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Displaying items by tag: Royal St George Yacht Club

#glensailing – The Glens are celebrating 50 years sailing and racing together as a class in Dublin Bay Sailing Clubwrites 'Glenshane' skipper Pete Hogan. As a very successful season draws to a close for the 12 or so Glens in Dublin Bay there seems all prospects that the fleet can continue for a further 50 years.

The story of the Glens is worth repeating. Designed by the celebrated Scottish Marine architect Alfred Milne in 1945 the Glens were built by the Bangor boatyard over the following 20 years. Possibly 39 Glens, at least, were built which gives them claim to be Milne's most successful design and also one of the last of Alfred Milne Senior's designs. The firm still exists. He also designed the Dublin Bay 21's and the 24's which were recently in the news on

At first the Glens were confined to the North but started appearing in Dublin over 50 years ago. Glenluce G67 celebrated last year being 50 years in the sole ownership of the O'Connor family. They started racing together as a class under DBSC organisation in 1964 and have been racing ever since.

Glens are classic little yachts, retaining their looks up to today as reminders of what sailing boats looked like before the era of plastic mouldings, high freeboards and self-draining cockpits. 25 ft. long with a full keel and sensible sail plan they represent state of the art pocket cruisers of the period.

Glens were often compared to Dragons. They are heavier, shorter and carry a bit more sail. But they were never allowed to become the development class which the Dragons became and never made the seismic shift into fibreglass construction. Their handy size however, has allowed them to survive just as the 17's in Howth survive and thrive. There is a mini wooden boat building fraternity centred on the Glens and their needs. The Brennan boatbuilding family in Dun Laoghaire, all three generations of it, being its mainstay.

Moored out in front of the Royal St George YC and each painted a distinctive different colour, the Glens have become as iconic a fixture in Dun Laoghaire as the bandstand, Teddy's ice cream shop or the fishermen casting their lines from the pier. Long may they continue.


The Glen keelboat. Illustration by Pete Hogan

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Glen Class in Dublin could contact Pete on 087 930 9559 or click HERE


Published in Glen

#islandnation – Heir Island, which is mistakenly called 'Hare Island' and in Irish is known as 'Inishodriscol' is one of "Carbery's Hundred Isles," that are "scattered," as some descriptions put it, throughout Roaringwater Bay on the West Cork coastline. It is two-and-a-half kilometres long, with spectacular flora and fauna.

Historically the island formed part of the O'Driscoll clan territory and was known as Inis Ui Drisceoil or Inis an Oidhre. The English version of the name has been traditionally misspelt as "Hare" ---- since 1694 at least, so the islanders claim.

It is also the location of Heir Island Sailing School, a Training Centre approved by the Irish Sailing Association and which for the past two weeks has been training future keelboat sailors amongst a coterie of interested youngsters.

Encouraging young people into sailing is very important for the future of the sport so it is good to hear positive reports about the innovation introduced on Heir Island in to teach young sailors the skills of keelboat racing.

"We can't take credit for the natural environment," John Moore who, with Patricia, runs Heir Island Sailing School, told me. "But what we can do is develop an interest in sailing as an active, enjoyable for sport for everyone and widen the interest of young people in aspects of the sport."

With residential accommodation available at the centre the Irish Cruiser Racing Association which has overseen the running of racing for keelboats, chose it as the base for a new initiative "Keel Boat Race Week." ICRA has the job of bringing together the various aspects of Irish handicap racing. Since its inaugural meeting in 2003 when sailors, primarily from Cork and Dublin, met in Waterford to establish the Association it has built a solid core of interest among cruiser racing enthusiasts. It has also led the successful Irish winning of the top UK international trophy, the Commodore's Cup.

With Heir Island Sailing School the initiative, open to all junior sailors in the country was launched, aimed at Transition Year students in particular, to run two week-long courses for young sailors keen to broaden their sailing and racing experience. The school year schedule for 'Transition' provided the way to do this and those committed to the future of the sport took the opportunity.


Twenty-five young sailors took part in the first of the two weeks and sixteen were involved on the second week, all keen to broaden their sailing and racing experience. A team of expert coaches, using six, matched, open keelboats taught them to develop skills associated with racing keelboats including handling the mainsail, headsail trim, bow work, helming, tactics and spinnaker handling. Ben Fusco, Head Coach at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, a student yachting world champion, was chosen by ICRA to be involved in this project as well as Ben Lynch, an offshore sailor, who has raced aboard Volvo Open 70s and competed in some of the world's most challenging offshore races.

"At the end of the course they have gained familiarity with the various roles on keel boats as well as an appreciation of the tactics and strategy used throughout keel boat races," John said. The youth sailors came from areas around the coast. "They have also learned how to adapt the dinghy approach, in the boats they would have been sailing up to now, to bigger, more powerful boats".

There is a near-permanent difficulty in getting and keeping crews for cruiser racers, as I know from personal experience, so building up a reservoir of future sailors is important for the sport. One of the biggest problems has been the loss of young sailors after they leave dinghies. Many of them do not to remain in the sport.

Encouraging them to do so and developing the youth interest is important. In this regard Whitesail racing has provided an opportunity for families to race together. At the Friday evening racing in the RCYC in Crosshaven we adopted a youth policy aboard my own boat, a 33ft. Sigma and put our youngest crew member on the helm, a 10-year-old sailor from the Optimist bronze fleet. The training young sailors get in those little boats is impressive.

Conditions were mostly light enough during the three-race series for Oisin, my grandson, to helm our boat with tactical advice from the senior members of the crew. We won the series with a 1st and 2nd in a tie-breaker with the next boat, Micheál Lynch's, Lady T, both finishing on 9 points. Micheál deserves a lot of praise for his commitment to whitesail which has encouraged more people to take their boats out racing and enjoy the experience. It was good to see the way in which the RCYC sailors encouraged our young helm. The future of sailing will depend heavily on those who race for enjoyment. Without them, the highest competitive level of the sport will not have a foundation upon which to develop.


Heir Island

So let's give more encouragement to the youngsters. They will take over eventually, one way or the other (!) But helping them along will benefit the sport – and perhaps more boats and owners! When Oisin took over on the helm I went to where I have been on other boats - sitting on the rail. There is a different perspective there. It didn't lessen my overall concerns, because being owner I still have to sign the cheques when equipment and replacements are needed (!) but I did take a lot of satisfaction from seeing a youngster from the Optimist fleet handle the helm of a 33ft. cruiser effectively and I did learn – that we can all be replaced !



There are not too many ships as brightly painted as the one pictured here, the new vessel launched for the Norwegian offshore supply shipping company Atlantic Offshore, Ocean Art PSV, in Stavanger. It was built at the Kleven shipyard in Myklebust, Norway and named during the ONS offshore energy conference in Stavanger, which coincided with the Nuart street art festival. A Polish street artist, Mariusz "M-City" Waras, painted the ship. It is the second of two VS 485 MKIII L designs ordered by Atlantic Offshore from Kleven and is to go on a six-year contract with Statoil in the North Sea. They claim it is the "coolest looking" ship in the North Sea! It certainly won't be un-noticed.



John Hegarty, skipper of odd job at MBSC, his son Morgan and Lt. Cdr. Tony Geraghty, Commander of LE  Samuel Beckett at the Naval base

I described, back in July in this blog how I was crewing aboard a yacht out of Monkstown Bay in Cork Harbour in that club's Thursday night cruiser league when the VHF came alive with the first radio call I had heard from the new Naval vessel, 'SAMUEL BECKETT' which had come up astern of us, returning from sea patrol. The Naval voice courteously requested if 'ODD JOB,' the yacht on which I was crewing, would alter course in the 'narrows' as the water area off Cobh and between Haulbowline Island is called by sailors, so that the State warship could make her approach to the Naval Base. Our Skipper, John Hegarty, acknowledged with equal courtesy and called a tack so 'ODD JOB' came about to go astern of 'L.E SAMUEL BECKETT' which then went into her berth at the Base. We brought 'ODD JOB' about again and returned to the racing fray, but the alteration cost us first place on handicap by two minutes and forty seconds. However, this incident showed the value of courtesy and good seamanship. The Navy showed equal courtesy in making contact after they read the story here on the Afloat website. We were invited to visit the ship and were shown over it by her commander, Lt.Cdr.Tony Geraghty. She is an impressive vessel. I recorded an interview with Lt.Cdr. Geraghty which will be transmitted on my THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme and which you can hear next week here on


As a Southern sailor, I have to admire the sight of all the sails in Dublin Bay out of Dun Laoghaire which I have seen over the past two Saturdays when my journeys took me along the seafront. It was very impressive, a great panorama of the sport and an indication of just how big the marine leisure sector is and its potential importance to the national economy. Congratulations to Dublin Bay Sailing Club which celebrated its 130th Anniversary at the weekend. The club has made a great contribution to the development of sailing since it was founded in 1884 and has co-ordinated racing in and out of Dun Laoghaire harbour. It has also influenced the development of yacht design through classes such as the Dublin Bay 25s, the Dublin Bay 21s, the Dublin Bay Mermaids and the Dublin Bay 24s. When marine correspondent with RTE I saw the efficiency of the DBSC in running sailing events. Long may it continue.



November 5 should be an interesting day on the web. Rosatom which is a Russian State Corporation, will be holding an auction for bids to demolish the warship, SSV-33 Ural, that was launched in 1983. Nuclear-powered, it was regarded as a "spy" ship but hadn't a successful career. After less than two years in operation, there was a fire aboard and, with the fall of the USSR, there wasn't enough money for repairs, so she was taken out of service. The ship must be disposed of within the Bay of Bolshoy Kamen in the Primorsky region by November 30, 2017. Nuclear fuel was unloaded from the ship's reactor and removed for recycling in 2009. Parts of the ship are to be used to repair other nuclear-powered Russian naval vessels.


From next week my THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme is moving from monthly to fortnightly transmission. It will be broadcast here on the afloat website, so I hope you will tune in.

Until next week, the usual wish of .....
"fair sailing..."

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Tom MacSweeney

Published in Island Nation

#j24 – Flor O'Driscoll's Hard on Port from the Royal St.George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire has taken the J24 national title for 2014 after three days of racing at Lough Erne Yacht Club in Co Fermanagh.
In the final day of racing at the Northern Ireland club, Hard on Port took line honours in the penultimate race of the day to set up the Royal St George Yacht Club entry for the title.
Stefan Hyde's RCYC entry, Hamilton Bear, pressed hard on the final day but was unable to mount a challenge strong enough to grasp the title away from the vastly experienced Munster man at the helm of Hard on Port.
Lighter winds were an ease to the competitors after the two previous days of gruelling conditions and with the sun shining down on Lough Erne, the trip up north paid off for the visiting boats.
Line honours for the last race of the day went to U25 crew on Kilcullen from Howth Yacht Club as local boat Jamais Encore pressed for a runner up spot.
Overall - Hard on Port Flor O'Driscoll RstGYC
Runner up - Hamilton Bear Stefan Hyde RCYC
3rd - Kilcullen Gordon Stirling HYC
4th - Jamais Encore JP McCaldin LEYC
5th - Crazy Horse Tim Corcoran Sligo

Published in J24

#fireball – Royal St. George Yacht Club Fireball pairing Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella continue to knock on the door of the international Fireball scene. After a hat–trick of domestic titles, the Dun Laoghaire duo won the pre-Europeans, were fourth at the Europeans in the Shetlands and have just finished fifth at the UK Nationals at Tenby Sailing Club in Pembrokeshire, only narrowly behind a number of pro–teams.

With the event already in the bag for Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton, the final day could have been an anticlimax and in terms of the podium places it probably was. However the Fireball Nationals always offers more, and with prizes to play for across the fleet there was plenty of action in the last 2 races.

Race 9 got underway on a gate start in a fresh Northerly breeze around 13 knots. Ian Dobson & Tim Linsell got off to a flyer and in lovely sunny conditions they went on to take a well deserved race win.

For the final race of the series the wind freshened just before the start and the fleet enjoyed some champagne Fireball conditions to end the week. Gillard & Anderton displayed the form they had shown throughout and won it from Dobson & Linsell, with the Irish duo Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella getting a well deserved 3rd. In the Silver fleet, Simon Lomas-Clark and Rob Daniels had an absolute flyer, carding a seventh to bring them within one point of a fleet win. Oh so close!

FInal top five, gold fleet:

1. Tom Gillard & Richard Richard Anderton
2. Ian Dobson & Tim Linsell
3. Matt Burge & Simon Wheeler
4. Dave Wade & Tim Hartley
5. Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella

Published in Fireball

#waterwag – Following a day with winds of force 5 it was a surprise to arrive in Dun Laoghaire to find almost no wind at all. Our valiant Committee boat team of Tom, David T, and Tuffet laid a windward-leeward course of three laps. When the twenty-one Water Wags were ready to start the wind shifted from the west to the south west. They quickly relayed the course. Signals were hoisted and about 3 minutes before the start the wind shifted further towards the south, creating a bias on the start line. Gavotte, Pansy, Tortoise, Mollie and Swift were all set for a port start, but they hadn't predicted that Good Hope would get the perfect start on starboard tack. Several of the port tackers had to dip Good Hope.

Over the fist beat the wind was unstable with an average of 3-4 knots but with regular gusts of 6-8 knots. At the windward mark Pansy tacked inside Mollie, but as she had not regained sufficient speed after the tack to hold her place. Mollie sailed over her. On the run Pansy was able to blanket Mollie as they vied for position on the run. It was time to prepare fore the leeward gate. Pansy opted for the southerly mark while Mollie took the northerly mark. Over the next beat, it was Pansy who appeared to hold a good wind heading towards the Ferry berth, but as she was further inshore the wind failed her and she fell back some 6 boatlengths behind Mollie who had taken a tack towards the harbour mouth. Pansy fell into the clutches of Gavotte and Tortoise. Mollie had done enough to pull clear ahead of the bunch. On the offwind leg Tortoise showed great speed and overtook Gavotte. This time all the leading Water Wags headed for the northerly gate buoy to repeat the success of Mollie the previous time around.

On the beat Tortoise tacked away onto starboard before Pansy or Gavotte. Would she find the wind bend which would lift her up to the windward mark across the harbour? It wasn't to be. Pansy rounded the windward mark with only one tack while Tortoise had to put in three. At the next leeward mark Mollie headed for the eastern mark. Was this a good idea? She had everything to lose.

Then Pansy who realised that there had been a wind shift further to the south, and followed Mollie. On the final beat Moosmie started to put pressure on Tortoise and Gavotte as the approached the finish.
The final order was:
1st Cathy MacAleavey and Con Murphy in Mollie.
2nd. Vincent Delany and Noelle Breen in Pansy
3rd Frank Guy and Owen McNally in Gavotte.
Meanwhile in Division 1B, Good Hope was enjoying the benefits of her good start and rounded the windward mark six places ahead of her rival Eva. But through the race Eva was gaining places and they finished in 8th and 10th places respectively.
1st Division 1B. Hal Sisk in Good Hope.
2nd. Orla Fitzgerald and Dermot O'Flynn in Eva.
In Division 2 the challenge was between Penelope and Phyllis. Initially Penelope got the upper hand but as the race developed Phyllis overtook and took the win.
1st. Division 2. Paul and Anne Smith in Phyllis.
2nd. Fergus Cullen and his daughter in Penelope.
The race for the J.H. Stephens Tankard was a good result for the National Yacht Club and Royal St. George who took the three podium places.

Published in Racing

#ruffian23– The Ruffian 23 National Championships - hosted by the National Yacht Club were held in conjunction with the J109 National Championships at the weekend. Download results below.

Race officer Jack Roy held 3 races on Friday in very foggy conditions and winds of between 12 and 18 knots. The fleet of 12 Ruffians included 2 who had sailed down from Carrickfergus to compete in the event. Carrageen helmed by Trevor Kirkpatrick, defending Ruffian 23 national champion and commodore of Carrickfergus Sailing Club led on 5 points, followed by Ann Kirwan helming Bandit from the National Yacht Club on 6 points, and Chris Helme of the RStGYC on Diane II with 7 points.

Saturday saw racing abandoned at 1500 due to fog and lack of wind.

In order to achieve a championship Jack Roy needed to hold a 4th race on Sunday. Perfect conditions with 12-18 knots of breeze and very good visibility ensured that 4 windward-leeward races were sailed. Dianne II won 3 of these securing her 1st place by a point from Trevor Kirkpatrick from, Carrickfergus sailing Carrageeen. Bandit helmed by Ann Kirwan from the NYC was 3rd.

Brendan Duffy helming Carmen from the DMYC was first in the silver fleet.

Published in Ruffian 23

#oppiEuros2014 – After three days of glorious sunshine for the Optimist European Championships when Dublin Bay rivalled the Costa Smeralda, yesterday's fog was succeeded by what in Ireland is called a soft day – drizzle and mist - but at least there was reasonable wind.

The new conditions did seem to suit the Irish better than their rivals. In the boys' gold fleet James McCann, lying 14th overnight, rose to 10th, equaling his best ranking so far. In the girls' Gold Clare Gorman who was back in 32nd place this morning sailed an excellent race. On the final leg in shifting winds she sailed a very conservative last beat to finish 14th and raise her over-all ranking to 23rd. Gemma McDowell of Malahide and Alix Buckley of Skerries retained their placings in this illustrious company.

In the boys' Silver fleet (52-102 of the 153 boat fleet) Harry Bell had the best day of the Irish boys and lies in the top half of this division and therefore in the top half of the overall ranking. Among the girls Dara Donnelly achieved an excellent 8th place.
As for tomorrow the sun is trying to break through but this is Ireland and weather-wise almost anything is possible.

The new conditions clearly did not suit many of the sailors on the overnight leaderboard with the notable exception in the girls' Gold fleet of Ebru Bolat, sailing for the Royal Romanian Yacht Club. She had a superb race. In the top pack from the start, on the shifty final beat she and Pia Dahl Andersen (Norway) broke free on the right hand side and Ebru finished second.

She is now sure of a medal with a 26 point lead and her only rival for gold, Spain's Iset Segura, must come in the top two tomorrow to win the event. Martina Müller from Lake Zürich remains in bronze position but the group behind her is very close and includes Alexandra Stalder (Italy), renowned for having won the 850+ boat Garda Meeting in 2013, currently in fourth place.

In the boys' Gold fleet leader Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe sailing for France sailed his discard in 20th He is still ten points clear of his main rival Kasper Nordenram (Sweden) but the main beneficiary of the new conditions were Daniel Toh of Singapore who won the race and German Lennart Kuss from the famous Baltic sailing venue of Warnemund who came 4th.


Published in Optimist

#OppyEuros2014 – After two days of competition, 255 Optimist sailors from 44 nations are getting used to the wind and the waves of Dublin Bay but what about the local lingo? The enterprising videographers at the Royal St. George Yacht Club asked a few of the Under–16 competitors to get their mouth's around the Irish phrase Ar Nós Na Gaoithe [as fast as the wind]. Just like the sailing, there were varying degrees of success!

Racing in the final qualification rounds continues on Dublin Bay this morning with two more races before the fleets are split into gold, silver and bronze.

Winds on the bay are light enough at 5 knots as the boys fleet of 153 boats begin to launch.

Published in Optimist

#OppiEuros2014 –  Irish boys could not maintain their two top-20 rankings in today's second day of competition at the Optimst European Championships on Dublin Bay where there have been dramatic changes in positions at the Royal St. George hosted event.

The winds were marginally lighter but it may also be that our visitors have quickly learned how to sail Dublin Bay.

However James McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club now in 26th place and Loghlen Rickard of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire (NYC) in 51st have an excellent chance of making the cut to the Gold Fleet (top third for boys, top half for girls) following tomorrow's racing when the worst single race result is discarded.

The new leader of the boys' event is Kasper Nordenram of Rörviks Sailing Club (on a lake in central Sweden). Competition at the top of the fleet has grown very close with Kasper leading from Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe, sailing for France, and Pablo Lujan of C.N. Javea, Spain.

Overnight leader Jacob Ahlers had a poor third race but bounced back to place 4th in the fourth race of the day and may benefit when the first discard is taken, as may reigning champion Tytus Butowski of Poland.

In the girls' event the Irish had mixed fortunes. Clare Gorman who had been 16th after the first day slipped back to 32nd. However Gemma McDowell (Malahide Yacht Club), Dara Donnelly (NYC) and Sarah Cudmore (Royal Cork Yacht Club) all improved their rankings and now also lie in top 60 of the 101 boat fleet.

Iset Segura from the Catalan club of Arenys de Mar leads with a win in Race 3 and a lead of 20 points over the overnight leader Josefine Akesson (Sweden). Brazilian Olivia Belda and Ebru Bolat of Romania are next, within a point of each other.

However the rather lighter winds today had a significant effect on the overnight results lower down the fleet. Reigning champion Mara Turín of Slovenia who had disappointed on day one registered two 6th places and others who may have benefited include the Asian girls such as Lisa Nukui (Japan) (scores 1 and 8) and Shyn Ee Phua (Singapore, 7 & 8).

The best results of the day came from the British girl Fenella Bennett (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) with two second places. She commented "It took a while to come to terms with the waves on Dublin Bay but now I found that sailing slightly less close to the wind pays off".

With good races tomorrow they will have an excellent chance of making the cut for the gold fleet. This will take place after tomorrow's racing when the half of the fleet with the best five results from the six races will form the gold fleet.

Published in Optimist

#OptiEuros2014 – Ireland has got off to an exceptional start at the massive 254–boat Optimist European Championships on Dublin Bay this afternoon.

Exceeding expectations of top half results, the top Irish under–16 sailors are placed tenth and 17th in the 153 boat boys' fleet after the first two races where winds gusted over 20–knots.

James McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club scored seventh in both races with team-mate Loghlen Rickard of the National Yacht Club (NYC) scoring eight & ten.

In the 101 boat girls fleet, Clare Gorman (NYC) lies 16th after scoring 12 and seven. Alix Buckley of Skerries scored a superb second in her opening race and currently lies 40th.

The boys' event after two races is being led by 2013 German national champion Jacob Ahlers from MSC Hamburg followed by, in the open ranklist, Iagor Franco of Brazil and Campbell Patton of Bermuda.
In 4th and 5th (2nd and 3rd in the European closed event) are Elias Odrischinsky (POL) and another German Lennart Kuss.

Defending champion Tytus Butowski (POL) started his championship well with a fourth place. He showed great boat–speed both up-and down-wind and could have won except for a conviction that the left was the favoured side of both beats. His second race was less successful, placing 17th.

In the girls' event Josefine Åkesson of Sweden leads from Iset Segura of Spain and Senef Seder (TUR).

Results here

Published in Optimist
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