The Awards are a celebration of the Royal St George Yacht Clubs Sailing Achievements of 2019, and of the members of the Royal St George Yacht Club. Club members have submitted the nominees below and will assist the Sailing Committee in recognizing those RSGYC Sailors & Club members with significant achievements during 2019.
This years nominations are:
Commodore’s Cup (Best Offshore Performance)
Aurelia- Chris & Patanne Power Smith: Aurelia had another great year in 2019, achieving 2nd overall in the ISORA offshore championship. The 2019 championship included some well known races as part of its calendar, in June the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race, a sprint of 270 miles to Dingle, with 46 entries. Aurelia was 2nd overall on IRC, improving on their previous best result of 3rd in 2015. July saw the 100th edition of the ‘Midnight Race’ from Liverpool to Douglas. This RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) classic race runs from the centre of Liverpool’s historic docks to Douglas on the Isle of Man and in its centenary year saw a record entry of 39 yachts. Aurelia was 1st overall on IRC winning the ‘Grand Challenge Cup’ (a magnificent trophy, one of only four created, the other well-known one is given to the winner of the Australian Tennis Open Championship) and the RORC Gold medal.
Over the course of the ISORA Campaign, which includes 13 races between April to September Aurelia amassed 678 points, just 4 point shy of the eventual winner where it came down to the final race of the season between Pwllheli and Dun Laoghaire to decide the overall winner of the Wolfs head trophy (given to the overall IRC winner of ISORA Championship), unfortunately, it wasn’t Aurelia’s day and for the second year running Aurelia came in 2nd place overall on IRC. Throughout 2019 Chris and his crew demonstrated a consistently high level of offshore sailing while leading team Royal St. George to the ISORA Club Team Racing award and the ‘Victoria Cup’.
Lady Rowena – David Bolger: David and his crew aboard Lady Rowena won their class in the Cruising Division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle and were proud recipients of the Sam and Emma Trophy. In a competitive class, some great sailing and perseverance won out in the end.
Lee Overlay Partners II – Adrian Lee: Aboard Lee’s Overlay Partners II in one of their first regattas on the new Lee Overlay, she won her class in Antigua Sailing week. In CSA 3, Adrian’s Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II scored five bullets and was also declared Best Swan at Antigua Sailing Week. Significant accolades in a very strong international class and division. Click here for some footage from the race and of Lee Overlay Partner II in full flight.
YoYo- Brendan Coughlan: Brendan sailing his Jenneau Sunfast 3600 was an instrumental part of the victorious Royal St. George Yacht Club team which won the prestigious ISORA Club Team Trophy. The first time in many years that the team trophy was not won by the Pwllheli Sailing Club team.
Windfall – Michael Cotter: Micks formidable Windfall was the biggest yacht to ever compete, took line honours and set a new course record by 24 seconds in the Volvo Dún Laoghaire to Dingle Race for a second time receive the Seamus Gallagher Memorial Trophy.
Windjammer – Denis Power/ Lindsey Casey: Denis & Lindsey’s J97 Windjammer was Overall ISORA Offshore Class 2 winners in 2019 and also part of the victorious Royal St. George Yacht Club team which won the prestigious ISORA Club Team Trophy. A great season in what is a very competitive class. Windjammer was also featured in a MOB situation on Dublin Bay which went viral online on how a textbook MOB recovery is carried out. Impressive sailing and seamanship by team Windjammer.
Vice-Commodore’s Cup (Significant Dinghy Performance)
Peter Williams, Jessica Riordan, Russell Bolger: Optimist Class Representing Team George at the GBR Optimist teams and random pairs event which was held in West Kirby in May 2019. They had a phenomenal performance with a tie for first place in the team event and Russell Bolger won the random pairs with Jessica finishing second. A great result. They also represented the club in an exemplary fashion. Without been asked they helped the organisers with boats/rigging/ de-rigging. The organisers were delighted to have an Irish entry and particularly from the Royal St George as there is a long history of team racing between the clubs.
Charlie Cullen: Waszp & 29’er Classes Charlie had a great year enjoying sailing in both the 29er and Waszp classes in 2019. He retained the Waszp Irish National Champion title in 2019. He also broke a world speed record in the Waszp class with a speed of 28.4kts. In the 29er Charlie had a successful first year in the class. Finishing first Irish Corinthian at the European Championships in Lake Garda and represented Ireland at the World Championships in Poland. He also sailed other events in UK, ESP and more. He plans to continue to sail in both classes for the year of 2020 and to participate at the World and Europeans.
Tom Higgins: Laser Class Tom’s Championship results for 2019 are Laser Radial Youth World Championships, 5th place overall. Winner, Andalusia Olympic Week, Laser Radial. Laser Radial Europa Cup, Hyeres, 6th place overall. Laser Radial Europa Cup, Lake Garda, 7th place overall. Laser Radial Nationals, 2nd place overall. Royal Yachting Association NI Laser Radial Youth Nationals, Open Champion. Leinster Schools’ Team Racing Champions, Gonzaga College. Tom is sailing both the Radial and Standard rig in 2020 and will compete in Genoa for the Irish Olympic spot at the Tokyo 2020 games. Tom is captain of the Gonzaga College Sailing Team in 2020.
Jack Fahy: Team Racing Class RSGYC Youth sailor Jack Fahy captained the successful Gonzaga College team in the inaugural Shanahan Cup raced at the INSS on January 16th, and was the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for January 2019.
Sean Craig: Laser Class Laser Master National Title (yet again) in the radial class and 3rd in the uber competitive Barcelona Laser Masters in July. Sean Craig, like a fine wine getting better with age and an inspiration to sailors of all ages.
O’Hanlon Cup (Best Cruise of 2019)
Samphire – Kieron Guilfoyle / Frank O’Beirne ‘Samphire’ a Nicholson 36 Cruise from Ireland to the Hebrides. Click here for the full cruise report.
Cevantes – Paul Conway & crew Irish Sea Cruise
Enriquetta Cup (Significant Keelboat Performance)
Dragon -Phantom: Neil Hegarty, David Williams and Commodore Peter Bowring: Phantom won their 7th Irish National Dragon Championship (in fifteen years) in 2019 a feat which is un-matched in the class, Phantom also won all regional Dragon events in 2019. They compete as a fully Corinthian crew. For their consistency, excellence, sportsmanship and overall contribution to the class at home and abroad I think that they are an outstanding nomination for the Enriquetta Cup. This nomination is also fitting during the tenure of Peter Bowring as Club Commodore.
Dragon – Jaguar Sailing Team: Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann & Pedro Andrade. Runners up at the immensely competitive British Championships Edinburgh Cup 2019.
Michael O’Connor: Helmsman’s Trophy- All Ireland Champion and SB20 National Champion 2019. Michael is the 73rd All- Ireland Champion Helm after winning the All Ireland championships in October. All Ireland Champion… does anything more need to be said? Michael and crew Davy Taylor (also RSGYC member and nominated below) raced the All Ireland Championships in the Flying Fifteen keelboat in a fleet of 16 invited champion sailors from across the Irish yacht racing scene. No stranger to success, Michael was the Corinthian Champion in the SB20 Worlds in Cowes in 2017, and this year he secured his place in the all-Ireland with victory in the SB20 Nationals at the RIYC.
David Taylor: Every keen helmsperson needs a Davy Taylor as his or her right-hand man when the chips are down. In 2013 he was there to help Ben Duncan win the All-Ireland in ISA J/80s, then, in 2019 he was the efficient and essential presence to get Michael O’Connor over the line as the 73rd All Ireland Champion, and received the Afloat.ie October Sailor of the Month Special Award by popular acclaim.
Dublin Bay Glen Class Team: For their performance in retaining the team racing Cup between Strangford Lough and Dublin Bay Glen Class Martin Byrne, Timothy Pearson, Brian Denham and Patrick Sheehan.
Causeway Trophy (For Sportsmanship)
Dermot Bremner- Dermot Bremner has been a George member for over 40 years, has sailed over 112,000 offshore miles under the George burgee, of which 26,000 in George registered boats. Quite probably the most miles of a current club member. Very recently, he supplied assistance to catamaran Irie Life 12000 miles out into the Atlantic from Cabo Verde. Owner skipper died of unknown cause; we understand Dermot administered CPR having been the only boat to answer a PanPan call at 0300. Dermot was awarded the Spirit of ARC+ award and the boat he was on Oyster 625 YOLO was flying his RSGYC burgee as always. The Arc+ race is Las Palmas Canaries > Mindalo Cape Verde islands > Rodney bay St Lucia.
Ian Bowring & crew of Springer Sigma 33 Ian and his crew sailed a great race in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle as one of the smaller boats in the fleet. In true sportsmanship ethos this was ‘unfinished business’ after the previous run of the D2D when Springer and crew were part of the many retirees during a particularly challenging first 24 hours. Not to be outdone, Ian and Springer returned to successfully compete and complete the 2019 edition of the race, all the time with the infectious good cheer that Ian is known for.
The sailors representing the RSGYC at the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta: Inaugural winners of The Roy Family Trophy- The Overall Club Team Trophy. Team consisted of skippers Helen O’Beirne (Laser Radial) Grace O’Beirne (420) and the Under 25 Team skippered by Niamh Henry.
In a very strong showing by the RSGYC Louise McKenna won the “Silver Sailor” prize for helms over 60 and the PY Trophy (Fireball), Grace O’ Beirne (420). In the Laser Radial Helen O’ Beirne, Shirley Gilmore and Ali Robinson were on the podium followed by team member Mary Chambers along with Sarah Byrne for the SB20. In the ‘big boats’ RSGYC’s Jean Mitton aboard ‘Levana’ sailed a great regatta in what was an exceptionally competitive fleet and finished at the pointy end of the fleet narrowly missing out the podium. Superb sailing by ‘Team George’ in what by all accounts was a great regatta.
RSGYC Under 25 Squad: Elizabeth Fogarty set up the RSGYC U25 as result of a conversation with Ronan Adams. She said “RCYC have an U25 squad. We should have one?” He said “I agree. Off you go!” So she did. She did what everyone does – set up a WhatsApp group and gathered her peers. They lobbied and sought advice and help from a broad spectrum of the RSGYC Flag Ffficers, past and present, and the general club membership. They got mentoring, advice, training, sponsorship and even sails from everyone they asked for help and were on their way! They started in the club 1720s, in which they trained and evented before proving they were a committed enough group to sail the J80s. They have featured in as many events as they could manage! They hit speed bumps over the summer with many of their number away on J1 visas, this is something this age group will always have to deal with. Momentum for the coming season is building and training plans are underway, it will continue to be open to all willing to train. Through their enthusiasm they have brought many sailors back into the fold who haven’t sailed in years and many more in as new members with the insistence that to be part of this group you must be a RSGYC member! Well done Elizabeth Fogarty, Adam Hyland, Niamh Henry, Kate Lyttle and Emily Cullen aka as The Committee and all the U25 squad. Keep up the good work!
Youth Award (Significant Contribution by a Youth to the sport of Sailing)
Alana Coakley: Alana commenced 2019 learning how to sail the 29er skiff, and with her crew Marcus O’ Leary finished 2nd overall in the Western GP’s the first event of the year, with a 4th overall at the 29er Northern’s towards the end of the season. Alana had more success in the Laser 4.7, finishing 2nd overall and 1st lady at the Irish Youth Nationals in April, replicating her 2018 result. She was also 5th overall and 1st lady and 3rd overall and 1st lady respectively at the Munsters and Leinsters. She finished her time in 4.7’s representing Ireland at the Laser Youth Worlds in Canada finishing 13th overall at the Championships. Alana was nominated for the IS Junior Championships in both the Laser 4.7 and Team Racing categories and was also a recipient of the RSGYC Cox Cup.
Tobias Moyna: Tobias has really developed as a sailor and also as a person since he joined the George, he takes every opportunity to get on the water and has made many new friends and always happy to sail with anyone. Tobias and TP Hogan also won the Feva Inlands at Blessington last Summer and came 5th at the Cork Dinghy Festival.
Jessica Riordan: Jessica Riordan had a very strong 2019. She was first girl at Irish trials and competed in Optimist European Championships at Crozon in France. She was first girl at British Nationals at Weymouth. She was first girl at Irish Nationals and won a gold ISA medal. She has competed at the North Americans and at several events in Europe and is on Winner team for the second consecutive year and was ranked 6th in the rankings for the year and Top Girl Overall. She really loves sailing and is a great ambassador for youth sailing and the George due to her work ethic and her good spirits
Charlie Cullen: Charlie had a great year enjoying sailing in both the 29er and Waszp classes in 2019. He retained the Waszp Irish National Champion title in 2019. He also broke a world speed record in the Waszp class with a speed of 28.4kts. In the 29er Charlie had a successful first year in the class. Finishing first Irish Corinthian at the European Championships in Lake Garda and represented Ireland at the World Championships in Poland. He also sailed other events in UK, ESP and more. He plans to continue to sail in both classes for the year of 2020 and to participate at the World and Europeans.
Waterfront Award (Significant Contribution to the sport of Sailing)
David Bolger & Billy Riordan Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group (DOGs) Organisers and coordinators. David and Billy have been working with the Optimist Class in the RSGYC and the Dun Laoghaire waterfront for the last few years. As coordinators and organisers of year-round training and event preparation for the Optimist Class sailors at all levels local, regional, National and International. They have facilitated the provision for sailors the opportunities and support of top-level coaching while also making great friends. Their tireless work at the sharp end of the class for the sailors is a model that other clubs look to emulate.
David Williams: David as the Water Wag class captain in the RSGYC has been instrumental in spearheading the continued growth of the class. David and his infectious ‘Duracell bunny’ attitude is a super ambassador for the class and sailing.
Richard O’ Rahilly: Richard has been instrumental in the growth of the Laser Kindergarten Group, which has attracted new sailors to the class and rejuvenated many to return to the class again after years of absence. Richards knowledge, unflappable demeanour and humour installs confidence and fun amongst the Kindergarten group. Richard has also been a lead instructor with the RSGYC Special Needs sailing group over the last few years, instructing every Monday evening throughout the summer, after working during the day as Assistant Senior Instructor for the very successful RSGYC Junior Summer courses.
Robbie Walker: Robbie has taken on the role of Youth Laser Class captain and the class is going from strength to strength. Organising a multitude of coaching programs and clinics, fostering local coaches and inviting international coaches has all led to the RSGYC being at the forefront of Laser Youth Sailing in Ireland. Sailor numbers on the waterfront continue to grow largely due to Robbie’s tireless commitment to his role. And he still has time to be tear across the Bay on his Windsurfer while competing in the DMYC Frostbite Series.
Last year’s Sailing Oscars night was a full house with an enjoyable evening had by all involved, the 29h of February promises to be another great night.
You can book online for the night by clicking here.