HYC SB3 Fleet - Review of 2008 & plans for 2009
Author: Ben Duncan Posted on: 17/2/09 Print Version


HYC's - Sharkbait & Aranow sailing the 2008 SB3 Worlds in Dun Laoghaire
Round-up of 2008

The 2008 SB3 Season at HYC saw 10 boats entered for the majority of Tuesday evening sailing, with at least 6 boats making it to the start line on most occasions throughout the year, resulting in some great small-fleet racing around the cans and occasionally overtaking the odd Ecthells who start on the first gun of each evening.

The club series spoils were spread between the outgoing class captain Mike Evans steering Aranow, and incoming 2009 class captain Ben Duncan sailing - Sharkbait, whilst there was also fierce competition for every finishing spot throughout the year.

The Fingal Series, which was sailed on Saturdays, suffered from a combination of poor weather and turnout, but with the brilliant Summer on the way for 2009 it should be a much better series!

The annual Howth Regatta was sailed in a 2-race windward-leeward format in June, and was won in a countback by Dave Quinn sailing Helly Hansen. The format for this years 2009 Howth Regatta in SB3's will take the format of a 'mini' coastal race around Lambay Island, which should take around 3-4 hours to complete. With a good forecast this will see the longest blast-reaching legs in any SB3I event to date, and we are hoping for a bumper turnout from the Dun Laoghaire fleet to attend this inaugural coastal event on the 20th June this year!

HYC's Aranow in the foreground along with Sharkbait in the 2008 Liffey Challenge.
Howth once again hosted the SB3I Easterns in 2008, and even managed to accommodate Northerner 'Flash' Gordons request to inspect the bottom of his hull before the Sunday races! David Lovegroves race management team timed the event to perfection in between squally weather, and the 'Howthies' almost took the event for the second year running, with Tom Fitzpatrick steering Helly Hansen to a very close 2nd placing.

The best placed Howthie in the SB3 Nationals was Nicky Smyth steering Helly Hansen to a solid 5th Place overall. Emma MacDonald helming Trouble rounded out the top 10 in a fleet of over 70 starters in a competitive fleet.

Plans for 2009

The Howth Fleet continues to grow in 2009, and we think we may have a claim to fame as the most 'multinational' fleet, with IRL, NZL, FRA and now GER country letters lining up for starts every week. We will be continuing to support the DL events, with only a 1� hour sail around Howth Head to compete with the Southsiders! There are also several prospective new members to the fleet, which will be well accommodated by the brand new hardstanding and launching area due for completion in late March, including a new ramp and cranes.

The new facilities will also help greatly when launching boats for the Spring Warmer Series, scheduled for the 4th/18th/25th April, all Saturdays, with 3 races per day. Further details (including the start time) to be confirmed, but keep an eye on for further details!

As Howth Yacht Club is not hosting a National SB3I event this year, we are proposing to hold an owner-driver Match & Team racing event later in the year, possibly in August. This exciting format will be held over a 2-day period, and include on-water umpiring. We will also be planning some coaching for early in the season, so keep an eye on the website for further details!