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What a difference a day makes, the sun came out for day four of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier writes Johnny Fullerton. Race 5 was sailed in a light NE breeze shifting from 40 - 50 degrees, but with a short chop rather than the rolling swell of the last few days. As they say in these parts, the lambs were just about to leap out of the paddock, allowing the bigger crews to get out on the side decks and even do a bit of hiking! Ireland's sole interest represented by National Yacht Club pairing Charles Apthorp and Alan Green are back in the top ten overall after five races sailed. 

57 Fifteens were spread across the start line in a far more conventional start but with new choices over upwind tactics. Whilst the majority of the fleet decided to work the left, a late shift favoured the boats that had really banged the right corner hard!

Of these kiwis, Brian & Bridget Kent from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland, sailed a blinder to round the top mark in the lead from the Flying Flamingos, Lewis Davies & John Radnell from Daveys Bay YC in Australia. (These guys are easily recognisable with their pink, hats, kite and accessories!. Another kiwi boat in the Silver fleet, Wade & Lyle Tresadern from Bucklands Beach in Auckland, rounded in 3rd.

Most of the usual suspects were a bit deep in the pile with work to do but It only took the first run to see some of the downwind specialists starting to make their move. Steve Goacher rounded in the top 15 but scythed down the middle of the course to put pressure on the leaders at the gate. Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) were also working their way into the mix after a late change of gate choice at the gate got them on the right side of the race course for the beat.

Back upwind the pressure stayed a bit more reliable but a new leader was emerging in David Williamson & Craig Morton (AUS) from Mordialloc SC in Victoria. The Aussie crew had the two previous world champions chasing them down both legs of the triangle. Behind them there was a lot of shuffling in the lead pack, places could be won or lost on the boat handling at the gybe mark. But the real test was the final working leg to the finish. This is where the real champions work their magic and there was little surprise when the smiling faces of Nick & Janet Jerwood from South of Perth YC, were seen tacking up to the line with a reasonable lead. They crossed to take their first gun of the championship and leap back into contention for the tile with two days to go.

“We had two very difficult legs, we got to the top mark in the low teens and managed to get the bottom of the run wrong and lost a lot of spots there, I am guessing we were about 20th there. Things stated to get a bit better from there, we made a late decision to change gates at the bottom and it was a really good decision, put us on the right side of the course and we were able to pick a few good shifts which put us back into the top 10 and we took a few more as we progressed up to the beat to 4th so that was the best leg of the regatta for us so far from 20th to 4th.”

“Two days to go but we still have to sail the best race you can, the wind is way too localised, you can be 4 or 5 boat lengths away from somebody and be in totally different conditions so you just have to sail the best you can with what you have at that point in time. It is just going to be a case of how fast you can get round that race course. We actually used toe straps for the first time in the regatta today and it was great so I am looking forward to more of that in the final two days.” Nick Jerwood

Second to finish was Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (GBR) who is now able to drop his 19th place to take the overall lead in the regatta by 4 points. With the discard coming into play, the overall leaderboard sees a few changes with previous leaders Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed (AUS) from Canberra, slipping to 3rd overall, and Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston from Queensland (sailing under the Hong Kong flag), dropping their 35th to jump up to 4th in the overall classification.

With two days to go the pressure is rising and so is the barometer. There is a promise of more warm weather and a bit more breeze which might just suit some of the bigger crews who enjoy a bit of planing activity for which the Flying Fifteen is famous for.

Race 6 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start time.

Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 5 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - (19),8,1,1,2 = 12pts
2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8,(20),1 = 16pts
3 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7,9,(12) = 22pts
4 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston - (35), 46,4 = 28pts
5 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland - 7,10,2,10,(23) = 29pts
6 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10,7,(16) = 31pts
7 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess - (32), 9,6,13,5 = 33pts
8 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22,5,(25) = 34pts
9 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green - 6,(53),14,2,15 = 37pts
10 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson - 3,1,9,26,27 = 39pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

Another semi-overcast afternoon in Napier for the second day of the Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier, New Zealand. Just one race was held in light Easterly breezes between 5–8 knots. National Yacht Club pair Charles Apthorp and Alan Green are 26th overall after three races sailed. Download the results below. 

After one general recall the PRO Gerry Martin, started race 3 of the champi-onship under the U flag with all 57 competitors spread across the length of the start line. The first upwind leg was well spread but sailors who got off the line cleanly and into clear air, were keen to get to the middle right of the course, to take advantage of the breeze flicking right in Hawkes Bay.

At the top mark, David Mckee & Mal Hartland (GBR) from Dovestone SC, led closely followed by class stalwart Steve Goacher & Tim Harper from Royal Windermere/Southport SC. Local sailors David Zorn & Graeme Robinson from Napier SC, sailed an excellent first work to round in 3rd. Also in the mix were two boats from Western Australia, Philippa Packer, crewed by former world champion, Dean McAullay from Royal Freshwater Bay YC and champi-onship leader David Yu & Chris Nelson, also from (RFBYC).

The lead three broke clear to head down the run back to the gate as the breeze softened even more. Slowly the (3 time) former world champion, Ste-ve Goacher soaked down inside McKee & Hartland, to round a boat length in the lead at the gate. Kiwis Zorn & Robinson floated round in 3rd as places changed behind them when the fleet converged under collapsing spinnakers.

The second work became a bit of a soldiers course, although picking the way through the shifts and keeping the boat moving in the light airs required a lot of concentration.

The order was the same at the top mark second time around but on the trian-gle leg via the wing mark the two lead British boats extended in their own pri-vate battle, whilst Zorn & Robinson had to work really hard to hold their third place. Other places in the top ten became much more intense as the breeze dropped below 5 knots. New Zealanders, Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland and the Queenslanders, Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston representing Hong Kong, made good gains.

Rounding the bottom gate, the leaders had an agonising 1nm leg back to the finish line. Goacher & Harper extended for a bit more breathing space, cross-ing the line to win their first race of the 21st Flying Fifteen Worlds. Mckee & Hartland settled for 2nd but the biggest celebration waited for 3rd place as lo-cals Zorn & Robinson punched the air taking an excellent 3rd.

“We got a good clean fast start and sailed a short distance to clear the guys to weather of us and flicked on to port and hit the right hand side and were sitting pretty nicely.”

“It was really tense on the last lap especially with Murray and Johno, they are fast downwind, they were right on our tail at the bottom mark last time. But we knew where we wanted to go and knew the line we wanted to take and just stuck with it.”
David Zorn.

Smith & Kingston (HKG) had a much better day crossing in 4th and Rob Ward & Bruce Yovich (NZL) from Onerahi YC a very respectable 5th. Overall scores after 3 races leaves David Yu & Chris Nelson (AUS) and Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed tied on 13pts with the ever consistent West Australian former world champions, Nick & Janet Jerwood (SoPYC) in 3rd.

Steve Goacher explains his race;
“We had not such a bad start and a good clean first beat, we rounded the windward mark in second and managed to pass the leader downwind on the first run. I don’t mind the light conditions, they are enjoyable when you are in the front! I grew up sailing on Lake Windermere and we get a lot of light and fluky sailing conditions there.”

And on sailing in Napier for the first time;
“I have been sailing 15’s since 1991 and won three world championships on the trot, 1995, 1997 & 1999 but I have never sailed in Napier. It has been very testing conditions, last week we had quite big seas and not a massive amount of wind.”

Race 4 of the championship is scheduled for a start time of 1300hrs (local time) with a similar forecast of light winds.

Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 3 races)

1 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson - 3,1,9 = 13pts
2 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7 = 13pts
3 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8 - 15pts
4 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland - 7,10,2 = 19pts
5 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10 = 24pts
6 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - 19,8,1 = 28pts
7 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22 = 29pts
8 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg - 4,14,15 = 33pts
9 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands - 18,3,13 = 34pts
10 NZL 3542 Rob Ward / Bruce Yovich - 11,29,5 = 45pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

A great turn–out after two cancellations got the 2017 DBSC Spring Chicken Series for Sailing Cruisers off to a great start on a lovely day at the National Yacht Club last Sunday. 

The Beneteau 34.7 Black Velvet was the first race winner and leads two 1720 sportboats; Wolfe and Optique.

Full results are downloadable for the Rathfarnham Ford sponsored series are below.

Published in DBSC

This year marked the third consecutive year that the Mermaid Sailing Association held a stand-alone Prizegiving Dinner event to properly acknowledge the winners of the sailing season just gone. Now normally held around February time, this event gives a fantastic opportunity for the class to close out the sailing season just gone and look forward to the one shortly coming up. On the evening of the 18th of February, with the club fully decked out and over 80 people sitting down for a fantastic three course meal provided by the team at Skerries Sailing Club, this year’s Prizegiving dinner followed the success of the 2 years previous and the night was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Kieran Branagan, Commodore of Skerries Sailing Club gave some nice opening words expressing how excited the club is to host this year’s Mermaid National Championship on what is the 85th Anniversary for the class. With at least 2 races per day planned over a full 6 days racing (7 if you count the practice race), this year’s National event is promising to give a fantastic week full of top class racing and entertainment making for the perfect week’s holidays for true sailing nuts!

Brian Mc Nally of Skerries Sailing Club also gave a fantastic opening speech as part of his newly appointed position as the Mermaid Class Captain for Skerries. He recalled back to one of his first ever Mermaid Championships where he was eager to please the skipper and let’s just say there were a few learning curves! The Mermaid fleet are known just as well for their excellent social scene and comradery as they are for their racing and Brian’s story was testament to this fact as he recalled how this event was also where he first laid eyes on his now wife, Valerie! The speech got the room into a really positive and “humorous” mood which followed through for the rest of the awards, making for some very interesting speeches. It’s clear from the smiles on everyone’s faces in the pictures just how much fun everyone actually had on the night.

A summary of the prizes awarded on the night are as follows:

The Skipper Clarke Memorial trophy which is awarded to the winners of the National Yacht Club Regatta or combined clubs Dun Laoghaire Regatta was presented belatedly to 134 Jill for 2014 and 2015. There was no race in 2016.

The Skipper Clarke Memorial trophy being awarded by MSA President Des Deane to 134 Jill, Paul Smith, Anne Smith and Pat Mangan from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire.

The Mermaid National Championship cups were awarded as follows:
• The Rockabill Cup, Championship Race 1, 189 Azeezy
• The Dorene Models Cup, Championship Race 2, 77 Tiller Girl
• The North Bull Cup, Championship Race 3, 189 Azeezy (Not presented as this cup’s whereabouts are unknown)
• The Mavis Cup, Championship Race 4, 77 Tiller Girl
• The Rush (Carthy) Cup, Championship Race 5, 189 Azeezy
• The Bailey Cup, Championship Race 6, 123 Vee

The Designer’s Tankard which goes to the best championship boat where the top 2/3 of boats from the previous Championship are excluded went to 182 Dolphin helmed by Shay O’Toole with his crew Seamus Murray and Pierce Benyon.

The Designer won by 182 Dolphin, Shay O’Toole 

The Daphne Cup which goes to the best championship boat where the top 1/3 of boats from the previous championship are excluded was won by 186 Gentoo helmed by Brian McNally with crew Valerie McNally and Keith Rochford.

The Daphne won by 186 Gentoo, Brian McNally
Along with the main class trophies and cups, the official ISA medals (which were all beautifully engraved and customized) were also awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall. Bronze Medals went to Jonathan O’Rourke, Carol O’Rourke and Tom Murphy from 77 Tiller Girl who finished 3rd overall in the 2016 Mermaid National Championship held at Howth Yacht Club.

Bronze ISA medals awarded to Jonathan O’Rourke, 77 Tiller Girl
Silver went to 131 Wild Wind helmed by Paddy Dillon and crew Johnny Dillon and Mo Dillon for finishing 2nd place overall at the 2016 National Championship, a fantastic result for the Dillons having won the National Championship the year previous in 2015. 

Silver medals won by 131 Wild Wind
And the number one spot for overall National Champions 2016 went to 189 Azeezy helmed by Sam Shiels with crew Con Bissett and Eoin Boylan. Needless to say they are truly delighted with their Gold ISA medals and the beautiful Mermaid trophy and were the stars of the night taking the top prize in their home club.

Gold ISA medals awarded to overall 2016 National Champions 189 Azeezy

The growing, continued success of the event is proof of the great positive work that is being done in the class with some new boats and members joining and Skerries campaigning to get 35 boats at the Nationals this year. It’s fantastic to see all the hard work and volunteerism starting to pay off. Everyone is now looking forward to the Mermaid season ahead which kicks off with club racing in May and the first official Championship event being held at Foynes Yacht Club on the 3rd and 4th of June for the Munsters.

The MSA would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the night making it so enjoyable. MSA President Des Deane and Hon Secretary Paul Smith did a great job hosting the awards and handing out the prizes. Thanks also to Ross Galbraith for providing the photos and of course to Skerries Sailing Club for putting on such an enjoyable event.

New members are always welcome to the Dublin Bay Mermaid class If you would like to inquire about getting involved or even coming out for a sail on one of these beautiful classic boats, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Secretary Paul Smith on [email protected]

Published in Mermaid

London 2012 Olympic Games Race Officer Jack Roy, who is DBSC Principal Race Officer and ISA Director of Racing, is organising an ISA Race Officer Level 1 Course which will be run over two evenings – Tuesday March 28th and Tuesday April 4th in the National Yacht Club from 7pm to 10pm.

The course is a basic introductory course and is the first step on the road to becoming a Local Race Officer with the ISA. Each course participant will receive a certificate and this is the first step on the ISA Race Officers Pathway programme. Having successfully completed the course participants will be permitted to use the ISA Passport system which is an online logbook that records progress through the 5 disciplines of race management.

Jack will include some material specific to DBSC race management procedures and requirements. We would like to encourage anybody interested in race management to attend the course. For those who already have some experience it is an opportunity to complete the first step of the Race Officer Pathway programme.

The cost of the course is €20. You can register and pay online via the following link on the ISA website here

If you require any further information please contact Sarah-Louise Rossiter, ISA, email [email protected], or Ann Kirwan, DBSC, email [email protected]

 

Published in DBSC

Alan Green and Charles Apthorp of the National Yacht Club head for the Flying Fifteen World Championships in New Zealand on Thursday - Summer racing in the South Pacific. Alan and Charles team up for many events and Charles whose regular sailing is from Hayling Island is an overseas member of the NYC and frequent visitor to Dublin Bay.

The proven pair have previously placed second overall at a World Championships.

The world championships will take place on the North Island hosted by Napier Sailing Club, some of whose fleet competed in the worlds in 2003 hosted in Dun Laoghaire.

Napier is a coastal town situated about mid point on New Zealand’s North Island East Coast. Set amid the renowned wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay and rebuilt after an earthquake in 1931. Napier is known as the Art Deco capital with period architecture.

A tree lined waterfront promenade with statue of “Pania of the Reef” the Maori maiden symbol of the town (New Zealand’s Granuaile) and fronts onto a natural bay with no commercial traffic so a great championship racing venue, a bit like a bigger Killiney Bay without the mountains.

Napier Sailing Club founded in 1891 has a large dry sailing area outside fronting onto a municipal marina and fishing quay. The Flying Fifteen racing is well established at Napier and illustrated on a mural of Flying Fifteens racing on a wall on the seafront.

With 59 flying fifteens entered there will be a strong representation from their Australian neighbours. 

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Dublin Judges Group is an informal grouping of ISA Judges (and would-be judges) in the Greater Dublin area.

The group provides a useful service for clubs, classes by transmitting their requests for judges to man protest committees for events.

The social highlight of the group's year is our annual dinner. The dinner will be held in NYC tomorrow (Friday, 3rd February).

All judges, or indeed anyone who enjoys a discussion of the more arcane points of the rules, is welcome. It is not too late to book your place at this prestigious, and sometimes raucous, gathering.

Please contact the group at [email protected]

Published in National YC
Tagged under

The National Yacht Club is seeking nominations from members for its 2016 sailing awards. A leading Dun Laoghaire club, it is also the home club of Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy, so there can be little doubt about the award of The John Byrne Memorial Trophy, the prize for the member who achieves the greatest contribution to sailing in NYC during the year.

The club's award system, however, also honours a wide range of other sailing achievements with ancient trophies to honour endeavour in family cruising, youth sailing and race management.

The NYC club trophies are as follows:

Township
The Township Cup is awarded to the member who achieves the best Cruise of the year.
Muglins
The Muglins Cup is awarded for the most interesting family cruise of the year
The Boyne Regatta Cup
The Boyne Regatta Cup is awarded to the members who achieve the best performance in offshore racing of the year.
The O'Leary Cup
The O’Leary Cup is awarded to the member who achieves the best performance of the year in one designs
The Edward Yacht Club Trophy
The Edward Yacht Club Trophy is awarded to the member who achieves the best performance of the year in dinghies, Mermaids or Flying Fifteens
John Byrne Memorial Trophy
The John Byrne Memorial Trophy is awarded to the member who achieves the greatest contribution to sailing in the NYC during the year
The Winkelmann Trophy
The Winkelmann Trophy is awarded to the Cadet member who has had the finest sailing achievement of the year
The Greystones 1892 Regatta Cup
The Greystones 1892 Regatta Cup is awarded to the member who best represented the Club at a team event during the year
Paul Murphy Cup
The Paul Murphy Cup to be awarded to the Club’s Race Management Volunteer who contributed most to race and event management at the Club.

Published in National YC
Tagged under

There could well be as many opinions as to what constitutes a true classic or traditional boat as there are owners of these often highly individual craft. As part of the celebration of the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour – where the first stone was officially laid by the Viceroy on 31st May 1817 - the organisers of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 (it’s from July 6th to 9th) will be including a Classics, Traditional and Old Gaffer section. This will, in addition to putting extra emphasis on older classes already regularly involved such as the Glens, the Mermaids, the Howth 17s, the IDRA 14s and the Water Wags, be extending a welcome to older boats of other types, and to classic classes from Ireland and around the Irish Sea. W M Nixon reports on progress in this special feature of a very attractive new dimension to Ireland’s biggest sailing event.

If you want anything done in introducing a new twist to sailing, make Cathy MacAleavey the organiser of the special sub-committee in charge of moving things along. And if you want to be sure things are going in the right direction as regards classics and traditional craft, make sure that that Hal Sisk is being consulted and will be personally involved in one or maybe all of his classic craft, for the contribution he has made to the appreciation of our boat heritage in Ireland is unmatched.

Former Olympic sailor and round Ireland record holder Cathy is now herself very much a mover and shaker in the classics, as she has built a Water Wag and a Shannon One Design working alongside the great Jimmy Furey of Leecarrow in Roscommon, and races regularly in both classes.

On being appointed to this completely new post last Autumn by top honcho Tim Goodbody, Chair of the overall Organising Committee, one of the first things she remembered was that while taking part in the Glandore Classics some years ago, she’d been much taken with the Fife One Designs from the Menai Straits, little gems some 24ft 6ins LOA whose design origins go back to 1926, and have been thriving as a class since the 1930s.

Royal Anglesey Fife yachtsThe Royal Anglesey Fifes racing in the Menai Straits. Although the class was first designed in 1926, and gained full strength early in the 1930s, this will be their first visit to Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Ian bradley
These days they hunt as a pack and many of them are well organised for road trailing, so on the assumption that they would be heading to the Glandore Classics 2017 on July 23rd, she sent an email to class chairman Richard Tudor suggesting that they might like to take in Dun Laoghaire on the way. It turns out that they won’t be at Glandore in late July as they’re expected to take part in the four yearly Celtic Festival in the Menai Straits at much the same time. But their diary was reasonably clear for the 6th to 9th of July and the Dun Laoghaire festivities, and they’re coming to race for the new Kingstown Cup big time.

This is doubly interesting, for they’re very much a William Fife design and only six inches shorter than the Alfred Mylne-designed Glens, yet the two comparable classes have never raced in the same event. Needless to say the chances of an inter-fleet race in Dun Laoghaire is now high on the agenda.

Alfred Mylne Glen Class  yachtAn Alfred Mylne-designed Glen Class OD on her home waters of Dublin Bay in the kind of conditions everyone hopes for in July 2017.

 Glen yacht dublin bayThe Glen class neatly demonstrate their need for traditional moorings in their allocated area off the Royal St George YC

Howth 17 traditional yachtThe 1898 Howth 17s will be coming in force from Howth, but they’ve adapted the programme to suit their needs, with a race from Howth to Dun Laoghaire on the Friday, a full day’s racing on the Saturday, a morning race on the Sunday, and then a race home after the prize-giving ceremony.

So at a stroke, Cathy had given wings to the new event. But at the same time she was casting a fly over Hal Sisk, against whom she regularly races in the Water Wags, but who had his 1894 Watson-designed, Hilditch-built 36ft classic gaff cutter Peggy Bawn on the market, as more than ten years have elapsed since his team completed the wellnigh perfect restoration of this boat in 2005.

Peggy Bawn had been based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour continuously since 1919, and then after her restoration, she became a much-admired feature in classic regattas on both sides of the Atlantic. To say that Hal Sisk has done his duty by her is under-stating the case, yet when Cathy approached him about making Peggy Bawn the centrepiece of the VDLR Classics Regatta, he said he’d already decided to do so, and was looking forward to it very much.

Peggy Bawn yachtPeggy Bawn in her newly-restored form in 2005. Anyone contemplating a similar project should spend hours studying this image……Photo W M Nixon

While all this was going on in the background, one of the members of Cathy’s sub-committee, Guy Kilroy, was constructing a database of all the classic and traditional classes within Ireland or within reasonable reach. Although most of them are very location-specific and few have the trailers for a long road journey, you just never know who might be swept up in the general enthusiasm for an event which is really beginning to buzz, and certainly the exotic Shannon One Designs will be turning up in strength.

Meanwhile, there’s the mysterious territory which is the Old Gaffer’s Association, which came into being in 1963 when people realised there wasn’t any organisation looking after the needs of boats which weren’t really classics in the strictest sense, yet fitted into so many other categories that they almost defied definition.

Ironically, the OGA was founded in the very year that Dublin Bay’s perfect exemplars of the gaff-rigged racing cutter, the Dublin Bay 21s, changed over to Bermudan rig. Yet as the 2013 Golden Jubilee Round Britain and Ireland cruise of the OGA showed, the Old Gaffers thrive as never before. And as it happened, in 2015 and 2016 the President of the overall Old Gaffers Association was Dun Laoghaire’s own Sean Walsh, owner-skipper of the very gaff-rigged Heard 28 Tir na nOg.

But Sean was due to stand down as President in London in January 14th 2017 – last weekend, in other words. Fortunately, there was just time to convene a meeting of key people before that happened, and a gathering in the NYC of Sean Walsh, Dublin Bay OGA President Denis Aylmer, Ian Malcolm of the Howth Seventeen and Water Wag classes, and Cathy MacAleavey and her husband Con Murphy, did a lot to improve mutual understanding and clarify the in-port needs of Old Gaffers, which are different from those of Classics, which are in turn very different from those of easily-manoeuvred modern craft with auxiliary engines.

old gaffers association dun aloghaireA meeting of minds. At the key gathering to assess the needs of the Old Gaffers Association were (left to right) Denis Aylmer (President Dublin Bay OGA), Sean Walsh (President, OGA), Ian Macolm (Howth 17 and Water Wag classes), Cathy MacAleavey, and Con Murphy. Photo: W M Nixon

Even before Sean and his team had left for London for the OGA changeover, the word had come through from Paul Keogh, skipper of the Clondalkin community-owned-and-built full-size Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan, that he and his crew would be delighted to take part in Dun Laoghaire in July.

This was another key decision, for the Naomh Cronan is now the only full-sized traditional Galway type on the Irish Sea. But while the great hooker voyager Paddy Barry now sails the seas in a 45ft Frers-designed cutter, it was also confirmed that he too would be taking part, as crew aboard Sean Walsh’s Tir n nOg.

Galway Hooker Naomh CronanThe Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan. Her commitment to the Dun Laoghaire Traditional regatta has greatly encouraged the organisers. Photo: W M Nixon

Heard 28 Tir n nOg yachtSean Walsh’s Heard 28 Tir n nOg in racing mode. In Dun Laoghaire in July 2017, his crew will include legendary Galway hooker voyager Paddy Barry. Photo: Dave Owens

So the main building blocks of a great event are now going into place, and it’s a matter of building on this sound foundation. With the organisers fully aware of the need to provide proper liaison officers for each special group or class, the need for designated berthing between the Carlisle Pier and the East Pier is also being addressed, as it is the most suitable space, and has the bonus of providing the best possible public view of some of the most interesting-looking boats around.

Thus invitations are on their way to the likes of Scott and Ruth Metcalfe with their characterful schooner Vilma on the Menai Straits, and Mike Clark with his traditional Manx nobby White Heather at Peel in the Isle of Man.

Menai Straits-based schooner VilmaThe Menai Straits-based schooner Vilma (Scott & Ruth Metcalf) is exactly the kind of vessel the Dun Laoghaire event is aimed at. Photo: W M Nixon

Manx Nobby White HeatherMike Clark’s Manx Nobby White Heather
At the other end of the Isle of Man is Joe Pennington with his restored Manx longliner Master Frank, an asset to any regatta, while across in Strangford Lough Dickie Gomes may have his 1912-built 36ft Kearney yawl Ainmara on the market after 51 years of ownership, but if she doesn’t move he says he is on for Dun Laoghaire.

For several years. Ainmara was Dun Laoghaire-based, but the Dun Laoghaire class which everyone would most particularly welcome back would be the Dublin Bay 24s which raced in the bay from 1947 to 2004. Here’s a rough-cut vid from their final race in the bay in 2004, since then they’ve been taken to Brittany in hope of restoration, but only one has had the complete job done. Originally called Periwinkle, she is now re-named Grace, and is based at Douarnenez, but if she could be persuaded back to Dublin Bay for July 2017, who knows what doors might be opened.

Dublin Bay 24 yacht Grace PeriwinkleThe restored Dublin Bay 24 Grace (ex-Periwinkle) is now reported to be based in Douarnenenz, but she would be very welcome back in Dublin Bay

Boats of a very different kind came centre stage many years ago in another Hal Sisk initiative, the Bantry Boats built to the design of the ship’s longboat left behind in Bantry after the unsuccessful French invasion of 1796. From the new involvement came the Atlantic Challenge, and you’ll find Bantry Boats at many ports, though there are few enough of them in Ireland. But the Dun Laoghaire festivities would provide an ideal opportunity for them, as the final day of the regatta, Sunday 9th July, is also being pencilled in for a full-on traditional rowing competition for the East Coast Skiffs.

Pembrokeshire Bantry Boat The Pembrokeshire Bantry Boat sailing off the coast of southwest Wales. Some racing for these very special craft is another proposal for the Dun Laoghaire regatta

In fact, with so much effort being made to provide proper waterfront facilities in Dun Laoghaire, it’s a case of the more the merrier, and another interesting vessel whose management have indicated positive interest is the Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen, currently nearing completion of her restoration through the Ilen Boat Building School of Limerick at Liam Hegarty’s boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore.

Ilen is due to be launched in April and will be in full commission by July. The very fact of having a complete suit of new sails will make her look better than she ever has since she was built in 1927, and if she does turn up to Dun Laoghaire welcome, it will be a very different boat from the tired-looking vessel at the end of her working days in the Falkands, the vessel which was finally, thanks to Gary MacMahon’s initiative, returned to Ireland in 1998.

In other words, so many ideas are flying around about the fresh shapes and new vitality that the Kingstown Bicentenary can add to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta that all things are possible.

Conor O’Brien ketch IlenThe Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen towards the end of her working days in the Falkland Islands. In fully restored form, she is expected to launch in April of this year, and may well include the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in her 2017 programme. Photo courtesy Ilen Boatbuilding School

Published in W M Nixon

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat hosted a fundraising Fish Supper at the National Yacht Club last Friday where €1,000 was raised.

The RNLI Fish Supper initiative, is an annual charity fundraising event to support the RNLI's lifesaving work. 

Published in National YC
Tagged under
Page 9 of 27

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