bay 21s looking pretty as a picture in the August sunshine at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Barry O'Neill

And this morning, the bay's southern shore is fog-bound with early morning swimmers disappearing into the mist at the Forty Foot bathing place.

A sea mist shrouds early morning swimmers at the Forty FootA sea mist shrouds early morning swimmers at the Forty Foot

Check out the current weather (and more besides) on Dublin Bay's live webcams here 

Published in Weather
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Twenty-four hours ago, the forecast for Dublin Bay was showing strong winds for the morning and early part of the afternoon but that the wind would start dropping off as late afternoon and evening set in. Still, by 18:45, the suggestion was that there would still be 10 – 12 knots with some heavier gusts. And certainly, immediately outside Dun Laoghaire's harbour mouth, that synopsis looked correct. However, as we sailed downwind further into Scotsman's Bay, the sense was that the wind had got softer again. However, in contrast to the previous three Thursdays, the breeze was healthy. An ebbing tide meant that a slightly less conservative start could be contemplated, the wind was blowing from the SW, which meant that the first upwind leg was "contra-tide".

The DBSC Flying Fifteen Race Officer set the course for the night as MW4, an upwind leg to Pier (P), followed by a three-sailer to Poldy(S), inshore to Battery(S), back to Poldy(S) and what turned out to be a two-sail fetch to Molly(P), before a hitch into the committee boat finish. (See above course card).

The decision with respect to the leg to Pier was to stay inshore with possibly less tide and maybe a slightly better wind direction or go right where there appeared to be more breeze. Frank Miller & Susie Mulligan (3845) pioneered the hard right and by Pier that had been proven not to be the way to go. In a similar position were Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081), who had started going left off the start line but found themselves being squeezed by Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (3753) and tacked off. It seems Court & O'Leary were, in turn, being squeezed by Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028). The nett result was that at Pier anyone who had shown any form of bias towards the inshore route was "in the clover".

For what should appear to be an obvious reason, I am not able to recall exactly what the rounding order at Pier was, so let me just say that the following boats were in the leading pack – identified as much by spinnaker colours as anything! Alan Green and daughter (4026), Ken Dumpleton (3955), Alan Balfe (3995), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), Colin & Casey, Court & O'Leary, Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (3697)……….you get the idea! The spinnaker leg to Poldy was quite tame because although there was a bit of a swell, the wind was already showing signs of dropping off.

From Poldy to Battery, the majority of the fleet went right before heading inshore at the latter stages of the leg. Going inshore initially proved to be very frustrating and became a bit of a tease, the wind seeming to suggest that as a straggler, it might let you back in only to serve you with another header just as you thought you had thrown a double six with the dice. At Battery, Green, Dumpleton and Colin were well placed. Mulvin and Balfe were a bit further back. Most boats sailed the rhumb line to Poldy while at least one sailed a more westerly line and put in a gybe to get down to Poldy for the second time – that didn't work either. The leg to Molly was a two-sailer and consequently there appeared to be little change in the pecking order that this correspondent could see other than us losing 13th place on the water to Joe Coughlan (3913).

There was to be no redemption on the hitch to the finish either!

Thursday Series; Race 8: 1. Alan Green & daughter (4026), 2. Ken Dumpleton & crew (3955), 3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), 4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), 5. Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (3753), 6. Adrian Cooper & crew (3198), 7. Peter Sherry & Mick Quinn (3749), 8. Alan Balfe & crew (3995), 9. McKenna & O'Keefe (3697), 10. Miller & Mulligan (3697).
In terms of the Thursday Series, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (20) have opened a two-point gap on Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey. Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly are in third on 31pts with Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4th on 35 points, one ahead of David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne.

Footnote (1): This correspondent readily acknowledges the time and effort that all Race Officers and Race Management Teams expend in preparation and execution so that we can all go racing. Accordingly, if there was any suggestion in my report of last Thursday's race, that the race was not properly managed, I apologise. The intention of my reporting of the race is to provide a commentary that is interesting to read; it is not intended to be a critique of how the race was managed, or indeed set up. If there is ever a need to do that, the report would be worded accordingly.

Footnote (2): The Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland is being hosted at Whiterock in Strangford Lough in two weeks' time. Given the modest turnout of travellers for the Northern Championships in Portaferry a few weeks ago, they are anxious to have a more appropriate turnout. They have set up a WhatsApp group for pre-regatta communications. Please join the group so that you can be kept informed on what is happening. It also provides a connection to the entry form. A "runners and riders" preview of the Championship will be prepared shortly.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Myles Kelly's Senator 'Maranda' from the DMYC was the winner of DBSC's Thursday night Cruiser 3 IRC race on Dublin Bay.

Kevin Byrne's Starlet of the Royal St. George Yacht Club was second with Krypton third. 

DBSC had another large turnout of 131 boats on the bay tonight in a light South Easterly breeze.

The Beneteau 31.7 class had a full turnout and Beneteau B21s had all but one boat out racing on the Bay.

Results summary below 

DBSC Results for 15/07/2021

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. Prima Forte, 3. Rockabill VI

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Tsunami

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Bon Exemple, 2. Something Else, 3. Jalapeno

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Bon Exemple, 2. Joker II, 3. Something Else

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. Something Else, 2. Jalapeno, 3. White Mischief

31.7 One Design: 1. After You Too, 2. Prospect, 3. Levante

31.7 Echo: 1. Indigo, 2. Kalamar, 3. Bluefin Two

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Windjammer, 2. Rupert, 3. Ruthless

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Springer, 2. Rupert, 3. Leeuwin

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Springer, 2. Rupert, 3. Leeuwin

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Maranda, 2. Starlet, 3. Krypton

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Maranda, 2. Papytoo, 3. Grasshopper 2

Cruiser 4 NS-IRC: 1. Boomerang, 2. Antix, 3. RunAway

Cruiser 4 Echo: 1. Antix, 2. Boomerang, 3. RunAway

Cruiser 5A NS-IRC: 1. Playtime, 2. State O'Chassis, 3. The Great Escape

Cruiser 5A Echo: 1. Playtime, 2. Just Jasmin, 3. State O'Chassis

Cruiser 5B Echo: 1. Setanta, 2. Fortitudine, 3. Gung Ho

SB20: 1. Ted, 2. So Blue, 3.

Flying 15: 1. Shane MacCarthy, 2. Fflagella, 3. Rodriguez

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Jeorge V, 2. George 6, 3. Jheetah

Sportsboat: 1. Jeorge V, 2. George 6, 3. Jester

Dragon: 1. Sir Ossis o'the River, 2. ZinZan, 3. D-cision

Ruffian: 1. Shannagh, 2. Ruffles, 3. Bandit

Shipman: 1. Invader, 2. Twocan, 3. The Den

B211 One Design: 1. Billy Whizz, 2. Chinook, 3. Small Wonder

B211 Echo: 1. Billy Whizz, 2. Beeswing, 3. Plan B

Glen: 1. Glenluce, 2. GlenDun, 3. Glencree

Squib/Mermaid: 1. Jill, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Allsorts

Published in DBSC
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