There was an august gathering of Irish 505 sailors at the National Yacht Club on Thursday 7th November to commemorate the second European Championships of the class, which was held in Dun Laoghaire in August 1969.
Former 505 sailors came from far and wide across the island of Ireland to remember the championships, which helped build a young and dynamic group who went on to contribute greatly to Irish Sailing over the following 50 years.
The commemoration was organised magnificently by former DBSC Commodore, Michael O’Rahilly. The attendance included Jackie Patton, Chair of RYA Northern Ireland and a number of Ulster 505 sailors including Simon Haselden, Peter Thompson, Michael Hill, Wyclif McCready and Colin McErvel. Ted and Tom Crosbie along with Neil Hegarty, came from RCYC in Cork while the dynamic Dublin engineers Paddy Barry and Michael Cotter, shared tales for their 505 exploits.
Sean Flood came from Howth YC while John Simington, Rory McDonagh, John Bourke and others shared experiences of the 505 – a very fast two-man boat.
In 1969, the race office was run by Carmel Winkelmann, who, while not in attendance sent a lovely note of reminiscences of the event – which was held under the stewardship of Commodore Frank Lemass. Clayton Love, Joe Woodward and Johnny Hooper also shared memories by email while Johnny’s sailing partner Peter Grey, attended.
Harold Cudmore, who finished runner up the 1969 505 World Championships, sent his best wishes to a group that he had inspired.
To bring matters up to date, Flying Fifteen legend, Gerry Donleavy, shared his stories of the 505 in the 1980s and recounted his early pairing with Afloat.ie’s David O’ Brien in the 505, before the duo switched to the Flying Fifteen and winning the 1988 UK Nationals.
It was clear that running championships inspires further endeavour and so many of the attendees have great subsequent sailing records while contributing endlessly to the development of the Sport organisationally and on the water, in Ireland and internationally.