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Howth Sunshine Welcomes Winter Sailing

7th November 2022
Fiachra Farrelly (Howth YC) and Aidan Breen (Lough Ree YC) in perfect going in the Howth Dinghy Series on Sunday. Photo: HYC
Fiachra Farrelly (Howth YC) and Aidan Breen (Lough Ree YC) in perfect going in the Howth Dinghy Series on Sunday Credit: HYC

The HYC Dinghy Frostbites kicked off its 2022/2023 season in perfect conditions on Sunday, with 40 boats entered, blue skies, and a warm southerly breeze putting on a special show of benevolence for the first of the planned 18 weekends of dinghy racing writes Conor Murphy.

The regulars welcomed newcomers from all over Dublin and further afield.

Also joining the fleet were some long-time HYC members - lately more used to keels and crew delegation - who have swapped their usual chariots to experience hiking pads, toe-straps, and the challenges of verticality - welcome to Colin and Ronan. The 22/23 series is a first for the long-running event in that a PY class is competing alongside the traditional Laser/ILCA competitors.

Racing kicked off after a slight delay, due to the shifting southerly breeze coming over the Head. A highly qualified team of Neil Murphy, Richard Kissane, and Liam Dineen started all the Classes together. The strong ebb tide, and an excess of enthusiasm by some to bag a front-row spot, saw the fleet immediately earn the first General Recall of the winter. A successful restart under the U flag sent the fleet on their triangular course.

Due to some challenges in finding the gybe mark (or at least the correct one from the selection available) in the rougher water of the Sound, a windward-leeward course was set for the second race, which got away cleanly on the first attempt.

Competition is tight across all ILCA fleets, with 4 of the top 5 Irish-ranked sailors competing in the ILCA 7 fleet. The 7s saw very close racing with multiple lead changes throughout both races, as each sailor sought the best breeze and least tide on a challenging race track.

Series regulars Ronan Wallace of Wexford (1, 2) and Daragh Kelleher of Skerries (3, 1) lead the fleet, followed by event newcomer Rory Lynch (2, 3). A special shout-out goes to Conor Costello for finishing the first race before accepting defeat and acknowledging that the bung is definitely a critical piece of equipment and best fixed in the transom
before going afloat - he thankfully made it back to the Club before going into full submarine mode.

The ILCA 6 fleet saw extra competition this year, with two Dun Laoghaire Masters joining the fray. RStGYC’s Marco Sorgassi showed the fleet a clean pair of heels with two wins, showing good pace to keep up with a lot of the ILCA 7s. HYC’s Una Connell follows, leaving Hugh Delap and Fiachra Farrelly tied in 3rd.

A strong turnout in the ILCA 4s sees Howth’s Cillian Twomey leading the pack, with Ciara McMahon, Des Turvey, and Aisling Kelly trailing, only a point separating them.

The new PY fleet had a mix of participants and is being led by ex-ILCA 4 sailor Abby Kinsella in her RS Aero 6, winning convincingly over Aoibhinn Farrelly’s RS Feva and Hugo Micka’s Fireball. Competition is sure to ramp up over the coming weeks, with more RS Aeros already entered, as well as an RS800.

The series continues next week, and all dinghies from all clubs are welcome to take part in some of the best winter racing in the country.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Published in Howth YC, Laser
Afloat.ie 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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