Howth Yacht Club has been awarded the rights to host the J24 European Championship in 2011 by the International J24 Class Association at its World Council Meeting (WCM) in Malmo, Sweden, last weekend. The Club was invited to make the bid by the Irish J24 Class Association and it received full support from the Irish Sailing Association.
The HYC bid, drafted and presented on the Club’s behalf by PR Officer Graham Smith, was unanimously accepted by the delegates representing some 25 nations at the annual WCM. The Irish J24 Class Association President Robin Eagleson, who formally lodged the application, was delighted with the outcome.
A second bid, to host the J24 Worlds two years later, was also received favourably and although a vote won’t take place until next year’s WCM, it is understood that this is merely a formality and that HYC will now have two additional international events to plan and organise in the next four years.
The J24 is the biggest and most widespread one-design keelboat class in the world with fleets in 32 countries and is sailed in half a dozen bases in Ireland. HYC will, of course, be hosting the Etchells World Championships next year and the two J24 events form part of a club strategy to attract major regattas to Howth on a regular basis in the future.
With this in mind, the Club is forging a partnership arrangement with local traders, tourism interests, community council and hotels, bars and restaurants to ensure that local festivals and attractions can be co-ordinated around such major events for the mutual benefit of all concerned.
The Club will also host the J24 National Championships in September 2010 as part of the build-up to the Europeans the following year and in conjunction with the Irish J24 Class Association will host the Class’s World Council Meeting in Howth in 2012.