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George and Andrew Miller in ‘Pixie’ Win 12 Foot Dinghies Altair Trophy

16th September 2019
Vincent Delany (left) with winners George (centre) and Andrew Miller Vincent Delany (left) with winners George (centre) and Andrew Miller

The Royal St George hosted the combined International 12 Foot Dinghy Championship & D.B.S.C. 12 Ft Championship on 15th September,- a day which will be remembered both for the incessant rain, and for the tight competition. The event was held in Seapoint Bay, the original racing area for the Dublin based 12-Foot Dinghies from the 1920s and 30s. This year’s entry was reduced due to ‘Dorado’s’ owner not being available, and ‘Sgadan’ being under restoration in Tralee in preparation for next year’s ‘Clinkerfest 250’. However, the International rigs were represented by three boats. We understand that one potential owner is heading to the UK soon to purchase a Dutch-built dinghy currently for sale there.

In race one, with patchy winds of less than 4 kts George Miller’s ‘Pixie’ held the lead for the entire race, but behind her there was a great battle between ‘Albany’ (Gavin Johnson) and ‘Cora’ (Mark Delany). It was ‘Albany’ who won this battle.

In race two with a steady 5 kt. Breeze, ‘Cora’ won the start but was overtaken by the faster ‘Pixie.’ But due to an error at the finish line, ‘Cora’ regained the lead.
The dinghies were left at anchor in Seapoint Bay while the competitors came ashore for their lunch, and in some cases, extra clothing or extra waterproofing, or additional pumps.

By the afternoon the wind has increased to about 8 kts. Race 3 was won by ‘Pixie’ after a good battle with ‘Cora’ which lasted for the entire race. The improving ‘Scythian’ (David Shackleton) took third place.

The final race was to be the decider of the championship. ‘Cora’ used her team-racing skills to push ‘Pixie’ away from the start line. During the race ‘Pixie’s’ yard support broke, causing her rig to slip down 300mm and, of course, lessened her speed. As ‘Cora’ approached the finish line she slowed up with the hope of bringing ‘Scythian’ into second place and pushing ‘Pixie’ into third place, but her plan went awry, and ‘Pixie’ stole second place to win the championship.

At the prize-giving, Pat and Sheelagh McGloughlin presented the Altair Cup to Andrew Miller crew of ‘Pixie’ noting that the trophy despite being almost ninety years old, has not been won for 42 years.

The Cora trophy for international dinghies was awarded to George and Andrew Miller in ‘Pixie’.

The Edmond Johnson Ltd. Trophy for DBSC dinghies was awarded to Gavin Johnson and Tim Varian in ‘Albany’.

Vincent Delany chairman of the 12-foot organisation explained how next year’s Irish Championship with International entries will take place at Lough Ree Yacht Club over the June bank holiday weekend.

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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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 including:

  • A vibrant junior section

  • Dry Sailing for small keelboats

  • Marina type berthage for larger boats

  • Parking for a large range of dinghies

  • Own fleet of boats for members use (1720’s, J 80’s, SUP’s, Coastal Rowing boats, Ribs, Optimists etc)

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