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#sb20 – After last weeks abandonment due to too much breeze, for a short while this evening it looked like there would be an abandonment due to a lack of breeze... thankfully, the wind-gods smiled on the SBs once more and the breeze picked up just in time to provide a very pleasant 6-10 knots south-easterly in a flooding tide writes Michael O'Connor. With the sun beaming down, it made for perfect Thursday evening racing!

In total, eight boats made it out onto the start line - great to see numbers holding and it looks like we will be building on this over the coming weeks and months. Due to the lack of breeze earlier on in the evening, two boats (SacreBleu (Ben et al) and Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Michael and Caroline) were caught out getting out on time and started a few minutes after the rest of the fleet however both boats made a game effort of catching up with the fleet on their way around and scared a few boats towards the end...

Of the six boats that did start on time, Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) got off to a flier a boatlength down from the favoured committee boat end with Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gavan) on their hip but a bit behind and Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) starting on port ducking their transoms and heading in towards shore and the slacker tide. Manamana (Doug, Ronan and Katie) and Probably (Billy, Mark and Ian - with Billy on the helm today) started a little further down the line and Smoke on the water (Bob, Louise et al) started a little late at the committee boat end.

In the light breeze, the boats struggled against the tide up towards bullock harbour and the boats had to decide between better breeze offshore or less tide inshore. At the first mark, Alert Packaging, who flirted with both offshore and inshore at just the right times and showing a great turn of pace, had built up an impressive lead and was followed by Probably a few boatlengths behind and Manamana a couple of boatlengths further back. There was a bit of a gap then to the second group of Should Be... Smoke on the Water and Venuesworld. A slight navigational snafu by the leaders brought the tail markers back into the mix and Venuesworld in particular making significant gains, getting up to third place after some excellent decision-making. However, both Alert Packaging and Probably sailed very solidly to stay in first and second respectively.

In the end, Alert Packaging had built up a very impressive lead and won comfortably from Probably in a very creditable second followed closely by Venuesworld. Should Be... held off Manamana down the final run and reach to claim fourth and Smoke on the Water had dropped back one place to sixth. Seriously Bonkers and then SacreBleu, the late starters, rounded off the top eight. DBSC Results here.

Easterns in NYC

This weekend we have the Easterns hosted by the National Yacht Club to look forward to. Between 15 and 20 boats are expected to attend. Six races over the two days are planned under the watchful eye of none other than Jack Roy - the latest forecast is saying breeze on so great racing is practically guaranteed! Entry is available online via the NYC site or for those who prefer the retro feel, paper entries are good too. On Saturday after sailing, there will be many, many pints consumed in the bar of the National (a big screen has been arranged to show the match), bar food will be served all evening, and we would encourage those SBers not racing to come along and join in the banter too...

Published in SB20
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#sb20 – Another cracking days racing last weekend on Dublin Bay for the second (of ten) SB Sundays writes Michael O'Connor. Despite the many obstacles put in their way (an anchor that refused to catch and a windlass engine that started billowing smoke and gave up the ghost early in the day), Barry O'Neill OOD and his team of Ian, Fionnuala, Barbara and Ed managed to get in three high quality windward leeward races. In truth, given the circumstances, it was nothing short of remarkable that they managed to get any races in at all and the Committee Boat Team take the award for stellar performance of the day!

With a forecast of 15-20 knots, the fleet were expecting some champagne SB sailing conditions but Dublin Bay was still a mill pond 45 minutes before the scheduled start time of 12.30. Thankfully, the forecast southerly breeze did establish itself just in time for the start of racing but 30 degree oscillations meant that the crews were kept on their toes all day long.

Race 1
After a brief postponement, the warning signal was sounded and everyone put their game faces on... however, with a committee vessel slipping backwards, the pin end biases became increasingly pronounced as the start time approached and the fleet were like a pack of rabid dogs all trying to get the perfect pin end start. After a couple of general recalls, Barry decided to move proceedings to shallower water in an attempt to allow the anchor to catch and also to take a significant wind shift into account. The black flag was also raised to try and put some manners on the fleet. The black flag had the desired effect and the fleet finally got away at the third time of asking. Unfortunately, the committee vessel was still slipping backwards meaning a heavily biased pin end with a few boats managing to tack just before the start and cross the line and fleet on port. Odin (James, Keith and reigning SB Easterns champ Aidan O'Connell making a cameo appearance) were closest to the pin to weather of Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gina (on their real pre-marital course!)) and visitors Sharkbait (Darren et al with special guest and SB legend Ben Duncan in the middle). Most of the fleet drag raced out to the right hand side for weaker tide and by the weather mark, Sharkbait had taken the lead by a narrow margin from Odin with Venuesworld (Ger, Chris, Rory and Katie) and then Should Be... in close pursuit. Marginal planing conditions meant big gains were to be made (and lost!) on the runs and by the leeward gate Should Be... and Venuesworld had snuck past the early leaders. It stayed that way up the next beat but with Should Be... and Venuesworld opting for the left hand side down the run and Sharkbait and Odin going right, it was still all to play for in the sprint to the finish. By now, Alert Packaging (Justin, Darren et al) and Manamana (Doug, Ronan et al) had joined the party and they seemed to take a more central route down the run, hooking into some good breeze along the way. At the leeward gate, it was clear that the right hand side had paid and Sharkbait led well from Should Be... and Odin in third followed by Manamana and Alert Packaging. Sadly for Venuesworld they paid a heavy price for staying left down the run and fell back to sixth place. Some slick crew work on Odin and a slight left hand shift up the last short beat to finish put them ahead of Should Be... meaning that the results of race 1 were: 1) Sharkbait; 2) Odin; 3) Should Be...; 4) Manamana; 5) Alert Packaging; and 6) Venuesworld.

Race 2
Before the start of the second race, the OOD brought the windward mark in closer by a considerable way to shorten the length of the race track. Race 2 got underway with another pin end bias and many of the boats heading out left were caught out by the shortened beat and several including Mananmana, Odin, Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Dave and Michael) and Should Be... were caught out and overstood the port tack layline to the weather mark. Sharkbait however were not caught out and they led from a pack including Smoke on the Water (Bob, Louise, John et al), Rubadubdub (Nick Doherty et al), Alert Packaging, Venuesworld and Lupi d'Irlanda (Marco, Conor et al) chasing hard in a close sixth. The wind was back up again and with favourable wave patterns allowing surfing downwind, place changes were once again aplenty. At the leeward mark, the OOD signalled for a shortened course with the fleet finishing at the next gate. Sharkbait had held on to first with Alert Packaging in second and Venuesworld in third. Rubadubdub showed impressive pace to keep hold of their top five placing and were only narrowly pipped for fourth by Should Be... with Smoke on the Water rounding out the top six.

Race 3
The Committee vessel team got the fleet back into sequence without delay and this time the line was set up initially with a small bias to the Committee boat. Venuesworld won the battle for the boat stuffing a few boats in the process. Up the beat, the fleet spread out to all corners of the course with everyone trying to get clear air and a bit more breeze... At the weather mark, Rubadubdub continued in their rich vein of form and led from Should Be..., Alert Packaging, Manamana, Lupi d'Irlanda and Seriously Bonkers in that order. Again, the breeze was up and down and good downwind pace and catching the gusts was critical. By the leeward mark, Should Be..., Alert Packaging and Seriously Bonkers had slipped past Rubadubdub and other notable movers included Bad (Gerry, Enda et al - great to see Gerry back on the helm of an SB!) and Venuesworld both picking up places on the run. There were a number of place changes after that up the next beat and down the final run and nobody was feeling safe! Unfortunately for Seriously Bonkers, after doing all the hard stuff really well and climbing up to second by the last leeward mark, they hit the mark and had to take a 360 penalty turn which dropped them from second to seventh, which just goes to show how tight the racing is! At the finish it was 1) Should Be...; 2) Alert Packaging; 3) Rubadubdub; 4) Bad; 5) Venuesworld; and 6) Lupi d'Irlanda.

Apres Sail
After racing, the fleet, and I am delighted to say many friends old and new that were not sailing on the day, adjourned to the Royal Irish Yacht Club for pints, chat and bar food generously sponsored by with the die-hards progressing to Olivettos and the die-harders progressing to Walters.

Fleet Numbers Building
The fleet numbers continue to build - there were eleven boats out today with some regulars missing due to the bank holiday weekend... numbers are expected to build further next weekend for SB Sunday 3 with up to 15 boats expected on the start line next Sunday 11th May, the last SB Sunday before the Easterns in the NYC on 17th and 18th May. Visiting SB20s are welcome and for €50 can get temporary membership of DBSC and sail in Thursday and Sunday races for the following 14 days. Looking forward to another excellent race day next Sunday!

Published in SB20
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#sb20 – A steady 10-14knts north-easterly greeted the SB20 fleet for the second DBSC Thursday of the season writes Michael O'Connor. Full results here.

Despite the fact that we were missing Thursday regulars Justin Burke and his Alert Packaging team, another three boats did make it out to the start line this Thursday making eight starters in total this week... not bad for a Thursday so early in the season and great that the numbers continue to build!

We were delighted to welcome Probably (Billy, Ian and Mark) back to the fold and both Bad (Enda, Gerry et al) and Smoke on the Water (Bob, Louise et al) decided to continue on where they left off last Sunday. Also back on the scene was our former Class Captain and class supremo Doug sailing Manamana with Ronan and Breffni - definitely a combo to watch this year!

Back to the race... A heavy pin end bias surprisingly caught out a few of the fleet and it was Venuesworld (Ger, Chris and Rory) that nailed it with Manamana in close pursuit on their shoulder. A pretty one sided beat meant that most of the fleet flipped onto port straight away after the start and drag raced it out to the right hand side of the course. Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Gary) managed to get there first just ahead of Venuesworld, Bad and Manamana and after a couple of quick tacks near the mark sneaked around the mark ahead of the chasing pack. A long run towards Sandycove saw the fleet spread out as everyone tried to get their own bit of breeze and several boats including SacreBleu (Richard, Ben et al) and Seriously Bonkers (Peter, Dave and Michael) made a charge up the fleet to get back into the mix. Venuesworld was less lucky as they had gybed out early towards the right hand side of the run but the breeze died on them and allowed the rest of the fleet to gain. When the fleet converged again, Should Be... led from Manamana, Sacre Bleu and Bad.

The boats continued to tussle around the course with place changes a very regular occurrence - a great feature of the new Thursday courses is that fetches are (practically) no more and with (usually) proper beats and runs, processions appear to be a thing of the past! In the end, Should Be... took the gun followed by Venuesworld in second (who managed to storm back up the fleet after their first run 'mare) just ahead of Bad in third. Great crew work on Venuesworld allowed them to do a tidier drop and sneak inside Bad on the last short beat to the finish. The prodigal sons, Probably, were in fourth (which was not too shabby for their first day back, trying to remember where everything goes!) and Seriously Bonkers were in fifth, followed closely by SacreBleu and Smoke on the Water. Unfortunately for Manamana, their start was just a little too good and they were OCS'd.

Buy an SB20 here. 

Published in SB20

#sb20 – DBSC SB20 Sunday races got off to a great start on Sunday in glorious sunshine and a shifty 10-15knts NE breeze writes Class Captain Michael O'Connor.

Thankfully, someone upstairs is looking down on the SB fleet (please don't stop!) and the storms of Saturday had passed through overnight leaving only the residual lumpy sea for the competitors to contend with. Barry O'Neill and his Committee Boat team of Fionnuala, Cathy and Michael on the other hand really had their work cut out trying to get marks in position and a fair course set in a breeze that was clocking left all day...

Three WL courses were scheduled with the first gun sounding at 12.30pm - unfortunately, despite previous warnings the prompt start to proceedings caught one or two boats out and they were late for the start of the first race - no doubt they will be the first on the course next weekend! 11 boats made it out to the race course today and having so many boats out early on in the season, added to the fact that we were missing some die-hard Munster supporters, augers really well for the rest of the season.

A notable mention goes out to Dinghy Supplies (Daragh, Shane and John) who braved the trip around the head from Howth to join us, and with a 2,2,2 scoreline, it looks like it was a worthwhile trip as they put some manners on the DL fleet! Other honourable mentions go out to Odin (James, Ted and Tooler), Rubadubdub (Nick Doherty and "the lads"), Pubs Global (Enda, Gerry and Marty), Smoke on the water (Bob Hobby, Louise McKenna et al) and Lupi d'Irlanda (Marco and the team - welcome back!) who were all making their seasonal debuts today, Ben Fusco (Sacre Bleu) who made his seasonal helming debut in the fleet today and Dave Barry who was back to his best on the helm of Seriously Bonkers.

The racing was the usual tight SB20 stuff of legend with meters separating the boats at the finish and plenty of place changes on every lap... Race 1 started with a pin-end bias and the fleet were clean away at the first time of asking... Should Be... (Michael, Owen and Anonymous - he has asked that his identity remain secret and Dinghy Supplies led 1, 2 around the first mark and managed to get a jump on the fleet down the first run - the pair battled it out but it stayed that way until the finish... Odin showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the fleet coming in third followed by Sacre Bleu in fourth.

Race 2 started with a boat end bias but a 20 degree left hander a minute after the start meant a very bunched fleet up the beat and at the top mark. As the wind speed decreased slightly, the emphasis turned to soaking downwind with Seriously Bonkers storming up through the fleet to tussle with early front runners Dinghy Supplies and Should Be... down the run. In the end, Should Be... took the gun (provisionally) by approximately 12 inches from Dinghy Supplies with Seriously Bonkers in a close third and Alert Packaging (Justin, el Presidente, and large ensemble cast) in fourth.

Race 3 saw another pin-end bias start and once again Dinghy Supplies were quick out of the blocks at the pin however it was (Ger, Chris and Rory) that led at the first mark followed by Dinghy Supplies in close pursuit and the chasing pack only a few boatlengths further back. By the leeward mark Dinghy Supplies had taken the lead with Should Be... up in second 1/2 boatlenth behind and Venuesworld in a close third a further 1/2 boatlength back... the wind had dropped to about 9knts and both Dinghy Supplies and Should Be... went right with Venuesworld going left hoping for the wind to clock further left. Unfortunately for Venuesworld, they ran out of the steadier breeze on the left and both Dinghy Supplies and Should Be... pulled away up the beat with Should Be... sneaking around the weather mark just a couple of meters in front of Dinghy Supplies. It stayed that way to the finish with Venuesworld taking third from Smoke on the Water in fourth.

Finally, some important points to note:

Next Sunday, 4th May, is SB Sunday 2, and the following Sunday, 11th May is SB Sunday 3 so make sure that you are entered ( for online entries) and out on the course in plenty of time (12.30pm first gun...we will be starting on time if the course is laid so you have been warned (again!))

As next Monday 5th is a bank holiday, we plan on meeting up after racing next Sunday 4th May for a few pints (thank you James Gorman for reminding us of this important SB tradition!). We will meet up in the Royal Irish after racing (c. 4pm onwards) so I hope to see as many of you as possible on the day. Anyone not racing but interested in a few pints on a Sunday afternoon (present and past SBers) would be more than welcome, the more the merrier!

Any visitors wishing to join in with DBSC racing over the next two weekends (as a warm up for the Easterns in the NYC in three weekends time perhaps?) would be welcome to join us. Darren Martin and crew will be joining us in his new toy, Sharkbait. DBSC have a great offer of a limited 14 day temporary visitor membership of DBSC for €50 (excluding parking fees in the clubs). This will, weather permitting, include 6 WL courses over two Sundays on Dublin Bay and two Thursday evening races... If anyone is interested in availing of this offer, please contact me and we can check parking availability and pricing structures in one of the waterfront clubs for you.

See you on the water this coming Thursday 1st May.

Published in DBSC
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#sb20 – Following the successful 90 boat fleet at the 2013 Audi SB20 World Championship at Hyeres, France last September and ahead of the 2014 World Championship at the Yacht Club Hercules in St. Petersburg, Russia this coming September, the SB20 fleet and World Council have decided on the next top notch sailing venue for their 2015 World Championship.

The 2015 SB20 World Championships have been awarded to the Yacht Club Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy. The Championship will take place in July 2015.

The Italian fleet has consistently been strong since the SB20's first boats and Torbole was also the host of the 2010 World Championship which was a major success with over 100 boats in two separate fleets for the five days of typical Lake Garda July weather. The entire class is looking forward to this event in 2015.

"This is a fabulous location and especially during the summer months when the event will take place" explained Ed Russo, SB20 World Council President. "The Worlds will be organised by highly qualified sailing club with worldwide recognition for high quality world championship competitions"

The competition will be lead by the GBR fleet coming off their 5th Worlds champion Craig BURLTON) and Jerry HILL who won the Worlds in Torbole in 2010. However, the 2013 Worlds showed that the other fleets are nipping at the heels of the strong GBR fleet with Luka RODION (UKR), Roger HUDSON (RSA), Sebastien COL (FRA) and Jean-Baptiste BERNAZ (FRA) in the second through fifth places respectively.

"As the newly appointed Italian SB20 Class President, I am very happy the 2015 SB20 Worlds will be held in Torbole" stated Gian Matteo PAULIN. "This year will be crucial for the continued growth of the Class and the 2015 Worlds in Italy will allow us to work with renewed enthusiasm. The competition from the foreign crews is a challenge that doesn't scare us, we have already shown at both the Worlds in Hyeres and the last Primo Cup in Monaco that our sailors have what it takes to compete in any conditions. We can't wait to have you all on the start line of the first regatta in Torbole!"

The Italian 2014 Circuit consists of four events, two of which will take place in North Lake Garda. Italian 2015 circuit built in order to allow the fleet to experience both the Italian and the Portuguese waters.

The SB20 class provides low cost, high intensity, big fleet racing and attracts some of the most recognisable names in sailing today.

SB20 (formerly Laser SB3)

The Laser SB3 was designed by Tony Castro and launched in 2002. In 2007 the Laser SB3 was awarded ISAF Recognised Status and the first World Championships were held in Ireland in 2008. In 2012, Tony Castro appointed a new builder, Sportsboat World. At this time, the

Laser SB3 was renamed the SB20 and building was returned to the UK from Malaysia. The ethos of the class continues. The boat is a strict one design class, economic to buy and campaign, easy to sail with a simple deck layout and electric downwind performance delivered by the generous sail plan. The boat has a lifting keel, can easily be launched from a slipway and towed behind a 

Previous World Champions

2008 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Roger Gilbert, Roz Allen & Sarah Allan

Host National Yacht Club, Dun laoghaire, Ireland

2009 GBR: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heeley

Host Clube Naval de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal

2010 GBR: Jerry Hill, Grant Rollerson, Joe Llewellyn

Host Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy

2011 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Andy Ramus, Ian Mills & Emma Clarke

Host Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK

2012 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Lesley Dhonau, Roger Hudson & Asenathi Jim

Host Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Queensland, Australia

2013 GRB: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heley Host COYCH Club, Hyeres, France

Published in SB20
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#sb20 – The UK SB20 class association and distributor SportsBoat World are holding an open day at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on Saturday, April 5, 2014, for anyone thinking of sailing an SB20 this year.

SportsBoat World, the worldwide distributor of the hugely popular keelboat, will be demonstrating a brand new SB20, built by White Formula. SB20 owners can also bring their boats along to the Royal Southern Yacht Club for a pre-season check by the expert SportsBoat World team – a great opportunity to check you're in race-winning shape before this summer's packed schedule, which includes championships in Germany, France and Russia.

Sailors interested in crewing on an SB20 for the first time this season can try one of the exciting asymmetric one-designs and meet members of the fleet. There will also be advice on buying new and used boats for prospective owners.

The open day takes place at the Royal Southern YC, on Rope Walk, Hamble, from 1000am to 1600pm. Contact [email protected] to book your slot for a demo sail, or contact [email protected] for a pre-season boat check.

Published in SB20

#SB20 - Following the 2014 fixture list for the SB20 class published in December, here are some more dates to add to your diary for the new season.

First up is the SB20 Annual Dinner on Friday 7 March at the Royal St George in Dun Laoghaire. This year's dinner will be a less formal affair (dress smart casual) and held in the club room with own bar.

Spaces will be limited so early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Prices are not yet finalised but expected to be around €40 per head. Call the RStGYC office to book your place at 01 280 1811.

The following month, on Saturday 5 April, sees the Howth Spring Warmer hosted by Howth Yacht Club - a great way to dust off the cobwebs over two days of guaranteed big wind and big wave sailing off Ireland's Eye. More will be revealed on the HYC website in due course.

And the first DBSC Sunday is scheduled for Sunday 27 April with a fantastic line-up this year, and plans to once more to get 10 DBSC Sundays' racing in. 

A more complete calendar of events for SB20s in 2014 can be downloaded below.

Published in SB20
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The Irish SB20 class has published its 2014 fixtures list which sees the sportsboat class kick off next season with the Howth Spring Warmer series on April 6th. The full fixture list is below and also available as a an xcel file to download too.  

ProposedEvents 2014 SB20 V7 20/12/13 
Howth spring warmer6th April
Howth spring warmer13th April
Howth spring warmer20th April
DBSC27th April
DBSC 4th May
DBSC 11th May
Easterns NYC17th+18th May
RIYC Regatta25th May
Bank Holidays 01-Jun
Carrickfergus 7th+8th June
DBSC 15th June
NYC Regatta21+ 22nd June
DBSC 29th June
R St G Regatta5th July
DBSC 13th july
DBSC 20th July
RCYC Nationals 27th July
DBSC 10-Aug
Galway23/24th Aug
Worlds6th-9th Sept
DBSC 7thSept
DBSC 14th sept
DBSC28th Sept
Frostbite 4th October
Midlands 18/19 oct
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#allirelandsailing – Racing under the shadwo of a gale warning SB20 champion Ben Duncan has been crowned All Ireland Sailing Champion after a single day seven race regatta in changeable conditions at Howth Yacht Club this afternoon. Full results downloadable below as a jpeg file.  Second was junior champion Seafra Guilfoyle. Flying fifteen champion Ian Mathews was third.

The day began with the 16 class representatives and their crew being split in to two eight boat fleets. Due to the forecast weather conditions for Sunday, the decision was made to sail two races in each fleet in the morning with the top four teams from each progressing to the Final Series which would take place in the afternoon. Sailing in the Irish Sailing Association's J80 keelboats, the first eight teams took to the water for a 10.30am start in a 15 knot south-westerly.

Leading the fleet in the first race was SB20 champion Ben Duncan who took the bullet followed byMatthews from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and John McGuinness from Moville in Donegal. It was local Howth Yacht Club sailor Cillian Dickson who took the win in the second race followed by Ben Duncan with Ian Matthews in third.

On a total of 3 points, Ben Duncan and crew Joe Turner and Davie Taylor were the overall winners of the first fleet earning their place in the afternoon's Final Series. Also progressing to the Final were Ian Matthews (5 points), Cillian Dickson (6 points) and John McGuinness (8 points).

Facilitated by an on-the-water changeover, the second eight teams began racing almost immediately as strong winds were forecast for the early afternoon. Fireball sailor Noel Butler took the first win followed by a third in the second race, securing his place in the final. Also moving forward was Colin Byrne from Dun Laoghaire with two second place finishes and tied on 4 points with Noel Butler. Finishing third overall in the fleet on 5 points was teenager Séafra Guilfoyle who was invited to the championships upon winning the Junior event last month in Cork. And the sailor taking the last place in the Final Series was Trevor Kirkpatrick from Carrickfergus with a total of 8 points.

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J80 fleet start during the ISA senior all Ireland championship 2013 hosted by Howth yacht club Dublin

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Seafra Gulfoyle from the Royal Cork Yacht Club with crew members Dylan O'Grady Patrick Crosbie Nick Walsh won the final race of the ISA All Ireland sailing championships and secured 2nd overal for the event which was hosted by Howth yacht club in Dublin.Crew member Dylan O'Grady (nearest) was the youngest competitor at just 11 years of age.

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Ian Matthews of the National yacht club Dun Laoghaire crewed by Keith Poole and Nial Meagher finished third overall in the ISA Irish senior all Ireland championships hosted by Howth Yacht Club Dublin.

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Overall winner of the Irish senior all Ireland championship Ben Duncan his crew Joe Turner/Davie Taylor work hard upwind during the event hosted by Howth yacht club Dublin.

ISA AllIRE 261013 1782

J80's sailing close to Ireland eye during the ISA senior all Ireland championship 2013 hosted by Howth yacht club Dublin.

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Ben Duncan ISA Irish senior all Ireland champion 2013

All sailors returned to the shore after the fleet racing had finished as the wind had picked up to almost 30 knots. After a two hour break and the boat draw racing resumed at 3.55pm. Three final races were successfully completed in 8 knots but after the second race Ben Duncan had the championship in the bag. He went on to win two of the three races and placed second in the other winning the event on a total of 5 points with a four point lead. In second place was young Séafra Guilfoyle who won the last race of the regatta and finished on a total of 9 points. Séafra also had the youngest crew member of the event on his team, Dylan O'Grady who is only 11 years old. Bronze went to Ian Matthews who finished on 12 points.

Published in All Irelands

#sb20 – 'Get Out and Sail' was the war cry from the SB20 fleet and 16 boat were expected at Lough Derg Freshwater Regatta at the weekend writes Justin Burke. The war cry was answered with 24 SB20s racing. Maybe this is the bounce for the recent successful SB20 Open Day, we will just have to wait and see? There is a great buzz in the class, pity the season has come to an end.

The SB 20 had 4 excellent racing W/L races on Saturday and one on Sunday. The Saturday racing was typical lake racing shifty with constantly changing pressure . As usual Ben Duncan was best able to adapt with 3 firsts and a 5th and this was enough for him to win the regatta.

The reunited Dowling Brothers Jerry and Jimmy ably chauffeured by Stefan Hyde stayed in the top 6 in each race to secure 2nd. Peter Kennedy proved that consistency is a winning formula , well almost , and finished 3rd. The silver fleet bubbled to the top with Kate Nagle in 6th edging out Mary Creedon in 7th, both creditable results, leaving some noted sailors with some excuses. As ever Lough Derg YC put in a huge effort to make everyone welcome, and with warm weather and a good breeze the regatta was a resounding success.

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Page 16 of 22

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

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
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