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Displaying items by tag: Royal St George Yacht Club

At one stage last Autumn, it looked for a week or two as though Irish venues might be hosting no less than five World Championships for dinghy classes during the three week period between the July 24th and August 14th 2021. But since then, as the only certainty in this rolling pandemic has proven to be uncertainty itself, two events have been shunted on into 2022.

However, the biggest 2021 Worlds of all in Ireland - the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds at the Royal St George YC supported by the National Yacht Club from 7th to August 14th – has this week confirmed that the Organising Committee chaired by Ian Simington is pressing on with planning in the assumption that the event is going to take place. Entries will open at the end of the first week of February.

Being a typical Laser mega-event, most entries will be invitation-only on a national qualification basis. But as these regattas are planned on the expectation of accommodating between 300 and 400 boats, there's a good chance that extra places will be available for keen young Irish sailors determined to take part if at all possible, and the word is that already there's no lack of names wishing to be considered. 

Laser 4.7s enjoying the kind of weather and racing that is planned for Dublin Bay in August……..Laser 4.7s enjoying the kind of weather and racing that is planned for Dublin Bay in August…

In an event of this stature and magnitude, the behind-the-scenes work is almost immeasurable, with the fact of it being in Ireland providing unique difficulties in the countdown period. While we go along with enthusiasm in support of the view that Ireland is a small island at the centre of the world, there's no doubt that in trying to see our way towards and through the post-pandemic revival of international sailing events here, our glorious island status poses extra problems.

For sure, major offshore racing events avoid many of these through the simple fact that the boats get here on their own, and if needs be can take part – provided they're certified and scrutineered - without any direct inter-personal shoreside contact whatever. However, with the more popular dinghy classes, not only is there the need for cross-channel ferry access and subsequent road-trailering to the venue, but there's the usual attractive element of it being a family venture, with two or even three family-campaigned boats being supported by a veritable tribe of related supporters, who see the big championship as the focus of a family holiday.

This is one of the reasons why two dinghy World Championships planned for Ireland in 2020 – for the GP14s and the Fireballs - were cancelled so promptly. The feeling among the class associations was that if it couldn't be a lovely big community party in addition to being a white-hot sailing competition, then it really wasn't worth thinking about 2020 at all, and the best thing was to start planning towards 2021 immediately.

Mirror Championship at Sligo, venue for the Worlds in August 2021 Mirror Championship at Sligo, venue for the Worlds in August 2021  

Thus there was a crazy if brief period back in the Autumn when the most extreme optimists were thinking that Ireland might be hosting no less than five World Championships in 2021. In terms of boat numbers, the biggest – long since set in the calendar - was almost inevitably going to be these Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds at the Royal St George YC and National YC in Dun Laoghaire, and equally long term was the Mirror Worlds at Sligo from August 2nd to 8th.

But then with the GP14 Worlds 2020 at Skerries dropped for 2020's shutdown yet with 2021 still held out as probable, and with the same approach for the Fireball Worlds 2020 at Howth, we'd the possible 2021 Worlds listings up to five, as in June 2020 the Toppers had booked in their big one for the Royal Cork Yacht Club from July 24th to 30th 2021.

The family holiday nature of these five major events was emphasised by their timing right in the middle of the main holiday season, for with the GPs and Fireballs talking in terms of late July and early August, we were going to get a hectic mosaic of World Championships starting with the Toppers in Cork and the GP14s at Skerries around July 24th, and concluding with the last Laser 4.7 races at RStGYC in Dublin Bay on August 14th.

If this off-the-wall "Five Worlds in Three Weeks" scenario had come to pass, one could imagine that personnel resources of qualified race officials might have been severely stretched. But it very quickly did indeed prove to be off-the-wall, as the GP 14 International Association continued to monitor the pandemic situation, and then in tandem with the Irish Association and Skerries Sailing Club, they moved their entire circus on another year to 2022. As for the Fireball Association, they have now decided to skip 2021 as they had to skip 2020, and their next worlds in 2022 will be in Australia at Geelong from 7th to February 18th, which is – when you think of it – simply a slight extension of 2021 by other means.

Toppers in action on Belfast Lough. If their 2021 programme goes according to plan, they'll be holding the Worlds at Crosshaven in late July, followed a few days later by the UK Open Nationals at Ballyholme.Toppers in action on Belfast Lough. If their 2021 programme goes according to plan, they'll be holding the Worlds at Crosshaven in late July, followed a few days later by the UK Open Nationals at Ballyholme.

Meanwhile, the Toppers are hoping to shape up with an all-Ireland caravanserai, as their Worlds at Crosshaven will be closely succeeded by the UK Nationals at Ballyholme. We can only guess at what the logistical permutations might be like in getting across what is now an EU border in a hopefully post-pandemic situation. But meanwhile, across in Dun Laoghaire, the big Laser event will be emerging rock-like from seas which - for many of us - are at the moment decidedly confused.

Certainly, there's quite head of steam building up, as the 2020 Laser 4.7 Worlds at Arco on Lake Garda, having initially been postponed, were ultimately cancelled, so as a form indicator we have to go back to Canada in 2019, and the huge Laser regatta at Kingston, Ontario.

That was when the main Irish impact was in the Laser Radials, with Eve McMahon taking the Bronze, but in the Laser 4.7s it was either the Mediterranean or Eastern Europe setting the pace, with Niccolo Nordera from Italy winning from Roko Stepanovic of Croatia, with Slovenia's Gasper Strahnovik getting third, while the Girls Fleet was won by Anja von Allmen from Switzerland, with Lara Himmes of Spain second and Sara Savelli of Italy third.

As we lost the 2020 Irish Laser Championship in August's short season through storm conditions, the most recent Laser 4.7 results we have in Ireland are from 2019, when Cillian Foster of Royal Cork won the class in the Irish Youth Pathway Nationals from Alana Coakley of Royal St George, with Emily Riordan (RStGYC) third, and two National YC helms - Hugh O'Connor and Conor Gorman - in fourth and fifth.

façade which the 1838-founded Royal St George YC presents to the town of Dun Laoghaire…Front of house….this is the façade which the 1838-founded Royal St George YC presents to the town of Dun Laoghaire

…..but the real action is "round the back", with RStGYC hosting a Laser event …..but the real action is "round the back", with RStGYC hosting a Laser event with their National Yacht Club neighbours (below)

National Yacht Club

For young sailors, 2019 is now aeons ago, so the anticipation levels for this August regatta are running at a stratospheric level. For a man at the eye of the storm, Ian Simington remains remarkably calm. But then, in addition to being a Laser sailor himself as well as campaigning a J/80, he has wide experience of event organisation including four years at the sharp end of Optimist organisation, which is not a place for the faint-hearted.

However, as it was with the 301-boat Laser Masters Worlds in Dun Laoghaire in September 2018, the huge administrative challenge ashore and afloat is being undertaken in full partnership with the National Yacht Club. In fact, with boat numbers this size, it becomes a true Dun Laoghaire Harbour communal effort in order to keep everything on track, with Ian Simington heading a central committee which in turn will be supported by several specialist sub-groups.

At the heart of it – Ian Simington brings extensive experience to his role as Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds 2021.At the heart of it – Ian Simington brings extensive experience to his role as Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds 2021.

And in addition to the calming effect of his wide experience, he knows that the strong Irish club tradition will provide a host of volunteers ready for any useful role which can help to keep this vitally important World Championship running smoothly to remind us that no matter what size of a sail you put on a Laser, it still looks like – and is - a great boat

The Laser Lineup – still a world-beating set of options after more than fifty years. The Laser Lineup – still a world-beating set of options after more than fifty years

Published in Youth Sailing

The Royal St George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour completed its winter lift-out of sailing cruisers on Saturday (October 24), some 4 months and 17 days since the boats were lifted in for the heavily delayed COVID season.

The traditional lift-out was completed in calm conditions even though early forecasts predicted otherwise. 

Last night the club posted a message on social media to thank all those involved. "A big thank you to all who helped out on the big day for the Club. Thank you to all boat owners and their crews and to all of the Lift team and the weather gods who shone on us today"

While the bulk of the RStGYC fleet is now hauled out and ashore on the club's hard standing some club boats are still afloat at the marina awaiting news of the postponed DBSC Turkey Shoot where the hope is that there may still be some pre-Christmas racing after Level 5 COVID restrictions are lifted.

In its note to members the RSTGYC also said, "We now turn to winter sailing under Level 5, at the very least we will ensure that as restrictions and guidelines permit we will get afloat. Winter sailors and their boats will be welcomed back on Friday."

The DMYC lift out of boats on the town's west pier was also completed on Saturday.

Having originally scheduled Saturday for its lift out, The East Pier based National Yacht Club lift now takes place today.

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire hosted the 2020 Irish 12 Foot Dinghy Championships on 13th September with two alternative rigs permissible, the International 12 Foot Dinghy rig with a single sail and the Dublin Bay Sailing Club rig which permits the same sail area to be distributed between the mainsail and jib. This alternative rig was devised in the 1960s to address the steep waves of Dublin Bay.

The weather forecast seemed to suggest 8 knots of wind from the southwest with gusts of up to 18 knots. The 12 Foot Dinghy Association and OOD communicated with the competitors on the evening before the event asking them to bring reefing equipment with them, so that the event could proceed even if the weather was unkindly. The day dawned with a blue sky and a 2-4 knot wind with occasional gusts of 12 knots.

Race one started with a northeasterly wind and just after the start, it shifted to the north-west. Gavan Johnson in 'Albany' was quick to adapt to the new wind and after a shortened course signal reduced the race to one lap of the course, he won the race from young Andrew Miller in 'Pixie.'

The fleet led by Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan'The fleet led by Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan'

By race two, the wind had shifted to the south-west, but once again shifted to the south-east as Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan' led from 'Albany.' It was quite a battle between these two but 'Albany' had the speed and tactics to lead over the finish line.

The third race started in a delightful 6 knots of breeze from the northeast but just before the dinghies reached the windward mark the wind disappeared and the race was abandoned.

All sailed or paddled ashore for a hearty brunch with a nice pint of Guinness with the hope of better wind in the afternoon. Since all the wet Pubs throughout the country are closed- it is delightful to enjoy a pint with your brunch.

David and Henry Shackleton in 'Scythian'David and Henry Shackleton in 'Scythian'

In the afternoon the wind was initially from the south-west. Halfway up the beat the wind died and came back from the northeast. With one of the turning marks close to the marina breakwater, 'Cora' lost her momentum and when it looked like she could drift onto the rocky breakwater, crew Ruairi Shanahan pulled out an oar to push them off. Due to this illegal propulsion, they retired from this race which was again won by 'Albany.'

In the final race, the wind was back in the northeast, and Vincent Delany took the helm of 'Cora,' but he couldn't touch 'Albany' for speed in the prevailing conditions.

Gail Varian and son-in-law Gavan Johnson won the historic Edmond Johnston Trophy and the Altair Trophy for the crew of the winning boat and Andrew Miller and Iseult Costello who shared the steering of 'Pixie' won the historic Cora Trophy.

Andrew Miller winner of the Irish International 12 Foot Dinghy Championship in 'Pixie'Andrew Miller winner of the Irish International 12 Foot Dinghy Championship in 'Pixie'

Download final results below as an Xcel file.

Next year the 12-foot dinghies move to Lough Ree Yacht Club for their Irish championship.

Published in RStGYC

As the International 12-foot class prepares to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its revived championships next week in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the historic dinghy class is also welcoming a new arrival.

A new clinker-built 12 has recently been completed by Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob in West Cork.

This class was designed in 1913 by George Cockshott as the British Racing Association 'A' Class. The class was adopted by the International Yacht Racing Union on 1st. January 1920 and thus it became the International 12 Foot Class. The class was the only dinghy class to compete at the 1920 Antwerp (Belgium) Olympic Games, at Oostende.

The new build 12 on the slipway in West CorkThe new build 12 on the slipway in West Cork

As Afloat previously reported, the class grew in popularity in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s with fleets of professionally and amateur-built boats in Baltimore, Clontarf, Crosshaven, Howth, Malahide, Sutton, and Seapoint (Monkstown, Co. Dublin).

Today there are many 12 Foot Dinghies in Ireland, some having been in the same families for many years. Some are unused and located in barns while others are used as yacht tenders. We have a member interested in restoring an International 12 Foot Dinghy, so if you have one which needs restoration, do let us know.

In 2010 Gail Varian organized a revived Irish Championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

The 10th anniversary of this revived championship for the historic 12 Foot Dinghy prizes will be held in Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on Sunday 13th September, in which the modified Dublin Bay 12 Foot Dinghies with a mainsail and jib will sail against the International 12 foot Dinghies with just a mainsail on equal terms.

A small piece of yachting history: At the 1920 Olympic Games at Oostende, the organisers didn't know the difference between a 12 Foot Dinghy and a 12 Meter Yacht, so they put both classes on the same course. After one race, the dinghy competitors went on strike and refused to race on the 25mile long racecourse. This caused such chaos among the organizing committee, that it was several months later before the second Olympic race for dinghies which was held in a different country, in The Netherlands.

The organisers would like to hear from any Irish owners of 12 Footers.

For more information contact the author below

Published in RStGYC

Heading into day two of the SB20 ‘Western’ Championships hosted by the Royal St George YC, and after confounding conditions out in the bay, three Dun Laoghaire waterfront Clubs will battle it out, with just two points separating first and third overall.

As Afloat reported previously, the 13-boat event is the first of the year on the SB20 circuit.

TED sailed by RStGYC's (Michael O’Connor, Davy Taylor and Philip O’Connor) lie in first place overnight on five points. SoBlue NYC & RSGYC (Chris Helme, Justin Burke and Alan Coffey) are on six points and late entry, Bád RIYC (Stephan Hyde, Jimmy and Jerry Dowling) on seven.

RO Barry O’Neill and his team have three races scheduled today for the Techworks Marine Sponsored event with on the water umpires joining the fleet.

Published in SB20

This class was designed in 1913 by George Cockshott as the British Racing Association ‘A’ Class. The class was adopted by the International Yacht Racing Union on 1st. January 1920 and thus it became the International 12 Foot Class. The class was the only dinghy class to compete at the 1920 Antwerp (Belgium) Olympic Games, at Oostende.

Unfortunately due to COVID 19 the Olympic centenary regatta at Oostende was postponed.

As Afloat previously reported, the class grew in popularity in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s with fleets of professionally and amateur-built boats in Baltimore, Crosshaven, Howth, Sutton, Malahide, Clontarf and Seapoint (Monkstown, Co. Dublin).

Today many 12 Foot Dinghies still exist in Ireland, having been in the same families for many years. Some are unused and located in barns while others are used as yacht tenders. In 2010, Gail Varian organised a revived Irish championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

The 10th anniversary of this revived championship for historic prizes will be held at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday 13th September in which the modified Dublin Bay 12 foot dinghies with a mainsail and jib will sail against the International 12 foot Dinghies with just a mainsail on equal terms.

The organisers would like to hear from any Irish owners of 12 Footers.

For more information contact [email protected]

Published in RStGYC

A sixth Jeanneau Sunfast 3600, and the second Irish one, is entered for August's Round Ireland Yacht Race as Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Yoyo (Brendan Coghlan from the Royal St George Yacht Club) takes on the 700-mile challenge too.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the Sunfast 3600 is proving a popular marque for this year's 21st edition of the race, both in double-handed and fully crewed set-ups.

Four Hamble based 3600s are registered now with, as Afloat reported in May, Gavin Howe's Tigris, Donal Ryan's Team Fujitsu, Deb Fish's regular Bellino as well as Black Sheep (T Middleton) all slated for the Wicklow Head start.

They'll be joined by local John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie. The National Yacht Club Sunfast 3600 took third overall on IRC in last year's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race, so the offshore hardened crew will be a force to be reckoned with in August.

Published in Round Ireland

Starting on Monday, May 18th Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Royal St. George Yacht Club will allow limited access to its forecourt to enable members to prepare their boats for launching on the new lift in date of June 6th.

The club will also aim to facilitate single-handed dinghy sailing as well as multi-handed sailing (with the crew coming from the same household) in line with Government COVID-19 guidelines.

Commodore Peter Bowring stresses in a note to members that 'these activities will only be possible on the understanding that the protocols designed for each activity are strictly followed'.

The club has set out protocols on its website here

Published in RStGYC

A new Dublin Bay regatta involving the whole Dun Laoghaire sailing waterfront has been announced for July 31st to August 3rd. 

The 'Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs Solidarity Regatta 2020' is an initiative of all five of Dun Laoghaire's yacht clubs as a response to the COVID-19 interrupted season.

"The event is a joint effort of the DMYC, RIYC, RStGYC, NYC and DBSC", according to Mark McGibney, the sailing manager of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

We plan to run this regatta from Friday 31st July to the 3rd August.

In these uncertain times, the clubs have also decided to 'book' the weekend of the 5th/6th September as reserve dates if the August dates fall through.

More details as we have them.

Read also: 2020 Irish Sailing Fixtures (The Beyond COVID-19 Version)

Published in Dublin Bay

The Royal St George Yacht Club hosted its annual Sailings Oscars for the 2019 Season at a black-tie gala event held in the Dun Laoghaire Club last Saturday.

The event was very well attended and was an opportunity to celebrate the sailing achievements of club members over the 2019 sailing season. The event was hosted by Mark Hennessy, Rear Commodore (Sailing) who paid tribute to the performance of clubs members over the 2019 season which included success at the All Ireland Sailing Championships and the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm event.

A total of seven prize categories were up for grabs on the night with a wide range of very worthy nominees.

Sailing Trophies 1The RSTGYC Sailing Trophies ready for presentation

The awards recognised high-level performances across dinghies and keelboats, including Michael O'Connor and Davy Taylor's victory in the All Ireland Sailing Championship. Michael was presented with the Enriquetta Cup, while Frank O'Beirne and Kieron Guilfoyle were awarded the O'Hanlon Cup for their cruising adventure as featured in Afloat and recognised by the ICC.

David Williams of the Water Wag class was a worthy winner of the Waterfront Award for his significant contribution to sailing which has seen a strong resurgence in the class with new boats, class members and a great mix of high-quality racing and great social scene.

The Commodores Cup was won by Lady Rowena (David Bolger and Crew) who won their class in the Cruising Division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle and were proud recipients of the Sam and Emma Trophy.

For the second year in a row Tom Higgins was presented with The Vice Commodores Cup. Tom's Championship results for 2019 are Laser Radial Youth World Championships, 5th place overall. Winner, Andalusia Olympic Week, Laser Radial. Laser Radial Europa Cup, Hyeres, 6th place overall. Laser Radial Europa Cup, Lake Garda, 7th place overall. Laser Radial Nationals, 2nd place overall. Royal Yachting Association NI Laser Radial Youth Nationals, Open Champion. Leinster Schools' Team Racing Champions, Gonzaga College. Tom is sailing both the Radial and Standard rig in 2020 and will compete in Genoa for the Irish Olympic spot at the Tokyo 2020 games. Tom is captain of the Gonzaga College Sailing Team in 2020.

Jessica Riordan was the winner of the Youth Award. Jessica has had a very strong 2019. She was first girl at Irish trials and competed in Optimist European Championships at Crozon in France. She was first girl at British Nationals at Weymouth. She was first girl at Irish Nationals and won a gold ISA medal. She has competed at the North Americans and at several events in Europe and is on Winner team for the second consecutive year and was ranked 6th in the rankings for the year and Top Girl Overall.

The sailors representing the RSGYC at the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta Winners of the Causeway Trophy 1The sailors representing the RStGYC at the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta Winners of the Causeway Trophy

The Causeway Trophy was won by 'Team George' who were the sailors representing the RSGYC at the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta. They were the Inaugural winners of The Roy Family Trophy- The Overall Club Team Trophy. The team consisted of skippers Helen O'Beirne (Laser Radial) Grace O'Beirne (420) and the Under 25 Team skippered by Niamh Henry. In a very strong showing by the RSGYC Louise McKenna won the "Silver Sailor" prize for helms over 60 and the PY Trophy (Fireball), Grace O' Beirne (420). In the Laser Radial Helen O' Beirne, Shirley Gilmore and Ali Robinson were on the podium along with Sarah Byrne for the SB20. Superb sailing by the RSGYC Club members taking home seven prizes in what by all accounts was a great regatta.

Speaking at the prize-giving, RStGYC Commodore Peter Bowring paid a special tribute to the performance of the club's youth sailors who excelled across team racing and in Optimist, Feva and Laser classes and especially the female club members. He also thanked the large pool of volunteers who gave generously of their time to support the club in hosting events.

The club is looking forward to another busy season on the water with Lift-in confirmed for April 4th and the annual RSGYC Club Regatta on Saturday 4th July.

Published in RStGYC
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The Dragon was designed by Johan Anker in 1929 as an entry for a competition run by the Royal Yacht Club of Gothenburg, to find a small keel-boat that could be used for simple weekend cruising among the islands and fjords of the Scandinavian seaboard. The original design had two berths and was ideally suited for cruising in his home waters of Norway. The boat quickly attracted owners and within ten years it had spread all over Europe.

The Dragon's long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP is the most popular material, but both new and old wooden boats regularly win major competitions while looking as beautiful as any craft afloat. Exotic materials are banned throughout the boat, and strict rules are applied to all areas of construction to avoid sacrificing value for a fractional increase in speed.

The key to the Dragon's enduring appeal lies in the careful development of its rig. Its well-balanced sail plan makes boat handling easy for lightweights, while a controlled process of development has produced one of the most flexible and controllable rigs of any racing boat.

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