Achiever's Awards 2023
07 January 2024
HYC celebrated in style its 2023 Achievers Awards on Saturday with the presentation of 9 awards. The event was sponsored by Celtic Candles and each of the 38 nominees received a gift from the sponsor. Commodore Neil Murphy and families who donated the Trophies were on hand for the presentations.
The standard of sailors in HYC is so high that among the 38 nominees across the 9 categories there are 2 current World Champions, 3 European Champions and 5 National Champions as well as 3 potential Olympic Games candidates for the 2024 Games.
The Silver Fox Trophy which is donated by the Kelly family for those who excelled in racing cruising or organisation. This winner was Ross McDonald who retained the 1720 European Championships in Rope Dock Atara with 5 race wins out of 9 races and then added 2nd place in the Irish Nationals to his record for 2023.
The next award was the Seaward Bell donated and presented by Kevin Darmody to a Junior who excelled in open events at home or abroad. This is always a very competitive category as Howth has so many international Juniors and the members Voted for Harry Dunne for his Optimist Achievements having won the Irish Youth Nationals in Howth last April as well as the Optimist Class Leinster, Munster and National titles. He represented Ireland at the Optimist Worlds in Spain in 2023. Harry has now moved into the ILCA 4 and Howth looks forward to following his sailing career.
After this award a question and answer session was held with Sienna Wright to hear all about her recent bronze medal at the ILCA Youth World Championships in Brazil and her future plans.
The next award was the GM Trophy presented by General Manager of HYC Aideen Doran. This trophy is presented annually to the junior sailor who enhances the spirit of HYC. It was a closely fought contest between 3 fantastic juniors , Dan Cullen , Sam McQuade and Zara de Neve with Zara coming out as the recipient of this award. She won the award for many reasons including her charm, consideration to other sailors and most definitely her undeniable spirit distinguished her and her ability to get others involved in having fun while sailing was well appreciated by both her instructors and peers.
Boat of the Year Trophy was fought between Bite the Bullet, Checkmate , Delginis and Outrageous all of who had an outstanding record of achievements through 2023. The Howth 17 Delginis was voted by the HYC membership as “Boat of the Year” – well done to the Massey Family and other owners who not only partook in the historic rounding of the Fastnet Rock last summer but also was overall winner in the 83 boat fleet that took part in the monday.com Autumn League, winning its own Class, by an 8 point margin.
For Volunteer of the Year, 7 names were proposed as going above and beyond for HYC in 2023. HYC is lucky in that it is supported by over 150 volunteers throughout the season who wore tirelessly to keep the club running. Many of the nominees have played unseen but crucial roles to make HYC the best sailing club in the country. The nominees included, David O’Shea who captained the Howth 17 class and all their events in this important year of their 125 anniversary, Kieran Barker for his role in leading the race results team, Kieran Jameson for his ongoing commitment to managing all the HYC club boats, Michael Pearn for his work with new members, Robert Orr for his tireless work getting all the club racing teams & rosters in place. The winners of this category were Susan Kavanagh and Sarah Toomey for the fantastic work they have done for their organisation, development and leadership of the Cruising Group. Susan and Sarah are jointly the driving force ensuring that the Cruising Group members have a full programme of lectures, social events, cruises and 'armadas' and have access to the experience of their fellow members in all things nautical. They have also created a pathway to get newcomers out sailing and then building their experience afloat.
The Sailing Instructor of the Year award went to newcomer Bharat Mohan for his competency and example that he set among the instructors.
The Murphy family were on hand to present the Cliona Murphy Memorial Trophy for an Adult sailor who represents and enhances the spirit of HYC sailing. The nominees in this category were Brian Turvey, Gerry O’Neill, Gerry Sargent and Maureen Muir. The members chose Brian Turvey as the 2023 winner for all the work his does in HYC for the K25 squad, MC at events, his commitment to Wave Regatta and his support on the social media front, all of which really are only a fraction of what Brian does for HYC.
The last 2 awards are new categories, new member of the year and International Sailor of the year.
The Sunshine Radio Trophy was presented to Carol Cribbin one of 3 nominated new members who really got into the spirit of all that HYC has to offer and embraced so many of the clubs activities from cruising, racing, day-skipper courses, mahjong, rowing, paddle boarding and she will be skippering one of the charter boats in next summer's Cruising Group flotilla in Greece. She is a great example of how quickly a new member who is prepared to try everything can settle into HYC and become part of its life.
Finally the new category of International Trophy is for a HYC sailor who excelled internationally ( E.G. Olympic / Worlds / Europeans ). This trophy was donated by Pat and Olivia Murphy Circumnavigators and presented by Pat. As Howth has a number of seriously competitive international sailors the nominee group was made up of Olympic hopefuls in the laser class, brother and sister Eve and Ewan McMahon, 49ers Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove, Paul McMahon and Sam O’Byrne all with an amazing set of international Achievements in 2023. The winner of the International Trophy was Eve McMahon. Eve is away in Argentina at the ILCA World Championships but a prerecorded video of her acceptance of the award was screened in the club - here it is:
Article by event organiser Jill Sommerville
Photos by Jonathan Wormald