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Howth Yacht Club to Test the Sailing Waters in Emerging From Covid-19 this Weekend

22nd May 2020
J/109 action at Howth. With many of the members living within 5 kilometres of the clubhouse/marina complex, and with a strong tradition of family and household sailing, Howth Yacht Club is able to get some sailing again within the Covid-19 Protocols J/109 action at Howth. With many of the members living within 5 kilometres of the clubhouse/marina complex, and with a strong tradition of family and household sailing, Howth Yacht Club is able to get some sailing again within the Covid-19 Protocols

Howth Yacht Club will be testing sailing options this weekend within parameters outlined by Commodore Ian Byrne in a missive direct to members and on the club website, issued late Thursday night.

After more than two months of total Covid-19 lockdown, local Irish sailing may be in some relatively uncharted waters in getting afloat again. But with many members living within 5 kilometres of the Howth clubhouse/marina complex, and with a significant element of family and household crews, some sailing should be possible within the Government protocols. That said, with some decidedly rugged weather in circulation, other factors may delay this pioneering step planned for Saturday, May 23rd, but better weather is expected on Sunday and Monday.

Commodore Byrne told members that the marks are laid, safety RIBs, launches and Committee boats are serviced and ready to go. The restaurant will re-open on June 29th and the hospitality team have a great plan in place to use the huge space available to serve great food and drink safely and in the familiar comfortable club surroundings.

He informed the membership that the Sailing Committee are busy planning new ways to create fun outings for single, two-handed and family sailing. This will be piloted with the smaller numbers over the next week or two. After June 8th, when the travel limit increases to 20km radius, more distant members will have access to the club and their boats and can join in.

He said there has been lots of activity on the marina after weeks in lockdown with cranes working hard and wheelbarrows busy bringing back sails and cushions to prepare the boats for a shorter, but no less fun, season. He is delighted to be in a position to announce that, while the club follow the Government & Irish Sailing’s directives, members can go sailing……

Full Directives are as follows:

  • Every member must swipe in and out individually so that they are recorded for contact tracing purposes. Be firm but polite if asked to allow someone to tailgate or have a gate held. Our legal responsibilities on contact tracing are important socially and quite onerous.
  • For the moment you can take fellow members and members of your ‘household’ sailing. If members of your ‘household’ who are not HYC members are sailing with you then you must send an email to [email protected] the previous day confirming the ‘household’ members name, mobile phone number and email address. Household groups do not have to distance and are not number constrained. A maximum of 4 people are permitted in a mixed or member groups, assuming 2m social distancing can be maintained.
  • Our contact tracing process is naturally centred around members. To facilitate regular sailors and visitors who are not members the General Committee has introduced an easy fast track (target 48 hr turnaround) and convenient monthly DD membership for Asgard (€26), Country €22) and Associate (€18.75). Email [email protected]

ian byrne2Howth YC Commodore Ian Byrne racing his Jeanneau Sunfast 32 Sunburn

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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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 and can be accessed through its official website.

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