Displaying items by tag: DBSC
DBSC dinghy sailing continued its strong turnout for the first Saturday racing of the 2020 season. Over 40 Dinghies turned out for three races in a moderate westerly wind inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday.
Royal St. George's Theo Lyttle won two races in the Laser standard division and the National Yacht Club's Conor Gorman was a double race winner in the Radial. Full results below:
PY Class: 1. B Foley, 2. R Tate, 3. C O'Kelly
Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott
Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. T Lyttle, 3. M Hennessy
Laser Radial: 1. C Gorman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. K Walker
Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. A Irvin, 3. F McDonnell
PY Class: 1. B Foley, 2. R Tate
Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott
Laser Standard: 1. T Lyttle, 2. M Hennessy, 3. B Owens-Murphy
Laser Radial: 1. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 2. S Craig, 3. C Gorman
Laser 4.7: 1. F McDonnell, 2. L Turvey, 3. A Daly
PY Class: 1. R Tate, 2. B Foley, 3. C O'Kelly
Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. O Sinnott
Laser Standard: 1. T Lyttle, 2. M Hennessy, 3. F Walker
Laser Radial: 1. C Gorman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. M Norman
Laser 4.7: 1. L Turvey, 2. F McDonnell, 3. A Daly
Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) plans for the revised 2020 season continue apace as a bumper dinghy fleet is already in action and the start for keelboat and cruiser classes is now slated for July 7th, two weeks earlier than it had originally planned.
Last night (Thursday) there was evidence of the upcoming racing with a number of keelboat campaigns out training on the Dublin Bay race track. And tomorrow (Saturday) ISORA will get its offshore season underway with a coastal race from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
DBSC has issued new Sailing Instructions and Course Cards with some big changes as a result of the shake up the pandemic has caused.
In particular, the season has been extended into September for its midweek series and into October for the weekend series.
The last DBSC races for dinghies will now be on Tuesday, September 8th, Saturday, October 10th and the Water Wags on Wednesday, September 23rd.
For keelboats, the last DBSC race dates are Tuesday, September 8th, Thursday, September 10th and Saturday, October 10th, just a month before the commencement of the club's popular winter Turkey Shoot Series in the first week of November.
Revised fleet compositions have also been implemented with new, timings and race areas on Saturday for all fleets.
DBSC has also moved to radio only course announcements for the Red Fleet in mid-week racing.
All the revisions are posted in the document section of the club website here.
Four Fireballs made it to the start line of the long-awaited first Tuesday DBSC races since lockdown. The forecast was not promising much more than 2 knots but actually sailors were greeted with a very decent force 2-3 southerly. On this auspicious occasion, Dun Laoghaire Harbour was dominated by a huge fleet of Lasers, unsurprisingly given that it appeared for many weeks that singlehanded boats might be the only dinghies allowed to race this season.
The single-handers also included at least four Aeros, two of which were sailed by Fireball National Champions Noel Butler and Stephen Oram. So it was that the Fireballs got away in the first PY start in a five-lap windward-leeward race - Frank Miller with crew Grattan Donnelly got their bow in front about 2/3 the way down the pin favoured line and maintained their lead over the course, finishing well ahead of Cariosa Power/Marie Barry and Owen Sinnott/Andrea, with Nick Miller/Paul Ter Horst a little further behind in their newly acquired ship. While racing the windward-leeward course was straightforward enough the interventions around the course of more than 30 Lasers added a layer of excitement to proceedings.
Race two got underway with a 2 lap challenge in slightly lighter air which had swung between ten and twenty degrees further south. Again the pin was slightly favoured but this time Power/Barry timed a perfect pin start with Miller/Donnelly just to windward. In the event Miller/Donnelly edged out in front with marginally better speed and height. Both tacked at the port layline with Miller/Donnelly managing to hold off the challengers to round in the lead. While Power/Barry closed the gap on several occasions they never quite threatened the leaders who took the gun again. In third were Sinnott/Andrea while Nick Miller /Ter Horst took a break.
All in all a terrific night's sailing with solid race management led by Suzanne McGarry and her team.
Results are here
As Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy predicted on Afloat a fortnight ago, there was a super turn out of single-handers for the first race of the COVID delayed season.
The 50-boat Laser fleet enjoyed ten-knot southerly winds for the in harbour racing run from DBSC's Freebird Committee Boat.
Also racing were RS Aeros, Fireballs and PY dinghies.
DBSC Results for 30/06/2020
All results Provisional & Subject to Review
PY Class: 1. B Sweeney, 2. N Butler, 3. B Foley
Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. 14865, 3. N Miller
Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. D Maloney, 3. R O'Leary
Laser Radial: 1. M Norman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. K O'Connor
Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. C Byrne, 3. H Turvey
PY Class: 1. B Sweeney, 2. N Butler, 3. B Foley
Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. C Power/M Barry, 3. 14865
Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. R O'Leary, 3. G O'Hare
Laser Radial: 1. P O'Reilly, 2. K O'Connor, 3. R Geraghty-McDonnell
Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. E Dempsey, 3. Z Hall
Dublin Bay Sailing Club sees a potential start for keelboat and cruiser classes on July 7th, two weeks earlier than it had originally planned.
In a note to members, Commodore Johnathan Nicholson tells members that "following the announcement last Friday by An Taoiseach the sailing committee has drafted a plan to commence racing two weeks earlier on the 7th of July for keelboat and cruiser classes".
DBSC says it is waiting for guidance from Irish Sailing on how racing can take place and will issue an amended NoR as soon as it is available.
Dublin Bay Sailing Club has issued a revised schedule for its much anticipated 2020 season. Commodore Jonathan Nicholson says his committee has considered many factors in putting the programme together and reports as follows:
Dinghy racing commences in phase 3, for single handed or boats crewed by household units. The first race will be on Tuesday the 30th of June and will take place in the harbour. The Water Wags may follow on the 1st of July, again for household units. Racing on Saturday will also be available for all dinghy classes including Water Wags commencing on the 4th of July, who meet the criteria described above.
Due to the restrictions currently in place, and likely to be in place for at least phase 3, there will be reduced crews on our committee boats and ribs.
Cruiser and Keelboats
Racing for the cruiser and keelboat classes commences in phase 4, on Tuesday the 21st, Thursday the 24th and Saturday the 26th of July. The Tuesday programme has been significantly extended to provide a complete schedule for all boats akin to the programme run from a committee boat on Thursday nights. The season has also been lengthened, adding two weeks to both the mid-week and weekend series.
Depending upon the guidance from Irish Sailing, a mini-series for cruiser and keelboat classes with restricted crew numbers not counting for overall series points, may be run in phase 3 (between the 30th of June and the 20th of July). for the cruiser and keelboat classes with restricted crew numbers. Clarity will be provided when possible.
In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances that we all now face, and the somewhat condensed programme that we are planning, we have reduced the boat entry fee. The new schedule of fees can be found here and you can enter here. I would like to remind you all that DBSC is a club of members and is run by volunteers and despite the delayed start to our racing programme this season, we are endeavouring to provide you with the maximum number of high-quality races, all run from committee boats with experienced and highly qualified race officers and race management teams.
I would like to thank all those who have entered to date. The club needs the support of its members with the majority our income coming from boat entry and membership fees. As mentioned above we have reduced the boat entry fee recognising theses extraordinary times and condensed schedule, while considering that we have a very high fixed cost base, much of which has already been committed, and some of our members will not be entering this year for obvious reasons. It is essential that the remainder of our membership enters as soon as possible. Simply put the club needs the income and clarity of the number of boats planning to race.
We will communicate directly with those who have entered to date on how the reduction will be applied.
We have calculated that we need a minimum number of boats to enter per fleet (blue, red, green and dinghy) for that fleet to be viable. Water Wags are considered separately. The decisions on fleet and class viability will be made on Thursday the 25th of June for dinghies and Thursday the 2nd of July for keelboats and cruisers.
As such only entries up to Wednesday the 24th of June and Wednesday 1st of July respectively will be considered when defining the new starting schedule and class composition. Again, please enter now.
Outer guard marks and seven conical marks in the 'Northern circle area' are now laid in the Bay so, when the go-ahead for racing is given, the marks will already be in place.
This could see DBSC's first Thursday race of the season start on July 23rd and Saturday racing from July 25th, some three months later than originally scheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The club is the largest yacht racing club in the country and provides yacht racing for all of Dun Laoghaire Harbour's yacht clubs, a combined fleet of over 200 boats and some 2,000 sailors or more.
This could see DBSC's first Thursday race of the season start on July 23rd and Saturday racing from July 25th, some three months later than orginally scheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Nicholson says 'While there is still a lack of clarity', DBSC is finalising plans to get racing going as soon as practical after the restrictions have been lifted by the government and Irish Sailing. 'The current working assumption is racing will re-commence in phase 4, which is currently scheduled for 20th of July", he says.
Club marks, as Afloat reported here, will be deployed over the next few days specifically the larger outer guard marks and seven conical marks so, when the go-ahead for racing is given, the marks will already be in place.
The club is the largest yacht racing club in the country by some distance and in order to process considerable administrative task to process the entries, the Commodre is urging those who have yet to enter to do so immediately through its online form.
Almost all of the club’s revenue comes from entry and membership fees, DBSC says it anticipates that the curtailed season will result in a substantial loss this year. Nevertheless, the committee is considering offering a rebate on the entry fees and a mechanism to facilitate this. Nicholson says any rebate of entry fees can only be calculated when there is a clear view of the Club’s results for the season.
As Irish sailing waits for guidance that yacht racing can resume under COVID-19 regulations at some point this summer, there can be no doubting the preparations of Dublin Bay Sailing Club in order to get back on the race track just as soon as it is feasible.
The country's biggest yacht racing club surveyed members at the start of the season and found overwhelming support for racing when it was safe to do so but so far the club has had to remain in postponed mode since first races for the 250-boat fleet were originally scheduled on April 25th.
Following the government roadmap announcement on May 1, DBSC says it is 'encouraged [about the prospect of racing] but needs to wait for formal guidance from Irish Sailing'.
The club has an extensive network of marks required to be laid each summer season and despite this year's postponement, DBSC is poised to get going with some of the club's latest illuminated ten foot conical marks already in the water. They're moored in a dedicated berth at Dun Laoghaire Marina and ready for deployment at a moment's notice.
Until then, racers are in holding pattern. And, As Afloat's WM Nixon remarked recently, there needs to be some patience shown. "Key officers in central organisations like Dublin Bay Sailing Club get unduly pestered by people demanding to know when real racing is going to start,when the fact is that to a considerable extent we have to make it up as we go along, for society has never dealt with a pandemic of this scale and aggression".
How many other front-line sailing administrators anywhere in the world would have noted the February announcement of the postponement of the new James Bond movie’s global premiere in London from early March 2020 away back until November, and immediately realised that this profoundly affected their own organisation’s sailing plans for 2020?
Yet Jonathan Nicholson, Commodore of the 136-year-old Dublin Bay Sailing Club, was right there.
“The people running the James Bond franchise are producing the most successful longterm film brand in the world. And in addition to the antennae of their huge fan base, their financial muscle is such that they can access research findings and semi-secret scientific and medical information, plus commercial insight, which may even be denied to national governments. Before most organisations, they knew how bad it was going to be, and acted swiftly.
So when the announcement was made, I told the DBSC committee that this suggested a completely game-changing lockdown was on the way, and we needed to start preparing ourselves and talking to other harbour stake-holders about the inevitability of a limited Dublin Bay sailing season in 2020, a truncated season like nothing that has ever been seen before outside wartime.”
Jonathan Nicholson was so far ahead of the curve that for a while he was in a different orbit, though the lateral thinking he was displaying was also seen in Howth, where the Organising Committee for the Wave Regatta - scheduled for the end of May - promptly re-set it well into the Autumn on September 11th to 13th.
This was done at a time when most folk thought the basic season – both local, national and international - might yet be saved. And some clung to that optimism for a remarkably long time. Thus for the rest of us, right now is the weekend where we find we really are looking into the black abyss of the major cancellations which have blown away much of the international sailing season of 2020 around Ireland. For although it’s staged annually on the other side of the North Channel, the time-honoured Scottish Series based at Tarbert on Loch Fyne in the final UK Bank Holiday of May has always attracted a significant contingent of hardy Irish cruiser-racers.
Sometimes they’ve been from very distant parts of Ireland. But wherever the home ports to which they eventually return may be, over the years they’ve returned with more than their fair share of the major Scottish trophies to launch their international and national season. And even for those cruiser-racers in Ireland that don’t take on the sometimes formidable logistical challenge of a campaign on Loch Fyne with its often volatile late Spring weather, the fact of it having taken place is a major marker for the new season being properly under way.
Its non-staging this weekend really does bring home to us the level of programme destruction which has been wreaked. For sure, we don’t have to look beyond Ireland’s shores to be aware of major cancellations whose dates have already been passed. But the fact that key fixtures such as the Irish Sailing Youth National Championship in Howth from 16th to 19th April was scrubbed didn’t seem so total, for surely there’lI be other junior events in Ireland which can be given added stature once the season gets under way in some form?
Then too, ISORA races in the Irish Sea in April and May haven’t taken place, and neither have the regular club early season sailing programmes all round our coast. However, they’re in or near Ireland, and if we can just get sailing going, we can work on substitute events of some sort, so their loss doesn’t seem as total as the Scottish void.
But the Scottish Series 2020 is gone, gone utterly, and gone so completely that at this stage it isn’t good for our mindset to become nostalgic about some of the heroically successful Irish campaigns through it in times past. Instead, its complete absence should be quietly noted while we focus on how best to make use of a season whose long-planned international pillar events have been blown away, yet with every passing day it seems to offer some form of a possible racing programme afloat for the home fleet.
But that is only the case provided the virus-combatting programme can continue it current steady success, though it was alarming to note this week that the relevant authorities have only just added the loss of a sense of smell or taste as important possible indicators of Covid-19 infection. The World Health Organisation has been telling us this for months, most reasonably switched-on folk have long since taken it on board, and it does make you wonder what’s going on in Ireland’s corridors of epidemological power if they’ve only just decided to go public with these very useful indicators.
In taking a broader view of this all, we’re reminded yet again that sailing and boat sports are still a minority activity in Ireland, even if public interest perks up no end when an Olympic medal is brought into the picture. That’s as may be, but for people who go afloat, and particularly for those who own boats or are in charge of them, there’s a feeling of square pegs being forced into round holes, of coastal regulations being drafted by officials who are rather more aware of the rules of the road ashore and the regulation of shoreside public places than they are of the realities of getting a boat around the sea, lake, river or canal.
In getting things going again, Howth provides a perfect laboratory setting for the experiment, so much so that perhaps the place would be best run by clinically-qualified personnel in white coats. That’s as may be, but as the Howth Yacht Club marina/clubhouse complex is in a distinct enclosed compound isolated in the middle of a harbour which is in turn on the end of a peninsula connected to nearby Ireland only by a very narrow isthmus, it’s all a very manageable control setup.
HYC Commodore Ian Byrne is enthusiastically leading his members afloat this weekend as they pioneer a return to structured sailing, a return which will be observed by other sailing centres and monitored by the authorities in charge of the Covid-19 Lockdown-easing regulations, some of which are open to several interpretations.
The conflicting interpretations could become most acute in Dun Laoghaire, with the largest single concentration of boats in Ireland. Whatever about the Harbour Authorities still struggling to find their way since the running of this magnificent, historic and very useful structure was transferred to Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown County Council, the four waterfront yacht clubs - and their over-arching racing authority in Dublin Bay Sailing Club - have to be exemplary in the efficiency of their administration, for they achieve a very great deal within very limited waterfront spaces.
Thus a visitor to a Dun Laoghaire club – particularly in winter – can sometimes be surprised to find that all the space around the club is filled with boats. For in addition to providing all the traditional amenities of a yacht club, the waterfront of Dun Laoghaire is so unevenly organised and lacking in standard yacht harbour commercial facilities in any profusion – for instance, MGM Boats have the harbour’s only Travelhoist – that the yacht clubs have had to develop themselves as boat storage and maintenance units in addition to providing everything else you expect in a classic yacht club from billiard championship tables through hospitable bars and well-stocked libraries and modern and extensive changing facilities to fine dining rooms.
It is all done so well that most sailors wouldn’t wish it any other way, even if the Dun Laoghaire club boat storage arrangement is akin to the sacred lawns beside the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes being filled with the members boats during the off-season. Yet in order to function smoothly, it all has to be run with almost military precision, and the successful implementation of annual lift-in day at each club is key to it all.
But once this massive exercise in logistics and combined effort is completed, there will be a significant fleet of boats in Dun Laoghaire ready and keen to go sailing in mid-June, with their owners expecting that sailing to be administered with the same efficiency as their shoreside arrangements, and this is where Dublin Bay Sailing Club comes in, still thinking nimbly on its feet despite having been founded way back in 1884.
But as Commodore Jonathan Nicholson ruefully admits, with such a large organisation having to work in co-ordination with so many other clubs and bodies while keeping its own membership happy, “there may be times when we can alter course as quickly as a rally car making a handbrake turn, but at other time you’d be reminded of the supertanker which continues in the same heading for six miles after the rudder has been put across”.
He combines the wide experience of an active cruiser-racing enthusiast –he recently traded up from a vintage 34ft Dehler DB to a Frers-designed Puma 42 – with the busy mind of an innovative thinker, and no sooner had the enormity of the coming closedown become apparent than he was thinking: “This is a crisis which we mustn’t allow to go to waste”.
So where in a normal year all DBSC administrative energy would have been poured into being ready for racing in a programme instantly into its full-powered multi-course activity on 22nd April, Jonathan Nicholson and DBSC Honorary Secretary Chris Moore and other key officers were using the unexpected opportunity to develop much more positive relations with other harbour users, such that when some semblance of normality returns to sailing and harbour user’s generally, there’ll be a more active structure available among the “consumer” bodies to advise about what the market really needs.
As to the reality of dates, while everyone emphasises that we have to be prepared to accept that it may all change from day to day as the latest Covid-19 figures are analysed and the experience from Howth is dissected, at the moment in Dun Laoghaire the semi-official view is that there’ll be informal short-handed and household sailing in mid-June and possibly earlier, things will accelerate by 28th June at the latest, and the realistic (or should that be the most pessimistic) opinion is that full sailing will be on from July 20th.
That’s what should be possible on the water, where another aspect is that health-certified crews in ISORA events may be able to complete their offshore events based on entirely on race trackers. But it’s when there’s a significant shoreside element to it all that completely new factors of maintaining social distance from relative strangers from outside your safety bubble comes into the equation, so much so that Jonathan Nicholson can chuckle as he contemplates a scenario whereby Dublin Bay Sailing Club can complete a reasonably comprehensive season afloat while complying with regulations, yet when his time to stand down after his period as Commodore comes at the AGM in November, it mightn’t be a crowded and busy AGM in the classic and time-honoured DBSC style, but rather we’ll see an austere though technically-complex Zoom-facilitated gathering of virtual communication.
Whatever develops, we can be sure that as June moves on, the impressive DBSC programme will gradually come on stream as the fluid situation develops, such that by July there’ll be those impressive DBSC Thursday turnouts of cruiser-racers on such a scale that if there’s a demand for a pop-up or flash-mob regatta to fill the void of cancelled established events, it’s not unreasonable to point out that, in effect, Dublin Bay Sailing Club stages a big fleet Twilight Regatta every Thursday evening.
The magic ingredient is that almost everyone taking part lives in the South Dublin area. Extensive travel and the shoreside mixing of strangers is not a significant factor. Yet while Dun Laoghaire can contemplate all this taking shape before the end of June, down in Kinsale they’ve had to cancel the Dragon Gold Cup scheduled for September, as it would involve global travel and much shoreside socialising, and there’ll be parts of the world where Covid-19 is still rampant, while in other parts the much-mentioned Autumnal Second Wave might already be under way by that time.
As it is now, the fact that we’re all very much in this together – and rightly so – does mean that at times it’s as though the entire population is like a wartime Transatlantic convoy, obliged to travel at the speed of the slowest ship. Thus although there are reasonably fit and healthy cohorts of society - such as the more active members of the sailing community - who are surely less at risk than many other groups, the official policy on phased easing of the Lockdown restrictions is definitely skewed towards the recovery speeds of the more vulnerable groups.
The care of the most vulnerable members of a society is a good indicator of its civilization. But after more than two months of economically-debilitating lockdown, there’s a danger that the conscientiously civilised society will find itself in a situation where destitution is inevitable, and far from continuing to be civilised, the Law of the Jungle will start to take over unless a balanced and timely relaxation of Lockdown takes place.
In times of emergency, the provision of essential services may be seen as paramount. But where does the line get drawn between essential services and popular activities with a positive economic input?
It’s not so long ago that the sports and hospitality industries would not have been regarded as serious economic activities, yet nowadays their contribution to GDP is much greater than that of many of the brutal old heavy industries, and in crudely measureable financial terms, they’re right up there with our beloved agriculture, however much that agriculture may have in greater socioeconomic significance.
So however much the powers-that-be are engrossed in their pandemic-dealing manoeuvrings with at least one eye always on the popular vote, it’s reassuring to know that in our main sailing centres, there are efficient and imaginative club officers who take the situation as they find it, and devise feasible programmes which benefit their members and the sport in general.