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Lough Derg Yacht Club's freshwater regatta completed the 2015 one design season for the SB20s, Flying Fifteens, (see our earlier report here) and Dragons last weekend. The Squib class also counted the inland event as a Midland Championships.

With a combined turnout of 54–boats across the four classes and some tight races on Lough Derg there were some noteworthy winners including a second overall for debutante Squib campaigner (and London 2012 International Race Officer) Jack Roy sailing with daughter Jill. Squib winners, with by far the biggest fleet of 25 boats, were Jeff Condell and Jeff Cochran.

Full results for all classes below.

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The top Irish Squib at July's British Isles Championships in Howth has won the 11-boat Squib Irish East Coast Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at the weekend. Afficionado sailed by John Driscoll and David Cagney of the Royal North Ireland Yacht Club beat club–mates Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan. Third in the five race, one discard series was Royal St. George's Jill Fleming and Conor O'Leary. Full results downloadable below. 


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#squib – A three-way tie at the top of the 2015 Squib Nationals leaderboard was settled in favour of David Jones and Mark Hogan from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club writes Emmet Dalton. Saturday's final race was led from start to finish by the duo. That race saw the second overall going to their clubmates Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. The champagne-splashed podium was completed by Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

On the final day, Principal Race Officer, David Lovegrove, set the fleet off under the U-Flag penalty system after some misbehaving during the first attempt. The 20kt southeasterly breeze in glorious Howth sunshine, with five 1,700m windward legs, made sure that the crews got their bang for buck. Without exception, "Squib Arse" was suffered by hard-hiking sailors! The visiting sailors would later express their gratitude to David for his skill and engagement with a fleet that enjoyed his communicative banter on the VHF all during the week.

The event was made all the more epic by the championship dinner. Even the traditional Howth Seventeen Footer Class would have been impressed by the array of precious metals and rare timbers presented. Top Irish boat was "Aficionado" (RNIYC), hard driven by John Driscoll and David Cagney to 9th place. The leading HYC Squib was the super-slippery "Kerfuffle" in the hands of Emmet Dalton and Neal Merry which ended the week in 22nd place.

Woe betide anyone who thinks that grey (or no) hair indicates an easy crew to pass. Such was the quality of the fleet that one previous champion noted that he would have been happy to end up in the top ten at the end of the week!

Howth looked fabulous in a week of sun and the competitors enjoyed a warm welcome from the members and fabulous food and service. So good was the championship dinner that the Squib Association Chairman announced that it was the best meal at any Squib Championships in 40 years! That opinion was roundly applauded by the 130 guests.

Thanks was also expressed to the Race Office team, Orla Sweeney, Dara and Lara Jameson, Emma Inglis and Alice Kissane and to the ever-watchful Fergus O'Kelly and his group of friendly tape-wielding equipment inspectors for ensuring that each boat complied with the rules.

Launching, berthing and retrieval of the boats was coordinated like a North Korean political rally by Pat McCaughey. Slick!

Finally, the top speed of the week was shared by "Alchemy" from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club and Howth's "Kerfuffle" both hitting 10.2kts during Monday's screaming reaches. 

Additional reporting Vincent Delany

SQUIB NATIONALS 2015- day 6- Final Day.

The level and depth of talent in the 49 boat National Squib fleet was seen in today's race off Ireland's Eye at Howth. The wind was between 15 and 20 knots from the south-east. The outcome of the Squib Championship 2015 was yet to be decided. The three leading contenders being Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay from R.C.Y.C. in 'Lady Penelope', on 12 points, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C., in 'Banshee', on 14 points, and David Jones and Mark Hogan, from S.C.Y.C. in 'Ric O'Shea', on 20 points. Which of these talented sailors had the ability to pull the championship out of the bag?
Unusually, the scoring system used allowed for two discards in eight race series. Would the winner be an older boat such as 'Banshee', no.65, or 'Ric O'Shea', no.136, or would it be the newer boat, 'Lady Penelope', no. 819? There was another significant variable in the mix, would the winner use Batt Sails or Hyde Sails? 'Ric O'Shea' is the only one of the three to use a complete wardrobe of Batt Sails the others only use Hyde Sails.
The course selected by race officer Dick Lovegrove was Course Number Two, a windward-leeward race of with five beats of 1.7km. each. The sea conditions were a little 'lumpy', and the tide was due to change mid-race.
On the start line the tide was flowing against the Squibs, which enabled the fleet to start on their first attempt, without recourse to the 'U' flag, which had been used for most of the races earlier in the week. The race officer did not use the dreaded 'black flag' at any race this week.
On the first beat against the tide it was 'Ric O'Shea' which appeared to get the bit between their teeth. The wind was steady in strength and direction, so it was a boatspeed race. At the first windward mark 'Ric-O-Shea' led from Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall in 'Alchemy'. The locally Howth based 'Too Dee' sailed by Dave and Simon Sheahan rounded the mark within the top six boats. 'Banshee' rounded in about eighth place and 'Lady Penelope' about five places behind. These two had a lot of work to do, it was going to be a long nine mile race. On each round 'Ric O'Shea' sailed to her pre-determined tactical plan, and increased her lead until she was more than 100m. ahead of the bunch of Squibs following. 'Crossfire' sailed by Dave Best and Pete Richards worked their way into second place.
At the last leeward gate marks it appeared that 'Lady Penelope' had done enough to take her place on the podium and lift the championship trophy. But there was still one more beat to be completed, and the tide had turned. 'Lady Penelope' and 'Banshee' rounded different leeward gate marks, and by the end of the beat at the finish line, 'Banshee' had overhauled her opponent. As they passed the finish line the order was:
1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Crossfire' 797, Dave Best and Pete Richards, S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Alchemy', 800, Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall, R.Y.Y.C.
4th.'Helmut Shoing II', Nigel and Jack Grogan, R.C.Y.C.
5th. 'White Magic', David Wines and Keith Davies, W.H.S.C.
6th. 'Moonstone', Malcolm Blackburn and David Shiel, S.C.Y.C.
7th. 'Pani-Munta', Mike Probert and Richard Delves, R.C.Y.C.
8th. 'Banshee', Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
9th. 'Lady Penelope', Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

So, who had won the championship?
Remarkably after eight races and two discards, 'Ric O'Shea', 'Banshee', and 'Lady Penelope' were all on equal points. Each had 21 points after discards.
'Ric O'Shea' discarded a 15th. and 21st. place. 'Lady Penelope' discarded 25th. and 26th. places. 'Banshee' discarded an 8th. and 29th. These figures are not relevant under the current scoring system, where a draw is resolved by the highest place boat in the last race which, as noted above, was won by 'Ric O'Shea.


1st. 1st. 'Ric O'Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Banshee', 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
3rd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.,

The top Irish Squib is 'Aficionado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney in 9th place.

Of the top ten places overall, 4 were from South Caernarvonshire Y.C., 4 were from Royal Corinthian Y.C., one from Royal North of Ireland Y.C., and one from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, which indicates that strong fleets at the local clubs are significant to developing the boatspeed necessary to win championship races under all conditions.

The top lady helmsman is Megan Pascoe with crew Hannah Stodel in 'Squibble' from Weymouth who finished in 31st. place. Their performance in this fleet is commendable. The also won the trophy for the top 'ParaSquibbers'. They were thrilled by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which exists in the Squib fleet. They are newcomers in this fleet, and are more accustomed to the 2.4m. class, and Sonar parolympic circuits.

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#squib – Yesterday the Squib fleet in Howth, north of Dublin, enjoyed conditions similar to those on Sunday last, with an offshore south-westerly wind blowing from Portmarnock beach at about 4 knots. Race officer David Lovegrove decided to postpone racing until the wind grew in strength and the direction stabilized. When the wind increased to about 6 knots, the race course was laid with windward-leeward Course 4, with a beat length of about 1.5 km. The cumulus clouds hung over the land, while over the sea there was a blue sky. How would the Squibs interpret this information?

The Squib fleet, as usual, rushed the start line, and the were recalled. On the second attempt the fleet started cleanly. Ian Peter Keely in 'Squibbo' from Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club seemed to have great speed in the conditions, and quickly broke clear of the leading line of boats. He is the only boat in the fleet which uses Londen and Gray sails which appear to be tuned to flattish water. Many of the Squib fleet headed left, because the forecast had suggested that the wind would swing towards the south. However the wind flicked back and forth by up to fifteen degrees. Approching the windward mark, David Lloyd and Mark Stones in 'Incendio' appeared to hold the lead, but they were headed, and the lead boat was your race correspondent in 'Femme Fatale' from the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. However 'Femme Fatale's' lead was short lived as 'Incendio' led around the leeward mark from Cian and Finbarr O'Regan in 'Fagan'. On the second beat 'Femme Fatale' played the shifts like a boat more used to lake sailing. At the windward mark 'Femme Fatale' had a 2 boatlength lead from 'Incendio'. On the run 'Femme Fatale' stayed low, and benefited from a small windshift fifteen boat-lengths from the leeward mark, at which point the races was shortened, requiring competitors to beam reach to the finish line.
The finishing places were:
1st. 24, 'Femme Fatale' Vincent Delany and Joe O'Byrne, R.St.G.Y.C.
2nd. 160, 'Incendio', David Lloyd and Mark Stones, D. Portsmouth Y.C.
3rd. 65, 'Banshee', Nigel Harris and John Stephenson, S.C.Y.C.


Then the wind did as promised, and swung to the south east. The race course was moved accordingly. Again, it took two attempts for the 49 boats of Squib fleet to achieve a clean start in the 14 knot breeze. The tide flowing from the north was beginning to have an impact on the racing. There was a great battle at the front of the fleet, where David Jones and Mark Hogan in 'Ric-O-Shea' held a short lead from Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in 'Lady Penelope'. These two gybed back and forth on the offwind leg at which stage the wind had dropped to about 8 knots. At the first leeward gate there was an interesting choice. Take the port mark and be swept around the mark or take the starboard mark where you were nosing the tide. Behind the first four boats a large numbers of Squibs reached the leeward gate at the same time. Some were lucky to round the leeward mark quickly and to get into clear air. On the second beat there was a sharp chop on starboard tack which slowed the progress of the Squibs. It was a long race with1.7 km. legs. After the first three laps the race seemed to be establishing a pattern, head left, and tack when you were fifteen boat lengths short of the layline for the windward mark. On the final lap the pattern changed, and it paid to go right. Many place changes occurred due to competitors failing to respond to the windshift. At the finish the places were:
1st. 'Ric-O-Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C.
2nd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey R.C.Y.C.
3rd. 65, 'Banshee', Nigel Harris and John Stephenson, S.C.Y.C.

The second discard has been applied to the results. The scoreboard has not changed much since yesterday and now looks like this:

1st. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C., 2,3,3,(26),2,(25), 2.
2nd. 'Banshee', 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C., 6,1,7, (29),1,3,3.
3rd. Ric-O-Shea', 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan, S.C.Y.C., 1,2,2,(21), (15), 14, 1.

It can be seen from above that despite the consistency of the counting results, each of the competitors has had some lowly placings, which they have been able to discard.

The leading Irish boat is 'Aficionado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney have dropped one place to 7th. place, with Cian and Finbarr O'Regan's 'Fagin' in 11th place.

The leading lady helmsman is Megan Pascoe with crew Hannah Stodel in 'Squibble' who lie in 32nd. place in the 49 boat fleet.





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#squib –  Yesterday there was no racing at the National Squib Championship in Howth due to a rough sea state and winds of 29knots.

Today we had the opposite conditions, with not enough wind. Race officer David Lovegrove had his hands full with the unsuitable weather conditions that he had to deal with. Did he rise to the occasion? The answer is yes, He and his team made all the right decisions on a very difficult day.

When the fleet got out to the start area there appeared to be three winds fighting for supremacy, one from the north, a sea breeze from the east and the forecast breeze from the south east.
The OOD had no choice but to postpone racing until one of the winds dominated. After about and hour, he laid a course, and made the necessary signals on the committee boat. About three minutes before the start gun he had to abort the start when all of the Squibs lining up to start on starboard tack, suddenly gybed.

Eventually a breeze filled in and a race was started. The Squib fleet were raring to go, so there was a general recall. On the second start under the 'U' flag the fleet started on a windward-leeward course with about 5 knots of wind. On the first beat the Squibs which headed towards Portmarnock beach on the right hand side of the course found a wind bend which took them to the windward mark. It was former NSOA chairman David Wines and Keith Davies from West Hoe Sailing Club in 'White Magic' who lead the fleet from frequent championship competitors Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in 'Alchemy'. On the run the wind disappeared completely. The 49 competitors hunted for wind, which eventually came from the shore at about 6 knots. The O.O.D. decided to finish the race off the leeward mark, reducing the race to one lap of the course, at which time the finishing positions were a reversal of the places at the first mark.


1st. Alchemy, 800, Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall R.Y.Y.C.
2nd. White magic, 828, David Wines and Keith Davies. W.H.S.C.
3rd. Helmut Shoing II, 105, Nigel and Jack Grogan. R.C.Y.C.

This result cracked the regatta results wide open.

Race five followed immediately after the completion of the previous race.
Again the wind teased the O.O.D. endlessly. As soon as a real wind appeared, it disappeared again. Eventually a reasonable light wind covered the whole course. Starting arrangements were made. Again the OOD had to abort the race during the starting sequence due to a ten degree shift which favoured the pin end of the line. When the fleet tried to start again there was a general recall. On the second attempt under the 'U' Flag the fleet got away with a five lap windward leeward course. Who would come to the fore this time? The wind came and went over the duration of the race. On the second lap the wind went very light and a new 10 knot breeze came form out to sea. This race was concluded after three laps. At the finish the placings were:

1st. Banshee, 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C.
2nd. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C.
3rd. Quickstep, 820, Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan R.N.I.Y.C.


The overall results have been turned inside out by today's races. The first discard kicks in today. The scoreboard has changed, with most of the leaders carrying a poor result. The scoreboard now looks like this:

1st. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. R.C.Y.C., 2,3,3,(26),2.
2nd. Banshee, 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. S.C.Y.C., 6,1,7, (29),1.
3rd. Helmut Shoing II, 105, Nigel and Jack Grogan. R.C.Y.C., 7,6,1,3,(17).

First Irish boat is Aficionado, 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney in 6th. place.

First lady is Pamela Phelan crewing for sailmaker Dick Batt, who lie in 13th. place.


Published in Squib

#squib – The top Irish Squib at the National Squib Championship is sixth place Aficionado, sailed by John Driscoll and David Cagney. A further two great races were sailed off Howth today. In race one, sailed in tee-shirt conditions the wind was about 9 knots and the ebb tide had just started- and was pushing the fleet over the start line. After one general recall the race was up and running. Much of the fleet opted for the pin end of the line where the tide was slightly stronger. However, the waves were choppier, which slowed the progress of the Squibs. However the boats with the skill in negotiating waves reached the windward mark first. Nigel Harris and John Stephenson in Banshee from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club lead around the windward mark. This race was a windward leeward race with three beats. They were able to sail a conservative race and held the fleet at bay. The crews found the running legs very long due to nosing the tide. Some boats opted to sail the angles while others sailed the rhumb line which put them at a small advantage. Over the race the wind strength was increasing progressively. At the finish the placings were:

1st. Banshee, 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. SCYC
2nd. Ric-O-Shea, 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan.SCYC
3rd. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. RCYC


By race two the wind had increased to about 14 knots which was a challenge to those crews who needed to adjust their rig settings for the stronger wind. Again after one recall the fleet started under a 'U' flag which is like a black flag but less penalizing. Again the fleet had to decide between choppy water and a favourable tide, or calmer waters and slightly less strong tide. At the first windward mark Nigel and Jack Grogan in Helmut Shoing II had pulled out a lead of more than 10 boat-lengths. This time the race was on a triangular course. The leaders, unlike their performance yesterday, sailed a faultless race. It was a long race with four beats with a wind which increased to 25 knots at times. Unlike yesterday the wind was quite steady, and did not offer the snakes and ladders opportunities which existed yesterday. As the wind increased, the offwind legs it presented huge challenges to the crews who were not prepared for it.

Helmut Shoing won the race. At the finish the results were:

1st. Helmut Shoing II , 105, Nigel and Jack Grogan.
2nd. Ric-O-Shea, 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan.
3rd. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay.

At this stage there have been three different race winners, so what is the overall position?

1st. Ric-O-Shea, 136. 5 points.
2nd. Lady Penelope, 819, 8 points.
3rd. Helmut Shoing II , 105, 14 points.
4th. Banshee, 65, 14 points.

Top Irish boat is 6th place Aficionado, sailed by John Driscoll and David Cagney.

Top lady, in race 2 and 3 was Pamela Phelan in Squib.

Special mentions goes to Megan Pascoe and Hannah Stodel from Weymouth Sailing Club in Squibble who now lie in 24th place in the series. Megan and Hannah are 'Special Athletes' who have overcome their severe handicaps to compete on an equal footing with able bodied male athletes in this elite fleet.

Racing continues tomorrow.


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#squib – Despite a weather forecast of 30 km/hr winds, the National Squib Championship started today in Howth, County Dublin, Ireland, in ideal sailing conditions with sunshine and 10-16 knots of offshore wind blowing off Portmarnock beach. Having enjoyed several practice starts with a favourable flood tide, the fleet of 49 Squibs got away cleanly without any OCS victims.

The wind held plenty of surprises for the competitors. On the first beat which was more than a mile long, and the wind at the stronger end of the cycle, the wind flicked left which provided a 'get out of jail free' card to the competitors who headed to the port side of the windward leeward course. Some competitors took on board the information 'left is good'. This turned out to be a flawed piece of information. At the fist windward mark many of the top boats found themselves to be placed in the late teens or early twenties, this included David Jones and Mark Hogan from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in the immaculately prepared 'Ric-O-Shea', and Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall from Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in 'Alchemy'. Were they destined to remain in the mid- fleet? The answer was no.

On the first run there were very few place changes, behind Nigel and Jack Grogan from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in 'Helmut Shoing II' who held a short lead from a tightly bunched group of Squibs behind. On the second beat the 'left option' was again good, and resulted in a shake up of the mid-placings. Again the offwind leg produced few changes.

By the third beat David Lovegrove the experienced Howth based O.O.D. had moved the windward mark to towards south. The wind continued to flick back and forth and to produce changes in strength. This time the wind favoured the boats which went right on the beat. Was it a tide issue or a wind issue. Popular opinion says that everything hinged on the changes in the wind direction. At this stage the competitors knew which way to go! Or did they?

On the final beat with the ebb tide decreasing in strength it paid to go hard right.

This left the Squibs only a run back to the leeward gate and a sharp turn to the finish line. 'Helmut Shoing II' had built up a 5 boat-length lead. All they had to do was sail the course and finish. Unfortunately, in the belief that they had another lap to complete, they gybed towards the right hand leeward mark, only to find that the other competitors had taken the left hand mark and crossed the finish line ahead of them.


The results were:
1st. 'Ric O Shea', 136, Davy Jones and Mark Hogan.
2nd. 'Lady Penelope', 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay.
3rd. 'Pani Munta' 128, Mike Probert and Richard Delves.

First Irish boat: 8th. 'Afficianado', 78, John Driscoll and David Cagney, Royal North of Ireland YC.
11th. 'Anemos', 832, Pete Evans and Conor O'Leary, Royal St. George Y.C.

First lady: 23rd. Sarah Holdstock crewing in 'Aquabats'

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#squib – Visiting UK father and son crew Nigel and Jack Grogan of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham–on–Crouch in Essex made a clean sweep of the Irish National Squib Championships at Howth Yacht Club today. The pair took three race wins with a final score of eight nett points and did not have to sail the last race of the series.

Local crew Fergus O'Kelly and Jonathan Wormald were second on 22 points in the  26-boat fleet.

Recent Northern Ireland Champions John Driscoll and David Cagney got off to a poor start counting two disqualifications in the six race, one discard series but reocovered well – to also count three race wins – to finish sixth overall.

Third was 2012 Irish champion Aidan O'Conell and Ross Nolan.

Was the three day Squib Championships held in Howth Yacht Club on 19-21 June just like any other regional championships with the usual suspects at the top? The answer is no. Unlike other Irish events, we had two very welcome visitors from the UK.

They were the two class sailmakers, Dick Batt and Pamela Phelan in Squib, and Nigel and Jack Grogan in Helmut Shoing II. Did they take first and second places? No they didn't.

Race one was held on Friday evening on the course north of Howth harbour where the Nationals are due to be sailed in a weeks time. Helmut Shoing showed great speed in a 10 knot breeze and ran away with the race, winning by a few minutes. Second place went to David Eccles and Phil Hutchinson in Innisallagh from the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, with third place going to Sam Lyness and John Reynolds in The Worm from the same club. The pattern appeared to be set. The UK teams to take the lead followed by the Northern teams. In this windward-leeward race there was a strong ebb tide and important tactical decisions to be taken on which leeward mark to round. In fact it paid to ignore the tide and to head left on the beat, where the wind pressure was greater. Three of the fastest boats in the fleet, Fagin, Aficianado and Arctic Fox which were all previous championship winners, were premature starters. This was to be significant in the overall championship results.

On Sunday there were three races, in the same westerly wind conditions. Race two was on the windward leeward course with Helmut ShoingII taking the gun from SB20 sailor Aidan O'Connell standing in for the injured Gordon Patterson with Ross Nolan in Quickstep III from R.N.I.Y.C. taking second place, and Fergus O'Kelly and Jonathan Wormaid in the mid-numbered boat Selik from the host club. Would it be possible for a mid-numbered Squib to produce consistent championship winning results?

Race three was also held in a shifty wind which flicked back and forth by up to 20 degrees. The early leaders Vincent Delany and Joe O'Byrne in Femme Fatale from the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club were unable to resist the pressure from astern and particularly from John Driscoll and David Cagney in Afficianado on the triangular course, so at the finish it was Afficianado, Femme Fatale and Helmut ShoingII.
Race four was a windward leeward race in the shifty wind, and again saw the cool crew in Afficianado, taking the gun from Helmut Schoing and Inishallah.
Overnight it was clear that it was going to be a high scoring championship with Helmut ShoingII holding a good lead from Femme Fatale and Selik. Every competitors required to improve his consistency. Who could achieve it?

On Sunday the forecast was for eighteen knots of wind from the same direction as the previous day which would certainly present a challenge to all the crews. The shorter windward leeward race was selected by OOD Harry Gallagher and his team in their new flagship Starship Wonderprise.
Helmut Schoing showed great boat handling skill by working through the fleet from behind to take a win from Selik and Quickstep III. The eighteen knot wind never arrived, but there were heavy gusts and also some confusing light patches in the shifty offshore wind blowing from Portmarnock which demanded quick gear changing from the crews. The flood tide remained strong.

By the last race it was clear that Helmut Shoing II with three wins, a second and a third place had won the championship. They headed ashore leaving the last race to the Irish to fight out the final race between themselves. It was a longer windward-leeward race in which the wind had shifted about fifteen degrees to the north. In the early stages Afficianado and Fagin were making up for their misdeamour in the first race. They seemed to be wired together in the lead with and invisible thread. Then on the third beat Inisallagh found a windshift by heading south, and she moved to the lead. Until the finish line these three boats and QuickstepIII fought to win the race, and potentially win the championship. At the finish line after five long beats Aficianado won from Fagin and Inisallagh and QuickstepIII.
What had happened to Squib? She showed astounding speed on the first beat of almost every race, frequently rounding in first place, thereafter the problems arouse, with minor breakdowns showing that unless your boat is well prepared and tried and tested, you are putting yourself at a great disadvantage.

Are the Irish happy to have amateurs and professionals racing together on the same event? The answer is a resounding yes!

Which sailmakers products won?
Helmut Schoing II- All Hydes.
Selik- Hyde main and Batt Jib.
Quickstep III- Not Known.
Femme Fatale- Hyde jib and spinnaker and Batt mainsail.

Next big event for the Squibs is the British Isles Championships also to be sailed at Howth from the 26th June – 3rd July. 

Results are downloadable below 

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#squib – With weather and wind conditions that ranged from light and shifty to strong and gusty, the Rodgers & Browne Irish Squib Northerns took place last weekend (30/31st May) at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. After very competitive and tight racing, John Driscoll and David Cagney on Aficionado took the title of Northern Champions.
A total of 18 boats competed with entries from the home club, Strangford Lough and all the way down to Cork. It was great to see so many squibs on the start line with a very high standard of fleet, including past Olympians, National and Northern Champions. At the end of day one the championship was very much open, leaving it all to play for on the Sunday. The conditions were tough and the race team, under the guidance of Nigel Kearney, skilfully managed to set five good races to complete the series.

On Day one, and under light conditions, race one started and with much jostling John Driscoll and David Cagney on Aficionado took first place ahead of David Eccles and Phil Hutchinson on Inshallah, Peter Kennedy and Gavin Vaughan on Joint Venture and Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan on Quickstep III. Wyatt Wright and James Porter on Fat Boat Slim and Killyleagh boat Robert Marshall and Ryan Withers on Slipstream all putting in good performances within the top ten
Race two saw the Patterson/Nolan pairing on Quickstep III take line honours from Greg Bell and Leah McCleave on Prodigal and Des Clayton and Paul Henry on Inismara sailing a great race to take third. Johnny Miller and Sally Watson on High Flyer and Cork boat Too Dee sailed by Dave Sheehan and Carol Ann Rohan were both close to the lead at times during a race which had some massive shifts.
Race three saw a slightly stronger 10 knot breeze coming from the south, but this did nothing to remove those shifts. Eccles/Hutchinson on Inshallah were over the line early, went back, and with a nice left shift led the race on lap one from Greg Bell and John Driscoll with Gordon Patterson in fourth position. But with shifty conditions Greg bell on Prodigal got through and extended to win the race. Race three also saw Johnny Park and Bob Stinson on Gizmo climbing their way up the fleet.
Day two dawned with very different wind conditions. With dark foreboding skies, heavy rain showers and a late night the night before, a couple of competitors opted out of sailing and decided to stay on land!
Nigel Kearney got the reduced fleet racing started with a good clean start from all competitors. There was great close racing and first to round was George and Philip Cromie on Dotzboat from Killyleagh, liking the conditions. Fred Campbell was next on Halloween, Joint Venture and followed by Des Clayton on Inismara fourth. The windy condition suited new faces with new competitors appearing in the top ten. As the fleet rounded the windward mark for the second time, Joint venture led with a nice calm hoist by Andrew Vaughan, taking over from his Dad, Gavin in the crew spot. Aficionado worked up the fleet to round second following a perfect lift up to the layline, then Quickstep with a great hoist by Ross Nolan ahead of Fred Campbell on Halloween. Peter Kennedy and Andrew Vaughan on Joint Venture won, Aficionado second and Quickstep III in third position.

The fifth and final race saw Aficionado leading on the left of the beat but under pressure from Joint venture and Quickstep III, with Quickstep delaying the tack to come in late on the layline and sneak the lead from Aficionado. By the second round, Aficionado was in the lead from Joint Venture heading downwind when a big 35-knot squall covered the race course. Some boats got their kites away in time, others held on for some fun surfs, but there were a few knock downs and broaches in the fleet, with Halloween in sixth place going over and filling up with water very quickly. In the end John Driscoll and David Cagney on Aficionado won a very close final race and took championship by four points from Peter Kennedy and the Vaughans, with Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan in third position.

Full results downloadable below :

1st Aficionado 78 RNIYC John Driscoll David Cagney

2nd Joint Venture 64 RNIYC Peter Kennedy Andrew & Gavin Vaughan
3rd Quickstep III 820 RNIYC Gordon Patterson Ross Nolan
4th Prodigal 146 RNIYC Greg Bell Leah McCleave
5th Inshallah 139 RNIYC David Eccles Phil Hutchinson

Published in Squib

#squib – The Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club hosts the Squib Northern Irish Championship on the weekend of the 30/31 May 2015. The Championship will see entries from all the squib fleets from around Ireland with Royal North having the largest fleet of Squibs in the north. David Eccles on Inshallah will be competing to retain his title against past winners including John Driscoll on Aficionado, Gordon Patterson on Quickstep 111 and current Irish National Squib champion Ross Vaughan on Joint Venture. Commodore Thomas Anderson said " I am delighted to see the Irish Squib Class are coming back to RNIYC for the Rodgers and Browne Northern Irish Championship and to welcoming visitors from Strangford Lough, Dublin Bay and possibly Cork"

Published in Squib
Page 5 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.


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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