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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Make Alternative Race Plans With Loss of West Pier Hut Base

11th April 2018
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Used every Tuesday and Saturday the current DBSC hut was built by DMYC member Denis Nolan who also constructed the flag hoist. Due to Winter storms the hut base has been washed away from the back of the West Pier at Dun Laoghaire Used every Tuesday and Saturday the current DBSC hut was built by DMYC member Denis Nolan who also constructed the flag hoist. Due to Winter storms the hut base has been washed away from the back of the West Pier at Dun Laoghaire Photo: Chris Moore

Dun Laoghaire Harbour did not emerge unscathed from the winter storms and neither did the Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) starting hut on the back of the town's West Pier.

The concrete walled plinth which has been supporting the West Pier Hut since DBSC moved to that location in 1968, was demolished during the first week-end of March and totally swept into the sea by the force of the great storm and blizzard. Not one solitary concrete block was left behind. DBSC are enormously glad they didn’t leave the Hut on station last winter, as they have occasionally had to do in the past for financial reasons.

DBSC's first Tuesday race is a bare fortnight away, on the 24th April, and the first Thursday race on the 26th and the first Saturday race on the 28th April so the race is on to get the hut back in situ as soon as possible.

The club is one of the largest yacht racing club's in Europe catering for over 320 boats in 22 different classes every week from April to September.

Photos below illustrate what has happened.

No west pier baseAbove: The concrete plinth after the Hut was lifted last October. and (below) taken the morning after the storm the granite base has been entirely swept clean Photos: courtesy DBSC

Hut base after storm

Plans were immediately drawn up for a replacement but getting it all in place takes time. What the weight of engineering opinion tells the club is that we should replace it with an open-work steel frame that would more easily stand up to the impact of the waves. It would be a temporary structure and removable if needs be.

With the start of the season just a fortnight away DBSC are resigned to accept that all will not be in position for racing on the last week of April. 'Perhaps so, but we have plans in place if it’s not' Club Commodore Chris Moore told a meeting of DBSC Class Captains this week.

DBSC Marks 2470DBSC Marks have been laid for the Summer racing season Photo: Afloat.ie

Moore also informed the gathering: 'We don’t foresee at this stage any insuperable problem in starting the season. Thursday racing will be fine because we don’t use the Hut on Thursdays. For Tuesday racing there would be no problem either because we can avail of MacLir, put the volunteers and the race officer on board and use platonic courses. .. Which, often as not, she does anyway.

DBSC freebird 0469DBSC Committee Vessel Freebird Photo Afloat.ie

The situation on Saturday racing is more complicated. The programme usually envisages three starting locations – that of the Green fleet, to which the Freebird is allotted, and the Hut and MacLir, between which the Red and Blue fleets alternate. With the Hut not available, we could lease the RIYC committee boat, moor it near where the Hut would normally be and carry on as before. There are one or two complicating factor here and it might be preferable to use another option: start and finish both the red and blue fleets together from Maclir, using the Blue fleet Saturday course card.

We don’t consider that this would impose an undue burden on committee boat personnel – just three starts more than what they are accustomed to".

Published in DBSC
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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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