Dublin Bay Sailing Club season to be enhanced by new races
Coastal contests to go further in revamp of competitions held out of Dún Laoghaire
DBSC entry Lively Lady (Rodney Martin). DBSC has added three coastal fixtures to its 2017 programme starting this April. Photograph: David O’Brien.
New races will add spice to the 2017 Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) season in a revamp that will also see the county’s biggest yacht racing organisation drop its well-established Cruiser Challenge regatta and boost end of season races with a double-points climax.
Changes to DBSC’s Sherry Fitzgerald-sponsored Summer programme starting on April 25th will see coastal races, taking five cruiser classes out of the Bay to Dublin landmarks such as the Kish Lighthouse and the Muglins rocks off Dalkey.
The capital’s racing fleet will also race to the Burford Bank and south to Shanganagh buoy in Killiney Bay as well as using DBSC’s own buoys as turning marks.
DBSC is an umbrella organisation representing all four Dún Laoghaire waterfront clubs and co-ordinates bay racing for a fleet of nearly 300 boats in 22 classes from 50-foot offshore yachts to 13-foot inshore dinghies.
The 2017 courses are a response by reforming Commodore Chris Moore to demand from sailors seeking variations to so-called “round-the-cans” races. Three coastal races are scheduled for May 27th, June 17th and August 5th.
Cruiser zero skipper Rodney Martin from the Royal Irish Yacht Club who races the Beneteau 44.7, Lively Lady, has been one of the first to welcome the shake-up: “This is well overdue and something to broaden the appeal of racing for bay crews.”
As part of its 2017 points series, DBSC will also race to Greystones on August 26th as a feeder race to the Wicklow harbour’s own sailing regatta.
Moore, who last season oversaw a merger between long-time DBSC rival, the Royal Alfred Yacht Club, is bringing about further rationalisation this season by axing his own club’s long-running Cruiser Challenge.
“It has run its course largely due to the fact that there are now less big boats racing and many more competing events such as the ICRAs, ISORAs and Sovereigns Cup,” Moore said this week.
Moore has changes for DBSC dinghies too who will now race in harbour on Saturdays instead of Sundays.
DBSC will mark the end of the season with a bigging up of it’s last race of 2017. Keelboats will have two races in a special “DBSC End of Season Race Day” on September 30th and therefore double points which, says Moore, “could be a game changer for some boats in the running for overall prizes”.
Certainly, the DBSC changes will feature high on the agenda at the Irish Cruiser Racer (ICRA) Conference on March 4th in Limerick, where its first west of Ireland commodore, Simon McGibney from Foynes Yacht Club, aims to plot a future course for cruiser racing.
A number of DBSC sailors are competing with Irish crews in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Caribbean 600-mile race this week. The overall handicap winner has yet to be announced in the 80-boat fleet but Round Ireland Speed record holder Phaedo3, with Co Kerry’s Damian Foxall on board, took a line honours hat-trick by a narrow 13-minutes in the MOD 70 in an elapsed time of 33 hours.
Round Ireland winner Rambler 88 (George David) was the first monohull home in the Caribbean 600 on Wednesday, but the race’s decisive battle between two Maxi 72s took another five hours to play out.