#cluboftheyear – Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire are the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" in celebration of an outstanding twelve months of success.
The famous ship's wheel trophy, which has played a central symbolic role in Irish sailing since 1979, was presented to Martin Byrne, Commodore of the Royal St George YC, in Dun Laoghaire last night at the ISA Ball by Guest of Honour Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore TD, and Brian Keane of Mitsubishi Motors.
In all, four clubs made the final shortlist – in alphabetical order in addition to the RStGYC they were Baltimore Sailing Club (home club to both the national senior and junior champions, and host club to a rapidly expanding training programme), University College Dublin SC (Student World Sailing Champions), and Wicklow SC, whose biennial Round Ireland Race is now an integral part of the international programme, with a thriving and dynamic interaction between club and town building on the success of the event.
Faced with other clubs achieving at this level, it says everything for the performance of the Royal St George YC that it has won the trophy. But the adjudicators' conclusions – carried in full below - explain why the trophy will now be on display on the walls of a club which has been in the sailing business since 1838.
"Royal St George YC – In many clubs, the staging of an event of the significance of the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dublin Bay in July 2012 would lead to an imbalance in club functioning lasting for several months. It speaks volumes for the sheer strength of the RStGYC "machine" that it undertook this mega-regatta, yet at the same time continued successfully to meet the needs of its ordinary members, whether in sailing or in providing excellent club facilities of all kinds.
With its large active sailing membership, the club made its mark with sailing success in many areas, its efforts spear-headed by Commodore Martin Byrne, who led by example – he emerged as the top Irish International Dragon Sailor of 2012. The club is also something of a pace-setter in recruiting sailing talent among young people re-locating to Dublin, and in 2012 it reached new heights in this area with its very active support of UCDSC as it set in place its successful campaign towards winning the Student Yachting Worlds in France in October.
Such activities were all in addition to the prodigious effort, energy and enthusiasm which was put into the Youth Worlds, and the buildup to it, which began in Dublin Bay in April. The ultimate success of the regatta was highly praised by outgoing ISAF President Goran Petersson at the ISAF Conference in Dun Laoghaire in November. But perhaps most impressive is the goodwill and co-operation which the RStGYC generated in the local community and among the very many volunteers from several clubs, who gave freely of their time to make this event such a success, and who afterwards were more than happy with the way the RStGYC appreciated their efforts and the quality of their input into a great event.
In achieving so many objectives both afloat and ashore, while at the same time meeting the needs of its many members and maintaining a mutually beneficial and vibrant relationship with the community both locally and nationally, the Royal St George Yacht Club has fulfilled the criteria for the Sailing Club of the Year in exemplary style".