Displaying items by tag: Autumn League
Howth Yacht Club's 37th year of its Autumn League begins this Saturday at 2:30pm and repeats each Saturday (with the exception of October 1st) until the final day on the 22nd of October.
As the entries to Howth Yacht Club's autumnal 6-week keelboat racing series still keep coming, it looks as though the weather will provide a kind window for the competitors, race management teams and sponsors MSL Park Motors and their Mercedes-Benz brand. Led by the experienced heads of Harry Gallagher and Richard Kissane, the race management team have put together a series of courses for the 6 weeks that include the option of setting Windward-Leeward races. Two fleets will be managed on separate race courses - the 'Inshore Fleet' includes the one-design classes (Squibs, Howth Seventeens, Puppeteers, Sailfleet J80s) and also Class 3. The ISA Sailfleet J80s will race in a class themselves - the 'Taste of Racing' class, which brings together many of those people who took part in the club's Adult Sail Training courses during the year and offers individuals an opportunity to mix and race with different team each week. They will be skippered by experienced and notable Howth keelboat racing–types including Noel Davidson, Fergus O'Kelly, Brian McDowell and others.
The 'Offshore Fleet' will include cruiser racing Classes 1 and 2, as well as the non-spinnaker Classes 4 and 5. Class 2 includes the club's newest assets, where up to five of the HYC J80s (and at least one notable addition in Dominic O'Keefe's J80 'Graduate' from RIYC) will compete in a class that appears to be the 'centre of gravity' for Howth keelboat racing and also includes the Half-Tonners - Harmony, Checkmate, King One and The Big Picture.
In a step away from the traditional 6-weekends-in-a-row, the event breaks for a week on October 1st - perhaps to allow sailors to get the grass cut, watch the Ryder Cup, sail in the J109 Nationals or perhaps representing their class at the ISA Senior All Ireland Sailing Championships in RCYC. But for those that won't fall into those categories, HYC will be running a 'Coastal Race' for all classes.
Like the Last Supper the best weather was kept for the final day of the CH Marine Autumn League in Cork Harbour writes Claire Bateman. A brisk nor westerly breeze greeted the Royal Cork Yacht Club competitors. As usual, there were three race areas. Whitesail One and Two with Class Four were sailing down off the Eastern Bank and due to the nor westerly nature of the wind the courses were somewhat shorter with a lot of mark rounding .
The 1720s elected to go out an hour early to get an extra race in such was the enthusiasm of the class and they were able to get the full benefit from the direction of the wind by sailing right across the harbour where they were like greyhounds chasing around the course.
Classes One, Two and Three were in the outer harbour again today and they were given the B type course, which is the triangle course, and this gave great racing. R0 Peter Crowley decided that they would not finish in at the grassy today because it was felt the wind could be a bit flukey inside the harbour.
It was a day that one could use the old reliable description of champagne sailing with blue sea and sky, perfect breeze, and a very fitting end to the CH Marine Autumn League.
On Saturday Howth Yacht Club celebrated the completion of one of its most successful Autumn Leagues, managing to complete the full series of six consecutive races for the second year in a row. One hundred keelboats entered this year's MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz sponsored event, with nine classes racing and boats competing for 17 trophies across the scratch, IRC, ECHO and handicap divisions. The major overall prizes were won by Checkmate XV (Heineken Trophy for top boat) and the team Splashdance-Starlet-Trick or Treat (Olympus Team Trophy)
The final day's racing conditions belied the calendar date and seemed more like late-spring sailing with a 10-12 knot northeasterly wind and sunny skies. The 060 degrees wind direction meant that many of the race leaders in the Offshore (Cruisers) and Inshore (One-design) fleets had to strain their eyes to find the windward racing marks such as 'Talbot' and 'Osprey' in a lumpy sea state. But they did, and this final race turned out to be the deciding one in many of the fleets. Pat Kelly's J109 Storm continues to be the boat to beat in Class 1 IRC at this event, although the Gregory/ Breen/ Hogg owned Beneteau First 34.7 Flashback finished just 2 points behind, having had a recent flurry of good form and also winning the final race as well as the overall ECHO prize.
With their worst score being a discarded 2nd place, Dave Cullen and his team on their half-tonner Checkmate XV capped an excellent season by winning Class 2 IRC and by 3.5 points from Stephen Quinn's J97 Lambay Rules. Jonny Swan's half-tonner Harmony won the ECHO prize.
Their fourth win from the six races put Howth's young K25 Team firmly at the top of Class 3 IRC in their J24 Kilcullen and a full 6 points clear of Vince Gaffney's Alliance II. On the ECHO leaderboard in the same class, a premature start and resulting OCS score that had to be discarded did not stop Joss Walsh and team on White Hunter celebrating their first event victory in the ECHO division from the Ray/ Costello Jeanneau Sunlight 30 Tobago.
Bringing the sponsor on board for their Class 4 race was to add extra pressure for Howard McMullen and Mossy Shanahan's on Splashdance, but MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Brand Manager Dean Fullston helped them to win the IRC prize by the closest of margins from Paul Tully's White Lotus. The ECHO prize was one by Kieran Jameson's Changeling.
One might have expected the light winds during this year's event to hold back the performance of some of the heavier boats, but not so for Harry Byrne's Sunrise 34 Alphida, taking first place in Class 5 IRC from Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis's Club Shamrock Demelza. Richard McAllister's Force Five won the ECHO prize by a huge 14 margin over Rum Doodle.
With the ISA Sailfleet J80s being used in Dun Laoghaire for the All Ireland Senior Sailing Championships, only one race was completed in the series, won by Howth's Alistair Kissane. The Puppeteer class had no such distractions and their scratch division was a hard-fought event for the top half of the fleet and eventually won by Alan Pearson and his team on Trick or Treat from Scorie Walls and Declan Browne's Gold Dust. A finish-line 'altercation' in the 5th week and the resulting protest would appear to have been the decisive moment in this fiercely fought series and occupied lots of time in the bar conversations afterwards! Gerry Kennedy and his team on Schiggy won the handicap prize.
Jeff Kay and Emer Harte shared the respective scratch and handicap spoils in the Squib class on Jeff's Chatterbox and Emer's Puffin and another very close finish saw the top boats separated by just a few points in the Howth 17 class - with Peter Courtney's Oona winning from the 117 year-old Hera (Michael and Jane Duffy). Roddy Cooper's Leila won the handicap prize.
This year's Autumn League finished with the usual lively dinner - with over 250 people dining and staying late to enjoy the live entertainment afterwards. MSL Park Motors' Dean Fullston was full of praise for the sailors and Howth Yacht Club in his address at the prizegiving, saying that 'it was a great pleasure for the Mercedes Benz team to come to Howth each week during the event' and that the Autumn League continues to be 'a great event for MSL Park Motors to be associated with, affording a unique opportunity to be part of the event, club and sport'. In reply, HYC Commodore Brian Turvey added that 'MSL Park Motors and their Mercedes Benz brand add huge value and support to the event and the club members, sailors and visitors are delighted with this association.' He also thanked event chairman Feargal Kinsella and his race management teams, shore and organisational teams, as well as the club staff for helping to continue to ensure that the Autumn League remains a premier keelboat event in the annual racing calendar.
Five out of five races have been sailed for Autumn League competitors in the MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Autumn League at Howth Yacht Club. With all races now completed by the competing classes, hopes are high that this year's event will replicate the success of last year and that the full schedule of racing will be completed, assisted so far by the fair weather conditions.
Next week's final race sees an earlier start time with the first warning signals for both Inshore and Offshore fleets scheduled for 13:00.
HYC's Autumn League will conclude with the final day's racing followed by the prizegiving for the last 2 races and then the overall prizegiving at approximately 18:30. It is expected that more than 250 diners will enjoy the 'Food From the Seven Seas' themed event dinner which begins immediately after the prizegiving and includes some special prize draws after which the entertainment continues with the excellent 'Harleys' - playing live in the lounge.
With six races already sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club's CH Marine Autumn Series and one discard, there are now four races left to sail in the event writes Claire Bateman. It was a regular autumnal day yesterday, a bit grey in the harbour but at Roche’s Point it was somewhat brighter but with a bit of a lop brought about by a largely E/NE light wind and a flood tide going in the opposite direction. Fleets One, two and three were given a windward/leeward course and at the weather mark in Class One Rob McConnell’s Fools Gold came in on port with Conor Doyle’s Freya arriving on starboard and Fools Gold having exonerated herself then proceeded to go on to win in IRC.
Fools Gold and Freya close in at the weather mark. More photos in Bob Bateman's gallery above.
Paul Tingle's Alpaca leads in Class two
In Class Two IRC Paul Tingle’s Alpaca had two firsts and has a good lead over her two closest rivals, the Crosbie family on No Excuse and the Desmond/Ivers/Deasy Bad Company. For the second race RO Peter Crowley did his usual clever trick of giving the fleet a race and then finishing them off the Grassy.
Celebrations on the Albin Express White Magic
Class Four sailed inside the harbour as did White sail One and Two. Class Four has turned into a cracker (no pun intended)of a battle between Clare competitor Denis Byrne in his Ed Dubois TS 250 and Alan Mulcahy’s Albin Express White Magic. Both had a win today and are joint leaders on seven points each in IRC.Blank Zig Mosaic copy
The 1720 fleet were having their usual exciting racing but with the lighter winds did not produce any unexpected surprises. Denis Murphy’s Aquatack took the three bullets today.
Next Sunday will see the penultimate day of racing for the league with the final day of racing on the following Saturday, October 24th.
After what might prove to be the last of the mild autumnal weather for the MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz Autumn League in Howth Yacht Club this weekend, the completion of the fourth race in this series means that a discard now applies, allowing the competing boats to rid themselves of their worst score and concentrating the minds of the strategists.
On the Inshore 'one-design fleet' Course, some very close racing has led to four boats battling for the scratch prize, with Algie Pearson's Trick or Treating leading the chasing pack that includes Gold Dust, Yellow Peril and Harlequin. The Murphy/ Costello owned Yellow Peril is also in the leading position on handicap scoring, with 3 points separating them from Gerry Kennedy's Schiggy. Discarding an initial 'Did Not Start' for the first race of the series, Jeff Kay's Chatterbox completed a hat-trick of wins in the Squib class ensuring top spot in the scratch competition as well as dominating the handicap division. As per the Notce of Race, it should be noted that boats receiving scratch or IRC prizes (daily and overall) are not eligible for performance-rated handicap prizes. A second place this week for Peter Courtney's Howth 17 Oona consolidates their team's position at the top of the scratch leaderboard, putting it up to the chasing fleet within the 117 year-old class. They also top the handicap division which, as noted previously, sees 2nd placed Hera as the real contender once not appearing on the scratch division podium.
On the more northerly racecourse, the cruiser classes also encountered light winds and tricky conditions. However Pat Kelly's J109 Storm demonstrated that it's name belies the ability to manage the light airs with equal authority and will give 2nd placed Flashback no favours as both boats contend the Class 1 IRC honours over the remaining 2 weeks. Whilst it's far from over just yet, Flashback and Dear Prudence may be left to battle for the ECHO prize. Another win for Dave Cullen and crew on Checkmate XV sees them just 2 points clear of 2nd-placed Lambay Rules in Class 2 IRC while all the prominent IRC teams also dominate the ECHO pole positions - that prize is certainly up for grabs.
In Class 3, the HYC K25 team on Kilcullen showed their strength in their squad by finishing second in IRC and consolidating their top spot despite many of their team contending the ISA Senior All Ireland Helmsman's Championships in Dun Laoghaire this weekend. It would appear to this writer that Tobago could be prominently positioned to battle for the ECHO prize by the end of the series. In Class 4, White Lotus and Splashdance share top spot in the IRC division, while the maths suggest that Changeling might be clearing a spot on the mantlepiece for the ECHO prize. The Class 5 fleet is an extraordinary combination of experience and racing prowess, with Harry Byrne's Alphida leading the IRC division from Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis' Demelza and Robert Micheal's Mistique of Malahide. With 2 races to go, and in the ECHO division, all eyes will be on Kevin O'Byrne's Mary Ellen and Richard McAllister's Force Five.
Last week may have produced conditions lulling us all into a mood of ‘A Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness’ but today sharply reminded the Royal Cork Yacht Club Autumn League competitors of the march on of the season writes Claire Bateman. To day was a gray day with a bite in the wind that came from the E/SE producing 15/20 knots with occasional gusts into the mid twenties. Skies were dark with occasional shafts of sunlight but none of this deterred the enthusiastic sailors as they set out all geared up for the weather.
Even as your scribe was heading out for the start there was already a 1720 limping home with a broken mast a sure indicator there might be a few more incidents to come and such turned out to be the case. The tales in the club bar afterwards were stories of crew overboard, torn sails, gear damage and protests. One of the Archambauld 35s was seen to be doing something akin to the dance of the seven veils off the Holy Ground at Cobh, fine girl you are!!
While heading out the Owenabue River to the start the harbour looked as if there were no seats left in the house. All racing was inside the harbour today due to the conditions so what we saw first on our port side were the dinghy classes with the Optimists, Toppers and Lasers. Looking ahead one could see the 1720 fleet all on starboard tack as they headed off on their first race of the day and on our starboard side we could see White Sail One and Two and Class Four heading for the Corkbeg mark and looking further in the harbour were Classes One, Two and Three. To complete the picture we had the Irish Lights Vessel Granuaile down off Spike with the Naval Service L.E James Joyce close by and finally to complete the scene a large oil tanker tied up at Whitegate.
All in all it was an extremely busy day for all the willing volunteers who help with the running of the events, the working out of handicaps and all that is necessary for the smooth operation of racing.
There was a short sharp sea as there was an ebb tide going in the opposite direction to the wind making for exhilarating racing if a little uncomfortable for some of the smaller boats at times. A full complement of racing was achieved for the day and so far four races have been held in the CH Marine series and racing will continue next Sunday
The first race of this year’s Howth Yacht Club MSL Park Motors Mercedes Benz sponsored Autumn League turned out to be a firm ‘shake-down’ for many of the competitors and their boats this Saturday. The overnight gales had subsided in time for the afternoon starts and almost 100 entries enjoyed lively racing across their nine participating classes in 18-21 knots of wind, flat seas and warm sunshine.
The fresh south-westerly wind enabled the ‘Inshore’ and ‘Offshore’ race management teams set up courses that spanned the full width of the racecourses from the Cush and West marks which are close to the Baldoyle and Portmarnock shores, across to the ‘East’ mark which is positioned north-east of Ireland’s Eye.
The ‘Cruiser’ classes were given a 2-hour race and it was no surprise to see many of the more experienced racing teams finish at the top of each fleet. Pat Kelly’s J109 ‘Storm’ revels in Howth’s annual autumnal keelboat series and emerged victorious in Class 1 while Stephen Quinn’s ‘Lambay Rules’ proved that the team’s recent run of form (including a top spot the Welsh IRC Nationals) will be one to watch in the seriously competitive Class 2 fleet. Other boats racing in this class include Dave Cullen’s ‘Checkmate XV’, the Colwell/Cobbe Corby 25 ‘Fusion’, Anthony Gore Grimes’s ‘Dux’, Michael and Ritchie Evans’s ‘The Big Picture’ and other Half Tonners – Jonny Swan’s ‘Harmony’ and the Kelly/ Boardman owned ‘K1’. The 20 boats entered in this class are all capable of podium positions and many have been champions at other regattas already this year.
Class 3 will see Howth’s K25 team challenge for top spot and affords them the opportunity of rotating their newly expanding team for some competitive racing against the very experienced racers in that Class. The Non-Spinnaker Classes saw a margin of less than a minute separate ‘White Lotus’ and ‘Splashdance’ (Class 4) and a formidable 1,2,3 in Robert Michael’s ‘Mystique’, Harry Byrne’s ‘Alphida’ and Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis’s ‘Demelza’ challenge the first race of a very interesting line-up in Class 5.
The ‘Inshore’ classes enjoyed 90-100 minutes racing in the fresh conditions. Alistair Kissane (1st) and Simon Rattigan battled it out on the J80 racecourse, which should see very close racing throughout the series. It was business as usual in the Puppeteer class, where the Walls/Browne partnership in ‘Gold Dust’ started the series with the same determination that won them last year’s overall prize – crossing the finish line 3 seconds ahead of Alan Pearson’s ‘Trick or Treat’. Keeping their powder dry for the remainder of the series, the Squib class boats travelled across the bay to compete in their Eastern Championships this weekend. In the Howth 17 Class race, the average wind speed of just less that 20 knots proved to present a reward for the three boats that dared to fly ‘topsails’, with the respective podium places won by Peter Courtney’s ‘Oona’, the Turvey’s ‘Isobel’ and the ‘Deilginis’ conglomerate.
The series continues next week….
The final day of the MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz Autumn League was a fitting culmination of a hugely successful 6-weeks keelboat racing for this 35th year of Howth Yacht Club's annual autumnal regatta. The 15-25 knot southerly wind, accompanied by clear blue skies and very warm sunshine, afforded the two race management teams the opportunity to set superb courses north and west of Ireland's Eye.
While rights on some of the silverware had already been secured in the previous week, the boats within the 9 participating classes engaged in a fiercely competitive finish to this series which saw Scorie Walls and Declan Browne's Puppeteer Gold Dust win the Heineken Trophy for the overall prize and the 3-boat team of Rita (Howth 17), Harmony (Class 2) and Gold Dust win the Olympus Trophy team prize.
The forecasted strong wind with gale gusts led some teams to stay ashore on Saturday morning, but those that went to sea were treated with superb racing conditions for the 90-120 minute courses. The one-design fleet was led by the J80 Sailfleet class and a race win for the Phelan/ Sheridan/ Knowles partnership secured them the title from the Flynn/ Buckley boat. In the Puppeteer class, the aforementioned Gold Dust won their final race and the result meant that their margin of 6 points over second-placed Trick or Treat (Alan Pearson) was enough to win the overall regatta prize. In the handicap division, Cyprian Feeley's Cloud 9 took the honours from Susan Sheridan's Ibis which finished level on points but Cloud 9's two race wins early in the series ensured their winning separation from Ibis.The Squibs travelled to the inland regatta at Lough Derg, so their standings from last week's race remained as final. (Fergus O'Kelly's Selik winning on scratch and Ronan McDonnell's Fantome won the handicap prize). Having to do penalty turns early in the Howth 17's race ensured that Brian & Conor Turvey's Isobel put itself out of contention with event winners Rita (Marcus Lynch and John Curley) - the 116 year old did enough to take the scratch prize. Mary Faherty's Sheila won the handicap prize, despite finishing the last race with a DNF (did not finish).
Sailing due east of the one-design courses, the cruiser classes raced in stronger winds and bigger seas and Pat Kelly with his team on Storm revelled in the conditions, securing their 5th win in Class 1 IRC while ICRA Commodore Norbert Reilly and Alan Chambers' Crazy Horse won the ECHO prize. Their 3rd win in Class 2 IRC placed Anthony Gore Grimes and his crew on Dux firmly on the winner's podium. Findlater Viking (Kevin Darmody and Mark Patterson) won the ECHO trophy.
An excellent race win by the HYC Under 25 Keelboat team on Kilcullen was not enough to steal the Class 3 IRC prize despite finishing on the same points as Vince Gaffney's Alliance II as the latter team's 2 race wins in the series afforded them the trophy. Lionel McMurtry's Hellyhunter won the ECHO prize by just half a point from Jonathan Wormald and Sean Walsh's Stagefright.
A 4th place finish in the last race by Colm Bermingham's Bite the Bullet helped Tiger (Frank Hughes and Stephen Harris) win Class 4 IRC, but the Tiger team also did it in style by winning the final race. David Sargent's Indulgence had won the ECHO trophy after 5 races and they were happy to take a 2nd place in the last race to compete a very successful series.
Class 5 IRC was won by Emmet Dalton's Jebus and the Denis Wickham Trophy for Class 5 ECHO was collected by Gordon Knaggs and his team on Jokers Wild. The Mini Series prizes were won by Storm (Class 1IRC), Patrick Cruise O'Brien's Dear Prudence (Class 1 ECHO), Kilcullen (Class 3 IRC), Cri Cri (Paul Colton) in Class 3 ECHO, Tiger (Class 4 IRC) and Indulgence (Class 4 ECHO).
Afterwards, MSL Park Motors Group Managing Director Brendan Grace thanked Feargal Kinsella and his event team as well as all the competitors for taking part in the very successful event and looked forward to growing their relationship with Howth Yacht Club with this event in the coming 2 years. Commodore Brian thanked the sponsors and said that they had added real value to the event and had integrated seamlessly with the club. MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz also ran a prize draw in aid of the RNLI - to which they donated €1500 in respect of all the entries to the draw. A further competition and draw for 2 GoPro cameras in aid of St Francis Hospice raised €1785 including a substantial donation by the sponsors.
#HYC – Several forecasts suggesting that the current spell of exceptionally good weather could last until mid-October have helped to inspire the revival of a Mini-Series between Howth and Dun Laoghaire boats during the last three races of the Howth Autumn League, which concludes on Saturday October 18th writes WM Nixon.
Dublin Bay Sailing Club's programme of summer Saturday racing for keelboats concludes this weekend (Saturday 27th September). ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly, who races out of Howth in the Mills 36 Crazy Horse, feels that there's still enough life in the last of the summer to encourage the Dun Laoghaire boats across the bay for three more Saturdays of racing, and to facilitate this he is organising a three race challenge series within the second half of the six race Howth Autumn League format.
Dun Laoghaire crews will be encouraged by the user-friendly times. The races at Howth on Saturday October 4th and 11th will see the first gun at 2.30pm, while the concluding regatta on Saturday 18th October will get under way at 1130, thereby allowing plenty of time for the prize-giving and for the Dun Laoghaire boats to return to their home base.
Racing is available in IRC 1, 2 & 3, and in White Sails 4 & 5. Entries will be accepted up to the day of the first race (details from http://hyc.ie/autumn-league-homepage), but please call the HYC Marina Office on 01-8392777 few days beforehand to arrange your spcial-deal marina berth a few days beforehand.