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#bartsbash – On a glorious sunny Sunday a fleet of 44 craft took to the water in Greystones, County Wicklow as part of the world-wide Bart's Bash charity event. From very modest beginnings the event had grown arms and legs in the few days beforehand leaving PRO, Fiachra Etchingham with a considerable headache as to how to manage a fleet that ranged from Picos to an Archambault 35 and 18 Foot skiff through the same start line and around the same course without any casualties. The matter was compounded by the diversity of experience of the competitors which again ran through the full spectrum from seasoned round Ireland campaigners and national champions down to the Galligan twins who had completed level 1 a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately the wind stayed light and the competitors respected the PRO's instruction that this was a "fun" event and stayed clear of each other. The start line which was of truly epic proportions caught out many of the competitors who mistook the leeward mark for the pin end and consequently started quite late. This allowed Daragh Cafferky (A35, Another Adventure) to nail the pin end and port tack the whole fleet to a take a commanding lead which (despite the best efforts of his foredeck crew) he retained to the end.
On the committee boat to act as independent witnesses were Junior minister Simon Harris and Tom Fortune, Chairman of Greystones Municipal District. This was a first experience of sailing of both of them and one which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The light wind went patchier as the race progressed but most competitors managed to finish all with smiles on their faces. The huge entry and the positive response of competitors afterwards proves that occasional fun racing can greatly add to participation in the sport. A big thank you to the organising committee of Fiachra Etchingham, Alan Jones and Ross Brennan and to everyone who helped make it a great day for sailing and a very fitting memorial to Andrew Simpson

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbourregatta – Greystones Sailing Club Cruiser Regatta was held yesterday in sparkling conditions off the Wicklow coastline giving a large visiting fleet from Dublin Bay a new nearby race course area so very convenient to the capitals waters. 

James Kirwan's Beneteau 36.7 Boomerang from Dun Laoghaire was the class one winner in a 22–boat fleet. Austin Whelan's Quarter Tonner Solidarity was the winner of a 25–boat class 2. David Shanahan's Warrior was the White Sails division winner. Scroll down the page to download full overall results below.

The second Annual Cruiser Regatta attracted a register of 80 boats from up and down the East Coast. Boats came from from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making it something of a unique, multi club event. At least five held feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, giving the new 200–berth Greystones marina a buzz with visiting sailing boats all weekend. Significantly, the overall numbers were up on last year's inaugural event, acording to GSC.

The event – hailed by Greystones SC as the third third biggest cruiser event in Ireland this season –  benefitted from some high level race management too with London 2012 Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy in charge on the water.


Olympic race officer Jack Roy was on hand to manage the racing off Greystones yesterday

The second event fully lived up to the expectations created by last year inaugural regatta. The entry fee of €50 had included vouchers for the club bar and vouchers for pints in the Beach House as well as a free overnight berth so great merrymaking rolled well into the early hours in both establishments!

Sunday morning saw hot breakfasts in the Greystones SC clubhouse courtesy of Spendlove's Coffe Shop, followed by a short trip to the starting area in flat seas, bright sunshine and light southerly winds for the 80 competing boats. Race Officers Jack Roy and Tim Costello fired off the first gun of a three class, two race event, on a windward leeward course at 11.00 after a 15 minute postponement.

Three fleets, all sailing the same course against a strong north flowing tide which caught many unawares at the windward mark. Much excited activity and high decibel vocalising took place between the windward and wing marks.

Follow a race averaging an hour and a quarter the second race got going with a strengthening southerly wind.


Beneteau yachts (above and below) competing off Greystones. Photos: David O'Brien


The tide again caught sailors on the hop by turning and flowing south against the still southerly and now increasing wind. Rounding marks became even more frantic than the first race as the wind touched 25 knots in wind against tide sea conditions.

Boats started finishing from about 2.00 o'clock and after berthing, all competitors, marina berthholders and invited guests were treated to the BJ Greystones Harbour Marina hot lunch, salad, and wine reception. Food was provided again by Spendlove's and wine by La Touche Wines.

The BJ Marina Deck also played host for the prizegiving and speeches followed by a reluctant but steady exodus of yachts to their home ports with the buzz of an all inclusive event still ringing in their ears.

The regatta organising committee of Mark Usher, Daragh Cafferky, Joe Taylor and Graeme Noonan look forward to welcoming even more boats to the GSC "Taste of Greystones" Cruiser Regatta next year !" Check back for dates for 2015 on

Results below for download

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Though further development of Greystones Harbour remains stalled for the time being, two local councillors hope progress can be made in building marine clubhouses to complement the town's successful new marina.

As the Wicklow Times reported recently, Cllr Tom Fortune says he welcomes the call by Wicklow County Council colleague Cllr Derek Mitchell to fast-track the construction of clubhouse facilities for the various bodies that use the harbour.

Citing his own five-year campaign "to ensure that the elements of this project that benefit the community be completed urgently", Cllr Fortune said that public pressure was necessary to avoid the undeveloped sections of the harbour being left "a wasteland for the foreseeable future".

Meanwhile, the same newspaper reports that Greystones Sailing Club is one of 31 sports bodies in Co Wicklow to receive funding under the Sports Capital Grants scheme for 2014.

GSC will receive €9,000 out of the total €1 million funding awarded to the county, the biggest share of which is the €150,000 granted to Wicklow-based Triathlon Ireland.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Greystones Sailing Club will be hosting their second Annual Cruiser Regatta this Sunday morning starting at 10am. Over 70 boats from up and down the East Coast will participate and lunch and prize-giving will take place after racing, at approximately 2.30pm.

As Afloat previously reported, entries have already been received from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making this a unique, multi club event in Ireland. At least five of the clubs are holding feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, so the sea around Greystones will be buzzing with sailing boats all weekend.

Daragh Cafferky from Greystones Sailing Club said that "this will be the third largest sailing regatta in Ireland this year, in what is only our second year to run this annual event. We will have all kinds and sizes of sailing boats from 17 feet to over 50 feet, coming to Greystones and using our great facilities and town over the weekend. We believe that this race will bring over 400 sailors into Greystones over the next few days."

"From a sailing point of view, this race is unique - there is no other event that has such a large representation from so many East Coast Clubs and we in Greystones Sailing Club are delighted to be able to host this great event in our town. There will be also be a display from the RNLI helicopter on Sunday at approximately 2.30pm and the Wicklow lifeboat will be present (provided there is no emergency callout)," he added.

The boats and crews will be hosted by Greystones Sailing Club and will avail of berths in Greystones Marina for the weekend.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Greystones Sailing Club's annual "Taste of Greystones" Cruiser Regatta will take place on Sunday 31st August. The inaugural event last year attracted 72 cruisers registered with 68 actually racing. This year organiser Joe Taylor hopes to make it even bigger

The entry fee of €50 includes your overnight berth and of course the much talked about BJ Marine Greystones Harbour Marina lunch and refreshments. Also included are various vouchers for the Club bar and for the Beach House.

Hot breakfasts will be available on site Sunday morning followed by two races starting at 10.45. Racing should be completed by about 14.30 and followed by that lunch and the prizegiving. The big bonus is everybody will be home by tea time, says Taylor.

Feeder races on the Saturday for those who would like to race down will have their prizeging in the Greystones Sailing Club clubhouse around 19.30.

More details downloadable below

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystones – Greystones Harbour Marina is looking forward to a record year, well surpassing the planned 3,000 visitors it had expected in 2014 and, in the process, bringing much-valued tourism to a thriving town, which last year was voted one of the best places to live in Ireland. (Irish Times June 2013 Readers Survey).

Alan Corr, Harbour Marina Manager says that "our overseas visitors especially, talk favourably about the peaceful surroundings of Greystones and the easy access to a lively town. They love the ambiance, the huge variety of good restaurants, coffee shops, bars and retail outlets, all within an easy stroll of the marina, making it such an attractive place to stay."

David and Jeff Behan, owners of Vino's Restaurant & Café on Church Rd, have seen first-hand the benefits of the new marina to local businesses. David says that "since the beginning of this summer, we have seen an increase in visitors from the marina, browsing the local shops and amenities and popping in to us for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but now it is becoming more the norm that they book ahead. Many of the diners that have come to us from their boats are first-timers to Greystones and all have said that they will be back to visit and hopefully for longer next time."

Jeff Behan said that "they have even requested Loyalty Cards from us, which is a sure sign that they plan on visiting again! There is a huge selection of places to eat in Greystones, and we are the furthest restaurant from the marina, but if visitors fancy fresh seafood alfresco, followed by a cocktail, while listening to live music, then Vino's is the choice for that night".

Alan Corr added that "not only do we see record number of tourists staying in the marina this year but we also see the phenomenon of friends and family visiting these boats during their stay. For every boat in the marina we get between 5 to 8 people either staying on the boat or visiting, not just the marina, but the town and surrounds as well. The tourism success of the marina can be measured by the numbers of boats and people staying for days and weeks at a time, but more importantly on the positive affect it is having on the shops, pubs and restaurants in the town. Our marina visitors are also planning their returns, booking ahead before they leave, as they have grown to appreciate the marina and the wealth of facilities in the area, all within walking distance."

Visitors to the marina also have easy access to the airport via the Aircoach service and to Dublin city via the DART and bus, and can also avail of a great car rental service by Enterprise Rent-A-Car as they pick up and drop off back to the Marina when you are finished with your car. Alan said that "we had one family spend a week with us and used their new Greystones base to tour around the south of Ireland for a few days."

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Following the installation of life saving rings on the North Pier at Greystones harbour in County Wicklow, the walk around the marina and to the North Beach has opened to the public.

Cllrs. Derek Mitchell and Grainne Mcloughlin walked this when it opened. 'This adds an attractive walk around the marina to the town's facilities and has been long awaited.

The walk is over a kilometre long and the pier is wide and attractive' said Cllr Derek Mitchell. 'As there is no electricity on the pier for safety lighting it will be closed before dark. During the summer it is open from 9 am to 8 pm'.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Wickow-East Carlow TD Simon Harris is supporting calls for 'meaningful engagement' over the development of Greystones Harbour, with works by developer Sisk currently on hold.

According to a recent edition of the Wicklow Times, the Dáil deputy wrote to the county manager to request that elements of the contract for the harbour scheme be made public so that residents "can see exactly what obligations the contract places on the developer and on the council" in the event of a future economic downturn.

Deputy Harris said it is "really important that the residents of Greystones and their public representatives can see this information so we can all play our part in making constructive suggestions in the interest of the community."

Elsewhere in Wicklow, draft bye laws for Wicklow Harbour are currently on display to the public for consultation until 5pm on Tuesday 29 April.

As the Wicklow Times reported recently, Cllr Kathleen Kelleher has urged people to read over the proposals carefully as plans for new construction in the harbour approach the early stages. previously reported on dredging and disposal works in the harbour that were scheduled to begin last Thursday 10 April, the first time the harbour has been dredged since 1998.

Meanwhile, works to address recent storm damage have been underway since last month, with some 6,000 cubic metres beach nourishment set to be placed on the north by the end of April.

Wicklow Town Council also heard in the latest harbour progress report on 25 March that work on a pedestrian access route to the north breakwater is ongoing, while developer Sispar says that legal due diligence had delayed the appointment of a construction partner for the harbour scheme, but was expected to be finalised in the coming days.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#rssailing – Launching at Greystones Harbour was a sight and sound to behold at 11 yesterday for the first day of the RSEasterns, with both slips operational and the beach in use too. 55 RS dinghies were registered and almost all were intending to go on the water with sails flapping loudly in the fresh westerly breeze. Feva coach briefing, last minute gear repairs and delight with a good breeze added to the atmosphere ashore. A series of sustained gusts came through just after the majority of the boats had launched, with so many new to the fleets, this proved challenging for the Safety crews and racing was delayed while the Fevas were sent ashore and await further instruction.

PRO Neil Murphy and his race team, persevered and managed to fit in the scheduled 3 races for the RS200 and RS400s much of which was spent in 'survival' mode throughout and capsizes were aplenty with the downwind legs resembling obstacle courses. The Fevas were back on the water for the last race.

Consistency at the top of the RS200 fleet with Marshall and Heather King back in a boat together on equal points overnight with Frank and Kevin O'Rourke who just love a bit of breeze. Stephen Craig and Conor Foley putting all they learnt at the frostbites in to practice, managed to keep ahead of new pairing Enzo Michel and Hugh Maguire.

The RS400 fleet results were less consistent with a very mixed bag of results at the top of the fleet! Bob Espey / Michael Gunning Ballyhome lie first, Alex Barry George Kenefick from Cork in second and home team Sean Clery and Steve Tyner in third.

In the Fevas, with just one race under their belts, Alison Dolan and from Blessington/NYC are lying first, Emer Rafferty /Laura Coleman from the George in 2nd and RIYC/NYC parining Dara Donnelly and Rosemary Tyrell in 3rd.

So after lovely curry and plenty of banter in the Clubhouse last night, it's all to play for across the three fleets with a little less wind forecast – should be fun!

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Greystones Sailing Club has long been the Irish home of the RS fleet writes Sarah Byrne.  In the late 90s, the formerly vibrant Enterprise fleet was looking around for a new toy and found the fast, furious and responsive RS400 enjoying an enthusiastic take-up in the UK following its launch in 1994.

When the RS200 was then launched many of the Greystones RS400 sailors opted for the sister boat which still provided the adrenaline packed racing 'responds to finesse rather than physique' (RS Sailing) with a greater flexibility of competitive crew weight.

In 2009, building on feedback from youth sailors, the RS double-hander pathway at GSC was defined with the RS Feva, RS200 and RS400 now providing a seamless transition and a boat for all combinations of skills and crew weights.

With over 55 asymmetric boats now in the Club, it must be the top asymmetric Club in the Country.

Following successful frostbites series on Belfast Lough and in Dun Laoghaire and some training in Cork, many sailors new to the fleets will be making their first voyage in what is forecast to be perfect conditions for an early season outing with PRO Neil Murphy on hand to ensure great racing on a trapezoid for the three fleets.

Published in RS Sailing
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