Club Keelboat Racing starts next week

23 April 2019
Club Keelboat Racing starts next week
It’s arrived! The HYC summer sailing season starts in just over a week.  The Club has seen extensive pre-season boat preparation, last minute panic, anti-fouling parties a daily occurrence and last-minute launch requests bombarding the Marina office.
The Cruising Group will be getting the season underway with their Start of Season Breakfast in the Club on the 27th April at 10am, followed by Gary Maguire’s line throwing competition.  Get in touch with class captain William Kearney if interested in taking part. 
Tuesday 30th April sees the start of One Design racing.  Big turnouts and close competition are the norm and this season’s fleets will be even larger than in 2018.  The Squib revival gathers pace with 11 boats the most recent count, the J80s continue to grow their numbers and the Puppeteers welcome two new crews, the return of some fleet members to active participation and a few changes of ownership, which should see their race turnout break 20.  The Howth 17s, as the senior HYC fleet and definitely the most photographed, continues to thrive.  After the devastation caused by Storm Ophelia in October 2017, the fleet will shortly be restored to full strength when the rebuild of Anita is completed this Summer and is also looking forward to a further new boat joining Sheila and Orla as the 21st century late-comers to Howth 17 racing. 
Wednesday the 1st of May will see the Cruiser fleet line out for their first race of the summer season with a few new additions anticipated and various tweaks made to some of the old boys.  The newly adopted Class bands will be in place and, while Cruiser 3s and White Sails are unaffected by the revised Class allocations, Cruisers 1 and 2 are advised to look up what flag they should be flying in 2019.  The revision for Class 1 and 2 will see an IRC handicap of 0.940 being the demarcation between them, resulting in more boats being assigned to Class 1 than was the case in 2018.  Cruiser 1 and 2 Classes will start together but with a facility to shorten their respective races in different locations should the conditions warrant it.  Separate results, both on HPH and IRC, will be issued for the Class 1 and 2 Wednesday evening racing and, in addition, the J80 fleet will get their own fleet results posted.
The Club racing entry forms are now posted to the ‘Club Racing’ section of the HYC website, where entries can be made online, along with the NOR and Sailing instructions.  As with last year, there will be a limited number of printed handbooks available for entrants, together with laminated course cards.  The course layouts and mark positions remain unchanged for the 2019 season.  
Please take some time to have a look at the sailing instructions and NOR, which have been slightly amended, particularly at Clauses 9C and 9D.  9C now states that competitors are strongly recommended to carry VHF and that failure to hear Race Officer radio transmissions shall not be grounds for redress.  For safety reasons, 9D now prohibits anchors from protruding beyond the bow of a boat while racing.  
For those racing on Wednesdays, attention is drawn to a particularly Low tide on July 3rd, which means racing will be deferred to the following Friday (July 5th).
The 2019 season sees a revision to the HPH system for the Classes that race on handicap.   There were numerous grievances about the unsatisfactory functioning of the previous system, particularly its poor performance in rewarding boats that were improving while allowing the front runners to collect both scratch and handicap trophies.  This revision will see handicaps managed manually, set prior to each series and taking into account the particular circumstances of each boat’s performance with reliance on computer adjustment being pared back.  The revised system is being trialled and we would ask everyone to be patient and feel free to offer positive assistance to your Class Captains. 
We expect to bring new course layouts and mark positions to HYC for the 2020 season.  The stellar work of the group designing the new layouts has been frustrated by IT problems but they are confident that their work completed before the end of 2019.  
Finally, a reminder to all – please note which dates you have been allocated by your Class to assist on the Committee Vessel throughout the season.  Each Class is responsible for ensuring that the helpers from that Class turn up to assist on the Committee Vessel on the days allocated to the Class.  If we don’t have the bodies, unfortunately the racing can’t take place!! 
The Sailing Committee wishes everyone a great summer of sailing.  We encourage all our members to get out on the water, whether to race or have a nice potter around.