2015 Achievers Award winners

22 November 2015

This year's HYC Achievers Awards brunch presented the club with its annual opportunity to recognise many of the members and instructors who (through their achievements) made a significant contribution and promoted the reputation of the club during 2015.

The event was hosted by Kevin Burke who took the time to present the list of reasons for the selection of the final winners of the 7 awards in the midst of many of the nominees and other members of the club. Also invited were some of the sponsors of the prizes, including Marie Kelly and family who presented the Silver Fox Trophy, Kevin Darmody with the Seaward Bell Trophy and the Murphy family with the addition of the Cliona Murphy Memorial Trophy - a special award that had belonged to the Squib Class and that has now been given over to this annual celebration and to be awarded in the new category 'Spirit of Howth Yacht Club'.

Amongst the winners was Dave Cullen's Half-Tonner 'Checkmate' and Dave was able to relay good news to the gathered audience that HYC has been chosen to host for the Half Ton Cup in 2017.

See below photographs of all the winners (and above Rima Macken being presented with the Cliona Murphy Memorial Trophy by Cliona's sister Linda).

The Howth K25 Team with the Silver Fox Trophy - L to R: Cian Manley, Luke Malcolm, Gordon Stirling, Cillian Dickson, Commodore Brian Turvey and Sam O'Beirne

Silver Fox Trophy – awarded to an individual who has excelled in open event racing, cruising or organisation - winners: HYC K25 Squad

The squad have trained and worked hard over the last few years to master the J24.  They have paid attention to all the small details and taken a professional approach which led to the following results amongst their achievements this year:

  • Winners Class 3 IRC Championships
  • Winners J24 National Championships
  • Top J24 Irish Ranking 

Ewan McMahon is presented the Seaward Bell Trophy by Kevin Darmody

Seaward Bell Trophy – awarded to a junior sailor who has excelled in open event racing at home or abroad during the year - winner: Ewan McMahon

Ewan only took up Laser sailing a few seasons ago after spending time in the 420 class.  His results this year were as follows:

  • 3rd U-17 and 18th overall – Youth World Championships, Kingston Canada
  • 2nd Junior, 11th of 74 at British Qualifier at Pwllheli
  • 7th U-17 and 20th overall in Men’s fleet – Europe Cup Brest, April
  • 1st U-17 and 3rd overall – Europa Cup, Germany, July
  • 2nd U-17 and 17th overall – Gold fleet, Youth European championships, Portugal (website shows he finished 9th overall out of c 135 boats)

Commodore Brian Turvey presents the GM Trophy to Aoife Hopkins

GM Trophy – awarded to a Junior sailor who represents and enhances “The Spirit of Junior Sailing” - winer: Aoife Hopkins

Aoife was recently invited to partake in Olympic Trials which is a fantastic achievement for a 17 year old

Youth Level achievements:

  • Nominated for Youth Sailor of the year 2014
  • 9th European Radial Championships Portugal
  • 20th Radial World Championships Canada
  • 1st Youth Lady Europa cup Brest
  • 2nd lady RYA Youth Championships
  • 4th under 19th World Championships

Olympic Level achievements (Senior):

  • World Ranking 94th
  • Irish ranking 2nd
  • Youngest sailor in the World to be invited to the World Cup in Weymouth
  • Gold Fleet Delta Lloyd
  • 30th La Rochelle Olympic Week

'Checkmate's' Dave Cullen accepts the Boat of the Year Award from Commodore Brian Turvey

Boat of the Year – awarded to a boat which has excelled during the year and has enhanced the reputation of the club. Winner: 'Checkmate' – Dave Cullen

After five days and ten races, in Nieuwpoort, Belgium, Dave Cullen’s Checkmate, crewed by Mark Pettitt, John Murphy, James Hynes, Andy George, Aidan Beggan and Gary Cullen, won the Half Ton Classics Cup Championship 2015.

Dave bought the boat only a year ago and climbed a steep learning curve to win this very competitive event.  A hugely enthusiastic supporter of the class, David Cullen was a popular winner and with all the learnings from this experience hopes to be back in contention again next year, bringing more credit to himself, his crew and HYC. Dave has had a number of other successes but the Half Ton Cup was the most ignificant one this year. 

John Doran accepts the Volunteer of the Year Award from Commodore Brian Turvey and John wanted the audience to know that he was accepting it on behalf of the team who were involved in the purchase of 'Star Point'

Volunteer of the Year – awarded to the person who has demonstrated selfless dedication to the club throughout the year - winner: John Doran

With his team that included David Lovegrove, David Sargent, Derek Bothwell and Peter Freyne, John was instrumental in the sourcing of the new committee boat “Starpoint”, evaluating it and organising its transport to Howth.  There was then a considerable amount of work involved in commissioning the boat and becoming familiar with its operation.  The next task was to organise and carrying out the instruction of a number of other helms in the club.  John also looks after the maintenance of the committee boats and the rostering of drivers for events.  In addition to this, John helms or assists a helm on one or other of the committee boats almost on a weekly basis and was available for many multi-day events right throughout the year.  On board a committee boat, John’s experience is invaluable, helping with timing, signal flags and crucially turning out the tea and coffee to keep the crews functioning at sea. John’s professionalism and attention to detail is second to none and he is a very worthy winner of this award.

Ush Hamilton and Georgina Corbett are jointly presented with the 'Instructor of the Year Trophy' by Commodore Brian Turvey. Ush travelled from Galway to collect the prize, while Georgina had flown from Spain for the Awards

Instructor of the Year - awarded to the person who has given outstanding service to members during the course of the year - winners: Ush Hamilton and Georgina Corbett

Ush Hamilton & Georgina Corbett shared the role of Senior Instructor in Howth Yacht Club this year. Throughout the Summer, these recently qualified Senior Instructors displayed outstanding leadership skills in managing a team of 25 Instructors and Assistant Instructors. They ensured that all the instructors were part of an efficiently run team which delivered safe, fun, tuition for the Junior Members of the Club. When they weren’t managing courses on shore, one or other of them was on the water coaching Optimists or instructing in J80s.

Cliona Murphy Memorial Trophy - Spirit of HYC - awarded to a Senior sailor who represents and enhances “The Spirit of HYC Sailing” (Presented by Linda Murphy, on right) winner: Rima Macken

Having cut her teeth in the Introductory Membership scheme and adjoining Adult Sail Training programme, Rima was also one of the most enthusiastic 'graduates' from the club's recently set up 'Crew Point' scheme. In 2014, she quickly established herself as a regular crew on Peter Courtney's Howth 17 'Oona' and while many crews settle into decades of great racing on the fastest 17s in the fleet, Rima continued her quest for furthering her sailing skills and presence within the club. In the winter of 2014 she made a bold move and took on the recently restored Howth 17 'Eileen' following some restoration work done to the boat by Roddy Cooper, Ian Malcolm and Nick Massey. Her enthusiasm then spread to the extraordinary sight of a Howth 17 being worked on in the months before Christmas in 2014, with 'Eileen' ready to launch before the rest of the 17 class had even dared to sand the first layers of paint, antifoul and varnish from their own boats.

And after an intensive season's racing this year in 2015 that included Dun Laoghaire week, rumour has it that Rima is even considering to purchase 'Eileen', (that is, if the price is right!)