Ewan McMahon wins the Silver Fox Trophy

08 January 2017
Ewan McMahon wins the Silver Fox Trophy

The Achievers Awards night was very well attended on Saturday evening. It was great to see so many club members celebrating each other’s stellar results from last season. Of the impressive line up of nominees the judges had a difficult task to choose who best deserved to win the trophies.

After the prosecco reception and some finger food Ross McDonald and Commodore Joe McPeake welcomed the attendees before MC of the night Dylan Gannon highlighted all the nominees achievements and successes to much appreciation of the assembled crowd. In a year where we had a fourth place in Radial Youth Europeans, Third at ISAF Worlds, Second at Radial Worlds, a Melges World Champion, IRC  European Champion, six National Champions and offshore Race Winners choosing the winners was no mean feat. Past winner and Olympian Ciara Peelo noted when she saw the list that she was happy not to be in the mix this year such was the calibre of the nominees!

2016 was a very busy season for winner Ewan McMahon. Jet setting around Europe and further afield as far as Rio for the Brazilian Nationals and sailing as Annalise’s training partner. With some great results under his belt by the time July came around Ewan peaked brilliantly at the World Championships being raced close by in Dun Laoghaire. In difficult conditions an amazingly consistent string of low scoring results from start to finish left Ewan in sight of the title. He eventually finished a magnificent second place narrowly behind an American sailor and comfortably ahead of bronze placed Singaporean. Marking the best result at a Laser Radial Worlds by an Irish sailor ever.

Another well travelled boat and campaign was Boat of the Year Bam, Conor Fogarty. After crossing the Atlantic late 2015 Bam raced in the Caribbean season, winning her class in the RORC Carribbean 600 and racing in the Heineken Regatta in St Maarten. After sailing solo home to Europe Bam continued with the RORC channel races and the Solo Fastnet Race. If this wasn’t enough when September came it was time to sail to Malta for the Middle Sea Race. Bam finished in third position in IRC 3 in RORC’s season points championship, with a less UK centred scoring system she could clearly have been crowned class winner for 2016.

Noel Davidson was the popular winner of the Cliona Murphy Memorial Trophy. Noel has been an ever present smiling face in HYC throughout the years and he has always made a massive effort in welcoming new members to the club and ensuring they have a great time getting out sailing and learning to sail. Working with the Try Sailing initiative Noel was busy making friends while skippering a crew during the summer, the autumn league and right through to the Brass Monkeys.

The Seaward Bell was awarded to Doug Elmes & Colin O’Sullivan for their racing performances in the 420 Class. In early January they returned from the ISAF Youth Worlds in Malaysia with Bronze Medals, a feat that had only been done once previously by an Irish double handed crew. They continued their domination of the Irish fleet in their final year in the youth boat where they added the National title to their trophy cabinet. They have now moved into the bigger and much more powerful 49er skiff.

Shane McLoughlin who competed in his first World Championships in the 420 class was awarded the GM Award. As a dedicated sailor throughout the summer Shane was either in the dinghy park or on the water honing his skills and always around to lend a hand were he asked. As he is coming towards the end of his youth career we hope he might graduate onto the K25 squad.

Riain Timon’s years of selfless dedication and work for the club resulted in him being awarded the Volunteer of the Year. For years a stalwart of ensuring excellent quality of rescue cover and skills of the rib drivers has guaranteed that we are always able to go sailing and that our fleet of boats is well maintained and cared for. Without his work we may have found ourselves in a pickle from time to time but this has never been the case.

The summer sailing course programme is the busiest time of the year for the club and it is made all the easier when there is a team of great instructors. This year’s instructors were amongst the best of in the country, while it was difficult to pick one from a team that worked so well. Robbie Dix was the stand out, being awarded Instructor of the Year, where he always ensured the kids were having lots of fun, was engaging with the parents and always varied the lessons to keep the sailors interested.

Congratulations to the winners and well done to the nominees on a fantastic year. Lets hope everyone can keep pushing the standards for 2017 and beyond!

Ross McDonald

(See here for all the photos by John Deane)