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#sb20 – Strong and gusty north westerlies on Dublin Bay have led to the cancellation of the SB20 DBSC racing today. The Dublin Bay buoy located next to the SB20 race track showed an average wind speed of 
23–kts and gusts of 30kts from 311 °(NW) leading race officer Barry O'Neill to cancel this afternoon's racing. SB20 Class captain James Gorman plans to reschedule the planned three races for later in the season.

Published in SB20

The DBSC SB20 fleet had champagne sailing conditions on Dublin bay last Sunday. 8 boats lined up for 3 fantastic windward leeward courses set by Con Murphy of the National Yacht Club. Davy Taylor onboard Yachtsman.ie with a 2nd, 1st, 2nd had the best results of the day. Davy below describes the 3 races.

Race 1 saw most of the fleet starting at the committee boat end of the line in search for pressure on the right hand side of the course. Probably (Mark Nolan, Ian Simington & Gavan Murphy), positioned in the middle of the line were the quickest to make gains following the gun. After dealing with shifty conditions on the first beat, Yachtsman.ie (Davy Taylor, Marty O'Leary, Lisa Neary & Rachel Williamson) lead the fleet into the windward mark followed by Bad-Kilcullen (Stefan Hyde, Jerry Dowling & Jimmy Dowling) and Venuesworld.com (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan & Rory Groves). For the first downwind leg, the fleet returned to the right side of the course for more breeze. The fleet split at the leeward gate and boats who favoured the port mark gained an advantage on the rest. Bad-Kilcullen made their second windward mark rounding in first place followed by Yachtsman.ie and Sin Bin (Michael O'Connor, Owen Laverty & Kevin Johnson). The final downwind saw a final attempt from the fleet to take the lead position from Bad-Kilcullen without success. Crossing the finish line in first was Bad-Kilcullen, 2nd Yachtsman.ie and 3rd Sin Bin.

In race 2 the breeze shifted slightly right and all boats hovered around the starboard end of the line. An overly eager fleet led to a general recall (hats off to James Gorman on Bango for being the only boat not over the line). A quick pin reset and the boats were off again. A square line allowed for a good start apart from Sin Bin getting dizzy for fouling Yachtsman.ie and both boats giving the fleet a head start. For the first beat, the fleet went left and Yachtsman.ie went right, benefitting from a wind shift which saw the fleet under Yachtsman.ie's boom at the top of the course. Venuesworld.com slipped into a very close first at the windward mark followed by Yachtsman.ie and Bango (James Gorman, Ted Laverty & Henrik Olerud). Bango gained from an early set over Yachtsman.ie rounding the spreader mark. The fleet headed right with Yachtsman.ie gybing off for pressure. All of the fleet lined up for the leeward mark on port apart from Yachtsman.ie who came in on starboard getting around the port mark in front of the pack. For the next windward leg, the fleet played the unrelenting shifts and on the second downwind leg Yachtsman.ie repeated the gybe set routine in search of more pressure on the right hand side of the course. This didn't pay however, and Sin Bin and Bad-Kilcullen caught up at the finish with Yachtsman.ie winning by seconds over Sin Bin in 2nd and Bad-Kilcullen just pipping Bango on the finish line for 3rd.

The start line for Race 3 had a slight port bias but most boats chose the committee boat to begin. Sin Bin won the first windward leg profiting from stronger pressure on the port side of the course. They had a good lead over Yachtsman.ie in second and Venuesworld.com in third. Most of the fleet gybed early for pressure on the first downwind leg chasing Sin Bin. The fleet then split at the leeward gate and in challenging shifty conditions, the lead changed hands between the top 4 boats with Sin Bin eventually slipping back into first. There was a decrease in wind for the final downwind leg and an early gybe for pressure by Venuesworld.com and Yachtsman.ie allowed the two boats jump into 1st and 2nd as they reached the leeward gate. Crossing the finish line was 1st Venuesworld.com, 2nd Yachtsman.ie and Sin Bin 3rd.

Great to see Bob Hobby and his crew on Smoke on the Water back in action for their first sail of the season and Michael Galvin who normally does front on Seriously Bonkers helming. It was also great to see Ted Laverty back on the water for the first time since the birth of his first child.

This Sunday sees the final 3 races of series one taking place. Bad-Kilcullen hold just a one point lead over Sin Bin with Bango back in third & Venuesworld.com in fourth.

Published in SB20
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#sb20 – Jerry Dowling's Bad Kilcullen from the Royal Irish Yacht Club emerged the winner of a breezy 17–boat Leinster Championships off Dun Laoghaire at the weekend by a two point margin. Second was Cork based Corona Extra with Howth's Dinghy Supplies third. Full results for the Royal St. George Yacht Club hosted event are downloadable below. The event was sponsored by O'Connor Intellectual Property.

The fleet were delighted to welcome back SB20 stalwarts Peter Kennedy, Dave Cheyne and Stephen Kane on Ridgefence, Colin Galavan helming Bad Kilcullen (on Saturday), Rick Morris crewing on Ruby Blue and Marco Sorgassi and his new crew on Lupi d'Irlanda. The fleet were also delighted to welcome new young guns Tim O'Laoire, George Kenefic, Rob Bearla and Aoife English on SacreBleu. After some years of steady numbers, the fleet is once again showing promising signs of growth with several boats changing hands in the last few months and it was encouraging to see the returning stalwarts and new converts competing at the sharp end of the fleet.

17 boats took to the start line on Saturday in a fresh to strong westerly wind. With the gusts topping off at 28knts in a short chop, conditions were perfect to showcase SB20 racing at its very best and the fleet certainly didn't disappoint. OOD Barry O'Neill and his team had their work cut out for them with the westerly breeze shifting through 50 degrees throughout the course of the day but they did an exceptional job providing three excellent races on Saturday in such testing conditions.

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Race 1 saw Davy Taylor, Marty O'Leary and Rachel Willamson on Yachtsman.ie take an early jump on the fleet closely pursued by Dinghy Supplies (Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy and John Phelan), Ruby Blue (Aidan O'Connell, Rick Morris and Johnny Horgan) and Sin Bin (Michael O'Connor, Owen Laverty and Kevin Johnson). With the wind shifting about and gusting so frequently, there were plenty of passing opportunities and in the end Sin Bin snuck into the lead to finish ahead of Dinghy Supplies with Ruby Blue in third and Corona Extra (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing and Breffni Jones) recovering well to finish in fourth. Race 2 again saw the fleet tussling for position but by the second weather mark Ruby Blue had built up a commanding lead over the chasing pack of Sin Bin, Ridgefence, Yachtsman.ie and Bad Kilcullen (Colin Galanvan, Gerry Dowling and Jimmy Dowling). Tragedy struck Ruby Blue as they snagged the weather mark anchor line on their way to what surely would have been an unassailable lead down the final run. Second around Sin Bin were unable to take full advantage as they broached three quarters way down the run putting an end to their hopes of race victory. The crew of Yachtsman.ie showed sublime boat handling skills to keep the boat under the rig and took a well deserved victory from Dinghy Supplies in second, Corona Extra in third followed by Bad Kilcullen in fourth. Ridgefence were getting into the swing of things with a creditable fifth. In Race 3, Ruby Blue again got off to a flyer but this time there was to be no repeat of their error in Race 2 and they won convincingly from a chasing pack of Bad in second, Corona Extra in third, Dinghy Supplies in fourth and Ridgefence once more in fifth.

At the end of day one, Dinghy Supplies were leading on 8 points (2,2,4) from Corona Extra (4,3,3) and Yachtsman.ie (6, 1, 7) in third however a protest between Corona Extra and Yachtsman.ie saw Yachtsman disqualified from race 1 and relegated down the leaderboard. Venuesworld (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan and Rory Groves) were promoted to fifth in race 1. The exhausted but very happy crews convened to the bar of the Royal St. George for some well-earned apres sail pints followed by a magnificent meal in the club room of the George. There were plenty of tales of high speed escapades with many recording speeds in the high teens on the downwind sleigh-rides. SacreBleu reported a speed of 22.6 knts which was put down by everyone else to a malfunctioning speedo until we saw the photographic evidence and eye-witness reports from the committee boat of a blue blur passing them by very, very quickly!

Sunday dawned with a slightly, although not significantly, lighter breeze (F4 gusting F6 at times) and the competitors ventured out onto Dublin Bay once more in the expectation of more thrills and spills. Race 4 saw new boat to the fleet Bango (James Gorman, Philip Lawton and Keith Staunton) showing some impressive upwind speed to lead at mark one but they were unlucky to be swallowed up by the chasing pack who caught the gusts fractionally earlier on the downwind leg. By the end of race 4, Ruby Blue was back to the fore showing impressive speed and tactics to take their second race win of the series, giving them a (3,1,1) to count with the discard coming in. They were followed by Bad Kilcullen in second (now with regular helm Stefan Hyde in place of super sub Colin Galavan), Corona Extra in third continuing to put in a very consistent series, new boys (and girl) SacreBleu in fourth and Lia (Dave Barry, John Malone and Ger Bythell) in fifth. In Race 5, Ridgefence were fully into the swing of things and won from SacreBleu in a commendable second place followed by Corona Extra in their now customery third place, Bad Kilcullen in fourth and Yachtsman in fifth.

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After five races, things were very close at the top with Bad and Corona Extra tied on 12 points followed by Ruby Blue on 14 points, Dinghy Supplies a further two points back on 16 points and Ridgefence on 17 points not entirely out of the reckoning. In Race 6, Sin Bin led at mark 1 and were being followed closely by Dinghy Supplies, Bad Kilcullen and Corona Extra. These boats tussled it out over the following legs with the three lead boats overlapped going into the final gate! In the end, Sin Bin took the race win, their second of the championship, from Bad in second and Dinghy Supplies in third. Corona Extra took fourth and Venuesworld.com showed a return to form with a fifth in the final race of the day. At the end of the series, Bad Kilcullen were worthy winners of the 2015 SB20 Leinster Championship with Corona Extra in second, Dinghy Supplies in third, Ruby Blue in fourth and Ridgefence in fifth. The silver fleet was won by SacreBleu who came in eighth overall. Interestingly, none of the top three boats managed a race win showing that in this fleet, mistakes are severly punished and there is a high standard throughout with anyone capable of winning a race. Prizes were awarded to the competitors by new RStGYC commodore Justin McKenna and the Royal St. George Yacht Club and race committee were highly praised by the competitors at the prizegiving for a thoroughly enjoyable event. Next up is the Southern Championships in RCYC in early June where another good turnout is expected.

Published in SB20

#sb20 – The first SB20 Grand Slam of the 2015 season welcomed an international fleet to Hyères, in the South of France, for a fantastically close regatta with some spectacular sailing conditions from May 1-3, 2015

As Afloat previously reported, the international entry featured 25 boats from eight different nations, and included new teams from Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and Russia. There were also two boats from Singapore – both a men's and ladies' crew – who were using the event as a warm-up regatta session before the Southeast Asian Games, which is being held in SB20s in Singapore in June.

The event got underway with three races on Friday, May 1 in light conditions. Winning honours were shared by the French youth entry 'Give Me 5 By FFV France Jeune', who took the first winner's gun, British entrant 'Xcellent' skippered by John Pollard, and the Russian 'BCG Sailing Team' of Vadim Pushev.

The second day of racing saw winds build to a strong Mistral of over 30 knots. Two exhilarating races were completed before race organisers from the COYCH sent the fleet back ashore as wind speeds increased. Class secretary Ed Russo on 'Black Magic' and 'Xcellent' each took a first place in the day's high-speed competition.

The final Sunday brought more moderate 12-15 knot winds, and three races were completed. 'Xcellent', 'BCG Sailing Team' and 'Give Me 5' each took a win, bringing the event to a super-close finish with the final placings decided on countback as John Pollard's team just edged overall victory from the Russian 'BCG' entry.

Third overall was the 'Give Me 5 by FFV' crew of Robin Follin, Emeric Michel, Gauthier Germain and Marine Boudot, who were also the top Youth team. Third and fourth places were also separated on countback. Overall winners John Pollard, Rob Smitt and Mike Schwarz were also awarded the Masters prize, sponsored by Hyde Sails, while the top Ladies' award went to '5G Racing' from Singapore, with Jovina Choo, Daniela Ng, Dawn Liu and Terena Lam receiving prizes from luxury skincare brand Clarins.

John Pollard, skipper of the winning team 'Xcellent', commented: "It was definitely glorious sailing weather, and it's the fastest I've been in an SB20 – we hit 19 knots downwind! Hyères is always a great place to sail, and a good fun regatta with so many international teams from Russia, Singapore, Belgium, France, Holland and England all making it a fantastic Hyères. It was a really quality fleet."

The Hyères event is the first Grand Slam of the SB20 season, before the fleet moves onto Torbole in Italy for three events – the second Grand Slam of the season from May 22-24, the Italian Nationals and then the 2015 SB20 World Championships from July 4-10. The class will also compete at Grand Slam events in Cowes, during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in early August, and Cascais in Portugal in September.

The SB20 is one of the world's most successful one-design keelboats, with over 700 boats currently sailed in 22 countries. It is distributed worldwide by Sportsboat World in Netley Abbey and was originally designed by Tony Castro of Hamble, Hampshire. The 2015 World Championships will be held in Torbole, on Lake Garda in Italy from July 4-10, and the UK National Championships from September 5-8 at the Royal Southern YC in Hamble.

Overall Results:
1st GBR 3724 Xcellent John Pollard, Rob Smitt & Mike Schwarz 24pts
2nd RUS 37007 BCG Sailing Team Vadim Pushev, Aleksandr MIkhailov & Timur Sabirzianov 24 pts
3rd FRA 3653 Give Me 5 by FFV Robin Follin, Emeric Michel, Gauthier Germain & Marine Boudot 29pts
4th FRA 3706 Black Magic Edward Russo, Cedric Chateau & Giles Favennec 29pts
5th ITA 3637 Diva XS Ferdinando Battistella, Andrea Casale & Andrea Battistella

Published in SB20
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#sb20grandslam – The SB20 class is looking forward to its first Grand Slam event of the 2015 season at the stunning venue of Hyères in the South of France, this morning.

This is the first of four Grand Slam events for 2015, with Grand Slam regattas also scheduled at Torbole in Italy, Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and Cascais in Portugal for the one-design 20-foot keelboat class.

New for 2015, the first Masters team will be awarded prizes from sailmakers Hyde while the top Women's team will win luxury products from skincare company Clarins.

Hyères, on the Cote d'Azur, is famed as a superb sailing venue – just last week it hosted some of the world's best sailors at the ISAF World Cup event, welcoming top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors to the glamorous South of France. The SB20 class is returning to the venue for their third Hyères Grand Slam, and can look forward to three days of racing with up to 12 races scheduled by organisers COCYH, and spectacular sailing conditions forecast of strong breezes with plenty of sunshine.

The fleet has attracted 25 entries from eight countries, including France, Portugal, Russia, Germany, Britain, Monaco, Switzerland, and as far afield as Singapore but unfortunately none from the Irish fleet. Competitors include Alexey Muraskhkin, who won last year's Torbole Grand Slam event, and Class President Edward Russo.

"This is an exceptional location and we're expecting some exciting, high-octane racing over the next few days," commented Ed Russo, SB20 World Council President. "We are particularly pleased to welcome Hydes and Clarins onboard as category sponsors for this year's Grand Slam series, and are sure that the Masters and Women's teams will enjoy some superb competition in this international fleet."

The SB20 is one of the world's most successful one-design keelboats, with over 700 boats currently sailed in 22 countries. It is distributed worldwide by Sportsboat World in Netley Abbey and was originally designed by Tony Castro of Hamble, Hampshire. The 2015 World Championships will be held in Torbole, on Lake Garda in Italy from July 4-10, and the UK National Championships from September 5-8 at the Royal Southern YC in Hamble.

Published in SB20
Tagged under

#sb20 – There was not much enthusiasm on the SB20 dock Saturday morning due to the wet and dreary climate. The breeze of 20 to 25 knots in the first race soon brightened up everybody's mood once the kites went up. Sin Bin (Michael O Connor, Owen Laverty, Kevin Johnson) dominated the first race winning the slightly biased pin off the start line. Sin Bin showed great boat speed to comfortably lead all of the way to the finish. Sin Bin looked to be back on form following their Spring Warmer win. After the first downwind leg Rugby Blue (Aidan O'Connell, Killian Collins, Ben O' Donohoe) and Corona Extra (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing, Breffni Jones) pulled away from the rest of the fleet and engaged in a duel up the next beat with Corona Extra climbing to second by the next weather mark. This is where the top 3 finished with Venuesworld.com (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan, Rory Groves) winning the battle of the pack to take 4th. Overall results downloadable below as a jpeg file.

The breeze moderated for the second race with the tide becoming more of a prominent force to the east, carrying the boats north to the weather mark. Corona Extra pulled out a sizeable lead on the first downwind leg only to see the lion's share of it disappear on the second beat when a 30 degree shift to the east pulled everybody on the right side of the course up to their transom. Corona Extra just held off The Bear (Kieran Dorgan, Jason Losty, Ewan O' Keffe) at the second leeward gate to lead them to the finish. Sharkbait (Darren Martin, Simon Murray, Andrew Killops) held off Venueworld and the rest of the pack for third.

The third race of the day saw the breeze drop to approx. 10/ 12 knots negating any chance of planning downwind. Thankfully the rain eased off as the breeze calmed down. Corona Extra got off the middle of the line fast and caught the first shift to jump into the lead. The downwind legs where considerably more trying with narrow lines of breeze streaking down the course. Corona Extra lead to the finish with Venuesworld.com building on their consistency with a comfortable second followed by Dinghy Supplies grabing a decent result of third to help ease the pain of the previous 2 sevenths.
The crews hit the bar early to try and warm up after the wet days sailing. With the prawn festivel on in Howth that weekend, the club surpassed itself with a fantastic meal that evening. The first days sailing left Corona Extra out in front on 4 points followed by Venuesworld.com on 10 points and Sin Bin on 17 points with effectively the rest of the fleet just behind them, all looking to discard a race from their first days sailing to get back in the hunt. The Sunday was a much sunnier affair with enough of a light breeze for the day, varying between 5 to 10 knots.
Race 4 saw Corona Extra get buried off the line and sucked to the back of the fleet rounding the weather mark in fourteenth. The race was won by Dinghy Supplies building on their third in race 3 followed by Seriously Bonkers (Stephen Lee, Peter Lee, Michael Galvin) in second and Venuesworld.com maintaining their consistency with a third.
Race 5 was won by Sharkbait with Bad Kilcullen (Stefan Hyde, Enda O'Coineen, Jimmy Dowling) taking second and Dinghy Supplies taking third. The race was dominated by 2 persistent shifts to the east which accounted for a lot of snakes and ladders with the fleet. After allowing for a discard, this left Corona Extra with a much narrower overall lead of 3 points on 10 points overall after scoring 2 sixths in races 4 & 5. The very consistent Venuesworld.com held second place on 13 points with Dinghy Supplies now after charging up to third on 14 points.
Race 6 featured a wobbly and puffy light breeze which contributed to lead changes at every mark between Seriously Bonkers, Dinghy Supplies and Bad Kilcullen. Corona Extra was reeling in the lead pack at the first leeward mark but only managed 4th by the second windward. Seriously Bonkers hit the weather mark handing the lead to Dinghy Supplies with Bad Kilcullen and Corona Extra hot on their heels and a good jump ahead of the remaining fleet. This lead to a double cover gybe from Corona Extra when Bad Kilcullen gybed on top of Dinghy Supplies. This manoeuvre switched the positions around with Dinghies and Bad getting their air blanketed by Corona Extra. Corona Extra lead to the finish with Bad Kilcullen taking second and Dinghy Supplies taking third. Venuesworld.com came sixth in the last race which moved Dinghy Supplies up to second overall ahead of Venuesworld.com. Corona Extra won the regatta by a six point margin on 11 points overall.

Published in SB20
Tagged under

#sb20 – Stephen Lee (SB20 - 3484) went overboard at the SB20 sportsboat Eastern championships in Howth at the weekend. Here he describes the lessons learnt from his early season 'salt water bath' on Saturday.

Firstly, let me make it absolutely clear, I don't think anyone did anything wrong, there are no ill feelings toward anyone involved and the only purpose of this is to learn from the incident and hopefully do things better in the future. I love our sport and I don't want to wrap it up in cotton wool or discourage clubs from hosting events due to some perceived safety risks at the end of the day it is always the sailors decision to take to the water.

What happened...

On the first downwind leg of Race 1 on Saturday (decent waves and strong wind), heading down on Starboard gybe and approaching the gybe line, we were surfing pretty fast down the backs of the waves. We setup for the gybe and I steer into it (still at full speed on the back of a nice wave), three quarters of the way through the gybe, I've gybed the main and I'm sitting on the new side. When I start to straighten up we get hit by a smaller wave and it throws me off-balance and I go over the side. I managed to grab the end of the granny rail as I go over but have to let go after a few seconds because I'm now being dragged alongside underwater. At that point I'm now floating in the water, free of the boat and watching it sail away. I did try to swim towards the boat for a little while but it was moving far too quickly. My next concern was to make sure any other boats coming downwind could see me and avoid sailing over me. Thankfully there was only one boat coming down my line and I manage to get their attention and they keep well clear and avoid me. After their gybe they call back to me if I'm ok, to which I reply that I'm fine (more on this later) and continue on their run. Meanwhile Dad and Michael are recovering a trawled spinnaker and making their way back up wind to me. At this stage I've been in the water for 6-8 minutes and the rest of the fleet have disappeared off to the leeward gate. Dad and Michael very successfully get back to me and help me back onboard and we head for shore.

The lessons...

1) As soon as you know that you have a man overboard situation, get on the radio and alert the race committee.

- In our situation we didn't do this and the first thing the race committee knew of the situation was when we radioed our retirement. They can't do anything if they don't know about it!

2) Any other boats that see what's happened should get on the radio and alert the race committee. What if the radio goes overboard with the crew member....

3) Any boats that see crew in the water should abandon their race to recover the person in the water. Remember, you will get the position back by redress.

- In this situation Dad and Michael were well capable of coming back to get me, but it may not be the case with if the spinnaker had wrapped around the keel or there had been two less experienced crew aboard.

Having been on the wet side of this I will definitely be practicing all of the above in all of my future sailing.

Thanks to everyone involved for a great Easterns and I look forward to see you all in a few weeks at the Royal St George.

 

Published in SB20
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#hyc – The final weekend of Howth Yacht Club's Key Capital Spring Warmer series provided another cracking days sailing yesterday writes Daragh Sheridan of HYC. There was a little less breeze than the previous weekend but there was no fall off in the excitement levels due to some great surfing conditions on the big Easterly rollers.

In the joined Class 1 and 2 Paddy Kyne's Maximus took the honours with a first and third in the final two races. He was followed in second by the star of the photos from last weekend The Big Picture (Mike and Richie Evans). Third was Dave Cullen's Checkmate being helmed by Simon Knowles as Dave Cullen was abroad.

In the largest fleet of the series Michael O'Connor on Sin Bin had a brilliantly consistent series to discard a second place to win the SB20 class for the second year running. In second was Jerry and Jimmy Dowling's Bad Kilcullen followed by Dinghy Supplies and Shane Murphy. The event provided a fantastic opportunity for the class to get in shape for their Eastern Championship to be held in Howth next weekend.

In the J24 class it was two visitors who had travelled the furthest who took the honours. First prize was Steve Atkinson from Carrickfergus followed by Martin Reilly from Sligo. In third spot was the local HYC K25 team who are preparing for a crack at the J24 Europeans later this year.

In the Squibs it was two locals to the fore with Fergus O'Kelly in first from Dave Sheahan.

The final weekend also saw the running of the Royal Alfred Niobe Trophy continuing a long standing link between the Alfred and Howth Yacht club. This saw a number of Puppeteers get their season underway with a familiar winner in the guise of Dave Clarke.

Published in Howth YC

#hyc – The second weekend of Howth Yacht Club's Spring Warmer series provided conditions in complete contrast to the previous week's light airs, with very strong winds testing the competitors and boats throughout the two races. Whilst it was a day to be conservative, most of the competitors in the  Key Capital sponsored series could not resist the challenge of the gusty conditions and pushed their boats to the limit for the first race.

In the busy combined Class 1&2 fleet, Paddy Kyne's 'Maximus' won the first race with a minute to spare from the Kelly/Boardman half-tonner 'K1' and they then swapped positions on the finish line of their second race. In the J24 Class, Steve Atkinson's 'Bád' won the first race but Martin Reilly's 'Crazyhorse' was the only boat that managed the fierce conditions to complete race 2.

The SB20s races were unmatched for excitement and will undoubtedly provide the sailors and their boats with a great early season warm up for their Eastern Championships which are to be held in Howth directly after this series finishes. In the Squib Class, local sailor Fergus O'Kelly is declaring his intent to compete at the front end of the 2015 Squib Nationals later this year by leading the class after the first 3 races of this series.

Published in Howth YC
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#hyc – Competitors at the Key Capital Spring Warmer series in Howth Yacht Club were treated to glorious sunshine on the opening weekend of the season but unfortunately for all, the wind gods weren't as generous writes Daragh Sheridan.

In Race 1 in Class 2's Dave Cullen's beautifully turned out Checkmate got off to a winning start from Maximus in second and K1 in third.

The SB20 fleet was led from start to finish by Michael O'Connor in Sin Bin despite a great second beat by Ger Dempsey on Venues World. The podium was completed by Jerry Dowling's Bad Kilcullen.

The J24 fleet had shown great commitment in getting entries from as far afield as Sligo, Carrickfergus and Lough Ree. It was a dominant performance by Steve Atkinson in Bad winning both races with Martin Reilly's Crazyhorse and Finbarr Ryan taking a second a third place in each of the two races.

Local Squib guru Fergus O'Kelly heads the fleet with two first places. Second is Brian O'Hare and Alain Deladienee followed by HYC's Dave Sheahan.

Unfortunately the SB20s and Class 1 & 2 only completed one lap before the wind shut down forcing the race committee to abandon their second race.

Hopefully we will see greater number out for the second Saturday as more boats get launched and there is no Leinster match competing for competitors attention.

Published in Howth YC
Page 14 of 24

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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