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Christina Knowles

Reflecting on a Great 2019 Season…

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Howth Yacht Club’s Junior Organiser for Sailing Sara Lacy is delighted that 2019 has exceeded all expectations for Quest Howth with record numbers of parents enrolling their kids for summer sailing camps she will be looking at opportunities to increase capacity next year to meet the high demand.


Established in 2018, Quest Howth was set up as the training and powerboat brand for Howth Yacht Club with the aim of making sailing more accessible to all ages and all levels with no requirement to own a boat or join a club to start sailing. ‘We’re delighted to see that there is a continued rise in the number of people getting out on the water and enjoying boating and water sports in general.’ ‘There is a clear trend emerging that people are looking to spend more time outside and, on the water, and this reinforces the need to offer more accessible and low-commitment forms of water sports as a stepping stone into more mainstream boating.’ We are constantly looking at and trialing trending water related opportunities such as SUP, kayaking and foiling in order to continue to attract as many people to get out on the water as possible.

Involvement with the Local Community

As part of our initiatives to get more people involved in sailing and water sports we successfully completed our second year of the STEM programme with 4 local junior schools plus the addition of a DEIS school involved this year. The Programme is run voluntarily by Club Members, some of whom are national schoolteachers themselves. The students enjoy hands-on learning focussing on topics such as: the effect of tides, the impact of plastic in the seas, safety and an experience on sailing boats among others. The courses cover Science – Living things, light, forces, materials, environmental awareness & care, History – pastime in the past, PE – Water Based Activities, SPHE – environmental care and Living in the Local Community and Geography covering local natural environment, weather and climate and the earth and sun. This acts as a good introduction for students, their teachers and parents into a fun and practical learning environment by the sea.

Foreign Language Sailing Students

Amongst the many social media posts that Quest Howth and Howth Yacht Club have been tagged in, the latest to hit the cyber world is that from Tokai Ireland. In association with ICE (Irish College of English) in Malahide, as part of their Intercultural student sports programmes, Quest Howth has worked closely with ICE to tailor a sailing programme to provide a sailing programme which also benefits the students language skills through their interaction with our instructors and other international students whilst enjoying their experience on our fleet J80 Sports Boats. Throughout the summer we host a large number of Foreign Language students. Every summer the demand for this has grown and the students really enjoy the benefits of getting out sailing in the scenic waters around Howth while they improve their English speaking skills. Pictured above are a few of our visitors from Japan, Russia and France who are currently doing afternoon sailing courses.

Transition Year Students

As part of our engagement with the local community we are also piloting a Transition Year Programme with 100 students from one of our local schools and these girls will be attending our venue for 28 weeks starting in September. All students will undertake two programmes, Programme A will relate to sailing, powerboating and navigational skills. Programme B will be provided by Hands-on-learning and will relate to citizen science, environmental and community skills. The hands-on learning will include first aid and guided educational hikes of the locality covering a range of topics including history of Howth, UNESCO Biosphere, Nature,

Howth/Dublin Bay, geology, human presence, monuments, habitats, heathland/woodland, coastal. We see this as a wonderful opportunity to involve TY students and their families and educate them with regards to the local environment and how to respect it, protect, preserve and enjoy it going forward.

Sailing Into Wellness

We also continued to expand our Sailing into Wellness initiative which is a community initiative that uses sailing to help those recovering from addictions. The programme helps participants develop key personal skills such as respect and esteem for self & others while taking part in a group physical activity which positively effects their physical and mental well-being.

Junior Sailing Courses

Our Junior Sailing courses are all Irish Sailing accredited and run to the highest standards with 1 instructor and 1 assistant for every 6 kids in the younger age groups and 1 instructor for every 5 or 6 kids in the older age group courses. With Quest Howth our emphasis is on people enjoying and having fun on the water whilst learning and developing their skills and making new friends. In line with this we run Fun Fridays as part of the programme for Junior Sailing course participants, these

Fun Fridays

Fun Fridays offer a range of water based fun activities and games to help encourage healthy friendships and lifestyles through these events. These Fun Friday’s offer  Stand Up Paddle boarding, kayaking, football games, RNLI Obstacle Course, Pirate Island Adventure Trips, Splash-abouts in the Water and many other fun activities.

This year we introduced the provision of a healthy hot lunch and fruit for all sailing course participants which is really appreciated by the parents and eliminates the need for daily ‘junk food money’.

Adult Sailing

For our adult sailing lessons, Quest Howth now provides an online booking system for their Try Sailing Lessons, Learn to Sail Courses & Powerboat training courses. There has been very successful uptake this year with close to 300 adults of all ages and levels getting out on the water and participating in our courses. Many of these people have used their new skills and experience from their sailing courses through our Taste of Racing programme which introduces them to Club Racing on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Through this many have discovered their passion and have joined club member boats as crew and now enjoy sailing all year round! Others choose the option of repeat ‘pay and play’ sessions as their busier lifestyle doesn’t allow room for a greater commitment.

Corporate Sailing

On the Corporate side we have been very popular with Pilots, Tech Ccompanies) and lots of other new start ups as well as older more established companies. Every single participant took delight in their experience and promises to come back again for more in 2020. Some of them have set up their own ‘sailing clubs’ and used Quest Howth and Howth Yacht Club as their partner. We love welcoming these groups many of whom are stationed in Ireland for a short term and have lots of sailing experience from their home countries such as Greece, Italy, Turkey, France & Spain. The groups go for a sail and then come in after for some Après Sailing Fun and Refreshments. They can tailor their post sailing experience from cocktails on the deck to fine dining or BBQs in the Club. We also host off-site meetings for corporate groups. We have a range of different size rooms to host their meetings in and we offer full day service from breakfast through to dinner and in the summer, BBQs. Many of the groups select activities they would like to do while they are on-site and they go out sailing or sometimes they go out on e-bike tours or hikes with Shane’s Howth Adventures which are located within the club grounds.  Our latest Corporate outing was a Quest Howth Fishing Trip and our guests had the best experience ever with our local fishermen joining in and sharing their fishing skills and special tricks.

Pirates Ahoy!

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On a lovely summers evening a large contingent of local pirates sailed the high seas to Pirate Island. The outdoor junior area of the club was transformed with Jolly Roger flags and bunting, skeleton balloons and other pirate themed decorations. Our swashbuckling adventure began with a few fun and games with our First Mate Parent Volunteers getting us ready to embark. These included learning how to talk like a pirate –arrrr! Our Face painters made us look like fierce pirates  – grrrrr! Our Memories were tested with pirate paraphernalia.We had to dip our hands into slimy buckets of eels and maggots to find bubble wands. We had to don a blindfold and Pin the eyepatch on the Pirate. We were assigned our Pirate aliases (Mine is Sealegs Stinkalot!) before we were off down the gangplank, past the tally board scallywags to a rip roaring rib ride on one of the pirate ships helmed by Salty Sea-Dog Stephen and his crew.  The excitement grew as they transported us to the faraway Ireland’s Eye for plenty of fun games and challenges hosted by our Howth 7th Port Sea Scouts.  Yo-Ho Ho  to Cap’n Haribo and Jim Lad Alan and their merry team of rovers, ventures and scouts who kept us entertained with the likes of tug-o’war, team buckets and barrels, walk the planks, oreo  challenge games to name a few. They we were delivered safely back to HYC land where the delightful aromas of Sandra’s HYC BBQ were there to greet us.

We feasted on Burgers, Hotdogs, Ice cream and sweets. And for a fun finish to the evening frivolities, we danced away with the Scouts to the music of DJ Squire Anthony while we waved our glowsticks! Our younger pirates deemed it be “ A totally awesome day!”; “Amazing”;   “So much fun” ;“The Best Day Ever” along with “I just LOVE the Pirate Day”.



Fun Friday Muck About Proves Great Fun All Round

By Junior Sailing at Quest Howth

What better way to celebrate the longest day than mucking around on the water with your friends!  Members of all ages got to go on our RIBS last night as part of our Fun Friday series. We had a great time viewing and learning about the wildlife on Ireland’s eye, caught some good waves and discovered a glorious sun trap with calm waters by Balscadden where most of us decided to salute the onset of the sunset by taking a quick dip! Back in the bar later we all had yummy food and drinks as we sadly acknowledged that we would see a little less of our friend the sun from here on out. This coming Friday, it will be fun sailing – so members of all ages are encouraged to grab your dinghies and get out there! Check out our action video from the night here

Junior Sailing Courses get underway with Fun Fridays!

By Junior Sailing at Quest Howth

We were delighted to kick start our Fun Friday’s with our J80 night last Friday.

This Friday we have our teenage Kayaking with i-Canoe for ages 12-16 €20 charge. on June 14th we have Pure Magic Stand up Paddleboarding for €10.

Fun Friday’s are open to all HYC members and Quest Howth Junior Sailing Course participants. For a full list of events that are running click here

Junior Summer Sailing Courses Open to All!

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If you haven’t already booked you kids sailing for this summer, make sure you don’t miss out! All of our Junior Sailing courses are designed with your child in mind and the focus is on having fun while learning to sail!

Our courses are run by qualified Instructors, are accredited to the national governing body for sailing, Irish Sailing, and are held in the safe waters around Howth and Ireland’s Eye.

  • Healthy Lunch Provided with all courses
  • 1 Instructor & 1 Assistant for every 6 kids in Cara na Mara and 8 kids in some of the older/more experienced courses!
  • You do not need to have your own boat
  • You do not need to be a member

From June to August we run a variety of levels suitable for all age groups and levels of experience. We also provide ‘Sailing with Languages’ (Spanish, French and German), suitable for your teenager who has had some previous exposure to sailing as well as at least one year of studying the language of choice.

We can keep your kids fit, healthy, happy and safe for the summer! So don’t loose out on a place, go online to and get your application in to Quest Howth today. Quest Howth is the training brand for all Sailing and Powerboat training in the grounds of Howth Yacht Club.

For more information please contact Eimear or Ian at Quest Howth (Telephone 01 -8320602).


Quest Howth & HYC Welcome Top Level Visitors!

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An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited the club on Saturday, 1st December and was accompanied by Minister Richard Bruton TD and the Mayor of Fingal Anthony Lavin. The visit had been arranged by Senator Catherine Noone to help discuss issues facing the club. The delegation had earlier met the local fishermen and focused on the issues pertaining to the harbour.
At a reception in the club, the Commodore outlined the challenges facing the club and in particular the dredging issue which has become critically urgent and outlined the impact that it was having for the club and the likely future impact. It was also pointed out that the silting of the harbour is severly compromising commercial activity and also rescue services such as the RNLI .
The Taoiseach was aware of the issue and said that he had discussed it with the Minister for Agriculture and the Marine on the previous Thursday. He outlined that the cost of the dredging is considerable and that it has been categorised as a major infrastructural project.

Harbourmater Harry McLoughlin outlined the strong relationship between the club and the harbour authority and he reinforced the case for the dredging, highlighting the impact on Howth Yacht Club. The imminent appointment of the consultants is a major first step in this process, the second will be the granting of the planning permission and necessary licensing required to complete this major project.

In a discussion with the Taoiseach in the club’s Centenary Room, the Commodore also highlighted the impact that recent changes to drink-driving limits was having on all clubs and the fact that this will mean that many clubs will be under further financial pressure resulting from the subsequent reduction in trade and traditional revenues that clubs have been dependent upon. The Taoiseach then positively discussed potential new uses that the club premises could be used for.

Gold medallists Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove with Fingal Mayor Anthony Lavin, An Taoiseach, Senator Catherine Noone and Commodore Joe McPeake

Gold medallists Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove with Fingal Mayor Anthony Lavin, An Taoiseach, Senator Catherine Noone and Commodore Joe McPeake

Highlighting Howth Yacht Club’s ongoing sailing achievements, the Taoiseach was introduced to Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove – HYC’s U23 World Champions in the 49er class and he also got to meet with some of the club’s young Optimist sailors. The Commodore and other Flag Officers with Committee Members took the delegation on a walk-through of the club premises and gave them a brief outline of the club’s marina operation, of which they were very impressed.

The afternoon provided a very valuable interchange which afforded the club the opportunity to express its views at the highest level.Harbourmaster Harry McLoughlin

This Christmas Give the Gift of Powerboating in Howth!

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This Christmas make some real waves with a gift of a Powerboating Course for him or for her.

Not only will you be giving the gift of Adventure & Fun in Howth Yacht Club you will also be gifting the opportunity to achieve Nationally recognised Powerboat Certificates which opens up a world of opportunities!

Simply purchase Vouchers for the amount of the course at

For more information on the courses we offer go to

  • Introduction to Powerboating Course (1 Day) €125
  • National Powerboat Certificate Course (2 Days) for €225
  • Safety Boat Certificate Course for €200 per person.


This Christmas Why Not Gift Him, or Her, the Gift of Sailing!

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This Christmas, why not give the gift of Sailing? We have the perfect Christmas Gift For Him and For Her. With Quest Howth you can give your friends and family members the opportunity to go sailing in Howth and beyond. We have opportunties for all ages and all levels. If you have never sailed or it has been 20 years since you last tried it, we can introduce any age to a whole new world of sailing fun in Howth Yacht Club. We have Try Sailing which is a €60 lesson which gives you the chance to try sailing, we supply all the gear and safety equipment. You do not have to be a member of Howth Yacht Club to enjoy sailing with Quest. If you enjoy your first outing, we can take you up the sailing levels and get you involved in regular sailing throughout the year. We also have Day Adventure Sailing, Discover Racing Courses and, for the more Adventurous, we have Kites & Wires Courses. Coming to Howth to Try Sailing could open up a whole new world of friends and adventure. If you need any help please phone Christina on 0872846145 who will be happy to help you with your order or can actually take your booking over the phone.

For more information on our Courses

To Purchase our Gift Vouchers

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