Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

nyc maintopper flag

National Yacht Club Dinghy Season in Full Swing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

14th February 2023
The 2023 dinghy sailing season is underway across several classes at the National Yacht Club
The 2023 dinghy sailing season is underway across several classes at the National Yacht Club (including Optimists pictured above)

The last few weeks have delivered winterish yet good conditions for the return of all our coaching programmes at the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The Optimist Performance group and the ILCA & Aero programmes were the first on deck on the last weekend of January. The remaining of the club's active dinghy classes launched by the first weekend of the February mid-term.

The Optimist Performance group

The National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour are focussing on boat handling skillsThe National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour are focussing on boat handling skills

2023 was launched with a great weekend led by head coach Thomas Chaix. After clearing the cobwebs, the sailors focussed on boat handling skills as it was identified as a clear point of progress after our mid-winter event attendance in Malta. The programme is now falling into place with regular Saturday sessions with 15 sailors in training and a specific programme on Sunday morning with a small group of 6 sailors.

Single-handers (ILCA and Aero) groups growing numbers

Very light winds have poised the adult single-handers on two occasions, yet each weekend the group has been growing with keen sailors wanting to improve their skills whilst having a good Saturday morning at the club. No rest for the coaches as the Saturday afternoons are then dedicated to the ILCA4&6 juniors.

The 9ers have been enjoying great sailing conditions

The National Yacht Club skiffs are aiming for an event in Weymouth (venue of 2023 worlds) in MarchThe National Yacht Club skiffs are aiming for an event in Weymouth (venue of 2023 worlds) in March

The last three days have put a focus back on what to work on under the guidance of Tadgh Donnelly and Thomas Chaix. They followed days of "free sailing" and self-training by the sailors and constituted the first step of preparation towards an event in Weymouth (venue of 2023 worlds) in March.
Ben O'Shaugnessy and crew Ethan Spain have also started their transition in the 49er FX receiving support and coaching from coaches. Dual sailing the FX and the 29er is clearly helping their skills development. A second FX is almost ready to take on the water, thus showing how the NYC skiff pathway looks.

Toppers and Fevas in action

National Yacht Club RS Feva sailing on Dublin BayNational Yacht Club RS Feva sailing on Dublin Bay

Both the NYC transition classes (Junior to Youth) have returned to training over the last weekends. If numbers need to grow a little, it certainly allowed our keener sailors some good attention from coaches to kick start their training programme.

Events preparation and early prizes

The 29ers are not the only sailors looking towards a bit of racing! The Optimists Performance group will travel to Valencia in early March to compete at the OptiOrange, a 450 boats international regatta to validate the early 2023 training lessons.

Flying 15s prepare for Worlds

Two of our keener Flying15 partnerships will be reunited with their boat in Fremantle (Australia) for the Australian nationals, followed by the worlds. They are putting hours of training with the addition of two sparring partners in the bay every weekend to be ready for the event.

RS Aero

Aero ace Noel Butler is enjoying somewhat milder conditions in Florida, having just completed the Aero US midwinters in 2nd position.

National Yacht Club Aero sailor Noel Butler  (left) took second in the US midwinters championshipsNational Yacht Club Aero sailor Noel Butler  (left) took second in the US midwinters championships

Talks in the NYC

Winter is a great time to do a bit of shore-based learning. The talk on rules in late January was a great success, with the JB Room filled and the realisation the initial quiz was not so easy!

Further talks not to be missed are scheduled over the course of February and March.

  • Feb 23rd: "Safe navigation in Dublin Bay" presented by Dublin Port Co
  • Mar 9th: "Follow up on rules talk" with focus on tactics and decisions and a full mock protest analysed presented by Thomas Chaix
  • Mar 23rd: "Crew to win" talk presented by Thomas Chaix with guests Noel Butler and Nathan Van Steenberge, two very successful NYC sailors.
Published in National YC
Thomas Chaix

About The Author

Thomas Chaix

Email The Author

Thomas Chaix is Head Coach at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. He currently sails the 49er dinghy (for fun) but raced the Laser for 25 years and has been a member of French and Irish teams


We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

The home club of Laser Radial Olympic Silver medalist Annalise Murphy, the National Yacht Club is a lot more besides. It is also the spiritual home of the offshore sailing body ISORA, the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and the biggest Flying Fifteen fleet in Ireland. Founded on a loyal membership, the National Yacht Club at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay enjoys a family ethos and a strong fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere of support and friendship through sailing.

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

At A Glance - National Yacht Club 2022 Events

  • ILCA/Laser Ireland Master Championships 2022 - May 28th & 29th
  • Topper Southern Championships 2022 - June 4th and 5th
  • National Yacht Club Regatta - June 18th
  • Irish Sailing Women at the Helm Regatta - August 27th & 28th
  • FFAI Flying Fifteen National Championships - September 2nd, 3rd & 4th
  • Irish J109 National Championships - September 23rd, 24th & 25th

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2023

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating