Displaying items by tag: yacht
On loan from the Oracle America's Cup Team, Northern Ireland ace navigator Ian Moore is the navigator on board the Carbon built 80-footer Aegir for this week's RORC race in the Caribbbean.
Antigua Yacht Club is buzzing with excitement, with two days to go to the start of the 600-mile race around the central Caribbean. Yacht crews are busy at work making final preparations for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) Caribbean 600. Falmouth Harbour is an impressive sight with the RORC fleet safely moored up next to the yacht club.
RORC Yacht of the Year ready for battle
Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens - the RORC 2010 Yacht of the Year - arrived just before dusk on Friday. The delivery crew, all six of whom will also be racing, endured a 1,000 mile beat to Antigua from Jamaica: "This will be our fourth and final event in the Caribbean." Explained Piet Vroon. "This is the first time that I have done this race and it is the main reason that we came to the Caribbean. All of my crew said that this is a race that they want to do and I am very much looking forward to it."
Tonnerre is one of three boats that competed in the Pineapple Cup, the opening rubber of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. George David's Rambler 100, Richard Oland's Vela Veloce and Hugo Steinback's Dubois 90, Genuine Risk also competed in the Pineapple Cup which Genuine Risk won on corrected time. Vela Veloce is a Southern Wind 52, which cleaned up in Key West race week in January.
Entries from Australia and 14 other nations
Yachts representing 15 Nations have come to Antigua to compete in the 600-mile spectacular, but none have come as far as Chris Bull's Cookson 50, Jazz. The canting-keel flyer arrived in Antigua on Friday, having made an epic journey bycontainer ship and sail from Australia, after a fantastic performance in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
"It's been hard work getting the boat here from Australia, but we have done it, which just goes to show it is possible." Commented Boat Captain, Anthony Haines. Jazz's journey started on January 8th from Sydney, Australia to Savannah, Georgia. After which the delivery crew sailed 1400 miles to get Jazz to Antigua on time.
"Ever since the RORC conceived the idea of this race I have wanted to do it," said Chris Bull on he dock in Antigua. "I am also keen to do the Transatlantic Race and try and win the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series which I think is an excellent initiative which the RORC are involved with."
Rock Stars and Corinthian Sailors Rub Shoulders
From Lithuania, the Volvo 60, Ambersail debuts in the Caribbean and counts veteran round the world sailor Magnus Olsen in their crew. Ambersail is well travelled, having competed in last year's Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Ondeck's Farr 65, Spirit of Minerva counts British solo-sailor Hannah White amongst the crew: "Effectively there are 10 legs and well over 600 miles of racing in fantastic trade wind conditions which I am sure will be a strong test for navigators and crews in equal measure." Commented Hannah.
Class 40 World Champions on the line
Six Class 40s are expected, possibly more. Tony Lawson's Concise and Gonzalo Botin are past and current Class 40, world champions. Tony Lawson, owner of Concise expects a close duel with Tales: "There is no doubt that the Spanish team will be fast and possibly more suited to lighter conditions, but I am confident that the team on Concise will be fully focused and they are in control of a quick, well prepared boat."
Power and Elegance Combine
RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine has chartered the elegant and powerful 154 ft schooner, Windrose of Amsterdam. The crew has taken the magnificent yacht through its paces, spending two days practicing manoeuvres: "It is a very different kind of sailing to my First 40." Commented Andrew McIrvine. "The sheer size of the sails and equipment make for extremely physical work and manoeuvres are far more complex. Communication from front to back is only possible by hand signals. We had some good pressure during our practice session, which confirmed that Windrose is a powerful yacht, literally built for Caribbean sailing."
Navigator's make their Predictions
Brian Benjamin's Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir has been out testing sails and the crew, visiting the top part of the race course all night Friday. Night sailing makes up close to half the time during the race. Boat captain Shreda Duke confirmed that the exercise was very successful in bedding in the crew to their proposed watch-system. Aegir's navigator for the race is Ian Moore on loan from the Oracle America's Cup Team. Moore concurs with Hugh Agnew, ICAP Leopard's navigator, the prediction of stable trade wind sailing but added: "The first key area of the race may well come as night falls. Aegir should be approaching Nevis at dusk and the first really tricky part of the course. The islands of Nevis and St Kitts are high, which will throw out quite a wind shadow through this area; there will be a lot of gear changes in between the lulls and puffs of acceleration. The big decision from a navigator's point of view will be how far off the leeward side of these islands to go."
In Falmouth Harbour, the air temperature is a balmy 27º C and a fair breeze is flowing in from the northeast, meaning that the trade winds are functioning, but it's an ever-changing picture. Read John Burnie's expert summary on the RORC Caribbean 600 web site: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
100 footers Go Head to Head
ICAP Leopard set the monohull course record in 2009, completing the course in 44 hr 5 min 14 sec and Mike Slade's team believe that they could beat the record, although they may not be the first home. George David's stunning Maxi, Rambler 100 is dockside in Falmouth and are favourites to take line honours. George David has secured the assistance of Ken Read to the afterguard and some of Ken's Puma Volvo Ocean Race crew. It is the first time that these two 100 foot canting keel maxi's have raced each other with ICAP Leopard having taken an interesting strategy and dropped their rating considerably, in a bid to gain handicap honours.
Local Knowledge from Caribbean Entries
Local interest comes from Bernie Evan-Wong who is competing in the race for the third time in his Mumm 36, High Tension. From Guadeloupe there is a Class 40, Territoires Attitudes, skippered by David Ducosson.
34 boats are expected on the start line on February 21st February. The RORC Caribbean 600 web site contains regular updates on the race, blogs from the boats and the progress of the boats, which have trackers, can be followed via the website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
Six hour-long episodes capture every emotional twist and turn, high and low of the 35,000-mile race, following the participants in the ten-month-long challenge of a lifetime. Many of the crew had never set foot on a boat before beginning their pre-race training. From their first rookie steps to becoming a highly skilled ocean racer, the series charts their progress as they deal with the immense power of the world's oceans and everything Mother Nature can throw at them.
Dramatic footage captures a man overboard in the middle of the south Atlantic, dismastings, the devastating loss of a yacht and the terrifying experience of a yacht being rolled in the near hurricane conditions in the remote waters of the north Pacific. These heart-stopping scenes combine with the euphoria of race victories, personal voyages of discovery and the cementing of friendships that will last a lifetime.
As the race draws to its final, nail-biting conclusion and the emotional homecoming to a hero's welcome, Against the Tide captures the reactions of the racers after the event, to discover exactly how this unforgettable experience has changed their lives forever.
The international TV series, created by an award winning UK production team, is being snapped up by broadcasters around the world, including the Discovery Channel. The programmes will premiere on Discovery's UK free-to-air channel QUEST in a peak mid-week slot from next Wednesday, 2 March at 9pm.
TV series Producer John Nolan says, "The Clipper Race is a remarkable human adventure played out on the high seas. Our team had unrestricted access to the crews to follow their incredible journey around the world. The series provides a unique insight into the roller coaster of emotions and experiences as novice sailors from all walks of life discover how they cope when Mother Nature throws everything she's got at them.
"We're delighted with the programmes and have received an enthusiastic reception from broadcasters such as Discovery Channel. It will be seen by millions of viewers around the world."
The biennial race was established in 1996 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world more than 40 years ago. He is chairman of the race which is almost full for the next event starting this summer and is already signing up crew for 2013.
Sir Robin says, "There is huge demand for this unique adventure which gives people of all ages and walks of life the opportunity to experience the thrill of ocean racing, Clipper provides extensive training and safety is our number one priority. So when our crews and their professional skippers encounter the dramatic challenges of the world's oceans, they can call upon their training and numerous safety drills to respond quickly and effectively. Taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a great personal achievement of which they can be justly proud and the television series captures it perfectly."
Watch Against the Tide on QUEST (Freeview channel 38, Sky channel 154, BT Vision channel 38, Virgin Media channel 179) from Wednesday 2 March at 2100 GMT.
The series has been produced by North One Television, one of Europe's biggest and most successful independent media companies. It is recognised as a global producer of world class entertainment, factual, digital, sport and live event programming and has won scores of awards for its shows. It is part of the ALL3MEDIA group. www.northonetv.com
In a message to members this week Commodore Peter Ryan said Conneely 'has been a huge part of the Club for 21 years and it will be a difficult task to find a replacement of his quality and commitment'.
The newspaper advertisement says the successful candidate 'will have a strong hands on approach to managing a tight knit, highly motivated team of professionals'.
Applicants are requested to email [email protected] before March 1st.
A remarkable performance throughout all 8 races by John Twomey and his team aboard Shillelagh resulted in a clear victory in division 3 IRC by a margin of some 12 points to swoop the coveted Sovereign's Cup.
Dave O'Sullivan served as Regatta Director for Sovereigns Cup 2007 in Kinsale Yacht Club.
Bob Bateman's photos of Sovereign's Cup 2007 are BELOW.
Anthony O’Leary’s Corby 35 ‘Antix’ won sailing's Sovereign’s Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club, and Paddy Gregory’s Elan 31 ‘Benola’ the Portcullis Trophy. Eamon Conneely’s Transpac 52 ‘Patches’ was the winner in Division 0 IRC, gaining National Champion title for that Division and the Saab Trophy for IRC.
‘Antix’ was the yacht deemed by the organising committee to have put in the best overall performance under IRC across the four fleets. She and Eamon Crosbie’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ had quite a duelling match in Division 1, with ‘Antix’ emerging as National Champion. ‘Benola’ finished first overall in both IRC and Echo in Division 2, winning double National Championship titles. Neil White’s Sigma 400 ‘Barafundle of Mumbles’ was the Division 1 winner and Champion.
Photos of the 2007 event by Bob Bateman BELOW:
The 52 footer that has a cruising speed of 6 knots has been put up for sale by the family of the former Taoiseach with an asking price of €175,000.The boat is lying on the Isle of Wight.
The full details and photos from the broker are HERE.
A Shannon Estuary search and rescue operation was mounted early yesterday (Wednesday) after a yacht was reported adrift and at risk of entering a busy shipping and ferry lane.
The alarm was raised shortly after 8.30am after a member of the public spotted the yacht drifting off Labasheeda village in south west Clare. The person reported that there appeared to be nobody on board the vessel. The Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Centre at Valentia in Co Kerry was contacted and staff there alerted the RNLI Lifeboat based at Kilrush. The Shannon based Coast Guard rescue helicopter was also scrambled. More HERE from Pat Flynn in the Clare Herald.
2012 will mark the 32nd anniversary of Ireland's premier off-shore sailing event, the Round Ireland Yacht Race, organised by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with RORC.
For the first time the biennial Round Ireland Race counts for the same points as the Fastnet race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club events (RORC). This is a huge boost for Wicklow Sailing Club Wicklow's Chairman of the event, Dennis Noonan expects a strong Irish turnout for the event in June.
The Round Ireland Yacht Race will depart from Wicklow Bay at 12 noon on Sunday 24th June 2012, leaving Ireland and all its islands to starboard. It is the longest race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club calendar, comparable to similar Offshore Races such as the Fastnet, Malta Middle Sea, Sydney-Hobart and China Sea races. The first race took place in 1980 with only thirteen boats. Since then, in the biennial race, the fleet has grown steadily, and some 30 to 40 yachts are expected to be at the start line in 2012.
Click this link for all the latest Round Ireland Sailing News
Sailing around Ireland poses many challenges for boats and crew, with open ocean on the south and west coasts, tidal challenges on north and east coasts apart from all the off lying rocks and sandbanks to keep navigators on their toes and not forgetting the vagaries of the Atlantic weather systems. This is very much a sailors' race but armchair spectators can follow the race on their computers, thanks to modern race tracker technology.
A Round Ireland Sail Fest (Thur 21 – Sun 24 June) will complement the race preparations and add a welcome level of fun and entertainment always provided for those travelling to Wicklow for the race start.
There are four classes in IRC in which boats and their crews can compete, including a Classic Class for the Michael Jones Trophy, classes for Sigma, ISORA, IRM, a Team Prize. 2004 saw the launch of the Two-Handed Class which has introduced a new level of competition for the more extreme sailor. In the past, boats competing have ranged from an 84-footer former 'Round the World' maxi to club boats one third the size, and all shades in between.
2006 saw the largest yacht yet to partake – Konica Minolta Zana, a 30m (98') racing machine from New Zealand, but light winds scuppered her chances of breaking the record or winning the race.
Sunday the 20th of June 2010 will be the 30th anniversary of the First Round Ireland.
There are very few human emotions left untouched by participation in the Round Ireland Race. Elation, fear, despair, and joy – they're the obvious ones. But as well there's love – love of our country and it's extraordinary coastline. Sailing the 704-mile course is an expression of that profound feeling.
Even the most hardened racer returns from the campaign emotionally enriched. But of course, as the pre-start manoeuvring builds up off the Wicklow pierheads, it's the sporting challenge of the race which is uppermost. The fine thoughts can come later for, at the start, everything is aimed at coping with the sailing, navigational and technical problems which this great race inevitable involves.
Seven-hundred-and-four miles may not seem much at first sight, but think of what it contains when its the shortest distance round Ireland and her islands. Four very different coastlines have to be negotiated as well as as a host of headlands, rocks and sandbanks.
And then there's the tides – as the ebb sluices away from Wicklow down past the banks of the southeast, that's only the beginning of it.
For immediately you're in the battle to carry that one ebb all the way south, past the Tuskar and out past the Coningbeg until you reach the slacker tides off the Waterford coast.
Getting that far might be cause for relaxation, but in the 1990 race the fleet had a beat along the supposedly gentler south coast into a near gale which sorted them out in a big way with dismastings and other damage.
At both the Old Head of Kinsale and Ireland's 'land's end' of Mizen Head, tides again become significant, while along the southwstern seaboard there's another unexpected hazard. The coastline is so spectacularly beautiful, with dramatic off-lying rock giants such as the Bull and the Skelligs, that crews can be awed and distracted by it all.
At each outcrop of the Irish land is approached, race navigation can more accurately be described as pilotage. Cutting the corners as closely as possible can save valuable time, but cutting the corners too close can result in disaster. The sheer scale of the corners you're rounding naturally inspires respect – wherever else he or she may sail afterards, few navigators will ever forget rounding the most westerly point of the race – the Great Foze Rock out beyond the Blaskets.
Because the race is outside every rock and islet, special difficulties arise at two specific points. At both Black Rock in Mayo and the most northerly point, Inishtrahull off Donegal, the safest water is actually inside the rocks in question. Thus they are marked by lighthouses which are meant to guide you through the clearer inside passages. But the rules say you take the hazardous route outside. It can be difficult on a dark and stormy night, to say the least, but such challenges are what the Round Ireland Race is all about.
And there's no rest on the open water stretches such as those between the Blaskets and Slyne Head, or from Eagle Island to Tory. There can be surprising variations in wind strength and direction crossing these great bays, even over short distances, and when it's a beat – as it was in 1986 up the west coast – the right tactical decisions paid enormous dividends.
Off the Donegal coast there's the added problem of salmon nets. Whether they're legal or not is beside the point: they're there and you have to deal with them and their owners as best you can.
Once the extraordinary island of Tory is astern, newcomers to the race tend to relax a bit, thinking that open water is a thing of the past, and rough sailing with it. Not a bit of it. For as you near Inishtrahull, the tides strengthen rapidly and all the way from Inishtrahull through the narrow seas of the North Channel until the South Rock is reached, if wind over tide occurs then you're in very rough water indeed, particularly off Rathlin Island.
It would be understandable to ease off a little once the South Rock is passed. After all, you're on the home straight, this is the griendly old Irish Sea, and there's only a hundred easy miles to the finish.
The race has been lost by such an attitude. never is it more necessary to keep up the pressure. And, as you get into strong tides from Rockabill southward, hard-gained leads which have been built up over 650 miles can simply evaporate in flukey winds and foul tides.
So it is never over until you've passed the orange buoy off the Wicklow pierheads. And after that, it's only the actual sailing which is over.
The memories become enriched as time passes, and even the parites could be said to go on until well into the autumn, when the sponsors host the prize-giving. If you want to experience the genuine camaraderie of sailing folk, then this is one event not to be missed.
Ready for Ireland (reprinted from the May 2004 issue of Afloat)
The Round Ireland is not for the faint-hearted nor the unprepared. David Nixon describes the battle to get a competitive boat to the start line
Above: Spirit will add spice to the BMW Round Ireland 2004 in Irish waters thanks to a Howth YC campaign. Photo Tim Wright
My last attempt to skipper a Round Ireland was in 1996 when, as a group of insane teenagers, we thought it would be a great idea to compile a Youth Challenge for the race. I’m happy to say we didn’t see it through, because I’m sure that if we had pursued that dream, none of us would have lived to tell the tale. I have learned since that offshore sailing is not quite as easy as it seems.
Last August, I got the call from Fred and Jim, who were in Plymouth having just finished the Fastnet Race. They urged me to put pen to paper for a significant Round Ireland entry. I began a proposal that day and now it’s finally beginning to come to fruition. The pleasant part of planning has been the support we have enjoyed. It has been really positive and uplifting for me and the team. It hasn’t all been easy but we are determined to see it through to the finish. Wicklow here we come!
Above: Lift off – At the launch of Howth's Round Ireland campaign on the GUL stand at the London Boat Show are (left to right) Spirit's owner Hamish Oliphant, Irish Olympian Tom McWilliam, Veteran Jim Barden, Ireland's Round the World Skipper Joe English, O2's Round Ireland entry Skipper David Nixon, Fred Connolly and David Howard. Photo: Mark Jardine
I missed the last Round Ireland. While it was pleasant getting into a warm and comfortable bed on the night of the start, a little drunk, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed I wasn’t taking part. The Round Ireland is a magical race, I can’t quite say why, but it is magic. I guess with so many corners to turn and fabulous landmarks to pass, you can’t help but enjoy it.
However, my favourite part of the Round Ireland is the finish, something I think I share with all other sailors. I remember on board Cracklin’ in 98, we were off Rathlin and Jeep Cherokee had finished. How we envied them – pints and steaks all round in Wicklow Sailing Club. At that stage I realised we needed a faster boat.
Drawing up my current plan, I asked myself whether I could see it through. Happily I was reassured by a number of people around me, namely Jimmy Barden, Fred Connolly and Davie Howard. My brother was also very encouraging which was important as he has nothing to do with sailing – he just knew I’d do it.
My other question was whether I could actually skipper a substantial team racing a high performance racing machine. That can only be answered during the race, but my team believe I can and, with their support, anything is possible. I’m 26, and while my knowledge and experience may be somewhat limited, it’s the team that makes a crew and the attitude and approach of that crew that can bring the boat to victory.
The plan was simple from the start; procure the best resources available to give us the best possible chance to win the race and beat the record. Fundamentally that meant attaining sound and substantial sponsorship – not an easy task. It then meant finding the most suitable boat available and recruiting an appropriate pro-am crew. Pros were a must, but so too were amateurs since that’s a major feature of the campaign.
Ireland has a wealth of amateur sailors with excellent skills, knowledge and experience. The challenge, I believe, is to develop this to compete on the international scene. Having competed in the 2002 Commodores’ Cup, I feel there is a gulf between Ireland’s available resources and that required to compete at the highest level.
I had the opportunity to learn about the level of ability among professional ranks in 1998 when Roy Dickson kindly sent me off with Cracklin’ to race with a fully professional team on Barlo Plastics. We won, and it taught me a lot.
As an amateur, I feel the best way to improve my own ability is to race with professionals any chance I get. This pro-am mix is the philosophy of the modern day Commodores’ Cup, but it costs to live it. Commercial support in the form of sponsorship is essential to pay the bills.
So our Round Ireland project has longer term relevance. It provides us with training in two very important ways – sponsorship attainment and learning from professionals.
So how did we do it? Well, as with most things, there has been an element of luck. I called a colleague to help me with the proposal document and he liked the concept, so O2 got involved. Davie Howard has the GUL agency in his ProRig store so he put me in touch there and they also liked the plan. A couple of other sponsors have come on board since.
In the meantime we were looking for a boat, a search which proved quite difficult. The web and contacts are great but amazingly there are not that many good offshore boats available for charter. In the end we were very fortunate to get in touch with Pure Sailing, a Plymouth-based charter company with a VO 60, (Tyco from the last Volvo Ocean Race). Hamish Oliphant, the owner, was very interested by our proposal and signed up to the campaign.
Left: The big one – A Volvo 60 will Race round Ireland under a Howth flag. Photo: Tim Wright
Finally the crew. We had a long list of our own guys that we wanted on the team, but it was essential to put together the right team. Jim Barden had the tough job of final selection. We got in touch with Tom McWilliam who agreed to sail with us and brought in Steve Hayles and Guy Salter, both of whom had raced on Tyco for the VOR. I also asked Joe English and Davie Harte onto the team. The owner brings three, taking the total number of pros to eight. We will compliment this with ten amateurs, most of whom would have sailed aboard Cracklin’ Rosie with Jim and I.
Time has flown in development of this campaign. Before we know it we’ll be lining up at the start in Wicklow. I can’t wait. The competition will be great, the race will be excellent. Even better, the finish in Wicklow awaits with pints and steaks all round. That’s what it’s all about!
Royal Cork stake early claim
Five of the nine entries received so far for the June 26 start of the BMW Round Ireland race are from Royal Cork in a fleet that Wicklow organisers ultimately expect to swell three-fold by the entry deadline of May 24.
The largest entry continues to be the Volvo 60 Spirit (David Nixon, Howth) but there are other big boats on the horizon according to organiser Denis Noonan.
A single entry has been received in the new two-handed class and it comes from the Isle of Man Yacht Club in the form of Andrew Bell's J105 sloop, Moontiger.
Dingle pair to take on Ireland
Co-skippers Aodhán Fitzgerald from Dingle and Frenchman Yannick Lemonnier will go head-to-head with fully crewed entries in the 704-mile Round Ireland race this year.
The pair aim to compete both in the two-handed class of the race as well as the overall fully-crewed IRC category.
Both co-skippers have impressive sailing credentials. Lemonnier competed in the Figaro single handed racing events for five years before he moved to Ireland in 2001. He has also competed in several two-handed transatlantic races as well as several Tour de France a Voile series.
Fitzgerald has been active in the Irish offshore racing scene for ten years, campaigning on the well-travelled GK 34 Joggernaut for the past eight years. Aodhan has competed in four Round Ireland races and two Fastnet races. Successes include an overall win in the 1999 Dún Laoghaire to Dingle race.
The team’s longer term ambitions include competing in next year’s Fastnet Race (two handed division) as a warm-up for the two handed transatlantic AG2R race in 2006. Further details can be found on the team’s website www.dinglesailing.com
COPYRIGHT AFLOAT 2004
Time out, round 13 (reprinted from the July 2004 issue of Afloat)
A showdown not witnessed in ten years is on the cards for the BMW Round Ireland Race as a surge of interest has seen a 60 per cent jump in entries from five countries for the 704-mile race
Above: With variable displacement, an IRC rating of 1.425, a canting keel and powerful sailplan French entry Solune’s performance is designed to match a Volvo upwind and an Open 60 offwind
Looking back over the past decade or more, it is clear that the only thing predictable about the Round Ireland race – and we are about to embark on the 13th – is it’s unpredictability. So will the 13th staging of Ireland’s classic offshore race be unlucky for some? Almost certainly, yes.
With a little over a week remaining before the start of the 704-mile BMW Round Ireland Race, entries have exceeded organisers' expectations and presently stand at 47 boats from five countries with further late entries tipping the 50 mark.
The non-stop race for monohull yachts gets underway at 14.00 hrs on Saturday June 26th 2004 from Wicklow Sailing Club and the first boats will be expected to finish just three days later following their southabout circumnavigation.
Left: Denis Noonan all set for his third and final Round Ireland as race organiser
Commenting on the entry, Race Director Denis Noonan said: "The response has been very encouraging as we had initially hoped that we might reach 40 boats. The introduction of a two-handed class is a factor and BMW’s sponsorship has helped raise the profile of the race considerably."
French giant aims to crush Irish Spirit
A war of words has broken out between the main contenders for this year’s Round Ireland title, as the fleet of 50 boats makes final preparations for the event.
Paris-based financier Jean Pierre Chomett has thrown down the gauntlet to main rival David Nixon by declaring that he has entered the record-breaking 60-footer Solune not only to win on the water but also to smash the race record.
Six years ago, Colm Barrington in Jeep Cherokee set a mark of three days, four hours and 23 minutes for the 704-mile course, (see 'Records...' below) but Chomett believes a sub-three-day time is possible.
In setting the Round Britain and Ireland record in May, Solune reached top speeds of 26 knots in short surf, but also managed to average 22 knots for long periods of the voyage. It’s all weather dependent, of course, but Chomett believes the new design – a cross between a Volvo and open 60 design – has a better upwind performance than the Volvo 60 in both light and strong winds, a key sailing angle in the Round Ireland event where up to half the race can be spent on that point of sailing.
Above: The 2002 fleet departs Wicklow. Two years later the fleet has doubled in size and stature
However, 02 Team Spirit skipper David Nixon (26), who has chartered the Volvo 60 from the UK for the event, has dismissed the performance boasts of the French prototype. "As long as there’s breeze, we'll be okay," said the Howth skipper.
Built by the same team that created the Alinghi America's cup hulls, Solune broke the Round Britain and Ireland record by more than three days and 15 hours ahead of the previous record, a month ago. It was during that trip off the Irish west coast that Chomett made up his mind to return for a second record-breaking attempt.
There’s little doubt that the La Rochelle entry is up to the job. The broad-beamed boat comes complete with powerful gennaker, twin rudders and a canting keel. For the circumnavigation, Chomett will have Playstation's weather router and navigator Chris Tibbs of Cowes on board.
A third big boat for the fleet will be Dutch entry Second Love, a Standfast 64 that’s unlikely to prove a significant threat to the other pair as this boat is a Fast Cruiser design and lacks the performance advantages of stripped out interiors and lightweight equipment.
Nevertheless, this race is not about line honours or even a new course record – both are not part of the official event programme. The overall win is based on corrected handicap time that may yet give the Dutch boat an advantage.
Records show how that between 1980s first race and Colm Barrington’s 1998 current record run that nearly 60 hours have been shaved off the circuit time. The race is on to be first round Ireland in under three days.
135:02:27 1980 Force ten-sion J.S. Morris, Pwhelli
99:45:25 1982 Moonduster Denis Doyle, RCYC
88:15:43 1984 Moonduster Denis Doyle, RCYC
84:56:06 1990 Rothmans Lawrie Smith, Royal Thames
76: 23:57 1998 Jeep Cherokee Colm Barrington, RIYC
Small may yet be beautiful
It’s all very well two big boats vying for the win on the water but as race followers know well the overall prize on corrected time typically only becomes clear once the small boats are back in Wicklow. Challenging the big boats for the race win in 2004 falls to a host of smart contenders of widely varying size; the recent light-airs RORC Cervantes Trophy Race in class zero featured three Round Ireland entries that illustrate this variety.
Royal Cork’s Eric Lisson (third from right) celebrates with the Cavatina crew after the 2002 race
Piet Vroon's 52-foot Tonnerre de Breskens, the Dutch winner of the 2001 Rolex Fastnet Race, took one hour off Anthony Richard's Minnie the Moocher, a Kerr 11.3 which in turn was 36 minutes ahead of Second Love after 110-miles of racing. For the Round Ireland, a large gap between the first, big boat finishers and the rest of the fleet finishing at Wicklow seems unlikely.
The list of handicap contenders must include another Jason Kerr design that has consistently proven problematic for bigger rivals and now has its sights set on this classic offshore course – Voodoo Chile, to be known as Calyx Voice & Data under Eamon Crosbie and his regular team from the National YC. As one of the smallest boats in the race, line honours is not an option for this 32-footer.
But Crosbie won't be the only smaller boat giving the big boys palpitations as they wait out the finishers at Wicklow Sailing Club. Eric Lisson and his Granada 38 Cavatina will be defending the 2002 title victory and, as the second-last finisher two years ago, nobody will be counting results on the basis of outside chances again.
Less predictable will be the new innovation for the 2004 race – a two-handed class that has attracted at least six entries. This will be a particularly tough challenge for some boats that range in size from 30 to 45 feet. One of the first entries came from Dingle pair Aodhan Fitzgerald and Yannick Lemonnier (see May Afloat), who have chartered Figaro Beneteau number 32, which has just arrived back from St Barths after completing the AG2R transatlantic. Entries in this class appear very competitive, with English interest centred on Thunder 2, a former winner of Cork Week class 0.
Left: Giant killer – Last time round in 2002, the Cavatina win came as such a shock that there was not even a picture of the boat available. The press had to make do with a shot of the comparatively petit and elderly Granada 38 footer on her moorings in the Curabinny river!
Overall, the revival in fortunes for the Round Ireland is to be welcomed and the increasing turnout is a testimony to the basic attraction of the race. The sheer unpredictability of the course, which fails to guarantee outright victory to the all-out racers, acts as a balance for the club crew and keeps the event within its original ethos.
Moreover, while just a handful of prizes are up for grabs, simply completing this challenging but achievable course places the event as a ‘must do’ for many crews and acts as an incentive to continue racing, often against the odds. For that reason alone, the Round Ireland has proven that reports of the death of offshore racing are very much exaggerated.
COPYRIGHT AFLOAT 2004
Here we go – Round 14 (reprinted from the June/July 2006 issue of Afloat)
The 100-foot Kiwi Pot-Hunter has arrived in search of a record. Afloat previews a 2006 Round Ireland fleet that has plenty of spice
At 4pm on July the 1st the BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race will set off from Wicklow Sailing Club. This year will be the 14th race to date and Wicklow Sailing Club officials are saying it will be one of the best and entries are still coming in well after the entry deadline so 2004’s 49-boat fleet could well be matched.
Race Organiser Denis Noonan had 41 entries as Afloat went to press (on June 16th) but is confident this figure should reach ‘in the region of the fifty mark’ as the big day draws near.
Either way, any deficiency in numbers is more than made up for in variety and this year Wicklow welcomes it's largest entry to date.
Owned by Stewart Thwaites, the record breaking yacht, 'Konica Minolta Zana' is a 30m super maxi yacht. She is due in Dublin in June with the intention of adding a Round Ireland Race record to an already formidable list of record times which she holds. The current record of 76hrs, 23 minutes and 57 seconds was set by Colm Barrington in Jeep Cherokee in 1998.
This will be the only competitive racing that the New Zealand yacht – sponsored by Lakeshore Funds – will participate in before heading down to the Mediterranean to compete in a number of events that include the Middle Sea race as well as the Maxi World Cup.
It was hoped that she could compete in Cork Week also, but this plan was scuppered by time constraints.
Konica Minolta Zana currently holds race records for the HSBC Coastal Classic Race, the Auckland to Suva race and the Auckland to Noumea race, as well as a string of top finishing positions in the Sydney Hobart.
Aboard Konica Minolta Zana will be a plethora of top class international sailors including Gavin Brady (watch captain), multiple world champion, Americas Cup and Volvo sailor, Steve Hayles, (navigator) ex-Oracle and with four Whitbread/Volvo races under his belt, Rodney Keenan (watch captain) ex-Volvo, etc., Kip Stone, first in Open 50s single handed yachts.
Among her crew will be Martin Hannon, originally from Newtownards who now lives in New Zealand. Adding a bit of local knowledge to the team will be GP champion Ruan O'Tiarnaigh.
However, size does not always matter in a race of this magnitude, with past winners including Calyx Voice & Data, Imp, and Cavatina all weighting-in at 40 foot and under.
One of the smallest boats in the fleet, Eamon Crosbie’s 32 footer Voodoo Chile (last time known as Calyx Voice & Data) is back racing as Teng Tools to retain his title.
Ireland West Tourism and Ireland West Airport Knock have joined in sponsoring an entry.
Aodhán Fitzgerald, winner of the 2004 Round Ireland two-handed class with Yannick Lemonnier, heads the twelve strong Team Ireland West, drawn from the membership of Galway Bay Sailing Club. They will be sailing a race-optimised Beneteau 40.7 yacht, chartered specially for the event, under the name ‘Ireland's West’. Well-known Galway sailor Barry Heskin will be watch leader, while Galway man Noel Butler, a former Laser 2 World Champion and helm of the winning boat in Class 1 at the UK's Cowes week last year, will be principal helmsman.
Another west coast entry are upping the ante with the charter of a Volvo 60. The group, known as the Spirit of Kilrush team, will have Simon McGibney among its crew. They have completed a number of training sessions on the boat in Cowes.
J.P. Chomette, on board Solune who holds the Round Ireland monohull record, is back and this time means business after some reworking of his canting keel 60-footer. Navigator Chris Tibbs is on board the French entry again.
This year will again be a very special one in our Double Handed Fleet, which already boasts Nunatak, skippered by Mike Jacques, and Moontiger driven by Alan Bell.
Yannick Lemonnier and Mark Greely of Dingle, Sailing Club, are fine-tuning their Beneteau Figaro 2 which they’re chartering with the support of their sponsor Southbound Group in the two-handed category.
Yannick and Mark have been sailing together for a number of years and came second in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race on board Southbound in 2005. The boat’s racing name for the Round Ireland is Southbound.ie and you’ll be able to follow the their progress and race position due to the addition of a tracking system on board the competing boats this year.
However, the BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race is not only about the intense offshore race, there is also an extensive social event for all the crew and spectators. The party kicks off in Wicklow on Wednesday the 28th and carries the whole way to the start and after.
1 The big one cometh! At over 100 foot surely Barrington’s 1998 record will fall? All eyes will be on the Konica Minolta Kiwi entry.
2 Do Dingle.com was the two handed winner in 2004, two years later skipper Aodhan Fitzgerald is heading up Team Ireland West.
3 Limerick’s Andrew Carey during training on the Western Yacht Club’s Volvo 60 entry Spirit of Kilrush
4 Sean Lemass and the National YC crew on Gallileo are keen offshore campaigners
5 A winner offshore and a winner round the cans: Chieftain’s skipper Ger O’Rourke has his eyes on handicap honours in the canting keel fifty footer.
6 Jean Phillipe Chomette already has a Round Ireland speed record under his belt. Now the Paris financier is eyeing a race record too in the Nacira 60 City Jet
7 Sarnia, a veteran S&S 36 from the National YC.
8 and 11 Yannick Lemonnier and Mark Greely of Dingle Sailing Club are entered in the double handed category. The boat’s racing name for the Round Ireland is Southbound.ie
9/13 Waiting for the start at Wicklow
10 Minnie the Moocher, a race leader til Mew island in ‘04, the Kerr 11 metre is back
Wicklow Sailing Club rolls out its 14th Round Ireland race but its appeal, though deserving of far greater international note, remains rooted in a small domestic fleet.
The club have received 41 entries as Afloat goes to press and it is likely to swell with late entries to over 45 or more before the July 1 start. Over half of the fleet is from Dublin and Cork. The balance of the domestic fleet, totalling 29, is made up from entries from the West coast, Waterford, UK and French entries, and one very large Kiwi boat make up an overseas entry of 12.
The failure to capitalise on the success of the 2004 event with a bigger fleet this time round will be seen, by some, as a disappointing outcome for a number of reasons but primarily because if it is – as so often it is claimed to be – one of the world's classic offshore races, then its fleet could, as with Australia’s Sydney-Hobart or Britain’s Fastnet fixture, number in excess of 100 boats. There are 50 Irish yacht clubs around the coast but only 11 have sent entries.
The biggest club presence is from the Royal St. George, sending five boats. The country’s largest club, Howth, has a single entry. Only three of the four Dun Laoghaire clubs are sending boats. The home of the country’s biggest sailing centre, with the Wicklow start line on its doorstep, can only muster 12 in total.
Cork's race veteran Eric Lisson was clear about club support when he lifted his overall prize in 2002. He pleaded with offshore sailors at the time to go out and canvass for it's future support.
Lisson, who took second in the 2005 Fastnet Race, knows the potential of the Round Ireland is not just as another ‘passage race’ as RORC describe it but as a symbol of Irish sailing. He suggested that if each of the 30 skippers or so could attract one more clubmate then quite simply they would double the size of the fleet. Two years later, 49 entries and a big breeze meant 2004 went down as a highlight of the race’s 28–year–history.
But now four years on, the exact reason for the lack of growth can most precisely be attributed to a clash of dates with the Commodore's Cup. Ireland is fielding three teams and with a strong entry for the Cowes event (see page 24), this has had a direct effect on Round Ireland numbers and crew availability. But even this is too convenient an excuse for a race whose true strength lies abroad.
What really is at stake for Irish sailing is much more than running a local yacht race. The Round Ireland is the perfect offshore race course and it needs to be sold as such.
Pictured left: Adrian Lee’s Beneteau Irisha passes below Wicklow head at the start of the 2004 race
The entire sailing community headed by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) or another body needs to get behind Wicklow and assist it in promoting this 704-mile offshore race as an icon of Ireland's summer sport.
Nowhere was this point more clearly made than in early June when the world's top offshore sailors called in unexpectedly to our South and West coasts.
They came principally in search of wind in leg eight of the Volvo Round the World race. They found little wind, unusually, but before they left they wrote prose worthy of a Failte Ireland copywriter.
In his log Navigator Simon Fisher from ABN AMRO TWO wrote: “Our day started sailing in and out of the mist rolling down off the hills and, as the sun rose and the mist burnt off, it gave way to spectacular views of rolling green hills and a weather-beaten rocky coastline. With castles and towers stationed on each headland, it gives you the feeling of sailing through a scene out of Lord of the Rings.”
COPYRIGHT AFLOAT 2004
More on the Round Ireland Yacht Race:
25 October 1902 – Formation of Club at John Wylie’s residence. Present – Robert Todd, William Craig, Robert Auld Snr, Robert Auld Jnr, John Wylie (1st Captain), H.E. Wylie and A. Wylie. Decision taken to form Whitehead Sailing Club. Decided to call a public meeting on Thursday 30th October to draw up rules and appoint Office Bearers – Members to be enrolled.
30 October 1902 – Meeting held in Victoria Café. Object of the Club – To encourage and promote amateur sailing. Half model of the Waverley on display (now mounted on the current fireplace). No entrance fee, but fees due from 1/1/1903 – 10 shillings
John Wylie - Captain (designed the Waverley); Robert G Todd – Second Officer (presented the Todd Cup). Decision taken to use the amended RNIYC rules
21 November 1902 – First General Meeting to discuss and sanction rules. Burgee to be Red with a White W (copy currently on display in the General Room)
April 1903 – First Sailing Committee formed. Starting House situated to the West of the Cable House (cable ran from Whitehead to Portpatrick – removed in 1951)
16 May 1903 – First Club House opened. Waverleys to sail at 7pm on Wednesdays and 3.30pm on Saturdays
June 1903 – Concerts to be held in July and August to raise funds for the Club
First Regatta held 22 August 1903
August 1903 – Auld Challenge Cup sailed for at Whitehead Annual Regatta by Whitehead One Design Class – Boat winning cup twice to become the owner
July 1904 – First Ladies Race for the Duff Challenge Cup presented by James Duff of Blackhead
August 1904 – New class – Insect Class were considered. Annual General Meeting held at Victoria Café due to extra room required. Spring and Autumn AGM’s held
June 1906 – Hailcock Rock – proposal to drill a hole 12 inches deep x 2 1⁄2 inches in diameter to erect a post – this was left to the Property Committee and the cost was not to exceed 10 shillings
July 1906 – Morrow Cup presented for the Insect Class and if won twice to be kept by the boat owner
September 1906 – Proposal for first Club Dance to be held in winter 1906. Dances were held over the years at either Royal Hotel, The Royal George Hotel or The Rhinka
October 1906 – Proposal for Club House to be extended.
18 May 1907 – First Opening Day
5 August 1908 – Proposal to investigate scheme for new Club House
28 August 1908 – Special Meeting to formally go ahead with new Club House
November 1908 – Midland Railway Company agreed to give £50 towards groundwork for new Club House
22 December 1908 – The Club’s first Trustees were officially appointed
21 January 1909 – Architects for new Club House to Gregory & Hall (original drawing on wall beside General Room door). Builders were the Dowther Brothers
6 March 1909 – Cost of building Club House - £415 – Dowther Brothers agreed to give £15 for the old Club House (photograph on General Room wall). Opening Day to be 5 June 1909. Proposal to change name of the Club to County Antrim Yacht Club due to large number of people who were members who also lived in Belfast.
15 March 1909 – Proposal to change the burgee to blue pennant with a yellow Irish/Celtic cross
April 1909 – Fireplaces to cost £13 – Billiard Room (iron) and General Room (wood)
May 1909 – Billiard Table purchased for £75 (including fittings). Cost to furnish the Club House - £65.00
June 1909 – ByeLaws – Club open from 9.am – 11.15 pm except Sunday 12pm–9pm.
A Member shall not introduce the same visitor more than twice in any one year
Ladies only allowed in Club House until 7pm. Billiard Table – tickets had to be purchased from the steward – no-one to get on the table. No card playing on a Sunday
3 June 1909 – Boatman employed for 18 shillings per week. Steward employed for 15 shillings per week with an extra 2 shillings & sixpence for Sundays
9 June 1909 – Paymaster General could not see his way to putting in a letter box as requested by the General Committee. Club fete – different amusements. Mr Bolton – Waxworks and Shadographs; Mr A. Wylie – Hat-trimming and Box making; Mr John Hay – ‘Aunt Sally’; Mr Gamble – Ariel flight; Mr McCausland – Hobby Horses. Antrim Artillery Band hired for three days for £15.00. Club tents supplied by Tedfords
1918 – R.J. McKeown MP Vice Commodore presented the Billiards Cup (this is currently played for each Christmas and is the longest running trophy in the Club). First won by H. Magill
1925 – McCalmont Trophy presented by Col. R.C.A. McCalmont DSO who succeeded his father as Commodore (1913-1924)
1926 – Todd Cup presented for Waverley Class by Robert G Todd who was to be Commodore 1925 – 1938. Yachtmen’s Cup presented by Sailing Members for Mid Week Points Races. Landmen’s Cup presented by Non-Sailing Members for Saturday Points Races (At this time the Ulster G P for motor bikes could not be held at the same time as the Whitehead Regatta)
June 1928 – Decided to hold a dance on Regatta Day in the evening and that an orchestra to be engaged for this purpose
February 1930 – The sleepers at the top of the slipway were having to be constantly replaced
April 1934 – Fees – Senior Members £1-11-6; Lady Members £0-5-0
June 1936 – Mr James Glover (Captain) indicated his intention to present a perpetual Rose Bowl for the Ladies Race – to be known as Empire Furnishing Company Rose Bowl
June 1937 – Boatman’s wages increased to £2 per week
1944 – Sailing Committee requisites £5.00 purchase of material and gear required for launching of yachts. One bottle of whiskey only to be issued from the bar for consumption nightly
March 1945 – Caretaker/Steward appointed at 30 shillings per week. £350 to pay for slip – Wm. Logan & Sons Ltd
August 1945 – No Member of the Club is to receive more than 1 glass of whiskey between 9pm–10pm, after 10pm the whiskey to be given out until it is finished. Permission given to purchase 1 dozen whiskey glasses
November 1945 – No visitors entitled to play in the card games
12 April 1946 – James Magee proposed as a new Member
May 1946 – Sea Hawks admitted to the Club as a Class
June 1946 – Advert for the Club Punt in Belfast Telegraph – under £20.00
November 1946 – Purchase of 4 bats and 1 dozen balls for new diversion for the Ladies - Table Tennis
April 1949 – Public phone discussed, but deemed to be unwanted at this time
29 May 1950 – Special Meeting held due to loss of ‘Fair Maid’ and crew. Sailing and social activities cancelled for 1 week.
1952 – John Wylie – founder Member died
July 1952 – Admiralty Chart of Belfast Lough displayed. Snooker Table recovered, re-cushioned and new pockets £64-19-6; 6d per person per 1⁄2 hour
October 1952 – Hugh Kennedy purchased plans of GP 14 Class
July 1953 – Prompt closing of the bar at 11.30pm was emphasized while all singing and noise was to be stopped at midnight
April 1954 – Upper part of slip completed in concrete - £130
1955 – Calwell Cup presented for GP 14 Class
1956 – Auld Cup presented for Juniors
1959 – Beach Road premises acquired, £300 to extend slip – shelved
1960 – Plans to fix balcony at a cost of £2346.00
October 1961 – Gates acquired for Beach Road - £15; Fencing acquired for Beach Road - £15
April 1963 – Royalty of 2 guineas to CAYC for plans of the Waverley
15 August 1963 – Sara Annett joined the Club
September 1963 – Wooden steps at side of Club House replaced by concrete at a cost of £150.00
October 1963 – First Junior Committee to be formed
November 1963 – Table Tennis Table made for £5-12-6
December 1963 – 1914-18 War Memorial Plaque moved to left hand side of fireplace; 1939-45 War Memorial Plaque (new) moved to right hand side of the fireplace. Presented by Mr John McKendry. Wood carving presented by Mr John Henshaw
February 1964 – McCalmont Trophy was deemed to be irreplaceable. No valuation could be given and decision taken to keep it in the Bank all year round except for Captain’s Night. (The trophy has now been valued at approx. £25,000)
April 1964 – Rails on slip to cost £39
May 1964 – Waterproof cover for the snooker table cost £9-10-0
September 1964 – Framing of architects’ original drawing completed
May 1965 – Installation of pay phone
March 1966 – First Aid kit purchased
February 1970 – Moveable bar purchased for £90.00 (still used every Regatta Day as an outside bar facility)
January 1972 – Request made for Double Diamond draught beer at bar was made although there was some opposition from the Guinness drinkers
April 1972 – Klaxon horn presented to Club by Mr Gerry Easton (still used for Points Racing)
August 1972 – First inflatable Rescue Boat purchased; New slip completed
September 1972 – Workman Trophy presented to the Club by J R Workman from RNIYC for the Lake Class which were now being sailed at CAYC
May 1973 – Electric winch finally in position
June 1973 – George Thomas joined the Club
September 1973 – Cable Hut sold to the Club for £500
May 1974 – Purchase of 4 Olympic Marks £21.92 each with the moorings extra
June 1974 – Proposal that a Commodore’s Board be put in place pending verification of valid information. (This was subsequently completed in January 1991)
January 1975 – Increase in membership subscription to £7.50 for Ordinary Members
August 1975 – Proposal for snooker team to join the Larne & District Snooker League
June 1976 – Proposal for building changing rooms passed.
October 1976 – Proposal to purchase Dory for £1340 + Vat @ 12 1⁄2 % less 12 1⁄2% discount including engine
November 1976 – First Gaming Machine installed
June 1978 – Glass washer purchased for the bar
October 1978 – Harry McKee joined the Club
February 1980 – Neville Hack Trophy presented to the Club by Mrs Hack
August 1980 – Laser Rose Bowl presented to Irish Laser Association (Ulster Branch)
July 1982 – Consideration for extension of bar area
March 1983 – Purchase of new Rescue Boat - £900 to fix old one. Cost of Sea Rider £1500
May 1984 – Harry McKee to arrange for extension of bar store
July 1984 – D J Elwood joined the Club
September 1985 – New cash register - £550 less allowance for old register of £50.00
January 1987 – Letter received from D J Elwood re. Break in to the Club. Lost all his tapes – Committee decided that he should be totally reimbursed.
August 1988 – Successful European Scorpion Championships held at the Club
October 1988 – General Room finally refurbished
January 1989 – Voluntary bar staff took control of bar for a period of 1 year to improve financial position of the Club
April 1989 – Six ‘Optimists’ were purchased via a Sports Council grant. These small craft have been a tremendous success in encouraging young sailors in the Club to ‘have a go’. The Optimist Class are single handers ideal for juniors in the 5-15 year old bracket though in reality most move into the Mirror or Topper Classes by the age of 12/13.
August 1990 – John Lewis and Roger Kernaghan sailing Roobarb won the Irish Scorpion Championships after an intensive two year campaign. A major accolade for the Club.
1991 – Club receives Royal Patronage: HRH Duke of York
May 1991 – The Flying Fifteen Class began to develop when Sheela Lewis purchased Charley Brown. This was subsequently followed by Jim Rankin in ‘Blue Moon and Shane Haveron in Bonnie. Laser class consists of at least 20 boats.
June 1991 – A very successful Ulster Laser Championship attracted 70 boats and this was sponsored by Northern Bank. Brian Erskine, North East Regional Manager at the time and former Club member, presented the prizes and recollected some memorable times at the Club re-establishing many old friendships.
July 1993 – The Club hosted the Ulster Laser Championships which had an entry of 94 boats. This stands as a record for any provincial championship ever held for the Laser Class in Ireland.
August 1993 – The Flying 15 fleet had increased to six and was continuing to attract new interest. The RYA courses continue to be successful with growing numbers of Juniors.
June 1994 – The Topper Class began to develop with five boats actively racing and attending regattas. Junior members have included Chris Moore, Sarah Moore, Graeme McKenzie, Deborah-Ann Perry and Patrick Smyth. The juniors are seen as the life blood of the Club in the years ahead.
July 1995 – The Commodore, Mr Harry Carse and three guests are invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
June 1996 – Fourteen Flying 15s were registered at the Club. The sight of many masts in the bay and a huge turnout during points racing on Monday and Wednesday nights was very encouraging. Peter Waugh, Des McKendry, Tim Taylor, and Stephen Canning in addition to those mentioned above have had extremely close racing in this very competitive class. In order to keep costs under control and provide fair sailing only old boats under sail number 2660 are allowed to compete.
July 1996 – A number of the juniors entered the Irish Topper Championships with a reasonable degree of success.
August 1996 – Many of the senior members with young families are clearly determined to provide boats for their children to encompass the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training courses which have been held at the Club during the last 4/5 years. This commitment will ensure the survival of CAYC. The Club is now a recognised training centre under the RYA scheme.
February 2000 – Keith Black ends his two years as Commodore, one of the longest standing members to have sat on Committee. (One short break off Committee and he is still doing it... Bar Convener 2000 and in 2001 Sailing Secretary). Sheela Lewis is voted onto Committee as First ‘Madam’ Commodore
April 2000 – ‘New Slip’ has major renovation work carried out, £12,000. Club members are levied and many offer an additional donation. Also £1,000 donation received from a "Business contact" No loan was required.
July and August 2001 – Record number of RYA courses run at the Club. Another successful Raft Race, £1000 donated to the RNLI
March 2002 – Snooker Team win 3rd Division Larne & District League
August 2002 – Centenary Regatta, well attended approx 70 yachts. A beautiful morning of sailing, followed by a fog bound afternoon with racing abandoned. Fortunately there were results from the first round of all classes participating.
October 2002 – Centenary Formal Dinner Dance. Quality Hotel, Carrickfergus : 25th October 2002 the Club is 100 years old to the Day!
Country Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland. Established 1902. Patron: HRH Duke of York
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