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Dublin Bay Cruisers 3 Make Imaginative Use of Existing Programme to Create Class Championship

16th September 2021
The Spirit of Cruisers 3 – the vintage Nicholson 31 Saki (Michael Ryan & Paget McCormack) is raced with the same determination in DBSC Cruisers 3 as much more modern stripped-out performance craft
The Spirit of Cruisers 3 – the vintage Nicholson 31 Saki (Michael Ryan & Paget McCormack) is raced with the same determination in DBSC Cruisers 3 as much more modern stripped-out performance craft Credit: Afloat.ie

Success in sailing's organisational development can sometimes be found in seeing previously "invisible" underlying patterns in the existing fixtures list, and a talent for doing this has added value as we try to optimise the amount of sailing available while the inevitably limited main season of 2021 draws towards the traditional closing time.

Cruisers 3 in the greater Dublin area was always a happy hunting ground for some novel ideas, as it has always had a greater variety of boats than the more orthodox classes provided for craft of larger size. So although the largest focus of the class is now in Dun Laoghaire with Dublin Bay SC, current Class Captain Kevin Byrne and his organisational team have shown they're in the long line of Cruiser 3 innovation, with a fresh look at this weekend's events which provides them with an oven-ready Cruisers 3 Championship, and one with a slight offshore element to add spice.

The Championship will consist of the normal (penultimate) DBSC race around the cans on Saturday 18th, and then the following day Sunday 19th - with the kind permission of the DMYC - the fleet will compete in the annual Kish Race, quite a distance for the fleet. The results will then be collated by DBSC Race Officer Colin McMullen to produce a winner, and prizes will be awarded on both IRC and ECHO.

Cruisers 3 Class Captain Kevin Byrne races the Formula 28 StarletCruisers 3 Class Captain Kevin Byrne races the Formula 28 Starlet

The Cruiser 3 fleet has been active this season, as it is the second-largest keelboat class in Dublin Bay SC, and actively competes on all three days of keelboat racing on the bay. It is regularly the largest fleet in Tuesday evening racing, and is well supported in the ever-popular Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon series. Earlier in the season, Novice Helm and Ladies races were run, and the new-look Championship finishes off the season for the fleet, with prizes being presented at the Class Annual Dinner on the 27th November in the RSGYC.

The fleet thrives as a fascinating mix of boats, spanning a wide handicap range - double that of other Cruiser Class fleets – as it runs from .800 to .919. It has an extensive and eclectic selection of members, from the stately and elegant Nicholson 31 Saki (Michael Ryan & Paget McCormack) to the Fauroux Quarter Tonner Cartoon (Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack), with much variety in between, including a pair of First 285 sister ships, Pamafe (Gerry Costello) and Papytoo (Frank Guilfoyle).

In addition to newer boats, the Cruisers 3 fleet provides a welcoming home for a wide variety of vintage Firsts from the Beneteau stable. Photo Afloat.ie/David O'BrienIn addition to newer boats, the Cruisers 3 fleet provides a welcoming home for a wide variety of vintage Firsts from the Beneteau stable. Photo Afloat.ie/David O'Brien

The class is also home to a number of Sonatas such as Ceol na Mara (Melvin & Heaney), and naturally a close companion is the Senator 22 Maranda (Myles Keogh). Class Captain Kevin Byrne has been having a good year of it with the Formula 28 Starlet in a selection which includes Wynward (Wyn McCormack) and the Hanse 301 "Grasshopper II" (Kevin Glynn).

The Trapper Eleint was the 2019 DBSC Turkey Shoot winner and competes in the 2021 Cruisers III Championships Photo: AfloatThe Trapper Eleint was the 2019 DBSC Turkey Shoot winner and competes in the 2021 Cruisers III Championships Photo: Afloat

More recent additions to the fleet include Eleint (Michal Matulka), and the First 260 Krypton (Alan Turner) which has been showing well on the leaderboard in recent races.

Senator 22 Maranda (Myles Keogh)Senator 22 Maranda (Myles Keogh) Photo: Afloat

Nevertheless like most other fleets on the Bay, Cruisers 3 has been somewhat reduced in numbers as a result of the pandemic. But basically, it has remained active and resilient throughout, and looks forward to resurgence next season with a full return to normality. Meanwhile, this will be a busy weekend with every promise of some close competition and great sailing for a friendly group of boats sharing that special time-honoured Cruiser 3 camaraderie.

Racing round the Kish will be the highlight of the two-day Cruisers 3 Championship.Racing round the Kish will be the highlight of the two-day Cruisers 3 Championship.

Published in DBSC
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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