NYC Regatta Saturday 16 June Race report.

The NYC regatta on 15th June brought typical Dun Laoghaire weather patterns providing some angst for race officers and sailors.

The format for the regatta is common to all four waterfront clubs with the Twentyones part of the one design keelboat fleet with windward / leeward courses which require good boat handling, race tactics and strategy and well executed drills, sometimes at close quarters.

The forecast was for medium winds initially from west, then variable before settling in from the east and getting lighter as day progresses. Before heading out some dock talks was of worryingly cumulous clouds and need for reef however on board all skippers agreed full sails which was the correct call.

The committee boat, Christo, was stationed close to Omega and OOD, Con Murphy, had a challenging job with the forecast and a shifty wind pattern emerging to set a course. Finally, the upwind marks for the 1st race were set opposite the mouth of the harbour to suit the westerly wind.

Providing very clear instructions, Con soon had the start sequence under way and the first four fleets got off safely. The Flying Fifteens disturbed matters with a general recall and the race committee used the opportunity to reset the starting pin to restore a square line as the wind was starting to shift right. Shortly after the Fifteens were away, followed by Ruffians and Shipman’s and then the Twentyones started with the Glen Class.

NYC R1 startjpg

Dublin Bay 21’s and Glen Class start in Race 1 of the NYC Regatta Photo: Con Murphy

With shifty wind and ebbing tide most of the fleets continued on starboard into Scotsman’s Bay. Naneen, Estelle and Garavogue also remained on that tack. Geraldine, having started at the committee boat end just behind Garavogue, seeking clean air tack off to port immediately after the start thus splitting the fleet. With most boats remaining on starboard Geraldine must have felt a bit lonely however clean air and maybe a little better pressure and different tide soon had her in a seemingly very good position indeed. Meanwhile inshore Estelle was powering along sailing freely with Garavogue and Naneen chasing hard in the company of three Glens and catching up on the Ruffians and Shipman’s.

The wind was dropping and over the radio the OOD was noting wind down to 5 knots from the earlier 9ks.  Estelle tacked out eventually and Garavogue followed soon after but on a lower line. Geraldine out in the bay also tacked inshore and shortly both she and Estelle were converging. Geraldine, on starboard, was just ahead and both continued on the respective tacks. Both boats had all to play for on the lead into the windward mark, but the wind gods were in playful mood and decided that this was the perfect time to call ton heir mischievous pal, cyclonic variable, to come out to play. The wind dropped to almost nothing and tide was the main driver to move upwind. Geraldine, on starboard tack had sailed into the path of the earlier fleets coming back on their downwind leg and what little wind remained was being disturbed further, so a tack back out was called for. Back on port tack, she had a close encounter with Garavogue, just managing to nip ahead. Estelle meanwhile now had the advantage having clean air and was soon closing in on the mark managing to round as the little wind remaining died completely. Over the radio the OOD announced a shortened course for all fleets – to finish after one round instead of three.

Naneen had quietly come into her own and was next closest to the mark after Estelle rounded and bravely fought to hold position in a laboured battle to even reach the pin from 3 boat length away. Garavogue having recovered from her close encounter was just behind while Geraldine had gone from hero to zero wind being in last position and further away with no wind. The wind gods must have been thoroughly enjoying themselves and to liven matters even more they introduced fresh wind from the east, a 180-degree shift, leading to boats heading in opposite directions each with spinnakers up. The fresh wind filled in and was soon prevalent on the course and all boats started to race again. Estelle in pole position held her lead while Garavogue passed Naneen to secure 2nd. Geraldine recovered well and had a good beat back to the “leeward gate”. Closing in on Naneen at the gate Geraldine just about crossed her path and snuck into 3rd place before crossing the line.

 Final position Race 1

  1.  Estelle 
  2.  Garavogue
  3.  Geraldine
  4.  Naneen

During the race there was the wonderful sight of six Howth Seventeens crossing the bay to join the fun. With race 1 complete they were granted the first start of the 2nd race sequence providing superb photo opportunities.

Howth 17-s at NYCjpg

Howth 17’s start Photo: Mike Reid

With wind holding a steady 10 kts from the east the new windward marks were set north of the Muglins. Geraldine and Estelle had the better starts and powered off the line on starboard with the white boat in the lead. Garavogue and Naneen decided to tack inshore following half of the Fifteens and the race was on as which pair had the better race plan. It was soon evident that staying out was the correct option as with clean wind and less head tide further out, Geraldine and Estelle were sailing free and fast. Geraldine held the lead to the windward mark and back down the run for the first of the two rounds with Estelle chasing hard. Garavogue had overtaken Naneen on the inshore route, but both were some way behind the leaders.

At the leeward gate a mistake by Geraldine saw her lose some height and Estelle, with a perfect mark rounding, and on a higher track, seemed poised to rule supreme. Geraldine fought back and recovering from her error by sailing fast and further out before tacking for the mark judging the lay line perfectly. She then powered to the windward mark holding pole position and opening the gap on Estelle. The run home was uneventful and the finishing order for race 2 was Geraldine, Estelle, Garavogue and Naneen in that order however Estelle, with a 1st and 2nd, was never in any doubt that the Regatta honours were in the bag.

Overall results after 2 races

  1. Estelle                 3 pts
  2. Geraldine           4 Pts
  3. Garvogue           5 Pts
  4. Naneen               8 pts

The crew all repaired to the NYC where Ice cream, barbeque, great live music, as well as drinks were laid on. The Howth 17’s came into the NYC pontoon and some of the Twentyone crew took time out to view them close up and compare the differences.

At the prize giving the Estelle Crew were deservedly awarded 1st place and as all regattas, there being less than 5 boats in the fleet, no other prize was awarded.

Many thanks to the NYC organising committee led by Sailing secretary Susan Spain, Rear Commodore Rosemary Cadogan, Race officer Con Murphy and the host of others who work hard to make these events seem so effortless both on and off the water.  

Overall, another very successful regatta and great day on and off the water enjoyed by all. Next Saturday we are back to normal DBSC racing and the following two Saturdays are the Royal Irish YC and Royal St George YC regattas respectively.  


 Estelle Crew

 Jean O’Driscoll
 Nikki Murray-Hayden
 Shane Crowley
 John Sugars
 Mike Reid (skipper)

Estelle NYC 24 winners 2jpg
NYC Regatta 1st Prize awarded to Estelle   Photo: Fionnuala Rogerson 
Nikki, Shane, Mike & Jean (John is absent)