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The National Yacht Club Women on the Water team continues to grow in numbers with up to 30 female sailors now sailing weekly at the Dun Laoghaire harbour–based club. 

This enthusiastic group entered two 1720 Sportsboats in last weekend's club regatta last weekend with an all ladies crew. It was a glorious day of sunshine with two windward/leeward races providing lots of challenging sailing.

The NYC awarded a Women's Boat prize (below) in recognition of the many new and returning ladies to sailing in the club. This was jointly won by one of our 1720s helmed by Fiona Staunton and an SB20 sailed by Sarah Byrne from Greystones.

NYC Women sailing

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A sea breeze on Dublin Bay for the Davy Group–sponsored National Yacht Club Regatta produced the goods for the estimated 160–boat fleet for the Club of the Year's Summer highlight at Dun Laoghaire on Saturday.

Read our NYC Regatta preview here. Download results below.

Andrew Algeo's J109 Juggerknot from the Royal Irish Yacht Club continues its unbeaten run Class One IRC this season taking the class win with a one and a two in the two race series. Second in the 18–boat class was Colin Byrne's Xp33 Bon Exemple. A third RIYC boat was in third place, Ronan Harris's J109 Jigamaree. 

Platinum blonde Paul Egan 3320(Above and below) Paul Egan's Platinum Blonde prepares to drop the spinnaker on the Beneteau First 35 in the run into Seapoint Buoy Photo:

Class one yachts Seapoint buoy 3369

Something Else John Hall 3302The National Yacht Club's J109 Something Else co-skippered by father and son team John and Brian Hall Photo:

Rockabill VI NYC 3274Paul O'Higgins's Rockabill VI competing in Cruisers Zero Photo:

Class Two IRC was an all Howth Yacht Club affair with tricked up Half–Tonners taking first, second and third. Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV, the overall winner of June's Wave Regatta at Howth, was to the fore again beating Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII. Mike and Ritchie Evan's The Big Picture was third.

In Class Three, IRC Brendan Foley's Impala Running Wild of the Royal St. George Yacht Club was the winner from Ken Lawless's RIYC Quarter Tonner, Cartoon. Third place went to Peter Richardson's Dubious.

Running wild Impala 3141In Class Three, IRC Brendan Foley's Impala Running Wild was the winner from Ken Lawless's Quarter Tonner Cartoon below Photo:

Quarter tonner Cartoon 3126

Nationsl Yacht club regatta 3148Peter Richardson's Dubious from the Royal St. George YC was third in Cruisers Three IRC Photo:

In the one design divisions, the regatta incorporated the 23–boat UK and Irish Sigma 33 National Championships racing on a separate race course under international Race Officer, David Lovegrove. Read our separate report here on how Scottish visitors dominated at the Royal St. Geroge event.

Howth 17 NYCVisiting historic Howth 17s gathered at the NYC pontoon on their annual trip across Dublin Bay Photo: Facebook

As the SB20s prepare for their national championships this weekend at the same club and on the same race track, it was Jerry Dowling's RIYC–based Bad Kilcullen that showed regatta–winning form to win from club mate Ger Dempsey's Third was the NYC's  Black skippered by James Gorman.

Flying Fifteen David Gorman Chris Doorly 3534Former Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly Photo:

A 15-boat Flying Fifteen class was won by the club's own pairing of David Gorman and Chris Doorly (above) who won from Ian Matthews and Keith Poole. Third was Niall Coleman and Susan Halpenny in Flyer. 

Flying Fifteen Ian Matthews Keith Poole 3639NYC Flying Fifteen pairing Ian Matthews and Keith Poole Photo:

Flying Fiteen Niall coleman 3769Niall Coleman and Susan Halpenny were third in the Flying Fifteens Photo:

John Chambers Waszp 3402John Chambers was the four–boat Waszp division winner Photo:

Waszp 3507

In the regatta's Laser division, Ronan Wallace beat Darach Dineen, in the first of the new Laser League initiative for Bay sailors. Ross O'Leary was third in the five–boat fleet.

Laser Clare Gorman 3696Clare Gorman won of the host the five boat Laser Radial division Photo:

Laser NYC regatta 3420Ronan Wallace (above) was the Laser class winner from Darach Dineen below Photo:

Laser NYC 3469

IDRA 14 125 3433IDRA 14 125 (Ascoop & Hennig) were second overall in the eight boat PY fleet Photo:

Download full results below. 

Next up on Dublin Bay is the Royal Irish Yacht Club regatta on Saturday where the Dun Laoghaire club will attempt a remarkable double act

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The Annual Regatta of any yacht or sailing club is the ultimate expression of the club’s identity. The ideal is a very special mixture of the best of sailing sport afloat followed by hospitality and conviviality ashore, with it all done in a style in which the members can take pride. Whatever its duration (for an Irish regatta can be anything from a day to a week), this is a matter of the club going public, putting on its best face to the world in general, and to other clubs in particular. W M Nixon reflects on the current state of our regattas.

Today, it’s the biennial stand-alone Regatta of the Davy Group sponsored National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Were this an odd-numbered year, we’d be shaping up for the four day Dun Laoghaire Regatta, into which all club regattas are subsumed. Yet even in that massive sailfest, each of the waterfront clubs still manages to maintain its own identity and social programme within the overall format.

So inevitably those who are gearing up for today’s events on Dublin Bay and the subsequent parties in the National (there’s the Regatta Reception itself - strawberries and cream, music and merriment - followed after a civilised interval by the Regatta Dinner) will fondly recall the equivalent day last year during the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017.

peggy bawn myfanwy2The 19th Century lives again in the “Classics Compound” off the National YC in 2017. On the left is Hal Sisk’s G L Watson-designed Peggy Bawn of 1894 vintage, on the right is Rob Mason’s Alexander Richardson-designed Myfanwy of 1897. Photo: W M Nixon
For the National, that would have been the Friday, when the magic summer mood reached its most benevolent height. The races had finished in-harbour within close sight of the clubhouse, and as the classics and traditional craft had their specially allocated berths right off the club, the 19th century was re-born in appearances.

But the actual pace was purest 21st Century hyper-hectic, with Commodore Ronan Beirne somehow manifesting his friendly presence in at least five different major functions under way at one and the same time in or around the well-utilised clubhouse in the sweetest of velvet nights. After a fine day’s sailing, it was a masterpiece of the club spirit which firmly placed the National YC in the frame to become Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2018.

national yacht club3On a good summer’s evening, it’s amazing how much social activity can be successfully packed into the National Yacht Club’s shoreside space. Photo courtesy Beau Outteridge
Of course, to a large extent, the success of that memorable day and night was largely dependent on the great unmentionable – the weather. The big event of 2017 saw ideal circumstances – enough breeze for good racing, yet shirt-sleeve conditions within the harbour. The way we plan regattas, you’d think such a combination could be almost guaranteed. But it has to be said that when they do occur, we make the most of it.

periwinkle myfanwy4An enduring image. For sure we’ve used this photo before, of the restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (Chris Craig & David Espey) and the 1897 cutter Myfanwy (Rob Mason) racing for the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. But it perfectly captures the mood of idyllic regatta sailing in a classic setting. Photo:

Yet always the powers-that-be are on the lookout for ways to make their annual regatta – whatever its form – even more successful in the following year. As the old saying would have it, things have to change all the time if they’re going to stay the same. Nevertheless, once a successful format has been established, it’s a matter of making small tweaks rather than major changes, and the underlying policy still has to be devoted to making people very well aware that the regatta is taking place, and that its success depends every bit as much on enthusiastic participants as it does on a significant number of volunteers at every level doing their bit to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The most visible side of this is the running of the club’s hospitality machine ashore. But don’t for one nano-second underestimate the importance of the Race Committee getting it right afloat, with efficiently run racing being largely completed around 4 o’clock in the afternoon being the ideal target.

There are endless historical precedents for the importance of competitive sport in the regatta format. Genteel if highly-structured sailing in company in the original style of the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork way back in the 1720s was soon no longer enough, and even the Water Club itself was actively promoting racing events at least by 1765, and probably earlier.

gondola racing venice5Modern racing gondolas in Venice, with fully-crewed boats. The word “regatta” is thought to be of Venetian origin, used since the 1650s for gondola contests

But way beyond that, the very word “Regatta” implied competition. It first emerged in the 1650s in Venice as the name for a race among the gondoliers on the Grand Canal. In the still very-active Venetian dialect (I once raced offshore with a speaker of it, and even for my cloth ears, it was unmistakable), “regatta” boiled down to translating as “contention for mastery” – the competitive element was paramount.

Thus although we know there was sailing in and around Dublin Bay from the 1600s onwards, it wasn’t until 1828, when the first regatta was staged in the then-new Kingstown Harbour, that we get any matter-of-fact reference to it. The reporting of sporting events afloat and ashore generated newsprint much more readily than the vague activity of sailing for relaxation, and it provided an image which still talks to us down the years.

kingstown 1828 regatta6The daddy of them all. This basic but informative picture from 1828 is the clearest record of the first Kingstown regatta. Lord Erroll’s 42-ton cutter Liberty (right) is winning from Colonel Madden’s 69-ton cutter Ganymede which is narrowly ahead of the Rev D. George’s 37-ton cutter Thetis. 190 years later, regattas at this historic venue continue to reinvent themselves while somehow managing to seem the same in order to continue a remarkable tradition.

These days, the developing theme seems to be a neat over-lapping of championships, or the inclusion of established events in a style reminiscent of expanding Christianity taking over ancient Pagan festivals such as Easter, and giving them a new meaning

Only three weeks ago, we were looking at the success of the new Wave Regatta at Howth, which successfully included the time-honoured Lambay Race. Today, the National YC Regatta includes a guaranteed increase in boat numbers, thanks to being the first race of the new Laser Regatta Series.

In our era of limited time for people with a variety of leisure interests, this simple idea is a stroke of genius. The Dublin Bay Laser fleet, captained by Ross O’Leary, have just announced a handy new series based on Laser racing in the National YC regatta today and the Royal Irish YC  regatta on June 30th, with the three-part series concluded and the prizes distributed at the Royal St George YC Regatta on July 7th.

Laser Start dublin Bay 2194Perfect sailing conditions for Lasers in Dublin Bay. The simple but imaginative concept of a three regatta series for the class, starting today and concluding with the Royal St George YC Regatta on July 7th, is meeting with wide approval. Photo:

Meanwhile, from across Dublin Bay, there has been a similar leap of the imagination by the Howth Seventeen class. When you’ve been in existence for 120 years, significant anniversaries come with increasing frequency, and some bright spark has noticed that 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the resumption of new building in the class. It was in 1988 – something like 74 years since a Seventeen had last been newly built – that the two new Howth Seventeens were built in a shed at Howth Castle.

We still think of those two boats Erica and Isobel as new, even though others have appeared more recently. Be that as it may, today the two-day celebration of their 30th Anniversary is going to get under way with the class racing from Howth to Dun Laoghaire and the National Yacht Club regatta, while back in Howth tomorrow they’ll cram in the Single-Handed race, the Crews’ race and the Ladies’ race rounded out by a barbecue.

howth 17 three generations8When a class is 120 years old, there’ll always be some date worthy of celebration coming along. This Howth Seventeen trio includes (left to right) Oonagh built 1909, Isobel 1988, and Orla 2017. Photo Neil Murphy

The NYC hospitality machine will be able to accommodate them on Day One with style as their 2018 regatta moves the Club towards the big one, its own 150th Anniversary in 2020. As a tester along the way, they host the Flying Fifteen World Championship next year, 2019. And who knows what other special attractions will come up to be staged with the smooth and unfussed style of this friendly club.

But before the conviviality takes over later this afternoon, there’s serious racing business to be done, and all eyes will inevitably be on the hottest class in the bay, the J/109s. In Irish waters at least, the Andrew Algeo-helmed Juggerknot is currently on a hugely successful roll, even if the Kelly family’s Storm did great things in Scotland last month, while the Shanahans in Ruth lodged an ISORA win. Either way, quarter will neither be given nor expected, while a major club’s annual regatta provides the ideal setting for such a battle royal, with jousting afloat while the flags flutter ashore.

tir na nog9Just the job for a spot of nautical jousting……the very full length bowsprit on Sean Walsh’s Heard 28 Tir na nOg, berthed off the National Yacht Club on Regatta Day. Photo: W M Nixon

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The National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay is gearing up for its Open Regatta this weekend. Sponsored by Davy Group, the annual club highlight will have over 160 boats racing across three courses. As part of the fleet, the NYC will again welcome the ever colourful Howth 17 class as well as some other travelling fleets. On Saturday, as previously reported by, a record Sigma 33 fleet are merging their Irish Championships with the Regatta on that day. 

Clean Coasts

This year the NYC is making a special effort to reduce the amount of plastic it uses during the regatta. Inspired by Annalise Murphy’s efforts on board “Turn The Tide on Plastic” the club wants to make a real difference to the local environment. Already, the club has registered in the Clean Regatta programme, which gives it specific aims for measures to put into effect.

With this in mind the day after the regatta Sunday the 24th June the club has organised marine area clean-up, which will hopefully coincide with “Turn The Tide on Plastic” safe arrival to The Hague on the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. All National YC members are being asked to volunteer to come down to the club at 1pm and help collect wayward plastic in the Club environs.

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the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay – the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2018 –  is gearing up for its open Regatta which it hosts every second year. This year it will be held on Saturday 23rd June and and is sponsored by Davy Group. There will be over 160 boats racing across three courses competing for prizes in their category. The NYC will again welcome the ever colourful Howth 17 class and many other travelling fleets.

On the Saturday, they will also be joined by the Sigma 33 fleet who are merging their Irish Championships with the Regatta on that day. The club would especially encourage dinghy sailors to come along and compete in the PY classes.

Clean Coasts

This year the NYC is making a special effort to reduce the amount of plastic it uses with the ultimate aim of being plastic free. Inspired by Annalise Murphy’s efforts on board “Turn The Tide on Plastic” the club wants to make a real difference to the local environment. As part of the process, the club will aim to participate in the wider marine environmental area, and particularly in national and international campaigns such as #cleanseas, Clean Coasts and Sailors for the Sea, which provide guidance on green sailing and event organisation. Already, the club has registered in the latter’s Clean Regatta programme, which gives it specific aims for measures to put into effect.

With this in mind the day after the regatta Sunday the 24th June the club has organised harbour clean-up, which will hopefully coincide with Turn The Tide on Plastic safe arrival to The Hague on the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. All members are being asked to volunteer to come down to the club at 1pm and help collect floating plastic and other rubbish from around the harbour – “a tidy towns for the sea”.

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The sailing community in Ireland is a tribe. And our many and various clubhouses are its temples writes W M Nixon. You get a real sense of this of this at the annual presentation of the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Cub of the Year” award. For although the winner is announced here on on the first Saturday morning of the New Year, it all only seems to be for real when the long-serving ship’s wheel trophy is finally and formally handed over to the winning club in its own clubhouse on the cusp of the new season.

The 2018 handover took place this week in the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, winning for the fifth time in the informal competition’s 39 years of existence. The first time was back in 1981, under a previous sponsor. But since 1986, the enthusiastically supportive sponsor has been Mitsubishi Motors Ireland, and the presentation was made by their Managing Director Gerard Rice to NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne.

ronan susan martin2Winning Flag Officers – NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne (left) with Rear Commodore Susan Spain and Vice Commodore Martin McCarthy with the Ship’s Wheel trophy which the National YC has previously won in 1981, 1985, 1996 and 2012. Photo: Frank Burgess

Ronan fills his demanding role with such under-stated skill and charm that you could be forgiven for thinking he has been reared since birth to become the Commodore of the National Yacht Club. But then you have to be someone very special for this role, as the entertaining and eclectic attendance at the ceremony effectively represented a group of people who may share membership of this very special club, yet they are much involved in many other things in national and international sailing as well, in addition to being high achievers on the water.

In his opening remarks, Jack Roy, the President of Irish Sailing, talked of his 44 years of NYC membership. For although he’d started his sailing at Greystones, when his fellow juniors there wanted to move on into the Enterprise class, young Jack – always one to think for himself – reckoned that a boat with a spinnaker was the only way to go, and as there was word of a class of 420s developing up the coast at the National, he got himself involved. Thus the NYC has found a soft spot in his heart ever since, even if – as Irish Sailing President - he is in effect a full member of every recognised club in the country, while in practical terms he is a real member of several.

The President took the opportunity to highlight again the extraordinary contribution for more than fifty years made to sailing – and particularly sail training and the encouragement of young sailors – by Carmel Winkelmann, whose presence at the reception this week was as ever the making of the party.

carmel and friends3Carmel Winkelmann and friends – front row Georgina Campbell, Carmel Winkelmann and Michelle Halpenny, back row Sandra Moore, Helen Cooney, Fiona Staunton and Kerri Cullen. Photo: Frank Burgess

Mitsubishi Motors MD Gerard Rice spoke particularly of the way that the adjudicators seek much more than a club which has certain star members who ratchet up national and international sailing success. As it happens, the National does that in style, with Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy currently the peak achiever in a formidable array of successful sailors. But the key to a properly balanced club is one which provides thoughtfully and effectively for members at every level of sailing, in addition to interacting dynamically with the community in which it is set, and that is something the National YC does particularly well.

rice and harvey4Gerard Rice, MD of Mitsubishi Motors Ireland (left) with Joe Harvey of Grace & Harvey, Mitsubishi Motors agents for Dublin. Photo: Frank Burgess

Commodore Ronan Beirne’s acceptance speech – delivered off the cuff in a smooth flow of informative eloquence – said everything about the club and why this experienced sailor fills his key role in such a reassuringly comfortable style. He interwove anecdotes from the fascinating history of the club – which will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2020 – with a realistic appraisal of the club’s special and harmonious position within the community immediately about it in the southeast corner of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, coupled with its role as a player of national and international significance in the sailing scene. All of this makes it so busy in the clubhouse, on the waterfront, and out on the sea, that it provides employment for 45 people, many of them fulltime.

The Commodore gave us a fresh insight into why the National Yacht Club thrives as an oasis of tranquility in its special location. When Dun Laoghaire Marina officially opened on St Patrick’s Day 2001, many thought that the National YC – being the furthest from the entrance to this new world-standard facility – would inevitably suffer. But the Cub’s officers refused to see a problem – instead, they saw an opportunity to establish themselves as a welcoming place which is slightly apart, a complete facility which has extra shelter through being in its own corner of the harbour, and is able to provide all waterfront facilities right on site for its own members and visitors.

dun laoghaire air corps5This recent aerial photo of Dun Laoghaire Harbour with the National YC right foreground shows how the Club’s distance from the Marine Entrance can be used to emphasise its individual character. Photo courtesy Air Corps

Ever since, the club has developed these previously hidden strengths, and our header photo shows very well how every square inch of waterfront space, and the surrounds of the clubhouse, have been utilised to provide a comprehensive service to meet the needs of members and visitors alike, such that the National – with its hospitality team headed by the very effective manager Tim O’Brien – is often the destination for which visiting boats in the ISORA fleet will head directly after finishing a cross-channel race.

ronan and billy6Commodore Ronan Beirne and Billy Riordan, Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. Photo: Frank Burgess

One of the reasons the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association’s boats from across channel head for the National at race’s end is that ISORA has been revived to its current healthy state largely through the determination and enthusiasm of its Chairman Peter Ryan, one of many former NYC Commodores who has gone on to ably fill other significant roles in sailing. His energy in re-developing ISORA has been such that many of the Welsh crews have become NYC members, and it was remarked at this week’s reception that Peter Ryan could teach international negotiators a thing or two, as he has ensured that any border down the middle of the Irish Sea is entirely frictionless……

Another former NYC Commodore who has been lured into a new administrative job is Chris Moore, current Commodore of the ultimate umbrella body, Dublin Bay Sailing Club, whose Honorary Secretary Donal O’Sullivan is likewise very NYC - in fact, he is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of his membership of the National this year, having joined in 1968, and at the party he was planning to mark the big Five-O by having his first race of the season on Thursday.

jack roy donal osullivan7Irish Sailing President Jack Roy and Dublin Bay SC Honorary Secretary Donal O’Sullivan – their combined membership of the National Yacht Club totals 94 years. Photo: Frank Burgess

martin roseita kelly8NYC Vice Commodore Martin McCarthy with Roseita Burke and Kelly Berkeley of Mitsubishi Motors. Photo: Frank Burgess

Chris Moore meanwhile is Commissioner for the Round Ireland record, which meant he was a very busy man in 2016 when new mono-hull and multi-hulls records were established. But it remains to be seen whether they stand as long as the 1993 record set by someone who later became NYC Commodore, Con Murphy and his wife Cathy Mac Aleavey, as their record stood until 2016.

These days, in addition to being parents of Olympic Medallist Annalise, they’re into many other aspects of sailing with Con being a leading promoter of the International Moth, and they’re into classic boats too, particularly the Dublin Bay Water Wags which Cathy was telling me are planning other exotic outings in addition to their regular Wednesday night racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, with an expedition up the River Boyne in prospect during June.

cathy annalise con9Magic moment. Annalise Murphy with her parents Cathy and Con and that Olympic Medal

Another area of Irish sailing in which the National is prominent is cruising, and former ICC Commodore Cormac McHenry was among those present this week, as he is in a key role in the National, being one of the Trustees. And for those who would think only of Ronan Beirne as being a leading figure in the NYC’s administration, let it be recalled that quite some time ago Ronan was probably the youngest-ever Honorary Editor of the Irish Cruising Club Annual – not a task for the faint-hearted.

Before cruising and serious racing, there’s the matter of learning to sail, and it was a special pleasure to meet Fiona Staunton, the NYC’s enthusiastic Junior Training Officer, who oversees what is arguably the most important section in the club. With the news that the NYC’s Ferguson sisters had just won the 420 Leinsters, clearly the throughput of new talent continues unabated to follow in the path set by the likes of Annalise Murphy, Finn Lynch, and many other before them.

flying fifteens dublin bay10The National YC’s Flying Fifteen fleet is the biggest keelboat group in Dublin Bay SC – in fact, it’s one of the biggest classes of all, and the NYC will be hosting its Worlds in 2019. Photo:

Yet while stars need to shine, the organisation of attractive events and classes is key to the success of a winning club, and the National Yacht Club has several jewels in its crown, jewels which will shine with extra lustre in the coming years. The thriving Flying Fifteen class at the NYC is one of the biggest in Dublin Bay, and it will have a numbers boost with the Flying Fifteen 2019 Worlds being hosted by the club.

cavatina 2017d2d11Close start. Ian Hickey’s veteran Cavatina from Cork – a former Round Ireland Race overall winner – getting the best of the start in the NYC’s Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017. Photo: W M Nixon

And as for the wonderful biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, founded in 1993 by the late Martin Crotty and by Peter Cullen who was very happily with us in splendid form this week, administration of that has passed on to Adam Winkelmann – sailing administration runs in families – and this week he was confident that 2019’s staging of this popular classic will see a bigger fleet than ever.

The pace is hectic. The National Yacht Club thrives afloat and ashore. It is a very worthy Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2018.

wmn brian keane ronan12W M Nixon (adjudicators), Brian Keane (Mitsubishi Motors director) and Commodore Ronan Beirne. Photo: Frank Burgess

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A 'blessing of the boat' ceremony for Dublin yachtsman Liam Shanahan's new Oyster 625 Ruth II took place this afternoon at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.  

Family and friends gathered onboard the new Rob Humphries design that recently arrived in to Dun Laoghaire on her maiden sail from Ipswich in the UK.

The magnificent 65–foot cutter–rigged vessel was moored off the East Pier during the short ceremony. 

The Shanahans, who regularly sail together as a family crew, have some long term ambitions for the boat that include transatlantic voyages.

Ruth IIRuth II's 'blessing of the boat' ceremony off the NYC in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon 

As previously reported, the sailing plan for Ruth II's first season, however, is to sail initially from Cork to Galicia, according to Shanahan, a former Irish Sailor of the Year. Once the Leaving Certificate exams are finished, the rest of the Shanahan family will join the boat in Spain for a week or two.

The intention then is to sail down the Iberian peninsula, stopping in Cascais and then possibly around to near Barcelona, and on to the Balearics by September for a 'very relaxed regatta' and some island exploration.

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Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club hosted a welcome dinner for visiting officers of the Monte Real Club de Yates in Bayona, Galicia, North West Spain with whom the National Yacht Club, the Irish sailing club of the year, has a reciprocal relationship.

The Vice Commodore of the Monte Real Club de Yates Genoveva Pereiro was accompanied by Cesar Casquiero Honorary Secretary and Óscar Caleiro General Manager. Distinguished guests included the Ambassador of Spain José Maria Rodrigoez-Coso, the Councellor of Tourism at the Spanish Embassy Ms Teresa Gancedo, Vice Commodore Tom Fitzpatrick of the Irish Cruising Club and Joe Woodward a long time Galicia cruising yachtsman.

Photos below by Michael Chester

National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4NYC Manager Tim O'Brien welcomes Óscar Calero Escobar Manager of Monte Real Club de Yates

National Yacht Club Commodore Ronan Beirne welcomed the guests, members and friends stating that the purpose of hosting the “Taste of Galicia” dinner was to celebrate a reciprocal relationship with the Monte Real Club de Yates in Bayona and the National Yacht Club.

National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4H.E.D. José Maria Rodriguez Coso Ambassador of Spain to Ireland, Teresa Gancedo Nieto (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin) and Ronan Beirne NYC CommodoreNational Yacht Club Galacia dinner4NYC Commodore Ronan Bierne and Vice Commodore Genoveva Pereiro of the Monte Real Club de Yates

National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4The National Yacht Club dining room

National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4

National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4National Yacht Club Galacia dinner4NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne welcomes the guestsNational Yacht Club Galacia dinner4César Casqueiro (Secretary), Ronan Beirne (NYC Commodore) and Genoveva Pereiro (Vice Commadore Monte Real Club de Yates) Óscar Calero Escobar Manager of Monte Real Club de YatesNational Yacht Club Galacia dinner4 Ronan Beirne and Vice Commodore Genoveva Pereiro of the Monte Real Yacht Club exchange burgees

The theme of the evening was “A Taste of Galicia” with the club dining room full to capacity with 140 members and guests. Master of Ceremonies Vice Commodore Martin McCarthy introduced Óscar Caleiro who thanked the National Yacht Club for the invitation to visit and the opportunity to present the coast of Galicia. Óscar’s presentation was supported by a video demonstrated the wonderful beauty of the coast and the excellent yacht berthing facilities. After an excellent “Galician” dinner prepared by Head Chef Cormac Healy, National Yacht Club members Peter & Kerri Cullen presented a most informative talk of their experience with their yacht Zig Zag now based in Galicia.

After dinner Vice Commodore Genoveva Pereiro presented the National Yacht Club with a commemorative plaque and Commodore Ronan Beirne presented a framed burgee to the visitors from Bayona to commemorate the occasion.

A video on the coast (below) was presented by Óscar Caleiro

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The weather in recent weeks has been variable and has curtailed a number of 420 training weekends around the country but three Irish boats travelled to the UK Spring Championships on the 10th and 11th March at Royal Torbay Yacht Club in the hope of some good sailing. Torbay on the south coast of England brands itself as the 'English Riviera' but the Irish boats arrived to sail in testing conditions. On the Saturday after an initial delay to the sailing whilst the race officer waited for the wind to swing round and the visibility to improve, racing kicked off in 20+ knots and rolling waves.

Link to 420 video from Torbay showing the testing conditions here

There were numerous capsizes, some before the start of race one and a number of DNS/DNC’s appearing across the fleet as sailors struggled with the occasional gust of up to 32 knots recorded on the committee boat. Sunday morning was a lot more promising, the wind had dropped slightly to around 15+ knots and swung round to the east. The bad news was there were now some very larger rollers heading into Torbay. For most sailors it was slightly easier, fewer gusts, and a more consistent wind. Of the top 10 boats, 3 were all girl boats and only 2 were all boys. The other 5 boats all being mixed crews of which 4 of the boats had girls helming, interesting statistics for the sailing community in general. Irish boats finished as follows, 10th overall and 3rd girls were Gemma Mc Dowell and Emma Gallagher of Malahide Yacht Club, 15th Michael O’Suilleabhain and Michael Carroll of Kinsale Yacht Club, and 24th Nicola and Fiona Ferguson of the National Yacht Club.

The second spring event scheduled in the UK was to be the Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club on the 17th and 18th March, however the Beast from the East II put paid to this event with strong winds and freezing temperatures. The Irish boats made it back across the Irish Sea before the worst of the weather arrived and in good time for the upcoming 420 Class Open training weekend to be held on the 1st and 2nd April at the National Yacht Club.

The training weekend provides an important warm up to the Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships 2018 being jointly hosted by the National and Royal St. George Yacht Clubs.

Published in 420

Eleven accolades for outstanding achievement by its members were presented at the National Yacht Club’s annual Sailing Awards Dinner on Saturday.

In a packed club house on the East Pier, Commodore Ronan Beirne saluted the top achievements across a range of sailing endeavours that he said contributed to the NYC itself winning the prestigious Irish Sailing Club of the Year trophy last month. 

The Commodore said the sell–out evening was a reflection of the club's enthusiasm across the full spectrum of the sport; 'embracing camaraderie, volunteerism, age and ability that contributed greatly to making the NYC the vibrant club that it is today'. 

Ronan BeirneCommodore Ronan Beirne opens the packed prizegiving on Saturday evening. In his opening address the Commodore said the 'camaraderie, volunteerism, age and ability' of NYC members across the broad spectrum of sailing contributed greatly to the club's Mitsubishi Sailing Club of the Year award last month. Photo: Michael Chester

Among those recognised on the evening were Anne and Michael Madsen, who previously won the Township Cup in 2016 for an epic voyage to Norway.

The new Martin Crotty Cup (donated by Peter Cullen) was presented on the night by the NYC's Mal Nolan to Ben Shanahan. This new award is for a young member who has shown exceptional sailing endeavour. Shanahan skippered a young crew in a very windy edition of this year's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race (as pictured below).

Ruth J109 Ben shanahanBen Shanahan at the wheel of the family J109, Ruth. Photo:

Roberto Sastre was presented with the storied Boyne Regatta Cup for his offshore racing exploits, while Peter and Kerri Cullen received the Muglins Cup for the most interesting family cruise of 2017.

In addition to the presentation of trophies, five members were recognised for their sailing excellence with Commodore's commendation certificates.

Scroll down for a selection of Michael Chester's photos of the awards evening. 

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863Commodore Ronan Beirne presents the NYC's  “Township Cup”  to Anne and Michael Madsen for their four month cruse of the 78th Parallel (further North than the Franklin Expedition) to Svalbard Photo: Michael Chester 

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863The Boyne Regatta Cup, was awarded to Roberto Sastre, (left) who finished fifth in class two in the D2D race. It was an excellent result for one of the smaller boats on its first distance race where many of the fleet retired due to severe weather conditions. The presentation was made by the NYC's Peter Murphy Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863The O’Leary Cup presented by Peter Murphy (centre), was won by Noel Butler (right) and Stephen Oram (left), for their Fireball dinghy grand slam Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863The “John Byrne Memorial Trophy” (1989) was jointly won by Adam Winkelmann (left) and the Late Martin Crotty, the trophy was presented to Sabina Saar, his partner. The trophy was presented by the late John Byrne's son, Martin. Photo: Michael ChesterNYC Prizegiving 2018 863The Winkelmann Trophy (2003) was presented by Carmel Winkelmann to cadet member Sally Bell for her Laser Radial youth achivements. The award was accepted for Sally by Hugh Perret Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863The Greystones 1891 Regatta Cup for the best team contribution to the Club was awarded to Rory Fitzpatrick and was collected by John Chambers. The trophy was presented by Rear Commodore Susan Spain

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863The Paul Murphy Cup was presented to Eddie Totterdell, by Paul’s widow Ruth, for all Eddie's voluntary work as Race Officer on board the DBSC vessel Mac Lir Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863NYC's Mal Nolan presents the new Martin Crotty Cup (donated by Peter Cullen) to Ben Shanahan. This new award is for a young member who has shown exceptional sailing endeavour. Photo: Michael Chester

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863NYC Commodore Ronan Beirne presents a Commodore's Commendation award to Lorcan Tighe for his participation as watch leader in the Fastnet Race and D2D races on the INSS J109  "Jedi"

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863Commodore Ronan Beirne presented Commendation Certificates to John Chambers (left) and Jemima Owens and Cian Mollen below

NYC Prizegiving 2018 863

Published in National YC
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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

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