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National Yacht Club is the New 'Club of the Year'

20th January 2012
National Yacht Club is the New 'Club of the Year'

#YACHT CLUB OF THE YEAR – The National Yacht Club of Dun Laoghaire is the Mitsubishi Motors/Irish Independent "Sailing Club of the Year" 2012 in celebration of an impressive and continuous level of activity in sailing, with the highly-praised hosting of events for international competitors and Irish sailors, and the efficient running of a hospitable clubhouse, boatyard and dinghy park operation which caters for the waterborne and shoreside activities of an enthusiastic and loyal membership and their visitors.

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The adjudicators recognise that the National is particularly fortunate in its location in the southeast corner of Dun Laoghaire harbour. Whether approached by sea or land, the clubhouse complex provides a secluded haven from the busy life of the harbour and the town. Not that the club is in any way a sleepy spot. On the contrary, from its serene premises it provides a hive of activity for sailors of all ages, and boats of all shapes and sizes.

It's not the first time the NYC has won this award. They've been on the top of the podium in 1981, 1985, 1993 and most recently in 1996. But in the remarkable pace set by Irish sailing even in times of recession, the inter-club competition is friendly but fierce. Thus the National has usually been in the frame, but during the past 12 months several factors have combined to make it tops.

That said, successful seasons don't pop up suddenly. Rather, they're part of a continuous process, and when Peter Ryan stood down as Commodore back in the spring to be succeeded by Paul Barrington, he left in place the concepts and structures for a remarkable summer.

Ryan's own special enthusiasm was for offshore racing, and his energy in reviving the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association was to everyone's benefit. Then too, the biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is the invention (in 1993) of leading National sailors Martin Crotty and Peter Cullen, and during 2011 it was deservedly one of the highlights of the season. NYC boats may have made up one of the largest club contingents in the record fleet, but their instinct for hospitality is such that they ensured it was Martin Breen from Galway who was overall winner with his Reflex 38.

The club took on the hosting of two major international events for solo sailors. They provided the Irish stopover for the formidable challenge of the Figaro Single-handed Race from France, and the staging of the Topper Worlds for junior sailors. In a fleet of 177 Topper dinghies, David Crosbie of Cork was best Irish in third, while Laura Gilmore of Strangford was first girl and fifth overall.

The success of this regatta underlined the National's high level of event proficiency. It is recognition of this that one of the club's leading race officers, Jack Roy, has been recruited to the 16-man Olympic Race Management Team for this summer's Olympiad.

The National will of course have a leading member on the other side of the Olympic fence – Laser sailor Annalise Murphy, who has already won a Bronze in the pre-Olympic trials last summer - will be a real Irish hope for a medal.

This strength of sailing right across the board continues to draw on a large and active junior section, where Ruth Shanahan has taken over from Cathy MacAleavey to encourage the sailors of tomorrow. Cathy meanwhile is focusing on traditional boats – with husband Con Murphy, she's involved in this year's 125th anniversary of the Dublin Bay Waterwags.

Success at home and abroad in boats which range from state-of-the-art to vintage - that's the way it is with the National YC. They deserve their success.

Published in National YC
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Founded on loyal membership, the National Yacht Club at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay enjoys a family ethos and a strong fellowship which binds members in a relaxed atmosphere of support and friendship.

Bathing in the gentle waterfront ambience of Dun Laoghaire on the edge of South County Dublin, the National Yacht Club has graced the waters of the Irish Sea and far beyond for more than a century and in 2020 celebrates its sesquicentennial.  

The club is particularly active in dinghy and keelboat one-design racing and has hosted three World Championships in recent years including the Flying Fifteen Worlds in 2003, 2019 and the SB3 Worlds in 2008. The ISAF Youth Worlds was co-hosted with our neighbouring club the Royal St. George Yacht Club in 2012...

National Yacht Club Facilities

Facilities include a slipway directly accessing Dun Laoghaire Harbour, over eighty club moorings, platform parking, pontoons, fuelling, watering and crane-lifting ensure that the NYC is excellently equipped to cater for all the needs of the contemporary sailor. Berths with diesel, water, power and overnight facilities are available to cruising yachtsmen with shopping facilities being a short walk away. The club is active throughout the year with full dining and bar facilities and winter activities include bridge, snooker, quiz nights, wine tasting and special events.

National Yacht Club History

Although there are references to an active “club” prior to 1870, history records that the present clubhouse was erected in 1870 at a cost of £4,000 to a design by William Sterling and the Kingstown Royal Harbour Boat Club was registered with Lloyds in the same year. By 1872 the name had been changed to the Kingston Harbour Boat Club and this change was registered at Lloyds.

In 1881. the premises were purchased by a Captain Peacocke and others who formed a proprietary club called the Kingstown Harbour Yacht Club again registered at Lloyds. Some six years later in 1877 the building again changed hands being bought by a Mr Charles Barrington. and between 1877 and 1901 the club was very active and operated for a while as the “Absolute Club” although this change of name was never registered.

In 1901, the lease was purchased by three trustees who registered it as the Edward Yacht Club. In 1930 at a time when the Edward Yacht Club was relatively inactive, a committee including The Earl of Granard approached the trustees with a proposition to form the National Yacht Club. The Earl of Granard had been Commodore of the North Shannon Y.C. and was a senator in the W.T.Cosgrave government. An agreement was reached, the National Yacht Club was registered at Lloyds. The club burgee was created, red cross of Saint George with blue and white quarters being sky cloud, sea and surf. The Earl of Granard became the first Commodore.

In July of 1950, a warrant was issued to the National Yacht Club by the Government under the Merchant Shipping Act authorising members to hoist a club ensign in lieu of the National Flag. The new ensign to include a representation of the harp. This privilege is unique and specific to members of the National Yacht Club. Sterling’s design for the exterior of the club was a hybrid French Chateau and eighteenth century Garden Pavilion and today as a Class A restricted building it continues to provide elegant dining and bar facilities.

An early drawing of the building shows viewing balconies on the roof and the waterfront façade. Subsequent additions of platforms and a new slip to the seaward side and most recently the construction of new changing rooms, offices and boathouse provide state of the art facilities, capable of coping with major international and world championship events. The club provides a wide range of sailing facilities, from Junior training to family cruising, dinghy sailing to offshore racing and caters for most major classes of dinghies, one design keelboats, sports boats and cruiser racers. It provides training facilities within the ISA Youth Sailing Scheme and National Power Boat Schemes.

Past Commodores

1931 – 42 Earl of Granard 1942 – 45 T.J. Hamilton 1945 – 47 P.M. Purcell 1947 – 50 J.J. O’Leary 1950 – 55 A.A. Murphy 1955 – 60 J.J. O’Leary 1960 – 64 F. Lemass 1964 – 69 J.C. McConnell 1969 – 72 P.J. Johnston 1972 – 74 L. Boyd 1974 – 76 F.C. Winkelmann 1976 – 79 P.A. Browne 1979 – 83 W.A. Maguire 1983 – 87 F.J. Cooney 1987 – 88 J.J. Byrne 1988 – 91 M.F. Muldoon 1991 – 94 B.D. Barry 1994 – 97 M.P.B. Horgan 1997 – 00 B. MacNeaney 2000 – 02 I.E. Kiernan 2002 – 05 C.N.I. Moore 2005 – 08 C.J. Murphy 2008 – 11 P.D. Ryan 2011 – P. Barrington 2011-2014 Larry Power 2014-2017 Ronan Beirne 2017 – 2019

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