St. Michael’s Rowing Club are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the ‘Hobblers Challenge’ on Saturday 7th September 2019. All East Coast clubs are hereby invited to enter crews, with the last date for entries on Monday 26th August 2019.
This race builds on the tradition of the ‘Hobblers Challenge’ race, hosted by St. Michael’s Rowing Club at various times since the 1990s, which used a number of courses, predominantly from Dún Laoghaire Harbour to the Kish Lighthouse and back.
The 2019 course follows an inshore course of the same length, but still begins and ends in Dún Laoghaire Harbour. This exciting new course was run for the first time in 2018.
In summary, the course starts at Dún Laoghaire Harbour, at the east breakwater beneath the Hobblers Memorial, out the harbour mouth, around the landward side of a ‘gate boat’ off Merrion Strand, around Poolbeg Lighthouse, up the Liffey as far as the ESB towers, before doubling back, across the mouth of Dún Laoghaire Harbour, across Scotsman’s Bay, past Sandycove and Bullock Harbours, turning at Coliemore Harbour, before returning to Dún Laoghaire Harbour, finishing at the end of the East Breakwater. See the Maps (jpeg and embedded) below.
The course is 27km long (purple line below), with an option of a ‘short course’ of 18km (red line below), which runs parallel to the long course, but without the section east of Dún Laoghaire Harbour – i.e DL > Poolbeg > ESB > Poolbeg > DL. It is recommended that only strong and experienced crews enter the long course. Winning times on the previous Kish course were in the order of 3hrs, with times of 4.5hrs+ being recorded for the back of the field. Both races will start on Saturday 7st September at 1.00pm sharp. Boats may launch from the Coal Harbour Slip in Dún Laoghaire.
Entries and Safety
Only East Coast skiffs crewed by members of ECRC clubs may enter. Crews may be male, female, or any mix of male and female. There will be prizes for winners in the categories of Ladies, Men, Mixed, and Under 21. Under 21 crews may be any mix of any gender, but to qualify for Mixed, there must be a minimum of 2 men and 2 women on the crew of 5. There must be 5 people in the boat at all times, and the same 5 must finish the race as start it! Crews may substitute cox for rowers at any stage and as often as they wish, depending on strategy or circumstance.
For any club wishing to enter crews, please get in touch via the club email address (info [at] websiteaddress.com) or via https://www.dunlaoghairerowing.com/contact-us/. Following this enquiry you will be issued with the password for this Cox’s Instructions and Crew Entries Page which also contains the cox’s instruction pack and safety requirements. Bear in mind, the last date for entries is Monday 26th August 2019.
Safety boats will be provided by the host club on the day, and all crews will be required to abide by the cox’s instruction pack and the instructions of these safety boats at all times. Compliance with Dublin Port’s Guidance notes for Leisure Craft is vital. All crews will be required to present for inspection a full set of mandated safety equipment, including VHF, lifejackets, bailers, and boat identification numbers, and will not be allowed to enter if they do not pass this inspection.
Viewing and Afters
The best viewing for the beginning, middle, and end of the race will be from the East Pier Battery in Dun Laoghaire. All crews and supporters are welcome to refreshments and prize giving after the race and into the night at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, starting around 4pm.