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National Yacht Club members at Dun Laoghaire Harbour took their annual Christmas Eve swim this morning.

Open to members and non-members (for a small entry fee), the icy plunge is held annually in aid of good causes and attracts a big crowd in the east coast port.

This year the NYC dippers raised funds for Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin.

As Afloat previously reported, the swim takes place from the club's pontoon with Santa also getting in on the act.

Light social “light refreshments” are served afterwards.

John Corcoran is the man behind the NYC fundraising for the Hospital.

"Crumlin does incredible work and appreciates not just the funds but our display of support for their vital work", he said.

National Yacht Club Christmas Eve Swim Photo Gallery by Michael Chester

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The forecast was encouraging after a few weekends of tough conditions with cancelled and postponed training sessions for the various National Yacht Club squads at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay.

Saturday was certainly delivered with cool yet lovely 8-12 kts wind conditions from the East; Sunday proposed another type of challenge with blustery, wet and cold conditions!

The weekend had a special clinic led by the club head coach in store for the Optimist group. The focus was on boat handling, rules management and tactics in crowded spaces. The perfect conditions on Saturday allowed the programme to go ahead with many short videos taken to enhance learning. Sunday, however, forced on the group a plan B, starting with a shore-based workshop before heading afloat for a high-octane windy session.

Optimist sailor (1607) Hannah Walsh of the National Yacht Club Photo: Nicola FergusonOptimist sailor (1607) Hannah Walsh of the National Yacht Club Photo: Nicola Ferguson 

The single-handers enjoyed two great sessions managed by James Delaney before gathering for a social evening in the dining room. A couple of Aeros, however, elected to race the INSS super series races in the morning. Early rise for the head coach, who took the opportunity to try out an Aero 7 on the first three races before heading back to shore to get the Optimist clinic underway. NYC's Noel Butler wrapped up the series with a comprehensive lead overall.

The Toppers were set to sail on the Sunday but Hugh O'Connor readjusted his session to the conditions, only taking one boat out and performing regular swaps between the sailors.

The final 29er weekend of the year was a great success with six teams put through their pace on both days (some fast and furious sailing on Sunday) under the leadership of NYC coach Tadgh Donnelly and Olympic hopeful Seafra Guilfoyle.

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The annual NYC Junior Awards Ceremony occurred at the National Yacht Club on Saturday, 26th November. The awards night is when NYC juniors traditionally take over the club.

This is when the achievements of our juniors in summer courses and in National and international events are acknowledged marking the end of the junior sailing season.

In addition, the evening is an opportunity to thank all our instructors and assistant instructors for their great work over the summer and to acknowledge the huge effort they make in ensuring that our young sailors have a fun summer course whilst nurturing a lifelong love of sailing in a safe environment.

The National Yacht Club is packed by junior sailors for the awards evening at Dun Laoghaire Harbour The National Yacht Club is packed by junior sailors for the awards evening at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

It is also an event when parents can get together. Last Saturday, the JB room was buzzing with relaxed parents, whilst upstairs the dining room was filled with our juniors.

The evening started for the juniors with spot prizes, followed by dinner for both juniors and parents. After the meal, our instructors organised a table quiz with prizes to let the relaxation last a bit longer for the parents. And to finish, there was a selection box for ‘everyone in the audience’ to start the Christmas festivities.

Thanks to all the staff of NYC, especially John and Cormac, for their support in hosting over 100 juniors upstairs and 60 parents downstairs. It was a seamless production. 

The National Yacht Club instructors with Commodore Conor O'Regan (right)The National Yacht Club instructors with Commodore Conor O'Regan (right)

The awards ceremony then began with a total of 137 recipients receiving prizes. We celebrated our juniors’ performance in summer courses to Optimist, Topper, ILCA (formerly Laser), Feva and 29er Fleets in National and international events. In addition, we awarded special individual awards. We also recognised our SI Nicola Ferguson and Assistant SI Clare Gorman for their huge efforts this summer, together with all our NYC instructors and assistants. The final part of the ceremony was the trophy ceremony to present special awards to sailors across the Junior Section.

The list of the prizes winners is below.

The evening wrapped up with a raffle in aid of the RNLI and PIETA House, in which we raised €1000. Thank you to Aoife Hofler for organising the raffle and super prizes from our sponsors:

  • RTE
  • Viking Marine
  • Mediacentral
  • Spotify
  • The Irish Times
  • Keogh’s

Thanks to our head coach Thomas Chaix for all the organising and support he has contributed to our Junior Section since his appointment and for stepping in as main photographer at the award ceremony.

Thanks also to all the Junior Committee for ensuring our young sailors had a great 2022.

Happy Christmas and here’s to a happy and healthy 2023.

Rebecca Hall, NYC Junior Organiser

PART I: Summer Course 2022 Achievement Awards

  • Most Improved Taste of Sailing – Aveline Gaffney, Elodie Chapman
  • Most Improved Start Sailing – Albane Rouillon, Freddy Hofler
  • Most Improved Basic Skills – Michael O’Brien, Aodh J Carty, Charles Collenette, Isabelle Byrne
  • Most Improved Improving Skills – Louis Trickett, Lara Fitzpatrick
  • Most Improved Advanced Boat Handling – Jamie Kirrane, Mark O’Meara
  • Most Improved Racing – Daniel McDaid, Ethan Verling
  • Most Improved Adventure – Siofra O’Donnell, Clarissa Byrnes
  • Most Improved J80s – Peadar Doyle, Oisin Alexander, Minnie Mansfield
  • Most Improved Feva Helms and Crews – Leonardo Errico, Zara Whelan, Finn Collins, Clodagh Denn, Caoilfhionn Denn
  • Most Improved Toppers – Hugo Farrington, Ben Doherty, Rory Brennan Hobbs

PART II: Trophy Ceremony

OPTIMIST FLEET

Junior Optimist Fleet

3rd Prize – James Gorman

2nd Prize – Basile Dion

1st Prize, Cullen Cup – Johnathan Dempsey (1st Ranked NYC sailor)

Senior Optimist Fleet

3rd Prize - Hannah Walsh

2nd Prize - Louise Hanley

1st Prize, Ferguson Cup – Felix Dion – Highest ranked NYC sailor

Regatta fleet: Optimist sailors that we should keep an eye on next year

  • Aurele Dion
  • Jacob Brown
  • Michael Hanley
  • Louise Trickett
  • Felicia De Vreeze

FEVA FLEET

3rd Prize – Peadar Doyle and Senan Corry (3rd Silver Fleet in Nationals)

2nd Prize – Lizzie Hall and James Hall (1st Silver Fleet Nationals)

1st Prize, Double Hander Trophy (Feva) (Plaque) – Theo Madigan and Cathal O’Regan (6th Gold Fleet in Nationals)

TOPPER FLEET

3rd Place – Lizzie Hall

2nd Place – James Hall

1st Place, Cooney Cup (Topper Trophy) – Ella Fitzgerald

LASER 4.7 Trophy (Donal Loghlan O’Sullivan Cup)

Dylan De Vreeze

LASER RADIAL Fleet

3rd Place – Zoe Hall

2nd Place – Benjamin Reeser

1st Place, Lynch Cup (Laser Radial Trophy) – Sam Ledoux

29 FLEET

van Steenberge Cup (29er Trophy) – Ben O Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain

Recognition awards for their achievements this season in 29er Fleet for

Lauren O’Callaghan and Clementine van Steenberge

29er skiff sailor Clementine van Steenberge receives the Cathy MacAleavey Trophy from National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O'Regan29er skiff sailor Clementine van Steenberge receives the Cathy MacAleavey Trophy from National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O'Regan

Cathy McAleavey Trophy

This award is given to the sailor that has achieved the most in 2022

Clementine van Steenberge (29er).

PART III: AWARDS to sailors who went above and beyond in 2022

Shanahan Cup (The most helpful assistant and TY sailor 2022)

Conor Staunton

McDonald Trophy (The most helpful Junior during the summer courses)

James Walsh

A stand-alone award this year was the Rickard Cup which was awarded to two instructors in recognition of their selfless act of bravery in reacting to an incident over the summer. The two sailors demonstrated qualities that we would all hope to have and live by. We are so proud to have these sailors on our NYC team of instructors; their actions were truly heroic.

Rickard Cup for Bravery

Hal Fitzgerald and John Duffy

Special recognition also to

Jack Hall and Nicola Ferguson

These were a group of instructors whose actions demonstrated maturity beyond their years

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A windy winter weekend at Dun Laoghaire Harbour led to the cancellation of some sailing events, including the third round of the DMYC's dinghy Frostbites Series. If some of the National Yacht Club training activities were cancelled or postponed due to the heavy forecast in store, the more experienced sailors completed their sessions and enjoyed some fast sailing despite cold hands and feet.

Elliott Match Racing

Saturday's forecast was slow enough to materialise, allowing great match racing practice on the Elliotts. Two boats were set, and crews were working hard on the East side of the harbour to deliver the perfect "crush" off the start.

Optimist club squad

The Optimist club squad headed out to enjoy the waves and practice their downwind techniques. The skiffs (49erFX and 29ers) followed them out for a solid session in the Bay.

Coach James Delaney had also two great sessions with the adult single-handers and the juniors ILCA4 and six sailors, keeping him busy for the full day.

Sunday morning, the wind had gone west and got somewhat stronger (DBSC Turkey shoot racers recorded gusts above 30 kts).

Many planned sessions were cancelled or reverted to shore-based workshops.

29ers

The Performance 29ers ventured out for a two-hour session in big breeze. It was fast and furious with heart rate staying high, gybes never fully safe and certainly pushing speed polars to their edges.
Two gold fleet optimist sailors completed a solid session in the afternoon with coach Nicola Ferguson working on their big breeze techniques.

Big breeze gybing technique in a 29er skiff at Dun Laoghaire HarbourBig breeze gybing technique in a 29er skiff at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Dun Laoghaire harbour is a great place in marginal conditions with enough space within the safety of the walls and close to recovery slips.

 29er skiff at Dun Laoghaire Harbour 29er skiff at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The NYC club programmes are now well underway, and sailors have their eyes set on the next objectives already.

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Back to the "normality" of Winter training and frostbite racing on the National Yacht Club platform, although the lively weather kept all sailors on their toes for some exciting sailing in and out of the harbour walls.

Club training

Toppers, Optimists and ILCAs were on the deck with their respective coaches polishing their big-breeze skills in short and effective sessions.

National Yacht Club ILCAs sailing at Dun Laoghaire HarbourNational Yacht Club ILCAs sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

29er clinic

NYC coach Tadgh Donnelly and Olympic squad 49er sailor Seafra Guilfoyle ran their second 29er Open weekend. Many videos were taken in fast and tight drills progressing the sailors' skills. Club training will return next weekend so the newly learnt skills can be practised.

Frostbites

The match between the RS Aeros and the Fireballs continued with one windy race completed. The aeros are staying on top with yet another win for NYC ace Noel Butler as Afloat reports here.

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135 young sailors aged 7 to 15 gathered in Lough Derg YC, Dromineer, for the Annual IODAI Optimist national Training week, three days of coaching and fun followed by the final event of the year, the Hallowe'en cup incorporating the Crosbie cup, a long-standing perpetual trophy dedicated to the Silver and bronze fleet sailors.

23 National Yacht Club young sailors made the journey and enjoyed the training in various groups under the guidance of a mix of International coaches and Irish-based coaches. NYC Optimist coach Conor Gorman was part of the Gold fleet team. NYC coaches also had fair representation in the Regatta fleet support, with Cillian Madigan leading a team of younger instructors, including 29er aces Lauren O'Callaghan and Ethan Spain, freshly returned from the Italian Eurocup, but also some future talent in the club coaching panel Ella Dempsey and Ellen Madigan.

The clinic was led by Thomas Chaix, the club's head coach.

The first day saw stormy conditions, and the gold fleet ventured out. Capsizes and surfing led to big smiles and heroes' stories back ashore. The remaining sailors worked on various shore-based drills.

Feast or Famine! The fan was switched off for the rest of the week, leading to some calmer conditions, even too calm at times. It certainly allowed everyone a comfortable time afloat training and preparing for the Halloween cup.

Regatta day delivered an awesome forecast with sunshine and a gentle 6-10kts Southerly breeze.

The 95-boat main fleet headed outside Dromineer bay and raced four full-size excellent races whilst The 47-boat regatta fleet battled just a few 100 metres from the marina giving the parents a great spectacle ashore.

NYC sailors were on fire, winning six out of the eight categories, including the coveted Halloween cup.

Regatta Fleet
1st: Josephine Dion.

Regatta Racing Fleet
1st: Louis Tryckett
2nd: Michael Hanley

Junior Bronze
1st Aurèle Dion
2nd Alex Butcher
3rd Jacob Browne

Junior Silver
1st Basile Dion

Junior Gold
3rd James Gorman

Senior Bronze
1st Max Neary

Senior Gold
1st Gemma Brady

Special mention must to NYC Crosbie cup racers in the top positions - it was a near miss on count back For 9-year-old Aurèle in the 65-boat fleet

  • 2nd Aurèle Dion
  • 3rd Basile Dion
  • 4th Alex Butcher
  • 6th Jacob Browne
  • 7th Max Neary
  • 18th Jonathan Dempsey

The sailors will now return to the regular club programme and try to apply and practice the lessons of the week.

ILCA Training

Meanwhile, in Dun Laoghaire, NYC's ILCA group had a great session on Saturday under the leadership of Coach James Delaney. The Argentinian drill was the highlight of a great day afloat for the group.

Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites

The DMYC Frostbites series started on Sunday with many dinghy sailors from NYC attending. The Aeros started well in the PY fleet, with NYC Noel Butler scoring a solid 2-1 and taking the lead. Stephen Oram 6-3 was good enough to place him in 3rd.

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The final 29er skiff dinghy Eurocup of the year always attracts the cream of the fleet. Once more, with 153 entries from 20 countries, the event proved to be very competitive and can easily be considered the 'Autumn Europeans'.

Three National Yacht Club partnerships made the journey to Italy and competed over the four days. After a strong qualifying series of six races securing many top results, all three teams qualified in the Gold fleet.

The best was, however, yet to come.

The Van Steenberge siblings, Clementine and Nathan, regularly finished inside the top 10 (12 out of 13 races), including a race win in the final race climbed them into second overall and top mixed team.

The National Yacht Club's Van Steenberge siblings competing in the 29er Eurocup final on Lake GardaThe National Yacht Club's Van Steenberge siblings competing in the 29er Eurocup final on Lake Garda

This outstanding performance wraps up a superb international season rewarded by a second place overall (and top mixed) in the Eurocup yearly rankings.

Nathan had a particularly successful month with three medals at the three events attended (Hungarian 29er Eurocup 3rd, 49er U23 Europeans 3rd and now the Euro Cup finals 2nd).

Ben O'Shaugnessy and crew Ethan Spain had an impressive catch-up, securing eighth overall. Lauren O'Callaghan and Crew James Dwyer had just an hour together the day prior to the event. They certainly sailed like a seasoned partnership to take 12th overall, including a race win in the Gold fleet and snatching second Mixed from the German opposition in the final race.

At home

National Yacht Club Optimist sailing at Dun Laoghaire HarbourNational Yacht Club Optimist sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Sailing activities have returned to the National Yacht Club platform after the cruiser lift out with Optimist, Feva, Topper and ILCA coaches running successful sessions afloat in great conditions.

The focus is to secure solid boat handling sessions whilst Europe is still enjoying some kind of Indian summer and before winter eventually settles.

The INSS Super Sprint Series was launched with NYC sailors taking part in the Aero and Feva fleets.

An open 29er clinic also ran from the club. The sailors enjoyed two great days under the guidance of NYC coach Tadgh Donnely and Olympic hopeful Seafra Guilfoyle.

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Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club will host a match racing series in the club's own fleet of Elliott 6m one-design keelboats.

The series will run for a period of four weeks, beginning the weekend of 5th-6th November.

The series is open to members and non-members, with preference given to members if demand is high.

The match racing series will be held in the NYC's own fleet of Elliott 6m one-design keelboatsThe Dun Laoghaire Harbour-based match racing series will be held in the NYC's own fleet of Elliott 6m one-design keelboats Photo: Afloat

There is an option to join as a team or as individual sailors where NYC will endeavour to match sailors to make up teams.

If you are interested in competing, please complete the Google form here

Published in National YC

The National Yacht Club was the theatre of the ballet of 'flying boats' with the annual lift-out last Saturday. The very windy forecast did not fully materialise, allowing the operation to run smoothly as Afloat reported here.

If sailing activities from the club stopped, it certainly did not prevent many National YC sailors from going away and competing at various regattas around the country.

The annual lift out of cruisers was completed at the National Yacht Club in ideal conditionsThe annual lift out of cruisers was completed at the National Yacht Club in ideal conditions Photo: Afloat

Flying Fifteen LDYC keelboat regatta

Six partnerships from the National Yacht Club took part in the Flying 15s 19-boat fleet at the Lough Derg YC keelboat regatta, and it was very windy on Saturday (above)Six partnerships from the National Yacht Club took part in the Flying 15s 19-boat fleet at the Lough Derg YC keelboat regatta, and it was very windy on Saturday (above)

The Lough Derg YC keelboat regatta was sailed in Dragons, Squibs, SB20 and Flying 15. Six partnerships from the club took part in the Flying 15s 19-boat fleet as Afloat reported here and here

Saturday was a very windy day on the lake, and only the Flying 15s launched for two insane races in big breezes. Only nine boats completed both races and despite four capsizes, no major gear failures were recorded. NYC sailors Tom Galvin and Keith Poole took the lead on the night with a 3-1 score.

Sunday was certainly a more manageable day, and four races were completed to bring the tally to 6. With three wins and a second, John Lavery and crew Alan Green dominated the day climbing right back to 4th overall despite their two DNC collected on day one.

NYC results from the Flying Fifteen LDYC keelboat regatta

  • 2nd Tom Galvin & Keith Poole
  • 4th John Lavery & Alan Green
  • 7th David Mulvin & Ronan Byrne
  • 11th Niall Meagher & Nicky Matthews
  • 13th Peter Murphy & Cira Mulvey
  • 17th R Hilliard & Dasha Hilliard

Malahide Dinghy Regatta 2022

The Malahide Dinghy regatta 2022 was at full capacity, and it made for a great Sunday afternoon on the water on the Broadmeadow. 3 races were completed for all series (Optimist, ILCA4, ILCA6, ILCA7, Topper and a PY class).

The National YC team was composed of nine Optimist sailors and five RS Feva partnerships.

The National YC team was composed of nine Optimist sailors and five RS Feva partnerships at the Malahide Dinghy Regatta 2022The National YC team was composed of nine Optimist sailors and five RS Feva partnerships at the Malahide Dinghy Regatta 2022

The 28 boats Optimist fleet proved very competitive, and it is eventually local sailor and reigning National champion Conor Cronin who took the win. NYC sailors were solid all around, with six sailors in the top 12, Gemma Brady being the club's best finisher in third overall and top lady. Not far off in 5th was nine-year-old fast-progressing Aurèle Dion, who had led the initial race but was unfortunately outpaced by Cronin just before the finish.

Gemma Brady was the club's best finisher in third overall and top lady at the MYC Dinghy Regatta 2022Gemma Brady was the club's best finisher in third overall and top lady at the MYC Dinghy Regatta 2022

The PY fleet was dominated by the 420s with a course better suited to their downwind qualities. However, the club Fevas had great battles in the 15-boat fleet with siblings Hannah and William Walsh emerging as best Feva in sixth overall.

NYC results from Optimist at the Malahide Dinghy Regatta 2022

  • 3rd Gemma Brady
  • 5th Aurèle Dion
  • 8th Felix Dion
  • 10th Louise Hanley
  • 11th Basile Dion
  • 12th Grace Keating
  • 17th Alex Butcher
  • 21st Jacob Browne
  • 23rd Lucas Browne

NYC PY class results

  • 6th Hannah & William Walsh
  • 8th Theo Madigan & Cathal O Regan
  • 9th Zara Whelan & Caitlin Bennett
  • 13th Charlie O’Neill & Alex Byrne
  • 15th Sam Bennett & Cillian Hainbach

Nathan Van Steenberge competes at 49er U23 Europeans in Hungary

Nathan Van Steenberge competing at the 49er U23 Europeans in HungaryNathan Van Steenberge competed at the 49er U23 Europeans in Hungary

Further afield, NYC skiff ace Nathan Van Steenberge competed at the 49er U23 Europeans in Hungary. He was crewing in a multi-country partnership under the Belgium flag, taking a superb Bronze medal just missing silver on countback. He now has just a few days to catch up on college work before heading to Garda for the 29er Eurocup finals with his sister Clementine. They will be joined by two other NYC partnerships Ben O'Shaugnessy / Ethan Spain and Lauren O’Callaghan / James Dwyer. The event will prove very competitive, with 160 boats confirmed and the nearest thing to a 29er world ranking (overalls in the Eurocup 9 events circuit 2022) at stake.

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The National Yacht Club is getting geared up for the annual winter lift-out of cruisers at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Dinghies are clearing the platform to allow the precise jigsaw business of winter storing of club members' bigger units.

It landed the perfect excuse for the club Optimist Performance team for a trip to Crosshaven and Cork Harbour for the weekend. 14 young sailors took part in the club's first "NYC on tour" of the Autumn.

As NYC Head coach, I was assisted by 29er sailor and ex-opti ace William Walsh, linking with the RCYC team to deliver a great day of sailing for a total of 29 kids.

14 young sailors took part in the club's first "NYC on tour" of the Autumn.14 young sailors took part in the club's first "NYC on tour" of the Autumn

The day started with training in small groups before the coaches worked out a fun regatta with a "double startline" in order to level the field between experienced main fleet sailors and beginners.

The sailors then enjoyed a great evening of fun thanks to the warm welcome of the locals.

After Saturday's sunny sailing, it was a wet and blustery morning welcoming the sailors on Sunday.

High speed fun in an Optimist dinghy just East of Currabinny in Cork Harbour as part of the first NYC-RCYC Golden CupHigh speed fun in an Optimist dinghy just East of Currabinny in Cork Harbour as part of the first NYC-RCYC Golden Cup

The Cobblers league races were quickly cancelled, as many events all around the country. The coaches decided to launch sailors keen to try to get the coolest photo on the kitchen wall. It was fast, it fast fun... It was what we call a blast and gave kids and parents alike big smiles and tales to tell when back ashore after two hours of high speed just East of Currabinny.

The boats are back, and the team is already looking at its next outing.

Download the results from the NYC-RCYC combined training weekend Golden cup event below

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