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Checkmates Lead Howth Yacht Club's Class Two at the Autumn League

23rd September 2019
Nigel Biggs in Checkmate XVIII leads Class II Nigel Biggs in Checkmate XVIII leads Class II Credit: Afloat

Checkmates, XVIII (N Biggs) and XV (D Cullen) continue to dominate Class 2 in the Beshoff Motors sponsored Autumn League series at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday.

With a week of ominous forecasts leading up the second Saturday, and the Friday night forecasts still going with south-easterlies of 14 – 28 knots, ‘will there be racing?’ was the big concern for competitors and the race committee. However, the 28-knots proved unduly pessimistic and on leaving the harbour the fleets found 15 to 18 knots, beautiful warm sunshine and a ‘delicately’ rolling sea, the sea state still being enough to upset a few of the more sensitive stomachs.

After a long ‘round the cans’ race on the first day, the plan for Saturday was two Windward Leewards. The numbers for the J80 Class were boosted by boats visiting to compete in the Class’s National Championships, which were being competed for over both Saturday and Sunday, counting the two Autumn League races from the first day with a further three on the second day.

The inshore and offshore courses were quickly set up by the ever-efficient race management, forcing the skippers to a decision on the major quandary of the day - belief the forecasts and reduce sail or rig for the conditions at the start. The more cautious reduced sail and possibly regretted it as their expected increase in wind speed turned out to be an ease. Nonetheless, there was still enough oomph in the breeze to leave Fusion (Hughes / Power) without their rig and heading back to the harbour, fortunately under their own power.

On the offshore course for the larger boats, Class 1 is being dominated by the visiting Rockabill VI (P. O’Higgins) and the two HYC based J109s, Outrajeous (Colwell / Murphy) and Storm (P Kelly). Outrajeous and Storm each took a win on IRC while, on ECHO, Rockabill VI and Storm got the glory. This leaves Storm leading on IRC while Rockabill VI has top spot on ECHO.

Checkmate Cullen 4355Checkmate XV (Dave Cullen)
The two Half Tonner Checkmates, XVIII (N Biggs) and XV (D Cullen) continue to dominate Class 2 on IRC, each taking a win to leave Checkmate XVIII leading overall. On ECHO, the X302 Maximus (P.Kyne) is leading overall despite Checkmate XV taking the win in Race 2 and Xebec (Bourke, McGirr and Ball) getting first in Race 3.

In White Sails Class 4, Tiger (S Harris) is the boat to catch in IRC with a score to date of 1, 2, 1, Toughnut (D. Skehan) spoiling Tiger’s record by taking victory in Race 2. Raging Bull (M. Davis) leads on ECHO although the race winners on the day were Changeling (K. Jameson) and Trinculo (M. Fleming). In Class 5 IRC, Demelza (Laudan/Ennis) returned from a DNC in Race 1 with two wins, although these were not enough to take the overall lead away from Jokers Wild (G Knaggs). Class 5 ECHO has a 15 boat entry so race wins are hard to come by. Mary Ellen (O’Byrne/ Carty/ Finucane) and Jokers Wild shared the race wins but Blues Xtra (M. Carroll) retains the series lead.

On the inshore course, Cruisers 3 is first class to start. Alliance (V Gaffney) is leading on IRC with the help of a win in Race 2 while Viking (Patterson / Darmody) got the victory in Race 3. On ECHO, Viking found the conditions in both races to their liking and added two ECHO victories to their IRC win to give them the overall lead on ECHO.

16 Puppeteers

The 16 boat Puppeteer 22 fleet has bragging rights as the largest Class in the event. Yellow Peril (Murphy / 'Yellow Peril' takes advantage of a big pin-end bias at the start or race 1 'Yellow Peril' takes advantage of a big pin-end bias at the start or race 1 Costello) recovered from their 6th place on scratch in Race 1 to take both wins and share the overall lead with Trick or Treat (Pearson/ Blay). On handicap, Flycatcher (M Dunne) and the ever-competitive Cyprian Feeley in Cloud 9 each took a first place but it is Ghosty Ned (D. Harkin) who leads overall.

The Squib fleet was boosted by Rob Marshall in Slipstream, visiting from Killyleagh SC, for his first outing of the series and he immediately found his groove to win Race 2. However, O’Leary (S Sheahan) came back to add Race 3 to their win in Race 1 and establish themselves as overall leader on scratch. Tears In Heaven (D Bothwell) and Tais (E Mulvihill), a newcomer to the HYC fleet, each took a win on handicap to leave Tears in Heaven as the overall leader.

The Howth 17s had very close racing. On scratch, Isobel (B and C Turvey) won Race 2 while Gladys (Byrne/ Ferris/ Heydon) won Race 3. Rita (Lynch/ Curley) and Isobel now tie for the lead on scratch. Zaida (T Houlihan) won both races on handicap and is the series leader.

J80 Watson sails 4707J80 - Jam Jar (Watson/Cagney)
The J/80 Class were racing in both the Autumn League and, with additional competitors, their Nationals. The Autumn League wins on scratch were taken by Mojo (P. O’Neill) and Jammy (D. O’Grady) to leave Jammy with the overall lead. Mojo and Jam Jar (Watson / Cagney) each took a win on handicap but the overall lead is held by Red Cloud (N Reilly) with the help of second-place finishes in both Races 2 and 3.

Howth Yacht Club say some issues with sets of the results here mean that they will need to be adjusted during the week.

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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