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Humanist Celebration of the Life of Louis Smyth This Sunday at the National Yacht Club

19th July 2018
Louis Smyth (right) sailing his Fireball with crew Glen Fischer in 2017 Louis Smyth (right) sailing his Fireball with crew Glen Fischer in 2017 Photo: Bob Hobby

A Humanist celebration of the life of Louis Smyth takes place at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire this Sunday 22nd July at 4pm. The event will mark the passing on June 24th of an inspirational figure in Irish sailing who sailed Fireballs competitively into his 81st year. An honorary life member of Fireball International the sailor was one of the key figures responsible for the revival of the Fireball Fleet in Ireland. In his working life Louis, with his wife Rosemary, developed a significant food import business and set up Le Gourmet in Dun Laoghaire, one of the first delicatessens on the southside of Dublin. The venture grew from Louis’ great interest in food and food ingredients and providence during his early travels as a merchant seaman.

While he originally sailed 470’s it was as owner of a succession of Fireball designs that Louis became the spiritual father of the Fireball fleet in Ireland. From his early Fireball days where he shipped the boat alone in a box to worldwide championship venues, he became deeply involved with the International Fireball organisation and spent six years as its commodore. It was Louis’ expertise in shipping which ultimately saw containers with 8 or 9 boats stacked in frames travel from Ireland to world championships in exotic locations around the world. Locally in Dun Laoghaire Louis was deeply involved in the local community and played an active role in the maintenance and development of Crosthwaite Park.

Sunday’s gathering at 4 pm in the NYC will see family and friends from the world of sailing in Ireland and abroad come together to celebrate the life of a remarkable figure. Nobody will be surprised to hear that the date and timing of the ceremony were chosen by Louis himself to ensure no conflict with a sailing event.

Published in Fireball
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At A Glance – Fireball Dinghy Specs

Crew 2 (single trapeze)
LOA 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
Beam 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Hull weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Mast height 22.3 ft (6.8 m)
Mainsail area 108 sq ft (10.0 m2).
Jib / Genoa area 35 sq ft (3.3 m2).
Spinnaker area 140 sq ft (13 m2).

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