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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Aims for Mid May Start to 2021 Summer Season

31st March 2021
DBSC Summer Series racing is expected to return to Dublin Bay in mid May=
DBSC Summer Series racing is expected to return to Dublin Bay in mid May Credit: Afloat

Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann Kirwan says the club aims to start its 2021 summer race series in mid-May despite the lack of clear guidance for the sport following last night's cautious easing of lockdown restrictions by the Government. 

This means the country's largest yacht racing club will start approximately three weeks later than its normal start date at the end of April.

As Afloat previously reported, DBSC has confirmed plans for the 2021 season despite its Winter and Spring racing hiatus and preparations are now well underway.

The club runs year-round racing for up to 300 yachts and dinghies in over 20 different classes.

Kirwan told Afloat, "Despite the lack of clarity in the Government announcement, DBSC is still hopeful that we may begin our season in some form before mid-May". 

Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann KirwanDublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann Kirwan

“A lot of work has to be done behind the scenes to provide the standard of racing everyone knows and expects,” Rear Commodore Jacqueline McStay says.

“The racing sub-committee is preparing the courses, whilst committee member Philip Ferguson with the help of Chris Moore is checking and working on the marks so they are ready to be deployed in the bay by mid-April.”

Entries for the country's biggest sailing league are materialising with Cruisers Five fleet receiving the biggest early entry for the AIB-sponsored Summer Series.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April.

They plan to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population are vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

The Taoiseach said from April 19 some additional high-performance training will be allowed, including senior inter-county GAA training to facilitate national league competitions starting in May.

He said training for high performing athletes approved by Sport Ireland will also be allowed. 

Mr Martin said from April 26 outdoor sports training for under 18s can begin again.

He said golf and outdoor tennis can be played and there will be a return to 'distanced sport' but it is still unclear as to what interpretation is being given to sailing.

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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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