SB3 Season Roundup 2009 and plans for 2010
Author: Ben Duncan Posted on: 10/11/09 Print Version

The 2009 sailing season has been a very busy and eventful one for the small but talented group of SB3 sailors of Howth Yacht Club. With over 65 boats active around the country, and with considerable drive from the class association, the fleet has gone from strength to strength in 2009. Fast, competitive, easily trailable and with a great social scene, the SB3 class has taken off in Ireland over the past 3 years, and is always on the lookout for new keen faces to take part in some of the best one-design racing in the country!

HYC Club Based Racing 2009

The beginning of the year saw HYC play host to the Spring Warmer Series before the season started in earnest. Strong winds and changeable conditions blew the cobwebs away fairly quickly, and Dave Barry of Lia noted that it was an excellent chance to get up to speed after the winter hibernation period. Shane Murphy's local boat Dinghy Supplies as helmed by Darragh Sheridan, took the spoils from a fleet of 7 boats over the three weekends sailing. Next year promises to be a much bigger event as the series will immediately preclude the East Coast Championships to be held in Dun Laoghaire in April 2010. For more see:

Tuesday night series races started out with a reduced fleet, but as the year progressed we saw more yachts take to the water, averaging 6 boats for most of the year. New HYC member Emmet Ryan joined the fleet with Sonic Zoom, and Jochen Wenski's Einstein's Nightmare also became regular runners on the racetrack. "One person's misfortune is another person's fortune" summed up Tuesday nights for one competitor, as another summer of poor weather provided for some of the most exhilarating SB3 racing conditions of the season. One Tuesday evening in particular stands out where an Easterly storm gifted us with a spectacular swell and awesome surfing conditions in 20 knots of breeze. Sharkbait, this year co-owned by Ben Duncan & Brian Moran, took the spoils in all but one of the Tuesday Series, with Dinghy Supplies taking home the Series 3 trophy. Series 3 also saw the welcome return of Dave Quinns, initially this year being helmed by Laura Dillion (HYC's club champion of 2009) in preparation for the SB3 National Championships in September. A requirement for consistent and regular crew was noted by several boats this year as a key factor in gaining good results, so anyone interested in a full SB3 sailing season in 2010 should get in touch with the class at Howth over the Winter period.

The Saturday Windward/Leeward series was also run in 2009, and provided the SB3's with valuable racing in-between the big events. Competitors reflected that the series of 2 races on 3 separate dates provided for some excellent racing, and that the start time at the very respectable hour of 2pm was very welcome! Conditions were varied with some screeching runs at 15 knots, followed by pleasant 'soaking' conditions on other days. Sharkbait again took the silverware, with as Lia as runner-up and Eoin Quinlan's Shockwave rounding out the top 3 from a fleet of 9 boats for the series. The Lambay Race was also attended by the SB3 fleet, enjoying tight reaching conditions both to and from the Island this year, making it a firm favourite for next years calendar.

SB3I and Open Events 2009

The Howth SB3 Fleet was very well represented throughout all National events in 2009, the fleet toured in force, and the craic was mighty all year. Everyone had their moments at the front of the fleet and represented the club with distinction, both on the race course in the bar! Howth boats featured prominently at all events this season, and all the sailors can be exceptionally proud of their achievements throughout the year.

The SB3I Northern Championships were Held early in the year in Belfast Lough, Sharkbait, Sonic Zoom & Quantative Easing represented HYC in a fleet of 19 boats, with the Sharky team bringing the Northern Championship Trophy back the Howth for the first time. The Zoom lads rounded out their first major event with a solid top-10 placing. More info at: and

A shortened RAYC Baily Bowl due to a rolling swell and big winds from the East (perfect for SB3 sailing in Dublin Bay!) was held in mid-May. 28 boats made it to the line, and finishing in 16th were the Sonic Zoom lads, with Shockwave 10th, Lia in 8th and Sharkbait continuing form with another title win. More info at:

Held in Baltimore on a cracking weekend at the end of May, the SB3I Southern Championships saw Howths Lia, Aquaserge (Jerome Augesse), Sonic Zoom & Sharkbait make up a quarter of the 16 boat fleet. Gear failure put an end to Aquaserge's event on day 2, whilst a few too many pints may have also slowed the fleet a little! Lia finished 8th, Sonic Zoom a creditable 5th after overnighting in 2nd place, whilst the Sharkbait team brought another trinket back to the trophy cabinet at the club following a dominant performance. More info at: and

The SB3I Eastern Championships were held in Dun Laoghaire at the start of July, and the Howthies were surprisingly small in number represented by only 3 boats in the 36 boat fleet. Eoin Quinlans Shockwave had the event of their year, sailing their proverbial socks off to finish just outside the top 10 in 12th overall. Lia finished exactly mid-fleet in 18th place, whilst Sharkbait lost out to a Northern boat by just one point overall for the title. More at:

A 'must-do' event on the SB3 calendar in 2009, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta was attended by the usual HYC travellers, and also joined by Gillian Guinness & Se O'Leary sailing Sin A Bhuifl and Paul McMahons Quantative Easing. Final results in the 43 boat fleet showed Lia on her improving form to take a solid 10th placing, with Quantative Easing taking 17th overall. Sin A Bhuifl and Shockwave also posted solid mid-fleet results in sometimes very challenging conditions for the SB3 fleet, whilst Sharkbait managed to take the winners trophy on countback from a Dun Laoghaire based SB3. The quality and competitiveness of the fleet was also recognised with the best one-design sportsboat prize also going the SB3's way! For more see:

As the 'premier' event for the 2009 SB3 calendar, the National Championships were held in Crosshaven in September. Emma MacDonald dusted off Trouble to compete at the event and join the 6 other Howth boats competing in the 47 boat fleet. Sharkbait was unable to topple the lads from the North but still managed to finish in 3rd overall, with and Trouble finishing a very creditable 6th and 7th respectively, and also as sailed by the first and second lady helms in the fleet! Dinghy Supplies just missing out on a top 10 placing in 12th, with Lia in 19th and Sonic Zoom in 28th. Shockwave rounded out the Howthies in 32nd place in a 3-day regatta that had a fair share of controversy and fickle breezes. More at:

Held in Lough Derg in mid October, the Midland Championships is always a welcome one to wash down the boats with fresh water before the Winter layup. 7 Howth SB3's travelled to help the fleet to a respectable 34 boats, and eventually taking 5 of the top 10 placings for the event, showing the depth in the Howth fleet. This time a countback for first did not go Sharkbaits way, but with Dinghy Supplies, Lia & taking 6th, 7th & 8th places respectively and with Quantative Easing in 10th, the HYC fleet can be very proud of their achievements at this event. More at:

The overall SB3I Ranking List represents scoring for events during the year, and is used to determine the SB3 representative at the All-Ireland Sailing Championships. With an incredible season of results, the Sharkbait team held the top spot through 5 updates of the ranking list for the entire year, represented the SB3's at the Championships and eventually finished 3rd overall, showing that the SB3ers are certainly a competitive bunch of yotters! Final ranking results for 2009 season show Sharkbait will spend the off season in top spot, Lia in an excellent and well deserved 8th place, Dinghy Supplies just outside the top 10 in 12th, in 20th, Trouble in 22nd, Sonic Zoom 26th, Shockwave 27th, Quantative Easing 33rd (Paul also finished 5th at the All-Irelands as the 'Laser 1' representative), Aquaserge 41st and Sin A Bhuifl in 51st, from a total of 65 boats.


Sharkbait (Duncan/Moran/Morris) at the SB3I Northern Championships 2009
The 2010 Season

The 2010 SB3 Season will again be a busy one, and Howth Yacht Club will also be hosting the 2010 SB3 Irish National Championships in September. We are expecting over 50 boats make their way to HYC for the premier 2010 SB3I event, and we are already in planning to make it the best event yet!

The season will also include the introduction of an SB3I event in Galway in mid-Summer, and the SB3 World Championships will be held in Lake Garda, Italy, in July.

If you are interested in getting involved with SB3's at Howth, please get in touch with the Class Captain, or ask anyone around the club for more details. We have an active crew register running, a very supportive group of sailors involved, and the most exciting and fastest sailing downwind in breeze of any class at the club!

See also for all the latest news, info and forums for SB3 racing in Ireland, and also for the latest info on the Sharkbait race team.

The fleet looks forward to seeing you on the water next April!