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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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#sb20 – A fickle F2 north westerly in beaming sunshine tested the SB20 fleet last Sunday for the 4th (of 10) DBSC SB Sundays and the first Sunday of Series 2.

After a short postponement to clear the race track of the ICRA cruiser fleet, OOD con Murphy and his team of Barbara, Cathy, Fionnuala, Owen and owner John Roberts on "Quite Correct" got the fleet off at the first time of asking. An individual recall was sounded for the crew of Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren and Marty) but the rest of the fleet had managed to keep their noses clean. Most of the fleet opted for a committee boat end start on starboard with Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) attempting a port tack start from the pin. They couldn't quite cross Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) but ducked their transom and headed out right along with Alert Packaging and Bad (Jerry, Jimmy and Dave, Dave helming), in expectation of the forecasted veer. VenuesWorld, Manamana (Doug, Ronan and Tara) and Rubadubdub (Nick et al - sorry lads (et al), we really need to introduce ourselves over a pint this weekend at the NYC regatta!!) headed left and inshore for more pressure. Half way up the beat the boats converged back towards the middle of the course and it was clear that left and pressure had paid handsomely with Venuesworld in a commanding lead followed by Manamana and Should Be... That was the order of rounding at the weather mark followed by Bad, Alert Packaging and Rubadubdub. Heading down the run, Bad, Manamana and Should Be... opted for the early gybe with Venuesworld, Alert Packaging and Rubadubdub again heading for pressure inshore. By the bottom of the run, Venueworld had extended their lead but the rest of the fleet was still tightly packed with a few boatlengths separating second from sixth. The big movers on the run were Alert Packaging getting back up into the mix and Should Be... moving in the opposite direction. Up the second beat, the wind started to die and Venuesworld expertly plotted their way up the course, holding onto their lead. Manamana and Alert Packaging had headed out right, however this time the veer and better pressure materialised off shore and both boats made significant gains on the fleet. By now, the new north easterly breeze was establishing itself so a reach followed by a fetch to finish ensured that no further place changes were on offer and at the finish it was Venuesworld followed by Alert Packaging (who made a miraculous recovery having gone back at the start), Manamana, Bad, Rubadubdub and Should Be...

The OOD took a short break waiting for the new breeze to establish itself and once it did, the fleet were treated to a steadier F3 north easterly. OOD Con Murphy sensibly opted for a slightly shorter course than race 1 in an attempt to ensure two or more races could be completed on the day. A committee boat bias meant bunching at the weather end with several boats including Bad and Should Be... going out right with Venuesworld and Manamana heading left. At the top mark it was Venuesworld once more in a commanding lead followed by Manamana with Should Be... and Bad (this time with Gerry on the helm) in close pursuit. With the boats going pretty deep on the run, there was plenty of opportunity for the back markers to make gains on the boats ahead and claw their way back into the race and the leaders were never completely safe. After the next beat and run, the two lead boats, Manamana and Venuesworld went around the last leeward mark overlapped with Should Be... in third only a boatlength behind and Alert Packaging (this time with Darren on the helm) only a further 1/2 boatlength back. The two leaders got tangled up in a personal duel and almost allowed Should Be... through but in the end Venuesworld, sailing very solidly, held on to take the win from Should Be..., Manamana, Alert Packaging, Bad and Rubadubdub.

Race 3 got off without any delay and the fleet once again bunched up at the committee boat and split tacks up the first beat. Alert Packaging (this time with Marty on the helm), Manamana and Should Be... opting to go right with Rubadubdub, Venuesworld and Bad (this time with Jimmy on the helm) going left. This time, the boats heading right found more pressure and at the weather mark Should Be... led from Alert Packaging and Manamana. The boats bunched once more at the leeward mark with Venuesworld storming up the fleet. Should Be... still led at the leeward gate but by the narrowest of margins. In an effort to get a clean getaway, Venuesworld opted for the right hand side gate mark, however it transpired that the left mark was in fact the favoured mark allowing those boats going to the left hand mark to gain distance on Venuesworld. By the second weather mark, Should Be... had held on to their lead and were followed a few boatlengths behind by Alert Packaging, Manamana and Venuesworld. After the final run and short beat to finish, it ended up with Should Be... taking the gun followed by Alert Packaging, Venuesworld, Manamana, Rubadubdub and Bad.

So after the first SB Sunday of series 2, Ger and the crew of Venuesworld lead series 2 with 5 points and have certainly set down a marker for the rest of the fleet. Alert Packaging are in second on 8 points followed by Should Be... in third on 9 points. Special thanks goes to Con Murphy OOD and his team on Quite Correct for setting three great races in very challenging conditions. Special thanks also goes to John Roberts for the loan of his 54ft Jeanneau "Quite Correct". Having enjoyed the splendour and creature comforts of "Quite Correct", I understand that it will be hard to drag Cathy, Fionnuala and Barbara back to MacLir - I hope that they aren't unionised!!

Finally, in last Thursday's race report, I failed to mention that Alert Packaging was helmed to a convincing victory by Darren Burke with Justin on the mainsheet (unfortunately we were never close enough to tell!). Darren is obviously following in his Justin's footsteps giving the class a beating! Congratulations Darren, you might have a regular spot there! See you all this Thursday for the last Thursday of Series 1. Forecast is for wind and sunshine so leave the office and be unproductive for a few hours!

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#sb20 – Nine SB20 sportsboats made it to the start line in beautiful sunshine and a gentle F2 south easterly for the penultimate race of the first Thursday series. With only a few points separating the top 3 boats and a second discard to be applied, it was still all to play for in the scrap for the prizes.

The fleet set off on a lengthy beat to Bullock into a strengthening flooding tide. The usual Dublin Bay conundrum of less tide inshore or more wind offshore faced the competitors with those boats avoiding the flat spots closer to shore faring best up the first beat. At the first mark, Manamana (Doug, Ronan et al) had weekend out a nice lead and a tidy hoist allowed them to extend away from the chasing pack. In second and third, Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) and Venuesworld (Ger et al) were having an epic tussle with only feet separating them around the mark. A gap formed then to SacreBleu (Richard et al), Bad (Enda and Gerry), Probably (Billy, Ian and Mark), Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan), Rubadubdub (Nick et al) and Smoke On The Water (Bob et al). Unfortunately for Smoke on the Water, a broken spinny sheet put paid to their race prematurely...

There were no significant changes down the first two reaches but the second beat turned the race on its head with massive gains and losses to be had. Venuesworld lost touch with the top two as Alert Packaging and Manamana pulled away from the fleet and match raced each other up the beat with the lead changing several times... (From a great, great distance it looked like a great battle!) Elsewhere, it seemed like there were place changes every couple of minutes with first of all Probably and then Should Be... nipping at the heels of SacreBleu and Venuesworld, and Bad falling back. Third around the second weather was Venuesworld followed closely by SacreBleu, Should Be... and Probably in hot pursuit.

With a run followed by another beat and two reaches (a good but very long course tonight!), you would expect that the fleet would have spread out a lot, turning the race into a procession however (other than the top 2 who were just crazy far ahead!), it is a testament to the evenness of the boats and the dogged nature of the competitors in the fleet that three boats (Bad, SacreBleu and Probably) went around the last gybe mark overlapped. Bad skillfully came out of that tussle with the bragging rights!

In the end, Alert Packaging snuck ahead of Manamana who gave them a terrific battle to the end and they were followed over the line by Venuesworld, Should Be..., Probably, Bad and SacreBleu in that order. Only one point separates the top two with third a further three points back so the stage is set for a great finale to series one next Thursday.

Just a reminder that the second Sunday series is about to begin with SB Sunday no. 4 on this coming Sunday, 12.30 first gun. This Sunday we are delighted to have Con Murphy filling in for Barry as OOD (big shoes to fill Con!) so looking forward to some great SB racing in the sunshine.

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#sb20 – The sb20 fleet assembled in Carrickfergus last weekend for their Northern Championship for what was supposed to be the opening of the new club house writes Ronan Downing. Unfortunately "Health & Safety" hadn't signed off on occupation or the club thought better of it considering the fleet had the last regatta at the old club before it burnt down. With an entry list comprising numerous national champions, commodore cup sailors and an Olympian the competition was always going to be fierce.

Results are available to download below as a PNG file.

The conditions on Saturday didn't live up to expectations with the wind completely shutting down at the second leeward mark of race one robbing Who's The Boss (Mel Collins, Killian Collins and Luca) of a comfortable race victory. This lead was hard fought for after Bad (Stefan Hyde, Gerry Dowling, Jimmy Dowling) managed to tie themselves to the spreader mark TWICE giving away a 2 minute lead. Sailing for the day was cancelled after much waiting around in very cold, dreary and wet conditions. The fleet retired to the bar in the boat shed where we were treated to a barbecue. The new club house might not have been ready but the hospitality made everyone feel welcome.

For day 2 the sun came out and the breeze was up building from 15 knots in the lulls to just shy of 30 in the gusts by the end of the day. After a general recall the fleet got away under the u flag off a square line. Over the next 3 legs the lead changed several times with Who's the boss leading around the second weather mark. The downwind legs were full planing on both gybes making the leeward gate arrive rapidly. With tidier drops Bad and ManaMana (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing, Tara Flood) took the lead. A match race to the finish ensued which opened the door for Dinghy Supplies ( Daragh Sheridan, Shane Murphy, John Phelan) who had stormed down the last downwind leg. A photo finish at the line saw Dinghy Supplies take the win from Bad and ManaMana with Ridgefence (Peter Kennedy, Andrew Vaughan, Stephen Kane) taking fourth from Who's the Boss.

Race 2 saw Who's the boss take the lead on the first beat closely followed by a large pack. This time the Cork/ Italian crew weren't going to let it slip away and extended on every leg winning by a substantial margin. The race for second was one by Ruby Blue (Aidan O Connell, Brian Reilly, Alan Daly) from Dinghy Supplies and BomChickaWhaWha (John O Driscoll, Robert O Donohoe, Edward Cooke). Ridgefence took fifth with ManaMana in sixth. This put Dinghy Supplies out in front of Who's The Boss by a point. With the top sixth all within 3 points.

Race 3 got off first time of asking on another square line. ManaMana rounded the weather mark first closely following by BomChickaWhaWha, WhosThe Boss and RidgeFence. After a slow kite hoist at the second weather mark by ManaMana, BomChickaWhaWha took the lead and the win followed by Manamana, Ridgefence and Who's the Boss with Bad in fifth. This left the scoring all tied between Manamana and BomChickaWhaWha in second with Who's The Boss 1 point ahead in first.

With all to play for in race 4 the breeze really filled in as the fleet got off another clean start on a square line. ManaMana lead out to the right side of the course after starting second row at the committee boat. This gave ManaMana a 6 boat length lead at the first weather mark with what appeared to be the entire fleet arriving together behind. ManaMana extended on the first downwind with Ridgefence in second breaking away from the following pack. After Ridgefence broached and ditched their kite at the leeward mark ManaMana now had a substantial lead and loose covered the entire fleet up the next beat. BomChickaWhaWha made the best effort to next break away from the following pack by playing the right hand side of the course. With many wipe outs on the next downwind including a wayward kicker on the lead boat during a gybe, survival proved the better part of valour. ManaMana managed to hold onto first with BomChickaWhaWha taking second and Shark Bait (Darren Martin, Simon Murray, Roger Pannell) having their best race of the day with a third.

Who's the boss retired from the last race after being involved in a small collision which left the overall results ManaMana first on 6 points, BomChickaWhaWha second on 7 points and Dinghy Supplies taking third from Who's The Boss on count back both on 10 points. Ruby Blue took fifth from Ridgefence on count back tied on 12 points. The silver fleet was won by Bad with Shark Bait in second and (Davey Taylor, Trevor D'Arcy, Lisa Neary) in third.

The class would like to make a special mention about the Race Officer Robin Gray. The R.O. did an exceptional job on Sunday getting four fantastic races in on one day to complete the regatta.

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#sb20 – Five SB20s lined up for the weekly Thursday sail around the cans with southerly breeze of 13 knts gusting 16 and a rolling sea, Some of the usual contenders were presumably opting to use the evening to get ready for the trip up north this weekend. A 20 degree shift at the start made for a bias at the boat end where we duly lined up in a tight bunch which resulted in some excitement and the flying of a protest flag. Venuesworld and Sacrebleu got off the line first followed by Should be and Manamana. A decent length beat to the top mark resulted in four boats rounding within a few boat lengths of each other. The angle was just marginally too tight for some of the gusts so the fleet played it safe until Venuesworld decided to put up their kite. Enthused by their bravery Should be went for it and aimed to leeward of the fleet while SacreBleu and Venuesworld got involved in a luffing battle to windward with Manamana waiting to see what happened the kite hoisters. Should be saw the battle between SacreBleu and Venuesworld and caught a few strong gusts to lead the pack to the next mark where they lead to the finish.

The next leg was too tight to fly the kites but Manamana put in a brave effort to keep theirs up after the gybe but couldn't get the required height, still they worried the fleet for a while with their pace, the remainder of the fleet two sailed it back inshore with lovely rollers underneath, Venuesworld showed their skills in 2 sail reaching from the Enterprise days and rapidly closed the gap between themselves and Should be using the waves to great effect. Should be tacked inshore and took advantage of a right shift to increase their lead to the next mark.

A great tussle between SacreBleu and Manamana ended with SacreBleu getting to the right side of a flock of Glens to end in a photo finish which resulted in SacreBleu getting a well deserved 3rd.

Overall a great evenings yachting with everyone putting the kites up for a sleigh ride home, with Venuesworld sailing enthusiastically past the harbour never wanting it to end!

Many thanks to Barry O'Neill and the crew of Freebird for a great evening racing.

Best of luck to all those travelling north!

Final results
1. Should be
3. Sacrebleu
4. Manamana
5. Smoke on the Water

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#sb20 – A gentle force 2 North Easterly tested the nerves of the SB20 fleet on Dublin Bay this evening in an increasingly treacherous flooding tide. 9 boats made it out to the start line this evening making it a new season record and it is very encouraging to see the numbers continue to build as we head into June writes Michael O'Connor.

A fairly square line was set (based on the fact that half the fleet maintain it was a committee boat bias and the other half of the fleet claim it was a pin end bias, we are just going to sit on the fence and say it was square!) and the boats were clean away at the first time of asking. A short beat to the centre of the bay with neither side of the beat proving heavily favoured meant that things were going to be fairly lively at the weather mark and it certainly didnt disappoint with Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) coming in from the left and squeezing in ahead of Manamana (Doug, Ronan and Catriona) coming in from the right followed by a tightly packed bunch including SacreBleu (Richard, Ben and Matt), Bad (Jimmy Downling et al), Rubadubdub (Nick et al), Should Be... (Michael, Dave and Gavan), Probably (Ian, Mark and Caroline) and Smoke on the Water (Bob, John et al).

A broad reach to mark 2 with the tide pushing the fleet above the mark meant that the boats were walking a tightrope between going low enough to avoid a gybe back against the tide and high enough to protect their air. At the second mark, Alert held onto their lead from Manamana followed by SacreBleu. A tight reach (bleeuugh!) to mark 3 ensued (in fairness our first this year I think) so we will just fast forward beyond mark 3 because nothing ever happens in an SB on a tight reach! The beat from mark 3 was a tricky affair with patchy wind covering Dublin Bay meaning finding the puffs was essential with big gains and losses to be made on the beat. Probably made a storming surge up the beat getting herself into 4th place at mark 4, comfortably overtaking both Should Be... and Rubadubdub. Meanwhile, the first three boats were having a great tussle and Manamana refused to let Alert Packaging sail off into the sunset and SacreBleu clinging on to Manamana to set up a grandstand finish.

Another broad reach ensured that these boats compacted even further and some tense moments up the last beat followed. In the end, Alert Packaging held their nerve and grabbed the win by approximately 20 seconds from Manamana with SacreBleu a similar distance behind in third. Probably unfortunately couldn't get back in touch with the top three but took 4th comfortably from Should Be... with Rubadubdub 6th, Smoke on the water 7th, Bad 8th and Venuesworld (Rory et al) who had started late, closing worryingly close to the earlier starters in 9th.

After sailing, 19 sailors and friends gathered for the first SB social of the year in the NYC. A few pints were followed by a very pleasant sailing supper in the dining room of the NYC. Great value at €20 for starter, maincourse and tea/coffee. Although most didn't seem quite ready to let loose in typical SB20 style before the bank holiday weekend, there was plenty of banter and it was great to see such a good turnout. Thanks go to James Gorman for organising the event in the NYC. There will be an SB-Social dinner after sailing on the last Thursday of each month rotating around the clubs. Next up is the RStGYC on the last Thursday in June. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Finally, a special mention is due for both Billy Riordan and Lorcan Burke who manned the line on Tuesday night, fulfilling our DBSC requirement for the year. 

Full results DBSC results here

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#sb20 – A solid breeze of 12 to 15 knots made up for the overcast and somewhat unseasonal chill in the air. Seven SB20s made the start line for the Royal Irish Regatta and were treated to two races on a windward leeward course, each consisting of 3 rounds.

A slight pin end bias became exaggerated during the starting sequence for race 1 with the majority of the fleet towards the pin for the off. Manamana (Graeme Grant, Ronan Downing, Joseph Murphy) lead off the line closely followed by Timber (helmed by Alan McNabb with Marty Cuppage in the middle) and Venuesworld (helmed by Ger Dempsey with his nephew Rory onboard) carrying on on starboard tack. Sacrebleu and Probably lead the rest of the fleet out right on the lifted tack. Manamana tacked off into the middle of the course to cover the split but found less breeze. Timber had a healthy lead by the weather mark with Manamana, Probably and Venuesworld scrapping it out for second and rounding together. With the wind out of the North East and the waves out of the east, the starboard gybe was on a plane. Less wind at the leeward mark made finding an accurate gybe angle next to impossible. Timber lead to the leeward mark followed by Manamana with Venuesworld in hot pursuit. Timber carried on on port tack on what appeared to be a small left shift with Manamana learning their lesson from the first beat and heading out left for more breeze. Manamana and Venuesworld fought it out for the lead at the next weather mark with Manamana stealing the lead by barely eeking around the weather mark and forcing Venuesworld to dip their stern. Positions remained unchanged for the first two with Bad Kilcullen (Gerry Dowling, Dave Barry, Jimmy Dowling) storming through the pack to take third.

After some quick repairs on Sacrebleu (it is never ideal to have to take your main sail down) the fleet got away off another pin end biased line. After a pile up at the pin, Manamana lead Bad Kilcullen out to the left side of the course with much cross tacking and dipping in their wake. With a solid 15 plus knots of breeze for the second race the entire fleet enjoyed the downwind legs planing and playing dodgems with the other classes on our course. In a less eventful race at the front of the fleet, Manamana lead Bad Kilcullen to the finish with Venuesworld taking third which is the order the top 3 finished for the regatta.

Despite the inclement weather, a large turnout remained at the club for refreshments and to cheer on the winners. The SB20 fleet winners where honoured to accept the Baker Cup.

Full RIYC regatta results

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#sb20 – After a cracking SB20 Easterns last weekend with 20 boats in the NYC (won in great style by the Dinghy Supplies team of Daragh, Shane and John), it was back to work in DBSC tonight and 9 boats gamely made it out for Thursday night racing - just one shy of the magic double figures - we will get there yet! With 60 minutes to go before the start, many competitors were wondering whether or not there would be enough wind to get them out to the start line on time however Windguru was true to its word and the wind picked up gradually throughout the evening and built to a very pleasant F3 from the north-east by the finish.

The OOD set a pin end bias and once again it was Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) that claimed the pin with Bad (Gerry, Jimmy and Enda) on their hip, drag racing out to the left hand side. Most of the rest of the fleet were left wallowing in their wake and several tacked off out right to clear their air. The wind was shifting through about 20 degrees with big gains and losses to be made up the first beat. Many of the boats that chose a middle route up the beat fared best. By the first weather mark, a 10 degree left hander meant that Venuesworld had pulled a few boatlengths ahead of the chasing pack with Probably (Ian, Billy and Mark) in second, Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren and Anonymous) in third and then a gap to SacreBleu (Richard, Ryan and Ben) in fourth, Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) in fifth and a few more boatlengths back Manamana (Ronan, Dave et al), Lupi d'Irlanda (Marco et al), Bad and Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Caroline et al) were fighting tooth and nail to get back into it.

The second leg was a broad reach all the way into Bay mark in Scotsman's bay and the fleet had the added challenge of navigating their way through the Dragon fleet en route to the mark. As it turned out, this gave the back markers a chance to get back into the mix as the leaders that chose to go high above the Dragons turned the leg into a run for themselves and had to gybe back against the strengthening tide. At the mark, Probably had taken over the lead and got a clean getaway up the next beat. They were followed by Alert Packaging and Venuesworld but an uncharacteristic slow "group" mark rounding by that pair allowed Should Be... to sneak inside at the mark and Sacre Bleu to get perilously close.

On the next beat, those boats favouring the right hand side including Probably, Alert Packaging and Should Be... hooked in to some more breeze and pulled a jump on the rest of the fleet. At the end of the beat as the boats turned onto the run it was Should Be... followed closely by Probably with Alert Packaging squeezing around ahead of Venuesworld and SacreBleu still nipping at the heels of the top four. The top four boats gybed shortly after the mark and an inspired call by Venuesworld to gybe back early down the run allowed them to make big gains and by the leeward mark they had passed out both Probably and Alert Packaging and were only a couple of boatlengths behind Should Be... Unfortunately for Venuesworld, they went too far right up the next beat, overstanding the weather mark which allowed both Alert Packaging and Probably to slip past into second and third respectively. From there, it was a straightforward run back home to pier mark and at the finish it was Should Be... in first followed by Alert Packaging in second, Probably in third, Venuesworld in fourth and SacreBleu in fifth.

SB20 Social
There is a plan to have an informal sailing supper next Thursday evening (29th May) after sailing in the NYC. Depending on the options, it will probably be sailing supper washed down with a few pints/glasses of vino. (The plan is to have sailing supper on the last Thursday of each month rotating amongst the clubs so pencil it into your diary now...) We did this on the last Thursday of the season in the George last year (thanks John O'Driscoll for the suggestion!) and it was a great success with about 20 thirsty sailors in attendance. Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier. Why not adopt an old SBer and bring them along?! Further details will follow during the week...

For those sailing in the RIYC regatta this Saturday, best of luck!

Full DBSC Thursday night DBSC winners here

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#sb20 – The SB20 class is looking forward to the second event on the 2014 Grand Slam circuit, at Lake Garda in Italy.

The Grand Slam is also a key opportunity for crews to get some practice on Lake Garda before next year's world championships, as racing will be hosted by Yacht Club Circolo Vela Torbole, the organisers of the 2015 worlds.

The Italian lake is world-famous for its perfect sailing conditions of strong breezes and flat water. The venue lays on near-constant winds each day, with the 'Pelér' breeze, which typically blows from north to south early in the morning, then the famed 'Ora' wind, which blows from south to north, takes over from late morning until late in the afternoon offering fantastic racing conditions. Add in challenging effects from the surrounding mountains, and plenty of Italian sunshine, and it's easy to see why Garda is such a favourite among regatta organisers.

The Italian Grand Slam has attracted around 30 boats with a strong international fleet that includes visitors from the UK, Russia, France and Monaco. Nine races are scheduled over a busy three-day programne, with registration on Thursday 22nd May, then three races per day planned for Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th.

See more event details here

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#sb20 – The SB20's held their first regional event of 2014 at the National Yacht Club over the weekend. A huge attraction of these events is the comradery and fun that comes when a group of friends and fierce competitors meet once again to do battle on the racecourse. This weekend the regular banter was muted as the fleet mourned the loss of Graham Elmes their friend, crew member and fellow competitor. From the hushed discussions at the beginning of the weekend to the fantastic round of applause to his memory at the prize giving, Elmo was never far from our thoughts. He would surely have enjoyed the tight racing that followed.

Day one proved to be a long and tiring day for all. It was a particularly frustrating day for Jack Roy and his team on board the committee boat as the forecast conditions did not materialise until after three hours of waiting. We finally got going in race one in a tricky and gusty breeze that kept everybody on their toes on the downwind legs where big gains and losses were to be made. The result of Race one was to prove something of a prediction as to what was to unfold over the six race regatta. Dinghy Supplies (Shane Murphy, Daragh Sheridan and John Phelan) pinching the win from Ruby Blue (Aidan O'Connell, Prof o'Connell & Johnny Horgan) at the very last mark. Third was (Davy Taylor, Marty O'Leary, Lisa Neary & Rachel Williamson). Race two strangely had the exact same result with the same three boats in the same positions. Dinghy Supplies enjoyed a more comfortable pillar to post win in this race.
Race three saw Aidan and crew romp home to a race win followed by Davy Taylor in 2nd and Sharkbait (Daren Martin, Roger Pannell and Simon Murray) holding off Justin Burke and Michael O'Connor in 4th & 5th respectively. This race also saw the first use of the U flag by PRO Jack Roy to try and get the eager fleet away late on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for Dinghy Supplies they were the only boat over the line and were disqualified.
Day 2 dawned with similar conditions of around 15 – 20knots with the gusts and shifts meaning the race was never over until the finish line was crossed. In Race 4 Dinghy Supplies managed to sneak past and Sharkbait on the final short beat to finish 1st while Aidan got Darren right on the line to take third from Davy in second.
Race 5 saw local supremos Michael O'Connor , Owen Laverty and Gavin Murphy stamp their authority on the fleet with a convincing race win followed by Darren in 2nd who was starting to put a good series score line in place. Third home was Dinghy Supplies.

Heading into the final race it was all up for grabs. Dinghy Supplies lead by two points from Ruby Blue and a further two points back. However, Dinghy Supplies could not afford a slip up as they would have to count any poor result as their discard was used up by the earlier disqualification. Dinghy Supplies got off to a great start and extended throughout to win the final race and take the East Coast Championship on an impressive score of 7 points counting four race wins and a third. Ruby Blue the 2013 champions were runners up with a total that would win most regattas of 10 points. Third was Davy Taylor on 13 points.

Dave Barry took the Silver fleet win from Ger Dempsey and James Gorman.

A huge thanks goes to the National Yacht Club and all involved in organising a fantastic regatta. In particular a big thank you to Jack Roy who did a superb job as PRO. The event prize giving was completed with nice touch from Shane Murphy dedicating the win to our friend Elmo.

SB 20 East Coast Championship 2014, National Yacht Club, May 17-18.

Results as of 14.50 18-05-14

1st Gold Dinghy Supplies SB20 3490 HYC Daragh Sheridan Shane Murphy; John Phelan 1 1 (21.0 UFD) 1 3 1 28 7
2nd Gold Ruby Blue SB20 3054 RSTGYC Aidan O'Connell Johnny Hogg;Maurice O'Connell 2 2 1 3 -5 2 15 10
3rd Gold SB20 3433 RIYC Davy Taylor Marty O'Leary;Lisa Neary;Rachel Williamson 3 3 2 2 -4 3 17 13
4th Gold Shark Bait SB20 3287 Daren Martin Roger Pannell;Simon Murray -15 7 3 4 2 5 36 21
5th Gold Should Be SB20 3043 RSTGYC Michael O'Connor Gavin Murphy;Owen Laverty 5 5 5 6 1 -10 32 22
6th Gold Alert Packaging SB20 3717 NYC Justin Burke Daren,Abbey Burke;Luca Sonmini 6 9 4 -11 9 7 46 35
7th Gold Manamana SB20 3062 KYC Ronan Downing Graeme Grant;Kate Nager 8 10 6 9 -11 4 48 37
8th Silver Lia SB20 3449 ISA Dave Barry John Malone;Ger Bythall 11 6 8 -16 6 8 55 39
9th Gold Venuesworld SB20 3316 RIYC Ger Dempesy Chris Nolan;Colin Galavan; 9 4 9 12 (21.0 OCS) 6 61 40
10th Silver Odin SB20 3586 NYC James Gorman Keith Staunton;Ted Laverty -16 12 11 5 10 9 63 47
11th Silver Timber SB20 3323 RIYC Alan McNabb Marty Cuppage;Dan 10 -20 16 7 7 11 71 51
12th Silver Rubadubdub SB20 3343 NYC Nick Doherty Conor O'Regan;Robert Gavin 13 11 10 10 -16 12 72 56
13th Silver Lupi D' Irlanda SB20 3437 RSTGYC Matteo Germano Luca Corona;Joern Dobberstain 7 14 (21.0 DNS) 14 12 13 81 60
14th Silver Halyin SB20 3037 SLYC Rory Martin Davy McIlveen;Ben Williams -17 17 12 8 8 15 77 60
15th Silver Seriously Bonkers SB20 3484 RSTYC Peter Lee Jonathan Carroll;Micheal Galvan 12 13 14 -15 15 14 83 68
16th Gold Who's The Boss SB20 3045 Darragh O'Connor Killian Collins;Mary Creedon 14 8 7 (21.0 DNS) 21.0 DNS 21.0 DNS 92 71

17th Silver Bad Kilcullen SB20 3307  Enda O'Coineen Gerry Dowling;Jimmy Dowling 19 16 13 13 13 (21.0 RET) 95 74

18th Gold The Bear SB20 3060 Kieran Dorgan Joe Turner; Brian Moran 4 15 (21.0 DNS) 21.0 DNS 21.0 DNS 21.0 DNS 103 82
19th Silver Smoke on the Water SB20 3320 RSTGYC Bob Hobby Gareth Philpot 18 19 (21.0 DNS) 17 14 16 105 84
20th Silver Sirius Black SB20 3315 Arkolw Anna Leech Ken Hudson;John McGonnigle 20 18 15 (21.0 DNF) 21.0 OCS 21.0 DNS 116 95

Published in SB20
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Page 16 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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