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Three wins from three races in light and fickle conditions on Dublin Bay give the host club's John Maybury a clear lead in the J/109 National Championships 2021 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Maybury's Joker II, a past class champion, is five points clear of Richard Colwell and John Murphy's Outrajeous from Howth Yacht Club on eight points. 

Third in the ten boat fleet on 12 points is Andrew Craig's Chimaera also of the host club. 

Racing continues on Sunday and more light winds are forecast.

J109 Nationals Overall after 3 races sailed

  1. Joker 2 1206 RIYC John Maybury 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 3.0
  2. Outrajeous 19109 HYC Richard Colwell/ John Murphy 2.0 2.0 4.0 8.0 8.0
  3. Chimeara 2160 RIYC Andrew Craig 6.0 4.0 2.0 12.0 12.0
  4. Storm 1141 RSC/HYC Kelly Family 3.0 5.0 8.0 16.0 16.0
  5. White Mischief 1242 RIYC Richard Goodbody 9.0 3.0 5.0 17.0 17.0
  6. Jellybaby 9609 RCYC Jones Family 5.0 6.0 6.0 17.0 17.0
  7. Jalapeno 5109 NYC Barrington/O Reilly/ O Sullivan/ Rosique 4.0 7.0 9.0 20.0 20.0
  8. Ruth 1383 NYC Shanahan Family 8.0 10.0 3.0 21.0 21.0
  9. Dear Prudence 1095 RIYC Jay Bourke 7.0 8.0 10.0 25.0 25.0
  10. Artful Dodjer 1713 KYC Finbarr O Regan 10.0 9.0 7.0 26.0 26.0

*Results are provisional as of 17:15 on September 18, 2021

Published in J109

Leading from start to finish, the Kelly family J109 from Rush Sailing Club in north county Dublin sealed the IRC One victory in the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay this afternoon with a 4.5 points cushion.

Storm counted two race wins in her seven-race tally to outwit June Sovereign's Cup winner and the much-fancied J/99 Snapshot of Mike and Ritchie Evans from Howth, who were in the runner up position for much of the competition in the championship's biggest division of 24-boats.

In a stand out final day performance, however, Tim and Richard Goodbody's J109 White Mischief from the Royal Irish Yacht Club overhauled the Evans brothers.  The father and duo climbed back up the leaderboard from sixth overall with a 2 and a 1 scored in the final two races today to claim second overall.

Results are here

Second in IRC 1 - Tim and Richard Goodbody's White MischiefSecond in IRC 1 - Tim and Richard Goodbody's White Mischief

Third in IRC One - J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans)Third in IRC 1- J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans)

Published in ICRA
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With top-five results scored in all five races so far - and three race wins to boot - the Kelly family J109 from Rush Sailing Club continues to lead the ICRA Nationals Division One on Dublin Bay.

Such consistent sailing has allowed the Kelly's, with Cork Harbour's Robert O'Leary onboard as tactician, to build a margin of four points in the biggest fleet of the championships. 

Second is Mike and Ritchie Evans J99 Snapshot from Howth Sailing and Boating Club on 11 points. 

J109 designs continue to dominate the 24 boat division, occupying eight of the top ten places overall. 

Royal Cork visitor Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) is third, just five points off the overall lead with two more races left to sail tomorrow, so the championships is still very much up for grabs. 

Royal Cork Yacht Club J109 Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) lies thirdRoyal Cork Yacht Club J109 Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) lies third Photo: Afloat

The forecast for Sunday's finale is for SSE winds of 12 to 16 mph

Results are here

J109 Outrajeous lies fifthHowth J109 Outrajeous lies fifth

The XP33 Bon Exemple lies fourth overall The XP33 Bon Exemple from the Royal Irish is fourth

J109 Artful DodJer from Kinsale Yacht Club lies eighthJ109 Artful DodJer from Kinsale Yacht Club lies eighth

The J109 White Mischief lies sixth The J109 White Mischief from the Royal Irish lies sixth

J109 Something Else from the National Yacht Club is tenthJ109 Something Else from the National Yacht Club is tenth

Part of a Class One start in the 24-boat fleetPart of a Class One start in the 24-boat fleet - a strong tide led to several general recalls

Raptor, a Mills 30Raptor, a Mills 30 - gear failure led to a retiral in one race

Published in ICRA
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As well as taking the top two places overall, J109 designs also took six of the top ten places in the biggest class of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay today.

Rush Sailing Club's Storm now leads (4,1) but has the same five points as Royal Cork visitor Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) (3, 2) in second.

Third is the much-fancied J/99 of Mike and Ritchie Evans from Howth Sailing and Boating Club on 10 points.

Sub ten knot winds and a small chop was far more than originally forecasted for day one so organisers completed the scheduled programme for ICRA's 80-boat fleet.

The new J/99 'Snapshot' of Mike and Ritchie Evans from Howth Sailing and Boating ClubThe new J/99 of Mike and Ritchie Evans from Howth Sailing and Boating Club Photo: Afloat

Although Howth Yacht Club's Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) outwitted four-time champion John Maybury on Joker II to take the opening race, Outrajeous suffered a UFD penalty in race two to put her tenth in the 23-boat fleet. Joker II from the Royal Irish also suffered a UFD penalty and lies 13th overall giving both top performers an early championships setback.

UFD is the acronym for a U flag disqualification under rule 30.3. If flag U has been displayed by the race officer, no part of a boat's hull, crew or equipment shall be in the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the last minute before her starting signal. If a boat breaks this rule and is identified, she shall be disqualified without a hearing, but not if the race is restarted or resailed.

Results are here. Racing continues over the weekend

Published in ICRA
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A Howth Yacht Club favourite for Wednesday's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race has pulled out of the biennial race.

The entry has been withdrawn due to a number of factors, the most significant being that a key crew member has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

National Yacht Club organisers at Race HQ in Dun Laoghaire Harbour have confirmed that John Murphy and Richard Colwell's much-fancied J109 Outrajeous will not be racing the 280-miler. 

Co-skipper Colwell, who is the Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, told Afloat his crew is disappointed to be out of the race "A number of minor factors were working against us in the run-up but they could have been overcome. Then on top of this, a key crew member couldn’t come having been confirmed as a close contact of a confirmed case of Covid 19.  Despite our best efforts to find replacements, we have been unable to secure alternatives at the level required in that particular role"

As Afloat reported, the race is shaping up to be a highlight of the sailing season and has attracted a formidable line-up of Irish offshore sailing talent.

"We're disappointed not to be taking part, and we wish the race every success.  No doubt we will be in the start line in two years time", Colwell added.

Murphy and Colwell's Outrajeous, who are noted inshore performers, moved up the D2D form book last month and boosted their reputation as good all-rounders with a win in the breezy ISORA training race in mid-May.

The withdrawal puts the race entry at 38 boats for Wednesday's start at 2 pm, a date that Afloat's WM Nixon is calling a Clarion Call for Ireland's 2021 Sailing Season.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Peter Dunlop, skipper of the only Irish Sea boat entered for the now-cancelled IRC Worlds in New York, updates on plans for the former ISORA Championship winning J109, Mojito, on this side of the Atlantic

It's a bit of a shame that the worlds have been cancelled. I was hoping that by the end of September we would have made enough progress against COVID-19 that the event could go ahead.

It looked that we wouldn't be able to get Mojito shipped, so we came up with a backup plan. We secured the use of a J/109 that was already at the venue. Bill Kneller, ex-US J/109 class president, kindly agreed to lend us his boat. We would take our sails, forestay and head foil so we could set up the boat as close to Mojito as possible.

Wave Regatta

Nearly all of the events we had planned have been affected. We hope to get back to sailing later in the summer. I expect the first event will be an ISORA rally and later some ISORA races. ISORA will be ready to go as soon as it's possible. I expect we will be sailing with a limited crew. Our crew are Welsh, Irish, and English so we have varying sets of regulations to deal with. I really hope we can make August's Welsh IRC nationals and Howth's Wave Regatta in September, with some ISORAs in-between. The rudder needs refitting and the rig putting up

Wave Regatta in Howth is on the schedule for former ISORA champion J109 Mojito Photo: AfloatSeptember's Wave Regatta in Howth is on the schedule for former ISORA champion J109, Mojito Photo: Afloat

Mojito is not yet ready. She was in the shed having the bottom done when lockdown came in and nothing has been done since March. The rudder needs refitting and the rig putting up, then we will be good to go, but there is still no schedule for when that might be possible.

Published in ISORA
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Olympic helmsman, professional sailor and coach Mark Mansfield takes a look at how it may be possible to return to keelboat racing while maintaining social distance onboard.

The latest Government five-phase programme appears to allow the reinstatement of boating and sailing from May the 18th, under certain restrictions.

The RNLI and Coastguard will likewise need to lift their advisory notice as well for this to happen.

Irish Sailing is liaising with the yacht clubs in Ireland and the Government to get clarity on specific aspects of this five-phase plan. In the interim, commencing racing appears to be positioned in Phase 3, which would begin on June the 29th but many sailors are asking; how can this happen under the requirement to also socially distance ourselves from others?

3 mark mansfield3Article author Mark Mansfield sailed the Star keelboat for Ireland at four Olympic Regattas between 1996 and 2004. He is a multi-class Irish keelboat champion

Other sports are also in the same situation with resumption to training planning on commencing in Phase 2 in early June and some matches in Phase 3. Team sports like soccer, Gaelic, hockey, basketball and others have further complications in that they compete directly against opposition at close quarters.

Luckily in sailing, though we are a team sport, our opposition usually is quite a bit away from us. It is therefore in our own hands how, on boats, we can keep our distance when racing. The following are my thoughts on how this can happen successfully, keeping our sport going in these difficult times.

Dinghies that rely on rescue boats when capsized, and two-person dinghies and smaller keelboats will have additional challenges. However, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on larger keelboats that have engines to allow them to look after themselves in the event of an emergency.

Raptor 0293Class One boats approach a leeward mark on Dublin Bay in 2019 Photo: Afloat

Fully crewed or shorthanded?

Though there are other options around bubbles, family crew and the like, clearly it will be challenging to sail fully crewed for the first couple of months and still keep the required space between each other. The sight of 8 bodies huddled together on the rail while going upwind on a 35-foot cruiser-racer would not only be regarded as unsafe but irresponsible and would send all the wrong messages.

So, at what crewing levels could racing happen and still keep close to the permitted social distancing levels?

It is possible to specify a max crew level for different sized boats.

Different sized boats have different crewing needs. An SB20 sportsboat, for example, does not need the same crew numbers as a 42-footer. So what crew numbers would be required on different sized boats. Here is my estimate:

  • Up to 26 footers 3 max per boat – Only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 26 foot and up to 31 foot – Max of 4 crew – only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 31 foot and up to 36 foot – Max 5 crew – only 2 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 36 foot and up to 41 foot – Max 6 crew – only 3 allowed to sit over the side
  • Over 41 foot and up to 46 foot – Max 7 crew and only 4 allowed to sit over the side

And so on in 5-foot sized increases.

An amendment to The Notice of Race (NOR) could be inserted for events to make these reduced numbers a requirement, while we still have these restrictions due to COVID 19.

Is this enough crew to race boats with spinnakers?

In the Fastnet Race in 2019, There were 65 entries in the Two-handed class, ranging from 45 footers, down to 30 footers. Most boats were in the 35-foot size range and used spinnakers. Yes they all would have autopilots, and that effectively gives you an extra pair of hands doing sail changes, but that still would mean that they would have had two less crew than my crew size thoughts above.

SB20 1285An SB20 racing under spinnaker in strong breeze with a crew of four on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

SB20

Certain classes, such as the SB20, would still find it challenging to keep a distance with 3 on board, and having spoken to the class, they could see a possibility, if required, to sail with just 2 crew, particularly in light winds. In stronger winds, they may wish to just sail without spinnakers.

1720 2065A 1720 keelboat with a crew of five in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

1720

The 1720 class has also looked at this, and Class Captain Clive O'Shea told Afloat: "If required, the 1720 class is ideally situated to reduce numbers to allow social distancing while racing. Three crew can keep apart, and we still have the option to go with small spinnakers and small jibs, if needed."

So how would this happen on a typical small cruiser, like a J24 or a medium-sized cruiser-racer like a J109?

J24 racingA J24 in racing mode Photo: Afloat

J24

Three crew could handle a J24; One is helming and trimming the main, one in the cockpit, and one on the bow. The Bowman stays forward of the shrouds; the cockpit person stays away from the helm, up by the hatch. It won't be all that easy, but 30-foot boats like Etchells have similar-sized sails and normally sail with 3.

unnamed 4A fully crewed J109 on Dublin Bay (above) and a two-handed crew on the same model (below)

J109 short handed 

J109

Five on a J109; One on the wheel, staying back a bit. One in the cockpit is trimming the mainsheet but sitting well forward. Helm adjusts the traveller or leaves it in the centre. One sits in the hatch, or on top of the coachroof. The Jib Trimmer sits out, and during tacks, they pull in the new sheet while the Mainsheet Trimmer has let off the old jib sheet. The Bow person sits out forward of the shrouds; jib trimmer sits out to windward, 2 metres back from the Bowman. Downwind more room becomes available as both sides of the boat can accommodate the crew. Andrew Craig, Class Captain of the J109 class in Ireland, says, 'the J109 is well suited to shorthanded racing with the small jib and plenty of space for a reduced number to spread out. The Asymmetrical Spinnaker requires no pole which also makes shorthanded use possible in the right conditions'

White Sails & other options

For those with boats that are harder to sail, or if a crew is not that experienced, there is also the white sails (non-spinnaker) fleet to compete in, until fully crewed racing resumes.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club is the largest yacht racing club in the country with over 250 boats in 20 or so classes. Its Commodore, Johnathon Nicholson has this to add; "Along with the other clubs, DBSC is working with Irish Sailing to create a clear and safe path to get back on the water. We are currently investigating the practicalities of racing short haded with the appropriate physical distancing and when it could be introduced following the guidance provided by the government, Sport Ireland and Irish Sailing".

I appreciate there may be occasions during racing that crew get closer than planned for short periods. This is to be expected, but that will be the situation in virtually all sports that will likely be competing over the next few months. It is incumbent in our sport to come up with a plan to compete as safely as possible. This is just one option, and there will likely be others. Of course, this COVID-19 restriction could be tightened or eased during the next few months, and this proposed plan would then need to be looked at again. Reducing racing crew numbers also decreases the numbers that come back into the clubs allowing easier social distancing ashore.

Ultimately, however, as all sailors know, it is up to each individual skipper and crew to make their own decision about whether to go to sea or not.

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"North Sails have been powering "Joker II" since 2007. They just keep getting better and better and I have no doubt their latest 3Di Raw headsails have been a big factor in our success this year in the ICRA's, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and now the J109 Nationals. A big Thank You to Prof and the North Sails team for your fantastic support". 

These were John Maybury's own words after claiming a third headline victory this year in his J109 "Joker II" at the National Championships in Dublin Bay last weekend. 

Congratulations and RESPECT to the "Joker II" team - clearly a bunch of happy campers at the prizegiving - despite me photo bombing!

Prof with the winning Joker II team at the J109 NationalsProf with the winning Joker II team at the J109 Nationals

They were pushed very hard by Pat Kelly's team on "Storm II" who, despite having a 1,3,1 score on day 2, could not quite close the gap. Awesome sailing though. 

My teammates from the Scottish Series in May on "Chimaera" also put up a very strong consistent fight finishing third with a string of 2nds and 3rd in their scoreline.

Chimaera flying her 3Di RAW mainsail and Code 2 JibChimaera flying her 3Di RAW mainsail and Code 2 Jib

North Sails provided our ever popular red caps and gear bags as prizes for the event and I had a great time on the water coaching and facilitating the video de-brief afterwards on by BIG birthday - thank you to the J109 fleet for the cake!

Prof celebrates after the J109 De briefHappy Birthday! Prof celebrates after the J109 debrief at the RIYC

See you next Saturday at the Howth Autumn League and Sunday at the Royal Cork Autumn League!

From the North Sails Ireland team - Sail FAST.

Published in North Sails Ireland
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The J109 Irish Championship saw a competitive fleet on 10 entries come together on 5/6 October in Dublin Bay to race in the aftermath of Hurricane Lorenzo.

As Afloat previously reported, the full programme of six races was completed. Saturday saw 3 races in a stiff Southerly with the right-hand side of the course paying against the flood tide. At the end of the three races there was little separating the top 3 boats, John Maybury’s Joker 2, the Kelly’s Storm, both of them previous winners, and Andrew Craig’s 2019 Scottish Series winner Chimaera meaning all to play for on Sunday. Saturday concluded with a video de-brief by North Sails Prof O’Connell followed by supper and a largely early night as the crews were worn out after 3 tough races.

J109 start 9649A J109 start with Dear Prudence taking the pin Photo: Afloat

Sunday started with a 1-hour postponement in a strong westerly however the sun was shining and with a flat sea, the fleet enjoyed spectacular racing on great courses laid by PRO Eddie Totterdell. The top 3 boats had a fierce battle, characterised by race 5 where Joker, Chimaera then Storm crossed the finish line each separated by a boat length. At the end of the 6 races Joker 2 was the winner, followed by Storm then Chimaera.

Storm 9895Storm (Pat Kelly) from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

Chimaera 9760Chimaera (Andrew Craig) from the Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

There were other battles going on across the fleet and this was recognised with 3 mini-series covering the six races with lovely sailing bags presented by UK Sails for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each series, prizes passing down the fleet. Mini-series 2 was won by Richard Murphy and John Colwell in OutraJeous while Simon Knowles took Series 3 in Indian.

Outrajeous 9910Outrajeous (John Murphy and Richard Colwell) from Howth Yacht Club

Indian 9737Indian (Simon Knowles) from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

The event was supported by very generous sponsors which ensured that no-one went home empty-handed after such a great series of 6 races. POD Marine provided each boat with an engine health check with their engineers as well as two very valuable individual prizes of a full engine service to be awarded to the overall winner and the equally important finisher who propped up the final results. Thanks also to North Sails, Bushmills, Ropedock and Viking Marine, this was very much appreciated by the entire fleet.

Published in J109
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John Maybury's consistent Joker 2 has won the J109 National Championships after six races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club today. 

Maybury won half of the six races in the series but counted all six results in the top three.

This year's championships was not contested by the defending champion Andrew Algeo in Juggerknot who has moved to the new J/99. Also not competing was Tim and Richard Goodbody in White Mischief due to crew issues.

J109 Joker II 9702Total control - Joker II steered by John Maybury is the 2019 J109 National Champion Photo: Afloat

Racing in northwesterly winds gusting to 20-knots, there were plenty of shifts on Dublin Bay to keep crews on their toes in the nine-boat fleet.

Pat Kelly's Storm was runner up Photo: AfloatPat Kelly's Storm with Cork Harbour's Rob O'Leary (second from right) as tactician was runner up Photo: Afloat

As it turned out, the overnight standings after three races here remained despite three further windward-leeward tests today. Second overall, and equally consistent, was Pat Kelly's Storm II from Howth Yacht Club on nine points. 

Third, on 12 points, was Maybury's clubmate Andrew Craig, the Scottish Series champion sailing Chimaera. 

J109 Chimaera 9791Andrew Craig's Scottish Series Champion Chimaera was third overall Photo: Afloat

Maybury who sailed to his fourth consecutive ICRA national title back in June on the same race track now adds the J109 national title in an impressive season for the RIYC team.

Results here

J109 Outrajeous 0065Fourth overall - Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Afloat

J109 Something Else 9719Fifth overall - John and Brian Hall's Something Else Photo: Afloat

As part of the championships, Maurice O'Connell of North Sails Ireland was on the water coaching with video de-brief ashore after racing as below here in a sequence from race three on Saturday.

J109 Chimaera 0146J109 Chimaera 0146J109 Chimaera 0146J109 Chimaera 0146

J109 Chimaera 9925J109 Chimaera 9925

J109 9943

J109 Outrajeous 0058

Published in J109
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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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