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After so much promise with sun-filled races towards Greystones on Saturday, as a local observer has wrily remarked, Sunday was more Factor 6 than Force 6…….Perhaps in other places, local coastal anomalies and neighbourhood weakness in tidal streams made events possible. But off Greystones, you need a good working breeze to deal with those very real tides, and the summery weekend’s entire allocation of wind for Greystones seems to gave been used up by late Saturday afternoon.

Thankfully, most competitors had experienced good racing in the sunshine on Saturday in the many feeder races that have become a key part of the Taste of Greystones event. With Saturday night partying at many locations ashore and aboard boats in the marina much in evidence, there were some who said that a lack of racing on Sunday was no great loss. But as the results of the feeder races show, there were some serious competitors heading towards the hospitable North Wicklow port looking to strut their stuff in the combined fleet programme on Sunday morning.

Admittedly the very light or non-existent wind forecast for Sunday’s wind had kept numbers down a bit, but even so 25 yachts raced from Dublin Bay, ten from Poolbeg, they raced from Clontarf too, while eight more from Wicklow swelled the fleet to a significant number when added to the high-powered 14 who’d sailed in the early-start ISORA race. But the fresh winds winds that had initially favoured the South-bound boats were not so kind to the Arklow boats which had to motor to Greystones after experiencing the same wind hole as the later-arriving ISORA boats off North India Buoy, a wind hole which saw its mission in life as being a general expansion of calm with mist for Sunday morning

Thus the morning so keenly anticipated offered wind with no visibility, or visibility with no wind, and the Race Officer had little choice but to invite all to zip up the sailbags and head to the clubhouse for the complimentary lunch.

A fine lot of crystal and silver waits for a good home, and Greystones SC hope to rerun the event in some form or other, but maybe not this year as a very crowded fixture list makes September and early October difficult to navigate. Though the thinking behind a Taste Of Greystones Regatta is as a seasonal ender to mark the rich harvest in the Garden County, GSC Regatta in 2019 had too much of the mists and mellow fruitfulness and calm of early Autumn, and not nearly enough of the wind that shakes the barley. So the club may rerun yesterday’s races as a season opener in 2020, on the Sunday before club racing commences along the East Coast.

Details will be shared with all entrants as they become clearer.

Feeder Races Results

Poolbeg Class 1 1st Chipita 2nd Extension

Class 2 1st Black Opel 2nd HillyBilly

Clontarf 1st Wylie Coyote 2nd Enchantress

Wicklow 1st Big Cheers 2nd Ruff Nuff

ISORA 1st Eleuthera 2nd Aurelia

DBSC Class 1 1st White Mischief 2nd Gringo

Class 3 1st Dubious 2nd Starlet

Class 5 1st Shearwater 2nd Katienua

Published in Greystones Harbour
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The problem with Greystones is that it faces the sea writes W M Nixon. Or at the very least, there isn’t a part of the north Wicklow town in which you aren’t very aware that the sea is nearby. The Victorian and Edwardian enthusiasts for sea-air breathing and salt-water bathing who turned this quaint fishing village into a niche seaside resort and healthy residential area would scoff at the idea that always facing the sea in this way was a “problem”. But we’re talking about the optics here, folks.

The thing is that, when you’re in Greystones, you’re somehow unaware that it is located at the heart of one of the most scenically-blessed parts of Ireland. In fact, in looking at a selection of aerial images of Greystones as it snuggles by the coast in close relation to the most wonderful mixture of farm and woodland and uplands and fascinating purple mountains which draw the eye over the hills and far away, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the most beautiful part of Ireland, full stop. And in fact, you might well be right.

Yet in the old days, only the occasional lone aviator and those of us sailing past were fully aware of this magnificent backdrop to the little town. And as the harbour was a somewhat ramshackle affair based around the re-cycling of the failed first attempt to build the Kish Lighthouse (even here, we don’t have the space to tell the full story of that extraordinary saga), any passing cruising yacht was reluctant to go into the tiny, shallow, rough and ready small-boat-packed haven and tell the clientele at the harbourside Beach House what an utterly fantastic place they lived in.

However, some locals did appreciate it properly. Greystones Sailing Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee last year, and among its founder members were the parents of current Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, who cut his own sailing teeth in Greystones, still thinks of the place as home, and was Guest of Honour among a convivial crowd of distinguished folk from every walk of north Wicklow life at the 50th Anniversary party in June 2018.

greystones scenery2What a backdrop for sailing……Greystones provides good racing off one of the most beautiful coastlines in Ireland, and now it has a proper harbour to facilitate full enjoyment of its attractions and hospitality for visiting boats. Photo GSC

Greystones sailing 3And if anything, that coastline looks even more impressive when there’s a bit of a breeze. Photo GSC
But the Greystones Harbour area of 2018 and 2019 is a very different waterfront place from the Greystones of 1968 when the new sailing club began to stake its claim to a place along the beach and a compound to keep its sailing dinghies, plus a bit of space in the tiny harbour for its flotilla of small cruisers. For Greystones Harbour is now a proper marina with complete shoreside facilities run by BJ Marine and a shared clubhouse beside a spacious and secure dinghy park.

Progress towards this vibrant state of affairs has of course not always been smooth, particularly as key parts of it were happening during the Great Recession of a decade ago. But now, instead of being a place you sailed past and marvelled at the scenery in which it is set, it has become a destination harbour three times over.

For it is not only a strategically located and totally sheltered haven, conveniently near Dublin yet far enough away to stand out as a place in its own right, it’s also a gastronomic destination from land and sea, with attractions to suit foodies and gourmets of all persuasions, together with those who just like a hospitable and friendly place serving decent pints and good home-cooked fare. And on top of all that, Greystones Sailing Club has become a pace-setter on the national scene.

Commodore Daphne Hoolahan leads an enthusiastic membership with a formidably talented lineup of specialist officers, and while it may be unfair to single out individuals, when you have people of the calibre of Monica Schaefer as Honorary Sailing Secretary and Daragh Cafferky as the man in charge of keelboats and clubhouse matters, not to mention Norman Lee as Honorary Club Bo’sun in addition to managing the dinghies, then it’s clear we’re dealing with efficient can-do people, rather than dreamy ’twill-do folk.

The results bear it up. Just last weekend, Greystones’ own Shane McCarthy, crewed by clubmate Damien Bracken, regained the Irish GP 14 National title in blustery conditions at Skerries against a truly international fleet which reflected the fact that in 2020, Skerries will be hosting the International GP 14 Worlds.

bracken mccarthy4Damien Bracken (left) and Shane McCarthy of Greystones with their trophies after the latter had helmed their way to overall victory from an international fleet at the Irish GP 14 Nationals in Skerries last weekend. Photo SSC

But Skerries can only envy Greystones in its soaring success, for the Fingal port bears much the same relationship to the Greater Dublin area to the north as Greystones does to the south. Yet while Skerries continues to struggle to persuade the powers that be that its primitive harbour badly needs development to allow water and boat sports to grow properly and safely, Greystones sails securely on with confidence in a proper harbour.

And 2019 saw the Greystones hosting of a world dinghy championship too. The fact that it was the Wayfarer Worlds in July is in the best-established traditions of Greystones as something of a niche place, for the superb 16ft Ian Proctor-designed Wayfarer would be much more popular globally if more people were aware of its exceptional versatility - excellent club racing and a record of Icelandic and trans-North Sea voyaging are only two of its many attributes.

wayfarers best5The versatile Wayfarers having magnificent sailing in their Worlds at Greystones, July 2019. Photo Alan Jones

But Wayfarer people are a special crowd, they prefer personal quality to mindless quantity in the crews they race against. Yet even with that selective approach, the 2019 International Wayfarer Worlds attracted a cracking fleet of 53 quality boats from seven nations on both sides of the Atlantic, and while UK crews made up the bulk of the visitors, there was a very strong turnout from Denmark.

Yes, Denmark…..world leaders in the marine industry, yet the Danes have the savvy to cop on that the Wayfarer is something very special. And it makes this an extraordinary week on Afloat.ie. For we can go for months with little mention of Denmark apart from the occasional reference to the Irish success of some Danish-built X Yacht. Yet in recent days, we’ve carried a story about how the rape and pillage of the Vikings (many of whom were Danish) actually did a world of good for the degenerating Irish genetic line (something which, as the home of the world’s leading equine bloodstock industry, we should truly appreciate), we’ve also carried the story of how gallant little Denmark on behalf of its large island of Greenland has said thanks but no thanks to Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland even as our own beloved ketch Ilen of Limerick was port-hopping along the Greenland coast, and now we are reminded again that it is the Danes who are among those who best appreciate the virtues of the Wayfarer dinghy.

wayfarers windward6Beware. The Danes are on the coast……Stephan Nandrup-Bus of Herselve Strand Sailing Club in Denmark, crewed by Hans Wiggens Hansen in 11006, looks to have things comfortably in control off Greystones over clubmate Jan Kjeldsen crewed by Jorgen Blitzer in 10797. But in the end, Kjeldsen was 9th overall while Nandrup-Bus was tenth. Photo Alan Jones

In fact, they almost won the Wayfarer Worlds at Greystones in July. Mogens Just and Anders Frils from Kalovig Badelaug in Denmark won the first race, and they logged two more wins and a second and third before being pipped at the post by the legendary sailmaker Mike McNamara of Rollesbury Broad SC in the heart of England’s Norfolk Broads, crewed by Simon Townsend.

Sailing Wayfarers keeps you young – Mike McNamara is reputedly 76, but his performance afloat belies it, and his performance to finish with a final score of 7 points to the 8 of Mogens Just said most things. Yet despite his Irish name, it couldn’t be claimed as a home win, for he operates as the sixth generation of sailmakers in the family firm, and six generations away from the McNamara heartlands around Lisdoonvarna and Ennistymon in north Clare is a very long time indeed.

mike mcnamara7“My name is McNamara, I’m the leader of the band….” At the age of 76, veteran sailmaker Mike McNamara became the 2019 Wayfarer World Champion by just one point from Mogens Just of Denmark.

But at Greystones while McNamara and Townsend may have won by one point from the Danish Just/Fris crew, although two UK helms – Andrew Whitney and Bill Wilson – were next in line, the Danes then took seven places in a row in the shape of Niels Aislev (5th), Bjarne Lindquist (6th), Christian Elkjaer Iverson (7th), Christian Milert Hansen (8th), Christian Milert Hansen (9th), Jan Kjeldsen (10th) and Stephan Nandrup-Bus (11th), making it the most successful yet friendly Viking invasion on the Wicklow coast in a long time which the Irish had to accept gracefully, our best place being first in the Silver Fleet for the host club’s John Turner and Ken Lee, but in a fleet of this calibre that made them 15th overall. Full results here

Just to look back on the photos of the sunlit Wayfarer Worlds at Greystones in July is a real tonic after the cold and heartless weather of August. But for this weekend’s multi-dimensional Greystones Regatta – sponsored by BJ Marine and in association with Taste of Greystones - the seemingly unstoppable Greystones good fortune looks like returning with Indian summer conditions, and everyone is mad keen to make the best of it at this jewel of the Wicklow coast.

packing them in8 It’s regatta time, so they pack them in for sociable berthing in Greystonesdog on marina9And the pooch comes too. The BJ Marine Taste of Greystones Regatta Weekend may see some serious racing, but it’s a family event as well

It is certainly rating very high with the cruiser-racing crowd, for the success of Greystones’ own Frank Whelan with his young crew on the keenly-campaigned Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera - for two years and more now - brings heightened respect for the entire Greystones sailing scene. The word is that at least two of the classic Half Tonners associated with Howth – Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV and Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XIII - are going to make a proper weekend of it, while ISORA’s time-honoured annual James C Eadie Cup Race is being tailored in such a way that the leaders, having started in Dun Laoghaire at 1000 hrs, should be getting to the finish line at Greystones around 1600hrs this afternoon in an updated version of the ISORA feeder race which last year was won by Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia.

Eleuthera greystonesChampion for Greystones – Frank Whelan’s Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera (GSC) on her way to one of many race victories in 2019. Photo Afloat

Meanwhile the Dublin Bay Sailing Club fleet will be limbering up towards their usual Saturday starting sequence around 1400 hrs, but in this instance the finish will be at Greystones, bringing upwards of 70 boats from Dun Laoghaire, while additional feeder races from both Clontarf Y & BC and Poolbeg Y & BC will make Greystones Harbour a distinctly busy and convivial place this (Saturday) night.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the hope is to fit in two races with a reasonably early conclusion in five classes under ECHO, making it a hectic weekend for the volunteer element in Greystones SC, for the club’s total membership is around the 360 mark. The demand for the proper Committee Boat starting line means that Daragh Cafferky won’t be able to race his own A35 Another Adventure (just back from a “hugely enjoyable” visit to West Cork and Calves Week), as Another Adventure has to serve as Committee Boat, but needs must.

Last year Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush and Howth was top boat overall and winner of Class 1 to win the Taste of Greystones Trophy, with second OA going to sister-ship White Mischief (Tim Goodbody, RIYC), while Dermot Cafferky’s Another Adventure was allowed at the racing in 2018, and was rewarded with third overall.

checkmate eighteen11jpgNigel Biggs’ classic Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII was winner of Class 2 sailed by Ronan Keating at Greystones Regatta 2018. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Class 2 went to Checkmate XVIII, while James Kirwan’s First 36.7 Boomerang of RStGYC and Greystones was second and local boat Virgin Triangle (Graham Noonan) took third. In Class 3, Brendan Foley’s impressively-optimised Impala 28 Running Wild (RStGYC) won out from Barry Cunningham’s Quarter Tonner Quest (RIYC) while Luke Fegan’s Hustler 32 Smokehaze, all the way down from Malahide, was third.

running wild12 Brendan Foley’s impressively optimized Impala 28 Running Wild (RStGYC) took the Class 3 title at Greystones last year. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

another adventure13Daragh Cafferky’s A35 Another Adventure was on the podium at the 2018 Greystones Regatta, but this weekend she is doing duty as Committee Boat. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien 

In White Sails Class 4, the Byrne family’s Jeanneau 34 Alphida from Howth was tops with Elantic (C Allen, Arklow SC) second and the Greystones boat Run’n’L8 (C McGuire) third, while in White Sails Class 5 J Raughter’s Chase Me from Bray took the title from E Lynch’s Alfresco from Wicklow, with another Bray boat, Fegan’s Nymadzi, getting third.

The impressive range of the prize winners’ home ports, from Arklow in the south to Malahide in the north while including every sailing centre in between, speaks volumes about what a marvellous celebration of East Coast sailing and its shoreside hospitality the Taste of Greystones has become.

evening full marina14Regatta evening – the day’s sport is complete, and the harbour is full
Yet just to show that this weekend’s popularity of Greystones Harbour isn’t a flash in the pan, in a week’s time the Irish Cruising Club will be holding its Annual East Coast Rally at Greystones, while thanks to the foul weather of mid-August, the annual Greystones Junior Regatta originally scheduled for August 18th had to be postponed, and is still something to be keenly anticipated.

And as a continually repeated theme underlying all sailing and boating, there is now the enduring fact that Greystones has become a very useful port of call for cruisers as they make their quiet way up and down the coast. Those of us with a taste for the East Coast for a long time always had to admit that while it was beautiful to look at and sail along, you were distracted from enjoying its beauty by concerns about how far it was to the next safe haven, particularly if the weather was acting up. The arrival of Greystones Marina has been transformative. We can only hope that its success will encourage other currently inadequate East Coast ports to see where their best future is to be found.

greystones view15 This weekend, Greystones is the focal point for East Coast sailing, and an example for other harbours in need of development

Published in BJ Marine

Speaking at the Clubs 2019 launch, the incoming Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Daphne Hoolahan, said that “2019 is looking like a busy year.

Greystones Sailing Club is honoured to be hosting the Wayfarer World Championships in July and we expect over 100 boats with up to 250 guests from around the world to take part in this week-long event. Already we have entries from Denmark, Holland, France, UK, Cyprus, the USA, Canada and South Africa. It will showcase Greystones yet again, as a landmark sailing centre on the East Coast of Ireland. As well as this, the RS Eastern Championships will kick off the season in April and we will also host, yet again, the annual Taste of Greystones Regatta in August, which brings in over 500 sailors in over 100 keel boats to Greystones Harbour Marina on an annual basis, bringing welcome tourism revenue to the town.”

“Greystones Sailing Club has an active training and sailing program, providing sailing instruction to both children and adults and is open for membership. Everyone is encouraged to try sailing on our many adult or child courses, and we welcome new members to contact us, to be part of this growing, vibrant club,” Daphne added. 

The Club has over 300 members sailing a variety of dinghy classes and offers exciting and enjoyable dinghy racing for all ages and abilities. It has a well-earned reputation as one of the top dinghy sailing clubs in Ireland with its sailors competing successfully in many open events over the years, both nationally and internationally. The Club also boasts an active and growing keelboat fleet with over 30 keelboats giving competitive racing on a twice weekly basis.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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Greystones Sailing Club Regatta drew a fleet of over 80 boats for its annual regatta today. Despite the wet and windy forecast, the popular end–of–season fixture drew boats from clubs as far north as Malahide in County Dublin and as far south as Arklow in County Wicklow but by far and away the biggest visiting contingent were from Dublin Bay with nearly half the regatta fleet coming from Dun Laoghaire. 

Today's two-race regatta was preceded on Saturday by feeder races by ISORA and DBSC. The ISORA race was won by Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia, report here. The DBSC race results are here.

Greystones Harbour MarinaGreystones Harbour Marina packs in the visiting boats for the annual 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta Photo: Afloat.ie

Although Greystones Harbour's embryonic 16–boat cruiser fleet did not manage to win any of the regatta's five divisions, GSC boats were on the podium in classes one, two and the white sails division.

After a one hour postponement, conditions were light for race one with winds from zero to 15 km/h but breezier for race two with wind speeds increasing to 20 to 35km/h.

Howth's Storm Continues Class One Wins

Another Adventure 1021Daragh Cafferkey's Another Adventure (above) was third and fellow GSC competitor Eleuthera (below) was fourth Photos: Afloat.ie

Eleuthera 0256

One of the biggest class one turnouts of the season featured three entries from the host club, including the hotly tipped Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera skippered by Frank Whelan. But in a continuation of a season of successes for Howth Yacht Club J109 Storm, the Kelly family boat now adds the Taste of Greystones title too with two race wins today, just a week after being awarded the inaugural Celtic Cup for her season's long exploits across the Irish Sea Race area. Second to Storm was another J109, Tim Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish Yacht Club while Greystones own A35 Another Adventure (Daragh Cafferkey) was third overall. 

Keating's Checkmate Wins Class Two

Checkmate Keating 4333Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII competed in Greystones Photo: Afloat.ie

Howth Half Tonner Checkmate (not that one) was the winner of the ten boat Cruisers 2 fleet with Boomerang (James Kirwan) second. The Half Tonner competing in Greystones was Checkmate XVIII, the Nigel Biggs restored half-tonner entered for the Wicklow Regatta by Ross Keating.

Third was Greystones Sailing Club's own 'Virgin Triangle' skippered by Graham Noonan.

Running Wild Wins Class Three

Running Wild 3141Brendan Foley's Impala, Running Wild Photo: Afloat.ie

In Cruisers 3, the biggest fleet of the BJ Marine sponsored regatta with 22 boats, Brendan Foley's Impala Running Wild from the Royal St. George Yacht Club, was the clear winner with two first places from Barry Cunningham's Quarter Tonner Quest of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Third was Luke Fegan's Hustler 32, Smokehaze from Malahide Yacht Club.

Full results are downloadable below

Published in Greystones Harbour
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The buoyant Dublin yacht racing scene moves en masse to County Wicklow this weekend as two of the country's leading yacht racing organisations prepare separate feeder races for the Taste of Greystones Regatta on Sunday afternoon. 

A 25–boat ISORA fleet will have a feeder race starting at 10.00 on Saturday morning from Dun Laoghaire as one of the final races of the offshore season.

And from 12.45 on Saturday, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) feeder races to the County Wicklow port will also be sailed.

For participating DBSC classes namely, Cruisers 1, Cruisers 3 and Cruisers 5, the race south  – that could see as many as 50 DBSC yachts competing – replaces the regular DBSC fixed-mark courses scheduled for this date.

The Greystones results will also count for DBSC Saturday Series 2 (ECHO, IRC and scratch where applicable).

On Sunday, the combined fleets with assorted other boats from the East coast will compete in two ECHO handicap races in the 'Taste of Greystones Regatta' sponsored by BJ Marine.

A target time of 14:30 for completion of two race series has been set and prize giving is targeted for 15:30 to allow visiting boats reasonable departure time. Only one race is required to be completed to constitute a series. 

The entry fee for all Classes is 75.00 and this includes a free marina berth on Saturday night, a complimentary drink voucher at the sailing club and Beach House Pub plus a free Breakfast on Sunday morning before racing! 

Download both the Regatta Notice of Race and the DBSC Feeder Race Course Card below

Published in Greystones Harbour
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has organised feeder races over a specially designed course to Greystones Regatta (preview here) on Saturday, August 26th for five of its participating classes.

Cruisers 1, Cruisers 2, Cruisers 3, B211s and Cruisers 5 are all racing to the County Wicklow Regatta instead of the regular DBSC fixed–mark courses originally scheduled. 

The DBSC boats are part of a wider fleet of boats leaving the Bay for the end–of–season afffair in Wicklow that includes a 27-boat ISORA fleet.

Like ISORA, DBSC has anticipated light winds for the race and Courses may be shortened by a committee boat (or RIB) displaying Flag S taking up position at one of the course locations (see below).

Feeder Race results will count for DBSC Saturday Series 2 (ECHO, IRC and scratch where applicable).

This weekend's East Coast Cruisers Three Championships is using both Saturday's DBSC Feeder Races and the Greystones Regatta to form its championship Series.

Course Card 6 Page 1DBSC's specially designed 'Course Card 6' for feeder racing to Greystones Regatta. Download course card PDF below.

 

Published in DBSC
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A confirmed fleet of 27–boats in the ISORA day race from Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin tomorrow will most likely race south to Greystones Harbour in County Wicklow in light westerly winds.

The race is the deciding race in the Viking Marine Coastal Series and the Royal Alfred Coastal Series.

ISORA chiefs are preparing for the possibility of fickle winds under Bray Head by posting a revision to sailing instructions (downloadable below). The final course to be sailed will not be selected until later this afternoon.

Wind Dun LaoghaireLight winds are forecast for the weekend off the east coast of Ireland

The warning signal for the burgeoning offshore fleet will sound off Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow at 0955 for the 12–mile coastal race. 

Organisers are emphasising that the finish line will not be the Gresystones yellow buoy but a co–ordinate immediately south of the stated position of that buoy.

ISORA Greystones finishThe ISORA finish line at Greystones is a coord immediately south of the stated position of that buoy
It is anticipated onboard trackers on each of the competing boats will record the finish time. 

The fleet will raft up at Greystones Marina afterwards and compete in Sunday's two race Taste of Greystones Regatta, preview here

Published in ISORA
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The East Coast Championship for Cruisers Three takes place this weekend with an 'innovative mix of racing' using the DBSC Saturday feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Greystones and combining this race with two races on Sunday as part of the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta.

Read the Greystones Regatta preview here.

NOR is available from Michael Ryan at [email protected]

Published in DBSC

East Coast sailing fans are expecting a big weekend for the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta this Sunday and, as the name suggests, Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow is about a night–out followed by a morning's racing. 'The night out is guaranteed, says Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Darragh Cafferkey, 'the racing now lies with the wind gods'. 

'All this week the weather forecasts have been bouncing from five to 25–knots and from factor 50 to umbrellas', Cafferkey told Afloat.ie

It must surely be a case of third time lucky for the Wicklow initiative because the last two editions have been cut short due to lack of wind

As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, 55 boats are already entered – and that's ahead of 2016 numbers at this stage – to the extent that Cafferkey, himself a top Irish Sea Offshore campaigner, estimates 140 boats are expected for the raft–up at Greystones Marina in preparation for the two race series on Sunday morning that marks the end of the Summer sailing season on the East coast.

In 2013, the inaugural regatta attracted 68 boats, in 2014, this had grown to 80 and in 2015 the regatta broke the 100–mark with 2016 witnessing further growth.

Greystones Wicklow sailing 0556Cruiser–racers will race on two separate courses this year at the Taste of Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

This year the event will be split into two courses with Class 1, 2, 3 racing on North course and White Sails in two fleets on South Course.

As Afloat.ie reported in August 2013, the regatta was originally established in a format that would attract all the East Coast clubs that don’t typically travel, it has grown in size with the following clubs all confirming feeder races.

Bobby kerr sailing sigma33 1700Dublin Bay's Bobby Kerr is a past competitor at Greystones sailing his Sigma 33 Leeuwin from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Wexford/Courtown will race to Arklow and join the Arklow fleet for a race to Greystones Harbour.

Wicklow Sailing Club, Bray Sailing Club, Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club and Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club have all confirmed races to Greystones on Saturday, Caffekey told Afloat.ie

Dublin Bay will have a feeder race available for all classes and ISORA have over 25 entries confirmed for its race to Greystones.

Over ten boats from Howth have also entered meaning almost every club on the East coast plan to attend.

checkmate Wicklow sailing 0609Dave Cullen's champion Checkmate is a regular competitor off Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

A feature of the event is that it is run both on IRC/Standard ECHO and current ECHO. IRC/Standard Echo with only a few points between them means all boats regardless of certs can race based on the boat' s rating, according to Cafferkey.

Astrix sonata Hunter 2015Frazer Meredith's Astrix, a Hunter Sonata, is heading for Greystones Photo: Afloat.ie

The current Echo means that the many non Dublin Bay clubs can use their own local ratings to come to a joint event . There is a limit on current echo to 3%+/- the boats standard handicap.

It is this decision four years ago that made it realistic for all East Coast clubs to come and compete. 'So prizes based on your boat and prizes based on your club performance. Something for everybody', Cafferkey says.

The support of sponsor BJ Marine has allowed Greystones Sailing Club organisers extend hospitality at its new club house that opened over a year ago on the South Pier, to include berth, BBQ, beer in Club and Beachouse plus Breakfast on Sunday. 'Throw in some Musto discounts, Water, bars and sandwiches on the water and there is little left uncovered', Cafferkey says.

First gun at Greystones on Sunday is at 10.55am.

Published in Greystones Harbour

The Purcell Trophey 2017 was hosted by Greystones Sailing Club in their east coast new harbour and clubhouse at County Wicklow. After an hours wait on Saturday morning for the mist to clear the 26–strong GP14 fleet finally launched.

Race 1 got underway with a clean start and no recall (unusual in this fleet). Ger Owens & Mel Morris were back in business with a win, Shane McCarthy & Damian Bracken taking second with Alan Blay & David Johnston in third.

Race 2 started with the wind starting to build. Shane and Damian took the win with Ger & Mel in second and John & Donal McGuiness in third.

Race 3 started with gusts of winds of 26–knots. Alan & David retired with gear failure. Ger & Mel continued to dominate and brought home their second win for the day. Shane & Damian picked up an OCD so Colman Grimes & Eoin Boyle came home in second with Alistar Duffin & Andy Corkhill in third.

Race 4 started on Sunday morning with lighter winds and sunshine, Ger & Mel once again on form with another win and Alan & David with their boat repaired took 2nd just ahead of Shane & Damian in 3rd.

Race 5 was a closely fought battle between Ger & Mel and Shane & Damian with Ger & Mel winning and Shane & Damian close behind in 2nd. Simon Culley & Libby Tierney pulled off a fantastic move on the downward leg by going close to the shore and took 3rd place.

Race 6 was cancelled as the wind died.

So the gold fleet was won by Ger & Mel.

The silver fleet was dominated by the Gallagher brothers, sailing well once again.

The bronze fleet was won by Josh Porter & Sina Hartman in their first event.

Results downloadable below.

Published in GP14
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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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