#ROUND IRELAND RACE – Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 in the big boat division of this year's Round Ireland race along with Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy's, Noonmark VI, a Swan 56 with a top crew, are just two of 25 entries received so far for Ireland's top offshore fixture that starts in six weeks time.
Billed by the hosts as one of Europe's major yacht racing events next month's Round Ireland Yacht Race 2012, which starts in Wicklow Harbour on 24th June, is being held for the 17th time since the biennial, non-stop, 704–mile circumnavigation of this island started in 1980.
Twenty five starters, to-date, have confirmed entry with anticipation high for further additions before the closing date for entries on the 8th June.
The Round Ireland Yacht Race is run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the largest yacht racing organisation in the world. The RORC include the Round Ireland Yacht Race as one of the premier challenges in their calendar of seventeen international races this year.
In the class 1 entries, one to watch will be Piet Vroon, in Tonnerre de Breskens 3 from Holland, who has dominated the RORC racing calendar from Fastnet to the Caribbean and is making a welcome return to Wicklow Sailing Club. Round Ireland also welcomes Dan Walsh, from the USA, together with six of his fellow sailors from the American Yacht Club of New York, who have chartered the yacht, Fujifilm, which will sail under the name of "Team Wild Goose", a Class 40 which also comes with an international racing pedigree.
Having left Howth a few years ago, Cracklin' Rosie is now returning under the helm of Londoner, Steven Anderson while the intrepid ladies, Kristeen Donaldson and Judith Eastwood, have entered their yacht PYXIS in the gruelling two-handed class. While on the subject of the ladies keep an eye on Allie Smith aboard Visit Malta Puma who won her class in the 2010 race and is determined to take the trophy back home again.
The west of Ireland is well represented with Inis Mor from Clifden BC, and NUI Galway from Galway University Sailing Club while Cork and Dun Laoghaire have lately shown a stronger interest. Of local Wicklow interest is the return this year of club member, Brian Flahive, to the two handed class in LC Tyres Lulabelle to be sailed under the WSC burgee.
Approximately half of the yachts entered in the Round Ireland Yacht Race are RORC racers based in England and include entries from the RAF and the Army Sailing Clubs. Boats from Scotland, Wales and Guernsey will also join the fleet in Wicklow. All in all a formidable entry of top rated racers, even at this early date.
"To win the Round Ireland Yacht Race, your crew have to race consistently well, all day and all night, every day; given the challenging Irish coastline, it is not an easy course. Three thousand miles for open seas to build up before they hit you on the West coast can be daunting. I have no illusions, winning against good opposition is never easy but it makes racing the Round Ireland Yacht Race all the more rewarding" said Theo Phelan, Race Organiser for the Round Ireland 2012 Yacht Race.
Entries received to May 10th 2012
|Entrant||CLUB||Boat Name||Boat Type|
|Simon Costain||RAFYC||Fortitude||Pogo Class 40|
|Nicholas Bate||Army Sailing Association||Fujitsu||Archambault A40RC|
|Laurent Gouy||Clifden BC||Inis Mor||Ker39|
|Steven Anderson||RORC||Cracklin' Rosie||Corby 40|
|Nigel Colley||Guernsey YC||Fastrak VIII||Sunfast 3200|
|Neil Eatough||R St.G YC||Lancasrtian||Starlight 46|
|Cathal Clarke||WIORA-NUIGSC||NUI Galway||Reflex 38|
|Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy||R Thames YC R SouthernYC||Noonmark VI||Swan 56|
|Rod Stuart||CCC||EOS||Elan 10|
|Dan Walsh||American YC NY||Team Wild Goose||OwenClarke Class 40|
|Paul Jackson||RORC -JOG||Wild Spirit||Jeanneau 40SO|
|P W Vroon||RORC||Tonnerre de Breskens 3||Ker 46|
|Ian Hickey||RCYC||Cavatina||Granada 38|
|Adrian Lee||RORC RStG||Lee Overlay Partners||Cookson 50|
|Derry Good||RCYC||Exhale||X362 sport|
|Mark Denton||Maxvmg Fortissimo||Akilaria Class 40|
|Stephen Tudor||Pwllheli||Sgrech||J 109|
|Bruce Douglas||Carrickfergus||Spirit of Jacana||J 133|
|David Fletcher||Ballyholme YC||Twister||First 31.7|
|Allie Smith||RORC||Visit Malta Puma||Reflex 38|
|Ronan O'Siochru||NYC /RORC||Irish Offshore Sailing School||Sunfast 37|
|Nick Martin||RORC||Diablo-j||J 105|
|Coyne /Flahive||WSC||LC Tyres Lulabelle||Beneteau 36.7|