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Crt  170713 Lastedit 17-08-07

Dublin: Volvo Dun Loaghaire Regatta 2017


I now start pasting the pictures and writing this blog. In Wicklow Mountains, South of Dublin. exhausted after three heavy days: the Volvo Dun Loaghaire Regatta,  2017, organized by the four yacht clubs at Dun Loaghaire harbour, on Dublin Bay ("Loaghaire" pronounce "Leary").


... recovering from the regatta in Wicklow Mountains ...

A mighty contrast: Dun Loaghaire harbour was crammed with well over 400 participating boats, their crews and cars, "from the Netherlands, Scotland, England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the four provinces of Ireland" as the program's foreword has it, my country proudly mentioned first.


... my regatta parking at Dun Loaghaire Harbour ... you see the harbour head at 1 km ...

Parking at Dun  Loaghaire harbour is under the harbour authority and 2 euros per hour. I decided to risk the fine, betting on mercy by putting my sponsor gift bag under the window (inset left down). It worked. Good chaps.

Why go here? My International 12' Dingy Classic Wood Club (CWC) had scheduled a regatta at Lowestoft, East England two weeks after, so one ferry was already decided on, and a second, from Holyhead to Dublin would allow me to meet my fellow Irish dinghy sailors. I knew only George Miller, but both he and the others had resolved to sail other classes. Then came George's forward of an amazing email to a sizeable distribution list:

Wags

A Dutch gentleman and a skillful sailor entered an int. 12 believing that there would be a class of those boats. We would like to offer him a water wag instead. Anybody want to lend him a Water Wag?

Vincent

I ended up lending Vincent Delany's own nr. 3, Pansy from ... 1906. Twenty years older than my 12'.


... wag nr. 3 Pansy, 1906, owner: Vincent Delany ...

More about the wag

Getting crew would not be easy. Many people would try for me. Anyway, the day before the regatta I went for a single handed test trip to the Martello tower known from James Joyce's Ulysses, a book dealing with the lives of several people on one Dublin day, June 16, 1904, now annually celebrated in Dublin and named after its main protagonist, as "Bloomsday". This is my second visit to Ireland. My first was Bloomsday 2014, after I read the book. I published a small booklet about it on the internet resulting from notes I made not to loose the storyline in this complicated literary exercise, Beating the beaten track of Ulysses.


... Far left, behind the white building: the Martello tower known from Ulysses (there is a line of such towers along the Dublin Bay's South shore) ...

Vincent told me Joyce's father had a wag and the wag is mentioned in Finnegan's Wake. I regard Vincent as a more than reliable historic source so I am not going to check it. Mind you, this wag is from 1906, Joyce left Ireland 1904 but returned for some weeks in 1909. He could have seen Pansy.

But no more time for dreaming, George Miller told me, we ab-so-lute-ly had to go to the Town House for the ceremonial opening (with free drinks). You need an invitation, except, I learned, when you are George Miller or his guest. Both rather underdressed we popped in due to George's irresistible radiation of self-confidence. Both the Chairman of the Organizing Committee and the Lord Mayor mentioned the Dutch participation, as it was in the foreword of the Regatta Program, while George and I had meanwhile discovered that the Dutch participation was ... me. Consequently, George opined it would be immoral to withhold the Lord Mayor of Dun Loaghaire the knowledge of myself


... After two dignitaries at the Town Hall opening of Volvo Dun Loaghaire Regatta had mentioned Dutch participation in their speeches George Miller opined it would be immoral to withhold the Lord Mayor of Dun Loaghaire the knowledge of myself, the (only) Dutch participant ...


... getting up the spinnaker, even when single handed, is a matter of honour even if it costs a few hundred meters ...

The next day no crew was found so in my first race I was single handed but determined, as a matter of honour, to do as one should including having the spinnaker up even though this would cost me some hundreds of meters. Consequently, all the race I was so occupied with sail handling that I did not realize I finished 4th, a result I could only replicate on the 8th and last race Sunday. The rest of the races I sailed well in the rear of the midfield, which allowed me to take some nice pictures of the wag field.


... often I lagged behind enough to make beautiful pics of the wag field  ...

Tacking and gybing on the evening party grounds at the clubs in the wake of George turned out an agreeable and entertaining challenge. I shook some hundred hands, had a hard time keeping up with remembering the faces let alone the names. By contrast others did well in remembering mine, so in short notice, while walking on the clubs' premises the "hi Bert howryedoin" 's came from everywhere and I no longer needed to buy my own drinks.


... George Miller and I showing off our CWC badges at Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Loaghaire ...

On day 2, Saturday, my life got enriched with experienced crew Emma Webb. I would not be surprised had she been born in a wag. Her mother is firmly in the wag-community as well and was doing the wags in the Regatta organizing committee. When I came to the office, Friday morning, to shift my registration from 12' to the wag I was already listed. She already knew.


... Emma pumping, a vital activity in the wag, if you want to finish at all ...
 

With Emma, George, and all the "wags" as they seem to call themselves, the evening harbour partying was, if I'm not insulting anybody, well over what we 12's are capable of in Holland, ending up in the resolve to come to Holland with the wags ... let's see how far we get with that.


... Heavy socializing at Royal St. George YC with my expert Saturday wag-crew Emma Webb ...

My favourite music performance was that of the Honeydews at Royal St. George Yacht Club. To me they were the sea side girls: the place where Bloom (in Joyce's Ulysses) meets the three sea side girls is at the Dublin Bay beach may be 500 m West of where you see these ladies singing on the picture.


... harbour entertainment! They call themselves the Honeydews, but to me they were the sea side girls ... 

Then, Sunday afternoon, things came to an end: mark deflation, prize giving. 


... after the last race on Sunday deflating all marks was quite a job for the technical team ...


... this is how a prize giving starts at Dun Loaghaire (watch video clip) ...


... the wag cup is meant to be used by the holder as his personal bath tub until the regatta of coming year ... Wag results 2017

It is traditional, I read on Wikipedia, that at the end of a wag-race the competitors hail the winning wag and give the crew three cheers. e.g. Moosmie Ahoy- Hip Horray, Hip Horray, Hip Horray. The winning boat must than respond by hailing the other boats and respond as follows: e.g. Swift Ahoy- Hip Horray, Hip Horray, Hip Horray. Unfortunately I was consistently too far off at the finish line to witness the cheers.

Sunday night George invited me to his house in South Dublin.


... Elm View, the name of George's house and of his superb apple cider you will not easily get hold on, but of which I, I say this with modest pride, have four (4) bottles ...

George's creativity has no limits at all. His apple cider "Elm View" (the name of his Dublin house) is unrivalled (right down inset on picture). You will not easily get hold on it, but I - I say this with modest pride - have four (4!) bottles. He recently won a prize (a superb whiskey he unfortunately pretended unable to find during my visit) with a highly original hilarious mock machine gun that I eagerly clipped (see video).