Author: Jenny O'Connell

WHSC Newsletter #17: It’s time to think about winterising

As the season draws to a close, welcome to WHSC Newsletter #17

It’s almost time to move your boats from the dinghy park

Reminder to all members who have a boat in the dinghy park along the West Pier (beside the main Clubhouse) that they must remove their dinghy from the dinghy park by 30th September. WHSC only have use of that space between April – September each year. If you have any queries please contact one of the Committee members.

Topper Club Championships Saturday September 17

Good luck to all taking part in the Topper Club Championships today, Saturday 17. First gun is at 2pm, and we hope to get four races done. If you’re around, please come down and help out. Enjoy the Topper fleet laying up dinner this evening.

Congratulations to these WHSC sailors

Congratulations due to the following WHSC sailors who have been representing the Club in National events recently:

  • Congratulations to Julian Hughes and the crew of Root 1, who placed 3rd in the 1720 Nationals in Baltimore recently. Well done too to Rob McConnell and Niall Power and their crews who also sailed in the event.
  • We’re very proud of all our sailors who took part in the Optimist Ulster Championships in Howth last week, with special congratulations to those who took home prizes: Nessa Brazil (who came 1st in the Senior Bronze fleet), Rory Whyte (1st in Senior Silver fleet) and Jack Doolan (5th in Junior Bronze fleet). And a very big well done to all those who represented WHSC at the event. It’s great to see such strong representation from the next generation.
  • Congratulations to Max Sweetman who took part in the 420 Nationals in Rush recently. Max crewed with Jack McDowell (MYC) at the helm, with the scratch pairing finishing 2nd in gold fleet.
  • Big congratulations to Eoin Byrne who finished off a great season’s sailing in the Topper fleet, including an 8th place in the silver fleet at the British Nationals with a selection for the Irish Sailing Laser 4.7 squad.

Thanks to all who helped recover an adrift boat

Thanks to all who immediately rowed in when a member’s yacht recently came adrift from its mooring and helped recover it from Stony Cove and move it to the pontoon. It was a really heartening example of the community spirit of the club in action.

And finally…

Adult sailing has been continuing throughout September. Thanks to Kim for keeping it going.

Tomorrow – Sunday September 18th – may be one of the last Water Times of the season, so get out and enjoy being on the water. Thanks to Charlie Boland for taking the lead on it.

We’ll have news shortly of our laying up dinner and a Hallowe’en event, so keep an eye out for updates on this via the newsletter and social media.

As we move into the autumn months, we’ll be reducing the frequency of our newsletters. The outgoing committee would like to say a big thank you to everyone who subscribed, read and submitted news or photos for inclusion throughout the year so far. This has become a really important way of keeping members up to date with everything that’s happening, and we welcome your news and feedback via the email address below to help the new committee keep the momentum going.

We’ll continue to stay active on social media (click on the icons below to follow us on Facebook or Instagram if you haven’t already). If you have anything you’d like to share with members, please email In the meantime, thank you.

Filed under: Member News, News, Toppers

WHSC Newsletter #16: Summer is drawing to a close…

Welcome to WHSC Newsletter #16

Congratulations to Eoin Byrne

Warmest congratulations to Eoin Byrne who finished eighth out of a 24 boat 4.7 fleet at the recent ILCA (Laser) Nationals at Tralee Bay SC, which was held between August 18 and 21. Eoin was also eighth in the silver fleet at the British Topper Nationals in Weymouth and Portland earlier this month. A very impressive double.

Lady Helm winners

Congratulations to the winners of last weekend’s Lady Helm races, IRC winner Trudi on Slack Alice, and Julia and crew on Monkey Business. Congratulations to all participants and thanks to Andre Passberger for the images (below).

Dinghy sailing continues throughout September

With many sailors back to school and the nights closing in, there’s no sailing on Wednesday evenings. However, Saturday afternoons will continue till the end of the month, and training for Optimists and Toppers will continue.

Toppers will sail their Club Championships over three races each weekend with first gun at 2pm, and the PY fleets will have their first gun at 3pm for two races. PY fleets 1 and 2 are encouraged not to interfere with the Toppers as much as possible. As always, anyone not sailing is encouraged to volunteer for safety on the water.

Cruiser Sailing

Our cruiser fleet is still getting out on Thursday nights with a slightly earlier start time of 6.30pm planned to account for darker evenings.

This Sunday will see a coastal race of approximately 40 miles. Briefing 8.30am, first gun 9am. See the WhatsApp group for more details.

Club Opening Hours for September

Please see below for our adjusted opening hours for September:

Thurs 5pm – close

Fri 5pm – 9pm

Sat 12 noon – 8pm

Sun 10am – flexible

Opening times are subject to sailing going ahead. If sailing is cancelled due to weather, then the bar will be closed, and this will be communicated as soon as possible.

Message from our Dinghy Captain Conor Cronin

A number of incidents have been brought to the attention of the WHSC Committee regarding items being stolen from members’ boats. This, as a behaviour, is completely unacceptable for our membership, and it’s clear with particular incidents that a great effort must have been made to remove the items taken from a member’s boat. If you do not have what is required on your own boat this is your responsibility.

The club has some regularly needed items available to purchase and this should be the first port of call.

Any and all incidents occurring will be investigated with the club’s CCTV. We are a community and a club, and we need to be able to trust each other and trust that our belongings are safe with each other. If you have any information regarding any of the incidents which have been detailed on WhatsApp groups, please contact one of the admins within that group. If you have borrowed an item from another sailor’s boat with the intention of returning it, or you have inadvertently ended up with someone else’s property, please do make the effort to return it now.

Filed under: News

Newsletter #15: The weather is turning but it’s still summer at WHSC

Welcome to WHSC Newsletter #15

Congratulations to our hardworking Optimist fleet who turned out in force at the IODAI Grant Thornton Irish Optimist National Championships at RStGYC last weekend, even bringing home some top prizes in their fleets. A huge well done to all sailors and special mention to Nessa Brazil (1st place in the Bronze fleet) and Rory Whyte (3rd place in Silver fleet).

Update from Optimist captain Nicola Harris: Ten Dunmore sailors (Amy, Arthur, Clara, Jack, Kate, Nessa, Nathan, Rory, Summer & Sarah) travelled to the IODAI Nationals at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire for four days of sunshine and racing. There was 185 sailors participating in the event across four fleets, so launch and recovery alone was a huge feat.

There were long days on the water for the Senior and Junior fleets, where some days only one race was completed. A lot of time spend waiting on the water and under tow, looking for wind. Thanks to Stuart Harris for Coach & Rib Support on the water, where there was much hanging out in between races.

Three of the sailors sailed in the Regatta fleet, which was split into race and coached fleets for the first time. Amy and Sarah opted for the Regatta Race fleet and Summer stayed in the Coached fleet. All three held their own and did great for their first year racing. Summer also won the paddling race (probably the most important race of the week).

Also thanks to the support and commitment of the WHSC parents on land. It takes a lot of effort from families to bring sailors to these events

All of our young sailors enjoyed their firsst National championship, learnt loads and had great fun on and off the water. Nessa and Rory came away with a top five in their respective fleets ( Nessa 1st Senior Bronze & Rory 3rd Senior Silver)

Successful Flying Fifteen South Coast & 420 Munster Championships at WHSC

Last weekend saw WHSC host another successful double, with the Flying Fifteen South Coast and the 420 Munster Championships held at WHSC.

Congratulations to all participants, especially Isabelle Passberger and Sarah Clooney who came third in the Silver fleet and Max Sweetman and Robert Jephson who came fourth in the Gold fleet. Race Officer Michael Conway did well to get five races in with glorious sunshine but the wind was a little hard to pin down. Both first places went to clubs from west of Shannon. In all, 16 420s were out and 13 boats took part in the Flying Fifteen competition.

Upcoming Optimist fleet news

The next IODAI Event will be held on September 10th & 11th in Howth Yacht Club.

Locally, the Tuesday Night Summer League finished up this week, with too much breeze on Tuesday to allow the final night of racing to go ahead. We had 26 sailors and 22 races across the three fleets, with many of the Regatta fleet sailors completing their first race.

Remember – you still have a last chance to sign up for the Club Championships, which is being held this coming weekend. Check out the Optimist Whats App group for details. Prize giving for both will be this Sunday afternoon post sailing, on the deck.

Dinghy Club Championships

A big thank you to all who volunteered on the water for the recent Dinghy Club Championships event and especially to Paddy Power for doing race officer on the Sunday. And a massive congratulations to all our worthy prize winners.

Sea Legs

Many thanks to the ever-calm Sheenagh McNamara for running another successful Sea Legs programme all summer, with as many as 28 of our youngest sailors on the water some weekends. Some sailed Optimists, some paddled, many swam and some just focused on squirting water guns at the tremendously fun and popular Saturday morning sessions, which this year included a trip to the Harbour Master’s office. For next summer, we’d like to invest in more training sails which are perfect for this age group, as they offer half the power of a regular Optimist sail. We are looking to purchase up to three of these sails for Sea Legs for next season at a cost of €155 per sail. If you haven’t yet donated and would like to do so, you can contribute via Revolut to Sheenagh (086 1743772).

With the Optimist Club Championships going ahead this weekend, Sea Legs wont be running. We’re hoping to have a bit of a party the following Saturday as it will be our last one for 2022.

There will be sailing in the morning the pizzas on the deck for lunch.

Under 16s disco next weekend

And finally….don’t forget the (strictly! Sorry parents!) under 16s end of summer party and disco at the club next weekend from 6pm to 9pm.

Filed under: 420, Events, Flying Fifteens, News, Optimists, Social events

WHSC Newsletter #14: Dale Morris, Harris Cup and Cruiser Club Winners

WHSC Newsletter #14

A very warm thank you to everyone who turned out last weekend to help organise, donate baked goods, participate in a fun race, help with rescue or shore duty or just eat cake in aid of the RNLI. A whopping over €2,600 was raised at the last count.

Dale Morris and Harris Trophy winners

Congratulations to Stuart and Nathan Harris who once again took the whole thing literally and brought home the Harris Trophy. Well done Team Harris on your second time winning first place in the Parent and Child Race.

And a huge congratulations to Nessa Brazil and Gráinne Byrne, 2022’s worthy Dale Morris winners.

Cruiser Club Championships

Last weekend also saw the Cruiser Club Championships take place at the club. Congratulations to all participants. First prize went to Julian Hughes’s Root 1; in second place was Shane and Trudi’s Slack Alice, and third prize went to Niall Power’s Rush.

Dinghy Club Championships

Registration for the Dinghy Club Championships closes at midday on Friday, please remember to register in advance. Any boat not registered will not be eligible for a prize. First gun each day at 12.30pm, with three races planned for each day. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in PY fleet 1, and PY fleet 2.

Volunteers are also welcome for safety boat, slip and the full range other duties. Please register your interest here.

Abba Night

Get your sequinned jumpsuits out and dust off your hairspray, ladies and gents – next Saturday is Abba Night at the club. Doors open at 7pm.

Filed under: News

WHSC Newsletter #13: Bring on the weekend

Wanted: Cake!

Can you contribute a cake or other baked goods for this Saturday’s RNLI coffee morning and cake sale? Cakes can be left in the function room between 4 and 7pm on Friday and Saturday morning from 9am. We’d love you to come along on Saturday morning to support the RNLI from 10.30am and do bring company. All are welcome to what is invariably a fun social event for all the family, as well as an opportunity to raise much needed funds for our friends in the RNLI.

Harris Cup and Dale Morris

Entries are still open for the Harris Cup Parent and Child race and the Dale Morris trophy which will take place as is traditional on Saturday morning. More information and registration forms here. Don’t miss the sign-up deadline of midday on Friday.

East Pier Parking

If you’re driving a car with a trailer in tow and can’t find legal parking in the harbour area, the Harbour Master has made provision for limited additional parking on the East Pier. Members can call this number (including on weekends) – 087 3455623 – to have the barrier lifted and you can park in a space on the break water. Please be careful how and where you park in the harbour, as tickets are being issued.

Flying Fifteens and 420s coming to WHSC

Mark your calendars. WHSC is to host the Flying Fifteen South Coast Championships and the 420 Munster Championships on 13th-14th August. See more information here.

WHSC Toppers at the Worlds

We’re all behind our Topper sailors who are still competing in the Worlds in Lake Garda. After five races in the 144 boat 5.3 fleet, Max Passberger is the highest ranked WHSC sailor so far. In the 4.2 fleet Ronan Quinlan is 7th overall after 4 races, with an impressive 4 top ten places in the 26 boat-fleet under his belt.

The Worlds run until July 29 with nine races scheduled for the Qualification Series and six for the Final Series for qualified sailors. In the 4.2 class, a single series of 15 races is scheduled. In all, 170 sailors are taking part.

Club Championships for Toppers postponed

Please note: the Notice of Race for the club championships will be issued on Thursday. This year the event will not feature racing for Toppers. With many of the fleet away, a separate championship event will be organised for Toppers later.

Abba Night Reminder

Don’t forget to get your Abba rags dusted down for our 70s themed night on August 6 – see below for upcoming entertainment plans.

Filed under: Dinghys, Juniors, Member News, News, Optimists, Social events

WHSC Newsletter #12 is out and it’s a busy one

Welcome to WHSC Newsletter #12

Topper Worlds

Good luck to the 13 WHSC sailors representing Ireland at the 2022 International Topper World Championships in Lake Garda, which open today in temperatures of 39 degrees. The Topper Worlds run until July 29 with nine races are scheduled for the Qualification Series and 6 for the Final Series. In the 4.2 class, a single series of 15 races is scheduled. Monday sees three races back to back in each fleet. In all, 170 sailors are taking part. Sunday’s opening ceremony included a march with a band through the old town (see our social media for more video and images). Go Team WHSC 🇮🇪

And well done to Max and Robert still flying the WHSC banner at Vilamoura in Portugal at the Junior European 420 Championships, which finish up tomorrow.

Plans for next weekend

The annual coffee morning in aid of the RNLI will take place at the club next Saturday morning from 10.30am. There will be coffee and cakes, bric a brac, books and vegetables on sale to raise funds that stay locally. Donations of goods for sale always welcome. More information on the weekend’s entertainment plans below.

This weekend also sees the return of the Harris Trophy and Dale Morris Race.

First up will be the Harris Trophy, which is sailed by a parent and child combination in an Optimist over a short course. Parents must start the race, complete the course and race back to the slip where they swap with the child, who sails the same course to the finish line.

It’s a good early start to make sure that all those sailing in the Club Cruiser Championships can fit both in so get your online form in!

This is a great opportunity for our young sailors to show us where they learned their skills by putting their parents in the spotlight. And parents, it’s a great chance to blame your kids if you don’t win!

  • 9.50am: Briefing for Harris Trophy Parent and Child Race
  • 10.30am: First gun Harris Trophy Parent and Child race

Register here.

All sailors under 16 are welcome to participate in the Dale Morris Perpetual Trophy. Starting on shore one sailor swims to the boat where their partner is waiting. Both sail to the first mark and perform a ‘man overboard’, then sail to the second mark and perform a capsize. First boat across the finish line wins. No handicaps will apply.

  • Briefing 12.30, FG 1pm
  • NO PADDLING WILL BE PERMITTED – we’re a sailing club not a paddling club! Any boat caught paddling will be DSQ without a hearing.

Register for the Dale Morris here.

Cruiser Club Championships

Also next weekend, the Cruiser Club Championships take place on Saturday and Sunday (July 30th & 31st) with multiple races both days. Racing kicks off on Saturday at 13:00 and Sunday at 11:00 with prizegiving to follow. Notice of race to come.

Congratulations to Shane Statham and the crew of Slack Alice, which won the River Race Cup last weekend.

Abba Night

Coming up on Saturday August 6th is our Abba themed 70s night to remember. There will be food and fabulous cocktails served and prizes for the best dressed. Doors open at 7pm. Be there or be…you know the drill.

Dinghy racing

It’s not too late in the season (or in life!) to start dinghy racing. If you haven’t got out on the water yet this year, give it a try. First gun is at 6.30pm on a Wednesday and 3pm on Saturdays.

Racing is fun and a great way to develop your skills, no matter what level you’re at. It’s one of the things the Club offers at no charge, so all the more reason to give it a go. Oppie racing is at 7pm on Tuesdays – see the Oppie WhatsApp group for more.

Filed under: 420, Member News, News, Social events, Toppers

Welcome to WHSC Newsletter #11

Good luck to Max and Robert in Portugal

Best of luck to WHSC members Robert Jephson and Max Sweetman, currently competing in their 420 in the Junior European Championships from July 19 to July 26 in the inclement heat of Vilamoura Portugal. Have fun and drink lots of water!

A belated big congratulations to Max, who competed in the Feva National Championships in the Royal Irish Yacht club earlier in July. Together with his helm Mathew Colton from RIYC, they came second in the silver Fleet and 9th overall. Well done Max, you’re doing your club proud across several fleets.

Volvo Cork week

Congratulations to all WHSC sailors who competed in Volvo Cork week, especially Shane Statham and the crew of Slack Alice, who came third in the White Sails fleet, in a class of 19 boats.

In the 1720 fleet of 40 boats, WHSC’s Rob McConnell performed consistently in a very competitive 11 races. Light winds meant very tactical sailing was called for all week. Flyover also sailed very well representing WHSC. It was fantastic to see almost 200 boats going out into Cork Harbour every day.

WHSC Topper sailors off to Lake Garda

Good luck to the Topper crew heading to Lake Garda to compete in the World Championships from July 25 to 29.

First Kayaks and Paddlers outing

Many thanks to Shannon Kavanagh and Maeve for hosting our first and hugely successful kayaks and paddlers outing of 2022 last Saturday, around the coves of Dunmore East. It’s great to be able to offer a range of options for people who want to get out on the water – with or without sails. If you’re interested in joining the group and staying up to date with future trips, please email

Optimist news

Update from the Optimist fleet: We were delighted to see seven of our Oppie sailors go to the Connaught Championships at Galway Bay Sailing Club on July 9 and 10. Sailing in Galway is a different sport, usually having to contend with lots of wind and rain. Our hosts kindly organised lighter weather and glorious sunshine — so nice, in fact, that racing had to be abandoned in the end on Sunday due to zero wind.

WHSC was represented in three fleets each of which completed four races on Saturday. Well done to all of the sailors. Overall we had three sailors within the top 10 in their category. Our two Regatta sailors built on their experience and were most comfortable sailing in their second ever event.

The adults saw the Galway sights, enjoyed beautiful walks and warm swims in the Atlantic while the kids were on the water. Everyone, adults and children alike made some friends and renewed old acquaintances both on and off the water. (Thanks to Oppie parent Mary Doolan for the comprehensive update.)

South East Optimist Regatta cancelled

The planned one day Optimist Regatta on July 24th has been cancelled due to low numbers registering. Thanks to everyone who got involved in organising and the more than 30 who volunteered to help out in the event. And don’t worry – there will be plenty more opportunities to help out, including during the Oppie Club Championship on August 20 and 21. There will be 3 fleet sailing (Regatta, Junior & Senior) in the championships. More details to follow from Oppie Captain Nicola Harris.

Welcome to WHSC, Tres Hombres

Did you spot the pirate ship in the harbour this week (see below)? We’d like to wish a warm welcome to Dunmore East to the skipper and crew of the spectacular Tres Hombres brigantine, a unique engineless sailing cargo vessel. This Pirate of the Caribbean sails around the world with no engine transporting cargo, circumventing the shipping crisis and minding the planet, including to the Caribbean in winter where it leaves with its belly full of rum. The crew of volunteers from all over Europe, US and South Africa docked in Dunmore East for a few days before setting sail with a cargo of Irish beer for France. Bon voyage.

Tramore Bay Race in aid of RNLI

The Tramore Bay Race in aid of the RNLI is scheduled for next Sunday, the 24th July. This always popular event will be supported by the Ritz Bar, who will be serving food and refreshments during the afternoon for all members. All Cruisers, RIBs and cars are welcome – it’s always a great event. We’re watching the weather forecast and will update you if there are any changes.

Have you signed up to host a barbecue?

We’re inviting all members to get together with your family or friends and volunteer to man and woman the barbecue for one of the Sundays during the rest of the season. You can sign up at the bar or by putting your name on the blackboard.

Sail Training Ireland Opportunities for young people

A number of bursary opportunities have been made available to young people aged between 15 and 30 (and during August for 14-17 year olds) from the Waterford area to take part in a sail training voyage on the Brian Boru from Dun Laoghaire to Waterford, between July 25 and 29. The cost is €195. The young people will get to experience all aspects of sailing the ship under supervision of the professional crew. Local community groups and organisations are invited to nominate individuals who would benefit from the experience. This voyage is heavily subsidised through Port of Waterford and Waterford City & County Council and is open to young people from the Waterford Area only. There will be a further opportunity for slightly younger sailors aged 14 to 17 during the first week in August. For more information on either voyage see:

New book: Waterford’s Maritime World

Copies of Waterford’s Maritime World are now available. It is on sale in the Book Centre in Waterford and in all good bookshops locally and Nationally.

“Waterford’s Maritime World: The ledger of Walter Butler, 1750-1757 by John Mannion

In October 1750 Walter Butler, a Waterford sea captain, purchased a ship in the port of Bordeaux and had it refitted there before loading it with wine, brandy and other French produce for his home port. Renamed the Catherine after his wife, the ship spent the winter in Waterford where Butler and his men prepared for a voyage to Newfoundland. She departed for the fishery in April 1751 with “passengers” (seasonal migrants) and salt provisions, returning home in the fall. Over the next six years The Catherine completed three more round trips to Newfoundland and voyages to London, Tenby, Dublin, Cork, Lisbon, Cadiz and Seville. The brig was captured off St. Lucar by a French privateer in spring, 1757. Butler’s account of the Catherine survives (Prize Papers, High Court of Admiralty). The ledger contains the most detailed description of a Waterford ship, shipmaster and crew for the eighteenth century. It is a record of everyday economic exchanges with merchants, traders, artisans and labourers in Waterford city and in the ports and fishing harbours visited by the Catherine overseas, in England, Wales, France, Iberia and in faraway Newfoundland….”

Hardback. 288 pages. Ills. €45.00

If a number of members are interesting in purchasing a copy, please email as we have been offered a discount on multiple purchases.

Got something for inclusion in the newsletter? Email

Filed under: 1720, Events, Member News, News, Optimists, Paddlers