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GHYC November New​sletter


From the Commodore

It has been a very wet autumn in Glandore but we still had some beautiful mornings. 

The 2019 season closed with a very successful instructor course and a scary Halloween Party that was very much enjoyed by our younger members. The Club’s dinghy fleet was finally laid up in the Pavilion on November 2nd and the RIBs taken to winter storage. Many thanks to all the volunteers who made the events such a great success.

The 2020 Calendar is now on the GHYC website with all ISA Sailing Course dates and racing events. Sync it with your handheld’s calendar so you have all the info at hand.  Dinghy racing starts on Easter Sunday and the OD Keelboats starts with the Dragon Golden Sail on May 16th. Our first social event is the Curry Night following a hard day’s work getting the Club ready for the forthcoming season on Saturday, May 2nd.  The major event of the year will be the Glandore Classic Regatta 2020, which will take place on 18-25 July - more info below.

I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM on Sunday, 29th December at 5PM.

John Wyles

Halloween Party

Sunday 27th October was a creepy night to spend in the Clubhouse as members, young and old turned up in costumes for our annual Halloween Party. It was a real family event with many people helping throughout the day to prepare for the festivities. The Clubhouse and the pier were given a makeover with spider webs, decorations and of course the fires, which given the temperature for the evening, were essential.

There was fabulous chilli, sausages and lots of creepy cakes and biscuits. Families had great fun playing games in the yard including our mummy-dressing competition, which was both entertaining and exhausting!



A number of people went to a lot of effort to dress up and it was great fun trying to work out who was behind the layers of face paint and latex. Adult Prizes went to Count Dracula and the Queen Spider but the Glandore SeaHag completely stole the show - Harriet is still trying to remove the latex!


A big thank you to all those who cooked, baked, provided fires, decorations, wash up and a bit of Halloween spirit. It was a great night and thoroughly enjoyed by all. 


Preparations are well underway for what is looking like being a great event. Our partnership with Cork 300 is bringing in some of the beautiful larger classic yachts and sailing training boats that have been missing in recent years, as well as all of our regular participants. 

Our regatta starts with the Parade of Sail on Sunday, July 19th, but Glandore Harbour may well be invaded on July 14-15th by some of the Cork 300 cruisers on the Wild Atlantic Cruise, rumoured to already have 100+ entries!

Accommodation is going to be a problem, so if anyone wants to rent out their house for the week July 18-25th, please send Sally the contact information you would be comfortable with posting on our website. 

We will need lots of help and ideas on how to make this a 'once in 300 years’ event. If you can help, please contact Sally on

ISA Sailing School

Despite the rather inclement weather at the end of October, Rupert from Dunmore provided a really stimulating Dinghy Instructor Course during the Halloween week. Our young people's enthusiasm, local knowledge and adaptability made for a productive week. It was great to see them grow into the role as laid out by the infectiously enthusiastic trainer. We are looking forward to working with our new instructors in 2020. Well done!

We will be recruiting staff for next summer soon. I would advise would-be candidates to log their experience, dig out their certs and check the expiry dates - sooner rather than later. Participation in Club activities such as keelboat racing or race support count as loggable experience. We have thriving Dragon and Squib fleets where there are plenty of crewing opportunities.

The provisional schedule for next year's ISA and other courses can be viewed here: ISA schedule.

We are introducing a refresher week at the beginning of the Sailing School season. Come along, sail and get tips about things that you may be unsure or rusty from our team of instructors.

The sailors who sailed in our Autumn and Spring series were noticeably improved when they attended the Summer Sailing School. So I would encourage all our members to join the fun and get trained when we kick off again at Easter.

We are seeking:

      - Powerboat crew
      - Help on slipway
      - Race officer support
      - Cooks
      - Bottlewashers
      - Participants!

Contact Tim Forde or email training at to register an interest. There will be training available throughout the season.

As we wrap up this winter it would be appreciated if all members check their buoyancy aids and pockets to see if there is any club kit in there. It is easy to stuff a kill cord, VHF or keys in a pocket when coming off the water and not find until going back on the water.

San Remo - Dragon 90th Regatta

The Dragon 90th Regatta in San Remo, Italy, was a success all round: for myself as skipper, for my crew (I hope!), for Gypsy, and for the GHYC Dragon fleet.
The whole trip was only made possible by the help and support of GHYC members (and others in the wider sailing community who responded to our fundraising appeal in Afloat magazine), but it only happened at all because of the incredibly hard work of Kieran O’Donoghue who pulled it all together. He spent many days working out the logistics of the trip - insurance for car, trailer, Gypsy, the complicated entry forms, organising the ferry, organising fund raising, and then driving Gypsy  to and from San Remo.
Many others helped, particularly: Steve Vernon for lending his Range Rover; Commodore John Wyles for lending his trailer; Diarmuid O’Sullivan for servicing it (including a last minute tow-hitch substitution, courtesy of Diarmuid O’Donovan, when we discovered a bent hitch); Mick Mc Kenna for donating a good genoa and spinnaker; Sean Thompson for making a big tapered wood block so a wheel could be changed without having to jack up the trailer; North Sails for giving Gypsy a new main; and the support of GHYC members who contributed to the fund raising . And finally to Dale Mitchell, who crewed for me on Iolaire for four years back in the early 90s, who flew from Victoria, Canada to San Remo to crew on Gypsy. Last but not least, thanks to Joe Hamilton for his skillful maneuvering of Gypsy on and off Glandore pier and close to the wall.

The actual regatta

The two photos below say it all, the second photo taken as we crossed the finish line the day all 165 boats started on one line. Myself at 89 the oldest skipper, Gypsy at 86 the oldest Dragon in the world that regularly races, the picture taken by Finn Bradburn, one of Gypsy's regular crew for three years, and at age 16 the youngest crew in the regatta, with 72 boats astern of us. Never mind poor results in the other races, this photo sums up the Dragon 90th for Gypsy and her crew.

At the prize-giving, I received a wonderful surprise, the trophy given in the Dragon 75th in St Tropez. The trophy is awarded to the skipper who best exemplifies, in a vote taken by all the skippers of Classic Dragons, the best seamanship, sportsmanship and most importantly, the spirit of the classic Dragons that raced in the regatta.

On the third day of the regatta, all the Dragon owners met first thing in the morning to discuss the class and its future. I pointed out that Dragon owners are continually complaining that the class is not attracting young sailors. I stated it is time to do something about it.

Ever since I purchased Gypsy 34 years ago, Gypsy has always raced with junior crew members. As soon as the rules were altered to allow boats to sail with four in crew, Julia and Graham Bailey, who race at the top of the class, immediately started racing with four crew. Laurie Smith from GHYC, who also races at the top of the class, races with four crew much of the time. I urged that all skippers race with four in crew, the fourth crew member being a junior.

I told the Regatta about our Dragon Junior Skippers series that has run very successfully for two years. The first year had five boats, second year six boats and we are looking forward to an expanding fleet in 2020. It is possible!

My speech had a great reception from the assembled Dragon owners, but more importantly, Fiona Brown, publicist for the Dragon class who helps put together the IDA yearbook, has promised me one page to expand on the theme of junior sailing in Dragons and our Dragon Junior Skippers series.

The final icing on the cake? Those hot-shot Dublin Dragon skippers who left seven sails on Gypsy's trailer, their contribution to the Glandore Dragon fleet!

Craning out at the end of the Regatta was a nail-biting experience that I will relate to anyone that will buy me a bottle of Heineken!
Don Street

Ronan Daly Jermyn Sunday Dinghy League
Autumn 2019 Prizegiving
The Autumn League again went down to the wire with Sean Thompson overall winner and Peter Hayes hoisting the U18 RDJ Trophy. Prize-giving and a great party was held immediately afterwards in the Clubhouse. Full results can be seen here

The League also got a great mention in Afloat magazine - see the full article here

Get to know your Committee Members

Kevin Percy - ISA Sailing School Manager

Where were you born?
Plymouth, UK

Tell us a bit about yourself
I am married to Triona and I have three adult offspring. I am a keen kayak surfer and sailor. 

When did you first sail?
Aged 12 or 13 in Plymouth Sound, joy riding a Scorpion!

What’s your fondest sailing memory?
Sailing a Laser downwind, boat healed to windward, just before it crashes over on top of me!

When did you become a member of GHYC?
About three years ago.

What’s your favourite aspect of the Club?  
The fact that I can leave the house, cycle to the pier in 15 minutes, race Dragons, finish, and be in the pub within 20 minutes. That and the friendliness of the members.

Thoughts on your present committee role?
It's great to be in a position to help people get involved in a sport which has so much to offer.  I am looking forward to a full 2020 season of training newcomers and return visitors, raising the standard of sailing and safety across the Club.



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