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Tquila (IRL 1425), owned by James McHugh of Galway, Ireland, rounded the initial weather mark in first place at the Etchells World Championships in Florida, USA on Tuesday and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.

Tquila is one of two Irish boats competing in the 62-boat event.

Spanish sailor and two-time Olympic gold medalist Luis Doreste steered Tquila, which crossed the finish line comfortably ahead for a first race win.

Howth Yacht Club Corinthian crew Alex Lacy, Stephen Quinn and Andrew Crosbie are lying 43rd overall and fifth Corinthian team after two races sailed at the Etchells World Championships in Florida, USA.

The HYC crew have filed a protest for redress, and that will be heard on Wednesday, April 19th. 

Strong winds and sunny skies ensured a successful opening day for the Championships, being held on Biscayne Bay.

Principal Race Officer, Dave Brennan, completed two picture-perfect races in the exact conditions that were predicted —- north to northeasterly winds ranging from 12 to 18 knots.

When all was said and done, skipper Luke Lawrence and his crew aboard Cruel Jane 2.0 (CAN 1501) were atop the standings with five points on the strength of second and third place finishes. Brad Boston called tactics, while Andrew Macrae worked the bowl for Lawrence, who was two points clear of second place Steve Benjamin and the Tons of Steel (USA team.

Steve Benjamin steered Tons of Steel to victory in the second race, which got underway in northeast winds at 50 degrees. Mike Buckley is serving as tactician onboard, which rounded the first weather mark in eighth place and then took the lead for good on the second beat.

"We wanted to favor the right side based on the forecast for a sweeping right shift, but as we know here on Biscayne Bay, the left is often very good and powerful in northeast winds," Benjamin said. "We chose the left and just tried to sail on the lifts upwind, the headers downwind and just connect the dots."

Ian Liberty and Dave Hughes are also crewing for Benjamin, the 2017 World Champ. Benjamin, a longtime sailmaker and 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, had some regret about how Race 1 panned out.

"We left a little on the table in the first race. We wound up sixth and could have easily been third," he said.

Top ten after two races

1. Cruel Jane, Luke Lawerence / Andrew Macrae / Brad Boston, CAN, 5.0
2. Tons Of Steel, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Buckley / Ian Liberty / Dave Hughes, USA, 7.0
3. Racer Smithy, Mark Thornburrow / Malcolm Page / Mike Huang / Duncan Gregor, HKG, 11.0
4. Oatmeal, Peter Duncan / Andrew Palfrey / Mark Mendelblatt, USA, 13.0
5. Veracity, John Sommi / Victor Diaz de Leon / Will Ryan / Beccy Anderson, USA, 17.0
6. Skanky Gene, Jay Cross / Taylor Canfield / George Peet / Franny Schulte, USA, 18.0
7. Eat,Sleep,E,Repeat , Paul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Paul Childs, GBR, 18.0
8. Lydia, Josh Powell / Chris Bush / Patrick Powell, USA, 22.0
9. Rock On, Argyle Campbell / Alex Curtiss / Mark Ivey / Jessie Kirkland, USA, 26.0
10. Lifted, Jim Cunningham / Steve Hunt / Erik Shampain / Serena Vilage, USA, 27.0

Full results here

Published in Etchells
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A Howth Yacht Club crew were part of the 156 Etchells sailors that visited Biscayne Bay for The Coral Reef Cup in Miami, Florida, last weekend.

This three-day regatta, March 17-19th, served not only as the class' 2023 North American Championships but the final chance for teams to race at the host venue for next month’s 2023 AON World Etchells Class Championships.

Alex and William Lacy, with Andrew Crosbie and Diana Kissane, formed the Howth Yacht Club crew on JaJa.

Following a successful four-event Winter Series hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, their neighbours, Coral Reef Yacht Club, served as host for the 46 teams and ran seven races with social events throughout the weekend.

At the end of Friday, after 3 races, Steve Benjamin, with his brand new Etchells, Stella Blue (USA 1427), was at the top of the podium with all top 10 finishes with George Francisco’s American Baby (USA 1454) just behind followed by the Winter Series Champion Jim Cunningham’s Lifted (USA 1504).

Now all eyes and focus of the sailors are on the World Championships that will begin on April 17th, co-hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Coral Reef Yacht Club, and Shake-A-Leg Miami.

Final top ten - 46 boats

1. Lifted, USA1504, Jim Cunningham / Steve Hunt / Erik Shampain / Serena Vilage, 38 points
2. Odd Ball, USA1513, Jack Franco / Richard Clarke / Ben Lamb, 46
3. Skanky Gene, USA1464, jay cross / Taylor canfield / George peet / Franny schulte, 47
4. Eat,Sleep,E,Repeat, GBR1493, Paul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Paul Childs, 54
5. Veracity, USA1477, John Sommi / Victor Diaz de Leon / Will Ryan / Beccy Anderson, 55
6. American Baby, USA1454, George Francisco / Chris Larson / Chuck Norris, 55
7. Cruel Jane 2.0, CAN1501, Luke Lawrence / Andrew Macrae / Brad Boston, 61
8. Louise, USA1481, Thomas Carruthers / Bill Hardesty / Jeff Reynolds, 62
9. Vertigo 2, USA1368, Chris Lanza / Tomas Hornos / Tim Banks, 63
10. Stella Blue, USA1427, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Buckley / Ian Liberty / Dave Hughes, 63

Full results on and below

Published in Etchells
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The new Etchells World Champions are Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, with the Irish-born Australian Noel Drennan a member of the three-man crew.

Three races were completed on the final day, with results still provisional.

The five-day racing was organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet.

The final race winners were Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, Nicholas Stagg’s China White (GBR 1417) and Lawrie Smith’s Mila (GBR 1502).

Provisional Results from the 2022 Etchells Worlds Championship: 

Open Division
1. Swedish Blue, GBR1438, Ante Razmilovic / Brian Hammersley / Noel Drennan
2. New Order, NZL1499, Anatole Masfen / Dirk Kneulman / Simon Cooke
3. Mila, GBR1502, Lawrie Smith / Richard Parslow / Gonçalo Almeida Ribeiro / Ben Saxton

Corinthian Division
1. No Dramas, GBR 1490, Andrew Lawson / Graham Vials / Billy Russell
2. Bungee Smuggler, USA 1424, Barry Parkin / Adrian Owles / Taylor Walker
3. Matatu SGP 1333, Nils Razmilovic / Andrew Cooper / Steve Girling

Youth Division

1. Shamal, GBR 927, Anthony Parke / Ross Mackley / Ali Grant / Josie Meredith
2. Currigee, GBR 957, Angus Galloway / Matias Sabate / Ben Hazeldine / Celia Willison
3. Moonlight, GBR 967, Moonlight George Downer / Alex Downer / Mike O’Donovan

Published in Etchells
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The glitterati of the sailing world has gathered in Cowes for the 2022 Etchells Worlds hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron. At least ten past Etchells World Champions will be competing. No racing will take place on Monday 19th September to pay respect for the State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen.

Nine races are scheduled starting on Tuesday, 20th September, with five days of intense competition expected. A host of trophies will be awarded, and the 2022 Etchells World Champion will be decided.

42 teams are entered from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

Entry List here

Lawrie Smith's Mila away at the pin end Photo: PKC MediaLawrie Smith's Mila away at the pin end Photo: PKC Media

Great Britain

Over half the entries are from the host nation Great Britain and Lawrie Smith’s Mila (GBR 1502) is considered to be one of the favourites. This will be Smith’s fourth Etchells Worlds, but he has yet to win the Founders Trophy. Mila was in fine form winning the Etchells Pre-Worlds and was top European team for the 2022 Etchells European Championship. Smith’s team for the Worlds is past Fireball World Champion Richard Parslow, Portugal’s Gonçalo Almeida Ribeiro, and 2017 Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton.

Ante Razmilovic will be racing Swedish Blue (GBR 1438) at his seventh Etchells World Championship. Razmilovic has been runner-up on two occasions, 2014 and 2010. Swedish Blue’s crew is Australian Noel Drennan runner-up in 2011, and Brian Hammersley who was third with Razmilovic in 2013. Swedish Blue was leading the 2022 Etchells Pre-Worlds going into the last race but retired after going aground.

Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte (GBR 1459) and James Markby’s Arena (GBR 1470) showed their pedigree in the Pre-Worlds finishing the regatta in third and fourth. The best Youth Team was Ted Blower’s Ada (GBR 1409). Jon Warwick’s Audrey (GBR 1351) has the 2019 Corinthian World Champion Will Bedford racing. The youngest team for the Worlds are all students at the Greig City Academy, the helm Kai Hockley is just 16 years old. The last British skipper to win the Etchells World Championship was 15 years ago - Andy Beadsworth in 2007.

Ante Razmilovic's Swedish Blue Photo: PKC MediaAnte Razmilovic's Swedish Blue Photo: PKC Media

Peter Duncan's Oatmeal Photo: PKC MediaPeter Duncan's Oatmeal Photo: PKC Media


Eight teams from the United States will be in action for the Etchells World Championship. The American teams boast five past Etchells World champions. Steve Benjamin won the Worlds in 2017 and will be racing in Cowes with two of his crew from that triumph; Dave Hughes and Ian Liberty. Steve Benjamin’s Stella Blue (USA 1427) was the top international team at the 2022 Etchells European Championship but failed to shine at the Pre-worlds, placing 16th. However, nobody would be surprised if Benjamin wins the 2022 Etchells Worlds.

Peter Duncan was the Corinthian Etchells World Champion in 2008 and Duncan’s Oatmeal (USA 1453) is in fine form coming second in the Etchells Pre-Worlds. Oatmeal has a stellar crew of two-time Etchells World Champion Dog Palfrey and Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Mark Mendelblatt. From the Houston Yacht Club, 2013 Etchells World Champion Marvin Beckman is racing The Martian (USA 1378), the crew include Ezra Culver who won the Worlds with Beckman.

Martin Hill's Lisa Rose Photo: PKC MediaMartin Hill's Lisa Rose Photo: PKC Media


Two Australian teams are entered for the Etchells Worlds. 2018 Etchells World Champion Martin Hill from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron will be racing Lisa Rose (AUS 1505). Hill’s team includes Double Olympic Gold Medallist Mat Belcher and Julian Plante, who both won the Etchells Worlds with Hill in 2018. Will Ryan, 470 Class Tokyo Olympic Gold Medallist, completes a stellar crew racing on Lisa Rose. Chris Hampton’s Tango (AUS 1466) from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, will be racing with British Olympic Laser Sailor Elliott Hanson and Australia’s Sam Haines. This will be Chris Hampton’s ninth Etchells World Championship.

Dirk Kneulman's New Order Photo: PKC MediaDirk Kneulman's New Order Photo: PKC Media

New Zealand

Past Etchells World Champion Dirk Kneulman will be racing at his eighth championship with New Order (NZL 1499). Kneulman’s crew is Anatole Masfen competing at his fifth Worlds, and past 470 World Champion Simon Cooke.

Mark Thornburrow’s Racer Smithy & Jamie McWilliams’ Macho Grande Photo: PKC MediaMark Thornburrow’s Racer Smithy & Jamie McWilliams’ Macho Grande Photo: PKC Media 

Hong Kong

Mark Thornburrow’s Racer Smithy (HKG 1496) and Jamie McWilliams’ Macho Grande (HKG 1407), will be racing from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. This will be Thornburrow’s thirteenth Etchells World Championship, including runner-up in 2018. Thornburrow’s crew includes double Olympic Gold Medallist Malcom Page who is competing at his fourth Etchells Worlds. Mike Huang, second in the 2018 Etchells Worlds with Thornburrow and Duncan Gregor complete the Racer Smithy crew. Jamie McWilliam will be racing Macho Grande with Jaimie Boag and Oliver Boote. This will be McWilliam’s third Etchells World Championship.

Racing at the 2022 Etchells World Championship, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, kicks off on Tuesday 20th September

Published in Etchells
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Royal Cork Yacht Club ex-pat Jamie McWilliam has finished ninth overall, just one place behind America's Cup legend John Bertrand at the 2020 Etchells Victoria Championships in Australia.

Big boat sailor McWilliam, a regular visitor to Ireland in his Ker 40 Signal 8 last competed here at Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July 2019.

Once a thriving one design in Ireland, especially at Howth, where the 2010 World Championships was staged, the Irish Etchells fleet has since died away.

The reigning Etchells World Champions, Iain Murray, Colin Beashel and Richie Allanson secured the 2020 Victorian title with a race to spare. After placing second and sixth in the first two races of the day, they headed back to the Royal Brighton Yacht Club to put Havoc back on her trailer for the journey to Sydney.

Finishing in second place overall was Magpie, which is crewed by Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, and Tom Slingsby. They were three points astern of the leaders in the end, whose worst result for the regatta was a sixth place. Interestingly, Magpie's worst was a fourth, it is just that they did not have the string of bullets (firsts) to match Havoc. Chris Hampton, Charlie Cumbley, and Jamie Lea on Tango finished in third place, some nine points further back. Cumbley and Lea also travelled the farthest to be part of it all, from the UK, with others coming from Thailand, and the East Coast of Australia to be part of this vibrant class.

John Bertrand had his new Triad 2020 out racing with Grant Crowle in for Noel Drennan, and Jake Lilley on the bow. They secured two individual race wins, including the last of the nice race series, to finish in eighth place overall, which shows you just how tough it is at this end of the fleet. "Long time in between drinks in this fleet at the moment", was how Bertrand put it. "It is also a good thing too."

"It is all building up to the World Championship in Fremantle, it is clear that the fleet is getting very focussed. Magpie just returned from winning the Mid-Winters in Miami, and then they're second here in this extremely intense racing. It all shows the calibre of the fleet here in Australia. The class is healthy and the top One Design tactical racing in the country. It is just incredible to be involved and the sailors and sailing is impressive, particularly the young people coming through, and it is terrific for our sport on the whole."

Reflecting on the new shorter race format, PRO Ross Wilson said, "I was a little bit concerned when we discussed with the organisers a few weeks ago, as to whether it would work. However, the feedback has been really positive. We targeted 45 minutes, and had all the races fall between 41 and 50, with the majority at 45 to 46. I am not sure if it would work with fleets over 35 boats, as you need to compensate for the longer start line, but this was brilliant for our fleet of 25 here."

Final top ten
1. Iain Murray / Richard Allanson / Colin Beashel, 19 points
2. Graeme Taylor / James Mayo / Tom Slingsby, 22
3. Chris Hampton / Charlie Cumbley / Jamie Lea, 31
4. Mark Thornburrow / Alexander Conway / Mike Huang / Malcolm Page, 38
5. David Clark / Raymond Smith / Ben O'Brien, 44
6. Kirwan Robb / Rodney Muller / Brett Taylor, 46
7. Jeanne-Claude Strong / Kate Devereux / Seve Jarvin / Troy Tindal, 48
8. John Bertrand / Jake Lilley / Grant Crowle, 51
9. Jamie Mcwilliam / Willy Roberts / Gray Gibson, 73
10. Damien King / Jeremy O'Connell / Eliza Solly / Tom Klemens, 79

Published in Etchells
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Glandore Harbour Yacht Club in West Cork has won the 2018 Open Etchells European Championships thanks to its member Lawrie Smith with Gonçalo Ribeiro, Ella Bennett and Pedro Andrade.

The 2018 Corinthian European Etchells Champion is a team from the Royal London YC Etchells Youth Academy, skippered by Will Bedford, racing Shamal with Fraser Woodley, Nik Froud, and Henry Collison.

During the eight races, held in a variety of conditions, three teams led during the regatta. Peter Duncan won the first two races, but Lawrie Smith fought back, and was top of the leaderboard after six races. Going into the last race, Ante Razmilovic was leading by a single point, with all three teams vying for the European title.

Lawrie Smith won the 2018 Open Etchells European Champion in the very last race, after strong competition from Ante Razmilovic's Swedish Blue (YCCS), and American skipper Peter Duncan, racing Mans Best Friend, which were second and third respectively. On the last run in the final race, Lawrie Smith team came from behind to pass both Swedish Blue and Mans Best Friend to secure the championship by a single point.

“Thank you to the Royal London and all of the race management team, we have had great racing,” commented Lawrie Smith, “To all my team well done, and sorry about the last run Ante, he was winning the regatta until then but he didn't!”

“A high level of competition with top sailors, especially from Peter Duncan and Ante Razmilovic, who pushed us all the way, ” commented Pedro Andrade tactician for Lawrie Smith. “We had a shocker in Race 7, and in Race 8 we didn't have a good start, so it wasn't looking good. On the last run, we decided to stay on the starboard gybe, and the competition gybed away from us. The wind was dropping, and we saw a bit of a pressure from the left with a favourable shift. We were patient, held our nerve, and it did pay. We managed to sail around them, after rounding the bottom gate, we were with the tide and pulled away for the beat to the finish.”

Will Bedford's team have all come through the Royal London YC Etchells Youth Academy, and in a strong field of experienced Etchells sailors, topped the Corinthian ranking for the 2018 Etchells European Championship. “The Royal London Etchells Youth Academy is a great programme and you are sailing against great people, and we are privileged to be here.” commented Will Bedford.

Runner up in the Corinthian Class was Rob Goddard's Stampede (RYA/CCYC) and in third place was Maarten Jamin's El Toro (WSV Hoorn).

Congratulations should go to all the teams who made the podium in a highly competitive fleet, including Chris Hampton (Royal Brighton Yacht Club) who scored a 6-1-2 on the last day to take fourth in the Open Division. Also making the podium: Marci Pocci (Royal Hong Kong YC), Graham Sunderland (Royal London YC), Peter Rogers (Royal Lymington YC), and Shaun Frohlich (Royal Southern YC).

Published in Etchells
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The standard and well-worn Etchells 22 which Bill Trafford of Alchemy Marine in County Cork transformed into an immaculate fast weekend cruiser has been awarded first prize in the Spirit of Tradition category in the International Classic Boat Awards 2018 in London this week writes W M Nixon.

As regular readers of will be well aware, Bill really does work the full magic of total alchemy at his workshop hidden away near Skenakilla Crossroads in the heart of the countryside of North Cork. A very ordinary standard white Etchells 22 went into the shed, yet within a year, an immaculate dark blue classic cruiser -complete with a perfect small coachroof of appropriate style and immaculate joinerywork - had emerged back into the outside world.

guapa winner2Work in progress. Modifications under way in the Alchemy Marine worskshop to the Etchells 22 hull in the background, while in the foreground is the superbly-crafted new coachroof. Photo: W M Nixon

Among those impressed by the finished job was classic shipwright Johnny Smullen, originally of Dun Laoghaire but now California-based. He has done very highly-regarded specialist work there for America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner’s classic collection, and he reckoned that the Trafford transformation was the ultimate Etchells conversion.

The re-born vessel’s elegance was emphasized by a lenthgthened counter, and her very complete overall style was finished by a beautiful suit of sails whose creation was personally overseen by Des McWilliam of UK Sailmakers of Crosshaven.

Des was one of many who were very impressed by the experience of sailing on the boat, which in her new form has been named Guapa, the Spanish for beautiful. And apparently there was a significant supportive input from readers who voted for Guapa in the Classic Boat online poll, to whom Bill Trafford passes on his thanks. For at this week’s international gathering of Classic Boat enthusiasts in the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London, Guapa was proclaimed as clear overall winner of the Spirit of Tradition (under 40ft) division.

guapa winner3A masterpiece deserving international acclaim. Bill Trafford with the re-born Guapa outside his North Cork workshop

Published in Historic Boats
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#NorthSails - As previously reported, North Sails celebrated a record-smashing year for offshore yachting titans competing with its 3Di performance sails.

But clients of the sailmaker — with a longstanding base in Myrtleville, Co Cork — also had a big year across the One Design classes around the globe.

In the Etchells class, Stella Blue helmed by Steve Benjamin won the 2017 Worlds in San Francisco at an event where fellow North Sails clients Senet Bischoff and KGB took the Corinthian title and finished third overall.

Elsewhere, in Toronto, Rossi Milev’s Clear Air sailed into first place at the J/24 Worlds, the same event where Lizzy McDowell’s U25 Howth Yacht Club team Scandal finished a respectable 42nd amid the mammoth international field.

Fellow Howth sailor Laura Dillon on Cloud finished 33rd in the Dragon World Championships in Cascais last June, which saw North Sails powering clients into first (Provezza Dragon, Andy Beadsworth), third (Alfie, Lawrie Smith), fourth (Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann), fifth (Rocknrolla, Dmitry Samokhin), ninth (Louise, Grant Gordon) and 10th (Jeanie, Jens Rathsack) places overall.

And Spanish sailor María Perelló, using North Sails’ Radial R2, won the girls division at the Optimist Worlds in Thailand last July, where Ireland enjoyed had a strong showing in team racing.

North Sails is the world’s leading sailmaker for One Design classes with more national, world and Olympic class victories than all other sailmakers combined.

Published in North Sails Ireland

The vintage Etchells 22 transformed into a classic small cruiser last year by Bill Trafford of Alchemy Marine for a Crosshaven owner has been short-listed for an international award writes W M Nixon.

The superbly-finished Guapa – Spanish for “beautiful” – still sails like an Etchells. But she now looks like a very high quality miniature Swedish Skerries cruiser, with an exquisitely-crafted coachroof which can provide weekend cruising accommodation, although elegant and effortless daysailing is Guapa’s true forte.

With her teak-laid decks and appropriately classic-style McWilliam Sails, Guapa has impressed a wide range of people with vintage yacht experience, including America’s Cup superstar Dennis Conner’s classic yacht specialist Johnny Smullen, who has described her as “an amazing bit of work”.

etchells22 guapa2Halfway stage of the transformation which created Guapa. The hull has been lengthened, the sheerline has been accentuated with an increase in freeboard, and the new coachroof has been built “to Chippendale standards”. Photo: W M Nixon

Now Guapa has been short-listed for the latest annual round of awards by the international publication Classic Boat, and she’s one of the final three that have reached the run-off in the Spirit of Tradition Under 40ft category.

All details on voting are here

We would guess that many readers will want to give Guapa and Bill Trafford their support, judging by the favourable response to our stories on charting the complete transformation of this formerly well-worn Etchells 22.

Meanwhile, in his workshop near Skenakilla Crossroads in the rural heartlands of County Cork, Bill is busy on a new project - the complete transformation of an old counter-sterned Kim Holman-designed Elizabethan 29 into a new take on the Alan Buchanan-designed transom-sterned Colleen Class, which was built in Kinsale around 1950. It’s an utterly intriguing project - more of it on in the very near future.

etchells22 guapa3Guapa – “a delight to sail, and a joy to be aboard”.

Published in Etchells
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Royal Cork Yacht Club's Jamie McWilliam has won Hong Kong's Around the Island Race.

It was a day of varied conditions for the 2017 Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race with everything from 2 to 28kts of easterly breeze being reported across the race track. Approximately 1,400 people on 230 boats and even two lifejacket-- clad dogs took part in this year's 26nm circumnavigation.

The big winners of the day were ex-pat Jamie McWilliam now based in Hon Kong with his crew Simon Macdonald and Peter Austin onboard the EtchellsShrub, they crossed the finish line at 14h 19m 07s to take the overall win with a corrected time of 4h 59m 02s.

It took two start lines located off of Causeway Bay and Hung Hom and 22 consecutive starts to get the fleet away. There were boat breaking conditions right off of the start with the first casualty of the day headed back to the club by 0830hrs due to a broken mast and boom. The fleet tacked their way up the starboard side of the Hong Kong Harbour course, avoiding exclusion zones and Hong Kong's busy marine traffic and through Lei Yue Mun gap.

Once the fleet reached Shek O rock they met with big swells of 2 to 3m, which proved difficult for some of the smaller fleets. Persevering on was the first Para athlete to compete in the Around the Island Race; Foo Yuen-Wai representing Sailability Hong Kong on board a 2.4mR, the smallest boat in the fleet The Kaplan, not only is Foo the first Para athlete to compete, he is also the first one to sail single- handed. Foo completed the race and sailed across the line at 16h 11m 24s.

Another first was Sean Law on board S M Kwan and Thomas Wong's Sunfast 3600 Ding Dong Sean who is just 77 days old did his first Around the Island Race with mother and father Sally and Dominick.

Kites were hoisted after the fleet rounded D'Aguilar point with gusts up to 28kts. There were a few exciting broaches and resulting in a few more retirements. However, with the large swell running along the Sheung Sze Mun channel, some boats were fully launched and able to surf in on the run towards Stanley Gate.

The swell tapered off as did the breeze, as the fleet approached Round Island. A park up ensued off the Cyberport Gate, where supporting sponsors St. James's Place were waiting to greet the fleet on a spectator yacht. Once the fleet rounded Green Island the breeze increased a little but there were still a few holes along the harbor. First to make the circumnavigation was Bruce Anson and Wei Jie's Discover Sail Asia an RC44 with an elapsed time of 4h 19m 21s.

Published in Etchells
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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