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There is Irish Sunshine in this Shortened Sailing Summer – Just Catch It When You Can

24th July 2020
Is proper sunshine sailing a "Mission Impossible" in this woeful summer? Not so. Paul Reilly and Davy Howard find extra-luminous sunshine on Saturday afternoon, racing the HYC-owned J/80 Mission 43 in the Aqua Two-Hander Challenge off the Fingal coast Is proper sunshine sailing a "Mission Impossible" in this woeful summer? Not so. Paul Reilly and Davy Howard find extra-luminous sunshine on Saturday afternoon, racing the HYC-owned J/80 Mission 43 in the Aqua Two-Hander Challenge off the Fingal coast Photo: Lynn Reilly

When your dad and your brother are out having a ding-dong against each other in a couple of J/80s in the popular annual Aqua Restaurant Two-Handed Challenge from Howth up round Lambay and back, the dutiful daughter and loving sister knows that when some rare sunshine suddenly arrives, it’s her job to hop in the RIB and take some snaps of it all, for heaven knows but we’ve had little enough sailing - and even less sunshine - this far in 2020’s truncated season.

Lynn Reilly knew where her duty lay, and captured these magic moments last Saturday as she chased brother Paul and Davy Howard in the club-owned Mission 43 (don’t ask), and her father Nobby in his own Red Cloud (again don’t ask) crewed by Ian McCormack, who is a multi-interest Howth peninsula sailor, as he’s Commodore of Sutton Dinghy Club and is also a part-owner in the vintage Howth 17 Pauline.

As already reported, in a 38-boat fleet the overall winners in the open IRC Division were Sam O’Byrne and Ryan Glynn racing the Wright/DeNeve-owned classic Half Tonner Mata, while the J/80s were won in another club-owned boat, Cryptohouse raced by Diana Kissane and Graham Curran. On down the line in the J/80s, Paul and Davy were fifth, and Nobby and Ian were sixth. But when you get a surprise present of sudden sunshine like this, placings are of minor importance - the sheer joy of sailing in sun with a warm breeze is more than enough to be going along with.

A J/80 can be busy enough with just two on boardA J/80 can be busy enough with just two on board, but Paul Reilly on helm and Davy Howard on the big sail have found the sweet spot. Photo: Lynn Reilly

Hanging in there. As the wind backs a little, it starts to get marginal to hold the course to weather's Ireland’s Eye on the way to the finish Hanging in there. As the wind backs it little, it starts to get marginal to hold the course to weather's Ireland’s Eye on the way to the finish. Photo: Lynn Reilly

 Nobby Reilly crewed by Ian McCormack on track with white sailsBack to basics. Nobby Reilly crewed by Ian McCormack on track with white sails, while it looks as though the sun may even be shining beyond the peninsula at Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Lynn Reilly

Published in Howth YC
WM Nixon

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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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