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When it was announced that the three-day Howth Wave Regatta 2024 would be in the last full May weekend of Friday 24th to Sunday 26th, there was a certain thoughtful sucking of the molars among the waterfront pundits. For this was clear evidence that the over-crowded cruiser-racing programme had led the Howth event organiser Brian Turvey into going head-to-head with the Scottish Series for the timing of his home event, which has Porsche as the classy lead sponsor.

Thus the most basic metric of the wisdom (or not) of his decision lay in two simple outcomes – which way would John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II from Belfast Lough go, and which way would Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush incline her attention?

HARD-HEADED CHOICES

For both boats have found the Scottish Series to be a very happy hunting ground for conspicuous success in recent years. They are the form boats. Yet both boats and crews are noted for making very hard-headed decisions about where they’ll get their best competition in this time-precious age, resulting in something of a zero sum situation when events precisely clash.

So although it was the solidly reliable First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Cullen) which led the way in becoming Entry Number One for Wave, it was when Final Call II came in at Entry 22 and Storm came in at Entry 68 that the Waterfront Brains Trust agreed the Turvey Team had successfully made the crucial cut – the show was definitely on the road.

John Minnis’s Archambault 35 Final Call II from Belfast Lough on her way to success in Dublin Bay. She is headed south again for Howth Wave 2024 in ten days’ time. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienJohn Minnis’s Archambault 35 Final Call II from Belfast Lough on her way to success in Dublin Bay. She is headed south again for Howth Wave 2024 in ten days’ time. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

John Minnis’s entry was especially fulsome, as he’d enthused about the quality of racing he’d experienced in previous visits to Howth. Yet the 2023 ICRA National’s event success at Howth had been achieved despite a very disobliging weather pattern, so it seems that it’s the general atmosphere - in addition to the quality of racing when available - which is Wave’s USP. and it has also attracted a representative Cork contingent.

 “Ya just gotta learn to live with it” – Pat Kelly in the midst of his crew shrugs his way through another Storm success at the Scottish series, but for 2024 Storm is Entry 68 in Howth Wave. Photo: Marc Turner “Ya just gotta learn to live with it” – Pat Kelly in the midst of his crew shrugs his way through another Storm success at the Scottish series, but for 2024 Storm is Entry 68 in Howth Wave. Photo: Marc Turner

HOWTH ENTERTAINMENT RATING A CONSTANT

But the entertainment value of Howth Yacht Club’s setting in a picturesque and hospitable fishing/sailing port is more or less a given when you add in the hectic social programme available. Thus in the end it’s the quality of the racing which is the ultimate factor, and it’s Howth’s race team – whose talents are regularly hi-jacked off around the corner of Howth Head by Dublin Bay Sailing Club – that gives the greatest and most continuous attention to improving the product.

Now, wouldn’t this be quite the place for a party? Howth Yacht Club and the village by night. Photo: HYCNow, wouldn’t this be quite the place for a party? Howth Yacht Club and the village by night. Photo: HYC

Then too, with this major regatta being so conveniently provided right on the threshold of Dublin means that the organiser’s tolerance in accepting entries up to just three days in advance causes the weather situation and its immediate prospects some ten days hence to be a factor in some crew and boat participation decisions.

Let’s hear it for the big one! Checkmate XX racing at the ICRA Nationals 2023 in Howth. Owners Dave Cullen and Nigel Biggs find that a boat of this size provides added opportunities to give dinghy sailors their first serious keelboat experience. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyLet’s hear it for the big one! Checkmate XX racing at the ICRA Nationals 2023 in Howth. Owners Dave Cullen and Nigel Biggs find that a boat of this size provides added opportunities to give dinghy sailors their first serious keelboat experience. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

PLUS CA CHANGE……..

Thus it’s a matter of things changing all the time in order to stay the same, as Wave is ultimately based around Howth Yacht Club’s signature event, the Lambay Race. Originally using a trophy donated by the Stokes family in 1899, it was first known to have been eventually maiden sailed in 1904 (it didn’t do to rush into new things back in them days), and since then its mystique has increased with every year.

CENTENARY? WHAT CENTENARY?

Yet its Centenary in 2004 passed with little enough fanfare, as Howth may have been experiencing some “Centenary Fatigue”, what with the hundredth of Howth YC in 1995, and the big hundred of the ancient Howth 17 class in 1998. You can have enough of centenaries, whatever they may celebrate.

So the annual Lambay Race has gradually and rather quietly become a cornerstone of the architecture of the Fingal sailing programme. And traditionalists would argue that all they should have to do is fire a starting gun from the Howth pierhead when the tide is flooding north through Howth Sound, and send the fleet of multiple classes on the most basic course round the always slightly mysterious Lambay (please don’t call it Lambay island, “island” is implicit in that “ay” ending), and then time them home again when the ebb hustles them south.

The original Lambay Race course was very basic, but since 1904 various zigs and zags have been addedThe original Lambay Race course was very basic, but since 1904 various zigs and zags have been added

LENGTHENING THE COURSE

But that results in a course of only fifteen or so sea miles when something special is needed, so they’ve introduced all sorts of variants in order to provide extra length and ensure there’s a good beat or two. But whether or not you agree with what they do is rather dependent on how well you did.

I did my first Lambay on Johnny Pearson’s 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer Orana in 1970, when she was still smelling of roses thanks to having been overall winner of the RORC Beaumaris to Cork Race of 1966, a triumph achieved by the genius tactics of Brian Hegarty. Quite how we did round Lambay four yearslater is long forgotten, so obviously we didn’t win, but the good news is that the 1960-built Orana has since been meticulously restored by an owner in the south of England, and has been cutting a dash at the Morbihan Festival in Brittany.

The late Johnny Pearson of Howth’s 8 Metre C/R Orana is now based in the English Channel, and here is showing her well-maintained condition at the Morbihan Festival in South Brittany.The late Johnny Pearson of Howth’s 8 Metre C/R Orana is now based in the English Channel, and here is showing her well-maintained condition at the Morbihan Festival in South Brittany.

Subsequent Lambay Races have been done in boats as small as a Squib – you could keep racing flat-out sustained by an easily-handled diet of Superquinn of Sutton Cross’s superb Scotch eggs and a screw-top bottle of cider, something that kept you going on a Howth 17 too – while at the other end of the size scale, the serious biggies like Perry Greer’s 57ft Helen of Howth and Otto Glaser’s all-varnish Tritsch-Tratsch II tried to outdo each other in the style of their mid-race lunch.

The Howth 17s Aura (Ian & Judith Malcolm) and Pauline on the north side of Lambay. Photo: John DeanThe Howth 17s Aura (Ian & Judith Malcolm) and Pauline on the north side of Lambay. Photo: John Dean

USING THE ZIGS TO CHANGE SAILS FOR THE ZAGS

Naturally a bit of us inclines to go along with the traditionalists who say the course should be simply there and back. But it has to be admitted our big win came in 1981 thanks to the zig-zag nature of the course set from Lambay south. It was our first year with the Hustler 30 Turtle (bought in a Leeson Street night-club around 4 o’clock in the morning, but that’s another story) which had lovely Hood sails, but the jibs and genoas were hanked on. Yet with a strong but steadily easing sou’wester, coming back fro Lambay the zigs while screaming along under spinnaker enabled us to change up from working jib through No 2 (a really wonderful sail) to face the beats on the zags with the right cloth set, until the last zag leg to the finish was close-hauled under the No 1, going like a train.

The Hustler 30 Turtle racing with her hanked-on Hood No 2 genoa set. She managed to win the new-syle Lambay Race 1981 thanks to being able to change up on the headsails during the short spinnaker legs.The Hustler 30 Turtle racing with her hanked-on Hood No 2 genoa set. She managed to win the new-syle Lambay Race 1981 thanks to being able to change up on the headsails during the short spinnaker legs.

BAD CAREER MOVE

It was beginner’s luck. But it was a very bad career move to have had it right in such a major scenario, as our ECHO handicap went so stratospheric that it continued to penalize us when we moved on up to a 35-footer ten years alter. So with both boats, for any subsequent sniff of the silverware we had to go to the then-considerable expense of getting an impartial Channel Handicap rating and subsequently going IRC, with the latter being no cake-walk as they wouldn’t allow us to be weighed for measurement with the chain locker filled with the 45 fathoms of seven-eighths tested cable we reckoned made her a proper cruiser-racer.

All of which seems rather a long way from the Lambay Race 2024 and Howth Wave 2024 enveloping it, but then the Lambay can attract some odd boats, everything from the hottest new things to boats as old as Methuselah. Memorable in the latter category is a Lambay Race aboard Adrian “Stu” Spence’s 1873-vintage pilot cutter Madcap which – despite her supposedly speedy pilot cutter pedigree – managed to be beaten boat-for-boat by the mighty Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan, helmed in considerable style by Paddy Murphy who’d come across from Renvyle on Connemara’s Atlantic coast, and made his journey well worthwhile through this success.

Adrian “Stu” Spence’s Pilot Cutter Madcap on one of his Arctic cruises. Built 1873, she is believed to be the oldest boat ever to take part in the Lambay Race, but on the day……Adrian “Stu” Spence’s Pilot Cutter Madcap on one of his Arctic cruises. Built 1873, she is believed to be the oldest boat ever to take part in the Lambay Race, but on the day……

…….Madcap was beaten boat-for-boat round Lambay by the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan, helmed by Paddy Murphy from Renvyle in Connemara. Photo: W M Nixon…….Madcap was beaten boat-for-boat round Lambay by the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan, helmed by Paddy Murphy from Renvyle in Connemara. Photo: W M Nixon

ENTRIES CLOSE MAY 21ST

Meanwhile, returning to prospects for Howth Wave 2024, we’re kept on tenterhooks by the fact that entries are being accepted right up to Tuesday May 21st. We can see this becoming a dangerous game, maybe even involving AI. As clubs become increasingly proud and sure of their race management equipment, we can see entries being accepted as they show up. Which, as it happens, was the way it always used to be:

“Didn’t you know we were coming? Sure didn’t we come last year? Of course were coming again this year – who’d have thought there was any need to tell you?

Published in W M Nixon

Porsche Centre Dublin, renowned for their commitment to excellence and luxury, will take centre stage as the headline sponsors for Howth Yacht Club’s Wave Regatta, scheduled from May 24th to 26th, 2024. Their support underscores the significance of this event in the sailing calendar, drawing enthusiasts from Ireland and beyond.

Gavin Hydes – CEO of Porsche Centre Dublin – commented at the launching: “I am thrilled to announce Porsche Centre Dublin’s partnership as the title sponsor of Wave Regatta 2024 at Howth Yacht Club. This prestigious event perfectly aligns with our commitment to excellence and innovation. We are excited to support the sailing community and showcase the thrilling synergy between precision engineering and exhilarating performance. Let's set sail for an unforgettable experience together."

WAVE REGATTA BUILDING ON SUCCESS

The biennial Wave Regatta has become a thrilling spectacle on Ireland’s East Coast. It invites sailors to compete in a showcase keelboat-racing event designed to ensure top quality racing and unrivalled après-sail for a range of keelboats, including the top-end high-performance ones, local one-designs - such as the record-setting Howth 17s – and the increasingly popular ‘White Sail’ fleet.

Putting the team together – Gavin Hydes (Porsche), Neil Murphy (HYC) and Dave Cullen (Wave Race Director)Putting the team together – Gavin Hydes (Porsche), Neil Murphy (HYC) and Dave Cullen (Wave Race Director)

The 2024 edition promises three days of exhilarating racing, camaraderie, and celebration. To be held this year on May 24th - 26th (a week earlier on the calendar than previous iterations), Wave Regatta is renowned as one of the highest quality keelboat racing events in Ireland, combining a spectacular racecourse area along Fingal’s beautiful coastline, Howth Yacht Club’s unrivalled race management teams afloat, and the Club’s award-winning facilities and staff that ensure an unsurpassed experience ashore.

COMMODORE’S WELCOME

Commodore Neil Murphy enthusiastically welcomed Porsche’s decision saying: “We are delighted to welcome Porsche Centre Dublin as our headline sponsors for Wave Regatta 2024. Their commitment to excellence and innovation aligns perfectly with our Club’s values. This partnership ensures that Wave 2024 will maintain the regatta’s established reputation as a top-class national event and we look forward to working with Porsche in delivering the regatta that the sailing community looks forward to getting the 2024 sailing season underway.”

It’s a deal! Gavin Hydes and Neil Murphy fronting the new poster which tellls of just some of the attractions at Wave 2024.It’s a deal! Gavin Hydes and Neil Murphy fronting the new poster which tellls of just some of the attractions at Wave 2024.

Online entry for the event is open and entries are building for both the 3-day event and the Saturday-only Lambay Races option, and discounted entry for participating keelboats has been extended to the 7th of April.

See here for full details of the racing, the weekend festival, and for online entry.

Published in Wave Regatta
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Howth Yacht Club is set to host the biennial Wave Regatta in May 2024, inviting sailing enthusiasts from Ireland and beyond to compete in a showcase keelboat-racing event.

The three-day regatta welcomes all cruiser-racing class boats competing under current IRC and ECHO handicap ratings, providing an opportunity for seasoned sailors and rising stars to test their mettle against the best competition in Ireland.

As Wave Regatta organiser Brian Turvey told Saturday's ICRA cruiser-racer Conference at Dun Laoghaire, for those who prefer a Saturday-only event, the famous Lambay Races promise exhilarating action on the water and the unique and serene backdrop of Lambay Island. One-design keelboats will join the fray, ensuring a diverse and competitive fleet.

Wave Regatta's prestigious trophyWave Regatta's prestigious trophy

But Wave Regatta isn’t just about keelboat racing; it’s a celebration of all things nautical during the event weekend. There will be opportunities for anyone not competing in the main regatta to learn to stand-up-paddleboard, wing-foil and cheer on rowing competitors as they battle it out on the shore.

The event promises to deliver a legendary three-day party, with an outdoor festival bar serving refreshing drinks and party cocktails, a catering village providing delectable bites all-day, and non-stop music from top bands and DJs, including the incomparable Mark Covell and Howth’s own Vogue Williams.

Party time. Wave Regatta features live performances: Non-stop music to the beat of top bands like Riff Shop and top DJs, including the incomparable Mark Covell and Howth’s own Vogue Williams, spinning tunes that bridge continentsParty time. Wave Regatta features live performances: Non-stop music to the beat of top bands like Riff Shop and top DJs, including the incomparable Mark Covell and Howth’s own Vogue Williams, spinning tunes that bridge continents

Online entry is now open at waveregatta.com, with an early entry discount available, but act swiftly, as time moves fast! 

Wave Regatta is organised by Howth Yacht Club, one of Ireland’s largest and most famous sailing clubs. Since its inception in 2018, Wave Regatta has become a highlight of the Irish sailing calendar, attracting sailors, spectators, and thrill-seekers from Ireland and around the world.

Published in Wave Regatta

With the almost melancholy passing of Mid-Summer’s Day, the sailing season is taking on a different look, a distinctly-changed mood and flavour. For in normal times – if anyone can remember when you could talk of such things – there is a tendency to pack events into late May and throughout June for at least two reasons.

One of these is the feeling that it’s a good idea to tick as many event boxes as possible early in the season, for fear that even odder and more awful weather than usual might turn up on the day, meaning that in the case of a weekend happening, there’s still the possibility for a complete re-scheduling before the summer is over.

Challenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyChallenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The other reason is the changing mood of the sailing community with the swing of the seasons. People are full of vim and vigour in May and June and early July. But then with August approaching, there’s a natural slowing down of the mood in what Patrick Kavanagh so effectively captured as “the tremendous silence of mid-July”.

It hasn’t got to us yet in this, the busy first weekend of July. Dromineer is a-buzz with the Lough Derg end of the Shannon One Designs’ Two-part Centenary Regatta, Dublin Bay is alive with the Frank Keane BMW RStGYC Regatta, somewhere between Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour sundry boats are re-racing an offshore race originally sailed in 1860 (repeat, 1860) in order to be on station for Volvo Cork Week in six days’ time. And throughout the land on lake, sea and river, club events are being staged in the hope that next week’s expected good weather will arrive a little earlier than anticipated.

Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).

For there’s no doubt that, taken overall, June’s weather was a decidedly mixed bag. Yet although there were major happenings that saw rough days on which the smaller classes weren’t allowed to race, the fact is that skilled race officers frequently managed to get comprehensive results in a more-than-satisfactory way.

Thus within Irish sailing there were many successful crews and skippers who merited inclusion in the long list for the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” title, and when we add in achievements abroad, it’s impossible to reduce it below this short list of four top achievements.

Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove are Sailors of the Month (Olympic) for June

The 2022 Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta at the beginning of June in Almere on the Ijsselmeer in The Netherlands saw Ireland’s Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove racing their 49er to victory in the final medal race. But by that stage, the top Dutch crew were so well positioned that overall they took the Gold, but the Irish team secured Silver to continue their progress through a demanding selection programme aimed at the 2024 Olympics.

Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.

The Kelly family of Rush are Sailors of the Month (Regatta) for June

Sailing is often promoted as a family sport for all ages. But if anyone doubts that this can be happily achieved with racing success thrown in, then they only have to consider the Kelly clan of Rush SC with their J/109 Storm. Aboard Storm, the patriarch Pat Kelly heads a multi-talented crew which includes three generations of his family, and they clearly demonstrated they’d lost none of the successful touch shown in previous years by winning overall in the four day Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough.

Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ieMike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie

Mike & Richie Evans are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for June

June saw the staging of a truly vintage SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow. But for those who think that success in events like this 704-mile marathon is only for seasoned sailors with many comparable races logged, the fact that the top Irish boat was the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was an eye-opener, as this was their first offshore major. And they almost won it, pacing just five minutes behind the overall winner after out-performing many comparable boats in the final very difficult miles. 

Dermot Skehan is Sailor of the Month (Regatta) for June

The Howth Wave Regatta created some sort of record for the mixture of weather it packed into its three day format, and how anyone found the energy for the legendary Saturday night party suggests superhuman stamina. With a rugged Lambay Race in its midst, Wave was for heroes, and it was the heroic Dermot Skehan - racing as ever with a crew of longtime friends and shipmates on his MG34 Toughnut - who emerged as overall winner and a worthy Sailor of the Month for June.

HYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious ToughnutHYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious Toughnut

Published in W M Nixon

It's great to be back! Huge congratulations to the team at Howth Yacht Club, led by the mighty Brian Turvey delivering the first major inshore event in Ireland since 2019.

The competition was awesome, the race management excellent, the craic ashore was ninety and to see so many sailors afloat and ashore was just tremendous!

The event was a true test of boat speed/VMG and reliability. There were windward leewards, the iconic Lambay Race and "round the cans" courses in conditions ranging from 8 - 12 knots on Friday, 15 - 25 knots on "big Saturday" and 10 - 18 knots on Sunday.

Given the easterlies, we were racing in a short confused seaway which necessitated a somewhat fuller and more twisted and forgiving upwind sail set-up. Downwind, spinnaker design and fabric selection help deliver stability, easier trimming and thus better VMG.

"Storm II" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Code 3 jib and North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Annraoi Blaney"Storm II" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Code 3 jib and North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Annraoi Blaney

Here at North Sails Ireland, were we proud and honoured to see so many of our wonderful customers winning so many classes and filling the podium slots. Well done everyone and thank you!

My North Sails Ireland colleague Shane Hughes had a busy event, working long into the night repairing all makes of sails to keep you, the sailors, firing on all cylinders the next day. He was repairing sails from all sailmakers - a testament to his and the North Sails regatta service commitment.

Photo taken at midnight Credit: Shane Hughes / North Sails Ireland

His midnight toiling was not easy given that he was also racing aboard the Wright's beautiful new Cape 31 "Adrenaline" during the day! Well done "Shano" for the massive effort.

Cape 31 "Adrenalin" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail and Code 3.5 jib Credit: Annraoi BlaneyCape 31 "Adrenalin" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail and Code 3.5 jib Credit: Annraoi Blaney

I was racing aboard Andrew Craig's J109 "Chimaera" and after a tough battle, we came through to 3rd overall in IRC 1, 1st J109 and 1st in the J109 East Coasts. We flew our North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail, Code 1, Code 2 and Code 3 jibs and also our A GRADE Superkote A2 and A4 kites.

"Chimaera" flying her North Sails A GRADE Superkote A2 asymmetric and North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Afloat"Chimaera" flying her North Sails A GRADE Superkote A2 asymmetric and North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Afloat

We salute our wonderful customers and their great sailing teams - well done everyone.

Roll on WAVE Regatta 2024!

North Sails Results below:-

IRC 0

Class 0 winner "Jelly Baby" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail and Code 2 jib Credit: AfloatClass 0 winner "Jelly Baby" flying her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail and Code 2 jib Credit: Afloat

1. "Jelly Baby" - Jones Family - Royal Cork YC - *North Sails
2. "Searcher" - Pete Smyth - Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 - National YC - 100% North Sails
3. "Prima Forte" - Burke / Lemass - Beneteau First 40 - Royal Irish YC - *North Sails

IRC 1

"Final Call" flying her A GRADE Superkote 60 S1.5 Symmetric Spinnaker and her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail"Final Call" flying her A GRADE Superkote 60 S1.5 Symmetric Spinnaker and her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail

1. "Final Call" - John Minnis - Archambault 35 - RUYC / RNIYC - 100% North Sails
2. "Snapshot" - Mike and Richie Evans - HYC - 100% North Sails
3. "Chimaera" - Andrew Craig - RIYC - 100% North Sails

IRC 2

"Lambay Rules" flying her North Sails A GRADE Superkote A4 asymmetric and her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Annraoi Blaney"Lambay Rules" flying her North Sails A GRADE Superkote A4 asymmetric and her North Sails 3Di RAW Mainsail Credit: Annraoi Blaney

1. "Lambay Rules" - Stephen Quinn - HYC - 100% North Sails
2. "King One" - David Kelly - half tonner - *North Sails
3. "Ghost Raider" - Norbert Reilly - half tonner - 100% North Sails

IRC 3

2. "No Excuse" - Wormald, Walsh, O'Neill - X302 - Howth Yacht Club - *North Sails
3. "Maximus" - Paddy Kyne - X302 - Howth Yacht Club - *North Sails

IRC 4

2. "Bite the Bullet" - Colm Bermingham - Elan 333 - Howth Yacht Club - 100% North Sails

IRC 5

2. "Demelza" - Steffi Ennis - Shamrock - Howth Yacht Club - 100% North Sails

J24

Craig Usher calls the start line aboard "Jumpin' Jive" flying her North Sails NPL Xi genoa Credit: Annraoi BlaneyCraig Usher calls the start line aboard "Jumpin' Jive" flying her North Sails NPL Xi genoa Credit: Annraoi Blaney

1. "Jumpin' Jive" - Mark Usher - Greystones Sailing Club - 100% North Sails

J80

1. "Mojo" - Patrick O'Neill - Howth Yacht Club 100% North Sails

Sigma 33

"Insider" flying her North Sails 3Di 330 Mainsail and No. 1 Genoa Credit: Annraoi Blaney"Insider" flying her North Sails 3Di 330 Mainsail and No. 1 Genoa Credit: Annraoi Blaney

1. "Insider" - Stephen Mullaney - Howth Yacht Club 100% North Sails
2. "Flyover" David Marchant - Waterford Harbour Sailing Club *North Sails
3. "Boojum" - Steph Bourke / Gus Legge - Royal St. George Yacht Club *North Sails

* denotes partial inventory

Published in North Sails Ireland

Wave 2022 at Howth, with main sponsors the Wright Hospitality Group, has been a three-day regatta of all the seasons, including today’s (Sunday) localised attempt at a mild monsoon. But the most important ingredient of wind was always present - albeit almost to excess for Saturday’s Lambay Race - and Senior Race Officer David Lovegrove and his teams furnished Organising Committee Chairman Brian Turvey with a very complete set of results.

In an event of such diversity, settling on an overall champion is decided by various semi-secret formulas. But after considering a bewildering array of data, the Committee came down in favour of seasoned local skipper Dermot Skehan with the veteran MG34 Toughnut, who not only won Class 5 overall with minimum points but collected the Lambay Lady for best performance in the central event while he was on his way to the longterm success.

David Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyDavid Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Yet the racing provided something for everyone. On Belfast Lough, a rugged nor’easter is regarded as “a good sailing breeze”. And certainly it was an all-conquering performance in precisely those conditions during yesterday’s (Saturday) Lambay Race which propelled John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC & RNIYC) to the front of the fleet in Class 1 in Wave, with another couple of handy Minnis wins today – raced in the sometimes very damp but eminently servicable easterly – confirming that one of the top prizes heads very definitely north.

Pete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Nearer home, Clontarf is so named because it means Bull’s Roar, and that’s the noise the non-nautical natives in the distant past reckoned they were hearing from their beach on Dublin Bay in an onshore gale. Since then, Clontarf folk have got to grips with seafaring, and Pete Smyth of those parts – but now sailing out of the National YC with his Sunfast 3600 Searcher – likewise got profitably to grips with the Lambay breeze to place him nicely to place second Class 0 overall astern of Crosshaven’s Jelly Baby after today’s results were collated.

The Jones family with Jelly Baby put together an extremely convincing series. Last year, when Crosshaven’s Nieulargo won the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, the Royal Cork revived a 19th Century tradition by giving her a nine gun salute as she returned to Crosshaven. Jelly Baby surely deserves something similar.

 Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven. Photo: Afloat.ie Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven Photo: Afloat

For some crews, a soothing rainfall today was just the ticket to put a bit of colour back in their cheeks after the Wave’s fierce entertainment of an Ibiza Night to round out Saturday’s hectic sport afloat with matching high decibel and high intensity socialising ashore – genteel Set Dancing this was not.

CLASS 0

It was raced to the end, for though Searcher (Peter Smyth) had emerged as a force to be reckoned with, the early consistency of Crosshaven’s Jones family with the J/122 Jelly Baby provided the foundation for them to take the title with a win in today (Sunday’s) second and final race, making it 4.5 points over Searcher. Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) was a solid performer, discarding a 6th even if she never got a win, and she came home 6 points behind Searcher.

The J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) winning. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC), below, winning. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Andrew Craig's Chimaera

CLASS I

Going into this regatta, the main billing for Class I was as the Eastern Championship for the J/109s, and they certainly were there in droves. But they proved to be the largest group of bridesmaids ever assembled. Once John Minnis’s Final Call II had found form after a 4th in the opening race, the advance of the Archambault 35 was unstoppable and her two wins today (Sunday) gave her a massive victory of 10.5 points to the hard-won 20.00 of Mike & Richie Evans gallant little J/99 Snapshot (HYC), with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) first of the J/109s in third to take the Easterns as a bonus.

John Minnis’s Final Call IIJohn Minnis’s Final Call II, an Archambault 35 proved unstoppable on the final day Photo: Afloat

CLASS 2

Finding herself in among a group of hot Half Tonners failed to dent the dogged persistence of Stephen Quinn’s J/97 Lambay Rules (HYC), but in this class there was extra pain with any no-show in the Lambay Race carrying its own unavoidable penalty of 9 points. Thus although Dave Dwyer’s recently-acquired classic Bruce Farr Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble (RCYC) was undoubtedly the form boat by the series end, she’d demurred at the Lambay Race fence to knock her points total astray, making it doubly ironic that a boat called Lambay Rules (which are about something else altogether) should take the win by a massive margin. Just 9.5 points to the 20 of Dave Kelly’s Half Tonner King One (Rush SC) and the 22.5 of Nobby Reilly’s Ghost Raider (HYC), a former Checkmate. 

CLASS 3

Class 3 with 14 boats completed two races, and it was seasoned X class Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) took the overall win on 6.5 points from No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) on 14.5 in second and another X class, Paddy Kyne's Mazximus third on 20 points.

Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: AfloatDux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: Afloat

Calling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyCalling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 4

This was an overall win for Malahide in the form of David Greene’s White Pearl, which had it by just one point from Colm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the Bullet (HYC), with Kieran Jameson’s Sigma 38 Changeling (HYC) in third.

David Greene’s Elan 333 White PearlDavid Greene’s Elan 333 White Pearl Photo: Afloat

CLASS 5

Dermot Skehan continued on top form with two further wins in the renowned MG34 Toughnut (HYC) to give him net points of 5.5, the lowest in all classes and thus the overall title too. Steffi Ennis was second with the equally historic Demelza, and yet another blast from the past, Terry McCoy’s First 38 Out & About, was third.

 Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles

J/24

Mark Usher from Greystones with Jumpin’ Jive had such a run of firsts that he didn’t need to sail the final race, yet he was four points better at the finish than Brian McDowell of Malahide, with Howth’s K25 crew third.

J/80

This was largely inter-varsity sailing, but private owner Paddy O’Neill with the internationally successful Mojo was right there to win overall, UCD1 taking second, TUD (the new Dublin Technical University) taking second, and UCC getting third. 

SIGMA 33

Howth’s Stephen Mullaney with current Irish Champion Insider continued ahead right to the end, but David Marchant of Dunmore East continued his upward gradient as the regatta progressed, and a 3rd and 1st today (Sunday) saw him firmly in second overall with Flyover, third going to the RStGYC’s Boojum (Stephanie Bourke & Gus Legge.

The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney 

COPING WITH VOLATILE WEATHER PATTERNS

Wave 2022 was sailed in the kind of weather when, each evening, the television weather presenters seemed to introduce a new meteorological development which hadn’t been mentioned at all the day before. Yet for the competitors who could stick the pace, there was racing – lots of it – to be had every day, And when everyone is nice and warm and dry and the bruises have started to fade, the memories of the hyper-bright times of sunshine will take over from the grey of the final day.

Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022 Photo: Afloat

But either way, it couldn’t have been done without a large voluntary input. Brian Turvey and his team had assembled a corps of 57 volunteers and enthusiastic sponsors to keep this particular show on the road through some tough circumstances. We salute them all.

The final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian TurveyThe final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian Turvey

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

With a real edge to the nor’easter of 25 knots plus (very plus at times) and the tide flooding north against it, the second day of Howth’s Wave Regatta proved to a case of Waves Plural and then some in the Lambay Race. But it made for a very special day’s sailing for those boats allowed to go.

For the powers-that-be had reckoned all the smaller One-Designs should be kept safely in port. But the biggies with real lids – or most of them - went out and bruised and battered their crews in this annual highlight around the beloved island on a standalone basis, as the original plan for an extra windward-leeward morning race had been dropped in face of the earlier adverse conditions.

Big boat weatherBig boat weather. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

We said “or most of them” advisedly, as some owner-skippers decided that big damage this early in the season was not a good career move. Yet the many who did take on the challenge had some remarkably close racing throughout, and were rewarded by a slight softening with the sunny conditions in mid-afternoon before the wind - undiluted from Scandinavia - settled rawly in again for the evening.

CLASS 0

It was a case of “local boy makes good” in the exalted environs of Class 0, for although Pete Smyth sails his Sunfast 3600 Searcher from the National YC these days, the Smyths are a Clontarf clan and he cut his sailing teeth with family racing from Howth. Searcher revelled in the surfing conditions and carved out an IRC win of nearly three minutes from the Jones family from Crosshaven with the J/122 Jelly Baby, who nevertheless retain the overall lead, while Patrick Burke (RIYC) stayed in the hunt with third for his First 40 Prima Forte under IRC.

Patrick Burke’s Prima Forte (RIYC) took third in Class 0. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPatrick Burke’s Prima Forte (RIYC) took third in Class 0. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 1

Belfast Lough being “Nor’easter Central”, John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC & RNIYC) was revelling in the familiarly rugged going, and opened out a 4.5 minute lead on the water in this long race from Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (HYC), which translated into a four minute win. It was good going for Snapshot, as she finished ahead of all the J/109s, of which the best – in third overall – was Andrew Craig’s Chimaera.

Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom clears the east point of Lambay. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyRobert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom clears the east point of Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 2

Among the highly-tuned Half Tonners in Class 2, two of the top ones – Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV and Dave Dwyer’s Swuzzebubble – decided to sit this one out. But the former Paul Elvstrom-campaigned Half Ton World Champion King One (Dave Kelly, Rush SC) gave it a real lash in the heart of her home waters and won by 17 seconds from the Wright family’s Half Tonner Mata, which in turn was just two seconds – that’s TWO seconds - ahead of overall leader Lambay Rules, Stephen Quinn’s J/97 (HYC)

The Wright brothers new Cape 31 AdrenalineThe Wright brothers new Cape 31 Adrenaline. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 3

Class 3 was yet again a case of getting all the Dux in a row – the veteran Gore-Grimes X boat from Howth had it by two minutes and 17 seconds from Paddy Kyne’s Maximus, also from HYC, as too was the third-placed No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh & O’Neill).

CLASS 4

Class 4 IRC was reduced to a select few for this demanding contest, and seasoned skipper Kieran Jameson revelled in the going with his Sigma 38 Changeling to win by two minutes from David Greene’s White Pearl from Malahide, with John Beckett & Andy George (HYC) taking third with Spashdance.

As the weather improved, the veteran Sigma 38 Changeling (Kieran Jameson) found she was in a winning position. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAs the weather improved, the veteran Sigma 38 Changeling (Kieran Jameson) found she was in a winning position. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 5

Numbers were also down with Class 5 IRC, but Dermot Skehan’s MG34 Toughnut lived up to her name with an outstanding win of 15 minutes from Terry McCoy’s veteran First 38 Out and About, third slot going to Arcturus (Peter & Declan McCabe)

SIGMA 33

The only One-Designs provided with a race, the Sigma 33s proved well up to it, and current Irish champion Stephen Mullaney (HYC) was more up to it with Insider than the rest, he recorded another win. However, a new name entered the frame with Dunmore East’s David Marchant (WHSC) taking second with Flyover while Boojum from RStGYC (Stephanie Bourke and Gus Legge) was third.

When the going became good, it was very good indeed. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWhen the going became good, it was very good indeed Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The traditional way of calculating the winner of the overall trophy - the Lambay Lady - is for it to go to the winning boat with the biggest margin on the second place. On these figures, it’s Dermot Skehan with Toughnut. But past experience has shown that, with the vast array of other handicap systems being applied, a new winner may emerge some time next week.

Meanwhile, although there are some very tired crews in Howth this (Saturday) evening, Wave Regatta 2022 is far from finished. With Monday being a Bank Holiday, racing is possible until 3.0pm tomorrow (Sunday), and they may even manage three more contests before the final results are announced and some very special prizes given out.

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

“A perfect nor’easter” may sound like a good contender for Oxymoron of the Week, but that’s what they had today (Friday) for the three opening races of the Howth Wave Regatta. And evidently Old Sol hadn’t been reading the script, as he wasn’t meant to appear until tomorrow. But as the racing progressed, the bright June sun became increasingly prominent, and by the time the fleet returned to Howth Harbour for some intriguing intermingling in the berthing situations among top offshore racers and the local fishing fleet, it was wall-to-wall sunshine and Factor 50 all round.

In previews, we’d talked of a “small but strong” Cork contingent, and they lived up to that billing, stamping their mark at the sharp end of the fleets where they were present. The first day’s racing was almost entirely focused on the heavy metal, as the smaller classes and most ODs are saving their fire for Saturday’s “one race and then the Lambay” combination. But as it happens, they may regret missing today’s sport – it was pure gold.

CLASS 0

The Jones family’s new version Jelly Baby from Cork is a J/122, and they’re clearly already right on top of J/122 sailing skills, putting down three clear but close wins, the margins in the three races from Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC), Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) and Samatom again being respectively nine seconds, 18 seconds and a much clearer 1 minute 50 in the day’s final contest.

The J/122 Jelly Baby from Royal Cork is skippered by Brian Jones The J/122 Jelly Baby from Royal Cork is skippered by Brian Jones Photo: Afloat

Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC)Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC) Photo: Afloat

Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC)Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) Photo: Afloat

Much interest focused on the two Cape 31s racing, but they’re on a learning curve, and with the highest (by far) ratings in the class, their proper setting is surely in One-Design Racing.

David Maguire's Cape 31 ValkyrieDavid Maguire's Cape 31 Valkyrie Photo: Afloat

The Wright family Cape 31, AdrenalineThe Wright family Cape 31, Adrenaline Photo: Afloat

CLASS 1

In a 15-strong fleet, John Maybury’s J/109 Joker (RIYC) was on a familiar track with a scoreline of 5, 1 and 3 to top the table, but local star Simon Knowles with J/109 Indian found form with a 3rd, 2nd and 6th, putting him on level pegging at the end of the day with northern invader John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC)

Simon Knowles' Howth Yacht Club J109 Indian lies second overall after three races sailed Photo: AfloatSimon Knowles' Howth Yacht Club J109 Indian lies second overall after three races sailed Photo: Afloat

Final Call II (John Minnis) from Royal Ulster RUYC lies third (but tied on points with second) in Class One IRC Photo: AfloatFinal Call II (John Minnis) from Royal Ulster RUYC lies third (but tied on points with second) in Class One IRC Photo: Afloat

CLASS 2

Here be hot Half Tonners in a fleet of 14 boats, but although the eternally-interesting Swuzzlebubble - newly-acquired by Royal Cork’s Dave Dwyer - was a source of fascination, it was solid performer Stephen Quinn’s J/97 Lambay Rules (HYC) which set the pace in a class of 14 boats with two bullets and a second. But “The Bubble” was there with a scoreline of 3,2,1 which suggests Saturday is going to be very interesting, third slot overall going to ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen (HYC) in his immaculate Checkmate XV on 2,2,6.

Royal Cork Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble skippered by Dave Dwyer Royal Cork Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble skippered by Dave Dwyer Photo: Afloat

CLASS 3

Class 3 with 14 boats completed two races, and it was seasoned X class Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) which slotted in a second and first to take the overall lead from Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC) on a first and fifth, while it was back to the classic X stable for third and No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC).

X 332 Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC)X 332 Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) Photo: Afloat

Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC)Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC) Photo: Afloat

No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) Photo: AfloatNo Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) Photo: Afloat

CLASS 4

Class 4 had a familiar name in front with Colm Bermingham’s Elan taking the double bullet in their two races, Dun Laoghaire’s Paul Tully with White Lotus being next in line with a 3rd and 2nd, while Malahide’s David Green matched hi overall with a 2 & 3 for White Pearl.

Colm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the BulletColm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the Bullet Photo: Afloat

Dun Laoghaire Elan White Lotus skippered by Paul Tully Photo: AfloatDun Laoghaire Elan White Lotus skippered by Paul Tully Photo: Afloat

CLASS 5

Class 5 Non-Spinnaker was very local with the MG34 Toughnut sailed by local hero Dermot Skehan (telly super-chef Donal is known only as Dermot’s young fella on the peninsula) notching two wins in the two races sailed, with the history-laden Club Shamrock Demelza (Steffi Ennis) second and Joe Carton’s Dehler 34 Voyager third.

J/24 CLASS

Mark Usher’s Jumpin’ Jive from Greystones grabbed the three wins from Brian McDowell’s Scandal from Malahide on three seconds, the locals in K25Howth getting a look in to place third overall

J/80s

Racing was quite close in the small fleet of J/80s, but Paddy O’Neill’s Mojo (HYC) showed she’d lost none of the form shown on the few international outings permitted last summer, and had a couple of firsts and a third.

SIGMA 33

Stephen Mullaney’s Insider (HYC) is current Irish Champion, having taken the title in 2021 in Dun Laoghaire, and he’s still on form, three wins to keep him ahead of Boojum (Bourke & Legge RStGYC) and Razzamatazz (David Townend, RIYC). 

Tomorrow (Saturday) will see the fleet expanding and extra classes involved thanks to the enduring appeal for the Lambay Race. But the sailing and weather conditions will have to be very good indeed to match this glowing opening day of Howth Wave Regatta 2022.

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

How can you make sense of a sport which features at least 143 World Championships? It’s a question which was first asked many years ago when the then International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing) accorded official “International” status to two more globally-distributed racing boat classes, thereby entitling them to stage their own World Championships.

Admittedly nowadays a growing class really does need genuine international strength to be so recognised. But some venerable classes still cling to that distinction despite being very much a leftover minority interest surviving over many decades in just a few countries. Thus while top level international sailing moves on with new versions of multi-class world championships in addition to the Olympics, these supposed relics of a bygone era cling on to their status - and the inalienable right to stage their own World Championship - with the all the determination of super-charged limpets.

The J/109 Mojito (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, Pwllheli SC) will be contending the J/109 Easterns as part of Howth’s Wave RegattaThe J/109 Mojito (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, Pwllheli SC) will be contending the J/109 Easterns as part of Howth’s Wave Regatta

Add to that the fact that sailing is a highly individualistic vehicle sport in which many participants sail regularly but don’t actually race at all, and you begin to appreciate how difficult it is to explain the basics of sailing’s structure, even to the most favourably-inclined enquirer.

But even by the standards of sailing’s great mysteries and complexities, this Bank Holiday Weekend is in a league of its own, though a comparison with the Superbowl is only to give an impression of the potential scale, as the ’Bowl is very much venue-focused whereas a typical hyper-busy Irish sailing weekend is literally all over the place.

Lough Ree YC – current MG Motor “Club of the Year” hosts Clinkerfest 2022Lough Ree YC – current MG Motor “Club of the Year” hosts Clinkerfest 2022

In addition to its fine clubhouse, Lough Ree YC – which is on a six acre site – provides extensive berthing, haulage and marina facilities.In addition to its fine clubhouse, Lough Ree YC – which is on a six acre site – provides extensive berthing, haulage and marina facilities

Add to that the fact that some boats and crews are oddly reluctant in this post-pandemic phase to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again, and sometimes numbers are less than you’d expect. Yet equally, there are organisations – such as the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association – which seem to have leapt into top-gear action from the off.

The Shannon One Designs – celebrating their Centenary Year – will be the stars of Clinkerfest. They attract sailors from every background – sailing this boat is Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy, with her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey, an Olympian in 1988, in the crew.The Shannon One Designs – celebrating their Centenary Year – will be the stars of Clinkerfest. They attract sailors from every background – sailing this boat is Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy, with her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey, an Olympian in 1988, in the crew.

Anway, if it’s variety which is the touchstone, we do well with the Wave Regatta under way at Howth, the Clinkerfest getting going at Lough Ree Yacht Club, and the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers two-day regatta at Poolbeg.

Add to that the usual Dublin Bay SC Saturday racing at Dun Laoghaire – a regatta in itself – the continuing movement in Galway Docks with the fleet in the Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022 being moved on after their separate 48-hour stopovers, plus regular club racing at many centres, and we get increasing life on the water.

Two of the new Cape 31s tuning up off Howth, with David Maguire’s Valkyrie in the foreground, and Dan O’Grady’s boat beyond. Unfortunately a bout of Covid means that O’Grady will not be competing in Wave. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyTwo of the new Cape 31s tuning up off Howth, with David Maguire’s Valkyrie in the foreground, and Dan O’Grady’s boat beyond. Unfortunately a bout of Covid means that O’Grady will not be competing in Wave. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Nevertheless, we’re not out of the woods yet. As the fleet gathered for yesterday’s first race of Wave, conspicuous by her absence was Dan O’Grady’s new Cape 31, which had been keenly anticipating a three way debut with David Maguire’s Valkyrie and the Wright brothers’ boat. But Dan the Man has contracted Covid, and is out of circulation and the weekend’s racing with it. Unfortunately, we cannot print the first expletive reaction to this frustrating news on a website with a family readership, but it burnt the paintwork.

Published in W M Nixon

Howth Yacht Club wants to brighten up its clubhouse interior in time for the Wave Regatta — and is calling on all members with artistic talent to contribute artworks of merit next Sunday 22 May.

The artwork needs to be ready for hanging (optimum dimensions W50cm x H40cm) and clearly labelled on the back with the following details:

  1. Title

  2. Artist’s Name

  3. Contact Details (Sales will be conducted directly with the artist)

  4. Medium

  5. Price or NFS (not for sale)



Artworks can be delivered to Trish Nixon in the Boyd Room on Sunday 22 May from 10.30am to noon. Queries can be directed to Trish at [email protected].

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under
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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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