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National Yacht Club: What a Sailing Year We Had in 2023!

4th January 2024
The National Yacht Club's Van Steenberge siblings won both the 2023 Open and Overall World 29er Championships
The National Yacht Club's Van Steenberge siblings won both the 2023 Open and Overall World 29er Championships

National Yacht Club sailors at Dun Laoghaire Harbour have had an incredible 2023, ranging from great cruising adventures to local, national, and international glory in the various classes we sail at the club.

This is a recap of the club achievements, which we hope will inspire young and young at heart sailors to continue progressing and deliver on their personal 2024 goals.

On the world stage

NYC sailors competed in no less than eight world championships during the course of 2023. 29ers, RS Aero, Optimist, Topper, Mirror, Flying15, ILCA6 and ILCA7 Worlds were attended and delivered great successes.

The year started down under for two Flying 15 partnerships, completing the Australian nationals and the worlds in Perth. Veteran ace John Lavery and crew Alan Green ended their challenge in 14th.

The National Yacht Club's Flying 15 crews in trainingThe National Yacht Club's Flying 15 crews in training

Then we waited for the summer...

The Van Steenberge siblings delivered a stellar performance at the 29er Worlds with a steady series, snatching the title on the final day in the waters of Weymouth. Finn Lynch's performance in the ILCA 7 in The Hague gave Ireland its first berth for the Olympics in Marseille.

Finn Lynch took a berth for Ireland in the ILCA 7 class in The HagueFinn Lynch took a berth for Ireland in the ILCA 7 class in The Hague

Noel Butler travelled to Sardinia to compete in the RS Aero6 event, ending his challenge in 15th overall.

Head coach Thomas Chaix competed at the Mirror Worlds with his son Ben, finishing 12th and winning the classic category. The largest NYC team, composed of eight strong young sailors, competed at the Topper Worlds in Cork, and we also had representation at the ILCA6 and Optimist worlds.

We had two teams representing the club at the Youth Sailing World in Brazil. Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain (29er) finished strong to secure a bronze medal, wrapping up an excellent year.

Ben O Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain at the Youth WorldsBen O Shaugnessy and Ethan Spain at the Youth Worlds

The 29er class had representation at the Europeans in Sweden. NYC sailors snatched Gold in both the male (Ben and Ethan yet again) and female (Lucia Cullen and Alanna Twomey-RCYC) categories.

Sam Ledoux competed at the ILCA 6, and Finn Lynch scored a solid 10th at the ILCA7 Europeans.

The UK is a great playground for our international sailors. NYC sailors competed at the UK Nationals in Optimist, Topper, 29er, Mirror, Feva and Flying15, picking up honours and medals.

The National Yacht Club's RS Feva Team  at the UK NationalsThe National Yacht Club's RS Feva Team  at the UK Nationals

The club also had a strong representation, with five young sailors taking part in the Optimist French Summer Cup in Brittany.

National championships podiums

Club sailors competed at many national events over the course of the year, and all the classes we sail at the club had representation. From our youngest sailor, aged 7, to our most seasoned veterans, from the Optimist dinghy to Class Zero IRC teams, NYC sailors excelled.

EVENT Gold Silver Bronze
29er Youth nationals Ben O Shaughnessy & Ethan Spain Clementine & Nathan van Steenberge Lucia Cullen & Alanna Twomey
29er class nationals Ben O Shaughnessy & Ethan Spain Clementine & Nathan van Steenberge Lauren O'Callaghan & James Dwyer
Fireball nationals Noel Butler & Stephen Oram    
Optimist Regatta Racing Nationals Michael Hanley    
RS Feva Nationals   Grace Keating & Hannah Walsh Felix Dion & Lucas Browne
ICRA class 0 Nationals   Valen Tina (John Treanor) Searcher (Pete Smyth)
RS Aero Nationals   Noel Butler  
Optimist Senior Nationals   Gemma Brady  
Kona windsurfing Nationals     Damien Dion
Flying 15 Nationals   Ian Mathews & Keith Poole


NYC sailors also participated in SB20, ILCA6, ILCA4, Topper, Wazsp, ICRA class 1, RS400, Optimist Junior and the Ruffian class.

Versatile sailors

NYC prides itself as a club for families and versatile sailors, enhancing enjoyment whether racing competitively or enjoying club sailing. A few sailors are showing the way, enjoying sailing different classes, sometimes to a very competitive level. Amongst these sailing addicts, 15-year-old Felix Dion has raced in four different classes during the course of the year (Optimist, Topper, RS Feva and Kona) and has enjoyed trying out other boats. 17-year-old Alexander Trickett raced three different classes (Wazsp, 29er and RS Aero) and is always volunteering to step on cruisers and keelboats. He also tried a few fun sessions on his 49er.


Club sailors are looking forward to 2024... The club diary is filling up with great events, and sailors are set for some winter practice. We now wish for a year of the best winds, enjoyable sails and great competitions.

Happy New Year.

Published in National YC
Thomas Chaix

About The Author

Thomas Chaix

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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


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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 2024 Events

  • 24th February Optimist Sprint
  • 25th February Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 3rd March Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 13th April Lift in
  • 20th April Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 23rd – 24th, 27th – 28th April University Invitational Match Racing Championships
  • 11th – 12th May 29er Easterns and Invitational Match Racing Nationals
  • 25th – 26th May Women at the Helm Regatta
  • 15th June NYC Regatta
  • 22nd – 23rd June Topper Southern Champs
  • 10th July NYC Junior Regatta
  • 5th September NYC End of Season Race
  • 21st – 22nd September F15 East Coast Championships
  • 5th October Start of F15 Frostbite Series
  • 12th October Lift Out
  • 19th – 20th October RS Aero Easterns

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