It’s exactly a hundred years to the day from the establishment of the thriving Treardur Bay Sailing Club at its rocky cove in west Anglesey in North Wales on August 23rd 1919 writes W M Nixon. Back then, the world was only beginning its struggle to recover from the full horror of the Great War of 1914-1918, and events like the formation of a new sailing club were vital to assist the proper return to normal life.
Thus we extend our warmest good wishes across the Channel to a keen group of sailors who brought two boat classes – the Myth 14ft dinghy class founded in 1920, and the Seabird Half Raters from 1898 – to be a much-appreciated presence at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019 in July, and we wish them well as they launch into their second century tonight.
And if you wonder what it’s like to sail from a southwest-facing rocky cove on the Welsh coast protected only by reefs, rocks and islets, then this vid from 2018 gives some idea of what sailing can be like when the wind eases a bit after a period of heavy onshore weather at Treardur Bay. The red sails are on the Myths from 1920, and there’s a glimpse of the historic Seabirds out at sea beyond the rocks.
In the IRC Non-spin 1 division of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta today, the Elan 333s are having a fine old time of it, with the overall placings now putting Colm Bermingham’s Bite the Bullet from Howth first, while Paul Tully’s White Lotus (DM) is third, but in between is Terry Fair from Balyholme YC with his Sigma 33 Cariad.
IRC Non-Spinnaker 2
In the IRC Non Spin 2 class, Paul Conway’s stylish veteran Contessa 32 Cevantes revelled in it today to log more wins in every race, next best was the UFO 31 Menapia (James & Sue McSweeney), whole the Holland-designed Super Seal Gung-Ho (Grainnne & Sean O’Shea) was third.
They gave the offshore wannabes a real run for their money today in the Coastal Race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, yet there was still a certain sameness about the final results, as Seamus Fitzpatrick’s attractive First 50 Mermaid IV was first again while George Sisk’s Xp 44 WOW was third again, but in between them this time was the little J/109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox, Pwllheli & Royal Dee), though overall it’s Mermaid first, WOW second, and Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 1080 Rockabill VI third in Div A, while Div B is led by Mojito with another J/109, Nigel Ingrams’ Jet Stream from Holyhead, in second, and the veteran Mills 36 Raptor (Denis Hewitt RIYC & all the usual suspects) at third.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s the glorious Twelfth of July through all classes, and northern boats at VDLR 19 have been celebrating with particular style in Class 3, where Rory Fekkes' souped-up Beneteau First 8 from Carrickfergus was in top form to take a couple of firsts while discarding a 2nd, putting him on a very competitive 3pts overall against the 7 points of Howth’s Ger O’Sullivan with the Formula 28 Animal, while in third slot is another northerner, Charlie McAllister from Antrim Boat Club on Lough Neagh with the Quarter Tonner Fait Accompli - a year ago, Charlie was very much involved in organising the International Atlantic Challenge for a fleet of Bantry Boats from both sides of the Atlantic on Lough Neagh, now it’s his turn to be on the podium on his own account.
Jonathan Fawcett’s S&S Classic She 31 She Too from Abersoch found things very much to her liking, she’s first overall after a couple of firsts today while the DMYC Trapper 300 Eleint (Michael Matulka) stayed in touch with a couple of seconds, third place going to the Frazer Meredith syndicate with the Sonata Asterix
Nigel Biggs was in top form among the Half Tonners to register 2,4, 1 with Checkmate XVIII, while Ronan and John Downing from Royal Cork were feeling their journey was very well worthwhile through now lying second overall with Miss Whiplash, with Colin and Cathy Kavanagh from Howth with the J/97 The Jeneral Lee finding that 4th and 3rd with a discarded 10th had them moving into third overall ahead of some very fancied boats in a class where the competition is razor sharp – overnight leader Mata (Wright brothers) is now back in 6th.
With a gently rising barometer and a nor’west breeze coming out of a soft grey sky (fifty shades and counting), most folk expected that the wind would fade on Day 2 of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019 writes W M Nixon. But on the contrary, the breeze became decidedly brisk to push up to 20 knots here and there, with some boats providing entertainment with the old “She’d turn round and look at you” routine, making for a very welcome change after yesterday afternoon’s crawlathon.
In Class One, Class 1 there are J/109s in profusion, and Richard Colwell and Johnny Murphy – with Mark Mansfield on the strength – were in sparkling form on Outrajeous. After yesterday’s single 9th place, they logged two firsts and a third today, putting them one point overall ahead of Tim and Richard Goodbody with White Mischief, while the J/109 parade continued with John Maybury’s Joker getting third, sixth and fourth after being overnight leader to lie in third, close ahead of Pat Kelly’s Storm.
Frank Whelan’s Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera from Greystones is making hay among the biggies in the second day of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, helped no doubt by the presence on board of sailmaker Shane Hughes, and they had 2,1,2 today with a Twelfth of July celebrating northerner, Jay Colvillle with the First 40 Forty Licks (East Down YC), enjoying the stronger breeze to log 3,2, 1 while Jamie McWilliam stayed in third overall in Signal 8 from Hong Kong, but with a descending scoreline of 1,4,6 – the latter now becoming his first discard.
Frank Heath's local entry Crazy Horse of the Royal Irish YC and Royal St George YC leads the Dublin Bay challenge to overcome the leading visitors in the Beneteau 31.7 scratch fleet at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.
Heath is only two points off the overall lead in the 14-boat one-design fleet but, as Afloat reported here, overnight leader John Minnis's Royal Ulster Yacht Club entry, Final Call, has stayed on top of the leaderboard today after four races sailed with one discard.
The Ulsterman leads Jason & Debbie Corlett's Isle Of Man Yacht Club entry, Eauvation by a single point with Heath a point off the Corletts.
Racing continues tomorrow.
So keen were Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers to attract the historic Howth 17s across the Bay to Ireland's biggest sailing event today that when the 65-metre 'Deep Helder' moved into er, a prominent position in the leisure harbour it so resembled a regatta finish line position off the Royal St. George YC that some local wags reckoned VDLR had pulled out all the stops for the travelling HYC contingent.
But, as regular Afloat readers will know, the impressive vessel is in fact involved in planned cable survey works on the EirGrid East West Interconnector During the survey. The vessel deployed underwater survey equipment along a thin 50m corridor.
Deep Helder is equipped with an offshore crane, survey and ROV systems (quite a bit more kit than your average Committee Boat)
After five races sailed at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Flying Fifteen National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly clearly broke the overnight points tie in their favour today when they won all three races to stamp their authority on the 24-boat fleet.
The National Yacht Club duo now lead the regatta by a cool 10-point margin at the halfway stage.
Second overall is the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Ben Mulligan sailing with Cormac Bradley. Third is Fflagella, Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux also of the National Yacht Club.
Racing continues tomorrow.