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While the Irish J109 just sailed its national championships as part of last weekend's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta the international J Cup 2011 has kicked off in Guernsey. The cup, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year is being hosted by the Guernsey Yacht Club for the third time. The J-Cup is sponsored by B&G, Dubarry of Ireland, North Sails, Universal Marina and Nautical Guernsey. Racing is taking place across four classes, and the regatta includes the inaugural Lombard J/97 UK National Championship, which is being raced according to the J/97 UK One-Design Class Rules. Competitors have travelled to the Channel Islands from as far afield as Dublin Bay to compete in the regatta and the fleet also includes several local boats. Having enjoyed a fantastic Vin D'Honneur Reception in sparkling evening sunshine at Castle Cornet on Monday night, courtesy of The Sates of Guernsey, competitors set sail for the J-Cup race-course in The Little Russell on Tuesday morning in a brisk North Easterly breeze which topped out at 23 knots as the day progressed.

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The Lombard Marine Finance J/97 UK National Championship fleet sailed three races on windward leeward courses and the competition was predictably fierce and hotly fought. Grant Gordon's Fever is leading the Nationals at the end of Day One having won the first two races and scoring a third in the final race of the day. His lead though is just one point over Tony Mack's McFly in second overall. Mike and Jamie Holmes took a little while to get Jika Jika driving as well as they they would wish but a bullet in the final race of the day saw them back to their usual top form. Stuart Sawyer and his crew on Black Dog, (all the way from God's Country, Cornwall) are just one point behind Jika Jika in fourth. The North Sails Boat of the Day prize for the Lombard Marine Finance J/97 UK National Championship was presented to Tony Mack's McFly.

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Class IRC 1 comprises J/122s, J/133s and two of the new J/111s. This fleet enjoyed a short jaunt around the cans in Little Russell followed by a coastal race around the island of Sark. Nigel and Donna Passmore won both races in their J/133 Apollo 3 and established a nice points lead on the next three boats in the class, which are all tied on eight points. The points count-back for these three boats puts Key Yachting's J/111 J Spirit (which is being helmed by St Peter Port local ace Jamie Hamilton) in second, Mick Holland and Carolyn Aylmer's J/122 MaJic (also from St Peter Port) is in third place and Rob Craigie's J/122 J Bellino (just back from the AZAB Race) is currently in fourth place. The North Sails Boat of the Day Prize for IRC 1 was presented to the crew of Apollo 3.

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William Newton's J/105 Jelly Baby tops Class IRC 1 at the end of the first day of racing having scored two wins and Chris Jones and Louise Makin's J/105 Journeymaker is currently second in this class with six points. The J/105s love the windy stuff and enjoyed the planing conditions on Tuesday but here again, there are three boats all tied on six points. Andy Howe and Annie Kelly's J/92 Blackjack is third going in to the second day of racing and Marc Noel from St Malo also has six points on J/92 Dr Jekyll and is currently fourth. Two local J/24s, Alastair Bisson's Guffin and Tim Martin's Jaygo, have joined the J-Cup this year: the only time the regatta has ever included an entry from this first, iconic keelboat from the J Boats design office. Jelly Baby scooped the North Sails Boat of the Day prize in IRC 2.

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There is always much good natured rivalry in the J/109 fleet and the class enjoys close one-design racing in big fleets. This year we are especially entertained by the competition between local lad Mike Henning, racing on Jamie Arnell's Jeez Louise and his father Simon who has joined the crew of Roger Martel's Moojo, a well known St Peter Port J/109. Jeez Louise showed blistering pace and won both races on Tuesday, but yet again, the next three boats in this class are all tied on six points! Johnnie Goodwin and Bruce Huber are looking very good indeed on board Alexabelle in second, Tony De Mulder's Victric is third in class on count-back and then it's Moojo in fourth at the current point in time. There is obviously much to play for here. The crew of Jeez Louise were especially excited to receive the North Sails Boat of the Day prize after this stellar first-day performance.

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After racing, 350 J Boaters danced the night away to an awesome local folk band called The Barley Dogs fuelled by a curry at the Guernsey Yacht Club and some very potent cocktails courtesy of Universal Marina, one of the principal sponsors of the J-Cup. Racing at the J-Cup 2011 continues on Wednesday, and the forecast is for slightly less breeze and more sunshine

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Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Joe Costello and the Vice-Commodore is Pat Shannon.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

Who is the Chief Executive of the Royal Irish Yacht Club? 

Padraig McCarthy is the RIYC CEO.  Tel  01 280 9452 extn 7 email: [email protected]

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
 
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
 
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
 
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club". 

At A Glance – Royal Irish Yacht Regatta 2020 Dates

RIYC Regatta 2020: Saturday 27 June

RIYC Junior Regatta 2020: Wednesday 29 July

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