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Water Wag Winners Are Cathy MacAleavey & Con Murphy

11th June 2015
Water Wags flying spinnakers in Dun Laoghaire harbour
Water Wag Winners Are Cathy MacAleavey & Con Murphy

#waterwags – On 10th June there was high pressure, hardly a cloud in the sky but unfortunately there was almost no wind. The Water Wags rowed, sculled and paddled to the race area in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Despite the conditions twenty Water Wags lined up perfectly for the start. Initially the race was very slow. Then a breeze built up to about 5 knots from the north-east. Cathy MacAleavy in Mollie led the fleet heading towards the west pier lighthouse while Frank Guy in Gavotte led a smaller fleet heading towards the Boyd Memorial. As the fleet reached the windward mark off the east pier lighthouse they realized that there was a strong west-running tide. This caused some boats to underlay the windward mark. The rounding order was Mollie, Nandor, Tortoise. Pansy, The spinnaker run allowed the following boats to steel the wind from the boats ahead, but Mollie was so far ahead that she was untouchable.

By the second round the order was: Mollie, Ethna, Gavotte, Tortoise. Place changes were taking place partly due to the advantage in rounding the port side leeward mark.

On the final beat the wind disappeared again. Some of the leaders began to feel stress. Gavotte closed the gap between Mollie and the rest of the fleet. Tortise recovered the ground she had lost of the earlier rounds. Then a new wind appeared, at first gentle (about 2 knots) from the north and then it swung to the north west, and finally to the south west, allowing most of the fleet to fly spinnakers on the last beat.

Finishing order:

1st. Mollie, No. 41, Cathy MacAleavey & Con Murphy (winner division IA)
2nd. Gavotte, No.25, Frank Guy & Owen McNally.
3rd. Tortoise, No. 42, William & Linda Prentice.
4th. Pansy, No. 3, Vincent Delany & Noelle Breen.
5th. Ethna, No.1, Bill Nolan. (winner division IB)
6th. Alfa, No. 12, Michael Donohoe.
7th. Nandor, No. 26, Brian McBride & Harry Croxon. (winner division 2)
8th. Swift, No.38, Guy & Jacky Kilroy.
9th. Vela, No.4, Brian Bond & Mary Ryder.
10th. Scallywag, No.44, Dan O'Connor & David Williams.
11th. Good Hope, No.18, Hal Sisk & Sue Westrup.
12th. Eros, No. 08, Gail Varian & Gavan Johnson.
13th. Little Tern, No.36, Marcus Pearson.
14th. Barbara, No. 8, Ian & Judith Malcolm.
15th. Eva, No.33, Orla Fitzgerald & Dermot O'Flynn.
16th. Penelope, No.16, Fergus Cullen & Alice Walsh.
17th. Swallow, No.40, David & Anne Clarke.
18th. Maureen, No.23, Killian Skay & Liz Croxon.
19th. Sprite, No. 10, Adrian Masterson.
20th. Chloe, No. 34, Kate O'Leary.

Published in DBSC
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from

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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 Jonathan Nicholson of the Royal St. George 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 a 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.

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