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Half-way point at Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League in testing conditions

4th October 2010
Half-way point at Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League in testing conditions


The Autumn League reached its half-way point yesterday with the third race in the six-race series being sailed in light to moderate, constantly shifting westerlies, with boats in a number of classes further consolidating their positions at the top of their respective fleets in HYC.

A feature of the day was the addition of four Royal Irish YC boats joining the event for the first race in the new WD-40 4-race Cruiser Challenge, with two of them proving particularly competitive. 'Another Adventure' (D.Cafferkey) took the ECHO honours while Paul O'Higgins' 'Rockabill V' was second behind IRC behind race winner 'Crazy Horse' (Chambers/O'Reilly). The results of the race in the context of the overall Autumn League series will be calculated and posted in the next few days.

Without all of her regular crew, 'Kinetic' won Class 2 on both handicaps last week and with the crew returned to its full complement for race three, promptly repeated the exercise, this time even more emphatically. A cracker of a start helped them lead the 21-strong fleet around the course to win by a couple of minutes from 'MiniMumm' (Cobbe/McDonald) who took second on both handicaps. Dave Cullen's 'King One' remains in contention, just two points adrift, with the two boats opening a serious gap over third placed 'Impetuous' (Noonan/Chambers) while those two boats reverse the order on the ECHO overalls.


The 'Alliance' (Vincent Gaffney) dominance of Class 3 was shaken a little on Sunday when Kevin Darmody's 'Gecko' upset the odds, winning not just on the water but also with the calculator, although the latter result yielded a victory of just 3 seconds! That maintains second overall on IRC (albeit sharing that spot with the ever-consistent 'Holly' (Basil MacMahon) and ECHO, where 'K9' (C.O'Dea) headed series leader 'Rossinver' (C.Scott) on the day.


Class 4 witnessed the boldest start of the day, with 'Flashback' (Hogg etc) executing a port tack start at the pin end to perfection, crossing the entire fleet and leading all around the course to win comfortably on ECHO and take a well-earned 2nd place behind 'On the Rox' (C & J Boyle) on IRC. That opens up a mere two point lead for the Boyles over Colm Bermingham's 'Bite the Bullet' which only trails 'Flashback' by half a point overall on ECHO.


A second successive win for the oldest and smallest boat in Class 5 sees 'Demelza' (Stephanie Ennis and Windsor Laudan) jump to the head of the leaderboard on IRC while Joe Carton's ('Voyager') second ECHO win in a row gives her a share of the overall lead with Harry Byrne's 'Alphida'. 'Demelza's' success is all the more significant in that she led the fleet on the water for most of the race and was only a couple of minutes behind much larger boats at the end.


'Kootamundra Wattle' (Dan O'Grady/Paul Reilly) returned to winning ways in the Etchells, with 40 seconds to spare over second-placed Simon Knowles ('Jabberwocky'). Third place for Jay Bourke's 'Northside Dragon' was enough to keep the Royal St.George YC visitor at the top of the table, although Knowles is only a point behind and O'Grady is within striking distance.


It was a case of the same old story in the J24s, with the superior upwind speed of 'Jibberish' (Fergus O'Kelly & Others) more than enough to ensure a comfortable win over 'Scandal' from Malahide, the third time the two boats have finished in that order, while 'Hard on Port' (helmed by Des Fortune) had to be content with a third successive 3rd place.


Having lost out at the death on the previous Sunday, Neil Murphy and the crew of 'Yellow Peril' made no mistake in race 3, although only six seconds separated them from runner-up 'Ibis' (Garret May). Murphy has closed the gap at the top of the leaderboard to just three points behind 'Harlequin' (Clarke/Egan) while on handicap, it was a good day for the Jennings' 'Sanderling'. Second place for 'Ghosty Ned' (D.Harkin) ensures they stay top, four points ahead of 'Ile Molene' (Byrne/Stanley).


After an indifferent start to the series, 'Klipbok' (Emmet Dalton) returned to the familiar position of race winner, almost one and a half minutes ahead of series leader 'Kerfuffle' (Craig/Raune). Emer Harte's (Puffin) third on the water converted to a handicap win but 'Kerfuffle' also heads those standings too, just one point ahead of Phil Merry's 'Shadowfax'.


A second win in three races, this time by almost two minutes from Ian Malcolm's 'Aura', was sufficient for 'Rita' (Lynch/Curley) to take over at the top of the overall standings in the Howth 17 Footers, having previously shared that status with 'Aura'. 'Sheila', helmed by Derek Bothwell, enjoyed handicap success ahead of the Turvey's 'Isobel', a result that lifts the newest Seventeen to second overall behind 'Aura'.


The fourth race in the series – and second in the WD-40 Cruiser Challenge – takes place next Sunday 10th October and the series concludes on Saturday 16th with two back-to-back windward-leeward races.

Published in Howth YC Team

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Howth Yacht Club information

Howth Yacht Club is the largest members sailing club in Ireland, with over 1,700 members. The club welcomes inquiries about membership - see top of this page for contact details.

Howth Yacht Club (HYC) is 125 years old. It operates from its award-winning building overlooking Howth Harbour that houses office, bar, dining, and changing facilities. Apart from the Clubhouse, HYC has a 250-berth marina, two cranes and a boat storage area. In addition. its moorings in the harbour are serviced by launch.

The Club employs up to 31 staff during the summer and is the largest employer in Howth village and has a turnover of €2.2m.

HYC normally provides an annual programme of club racing on a year-round basis as well as hosting a full calendar of International, National and Regional competitive events. It operates a fleet of two large committee boats, 9 RIBs, 5 J80 Sportboats, a J24 and a variety of sailing dinghies that are available for members and training. The Club is also growing its commercial activities afloat using its QUEST sail and power boat training operation while ashore it hosts a wide range of functions each year, including conferences, weddings, parties and the like.

Howth Yacht Club originated as Howth Sailing Club in 1895. In 1968 Howth Sailing Club combined with Howth Motor Yacht Club, which had operated from the West Pier since 1935, to form Howth Yacht Club. The new clubhouse was opened in 1987 with further extensions carried out and more planned for the future including dredging and expanded marina facilities.

HYC caters for sailors of all ages and run sailing courses throughout the year as part of being an Irish Sailing accredited training facility with its own sailing school.

The club has a fully serviced marina with berthing for 250 yachts and HYC is delighted to be able to welcome visitors to this famous and scenic area of Dublin.

New applications for membership are always welcome

Howth Yacht Club FAQs

Howth Yacht Club is one of the most storied in Ireland — celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020 — and has an active club sailing and racing scene to rival those of the Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs on the other side of Dublin Bay.

Howth Yacht Club is based at the harbour of Howth, a suburban coastal village in north Co Dublin on the northern side of the Howth Head peninsula. The village is around 13km east-north-east of Dublin city centre and has a population of some 8,200.

Howth Yacht Club was founded as Howth Sailing Club in 1895. Howth Sailing Club later combined with Howth Motor Yacht Club, which had operated from the village’s West Pier since 1935, to form Howth Yacht Club.

The club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. In addition, Howth Yacht Club prides itself as being a world-class international sailing event venue and hosts many National, European and World Championships as part of its busy annual sailing schedule.

As of November 2020, the Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club is Ian Byrne, with Paddy Judge as Vice-Commodore (Clubhouse and Administration). The club has two Rear-Commodores, Neil Murphy for Sailing and Sara Lacy for Junior Sailing, Training & Development.

Howth Yacht Club says it has one of the largest sailing memberships in Ireland and the UK; an exact number could not be confirmed as of November 2020.

Howth Yacht Club’s burgee is a vertical-banded pennant of red, white and red with a red anchor at its centre. The club’s ensign has a blue-grey field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and red anchor towards the bottom right corner.

The club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. In addition, Howth Yacht Club prides itself as being a world-class international sailing event venue and hosts many National, European and World Championships as part of its busy annual sailing schedule.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club has an active junior section.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club hosts sailing and powerboat training for adults, juniors and corporate sailing under the Quest Howth brand.

Among its active keelboat and dinghy fleets, Howth Yacht Club is famous for being the home of the world’s oldest one-design racing keelboat class, the Howth Seventeen Footer. This still-thriving class of boat was designed by Walter Herbert Boyd in 1897 to be sailed in the local waters off Howth. The original five ‘gaff-rigged topsail’ boats that came to the harbour in the spring of 1898 are still raced hard from April until November every year along with the other 13 historical boats of this class.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club has a fleet of five J80 keelboats for charter by members for training, racing, organised events and day sailing.

The current modern clubhouse was the product of a design competition that was run in conjunction with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 1983. The winning design by architects Vincent Fitzgerald and Reg Chandler was built and completed in March 1987. Further extensions have since been made to the building, grounds and its own secure 250-berth marina.

Yes, the Howth Yacht Club clubhouse offers a full bar and lounge, snug bar and coffee bar as well as a 180-seat dining room. Currently, the bar is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Catering remains available on weekends, take-home and delivery menus for Saturday night tapas and Sunday lunch.

The Howth Yacht Club office is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm. Contact the club for current restaurant opening hours at [email protected] or phone 01 832 0606.

Yes — when hosting sailing events, club racing, coaching and sailing courses, entertaining guests and running evening entertainment, tuition and talks, the club caters for all sorts of corporate, family and social occasions with a wide range of meeting, event and function rooms. For enquiries contact [email protected] or phone 01 832 2141.

Howth Yacht Club has various categories of membership, each affording the opportunity to avail of all the facilities at one of Ireland’s finest sailing clubs.

No — members can join active crews taking part in club keelboat and open sailing events, not to mention Pay & Sail J80 racing, charter sailing and more.

Fees range from €190 to €885 for ordinary members.
Memberships are renewed annually.

©Afloat 2020

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