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In order to encourage greater participation by female sailors in the Irish J109 fleet, the class has voted to amend the crew weight limit to permit up to two female crew members to be excluded from the combined crew weight limit for class events.

This amendment, passed by 75% of voting class members, changes the crew weight limit requirements from the current maximum combined crew weight (excluding helm) of 650kg to a maximum crew weight (excluding helm) of 600kg plus up to two additional female crew members, according to Irish J109 Class Captain, Dave Egan. 

The 2023 Irish J109 Class events are the J109 Eastern Championships, to be held 10th - 11th of June on Dublin Bay, and the J109 National Championships to be held as part of the Key Yachting J-Cup from the 26th - 27th of August.

There is a new crew weight limit for the Irish J109s in 2023 Photo: AfloatThere is a new crew weight limit for the Irish J109s in 2023 Photo: Afloat

It is hoped that with the National Championships being held as part of the J-Cup, and near the ICRA Championships, a number of yachts from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and potentially further afield will make the journey to Dublin to compete in both events.

In a further change, this year, the Eastern and National Championships will be contested under both Scratch and Progressive ECHO, to encourage as many boats as possible to enter.

Published in J109
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North Wales ISORA champion Mojito is one of the first entries into July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

The Pwllheli J109 of Vicky Cox and Peter Dunlop is a regular visitor to the Irish east coast and was a big winner on the south coast of Ireland last year too. 

The Mojito crew are entered into what is expected to be a hot Cruisers One division at Ireland's biggest regatta, where a combined fleet of up to 500 boats will compete.

After a successful 2022 Irish campaign that included wins in the 260-mile K2Q race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour and a Cork Week coastal win in July, the top Welsh J109 returned home to dominate the IRC Welsh National Championships in August before being crowned ISORA champion in September.

As Afloat reported, VDLR 2023 has issued its notice of race and is open for entries.  A class captains' information evening for the regatta's 22 competing classes will be held on January 11th.

Published in Volvo Regatta

The Irish J109 Irish Championships scheduled for Dublin Bay this weekend has been cancelled 'due to a lack of entries'.

Seven entries had been received but deemed 'not viable to proceed' with the championship, according to a statement issued by regatta organisers.

Organisers say that a 2023 championship date will be decided at the class AGM.

Afloat sources say efforts were made to reschedule to an alternative date next month for the 2022 event, but some boats were unavailable.

At least one boat made the journey from West Cork to Dun Laoghaire for this weekend.

Published in J109
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After a successful Irish campaign that included wins in the 260-mile K2Q race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour and a Cork Week coastal win in July, the top Welsh J109 returned home to dominate the IRC Welsh National Championships.

The championships were again held at Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, with race management by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and the Royal Dee Yacht Club. They enjoyed excellent sailing conditions over the three days.

The three-day championship consisted of an IRC class competing for the Welsh National Champion title and a cruiser class racing under the progressive NHC rating system.

The event got underway with a Commodores reception on the deck at Plas Heli on Thursday and a great BBQ party with the Jac Dobson a'r band on Friday evening.

The IRC class enjoyed three days of racing various courses, managed by the RDYC from the Royal Dee committee boat Bacardee, in mainly light north westerly winds.

In form Mojito, fresh from an IRC Coastal class win at Cork Week Regatta, started with a win in race one and continued to win five more races out of the nine races sailed.

Second place was last year's winner Imposter (Richard Fildes), with Darling XX (Stephen Williams) third.

The NHC class enjoyed six races, managed by the PSC race management team from the PSC bridge, around the club's fixed marks and St Tudwals Islands. This class had very close racing with the progressive handicap system working well. Quattro (Avril banks) and Crud y Awel (Pete Driver) tied the class going into the last day, with Quattro (Avril Banks) winning the NHC cruiser class after a fine win in the previous race.

The final day's prizegiving was conducted on the deck at Plas Heli with prizes and trophies presented by PSC Commodore Gerallt Williams and RDYC Commodore Charlie Jones.

Published in J109
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The complexities of Volvo Cork Week 2022 may have obscured some of the important National Championships taking place within it and its many classes. But aboard the more serious boats, the “hidden target” was the ICRA Nationals 2022, and the focus on this sharpened as the Week progressed until, in the end, the popular winner was J/109 stalwart John Maybury (Royal Irish YC) with his efficiently-campaigned Joker II, a boat which is no stranger to the podium as Afloat reports here

Published in Sailor of the Month
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A win for Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox's J109 Mojito in July's inaugural 260-mile K2Q Dun Laoghaire to Cork via Fastnet Race, followed by an overall win of the IRC Coastal Division of Volvo Cork Week, is a highlight of the season so far for the visiting North Wales crew.

The K2Q race was a collaboration between the Munster-based SCORA and the Irish Sea ISORA offshore racing associations. As previously reported, was a restaging of the first recorded Irish offshore race of 1860.

"The K2Q race was a real tough one for the crew, both physically leading to the rock and mentally coming away from it, according to Mojito co-skipper Cox. 

The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Sammo Jones, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. At the last minute, Cox was unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta.

Only four boats completed the long course version of the race, three of them from Wales.

The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Mike Manzke, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. Cox was, at the last minute, unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta.The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Sammo Jones, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. Cox was, at the last minute, unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta Photo: Afloat

K2Q winners - In 1860 It is reported that the winner of the race was paid a prize of £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, and had sixteen boats racing. In 2022, Mojito was awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.K2Q winners - In 1860, It is reported that the race's winner was paid a £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, with sixteen boats racing. In 2022, Mojito was awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world. Photo: Bob Bateman

Mojito's Cork Week Coastal campaign

"I must admit Cork Week has always been a favourite, and there was absolutely no hesitation from our crew when we said we would do it as they all enjoyed the fun there in 2018", Cox told Afloat. 

Twenty-one teams raced in the Coastal Class, which proved to be one of the most competitive classes of the Week. In the early stage, Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth YC led the class after winning the Harbour Race by just 32 seconds. Jamie McWilliam's Royal Hong Kong YC team racing Ker40+ Signal 8 was also on the pace. 

In Afloat's Cork Week 2022 race reports, WM Nixon referred to Mojito as the 'Steady Eddy of the Coastal IRC Class' and how the crew upped their game a tiny bit for the final and closest race of the class's Week by bringing their immaculately-maintained ISORA offshore star in first on Corrected Time, which in due course gave Mojito the scoreline for winning the overall title. 

Mojito (GBR9047R) under spinnaker in Cork Week's predominantly light airsMojito (GBR9047R) under spinnaker in Cork Week's predominantly light airs Photo: Rick Tomlinson

 "It was amazing to compete against the bigger boats such as Signal 8 and Pata Negra, but as soon as they left the start line, we could barely see them, making it difficult to gauge how we were doing in the race", Cox says. "All we could do was sail as best we could, and amazingly we won the first race".

"A third place on Wednesday, and we realised we were up against an amazing crew on Signal 8, so we'd really have to push to get a good result. We really have to thank our crew for the results as every eye was looking out for wind shifts, wind holes and the inevitable sea breeze", she told Afloat.  

Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox on the podium in Cork Week as Coastal division championsPeter Dunlop and Vicky Cox on the podium in Cork Week as Coastal division champions Photo: Bob Bateman

What's Next for Coastal Champion Mojito? 

Mojito continues her busy season, heading back to Dun Laoghaire at the end of the month, racing in the next ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli.

Once back in her home port, she'll compete in the Welsh IRC National Championships (5th to 7th August), followed by Abersoch Keelboat week at the end of August and an ISORA Welsh coastal race. That then sets Mojito up nicely for the last ISORA race of the season, the famous James Eadie trophy race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire.

At the end of the ISORA series, Mojito returns home to Pwllheli Sailing Club to compete in the popular Autumn and Winter series and the Pwllheli Challenge. "We really find that series a great place to train for offshore, especially when the strong south-westerlies kick in on the jet stream', Cox says.

Published in Cork Week
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16 teams had windward leeward and round the cans courses over the five days at Cork Week. John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 with a team from the Royal Irish YC, is the ICRA class champion.

Joker 2 scored four race wins and nine podium finishes in ten races. Second is Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm with a team from Howth YC & Rush SC. Third is Barry Cunningham’s J/109 Chimaera with his Royal Irish team.

“We are absolutely delighted, we have had a ball all week,” commented Joker’s John Maybury. “I could not ask for more from my team, they have been brilliant, everyone did their bit. The weather was fantastic, the competition was tough, this has been an absolutely memorable regatta. Thank you so much to the organisers.”

A tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two divisionA tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two division Photo: Mary Malone

Published in Cork Week
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Cork Week Class IRC Two leader, John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 from the Royal Irish YC, scored a seventh in the first race of the day but came fighting back with a win and a second place to all but secure the class title with one more day of racing to come.

Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush/Howth YC had a mixed day but came back from two fifth place results to win the last race to stay in second place for the series.

A tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two divisionA tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two division Photo: Mary Malone

Barry Cunningham’s J/109 Chimaera from the Royal Irish won the first race of the day and finished the day in third, just a point behind Storm.

Racing at Volvo Cork Week concludes tomorrow on five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. 

A number of protests are still to be heard, so results are provisional

Published in Cork Week
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John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 from the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire won Wednesday’s Day three Cork Week IRC 2 race by nearly three minutes from Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush/Howth YC.

The Evans Brothers racing J/99 Snapshot have broken the J/109 dominance in the class, finishing third today. The Snapshot team from Howth YC was just 23 seconds behind Storm.

The third day of Cork Week incorporating the ICRA National Championships was blessed with sunshine and 8-10 knots of breeze from the north. 

“So far so good,” commented Joker’s John Maybury. “We often race against Storm, Chimaera and Artful Dodjer, which are all well-sailed J/109s"

"To be honest I think that the weather and Cork Week’s courses really suit the design, but we have to make sure we don’t get wrapped up in a personal battle as there are plenty of good teams racing other types of boats", the RIYC J109 National Champion said.

"Today as we finished in front of Cobh, the race officer let off the gun and then threw us the spent cartridge as we sailed back past them. It was a lovely gesture… It’s great to be back at Cork Week”, Maybury added.

Racing at Cork Week continues tomorrow with the penultimate day of racing for the regatta. Five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, will be organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Published in Cork Week
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Kevin O’Neill’s boat-shed at Kirkistown on the Ards Peninsula in Co Down has seen many boat restorations, the most recent being the MGRS 34, Twenty Twenty for Rex Robinson of Dublin Bay (renamed Debbie R in memory of his late wife) and another MGRS 34, Juno, for Kevin’s and his son Terence’s own use.

Kevin’s latest project has arrived on its long road trip from Cork Harbour to Northern Ireland. It is Jelly Baby, the J109 which faced destruction when it came to grief on Weavers Point during the final race of Royal Cork’s Autumn League last October.

She was refloated from Bull Rock by the coastguard and a salvage team, and laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard.

Jelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork HarbourJelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork Harbour

Subsequently tracked down by Kevin’s son Terence, she is now on her way to Kirkistown. But it would be a dream that she’d be ready for racing in Strangford Lough this season.

Kevin says Jelly Baby will have “a complete overhaul and be back on the race course again, maybe not this season but the 2023 season”.

It is certainly heartening to see boats being restored and racing again.

Jelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards PeninsulaJelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards Peninsula

Published in J109
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]