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#topper – Inspite of a strong UK sailing team presence to swell the national championship fleet, Waterford Harbour's Geoff Power outwitted a fleet of 64 to win the Irish Topper dinghy title at County Antrim Yacht Club. The Dunmore East sailor finished with a score of 1 2 1 1 4 1 2 9 to beat Starcross's Eleanor Poole.

Third was another UK sailor Samuel Cooper from West Lancashire Yacht Club. Full results are downloadable below. 

The national title win follows Power's win of the Ballyholme Topper Traveller series in May.

The last day of racing made even more special at the Whitehead venue with an appearance by the Red Arrows display team that flew overhead to celebrate the Tall Ships at nearby Belfast.

A large Royal Cork team made the long trip north and returned home with some encouraging results including Tom Keal fourth overall, Cian Jones sixth overall & first under 17. Caoimhe Foster seventh over all and first Irish Lady.

 

Published in Topper
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#toppers – Malahide Yacht Club hosted its first ever Topper regatta – the Traveller No.1 event - on Sunday 28th June with three back-to-back races for 40 competitors in fresh, blustery westerly winds on the Broadmeadow Water.

For the majority of the competitors, it was their first time to compete at the North County Dublin venue and they enjoyed the flat water and non-tidal conditions over courses set by Race Officer Brian McDowell.

In the 31-boat full rig fleet, honours went to Luke McIlwaine (NYC/CLYC) who posted three firsts to finish 5 points ahead of nearest rival Ellen McCarlie (County Antrim YC) who won the 1st Girl trophy as well. Third place went to Shane O'Brien of Howth YC.

In the 4.2 fleet, with nine entries, Dan McGaughey (Donaghadee SC) with two firsts and a second topped the leaderboard just one point ahead of Erin McIlwaine (NYC/CLYC).

"We were delighted to host the event for the Topper Class," said MYC Commodore Graham Smith, "and pleased that our facilities, race management and general organisation met with approval of the competitors and their parents."

Published in Topper
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#topper – The two main prizes in last weekend's Topper Traveller went to Geoff Power from Waterford and Erin McIlwaine from Newcastle. However there were good performances by local sailors with Charlie O'Neill taking 8th in the full rig fleet as well as best Under 12. In the 4.2 fleet Dan McGaughey and Mathew Bell (Donaghadee) were 4th and 6th, and from Ballyholme in the 4.2 fleet, Oliver Haig was 5th, Katie Shivers came 7th and Adam Lockhart and Hanna Dadley-Young were 8th and 9th.
Saturday 16th May 2015 saw the start of the two day Irish Topper Traveller at Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) in Bangor with competitors travelling from all over Ireland to compete.
As with the Traveller the first day, Saturday, was spent with training under the control of the ITCA (IRL), where our young sailors were grouped and afforded an experienced instructor for professional development.
When registration had opened for the training and racing some days earlier, the indication was clear that there was a significant interest from the class in Ireland to make the journey to Ballyholme, to the point that the ITCA with the help of BYC had to source additional instructors to meet the demand.
As the weekend approached the long range weather forecast, with what appears to be the norm of late, was for high winds, and concerns were voiced as to whether the Topper Traveller would indeed be stranded on the shore.
The interest previously expressed came to fruition with a good number of sailors arriving for their training. The fleet took to the water around mid morning and the more experienced sailors from the Topper squad headed out of Ballyholme Bay with the less experienced staying closer to shore. However as the predicted high winds and squalls arrived a decision was made for the less experienced sailors to return to shore followed by the more experienced. The lack of on-water activity did not in any way dampen the enthusiasm and spirits of the young sailors as was soon to be demonstrated on Sunday.
With the arrival of Race day Sunday, BYC was a hive of activity as everyone prepared for some challenging racing conditions. At about 1030 hrs Mr Robin Gray our Race Officer with his team headed out to the race arena in Belfast Lough where the committee boat anchored, and wind readings recorded. With a strong wind out of the west readings over the next 90 minutes indicated a base line of around 22 knots with gusts of 27 knots, this coupled with a rising sea state resulted in a decision to move the course further inshore and the committee boat set up station between Ballymacormick Point and Lukes Point. The mark teams were soon put to work as the fleet was released from the North and South slips at BYC and light work was made of getting to the race arena. Some 48 entrants had registered in the full rig and 14 entrants in the 4.2 category.

With the race arena in a less exposed area, racing was soon under way. The race team recorded baseline wind conditions in the early 20s as the full rig fleet started followed five minutes later by the 4.2 fleet. The first leg kept the Rescue Team gainfully employed as the fleet got to grips with conditions at the mouth of the bay. However as they progressed into the bay the fleet travelled swiftly round the course.

Upon crossing the finish line of Race 1, one young sailor from Royal Cork Yacht Club was heard to express his delight at the conditions of sailing to a friend.

Race 2 saw similar conditions however with a reduced fleet and again with the knowledge gleaned from the earlier race the committee boat had the pleasure of observing some fine racing in both fleet categories.

Race 3 saw a significant reduction in wind speed and sea state with the race team recording wind speeds in the mid teens. However we did see the odd gust push through keeping the sailors mind focused.

Mr Geoff Power demonstrated some magnificent sailing and was rewarded with a win in all three races in the Topper full rig.

Mid afternoon saw the end of racing and all returned safe and well to BYC.

Results

Full Rig 1st Geoff Power Waterford Harbour Yacht Club
2nd Caoimhe Foster Royal Cork YC
3rd Juliette Kennedy Strangford Lough YC /more

4.2 Fleet 1st Erin McIlwaine - Newcastle Yacht Club / Carlingford Lough Yacht Club
2nd David Jones - Royal Cork Yacht Club
3rd Ellen Barbour - County Antrim Yacht Club

First Lady - Caoimhe Foster - Royal Cork YC

Under 17 1st Amy Carroll - Kinsale Yacht Club
2nd Cian Jones - Royal Cork Yacht Club
3rd Ellen McCarlie - County Antrim Yacht Club

Under 14 1st Paddy Cunnane - Dingle Sailing Club
2nd Juliet Nyhan - Royal Cork Yacht Club
3rd Fouad Ghareeb - Lough Earn Yacht Club

Under 12 1st Charles O'Neill - Ballyholme Yacht Club

2nd Rory Williamson - East Antrim Boat Club / County Antrim Yacht Club

Aidan Pounder, Rear Commodore Sailing thanked all those volunteers who made this event the success that it was To name a few - Mr Simon McIlwaine and his team from the ICTA (IRL), Robin Gray and his race team, Mr Martin Watson for Committee Boat, Mr Paul Wyness for results, Mrs Jo Rennie and Mrs Claire Shivers for the Club House volunteers and meals, Mr Phil Martin and Mr Andrew Dadley for help in organising and Mr Chris Penney and the coaching team, Mr Richard Honeyford, RYANI and all the competitors and volunteers. A particular thanks goes to Jumpin Java (Mr & Mrs Frank Shivers) for their kind sponsorship for the meals.

Published in Topper
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#topper – This weekend sees the third installment of this years Irish Topper Traveller circuit, hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club.

On Saturday there are 40 Toppers registered for the training day with 10 travelling from Cork and a strong, if still young, contingent from the host club - in both full rig and the growing 4.2 fleet. This is now probably full although if you are still interested, please contact Simon McIlwaine to see if there are any cancellations or availability.

On Sunday there will be three races on the course for next years Topper World Championships giving sailors the chance to acclimatise to the local conditions. Many NI boats will have regularly visited the club at the RYANI Youth Championships which Ballyholme YC have hosted over the last 3 years with over 70 Toppers attending last year. Ballyholme YC however hasn't hosted a Topper Nationals or Provincial event since 2011 so it may be a first time for many from the ROI to visit one of Ireland's busiest dinghy clubs. Ballyholme YC is of course home to Ireland's only Topper World Champion (2013) Liam Glynn who is now competing in Laser Radials and recently won a Laser Radial Eurocup event in France.

Published in Topper

#youthnationals – The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Pathway Youth Nationals 2015, taking place at Royal Cork Yacht Club are in their second day of competition at Crosshaven writes Claire Bateman. Topper, 420, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial classes are competing in selection trials for National squads and potential selection for the National Academy. The four-day event also sees the International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland, 2015 Optimist Trials take place with over 60 entrants.

Today began as a foggy grey day with the breeze more from the south and with a fitful sun trying to break through the clouds like a patchwork quilt on the water later in the day. The wind also increased at this stage going to 16 to 18 knots with a slight hint of west in it. A third Race Committee was called to action under the highly experienced Race Officer David O'Brien of Royal Cork for the 4.7s and the Toppers who were commencing racing today. To a person doing a tour of the three race areas, looking at racing with inner loops and outer loops, separate finish boats, on the water Juries blowing whistles signaling to the unwary, or possibly not unwary, that they had infringed the rules, it all appeared a very competent and slick operation timed to the last. The race team for the 420 and Radials moved further east on the Eastern Bank opposite the Aghada Sailing and Tennis Club where they had to wait a little bit longer for the wind to reach them. When it did it was great to see these fleets surfing on the waves.

In the 420 Class Peter McCann and crew Harry Whitaker from RCYC are the current leaders, followed by Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan, RCYC/ HYC, while the younger McCann brother James and crew Bill Staunton, RCYC, are in fourth place with Lizziy McDowell and Anna O'Regan from MYC taking the third spot..

In the Laser Radial fleet after six races and one discard Conor Beirne RStYG leads Erica Ruigrok from Rush SC in second followed by Cian Byrne from the host Club in third place.

Meanwhile the 29 boat Topper fleet, having sailed three races, are now led by Geoff Power WHSC, followed by Luke McElwaine from Carlingford Lough, tied on points but with count back putting McElwaine in second place and Caoimhe Foster RCYC taking the third spot.

In the 30 boat Laser Radial Fleet Richard McGinley of the Host Club leads from Ross Morgan SSC, second followed by Rebecca O'Shaughnessy, RCYC 3rd.

In the Optimist 60 boat fleet with Ireland's top sailor Anthony O'Leary as Race Officer the fleet sailed on a traditional Optimist course and had a long day sailing four races bringing their total to seven to date on this weekend which is an Optimist Trials Event confined to sailors who qualified at regional events and the Nationals in 2014. Current leader is Tom Higgins, RStGYC, followed by Gemma McDowell, MYC and Harry Bell, HYC third.

Racing continues tomorrow (Saturday) and tensions are now mounting at this stage of the weekend. Forecast is for fresher conditions and some exciting sailing should be seen throughout the fleets.

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Published in Youth Sailing

#topper – Throughout the summer season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club some new brightly coloured red, blue and white sails have been making their presence felt on the waters of Cork Harbour writes Claire Bateman.These are the sails of the Topper Class that is attracting new support very quickly.

Moving up from the Optimist Class has long been a bone of contention for both sailors and their parents as to what would be a suitable step up or follow on boat. This was also a topic with the Irish Sailing Association even going back to the days when it was the Irish Yachting Association.

Young sailors and their parents now have an extra choice with the addition of the Topper Class, that appears to be winning favour very quickly, and has grown to 13 boats in a very short period of time under the guidance of Class Captain Imelda D'Arcy. Sailors in the Topper fleet have enjoyed considerable success throughout the season and we now have sailors in the Club enjoying follow on boats consisting of 420s, Laser 4.7s, Fevas and Toppers.

At the recent Junior Laying Up Supper a new specially commissioned trophy was presented to the winner of the October League. This trophy was designed by Artist Paddy McCormack, at the behest of Mary and Brian Jones, and is to honour the memory of the late Bill Jones, The winner of the first time presentation of this prestigious perpetual trophy was Tom Keal who has very recently moved from the Optimist Class to the Topper Class.

Published in Royal Cork YC

#topper – Royal Cork sailor Adam D'Arcy has won Silver at the Topper World Championships in Pwllheli, Wales. The Fermoy sailor beat 132 competitors from France, Great Britain, India, Japan, Malta, and South Africa. It's a second youth silver for Royal Cork in as many months. In July, ISAF youth silver went to D'Arcy's club–mate Seafra Guilfoyle in the Laser radial class.

As Afloat reported earlier, a total of 11 races were sailed during the regatta in a mixture of weather conditions that concluded this afternoon.

The 16–year–old had a total of 27 points to be on equal points with winner Calum Rosie from the UK, however agonisingly Ireland missed out on Gold on the count-back rule. Last year Ulster sailor Liam Glynn won the world title when the regatta was held in France.

The Gwynedd championship culminated today with four races with podium positions alternating after each race. It made for a nail biting climax to see who would be crowned World Champion. In the end it was Calum Rosie who took the final race win and with it the World Title. 

Waterford's Geoff Power finished 10th overall while Peter Gilmore, Heather Spain, Conor Quinn and Hugh Perrette all finished within the top 30. 

Top 5 Topper World Championship Results
1. Calum Rosie, UK – 27 pts
2. Adam D'Arcy, Ireland – 27 pts
3. Tom Walker, UK – 28 pts
4. Bella Fellows, UK – 32 pts
5. Oliver Blackburn, UK – 37 pts

Full results here

Published in Topper

#topperworlds – Adam D'Arcy from Royal Cork Yacht Club goes into the final day of the Topper World championships this morning in third overall, just a week after finishing fifth at the Topper British Championships at the same North Wales venue.

Going in to the final rounds. D'Arcy is four points off the overall lead and on the same points as second overall. The Munster youth has broken a British stranglehold on the top ten in the 138–boat fleet. Next best Irish in Pwllheli is Carlingford's Conor Quinn in 12th.

The major dinghy sailing event was delayed because of strong winds gusting up to 40mph in Gwynedd earlier in the week.

Ireland won the Topper worlds last year when Liam Glynn topped the fleet in France.

 

Full results here

Published in Topper

#topper – Royal Cork Yacht Club's Adam D'Arcy finished fifth overall at last week's British Topper National Championships held in Club Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club. The 205–boat fleet included sailors from seven different countries. Connor Quinn (Carlingford Lough YC) finished 16th and Peter Gilmore (Strangford Lough Club) finished 19th.

The British National Championships is immediately followed by the World Championships at the same venue to give Topper sailors  two back-to-back weeks of racing.

The World Championships will consist of two ISAF-recognised World Championship Series – in the main 5.3 fleet and the smaller 4.2 fleet. Running concurrently with the ISAF World Championships will be the Intercontinental Cup for lady sailors.  More here

 

Published in Topper

#toppersailing – After a series of mini heatwaves and windless weekends across the country in June the beginning of July brings a complete change for the Irish Topper Nationals in Waterford Harbour Sailing Club writes Gareth Craig.. Nearly sixty Toppers turned-out in Dunmore East from clubs across Ireland and the UK, and the three day event promises a variety of weather to suit the whole fleet.

Strong winds gusting over 30 knots off Hook head the night before the event were still making themselves felt as competitors registered, but the mood was jovial as the start was postponed a number of times - due to the wind at first, and then for safety reasons as the turning tide cause steep breaking waves across the proposed race area. Results to date are attached below for download.

By 1pm conditions had abated enough for the fleet to launch, with a South Westerly F4 (gusting F5) accompanied by intermittent driving drizzle providing enough power for the Toppers to ride the remaining infamous Dunmore Swell rolling up from the Celtic Sea. The uneven seas and fluctuating visibility made the windward mark hard to pick out at times, but this didn't appear to phase the fleet in any way as they powered away round the trapezoid course after one general recall. A top three of Niamh HARPER(Loch Tummel SC), Alexander HUGHES (Sutton SC) and Geoff POWER (Waterford Harbour SC) made good progress early, and gradually opened up leads on each other and the fleet at large, while the main body of competitor fought for places in tight bunches.

Winds and sea conditions had eased further by the second start, and again PRO Philip Cowman kept the Toppers in order, with just a single recall required despite a strong ebbing tide under the fleet propelling them up the beat. Those who had featured well in the first race largely failed to repeat their achievements, with the noted exception of Alexander HUGHES, and much of the top twenty were in a distinctly different order! This gives Hughes the overnight lead on 3 points, with a significant cushion over Ollie DIXON (Royal Harwich YC), Conor QUINN (Carlingford Lough YC), Niamh HARPER, and Adam DARCY (Royal Cork YC) tightly clumped on 10 or 11 point.

Forecasts are predicting the most contrasting day possible for Saturday, with rising pressure and light winds in the morning which will slowly build to F3-4 by early afternoon, and further light conditions for Sunday which could see very different sailors coming to the fore before everything is decided.

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Page 4 of 8

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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