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Royal Ulster Beneteau 31.7 Victory for John Minnis & 'Final Call' Crew on Dublin Bay

4th July 2021
The John Minnis skippered Finall Call won the Beneteau 31.7 National Championships with five straight wins Credit: Afloat

Royal Ulster's 'man on a mission' John Minnis lived up to his pre-championship word and delivered a perfect scoreline to win the Beneteau 31.7 Irish National Championships 2021 at the National Yacht Club this afternoon with five straight wins. 

The Gareth Flannigan helmed Northern Ireland entry was chased hard on Dublin Bay by the host club's Chris Johnston in Prospect.

The local crew counted four second places in the two-day championships. 

Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.

Chris Johnston's Prospect was second overallChris Johnston's Prospect was second overall

Spurred on by their winnings at the Scottish Series in May, when Final Call won Class 3 convincingly and lifted the Causeway Cup for the best performance by a boat-based outside Scotland.

15-20-knot winds proved to be testing championship conditions for the 10-boat fleet over the three day event.

Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.

The same south-easterly breeze continued on Sunday with a good chop in the south of the Bay where the Beneteau 31.7s shared a course with the Ruffians, also racing for national championship honours.

Results are here.

2021 Beneteau 31.7 National Championship Photo Gallery

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Beneteau 31.7 sailing in Ireland

In Ireland, the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association encourages and develop the use of the Beneteau First 31.7 yacht as a one-design keelboat, mainly for racing. 

Each year the association stages national championships with boats coming from different sailing across Ireland. The main centre is Dun Laoghaire Harbour where the bulk of the fleet (15 boats) are based at the National Yacht club but are moored at Dun Laoghaire Marina.

The Beneteau 31.7 boat is not new to Dublin Bay, as boats of this size and type have competed in DBSC in the Cruiser 2 class for some years.

However during the 2006 season, due to their increased numbers, DBSC granted the class its own racing start, thereby facilitating one-design racing for this cruiser/racer. 

Since then it has become one of the biggest one-design keelboat classes on the Bay.

One-design rules were drawn up to discourage modifications, maintain a level playing field and set a generally ‘Corinthian’ ethos.

To preserve the cruising dimension, the boat races with cushions aboard.

Numbers entered in DBSC have settled down to approx 15-18 boats, and regular Thursday and Saturday attendances over the season are usually of the order of 14 to 16 boats, reflecting good participation by members. Racing is close and competitive. 

In addition to scratch results, ECHO results are also posted. This combines the best of both worlds, providing one-design racing which the members like, while also providing an incentive and interest in turning out for those boats who may not always approach podium position on scratch.

At A Glance – Beneteau First 31.7 Specifications

L.O.A 9.61 m
Hull length 9.50 m
L.W.L. 8.80 m
Beam 3.23 m
Draught min (Deep draught keel) Cast iron 1.90 m
Ballast weight (Deep draught keel) 1 025 kg
Air draught (max) 13.90 m
Light displacement (EC) 3 750 kg
Fuel capacity 30 l
Freshwater capacity 160 l
Engine power 21 HP

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