Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host its second major world sailing championships within three years when the 2018 Laser dinghy Masters World Championship set sail on Dublin Bay.
The estimated 400–boat event – open to men and women aged 35 and over – will be jointly hosted by the National Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club and supported by the Royal Irish Yacht Club. The event will run from 7th to 15th September 2018.
The announcement follows a successful bid from the Dun Laoghaire clubs and it comes quickly after the east coast town's successful staging of the 350–boat Laser Radial World championships when 48 nations were hosted in July 2015, an event estimated by organisers to have been worth €2.5m to the local economy.
While there are no International sailing championships on Dublin Bay for 2017, the following year looks like being a busy one on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront with the SB20 Sportsboat class staging its European Championships.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD who was at Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the announcement this morning said:“This event will showcase Dún Laoghaire Harbour on the international sailing stage. With up to 500 competitors from more than 40 nations competing in the Championships, this will generate significant revenues for the local economy and great exposure for Ireland.”
Annalise Murphy, 2017 Olympic Silver Medallist in the Laser class at the Rio Games, will act as event ambassador.
It is understood the impressive staging of that regatta by the Royal St. George helped paved the way for the 2018 event. The International Class Association (ILCA) who award the championship licence said 'the support from so many key partners also encouraged the ILCA that the event had the potential to be a great success, both on and off the water'.
The Dun Laoghaire bidders were also able to point to their successful track record in staging the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the biennial four day regatta of 400 plus boats and 2,500 sailors from over 30 classes that runs over as many as nine race areas.
Dun Laoghaire has also previously staged the 2013 Men’s Standard and Women’s Radial European Championships.
The bid was supported by the Irish government through Fáilte Ireland in addition to the local stakeholders including Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County council and Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.
It is hoped the hosting of the event will help increase the activity in Laser sailing in Ireland which is receiving great interest following the success of Irish Laser sailors at the Olympic Games in Rio.
The bid document, set out by International Race Officer Con Murphy, gives details of the harbour's facilities, track record and suitability of the venue for the important world championship on the international Laser calendar.
Age groups to compete in the Laser Master Category are: 35 to 44: Laser Standard Apprentice Master, Laser Radial Apprentice Master. 45 to 54: Laser Standard Master, Laser Radial Master. 55 and over: Laser Standard Grand Master. 55 to 64: Laser Radial Grand Master 65 and over: Laser Radial Great Grand Master