Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Mermaid

As Afloat previously reported, the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championships were held on the 2nd to 6th of August on the Shannon Estuary at Foynes.

16 boats took to the start line with many favourites of old competing for the lady trophy, including Jim Carthy, Derek Joyce, Paddy Dillon, and Franky Browne but to name a few and not to leave out Darragh McCormack coming into these championships looking to equal Jim Carthy’s record of 4 in a row, a record which has been held for many years this was sure to be a belter.

Day 1
Racing this year started off later than usual, launching just after low tide racing kicked off on Wednesday 03 August 15:00 which allowed late comers to arrive on the day and some helms to get their heads together after arriving on the Monday and enjoying the famous Foynes welcome.

Race 1 was a steady 12-15Kn taken by Darragh McCormack in Innocence (188) followed closely by Enda Weldon in Myhem (190) and Vincent McCormack in Three Chevrons (119) respectively.

Race 2 was taken by Derek Joyce in Zuleika (187) reminding us all that he was here to fight and was not about to be out raced on the first day, second went to D. McCormack on innocence and 3rd to Darach Dinneen in Red Seal (121).

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Mayhem E.Weldon, 2nd Red Seal D.Dinneen, 3rd Sea Fox O.Finucane
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Pearl A.Lowes, 3rd Ariel A.Weldon

Day 2
Thursday proved to be a howler with 20kn steady for the day, racing kicked off at 15:30 with much of the fleet opting to not fly spinnaker upon rounding the weather mark some, gained and some lost out.

The Top 3 boats showing how to get a Mermaid to maximum speed.

In an exhilarating show of boat handling Zuleika came out in podium for the 3 race of the competition with Innocence and Three Chevrons crossing the line at exactly the same time in joint 2nd earning them 2.5 points each closely followed by Wild Wind in 4th.

Rush Sailing Club's Maybee (P Archer) under spinnaker on the Shannon EstuaryRush Sailing Club's Maybee (P Archer) under spinnaker on the Shannon Estuary

Race 4 was much of the same with more boats building courage and opting to fly spinnakers. Wild Wind ran away with this one with Innocence in 2nd and Zuleika in 3rd a pattern was quickly forming on the results sheet with the odd discrepancy.

All ashore with big smiles and sore legs we were entertained with a magic show and the alternative prizegiving traditionally hosted by the amazing Shay O’Toole but with Packer Thorne taking the helm this year with many thanks to Shay. Many spot prizes we given out including “Legs 11 Isabell O’Shea”, a rubber ring for Franky Browne who capsized racing today and the youngest sailor in the fleet Chloe Grogan Browne aged 13. 

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Mayhem E.Weldon, 2nd Red Seal D.Dinneen, 3rd Sea Fox O.Finucane
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Pearl A.Lowes, 3rd Ariel A.Weldon

Day 3
Friday was a calmer day with but an earlier start at 11:00 with the option of three races as the final day was giving little to no wind races kicked off with a 1st and 2nd from Innocence and Zuleika respectively and Mayhem taking third with a fantastic start and holding to the end. 4th and 5th came down to almost a photo finish with Cara II and Red Seal with the latter taking 4th after a long wait ashore and plenty of hand/salt & pepper movement to illustrate angles.

Race 6 saw former champions Frankie Brown in Cara II 135 and Jim Carthy Vee 123 showing the now younger that they are by no means done winning races, coming in 1st and 2nd respectively closely followed by Wild Wind in 3rd.

Race 7 was where the U flag came out and the pointy end of the fleet clashed seeing both Innocence and Zuleika DSQ’d through protests. Although neither of which saw the top three in this race it opened the championship up to two other boats. With Wild Wind coming in first and Cara II coming in second and Red Seal coming in third it meant that the championship was open to the top 4 boats: Innocence, Zuleika, Wild Wind & Cara II.

Overall: Innocence lies in 1st Zuleika in 2nd and Wild Wind in 3rd overall
Daphne: 1st Red Seal D.Dinneen, 2nd Sea Fox O.Finucane, 3rd Mayhem E.Weldon
Designer: 1st Maybee P. Archer, 2nd Joy M.McCormack, 3rd Pearl A.Lowes

Day 4
Light Winds and building tide saw the last race of the championship unfold in slow but spectacular fashion, the decision this time was to stay as much out of the tide as possible, staying on starboard was the call for the day as much as possible with Zuleika staying in 1st for much of the race only to be pipped by Wild Wind at the final weather mark. Innocence and Red Seal competed for 3rd swapping places a few times only for both boats to settle on the last reach and finish with Innocence in 3rd and Red Seal in 4th.
The results of this race meant that Innocence helmed by Darragh McCormack has won their fourth concoctive championships with Zuleika taking second and Wild Wind taking third although they are on equal points. Cara II in fourth and Red Seal in fifth.

Oisin Finucan also retains the U25 trophy for the fourth year in a row but with Mary McCormack, Anna Lowes and a few other boats looking at competing next year in the under 25 category he will have a great battle ahead of him in 2023

Overall: 1. Innocence 2. Zuleika 3. Wild Wind 4. Cara II 5. Red Seal
Daphne: 1. Red Seal 2. Sea Fox 3. Mayhem 4. Dolphin 5. Bean Adhmaid
Designer: 1. Maybee 2. Joy 3. Pearl 4. Ariel 5. Fugative

The week's racing was finished off with the Crew’s race which took a bit of a twist in that there was one triangle then a long beat back to the club where the finish line was set just outside the club which provided great entertainment for those ashore.

Number 121 Darach Dineen of Skerries Sailing ClubNumber 121 Darach Dineen of Skerries Sailing Club

With plenty of screaming and shouting from family and friends ashore, Laser hotshot Daniel O’Hare helming Vee crossed the line with a convincing lead to take the bullet in his first attempt helming his grandfather’s famous Mermaid.

Chloe Grogan Browne (ages 13) took the helm of Cara II with Father Frankie Jr and Grandfather Frankie Sr crewing, just pipped Zuleika helmed by Cillian Joyce to take second place and now probably put a challenge in as next year’s helm

Overall, a fantastic event held by Foynes Yacht Club, Many thanks to Commodore John Paul and his huge, amazing volunteer force and all involved in the club and special thanks to Scorie Walls and team who got every race off on time and with beautiful angles.

Published in Mermaid
Tagged under

Commodore John Paul Buckley welcomed all competitors and their families to Foynes for the Dublin Bay Mermaid championship, Paul Browne, President of the Mermaid Sailing Association, said a few words on their behalf, and Scorie Walls, OOD, did the briefing.

Conditions were perfect for the Championships held at Foynes Yacht Club. Sixteen boats took part.

Competitors were greeted by fresh and lively conditions on day one of the Nationals, these conditions persisted for the first three days of the event which gave rise to some fantastic racing, with some capsizes as well as lots of planing down the reaches.

Four time Mermaid national champions - The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon of Foynes Yacht ClubFour time Mermaid national champions - The 188 Innocence crew Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon of Foynes Yacht Club

On the final day of the event, competitors were met with some lighter conditions, which was welcomed by many sailors after such a physically demanding first three days.

The racing throughout the week was absolutely fantastic, with many people remarking it was some of the best mermaid racing they had in years.

The championship wrapped up on Saturday with the eighth and final championship race, then a crews race that finished at the Clubhouse, putting on a show for the spectators onshore. A prizegiving dinner, followed by music late into the night was held.

There were huge congratulations to Darragh and Mark McCormack, and Cathal McMahon, Foynes Yacht Club, on 188 Innocence, who took the title for the fourth year in a row, a feat only achieved once before by the legendary Jim Carthy of Rush Sailing Club.

It goes without saying that Dublin Bay Mermaids are a unique and competitive class that need to be preserved. Darragh McCormack, champion of the last four years, touched on this subject in his winner's speech.

He spoke of how when he first entered the class, he was one of the last boats in the fleet for some time but credited much of his improvement and success to people within the Mermaid class giving him a helping hand. He encourages young sailors to join the Mermaid Class as he labels it one of the most competitive and fun fleets he has ever been part of!

Taking second place was Derek Joyce and crew, from Wexford Sailing Club, third place went to Paddy Dillon & Crew from Rush Sailing Club. Oisin Finucane, Foynes Yacht Club, won the best U25 Helm in the U25 category. The Designer was won by Paddy Archer & Crew, the Daphne was won by Darach Dineen & Crew, and the Crews race was won by Daniel O'Hare.

Commodore John Paul Buckley thanked Scorie Walls and her team, mark laying boats, safety boats, FYC Class Captain, all volunteers both on and off the water. 

Published in Mermaid
Tagged under

When the weather patterns conspire to provide wet or rugged sailing on Ireland’s sea coasts, the shrewd mariner heads for the inland sea that is Lough Ree, which has been geographically measured with some elegant 19th Century science as being plumb in the very middle of the Emerald isle. For in such a location, no matter what the conditions are like on the coast, on Lough Ree you’ll have the entire province of either Leinster or Connacht or both to provide you with a lee. And additionally, by some happy freak during the past weekend of strong winds and much rain elsewhere, somehow Lough Ree experienced so little in the way of precipitaton that most sailors in the Clinkerfest barely noticed it at all, with the final evening provide a serene yet colourful sunset to round out a unique event in considerable style.

 Mermaid Magic – we may think of the Mermaids as originating in Dublin Bay, but some of the first boats were built by Walter Levinge beside Lough Ree. Photo: John Malone Mermaid Magic – we may think of the Mermaids as originating in Dublin Bay, but some of the first boats were built by Walter Levinge beside Lough Ree. Photo: John Malone

Former LRYC Commodore Garret Leech was still in the senior role when he set the notion of Clinkerfest in motion to celebrate LRYC’s 250th Anniversary back in 2020. And though the pandemic has caused a two year delay and a certain creakiness in some would-be participants, the idea was not allowed to die - not least because it had engendered one of the best event logos anyone has ever created in Ireland, a logo appropriate to the fact that clinker boat-building is now recognised as a World Heritage Activity.

The Clinkerfest Logo stylishly honours what is now a international culturally-recognised method of boat construction The Clinkerfest Logo stylishly honours what is now a international culturally-recognised method of boat construction 

Nevertheless while some participants might have preferred a bit more time for leisurely consideration of all the clinker-built boat types involved, and the different techniques used in their design and construction, others from the more race-oriented classes were bursting with competitive energy after virtually two seasons of constraint. And with a race team headed by Garret Leech with Owen Delany and the support of Alan Algeo and Eileen Brown (almost all former LRYC Commodores) the administrative talent was there to keep sailors busy afloat.

SODA Chairman Philip Mayne finished 14th overall in No 83 after nine hard-fought races. Photo: John MaloneSODA Chairman Philip Mayne finished 14th overall in No 83 after nine hard-fought races. Photo: John Malone

SHANNON ODs BIGGEST FLEET

While LRYC may be celebrating their Quadrimillennial in a two year retrospect, the Shannon One Designs are fully immersed in the throes of the increasing pace of their current Centenary Year. And though the class is traditionally at its greatest numerical strength in the time-honoured regattas of August, fleet numbers are already up with every weekend as that final coat of varnish finally gets applied, and boats turn out to race – and race hard.

 A different world of sailing for Garrett O’Neill and his crew. If any spray dares to come aboard, you can simply swallow it….Photo: John Malone A different world of sailing for Garrett O’Neill and his crew. If any spray dares to come aboard, you can simply swallow it….Photo: John Malone

Thus they’d an entry of 29 for Clinkerfest, and while not all were fully race ready, at the sharp end of the fleet for a demanding total of nine races, the top six helms were Mark McCormick, David Dickson, Andrew Mannion, Cillian Dickson, Frank Guy and Cathal Breen.

INTERNATIONAL 12s

The International 12s – which originated in 1912 – continue to be hugely popular in The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy, but they’re gradually reviving in Ireland in both their una-riggged and sloop-rigged form. And while travel difficulties meant that not all of a significant contingent from the Continent could make it in the end, a couple of gallant Dutch boats managed to get to Ree, while the fleet was also enlarged by the inclusion of a brace of Rankin 12s from Cork Harbour. Here too they’d nine challenging races, and Bert Bos won while Gernt Kiughist was second, with Mark Delany best of the home division in third.

 By making the journey to Lough Ree, the crew of this Dutch International Twelve found much better weather than they’d have had at home. Photo: John Malone By making the journey to Lough Ree, the crew of this Dutch International Twelve found much better weather than they’d have had at home. Photo: John Malone

MERMAIDS

We may think of the 17ft Mermaids as very much a class of Dublin Bay origins through their designer J B Kearney, but in fact the first boats were built in 1932 by the great Walter Levinge of Lough Ree. So there was a sense of home-coming in their participation, Jim Carthy winning in Vee from Paul Smith & Pat Mangan in Jill, with Darach Dinneen taking third in Red Seal.

Proper summertime sailing for Mermaids at Clinkerfest. Photo: John MaloneProper summertime sailing for Mermaids at Clinkerfest. Photo: John Malone

WATER WAGS

The Dublin Bay Water Wags of 1887 and 1900 vintage had many sailors racing in Clinkerfest, but as there’s extensive cross-pollination with the Shannon One Designs, there were more of them racing in the SODs than in the Wags, which managed to get just four boats down to Lough Ree from Dun Laoghaire. That said, they had the distinction of being the most senior class, with David Kelly in Eva winning after the nine races from Mike Magowan in Mary Kate, with third place going to Dermot Bremner in Alfa.

A celebration of Ireland’s leading clinker-built classes in the display of models by Reggie Goodbody of Lough Derg YC. Photo: John MaloneA celebration of Ireland’s leading clinker-built classes in the display of models by Reggie Goodbody of Lough Derg YC. Photo: John Malone

IDRA 14s

Though the 1946-vintage IDRA 14s have held many famous championships with LRYC, few would think of them as a Lough Ree class. Thus there was special satisfaction when Billy Henshaw – who lives on he shores of the lake – emerged as overall winner, with Pierre Long getting second and Pat O’Kelly third.

There was special cheer for the IDRA 14s with Billy Henshaw providing a local winner. Photo: John MaloneThere was special cheer for the IDRA 14s with Billy Henshaw providing a local winner. Photo: John Malone

The complete results are here

FUTURE CLINKERFESTS

Clinkerfest deserves to be a major feature of the national programme in the future, and Lough Ree’s indisputably central location in Ireland surely gives it the first claim to be its permanent home. The problem is that as our sailing gets back up to pre-pandemic speeds, several events will re-emerge claiming equal rights to the coveted Bank Holiday weekend at the beginning of June.

 Getting stuck in….The Shannon One Designs launch themselves into a programme of nine races in two days. Number 50 (Mark McCormick) was to emerge as overall winner. Photo: John Malone Getting stuck in….The Shannon One Designs launch themselves into a programme of nine races in two days. Number 50 (Mark McCormick) was to emerge as overall winner. Photo: John Malone

But that’s a discussion for another day. Right now, there’s a feeling of wonder that in a weekend when several coastal events were either cancelled or gave their participants quite a drubbing, a secret inland sea in the middle of Ireland was able to provide a fascinating and varied fleet of true classics with the chance to contest no less than nine very competitive races in eminently sailable and often strongly sunny conditions, while at the same allowing their dedicated owners and crews to revel in a shared enthusiasm for a boat construction method whose inherent functional beauty is now a globally-recognized art and craft.

Evocative conclusion to a great regatta – final Clinkerfest sunset at Lough Ree YC marina. Photo: Clodagh FlanneryEvocative conclusion to a great regatta – final Clinkerfest sunset at Lough Ree YC marina. Photo: Clodagh Flannery

Published in Historic Boats

Having sailed in combined races with Squibs in the 2021 season, the DBSC Mermaid Class had its prizegiving with the Squib class in the National Yacht Club last Friday, 25th February.

The 17ft clinker-built dinghy designed by J. B. Kearney for Dublin Bay Sailing Club ninety years ago expects an increase in the fleet for 2022.

The class sends its best wishes to Dan Brennan skipper of Mermaid 'Aideen' who was knocked off his bike and seriously injured in January.

A lifeboat pennant for a combined Mermaid / Squib handicap race in aid of the RNLI was won by Squib Periquin, Noel Colclough and Rupert Westrup.

Squib Periquin, Noel Colclough an Rupert Westrup.Noel Colclough and Rupert Westrup (Squib “Periquin”) who won the Lifeboat Pennant with Mermaid Class Captain Paul Smith

St. John Bannon and Class Captain Paul Smith with The Intrepid TrophySt. John Bannon and Class Captain Paul Smith with The Intrepid Trophy

Lynn Kerin accepts the Loving Cup on behalf of her children Tom and Eva, husband Andrew and father Jonathan O’RourkeLynn Kerin accepts the Loving Cup on behalf of her children Tom and Eva, husband Andrew and father Jonathan O’Rourke
Geraldine O’Neill accepts the Captain’s Prize from Captain Paul SmithGeraldine O’Neill accepts the Captain’s Prize from Captain Paul Smith

Pat Mangan and Paul Smtih with the Mermaid PennantPat Mangan and Paul Smtih with the Mermaid Pennant

2021 Mermaid Prizewinners:

  • Intrepid Trophy (single handed race) Endeavour, St. John Bannon
  • Meg Mug (round Dalkey Island) Endeavour, Roger Bannon
  • Loving Cup (crew all from one family) Aideen, Jonathan O’Rourke with, Tom Eva and Andrew Kerin
  • Alanna Cup (combined handicap races) Jill, Pat Mangan and Paul Smith
  • May Cup Aideen, Dan Brennan and Brendan Martin
  • September Cup Lively Lady, Geraldine O’Neill and Mick Hanney
  • Mermaid Pennant Jill, Pat Mangan and Paul Smith
  • Captain’s Prize Lively Lady, Geraldine O’Neill and Mick Hanney
Published in Mermaid
Tagged under

Defending champion Darragh McCormack won the Mermaid National title three years running at Tralee Bay Sailing Club today after a ten-race championship.

Day 4 of the 2021 Mermaid National Championship sponsored by Volvo came to a close today with the final two scheduled races completed.

The first race got off at 11am bang on time with a full Olympic course completed. One general recall saw the fleet very well behaved under a U flag in the second start sequence and everyone clear away. Conditions were shifty with wind strength overall pretty light but showers passing through bringing short bursts of big breeze. Trying conditions with a short chop but all got around. Results of the first race today (Race 9 of the overall series): 1st place went to 177 This Is It from Skerries Sailing Club helmed by Mark Boylan, with crew Aileen Boylan and Niall Collins. 2nd place went to 76 Azeezy from Skerries Sailing Club helmed by Sam Shiels with crew Eoin Boylan and Doire Shiels. 3rd place went to 187 Zuleika from Wexford Harbour Sailing Club helmed by Derek Joyce and crewed by Cillian Joyce and Brian Fenlon.

The second race started straight away with little delay. Conditions had gotten very shifty making for a difficult race. Nonetheless, a full Olympic course was completed. Results of the final race of the day (Race 10 of the series that brought a 2nd discard into play) were as follows: 1st place went to 102 Endeavour from the Royal Irish Yacht Club helmed by Roger Bannon and crewed by Kate Grimes and Barry Hayes. 2nd place went to 188 Innocence from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Darragh McCormack and crewed by brothers Mark and Noel and 3rd place went to 187 Zuleika from Wexford Harbour Sailing Club helmed by Derek Joyce and crewed by Cillian Joyce and Brian Fenlon.

Mermaid racing in Fenit

With 10 races and 2 discards, the final top 3 rankings for the event are: 1st place overall (on 13 net points) and the 2021 Mermaid National Champions: 188 Innocence from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Darragh McCormack and crewed by brothers Mark and Noel.

2nd place overall (on 25 net points) goes to 119 Three Chevrons from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Vincent McCormack and crewed by Roisin McCormack and Michael Lynch.

And 3rd place overall (on 28 net points) goes to 177 This Is It from Skerries Sailing Club helmed by Mark Boylan, with crew Aileen Boylan and Niall Collins.

The Daphne trophy was won by 119 Three Chevrons from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Vincent McCormack and crewed by Roisin McCormack and Michael Lynch. 2nd place overall in the Daphne goes to 165 Seafox from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Oisin Finucane with crew Conor Dillon and Chris McDaid and 3rd place overall in the Daphne goes to 179 Bean Adhmaid helmed by Martin O Toole with crew Shane and Conor O'Toole.

The Designer trophy was won by 190 Mayhem from Rush Sailing Club helmed by Enda Weldon with crew Clare Carthy and Sean Weldon. 2nd place in the designer went to 179 Bean Adhmaid helmed by Martin O Toole with crew Shane and Conor O'Toole and 3rd place overall in the designer goes to 73 Lively Lady from the National Yacht Club helmed by Geraldine O'Neill with crew Mick Hawney and David Cassidy.

A prize-giving outdoor BBQ is taking place at Tralee Bay Sailing Club this evening with formal awards of prizes and speeches.

A huge thanks to all involved at Tralee Bay Sailing Club for organising such a fantastic event and to National Race Officer Scorie Walls and her team for getting 10 great races completed! To all the amazing volunteers on and off the water, competitors, friends, supporters etc. thank you for making our 2021 National Championship such a memorable one. 

The next and final event for the Mermaid fleet for the 2021 season, the Mermaid Munster Championship, is in 2 weeks time on the 4th and 5th of September hosted by Foynes Yacht Club.

Published in Mermaid
Tagged under

Day 3 of the 2021 Mermaid National Championship got off to another lively start with a steady 12-14 knots gusting 18 filling in nicely as competitors made their way out for the 11 am first gun. Racing got underway bang on time with a slightly shifty breeze making for very tactical beats. A full Olympic course was sailed with close racing. 1st place went to 177 'This Is It' helmed by Mark Boylan with crew Aileen Boylan and Niall Collins. 2nd place went to 119 Three Chevrons helmed by Vincent McCormack and crewed by Roisin McCormack and Michael Lynch and 3rd place went to 188 Innocence helmed by Darragh McCormack with crew Mark and Noel McCormack.

A second race got underway with no delay. The wind had dropped off and continued to do so during the race but a full course sailed again. 1st place went to 188 Innocence, 2nd place to 177 This Is It and 3rd place to 119 Three Chevrons. By the end of race 2 of the day the wind had dropped considerably and a general recall start gave enough time for it to die off completely! The fleet had to kick back and take out the sandwiches again! Almost an hour waiting for the wind to come back thankfully paid off as basically the exact same breeze and direction magically reappeared meaning a 3rd and final race was on the table.

Championships conditions for the Dublin Bay Mermaid class on Tralee By in County KerryChampionships conditions for the Dublin Bay Mermaid class on Tralee By in County Kerry

Similar conditions for the final race saw the fleet get an 8th Nationals race under their belts meaning 2 remaining races scheduled for Saturday to complete the full 10 race schedule. Winners of race 3 of Friday: 1st place to 119 Three Chevrons, 2nd to 188 Innocence and 3rd to 102 Endeavour. A note that this was a first Nationals bullet for Three Chevrons after 19 years!

Results from today mean that 188 Innocence has an unassailable lead. If the 2 races go ahead as scheduled tomorrow a 2nd discard will come into effect which should have an interesting impact on the leader board with 2nd and 3rd place overall still very much to play for!

Results following 8 races can be viewed here

Published in Mermaid
Tagged under

Day two of the Mermaid National Championship sponsored by Volvo yesterday at Tralee Bay Sailing Club in County Kerry saw sailors awake to a steady 18 knots gusting 22 when what was expected was 10-12 knots by the forecast! A pleasant surprise by all accounts although with everyone a little rusty after the ‘break’ last year it was going to make for an interesting day on the water.

A slight delay on the first start scheduled for 11 o'clock saw the fleet get away in wet and windy conditions with everyone fully hiked and trying not to fall out! A full Olympic course was sailed with pretty physical conditions, especially on the downwind legs. The Mermaids hummed along with heart rates up at the gybe marks!

There were a number of protests lodged after racing so the results link below are the final results taking into account outcomes of protests, according to organisers.

First race results: 1st place went to 188 Innocence from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Darragh McCormack and crewed by brothers Mark and Noel. 2nd place went to 102 Endeavour from the Royal Irish Yacht Club helmed by Roger Bannon and crewed by Kate Grimes and Barry Hayes. 3rd place went to 187 Zuleika from Wexford Harbour Sailing Club helmed by Derek Joyce and crewed by Cillian Joyce and Brian Fenlon.

A Mermaid race start in Tralee BayA Mermaid race start in Tralee Bay

With wind strength and direction holding steady the second race got off with no delay, hardly time to eat the sandwich! Results of Race 2: 1st place went to 187 Zuleika from Wexford Harbour Sailing Club helmed by Derek Joyce and crewed by Cillian Joyce and Brian Fenlon. 2nd place went to 119 Three Chevrons from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Vincent McCormack and crewed by Roisin McCormack and Michael Lynch. 3rd place went to 177 This Is It from Skerries Sailing Club helmed by Mark Boylan, with crew Aileen Boylan and Niall Collins.

The 3rd race start sequence was about 3 minutes underway when a 30 degree wind shift called a halt to proceedings. A much appreciated, very quick rejigging of marks saw the fleet getting off a clean line within 10 minutes for a 3rd and final race of the day. The wind had eased slightly but tired bodies meant a big effort from everyone! The sun was out and a relatively flat sea meant for stunning conditions with the mountains and Samphire Rock making for gorgeous backdrops.

Results of Race 3: 1st place went to 177 This Is It from Skerries Sailing Club helmed by Mark Boylan, with crew Aileen Boylan and Niall Collins. 2nd place went to 188 Innocence from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Darragh McCormack and crewed by brothers Mark and Noel and 3rd place went to 119 Three Chevrons from Foynes Yacht Club helmed by Vincent McCormack and crewed by Roisin McCormack and Michael Lynch.

Afterwards, competitors exchanged many stories of blocks, cleats, uphauls, downhauls etc. breaking off and lots of improvising going on!

Final results following 5 races can be viewed here

Mixed forecasts again for tomorrow and given how far off today’s was everyone is just waiting to see what the new day will bring...

Published in Mermaid

The Dublin Bay Mermaid fleet makes a long-awaited return to Fenit, Co. Kerry this week for their annual National Championships. The event, which was originally due to be hosted last year by Tralee Bay Sailing Club but cancelled due to COVID, looks forward to going ahead with four days of Championship racing scheduled from Wednesday the 18th of August to Saturday the 21st.

Tuesday the 17th will see boat measurement, inspection and weight-check from 2 pm onwards as well as a sail measurement facility in place for new sails. There will also be an optional practice race at 7 pm on Tuesday the 17th. Registration will be open from 0900 - 1000 on Wednesday morning with a briefing at 1000 before the boats head out for their first race at 1200.

Ten races in total are scheduled across the four days with the famous ‘crews race’ also planned to follow Championship racing on Thursday the 19th. The crew's race sees the boats have one of their crew swap with the usual helm and is always an interesting one! Principal Race Officer is Scorie Walls with support and mark boats from TBSC as well as Foynes Yacht Club.

There are already 20 pre-entered online with boats coming from Rush Sailing Club, Skerries Sailing Club, Wexford Boat Club, Foynes Yacht Club, the Royal Irish Yacht Club and The National Yacht Club so a strong turnout is expected. 

Fenit is a popular venue for the fleet with historical links going right back to the beginning of the class. This event will mark 10 years since a Mermaid event was last held in beautiful Tralee Bay with the Nationals hosted there in 2011 and before that in 2007.

This year's event hosted by Tralee Bay Sailing Club is fortunate to have main sponsor Volvo behind them and a strong team of volunteers ready to put on a great event on and off the water.

An outdoor Championship BBQ dinner is planned for Saturday the 21st to crown the new National Champion with local caterers ‘The Rustic Pantry’ set to serve up a feast and outdoor live music followed by speeches and prize giving. Wishing all competitors the very best of luck and an enjoyable event.

Published in Mermaid

Tributes to Mermaid stalwart Jerry O'Neill, who has died, have been led by National Yacht Club Commodore Martin McCarthy.

Jerry, who died on March 12, was a former Mermaid champion, but he also raced in the Flying Fifteen, Shipman 28s and Ruffian 23 fleets out of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

"He was a fine sailor and his family, especially his daughter Geraldine, are immersed in the Club. A gentleman who was always a pleasure to meet. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends," McCarthy told members. 

"He was much loved by the membership in the National and throughout the fleets in which he sailed"

The sentiments were echoed by clubmate and fellow Mermaid Champion, Roger Bannon. "He was an understated, absolute gentleman who overcame severe arthritis to continue sailing into his early 70s. He was much loved by the membership in National and throughout the the National fleets in which he sailed."

The Mermaid Sailing Association also expressed its deepest sympathy.

Skerries Mermaid sailor Ross Galbraith related an anecdote on social media. "In the bar after a race in which conditions had changed and I had lost places and a sense of perspective I had a chat with Jerry. He explained that on his boat they carried a tuning sheet. There was nothing special about this sheet; the settings were culled from various sailing books. When things started to go wrong they would get out “the sheet” and make some adjustments. The purpose here was more to provide a distraction, the alternative being a row over who was to blame for the poor performance, than to speed the boat up. I subsequently made one (we call it "the magic sheet") and whatever about boat speed, the psychology certainly works. Thanks, Jerry" 

A private family funeral took place due to Government restrictions. Details here

Published in Mermaid

The recent death of Skerries SC stalwart and longtime Mermaid Class ace Jim Dempsey has evoked fond memories throughout Irish sailing, and Galway Bay SC's Pierce Purcell speaks for many with his insights into Jim's special qualities of encouragement and enthusiasm, which contributed so much to today's Mermaid Class being made very welcome when they seek out a fresh venue for their annual championship.

"As a member of Galway Bay Sailing Club, I have very fond memories of first meeting Jim Dempsey" writes Pierce. "Having raced in two Mermaid Weeks with club member John Buckley on Kirkie May in Wexford – the first in 1972 - we were really impressed with the sailing standards and camaraderie of the Mermaid Class. So much so, in fact, that the late Larry Swan and I soon thought that running Mermaid Week would be a great idea to promote our new GBSC clubhouse and facilities at Renville near Oranmore.

This would be a major event for us, a real challenge, but the die was cast for 1982, and we soon realized the standards expected. The then Mermaid President, Michael Lysaght, would put terror into us with a fortnightly phone call to ensure the plans and particularly moorings were being made up and ready for one of the major events of the Irish sailing calendar.

Galway Bay Sailing Club as it is today. In 1982 it was still in its original smaller form when the Mermaid Class descended upon Renville for their annual championship, and turned the GBSC compound into a self-sufficient and highly sociable sailing villageGalway Bay Sailing Club as it is today. In 1982 it was still in its original smaller form when the Mermaid Class descended upon Renville for their annual championship and turned the GBSC compound into a self-sufficient and highly sociable sailing village

Little did the President realise just how green we were about mounting an event of this standard, but it all came together with hard work from many volunteers. The visitors arrived to a great welcome, with some fourteen caravans hired and placed around the club grounds to accommodate those of our new friends who hadn't rooms elsewhere. Jim Wiseman had the bar fully stocked, while David Whitehead had come home from his mining job in Chile to run the on-water management with such skill that it provided superb racing which was now of an even higher standard than we had remembered from competing (and coming last) in Wexford

It was in the bar in the evenings after sailing that I got to know Jim Dempsey, waiting for results from the protest room. Being from Skerries and a smaller club like ours, he would reassure us that we were running a good event, and not to get uptight about the image competition that he knew of so well on the East Coast from the North and South sides of the Liffey.

The weather of 1982 was incredible, and the Mermaid sailors raced all day and partied all night as the week went on, very seldom straying from the club compound - if at all. Many of the crews stayed on for a second week, and we all made numerous friends from clubs around the country.

Mermaid Week 2019 at the Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven, when Darragh McCormack of Foynes YC retained the national title. Photo: Robert Bateman Mermaid Week 2019 at the Royal Cork YC at Crosshaven, when Darragh McCormack of Foynes YC retained the national title. Photo: Robert Bateman

Jim and Pam had a ball that year, boosted by Jim becoming champion, and they told us of the superb holiday it was in every way. Subsequently, some of us were at other Mermaid Weeks for years to come, and Jim and Pam, in particular, would always make the Galway people welcome, and chat about the "old days".

With the sad passing of Jim Dempsey, I am poignantly reminded of the joys of dinghy sailing among friends in cherished boats, whether competing away from your club, or volunteering with your clubmates to take on the challenge of staging an event, and then meeting lovely people like the Dempsey crew who soon become friends, all of it adding to the shared anticipation of the seasons to come.

Alas, Jim Dempsey is no longer among us in this shared anticipation of events to come, and in our joy in the boats we sail in them. On behalf of Galway Bay Sailing Club, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Jim's wife Pam and their family, as well as the Mermaid Class who have lost a Champion and friend."

Summertime. Derek Joyce of Wexford racing his Mermaid No 187 at Mermaid Week 2019 in Crosshaven. It was experience of Mermaid Week 1972 in Wexford which first started Galway Bay SC on the high road to hosting this major event in 1982 at their new clubhouse at Renville near Oranmore Photo: Robert BatemanSummertime. Derek Joyce of Wexford racing his Mermaid No 187 at Mermaid Week 2019 in Crosshaven. It was experience of Mermaid Week 1972 in Wexford which first started Galway Bay SC on the high road to hosting this major event in 1982 at their new clubhouse at Renville near Oranmore Photo: Robert Bateman

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under
Page 1 of 9

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating