Sailing: Lovegrove father and son team lift Waterhouse Shield

Royal St George Yacht Club sailors take Dublin Bay Sailing Club cruiser title

 Philip (left) and Richard Lovegrove sailing the Sigma 33 ‘Rupert’, winners of the Waterhouse Shield for the best performing DBSC cruiser-racer in 2018. Photograph: Afloat.ie

Philip (left) and Richard Lovegrove sailing the Sigma 33 ‘Rupert’, winners of the Waterhouse Shield for the best performing DBSC cruiser-racer in 2018. Photograph: Afloat.ie

 

Royal St George Yacht Club’s Richard and Philip Lovegrove, the joint skippers of the Sigma 33 ‘Rupert’,will be the toast of the Dún Laoghaire clubhouse on Friday night when they lift the Waterhouse Shield for the best Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) cruiser on handicap in 2018.

It is one of six premier awards to be made by the country’s biggest yacht racing club at the end of a hectic Sherry Fitzgerald-sponsored season.

The award represents a season-high for the Lovegrove father and son team and the Dublin Bay Sigma one design. It’s a class that races as part of the mixed Cruiser two handicap division under the DBSC burgee. In June, the Royal St George hosted the UK and Irish Sigma Championships for the first time and it drew a record fleet of 23 boats and over 160 competitors from five countries.

DBSC commodore Chris Moore will salute the club’s 213 trophy winners and this year’s premier awards also include the George Arthur Newsom Cup which was won by Chris Johnston’s Beneteau 31.7 for the best one-design performance.

The Dr Alf Delany Cup was won by Fireballer Frank Miller in Blind Squirrel for the best boat on the dinghy course.

The Beneteau 31.7 Bluefin II (Michael and Bernie Bryson) was the winner of the Brendan Ebrill Memorial Cup. DBSC race officer Suzanne McGarry was awarded the Viking Trophy for her notable contribution to sailing.

Sixteen teams will do battle for the John Hooper team racing trophy this weekend, also hosted by the Royal St George YC. What marks this edition as a standout occasion is that it is 70 years since the first time the event was run by the then IDRA, a forerunner of the IYA, now Irish Sailing.

The critical resolutions for offshore sailors at last Saturday’s ISORA AGM and prize-giving at the National Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire were that the Irish Sea fleet would endeavour to return to Holyhead after its marina was wrecked in March storms.

There will be a season-long series of 16 races and to win the overall Wolf’s Head Trophy, competitors must compete in four qualifying races to be eligible to win with the best six to count. The association had 70 entries this year with more boats attracted to offshore thanks in part to the introduction of onboard GPS trackers that are set to continue in 2019. The first race will be on April 27th with simultaneous 40-mile coastal courses on either side of the Irish Sea at Pwllheli and Dún Laoghaire.

Dubliner Oisín van Gelderen has smashed the Irish Sailing speed record twice during his first two days competing at the ‘Luderitz Speed Challenge’ in Namibia. Van Gelderen joined the fastest sailors in the world at this event to attempt the windsurfing world record (53.27 knots/98.6 km/h), currently held by French sailor Antione Albeau. Van Gelderen’s top speed, of 46.21 knots (85.6 km/h) average over 500m, was achieved in winds gusting 90 km/h (Beaufort Force 9 – strong to severe gale).

Foynes Yacht Club sailor Simon McGibney has stood down as commodore of both West of Ireland offshore racing association (WIORA) and the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA). He was replaced at the national body by Howth sailor Richard Colwell at the Lough Derg AGM earlier this month.

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