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Howth Yacht Club Welcomes ‘Gradual Return to Normality’ as Racing Resumes Next Week

3rd June 2021
Aerial image of Howth Yacht Club and marina
Aerial image of Howth Yacht Club and marina Credit:

Howth Yacht Club Commodore Paddy Judge has thanked members for their patience and support ahead of the return to racing and outdoor dining — as well as welcoming visiting Irish-based boats from elsewhere in Ireland — next Monday 7 June.

“It is a great relief to finally see the gradual return to a semblance of normality,” he said, adding that tables can now be reserved online.

The 20% bar discount for full members is being retained and all members have received a 10% subscription rebate on their cards for bar purchases.

Meanwhile, the marina team and volunteers have been busy getting the club ready for a wider reopening.

Committee boats are now refitted, marks are laid, the starter’s hut is on the East Pier and 25 new marina berths have been allocated this year “as evidence of a significant response to our new membership drive”.

The relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions last month allowed limited crews to sail and some have already started race training.

Howth’s Cruising Group have had their first armada to Lambay ahead of the scheduled race next Saturday 12 June, with one crew reportedly encountering so much weed “they could not maintain sufficient speed and had to abandon the cruise!”

Lambay bound

The Lambay Races mark the first major event of this year’s HYC calendar, and provision is being made for 100 socially distanced outdoor table spaces set out in three areas around the club after racing, allocated on a first come, first seated basis.

The new HYC food truck will be serving food on the main deck (adjacent to the marina walkway) during the day and those who wish to dine (or drink) at the club on the night of the races can book an outdoor table for after 7pm.

Crew registration is limited to HYC members and is online only. The club’s J80s will be available for charter by members for the Lambay Races.

Meanwhile, a number of HYC boats sailed their first ISORA and summer junior courses are fully booked in further signs that things are getting back to normal.

Club racing returns

Club keelboat racing recommences next Tuesday 8 June for one-designs and on Wednesday 9 June for the cruiser classes. Apart from the Howth 17s, who will use the East Pier hut line, racing will be from Starpoint and crews are advised to allow enough time for the extra distance to the start area north of Ireland’s Eye.

Dinghy racing will commence on Thursday 10 June in Howth Sound with See Wych being used as Committee Vessel. Entry forms, sailing instructions and course information can all be downloaded from the HYC website, and crew registration is online.

The club also has a new motor-boating group starting up, with plans for destination shore breaks to Skerries, Dun Laoghaire, Greystones and the Liffey — contact Alan Kinsella for more information — as well as three dinghy sailing groups running on Saturdays for all ages and all levels.

Marina notes

HYC members are advised that the club has encountered a fault with the large crane which the service company cannot determine. It will remain in use until the end of June with added safety measure, after which it will be taken out of service for approximately three weeks for a comprehensive overhaul.

In addition, supply chain and production issues have delayed delivery of the balcony pergola, which is now scheduled for late September. The repair to the balcony roof, which is leaking into the marina office, has it turn been delayed to September also.

Other changes afoot are in the administration of the club’s operations, and a Strategy Group is set to produce a report for the General Committee and members shortly.

And Commodore Judge commanded new club manager Aideen Doran who has “had a baptism of fire” in the role but has made progress in team building despite the prevailing restrictions and in reducing overheads, among other tasks.

“We want to increase the value of our club to members and hope all members will benefit from the current initiatives under way,” he said, adding: “I would encourage you to come to the club and enjoy some well-deserved fun.”

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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