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Displaying items by tag: HYC

#checkmateforhowth – The story is that there has been a bit of re-juggling in the Half Tonner lineup at Howth, where Dave Cullen has moved on from the historic King One which once upon a time took the Half–Ton World Cup for the legendary Paul Elvstrom of Denmark, whose Olympic gold medal scoreline is bested only by Ben Ainslie.

The good news is that King One is going to continue to sail the waters of fair Fingal. She now has a Rush-based owner, who plans to continue to keep her at Howth where they've a handy little group of classic Half Tonners sharpening up for 2015.

And a further welcome word is that Dave Cullen himself will be returning to the fray, having taken over Nigel Biggs' all-conquering Half Tonner Checkmate. This little honey has had so much TLC and classy mods made in recent years that 'tis said a statement had to be issued saying the boat is NOT called Cheque Mate...........

Published in Half Tonners

#laser – Seventeen Laser dinghies braved the cold blustery conditions for the final two races of Howth Yacht Club's Spring Series. It was an interesting preamble to the Round Island race on Saturday 14th March. The racing was incident packed. In the first incident of the day Dave Kirwan broke his mast on his way to the starting area, leaving him watching from the committee boat.

Race 1 started with an offshore breeze over twenty knots, kicking up a short chop. The steep waves made progress upwind difficult and on occasion helped the laser to become a submarine off the wind.

The race management team decided on a triangle sausage course and set a pin end starting line bias. This bias was just enough to allow Daragh Sheridan to pull off a dream port tack start, he even crossed the bow of Dave Cotter.

Ronan Cull led the fleet to the top mark closely followed by the pack headed by Daragh Sheridan, Ronan was to hold the lead to the finish, despite giving the fleet a chance to catch him with an upwind capsize on the second beat during one of his "roll tacks".

Dan O'Connell deviated from his usual silky style and dropped out of the racing with a capsize and a 360 degree rig rotation.

Michael Evans finished second taking advantage of a fearful capsize on the last gybe of the race by McMahon.

Race 1:

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Michael Evans

3rd Paul McMahon

4th Stephen Quinn

5th Daragh Sheridan

1st Radial Aoife Hopkins

1st 4.7 Sarah Gallagher

Race 2

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Paul McMahon

3rd Stephen Quinn

4th Michael Evans

5th Dan O'Connell

1st Radial Aoife Hopkins

1st 4.7 Sarah Gallagher

Race 2 very much a scaled down version of race 1, another pin end bias was set. This time no sailor was gutsy enough to chance a port tack start. Dan made running repairs to his boat and to his credit endured the cold to wait on the second race. and rejoin the fleet. Race two was a tighter affair with Cull piping McMahon to make it 2 wins from two races. These wins topped a great spring series by Ronan who topped the rankings by 19 points from Dan O'Connell, with Daragh Sheridan taking third place overall.

The form book will be thrown out the window for next Saturdays stand alone Round the Island Race, this classic Laser race never fails to throw out a few surprises.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#laserfrostbite – Overall Ronan Cull has a safe lead with five firsts at Howth Yacht Club's Laser frostbites series, followed by Dave Quinn and Darragh Kelleher while it's a family affair in the other fleets; Aoife Hopkins leads the radial fleet, with brother Daniel leading the 4.7's.

Yesterday's fourth day of the winter series started in 12 knots of wind from the west, brilliant sunshine with a sharp chill in the air and a strong ebb tide. Twenty-six Lasers competed on Sunday with the welcome return of the handsome Dan O'Connell and the brave but injury plagued Dave Mulligan.

A slight starboard bias at the start of race 1 favoured Darrell Reamsbottom, Dan O'Connell and Ian McSweeney, but it wasn't long before Ronan Cull and Dave Quinn emerged to be likely leaders at mark 1. The fleet split, but those on the middle left, playing the shifts, got out ahead, with Cull, Quinn, Mike Evans, Ian McSweeney, and Darrell Reamsbottom rounding first. While Cull and Quinn were safely away, there was a good fight for the next slots between McSweeney, Evans, Reamsbottom, Darragh Sherdan, and O'Connell. McSweeney was able to defend 3rd until O'Connell took advantage of a left hand shift at the top of the last full beat. McSweeney got back at him by beating toward the finish line, but a poorly timed tack allowed O'Connell to squeeze in at the pin taking 3rd. Darragh Sheridan finished 5th.

Date: 23/11/2014

Wind: SW, 12-14 knots

Races sailed: 7 & 8, Olympic triangle followed by Windward/Leeward,

Race length: 40 min each

Leader, standard: Ronan Cull

Leader, radial: Aoife Hopkins

Leader, 4.7: Daniel Hopkins

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Ronan Cull

2. Dave Quinn

3. Dan O'Connell

4. Ian McSweeney

5. Darragh Sheridan

Approximately 1 second elapsed between the last finisher of race 7, and the warning signal of race 8 – PRO Liam Dineen opting for a windward/leeward course, making for challenging and competitve downwind legs. Dan O'Connell was on the money at the pin with a slight port bias, and at one point it looked like he was going to cross the fleet. He tacked and led the fleet toward the left, in a strengthening ebb. There was plenty of jostling for position off the line, and the majority of the fleet hit the left layline early. Dave Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom, and Ian McSweeney led around mark 1, having played it more safely up the middle left. The second round saw Cull taking a convincing lead (from 4th around the leeward), not missing a shift, or any extra breeze on offer as the wind abated. Dave Quinn fell back to fourth and to a battle with Stephen Quinn, leaving McSweeney and Reamsbottom to fight for 2nd. McSweeney got ahead on the last full beat, Reamsottom having gone too far left, and a closely fought run ended with Reamsbottom establishing an inside overlap in the zone at the last leeward mark. McSweeney got a lucky jump ahead at the critical moment and was able to sneak around ahead and in 2nd place. Cull was well ahead at this stage and a worthy winner once more. 4th was also hotly contested by the two Quinns. They had split up the final beat and coming to the line Stephen - on starboard coming from the right – forced Dave to duck, and be postally pipped.

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Ronan Cull

2. Ian McSweeney

3. Darrell Reamsbottom

4. Stephen Quinn

5. Dave Quinn

Published in Laser

#lasersailing – Fifteen knots of wind and bright sunshine welcomed 31 Laser dinghies on the first day of the 40th Laser Frostbites at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday morning. It was a baptism of fire for some, conservative downwind sailing for most, and plenty of off-wind planning and gybe mark capizes. Shifty breeze under the west pier made the upwind legs tricky at times, but our equally effective and efficient race committee (Liam Dinneen, Richard Kissane, John Doran and veteran of the first series David Jones) ran two 38 minute races with practiced presicion.

For the standard fleet, Race 1 kicked off promptly at 10:50, with reformed golfer Dave Quinn leading the fleet from the slightly biased pin followed closely by Daragh Kelleher, Daragh Sheridan and Ian McSweeney. Quinn held the lead around mark 1 and until second beat, Kelleher grabbing it then, with Ronan Cull taking advantage of the left and rounding the second windward mark in 3rd. Cull got inside Quinn downwind and rounded in 2nd - and this is how it would finish.

Further back there was more shifting of places: Daragh Sheridan, Stephen Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom and Mike Evans battling for the next slots. Sheridan came out on top of the group finding his usual top 5 form after some first-day jitters and a capsize at the first leeward mark.

Wind: SW, 14-22 knots

Races sailed: 1 & 2, Olympic triangles

Race length: 38 min each

Leader, standard: Daragh Kelleher

Leader, radial: E McMahon

Leader, 4.7: N Staunton

First capsize of the season: Carla Fagan

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Daragh Kelleher

2. Ronan Cull

3. Dave Quinn

4. Daragh Sheridan

5. Stephen Quinn

True to his pre-race briefing, no time was wasted by race officer Richard Kissane and only 50 seconds elapsed between the last finisher of race 1 and the start of race 2. The breeze was freshening, and those nearer the pin gained from a left-hand shift within the last minute. The first four around mark 1 were Kelleher, Dave Quinn, Evans and McSweeney all having gone left upwind, and this was the order of finishing, with Sheridan catching up to 5th. Ronan Cull was conspicuous by his absence having broken his boom immediately after the start. Again there was plenty of close sailing throughout the fleet - a good omen for some close racing over the next few months.

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Daragh Kelleher

2. Dave Quinn

3. Mike Evans

4. Ian McSweeney

5. Daragh Sheridan

 

Published in Laser
Tagged under

The final day of the MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz Autumn League was a fitting culmination of a hugely successful 6-weeks keelboat racing for this 35th year of Howth Yacht Club's annual autumnal regatta. The 15-25 knot southerly wind, accompanied by clear blue skies and very warm sunshine, afforded the two race management teams the opportunity to set superb courses north and west of Ireland's Eye.

While rights on some of the silverware had already been secured in the previous week, the boats within the 9 participating classes engaged in a fiercely competitive finish to this series which saw Scorie Walls and Declan Browne's Puppeteer Gold Dust win the Heineken Trophy for the overall prize and the 3-boat team of Rita (Howth 17), Harmony (Class 2) and Gold Dust win the Olympus Trophy team prize.

The forecasted strong wind with gale gusts led some teams to stay ashore on Saturday morning, but those that went to sea were treated with superb racing conditions for the 90-120 minute courses. The one-design fleet was led by the J80 Sailfleet class and a race win for the Phelan/ Sheridan/ Knowles partnership secured them the title from the Flynn/ Buckley boat. In the Puppeteer class, the aforementioned Gold Dust won their final race and the result meant that their margin of 6 points over second-placed Trick or Treat (Alan Pearson) was enough to win the overall regatta prize. In the handicap division, Cyprian Feeley's Cloud 9 took the honours from Susan Sheridan's Ibis which finished level on points but Cloud 9's two race wins early in the series ensured their winning separation from Ibis.The Squibs travelled to the inland regatta at Lough Derg, so their standings from last week's race remained as final. (Fergus O'Kelly's Selik winning on scratch and Ronan McDonnell's Fantome won the handicap prize). Having to do penalty turns early in the Howth 17's race ensured that Brian & Conor Turvey's Isobel put itself out of contention with event winners Rita (Marcus Lynch and John Curley) - the 116 year old did enough to take the scratch prize. Mary Faherty's Sheila won the handicap prize, despite finishing the last race with a DNF (did not finish).

Sailing due east of the one-design courses, the cruiser classes raced in stronger winds and bigger seas and Pat Kelly with his team on Storm revelled in the conditions, securing their 5th win in Class 1 IRC while ICRA Commodore Norbert Reilly and Alan Chambers' Crazy Horse won the ECHO prize. Their 3rd win in Class 2 IRC placed Anthony Gore Grimes and his crew on Dux firmly on the winner's podium. Findlater Viking (Kevin Darmody and Mark Patterson) won the ECHO trophy.

An excellent race win by the HYC Under 25 Keelboat team on Kilcullen was not enough to steal the Class 3 IRC prize despite finishing on the same points as Vince Gaffney's Alliance II as the latter team's 2 race wins in the series afforded them the trophy. Lionel McMurtry's Hellyhunter won the ECHO prize by just half a point from Jonathan Wormald and Sean Walsh's Stagefright.

A 4th place finish in the last race by Colm Bermingham's Bite the Bullet helped Tiger (Frank Hughes and Stephen Harris) win Class 4 IRC, but the Tiger team also did it in style by winning the final race. David Sargent's Indulgence had won the ECHO trophy after 5 races and they were happy to take a 2nd place in the last race to compete a very successful series.

Class 5 IRC was won by Emmet Dalton's Jebus and the Denis Wickham Trophy for Class 5 ECHO was collected by Gordon Knaggs and his team on Jokers Wild. The Mini Series prizes were won by Storm (Class 1IRC), Patrick Cruise O'Brien's Dear Prudence (Class 1 ECHO), Kilcullen (Class 3 IRC), Cri Cri (Paul Colton) in Class 3 ECHO, Tiger (Class 4 IRC) and Indulgence (Class 4 ECHO).

Afterwards, MSL Park Motors Group Managing Director Brendan Grace thanked Feargal Kinsella and his event team as well as all the competitors for taking part in the very successful event and looked forward to growing their relationship with Howth Yacht Club with this event in the coming 2 years. Commodore Brian thanked the sponsors and said that they had added real value to the event and had integrated seamlessly with the club. MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz also ran a prize draw in aid of the RNLI - to which they donated €1500 in respect of all the entries to the draw. A further competition and draw for 2 GoPro cameras in aid of St Francis Hospice raised €1785 including a substantial donation by the sponsors.

Almost 250 diners were treated to a 'Viking Banquet' in the dining room on Saturday night

Almost 250 diners were treated to a 'Viking Banquet' in the dining room on Saturday night

Howth 17s Cronin Trophy presented by MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Brand Manager Dean Fullston with crew of 'Rita' - Jim Potter, Cordula Hansen and John Curley
Howth 17s Cronin Trophy presented by MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Brand Manager Dean Fullston with crew of 'Rita' - Jim Potter, Cordula Hansen and John Curley
Howth 17's Alphida Cup winner 'Sheila' - Mary Faherty with MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Brand Manager Dean Fullston
Howth 17's Alphida Cup winner 'Sheila' - Mary Faherty with MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Brand Manager Dean Fullston
Joanne Kavanagh presents the Duropal Trophy to Puppeteer Scratch winners 'Gold Dust' - Josh Kelly, Conor McGowan, Scorie Walls, Declan Browne, Nigel Harrison
Joanne Kavanagh presents the Duropal Trophy to Puppeteer Scratch winners 'Gold Dust' - Josh Kelly, Conor McGowan, Scorie Walls, Declan Browne, Nigel Harrison
Joanne Kavanagh presents the Puppeteer handicap 'Snowgoose Trophy' to Jacqueline Feeley (Cloud 9)
Joanne Kavanagh presents the Puppeteer handicap 'Snowgoose Trophy' to Jacqueline Feeley (Cloud 9)
Rachel Grace presents the Impala Regatta Trophy (Class 5 IRC) to Conor Howard and Emmet Dalton from 'Jebus'
Rachel Grace presents the Impala Regatta Trophy (Class 5 IRC) to Conor Howard and Emmet Dalton from 'Jebus'
'Jokers Wild' team: Fergal Corkery, Len Gallagher and Gordon Knaggs with MSL Park Motors' Rachel Grace
'Jokers Wild' team: Fergal Corkery, Len Gallagher and Gordon Knaggs with MSL Park Motors' Rachel Grace
Stephen Harris and Chris Howard receive the Sleator Salver from Ronal McCaul
Stephen Harris and Chris Howard receive the Sleator Salver from Ronal McCaul
Ronan McCaul presents Michael Fleming with the Class 4 ECHO trophy
Ronan McCaul presents Michael Fleming with the Class 4 ECHO trophy
Vince Gaffney collects the Habu Trophy from Ronan McCaul
Vince Gaffney collects the Habu Trophy from Ronan McCaul
Gordon Stirling, Cian Manly and Harry Cronin collect the PAB Travel Trophy from MSL Park Motors Group Managing Director Brendan Grace
Gordon Stirling, Cian Manly and Harry Cronin collect the PAB Travel Trophy from MSL Park Motors Group Managing Director Brendan Grace
Dean Fullston presents the Cuffe Smith Trophy to 'Dux' - Evan Dolan, Anthony Gore Grimes, Andy Mollard and Ken O'Neill
Dean Fullston presents the Cuffe Smith Trophy to 'Dux' - Evan Dolan, Anthony Gore Grimes, Andy Mollard and Ken O'Neill
Kevin Darmody collects the Class 2 ECHO prize from Dean Fullston
Kevin Darmody collects the Class 2 ECHO prize from Dean Fullston
Pat Kelly (Storm) with the Evora Trophy and Dean Fullston
Pat Kelly (Storm) with the Evora Trophy and Dean Fullston
Ian McCormack (Crazy Horse) is presented the Joliba Trophy by Dean Fullston
Ian McCormack (Crazy Horse) is presented the Joliba Trophy by Dean Fullston
Overall winners of the Autumn League's 'Heineken Trophy' - Gold Dust with Brendan Grace from MSL Park Motors
Overall winners of the Autumn League's 'Heineken Trophy' - Gold Dust with Brendan Grace from MSL Park Motors
The MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Marketing team - Joanne Kavanagh and Andrea Byrne
The MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Marketing team - Joanne Kavanagh and Andrea Byrne
The celebrations continued into the small hours....
The celebrations continued into the small hours....
Published in Howth YC

#hyc – The by now familiar blue skies for this year's Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League were accompanied by slightly cooler weather this Saturday, along with a brisk 13-20 knots of wind from the west. Other alterations from the previous 3 weeks of keelboat racing included the start of the Mini-Series and a welcome to some new entrants - Philip Smith's Bavaria Match 35 'Just Jasmin' and Paul Colton's Quarter Tonner 'Cri Cri' both from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, as well as Declan Murphy's Hanse 37 'Zuri' from Carlingford.
Following this weekend's races and with the exception of Class 3 in the main series, all other classes in the main series now apply a discard having sailed 4 races. In Class 1 Pat Kelly's J109 'Storm' continues to dominate IRC and ECHO with 'perfect scores' – now discarding first places in each division means that the competition looks to be left to compete for the minor places. The very competitive Class 2 divisions are a much closer affair, where Anthony Gore Grimes' 'Dux' is 4 points clear on ECHO, but only one point ahead of Richard & Michael Evans' 'The Big Picture' and a further 3 points back is the Swan-Freyne partnership on the other half-tonner 'Harmony'.
A win by Vince Gaffney's 'Alliance II' from the HYC Under 25 team in 'Kilcullen' means that they remain in those respective positions at the top of the Class 3 IRC division, while the 'Kilcullen' team top the ECHO division from Lionel McMurtry's 'Hellyhunter' following Lionel's race win this week. In Class 4 White Sails IRC, David Sargent's 'Indulgence' looks set to challenge the Hughes-Harris' Beneteau 40.7 'Tiger', as they are now positioned 2 points behind 'Tiger' following victory in race 4. 'Indulgence' leads the other 16 competitors in the ECHO division and Michael Fleming's second-placed 'Trinculo' by 6 points.
In Class 5 White Sails IRC, a win by Harry Byrne and his team on 'Alphida' closes the gap to one point between their Sunrise 34 and Emmet Dalton's 'Jebus'.
The large Puppeteer class on the 'inshore fleet' of one-design keelboats pushed a bit too hard on their start line and were given a general recall by PRO David Lovegrove, who then set a Black Flag and discipline was restored for the restart of their race and the busy start line. A race win for the Murphy-Costello 'Yellow Peril' and a second place for Colin and Kathy Kavanagh's 'Blue Velvet' did little to alter the leaderboard, but the top placed Gold Dust will need to be consistent to for the final 2 races after applying their discard this week. Cyprian Feeley's Cloud 9 leads the handicap division by 2 points.
Being short a crew member for this week's race didn't help the Flynn-Buckley team on the ISA Sailfleet J80s, as they watched Joe Phelan and his team win this week and take the overall lead from them by one point. The gradually improving results by Alistair Kissane's team (2nd for this race) puts their boat into contention also.
The closest racing of the day was reserved for the two Squibs Fantome (Ronan McDonnell) and Selik (Fergus O'Kelly) with the former crossing the line a single second in front! Most of the Howth 17s had to be content with contending for 3rd place after Peter Courtney's Oona and Marcus Lynch and John Curley's Rita held on to their early lead and finished 1st and 2nd respectively. Rita consolidated her lead in the scratch division while the handicap spoils look likely to be contended by Mary Faherty's Sheila and Tom Houlihan's Zaida.
The MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz sponsored Autumn League continues next Saturday afternoon.

(Photo: the Class 2 half-tonner 'Harmony' powers upwind)

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

#hyc – September's relentless warm sunshine lit Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League race course again last Saturday, providing competitors with what must prove to be a final opportunity for 't-shirt and shorts' sailing as the inevitable October weather looms.

The start line for one-design fleet was laid facing the Portmarnock shoreline and the 4 classes (J80s, Puppeteers, Squib and Howth 17s) started on-time into a gradually-backing gentle breeze of 5-10 knots. While the early legs afforded the fleet tricky upwind and downwind legs in the increasing ebb tide, the eventual settling of wind direction from the south meant that many of the classes had to save their tactical battles for the final beat into Howth Sound.

The offshore fleet starts were postponed by their race management team, as their start line was positioned in an area that appeared to be caught between converging winds. However their patience was rewarded as Race Officer and HYC Rear Commodore Richard Kissane set his course to the newly settled southerly wind direction, giving great racing to the cruiser classes - all getting 2 hours on the racecourse. The pattern of a gradually-building wind has been a feature of the first three weeks of the MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz sponsored Autumn League, with almost no wind up to midday.

Once racing is completed next week, boats will be discarding their worst scores in the series and the resulting re-positioning of places in the leaderboards will focus the minds of all contenders for the 17 titles and overall title winners. The Team Prize is being competed for by five teams and is led by the Harmony (Class 2) - Rita (Howth 17) - Gold Dust (Puppeteer) team. This despite Harmony's crew attending a wedding this week and carrying a resulting maximum points for this week's race. 

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

#HYC – Several forecasts suggesting that the current spell of exceptionally good weather could last until mid-October have helped to inspire the revival of a Mini-Series between Howth and Dun Laoghaire boats during the last three races of the Howth Autumn League, which concludes on Saturday October 18th writes WM Nixon.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club's programme of summer Saturday racing for keelboats concludes this weekend (Saturday 27th September). ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly, who races out of Howth in the Mills 36 Crazy Horse, feels that there's still enough life in the last of the summer to encourage the Dun Laoghaire boats across the bay for three more Saturdays of racing, and to facilitate this he is organising a three race challenge series within the second half of the six race Howth Autumn League format.

Dun Laoghaire crews will be encouraged by the user-friendly times. The races at Howth on Saturday October 4th and 11th will see the first gun at 2.30pm, while the concluding regatta on Saturday 18th October will get under way at 1130, thereby allowing plenty of time for the prize-giving and for the Dun Laoghaire boats to return to their home base.

Racing is available in IRC 1, 2 & 3, and in White Sails 4 & 5. Entries will be accepted up to the day of the first race (details from http://hyc.ie/autumn-league-homepage), but please call the HYC Marina Office on 01-8392777 few days beforehand to arrange your spcial-deal marina berth a few days beforehand.

Published in Howth YC

#hyc – Howth Yacht Club sailors were involved in August's US Grand Slam series which consists of four ISAF grade 2 match race regatta's held across the Mid West and East Coast of the United States during the month of August. The series included the Chicago Grand Slam sailed in TOM 28's , The Detroit Cup sailed in Ultimate 20's, The Knickerbocker Cup and the Oakcliff International meanwhile were sailed in the stunning "mini- America's Cup boats" the Swedish Match 40's on the waters of Long Island Sound, New York.

Based on a cumulative points system, the series annually attracts the world's leading match race teams – this year was no different with the reigning World Match Race Tour Champion Taylor Canfield and his US One team competing along with numerous other top ranked teams.

The series began in Chicago where both Shane Diviney and Scott Flanigan worked for the summer in the Chicago Match Race Centre and Chicago Yacht club respectively. Shane competed with former Optimist World Champion Chris Steele and his 36 Below team from New Zealand who are ranked 16th in the world.

Scott meanwhile called tactics and trimmed mainsail for the Californian based, Long Beach Match Racing (LBMR) team skippered by multiple Congressional Cup helm Dustin Durant. Sam O'Byrne joined the LBMR team for the finale as a very proficient trimmer at the Oakcliff International in Oyster Bay, New York.

Shane experienced the greatest success of the HYC contingent when the 36 Below team finished second overall in the Grand Slam series after a strong final regatta at the Oakcliff International losing out to series winner Pierre-Antoine Morvan of France in the final. Sam and Scott meanwhile also had some personal highs with LBMR beating Morvan's team along with top name Dave Perry in the Round Robin.

All four events were brilliantly organised and it was great to have Howth so well represented in the U.S this summer. Undoubtedly the experiences shared by this trio will provided the exuberance needed to reinvigorate the Irish match race circuit again, which could not have a better home than in Howth with the J80's.

Published in Howth YC

#hyc – Almost 100 keelboats raced in Howth Yacht Club's idyllic conditions on Saturday for the second weekend of the MSL Park Motors Autumn League. Competitors enjoyed bright sunshine and the steady 10-13 knots of north-easterly wind enabled the two race management teams to challenge the nine participating classes with the finest selection of 'round-the–cans' courses.

The initial rolling swell on the racecourse was smoothened by the advancing flood tide and HYC Race Officers Derek Bothwell and Richard Kissane wasted no time in setting their planned 2-hour races for all classes, including some additional time on the water for the Class 3 participants.

Pat Kelly and his team on their J109 Storm have wasted no time in declaring their intent and suggested to the race organising team that there should be a good selection of X-Large MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz race winner jackets and shirts in stock for their confident and 'bulky' crew, this following their second race win in Class 1 IRC and ECHO. The conditions have been ideally suited to the half-tonners and J24s in Classes 2 & 3 respectively where the Evans brothers' The Big Picture and Brian McDowell's Scandal have dominated the top of the leaderboard, although HYC Past Commodore Anthony Gore Grimes' Dux is keeping the pressure on within Class 2.

On the start line in Class 4, HYC's Honorary Treasurer David Sargent in Indulgence counted on great boat speed to recover from being trapped On-Course-Side of the start line to win again on ECHO, while the IRC division is likely to become a hard-fought affair – with Stephen Harris and Frank Hughes' Tiger winning this weeks prize.

In Class 5, Kevin O'Byrne and his crew on Mary Ellen continue their recent event form with a win in the highly competitive ECHO division, while Emmet Dalton's Jebus was securing its second win on IRC.

The one-design keelboat classes settled into their racing after an initial general recall for the J80s. A race win in the ISA Sailfleet J80 class for Joe Phelan's team put them on a 3-way tie for the lead in a fleet that saw recently qualified 2016 Olympian Annalise Murphy join Alistair Kissane's team for this race.

Gold Dust and Cloud 9 emerged from the busiest start-line of the day winning the scratch and handicap honours in the Puppeteer class and both consolidating their positions at the top of those leaderboards.

Father and son duo of Fergus and Gus O'Kelly (14) won the Squib race for the second week and Marcus Lynch and John Curley's 116-year-old Rita took line honours in the ever-competitive Howth 17 class Scratch division, while Zaida won the handicap race prize.

While protest chairmen Neil Murphy and Ed Alcock were kept busy with their jury teams in the Protest Rooms, the fine weather afforded HYC's entertainment and catering teams to extend their afternoon offering of BBQ's and outdoor live music late into the evening. Event Chairman Feargal Kinsella explained that 'this helps consolidate the decision of our organising team to both raise the profile of the event in conjunction with sponsors MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz and to provide the very best racing and social offering for our competitors and their guests.'

The series continues for another four weeks, finishing on Saturday 18th October.

Full results here

Published in Howth YC
Page 7 of 11

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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