Some sixteen teams will do battle for the Miss Betty IYA junior team racing trophy presented by Clayton Love Snrthis weekend in the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. What marks this occasion is that it is 70 years since the first time the event was run by the then IDRA forerunner of the IYA more recently the ISA, and now known as Irish Sailing.
On foot of an invitation by Dun Laoghaire sailors to West Kirby SC in 1947 to come over and race, the protagonists decided after the first day’s fleet race it would be more fun if they changed the rules to stimulate more boat on boat competition. The following year was to be the first official competition under Team rules in WKSC followed by a return event in Dun Laoghaire.
Unfortunately, WKSC could not get official recognition as a ‘Team’ event from the then not too progressive Yachting Association. The IDRA as ever gave the Dun Laoghaire event that recognition in 1948 thus pipping the UK to the claim of the longest running Team Racing event. Fittingly the Royal St George YC is as then, hosting the event. The George has been the keeper of the flame since then winning many home titles and lifting the reciprocal event’s Wilson Trophy three times. Team Racing is thriving in the college scene with some twenty-seven teams competing regularly in their four provincial events and the Irish Universities Championships. David Harte set up a fantastic team racing centre in Schull Community College from where he feeds the college scene consistently with champions. He captured the World Team Racing Championship event for Schull in 2012 building 18 TR boats that he designed for that event. His youth team barely lost out to GBR in the Youth Gold Medal decider.
The George had run the Worlds in 1999. There are team racing fleets all around the country most recently Queens Belfast, Sutton Dinghy Club and Galway. The colleges are well represented next weekend by UCC, UCD, CIT Cork, DCU and Dublin University. Trinity Alumni led by Dan Gill and John Sheehy’s George Knights are reforming to do battle with the young pretenders and holders UCC led by Mark Hassett. Oxford Sailing Society is coming to see what all the fuss is about: dark horses, maybe. Mary O'Loughlin and Diana Kissane of Howth have a Ladies Who Launch team entered and Billy Clarke has assembled an old Schull boys brigade.
The young pretender of the fifties Allan Price from WKSC is joining the festivities and planning to reacquaint himself with the ‘Ancient Mariners’ The Ra, Johnny Hooper and Peter Gray. The Craig brothers. Brian and Peter and John Ross Murphy will be reminiscing over their victories over the Price Twins.
Adrian Lee & Partners have kindly sponsored the prizes for the weekend event.
This article has been updated: It was originally reported that the 70th IDRA/ITRA Team Racing Trophy to be raced for was the 'John Hooper Trophy' originally presented by Johnny & Gary Hooper's late father for the IDRA Team Racing. This was not the case and the trophy being raced for was the Miss Betty IYA junior team racing trophy presented by Clayton Love Snr. now dedicated for the National Championships. Apologies to Johnny & Gary for the mistake.