Celtic Challenge 2021

RAYC Members travelled to Glandore on the stunning south coast of Ireland for a weekend of lively and competitive team racing with the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club.  


The Celtic Challenge is a fun team event between the RAYC and GHYC. The format of racing is Admiral’s Cup style team racing under the regular Racing Rules of Sailing with the aim of keeping race management & racing safe and simple. The event has been held annually, in both Beaumaris and Glandore since 2016. This year saw the RAYC teams race in International Dragons provided by GHYC members next time it will be in the Fife OD’s. The two teams sail 4 boats each, drawn by lot, and exchanged the between races. Each boat is sailed by a minimum of three people, one of which is an owner’s representative.


Racing started early Saturday morning with the first match, a race to Castletownshend, in light breeze against the incoming tide making some challenging tactical decisions. GHYC experience of the waters meant they won the match with 1, 2 & 4. Then after an excellent lunch at Mary Anne’s the teams swapped boats for the return match by which time the wind had freshened to a steady south westerly.

GHYC won this match again with 1, 2 & 4.
Four matches were sailed on Sunday in a very flukey north westerly testing the teams with varying direction and pressure from very light to almost knockdown in the gusts. Race Officer David Forde with Hal Andrews set short windward/leeward courses in the harbour. The teams swapped boats after the two matches to complete the series of six. Racing was exciting and very close with the points difference between the two teams closing until RAYC narrowly won the last match.


Match GHYC points RAYC points Glandore to Castletownshend 15 21 Castletownshend to Glandore 13.5 22.5 Harbour race 1 16 21 Harbour race 2 16 20 Harbour race 3 17 19 Harbour race 4 19 18 Results in detail are on GHYC website The Celtic Challenge Trophy was presented to the GHYC Dragon Captain by Eamon Timoney Commodore of the GHYC at prize giving outside the Glandore Inn. Our sincere thanks goes to owners of the 8 dragons used; Aphrodite, Magic, Moonshine, Panache, Pongo, Phyloong, Sonata and Zu.


The hospitality that was extended to the RAYC by the GHYC was, as always, fun and full of laughter, with a lovely welcome reception organised by Sally Wyles and her team. Our thanks goes to Fehily Timoney & Co for their generous sponsorship. The RAYC didn’t win this year, and are therefore looking forward to the re-match in the Fifes… discussions for 2022 have already started!


GHYC pictures of the racing have been shared on the RAYC Members FB group and here are some others taken by Jeremy Parker.