Commodore Update

UPDATE FROM COMMODORE 

April 2022

Finally, our racing season has commenced with the first two Club racing evenings held in fine easterly breezes and sunshine.  There were good turnouts with the Puppeteers (11 boats) and the Class 4 Whitesails (8 boats) producing the biggest fleets on Tuesday’s One Design and Wednesday’s Cruiser nights. 

Further afield, our HYC sailors continue to make headlines.  At Irish Sailing’s Youth Pathfinder Championships, which were sailed from Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough, our younger sailors won podium places in various Classes.  In the ILCA 6s, Eve McMahon and Rocco Wright battled it out for top spot before Eve took victory by a 2.5 point margin and with both qualifying for the Irish team to compete at the World Sailing Youth Championships in The Hague in July.  Rocco’s younger sister Sienna secured first place in the ILCA 4 Class by a massive 13 point margin while Charlie Keating, calling on his experience from a full winter of HYC frostbite sailing, took 9th in the 28 boat fleet.  Harry Dunne took third in the Optimist Trials event, securing himself a place on the team to attend the World Championships, and Johnny Flynn and Ethan Spain took second in the 29er fleet.  Racing took place in conditions that might have kept less competent sailors ashore and gave rise to lots of tales of challenges overcome, hardships endured and speeds achieved on the face of four-metre high waves that had come all the way from Scotland.  Somewhat further away and in more benign conditions, Darragh Sheridan followed up winning the RS Aero Southern Championships at Monkstown Bay SC with second place in the Italian National series on Lake Garda, missing first by just one point.  In the first race of the Musto ISORA 2022 series, Robert Rendell’s Samatom secured 2nd place whilst here at home, we are looking forward to the arrival of the new high-performance Cape 31s, with the first two currently in transit from South Africa and the expectation being that all three of the HYC based boats will be commissioned in time to compete in the WAVE Regatta.

Rounding out the end of our winter sailing, the Round the Island dinghy event was very successful with 47 entries spanning a significant range of boat types including six IDRA 14s, a GP 14, RS 600 and 800 and a Dublin Bay Wag, plus the ILCA 7, 6 and 4s that have been supporting this event for nearly 50 years.  The Irish University Student Yachting Nationals, raced in our J80s after a two-year pandemic enforced suspension, commenced our Summer Open Events season. This was very successful, and the students have indicated that they would like to come back and race on a number of occasions each year, thus increasing the utilisation of HYC’s J80 fleet.

The Cruising Breakfast was well attended and afterwards Garry Maguire oversaw the traditional line throwing competition.  Some members achieved altitude rather than distance, the line ending up on the balcony a few times, but Michael O’Connor showed his command of the skill by taking victory for the second time.  The Launching Supper was poorly supported despite there being an excellent band playing, which encouraged some members who came down just to socialise to stay on to listen.  Recent talks for members were given by Colin Newport, who took a break from his Dublin Port pilot boat duties to give a most interesting talk on the issues associated with commercial shipping in Dublin Bay and the Port along with advice on how to avoid problems when sailing across the Bay.  Cormac Farrelly and his family shared their experience of hiring a boat in the Caribbean and making an extended cruise in the area last December and January, overcoming both the normal challenges of such a trip and the additional ones of contending with the COVID regulations of the various Island states they visited.  In addition, a very successful trip to Aran Mór was organised for the Romeo Group by former Commodore Gerry O’Neil.

The formal launching of the refurbished EIRE 6 sign on the East Mountain by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, took place on April 9th.  This was supported by the Cruising Group with Pat Murphy in Aldebaran leading a sail-past of fully dressed HYC boats, many flying the Ukrainian flag as a gesture of solidarity.  The much-anticipated Air Corps fly past was a little underwhelming but that did not dampen the enjoyment of a great day afloat so early in the season. 

HYC, along with many other clubs in the wider community, will be taking part on Saturday May 7th in the Darkness into Light activity which supports Pieta House.  This shares a sunrise moment by standing in solidarity with people impacted by suicide and self-harm.  Boats taking part will leave the marina shortly before 05.00 to greet the dawn, off the Martello tower on Ireland's Eye and later return for refreshments in the Light House. Later in the day, the first Cruising Group Armada sets off for Lambay Island

By popular demand from our younger members, we will hold another Junior Disco on Saturday 21st May.  A QR code for our new Junior Section WhatsApp Group can be found in the Member Section and will be a broadcast only group, as per our new draft WhatsApp terms.  Regular updates will be provided for all events and activities specifically catering to our younger members will be published here.

Here in the Club we have had several changes on the IT front.  Much of our IT equipment has been upgraded, and our server maintenance and security provider has been changed.  Nearly all areas of the Club now have excellent Wi-Fi connectivity due to the increased number of connection points installed.  The upgraded network requires the use of a new password and this is displayed around the Club for the convenience of members.  The changes have resulted in temporary disruption to some services and some interface projects being delayed, so please accept our apologies for this.  The webcam that covers the deck area and looks over the Harbour has been superseded by two new HD cameras that offer far better picture quality and also have a zoom facility.  One looks north towards Ireland’s Eye and the other looks east over the marina.  The new cameras can currently be accessed from the website by clicking on the link at the left of the home page and choosing the preferred view.  As well as the webcam upgrade, HYC now has a Davis weather station on the Clubhouse roof, and current weather conditions, including the temperature, wind speed and direction can be seen at https://www.hyc.ie/weather-now and in the Marina Office.  This should be of assistance to those thinking of popping out for a quick sail.

The YZ pontoon and fingers have been replaced with a significant increase in the stability of the walkways.  A number of members have commented on how well the new pontoon looks.

Whilst good news like that in the last paragraphs is always nice to report, on a less happy note please note that the General Committee has agreed that the small number of members who have not yet paid their Club subscriptions will have their access to the Club terminated on May 3rd, the Tuesday after the May Bank Holiday.  This normally happens in March but, at the suggestion of the Membership Committee, a deferral was agreed due to the significant upheaval to people’s lives caused by the COVID related restrictions and general disruption over the last two seasons. 

The next Commodores Quarterly Briefing will be held via Zoom on Thursday 12th May.  Along with an update on what is happening in the Club further details about the forthcoming WAVE regatta at the end of the month will be provided.  The WAVE Committee are working hard to ensure that it will be memorable with exciting sailing.  Race entries should be made at https://www.waveregatta.com.

Finally, I would like to welcome aboard a number of new HYC employees, some in connection with taking on our own catering operation and others to replace people who have left. Christian is our newest part-time Marina operative, while Emma and Lorraine will be based in the Marina Office. Upstairs, Simon and Anastasia have joined our hospitality team and I know you will welcome them all.

Paddy