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Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Dragon Sailing Team finished in sixth place overall at the Marblehead Trophy in Vilamoura, Portugal on Saturday.

The Royal St George team comprised Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms.

The small 12 boat but very competitive fleet was topped by European Champion Jens Christensen from Denmark who launched a brand new Dragon for this event and won by six points.

Recent Gold Cup winner and Vendee Globe competitor Pieter Heerema from the Netherlands was second with the holder of the Marblehead Trophy and current European Champion Pedro Andrade from Portugal in third.

Results are here

Published in Dragon

After two days of racing at the Dragon Marblehead Trophy in Vilamoura, Portugal Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team lie in fourth place overall.

The Royal St George sailor is crewed by Adam Winkelmann and John Simms.

A 7th & 4th on day 1 was followed up by a second place in the only race today in light breezes.

There was some drama ashore yesterday after five competitors were called OCS at the start by the Race Officer and subsequently, three skippers challenged his judgement with protests for redress. Pedro Andrade from Portugal (often a crew on Byrne’s Jaguar Team) was the only one to win his case and was subsequently reinstated in first place today to lie second overall.

Royal St George's Jaguar (blue spinnaker on left) races downwind at the Marblehead Trophy

Byrne’s result today keeps his Irish team in touch with the leaders in fourth overall with two days of racing remaining.

“We have been conservative in our approach to date but we are very happy to be, in touch with, or ahead of the elite teams on the international Dragon circuit this season all of whom have way more race time than we have had in 2021”, he told Afloat.

The small but very competitive fleet is led by former European Champion Jens Christensen from Denmark who launched a brand new Dragon for this event. He is followed by the holder of the Marblehead Trophy and current European Champion Pedro Andrade from Portugal. While the recent Gold Cup winner and Vendee Globe competitor Pieter Heerema from the Netherlands is third.

Five more races are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Results are here

Published in Dragon
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The Royal St George Yacht Club has endorsed former Commodore Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team as their representative at this week's Dragon Marblehead Trophy in Vilamoura, Portugal.

A four-time winner of the Irish Dragon Championship and a former Edinburgh Cup (British Nationals) winner Byrne has been competing on the international Dragon circuit for a number of years. But Covid related restrictions has curtailed his team’s activities over the last two seasons.

Normal service has almost resumed and his Jaguar Sailing Team is located in Vilamoura, Portugal for the Dragon winter series.

This week they compete in the prestigious Marblehead Trophy where they will be one of the only Corinthian teams in a small but very hot lineup of international Dragon champions which includes the current Gold Cup and European Champions as well as multiple Olympic medalists.

It’s no surprise that Byrne’s crew includes Adam Winkelmann (RIYC) who has shared in all of the team's successes and is completed by Laser veteran and offshore helm John Simms from Royal Ulster YC.

Byrne’s told Afloat he was relieved the team successfully negotiated the crew weigh-in procedure and that their impressive form in the recent Portuguese National Championships, where they were unlucky to finish 5th, would be no indication as to the "daunting challenge" facing them this week.

More here

Published in Dragon

The annual October Freshwater Keelboat Regatta at Dromineer, (hosted by Lough Derg Yacht Club and staged last weekend) has been no stranger to hyper-strong winds in times past. But in 2021's unusually gentle Autumn, it provided two to three days of very usable sailing breezes, mostly from the southwest. And if the sun tended not to put in an appearance until late afternoon despite the high-pressure area moving over the country, a least it provided welcome brightness when it did show up for the healthy outdoor prize-giving ceremonies.

LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin and his team, led by Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating, welcomed a strong fleet across four keelboat classes, with John Leech serving as Race Officer for the Dragon and SB20 area, while Liam Moloney looked after the Squibs and Flying Fifteens. All classes had sufficient numbers for good racing among boats which had come from many parts of Ireland. But it was the Squibs, currently on a roll and further buoyed by the prospect of the big championship – effectively the Squib Worlds – in Kinsale next June, which were in a league of their own, with a pandemic-defying turnout of 29 boats representing most Irish centres, and including a couple of cross-channel challengers.

Regatta time at Lough Derg Yacht ClubRegatta time at Lough Derg Yacht Club

Morning promise of a good day's racing as the breeze comes whispering in – Dragons, Squibs and SB20s in Dromineer HarbourMorning promise of a good day's racing as the breeze comes whispering in – Dragons, Squibs and SB20s in Dromineer Harbour

The Squibs had the biggest fleet, and here Slipstream (102, Robert Marshall & Neil Logan, Killyleagh YC) leads from Fuggles (Sean & Paul Murphy, Kinsale YC).The Squibs had the biggest fleet, and here Slipstream (102, Robert Marshall & Neil Logan, Killyleagh YC) leads from Fuggles (Sean & Paul Murphy, Kinsale YC).

Part of the Squibs' attraction is that they're not afraid to move away from standard white hulls, and LDYC Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating's Bodacious (crewed by David Maher) has had a particularly attractive paint job.Part of the Squibs' attraction is that they're not afraid to move away from standard white hulls, and LDYC Honorary Sailing Secretary Fergal Keating's Bodacious (crewed by David Maher) has had a particularly attractive paint job.

Part of the Squib's growing success lies in their entertaining and informative Irish Squib Forum, and its recently-posted enthusiastic response to the Lough Derg event by Fiona Sugrue-Ward of the Kinsale fleet joyfully captures the flavour of the class and the place and the pace very well indeed:

Lough Derg Yacht Club was the venue for the final Regional Squib Event of 2021. A bumper turnout of 29 Squibs raced in the Freshwater event, and it is great to see such numbers on the start line. The Fleet love going to Lough Derg, and as always the Club ran a super event, both on and off the water.

With six races held over the two days, conditions on the lake were almost perfect with southwesterlies averaging 10-12 knots making racing fair across the racecourse. There were 5 different individual race winners leading to a final race where any one of eight Squib combinations could have won outright.

Racing had been really close and placings up and down the fleet were impossible totally on the spot. When the numbers were finally crunched in the Race Office, it was Quickstep from Cultra with a consistent top and finishes and one race win which danced to overall victory with the Royal North of Ireland's Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan.

Sunshine finally breaking through – Fantome (730 Fergus O'Kelly & Ronan MacDonnell, Howth YC) chasing Granat (David Stewart & Brian Hare, Royal Irish & Royal Dee YCs)Sunshine finally breaking through – Fantome (730 Fergus O'Kelly & Ronan MacDonnell, Howth YC) chasing Granat (David Stewart & Brian Hare, Royal Irish & Royal Dee YCs)

Bookending the weekend with wins in Race 1 and 6, Kinsale's Outlaw 785 secured 2nd overall for Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan. Local Squib Femme Fatale 24, with Lough Derg's Joe O Byrne and Vincent Delany helming, went for 3rd overall.

Other notable mentions must go to race winners Toy for the Boys, Fantome and Firecracker. The fleet were delighted to have overseas visitors in Squib 11 with Pam and Dick Batt, and a Welsh Dragon was welcomed flying over Lil Quickie with Tudor Roberts and Ieuan Williams.

A fleet of 29 is a fabulous end to the 2021 Squib season, the close racing amongst the fleet makes for great events. The Class are already planning and looking forward to next year with Regional events and of course the combined UK & Irish National Squib Championships in Kinsale.

Squib Results Here

Volante is another boat from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough – sailed by Simon Watson & "Jordy", she place eighth overall. Volante is another boat from Killyleagh on Strangford Lough – sailed by Simon Watson & "Jordy", she place eighth overall. 

The overall format for the Freshwater Keelboat Regatta is the Dragons do three days starting on the Friday while the SB20s, Flying Fifteens and Squibs do two. But whatever your programme, the social highlight is the dinner on the Saturday night, an epic event even by the legendary hospitality standards of Lough Derg Yacht Club, which has been honing its hosting skills since 1835.

LOUGH DERG BOAT WINS SB20s

While there was convivial inter-class mingling, after the past 18 months of pandemic limitations, inevitably there were close-knit celebrations within classes that had seen little enough of each other since March 2020. The festive levels were notably high in the SB20s, where John Malone of Lough Ree Yacht Club was Presiding over his last on-water event, having served as top honcho with success despite lockdown limits, with the SB20s making a special effort to take their class message wherever and whenever it was permissible and welcome.

LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin (right) with Andrew Deakin's winning SB20 crew which included Aoife (11) and Claire (9).LDYC Commodore Joe Gilmartin (right) with Andrew Deakin's winning SB20 crew which included Aoife (11) and Clara (9).

This has been partially in anticipation of the Worlds being in Dun Laoghaire with the Royal Irish Yacht Club in 2022. But equally, there was a determination to make the best of the here and now with commendable attention to detail, which is one race saw the President taking time out to check the mooring lines on one of the race marks, unselfishly sacrificing what would have been a good result in Race 3 in order to do so.

SB20 President John Malone taking his Presidential duties very seriously with the time-honoured inspection of race mark moorings…..SB20 President John Malone taking his Presidential duties very seriously with the time-honoured inspection of race mark moorings…..

……which is a ritual process, and done very thoroughly……which is a ritual process, and done very thoroughly

Even with that, he and his crew of Emmet Sheridan and Alex Leech got to the 7th and final race well in contention for the win against the host club's Andrew Deakin crewed by Brian & Colm McElligott after notching victory in Race 6. But as the President candidly admits, they were having such lovely sailing that they failed to do the strategic calculations on how to conduct a cunning final race, and the Deakin boat Sonic Boom – whose crew betimes included Oppie sailors Aoife (11) and Clara (9) - took the bullet and the series one point ahead of El Presidente.

SB20 Result here

Things are looking rather better for the outgoing SB20 President, nicely placed in 3040, but in the end he was second by one point. Things are looking rather better for the outgoing SB20 President, nicely placed in 3040, but in the end he was second by one point. 

CARRICKFERGUS & CONNEMARA DOMINATE FLYING FIFTEENS

The Flying Fifteens in Ireland have a fascinating development with a seriously-raced class taking hold in the heart of Connemara in the strongholds of the ancient Galway Bay traditional boats. It all started quite far back with older boats brought down by families for holiday sailing, but as our report on the Cong-Galway Race down Lough Corrib this year revealed, the far sailing waters of Connacht now include some hot newer craft of all types. The Fifteens are reflecting this, with Niall & Ronan O'Brien of FF Chonamara turning up at Dromineer with Buckfast and competing to such good effect that they took second in a fleet of ten.

Flying Fifteens on the run, Squibs on the beatFlying Fifteens on the run, Squibs on the beat

Their scoreline included a couple of firsts, but it was Belfast Lough sailors Trevor D'Arcy and Alan McClernon of Carrickfergus who were on top of their game with three first and a second and fourth to win by one point, while Alan Green and David Mulvin of the NYC in Dun Laoghaire were third after notching best results of a first and two seconds.

Flying Fifteen results here

LITTLE FELLA WINS TIE BREAK IN DRAGONS

It doesn't do to rush the final few miles down the winding road to Dromineer from Nenagh with an International Dragon in tow, for it's a boreen which might have been set up with Advanced Towing Driving Tests in mind. But at least the boats which came from Dun Laoghaire had motorway most of the way until Nenagh, whereas the hotshots from Kinsale had to contend with some of those nationally-notorious bottlenecks on the Cork-Limerick road before getting anywhere near their destination

This may have sharpened their determination to succeed once they got the fresh air of Lough Derg in their lungs, and with their elite three-day programme providing eight races, it came right down to the wire between two Kinsale boats, with Brian Goggin's Serafina and Cameron Good's Little Fella both on 17 points.

Dragons finding some sunshine on the run, with eventual overall winner Little Fella (211, Cameron Good KYC, left) making a successful break for it.Dragons finding some sunshine on the run, with eventual overall winner Little Fella (211, Cameron Good KYC, left) making a successful break for it.

However, 2021 is Little Fella's year, and she added another title by winning the tie-break, with third place going to Peter Bowring of Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire with Phantom.

International Dragon Results here

The season is by no means completely over on Lough Derg, but there's no doubting that this year's successful Freshwater Keelboat marks a significant changing of the pace, with a distinct change in the weather now upon us to emphasise this. It's really anybody's guess what the country has to go through during the coming winter, but down Dromineer way they're already thinking of the bright weather of next summer. For in addition to its busy home programme and of course the Freshwater Keelboat Regatta in October (date is October 15th-16th, put it in the diary now), Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting the Fireball Worlds 2022 from August 20th to 26th.

Autumn is well upon us – evening sunlight at DromineerAutumn is well upon us – evening sunlight at Dromineer

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Derg Yacht Club in County Tipperary will welcome one design visitors back to Dromineer for the Keelboat regatta on the weekend of 15th to 17th of October.

Four fleets are expected to the lake, with the biggest likely to be the Squibs, according to Derg's Joe O'Byrne.

The distinctive mace-colour sailed fleet expects a 30 boat entry to include Northern Ireland, England, Kinsale and Howth boats to compete against a growing local fleet.

The SB20s who recently competed on Lough Ree are moving to Derg for their final event of the year, and a fleet of 18 is expected in the last event of 2021 before staging the world championships in Ireland on Dublin Bay in 2022.

LDYC PRO John Leech - two race areas for the keelboat regattaLDYC PRO John Leech - two race areas for the keelboat regatta

Lough Derg Yacht Club says it expects the Flying Fifteens will also be travelling, and estimates from the Dun Laoghaire fleet say up to a dozen will attend.

Up to a dozen Flying Fifteens are expected on Lough DergUp to a dozen Flying Fifteens are expected on Lough Derg

The Dragons will have competitors from Kinsale and Dublin.

The club has arranged a lift in/lift-out on-site, and, O'Byrne says, this will significantly assist the logistics for competitors.

LDYC PRO John Leech and his team have split the four fleets over two separate race areas.

Published in Inland Waterways

Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 were in first place in the final race of the championships when the wind died on Sunday.

It took several attempts to get the race started due to a very shifty and patchy sea breeze and when it got underway, the wind continued to play tricks.

Jaguar was in first place at weather mark but both Jaguar and the regatta leader were then left parked at the leeward gate and the backmarkers were able to take right-hand buoy and stay in the fickle breeze on the final beat to finish. Jaguar and regatta lead boat was scored 'DNF' as they failed to escape the hole at the port buoy.

The event was effectively turned on its head in one race that was unsuccessfully protested by the regatta leader who in turn lost first place in the 11-boat fleet. 

"Great sailing albeit in challenging conditions for competitors and race management", according to the Irish crew. 

The Dublin Bay entry dropped to fifth overall. Results are here

Published in Dragon
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It was a tough second day for Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after four races sailed. 

The Dublin Bay entry has dropped to third overall with quite a points gap to second place overall now developed.

Conditions were far shiftier today than in the opening races for the 11-boat fleet. 

Overall leaders (with two wins and two seconds) at Villamoura are Pedro Mendes Leal, Jorge Ferlov and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade of Cascais. 

Three races are scheduled tomorrow. Results are here

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A Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar are lying second overall at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after two races sailed. 

The Dublin Bay entry broke a spinnaker pole in race one but still finished second. They led the second race until the last leg where they were caught out by a right shift at the top end of the beat.

Conditions have been excellent so far in wind and sunshine for the opening races of the 11-boat fleet. 

Overall leaders (with two wins) at Villamoura are Pedro Mendes Leal, Jorge Ferlov and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade of Cascais. 

Racing continues. Results are here

Published in Dragon
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Not for the first time, the super-consistent team of Neil Hegarty, David Williams and the evergreen Peter Bowring won the Dragon Irish National Championships in Kinsale YC over the weekend.

In a stunning series, they opened their account with three straight bullets and kept it steady after that to wrap up their series with a 4 point winning margin.

"Phantom" flew her 100% North Sails inventory which consisted of her A7+ mainsail, MH-8H genoa and CD-5 spinnaker.

2nd overall - Ghost IRL 1812nd overall - Ghost IRL 181 Photo: Bob Bateman

2nd overall was Colm Dunne, sailing with Colm Daly and Daniel McCloskey, in his new Dragon "Ghost". Colm split the tie-break with Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy, and John O'Connor on "Serafina" (also 100% powered by North Sails) by virtue of winning two races to the one race won by "Serafina!".

Serafina IRL 1803rd overall - Serafina IRL 180 Photo: Bob Bateman

Talk about TIGHT racing!

Colm and his team only took delivery of the boat this year and this, coupled with their new North Sails inventory of their A14 mainsail, v6-M genoa and R9 spinnaker made them a new force in the class.

Congratulations to all the Dragon fleet on yet another great event by all accounts. The class looks like it's on the rebound and all of us here at North Sails are delighted to be a part of that.

Sail FAST.

Published in North Sails Ireland

The final race of the championship decided the top four places overall of the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale with Dublin Bay sailors Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams taking the title.

The race was sailed in a consistent 10 knots of breeze from the southeast with a swell.

After a general recall, the fleet started on the U flag.

At the end of the first run, the top four, Serafina, Phantom, Ghost and Little Fella, arrived at the gate only seconds apart and again chose different sides. After rounding the windward mark the second time and while Phantom, Serafina and Little Fella were covering each other on the left side of the run, Ghost came down the right side, took advantage of a slight wind shift and established a substantial lead.

Runners up - Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'ConnorThird overall Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor

Fourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob BatemanFourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob Bateman

On the final beat, Ghost chose to sail up the middle of the course, followed by Phantom and Serafina while Little Fella went up the right side. Ghost could not be caught and took line honours. Little Fella took advantage of a good lift to recover from 5th to 2nd. Phantom's 3rd, however, was enough to secure Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams the title, Serafina came 4th.

With Phantom, the National Champion, 2nd to 4th ended on 16 points each, and it went to countback. Two wins were enough to secure Ghost - Colm Dunne, Colm Daly & Dan McCloskey 2nd overall with Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor in 3rd. Little Fella - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston had to settle for 4th.

Dragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht ClubDragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo courtesy of Matthias Hellstern

Click here for results. See photo galleries here and day two here

Published in Dragon
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Page 1 of 21

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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