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June's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Offshore Race is fully subscribed and operating a waiting list and still operating on the basis that it will go ahead as planned on June 9th despite the changing public health situation, according to Race Chairman Adam Winkelmann.

The confirmation comes after a lack of clarity for sailing events following the easing of lockdown restrictions announced earlier this week by the Government. 

"We are not cancelling the race at this time and we do not intend to cancel the race until the facts and the guidance determine that we should cancel it", Winkelmann told skippers, who are making preparations for the 2021 edition of the 320-miler in just under 70 days time.

The Government plans to continue its cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population is vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

"we do not intend to cancel the race until the facts and the guidance determine that we should cancel it"

In an update to competitors, the National Yacht Club organiser said "A strong element of the ethos of the race is that it be fun. It combines competitive racing at sea followed by great social fun in Dingle for those that want it, and the opportunity to cruise in the South West region or participate in other racing events such as the Sovereigns Cup".

We want to offer all our skippers, crews and supporters just that - but the public health situation increasingly looks like it may make that combination impossible to achieve", he told the fleet. 

Adam Winkelmann, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Offshore Race Organiser - Adam Winkelmann, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Offshore Race Organiser - in making the decision to stage the June fixture he says he also has to consider the situation with regard to rescue services and those people responsible for our safety at sea

For now, Winkelmann and the NYC race team continue to monitor and track all available information and guidance in respect of running an offshore sailing race.

He says the NYC currently have very little hard information beyond April 26th, though the NYC and the Dingle Skellig Hotel, in particular, are hoping for an opening of inter-county travel and hotels in early June.

Winkelmann says he will announce more as soon as he can with another date of May 5th now being the likely timeframe for more information.

The organisers may also run a survey of entrants at that point to better gauge individual owners intentions.

Winklemann told the ICRA conference in March that if the restrictions do not permit the race to go ahead on June 9th, then a decision has already been made to "push the event out until its next staging in June 2023".

Read Winkelmann's full statement here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
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How quickly can we hope to return to the carefree style of sailing sociability which reflects the mood displayed above, as seen in the officially-accredited Sporting & Cultural Mission from Howth Yacht Club on its traditional biennial visit to the Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale?

Naturally, we can't go into any personal details or identification - what happens in Kinsale stays in Kinsale. But any contemplation of this display of dynamic camaraderie is a forceful reminder of how the past fourteen months have seen us pushed further and further from everything that makes Irish sailing so effortlessly sociable.

And "effortlessly" is the keyword here, for as you'll deduce, the HYC modus operandi includes taking a block booking in the hotel which is as close as possible to Kinsale YC and its marina, without actually putting the group on conspicuous display in a waterfront establishment.

As various commentators have already pointed out, the official Lockdown Easing pronouncements of recent days seem, on closer examination, to be a series of "definite maybes". But after everything that has been experienced, not to mention what may be yet to come, the sailing community does not at this stage expect its leaders to be setting completely finalised dates.

Ann Kirwan – seen here racing with co-owner Brian Cullen – may be noted for campaigning a Ruffian 23 called Bandit. But as Commodore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club, it is the Bandit skipper who will be clarifying the law-keeping for her many membersAnn Kirwan – seen here racing with co-owner Brian Cullen – may be noted for campaigning a Ruffian 23 called Bandit. But as Commodore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club, it is the Bandit skipper who will be clarifying the law-keeping for her many members

Thus Ann Kirwan, Commodore of Dublin Bay Sailing Club and thereby the actual and spiritual leader of the largest yacht race organisers in Ireland, got the tone just right when she expressed a hope for starts of sorts in mid-May, but made it clear to any thinking sailor that these things are being monitored on a day-to-day basis while we all hope for the best, and of course at every turn social distancing will continue for some time to be a major consideration.

TRAINING ELEMENT PLAYS SIGNIFICANT ROLE

Where training is involved, there is a significant element of school opening allowances in the equation, and Howth YC Commodore Paddy Judge has expressed the hope that training courses will be underway at or soon after April 26th, which brings a resumption of sorts within the almost foreseeable future.

When it was good, it was very, very good. The season of 2021 may have been truncated, but it provided some superb memories before lockdown returned, and one of the best was Howth's last keelboat race is notably warm weather on Sunday 13th September, with Simon Knowles' J/109 seen here chasing down three of the hot HYC Half Tonners. Photo: Judith Malcolm.When it was good, it was very, very good. The season of 2020 may have been truncated, but it provided some superb memories before lockdown returned, and one of the best was Howth's last keelboat race is notably warm weather on Sunday 13th September, with Simon Knowles' J/109 seen here chasing down three of the hot HYC Half Tonners. Photo: Judith Malcolm.

On the more complex question of sailing for everyone, the feeling was that DBSC got it pretty much spot on in the amount and timing of the racing it organized through 2020's truncated season. But if anything, the controlled success of last year puts even greater pressure on the organisers to make the right call and provisions as the new season approaches. For the background factors keep changing.

After all, every day we hear of increased Brexit-induced ferry connectivity with France, yet France has recently seen Pandemic levels rise to such dangerous numbers that they're now into a three-week lockdown in France, and especially in Paris.

April in Paris, yet the City of Light is closed? But in Paris, not all is as it seems. Once upon a time a long time ago, I met a guy in Paris, an American, who was still living off the regular royalties he'd inherited from the fact that his father had, among other popular works, written the song April in Paris.

Yet April in Paris can feel like winter, as is the case at the moment. However, it's nothing new – this man in Paris admitted that the romantic events in Paris which inspired the song that continued to keep him in such comfort had actually occurred in May. But all his father's skills as a songsmith simply couldn't get May to scan with the rest of the lyrics, so he shifted it to April, and blushed all the way to the bank.

April in Paris – rainy but romantic. The outcome of the current three week April lockdown in France may well play a pivotal role in some important aspects of the 2021 sailing season in Europe.April in Paris – rainy but romantic. The outcome of the current three week April lockdown in France may well play a pivotal role in some important aspects of the 2021 sailing season in Europe.

FRENCH LOCKDOWN MAY AFFECT FASTNET RACE 2021

This may all seem irrelevant to the opening or otherwise of the 2021 sailing season. But in fact what happens in Paris over the next three weeks will be of real importance to the sailing hopes of at least eleven Irish offshore racing crews with a taste for the international competition, as this August is scheduled for the first of the new-look RORC Rolex Fastnet Races finishing in France at Cherbourg, and they're entered for it.

But if the supposedly total three week lockdown in France, which started yesterday, goes astray by being ignored with extensive social unrest to compound the problem, and yet another massive COVID surge results thereafter, then events in August will experience a damaging knock-on effect.

It might even see the Fastnet Race organisers forced to revert to the historic finish port of Plymouth in order to keep all the shoreside activity within one national jurisdiction. And we hasten to add that this is not a belated April Fool notion.

The traditional Fastnet Racecourse in gold, with the planned 2021 extension to finish at Cherbourg in red. If the current newly-introduced Three Week Lockdown in France fails to curb the latest major surge of COVID-19, it's possible that the RORC may have to revert to the Plymouth finish in order to keep all shoreside activity connected to the Fastnet Race restricted to one relatively pandemic-free jurisdiction.The traditional Fastnet Racecourse in gold, with the planned 2021 extension to finish at Cherbourg in red. If the current newly-introduced Three Week Lockdown in France fails to curb the latest major surge of COVID-19, it's possible that the RORC may have to revert to the Plymouth finish in order to keep all shoreside activity connected to the Fastnet Race restricted to one relatively pandemic-free jurisdiction.

As it happens, we don't have to look to France for the need for restrained behaviour. Easter in Ireland with imposed social limitations will seem particularly irksome to a people accustomed to make this their great traditional Springtime get-together, especially so after the cancellation for a second year of St Patrick's Day.

Let us hope that it is not blind optimism to expect that the population generally will be carefully regarding the regulations over this long weekend. The nation has barely got things back in an even keel after the huge post-Christmas & New Year surge before this new threat is upon us. And vaccinations are still running at a worryingly low level, yet we find ourselves thrust back into a pressure-cooker situation to keep the virus-spread under control.

APRIL 20TH WILL BE DATE WHEN SITUATION CLARIFIES

All of which means that while we may talk of a significant easing of restrictions around April 26th, it won't be until the days around the 20th April – 14 days after Easter – that we'll have the actual figures and the accurate graphs to tell us the real story about the level of after-effect from any illicit Easter socialising, and what expectations can be realistically expressed about various levels of resumption of activity.

We'll have to accept that it must start quietly and in a restrained and socially distanced way, and all strictly at club level. Admittedly our clubs are of such variety in size and character that "at club level" will have different meanings at different sailing centres. But any sailor of responsibility and goodwill will know the limitations without them having to be rigidly enforced, for as we learned last year, the strength of the Irish sailing club tradition is such that the Commodores and Admirals are expected to quietly clarify the developing situation for their members, and this was done at all main sailing harbours through 2021, with a reassuring level of both thoroughness and rightness.

A moment of real hope. Proper and officially-sanctioned club keelboat racing finally gets underway on a glorious sailing evening at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven on July 9th 2020. Photo: Robert BatemanA moment of real hope. Proper and officially-sanctioned club keelboat racing finally gets underway on a glorious sailing evening at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven on July 9th 2020. Photo: Robert Bateman

The Pilot. Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork YC. In January 2021 he was acclaimed as Cork's "Person of the Month" for the skilled way he had guided his club through the incredibly difficult experience of effectively cancelling his club's long-planned Tricentenary, and then being involved in arranging regulation-compliant events which included the offshore Fastnet 450 Race to optimize his members' severely constrained 2020 season.The Pilot. Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork YC. In January 2021 he was acclaimed as Cork's "Person of the Month" for the skilled way he had guided his club through the incredibly difficult experience of effectively cancelling his club's long-planned Tricentenary, and then being involved in arranging regulation-compliant events which included the offshore Fastnet 450 Race to optimize his members' severely constrained 2020 season 

However, the very nature of sailing as a vehicle sport, where crew numbers can quickly rise to threaten the limitations of family or bubble numbers, means that each situation may have to be decided on its own merits. We're told that in the current circumstances, sailing as a sport is grouped in with tennis, golf and cycling, but that obviously creates problems of interpretation.

Naturally the solo-sailing brigade are in something of a category of their own, but there's no escaping the fact that the invisible but very real on-water camaraderie of a fleet of solo sailors can very quickly translate into shoreside social-distancing problems as the group comes ashore in a wave of banter at race's end.

You can of course have two folk from the same bubble racing Lasers of Aero RSs or whatever in match events to their heart's content, though I suppose they'd have to make some sort of allowances for having a rescue boat. But if you want to push the fleet numbers out, it can always be designated as a training and coaching session, for once a certain level of competence has been attained, there is simply no better way of improving someone's solo sailing ability than through racing.

Now there's a real start……In pandemic circumstances, there are few healthier group sporting activities than big-fleet Laser racing – but problems arise when the fleet tries to get organised ashore.Now there's a real start……In pandemic circumstances, there are few healthier group sporting activities than big-fleet Laser racing – but problems arise when the fleet tries to get organised ashore.

Certainly, the charms of match racing can soon wear off, with it becoming a reminder – and here's something you mightn't have known – of the fact that in Scotland, there has never been a complete ban on playing golf throughout the pandemic. But since January 1st, it has been limited to a maximum of two players (and presumably a minimum of one), with the players regulation-compliant in every way, a dour enough situation perhaps, but it must have seemed like a relative paradise to unnecessarily restricted golfers in Ireland.

It's something to think about as we wait to see what the graphs and numbers are like on April 20th. Anyone who thinks otherwise has clearly forgotten about how the balloon went up in the second and third weeks of January. Meanwhile, it's arguable that there's currently no justification for prematurely cancelling any planned local events scheduled from mid-May onwards provided their local credentials are impeccable, and by June who knows, but we may indeed see the national season of 2021 get underway in style with the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race of Wednesday, June 9th, even if it is slightly subdued by shoreside restrictions.

Sacred activity. With the addition of face-masks, these two would have been allowed to continue their sport in Scotland through January, February and March.Sacred activity. With the addition of face-masks, these two would have been allowed to continue their sport in Scotland through January, February and March.

Published in W M Nixon

The 1939-built Fred Shepherd classic 50ft Amokura (Paul Moxon) returns to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race start line in June for another attempt at the 320-mile Irish offshore race.

The Falmouth based wooden yawl will be racing double-handed again but this time trying to avoid the rigging damage that beset her in her D2D debut two years ago. 

Unfortunately, after looking very stylish at the start, the only wooden classic in the race was doing very well despite being Two-Handed but was then slowed by rigging damage.

As Afloat reported previously, 42 boats are now entered for the National Yacht Club fixture, edging the club closer to its 50-boat advertised limit. Afloat's WM N Nixon predicts the biennial fixture will be the race that should get sailing going again, if restrictions are lifted.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
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June 2019's edition of the Volvo D2D was a step-up for the event in so many ways and had a number of significant firsts writes Race Chairman Adam Winkelmann. 

Windfall - the biggest yacht to ever compete set a new record time. It was also the biggest fleet ever at 43. The race also had the largest number of finishers ever at 41 and the lowest number of retired yachts (2).

The youngest skipper Tom Shanahan at 19 years of age brought J109 Ruth home in fourth place overall with the first all amateur crew thereby winning the Dingle Peninsula Produce Hamper.

And in further youth sailing participation in the race, 17-year-old Diarmuid Desmond from Dingle Sailing Club sailed on Windfall and the County Kerry sailor was rewarded with a record time into his home port. 

It was also the first time that the race was sailed on the RORC offshore calendar.

When Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) crossed the finish line it was the first time a yacht has retained the overall win in the Volvo D2D race.

AureliaRace Chairman Adam Winkelmann addresses competitors at a packed prizegiving

The sponsors did their part too. The most beer drunk in an 11 hour period at the event race office in Dingle - 6 barrels of Dick Macs Pale Ale. Every participating boat received a bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin at the prizegiving. The biggest prize giving function ever with 220 people attending in the Dingle Skellig Hotel. A Bretzel Bakery chocolate brownie on every table at the prize giving party.

Aurelia A packed prizegiving of more than 220 at the Dingle Skellig Hotel

My sincere thanks to all the volunteers from the National Yacht Club who made the event a massive success in 2019 - most notably Con Murphy (PRO), Cathy MacAleavy, Suzie Barry and Grainne Ryan. We also had wonderful media support from the Afloat team of David O’ Brien and Winkie Nixon aided by Miriam Ferriter of The Dingle Skellig Hotel and Photographer Dominick Walsh in Dingle.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th June 2021. This will be a limited entry event. Previous entrants will be offered early entry options and then the entry will be opened to others to allow up to a maximum of 50 yachts.

Special Recognition Awards in the Volvo D2D Race

1 Diarmuid Desmond – Dingle Sailing Club - Crewed on Windfall

2 Dave Morley – NYC – Start Mark Layer

3 Grainne Ryan – NYC – Trackers and Results

4 Suzie Barry - NYC – Start and Finish Race Office

5 Cathy Mac Aleavy – NYC – Superwoman!

6 Peter O’ Regan – Dingle Marina Superintendant

7 Niamh Kennedy – Dingle Sailing Club Sailing Manager

8 Olivier Prouveur – NYC Sailing Manager

9 Ian Meldon – NYC – Mac Lir Skipper for committee boat

10 Oonagh Deegan – NYC Assistant Manager

11 Tim Greenwood – NYC Start Committee Boar

12 Sandra Moore – NYC – Race Office 

Photos by Dominick Walsh

AureliaMichael Cotter receives the Seamus Gallagher Memorial Trophy - presented by Conor O Regan - Vice Commodore of the National Yacht Club

Aurelia Con Murphy and Adam Winkelmann with Sheila O’Connor and Miriam Ferriter from the Dingle Skellig Hotel

AureliaAurelia - Chris and Patanne Power Smith RStGYC receive the 2nd Place Overall from Bill Naughton of Volvo Tralee

AureliaTom Shanahan NYC receives the Dingle Peninsula Producers Hamper for 4th Place Overall and First All Amateur Crew - presented by Conor O Regan - Vice Commodore of the NYC

AureliaSuzie Barry - daughter of race co-founder Brien Barry, receives her volunteer award from Adam Winkelmann

Aurelia Cathy Mac Aleavy receives her volunteer award from Adam WinkelmannAurelia Niamh Kennedy of Dingle Sailing Club receives her award from Adam Winkelmann

AureliaCathy MacAleavy - Irelands first female sailing Olympian - presents the Mixed Crew 2nd Place Trophy to Windfall (RIYC / RStGYC) crew members Emma James and Laurie ReadAurelia Jackknife - Andrew Hall of Pwhlleli Sailing Club - receive the Alice Celebration Trophy for 1st Place in the mixed crewAureliaPaul Moxon of Amokura from Falmouth receives the 2nd place prize in the Cruising Class from Cathy MacAleavy

AureliaDavid Bolger of Lady Rowena RStGYC receives the Sam and Emma Trophy for 1st Place in Cruising Class - presented by Cathy MacAleavy

AureliaJoe Conway of Sigma 33 Elandra RIYC wins the Halidon Trophy for 1st place in boats under 33 feet

AureliaJoe Conway of Sigma 33 Elandra RIYC receives his prize for 5th Place in IRC 2 from Sheila O Connor of the Dingle Skellig Hotel

AureliaBlackjack skipper Peter Coad of Howth Yacht Club receives 3rd place in IRC2 from Sheila O Connor of Dingle Skellig Hotel

Aurelia2nd Place in IRC 2 is presented by Sheila O Connor of Dingle Skellig Hotel to Finbarr O Regan of Artful Dodger Kinsale Yacht Club

Aurelia Winner of the Dingle Skellig Trophy for 1st place in IRC2 to Rupert Barry of Red Alert, Greystones Sailing Club - presented by Sheila O’Connor

AureliaJackknife of Pwhlleli SC receive 5th place overall - presented by Billy Naughton of Volvo Tralee

AureliaTom Shanahan skipper of Ruth - National Yacht Club - receives 4th place overall - presented by Billy Naughton of Volvo Tralee

AureliaJohn O’Gorman skipper of Hot Cookie - National Yacht Club - receives 3rd place overall - presented by Billy Naughton of Volvo Tralee

AureliaHammer - aka - John Veale receives the record-setting champagne for Windfall from Conor O’ Regan - vice commodore of NYC

Aurelia The crew of Samatom of Howth Yacht Club - comfortable in pink - provided crowd control support to Adam Winkelmann during the prizegiving Aurelia The wonderful Dolphin trophies donated by former winner Liam Shanahan Snr to the event. The Shanahan family have had 3 generations of skipper in the D2D RaceAurelia Yannik Lemonnier receives the Mini 6.50 trophy from Cath MacAleavy

Download a full list of 2019 D2D prizewinners below plus a full set of results below

Read WM Nixon's race review here and all the D2D race news in one handy link here 

Published in National YC
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The final stage of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, the 15 miles from Skellig Michael to the finish line on the north shore of Dingle Bay at the ampitheatre-like entrance to Dingle Harbour, may seem like an easy jaunt after what the fleet has been experiencing on the more exposed parts of the course writes W M Nixon.

But for contenders in the 2019 race, it provided a final extra test of stamina and determination, for many of them were sailing it in the dark. And with the forecast rain which was supposed to envelop Kerry tending to go to Clare and Galway, there was a distinct backing of the northerly wind and a chance to race at extra speed through the night to the finish, and pick up a place or two on the way if only the spark was still there to be harnessed.

Three top boats did this with conspicuous style. After Mick Cotter’s 94ft Windfall had taken line honours and established a new course record, the race was on to see which of the more normally-sized boats might get second on the water, and for almost the entire race the betting was in favour of Andrew Hall’s last-minute entry from Wales, the very slippy J/125 Jackknife.

jackknife from ahead2The J/125 Jackknife is a flying machine, but she’s also a distinctly skinny boat of minimal onboard comforts. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien
But the J/125 is a very minimalist boat in terms of creature comforts, and a second night at sea in what had been a tough and very cold north wind-dominated race would have been making harsh demands on her crew.

Yet aboard Conor Doyle’s Xp50 Freya, a boat of substance and comfort, they could take it in their stride, and with talents aboard like Kenneth Rumball, the attractive big Freya seemed to be going better with every mile sailed.

freya sailing3Speed and comfort – Conor Doyle’s Xp 50 Freya had a storming night-time finish in the Dingle Race to take second in line honours. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

All the way up the beat from Mizen head to the Skellig, they were closing what had at one time been a 12-mile gap behind Jackknife. They were still astern making the final turn, and for the eased sheets passage to the finish, it might have been assumed that Jackknife would be back in charge.

Not a bit of it. Freya remorselessly wore down her lead as they raced through the night, and when they crossed the line at 02:09 in the small hours of Friday morning, Freya was four minutes ahead.

The overall winner Rockabill had meanwhile been sailing an exemplary race. In the long run down the east coast, they made good straight line progress under spinnaker while other boats went hither and yon tacking to lee. The guys on Rockabill know their boat, they knew that once the breeze had freshened again after its hiccup at the start this was the way for the best basic speed, and consequently they kept themselves in the frame while conserving energy.

Rockabill spinnaker4Energy conservation……Rockabill under standard masthead spinnaker getting maximum speed for minimum hassle. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

All along the south coast Rockabill was always there or thereabouts, and sometimes in first place on IRC, but her crew knew that if the forecast brisk breezes from ahead were experienced off the southwestern seaboard, they’d be in their element with energy to burn.

And they’d a private race going with the higher-rated J/122 Aurelia. Aurelia may have led round the Skellig, but Rockabill was hounding her, and in the romp up the bay, she rolled over the J boat and got in four minutes ahead of her to correct into an overall lead which was soon unbeatable by any boat still out racing.

rockabill finished4aRockabill’s winning crew brighten the Dingle darkness, with Mark Pettit on left (almost smiling), and owner/skipper Paul O’Higgins fourth from right. Photo: Dominick Walsh

aurelia start5 Aurelia at the start – she was to place second overall on IRC. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Next in after Aurelia were the Martin brothers in the First 44.7 Lively Lady – they’ve been having the race of their lives, and while Lively Lady may have moved down to tenth on corrected time, it has been a remarkable sail they’ll remember for a long time.

Close behind Lively Lady as the new day hinted was one of the most interesting duels of all. Former Olympian Mark Mansfield was on the strength of John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (NYC), and the big Corkman found reserves of speed and stamina in the Cookie crew that they didn’t know they possessed.

hot cookie6The Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (John O’Gorman) with the unmistakable presence of Mark Mansfield at the stern. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Thus in the beat up to the Skellig, they were snapping at the heels of Conor Fogerty’s very new Figaro 3 Raw – an ironic state of affairs, as Fogerty’s previous all-conquering boat Bam had been a Hot Cookie sister-ship.

Once the turn had been made and sheets freed, you’d have expected the foiling Raw to be gone. No way. Big Mark and his shipmates sailed like men possessed, and they beat Raw to the finish by precisely one minute.

raw start7Conor Fogerty’s new Figaro 3 Raw was 8th to finish, and placed 18th on corrected time. Photo Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Throughout this diverse fleet, there’ll have been local duels like this going on at every part of the course. But it was a grand-standing finale that three of these duels at the very top level were fought with such tenacity right into the final furlong and through the line.

Managing the energy levels is a very significant part of offshore racing. It’s all very well having all hands on deck to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the boat when the crowds are still there to watch at the start, but in cold wet weather with headwinds towards the end, the need for a fresh watch to be available is paramount.

D2D tracks8 The tracks on the 270 mile course tell it all. Off the East Coast, the Mini 6.50s tacked to lee right out into the middle of the Channel, logging more than 300 miles, while on the south coast Windfall went well offshore in search of reported stronger winds and logged 299 miles. But two boats – overall winner Rockabill VI and early leader Outrajeous –managed to get to Dingle on just 277 miles

Thus Rockabill’s race has been a textbook performance in energy conservation. And it shows most vividly in the actual distance she sailed. It was a minimal 277 miles. Only one other boat – the J/109 Outrajeous skippered by Johnny Murphy to an eventual 6th overall after leading the J/109s all the way to the Fastnet – managed to get to Dingle on only 277 miles.

However, we shouldn’t let total economy of distance sailed dominate our thinking too much, there are many other factors involved. The reality is that the J/109 leader at the finish, the Shanahan family’s Ruth skipppered by 19-year-old Tom Shanahan who overtook Outrajeous with such a flourish at the Fastnet, did the course in 279 miles to place fourth overall and first in the Corninthian Division, a great achievement for such a young skipper.

Outrajeous D2D race start9 The J/109 Outrajeous was one of only two boats which managed to get to Dingle logging only 277 miles. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Some really piled it on. For instance Windfall, in trying to find fresher northerlies offshore as she led the reach along the south coast, curved her course so much she was looking at 299 miles by the finish.

And the gallant little Mini 6.50 Port of Galway, which Dan Mill and Yannick Lemonnier were tacking to lee with such enthusiasm during all the run down the east coast that at times they were sometimes nearly in the middle of the Channel, well, when they finished at lunchtime yesterday 7 miles ahead of Louis Mulloy in Blackshell Farm, they were showing 305 miles logged.

Yannick Mini 650 4541The Mini 6.50 Port of Galway (seen here at the start of the 2018 Round Ireland Race) managed to log 305 miles racing to Dingle. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Yet vigorous tacking to lee is the best way to get optimum VMG out of a Mini 6.50. But a Steady Eddy JPK 1080 like Rockabill VI under a traditional masthead spinnaker can hold the straight line, and still be giving of her best. It all depends on wind strength, of course, but it meant that when the energy was really needed in the final 50 miles of the race, Rockabill still had it by the bucket-load.

They were fresh as daisies at the finish, for success brings its own adrenalin, but there were some very tired and cold sailors finally getting into avail of Dingle’s warm hospitality. As for tonight’s mega prizegiving at the Dingle Skellig Hotel, there are so many divisions and categories and so many special awards that it seems likely there’ll be more or less something for everyone in the audience.

Red alertllRupert Barry’s JOD Red Alert from Greystones was winner of IRC 2. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien
Thus although the fully-crewed hotshot boats and the big record-breaker inevitably have been receiving all the attention, we mustn’t forget that there were two IRC Classes, and Rupert Barry’s JOD 35 Red Alert from Greystones won IRC 2, while placing 14th overall, and there was also a keenly-contested two-handed division which was won Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles from Howth with the J/109 Indian, which they sailed to such good effect that they also took 12th overall in the 41-strong open division.

Indian D2D race start12Simon Knowles and Colm Buckley with the J/109 Indian (HYC) have won the Two-Handed Division, and placed 14th overall. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

In among the two-handers was the only wooden classic in the race, Paul Moxon’s 1939-built 50ft Amokura. Unfortunately after looking very stylish at the start, she suffered upper spreader damage further down the line, and at the time of writing is carefully plodding towards the finish under reefed main and storm jib, but the hope is she’ll make it to Dingle in time for the party.

amokura spinnaker13The classic 50ft yawl Amokura (Paul Moxon) was doing very well despite being Two-Handed, but she has been slowed by rigging damage. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Either way, there’ll still be more Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race veterans around Dingle tonight than at any time in the race’s 26-year history. Such a gathering will make for a story in itself. Adam Winkelmann and Con Murphy and their many voluntary helpers have pulled off a real success, and deserve every congratulation.

Windfall finishing14Big boat in the big country – Windfall finishes the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race in a new record time. Photo: Richard & Rachel Langdon/Ocean Images

 Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here and download overall results pdf below

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
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Day #2 - 6 pm Mick Cotter’s gallant tilt at getting the 270-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race time through the 24-hour barrier by finishing before 6.0pm has been frustrated by a very few miles writes W M Nixon

Earlier today, it was a localised calm which stopped his big boat, the 94ft Windfall, at Mizen Head for just long enough to make it touch-and-go whether or not the record was still possible. Then the weaving northerly breezes of Kerry in Dingle Bay kept them hard on the wind all the way towards the finish, and as the Angelus bell sounded in Dingle town, Windfall still had seven miles to sail, even if she was making 10 knots and better.

That said, she was being headed, and now the challenge is to beat the 24 hrs and 48 minutes record set by the same skipper in the 78ft Whisper in 2009. But at least the big boat will soon be finished, and with a real-time for others to aim at. During the course of the race, fortunes have waxed and waned so much that at one stage Windfall was both ahead on the water and on corrected time. Which, when you remember that she’s nearly twice as long as the next biggest boats in the fleet, the Xp 50 Freya (Conor Doyle) and the classic 50ft yawl Amokura (Pau Moxon), was quite something as she carries a ferocious handicap rating.

Cruelly, the smaller craft – with Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife still leading the pack – are now down in the same Mizen Head region which was Windfall’s undoing, but they’ve a reasonable sailing breeze and Jackknife is showing 7.1 knots, while next in line Freya is even better at 8.5, and seemingly going better relative to her competitors with every mile sailed.

The overall IRC lead is now back in Jackknife’s hands, but Paul O’Higgins’ defending champion Rockabill VI is lying second and always ready to pounce as they head into what looks like a difficult evening and night of racing, as the mainly northerly wind changes in response to the next lot of inclement weather heading in from the Atlantic.

As ever, the J/109s are on hand ready to pounce, and Johnny Murphy skippering Outrajeous is back in third overall, but right up there with him is a new presence among the front-runnners, the Shanahan family in sister-ship Ruth, overall winner in 2015 and now placed 4th ahead of Hot Cookie and Aurelia – for the moment, it seems, Mono is leading The Prof……..

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
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Johnny Treanor and the crew of his Grand Soleil 34 Justina from the National Yacht Club have retired from the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race. The crew are safe and heading to Kilmore Quay in County Wexford having suffered 'a total loss of steering' just after passing the Tuskar Rock last night. 

As Treanor reported to the D2D race office this morning: "we had an all standing gybe with the kite up. We lost the kite sheets and had to blow the kite to get the boat back under control. The Rosslare Lifeboat stood by until we repaired and checked the function of the steering. We are now headed for Kilmore Quay under our own steam. ETA 08.30"  

"The Rosslare lifeboat stood by until Justina repaired and checked the function of the steering"

Fortunately, as Treanor says, "no one went overboard in the gybe and no one got hurt in the subsequent chaos, so all's well that ends well".

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here 

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Although there are less than 10 boats officially entered at this early stage this number belies a strong mix of new racing designs in the wings for June's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race that is expected to attract a fleet of over 40. 

Headlining these entries is the defending champion Paul O'Higgins in the JPK10.80 Rockabill VI but as David O'Brien reveals in today's Irish Times Sailing Column, O'Higgin's clubmate Andrew Algeo is also entered with the brand new J99, Juggerknot 2.

In other big news for the 13th edition of the race, Michael Cotter will race to Dingle in his 94-foot Carbon Maxi Windfall, a yacht that has already won class honours in the Maxi Two division of the Les Voiles de St-Barth 2018 Regatta.

According to race organiser Adam Winkelmann, top ISORA contenders are also likely to be in the hunt with J109s Ruth (a former winner) and Mojito from Wales expected to contest the 300-miler. Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia is also in the mix as is the new Grand Soleil 34 Justina and George Sisk's new XP44 Wow! 

Read more in today's Irish Times Sailing Column here.

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The interest and resulting entry for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle D2D Race has exceeded all our expectations, writes race organiser Adam Winkelmann.

We now have 39 confirmed entries and expect to have close to 45 boats on the start line on Wednesday June 14th. Janet Grosvenor from RORC will be here to observe the start on June 14th and race management procedures with a view to our ambition to be a RORC endorsed race in 2019. I think with these numbers we are on a good path to that. There is no doubt that the resurgence in ISORA has been a significant factor in the growth and composition of the racing class. By adding RORC in the future we can expect other boats to enter to qualify their crew for the Fastnet Race later in the same year.

We have had a very positive reaction from sailors to our revised schedule of a Wednesday evening start and a Prizegiving Party in Benners Hotel in Dingle on Saturday June 17th. We have included a time limit of 18.00hrs on Saturday in the Sailing Instructions to ensure that we can proceed with prizes later that evening. This facilitates the sailors crew planning for a return to Sovereigns Cup or to work on Monday! We will be giving each boat a crate of Crean’s Beer on arrival in Dingle. Many boats have also booked accommodation with our long term partner the Dingle Skelligs Hotel and no doubt much of the post race analysis will take place in the bar there.

We are looking forward greatly to the start from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on June 14th at 19.00hrs (starting area in Scotsmans Bay) and encourage as many as want to come out either on the pier or in boats to wave the fleet off on its journey. Yellow Brick tracking of the race will be available so families and supporters can follow the race from start to finish. If the crews bring the trackers to the pub with them as happened last time you will even be able to locate them there!

UPDATE: Comment From Sgrech skipper Stephen Tudor:

Sgrech is committed to the 'D2D' classic offshore race and will be on the starting line on June 14th.
The race provides offshore challenges at 270 miles but also some of the most spectacular scenery from the start in Dublin Bay, southwards down the banks along the east coast of Ireland, Tuskar Rock Light with her South Hen and Chickens. Along the south coast to Fastnet and onwards into the Atlantic.
The next corner the Bull, The Cow and The Calf - spectacular and it does look like a bull.
Next the Great Skellig - truly magnificent but watch out for the Washerwoman Rock - she is vicious!
Then north east to Dingle, the welcome from Fungie the resident dolphin.
Then there is Dingle - a fantastic destination and the high street pubs worth a visit before a party and a gentle cruise home! - Classic join us.

ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan adds: After the Round Ireland Race, it is one of the best offshore races in these waters. After the race, nothing matches the craic in Dingle.

Class divisions breakdown as follows: 

11 Cruiser Class
3 Mini 650 Class
5 2 Handed Class
19 Racing Class

39 D2D entries to date are below: 

ACT Two

DuFour 425

IRL4250

Cruiser

AJ Wanderlust

Jeanneau 45.2 Sun Odyssey

IOM 8931 R

2-handed

aquelina

J-112E

IRL 1507

Racing

Aurelia

J Boats

IRL35950

Racing

Birmayne

Bruce Roberts

IRL 756

Cruiser

Cavatina

Granada 38

IRL3861

Racing

Elandra

SIgma 33

IRL 4536

Racing

EOS

X 362 SPORT

IRL 6695

Racing

Fulmar Fever

Westerly Fulmar

FR 14

Cruiser

Gemo

Mini 650 Dingo 1

FR 699

2-handed

Golden Fleece

Sigma 41

IRL51215

Cruiser

Harriet Marwood

Farrow & Chambers,   Collins 40 Tandem Keel

GBR3556L

Cruiser

Indian

J109

1543

2-handed

IOS Desert Star

Jeanneau

irl 1397

Racing

Jedi

J109

IRL 8088

Racing

Juggerknot

J/109

IRL 3660

Racing

Lady Rowena

Sadler

IRL34218

Cruiser

Lively Lady

Beneteau First 44.7

IRL1644

Racing

LOBSTER

Two Ton Dubois

IRL 7077

2-handed

Maybird

Shepherd design built by Jack Terrell in 1937

GBR 644R

Cruiser

Mojito

J/109

GBR0947R

Racing

Oystercatcher

Dufour

IRL 1177

Cruiser

Pamela

Discovery 55

IRL5503

Cruiser

Pipedreamer VI

Dufour 40

GBR 2271L

Cruiser

Platinum Blonde

Beneteau 35 First

IRL 3516

Racing

Port of Galway Black

Mini 6.50/ Proto

303

2-handed

Port of Galway Green

Mini Transat 6.5 Proto

IRL78

2-handed

Prima Luce

Beneteau First 35

IRL 3504

2-handed

Rockabill VI

JPK 10.80IRL

IRL 10800

Racing

Ruth

J/109

IRL 1383

Racing

Soufriere

Spirit 54

IRL 1974

2-handed

Spirit of Jacana

J133

IRL1335

Racing

Thalia

Sigma 400

IRL733

Racing

Thisbe

Nicholson 32

IRL 1530

Cruiser

Wakey Wakey

J109

GBR5909R

Racing

White Tiger

Beneteau First 44.7

IRL4470

Racing

Windshift

Sunfast 37

37737

Racing

WOW

Austral Yachts

IRL4208

Racing

 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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