Glandore Harbour Yacht Club

News and Events

Karen Horgan Memorial Race and other news from this week.


A moderate to fresh, but gusty, northwest breeze greeted the Squib and Dragon fleets early on Saturday August 26th 2023 for the Karen Horgan Memorial Race. The race differs from the usual Castletownshend racing format with an additional “Karen Horgan” mark in the Small Sound rounded to port, the Dragons leaving High Island to starboard and the Squibs leaving High to port. Clouds, that brought a nasty shower during the starting sequences, quickly scudded away to reveal clear skies and seasonal sunshine.

The northwesterly meant that almost the entire race distance became a fetch, at least for Squibs, until the fleets hardened onto the beat on rounding Skiddy Island. For the Squibs keeping the inshore route the wind direction also yielded challenging and ever changing conditions as the breeze falling from the land above and shooting forth from the mouths of the various inlets to starboard had them trimming for power one minute and easing all the very next as they tried to stay on their feet in a continuous cycle.

David Speight’s “Nimble” stood out into the flooding tide mid channel but also possibly into a steadier breeze and was rewarded with a clear and unassailable lead as the Beacon came abeam. Sean Thompson/Gavin Bingham-Wallis “Trojan” and Pat O Riordan’s “Bluebottle” crossed tacks into and up Castletownshend Harbour to settle 2nd and 3rd places with Trojan pipping Bluebottle for the 2nd step.

The mooring Squibs were soon joined by the winning Dragon, Diarmuid O Donovan’s “Pongo” followed by Kevin Hayes’ Sonata with Mark Barrett’s Leah rounding out the podium. Team Pongo had held a sound lead out to High Island until becoming becalmed in the lee of High, and while the becalming was reportedly short lived it must have seemed interminable aboard Pongo and hearts leaped aboard the onrushing fleet, believing their  foe’s loss would be their gain. The same hearts sank to see a small breeze wrap around the island and fill Pongo’s sails, propelling her westwards with a convincing lead that was troubled no more.The combined fleets and guests came ashore and marched uphill towards the familiar welcome at Mary Ann’s for lunch. Village dogs regarded the buoyant throng nervously as they passed up the street, and Mr Collins put his head out the door to enquire from where they had embarked, “Glandore! ” he exclaimed on receiving reply, “Do you have a conservatory and a 4X4”? .

Social Secretary Myriam O Connor closed out the summer draw after lunch with the 1st prize being €500 cash won by our own Ben Perez who was away representing the club at the Elmo Trophy. In a world of 21st century communications, word of the bounty immediately spread to the GHYC teams at the Elmo, with images of young Mr Perez’ celebrations in Dun Laoighre returning to Castletownshend with equal momentum. Commodore Tim Forde presented to Fergal Goulding €1200 collected from the fleets as donation to Marymount Hospice in Karen’s name. The collection was the initiative of Club Junior Max Tubb who received a round of applause in recognition.

There followed many friendly words and distribution of wine and prizes. Our host and co-sponsor Fergus O Mahony spoke fondly of Karen. Our thanks to Fergus and Fergal for the race prizes.

Race Officers Diarmuid and Mary announced the “keep Ireland to port” style instructions for the return races, inviting the wise or unwary to keep Skiddy Isle to starboard but no willing hero was found in among the Squibs. The Dragons were made of different stuff (ingredients undetermined currently) with the majority choosing to shoot the gap inside Skiddy without casualty. All was reversed in the results for the return leg with Trojan leading Nimble home and likewise with Sonata showing Pongo the way home following a close tacking duel up the harbour to the finish.

Emily,Sarah, Lily and Aisling played a stormer on safety and taxi all day and soon had everyone back on the pontoon at Glandore from where they repaired to the Glandore Inn for refreshment and return prize-giving. The beautiful trophies gifted by Kieran O Donoghue to the Club three years ago were presented on the terrace to teams Sonata and Trojan. Many people commented on the void in the day’s proceedings created by the absence of Jamie Frame, and his legendary wit and charm, and hoped he would get better soon!

…and in other news, a press of club stalwarts, and the demonstrably knowledgeable, thronged the Glandore Inn yet again last Thursday evening for the GHYC Table Quiz in aid of the club. While synapses were audibly snapping at pomegranate based puzzlers, the teams anxiously tracked their prowess or lack of it, as Conor Burns called the questions under the instruction of quiz-masters  Krystya Filistowicz and Carla Miles. Despite the best efforts and pleas of the Commodore, the winning team of club regulars selflessly handed back their prize for the benefit of the club meaning that €1050 was returned to the coffers, a sum that will hopefully go a long way to painting the clubhouse exterior in advance of the 2024 season. A big thanks to all the big brains for their attendance and the Glandore Inn for accommodating us.

As we go to press GHYC teams are doing us proud at the Dragon Nationals in Kinsale and the Elmo Trophy in Dun Laoighre and we anxiously await final results.

Tim Forde. Commodore GHYC