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12-Foot Dinghies Prepare to Race for the ‘Altair’ Trophy at the Royal St George Yacht Club

11th September 2019
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The Altair Trophy The Altair Trophy

Next Sunday the ‘Altair’ trophy will be presented to the highest placed crew in the Irish 12-foot dinghy championships to be held in the Royal St George Yacht Club writes Vincent Delany.

This trophy was originally won at the Dublin Coast Championship for International 12 Foot Dinghies, an event held in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on 21 September 1931 (although the engraving on the trophy describes it as Kingstown). This was probably the first ‘open meeting’ for a one-design class ever to be held in the Republic of Ireland. Despite none of the owners having road trailers, and the dinghies sailing from their home ports, there were fifteen entries from Howth Sailing Club, Sutton branch of Howth Sailing Club, Seapoint Boat Club and Malahide (where a sailing club was yet to be established). The event took place despite there not being an overall Class organisation to encourage entries. Perhaps things were done by word of mouth in those days. After four rounds of the Water Wag course, in a single race, the event was won by A.W. (Billy) Mooney in ‘Altair’ from Howth Sailing Club, followed by Mr. G. Bayly Spencer’s ‘Kittiwake’ from the Seapoint Boat Club, and Mr. Mc Cracken's ‘Snipe’ from Howth in third place. Mooney went on to win many races in other classes such as the Howth 17 foot class and in International Dragons.

The ‘Altair’ trophy was held by the Mooney family until 1970 when it was represented to the D.B.S.C. 12 Foot Dinghy fleet as a prize, for crews steering 12-foot dinghies. The trophy was competed for every year until 1977. It was represented to the International 12 Foot Dinghy Association of Ireland this week by the McGloughlin family.

Under event rules, 12-foot dinghies may sail either single-handed or two-handed.

Published in RStGYC
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from blurb.com

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