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In Lough Derg Yacht Club over the weekend of 22-23 October, Squibs will come from the North, South and East coasts of Ireland as well as from Britain to compete in what will be one of the most enjoyable regattas of the year. The British visiting boat is remarkable in many ways, it is the first Squib ever built, therefore, its name is ‘SQUIB’, and despite being 50 years old, Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan managed to lead the UK national championships, and only lost the winning of the championships on count back. They won the South of Ireland Championship in Kinsale in August. Another Squib worth noting is Peter Wallace’s ‘Toy for the Boys’ from RNIYC which dominated the Irish championship in Killyleagh in July.

The owners of ‘Fagin’, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the same club, have been runner up in this event, innumerable times in their ‘old’ Squib, which is allegedly slower that their present Squib, which is number 100. Another competitor who should not be overlooked is ‘The Worm’, Sam Lyness who easily won the event in light winds last year.

A good turnout of local Squibs will also be competing.

The format is ideal, with four races on Saturday, with the first race starting at 11.00 am, which enables some competitors to travel on Saturday. On Sunday there are only two races, which allows enough time to wash out boats with fresh water, and lift them onto their trailers.

Lough Derg never overlook the social side of sailing, they will be putting on a grand dinner in the clubhouse on Saturday evening.

Published in Squib

Light airs and fog ensured that the Squib South Coast Race Officer, John Stallard, and his Kinsale Yacht Club team were tested to the limits over the past two days. Saturday saw bright sunny conditions but no wind so the decision was made to postpone the start. The fleet were towed to the racing area east of the Bulman buoy.

With 3 – 4 knots of breeze from the southeast racing finally got under way at 12.46hrs. Visiting from the Isle of Wight RVYC Dick & Pamela Batt in Squib lead from the start with Peter Wallace & Fergus O’Kelly in Toy ForThe Boys, RNIYC, hot on their heels. Colm Daly & Finbarr O’Regan in 50 Shades of Grey, KYC, came 3rd. Race 2 got underway but the wind was fading so RO John and Siobhan jumped into a rib and went to finish the fleet at the Windward mark. Squib was 1st with Jeff Condell & Jeff Cochrane in Fuggles, KYC, 2nd and 50 Shades of Grey putting in another solid performance to take 3rd. By now the hard decision had to be made to abandon racing for the day and head home.

Sunday morning saw the racing postponed again but due to fog. The Race Officer on the Mary P went out to the Bulman Buoy to see if the fog would lift while the fleet remained at the mouth of the harbour. Eventually there was enough visibility to lay a course and get racing underway at 12.35hrs. Toy For The Boys took the line in Race 3 with Sam Hunt & Ian Travers in Badger, KYC, taking 2nd and Squib took 3rd. With 3 races completed we now had a Championship Series. Race 4 saw Squib dominate again with Toy For The Boys challenging them all around the course and Badger took 3rd. This was enough to secure the Championship for Dick & Pamela Batt in Squib with Peter & Fergus in Toy For The Boys 2nd overall. Race 5 got underway and the fog had descended again. Fuggles lead from the start and with clear air continued throughout the race to stretch their lead. Badger was in 2nd and with Squib picking up places as the race progressed they finished the race in a solid 3rd. Having sailed a very consistent series Denis & Brid Cudmore in Sensation, KYC, took 4th in Race 5 with Julie Silfverberg & Liz Bond in Breakaway, KYC, in 5th.

Why is there a squib called Squib? Well, hull number 11 was the first one built in 1966 and is still winning races and Championships over 50 years later.

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Get ready for the most open Irish Squib championship in many years from 4-6 August at Killyleagh, on Strangford Lough sponsored by EBANISTI Cabinetmakers and Batt Sails. The National Squib Class of keelboats have already had three major championships this year.
The Irish Northern Championship held in May at Cultra, was hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Y.C. The winner was the boat which won last year’s National championship, 'Fagin' which now has new owners, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from the host club. This pair previously owned ‘Quickstep III’ with which they won many championships. They have had their eyes on ‘Fagin’ for many years.
At the UK National championships at Holyhead, three Irish boats competed, with Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany in 'Periquin' from the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club taking the highest Irish place, finishing in a lowly 19th place in the 43 boat fleet. The joint winner of that championship, who only lost the title on count back, was Dick Batt crewed by Suttonian Pamela Phelan. Remarkably, they sail boat No 11, which is called 'Squib' as she was the first production boat from the Oliver Lee workshops in 1968. The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta was won by 'Periquin' who was pushed very hard by Peter Wallace in ‘Toy for the Boys' also from Royal North of Ireland Y.C..
No championship preview would be complete without a mention for 'Aficionado ' sailed by Olympian John Driscoll and David Cagney from Howth, who always seem to have the speed and ability, if not always the results.
The patterns above show that the home boats always have an advantage. Will any of the Killyleagh Squibs have the ability to win? Possibly not this year.
The turn out of Squibs at Killyleagh is likely to be impressive, with the fleet split between three sailmakers- Batt sails which excel in lighter and heavier winds, Hyde sails which are unbeatable in mid-strength winds, and the as yet untested Olympic Sails from Kinsale.

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Dun Laoghaire regatta was the highlight of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for the great harbour of refuge in Kingstown in 1817. The regatta involved 475 boats in 35 classes including the Squibs. The Squib races for The Irish East Coast Championship were held in two locations in Dublin Bay- at Seapoint and at South Bull. The winds were generally less than 10knots for the entire four-day event. 

Race one on Thursday afternoon was a runaway success for Sheila Power and Gillian Fletcher in Little Demon in what was their first outing of the year. Race two was won by Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany in Periquin. After sailing the party began in the Royal St George Yacht Club. On Friday, Periquin had her best day with three first places, including one race where she finished almost a leg ahead of the opposition. Anything Periquin could do could be equalled by Peter Wallace in Toy for the Boys on Saturday. However, a post-race protest resulted in Toys being disqualified under RRS 14.

Thus, after three days racing, it was clear which two Squibs were battling for supremacy. On Sunday morning race nine was won by Slipstream, following a great four way battle between Denis Todd’s Contender, Periquin, and Little Demon. The final race and tenth race of the series was won in convincing style by Toys, but she had not done enough to dislodge Periquin at the top of the leaderboard.

Published in Squib

Today, Thursday, due to lack of wind in Church Bay, Holyhead, the Squib fleet had to wait more than an hour for the wind to settle writes Vincent Delany. Initially the wind was too light to start the fourth championship race, and then the wind direction was flicking between 300 and 320 degrees. When the wind had built to about seven knots, David Lovegrove, PRO for the 43 boat Squib Fleet, laid the course, signalled a start, and sent the fleet away. Remarkably there were no recalls.

On the first beat the boats which selected the north side of the course parallel to the cliff shore, appeared to be doing well, but as the approached the windward mark it was evident that those who had taken the southerly route were first to arrive at the windward mark of the two-lap windward-leeward course, led by Ian Gray, of Londen and Gray sails in ‘Chequemate’, who pulled out a great lead which he was able to hold for the run and he maintained a good margin from the fleet on the second beat. It appeared that tide at the start line was running north-east, while the tide at the windward mark was running south-west.

The race area was located in a tidal eddy created by the Skerries and the adjoining headland. The race concluded at the bottom of the second run. Second place went to David Lloyd and Mark Stones in ‘Incendio’ and third place to championship leader, ‘Squib’ sailed by Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, in the 49 year old Squib, No. 11, which is the first production built Squib ever.

There was a short break before the fifth race with the same tidal conditions, but with a wind never exceeding eight knots and often dropping down to three knots.
On the first beat it was so difficult to maintain momentum on the Squibs in the light airs, that one competitor was heard afterward to say “I hope I was concentrating more when the Squib was going slowly, than it was when the Squib was moving well”. It was a day when concentration on boat speed was necessary. On the first beat, most of the fleet headed uptide towards the Holyhead breakwater, but at the end of the beat, it appeared that keeping the boats moving well in clear air was more important than strategy. On the first run, led by ‘Ric O’Shea’ and ‘Aquabat’ who were sailing a private Match Race, the fleet spread very wide. On the second beat, most of the fleet again headed towards the breakwater where there was a chance of a lee bow on the tide. However, they had little breeze, and the wind was stronger offshore which benefitted the Squibs which headed to the right. At the second windward mark, the order of competitors was turned upside down. The next run was in very light air and strengthening tide. It paid to sail straight down the rhumb line of the .7 mile leg, until the final 300m when the tide was reversed, and then it paid to point 15 degrees above the rhumb line to fight the tide. The second race was shortened to two laps, due to the declining wind. The finishing order was: 1st ‘Ric O’Shea’, 2nd, ‘Aquabat’, 3rd. ‘Chequemate’.

Over the five races to date, there have been five different race winners, from northern, eastern, southern and western coasts of the UK, with three different sailmakers, and hulls which are both low numbers (under 150) and high numbers (over 750). There is, therefore, no question but that the winners have won races in this elite fleet due to sailing skill, and not due to deep pockets, or the ‘right’ equipment.

Irish results to date:

Pamela Phelan- Squib- 2,6,3, 3, (15) - 2nd overall.

Periquin- Vincent Delany & Noel Colclough- 6,30, 21, (31) 11. - 19th overall. winners of silver fleet for race 4 and 'Dick of the Day'

Allegro- Colm Dunne & Colm Daly- 25, 21, (26), 26, 7- 25th overall

Volante- Simon Watson & Brian Kelly- 27, (31), 10, 28, 20- 27th Overall and winner of 28th place prize.

Overall Championship Results after five races:
1st. ‘Ric O’Shea’ Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, with 14 points.
2nd. ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, with 14 points.
3rd. ‘Aquabat’ Mike Probert and Steve Warren-Smith.

Published in Squib
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Today, Wednesday, was a difficult day for David Lovegrove, Howth Yacht Club, PRO for the 43–boat Squib fleet at their annual National Championships in Holyhead, Wales writes Vincent Delany.

It was planned to hold one race today, as the race programme is now on schedule. However, at 11.30 hrs., when the competitors were about to rig their Squibs, the wind seemed to be on a Merry-Go-‘Round, at one time from the north east, then from the south etc. Competitors were thus asked not to rig, until further instruction. By 12.30 hrs there was a good wind in Holyhead harbour, but it did not extend into the bay. By 14.00hrs the wind was filling in, with up to 6 knots in Holyhead Bay.

The boats were rigged and headed out to the course, only to find that the wind had disappeared again.

When the Squibs came ashore they had to satisfy themselves with some RC racing at Holyhead Sailing Club.

The overall Squib Championship results stand at:
1st. ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, with 12 points.
2nd. ‘Cariad Bach’ Alan Johnson and David Garlick, with 14 points.
3rd. ‘Ric O’Shea’ Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, with 17 points.
Racing continues with two races tomorrow, and one on Friday.

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What a stunning days sailing was had in Holyhead today, for the 43 boat Squib fleet, who sailed two races on Tuesday, to compensate for having lost a race yesterday due to lack of wind writes Vincent Delany.

In race two of the series, David Lovegrove the PRO laid an even start line. The tide was ebbing, but it turned out not to be a significant aspect of the race. The fleet were evenly spread on the start line. Half of the fleet headed out on starboard tack on a heading of 350 degrees, while the rest of the fleet headed towards the cliffs, but when the latter tacked, just short of the lay line they found that they were heading at 004 degrees, benefitting from the wind bend coming off the shore. Despite the race consisting of two spinnaker reaching legs, and a spinnaker run, in a dying tide, the changes in boat position were relatively few. This seems to show that boat speed among the entire fleet is remarkably similar. The final placings in this race were:

1st. ‘Humphrey’ sailed by Robert Coyle and Mark Rawinsky, from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

2nd. ‘Aquabat’ sailed by Mike Probert and Steve Warren Smith, from Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

3rd.  ‘Ric O’Shea’ sailed by Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club. 

After a quick lunch afloat, the fleet went back into a starting sequence for race three. The PRO decided to ‘Name and Shame’ one of the Squibs which was over the start line at 40 seconds before the gun, it was ‘Cariad Bach’. Eventually a clean start was achieved, on the third attempt to start, which was under a black flag. Again, the fleet split left and right. The advantage of heading to the cliffs was not as significant as previously. The leaders who were bunched, were ‘Squib’, ‘Cariad Bach’ and ‘Insatiable’.  This time the race was a windward-leeward race, a race type which some people feel is lacking in opportunities for the boats behind. On the second time reaching the leeward gate, Nigel and Jack Grogan in ‘Helmut Shoing II’ who were lying in about 5th place, took the brave move of heading for the starboard gate mark, because he had realised that the tide had turned. This brave move presented him with the lead in the race. Not a small lead, but at least 20 boat lengths from ‘Cariad Bach’.  On the third and final run, much of the fleet thought that they were following the Grogans, and failed to go through the gate on their way to the finish line. When they saw ‘Cariad Bach’ crossing the fleet on starboard, they were jolted them out of their sheep like behaviour, and reached up to the final gate before finishing.

At the finish the placing was:

1st. ‘Helmut Shoing’ Nigel and Jack Grogan from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

2nd. ‘Cariad Bach’ Alan Johnson and David Garlick from South Caernarfonshire Y.C.

3rd. ‘Insatiable’ John and Lou Bibby from Treaddur Bay Sailing Club.

With three races sailed, many competitors are carrying remarkably high and low placings , but the top three boats in the overall rankings, which are showing some consistence in the competitive fleet, are all using Batt Sails, which can be no coincidence.

1st. ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, with 2, 6, and 4 placings.

2nd. ‘Cariad Bach’ Alan Johnson and David Garlick, with 5, 7 and 2nd. placings.

3rd. ‘Ric O’Shea’ Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan,  with 7, 3, and 7th. placings.

In the silver fleet,  Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany’s ‘Periquin’ lead with 6, 30 and 22nd. Placings.

In the Bronze fleet, Philip Barnes and David Thomas in ‘Atomic’ lead with 12, 14 and 9th placings.

Racing continues tomorrow with one race.

Following a protest in race three between ‘Ric o’Shea’ and ‘Helmut Shoing’ who won that race, the  overall results have been amended as follows:

Race 3, results was:

1 st . ‘Cariad Bach’ Alan Johnson and David Garlick from South Caernarfonshire Y.C.

2 nd . ‘Insatiable’ John and Lou Bibby from Treaddur Bay Sailing Club.

3 rd . ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pam Phelan from

With three races sailed, many competitors are carrying remarkably high and low placings , but the

top three boats in the overall rankings, which are showing some consistence in the competitive fleet,

are all using Batt Sails, which can be no coincidence.

1 st . ‘Squib’ Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan, with 2, 6, and 3 placings.

2 nd . ‘Cariad Bach’ Alan Johnson and David Garlick, with 5, 7 and 1 st . placings.

3 rd . ‘Ric O’Shea’ Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan, with 7, 3, and 6 th . placings.

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Today was what can be called a ‘shoe sailing day’ because Squib sailors normally wear boots when they are racing, but today the champagne conditions in Holyhead Bay for the 45 Squibs racing in their annual championships were so perfect, that the sailors were able to wear shoes and tea shirts in the bright sunshine.

The practice race was ‘a trick’ laid by the OOD, David Lovegrove of Howth Yacht Club. The competitors had two options on their first beat, head out into the foul tide where the wind was stronger, or head inshore where both the wind and tide were lighter. Those who headed inshore were lifted, lifted, lifted, while those who headed out to sea, were headed until they could easily lay the windward mark. That race was won by the offshore group led by ‘Brimstone’ sailed by Bryan and Jenny Riley from the Waveney and Oulton Broad Sailing Club. Second was Malcolm Hutchings in ‘Lady Penelope’ from the Royal Corinthian Sailing Club, and Robert Coyle in ‘Humphrey’ from the same club.

Were these Squibs setting the pattern for the week? Where were the previous championship winners?

The practice race was followed by the first championship race. The fleet did not make things easy for OOD David Lovegrove. At the first start, half the fleet were over the start line with 30 seconds to go, despite the foul tide. On the second attempt to start on the ‘P’ flag ‘Aquabat’ positioned himself about two boat-lengths OCS, and the entire fleet sailed up to join him. Again it was a general recall. On the third attempt, under the ‘U’ flag, the fleet got away, without any recalls, in a relatively stable wind of 6-8 knots from the south.

At the first windward mark, .7 of a mile uptide from the start line, veteran Squib sailors and sailmakers Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club led the fleet in the oldest Squib in the fleet, appropriately named ‘Squib’. Behind them were Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in ‘Alchemy’, John and Lou Bibby in ‘Insatiable’ and Nigel and Jack Grogan in ‘Helmut Shoing II’ and about 3 others. It was at this stage of the race that it was realised that (unlike the practice race) heading towards the shore, and out of the tide, was the only way to go. There was a battle of wits between this small group of lead boats. On the first run ‘Alchemy‘ played the tide to greater advantage, and reduced ‘Squib’s’ lead to almost nothing.

After three beats and three runs the finishing order was:
1st. No. 800 ‘Alchemy’, Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall. RYYC.
2nd. No.11, ‘Squib’ Dick batt and Pamela Phelan, RVYC.
3rd. No. 47, John and Lou Bibby, Treaddur Bay Sailing Club.
In the Silver fleet:
1st. ‘Periquin’ with Noel Colclough and Vincent Delany, DMYC.
In the Bronze fleet:
1st. ‘Atomic’, Philip Barnes and David Thomas, Treaddur Bay Sailing Club.

For full results see Holyhead Sailing Club website.

Racing continues tomorrow with race two of the six race National championship.

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Holyhead Sailing Club are the Welsh club hosting this year’s premier event for the National Squibs from Britain and Europe, from 17th – 23rd June 2017. The Championships has not been held at Holyhead since 2004, and, to date, there are 43 entries, with more boats still expected to arrive. The majority of Squib keelboats entered come from Wales, with ten from South Caernarvonshire Y. C. and nine from the home club. From outside Brexitland, Periquin and Allegro will be representing the European Union.

This is the first championship, since the RYA authorised the Rondar 19 to compete at National Squib Class events. Both competitors, and Squib owners around the country, will be very interested to see how the two Rondar built, self draining, sandwich foam constructed boats perform. Tony Gibson and Eric Lee’s No. 900 ‘Top Dog’ and Andrew Moore and Peter Hallinan’s no. 905 ‘TBC’ are the two new boats to watch.
This season Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in No. 819 ‘Lady Penelope’ showed great form by winning the Squib Gold Cup at the RCYC Burnham over the May Bank Holiday.

Last year’s Championship winners were Nigel and Jack Grogan. Unfortunately, the RYA have ruled their boat No. 881 ‘reHydrated’ out of class, by virtue of its forward buoyancy bulkhead, so Nigel and Jack will be sailing No. 105 ‘Helmut Schoing II’ which is just as fast. In 2004, the Holyhead championships were won by Chris and Mark Hogan’s No. 136 ‘Ric O’Shea’, who still hold the record for more championship wins in ‘Ric O’Shea’ than anybody else. Unfortunately, Chris passed away, within the past 12 months, so the boat will be sailed by Josh Metcalf crewed by the formidable Mark Hogan- another great pairing.

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Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club together with sponsor Rodgers and Browne Estate Agents hosted the 2017 Squib Northern Championship over the weekend of May 27/28. Race Officer Niney did well to complete the full 5 races in light and tricky conditions. After postponing the start of race one, it got underway with Prodigal sailed by Bell/McCleave taking the honours.

Race two saw visiting Killyleagh boat Slipstream sailed by Ferris/Marshall win and become the over night leaders. Sunday started with a dying breeze for race three, making difficult work for Inshallah sailed by Eccles/Hutchinson with the first win of the day. With more stable sea breeze filling in, Fagin sailed by Patterson/Nolan took race four. With five boats still able to win the event going into the final race, it came down to the wire.

Toy for the Boys sailed by Wallace/Weatherstone won race 5, which boosted them to take second overall from Inshallah in third, but Fagin's second in that race was enough to win the event. Thanks to all the organisers, sponsor and volunteers for a great weekend.

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Page 3 of 11

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

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

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

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

Competitions

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

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

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

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