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National Yacht Club Sailors Kicking Off the 2024 Racing Season in Style

12th April 2024
Clementine van Steenberge (right) and her crew Jessica Riordan from the George picked up another Europa Cup win in March and sailed to victory at the cut-short Irish Sailing Youth National Championships in Cork Harbour in April
Clementine van Steenberge (right) and her crew Jessica Riordan from the George picked up another Europa Cup win in March and sailed to victory at the cut-short Irish Sailing Youth National Championships in Cork Harbour in April

National Yacht Club sailing and performance programmes ran all winter alongside frostbite racing, keeping racing sailors training and progressing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The club had coaching series in almost all the main classes sailed off the NYC platform with regular training in Flying 15, RS Aeros, ILCA, Topper, 29er and Optimist.

The adult dinghy section could validate various lessons by racing the DMYC Frosbites and the INSS RS Aero super series during the winter.... and club sailors excelled under the leadership of the "king of weekend warriors", Noel Butler, overall winner of the Frosbites.

The Aero superseries concluded with a club 1-2, with head coach Thomas Chaix edging out Butler, arguably thanks to the mainly lighter conditions the series faced. Butler also travelled to the US to compete at the Miami RS Fest, winning the RS Aero6 series.

Michael McCambridge progressing his skills in the NYC adult spring coaching seriesRS Aero superseries at Dun LaoghaireMichael McCambridge progressing his skills in the NYC adult spring coaching series

The juniors first open events were sailed in March with the Optimist sprints organised by the club. The future is looking good, with the NYC best finisher being 10-year-old Aurele Dion in 8th overall. Four sailors then travelled to the UK Springs in Draycote, racing in a fleet of 100 boats. Basile Dion had a strong second day scoring two 5th places showing solid determination and moment of brilliance off the startline.

National Yacht Club Topper class numbers grew exceptionally at the end of 2023National Yacht Club Topper class numbers grew exceptionally at the end of 2023

The Topper class numbers grew exceptionally at the end of 2023, and winter training was great under the leadership of lead coach Ellie Cunnane. The team travelled to Larne for the Irish winter. The first day was extremely challenging, with a nasty squall wiping the fleet out. The resilience of our sailors was exceptional and 5 team members completed the event inside top top in the full rig, including Rory Brennan Hobbs in 2nd (a million light years from his struggle at the back of the fleet for his first event at the same time last year), Kate Kenny 3rd and top girl and James Gorman best U14. In the 4.2 rig, John Kenny secured 3rd overall.

The 29er sailors had a busy March, too, as whilst the Academy sailors were busy in Europe (with Clementine vanSteenberge and her crew Jessica Riordan from the George picking yet another Europa Cup win), the club sailors tested their progress at the UK winter.

29er training on the hard at the National Yacht Club29er training on the hard at the National Yacht Club

The ILCA sailors led by senior Irish Sailing development sailor Sam Ledoux competed at the Munsters over Easter weekend. Ledoux had a strong event finishing 2nd in the ILCA 6. Youth sailors Charlie Keating and Peter Kenny had a solid event too.

 National Yacht Club 29er sailors training at Dun Laoghaire Harbour National Yacht Club 29er sailors training in the home waters of Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Easter clinics

Easter was early, and the weather kept coaches on their toes to deliver clinics in all the junior classes during the school break. Optimists, Toppers, ILCA4, 29er and Feva, enjoyed a few days afloat in the harbour, perfecting their racing skills or simply returning to sailing after a winter playing other sports.

The WOW J80 enjoyed a great clinic with the two club boats under the guidance of coaches Nicola Ferguson and Eoghan Duffy, an initiative the club will look into repeating.

The National Yacht Club's Women on the Water J80 'Sea Jade' The National Yacht Club's Women on the Water J80 'Sea Jade'

The Eliotts kept on their busy schedule with the Student match racing nationals completed with club skipper Oisin Cullen securing 3rd overall.

Youth nationals successes

The event itself at Royal Cork was hit by the weather and only four races (no discards) could be completed for four classes out of the six competing.

In the Optimist class, our best finisher was Alex Butcher, who secured 12th overall and a place in an Irish team. In the ILCA6 class, Charlie Keating will regret the incident in race 2, dropping him just outside the medals in 4th overall. The NYC confirmed its position as the leading club in the 29er class with World champion Clementine van Steenberge and her crew Jessica Riordan securing a comfortable win and their place in the Youth Worlds Irish team 2024 in Garda. Making the most of Academy sailor's mistakes, club sailors Hugh Meagher and Oisin Alexander took a well-deserved bronze medal, showing to all our new 29er sailors that commitment and hard work get rewarded. They were closely followed by Academy sailors William Walsh and Eoin Byrne, freshly returned from Europe, and female European champions Lucia Cullen and Alanna Twomey (from RCYC).

Unfortunately our eager and strong Topper team did not get the opportunity to shine, and neither could our two ILCA4 girls Kate Kenny and Hannah Walsh.

Lift in and let's go racing

A short two weeks break is now in session to facilitate the lift-in and reorganising of the club platform before all sailors return to training and launch the summer season. It won't be long until the 29er/49er East Coast championships organised by the club will be in session, launching a series of nationwide open events. Don't miss out on a high-octane weekend of skiff sailing! whether giving a helping hand or testing your skills against the best skiff sailors in the country.

the 29er/49er East Coast championshipsThe 2024 29er/49er East Coast championships are to be hosted at the NYC

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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