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Displaying items by tag: Howth Yacht Club

With the almost melancholy passing of Mid-Summer’s Day, the sailing season is taking on a different look, a distinctly-changed mood and flavour. For in normal times – if anyone can remember when you could talk of such things – there is a tendency to pack events into late May and throughout June for at least two reasons.

One of these is the feeling that it’s a good idea to tick as many event boxes as possible early in the season, for fear that even odder and more awful weather than usual might turn up on the day, meaning that in the case of a weekend happening, there’s still the possibility for a complete re-scheduling before the summer is over.

Challenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyChallenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The other reason is the changing mood of the sailing community with the swing of the seasons. People are full of vim and vigour in May and June and early July. But then with August approaching, there’s a natural slowing down of the mood in what Patrick Kavanagh so effectively captured as “the tremendous silence of mid-July”.

It hasn’t got to us yet in this, the busy first weekend of July. Dromineer is a-buzz with the Lough Derg end of the Shannon One Designs’ Two-part Centenary Regatta, Dublin Bay is alive with the Frank Keane BMW RStGYC Regatta, somewhere between Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour sundry boats are re-racing an offshore race originally sailed in 1860 (repeat, 1860) in order to be on station for Volvo Cork Week in six days’ time. And throughout the land on lake, sea and river, club events are being staged in the hope that next week’s expected good weather will arrive a little earlier than anticipated.

Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).

For there’s no doubt that, taken overall, June’s weather was a decidedly mixed bag. Yet although there were major happenings that saw rough days on which the smaller classes weren’t allowed to race, the fact is that skilled race officers frequently managed to get comprehensive results in a more-than-satisfactory way.

Thus within Irish sailing there were many successful crews and skippers who merited inclusion in the long list for the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” title, and when we add in achievements abroad, it’s impossible to reduce it below this short list of four top achievements.

Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove are Sailors of the Month (Olympic) for June

The 2022 Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta at the beginning of June in Almere on the Ijsselmeer in The Netherlands saw Ireland’s Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove racing their 49er to victory in the final medal race. But by that stage, the top Dutch crew were so well positioned that overall they took the Gold, but the Irish team secured Silver to continue their progress through a demanding selection programme aimed at the 2024 Olympics.

Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.

The Kelly family of Rush are Sailors of the Month (Regatta) for June

Sailing is often promoted as a family sport for all ages. But if anyone doubts that this can be happily achieved with racing success thrown in, then they only have to consider the Kelly clan of Rush SC with their J/109 Storm. Aboard Storm, the patriarch Pat Kelly heads a multi-talented crew which includes three generations of his family, and they clearly demonstrated they’d lost none of the successful touch shown in previous years by winning overall in the four day Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough.

Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ieMike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie

Mike & Richie Evans are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for June

June saw the staging of a truly vintage SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow. But for those who think that success in events like this 704-mile marathon is only for seasoned sailors with many comparable races logged, the fact that the top Irish boat was the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was an eye-opener, as this was their first offshore major. And they almost won it, pacing just five minutes behind the overall winner after out-performing many comparable boats in the final very difficult miles. 

Dermot Skehan is Sailor of the Month (Regatta) for June

The Howth Wave Regatta created some sort of record for the mixture of weather it packed into its three day format, and how anyone found the energy for the legendary Saturday night party suggests superhuman stamina. With a rugged Lambay Race in its midst, Wave was for heroes, and it was the heroic Dermot Skehan - racing as ever with a crew of longtime friends and shipmates on his MG34 Toughnut - who emerged as overall winner and a worthy Sailor of the Month for June.

HYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious ToughnutHYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious Toughnut

Published in W M Nixon

Whatever excitements the Irish J/24 class may have been providing in home waters this past weekend, the current all-Ireland Champions (in every sense) with the not-inappropriately-named Headcase have succeeded brilliantly in keeping their heads above water and their noses in front in the top-of-the-line Kiel Week in Germany.

They've taken in Kiel as part of their countdown to the J/24 Europeans in Howth in August, with the UK Nationals very much in sight. But for now, this multi-talented crew (drawn from every Irish Province except Munster) had a scorecard to dream of in Kiel, with six bullets in nine races.

Published in J24
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Wave 2022 at Howth, with main sponsors the Wright Hospitality Group, has been a three-day regatta of all the seasons, including today’s (Sunday) localised attempt at a mild monsoon. But the most important ingredient of wind was always present - albeit almost to excess for Saturday’s Lambay Race - and Senior Race Officer David Lovegrove and his teams furnished Organising Committee Chairman Brian Turvey with a very complete set of results.

In an event of such diversity, settling on an overall champion is decided by various semi-secret formulas. But after considering a bewildering array of data, the Committee came down in favour of seasoned local skipper Dermot Skehan with the veteran MG34 Toughnut, who not only won Class 5 overall with minimum points but collected the Lambay Lady for best performance in the central event while he was on his way to the longterm success.

David Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyDavid Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Yet the racing provided something for everyone. On Belfast Lough, a rugged nor’easter is regarded as “a good sailing breeze”. And certainly it was an all-conquering performance in precisely those conditions during yesterday’s (Saturday) Lambay Race which propelled John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC & RNIYC) to the front of the fleet in Class 1 in Wave, with another couple of handy Minnis wins today – raced in the sometimes very damp but eminently servicable easterly – confirming that one of the top prizes heads very definitely north.

Pete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Nearer home, Clontarf is so named because it means Bull’s Roar, and that’s the noise the non-nautical natives in the distant past reckoned they were hearing from their beach on Dublin Bay in an onshore gale. Since then, Clontarf folk have got to grips with seafaring, and Pete Smyth of those parts – but now sailing out of the National YC with his Sunfast 3600 Searcher – likewise got profitably to grips with the Lambay breeze to place him nicely to place second Class 0 overall astern of Crosshaven’s Jelly Baby after today’s results were collated.

The Jones family with Jelly Baby put together an extremely convincing series. Last year, when Crosshaven’s Nieulargo won the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, the Royal Cork revived a 19th Century tradition by giving her a nine gun salute as she returned to Crosshaven. Jelly Baby surely deserves something similar.

 Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven. Photo: Afloat.ie Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven Photo: Afloat

For some crews, a soothing rainfall today was just the ticket to put a bit of colour back in their cheeks after the Wave’s fierce entertainment of an Ibiza Night to round out Saturday’s hectic sport afloat with matching high decibel and high intensity socialising ashore – genteel Set Dancing this was not.

CLASS 0

It was raced to the end, for though Searcher (Peter Smyth) had emerged as a force to be reckoned with, the early consistency of Crosshaven’s Jones family with the J/122 Jelly Baby provided the foundation for them to take the title with a win in today (Sunday’s) second and final race, making it 4.5 points over Searcher. Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) was a solid performer, discarding a 6th even if she never got a win, and she came home 6 points behind Searcher.

The J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) winning. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC), below, winning. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Andrew Craig's Chimaera

CLASS I

Going into this regatta, the main billing for Class I was as the Eastern Championship for the J/109s, and they certainly were there in droves. But they proved to be the largest group of bridesmaids ever assembled. Once John Minnis’s Final Call II had found form after a 4th in the opening race, the advance of the Archambault 35 was unstoppable and her two wins today (Sunday) gave her a massive victory of 10.5 points to the hard-won 20.00 of Mike & Richie Evans gallant little J/99 Snapshot (HYC), with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) first of the J/109s in third to take the Easterns as a bonus.

John Minnis’s Final Call IIJohn Minnis’s Final Call II, an Archambault 35 proved unstoppable on the final day Photo: Afloat

CLASS 2

Finding herself in among a group of hot Half Tonners failed to dent the dogged persistence of Stephen Quinn’s J/97 Lambay Rules (HYC), but in this class there was extra pain with any no-show in the Lambay Race carrying its own unavoidable penalty of 9 points. Thus although Dave Dwyer’s recently-acquired classic Bruce Farr Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble (RCYC) was undoubtedly the form boat by the series end, she’d demurred at the Lambay Race fence to knock her points total astray, making it doubly ironic that a boat called Lambay Rules (which are about something else altogether) should take the win by a massive margin. Just 9.5 points to the 20 of Dave Kelly’s Half Tonner King One (Rush SC) and the 22.5 of Nobby Reilly’s Ghost Raider (HYC), a former Checkmate. 

CLASS 3

Class 3 with 14 boats completed two races, and it was seasoned X class Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) took the overall win on 6.5 points from No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) on 14.5 in second and another X class, Paddy Kyne's Mazximus third on 20 points.

Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: AfloatDux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: Afloat

Calling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyCalling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 4

This was an overall win for Malahide in the form of David Greene’s White Pearl, which had it by just one point from Colm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the Bullet (HYC), with Kieran Jameson’s Sigma 38 Changeling (HYC) in third.

David Greene’s Elan 333 White PearlDavid Greene’s Elan 333 White Pearl Photo: Afloat

CLASS 5

Dermot Skehan continued on top form with two further wins in the renowned MG34 Toughnut (HYC) to give him net points of 5.5, the lowest in all classes and thus the overall title too. Steffi Ennis was second with the equally historic Demelza, and yet another blast from the past, Terry McCoy’s First 38 Out & About, was third.

 Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles

J/24

Mark Usher from Greystones with Jumpin’ Jive had such a run of firsts that he didn’t need to sail the final race, yet he was four points better at the finish than Brian McDowell of Malahide, with Howth’s K25 crew third.

J/80

This was largely inter-varsity sailing, but private owner Paddy O’Neill with the internationally successful Mojo was right there to win overall, UCD1 taking second, TUD (the new Dublin Technical University) taking second, and UCC getting third. 

SIGMA 33

Howth’s Stephen Mullaney with current Irish Champion Insider continued ahead right to the end, but David Marchant of Dunmore East continued his upward gradient as the regatta progressed, and a 3rd and 1st today (Sunday) saw him firmly in second overall with Flyover, third going to the RStGYC’s Boojum (Stephanie Bourke & Gus Legge.

The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney 

COPING WITH VOLATILE WEATHER PATTERNS

Wave 2022 was sailed in the kind of weather when, each evening, the television weather presenters seemed to introduce a new meteorological development which hadn’t been mentioned at all the day before. Yet for the competitors who could stick the pace, there was racing – lots of it – to be had every day, And when everyone is nice and warm and dry and the bruises have started to fade, the memories of the hyper-bright times of sunshine will take over from the grey of the final day.

Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022 Photo: Afloat

But either way, it couldn’t have been done without a large voluntary input. Brian Turvey and his team had assembled a corps of 57 volunteers and enthusiastic sponsors to keep this particular show on the road through some tough circumstances. We salute them all.

The final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian TurveyThe final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian Turvey

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

With a real edge to the nor’easter of 25 knots plus (very plus at times) and the tide flooding north against it, the second day of Howth’s Wave Regatta proved to a case of Waves Plural and then some in the Lambay Race. But it made for a very special day’s sailing for those boats allowed to go.

For the powers-that-be had reckoned all the smaller One-Designs should be kept safely in port. But the biggies with real lids – or most of them - went out and bruised and battered their crews in this annual highlight around the beloved island on a standalone basis, as the original plan for an extra windward-leeward morning race had been dropped in face of the earlier adverse conditions.

Big boat weatherBig boat weather. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

We said “or most of them” advisedly, as some owner-skippers decided that big damage this early in the season was not a good career move. Yet the many who did take on the challenge had some remarkably close racing throughout, and were rewarded by a slight softening with the sunny conditions in mid-afternoon before the wind - undiluted from Scandinavia - settled rawly in again for the evening.

CLASS 0

It was a case of “local boy makes good” in the exalted environs of Class 0, for although Pete Smyth sails his Sunfast 3600 Searcher from the National YC these days, the Smyths are a Clontarf clan and he cut his sailing teeth with family racing from Howth. Searcher revelled in the surfing conditions and carved out an IRC win of nearly three minutes from the Jones family from Crosshaven with the J/122 Jelly Baby, who nevertheless retain the overall lead, while Patrick Burke (RIYC) stayed in the hunt with third for his First 40 Prima Forte under IRC.

Patrick Burke’s Prima Forte (RIYC) took third in Class 0. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPatrick Burke’s Prima Forte (RIYC) took third in Class 0. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 1

Belfast Lough being “Nor’easter Central”, John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC & RNIYC) was revelling in the familiarly rugged going, and opened out a 4.5 minute lead on the water in this long race from Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (HYC), which translated into a four minute win. It was good going for Snapshot, as she finished ahead of all the J/109s, of which the best – in third overall – was Andrew Craig’s Chimaera.

Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom clears the east point of Lambay. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyRobert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom clears the east point of Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 2

Among the highly-tuned Half Tonners in Class 2, two of the top ones – Dave Cullen’s Checkmate XV and Dave Dwyer’s Swuzzebubble – decided to sit this one out. But the former Paul Elvstrom-campaigned Half Ton World Champion King One (Dave Kelly, Rush SC) gave it a real lash in the heart of her home waters and won by 17 seconds from the Wright family’s Half Tonner Mata, which in turn was just two seconds – that’s TWO seconds - ahead of overall leader Lambay Rules, Stephen Quinn’s J/97 (HYC)

The Wright brothers new Cape 31 AdrenalineThe Wright brothers new Cape 31 Adrenaline. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 3

Class 3 was yet again a case of getting all the Dux in a row – the veteran Gore-Grimes X boat from Howth had it by two minutes and 17 seconds from Paddy Kyne’s Maximus, also from HYC, as too was the third-placed No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh & O’Neill).

CLASS 4

Class 4 IRC was reduced to a select few for this demanding contest, and seasoned skipper Kieran Jameson revelled in the going with his Sigma 38 Changeling to win by two minutes from David Greene’s White Pearl from Malahide, with John Beckett & Andy George (HYC) taking third with Spashdance.

As the weather improved, the veteran Sigma 38 Changeling (Kieran Jameson) found she was in a winning position. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyAs the weather improved, the veteran Sigma 38 Changeling (Kieran Jameson) found she was in a winning position. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 5

Numbers were also down with Class 5 IRC, but Dermot Skehan’s MG34 Toughnut lived up to her name with an outstanding win of 15 minutes from Terry McCoy’s veteran First 38 Out and About, third slot going to Arcturus (Peter & Declan McCabe)

SIGMA 33

The only One-Designs provided with a race, the Sigma 33s proved well up to it, and current Irish champion Stephen Mullaney (HYC) was more up to it with Insider than the rest, he recorded another win. However, a new name entered the frame with Dunmore East’s David Marchant (WHSC) taking second with Flyover while Boojum from RStGYC (Stephanie Bourke and Gus Legge) was third.

When the going became good, it was very good indeed. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyWhen the going became good, it was very good indeed Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The traditional way of calculating the winner of the overall trophy - the Lambay Lady - is for it to go to the winning boat with the biggest margin on the second place. On these figures, it’s Dermot Skehan with Toughnut. But past experience has shown that, with the vast array of other handicap systems being applied, a new winner may emerge some time next week.

Meanwhile, although there are some very tired crews in Howth this (Saturday) evening, Wave Regatta 2022 is far from finished. With Monday being a Bank Holiday, racing is possible until 3.0pm tomorrow (Sunday), and they may even manage three more contests before the final results are announced and some very special prizes given out.

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

“A perfect nor’easter” may sound like a good contender for Oxymoron of the Week, but that’s what they had today (Friday) for the three opening races of the Howth Wave Regatta. And evidently Old Sol hadn’t been reading the script, as he wasn’t meant to appear until tomorrow. But as the racing progressed, the bright June sun became increasingly prominent, and by the time the fleet returned to Howth Harbour for some intriguing intermingling in the berthing situations among top offshore racers and the local fishing fleet, it was wall-to-wall sunshine and Factor 50 all round.

In previews, we’d talked of a “small but strong” Cork contingent, and they lived up to that billing, stamping their mark at the sharp end of the fleets where they were present. The first day’s racing was almost entirely focused on the heavy metal, as the smaller classes and most ODs are saving their fire for Saturday’s “one race and then the Lambay” combination. But as it happens, they may regret missing today’s sport – it was pure gold.

CLASS 0

The Jones family’s new version Jelly Baby from Cork is a J/122, and they’re clearly already right on top of J/122 sailing skills, putting down three clear but close wins, the margins in the three races from Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC), Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) and Samatom again being respectively nine seconds, 18 seconds and a much clearer 1 minute 50 in the day’s final contest.

The J/122 Jelly Baby from Royal Cork is skippered by Brian Jones The J/122 Jelly Baby from Royal Cork is skippered by Brian Jones Photo: Afloat

Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC)Robert Rendell’s GS 44 Samatom (HYC) Photo: Afloat

Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC)Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) Photo: Afloat

Much interest focused on the two Cape 31s racing, but they’re on a learning curve, and with the highest (by far) ratings in the class, their proper setting is surely in One-Design Racing.

David Maguire's Cape 31 ValkyrieDavid Maguire's Cape 31 Valkyrie Photo: Afloat

The Wright family Cape 31, AdrenalineThe Wright family Cape 31, Adrenaline Photo: Afloat

CLASS 1

In a 15-strong fleet, John Maybury’s J/109 Joker (RIYC) was on a familiar track with a scoreline of 5, 1 and 3 to top the table, but local star Simon Knowles with J/109 Indian found form with a 3rd, 2nd and 6th, putting him on level pegging at the end of the day with northern invader John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC)

Simon Knowles' Howth Yacht Club J109 Indian lies second overall after three races sailed Photo: AfloatSimon Knowles' Howth Yacht Club J109 Indian lies second overall after three races sailed Photo: Afloat

Final Call II (John Minnis) from Royal Ulster RUYC lies third (but tied on points with second) in Class One IRC Photo: AfloatFinal Call II (John Minnis) from Royal Ulster RUYC lies third (but tied on points with second) in Class One IRC Photo: Afloat

CLASS 2

Here be hot Half Tonners in a fleet of 14 boats, but although the eternally-interesting Swuzzlebubble - newly-acquired by Royal Cork’s Dave Dwyer - was a source of fascination, it was solid performer Stephen Quinn’s J/97 Lambay Rules (HYC) which set the pace in a class of 14 boats with two bullets and a second. But “The Bubble” was there with a scoreline of 3,2,1 which suggests Saturday is going to be very interesting, third slot overall going to ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen (HYC) in his immaculate Checkmate XV on 2,2,6.

Royal Cork Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble skippered by Dave Dwyer Royal Cork Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble skippered by Dave Dwyer Photo: Afloat

CLASS 3

Class 3 with 14 boats completed two races, and it was seasoned X class Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) which slotted in a second and first to take the overall lead from Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC) on a first and fifth, while it was back to the classic X stable for third and No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC).

X 332 Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC)X 332 Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) Photo: Afloat

Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC)Vincent Gaffney’s Laser 28 Alliance II (HYC) Photo: Afloat

No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) Photo: AfloatNo Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) Photo: Afloat

CLASS 4

Class 4 had a familiar name in front with Colm Bermingham’s Elan taking the double bullet in their two races, Dun Laoghaire’s Paul Tully with White Lotus being next in line with a 3rd and 2nd, while Malahide’s David Green matched hi overall with a 2 & 3 for White Pearl.

Colm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the BulletColm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the Bullet Photo: Afloat

Dun Laoghaire Elan White Lotus skippered by Paul Tully Photo: AfloatDun Laoghaire Elan White Lotus skippered by Paul Tully Photo: Afloat

CLASS 5

Class 5 Non-Spinnaker was very local with the MG34 Toughnut sailed by local hero Dermot Skehan (telly super-chef Donal is known only as Dermot’s young fella on the peninsula) notching two wins in the two races sailed, with the history-laden Club Shamrock Demelza (Steffi Ennis) second and Joe Carton’s Dehler 34 Voyager third.

J/24 CLASS

Mark Usher’s Jumpin’ Jive from Greystones grabbed the three wins from Brian McDowell’s Scandal from Malahide on three seconds, the locals in K25Howth getting a look in to place third overall

J/80s

Racing was quite close in the small fleet of J/80s, but Paddy O’Neill’s Mojo (HYC) showed she’d lost none of the form shown on the few international outings permitted last summer, and had a couple of firsts and a third.

SIGMA 33

Stephen Mullaney’s Insider (HYC) is current Irish Champion, having taken the title in 2021 in Dun Laoghaire, and he’s still on form, three wins to keep him ahead of Boojum (Bourke & Legge RStGYC) and Razzamatazz (David Townend, RIYC). 

Tomorrow (Saturday) will see the fleet expanding and extra classes involved thanks to the enduring appeal for the Lambay Race. But the sailing and weather conditions will have to be very good indeed to match this glowing opening day of Howth Wave Regatta 2022.

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta

How can you make sense of a sport which features at least 143 World Championships? It’s a question which was first asked many years ago when the then International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing) accorded official “International” status to two more globally-distributed racing boat classes, thereby entitling them to stage their own World Championships.

Admittedly nowadays a growing class really does need genuine international strength to be so recognised. But some venerable classes still cling to that distinction despite being very much a leftover minority interest surviving over many decades in just a few countries. Thus while top level international sailing moves on with new versions of multi-class world championships in addition to the Olympics, these supposed relics of a bygone era cling on to their status - and the inalienable right to stage their own World Championship - with the all the determination of super-charged limpets.

The J/109 Mojito (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, Pwllheli SC) will be contending the J/109 Easterns as part of Howth’s Wave RegattaThe J/109 Mojito (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop, Pwllheli SC) will be contending the J/109 Easterns as part of Howth’s Wave Regatta

Add to that the fact that sailing is a highly individualistic vehicle sport in which many participants sail regularly but don’t actually race at all, and you begin to appreciate how difficult it is to explain the basics of sailing’s structure, even to the most favourably-inclined enquirer.

But even by the standards of sailing’s great mysteries and complexities, this Bank Holiday Weekend is in a league of its own, though a comparison with the Superbowl is only to give an impression of the potential scale, as the ’Bowl is very much venue-focused whereas a typical hyper-busy Irish sailing weekend is literally all over the place.

Lough Ree YC – current MG Motor “Club of the Year” hosts Clinkerfest 2022Lough Ree YC – current MG Motor “Club of the Year” hosts Clinkerfest 2022

In addition to its fine clubhouse, Lough Ree YC – which is on a six acre site – provides extensive berthing, haulage and marina facilities.In addition to its fine clubhouse, Lough Ree YC – which is on a six acre site – provides extensive berthing, haulage and marina facilities

Add to that the fact that some boats and crews are oddly reluctant in this post-pandemic phase to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again, and sometimes numbers are less than you’d expect. Yet equally, there are organisations – such as the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association – which seem to have leapt into top-gear action from the off.

The Shannon One Designs – celebrating their Centenary Year – will be the stars of Clinkerfest. They attract sailors from every background – sailing this boat is Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy, with her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey, an Olympian in 1988, in the crew.The Shannon One Designs – celebrating their Centenary Year – will be the stars of Clinkerfest. They attract sailors from every background – sailing this boat is Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy, with her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey, an Olympian in 1988, in the crew.

Anway, if it’s variety which is the touchstone, we do well with the Wave Regatta under way at Howth, the Clinkerfest getting going at Lough Ree Yacht Club, and the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers two-day regatta at Poolbeg.

Add to that the usual Dublin Bay SC Saturday racing at Dun Laoghaire – a regatta in itself – the continuing movement in Galway Docks with the fleet in the Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022 being moved on after their separate 48-hour stopovers, plus regular club racing at many centres, and we get increasing life on the water.

Two of the new Cape 31s tuning up off Howth, with David Maguire’s Valkyrie in the foreground, and Dan O’Grady’s boat beyond. Unfortunately a bout of Covid means that O’Grady will not be competing in Wave. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyTwo of the new Cape 31s tuning up off Howth, with David Maguire’s Valkyrie in the foreground, and Dan O’Grady’s boat beyond. Unfortunately a bout of Covid means that O’Grady will not be competing in Wave. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Nevertheless, we’re not out of the woods yet. As the fleet gathered for yesterday’s first race of Wave, conspicuous by her absence was Dan O’Grady’s new Cape 31, which had been keenly anticipating a three way debut with David Maguire’s Valkyrie and the Wright brothers’ boat. But Dan the Man has contracted Covid, and is out of circulation and the weekend’s racing with it. Unfortunately, we cannot print the first expletive reaction to this frustrating news on a website with a family readership, but it burnt the paintwork.

Published in W M Nixon

It's one of the hottest tickets in international Corinthian sailing, and invites to take part are like gold dust.

It's the biennial New York Yacht Club Invitational, raced in Mark Mill-designed IC37s in the sacred waters off Newport Rhode Island.

Yet although Royal Cork YC with Anthony O'Leary as skipper had made something of a speciality of being Ireland's sole representative with regular appearances in the top three, it seems that Howth YC's debut last year with a crew led by Darren Wright has passed muster, as they've been invited back for 2023's series.

But with the Howth offshore racing division currently experiencing an upsurge of success, team selection is going to be a hot topic, and HYC Commodore Paddy Judge has asked for realistic proposals for potential teams by Friday, May 20th (yes, that is indeed this coming Friday) as the NYYC plans to have the lineup confirmed by mid-June 2022, nearly 14 months in
advance.

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

There was much movement ashore and afloat pre-dawn on Saturday, with many groups and crowds all over Ireland gathering in preparation to mark the Pieta House-supporting "Darkness into Light" initiative. At Howth
YC
, the nautical version was "Sailing Into Light", and it was still a clear night as a diverse fleet put to sea to witness the dawn in the waters off the harbour and around Ireland's Eye.

In fact, "diverse" scarcely does justice to the gathering, as daylight revealed that it ranged through everything from paddle-boarders by way of GP 14s and other dinghies, through some hot cruiser-racers and on
into the distant-horizons realms of Pat Murphy's famous world-girdling cutter Aldebaran. But with the daylight came increasing wraiths of weaving mist, making it time to return to the harbour for a thoughtful
collective reflection on the deeper meaning of what had been so rewardingly involved in a shared achievement.

Pre-dawn off Howth - the moment of anticipation for sunrise. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPre-dawn off Howth - the moment of anticipation for sunrise. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

A GP14 bathed in that magic moment which has inspired the human race for hundreds of thousands of years. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyA GP14 bathed in that magic moment which has inspired the human race for hundreds of thousands of years. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

It wasn't long before the predicted morning mist began to assert itself........ Photo: Annraoi BlaneyIt wasn't long before the predicted morning mist began to assert itself........ Photo: Annraoi Blaney

....and in Howth Sound it was soon the dominant feature. Photo: Annraoi Blaney....and in Howth Sound it was soon the dominant feature. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Before the mist set in, Pat Murphy's world-girdling Aldebaran was able to give sunlit morning greetings to the gannets nesting on the Stack at Ireland's EyeThe fellowship of a significant goodwill gesture well done - harmony afloat as paddle0borders head back to the harbour. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The fellowship of a significant goodwill gesture well done - harmony afloat as paddle0borders head back to the harbour. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe fellowship of a significant goodwill gesture well done - harmony afloat as paddleborders head back to the harbour. In all, 28 SUPers from North Dublin Discover SUP.ie took to the water in their own Darkness into Light event, and raised €1,173 for Pieta House Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

The recent Sailing on Saturday for April 16th discussed how the new-to-Ireland Mark Mills Cape 31 design will be making its Irish debut with four boats at Howth's Wave Regata, which is built around the
long-established Lambay Race, scheduled in 2022 for Saturday, June 4th.

The story made the point that in 1996 the first Mark Mills design of note, the 31ft Aztec - built by David Harte & Gareth Connolly's Mizzen Marine for Peter Beamish - likewise set the world alight with her first race programme including the Lambay Race of 1996.

More than a quarter of a century later, Aztec is now Raptor, and owned by the Royal Irish YC syndicate known as FOFC (Friends of Fintan Cairns). And yes, the word today is that Raptor is poised to strike - as befits her name - on the Lambay Race of 2022.

All of which makes us look afresh at the most recent images of Raptor, and really the only significant change you'd expect nowadays is twin rudders. To which Mark Mills might very reasonably respond that in our header photo, she seems to be tracking very neatly indeed under just the one rudder, despite being well heeled. And of course, historical perfectionists would argue that if you took the twin rudder option, she'd no longer be a true classic to a completely original 1996 design.

Sailing sweetly to success - Aztec with Peter Beamish on the helm in the 1996 Lambay Race.Sailing sweetly to success - Aztec with Peter Beamish on the helm in the 1996 Lambay Race

Published in Wave Regatta

With at least four Mark Mills-designed Cape 31s making their Irish class debut at the Wave Regatta in Howth from June 3rd to 5th, we will see one very important wheel come full circle. For it was a 31ft Mark Mills design making her debut at Howth in 1996 that launched the tyro designer on a stellar career which today sees him established as an internationally-recognised and much-awarded race-winning innovator. But he still finds the best space to think and create in Ireland, as he has moved his productive design studio even deeper into the peaceful rural depths of the lush Wicklow countryside, where he and his team come forward with frontline designs of all sizes up to super-maxis, designs that win at the top level for racing and style in five continents.

Yet twenty-six years ago, it was quite something - a real leap in the dark - to be the first owner to appreciate this nascent talent. That personal distinction falls to Peter Beamish of Dun Laoghaire, who in 1995 placed the order for a completely new 31ft Mills-designed offshore racer to the then-dominant CHS rule. Peter Beamish was to show an exceptional talent for spotting potential, for in the 21st Century he has been one of the quietly effective supporters of Ronan O Siochru and his sailing school, the remarkably successful Irish Offshore Sailing in Dun Laoghaire. But back in late 1995, it was a Fingal-based boat-building partnership, Mizzen Marine, which he commissioned to build the new boat.

Aztec on her maiden sail at Howth, May 1996. Photo: WM NixonAztec on her maiden sail at Howth, May 1996. Photo: WM Nixon 

Cape 31 in full cry – raceboat design has moved on, but there’s no doubting the family link to Aztec. Photo Rick TomlinsonCape 31 in full cry – raceboat design has moved on, but there’s no doubting the family link to Aztec. Photo Rick Tomlinson

The two main movers in Mizzen Marine were David Harte – now of Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Centre in Schull – and Garrett Connolly, an Olympic crew in the Soling. They drew on the talents of Darragh Peelo and Robin Evans as coal-face workers in this intriguing project, with further input from the multi-talented Johnny Smullen, who subsequently became California-based and the personal boat-builder to America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner.

So in all, with ideas being bounced between designer, builders and owner, it was something of a magic circle that created the boat that was initially known as Aztec, and is now known as Raptor in Dun Laoghaire, where she’s owned and sailed by the FOFC, otherwise known as the Friends of Fintan Cairns.

As Aztec in May 1996, she was a star from the start, winning her first inshore race by a clear 3.5 minutes, and making her big time debut in the Lambay Race before going on to sweep Dublin Bay and the Solent. So with the Lambay Race continuing at the heart of the Wave Regatta (it’s on Saturday June 6th), the appearance of the Cape 31s (and let’s hope Raptor as well) will mark a very special stage in the Mark Mills design career.

Aztec makes her debut – she may have been the first of the line, but she was a thoroughbred from the startAztec makes her debut – she may have been the first of the line, but she was a thoroughbred from the start

History in the making. And Aztec fulfilled all her promised, winning her first race - a short inshore – by 3.5 minutes. Photo: W M. NixonHistory in the making. And Aztec fulfilled all her promised, winning her first race - a short inshore – by 3.5 minutes. Photo: W M. Nixon

And it will show how our concepts about boat purposes have moved on too. Aztec aspired to be a proper offshore racer, with overnight capabilities. But the Cape 31s make no such promises -they’re pure day-sailing sportsboats, and indeed at the moment they’re even exploring the possibilities of a foiling version. Yet the fact that they reflect Aztec’s overall length rings a bell, and there’s no doubting a distant but distinct family relationship in their appearance.

With the post-pandemic rising profile of the Wright Group-sponsored Wave Regatta becoming evident, June 2022 is confirming predictions of being an exceptionally busy month for the offshore brigade. But there’s much more to Wave than Cruiser-Racer competition, and while as already reported in Afloat.ie there has been a remarkable uptake in entries for Classes 0 and 1, with three race areas available. And a user-friendly pick’n’choose programme means there’s every option available from the opportunity to enjoy three days of intense competition to the more traditional choice of simply doing the Lambay Race, which was first sailed in 1904, and continues as a special way of celebrating the existence of a very handsome and unspoilt island only 22 kilometres from Dublin city centre.

Lambay – the perfect unspoilt island, yet it is only 22 kilometres frOm the heart of Dublin city.Lambay – the perfect unspoilt island, yet it is only 22 kilometres frOm the heart of Dublin city.

Howth’s long tradition of One-Design keelboat racing will be much in evidence, for in addition to the locally-rooted Howth 17s of 1898-vintage and the Puppeteer 22s dating from 1978, the Squibs are undergoing one of their number surges in anticipation of the big championship in Kinsale at the end of June, while at the other end of the scale, the Sigma 33s are indicating growing strength, with the Howth-based Insider (Stephen Mullaney and Ian Martin) the current Irish champion.

Post-finish celebration aboard the Irish Champion Sigma 33 Insider after another race win. Photo: Conor LindsayPost-finish celebration aboard the Irish Champion Sigma 33 Insider after another race win. Photo: Conor Lindsay

The peninsular harbour also has a small but potent J/109 flotllla sailing from its marina, including Irish class champion Storm (Pat Kelly, Rush SC) , and they will be on their mettle, as J/109 star Mojito from Pwllheli (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop) is already into the mix, and now the class have made Wave a designated event for their Eastern Championship.

The Howth-based J/109s Outrajeous (Richard Colwell) and Storm (Pat Kelly) racing off the Fingal coast. The J/109s have designated the Wave Regatta as their Eastern Championship.The Howth-based J/109s Outrajeous (Richard Colwell) and Storm (Pat Kelly) racing off the Fingal coast. The J/109s have designated the Wave Regatta as their Eastern Championship.

HYC’s own club-owned fleet of J/80s made their impressive 2022 debut with the Irish Universities Keelboat Championship in the last weekend of March (when the weather was much more spring-like than it has been since), and that successful series of 18 sunlit races has inspired college crews to put down their names for charter of J/80s for more of the same.

The HYC fiotilla of J/80s making the best of bright March sunshine during the recent Irish Universities Keelboat Championship. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe HYC fiotilla of J/80s making the best of bright March sunshine during the recent Irish Universities Keelboat Championship. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

With normal club racing on the East Coast in full swing before the end of April (DBSC Opening is today week), there’s no doubt that it will take time for the full buzz to manifest itself again, but in Howth there’s an impressive harbour/community effort underway to ensure that Wave is an effective launching pad for the national and international programme, with Howth Harbour Master Captain Harry McLoughlin pulling out all the stops to optimise the port’s potential, while the Michael J Wright Group are joined as sponsors by Fingal County Council, Euro Car Parks, WD 40, Cassidy Travel and CKS Finance.

As for the weather, that’s in the lap of the Gods. But for anyone immersed in the culture and lore of Irish sailing, the prospect of the ancient Howth 17s racing round Lambay as they have done for 118 years in tandem with the presence of the very modern reminders of Mark Mills’ first boat in the same place is profoundly moving.

The Howth 17s Aura and Pauline racing round Lambay - as they have been doing for 118 years. Photo: John DeanThe Howth 17s Aura and Pauline racing round Lambay - as they have been doing for 118 years. Photo: John Dean

Published in W M Nixon
Page 1 of 50

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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