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After 130 Years of Racing, Water Wags Decide to Buy A Black Flag

11th May 2017
Water Wags had a 21-boat turnout at Dun Laoghaire last night Water Wags had a 21-boat turnout at Dun Laoghaire last night

Within Dublin Bay there currently are twenty-one classes of racing yachts. It might come as a surprise to many, that currently the largest class is Dublin Bay is the Water Wag class with 33 boats entered for the 2017 season. With a big class, the first question that should be asked is: How many boats compete regularly in class racing? In the case of the Water Wags, 21 boats launched and reached the start line, which was set up for a wind coming at 135 degrees (south east) at about 7 knots.

The start line was set with a small bias towards the pin end, but despite an even spread of Water Wags over the full length of the line, the group closest to the flagship were OCS when there was 20 seconds to go to the start. A general recall was indicated.

On the second attempt to start the line bias was retained, and again some boats jumped the gun, so everybody was called back.

On the third attempt the fleet behaved properly, a ‘all clear’ was declared. It was a long beat with two choices, head towards the harbour mouth where one would have to nose the young flood time, or head towards the marina breakwater where the tide would be in your favour. Eva, Swift and Barbara headed to the harbour mouth, and found that they had more wind strength than those who headed inshore. At the windward mark the order was Eva, Swift, Barbara, Mademoiselle, Pansy. After one lap the order changed to Swift, Eva, Mollie. The race was two laps long and at the finish the order was:

1st – 38, Swift, Guy & Jackie Kilroy.

2nd - 41, Mollie, Claudine Murphy.

3rd.-33, Eva, Katie Tingle.

4th. Skee, Jonathan & Carol O’Rourke.

5th - 8, Barbara, Ian and Judith Malcolm

6th. – 15, Moosmie, David MacFarland.

7th- 3, Pansy, Vincent Delany & Emma Webb.

8th. – 42, Tortoise, William Prentice and Moselle Hogan.

9th. – 4, Vela, Philip Mayne & Brian Bond.

10th. - 46, Mademoiselle.

11th. - 44, Scallywag.

12th. -16, Penelope.

13th. - 45, Mariposa.

14th. - 31, Polly.

15th. –43, Freddie,

16th. - 6, Mary Kate.

17th. -18 Good Hope.

18th. - 20, Badger.

19th. -40, Swallow.

20th. - 34, Chloe.

21st. – 26, Nandor.

Overall series of three races is won by Swift.

Published in Water Wag
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from

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