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The CH Marine sponsored National 18 South Coast Championship fleet gathered in West Cork on June 1 to race on the beautiful waters of Baltimore Harbour.

The championships attracted a fleet of nine 18s. These nine boats were seen rigging at the top of the slip to be on the water in time for a noon start.

A windward/leeward with a spreader mark was the course for the day. The 18s jostled on the start line until race one was underway. A light fickle breeze made tactics very difficult and the sailors had to go fast towards the best side of the course, tending towards the left. Four rounds were scheduled for all races but with the light winds the course was shortened to three rounds. Charles Dwyer helming “Shark” took first place, staying ahead of Tommy Dwyer helming “Puss in Boots” in second, and Colin Barry and his team in third.

South Coasts June 2019 4National 18s racing in Baltimore

Race two began in slightly more breeze, having shifted slightly more into the south. With slightly patchier winds, there was a huge importance on looking for wind shifts. A shortened course and three rounds later saw Charles Dwyers “Shark” take first place. In second was Nick Walsh helming “50 Shades” and Tom Crosbie helming “Second wind” in third.

Race three kicked off and leading by round three was Colin Barry and his team. He held this lead to cross the finish line in first place. Second place was taken by Tom Crosbie, who finished just ahead of Nick Walsh in third place.

Race four, the last race of the day was started with increased wind. The breeze had swung even further into the left. Charles Dwyer held his lead and finished in first place, just in front of Tom Crosbie in third. Colin Chapman helming “Aquadisiacs” finished right behind in third place.

Sunday rolled around, and strong winds greeted the sailors. Wind readings of over 30 knots forced Day two to be abandoned. Once the National 18s were packed up, the sailors went into Baltimore Sailing Club for the prizegiving.

Taking first place was “Shark” helmed by Charles Dwyer. In second place was Tom Crosbie and crew in “Second Wind”. Taking third place was Colin Barry and his team.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery
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The National 18s were out in force on the wide Blackwater estuary during the week of 15th to 20th July. Winds were in the south and were reinforced by sea breezes to a steady force 3 to 5. Add plenty of sunshine and this was the recipe for great sailing each day. Hosted in splendid style by West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club with local expert Paul Jackson as Race Officer, some were saying it was the best event ever.

Entries came from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and France. Predominantly they were Morrison 'Ultras', but there were also a number of 'Ultimates' which raced in a separate fleet. Noticeable this year was an increase in family crews. 

Shark ElevenSecond Wife and Shark Eleven in a gybing duel

On the water there were three back-to-back races a day over four days, making 12 good races in all. Courses were windward/leeward leading to much close and tactical sailing and place changing both upwind and downwind. Early on and with several first places, it seemed that 'Shark Too' (Charlo Dwyer) would come out on top. However, 'Second Wife' (Tom Crosbie) took charge in the latter races. They ended equal on points overall, but the Crosbies took the major trophy by two points when the worst two results were discarded. Third was another Irish boat 'Fifty Shades' (Nick Walsh) and fourth a Scottish entry 'Two and half men' (Richard and Stuart Urquhart).

"On the water there were three back-to-back races a day over four days, making 12 good races in all"

It was noticeable that the English are closing the gap with two boats taking several top three places and 'Hurricane' (Ollie Houseman) taking sixth place overall.

The 'Ultimate' prize was won by Crossfire (Antony Ellis) from the Isle of Man in fine style crewed by his son Nickolas who, at 11 years old, was much the youngest competitor.

Ashore there was abundant night life with various oysters, belly dancers from Southend, musicians from Mersea Island, the 80th Anniversary Dinner and two jolly sing songs ending in traditional style with Tom Dwyer's rendition of 'Paddy McGinty's Goat'.

Results Ultra Class:

1st Second Wife (Tom, Chloe & Patrick Crosbie) Royal Cork Yacht Club
2nd Shark Eleven (Charlo Dwyer, Johnny Durcan, Robbie English) Royal Cork Yacht Club
3rd Fifty Shades (Nick Walsh, Rob Brownlow, Eddie Rice) Royal Cork Yacht Club
4th Two and Half Men ( Stuart & Richard Urquhart, Martin Cruden) Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
5th Aquadisiacs (Colin Chapman, Morgan O'Sullivan, James McCann) Royal Cork Yacht Club
6th Hurricane (Ollie Houseman, Jeremy Vines, Steve Watton) Tamesis/ Chew Valley Lake SC

Results Ultimate Class:
1st Crossfire (Antony & Nickolas Ellis, Stuart Brew) Isle of Man Yacht Club
2nd Muc Dhoo (Trevor & William Chanter, Lucy Smith) Bough Beech Sailing Club
3rd Raffles (Mathieu, Stephan & Laura Peretti) Centre Nautique de St Pol

Published in National 18
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Charles Dwyer's 'Shark II' was the winner of the National 18s Dwyer Cup sailed from Royal Cork Yacht Club at the weekend.

Racing on the Whitegate side of Cork Harbour, second overall in the relatively small fleet was Ewen Barry's GBNB. Third was Patrick Crosbie's Second Wind. Scroll down for overall results.

See our photo gallery by Bob Bateman below

National 18 415, Herbie, skippered by Alex Barry with David Kenefick on the wire Photo Bob BatemanNational 18 415, Herbie, skippered by Alex Barry with David Kenefick on the wire Photo Bob Bateman

Ewan Barry's GBNBEwan Barry's GBNB

Laser dinghy racing RCYC1National 18 'Second Wave' skippered by Patrick Crosbie

National 18 'Second Wave' skippered by Patrick CrosbieWillie Cotter's Puss in Boots

Colin Chapman's National 18 Colin Chapman's National 18

Overall results: 

1st - 418 Shark II, Charles Dwyer
2nd - 422 GBNB, Ewen Barry
3rd - 403 Second Wind, Patrick Crosbie
4th - 415 Herbie, Alex Barry
5th - 404 Aquadisiacs, Colin Chapman
6th - 402 Puss ¹n Boot, Willie Healy

Published in National 18
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An EGM has been requested by over 10 members of the National 18 dinghy class.

Five proposed rule changes will be proposed at the EGM now scheduled to take place on Saturday, 2nd June at Baltimore Sailing Club as part of the Irish N18 National Championships.

Rule changes include permitting use of smart watches and new rules on immersion testing.

The agenda is attached below.

Published in National 18
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The National 18ft Class scored big last weekend finally making the breakthrough everyone knew was possible with a new Morrison designed National 18 winning the Datchet leg of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series in the UK. This mixed dinghy handicap series is the biggest in the UK regularly attracting entries of more than 100 boats at each of the seven regattas.

The win was all the more impressive as helm Peter Gray with crew Rich Pepperdine and Simon Forbes were sailing a National 18 for the very first time. Their results on Saturday couldn't be matched in a mixed dinghy fleet brimming with talent. With the Sunday pursuit race cancelled due to adverse weather the team from Staunton Harold Sailing Club were declared the winners.

The National 18 ft class celebrates its 80th birthday in 2018 but as members and follows know the class is not acting its age. The Morrison designed "Ultra" division was launched in 2015 following an ambitious modernisation program. The Ultra fleet is growing quickly with five new boats currently on order taking the 2018 UK and IRL fleet size to twenty six boats with a second hand market also beginning to develop. With additional ongoing interest that number is sure to increase in the coming months.

Published in National 18
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Last Friday evening saw the last races of the National 18 season that consisted of two races in front of Royal Cork Yacht Club and with buoys at the rear of the RCYC marina for an unusual course configuration on the Owenabue river in light winds and officiated by race officer Tommy Dwyer. 

The evening also served as the National 18 crews race with some familiar faces in some unfamiliar roles. Tom Crosbie was sailing a borrowed boat as he had sold his beloved 'The Good Wife'. RCYC General Manager Gavin Deane was also helming an entry as was forthcoming Junior All Ireland finalist, Chris Bateman.

Scroll down for photo gallery below by Bob Bateman

National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1National 18 dinghy racing1

Published in National 18

As announced at the recent National 18 Championships, the Cork N18 class are hosting a big party in the Royal Cork Yacht Club on Saturday, 9th September in recognition of Dom Long's 35 years of service to the class.

This will be run in conjunction with the Sutton Book event with guests from Sutton Dinghy Club racing N18's for the day.

There will be plenty of on the water action both sail and power along with a function in the club on Sat evening.

Published in National 18

Six relatively light wind races completed at Howth Yacht Club gave Charles Dwyer and his crew Nin O'Leary and Richie the overall win of the inaugural six–boat National 18s Eastern Championships in Dwyer's new boat.

A tie break behind them saw Tommy Dwyer, Peter O'Donovan and Charlie Moloney take second with Colin Chapman, Morgan O'Sullivan and Ronan Walsh taking third.

The National 18s continue racing in Cork Harbour with Wednesday leagues already in operation and Saturday racing beginning at the start of May.

Published in National 18

No sooner has Howth Yacht Club completed its Spring Warmer Series for keelboats than it is preparing for its first dinghy event of the 2017 Summer season.  HYC will host the RS Eastern Championship over the 22nd April and 23rd April.

The RS classes will be joined by Cork Harbour's travelling National 18s and the SB20 sportsboat class. 

In the run up to the championships, the RS Feva class are staging a two day training session in Howth. Training is open to all sailors around the country regardless of ability. 20 boats are expected for the Easterns and there is a lot of renewed interest in the class now from Optimist sailors looking to try a two hander. 

An early bird entry discount has been extended until tomorrow (April 12), according to HYC's Ross MacDonald. Enter here.

Published in RS Sailing

After a successful Irish National Championships this month at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the National 18 Class Association is exhibiting the new Morrison designed National 18 (known as the Ultra) at the Southampton Boat Show from 16 to 25 September 2016.

The National 18 class has undergone a hugely successful period of change and development over the last two years and is now taking a breather and enjoying learning how to get the best out of sailing the fantastic new boats. This means that after two full seasons the boats have been fully tested and developed to meet all the expectations and requirements of the Class members and no more changes are planned in the foreseeable future.

Since the Phil Morrison designed hull was adopted in July 2014, sixteen boats have been built, two more are underway, and a new sail plan has been introduced incorporating a laminate square top mainsail and 21sq m spinnaker, along with twin spinnaker poles. Fifteen Ultras took part in the 2016 National Championship held at Findhorn near Inverness and produced incredibly close and hugely enjoyable racing.

On show at Stand A106 in the Arena will be 'The Shadow' (412) from Blackwater Sailing Club, whilst two National 18s will race in the 'Battle of the Classes' on Sunday 25 September.

The National 18 is available from the Class builder, White Formula of Brightlingsea, at an on-the-water sail away package price of £16,995 including VAT.

The Morrison designed National 18 has, as intended by the Class, created a performance three-person dinghy with one trapeze that is fast and capable of being handled by crews of varying ability, age, and experience; she is not an extreme boat and many people commented that she looks a "proper boat."

The National 18s are renowned for their companionship and great social scene both and on and off the water, as well as for outstanding high performance racing; the Autumn is an ideal time to place an order with the builders to have your new boat ready in good time for next year's racing programme and for the National Eighteen Championships which are to be held at Hayling Island Sailing Club in August 2017.
For further information about the National 18 ClassThe original idea was that of Frank Knowling of Whitstable YC (later to be known as the father of the class) for an 18-foot sailing dinghy, suitable for day sailing, yet fast enough to be of interest to racing sailors and at a reasonable cost. (The first rather hopeful restriction of the original class rules was "Price not to exceed £125 complete with spars, all equipment and designer's fee but not including sails"). The plan was to produce an affordable national alternative to the many local one-designs of about this size to be found right round the coast of the British Isles. Many of these local estuary classes survive today, for example the Mermaid in Dublin, Thames Estuary OD, Chichester Harbour 18 etc.

The well-known designer Uffa Fox won the competition (over the Laurent Giles submitted version) with his 'Ace' design for a clinker-built wooden boat. National 18' number 1, 'Hurricane', was owned by Stanley Beale and sailed at Whitstable, with No.2 'Gust' and No.3 Foam''.

Initial enthusiasm was held back by the effects of World War II but a good deal of 18' building got underway soon afterwards, when mahogany was again available for boat-building and the class became active especially in the Thames Estuary area. By 1950, fleets had appeared at clubs dotted all around the British Isles and Ireland, the Class Association having been formed in 1947.

Although most boats were built to the 'Ace' design, the class had always been 'restricted' rather than 'one-design' and boats with a reduced number of wider planks were built when glued plywood construction was adopted and even one moulded carvel boat was built (252 'Sabon').
Several of the wooden 18's, now called 'Classics' are still in commission, and regularly race, principally at Bosham SC. They include No15 Tinkerbell, built in 1938 and still very competitive.

With the advent of GRP and the rising costs of hard woods, the Class asked Ian Proctor in the late '60's to design a fibreglass hull that would not outclass the existing boats. In this he was successful and it was some time before a Proctor hull won the championships. The first new Proctor, 'Genivieve' was exhibited at the Crystal Palace Dinghy Show of 1970 when a bare hull cost £153. Since then the Class has progressively reduced minimum hull and centreboard weight, and introduced a single trapeze. Also a restriction which requires all new hulls to come from the class mould so they are in effect one-design. Rigs have been optimised and more recently carbon spars introduced.

These changes produced a boat known in the Class as an 'Ultimate' which is fast and exciting to sail and which has provided close and competitive racing for fifteen or so years, both locally and at the annual National Championships. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has the largest fleet.
The class strives to be inclusive in providing heathy competition for all generations of 18s through handicaps and separate starts. Thus though the major trophies at National Championships are awarded in the Ultimate class, there are trophies also for the Pen-ultimates (heavy GRP) and the Classics.

In 2012 the class mould was declared unservicable, and there was much debate about what to do next. This culminated in a request to Phil Morrison to design a hull that was sleeker, lighter, faster and safer, and in so far as reasonably possible within the existing measurement restrictions.

The Morrison prototype was financed by supporters of the Class and built at The Boatyard at Bere in 2013. Named 'Odyssey' and trialled extensively, she ticks all the boxes, is a pleasure to sail and has proved a great success. This development will undoubtedly give the Class a new lease of life, and production of new boats is already under way at White Formula in Brightlingsea.

Published in National 18
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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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