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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Highlights New Initiatives for the 2022 Season

11th March 2022
Class One DBSC Cruiser racing on Dublin Bay
Class One DBSC Cruiser racing on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

With just weeks to go to the start of summer racing at the country's largest yacht racing club, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has unveiled some of its plans for the 2022 AIB DBSC racing programme, which will run from April 23 to October 1 and will include new Saturday courses.

The DBSC Flag Officers, Committee, and Racing Sub-Committee, have been working hard over the winter months on producing the enhanced racing programme.

The DBSC Hut

The DBSC Hut will be back in position on the West Pier for the entire season and used for Tuesday and Saturday keelboat racing.

The DBSC Hut on the West PierThe DBSC hut on the West Pier

There will be one additional fleet racing on a Saturday due to the return of the Hut to the Saturday Racing Programme.

Racing Programme

First Race: Saturday, April 23
Last Tuesday Race: Tuesday, August 30
Last Thursday Race: Thursday, August 25
Last Wednesday Race: Wednesday, September 21
Last Saturday Race: Saturday, October 1

Classes will alternate between starting and finishing from the Hut or from a committee boat – see the racing programme below, which indicates which fleet will begin from the Hut and which will start from a committee boat for each Saturday in the DBSC race programme. It also details which keelboat classes form each fleet on the different race days.

DBSC Race Programme 2022DBSC Race Programme 2022

Dublin Bay 21 Footers

The Dublin Bay 21 Footers will always start from the Hut to be closer to their racing area as they don't use engines. This will also provide pier walkers with a good view of these magnificent yachts under sail. The 4th DB21, Geraldine, will be in Dun Laoghaire in June, and all four will race in DBSC this summer.

Dublin Bay 21 Footers will start from the DBSC Hut on the West PierDublin Bay 21 Footers will start their races from the DBSC Hut on the West Pier Photo: Afloat

Cruisers 0 & 1

Cruisers 0 and 1 will always start from a committee boat due to their size and speed, and also in the case of Cruisers 1 due to the high number of participants.

Cruisers One entry Raptor from the Royal Irish Yacht ClubCruisers One entry Raptor from the Royal Irish Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

There is a provision to start all keelboat fleets from the Hut in very exceptional circumstances – see start times for details.

RS Aeros racing in Scotsman's Bay RS Aeros racing in Scotsman's Bay Photo: Afloat

Dinghy racing will be run outside the harbour on Tuesdays and Saturdays when there are sufficient ribs and patrol crews to meet the required safety ratios. The DBSC dinghy fleet consists of Lasers (standard, radial and 4.7 rigs), RS Aeros (7s, 6s, and 5s), Fireballs, IDRA 14s, and a Finn, and is open to anybody aged 16 and over.

DBSC Race Times 2022DBSC Race Times 2022 Photo: Afloat

Note that fleets' start times and makeup may need to be adjusted depending on the number of entries in each class.

DBSC Laser racingDBSC Laser racing Photo: Afloat


There will be no DBSC racing on the days of the four waterfront club regattas – June 11, 18, 25, and July 2. Nor will there be DBSC racing on Saturday, August 27, in support of the Women at the Helm regatta, which takes place on August 27th and 28th. DBSC is signed up to the 20x20 charter, which promotes the participation of women in all sports. DBSC proudly displays the 20x20 banner on its committee boat MacLir.

DBSC Commitee Boat Mac LirDBSC Committee Boat Mac Lir Photo: Afloat

To make up some additional race dates, DBSC is commencing Saturday racing one week earlier than normal on April 23 and finishing one week later than normal on October 1.

The Flying Fifteen one design keelboat is one of DBSC's most popular classes Photo:  AfloatThe Flying Fifteen one-design keelboat is one of DBSC's most popular classes Photo: Afloat

Nine Separate Race Courses Each Week

With the addition of the Hut for Saturday racing, there will be nine separate DBSC courses provided each week. Each of these nine courses will have a Race Officer, a Committee Boat Driver and a Race Management team with timers, flaggers, sound signals, and recorders. DBSC says it is extremely fortunate to have a very experienced pool of race officers, many with Local, Regional, National and even International Race Officer qualifications. In addition, we have a pool of 50+ very willing volunteers who operate the committee boats for each of these nine separate DBSC race events, which take place over four days of the week, namely:

• Keelboats racing from the Hut on fixed mark courses
• Dinghies racing from a committee boat on laid mark courses

• Water Wags racing from a committee boat on windward / leeward courses

• Blue fleet keelboats (the larger ones) racing from a committee boat on fixed mark courses
• Red fleet keelboats racing from a committee boat with a combination of fixed mark and windward/leeward courses

• Blue or Red fleet racing from a committee boat (including Cruisers 0 and 1) on fixed mark courses
• Blue or Red fleet racing from the Hut (including DB21s) on fixed mark courses
• Green fleet racing on laid mark windward / leeward or triangular courses
• Dinghies racing on laid mark courses

Under 18s

As DBSC have under 18s both racing and doing patrol crew and mark laying duties, DBSC are required to have a Children's Officer and to undergo Garda vetting for a number of people who interact with the U18s. This process is currently underway for the DBSC Race Officers, patrol crew organisers, and patrol crews who are aged 18+.

Pre-Season Race Officer Briefing and Q&A Session

PRO Ed Totterdell briefed the race officers and race management team leads on the new courses that will be introduced for the 2022 season at a session on March 8. Tim Goodbody has done a lot of work on designing new Saturday fixed mark courses for the keelboat fleets starting from both the Hut and the committee boat. These are currently being finalised and will be available on the DBSC website shortly. Ed took the group through any changes in the SIs which are available on the DBSC website along with the racing programme and the race start times.

Presentation of the Viking Trophy to the DBSC Volunteers

The DBSC volunteers were awarded the Viking award, one of DBSC's premier trophies, for their 'Outstanding Contribution' during the 2021 season, at a gathering in the National Yacht Club on March 8. This band of 50+ volunteers make DBSC racing possible by giving generously and willingly of their time and experience week after week, whatever the weather. DBSC presented this award at the annual prize-giving which took place in the magnificent setting of the National Maritime Museum in November but due to the rise in Covid cases, very few of the volunteers were able to attend. DBSC were very pleased to be able to re-present the trophy and it was happily received on behalf of all the volunteers by race management team leads Ida Kiernan and Rosemary Roy. 

DBSC race management team leads Ida Kiernan (centre) and Rosemary Roy (left) accept the DBSC Viking Trophy on behalf of all the club volunteers from Commodore Ann KirwanDBSC race management team leads Ida Kiernan (centre) and Rosemary Roy (left) accept the DBSC Viking Trophy on behalf of all the club volunteers from Commodore Ann Kirwan

New Results System

Commodore Ann Kirwan thanked Colin McMullen for his tireless work on DBSC over the past number of years. Colin is stepping back from his role as DBSC Results Secretary in order to spend more time racing his Ruffian and doing some race officer duties in Mayo.

The DBSC results will move from its current system, YR3, to HalSail and DBSC are delighted to announce that Therese Tyrrell is taking on the role of Results Secretary.

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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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