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On Your (DBSC) Marks, Get Set, Go?

1st June 2020
DBSC Marks are ready for deployment at Dun Laoghaire DBSC Marks are ready for deployment at Dun Laoghaire Photo: Afloat

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".

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 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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