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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay

The Government is preparing for a 'controlled and gradual return to sport' and the 2020 sailing fixtures are being tentatively redrafted by yacht clubs across Ireland as the country enters a new phase in dealing with the Coronavirus.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil this week that the Government would like to set out a roadmap before 5 May on how the COVID-19 restrictions might be eased. In turn, as Afloat reported, Sport Ireland has asked national governing bodies for information on the challenges they face.

In further good news in the fight against the disease, in an interview on RTÉ's The Late Late Show last Friday night (April 17), Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that the COVID-19 curve has now been flattened and that there is no 'peak' coming. Report here.

Scroll back through Afloat's original 2020 sailing fixtures preview published last November here and you will find most of the early summer events are wiped out. Even Afloat's article, What will happen to this Summer's Sailing Events? dated March 18th seems very old now, so much has happened in the meantime. One month later, we certainly have some answers to that question and only last Friday (April 17th) the Fireball World Championships slated for Howth in August became the latest casualty to be scrubbed, organisers citing 'the impossibility of getting any fix on the timing of a return to normality'.

Like all sports, sailing is trying to work out what happens next in 2020 and if there can be a return to activities and what shape it can take.

Flag officers and regatta organisers are beginning to lay out new plans, formulate COVID-19 protocols and put a new calendar in place. It's far from plain sailing but the fact that clubs, industry and sailors are all talking about a return is evidence of progress as we enter a new phase in dealing with the disease. Maybe there is a chance of a competitive and rewarding season, after all? 

National Yacht Club Commodore Martin McCarthy in Dun Laoghaire told cocooned members this week that the 'end is almost in sight'. McCarthy says the NYC continues to 'scenario plan' and 'hopes to be back in the water in June or July'. 'After the storm is at its worst, the new weather starts coming into sight', he said in this week's NYC email update.

Coming up with a tailored approach to what can be done safely within the government guidelines and communicating that strategy to get the sport through 12 to 18 months while we wait for a vaccine seems the right thing to do.

Dublin Bay Sailing - "Be prepared and ready to race"

Chris Moore, the Honorary Secretary of Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), the country's biggest racing club, says the emphasis is definitely on going sailing this summer. "We are looking at various scenarios, and it's still tough to call". There could be no sailing at all, or it could be a hectic second half of the season!"

DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson told members 'before racing can commence, clearly, the restrictions imposed by our government must be lifted, approval is given by our national governing body Irish Sailing and the lift-in of the boats from the various waterfront clubs completed. When these preconditions have been met, it is our intention to commence the revised programme immediately. Please be prepared and ready to race".

There have already been great sacrifices in the sailing calendar as big events move to the end of the summer to give them the best chance of happening. Even with that, some are saying, 'it is still very much 50:50' and shoreside gatherings are very much in doubt.

WAVE Regatta & ICRA Nationals

As regular Afloat readers know, ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell has been forced to move the cruiser-racers from Cork to Howth for its Championships after Cork Week was cancelled. 'It's prudent in the current environment, to delay the important National Championships until as late as possible to try and ensure it goes ahead this year, so we have taken up the offer from Howth Yacht Club to combine the event with the WAVE Regatta in September.'

The Irish IRC season has always been very front-loaded, with nearly all the significant events completed by mid-July. This year, if we are lucky, the season will only likely be starting then.

Even if the season extends into October, many classes will be trying to run championships. Hence, there is a need to rationalise what can be done and avoid congestion in the remaining squeezed timeframe.

Round Ireland Race

The news that the Round Ireland Race has been postponed for two months until 22nd August is excellent news for owners concerned this classic offshore race would be running at all.

With a good run-in needed for the Round Ireland due to qualification requirements, it was doubtful that the race would ever have gone ahead in June anyway. The fact that the new date was greeted with such enthusiasm is, as Afloat's WM Nixon points out, a measure of the 700-mile race's importance to Irish sailing.

Some other significant events were not so fortunate, however, and they were not in a position to postpone to a later date. The Scottish Series is gone in May and following events like Bangor Week in June and Cork Week in July have both been lost. Cowes Week in the UK has confirmed it is still planning to go ahead in August as has the Welsh IRC Championships.

Call it wishful thinking but based on what is currently being talked about, here are some non-exhaustive 'thoughts' to get value from boats this season and some competitive racing to boot.

  • Dublin Bay SC racing -  twice weekly in July, and after that, right through to late September is a scenario being considered.
  • Dun Laoghaire Club Regattas  - A new date for a three day combined event for all waterfront club regattas is currently being hatched for July or August. This could include the National Yacht Club's Sesquicentennial event. UPDATE:  July 31st has been announced for the 'Dun Laoghaire Club's Solidarity Regatta'.
  • ISORA racing - in June, July, August and September would still produce an excellent series even though losing early coastal and offshore races mean ISORA will rejig its calendar. 
  • Glandore Classic Regatta - Glandore, West Cork (July 18th)
  • Dun Laoghaire Club's Solidarity Regatta (31st July-3 August)
  • Calves Week, Schull West Cork (4th to 7th August)
  • SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race (22nd August)
  • Dragon Gold Cup - Kinsale, (September 3rd)
  • WAVE Regatta, incorporating ICRA Nationals (13th September)
  • Autumn Leagues - Howth and Royal Cork Yacht Club (October)
  • Dublin Bay SC Turkey Shoot - November 1st

That's an outline of the season, without even mentioning class championships or the one design calendars at this early stage.

There seems to be plenty of options depending on whether crews want to stay local or are keen to venture further afield.

If ISORA rejigs its programme, as expected, and reschedules the Kingstown to Queenstown race for July 31st, it would, as Afloat's WM Nixon points out here be a way of getting boats to Cork and then on to Calves Week in West Cork.

For those not wanting to go to Cork, there looks like there will be club regatta options on Dublin Bay and there is the Welsh IRC Championships in Pwllheli from the 14th to 16th August. The following week there is Abersoch Keelboat Week but this date clashes with the Round Ireland Race.

On the West coast of Ireland, WIORA will have their popular week at Tralee Bay, presently scheduled for late June, but this may also need to be moved to a later date.

As WM Nixon says here, if the ISORA Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race is implemented, crews could be campaigning almost continually from July 31st until the conclusion of the ICRA Nationals in the Wave Regatta at Howth from September 11th to 13th.

It is certainly shaping up to be a season like no other. With luck, if planning and new protocols are successful, sailing will be back and there can still be a rewarding season ahead.

Published in News Update

In the interests of public health and to further minimise large gatherings of people, Aware and Dublin Port Company have decided to postpone the annual St. Patrick’s Day Harbour2Harbour fundraising walk, including the ‘Halfway Hooley’ at Dublin Port.

The event, which last year attracted over 1,800 participants, will be rescheduled for a later date in the Autumn.

The Harbour2Harbour Walk is one of Aware’s most important fundraising events and has raised more than €840,000 for the charity since it began in 2006.

Published in Dublin Bay
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After four races sailed of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series, the 1720 sportsboat Ricochet leads overall with one race of the series left to sail on March 22nd. 

Second overall in the Citroen South sponsored fixture is the Sigma 38 State O'Chassis with third place overall taken by the J109 Dear Prudence.

As Afloat reported earlier, the fourth race on Sunday morning featured a southerly downwind course to Dalkey from Dublin Bay.

Download overall results below.

Published in DBSC

Overall leader Mermaid IV will be in the first start of next Sunday's forecasted breeze fourth race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series on Dublin Bay. 

As Afloat reported, the Beneteau 50-footer has a slender lead in the weather hit series that concludes on March 22.

Download latest starts and handicaps below.

Published in DBSC
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The Beneteau First 310 More Mischief leads the DBSC Spring Chicken Series by a single point after two races sailed.  

The 1720 Ricochet and the J109 Ruth are in joint second place on 13 points overall.

Download overall results below.

Racing resumed on Sunday morning in great breeze and sunshine after a fortnight of gales on Dublin Bay led to two weeks of cancellations the first time the series has lost two races in a row in 19 years of Spring Chicken racing.  As a result, an extra race on 22nd March has been added to the Citroen South sponsored schedule.

Published in DBSC
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Despite the strong winds that scrubbed this afternoon's DMYC Dinghy Frostbites Series at Dun Laoghaire, up to 20 hardy cruiser-racers from a total entry of 47 braved the strong north westerlies on Dublin Bay this morning for the first race of the DBSC Citroen Spring Chicken Series for cruisers. 

Race organisers picked a sheltered spot in the western bay area at Seapoint to complete the first of the six-race series in winds gusting to over 20-knots. Results to follow. 

Gale force winds are predicted for the Irish Sea later today.

See live Dublin Bay webcam here.

Published in DBSC
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There has been excellent progress on the revival of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Twenty One project the world’s oldest intact on design keelboat class as they prepare for a new season racing again on Dublin Bay.

Chris Moore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club has confirmed the original DBSC class has been granted a racing start for 2020 Tuesday evening racing starting this April.

Initially, two twenty ones will race then three as the boat building project based in Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary completes the six-boat project. 

The restored boats will be welcomed back to the bay in a special DBSC gun salute from committee boat Mac Lir at the start of the season.

Back to the Future

You can join the '21 project leaders Hal Sisk and Fionán de Barra for a sailing talk and a two-course dinner on Thursday the 13th of February in the RStGYC Dining Room in Dun Laoghaire. The talk, “Back to the Future, the Revival of the DBSC Twenty Ones—the World’s Oldest Cruiser Racer Class" will be a visual presentation on the revival plans.

Published in Historic Boats

Water treatment in the capital is not fit for purpose, says the Green Party as it calls for action to improve water quality in Dublin Bay.

The party’s Dun Laoghaire General Election candidate Ossian Smyth told RTÉ News that existing development levies should fund badly needed improvements to the city’s water infrastructure.

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe added that was not acceptable for large parts of Dublin Bay to be unavailable to bathers in the summer months.

It comes after a series of bathing spot closures around the bay last summer — though some of these were prompted by algal blooms not directly related to the release of wastewater.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

At noon this Christmas Eve at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their predecessors who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock in 1895.

The annual ceremony also remembers all those who were lost around our coasts, rivers and inland waters in 2019. Included in this will be lifeboat volunteer Leigh Early from Arranmore RNLI in Donegal who died last month and the three crewmembers of the French SNSM lifeboat service who lost their lives while on service in June.

The ceremony takes place each Christmas Eve in all weathers and lifeboat crew are joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence who form an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats will launch, and the crew will lay wreaths off the east pier in view of the public.

"The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned"

On 24 December 1895 the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately, all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26 December by the SS Tearaght.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier. It includes an ecumenical blessing, a reading from a news article published at the time and music.

Commenting on the event Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Stephen Wynne said: ‘The loss of 15 lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory and pay tribute to them but also to remember all those lost to drowning in our waters.’

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. People are very welcome to come and join us at the end of the East Pier, it’s our Christmas tradition and one that is very dear to us.’

Published in Dublin Bay
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Commercial shipping traffic might be reduced to very little in Dun Laoghaire Harbour these days but it is not gone entirely as witnessed by the arrival of a tanker this weekend.

The 'Kowie' discharged in Dublin Port on Friday night but the city port did not have a berth available for the ship to bunker but was facilitated on the Carlisle Pier at Dun Laoghaire.

Perhaps such overflow may be a regular sight at the South Dublin Harbour with Brexit around the corner?

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