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Norman Long

20th April 2020
Norman Long

It is with sadness that we learn of the death of Dublin Bay sailor Norman Long who was a great contributor to Irish and International sailing since the late sixties.

My memory of Norman appearing on the sailing scene was in a Mirror dinghy with his signature white construction helmet and impish attitude. He was an oddity  – an English adult sailing in what was then an embryonic junior class. But it was this that endeared everybody to Norman he didn’t care and his enjoyment was infectious. He, with the late Theo Harris, founded the Irish Mirror Class. They as Secretary and Chairman guided it in its early years to become the largest Irish dinghy fleet which trained hundreds of juniors and produced three Irish Mirror World Champions.

Mirror Theo Harris Norman longNorman in the bump hat crewing with Theo Harris in the 'full rigged' Mirror

While racing Theo in Mirrors in Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the winter of 1970 they decided it would be fun to have a series of races for Mirrors and thus the DMYC frostbite was founded in 1971 which is run to this day almost fifty years later.

He graduated from Mirrors to the Glen class in Dublin Bay having found a Glen in Dickies Yard in Holyhead. They launched the boat to sail it back to Dun Laoghaire whereupon it promptly sank! After a soaking, the planks tightened and they completed the voyage home to the Royal Irish YC.

RAYC CommodoresFormer Royal Alfred Commodores: from left Clare Hogan, (late) Geoff Whelan, Tim Goodbody, Tino Hyland and Norman Long

His love of organising led him into race organisation, management and judging. He was race officer for many years at the annual Dublin Bay and Alfred regattas and served for many years as Senior Race Officer for West Highland Race week which requires a robust constitution for the heaving seas and an enduring ability to hold your Malt neither of which was a challenge to Norman.

He was one of Ireland's first World Sailing International Judges (then ISAF) and served for over twenty years at various regattas in Ireland and around the world also providing support for many prospective IJ’s such as the late Paul Murphy and Tony O’Gorman.

He was elected in the late 1990’s Commodore of the Royal Alfred YC and served with distinction for three years. During his tenure, there were a total of four International race officials from three disciplines on the committee befitting the club that wrote the first Racing Rules of Sailing. He was an avid chorister and a member of the Waterfront Players.

Thank you, Norman for all you did for the sport of sailing. 

AM

Published in Royal Alfred YC
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