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#sb20 – Three Irish yacht clubs have expressed an interest in hosting the 2017 SB20 World Championships in Ireland.

SB20 Class President Justin Burke is also inviting other clubs to make contact and get involved with the Sportsboat bid. Ireland previously hosted the inaugural worlds – when the class was known as the SB3 – in 2009 at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

Burke revealed the Irish interest in hosting the world event as the Irish class prepares for its West Coast championships on Galway Bay. The one design class recently completed a very successful 22-boat national championships at Royal Cork.

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#sb20 – There was a little bit of everything on the first day of the SB20 Grand Slam at  Cowes Week, yesterday. Racing for the 36 entries began in heavy downpours with black clouds bringing shifty, gusty conditions, which later moderated into more consistent south-westerly breezes.
Two races were held as part of the class's four-day Grand Slam format, which has proved hugely popular with SB20 sailors and seen entry numbers boosted again since the 'event within an event' was launched last year. This year the Grand Slam has attracted visitors from Belgium and Holland, two boats from Oman Sail, as well as teams from across Britain, including a boat from Scotland.
The first race honours went to Marshall King in 'Sponge Bob' from Rob Gullan in 'F5 Synthesis', with Jerry Hill and the '' team in third. These front-runners, together with 'Chill Pill' enjoyed plenty of place-changing throughout the race, until 'Sponge Bob' was able to pull away.
Jerry Hill and Rob Gullan reversed the finishing order in the second race, with '' taking the win from 'F5 Synthesis', while Charlie and Alec Russell took third in EDigitalResearch'. 'Sponge Bob' had to retire after a collision. This leaves '' and 'F5 Synthesis' tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the first day.
Jerry Hill of '' commented, "We had two great races today. We saw anything from 18 knots to 8 knots, sunshine through to torrential rain, and a good shift to the right as the day went on – all classic Cowes Week stuff!"
He added, "In the second race it was very close at the first mark with a lot of boats, we managed to break clear of that pack and Rob Gullan was a long way ahead but we steadily pulled back into them. Then right at the end a supertanker came through the pack – neither of us had seen it and we were both in danger of going from first and second to completely out of the top results, but ultimately we overtook him to win. It was a great Cowes Week lesson about needing to keep your eyes out of the boat!"
Rob Gullan was helming 'F5 Synthesis', and admitted that the team went into today underprepared. "Today was pretty entertaining, we got out and realised we didn't have a buoy map or anything – we were pretty chaotic. In the second race we must have been 500m in first, and didn't have any idea where we were going. But actually it made us sail really conservatively, and we were quite fast, so it worked out well – it was just all a bit stressful!
"Two seconds is good, we're very happy."
Rob and owner Peter Hine are returning to the fleet for the first time in two years, with their eyes on next year's worlds in Torbole.
The fleet also includes two teams from Oman Sail. Ibtisam Al Salmi was racing for her first time on an SB20. She said her introduction to the fleet was: "Very hard work – they are all very good sailors, and it's very high-level racing. I enjoyed it a lot though, especially downwind surfing the waves, although it's like taking a shower every second!"

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#sb20 – Seven SB20s took to the water last night on Dublin Bay for the fourth Thursday of Series 2, many fresh from an exhilarating nationals in RCYC last weekend, while others were obviously recharging their batteries after their exertions in Cronins... :-)

For a pleasant change on a Thursday this season, we saw some decent breeze on Dublin Bay which allowed the SBs to get up on their toes and start dancing... A steady force 5 from the West guaranteed plenty of thrills and spills were to come... Perfect SB20 weather! The OOD set a 10 degree pin-end bias and the fleet duly congregated down at the pin with 30 seconds to go. At the start, Should Be... (Michael, Dave, and Gavan) managed to get the pin but Venuesworld (Marty, Ger and Rory), Probably (Mark, Ian and Billy) and Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) all managed to start with better pace slightly up from the pin and those three boats quickly established a lead group beating up towards Harbour mark.

At the weather (Harbour) mark, Probably led by a boatlength from Venuesworld with Should Be...another 1/2 boatlength back. Alert Packaging, Timber (Alan et al), Seriously Bonkers (Peter et al) and Smoke on the Water (Bob, John et al) were very close astern and primed for the fast reach to Omega where speeds in the teens were experienced by most boats. At the all-important first hoist, Probably went trawling for mackerel followed by Should Be... allowing Venuesworld, Alert Packaging and Timber to pass and to take a jump on the fleet... However, there were a few broaches down the first reach keeping manners on everyone. Disaster struck Venuesworld when they snapped their port kite sheet allowing both Alert Packaging and Should Be... to overtake them shortly after the gybe mark on the run (ok, SB20s don't run in a force 5, we just reach very quickly a bit closer to the leeward mark!) en route to Poldy mark. Alert Packaging held on to their lead followed by Should Be... with Venuesworld, Probably and Timber in the thick of it at the leeward (Poldy) mark.

Places remained largely unchanged for the next beat and run (ok, again, not really a run but just lots of very, very fast reaching back and forth really!) and another beat with Alert Packaging extending their lead and looking very comfortable in the process. However, at the final weather mark, a twist in Alert Packagings kite necessitating a couple of gybes allowed Should Be... to close to within three boat lengths and ensure an exciting finale...

At the last leeward mark, Alert Packaging tacked shortly after the mark and headed left while Should Be... continued on right getting separation and in the hope of breeze or a favourable shift to get closer to Alert Packaging. In the end, Should Be... got both (they donate heavily to charity apparently!) and when the boats converged closer to the finish line, Should Be... had Alert Packaging by a whisker and they would finish in that order. They were followed by Venuesworld in third, Timber in fourth, Probably (who had showed their mettle and recovered very well) in fifth, Seriously Bonkers in sixth and Smoke on the Water in seventh.

As it was the last Thursday of the month, that meant SB Social food and pints... this month the fleet got together in the RIYC for the BBQ/stir-fry/pizza and, of course, pints. Lots of pints. No doubt some of them are still going strong!

Class notices:
Next SB Sunday (first SB Sunday of Series 3) is Sunday 10th August. Put it in the diary and get out there!

SB Sunday no. 3 is being re-sailed on August 17th (effectively, this is the last Sunday of series 1 (that was lost due to strong winds) being re-sailed). This is with kind permission and co-operation of both DBSC (Chris Moore and Joanne Sheehan) and our many volunteers (Barry O'Neill, Fionnuala Loughrey, Cathy Booth and Barbara Conway) so please show your appreciation by attending in numbers!

Westerns in Galway are on 23/24 August followed by Midlands in Lough Ree on 27/28 September. Two amazing venues with lots of fun and top quality racing guaranteed. I would strongly recommend those of you less inclined to travel to make the extra effort and see what all the hype is about.

See you on the water next Thursday,

Michael O'Connor

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#sb20 – The 2014 SB20 One Design National  keelboat Championship was hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club. The event was generously sponsored by Dubarry Shoes and Dinghy Supplies.

Conditions proved ideal for the 22 competing boats with winds ranging from 5 to 15 knts. The high standard of race management ensured that the racing was exceptionally close throughout. PRO Peter Crowley and his team laid on 9 races over three days with the event going to the wire and settled by one point in the last race. Racing was held to the south of Roches Point with the tide helping competitors out each day and in on the return journey to keep commuting times down.

Day One saw Daragh Sheridan, Dinghy Supplies, getting out of the blocks quickly winning the first two races followed closely by Mel Collins, Who's The Boss, with two second place finishes. Conditions ranged from 5 - 12 knts providing a stern challenge with place changing the order of the day. After four races Stefan Hyde in Bád emerged as overnight leader, closely followed by the chasing pack. This was warming up to being a high scoring event with all to play for on day two.

Day Two saw Darren Martin, Shark Bait, putting in a great performance with three second places to take the lead by ten points from Mel Collins and Bád having slipped to joint second place. Rob Howe, Milvus Milvus also had a stellar day with a 3, 3, 1 to move into contention.

Day Three proved to be very challenging for the PRO with a sea breeze competing with the gradient wind resulting in light shifty conditions. Bád went into Race 8 needing to put a dent into Shark Bait's 10 point lead to have any hope of the title. Shark Bait, after a slick leeward gate rounding led Bád on the short beat to the finish. In a dying breeze Bad split tacks to find a line of breeze on the right hand side and finish in third followed closely by a cluster of boats leaving Shark Bait to cross the line in seventh. This left Bád in clear second needing seven points over Shark Bait in the final race to have a chance of the title. To add to the tension the weather was acting up making it extremely difficult for Peter Crowley and his team to set a course. With the time limit of 1430 now fast approaching a fresh northerly settled in and a course was promptly laid. Bád arrived at the weather mark in fifth with Shark Bait on her heels. Bád showing some excellent downwind positioning worked her way into second and held on to the finish with Shark Bait in hot pursuit. A tight cluster of boats finished behind Bád with Shark Bait shipping a ninth.

This left Bád one point to the better, helmed by Stefan Hyde (RCYC) and crewed by brothers Jerry (RIYC) and Jimmy Dowling (RStGYC) as SB20 Champions 2014.

Mel Collins finished third overall with Robert Espey in fourth. James Gorman emerged as Silver Fleet champion with a superb second in the penultimate race.
Kieran O'Çonnell and his team at RCYC are to be congratulated for organising an excellent event. A warm welcome was extended to all competitors with on and off the water activities carried out to the highest standard. RCYC are preparing a bid to host the 2017 SB20 World Championships, this would be an ideal venue for such an event given the professional race team available and superb race areas available.

Report by Jimmy Dowling RStGYC

Full results here

Published in SB20

#sb20 –  A competitive fleet is expected for the SB20 National Championship in The Royal Cork Yacht Club this weekend writes Kieron O'Connell.

All the usual suspects will be present in what looks to be a wide open competition with many strong teams travelling to the event. Fresh from their victory in the Northern Championship the Manama crew of Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing and Tara Flood can expect very stiff competition from local sailors Mel and Killian Collins, class newcomer Bob Espey from the RNIYC, previous National Champion and Olympian Peter Kennedy who won the event the last time it was sailed in Cork.

Also expected to be in the mix are Aidan O Connell, and the in form Dinghy Supplies crew of Darragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy and John Phelan from Howth Yacht Club as well as Michael O Connor from Dun Laoghaire. The weather forecast looks good with warm weather and light winds forecast. Race Officer Peter Crowley will have a busy weekend keeping manners on the fleet and getting three races a day.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club have great entertainment planned, there will be live music and a BBQ in the club Friday from 17.30 after racing and on Saturday there will be a live band from 17.30 till late with the event dinner at 19.30.

Venues for the 2015 SB20 season will be discussed at this weekend's national championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club that includes an option of running an event at Greystones Marina Co. Wicklow.  A coaching structure for 2015 wil also be put in place

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sb20 – Eight SB20s battled it out on Dublin Bay this evening in a northerly, easterly, and southerly breeze (depending where you were on the race course at any given moment in time) in a wind ranging in strength from 0 to 15knts (again depending where you were and when you were there!). Warning - Those easily confused should probably look away now...

Initially, the fleet prepared to start in 6knts of wind coming from the east with an ebbing tide pushing the fleet over the start line. The OOD had set a short line with a pronounced pin end bias, normally a recipe for disaster with an SB fleet not shy at coming forward... However, approximately 1 minute before the start, the wind died away to about 3 knts and backed, making the line practically impossible to cross on starboard, even with the help of the ebbing tide. Spotting the opportunity, Bad (Jerry, Jimmy et al) started on port at the pin and nailed it, owning the entire fleet. Just to leeward of them, Bomchickawahwah (John, Ed et al) and Alert Packaging (Justin et al) tacked onto port just as the gun went and kept their bows out from Bad. The remainder of the fleet also tacked onto port as the gun went and the entire fleet started heading out right in the very fickle easterly breeze.

Should Be... (Michael, Gavan and newest SB fleet member Andy Gale) were forced to tack back onto starboard shortly afterwards and head left once again but they found a rich (4knts!?!) vein of wind as they separated from the fleet going towards the opposite side of the course. Not long after, they were joined by Bad and Smoke on the Water (Bob et al) on the left side of the course as the remainder of the fleet continued right.

As the boats made their way slowly towards East mark, disaster struck the boats on the right hand side of the beat as the wind swung further left to the north, allowing the boats out left to reach into the mark while the boats out right were left struggling back against the tide to get to the mark. Particularly badly hit were SacreBleu (Richard, Ben et al) and Manamana (Doug, Ronan et al) who had been looking good for a time on the right. At the top mark, Should Be... led from Smoke on the Water and Bad and the three boats set their kites expecting a reach inshore towards Omega mark. However, as soon as they set their kites and looked up, they were greeted with the site of boats reaching under spinnaker heading directly towards them, on the same gybe! The boats that had gone right up the beat were now in a 12knt southerly breeze about 50 metres away from the weather mark! The three leaders dropped their kites and waited for the new breeze to hit them with Should Be and Bad going right and Smoke on the Water heading left into what had turned into a beat to Omega in the now southerly breeze.

Smoke on the Water did very well out left and took the lead from Should Be... in second and Bad in third. Unfortunately for Smoke on the Water, they overstood the lay line to Omega in the ebbing tide allowing Should Be... to sneak inside them at the mark and retake the lead. A fetch to Pier mark followed by a gybe and a close spinny reach to Poldy mark didn't provide much opportunity for overtaking, but with some very slick boat handling, Bad managed to sneak in front of Smoke on the Water at Poldy mark. By now, Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) were in hot pursuit of Smoke on the Water followed closely by Alert Packaging and Bomchickawahwah. Another fetch to Pier followed by a close spinny reach to Omega meant that once again passing was not going to be easy and by Omega mark, Should Be... had extended on Bad in second, Bad in turn had extended on Smoke on the Water in third and Venuesworld had closed to within a boat length of Smoke on the Water...

With only a fetch to finish, it looked like it would stay that way but as the boats rounded Omega mark before heading for Harbour mark and the finish, Smoke tacked straight away while Venuesworld continued on a couple of boat lengths to avoid the Squib, Dragon and Glen fleets heading towards and away from Omega mark. This move was to provide great dividends with Venuesworld managing to pass Smoke on the Water as Smoke contended with the added disturbed air and sea... alert Packaging and Bomchickawahwah battled it out to the very end with Alert Packaging appearing to squeeze Bomchickawahwah out at the finish line.

At the finish it was Should Be... in first, Bad in second, Venuesworld in third, a very hard-fought and well deserved fourth for Smoke on the Water, Alert Packaging in fifth, Bomchickawahwah in sixth, Manamana in seventh and SacreBleu in eighth. Timber (Alan et al) unfortunately appear to have missed the start but we hope to see them out next Thursday along with the return of some Thursday regulars (Probably, Seriously Bonkers) to make the magical double figures on a DBSC Thursday...

Saturday is the RStGYC regatta and by the latest head count we are approaching double figures so it looks like we have another great days racing ahead of us. Next SB Sunday is the following weekend, 13th July, only two weeks before the nationals... See you all out there...

Michael O'Connor

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#sb20 – 11 SB20s battled it out on Dublin Bay yesterday for SB20 Sunday No. 5 race in a light F2 breeze and sunshine...

OOD Barry O'Neill and his team of seasoned SBers Dave Barry, Ger Bythell and Gus Legge on the committee boat had their work cut out yesterday in a breeze that was forecast to die and clock around from the North East to the South East as the day progressed. In addition to the persistent veer, the wind was oscillating through 30 degrees about the mean and was patchy as hell just to make it a bit more challenging! Somehow, they managed the impossible and provided three excellent, fair, well-balanced windward leeward courses in the toughest of conditions, so the first plaudits of the day must go to Barry and the committee boat team, well done lads!

Race 1 - Race 1 set off in 8 knts of breeze with a substantial pin end bias. Seriously Bonkers (Peter et al) were closest to the pin but they jumped the gun slightly and had to gybe back around the pin and restart. Manamana (Doug, Ronan et al) were next up from the pin with Should Be... (Michael, Dave and Gareth) and Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) on their hip. The boats quickly peeled off onto port towards the expected right hand shift with Bad (Jerry, Jimmy et al) leading the charge followed by Venuesworld, Should Be... and Alert Packaging (Roger (helming this race), Justin et al). The predicted right-hander never fully materialised up the first beat and Should Be... managed to find some extra breeze and led at the first mark from Venuesworld and Alert Packaging. The boats spread out down the run with Should Be... going for the gybe set, Venuesworld going hard right and Alert Packaging taking the middle route. The middle left paid good dividends down the run, and Alert Packaging showed some good pace and momentarily took the lead down the run, however Should Be... snuck back into the lead just at the leeward mark. Up the second beat, Alert Packaging once again showed their aptitude in finding an extra gear and better breeze and passed Should Be... By now, the fleet had fallen back and the two boats had a tacking duel up the final third of the beat, with Alert Packaging rounding 4 boatlengths ahead at the weather mark. Down the final run, it was the turn of Should Be... to show good pace and an earlier gybe allowed them to shadow and overtake Alert Packaging. A short beat to finish didn't provide further opportunity for Alert Packaging to pass and they had to settle for second behind Should Be... Venuesworld recovered well from the first run to finish third. Just behind, another battle was raging with Seriously Bonkers and Bomchickawahwah (John, Ed and Kevin) (making a very welcome return to DBSC racing fresh from their second place in the Northern Championships) fighting tooth and nail for fourth. In the end, Seriously Bonkers took it by a whisker from Bomchickawahwah in fifth, Manamana in sixth, and Odin (James, Ted and Keith) in seventh. These boats were followed by Rubadubdub (Nick et al), Lupi d'Irlanda (Marco et al), Bad and Smoke on the Water (Bob et al).

Race 2 - Race 2 required some course adjustment but after a short delay the boats were off. A very strong pin end bias saw Seriously Bonkers get it right this time, claiming the pin, with Should Be... and Venuesworld to weather but with more pace. Most of the boats tacked off onto port shortly after the start and those that peeled off earliest found the right hand shift and made large gains on the fleet. Doing particularly well up the first beat were Alert Packaging (this time with Justin back at the helm), Rubadubdub, Odin and Bomchickawahwah. Again, the fleet spread out down the run with big gains and losses to be made in the light breeze. By the leeward gate, Venuesworld, having chosen the right hand side down the run,had made big gains and led from Alert Packaging, Bomchickawahwah and Odin with Rubadubdub close behind them in fifth. Up the second beat, there was a split with Alert Packaging, Odin and Bomchickawahwah going right and Venuesworld and Rubadubdub going left. As the boats converged at the weather mark, it was Venuesworld by a whisker (and plenty of shouting!) as they tacked around the mark a few feet ahead of Alert Packaging. Bomchickawahwah was refusing to be left out of the fun and stuck stubbornly to their transoms a few boathlengths back. Odin rounded fourth closely followed by Should Be..., Rubadubdub and Manamana in a tightly packed group of three. Down the final run, the three frontrunners extended their lead on the fleet astern and had their own private race up the final short beat to finish. With Venuesworld and Alert Packaging focusing on each other, Bomchickawahwah skilfully manoeuvred their way into first place to take the gun ahead of Venuesworld in second and Alert Packaging in third. Should Be... and Rubadubdub snuck in front of Odin to claim fourth and fifth respectively with Odin sixth and Manamana seventh. Seriously Bonkers came home in eighth ahead of Bad, Smoke on the Water and Lupi d'Irlanda finishing off the pack.

Race 3 - Race 3 again required some tinkering with the course in order to avoid a one sided beat with OOD Barry O'Neill moving the weather mark further towards the south and shortening the distance to the leeward gate. The boats got off at the first time of asking with again some boats opting to tack off onto port shortly after the gun in search of another righthander shift. Alert Packaging, Odin, Bomchickawahwah and Should Be... headed right with the majority of the fleet continuing left. As the boats closed in on the weather mark, a right hand shift arrived allowing those boats that had gone right to pass ahead of the boats that had gone up the left hand side of the course. At the weather mark Alert Packaging led from Odin, Bomchickawahwah, Should Be... and Rubadubdub. Alert Packaging and Bomchickawahwah opted for a quick gybe with Odin, Should Be... and Rubadubdub staying on starboard in the hope of better breeze offshore on the downwind leg. Places were changing all the time down the run as those boats able to find the small puffs of wind made significant gains on their counterparts. As the boats gybed for the leeward mark, those that had gone right down the run had gained some distance and the fleet were tightly bunched going around the leeward gate. By now, the wind was oscillating frequently through 20 degrees and the fleet started playing the shifts up the beat. At the weather mark, Bomchickawahwah led by four boatlengths from Alert Packaging and Should Be... with Odin and Venuesworld in close pursuit. Bomchickawahwah and Should Be... opted for the gybe set while Alert Packaging and Venuesworld continued towards the right and Odin choosing a middle track. Down the run, it was all about keeping the boat moving and finding that extra little bit of pressure over your competitors and with only a few boatlengths separating the first five boats, every inch counted. It was all very cagey and approximately 5 boatlengths from the leeward gate, Should Be... on starboard crossed marginally ahead of Bomchickawahwah, Alert Packaging, Odin and Venuesworld. Should Be... opted to go for the right-hand gate with the others opting for the left-hand gate. However, the boats were so close and the wind so light that the wind shadow of the four boats crossing on port gybe spelt disaster for Should Be... as they scrambled against the tide towards the leeward mark in little breeze. Up the short beat to finish, Bomchickawahwah took full advantage and again took the well-deserved first place after expertly negotiating the light airs down the final part of the run. They were followed by Alert Packaging in second approximately 1/2 boatlength ahead of Should Be... in third. Odin had to dip Should Be... as they approached the finish line and Venuesworld were no more than a further boatlength astern of Odin for one of the closest finishes to a race this season. The lead pack of five were followed closely by Manamana in sixth, Bad in seventh, Seriously Bonkers in eighth, Lupi d'Irlanda in ninth, Smoke on the Water in tenth and Rubadubdub in eleventh.

Overall, the day was a great success and although the racers were out on the water for a little longer than usual, it was well worth it in order to get three top-quality races in (also, it wasn't that taxing being out on the water a little bit longer in glorious sunshine!). Congratulations to John, Ed and Kevin on Bomchickawahwah on their return to DBSC racing and a great return to form with two firsts on the day. Next up for the SB fleet will be the RStGYC regatta this coming Saturday, 5th July, and the next SB Sunday is scheduled for Sunday 13th July.

Michael O'Connor

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#dbsc – The SB20 OOD brought the fleet in towards Scotsman's Bay in search of some wind in the dying easterly breeze and some respite from the strong flooding tide that was beginning to rip through the race course writes Michael O'Connor. An unusually long line was set with a heavy pin end bias which posed an interesting conundrum for the sailors: the upwind pin end in more adverse tide or the downwind committee boat end in less tide? Bad (Jerry, Jimmy et al), Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) and Smoke on the Water (Bob et al) opted for the committee boat end while Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al), Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Caroline et al), SacreBleu (Richard, Ben and Peadar) and Should Be... (Michael, Dave and Gavan) went for the pin. Mananmana (Doug, Ronan and Ainsley) hedged their bets and went for a more mid-line approach.

As soon as the gun went, the majority of the fleet peeled off onto port and drag raced towards shore to get out of the tide. Initially, as the boats approached the shore, those that had started closer to the committee boat began to gain as they made their way out of the strongest tide. However, a big left hand shift and more breeze offshore favoured those boats that had started closer to the pin and they would lead as the fleet started tacking up the shoreline. Alert Packaging and Seriously Bonkers led from the chasing pack as the boats went "rock-hopping" en route to Bullock mark. There were big gains and losses to be had as the fleet worked their way up the shoreline and it was still all to play for. Alert Packaging and Seriously Bonkers skilfully walked the tightrope between the flat calms close to shore and the vicious tide offshore and they squeezed around the mark ahead of a pack including Should Be..., Bad, Manamana and Venuesworld, with SacreBleu and Smoke on the Water close behind. A fetch across to Poldy followed by a broad reach down to Pier mark didn't offer much opportunity for passing and the fleet settled into those positions to the finish. Although another round was scheduled, the OOD wisely shortened the course and finished the fleet at Pier mark before the wind shut off entirely.

After racing, the fleet got together in the George for the regular end-of-month sailing supper. 27 sailors and guests attended the supper, preceded (and followed!) by pints on the balcony. We were delighted to be joined at the dinner by the newest members of the growing Dun Laoghaire SB fleet, Ronan Murphy, Niall O'Carroll and Ainsley Gibney. We will be holding the next SB Sailing Supper in the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Thursday 31st July, all welcome. Put it in your diary now!

This Sunday (29th June) is SB Sunday No. 5

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Nine  SB20s battled it out in Scotsman's Bay for the 2014 NYC regatta title. With a persistent veer forecast, OOD Harry Gallagher had his work cut out setting a course that would provide a good test over the course of the day. Fortunately, Harry and his team were in top form and they managed to set a great test for the competitors.

Race 1 started in 10-12 knts of breeze and with a substantial pin end bias on the line. Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) took the pin with Bad (Dave, Gerry and Jimmy) close on their hip with early season pace-setters Alert Packaging (Justin et al) and Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) further up the line. With better breeze out right and a forecasted veer, boats were eager to get out to the right hand side of the course quickly after the start and one by one the boats began to peel away onto port tack. The wind held steady for the first beat though and as the boats converged at the weather mark, Should Be... led by a few boatlengths from a congested pack including Bad, Alert Packaging, Probably (Ian, Billy and Tom) and visitors from HYC, Monkey (Keith Cassidy et al). Down the run, there was quite a spread across the course as each of the boats tried to find their own patch of clear air but coming to the leeward gate, it was clear that the left hand side of the course down the run had paid. Should Be... Bad and Monkey had made gains on the fleet by going left down the run and those three boats would keep their lead and those positions for the remaining three rounds to the finish. Behind them, there was a real dogfight for places with Venuesworld and Odin (James, Ted and Stroud) both having to come from deep early on in the race to keep their hopes alive in the two race series. At the finish, Alert Packaging held on to fourth ahead of Venuesworld (5th), Probably (6th) and Odin (7th) with Smoke on the Water (Bob et al) holding onto 8th ahead of Seriously Bonkers (Peter et al) in 9th.

After a short break for lunch, Race 2 got off in a lighter breeze of 8-10 knts. Again the OOD set the line with a pin-end bias although this time the bias was less pronounced. Should Be... again took the pin with Bad to weather and trucking. Once again, the emphasis was on getting out to the right hand side of the course as quickly as possible and Alert Packaging, Venuesworld and Odin were the first to get out there followed by Bad and Probably. This time, the forecasted veer did arrive and both Should Be... and Monkey, early pace setters from race 1, were further down the pack with work to do. At the weather mark, Venuesworld led from Alert Packaging and Odin. Just behind them, disaster struck Bad when they had a tiller extension malfunction mid-tack and hit the weather mark in the flooding tide. By the time that they had exonerated themselves they had lost several places and importantly, both Should Be... and Monkey had snuck ahead of them. Down the run, Venuesworld had their work cut out covering boats going either side of them down the run but they skilfully kept in the gusts in the middle to maintain their lead down the run. At the leeward mark, Venuesworld led by the narrowest of margins from Alert Packaging with Should Be... rounding just ahead of Odin and Monkey. There were few place changes to speak of on the next beat and run however all was to change on round three up the final full beat...

As the boats went around the leeward mark onto the last round, Alert Packaging, in second place, seeing better breeze on the right tacked off to the right hand side of the course while Venuesworld in first continued left followed by Should Be... in third and Odin in fourth. Monkey and Probably rounded approximately 10 boatlengths further behind in 5th and 6th with Bad, having recovered from their earlier misfortune, nipping at their heels. Shortly after Monkey and Probably had rounded the leeward gate, there was a massive right hand shift with the wind that Alert Packaging had expertly spotted and it seemed that the persistent right hand shift had finally arrived in spades. Venuesworld and Odin continued on in the hope of a left hander further up the course while Should Be... tacked back onto port and took the transoms of both Probably and Monkey. At this stage, Alert Packaging was in a regatta winning position, but only just! As if things weren't hotting up enough, Bad had come right back into it and trailed Monkey and Should Be... by only a couple of boatlengths so it was all to play for between these three boats up the final beat! The wind continued to clock further right, Alert Packaging made massive gains on the fleet and both Odin and Venuesworld had suffered large losses. Alert Packaging led around the weather mark by a distance. Somehow, Venuesworld managed to find a patch of private breeze to come back towards the fleet from the far left corner and held on to second place ahead of a bunch that included Should Be..., Monkey, Probably, Odin and Bad, all within a couple of boatlengths of each other. Those five boats tacked, ducked and crossed their way up the final quarter of the beat and at the mark it was Should Be... in third ahead of Monkey, Odin, Bad and then Probably. From there, after the significant right-hand shift, it was a drag race to the leeward mark and the last short beat to finish. Uncharacteristically, Venuesworld had failed to take into account the massive right-hander up the beat and rather than doing a gybe set, continued on in a nice patch of breeze after the weather mark. When they gybed back onto port, they couldn't hold their kite and dropped back to seventh as the boats with kites above sailed over the top of them en route to the leeward mark. At the finish, it was Alert Packaging by a country mile, followed by Should Be... (2nd), Monkey (3rd), Odin (4th), Bad (5th), Probably (6th), Venuesworld (7th), Seriously Bonkers (8th) and Smoke on the Water in ninth.

Overall, the regatta results were 1st Should Be, 2nd Alert Packaging, 3rd Monkey, 4th Bad, 5th Odin.

Just a reminder that there will be an SB Social evening in the RStGYC this Thursday after sailing. The fleet will gather for a drink on the balcony after sailing followed by sailing supper @ c. 9.15pm. Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. Also, next Sunday (29th June) is SB Sunday No. 5. Let's hope the weather holds!

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#sb20 – A fluctuating F3 NE breeze and glorious sunshine greeted the SB fleet on Dublin Bay for the last race decider of Thursday series 1. After 7 races, Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) led by a single point overall from the in-form Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) with Venuesworld (Ger, Rory et al) a further three points back, so it was all to play for in the last race of the series.

The overall results are downloadable below as an xcel file

The line was set with a strong pin end bias and Manamana (Doug, Ronan and Tara) battled it out with Probably (Mark, Ian et al) for the pin with the rest of the fleet opting for a more cautious approach slightly further up the line. Although Manamana expertly won the pin, Probably started with better pace and soon eked out ahead of Manamana. One by one, the boats started peeling off onto port in search of clearer air out right, led by SacreBleu (Richard, Ben et al) followed closely by Should Be... Alert Packaging took advantage of the opportunity to split tacks with Should Be..., took their transom and continued left with Venuesworld. As the boats converged at the top mark for a starboard rounding, Probably had extended their lead on the fleet to round two boatlengths ahead of Should Be... with Alert Packaging two boatlengths further back with Venuesworld hot on their heels. At this stage, the series was in the hands of Should Be...

Venuesworld gybed off straight away followed by Manamana, while Probably, Should Be... and Alert Packaging opted for the straight set followed by Bad (Enda, Gerry et al), SacreBleu, Smoke on the Water (Bob et al) and Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Michael and Dave). Probably showed great pace down the run to extend their lead to 5 boatlengths by the leeward mark. Alert Packaging positioned themselves perfectly, gybing onto Should Be... as the boats gybed for the leeward mark. Alert Packaging squeezed around the leeward mark just ahead of Should Be... with Venuesworld a few boatlengths further back. With Alert Packaging needing to beat Should Be... and place either 1st or 2nd to win the series, Alert Packaging were now in a series-winning position.

Going up the next beat, both Venuesworld and Should Be... tacked out left in search of clear air and better breeze with Alert Packaging and Probably continued on. Should Be... came back early to keep in touch with Alert Packaging but Venuesworld took a larger bite out of the cherry. The boats on the left managed to get better breeze and coming to the second weather mark, Venuesworld had jumped from fourth to first and led from Probably followed by Should Be... in a distant third. By now, Manamana had entered back into the fray and was just ahead of Alert Packaging heading for the mark. In this position, Venuesworld had overtaken Alert Packaging in the overall standings!

Alert Packaging attempted to tack inside Manamana at the mark but disaster struck and in the building tide, Alert Packaging hit the mark and had to spin. Although they battled on valiantly, the gap to the boats ahead was now just too much to claw back and their race was effectively run.

Up ahead, Venuesworld maintained their lead over Probably and Should Be... down the run but as the boats went up the final beat, the wind softened and traffic from other classes meant that it was essential to plot a course through the other fleets keeping your air clear. The three lead boats bunched closer together and Probably took the lead just before the last weather mark followed by Should Be... with Venuesworld rounding outside Should Be... onto the last run. By the last leeward mark before the short fetch to the finish line, Probably led by 1/2 boatlength from Should Be... With Venuesworld approximately 4 boatlengths further back.

However, there was still time for one more cruel twist to the story and tragedy struck Probably. A navigational snafu by Probably saw them attempt to round the last mark on port. By the time they realised their error, they were the wrong side of the mark with no easy way back. Should Be... and Venuesworld took full advantage of Probably's misfortune to get first and second respectively ahead of Probably. Meanwhile, Alert Packaging, never giving up, had overtaken Manamana up the final beat and took fourth ahead of Manamana in fifth. In sixth was relative newcomers (as a team) SacreBleu followed by Bad, Seriously Bonkers and Smoke on the Water.

Overall, Thursdays series 1 went to Should Be... with Alert Packaging in second place a point ahead of Venuesworld in third. Hopefully, Thursdays series 2 will also go down to the wire!

Finally, and most importantly, next Thursday (26th June), the last Thursday of the month, there will be a fleet get-together in the RStGYC after sailing. We will be meeting on the balcony for a drink after sailing and we will head in to sailing supper at approx. 9.15pm. Dress is smart casual (no jacket and tie required) and the dinner will cost €25 for starter and main course. This was a fabulous social event last year and I would encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun. Early booking is recommended (last year we ended up with an overflow table!) and if you would like to attend, please contact me, rather than the RStGYC, directly asap and I will make sure your name is in the pot.

Good luck to those competing in the NYC regatta on Saturday, looks like there will be a zephyr, maybe two, but plenty of sunshine :-)


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Page 15 of 23

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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