RSGYC Regatta Race report

The last, but certainly not least, of the four waterfront club regattas took place on Saturday 6th July hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club. While some rain was forecast, unlike the previous week the weather remained kind for the event albeit some rain showers were observed in the distance inland. Due to crew shortages the fifteen available crew were redistributed to fill 3 boats with Naneen taking a rest from proceedings.

High water was 12.52 so with warning signal at 11.15 a flood and ebb flow for each of the two races respectively. The winds were gusting up to 23kts before embarkation making the decision to reef obligatory. The westerly wind was producing quite a chop in the general bay and to counter that the OOD’s for the 3 racecourses wisely chose the western reaches of the bay where the sea state was a little calmer. This meant that the committee boat for the Twentyones and the other one design classes was stationed in the proximity of Merrion mark with the windward mark  approx. 0.9NM in the direction of Ringsend.

Racing commenced on time and, as always, the earlier fleet starts were keenly scrutinised to determine a favoured course side. There was a little break in the starting sequence as the very competitive 16 boat flying fifteen fleet had a general recall but there were quickly reassembled and soon on their way. The Twentyones were starting with the Glen and squib class as has become the adopted practice for the regattas and all got off to a clean start.

From the starting signal Garavogue led on starboard tack being closest to the pin end followed by Estelle and then Geraldine. All stayed on starboard for a while until Garavogue, and then Estelle, tacked out to port while Geraldine remained on the inshore track. Initially it appeared that Geraldine was falling behind but approaching the windward mark all three boats were again in close formation. Garavogue was first around the mark having initially under shot the lay line, with Estelle following, having had to navigate some traffic en-route, and Geraldine bringing up the rear.

The downwind leg was uneventful other than all three boats narrowed their respective gaps. Each took the port hand gate up the beat again. At the windward mark for the 2nd and final time of the 2-round race, Garavogue still led, however this time Geraldine had got ahead of Estelle. The run home to the finish didn’t facilitate any position changes and the race finished:

 1.     Garavogue

 2.     Geraldine

 3.     Estelle

During race 1 the wind was quite strong and a little shifty approaching the windward mark however with the reefs in the boats were easy to handle by all.

A short break between races allowed a quick lunch and time to preview the condition and strategy for the 2nd race. By now the tide had turned and this was a further factor to consider for race strategy.

At the start of race 2 the Twentyones started in similar order to the first race but stayed a little longer on starboard tack. Back out on port tack Estelle was further to the right of the course with Garavogue in the middle and Geraldine close on the inside windward side. Estelle drifted away from the others thus, while gaining speed, was taking a longer route. During this tack the wind freshened considerably for a period and the boats were over on their ear but still very manageable to sail. Estelle managed to point higher even while lying hard over and, in doing so, climbed back up to just get in front of Garavogue approaching the lay line. The photo below shows all three Twentyones bow to stern with Estelle in front, Geraldine to the rear and Garavogue sandwiched between.

24-07-06 close racing 2jpg


The conditions meant that tacking onto the lay line was challenging and this favoured Geraldine who tacked off first, quickly followed by Garavogue and Estelle in that order. This order was retained rounding the windward mark and the battle for downwind supremacy commenced. Geraldine held the left side of the course heading directly for the gate. Garavogue took a similar line to Geraldine while Estelle struck out more to the right and, sailing a little higher, was soon making ground on the others. Approaching the gate Estelle had taken the lead and chose the starboard side however had some traffic from Glens and B211’s to contend with. Geraldine took the port side option in clear air while Garavogue, initially favouring the port option, upon seeing the traffic build-up changed their mind and gybed to follow Garavogue.

In clear air Geraldine was poised to lead again however during the gybe the tiller got caught in the helm’s life jacket causing them to round back to a reach and heading towards the finish line. This mishap allowed Garavogue to move clear ahead at his stage. Meanwhile Estelle had slowly rounded the gate with some traffic and then had to find some room to tack back to port. Upon doing so they realised that the winds had shifted such that they were pretty much on the lay line and in really good position to win the race to the windward mark. Garavogue was a good way out to the right with much more of a beat required to make the mark while Geraldine, having recovered from her mishap, was now a little way behind.

Approaching the windward mark Garavogue, albeit having sailed a longer route, tacked to cross just in front of Estelle as they in turn approached the lay line. Downwind Garavogue held her lead passing the gate and then a short reach to the finish. Estelle was 2nd and Geraldine a little behind in third place.

Overall results

Race 1

 Race 2


1.     Garavogue

 1.     Garavogue

 1. Garavogue   2 Pts      

2.     Geraldine

 2.     Estelle

 2. Estelle            5 Pts*

3.     Estelle   

    3.   Geraldine

 3. Geraldine       5 Pts

*Note the countback rule of better result in the 2nd races decided the placing when points are equal

Most of the crew went back to the RSGYC who put on a great package of entertainment, food, drink and renewal of sailing acquaintances for the evening, and into the night for some.

At the prize giving Garavogue was presented with a beautiful Crystal ice bucket and surprise, surprise, both Estelle and Garavogue were also awarded prizes which made for nice end of a great days sailing and the Dun Laoghaire regatta season.

The winning crew on Garavogue were as follows:

 Michael Reid,

 Liz Faulkner

 Nikki Murray-Hayden

 Orflaith Doyle

 John Leahy


Well done to all who competed in the various regattas. The format of two windward / leeward races provided lots of opportunity to test boat handling, race strategy and tactics and the lead and prizes were shared by many throughout the various regattas. The Twentyones proved to be very competitive both between themselves and against other classes leading one race officer to remark that they should be included in the faster fleets next time ..!

Normal DBSC racing resumes for the rest of the summer however there is discussing about an excursion to the Clontarf at home event on Saturday 20th. More anon!


24-07-06 RSGYC 1st prizejpg
  1st prize RSGYC Regatta

24-07-06 RSGYC 2nd prizejpg
2nd prize RSGYC Regatta