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Solo sailor Conor Fogerty of Howth Yacht Club attended this morning's OSTAR skippers race briefing. John Forde, in Plymouth with Ireland's Team BAM!, updates on preparations for Monday's Transatlantic race start. 

Bam arrived safely in Plymouth to take her place amongst the fleet of solo and two handed sailors in this year's OSTAR.

Ten different nationalities are represented from as far apart as Australia and America to the usual European strongholds , one from Poland and Bulgaria and Howths own Fogerty on the intrepid Sunfast 3600 Bam.

An interesting delivery saw Bam slip her lines early Wednesday morning after a lateish send off from friends and family in Howth.

A flat calm Irish Sea shrouded in fog saw Bam on bare poles head for Tuskar and then South east to the turn. The wind filled and a sun soaked Thursday afternoon saw 30 knots of breeze on a nice angle of 55 apparent.

It also provided the crew with the opportunity to photograph the skipper against the backdrop of the disused Cornish tin mine shafts and Lands End.

However the breeze backed as we turned the corner and a lumpy sea accompaning saw a demanding last leg, A temporary glitch in the Auto pilot meant the two watches were stretched from 3 hours on to fully on for the last 12 hours from the Lizard Rock up the coast to Plymouth Harbour.

As Conor said a small taste of what awaits him on this 3,000 mile up wind race.

OSTAR Fogerty ConorThe Irish Jeanneau Sunfast BAM! is prepared for the Transatlantic crossing in Plymouth. Photo: John Forde

With the excitement now building amongst the skippers gathered , a round of briefings , drinks receptions and tales from past participants has begun in earnest. The Half Crown Club will meet this Saturday afternoon to commemorate the original race run in 1960 and the bet placed between the first corinthian competitors. Also this weekend sees the 50th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester Clarke's global circumnavigation in 1967. The Gypsy Moth IV now held in trust and run by a lively female crew lies on the marina beside Bam with a series of talks and viewings of the famous old lady organised this weekend.

So now as a Skippers Briefing takes place and last minute jobs and tweaks are carried out, a more familiar south westerly has filled in bringing rain after glorious sunshine to the hosting club of the Royal Western.

The Starting gun goes at 12.00 hours on Monday the 29th of this Bank Holiday weekend.

Interested parties can track the race and hopefully Conor's successful passage on the Yellow Brick tracker.

We wish Captain Fogerty a speedy, safe and a hoped for successful Atlantic crossing and finish in Newport Rhode Island in approximately three weeks time.

Published in Howth YC
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Once the ISORA fleet completes its fourth race to Arklow on Saturday, organisers have cooked up a novel and unique race five in the Averycrest sponsored series. Originally, it had been intended that ISORA would join with Howth Yacht Club in the Lambay Race but when the date of that race was brought forward it clashed with the ISORA race to finish in Dublin Port as part of the Dublin Port Riverfest. The solution was 'simple', according to ISORA's Peter Ryan, so they combined the two races into one event and will have two finishes!

There will be a special 'ISORA Class' in the HYC Lambay Race. Boats can enter both the ISORA Class of the Lambay Race and the ISORA Day Race. The start of both races will be provided by Howth YC and the course around Lambay will set by HYC.

The ISORA Class fleet will then proceed to the Lambay race finish off Howth where finish times will be recorded and prizes awarded. However, what is unique about this race is that the ISORA fleet will treat the finish line as a mark on the course and continue on the race toward the 'second finish' in Dublin Port.

The courses for both parts of this unique race will be circulated on the Thursday before the race.

This unique race will test the ability of the racing rules and the use of the YB trackers, but that is the challenge!

Published in ISORA

Ireland’s oldest keelboat class, the Howth 17s which were founded in 1898, saw six of their boats depart Rosslare at 1600hrs today writes W M Nixon. All six have safely covered the first road stage of their long haul from Howth to the week-long Festival of the Sea on the Morbihan in southern Brittany.

Irish Ferries is so taken with the venture that they have provided free return passages for four of the flotilla and their towing vehicles. The group sharing of the cost of the remaining two extra boats has made it all a very manageable financial proposition indeed.

However, there’s still a long way to go to Vannes once they’ve disembarked tomorrow morning in Cherbourg. And as two of the boats – Roddy Cooper’s Leila and Ian Macolm’s Aura – are true vintage, being of the first five built by John Hilditch in 1898, they are not so much boats now, they’re rather more in the category of sacred relics.

Published in Howth YC
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The Cruising Association of Ireland is already well into a busy season in 2017, but it moves up a gear this weekend with the AGM at Howth presided over by Commodore Clifford Brown tomorrow (Saturday) at 1800hrs, and based around a rally of East Coast members and their boats followed by a dinner, with CAI folk from other parts of Ireland travelling overland to the venue writes W M Nixon.

Last year the CAI AGM & Rally in the Spring was used to mark the opening of the new Greystones Sailing Club with GSC Commodore Dave Nixon as CAI’s Guest of Honour. This year in the more mature marina at Howth, the home club are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their clubhouse – a winner of architectural awards when it was opened in 1987 – while the marina itself has been in action for nearly 35 years.

The CAI programme in 2017 is impressive, as they started with the Kish Muster in Dublin Bay on 8th April with the overnight at the hospitable National YC. This weekend of May 13th-14th, the focus swings to Howth, then on June 3rd to 5th a significant contingent will be at the Dublin Port festival, while they’re back to meet their old friends in Greystones on 10th to 11th June.

This year’s Cruise-in-Company is focused on Belfast Lough from July 3rd to 10th, then after a mid-season hiatus when many members expect to be doing individual cruises, they gather again on 12th August for an East Coast Rally at either Arklow or Carlingford, depending on the weather. Their East Coast season is rounded out by the traditional and popular Liffey 3 Bridges Cruise on 16th/17th September, when the opening bridges in the heart of Dublin are co-ordinated to allow the CAI fleet through for an convivial assembly which culminates in feasting aboard the Dublin Restaurant Ship Cill Airne.

cruising associationThe popular Cruising Association of Ireland 3 Bridges Cruise in September sees the Liffey bridges co-ordinated for a shared opening time to allow the fleet through. Photo : W M Nixon
While Saturday night’s AGM and dinner at Howth has a certain business-to-be-done emphasis to it, around a dozen boat think it’s only right and proper to sail there, none more so than the renowned Charlie Kavanagh of Wicklow. His Sadler 34 Stravaiger was wintered in a berth in Kilmore Quay, and he was keen to sail to the Howth AGM. But with a period of cold nor’easters threatening, he grabbed a brief weather window on Sunday night by press-ganging shipmate and Wicklow SC Hon. Sec. Peter Shearer into an overnight passage, and they were rewarded with fair easterly winds for a dream sail to Wicklow, admittedly in decidedly crisp temperatures.

So now Stravaiger is conveniently poised to sail north to Howth either this evening or tomorrow morning, and with his new season properly under way, Charlie Kavanagh’s plans for Stravaiger in 2017 include a leisurely Round Ireland cruise.

Published in Cruising

Howth Yacht Club is stressing its two day coaching on the eve of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships, is not just for club members. In association with UK McWilliam Sailmakers and ICRA, the north Dublin club is running two days of coaching for yachts and their crews on May 20 and 21.

Skippers and crews eager to improve their skills – and tune–up – for the season ahead are invited to partake in what will be 'two brilliant days of sailing'.

The racing season is just around the corner with the ICRA Nationals taking place in early June at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Des McWilliam and Graham Curran of UK Sailmakers will be doing on the water coaching at HYC on both days followed by video debriefs. 

'This is NOT exclusively for customers of UK Sailmakers, you are invited to train no matter who supplies your sail wardrobe', HYC's Ross McDonald told Afloat.ie

Entries are strictly limited to 10 per day for a 5:1 coaching ratio.

Here are some great instructional videos to watch in the meantime from UK Sailmakers: Instructional videos

The entry fee options are HYC Member (€95.00) and Non Member (€125.00). You can enter your boat online here

Published in Howth YC
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With a month to go to the ICRA National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Cruiser Racer body has published a 56–boat entry list to date that reveals a large entry from the host Cork Harbour Club. Royal Cork yachts represent 30% of entries received to date. Dublin Boats represent another 30% but there is likely to be some disappointment that no entries have so far been received from either the Royal St. George YC or National Yacht Clubs. To date, Howth Yacht Club is sending eight boats while the Royal Irish Yacht Club is sending similar.

18 yacht clubs are represented at the 2017 championships.

Neighbouring Kinsale Yacht Club has five entries listed. A single Scottish entry from the Clyde has been received as has a single Welsh entry from Swansea Yacht Club.

Seven boats in the fleet are J24 one designs that will also race for southern class honours, a new departure for the ICRA championships.

ICRA believes only 60% of the entries have been recevied at this stage so with five days before the early bird entry expires, ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney is urging skippers to avail of the discounted rate.

Read the provisional ICRA entry list below: 

BOAT NAME TYPE IRC HANDICAP SAIL NUMBER CLUB
Powder Monkey Sigma 33 0.912 IRL 4206 Tralee
Rioja J80 0.953 GBR 380 Royal Cork
Ellida X332 0.981 IRL 6021 Royal Cork
Raptor Mills 30CR 1.013 IRL 811 Royal Irish
Bandit Mod Bolero 26' 0.881 IRL 2622 Royal Cork
Bonanza Impala 28 0.888 IRL 9515 Royal Cork
Sea Hawk Sigma 33 0.914 IRL 4506 Royal Cork
Jump Juice Ker 37 1.109 IRL 2007 Royal Cork
Rebellion Lambay 60 1.056 IRL 6001 Wicklow SC
Gala Racing J24 0.884 IRL 4384 Foynes SC
Joker 2 J109 1.015 IRL 1206 Royal Irish
Fusion Corby 25 0.934 IRL 2552 Howth YC
Altair First 36.7 1.016 IRL 3670 Cobh / Royal Cork
Bad Company Sunfast 32 0.934 IRL 16859 Royal Cork
Dark Angel Dubois 37 1.096 GBR 8833R Swansea YC
Objection Sun Odyssey 35 0.942 IRL 4004 Kinsale YC
Artful Dodger Elan333 0.952 IRL 1333 Kinsale YC
Alpaca X34 0.995 IRL 35221 Royal Cork
K25 Team Scandal J24 0.886 4212 Howth YC
Checkmate XVII Mod 1/2 Tonner 0.944 IRL 2016 Howth YC
Loch Greine Hanse 31 0.923 IRL 1033 Royal Cork
Surfdancer Elan 333 0.970 IRL 1759 Royal Cork
Stonehaven Racing Corby 25 0.934 GBR 6655 Royal Western YC
Privateer Dufour 365 0.940 IRL 3653 Kinsale YC
Raffles Sadler32 0.865 GBR 6095T Schull HSC
Cartoon 1/4 ton 0.895 IRL 9186 Royal Irish YC
Inis Mor Kert 39 1.118 FRA 35439 CCC Scotland
Bon Exemple XP33 1.009 GBR 8933R Royal Irish YC
Saxon Senator X37 1.035 IRL 1447 Royal Cork YC
Jumpin' Jiv J24 0.886 IRL 3060 Greystones SC
Dux X302 0.927 IRL 988 Howth YC
Jostler J92 0.970 IRL 1078 Kinsale YC
Storm J109 1.016 IRL 1141 Rush/Howth
Relativity Albin Express 0.877 IRL 262 Cobh SC
Harmony 1/2 Tonner 0.946 IRL 1484 Howth YC
Aramis Contessa 33 0.920 IRL 1022 Royal Cork
Jana J24 0.885 397 Sligo YC
Bene Bebe First 210 0.840 GBR 7712T Royal Cork
Stouche J24 0.886 IRL 4215 Foynes SC
Equinox X-332 0.979 IRL 1332 Howth YC
Indulgence Dehler 365 0.996 IRL 2805 Royal Cork
Jade J24 0.887 IRL 4094 NMCISC Maritime College
Slack Alice GK34 0.949 IRL 4170 Waterford HSC
Johnny Bravo J24 0.885 4115 Howth YC
Cri-Cri 1/4 ton 0.912 18709 Royal Irish YC
Rockabill VI JPK 10.80 1.051 IRL 10800 Royal Irish YC
Manzanita 1/4 ton 0.889 IRL 2076 Schull HSC
White Mischief J109 1.010 GBR 1242R Royal Irish YC
Aisling Dufour 365 0.985 IRL 3651 Royal Cork YC
Sweet Dreams Jenneau 36 0.985 IRL 3612 Royal Cork YC
Whistlin Dixie Impala 28 0.876 IRL 9516 Royal Cork YC
Lady T Sun Odyssey 32i 0.932 IRL 2510 Royal Cork YC
Jigamaree J109 1.011 IRL 7991 Royal Irish YC
Meridian Salona 45 1.112 IRL 4076 Kinsale YC
Fools Gold A35 1.022 IRL 3061 Waterford HSC
Maximus X-302 0.930 IRL 7495 Howth YC
Published in ICRA

Greystones Sailing Club and Lough Derg Yacht Club member Pamela Lee racing on TP52 'Conviction' as Bow at Antigua Race Week wrapped up class RSA3 in impressive style.

When we last reported, Conviction led with four wins from five races and she continued on that consistent tack taking seven wins from eight races overall.

It wasn't the only Irish success in Antiqua either. A Howth Yacht Club crew led by Ian McCormack on USA entry Porthmeor, Neil Styler's Oyster 49 were second in RSA nine.

The Grand Awards Ceremony for Antigua Sailing Week was held in Nelson's Dockyard and the UNESCO World Heritage Site was a fitting venue for the 50th edition of this historic occasion. Thousands of sailors attended the ceremony and whilst all of the respective class winners had been posted, there were special awards that were still to be announced, including the biggest prize in Caribbean sailing, the Lord Nelson Trophy.

Portmeor Oyster 49The Portmeor Oyster 49 crew including Howth sailors. Photo: Ian McCormack/Facebook

Asot A Michael, MP, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy of Antigua and Barbuda, gave a heart-warming welcome speech to the crowd, which highlighted how important Antigua Sailing Week is to the twin island nation. Guest of Honour, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda presented the main prizes.

The stage was glittering with dozens of trophies, many of which have been sought after for decades of Caribbean racing. Winners took to the stage to receive their appreciation from the crowd, and finally there was just one trophy left. You could feel the tension as MC Tommy Paterson announced the winner of The Lord Nelson Trophy as Sergio Sagramoso's Puerto Rican Melges 32, Lazy Dog.

Sergio Sagramoso and his team took to the stage to tumultuous applause and then crowded around the historic Lord Nelson Trophy after the prize giving, scanning the list of names etched upon it over the years. The last Puerto Rican boat to win the trophy was Tom Hill's Titan XII in 2005.

"It is really amazing," smiled Sergio who had been racing in the highly competitive CSA 4. "I am so proud.
The Lazy Dog team will always remember this moment; this is why we do it. This was the toughest regatta I have ever been to with eight races and a very high level of competition.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster had been in impressive form all week, however the British charter boat was once again just short of winning the Lord Nelson Trophy. Ross and his crew didn't leave empty handed though, as the team left the stage with a huge haul of silverware for their efforts including: The Governor General's Cup for first overall in CSA 5, Best British Race Charter Yacht, Royal Southern Yacht Club Shield Trophy for the Inter-Yacht Club Challenge and the Peter Deeth Trophy for 2nd overall in CSA 1-6.

Sir Peter Harrison's Super Maxi Sojana racing in CSA 1 was close to winning the Lord Nelson Trophy for the second time and the crew where in good spirits as they took to the stage to receive multiple awards. They broke into song, singing 'Happy Birthday' to both the regatta and Sir Peter who celebrated his 80th birthday during the week. Sojana's trophy haul included: the Curtain Bluff Trophy for the overall win in CSA 1, The Corum Cup for winning overall in CSA 1-6, and the Fletcher Trophy for Best British Yacht.

Fritz Bus's St. Maarten Melges 24, Team Island Water World had an epic battle in CSA 6 with Antigua National Sailing Academy's Cork 1720, Spirit, skippered by Jules Mitchell. Team Island Water World won the class and Best Caribbean Boat in Start Boat A. Spirit was the Best Antiguan Boat in Start Boat A. After a keenly contested duel it was great to see the two teams sharing a photograph at the Awards Ceremony.

The K3 Foundation, racing Kialoa III and Clint Brooks' Bajan TP52 Conviction had a fantastic regatta; both yachts scoring seven bullets to win their respective classes, CSA 2 and CSA 3.

Winning the Big Banana Trophy for Best Caribbean Yacht and the Grant Thornton Trophy for Best Boat Overall in CSA 7-9 was Cary Byerley and Sir Robbie Ferron's Micron 99 Lord Jim from St. Maarten. The team had to overcome a 1.5 point deficit in the last race to their long term rivals, Sir Bobby Velasquez and his St. Maarten team racing L'Esperance. They went on to achieve victory by just two seconds!

"Two seconds and half a point; shockingly dramatic," commented Sir Robbie Ferron. "I could never believe it would be that close. In all my years, I have never won a regatta like that and I doubt if anyone else has. For the last three years, I have been racing against Bobbie in many regattas and we have always just missed out. I have great respect for him so we have a great ambience. Reflecting on how Antigua Sailing Week had evolved, this regatta has done the right things for the competitors and it is getting the appropriate response. Sailors are enjoying the experience and that is why it has such a great turnout and I believe that the momentum will continue beyond the 50th regatta, continued Ferron."

Antiguan, Sir Hugh Bailey won the Lord Nelson Trophy last year and was second in CSA 3 this year with a new acquisition, his Farr 45 Rebel-B. Sir Hugh has been involved in all 50 editions of Antigua Sailing Week.

"Back when it all started, if you told me that 50 years on we would have thousands of people racing in Antigua from all over the world, I would have said that was far from our thinking. I am happy to see the growth and I feel privileged because I am the only captain from the early days still alive and on the race course. This year I really enjoyed my new boat Rebel-B; we have a lot to learn, and I am sure we will get the boat even faster."

Winning the Dream Yacht Charter Trophy and one week Bareboat charter from Antigua was Mike Cannon & Neil Harvey's KHS&S Contractors from Florida, USA. "The team has won multiple times all over the Caribbean, but this was its first trip as a team to Antigua Sailing Week.

"I cannot believe how good this experience has been," commented Mike Cannon. "The crew and the people in Antigua have been just fabulous - unreal. I am not sure why it has taken us so long to come here. I have been to a lot of regattas in my life and this is one of the best places I have ever been and you can be sure we will be coming back!"

Steve Carson's Dehler 33, High Tide won CSA 8 after seven years of trying.

The 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week will take place from April 28th to May 4th, 2018.

Published in News Update

For the second Saturday running, the picturesque island of Ireland’s Eye has enabled Howth Yacht Club to have a Saturday sailing programme despite strong onshore winds which saw cancellations elsewhere writes W M Nixon.

Last weekend, a rising sou’easter threatened to create mayhem in the Selection Trials for the university crew to represent Ireland in the Student Yachting Worlds at Marseilles in the Autumn. But although the programme was slightly curtailed, a clear winner had emerged in the shape of UCD captained by Will Byrne.

Yesterday, the morning’s strong to gale force nor’easterly led to the cancellation of racing in Dublin Bay. But with a pier start at Howth and the shelter of the Sound inside Ireland’s Eye to enable everyone to settle down before facing a full-blooded windward slug to the north of the island in a now easing wind, the venerable Howth Seventeens were able to complete their first Saturday race of the season.

They made a real job of it, with the open sea beat done twice before they returned down to the Sound to the finish. The Massey Syndicate’s Deilginis (built 1907), helmed by Luke Massey, found her groove to do something of a horizon job on the rest of the fleet. Ian Malcolm’s Aura (built 1898) was second, while one of the “new” boats, the 1988-built Isobel (Conor & Brian Turvey) was third.

irelands eye3betterThe Howth 17 Deilginis narrowly leading Aura at the Glandore Classic Boat Regatta 2003. In yesterday’s first Saturday race of 2017, the order was the same, but the gap was greater. Photo: W M Nixon

As for how Ireland’s Eye got its name, it really couldn’t be simpler. The first written records refer to it as Inish Nessan, as Nessan was the local saint and you can still see the remains of her miniature abbey on the island. Then it became Inish Eria, as another woman had taken over, one Eria. When the Vikings arrived, Eria’s Island became Eria’s Oy. That in time became Eria’s Eye. The in a slip of the pen by a 16th Century map maker, it became Erin’s Eye. The subsequent tendency to obliterate anything that even hinted at Gaelic origins saw it become Ireland’s Eye. And so it remains, something which so improves sailing out of Howth that, as mentioned last week, if it didn’t exist we’d have to invent it.

irelands eye3betterDrone’e eye view from above Ireland’s Eye southward towards Howth Harbour, showing that even in fresh onshore breezes the island still provides enough shelter to get a race under way from a pier start. Photo Tomas Ryan

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

University College Dublin, led by Will Byrne, won through in an increasingly challenging national selection trials at Howth YC yesterday to take the honour of representing Ireland in the 37th Annual Student Yachting Worlds, which this year will be staged in the Mediterranean in the Autumn at Marseilles, and raced in J/80s.

Howth’s ready-to-go flotilla of club-owned J/80s thereby provided double value, and they provided much whoop-inducing sailing as the south’easterly built steadily during the day. This deteriorating weather was to mean that the usual club Saturday afternoon racing at both Howth and Dun Laoghaire was cancelled. But by that stage, thanks to a tight programme set in train by Race Officer Scorie Walls with the briefing in HYC at 0830 and the first gun at 1000hrs, the Intervarsity programme was already well on its way.

Although today (Sunday) had been pencilled in as a fallback day, the mood of the fleet was very strongly in favour of having it all done and dusted by the time the forecast even stronger winds were expected to arrive late on Saturday afternoon, and Scorie and her team were able to oblige.

By using Howth’s clear water race area between the protecting island of Ireland’s Eye and Portmarnock, the racing could continue as the wind shunted upwards towards the 27 knots-plus level, prompting the Race Team to quip that if Ireland’s Eye didn’t exist, then they’d have had to invent it.

Nevertheless even this shelter could only do so much in the very dense and increasingly fast moving air, and with some damage being sustained, the final had to be based on two races sailed between Cork IT Sailing, Trinity CD Sailing, NUI Galway, and UCD.

UCD were on a roll as they’d notched three wins and a second in the four qualifying races, and they maintained this pace into the two final contests, with Trinity as runners-up and NUI Galway placing third overall. Now Marseilles calls, and UCD have an entire summer for further training in J/80s racing. But meanwhile, extraneous matters like exams have to be dealt with....

Published in Youth Sailing

The Annual Student Yachting Worlds, sailed in performance keelboats each Autumn in France, has seen Irish overall success in times past, a noted international varsity star being Nicholas “Nin” O’Leary during his college days in Cork writes WM Nixon

But as it is raced in keelboats – in November 2016 at La Rochelle they sailed the Grand Surprise 31 – the selection trials in Ireland are staged as a separate event from the Irish Intervarsity Nationals, which are raced in dinghies (usually Fireflies), with 2017’s already staged in mid-March in Clifden in Connemara, and Trinity College Dublin, captain by Richard Roberts from Cork, winning overall.

However, with keelboat skills required for the Student Yachting Worlds, their 2017 selection will emerge from a series to be sailed this weekend in the Howth YC’s Club Flotilla of J/80s.

The format of the SYW is based on each nation being represented by its top-performing college, rather than by a national squad selected from the best-of-the-best in each crew, so the Selection Trials are one hotly contested inter-varsity event.

Last year in France at La Rochelle, there was unprecedented Trantlantic domination, with the Canadian team winning overall from the USA’s California Maritime Academy by one point. Southampton University (England) was best of the Europeans, with Ireland represented by Cork Institute of Technology taking fourth after a series in which at one stage they’d been very well in the frame.

Cork Institute of Technology take this World Series very seriously indeed, so they’ve two teams entered for this weekend’s selectors, CIT 1 captained by Jay Stacy, and CIT 2 headed by Ewan O’Keeffe. The “local varsity”, Dublin City University from just up the road, is also in the mix, skippered by Colm Roche.

The eight contenders are completed by University of Limerick (captain Chris McDaid), Queens University Belfast (Jocelyn Hill), University College Dublin 1 (William Byrne), NUI Galway (Sean Mahon) and Trinity College Dublin 1 (Rory McStay)

Published in Youth Sailing
Page 7 of 38

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