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Whitbread Race competitor Angela Heath will join regular Dublin Bay helms Jean Mitton and Alison Clarke among the inspiring and influential Irish women taking part in the first Pathfinder Women at the Helm event next month.

This new event “encourages women to embrace a role of leadership on the water, and set an example for future female sailors so that helming becomes the norm”. Registration is open HERE.

Despite boys and girls competing against each other in single-handed dinghies, it’s still uncommon to see women leading their own crew, says Irish Sailing. Yet there are many strong women quietly pursuing their passion for sailing.

Among them is Jean Mitton of the Royal St George, who when she started out was often the only woman on a crew outside of family outings.

Jean Mitton 1339Jean Mitton (second from left) on board the family 31.7 Photo: Afloat

“Facing challenges while on the boat has given me the full sailing experience and made me confident in my ability to be at the helm,” says the now 12-year veteran.

CrI Cri 3430Alison Clarke (left) onboard the Quarter Tonner CrI Cri Photo: Afloat

It’s a feeling shared by Alison Clarke, who will be helming the boat she regularly crews — Paul Colton’s Cri Cri — in the event over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August at the National Yacht Club.

“Sailing has taught me things about leadership that you can’t learn in a classroom or from a textbook,” she says.

Both Jean and Alison surely took inspiration from the likes of Angela Heath, who was part of the pioneering all-woman crew of Tracy Edwards’ Maiden. And now they will have the opportunity to test their skills against Angela as she helms the Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse.

Crazy horse 1211The Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse with Angela Heath in white top, second from right Photo: Afloat

Angela will also be taking part in a Q&A following a screening on Friday 16 August (National Yacht Club, 6.30pm) of the documentary Maiden, which charts the highs and lows of Edwards and crew in the 1989 edition of the world’s most challenging round-the-world sailing race.

Published in ISA

The National Yacht Club has issued a call for volunteers to assist in its hosting of the Flying Fifteen World Championships from 1-13 September.

As many as 86 boats expected to enter the event, which will take place 50 years after the first Flying Fifteens came to Dublin Bay and the National Yacht Club.

That means a huge task is at hand for all vessels to be measured and inspected for class rules compliance on the weekend of Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September, as well as on Thursday 5 September between the pre-Worlds and Worlds.

Volunteering to get involved in this task is being touted by the National as fun way to get involved and meet all the visitors coming from as far away as Hong Kong.

No previous experience as a measurer is required as class measurers will supervise the various stations (Control Desk, Weigh Station, Spars Inspection, Sails Measurement, Safety Checks).

If you’re free and able to lend a hand, fill in the online form HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
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In a thrilling medal race final at the Hempel World Sailing Cup Series at Genoa, Finn Lynch from Carlow placed third this afternoon (Sunday 21 April) to claim fifth overall in the men’s single-handed Laser event.
 
The result marks the third consecutive major regatta for Lynch this year in which he finished in the top 10 of his event in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.
 
The National Yacht Club sailor entered the medal race final in seventh place overall with the possibility of a silver or bronze medal.
 
However, it was the sixth-placed Andrew Lewis, from Trinidad, who edged ahead into second place to took bronze, while Hungary’s Jonatan Vadnai placed fifth to win gold, with silver going to Pavlos Kontides who placed eighth in the final. Vadnai’s brother Benjamin won the final race and finished ninth overall.
 
In fact, any of the 10 finalists were potential medallists and the neck-and-neck race was reflected at the finishing-line with first to last places just 50 metres apart. 

As light winds dominated the week at Genoa, so too was the final race sailed in near calm conditions.
 
“Finn started well, didn’t get into any trouble and sailed to his tactics – a straight race that he executed very well,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s head coach.

“I’m delighted, seeing Finn come through from Toppers to Laser Radial then medalling at Youth Worlds and now contending for medals at senior level is outstanding.”
 
Ireland has still to qualify in the men’s single-handed Laser event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the next opportunity at the class world championships at the Olympic venue in Enoshima, Japan this July.

Published in ISA

The National Yacht Club will be holding a small club event at noon tomorrow (Easter Monday, 22 April) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Republic of Ireland.

This event will take place at the front of the club before retiring to the dining room.

The commemoration marks the occasion when the Tricolour was raised by Pierce Purcell, then Commodore of the NYC and Commander of the Maritime Inscription (now the Navy Reserve), on Easter Monday 1949.

Current members of the Navy Reserve will hoist the Tricolour at front of house at the event, which is expected to be attended by Pierce Purcell Jr.

Guests will then retire to the dining room for tea and sandwiches, as well as to hear of the contribution of the NYC club to the Maritime Inscription.

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club is currently seeking to recruit a team of committed and enthusiastic assistant instructors for its 2019 summer courses for junior sailors.

Prospective candidates must apply before next Monday 22 April.

This is a great opportunity to learn from the NYC’s qualified coaches and instructors how to lead and deliver sessions on training courses.

For more details visit the dedicated Facebook page.

Junior summer courses begin with the first two-week session from Tuesday 4 to Friday 14 June.

Four more courses will fun over the summer, from 17 June, 1 July (one week due to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta), 15 July and 29 July.

It is planned to cary on extra levels this year, such as junior adventure and advanced boat handling for kites and wires.

And this summer will continue the successful teenage sailing courses, along with the mew ‘Teen Team’ course. For details on all courses see the NYC website HERE.

The NYC also recently announced dates for its Friday night junior sailing series starting on 3 May.

Published in Jobs
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Rian Geraghty-McDonnell and Nathan Van Steenberge were first juniors and sixth overall in the Harken 29er Grand Prix at Royal Torbay Yacht Club this weekend, as Yachts & Yachting reports.

Winds and rain on the Saturday gave way to Champagne sailing conditions yesterday (Sunday 24 March) for the National Yacht Club pair who placed third in Tralee Bay the weekend before, and topped a welcome Irish contingent in Devon.

Published in National YC

The National Yacht Club in Dn Laoghaire is currently seeking to recruit a senior instructor for 2019.

The successful candidate will lead the team of committed sailing instructors and coaches for the NYC’s summer courses.

Instructors will be responsible for the development of the club’s youngest members, a role that is taken extremely seriously by the club.

“Our instructors are of the highest quality in terms of professionalism, attitude, technical ability and passion for sailing,” said the club in a statement/

“We have a very active junior section with over 150 junior sailors. Potential candidates must have their Senior Instructor Certificate, or be in the process of completing the course.”

The closing date for applications is Monday 7 January. Interviews will take place in mid-January. For details on how to apply see the NYC website HERE.

Published in Youth Sailing

#Seabin - Five months after local coastal litter campaigner Flossie Donnelly saw the installation of Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s first Seabin, the enterprising youth has presented the National Yacht Club with its own water-cleaning device.

According to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront club, 12-year-old Flossie’s fundraising efforts for Ireland’s first ever Seabin were so inspiring that the company behind the project donated a second device for free.

The Seabin is essentially a floating bucket with a pump that sucks in surfacedebris and traps it for collection. A single device has the potential to collect as many as 20,000 plastic bottles or more than 80,000 plastic bags each year.

Flossie’s Seabin initiative has since won some influential support from NYC stalwart Annalise Murphy, who raced around the world on board Turn the Tide on Plastic in the most recent Volvo Ocean Race.

The National Yacht Club has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Subaru Ireland are delighted to announce they have come on board and and are ready to set sail as the main sponsor and vehicle partner of the Flying Fifteen World Championships 2019.

Subaru also becomes a sponsor and corporate vehicle partner of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, which will host the event from 2-13 September on Dublin Bay.

Speaking at the launch last week, held at the NYC, Commodore Ronan Beirne said: “Subaru is a quality brand, and to endorse the National Yacht Club as vehicle partner and for the Flying Fifteen World Championship hosted by the club allows us to share the Subaru brand definition of ‘Confidence in Motion’ as our members enjoy sailing and as the National Yacht Club prepares for the only World Sailing Championships to take place in Irish waters in 2019.”

Sean Dunne, director of Subaru Ireland said: “We are very proud to become a partner of the National Yacht Club and excited to be the main sponsor and vehicle partner of the Flying Fifteen World Championships next year.

“Our historical association with the NYC sailing club goes back to the last time the Subaru F15 World Championships were held in Ireland in 2003.

“The association with NYC adds to our growing portfolio of sponsorships that includes Dublin GAA, TG4 and Monkstown Hockey Club. We were delighted that two members from the All-Ireland winning Dublin football team, Con O’Callaghan and Eoghan O’Gara, joined us for the announcement in the National Yacht Club.

“See you on the water next year for the Subaru F15 World Championships 2019.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, seven Irish Flying Fifteens have automatically qualified for next year’s Worlds.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Women on Water at the National Yacht Club are entering two 1720 Sportboats in the DBSC Turkey Shoot — and you could be a part of the action.

Experienced women sailors will have their own boat (€100pp) but those newer to racing won’t be left out as a second vessel will have a coach on board (€150pp).

The Turkey Shoot series, now sponsored by Citroen South Dublin, will run for seven Sundays from 4 November.

Women also have the option of sailing Wayfarers in the DMYC Frostbites in the afternoons (€100pp).

And Women on Water are running a coaching session on Saturday 3 November to familiarise those taking part with the 1720 and Wayfarer boats.

Register online at the NYC website HERE.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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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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