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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Announces New Mixed Sportsboat Class

15th December 2015
DBSC_sportsboats
DBSC has moved to introduce a new sportsboat class Bob Bateman

Dublin Bay Sailing Club has taken the decision to support the formation of a mixed sportsboat class to join the twenty other classes racing under the Club’s burgee in Dublin Bay. The decision follows a meeting of the Bay's sportsboats interests earlier this month

The class will race every Saturday on primarily windward leeward courses, with committee boat starts, throughout the 2016 season. Also racing on this course will be the SB20, Flying Fifteen and Dragon fleets. Racing will also be provided for the new class on DBSC’s midweek courses on Thursday and Tuesday evenings.

The mixed sportsboat class will consist of 1720s, J80s, J70s, Melges 24, Bachman 21s and similar such craft.

There was a wide variety of opinion at the recent meeting at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

With such a disparate range of views it is not easy to put together a cohesive summary of what was said. Here are the major themes that emerged:

  1. There exists a certain cohort of potential DBSC sailors not being catered for within the existing class structure.
  2. These would be people not interested in the traditional DBSC keel boat, favouring instead a less expensive smaller, lighter, more venturesome model.
  3. Abroad, all new production boats are of the asymmetric variety. DBSC will have to move with this new world. Sailors coming through the junior sections all look to race in this new type of craft.
  4. Some concern that the mixed sports boat class might adversely affect the existing SB20 class – a view that effort should be directed instead to driving forward the SB20s.
  5. Repeated assurances that DBSC will continue to support the SB20s.
  6. Demand for the new class must come from the membership or potential new members. Obviously DBSC is concerned to arrest the decline of income and entries and must find revenue streams to support its race management superstructure.
  7. The nucleus of the new class would come from the existing stock of 1720s in the waterfront clubs and in private possession. They are of varying configurations and sail condition and could not be rated as one-design. An Echo-type results system would be required.
  8. Finally, an acceptance that the mixed sportboat model is the way to go and a many expressions of goodwill towards DBSC in its efforts to find the way forward.
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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 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.

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