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There has been overwhelming support from a Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) survey to going racing this season despite the problems posed by COVID-19.

The anonymous survey got a response from over half of DBSC's 1,200 members There showed 'huge support for extending the season and reformatted Tuesday racing for the keelboat and cruiser fleets'.

Following the government roadmap announcement last Friday (1st of May), DBSC says it is 'encouraged but needs to wait for formal guidance from Irish Sailing'.

White sails option

Club Commodore Jonathan Nicholson says the survey also showed a white sails option to reduce crew numbers was popular. 

'This and other options need further consideration along with a dialogue with the DBSC class captains' Nicholson says, for the massive 250-boat fleet.

Support for running two DBSC races on Saturdays was less clear cut but maybe considered based on the season start date.

Adapting the DBSC format

There was near-unanimous support for adapting the race formats given the new constraints that DBSC will be operating under.

The responses are summarised below by DBSC on its website as follows: 

Intentions to race this season?

This question was posed a number of times, albeit with a different perspective. Of particular note is the response to the question “Having spent time thinking about this and looking at some of the options DBSC is thinking about how likely are you now to join this season”. 75% of responses were either likely or very likely to join. There is also considerable support for entering regardless of the start date of the season.

What facilities are needed to race?

There is a need for changing rooms etc. to be addressed especially for dinghy and smaller keelboat classes, whilst access to food and bar was considered a nice to have, this was not deemed a deterrent to racing.

Given the nature of this season what revisions to the programme would be welcome?

There was huge support for extending the season and reformatted Tuesday racing for the keelboat and cruiser fleets. Support for running two races on Saturdays was less clear cut but maybe considered based on the season start date. The white sails option to reduce crew numbers was popular. This and other options need further consideration along with a dialogue with the class captains. There was near-unanimous support for adapting the race formats given the new constraints that we will be operating under.

Interpreting the comments is more complex. While many people identified themselves, the survey remains anonymous. All feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive, was considered.

We absolutely recognise there is a concern about personal safety and we will only run racing when the government and Irish Sailing have given their approval and the waterfront clubs are ready to support this activity in a safe and responsible manner. Moreover, rest assured that DBSC will prioritise the safety of all the volunteers who make our racing possible. We acknowledge we may have a reduced number of entries this year as unfortunately, it will not be possible for all members of our club and community to race this summer.

In summary, there is a very clear appetite to go racing.

In a week when Ireland's biggest yacht racing club was due to start its summer schedule, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is instead surveying members in lockdown for their thoughts on the prospect of racing on the Bay later this summer as the COVID-19 emergency greatly affects 2020 Irish sailing fixtures.

The survey is being conducted as the club sees a delayed start to the season and 'potentially reduced budgets and resources'.

In the online poll, Commodore Jonathan Nicholson urges as many skippers and crew to complete the three short questions to help the club decide what can be offered. 

The club is the umbrella organisation that runs year-round racing for members from all Dun Laoghaire Harbour's waterfront yacht clubs; the National Yacht Club, the Royal St. George Yacht Club, the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as sailors based at the town marina.

"We want to try and plan for this as best we can in order to deliver our members the best possible racing, as soon as it is safe to do so," Nicholson tells members.

SB20 dbsc2020 1230The Dublin Bay SB20 sportsboat fleet Photo: Afloat

The 2020 DBSC season was due to start on the capital's waters this Saturday for over 250 boats in 20 classes and some estimated 1,500 sailors.

As Afloat previously reported, the timing of the questionnaire is in line with Sport Ireland's own bid to frame protocols for a return to sport with social distancing. Protocols for sailing are being drawn up by Irish Sailing, according to its CEO Harry Hermon yesterday.

"How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

The DBSC survey says 'We would like to know your initial thoughts before you think too deeply about this season. Please answer this question without thinking too hard! We will ask it again when we have outlined some options.

The multiple-choice survey's first question probes 'Given the current situation with COVID 19 if all rules were relaxed and we could go sailing from the 1st of June how likely are you to join DBSC this year? Answer options range from Very likely to Very Unlikely.

The second question is "How important to your decision to go racing is the Apres Sail at your club? How likely are you to race should your club bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed?" 

Published in DBSC

The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) buoyant Cruiser Two fleet has an A31-type yacht added to its number this season. 

The French-built Archambault A31 is arguably one of the most competitive IRC boats of its size. The new arrival is a National Yacht Club campaign that will be moored at Dun Laoghaire Marina. A sistership La Republique from Liverpool competes on the Irish Sea in ISORA racing but this new arrival is the only A31 in Ireland.

The A31 is a 31’4” (9.55m) cruiser-racer sailboat designed by Joubert Nivelt Design (France). She was built between 2009 and 2017 by Archambault (France) and BG Race (France).

The A31 design comes straight off the back of the successful larger Archambault A35 of which there are several in Ireland including the Sovereign's Cup winner Fools Gold from Waterford. Another A35, Gringo, is a club mate of this Bay new arrival at the NYC and another A35 Endgame campaigns from Royal Cork.

Starlight for DBSC Cruiser Five

In Cruiser Division Five, the white sails division, a Starlight 35 has also joined the fleet. The new addition comes from the Hamble to Ireland.

DBSC Cruiser Zero fleet expands

As Afloat reported previously, the DBSC Cruiser Zero fleet was also boosted for this season when El Pocko, a German Frers Puma 42, arrived at the  Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It is the second new addition for the Bay's big boat class. 

In January the First 40 La Response, formerly known as Courier Zen and a veteran of several Commodore's Cup teams joined the fleet. The RIYC boat is a fillip to a now eight-boat (or more) DBSC Cruiser Zero class racing that itself was in question only a couple of years ago.

ElPocko SternThe angular stern of the Frers design

Racing in Dublin Bay Sailing Club has been postponed this year but the hope is for the season to get underway at some point.

Published in DBSC

The opening of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's summer season scheduled for the last week in April has been postponed due to Government Covid-19 measures. The revised start date is so far unknown. 

The club, one of the largest yacht racing clubs in Europe, is the umbrella organisation for weekly yacht racing on Dublin Bay for all the waterfront yacht clubs in Dun Laoghaire.

The first races for a combined fleet of up to 250 boats were scheduled to get underway on Tuesday, April 25.

It was inevitable, however, when waterfront clubs lift-ins were postponed at the weekend that it would impact on DBSC arrangements. 

"Even before the latest measures were introduced it was almost inconceivable that our sailing season would start on time. As such DBSC is following the waterfront clubs and postponing the start of the season until the current situation improves, " DBSC Commodore Jonathan Nicholson said in a statement on the club website.

Significantly, however, Nicholson, also added: "DBSC is still working on the premise that there will be racing this year and are preparing accordingly". 

Published in DBSC

Next week's final race of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club's Citroen South Spring Chicken Series and prizegiving have been postponed until September and it will be 'reviewed' at that time.

The decision for the National Yacht Club hosted event comes in the wake of this weekend's Coronavirus emergency measures.

DBSC's Summer season is scheduled for this April. First Race dates as follows: Saturday, April 25; Tuesday, April 28; Wednesday, April 29 and Thursday, April 30.

Published in Dublin Bay

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

There was good news for DBSC Spring Chicken Series sailors who successfully completed their fourth race of the series in strong westerly winds this morning on Dublin Bay. The gusty conditions, however, proved too much for the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites this afternoon and unfortunately, that fixture was cancelled.

The 50-boat Citroen South sponsored Spring Chicken fleet sailed south to Dalkey Island passing a turning mark in the middle of Scotsman's Bay with some of the competitors –  especially the sportsboats – hoisting spinnakers for the relatively tight downwind leg.

Spring Chicken Racing forty foot 0459A tight downwind leg for J109s off the Forty Foot on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

The final race of the DBSC series (the added extra race) will take place on March 22nd.

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

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
Tagged under

The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Cruiser Zero fleet got a further boost this week when another addition to the rekindled fleet appeared under the crane at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The 2004 41-footer yacht (for a senior yacht racing administrator in the Bay) is El Pocko, a German Frers Puma 42.

Previously based in the Netherlands, she is currently keelless following transportation to the RStGYC forecourt from Flevoland.

ElPocko SternThe angular stern of the Frers design

It is the second new addition for the bay's big boat class.  In January the First 40 La Response, formerly known as Courier Zen and a veteran of several Commodore's Cup teams joined the fleet.

El Pocko will be on the line for the first of DBSC's first summer races in April and is understood to be optimised for the ORCi rule with a carbon mast and a new keel in 2014.

The RStGYC boat is a fillip to a now eight-boat (or more) DBSC Cruiser Zero class racing that itself was in question only a couple of years ago.

Published in DBSC

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
Tagged under
Page 6 of 101

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)

 

ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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