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Beneteau 21s Have Been a Real Racing Success Story on Dublin Bay

8th October 2020
The Royal Irish Yacht Club entry Ventunowas fourth in this year's Beneteau 21 championships on Dublin Bay The Royal Irish Yacht Club entry Ventunowas fourth in this year's Beneteau 21 championships on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

The Beneteau 21 Class Championships 2020 sailed on Dublin Bay despite the odds over two Saturdays in September writes the class Honorary Treasurer, Jimmy Fischer

21ft boats are no stranger to Dublin Bay, indeed we are seeing a rise of the original under the expert eye of Hal Sisk, but it is another 21ft racing class that has made its mark on the bay. The Dublin Bay fleet of Beneteau 21s has been one of the real racing success stories of the past few years.

These 21ft racer cruisers were the smallest sailing boats made by Beneteau at the time of their launch in the early 1990s. A few model upgrades later and the boats started making a regular appearance on DBSC start lines in 2006/2007, getting their own DBSC start in 2012 and recognition as a one design class at Dun Laoghaire week since 2013.

Nip and tuck in Beneteau 21 class racing on Dublin BayNip and tuck in Beneteau 21 class racing on Dublin Bay

Beneteau 211 racing on Dublin BayBeneteau 211 racing on Dublin Bay where there is a 12-strong racing fleet based out of Dun Laoghaire Marina Photo: Afloat

Today, they have a 12 strong racing fleet, many of whom are originals from the 2006/2007 start line. These are supplemented by entries from Malahide and Greystones for Regattas, Regional and National events. It really shows the commitment of this fleet that 10 of them were regularly racing even in summer 2020.

And that commitment did not waiver when it came to fighting it out for their National Championships, which the fleet managed to fit in despite the ever-changing sailing calendar and restrictions.

A Beneteau 21 with a racing crew of fourA Beneteau 21 with a racing crew of four Photo: Afloat

10 boats fought it out in a National Championships which they combined with the National Yacht Clubs 150th Anniversary Regatta. 4 races split over 2 Saturdays (one of which all bar one boat had to retire from due to a course mix up!) and the B21's had their 2020 national Champions.

  1. Small Wonder on 7 points
  2. Billy whizz on 8 points
  3. Chinook on 9 points
  4. Ventuno on 10 points.

As always in this class, it was tight at the top. Few fleets push each other quite as hard as the B21s where it is not uncommon for the series to end with just a point in it.

Racing under spinnaker in a B21Racing under spinnaker in a B21

Hopefully, 2021 will bring back a more conventional racing calendar and apres sail for these small but fierce boats, along with recognition as a class by the ISA, which is currently pending.

Read also: ....And Now it's the new Dublin Bay 21

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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