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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Elects Ann Kirwan as New Commodore

8th December 2020
New DBSC Commodore Ann Kirwan at the helm of her Ruffian 23 Bandit New DBSC Commodore Ann Kirwan at the helm of her Ruffian 23 Bandit Credit: Afloat

Outgoing Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Jonathan Nicholson handed over the tiller to Ruffian 23 helmswoman Ann Kirwan by Zoom last night at DBSC's virtual AGM. 

Kirwan takes over the role for the next two years, becoming the second only female DBSC Commodore in the 136-year history of the club, the first being Margaret Woods in 1997.

Eddie Totterdell was voted in as Vice Commodore and Jacqueline McStay as Rear Commodore. 

Chris Moore stays on as Honorary  Secretary, with Peter Fleming remaining as Honorary Treasurer.

Nicholson was presented with a Sterling Silver lapel pin, and DBSC burgee.

In his closing report, Nicholson paraphrased the Tanaiste when he said: "this year has been like no other". 

It's no understatement and regular Afloat readers will know how DBSC navigated with Style over COVID-19's challenging seas as W M Nixon reported here.

Huge changes were implemented in order to run and manage DBSC racing that caters for as many s 150 boats on a typical Thursday evening. Many of these changes have proven to be positive and may be retained for the coming season.

A number of other changes were also planned but were not relevant under the current circumstance. These include a re-imagined Super League, the reappearance of the Dublin Bay 21s which hopefully will re-emerge in the coming years.

DBSC Boat Fees and subscriptions

Although at a high-level, boat entry numbers were broadly similar to 2019, their composition was quite different. This year the Laser class and to a lesser extent, the PY class were far more popular, with almost twice as many Lasers entering. On average, entries across the other classes entries were down by around 25%.

A notable exception is Cruisers 0 which saw a 30% increase.

Race Results

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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 Eddie Totterdell 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 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.