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Howth's Spring Window Opens Through Winter Day

24th January 2023
ICRA
ICRA "Boat of the Year" Co-Skipper Mike Evans with his RS800 and Ireland's Eye giving a passable impression of Connemara at Howth on Sunday Credit: HYC

A growing turnout of close to 30 boats hit the water in the third week of HYC's Dinghy Frostbites, aka the Spring Series. In the days leading up to Sunday's racing, some forecasts were teasing light breezes, a welcome prospect for the fleet as nearly every Sunday to date has worked the sailors hard with plenty of strength and skill required to keep boats underneath rigs. In the end, this week's racing was no exception, as the "firm" south to south-east breeze was noticeable in the boat park, and even more so on the water after the sailors performed a testing run out to the course. HYC's newly elected Commodore Neil Murphy led the Race Management Team, and with a breeze of 14-18 knots, and gusting up to 24, he got two races away around a triangular course.

The ILCA 7 fleet saw the usual suspects of Ronan Wallace of Wexford, Rory Lynch of Baltimore and Dan O'Connell of Cobh battling it out in the top three. In the first race, Dan suffered a poorly-timed capsize at the top of the run (what would be "a well-timed capsize"? -Ed) leaving Ronan and Rory to fight it out for the remaining lap, while the rest of the fleet attempted to chase from behind. Ronan took first, Rory second and Oisin Hughes got his first podium of the series taking third. In the second race of the day, Ronan had the lead over Dan and Rory for the first lap, however, a strong downwind and second upwind saw Rory take first and keep it until the finish.

Southern sailors suss out the Howth real estate - with racing around high water, Ronan Wallace of Wexford and Dan O'Connell of Cobh were able to review some of the Peninsula's more desirable waterfront properties. Photo: HYCSouthern sailors suss out the Howth real estate - with racing around high water, Ronan Wallace of Wexford and Dan O'Connell of Cobh were able to review some of the Peninsula's more desirable waterfront properties. Photo: HYC

Further back in the fleet, positions were hard fought for with Malahide's Andrejs Samoilovs and Vinnie Varley battled it out with Howth's Zander Mackay, Dun Laoghaire's Richard Tate and Lough Ree's Aidan Breen. After 6 races, Rory Lynch leads the fleet but is tied on 7 points with Ronan Wallace. With 12 races to go, and some more discards to come, it's anyone's guess who will be on top by the end of te series.

The ILCA 6 fleet saw Marco Sorgassi's 5 race winning streak coming to an end, as Dave Kirwan of Malahide pipped him for first in race 2. Despite their smaller sails, the ILCA 6s were in the mix with the larger ILCA 7s. Howth's Fiachra Farrelly and Rush's Charlie Savage took third and fourth in each race. Marco still has a healthy lead on the ILCA 6 fleet overall, but the rest of the fleet is tight and will need the 12 remaining races to sort out their finishing order.

Please gather round, girls and boys, and have a good look at a symmetrical spinnaker - just like your granny and grandpa sailed with......Photo: HYCPlease gather round, girls and boys, and have a good look at a symmetrical spinnaker - just like your granny and grandpa sailed with......Photo: HYC

The ILCA 4s had a great turnout of 8 boats, boosted by the coaching session run alongside the racing, led by HYC's own Aoife Hopkins. In their first weekend of the series, HYC's Krzysztof Ciborowski and Charlie Keating took home first and second in each race. Rush's Riaghan Boardman took a third and a fourth, while Malahide's Viktor Samoilovs recovered well from a seventh in the first race to a third in the second, but while Aisling Kelly had to settle for two fifths, she still leads the series overall.

The PY fleet also grew in numbers, with a growing GP14 presence bringing the first-ever symmetrical spinnakers to a HYC Frostbite series. Daragh Sheridan continues to dominate the timed fleet, adding two more wins to
his tally. Mike Evans' RS800 and Conor Twohig's GP14 swapped 2nd and 3rd in each race, while Jeremy Beshoff's B14 pulled in a fourth in both races. Daragh Sheridan has a clear lead in the series, but all is to play for in the coming weeks.

Somehow Daragh Sheridan managed to find some blue sky sailing as Lambay loomed through the grey day. Photo: HYCSomehow Daragh Sheridan managed to find some blue sky sailing as Lambay loomed through the grey day. Photo: HYC

The series continues next weekend and runs until Sunday, 5th March, full results from today are available below. It's never too late to join in.

The annual Round the Island Race will be taking place on Saturday, 11th March, followed by the series closing lunch and prizegiving, which is always a good time. Last year saw the typical Frostbites fleets joined by Waterwags, GP14s, IDRA14s, RS600s and more! Notice of Race and Entry is available.

Published in Howth YC
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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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