Dublin Bay Old Gaffer Association 50th Jubilee Event

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailHowth 17 Photo John DeaneDate: 2013 – May 31st to June 3rd Venue: Poolbeg YBC, River Liffey – Dublin. A Fleet of five Class A & B Tall Ships in Dublin Port will provide a spectacular backdrop to the entire Howth 17 gaff-sloop & topsail, keelboat Fleet, plus Old Gaffers Association boats participating in our Dublin Bay OGA50 celebration on the June Bank Holiday weekend. The Howth 17’s are widely regarded as the oldest, actively-sailed fleet of one-design gaff topsail keelboats, still using their original rig. The Howth 17’s were designed in 1897 by Howth lawyer, and founding Commodore of Howth YC, Mr. Herbert Boyd. He was known as Herbert Boyd until he became Sir Walter Boyd on the death of his father, the famous Judge Boyd (mentioned in Joyce’s Ulysses) who had been the first Baronet. He was also an amateur naval architect who had shown a flair for yacht design, so the Club members asked him to design a suitable boat for Howth waters. By autumn end of 1987 Mr. Boyd put before them a design for a 17’ waterline keelboat, 22’6” overall length and a 6’ beam. Complete with a gaff sloop rig, short bowsprit and topsail, she would set 305 sq feet of sail and with a fine sheer, she looked a proper little yacht. The members were happy with the design and the first five boats were built by John Hilditch of Carrickfergus in Belfast Lough. They each cost just under £90 all found. Two years later Mr J Clancy of Kingstown ( now known as Dun Laoghaire) built another three boats. The Bublin Bay Sailing Club were provided with the Howth 17 drawings so they went ahead and had another 5 boats built by Mr J Kelly of Portrush and launched in 1906. Around late July 1906 all thirteen boats raced together for the first time. During the next six years four more boats were built to bring the family total to seventeen boats. During a windy 94 mile passage from Carrickfergus to Howth, the Howth 17’s proved themselves to be sturdy, capable and seaworthy vessels, and from their first race on Wednesday May 4th 1898 and subsequent racing seasons over the last hundred and fifteen years, they have demonstrated over and over, how capable they are at sea. DBOGA have invited the entire Howth 17 fleet to race during their OGA50 Rally.. An Inaugural River Liffey Race is planned, with the Howth 17’s racing upriver between the lifting East-Link Bridge and the spectacular Samuel Becket Bridge. The course will bring them right into the heart of Dublin. They will race upriver and downriver, past the Tall Ships moored on the quays, with the quayside providing close-up viewing for the holiday crowds. It promises to be an exciting and delightful spectacle for Dubliners during the Bank Holiday. The Tall Ships will be in Dublin for the Port Company’s own Maritime Festival which has joined forces with the DBOGA in providing what should be a colourful and exciting Maritime display during the Bank Holiday weekend. The visiting OGA50 fleet will include a Dutch OGA contingent of six Traditional vessels led by the colourful Dutch Physiotherapist, Rik Jannsen, sailing his unique, self-built, steel-hulled Galway Hooker. Rik, who has over the years developed a close rapport with the Irish West Coast Galway Hooker Fleet, will lead his Dutch flotilla from the Netherlands down Channel along the UK East coast, then to the Scillies, and from there up the Irish Sea to Dublin Port. DBOGA expect many other OGA50 vessels to arrive at what should be the biggest Gaff-Rig Festival in the Irish Sea for many a year. They can expect a great ‘Cead Mile Failte’ (100,000 welcomes) from the DBOGA fellowship at Poolbeg YBC. Boats arriving and registered will be accommodated with free berthing on the Poolbeg YBC Marina for the Event duration, by kind courtesy of the Officers and members of Poolbeg YBC. Dublin Bay, and its two Ports, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port, provide 24 hour, all weather, all tide, safe and easy access to both safe Haven Ports. DBOGA’s 3-day Rally programme will include a lively blend of social engagements under the heading of ‘Craic and Ceoil’ (Music and Fun) plus a sip or two of the local ‘Foggy Dew’. Proceedings will kick off with arriving boat Registrations on Friday, May 31st. On Friday evening at 2000 we welcome participants with wine and finger food at the Sponsors Reception in Poolbeg YBC, with live traditional Irish music, ‘craic and ceoil’ until late. On Saturday there will be a race with a Dun Laoghaire start for the Inaugural, perpetual ‘RMS Leinster’ Trophy Plate, commemorating the sad loss on October 1918 of the Mailboat ‘RMS Leinster’, which was torpedoed and sunk while on passage from Kingstown (now known as Dun Laoghaire) to Holyhead, just 5 miles East of the existing Kish Lighthouse off Dublin Bay The race will track the course of the ill-fated ‘RMS Leinster, out to where the U-boat torpedoed and sank her, then turn back towards Dalkey Sound and from there to the finish at Poolbeg lighthouse. Post race Barbecues will be in full production to satisfy the hunger of the racing crews and if time permits we plan to have a ‘Poems and Pints’ session after the Barbecue. The Irish Communications Workers Union, which represents the interests of Irish postal workers are currently in negotiation with the DBOGA, and OGA HQ re sponsorship of a specially commissioned Trophy for this event. Among RMS Leinster’s passengers who lost their lives, were postal workers who were sorting the mail when the torpedo struck. Also planning to participate in the June Festival will be Eithne , now 120 years old, designed by Mr Boyd, and widely regarded as the progenitor and inspiration for his Howth 17 design, being similar in hull waterline and size. Eithne had but one sister, Marguerite also a Boyd design, built in 1895 and she too will attend the Rally.. Conditions permitting, the two old girls will take up position at the mouth of the Liffey, to greet and escort the fleet of Howth 17’s upriver to Poolbeg. The Inaugural DBOGA Liffey River Race upriver for the Howth 17’s will be a spectacle not to be missed, and will be closely followed by a ‘Parade of Sail’ upriver and downriver, by the entire flag-bedecked fleet of Gaffers. After the Post race barbecue we will have a repeat of the DBOGA’s testing maritime quiz for competing boat teams. Seeking assistance from the Internet or Google is considered a yardarm hanging offence , then we have Craic and Ceoil until late, in the Clubhouse.. The Monday race will be for the unique ‘Asgard’ trophy, made from original and new timbers used in the construction and restoration of the famous 1916 uprising gun-runner – Asgard. The Asgard was owned and sailed by the famous Erskine Childers, author of that classic best selling novel, ‘The Riddle of the Sands’. The splendidly restored Asgard is now on show in the Collins Barracks National Museum of Ireland, just up the Liffey from Poolbeg, and well worth a visit. The Prize giving in Poolbeg YBC will be immediately after the Monday Race.