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Displaying items by tag: Graham Elmes

#elmo – The Royal St. George Yacht Club will name a club launch after after top dinghy racing member Graham Elmes who died tragically last May. 'Elmo' will be launched for the first time tomorrow following a short naming ceremony. 

Graham, a popular member of Dun Laoghaire's waterfront, was a champion in a number of Irish dinghy classes and also a driving force in the development of Irish sailing, where he is sorely missed.

According to the RstGYC, Graham's friends from any walk of life are most welcome to attend tomorrow's launching. Tea and Coffee will be served on the balcony at the clubhouse from noon and Elmo will be christened and then launched at 12:30.


Published in RStGYC
14th May 2014

Graham Elmes

#elmo – Irish sailing is mourning the loss of leading small boat sailor Graham 'Elmo' Elmes (39) of Dun Laoghaire who died tragically at the weekend. His funeral took place this morning. Warm tributes to the talented sailor are being paid from across the waterfront of his home port and beyond. See below from Anthony Shanks, John Sheehy and more sailors below.

Graham, a popular member of Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George Yacht Club, was a champion in a number of Irish dinghy classes and also a driving force in the development of Irish sailing, where he will be sorely missed.

Graham is survived by his father and mother Frank and Marie, brother Robert and sisters Kathy and Mia.

Most recently Graham competed at one of his favourite events, the long running DMYC Frostbite series in Dun Laoghaire, only narrowly missing out on the overall Laser division title.

A software engineer by profession, 'Elmo', started sailing aged 14, first competing in the Mirror dinghy junior national championships in Howth in 1989.  Six years later, he went on to finish third overall at the Mirror Worlds in Wales and fifth at the Team Racing Worlds in Newport 2005.

An avid dinghy helmsman or crew he was equally at home as a race officer or coach, last season working as a coach and mentor to the Irish Mirror Worlds team on Lough Derg.

He took his competitive sailing seriously and was a top performer on the national and international stage in the Olympic 470 dinghy, SB20s, Dragons, Etchells, GP14s, Fireflies and many other classes. He was also a driving force on the varsity and team racing circuits where he regularly coached college teams including his old alma mater, Dublin University Sailing Club (Trinity). 

Elmo was a passionate advocate for sailing and consistently argued that more should be done to attract new blood into the sport of dinghy sailing in Ireland. He believed there should be a move away from the current preoccupation with high performance Olympic sailing. 'We need more kids sailing for fun' he commented on this website in a number of thoughtful contributions on the question of the future of Irish dinghy sailing.


A great man of our sport

Elmo, where do I start, there are many who have known him longer than me, but during the times that we spent together racing the Dragon with Andrew Craig I would have to say they were amongst the greatest of days. I first raced with him in 1999 when we won the first event we did, the dragon east coast championships. This was the beginning of a fantastic team which collected many regional championships a national championships and a European Silver medal.

This was only part of the man I knew, with a wit he would keep Andrew and myself from mistakes that could end regattas and his enduring line was 'we are near 90 percent lets tack'. It didn't matter what the conditions he reveled in them, that must have been the mirror sailing... As a tactician he had few equals as a baby sitter he was questionable. We were offered tickets to watch Chelsea and Man United at Old Trafford, Graham climbed into the back of the car with the children and then proceeded to teach them all the bad jokes, then on the ferry he set about schooling them in cards. A trip to the snow dome then to the curry mile was followed the next day by an experience to remember in a box, we were all like children.

Moving to the country took us away from all of my sailing friends yet Graham was a great visitor always chasing the children around the mill pond and latterly with his little dog Jimmy who took no notice of anything he was told to do.... RA Shanks

Published in News Update
Tagged under

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.


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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