Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

'No Age Bar' as Dublin Bay Sailing Club Surveys Sailors in Wake of National Dinghy Debate

18th April 2014
Freebird, one of two DBSC race committee vessels, is ready for the start of this month's summer season on Dublin Bay for 1200 members and over 300 yachts, ranging in size from 12–foot dinghies to 50–foot ocean going yachts
'No Age Bar' as Dublin Bay Sailing Club Surveys Sailors in Wake of National Dinghy Debate

#dbsc – The country's largest yacht racing club is surveying members on dinghy sailing requirements and has also moved to correct a perception that it operates an 'age bar'.

It follows a national debate on the state of dinghy racing that has led to sweeping change at the Irish Sailing Association.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Commodore Pat Shannon says that the perception the club does not cater for under 18s has taken hold but it is not the case. 

Writing on the DBSC website Shannon says 'The DBSC committee would like to make it clear to members, potential members, junior organisers and the wider community generally that such emphatically is not the case. It's a perception but an incorrect one.'

Shannon points to the fact that many boats on the DBSC register (of which there are over 300 and 1200 members) are crewed and sailed by young people under 18. At least three members of the current DBSC committee have sailed on DBSC keelboats since childhood. DBSC activities were recently reviewed by Afloat blogger WM Nixon.

It appears the misapprehension is perhaps understandable though, for while the Club throughout its history has welcomed all comers to membership, regardless of creed, gender or class distinctions, it no longer organises races for juniors. It did so in the past and, when support for this activity declined, joined the Dun Laoghaire clubs in organising the September Sunday series. It still provides logistical support – ribs and access to its results system and web site – but recently it decided not to be classed among the organisers.

This was prompted by the realisation that with the growing emphasis on child protection and parental involvement DBSC was not in a position to accept legal responsibility for an activity which was outside their competence and remit. The feeling was that the waterfront clubs, which were more closely and personally involved in the formation of young sailors, were in a better position to accept this responsibility.

Where some issues might arise with its present programme is with the Club's PY class. In recent times it has provided racing for a variety of Lasers (including Radials and 4.7s), OK Dinghies, RS200s and RS400s, Wayfarers and GP14s. Boats that are sailed uniquely by juniors such as Optimists and Toppers don't easily fit this particular mix. Not for reasons of safety, exactly, but because of potential race management and course setting problems on courses on which they would have to race alongside high performing boats like Flying 15s and Fireballs.

Shannon adds: 'I should add that DBSC, in common with sailing clubs everywhere, is having to review its dinghy programme. As part of this process, dinghy boat owners and others who might be concerned are currently receiving an on-line questionnaire asking for feed-back on the service provided'.  The questionnaire is here.

Another dimension is that, with continuing austerity and the need to control its cost base, DBSC committee early this year decided to undertake a long-term strategic review of its racing programme – aiming perhaps for a consolidation of courses, with keelboats and dinghies racing from the a single committee vessel on adjoining or perhaps concentric circuits.

Published in DBSC
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is one of Europe's biggest yacht racing clubs. It has almost sixteen hundred elected members. It presents more than 100 perpetual trophies each season some dating back to 1884. It provides weekly racing for upwards of 360 yachts, ranging from ocean-going forty footers to small dinghies for juniors.

Undaunted by austerity and encircling gloom, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), supported by an institutional memory of one hundred and twenty nine years of racing and having survived two world wars, a civil war and not to mention the nineteen thirties depression, it continues to present its racing programme year after year as a cherished Dublin sporting institution.

The DBSC formula that, over the years, has worked very well for Dun Laoghaire sailors. As ever DBSC start racing at the end of April and finish at the end of September. The current commodore is Chris Moore of the National Yacht Club.

The character of racing remains broadly the same in recent times, with starts and finishes at Club's two committee boats, one of them DBSC's new flagship, the Freebird. The latter will also service dinghy racing on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Having more in the way of creature comfort than the John T. Biggs, it has enabled the dinghy sub-committee to attract regular team to manage its races, very much as happened in the case of MacLir and more recently with the Spirit of the Irish. The expectation is that this will raise the quality of dinghy race management, which, operating as it did on a class quota system, had tended to suffer from a lack of continuity.

Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating