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Royal Cork & NYC 29er Pair O’Shaughnessy and Spain Win Royal St. George Yacht Club National Championships

21st August 2022
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Ben O’Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain (right) were the overall winners of the Irish 29er Nationals on Dublin Bay
Royal Cork Yacht Club and National Yacht Club's Ben O’Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain (right) were the overall winners of the Irish 29er Nationals on Dublin Bay Credit: Simon McIlwaine

With three race wins on their scoresheet, Royal Cork Yacht Club and National Yacht Club's Ben O’Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain claimed the Mervue Laboratories 2022 29'er Irish National Championships with a 12-point win margin.

After eight races sailed at the Royal St. George Yacht Club-hosted event, Johnny Flynn and Max Goodbody were second overall on 24 points.

Third on the Dublin Bay race track were female/male combination Emily Conan and Ollie Mears of the host club, who won Sunday's penultimate race and finished on 28 points. 

Lucia Cullen (Royal St George YC) and Alana Twomey (Royal Cork YC), who won Gold and took the U17 29er Female World Title in Spain earlier this month, were top female pair in fourth overall. 

The fledgling Irish 29er fleet are performing at a competent level with the top five being very impressive, especially with their boat handling skills in testing conditions The fledgling Irish 29er fleet are performing at a competent level with the top five being very impressive, especially with their boat handling skills in testing conditions Photo: Simon McIlwaine

The 14-boat fleet competed under Race Officer Barry O'Neill.

The three-day event saw the scheduled four races completed on Friday in testing conditions with the wind in the late teens gusting into the 20s. 

As Afloat reported earlier, the top ten handled the conditions perfectly, and while there were a few capsizes, the racing was close and seriously competitive at the top end. 

29er Irish Championship starts were very controlled—  and aggressive — even under a permanent U flag (the Class norm) Photo: Simon McIllwaine 29er Irish Championship starts were very controlled—  and aggressive — even under a permanent U flag (the Class norm) Photo: Simon McIllwaine 

With winds gusting into the 30s and showing no sign of abating, Saturday's racing was a write-off. 

Sunday saw two or three attempts to start the first race of the day in a 6 knot westerly in the middle west of the bay. 

Each time the wind went right when the fleet was in the start sequence, so this ended in postponement rather than a start. 

The wind then shut off completely.  After about 15 minutes, there was some sign of a breeze around Dublin Bay's East mark, and the fleet and committee boat moved east.  

After a short delay, the first race of the day got away in a gentle 7-knot North Easterly breeze.

The wind continued to go right and strengthened all afternoon, ending up with the last two races completed in a steady 14 knots with gusts. 

The scheduled four races were completed  on Sunday, so eight of the scheduled races were completed over the three days 

Results are below.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

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About the 29er Skiff Dinghy

The 29er is a one-design double-handed, single trapeze skiff for youth sailors.

There is an active class in Ireland, just one of the 38-countries from across all continents now racing the high-performance skiff.

The 29er is one of the latest dinghy classes to arrive in Ireland and has a 50/50 split between boys and girls.

The class like to describe the boat as "The most popular skiff for sailors who want to go fast!".

Derived from the Olympic class 49er class and designed by Julian Bethwaite the 29er was first produced in 1998.

Two sailors sail the 29er, one on trapeze.

The class is targeted at youth sailors aiming at sailing the larger 49er which is an Olympic class.


The 6.25-metre high rig features a fractional asymmetrical spinnaker; a self-tacking jib decreases the workload of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches.

The 15.00 m2 spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.

The 74kg weight hull is constructed of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout.

The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon.

The mast is in three parts - an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a polyester-fibreglass composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weights, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate. Foils are aluminium or fibreglass.

29er skiff technical specs

  • Hull weight 74kg (163lb)
  • LOA 4.45m (14.4ft)
  • Beam 1.77m (5ft 7in)
  • Crew 2 (single trapeze) 
  • Spinnaker area 15.00 m2 (181.2sq.ft)
  • Upwind sail area 12.5 m2 (142.0 sq.ft)
  • Mast length 6.25m (20.5ft)

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