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International 12–Footers Seek Dinghies for Royal St. George Championships

19th August 2015
int_12_regatta
The 12' dinghy fleet at East Looe Sailing Club, Cornwall, in 1939

#12–footer – Royal St. George Yacht Club organisers would like to hear from any Irish owners of International 12–footer dinghies with the aim of joining the fleet for a championship is to be held on 30th August at the Dun Laoghaire club. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an Irish championship was held in Dun Laoghaire in 2011 in which  modified Dublin Bay boats sailed against unmodified (jibless) boats on equal terms. Afloat also reported recently on a Cork sailor seeking more information on the historic sailing class. A friendship regatta at the same Dun Laoghaire venue – to include boats from around the world – is also scheduled for 2017 during Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Many 12 Footers still exist in Ireland, having been in the same families for many years. Some are unused and located in barns while others are used as yacht tenders. Three Irish boats have been restored, and travelled to Europe in recent years to compete in major 'Friendship' events. They are Aidan Henry's Dorado, no.5 built in the 1930s, Margaret Delany's Cora, no. 8, and George Millar's Pixie, no. 11. It should be noted that when numbers were allocated, each part of the country issued their own numbers, thus in Cork no. 8 in Alieen, and in Dublin it is Cora.

This class was designed in 1913 by amateur English yacht designer and Solicitor, George Cockshott, (1875-1952) as the British Racing Association 'A' Class. The International 12 Foot Class was adopted by the international Yacht Racing Union on 1st. January 1920. The class was the only dinghy class at the 1920 Antwerp (Belgium) Olympic Games, at which the sailing took place at Ostend. In 1928 the Olympic Games took place in Amsterdam (Holland) and the 12 Foots were again used. Although Irish sailing athletes did not partake in those Olympic games, Corkman, Captain Jimmy Payne represented the Irish free State at the 1924 World Sailing Championships organized by the Brussels Royal Yacht Club, and the Irishman won the event against competitors from France, Britain, Italy, Belgium and Holland. This must have been one of Ireland's earliest international yachting successes.

The class grew in popularity of the class in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s. Fleets of locally professionally and amateur built boats grew up in Baltimore, Crosshaven, Howth, Sutton, Clontarf and Seapoint (Monkstown, Co. Dublin). Over many years Championships were held throughout Ireland in locations such as Lough Ree, Dun Laoghaire, and Cork Harbour.

What is the international 12 Foot like? She is a traditional wooden clinker built one-design with a single standing lug sail, hung off a mast which is placed very near the bow. The 3.66m x 1.43m. hull is open decked and is spacious enough for either single handed sailing or a crew of two.

In Dublin in the 1960s there was a move to modernize some of the old yacht designs to enable them to compete with the newly designed mass produced plywood dinghies which were becoming available. Under the direction of the National Yacht Club's J.J. O'Leary, all the existing 12 Footers in Dublin Bay adopted a jib from the Water Wags, moved the mast further aft in the boat, reduced the size of the mainsail and fitted a small foredeck to throw the water off.

For more information contact [email protected]

Published in RStGYC
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Royal St. George Yacht Club

The Royal St George Yacht Club was founded in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) Harbour in 1838 by a small number of like-minded individuals who liked to go rowing and sailing together. The club gradually gathered pace and has become, with the passage of time and the unstinting efforts of its Flag Officers, committees and members, a world-class yacht club.

Today, the ‘George’, as it is known by everyone, maybe one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, but it has a very contemporary friendly outlook that is in touch with the demands of today and offers world-class facilities for all forms of water sports

Royal St. George Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal St George Yacht Club — often abbreviated as RStGYC and affectionately known as ‘the George’ — is one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, and one of a number that ring Dublin Bay on the East Coast of Ireland.

The Royal St George Yacht Club is based at the harbour of Dun Laoghaire, a suburban coastal town in south Co Dublin around 11km south-east of Dublin city centre and with a population of some 26,000. The Royal St George is one of the four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs, along with the National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC).

The Royal St George was founded by members of the Pembroke Rowing Club in 1838 and was originally known as Kingstown Boat Club, as Kingstown was what Dun Laoghaire was named at the time. The club obtained royal patronage in 1845 and became known as Royal Kingstown Yacht Club. After 1847 the club took on its current name.

The George is first and foremost an active yacht club with a strong commitment to and involvement with all aspects of the sport of sailing, whether racing your one design on Dublin Bay, to offshore racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, to junior sailing, to cruising and all that can loosely be described as “messing about in boats”.

As of November 2020, the Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club is Peter Bowring, with Richard O’Connor as Vice-Commodore. The club has two Rear-Commodores, Mark Hennessy for Sailing and Derek Ryan for Social.

As of November 2020, the Royal St George has around 1,900 members.

The Royal St George’s burgee is a red pennant with a white cross which has a crown at its centre. The club’s ensign has a blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and a crown towards the bottom right corner.

Yes, the club hosts regular weekly racing for dinghies and keelboats as well as a number of national and international sailing events each season. Major annual events include the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, hosted in conjunction with the three other Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs.

Yes, the Royal St George has a vibrant junior sailing section that organises training and events throughout the year.

Sail training is a core part of what the George does, and training programmes start with the Sea Squirts aged 5 to 8, continuing through its Irish Sailing Youth Training Scheme for ages 8 to 18, with adult sail training a new feature since 2009. The George runs probably the largest and most comprehensive programme each summer with upwards of 500 children participating. This junior focus continues at competitive level, with coaching programmes run for aspiring young racers from Optimist through to Lasers, 420s and Skiffs.

 

The most popular boats raced at the club are one-design keelboats such as the Dragon, Shipman 28, Ruffian, SB20, Squib and J80; dinghy classes including the Laser, RS200 and RS400; junior classes the 420, Optimist and Laser Radial; and heritage wooden boats including the Water Wags, the oldest one-design dinghy class in the world. The club also has a large group of cruising yachts.

The Royal St George is based in a Victorian-style clubhouse that dates from 1843 and adjoins the harbour’s Watering Pier. The clubhouse was conceived as a miniature classical Palladian Villa, a feature which has been faithfully maintained despite a series of extensions, and a 1919 fire that destroyed all but four rooms. Additionally, the club has a substantial forecourt with space for more than 50 boats dry sailing, as well as its entire dinghy fleet. There is also a dry dock, four cranes (limit 12 tonnes) and a dedicated lift=out facility enabling members keep their boats in ready to race condition at all times. The George also has a floating dock for short stays and can supply fuel, power and water to visitors.

Yes, the Royal St George’s clubhouse offers a full bar and catering service for members, visitors and guests. Currently the bar is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Royal St George boathouse is open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm during the winter. The office and reception are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 5pm. The bar is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lunch is served on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3pm.

Yes, the Royal St George regularly hosts weddings and family celebrations from birthdays to christenings, and offers a unique and prestigious location to celebrate your day. The club also hosts corporate meetings, sailing workshops and company celebrations with a choice of rooms. From small private meetings to work parties and celebrations hosting up to 150 guests, the club can professionally and successfully manage your corporate requirements. In addition, team building events can utilise its fleet of club boats and highly trained instructors. For enquiries contact Laura Smart at [email protected] or phone 01 280 1811.

The George is delighted to welcome new members. It may look traditional — and is proud of its heritage — but behind the facade is a lively and friendly club, steeped in history but not stuck in it. It is a strongly held belief that new members bring new ideas, new skills and new contacts on both the sailing and social sides.

No — members can avail of the club’s own fleet of watercraft.

There is currently no joining fee for new members of the Royal St George. The introductory ordinary membership subscription fee is €775 annually for the first two years. A full list of membership categories and related annual subscriptions is available.

Membership subscriptions are renewed on an annual basis

Full contact details for the club and its staff can be found at the top of this page

©Afloat 2020

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