Club News

New Commodore Elected

Posted on November 1, 2015 | Categories Club News, Whats Afloat | Comments Off

Fraser Menzies was elected Commodore of Donaghadee Sailing Club at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 27 October 2015.

Following his election, Fraser highlighted his hopes for the coming year, building on the solid foundations created within the Club by members past and present and focusing on future strategy; financial sustainability; fun and friendship. In his introductory remarks following his election he said:

“With the new Clubhouse now over the five years old, the future development of the building and the wider Club facilities now lie completely within the hands of the members. Our last five year strategy plan has come to an end.

Therefore, under the watchful eye of Nick Butler and Tony Skeats, the aim will be to gather the development ideas from the different sub-committees and individual members and to formulate these into a listing of short, medium and long term objectives for the club.  The aim is to have the strategy in place by April next year. This will then form a living document setting out the vision of what our Club will look like in the future and will form the blue print for detailed planning on achieving these objectives.

Underpinning the Club’s future and strategic development is its finances.  The Club is currently in a reasonably healthy financial position much of which is due to the financial prudence and guidance provided by the finance sub-committee.   Implementation of the strategic objectives must be in line with the Club’s financial sustainability and hence we will be reliant upon the finance subcommittee’s advice on what can be spent, when.  I would strongly encourage all members to continue to ‘scrounge’ materials for the Club; it is surprising what can be utilised and scrounging suits my ethnic background!  So please keep the Club in mind whenever anything is being replaced in your workplace; the recent acquisition of the carpet tiles is a good example of successful scrounging by a member.

The glue that holds the Club together is the volunteering ethos within the Club which helps new friendships to develop as well as reinforcing the corporate responsibility of the members.  I am a strong believer in the concept that the more you put into anything, the more you get out in return.  So as the new Club year starts, I would ask each and every member to re-evaluate what they do for the Club and for every member to contribute through volunteering for at least one activity; be this on-the-water helping out with safety boat, battery, Friday night rotas or in-house and helping on the bar rota or catering during events.  There is also the NTTC who quietly get on with an enormous amount of work around the Club and rumour has it that they do allow people under 60 to join in!

Sailing is really what this Club is about and many visitors from other Clubs are envious of the facilities available at Donaghadee.  I welcome the innovations that continue to be employed by the sailing and training sub-committees to stimulate and improve our on-the-water skills.  In particular, it is pleasing to see the growth of the junior squad that I hope will continue this year, which will hopefully culminate in a good turnout at next year’s world Topper championships at Ballyholme.  The Club can look forward to hosting the Topper Ulster championship in May next year which again presents an opportunity to show off our Club to others with a view to hosting more national events in future years.  Such events not only increase the profile of the Club but can be a reasonably good source of income as well.

The above highlights my views on the direction of the Club over the coming year but I continue to welcome the view points of others that will be taken into consideration in the shaping of the Club’s future vision.  I would lastly like to recognise and thank in advance the continued support of the other flag officers, other members of the General Committee and supporting subcommittees and all volunteers for the coming year.  I will endeavour to ensure the continued development of the Club and promise to highlight these improvements at next year’s AGM”.


Posted on June 29, 2015 | Categories Whats Afloat | Comments Off


Hopefully this Friday 3rd July we will be aiming for 3 weeks in a row successful Friday nights on the water for the kids.  After a damp and very windy May and first week in June we finally got going and in the first 2 weeks on the water we had 55 & 52 kids taking to the water in our Pico`s/Toppers.  This was followed up by our usual BBQ and Tuck Shop afterwards.  Many thanks to all those that helped make these nights a success and long may it continue!2015-06-26 19.23.41 2015-06-26 19.23.47 2015-06-26 19.23.25 2015-06-26 19.23.00 2015-06-26 19.22.33 2015-06-26 19.21.43 2015-06-26 19.21.36 2015-06-26 19.21.19 2015-06-26 19.21.06

Fantastic day as DSC headed to Copeland Island for a Picnic

Posted on September 8, 2014 | Categories Whats Afloat | Comments Off

Several people sailed across in Toppers, Picos or a GP which was a great achievement in those fresh conditions. While others took to the Brothers boat, some even challenging themselves to gain their sea legs, we all arrived to Copeland for a great barbecue and cakes galore. The sun was shining so while some sat back and took in the beautiful scenery, others played Boules on the beach.

A big thanks to all those who assisted in organising the day and especially to Nick and Coirle, who unbeknown to many of us, had missed their son Rory’s U18 Ulster match which they won 53-0 against Connaught (congrats Rory and the Team) to ensure the perfect day was had by all. 

Here’s a few pics of the day that captures some of the magic!  Were you there? Did you take some pics too? Send them in and we’ll post on the website for others to see.


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Posted on August 25, 2014 | Categories Whats Afloat | Comments Off

There was a full action packed weekend at Donaghadee Sailing Club last week with the annual Regatta on Saturday and a Cadet Fun Day on Sunday.

Thirty one dinghies and cruisers from the Belfast Lough Conference competed in the Regatta, which was sponsored by Pier 36,  and involved a morning and afternoon series of races for the different classes of boat.  Sailing conditions were excellent with a Force 4 wind from the North North West and a moderate sea state which made for exciting racing.  The cruisers presented a colourful spectacle as they flew their spinnakers sailing past the commons towards Templepatrick, before beating back up towards the town.  All competitors enjoyed a lavish reception attended by Lady Sylvia Hermon MP before the Mayor of Ards, Phillip Smith, presented the prizes.  The winners were: Race 1 –  Robson Ogg DSC.  Race 2 – Martin Dews and Fraser Menzies DSC.  Race 3 – Mike Kimber Ballyholme Yacht Club in a Laser .  Race 4 – Jimmy McKee and Gary Watson DSC in the Hunter 19 “Finethann”.  Race 5 & 6 – No entries.  Race 7 – Paul and Emma BYC Prentice in their Sigma 33 “Squawk”. Race 8 – Russell Rowley BYC in “Pintail” (sole competitor).  Race 9 – No entries. Race 10 – Trevor Dynes in “Bird of Sunset” Cockle Island Boat Club.  Race 11 – No entries.  Race 12 – Robson Ogg DSC.  Race 13 – Stephen and Jonathan Nelson DSC in a GP14.  Race 14 – Chris Boyd BYC in a Laser.  A special prize was also presented to Willie Anderson for his performance in his GP 14!  Many stayed on in the Club for the bar and live music until even the most hardened party animals faded!

On Sunday the sun shone brightly and the sea conditions were mild, which was ideal for the Cadet Fun Day, organised by the Junior Commodore, Lucy Burrows and the Junior Committee.  From 1000 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. forty young cadets in club boats competed in three water based games; a treasure hunt, collecting balloons and a raft race,  interspersed with snacks and drinks on the beach.  Everyone, including the young club instructors running the event had a ball.  The day finished with a BBQ and ice cream for all before prizegiving.  It was a resounding success and everyone was a winner!

Town Cup 2 August Sailing Instructions

Posted on August 2, 2014 | Categories Whats Afloat | Comments Off

DSC Town Cup Regatta

2nd August 2014

Sailing Instructions


1. Rules

1.1  The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 – 2016


2. Notices to Competitors

2.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board located in the clubhouse.


3. Changes to the Sailing Instructions;

3.1  Any change to the Sailing Instructions will be posted no later than one hour before the start of the first race on the morning it will take effect.


4. Schedule of Races

4.1  There is one race scheduled. The Town Cup Trophy will be sailed for by boats in Class 2. Separate awards will be presented for Class 1 boats


4.2  The classes and warning signals and start times are listed below.


Class 1 Under 16 years of age

Double handers, Picos, Topper 4.2, Topper Full Rig and Laser 4.7

Warning signal 14.55          Start 15.00


Class 2 Over 16s

Dinghies, keelboats and Cruisers with PY 1130 or below

Warning signal 15.00          Start 15.05


4.3  All boats must provide a valid PY handicap


4.4  All boats must sign on and provide their details to the race committee at the start area


5. Class Flags

5.1  The class flag for Class 1 will be Code flag T and for Class 2 will be code flag F
6. Racing Area

6.1  The racing area shall be in the vicinity of Donaghadee Harbour.  A mark of the course may be situated inside the bay (Cruisers/Keelboats please note)


7. The Courses and marks

7.1  The course for the Town Cup will be communicated on the day.

7.2  Class 1 boats may sail a different course from Class 2
8. The Start

8.1 The starting line will be between a pole at the slipway and the orange mark on the half tide rocks

8.2The standard 5-4-1-Go start sequence will be used.





9. The Finish

9.1 The finishing line will be between the pole on the slipway and the orange mark on the half tide rocks


10 Time Limits

10.1  The time limit for the race is 45 minutes. Boats failing to finish within 30 minutes of the time limit for their class will be scored “Did Not Finish” without a hearing.


11. Protests and Requests for Redress

11.1 No protests will be heard as part of the Town Cup.


12. Safety Regulations
12.1 A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee as soon as possible.
12.2 All crew shall wear adequate personal buoyancy at all times while on the water.


13. Support Boats

13.1 Only rescue craft are permitted in the race area during the race,

13.2 In order to encourage competitors during any race, the approximate trailing 10% of the fleet may be coached by personnel in ribs that are under the control of the race committee.


14. Prizes

14.1Prizes will be awarded as follows :-

Class 1

Double handers                                                 – Keep Sake 1st Prize

Topper 4.2, Picos                                              – Keep Sake 1st Prize

Topper Full Rig and Laser 4.7                            – Keep Sake 1st Prize


Class 2

PY 1130 or below          – Town Cup & Keep Sake – 1st Prize


14.2 The prize giving will take place in the Club at 17.30


15. Disclaimer of Liability

15.1Competitors participate in the Town Cup entirely at their own risk. Competitors and their parents or guardians are entirely responsible throughout the event for themselves and their boats on land and on the water.

15.2The Club will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.


16. Insurance

16.1 Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of £2,000,000 or equivalent, for the duration of the event.


17 Use of Club boats

17.1 Club owned boats can be available to club members for the event on a first come basis and cannot be booked in advance.Town Cup Course Card