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Displaying items by tag: Conor Fogerty

Conor Fogerty is making great westerly progress this morning following a windshift last night in the closing stages of the OSTAR Transtlantic Race.

The Howth Yacht Club sailor is vying for overall honours after a storm ravaged crossing. He has 722 mailes to sail is the Gipsy Moth division leader, is second in line honours and second in Ostar division.

Fogerty on board a Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 departed Portsmouth 17 days ago.

Fogerty reports his major concern is that the auto pilot keeps cutting out on him but then restarts and functions as normal.

His shore team say he is 'on full sail and spending most of his time trimming'. He is expecting a bit more wind over the next day and then after that, he may see a little downwind sailing.

Main competitor Vento is sailing well again and at this rate should finish late this evening  to take line honours. From that moment on, BAM will be racing the clock for first on corrected time.

Track Fogerty's closing stages in this race here

Published in Solo Sailing

#OSTAR - The OSTAR and TWOSTAR fleets have seen a slew of retirements after a storm hit the fleet in the North Atlantic on Friday (9 June), leaving one yacht abandoned and another dismasted.

According to Yachting & Boating World, the ocean liner Queen Mary 2 changed course to pick up solo sailor Melvyn Wheatley after his yacht Tamarind had its mast go under and flooded through a smashed porthole.

Wheatley (73), who scuttled the vessel for the safety of shipping traffic, was down below when the yacht took damage — with his wife later commenting that he was lucky to survive the “nightmare” conditions.

Elsewhere, the Bulgarian crew of Furia, a Luffe 37-09 in the TWOSTAR, were rescued by a survey vessel after their boat sank, while the crew of the Sunfast 37 named Happy were picked up by a tug when their yacht dismasted.

Other retirements include British OSTAR competitors Keith Walton, whose Najad 490 Harmoni is Azores bound with mainsail damage, and Peter Crowther, whose Swan 38 Suomi Kudu has turned around for the UK also with mainsail issues.

Despite the “extreme conditions” in what were described as hurricane winds, and with swells persisting in excess of 10 metres, there were no reported injuries across the fleet.

And Conor Fogerty’s BAM continues apace, lucky to be ahead of the storm when it struck the back of the fleet on the east of the track.

As of last night (Saturday 10 June) the Howth Yacht Club sailor’s Sunfast 3600 was making big gains despite the tough conditions, second to OSTAR leaders Vento and only a few hours behind on time.

WMN Nixon adds:  Ireland’s Conor Fogerty clear of worst of OSTAR’s Atlantic storm

Ireland’s entry in OSTAR 2017 Conor Fogerty of Howth, having started on May 29th from Plymouth in Devon to race Transatlantic to Newport Rhode Island), has been putting in such a good performance that he has his Sunfast 3600 Bam safely to the west of the worst of the the mid-Atlantic storm mayhem which has resulted in a sinking, and five OSTAR/TWOSTAR sailors being rescued, with the liner Queen Mary playing a major role in the retrieval incident writes W M Nixon.

Although the clear leader is Andrea Mura with the Open 60 Venta di Sardegna. who has only 572 miles still to race, despite Fogerty being the smallest boat of those at the front of the fleet, he is in near-contact with the Uwe Pajkowska’s Open 40 Rote 66, which is second on the water and is actually two-handed in the TWOSTAR division. Pajkowska has 1158 miles to race while the solo-sailed Bam is on 1186 to lie either second overall or third, depending on which category is used for the rankings.

Update Monday, June 12:  

North Atlantic Storm Hits OSTAR & TWOSTAR Fleet
In the early hours of Friday 9th June, 60 knot winds and 15 metre seas were experienced by competitors, caused by a very low depression (967 mb). These extreme conditions caused damage to many boats with 3 emergency beacons (EPIRB) triggered. The Canadian coastguard in Halifax immediately reacted to the situation sending ships and air support to all the boats in distress.

The boats affected over the past 36 hours are:

TAMARIND - Suffered severe damage. Skipper well with no injuries. Rescued by Queen Mary en route to Halifax.

HAPPY - Dismasted. Both crew rescued by ocean going tug APL FORWARD. No injuries reported.

FURIA - Boat sunk. Crew resuced by survey vessel THOR MAGNA. No injuries reported.

HARMONII - Mainsail and track damage. Retired. Heading under engine for the Azores. Skipper ok, no injuries.

SUOMI KUDU - Mainsail problems. Retired. Heading back to UK. Skipper ok, no injuries.

All other competitors safe but still experiencing a 10 - 15 metre swell, no injuries reported.

The RWYC would like to thank all personnel at the Halifax Coastguard for their immediate and magnificent response to this emergency situation. All seafarers owe them a debt of gratitude

Published in Solo Sailing

Conor Fogerty's BAM Team report that the Howth Yacht Club Ostar sailor looks to have had a frustratingly slow night last night despite holding first in the Gipsy Moth division, third in line honours and second in the Ostar line.

Hopefully it was as a result of the eye of the low pressure being wider than expected and not anything else. His local competitors were also slow so probably the former. However, these rules didn't seem to apply to the two-hander Open 40 'Rote 66' who has taken a hefty jump.

BAM is up to speed again on a fast reach and has done a long term job on her sister 'Mister Lucky'. She is way down in the bottom of the low, will have large headwinds and will be feeling the pain of the southern route. Further up the track, 'Vento' the Open 50 has born off to round the Iceberg Limit.

She had been looking like she was going to go through some of the ice but clearly has decided safety first. She has put huge distance on her own race by going so far North. To put the ice in perspective, down on the bottom left you can see Titanic's last position and resting place. Remember, she sank in April, a mere two months earlier than the Ostar schedule.

Tracker here.

Published in Solo Sailing

Following the OSTAR skipper's Briefing on Saturday 27th, thoughts turned to weather routing and decisions on which of the main routes to take writes John Forde who is supporting solo Irish entry Conor Fogerty in the Jeanneau Sunfast 3600. It was interesting to see the dynamic at play between the competitors, some being extremely guarded and others more happy to discuss plans and share information for this gruelling sea marathon.

Of course besides OSTAR and TWOSTAR race prep, the weekend in Plymouth was dominated by the arrival of Gypsy Moth IV, to her home Port and Yacht Club, The Royal Western. Fifty years ago today or more precisely the 28th May 1967, Sir Francis Chichester arrived back, following the first solo circumnavigation of the globe to an extraordinary reception.

This was commemorated by all the attending skippers with a series of dinners on Saturday and Sunday which simply added to the feeling of history attaching to this pioneering Transatlantic race. Chichester was one of the original founding members of the Race and its first winner in 1960. He took 40 days and 12 hours whereas Conor Fogerty of Howth Yacht Club, 'Captain Fogers' to his friends, amongst other names, all complimentary...is hoping for a circa 21–day crossing.

There was much to do during the day to fully ensure that all the boats were all well prepared as they could be. Sails out and dried, checked re–stowed in order of use or intended use. Winches serviced ,halyards lines and all blocks checked. A full inspection of the rig from aloft and of course the all important Electronic systems on board. The important matter of victualling for the race could not be left to chance. One stalwart English Skipper Neil Payter of Portsmouth has supplies for three months on his Yamaha 33, that's a boat not a bike, to include four cases of red wine! This is some character to meet, hugely entertaining and of course experienced. I should also mention Mervyn Wheatley who according to Conor has a bath on board!! ( He would later arrive at the start line on his Formosa 42 blasting out rousing military tunes, to include the Dambusters at full volume prior to the 10 minute gun). Colourful is the word.

The deadline for work completion was 17.00 each day as the hosting RWYC had thoughtfully arranged all dinners to commence at 18.00 preceeded by a drinks reception.The obvious thinking being this would allow the skippers plenty of time to eat , drink and socialise and still be home in bed by ten to cram as much sleep in, prior to the weeks of sleep deprivation which await.

Conor Fogerty Gipsy MothNew friends and old on the Gipsy Moth IV

However nobody told the Irish Two, a slew of French, Bretons in the main, and the crew of Gypsy Moth IV who all bonded over good food, wines, Guinness, and some seriously entertaining sing songs. There was no language barrier between the Brits, Irish and French, despite very few of the French having good English and vice versa. 'Bonjour', 'chanson', 'un autre biere' and 'bonne nuit' was as much as we needed, falling back on long forgotten school French like experts, hmmm.

War stories were swapped with past French class winners ,whom had brought a large and raucous fan club. The French along with the British had the most entries with six and five respectfully. Their boats in the main, all heavier older models, tried and trusted. The two Italian entries, the Open 50 Vento di Sardegna of Andrea Mura, the 2013 overall winner, the Class 950 Illumia 12 of Michele Zambelli, and the Portuguese Open 60 Taylor 325 had also come heavily supported.

BAM YB Tracker A well known restaurant from Fogerty's home port of Howth adorns the side of the Irish Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 for the transatlantic voyage

Whilst the Irish numbers may have been low the spirits most certainly were not. Conor has legions of tales to tell of his sailing adventures having completed two Circumnavigations, once as skipper of the Clipper Cardiff in 2006/2007 series, 31 TransAtlantic crossings and a log which at 350,000 sea miles he stopped personally recording, some years back. However, it is the tales from ashore in all manner of far flung places that are most entertaining. The Gypsy Moth crew which included the lovely Skipper Emily Caruso and First Officer Anna Kastanias Kirton and a slew of nationalities are also tied up with Clipper training and many previous Clipper races and legs. None of their English, Scots, Welsh or American crew however had ventured into the Solo realm unlike our Howth YC hero.

So after a fantastic weekend of hard work and play, to include meeting Tony Bullimore and countless veteran past participants including an 86 year old from the first race of 1960 ... race day arrived , Monday the 29th. Or perhaps we should say we think it arrived, as we were unable to see more than a boat length or two, with dense fog blanketing Plymouth Sound.

The Port was closed, extra time taken over last minute jobs and coffee and a postponment for one hour, until a 13.00 start.

The fog lifted at about 11.00 and Race Office declared boats could head to the start line at 11.30. A large flotilla of all types of floating craft, including yachts, power boats, racing dinghies, RIBs and large jam packed passenger ferries headed out at the same time to a fantastic spectacle , as the sun made an appearance and the wind freshened from the South West. After hoisting the main and tidying away fenders and warps I was struck by the thought that the next time the warps are uncoiled will be in Newport, 3,000 miles away. All going well.

Last farewells to the Skipper before jumping ship into a collecting Rib where up close photos could be taken for sponsors and friends. 

We moved to the Committee Boat end which consisted of Royal Naval Supply Vessel, Wave Ruler to await the starting sequence.

Conor had advised he was in no rush to the start giving the marathon nature of the race, particularly given a competitor put himself out of the 2013 race after a start line collision. Ouch.... that could only be described as seriously painful and embarrasing after months of preparation. Watch Conor Fogerty Live at the OSTAR Start HERE!

Of course there were some eager beavers who got to the line early and than had to run down away from the pin and favourable end of the line. Conors Bam came in all the way to the line on starboard , timed beautifully , cutting the line towards the pin not having to ease off. He was closely followed by the Aussie 3600 Mr Lucky, helmed by Mark Hipgrove.

Conor rounded the first mark to starboard, the Eddystone Light in first place although some had him in third. When we first checked YB shortly after the rounding he was first boat on the water, leading the far quicker competitors in the GM / Gpysy Moth, fleet for the highest rated boats.

This must have felt great and a huge confidence boost. Keep up with Conor across the Atlantic via the Tracker here.

BAM YB TrackerFogerty makes his mark after the first night at sea

This morning Conor had kept up the pace as he had intended, whilst coming down the Channel until clearing Lands End and the Scilly Isles.Yellow Brick had him first in GM class and first in Ostar line honours which is fantastic sailing.

Hopefully this is an omen for the rest of the race and the wind Gods smile down. Latest update sees Bam heading north towards the South Coast of Ireland to catch the fresher breeze.

A weekly satelite call to Cafe East in Howth, Thursday Evenings, time to be announced.

Published in Solo Sailing
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Thanks to modern technology – and more than a bit of assistance from intrepid solo skipper Conor Fogerty himself – Afloat.ie aims to bring you Irish OSTAR entrant Bam! live this morning from the start of the Transatlantic Race off Plymouth.

The Howth Yacht Club solo skipper is already onboard his Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 and the 15–boat fleet is heading out to the start in some very light winds. This has led to the OSTAR race start being postponed for one hour.  Watch the live feed from BAM3600 below from 12.50

Fogerty is racing to Newport, Rhode Island a voyage of approximately three weeks. Tracker here

Published in Solo Sailing
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The OSTAR transatlantic race start in Plymouth Sound today at 12:00 BST with Howth's solo sailor Conor Fogerty in the Sun Fast 3600 the sole Irish representative in the international 15–boat line–up. As Afloat.ie reported at the weekend, Forgety arrived safely in Plymouth and is ready for his race across the North Atlantic to Newport, RI, USA that is expected to last three week. See tracker below! 

Published in Solo Sailing
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This month sees Conor Fogerty of Howth Yacht Club, preparing for one of the most prestigious and demanding solo ocean races in the international yachting calendar. 

The latest instalment of the OSTAR (Original Solo Transatlantic Race), commences on 29th May 2017.

This will see Fogerty, bring his much loved and widely campaigned Sunfast 3600 'Bam', to the start line off Plymouth Sound in the English Channel. This gruelling race which is taxing on both body and mind, heads across the North Atlantic Ocean, to Newport Rhode Island, over 3,000 miles of Ocean.

Although the race name OSTAR may trip easily off the tongue, this generally upwind race, is not for the faint hearted or indeed occasional offshore adventurer.

Conor fogerty Howth sailorFogerty and Bam surfing at 20–knots during a 2016 transatlantic crossing

The event sees the solo skippers pit themselves against strong gales and big seas as a matter of course, not to mention, ice, fog, shipping and the occasional whale attack is not unknown.

He will follow in the footsteps of a veritable who’s who of sailing greats and pioneers of ocean racing. The names of Chichester, Knox Johnson, Blyth, Tabarly, Peyron, not forgetting Ellen McArthur are some of those who have sailed this great race before him.

In an Irish context, solo sailor Barry Hurley of the Royal Irish Yacht Club took a class win in the 2009 Ostar after a 21–day match race with an Italian competitor.

OSTAR history can be traced to an English war veteran Blondie Hassler who set about organising the race in 1956 and saw it first run in 1960 under the guidance of The Royal Western Yacht Club. From those early days of sextants and hand bearing compasses, the race has witnessed the trialling of most major innovations in boat design and on board equipment common in modern day sailing. This includes the advent of multi hulls, autopilots, water ballast, GPS, and weather routing. Whilst all of the above have certainly revolutionised sailing for the modern day solo adventurer, they do little to diminish the stark reality of dealing with the conditions, the low pressure systems of the North Atlantic create.

dinah barry hurleyAfter 21 days at sea Barry Hurley makes a dawn finish and a class win in the 2009 Ostar

Conor is a seasoned campaigner. Last year alone saw his 11–metre Bam start the year with a win in the RORC Caribbean 600. From there a 16–day solo trip to the Azores and then after some much needed R &R in Horta, back to Ireland.

Next up were the ISORA races across the Irish Sea and forays to the South Coast of England and North of France competing in RORC races. Not forgetting a 3rd place finish in the Round Ireland and a Solo Fastnet (SORC) challenge, which but for a fickle wind at the end line, would have seen him claim the top of the podium. The season came down with the Middle Sea Race off Malta which saw Fogerty and Bam claim the 3rd overall in class for the RORC 2016 season.

This was a fitting reward for skipper and crew for the thousands of hard miles campaigning in 2016, without the big budgets of some competitors or indeed sponsorship.

It has been said that the major achievement racing the OSTAR is to get the boat to the start line.

These campaigns do not come easily or cheaply to the racing privateer. The aim now is to get as many sponsors as possible on board, to back this commendable Corinthian challenge.

Conor is in discussions with potential sponsors at the moment, but he also provides a grass route sponsorship option for an individual to have their name displayed on the hull to show support, and to give his attempt every chance of success, and to fly the Irish flag with distinction. If you are interested in providing support, please contact [email protected]

Published in Offshore

Having taken a substantial fifth place in the weekend's RORC Cowes to Cherbourg offshore race following on from the early season good showing in the Caribbean 600, Round Ireland and Ile D'Ouessant races, lines Conor Fogerty and the BAM crew are nicely positioned for a top three finish in the RORC IRC 3 2016 points championship. 

Crew for the Cowes Cherbourg race were Conor Fogerty (Helm), Simon Knowles (Helm/Tactics), Paddy Gregory (Helm/Main Trimmer), Conor O'Neill (Main /Jib Trimmer), Julian Brexit (Trimmer), Anthony Doyle (Navigation/Bow/).

The HYC skipper and the crew took particular satisfaction in being the first Sunfast 3600 home and on IRC while also finishing ahead of a number of coveted JPK1080 yachts.

The next big outing for Fogerty and the BAM crew is the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October.

Published in RORC

Conor Fogerty's Sunfast 3600, Bam from Howth Yacht Club continued her 2016 campaign with the inaugural SORC (Solo Offshore Racing Club) run, Solo Fastnet, from Cowes to the Fastnet, finishing at Plymouth, a distance of 605 nautical miles, writes BAM shore manager John Forde.

An action packed delivery from Howth to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, saw 20.4 knots clocked off Portland Bill on a broad reach fling a battered delivery Figaro Main and a beautifully cut Philip Watson no.5 /reaching sail. This, perhaps, should have foretold what was in store for the 46 plucky contestants who had gathered for this iconic sailing test. The nationalities, mainly British and French, included German, Finnish, Australian and two Irish entries. Besides Conor's class 1 IRC rated Bam, Jim Schofield from Poolbeg YC had entered his classic Nicholson 32 'Thisbe',  the lowest ranked boat in class 3 on an IRC rating of .848.

The Fastnet Race is one of the great RORC races and memories will remain long of the tragic 1979 Race. Recent races have witnessed some pretty tough racing conditions for what are mainly Corinthian sailors, albeit some with tremendous sailing experience and expertise to include previous OSTAR ( Plymouth - New Port RI ) participants and winners, Trans Quadra trans Atlantic race winners, as well as Double Handed RORC Fastnet winners. The last big blow Fastnet of 2007 saw just one in five boats reach and round the Rock.

In contrast, there were only two retirees who did not come to the line, and eventually 19 out of 46 managed to finish.

Conor Fogerty's Sunfast 3600, Bam Conor Fogerty on his Sunfast 3600, prepares to leave Ocean village marina for the Solo Fastnet start. Photo: John Forde

However that was as good as it got for the fleet at the 11.30 start line. Average wind speeds from the South West of 25 knots gusting 30/35 together with an ebbing tide saw 10–foot standing waves off the Needles.

Post race, a local sailor based in Cowes, reported having heard of these legendary standing waves off the Needles point, but never having witnessed such conditions, until this race began that is.. The fleet therefore started and continued on a cold and wet, wind tossed beat into the first night and beyond.

There were many early casualties due to boat failure; auto pilot / charging issues, serious gear failure, sails/sheets fouling sail drives and indeed physical casualties, exhaustion/sickness. Broken ribs in one case and a tooth knocked out in another were mere irritations for two participants who carried on.

Our intrepid Howth hero started on full main and when questioned after by a fellow racer as to his sanity, replied “ I blew my first reef and had no option “, narrowly avoiding a port – starboard collision with a quick thinking competitor who allowed him pass in front.

A ripped leech on a J2, a blown halyard and a quickly deteriorating main completed the damage inventory.

Reports of no sleep for the first 24 hours was common as progress was made down the Inshore stretch of the race along the Jurassic Coast, crossing outside Poole Bay, Portland Bill, Lyme Bay on to Start

Point the Lizard and Lands End to the first tactical call at the Lands End TSS The TSS could not be entered save incurring time penalties.

Most of the lead boats went south towards the Scilly Isles whilst following boats split in between. There was an early lead on time for French Class 2 Raging Bee in a JPK 1010. The lead boats comprised a group of French in a range of JPKs , and the English and lone Irishman in the 3600's, The SF 3200's also dicing at the front, with the only female entry Deb Fish more than holding her own.

The first night saw a large proportion of retireses. This growing band of brothers gathered, ashore at the RWYC and Sutton Marina and local Hostelries in the magnificently situated maritime City of Plymouth.
As the band of retirees gathered after a second gale battered the fleet off the South coast of Ireland on the 3rd day of racing the pace increased. Both offshore and ashore!

The remaining open 40 with Finnish Skipper Ari Kansakoska blew his main but still managed to finish, nursing it home in less decreasing winds on the return leg. Bam, Bellino and several other Sunfasts plus the French in the JPK 1010's swapped the lead, with Bam stealing a decisive tactical march before the Fastnet and rounding First.
Alas no prizes at half time....

The lead continued to change on the return leg with light airs now predominating to the TSS at Lands End/Scilly Isles.

On Wednesday night, day 4, a group of new found Irish supporters gathered round various devices to track the latest progress on the superbly functional and informative YB tracking system. Before last orders (late) in The Fishermans Arms at the top of one of Plymouth's many steeped cobbled 18th century streets, it seemed a second tactical battle had been won by Fogerty over the experienced Rob Craigie in Bellino. 

Bellino went in under the headland at Lizard Rock, about 40–miles to finish in a dying breeze and slowed to 1.5 knots. Bam gybed south in an effort to keep the A2 filled. We could see three knots on the tracker compared to Bellino's 1.5. It seemed a first on the water and class was there instead of simply accepting a “follow the leader home” second, as Bellino had 3 miles on Bam.

'Fortune did not follow this brave move'

 

Alas on this, the occasion of his first solo offshore race, despite huge offshore big boat and fully crewed experience, fortune did not follow this brave move.

A large hole appeared off shore and the inshore boats found some land breeze to creep on towards the finish in Plymouth Sound, early next morning Thursday the 7th July.

A welcoming committee of competitors and friends greeted each finisher with a great cheer and a cold beer and in some case a much needed fag....

Time to party, boats were docked, tied up and left as cold liquid refreshments were the breakfast choice of all, despite most sailors reporting snatches of 20 mins max and little food. Somehow 35 knots don't make for fine dining or even dining in cases, it seems....

When the skipper was informed that the shore support was wrecked, later in the day the question rang out “ how could you be wrecked tracking the race (Tactical Support ) when we're after doing a 5 day solo “? Try 7 days ashore with a bunch of thirsty sailors and you'll know how...

Bam finished 4th in Class and for a first Solo in such illustrious company this was a tremendous achievement. The eventual winner on corrected was Will Sayer in his Class 3, Sigma 33C due to the fleet compressing at points during the leg back. He had seriously contemplated giving up at Lands End on the way out when cast adrift from the top markers...

BAM Conor fogertyHYC's Bam competing in last month's Round Ireland race. Sailing solo last week, skipper Conor Fogerty was in contention in the Solo Fastnet race Photo: Afloat.ie

The remainder of 2016 sees Bam compete in a number of RORC fully crewed events to include the “Ile d Òuessant ” in August and finally the Middle Sea Race in October to complete a remarkable year, after a first in The RORC 600 and a third in the Round Ireland race. Conor and Rob Craigie are both going for the RORC top sailor of the year award a with a one–all at this point .

Next year is the OSTAR and Conor will be commencing a sponsorship campaign to fund this expensive attempt when he again attempts to put Irish amateur sailing on the world map.

Published in Solo Sailing

Just ten months after sailing away into the wide blue yonder, Conor Fogerty of Howth has returned this week with his SunFast 3600 Bam with more than 12,000 miles logged in just ten months away, and a Class win recorded in the RORC Caribbean 600 as “just another element” in a remarkable Atlantic circuit cruise writes W M Nixon.

He will barely have time to savour being home before being swept up into the Volvo Round Ireland Race in a fortnight’s time. When Afloat.ie caught up with him at lunchtime today, Bam was being lifted in Howth Marina in order to get a proper assessment of her weight, as she rates a whole 8 points higher than the other SunFast 3600 entered for the Volvo Round Ireland, and the reasons for this have to be identified.

Then next stage is participation in tomorrow night’s ISORA Race from Dun Laoghaire to Douglas in the Isle of Man for some crew qualifications for the Ireland circuit, and when this necessary business has been sorted, maybe there’ll be time to properly savour the quality of the achievement of Bam! and her skipper.

While he got to the Caribbean from the Canaries by way of the ARC, and raced fully-crewed in the RORC Caribbean 600, in order to qualify for events such as the OSTAR he sailed home single-handed non-stop from St Maarten back across the Atlantic to the Azores, while for the final 1,200 mile passage from the Azores back to Howth, he was crewed by longtime shipmate Daragh Heagney. As our photos show, Conor Fogerty has returned looking hyper-fit and well, while Bam! looks as if she has only been away for a sail round the bay.

conor fogerty2
Conor Foger with Bam! in Howth – his Jeanneau SunFast 3600 looks as though she's just back from a day sail round the bay, rather than 12,000 mile Transatlantic Circuit cruise. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Offshore
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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.

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