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Sweeping Wave Regatta At Howth Yacht Club Gets Good Spread Of Prizes (and Weather...)

6th June 2022
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Wave 2022 as we’ll remember it – Class I winner Final Call II (John Minnis, RUYC/RNIYC) revelling in the brisk breezes of Saturday’s Lambay Race Credit: Annraoi Blaney

Wave 2022 at Howth, with main sponsors the Wright Hospitality Group, has been a three-day regatta of all the seasons, including today’s (Sunday) localised attempt at a mild monsoon. But the most important ingredient of wind was always present - albeit almost to excess for Saturday’s Lambay Race - and Senior Race Officer David Lovegrove and his teams furnished Organising Committee Chairman Brian Turvey with a very complete set of results.

In an event of such diversity, settling on an overall champion is decided by various semi-secret formulas. But after considering a bewildering array of data, the Committee came down in favour of seasoned local skipper Dermot Skehan with the veteran MG34 Toughnut, who not only won Class 5 overall with minimum points but collected the Lambay Lady for best performance in the central event while he was on his way to the longterm success.

David Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyDavid Maguire’s Cape 31 Valkyrie was racing with input from Crosshaven talent. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Yet the racing provided something for everyone. On Belfast Lough, a rugged nor’easter is regarded as “a good sailing breeze”. And certainly it was an all-conquering performance in precisely those conditions during yesterday’s (Saturday) Lambay Race which propelled John Minnis’s A35 Final Call II (RUYC & RNIYC) to the front of the fleet in Class 1 in Wave, with another couple of handy Minnis wins today – raced in the sometimes very damp but eminently servicable easterly – confirming that one of the top prizes heads very definitely north.

Pete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyPete Smyth’s Sunfast 3600 won Class 0 in the Lambay Race, and finished second overall. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Nearer home, Clontarf is so named because it means Bull’s Roar, and that’s the noise the non-nautical natives in the distant past reckoned they were hearing from their beach on Dublin Bay in an onshore gale. Since then, Clontarf folk have got to grips with seafaring, and Pete Smyth of those parts – but now sailing out of the National YC with his Sunfast 3600 Searcher – likewise got profitably to grips with the Lambay breeze to place him nicely to place second Class 0 overall astern of Crosshaven’s Jelly Baby after today’s results were collated.

The Jones family with Jelly Baby put together an extremely convincing series. Last year, when Crosshaven’s Nieulargo won the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, the Royal Cork revived a 19th Century tradition by giving her a nine gun salute as she returned to Crosshaven. Jelly Baby surely deserves something similar.

 Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven. Photo: Afloat.ie Class 0 Champion, the J/122 Jelly Baby (Jones family RCYC), deserves the ancient traditional 9-Gun salute when she returns to Crosshaven Photo: Afloat

For some crews, a soothing rainfall today was just the ticket to put a bit of colour back in their cheeks after the Wave’s fierce entertainment of an Ibiza Night to round out Saturday’s hectic sport afloat with matching high decibel and high intensity socialising ashore – genteel Set Dancing this was not.

CLASS 0

It was raced to the end, for though Searcher (Peter Smyth) had emerged as a force to be reckoned with, the early consistency of Crosshaven’s Jones family with the J/122 Jelly Baby provided the foundation for them to take the title with a win in today (Sunday’s) second and final race, making it 4.5 points over Searcher. Patrick Burke’s First 40 Prima Forte (RIYC) was a solid performer, discarding a 6th even if she never got a win, and she came home 6 points behind Searcher.

The J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) winning. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe J/109s turned out in strength in Class 1, and made it their Eastern Championship with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC), below, winning. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Andrew Craig's Chimaera

CLASS I

Going into this regatta, the main billing for Class I was as the Eastern Championship for the J/109s, and they certainly were there in droves. But they proved to be the largest group of bridesmaids ever assembled. Once John Minnis’s Final Call II had found form after a 4th in the opening race, the advance of the Archambault 35 was unstoppable and her two wins today (Sunday) gave her a massive victory of 10.5 points to the hard-won 20.00 of Mike & Richie Evans gallant little J/99 Snapshot (HYC), with Andrew Craig’s Chimaera (RIYC) first of the J/109s in third to take the Easterns as a bonus.

John Minnis’s Final Call IIJohn Minnis’s Final Call II, an Archambault 35 proved unstoppable on the final day Photo: Afloat

CLASS 2

Finding herself in among a group of hot Half Tonners failed to dent the dogged persistence of Stephen Quinn’s J/97 Lambay Rules (HYC), but in this class there was extra pain with any no-show in the Lambay Race carrying its own unavoidable penalty of 9 points. Thus although Dave Dwyer’s recently-acquired classic Bruce Farr Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble (RCYC) was undoubtedly the form boat by the series end, she’d demurred at the Lambay Race fence to knock her points total astray, making it doubly ironic that a boat called Lambay Rules (which are about something else altogether) should take the win by a massive margin. Just 9.5 points to the 20 of Dave Kelly’s Half Tonner King One (Rush SC) and the 22.5 of Nobby Reilly’s Ghost Raider (HYC), a former Checkmate. 

CLASS 3

Class 3 with 14 boats completed two races, and it was seasoned X class Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) took the overall win on 6.5 points from No Excuse (Wormald, Walsh, O’Neill, HYC) on 14.5 in second and another X class, Paddy Kyne's Mazximus third on 20 points.

Dux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: AfloatDux (Caroline & Nico Gore-Grimes HYC) was the Class Three winner Photo: Afloat

Calling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyCalling the start in the J/24s. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

CLASS 4

This was an overall win for Malahide in the form of David Greene’s White Pearl, which had it by just one point from Colm Bermingham’s Elan 333 Bite the Bullet (HYC), with Kieran Jameson’s Sigma 38 Changeling (HYC) in third.

David Greene’s Elan 333 White PearlDavid Greene’s Elan 333 White Pearl Photo: Afloat

CLASS 5

Dermot Skehan continued on top form with two further wins in the renowned MG34 Toughnut (HYC) to give him net points of 5.5, the lowest in all classes and thus the overall title too. Steffi Ennis was second with the equally historic Demelza, and yet another blast from the past, Terry McCoy’s First 38 Out & About, was third.

 Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles Wave Supreme Champion Dermot Skehan and his crew with HYC Commodore Paddy Judge (centre). Photo: Christina Knowles

J/24

Mark Usher from Greystones with Jumpin’ Jive had such a run of firsts that he didn’t need to sail the final race, yet he was four points better at the finish than Brian McDowell of Malahide, with Howth’s K25 crew third.

J/80

This was largely inter-varsity sailing, but private owner Paddy O’Neill with the internationally successful Mojo was right there to win overall, UCD1 taking second, TUD (the new Dublin Technical University) taking second, and UCC getting third. 

SIGMA 33

Howth’s Stephen Mullaney with current Irish Champion Insider continued ahead right to the end, but David Marchant of Dunmore East continued his upward gradient as the regatta progressed, and a 3rd and 1st today (Sunday) saw him firmly in second overall with Flyover, third going to the RStGYC’s Boojum (Stephanie Bourke & Gus Legge.

The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney The RStGYC third-placed Sigma 33 Boojum rounding Lambay. Photo: Annraoi Blaney 

COPING WITH VOLATILE WEATHER PATTERNS

Wave 2022 was sailed in the kind of weather when, each evening, the television weather presenters seemed to introduce a new meteorological development which hadn’t been mentioned at all the day before. Yet for the competitors who could stick the pace, there was racing – lots of it – to be had every day, And when everyone is nice and warm and dry and the bruises have started to fade, the memories of the hyper-bright times of sunshine will take over from the grey of the final day.

Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022Howth Yacht Club Committee Boat 'Star Point' was on duty for Wave Regatta 2022 Photo: Afloat

But either way, it couldn’t have been done without a large voluntary input. Brian Turvey and his team had assembled a corps of 57 volunteers and enthusiastic sponsors to keep this particular show on the road through some tough circumstances. We salute them all.

The final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian TurveyThe final day may have been grey, but the big screen was always bright. Photo: Brian Turvey

Full results here 

Published in Wave Regatta
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Wave Regatta provides Howth Yacht Club and the community on the Howth peninsula in County Dublin with a biennial keelboat racing event that aims to be the most attractive sailing event in Ireland.

Maximising many of the local natural resources and involving allied Howth businesses and services, it attracted competitors, visitors and others on its first staging in 2018 with a weekend-long spectacle establishing Howth as a destination of choice for sailors, visitors and allied marine tourism.

Read Afloat's preview and review of the first staging of Wave Regatta.

At A Glance - Wave Regatta 2022

Howth Yacht Club's 2022 WAVE Regatta will be sailed from 3rd-5th June

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