Category: 420

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 #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

WHSC to host Flying Fifteen South Coast & 420 Munster Championships on 13th-14th August

WHSC to host Flying Fifteen South Coast Championships & 420 Munster Championships on 13th-14th August

More information to follow…

Event information:

Notice of Race – click here for NoR
Official Event Notice Board – click here for event notice board
Sailing Instructions – click here for sailing instructions
Entry is now open – click here for registration


Venue Information:


Filed under: 420, Dinghys, Events, Flying Fifteens, News, Racing

Newsletter #8: All that’s happening this week and beyond at WHSC

420 fleet powering ahead

Well done to club member Max Sweetman and instructor Harry Thompson, who competed in the 420 Connaught Championships in Galway Bay Sailing Club over the bank holiday weekend. Twelve boats registered for the event. Max and Harry came second to the local boat of Adam McGrady, and are now in training to compete in the 420 Europeans in Villamoura in July with their regular partners Robert Jephson and Jack McDowell. You’re doing us all proud.

WHSC representation at Topper Southerns

Some of our hardworking Topper fleet travelled to National Yacht Club in Dublin to compete in the Southern Championships. Well done to Peter Kenny who came 5th, Peter Doyle came 11th and to Julia McConnell, Christopher Plant, Kate Kenny and Anna Doyle who also competed. We look forward to seeing you in action at home for the Topper Nationals on July 1 to 3.

School Sailing underway

Senior Instructor Max Kavanagh has hit the ground running with our School Sailing Programme for local primary schools which kicked off this week. Realt Na Mara in Dunmore East, Waterford Educate Together, Gaelscoil Phort Lairge and Faithlegg schools all participated and enjoyed it hugely, despite occasionally blustery conditions that limited their time on the water. Instructors Jack Maree, Matthew Quinlan, Harry Thompson, Polly Rogers, Eoin O Gradaigh were assisted by Ronan Quinlan, Niamh Lynch and Max Sweetman. The students sailed Wayfarers and got the opportunity to go out on a rib. We’re delighted to be able to offer local schools the chance to experience the thrills of sailing. Thanks to Trish Power for all her work organising the hugely popular programme.

Apprentices Return

This week saw the return of the Apprentices – a group of 12-14 year-old volunteers. Thanks to Lui, Riley, Grace, Niamh, Neasa, Bertie, Rory, Sarah, Caolan, Matthew, Anna, Lisa, Ruby and Christopher for their hard work helping with buoyancy aids, launching the School Sailing programme students, varnishing bar stools, watering plants, helping organise games and washing boats. The original group of Apprentices are now our Instructors this year, and we hope many of you will be back as Instructors in the future.

First Cruiser Cup Race of the Season

After a bit of a false start last Sunday, this weekend will be the first Cup race of the season. First Gun is at 3pm with the trophy awarded on the deck afterwards. The Marchant Engineering June League continues on Thursday evenings. Watch this space for announcements on upcoming Cruise In Company events.

Dinghy racing is already underway on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. See the WhatsApp group for racing and sign-up information.

Boat Audit Soon

You’re respectfully asked to make sure you have paid for all boats parked in the shed, on the apron, or in the dinghy park. If the boats are not being used and paid for, they will need to be removed immediately. With record numbers of members in the club, space is at a premium, and we need to use it wisely and fairly. We’ll be carrying out a boat audit next weekend to make sure all boats are paid up. A reminder also to please rack your Oppies and Toppers after use.

To Renew membership & pay for boat parking:

1) Login to the membership portal (primary member for family memberships)

2) Click ‘Renew’ on the menu.

3) Confirm renewal items (i.e. membership & boats parking)

4) An invoice will be generated which you can choose to pay online with ‘GoCardless‘, by direct debit, or (this is the preferred method) via bank transfer (**please include name and membership number from invoice in bank transfer details**) or cheque.

Any amendments, changes or problems contact Mike Kelliher (email:, or Ronan Brazil (email:

Register for Water Time on Sunday

Water Time got underway in bracing easterly winds last Sunday. Only a handful of boats participated in some fun conditions and got a chance to see the Jewel of the Sea up close. It’s on again this Sunday. Rigging at 10.30, on the water for 11am. If you’re interested, you do need to register by Friday evening please:

Oppie coaching

After a very successful and testing weekend of coaching for the Senior and Junior Oppie fleets, more dates have been confirmed. Two additional sessions will be held for the Junior fleet with local coaches on Saturday June 18 & June 25. Keep an eye on the WhatsApp group for updates. And a longer-term date for your diary: the Oppie Club Championships will be held on 20th and 21st August. This is open to all Oppie sailors with three fleet options based on experience and sailing course level. Thanks to Nicola Harris for her work making sure everyone – from the least experienced sailors to the old hands – has an enjoyable and enriching time on the water.

A La Carte

Our Friday night A La Carte dining has been postponed until the last Friday in June – watch this space for a link to book.

Reminder: Welcome new members

As we mentioned in the last newsletter, WHSC is had the highest membership growth of any sailing club in the country last year and we’re more than happy to have you on board. With that in mind, our incoming commodore for the 2023 season, Rob McConnell, will be hosting a new members event at the club on the afternoon Saturday June 18. Those who joined during Covid are also most welcome. Please save the date and keep an eye out for details closer to the time.

Parking in the Harbour

The issue of the removal of 90 parking spaces in the harbour by the Department of Agriculture and the Marine, to make way for a traffic management plan, made local news headlines this week, with extensive coverage in the Munster Express (see below) and on WLR FM. Members of the business community in Dunmore East, including WHSC member Ronan Mulligan, Cllr Eddie Mulligan, Senator John Cummins and others expressed concerns about the impact on the village of the removal of all non-permitted parking in front of the sailing club, to allow for the construction of a roundabout and drop-off zone. We’re very grateful to all for their support. You can listen back to the WLR interview by clicking on the image in this link and read Senator Cummin’s Facebook post here. Members of the committee have also been working hard behind the scenes to try and reach a compromise with the Department.

In the meantime, we would ask you to be mindful of the difficulties this creates for the village as a whole and to park carefully. Please park in Shanoon when spaces are available – however, we appreciate that this will become more difficult as the season progresses.

Filed under: 420, Courses, News, Optimists, Toppers

WHSC News for April

Welcome to WHSC Newsletter #3 for 2022.

If you’re reading this in your email, please click the link below for news of some of the activities already underway at the club, updates on recent events, and a taste for what’s to come over the next few months.

Congratulations to WHSC Sailors who competed at Youth Nationals

May be an image of 7 people, people boat racing, people sitting and sailboat

Photo credit: David Branigan/Oceansport via Irish Sailing/Facebook

The committee and club would like to congratulate all the younger members of WHSC who took part in the Youth Nationals at Ballyholme Yacht Club this weekend in some very testing conditions. This is the country’s biggest youth event, with over 200 sailors participating at the Bangor club.

WHSC sailors had a particularly strong showing in the 420 fleet, taking 3 of the top 5 positions overall. Max Sweetman and Robert Jephson finished 2nd, Max Passberger and Jack Maree were 4th,  Isabelle Passberger and Sarah Clooney ranked 5th and Matthew Plant and Donnacha Hegarty came 7th.

There were more fine performances in the Topper fleet – who have been training hard under the guidance of Barry McConnell – with Peter Doyle (of WHSC and WHBTC), Eoin Byrne and Julia McConnell each taking three or four top 10 positions in individual races. Peter was 9th overall, Eoin was 12th and Julia was 15th.

You all continue to be great ambassadors for the club.

Sailors battled a lot of big waves, balmy sunshine and changeable conditions.

“A north-easterly in Ballyholme with big winds and waves tested everyone’s sailing skills but we’ve also had a range of conditions with dropping winds on two days so sailors had to adapt to that and improve their all-round skills,” Sean Evans, Irish Sailing Development Manager, told Irish Sailing.  “It allows sailors who are good in all conditions to rise to the top and perform to their maximum ability.”

See here for 29er and 420 results and here for Topper and Laser results.

Coming up: Port of Waterford Laser Connaughts at WHSC

WHSC is looking forward to hosting the 2022 Port of Waterford Laser Connaught Championships on May 7 and 8 2022.

We’re expecting a fleet of 60 to 70 boats to participate. Thanks to all who have volunteered to help out, but more volunteers are always welcome. If you can assist across the two days, please get in touch with Mark Kettle on WhatsApp: 086 604 6828.


Well done to Topper sailors who competed in Traveller Event at Lough Derg

Twelve Topper sailors from WHSC took part in a blustery Traveller event at Lough Derg on April 10. The conditions were inhospitable, with very strong gusts and freezing cold temperatures. Only two races were held on the day. Ronan Quinlan won the 4.2 fleet, Julia McConnell won best girl in main 5.3 fleet and Max Passberger came 3rd overall. Congratulations to everyone who participated.

Currabinny Cup

Congratulations to Isabelle Passberger and Sarah Clooney who won the Currabinny Cup during midterm 420 coaching in Kinsale. The cup was awarded during the Youth Nationals event to the most promising/most improved boat.

Meeting for Cruiser Sailors Monday Night at WHSC

Cruiser Captain Eoghan Hegarty held a meeting on Monday April 25th, at WHSC for cruiser sailors, to discuss plans for the season ahead. Plans were made for a June Thursday series sponsored by Marchant Engineering, and the following dates were provisionally set for outings:

Yacht Race & Club Outings
o Sunday 12th June – Tramore Bay Race; 12pm start
o Sunday 10th July – Pursuit Race
o Sunday 24th July – Fethard Race
o Saturday & Sunday 30th & 31st July – Cruiser Club Championship

There was very good attendance and everyone is hugely looking forward to getting back on the water.

First Online Meeting of New Sailing Season

Dinghy Captain Conor Cronin would like as many sailors as possible to attend a Zoom meeting this Wednesday April 27 at 8pm. This is a crucial meeting that will ensure everyone has realistic expectations of what the season will hold for us all.

Please follow the link to join:

The meeting is expected to last about 45 minutes, including time for Q&A. Please do join.

Getting ready for a busy Summer season

Courses are booking up fast for the Summer season, and July courses are already almost full. June will see the return of school sailing and a Seol is Spraoi week, which will be conducted as gaeilge, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge. Instructors are being sourced and over the last two weeks, we’ve had great help with rigging the club boats to get them ready.

Here’s a pic of some our Oppie helper crew. Thanks to Tara & Deirdre for the knowledge and Ronan Quinlan for rigging our three Toppers.


Upcoming course: Coastal Navigation for Small Vessels

This two day classroom navigation theory course takes place on:

  • Thursday 26th & Friday 27th May
  • Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th May

The course covers:

  • Weather – Synoptic Charts & Weather Forcasting
  • Navigation – Chartwork, CTS, Electronics & Radar
  • Passage Planning – Route Planning, Pilotage & Almanacs
  • Coastal Knowledge – Tidal Calculations
  • Rules of the Road – Buoyage, Collision Regulations, Day Shapes & Night Lights
  • Safety – Communications, MOB, Abandon Ship & First Aid.

Venue: Waterford Harbour Sailing Club

Trainer: Gary Curran

Cost: €150 per person

Booking: Gary 086 2623 727 or email

VHF Radio Course

We’re hoping to run a full qualification VHF course towards the end of May.

If you’re interested in joining this course contact Sean at or directly.

Venue: Waterford Harbour Sailing Club

Trainer: Nicky Walsh

Cost: €250 per person

Powerboat training

There are a limited number of new dates available for South Coast Sailing powerboat training courses for 2022 with WHSC & SCS. The course costs are as follows:

  • Online theory course – Cost €50.
  • Level 1 course – Introduction to powerboating – Cost €150.
  • Level 2 course – National Powerboat Certificate – Cost €200.
  • Total cost €400

Booking and full range of dates: Gary 086 2623 727 or email



Filed under: 420, Cruisers, Dinghys, Events, Lasers, News, Toppers, Volunteers

Top three places in Silver Fleet at 420 Nationals go to WHSC sailors



Congratulations to the six boats from the WHSC 420 fleet who travelled to Howth to take part in last weekend’s Nationals and put in some fantastic performances.

Max Sweetman and Robert Jephson took first place in the silver fleet. Well done, Max and Robert.


Max Passberger and Jack Maree took second place, while Fodhla Dunne and Sinead O’Reilly were third in the fleet.




Also representing WHSC were Melanie Jephson and Laura Belton; Bertie Rogers and Polly Rogers and Sarah Clooney and Isabelle Passberger.


On the water photos courtesy of A. Blaney Photography.

Winner photos by Georgina Clooney.


Race Results –






Filed under: 420, Events, News

Fair winds to sailors flying the WHSC flag this weekend

420 Nationals in Howth

Good luck to the impressive fleet of WHSC sailors competing in the 420 Nationals in Howth Yacht Club this weekend.

Representing the club are Melanie Jephson and Laura Belton; Max Sweetman and Robert Jephson; Fodhla Dunne and Sinead O’Reilly; Bertie Rogers and Polly Rogers; Max Passberger and Jack Maree; Sarah Clooney and Isabelle Passberger. Of 21 boats competing, six are from WHSC. We’re wishing you all smooth seas and the best of luck.

Flying Fifteens Championship at Strangford Lough

Pic courtesy of

Two boats from WHSC are also making the trip this weekend to Strangford Lough Yacht Club in Whiterock. Best of luck to Charlie Boland and Rob McConnell, and Lee Statham and Andy Paul. Read a full report on the runners and riders in the event on

Filed under: 420, Events, Flying Fifteens, News

Congratulations to WHSC sailors representing the club

Huge congratulations from everyone at WHSC to Fodhla Dunne and Sinead O’Reilly who put in a brilliant performance and came second in the silver fleet at the 420 Leinster Championships last week. Also doing the club proud in initially light winds at the event, which later picked up to 9-10 knots, were Polly and Bertie Rogers and Max Sweetman and Scott Murphy. In all, fifteen boats participated.

Full report on

Four of our Laser sailors represented WHSC at the Laser Connaughts in Wexford last weekend. Well done to Jake Marsden, Fiachra Rowan and Ian Kelly.

And best of luck to ten Topper sailors heading to Cork for a two day competition and several more days’ training hosted by RCYC. This is in place of the Topper Worlds which were unfortunately cancelled due to uncertainty over international travel.

Filed under: 420, Dinghys, Events, Member News, News