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Displaying items by tag: Autumn League

A 40-boat cruiser-racer fleet, fine sailing breezes and autumn sunshine brought the AIB Autumn Series to life in Cork Harbour today. 

Royal Cork Yacht Club organisers staged two races on the first day of racing that continues for four more consecutive Sundays running until October 25th.

Race officer Barry Rose took charge of the Zeros, Ones and Twos assisted by Denis Kiely, Eoin Clayton, Roddy Hogan and Pauline McKechnie. Rose set two windward-leeward courses for today's racing outside of Cork Harbour.

RCYC Rear Admiral Darragh Connolly was the White Sails Race Officer with Siobhan Hoop and Dom Long assisting over today's round the cans course inside the harbour.

Next week the 1720 sportsboats (competing for Munster honours elsewhere in the harbour this weekend) will join the fray so RCYC's pre-event prediction that it will ultimately muster 50 boats proves accurate. 

Jump Juice in command in the first races of the RCYC Autumn LeagueJump Juice in command in the first races of the RCYC Autumn League Photo: Bob Bateman

Jump on Top in Zero 

Two firsts for the ex-Commodore's Cupper Jump Juice skippered by Maurice O'Connell on behalf of Conor Phelan puts the Ker 37 on top in four-boat IRC Spinnaker Zero division with 2020's top-performing Grand Soleil 40, Nieulargo (Denis Murphy and Annamarie Murphy) second and Wan Waterman's X37, Saxon Senator third.

AltairTight at the top: Kieran Dorgan's Altair (above) leads but is on the same points as Ronan Downing's Miss Whiplash (below) Photos: Bob Bateman

Miss Whiplash (Half Tonner) GBR5435R Ronan Downing 

First 36.7 Altair leads IRC Spinnaker One

Kieran Dorgan's Altair is back into Cork Harbour IRC Spinnaker One racing with a splash topping the scoresheet in the league's competitive IRC One eight-boat fleet. Altair missed the Cove Sailing Club Cobh to Blackrock Race earlier this month where she was a favourite but more than made up for it in today's performance. A win for the Cove Sailing Club First 36.7 in today's second race means she holds first overall but is on the same five points as Ronan Downing's Half-Tonner Miss Whiplash. Kieran Collins' Olsen 30, Coracle IV is one point behind in third place.

Mike McCann's potent Etchells 22 Don't Dilly DallyMike McCann's Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally Photo: Bob Bateman

Etchells 22 First in IRC Spinnaker Two

Two wins from two races mean Mike McCann's potent Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally tops IRC Two from Dave Lane's J24, YaGottaWanna on six points, the same as Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit in third place.

Racing continues next Sunday. 

Provisional results are here

AIB Autumn Series Day One Photos By Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour

Bright sunshine, a good but warm sailing breeze, and summer temperatures which lasted well into the evening made Saturday’s opening of the 38th annual Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club – partnered this year by specialist car importers Beshoff Motors – into an idyllic July day which had somehow strayed into Autumn. But nobody was complaining about this inversion in normal climatic circumstance as the nine classes – with 18 sets of results when the outcome was calculated in different ways – made the best of the truly marvellous afternoon.

The fleet was mostly local, but there were contenders from Malahide and Rush too, while the enthusiastically-campaigned newly-acclaimed ISORA 2019 Champion, the JPK Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) made her way across Dublin Bay to compete - but then, as her name implies, she does have certain links with Fingal, and in a sense it was a home-coming.

As usual, it was the local One Designs, the backbone of Howth sailing, which provided the biggest fleet numbers, with the Puppeteer 22s mustering 16 entries, while the vintage Howth 17s turned out with 14 boats resplendent in their jackyard topsails.

howth 2019 seventeens2The Howth 17s resplendent in their topsails, with Oonagh leading 2019 National Champion Deilginis. The winner on Saturday was Rita (John Curley & Marcus Lynch), which also won the class’s first race in April 1898. Photo: Brian Turvey
And as it is the 40th Anniversary Year for the Squibs in Howth (the word is there’s a party to celebrate this in November), the class is undergoing one of its revivals. You could do a doctoral thesis on the waxing and waning of the Squibs at different centres in Ireland, but the almost moribund Howth nucleus has suddenly shown signs of new life, and there were eight of them racing with O’Leary (S Sheahan) winning from Derek Bothwell’s Tears in Heaven while Fantome (R.McDonnell) was third.

Naturally the glamour interest in the fleet as a whole tended to focus on Class 1 and the showing of Rockabill VI, but the O’Higgins boat found herself faced with wall-to-wall north county J/109s, and they took the first three places with Rockabill VI fourth, the winner being Outrajeous (Richard Colwell & Johnny Murphy, HYC), while second was the new RC 35 2019 Champion, Pat Kelly’s Storm from Rush SC, with HYC’s Simon Knowles and Colm Buckley’s Indian, another J/109, in third.

Howth’s classic Half Tonners are in a league of their own, which tends to distort Class 2 results, and Saturday was no exception, with Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XVIII winning from Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV, while Mike and Richard Evans’ The Big Picture came third and another Half Ton hottie, Jonny Swan’s Harmony, was fourth. Meanwhile, the first boat from the real world was Anthony Gore-Grimes’ consistent X302 Dux in fifth.

cruisers together3 Between non-spinnaker classes and all-sails campaigners, at times the sea was crowded

Class 3 saw current Sigma 33 Irish National Champion Insider getting the win for Stephen and Des Mullaney (HYC) from Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II, with the Patterson/Darmody partnership’s much-modified Viking third

Non-spinnaker classes saw wins for the First 40 Tiger (Stephen Harris & Frank Hughes) and Terry McCoy & Mick Creegan’s veteran First 38 Out and About, while the J/80s saw Robert Dix (All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion of 1970, believe it or not, though he has achieved many other successes since) taking the line with his Jeannie from Jabs (J O’Dowd), while third went to Nobby Reilly with Red Cloud.

helsmans 1970 championhip4Robert Dix (right) as the youngest-ever winner (aged 17) of the Helmsman's Championship of Ireland at the conclusion of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Quarter Millenial Celebrations, October 1970. His competitors were (left to right) Michael O’Rahilly, the late Somers Payne, Harold Cudmore, Owen Delany, and Maurice Butler. Forty-nine years later, Dixie is still winning – he topped the J/80s in yesterday’s opening race of the Beshoff Motors Autumn League 2019 at Howth. Photo: W M Nixon
As for the Puppeteer 22s and Howth Seventeens, the racing was great at every level of their numerically significant fleets with the Seventeens being led in by Rita (John Curley & Marcus Lynch) which also won the class’s very first race in April 1898, though the word is there was a different owner back then, but in the Seventeens all things are possible. Second were the Turvey brothers in Isobel and third was HYC Commodore Ian Byrne with Eddie Ferris in Gladys.

As for the Puppeteers, they went back to the season-long situation of the two Alans – Pearson & Blay – winning with Trick or Treat, this time from Scorie Walls in Gold Dust with Ibis (S Sheridan) third, while the 2019 National Championship winner Yellow Peril (Neil Murphy & Conor Costello) had to be content with sixth.

Meanwhile, the search continues for the positional situation in Saturday’s racing of the current Irish Half-Ton Champion Mata (Michael & Darren Wright and Rick De Neve, HYC). She went out to compete with a stratospheric rating listed as being 0.989, which was out of sight compared to all the other Half Tonners which are in the 0.945 to 0.947 range. As of the time of writing, Mata has not yet landed in her true position. But as suggested on Saturday in another context, Mata should really be called Kittyhawk, as that was where the Wright brothers learned to fly, and where they also learned that flying is a doddle - it’s the landing that’s the tricky bit…..

Detailed results here

Published in Howth YC

#HYC - Be sure to reserve your place for the KBC Autumn League final night banquet hosted by Howth Yacht Club on Saturday 20 October.

The venue is also available for Christmas parties this upcoming festive season — with room to host up to 150 guests for a tailored three-course dinner or a more casual alternative.

For details contact the clubhouse at 01 832 2141 or email [email protected]

Published in Howth YC
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#HYC - This evening, Saturday 8 September, Howth Yacht Club will host a special reception for newly crowned 49er U23 World Champions Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove.

All members are welcome to join the Prosecco toast for the youth skiff pair and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls, who won their last race from a chasing pack to claim the title in Marseille last weekend.

Tapas will be serves at the reception, which kicks off at 7pm in the clubhouse — and juniors are also welcome, with pizza and soft drinks on the menu.

In other HYC news, there’s only one week left to go before the club’s new-look Autumn League begins.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the six-week series from next Saturday includes a special family day on 22 September.

Published in Howth YC

#HYC - Howth Yacht Club’s annual Autumn League gets a whole new makeover for 2018 with a new sponsor, plenty of weekly prizes and promotions, and a full entertainment programme.

Racing in the KBC Autumn League 2018 begins on Saturday 15 September for the six-week series, which includes a special family day on Saturday 22 September, and a gala dinner and prize-giving on the final night, Saturday 20 October.

The online entry form, entry list and Notice of Race are now available from the HYC website.

Published in Howth YC
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This week and for the second time, HYC's Autumn League race management teams were presented with and efficiently managed the considerable challenge of running two races for the inshore and offshore fleets. Aided by some slight alterations to the sailing instructions, Howth’s rich cohort of race officials set out windward-leeward courses for the first race and into a north-westerly 18-20 knot wind that accommodatingly behaved in terms of direction and strength for the whole afternoon.

The teams on the race committee vessels (Sea Wych, Star Point and six accompanying RIBs) finished the nine racing classes, then laid a ‘Round the Cans’ course and got all 100 boats cleanly away for the second race by 4pm. The decision to move to a ‘Round the cans’ course for the second race meant that both fleets finished in Howth Sound and in plenty of time to enjoy the revelry ashore.

With more than four races now completed, boats now discard their worst score and many of the leaderboards tighten as a result. The notoriously cluttered sailing calendar conspired against Class 1 this weekend, with the J109 National Championships clashing with the Autumn League, but culminating in sweet success for Pat Kelly’s ‘Storm’ (See here). But the Breen/ Hogg/ Gregory partnership on their First 34.7 ‘Flashback’ were quick to take advantage of the absence of the J109s, winning both IRC races and really stirring it up at the top of the Class 1 leaderboard. Stephen O’Flaherty‘s Spirit 54 ‘Soufriere’ now commands a formidable lead at the top of the ECHO division, following two wins. The standard of racing and level of competition continues at breathtaking pace in Class 2. The X-Boats, Half-Tonners and Corbys continue to jostle for dominance of this class and while Dave Cullen's ‘Checkmate XV’ earned the right to top this division after winning the second race on Saturday, the Half-Tonner was beaten in the first race by the Wright/ DeNeve/ Cronnelly team on their Corby designed ‘Kodachi’. Jonny Swan’s Half-Tonner ‘Harmony’ leads the ECHO division.

Having missed the first race because they were competing in the J24 World Championships in Canada, the Howth K25 team on ‘Scandal’ capitalised on their discard this week and won both races, leapfrogging their way to the top of the leaderboard in Class 3 IRC. However they will have to stay on top form to fend off the challenge from Gerry O’Sullivan’s Formula 28 ‘Animal’ and Autumn League veteran Vince Gaffney and his team on ‘Alliance Eleven’. The same three boats dominated the ECHO division for the first race, but the resulting adjustment of ratings presented an opportunity to Lionel McMurtry and his team on ‘Hellyhunter’, who won the second race by a minute on corrected time.

It seems like business-as-usual at the front end of Class 4, where Colin Bermingham’s ‘Bite-the-Bullet’ is a familiar sight at the top of the IRC division. But he’s not having it all his own way this time, with the Harris/ Hughes First 40.7 ‘Tiger’ snapping at his heels with only seconds separating them in some of the races and only one point between them in the overall stakes. The ECHO division in Class 4 would be a bookmaker’s challenge but the Burrows/ Skeffington partnership on their Sigma 38 ‘Spellbound’ seem to have found the secret, topping the ECHO leaderboard - by consistently scoring in third and fourth place, their rating changes very little after each race in comparison to the rest of the fleet and any continued gradual improvement should see them as favourites for the ECHO title. The Class 5 boats ‘centre of interest’ is in the ECHO division, where 12 boats are battling every week and where the additional rating points added to Terry McCoy’s ‘Out & About’ after winning the first race, didn’t stop their relative performance and they managed to beat ‘Baily II’ by 13 seconds in the last race. Only 5 boats compete in Class 5 IRC and Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis’s Club Shamrock ‘Demelza’ continues to dominate, although this time the 13-second gap in the last race went against the team on ‘Out & About’, finishing second and lying second overall in that division.

The ‘Taste of Racing’ teams on the club’s J80s continue to enjoy thrilling racing as they hone their skills in the club’s assymetric-rigged keelboats. Three boats took part this week, including teams from Intel (skippered and mentored by Fergus O’Kelly) and Accenture as well as a training squad mentored by Noel Davidson. The ‘Taste of Racing’ programme is designed to introduce new sailors to the sport and offers them all a chance to try all positions on the boat during a race. This gives them valuable experience, provides a transition from basic sailing skills through to competent racing experience and as a result, last year’s participants are now all racing on members boats.

Neil Murphy’s ‘Yellow Peril’ is demonstrating consistent results in the large Puppeteer class, but dealing with some tough competition from experienced teams on Dave Clark and Liam Egan’s ‘Harlequin’, Alan Pearson and Alan Blay’s ‘Trick or Treat’ and also from Scorie Walls and Declan Browne’s ‘Gold Dust’, which suffered a main halyard failure on the way to the start line, but managed to recover to consolidate 3rd place overall. There was less luck for ‘Trick or Treat’ and their team who retired after finishing and will be looking for two strong results to challenge ‘Yellow Peril’ before the approach of Halloween and finish of the series! Only half a point separates the top three in the Puppeteer handicap division, to the benefit of Frank Dillon and his team on ‘Flycatcher’, so they will need to be on top of their game to stay in front with two races to go.

The strong winds and forecasted gusts convinced all but two of the Squib class not to race this week and Serena Blacoe’s ‘Seabiscuit’ and Ronan MacDonell’s ‘Fantome’ did the honourable thing by sharing the spoils, winning a race each. ‘Seabiscuit’ has the honour of being the first probable Autumn League winner after only five races, but will no doubt be battling on to contend for the overall event prize.

Not one of the 16-strong Howth Seventeen class took the risk to hoist their topsail in the fresh conditions as they rigged up in the harbour on Saturday afternoon. Probably a wise move because it was a day for maximum ‘weight on the rail’ for every competing class. Mike Toomey and his team on their Howth Seventeen ‘Deilginis’ took full advantage of their season-long form and won both races, moving to the top of the leaderboard ahead of Brian and Conor Turvey’s ‘Isobel’, now separated by four points. Some consistent racing by the Doyle, Walsh, Finnegan trio in ‘Bobolink’ affords them a slim lead at the top of the handicap division from Harriette and Bryan Lynch’s ‘Echo’ and the jointly chartered ‘Erica’ (Hansen/ O’Meara/ Gilna). 

As a consequence of the close quarter action on the busy racecourses, the protest room was in full use on Saturday until almost 9pm, and the hearings were generously overseen and managed by chairman Ed Alcock and supported by Kieran Barker and Rima Macken.

As the leaders emerge in each class and following the busy evening ashore after racing last Saturday, it’s certain that the final two days will be lively affairs.

Published in Howth YC

#HYC - Entries are open for Howth Yacht Club’s 38th Autumn League, which runs for six weeks from Saturday 16 September.

Combining quality keelboat racing with a lively après-sail social schedule, this year’s event will see the continuation of the winning formula of recent years and be run on Saturday afternoons.

This affords competitors plenty of time to get to the start line for the first gun at 2.30pm, with the exception of the slightly earlier final-day start sequence, which commences at 1pm.

Making the league more attractive for non-HYC teams is a focus for the event team this year, including special-rare marina berths for visiting boats (with a further discounts for entries received before this Wednesday 30 August).

The club will also present presenting a full social and hospitality programme for the six weeks, including sponsored weekly drinks promotions and a final night party to remember.

However, it’s the action on the water that makes Howth’s Autumn League what it is. Racing fleets will be separated into two groups and two race areas, with an ‘offshore’ fleet comprising at least five cruiser divisions and an inshore fleet for one-design keelboat classes.

Following a recent survey and feedback and in a move to encourage increased participation in the cruiser classes, the normal practice of resetting ECHO handicaps to standard level at the beginning of the event will not be used, and instead boats will be allocated a rating reflecting current form.

This year’s Autumn League starts two weeks after the J80 Nationals and J-Cup event, being hosted in Howth on the weekend of 2-3 September, and it’s hoped that many of those competitors, including J24s and J109s, will stay on to compete in the six-week series.

Following the often gentle sailing conditions usually experienced in July and August, HYC’s Autumn League can be an exhilarating event for many crews, always delivering a high standard of racing through the experienced hands and organisational skills of its internationally renowned race management teams.

The course card is designed to give a varied range of race options, including windward/leeward, Olympic and Round-the-Cans races.

In addition to completing for the spectacular range of Autumn League silverware, race winners will also enjoy weekly prizes, which will be distributed by the MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz team on the following Saturdays.

The Heineken Trophy will be awarded to the overall winner, calculated as the boat that wins on scratch or IRC by the largest margin. Competitors are also encouraged to enter a team (three boats from three separate classes) for the Olympus Trophy.

Special après-sail food menus from caterer Jason Dunphy will offer sailors and their guests a quality and alternating selection each week, with regular dining facilities in the evening and a special ‘party night’ dinner on the final Saturday. (Details can be found in race packs.)

Recently, Howth Yacht Club announced it has extended its three-year partnership with MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz to sponsor its Autumn League for a fourth season this year.

“Their partnership adds important value for our members, the competing sailors and their guests. This affords HYC the ability to run a top quality regatta with all the frills,” said Commodore Joe McPeake.

“This year we aim to provide competitors with a memorable experience, with a ‘refreshing’ welcome each day when they come ashore!”

The Notice of Race and online entry form to the 2017 MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz Autumn League are available from the HYC website HERE.

Published in Howth YC
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#AutumnLeague - Howth Yacht Club has extended its three-year partnership with MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz to sponsor the club’s Autumn League for a fourth season in 2017.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement and are very thankful to Dean and his team at MSL Park Motors for this extended support,” said HYC Commodore Joe McPeake.

“It allows the club to build important value-added benefits at this early stage and ensures that we are providing very best quality event for our competitors.”

Dean Fullston, brand manager for the North Dublin dealership, also hailed the continuation of the sponsorship agreement.

“We’ve got to know the club members and are looking forward to seeing them again this year. It is also a great opportunity to showcase a handful of the 27 exquisite Mercedes-Benz models which make up the extensive range.”

The Autumn League will take place over six Saturdays from 16 September to 21 October and will see some changes to the format in 2017, including additional entertainment after racing and the provision of rescheduled racing on a Sunday where the Saturday race has been cancelled due to weather.

Published in Howth YC
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A long rolling sea in Cork harbour and spring tides welcomed today's CH Marine Autumn League at Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Bob Bateman.

After six races sailed Kieran Dorgan's Beneteau 36.7 Altair looks the boat to beat in IRC one. After one discard, Dorgan has a 4.5 lead over Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Alpaca X34. Third is today's first race winner Rob McConnell's Fool's Gold.

Classes one, two and the 1720 sportsboats started beyond Whitegate on the Eastern bank and sailed two races round the cans under Race Officer Peter Crowley. 

 

In race two, there was plenty of wind from the west south–west but after a deluge wind dropped to five knots. Fleets three and four whitesail started over at the Dognose bank with a beat to Cage mark and a two sail reach to no 3 buoy at the entrance to harbour and a spinnaker run in, not for the faint hearted.

Results are posted here

Racing will be held again next Sunday and concludes the following Saturday with a prizegiving dinner. 

 

Published in Royal Cork YC

Altair (K Dorgan/J Losty) leads the biggest fleet of Royal Cork's CH Marine Autumn league writes Bob Bateman. After the first two races of the Cork Harbour league, the Beneteau 36.7 is IRC one division leader on three points from Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X34, Alpaca. Third is the J109 Justus skippered by Dan Buckley.

Results from all divisions are here. 

Racing continues next weekend.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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