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#d2d – Boosted by a late entry the 23-boat Dun Laoghaire to Dingle fleet are assembling this morning at the National Yacht Club pontoon in Dun Laoghaire readying for this afternoon's 4pm start. The tenth anniversary edition of the offshore race looks like it will be off to a slow start with light winds forecast to the Tuskar at least.

Pundits are backing Rockabill, the Corby 33, as a front runner but there's a varied fleet and some tested offshore campaigns all heading west this evening too.  Read WM Nixon's race preview here.

The National Yacht Club race start is viewable from the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire. Follow the progress of the fleet on the live D2D race tracker here and this handy link to all Afloat's D2D race coverage. We're using #d2d on race tweets. 

 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

#D2D –  The Round Ireland Race of 1992, like all stagings of the classic circuit, was one of mixed memories. It started in sunshine with a fair wind which carried us all the way to the Fastnet. But that wind stayed very determinedly between north and northeast, so we knew there'd be windward work round the Kerry coast.

In fact, we were on the wind until Mayo. Then it drew eventually from the southwest and there was the usual scamper across Donegal Bay and around Tory Island. Then the breeze was all over the place down the Irish Sea until we were sitting nicely, breeze off the land, aroma of the Wicklow countryside to be savoured and all that, finish line nicely in sight......and suddenly we were in a flat spot which lasted just long enough to turn a close class win into second in class by 17 minutes.

So all we really remember of the race of '92 is that sweetness of the summer evening made sour by the breeze turning off. It takes a real effort to remember that, three day earlier, we'd actually been having a right pasting off the Kerry coast. For sure, we'd known we'd have headwinds past the Blaskets. But the forecast had missed out on a deepening low to the east. So much so, in fact, that the Irish Sailing Association subsequently launched an informal enquiry into why the severe rise in the wind strength had gone largely unanticipated, as there were wholesale retirals, with much damage.

With hindsight, of course, it was there to be seen - we just didn't want to see it. We may have approached the Fastnet on a reach in sunshine. But there was a harshness to the evening, and any God's amount of warning clouds at a high level, to tell us that this wasn't going to be a straightforward bit of windward work on a summer's night. And even on a gentle summer's night, the Atlantic off Kerry can be a rumbly place. So when it came in a real stinker between north and northeast, it was boat-breaking stuff, with several ports in West Cork and Kerry acquiring their quota of retirals.

sailsatjune102
South Pacific? No, just Dingle as it can be when, as was happening in this case, most of the rest of Ireland was in heavy rain. Photo: W M Nixon

One such was the Sigma 41 Koala (Peter Cullen and Martin Crotty), which split her mainsail and did well to get to Dingle. As they put themselves together again and breathed in that Dingle air with its unmistakable sense of being in the far west and everything well with the world, they got to thinking how it would just be perfect if the race had just been to Dingle, instead of battering all the way round Ireland simply to end up back where they started from.

That's what it is with Dingle. It's one of those places that everybody thinks they're really the first ever to discover properly and understand and appreciate. It is unique, there's no doubt of that. But when you sail in there and get enveloped in its hospitable warmth, you soon think it's uniquely unique. So naturally the crew of Koala got to thinking about a sort of Round Ireland Lite, a race from the east coast finishing at Dingle.

sailsatjune103

It took Dingle to show just how effective a combined fishing/sailing port can be. It's a favoured destination for cruising boats, yet it continues to have an impressive tally of fish landings. Photo: W M Nixon

It would have been a grand thing to talk about in the convenient first stop at Flahive's before moving on to one of the excellent Dingle restaurants. And for most crews, that would have been the end of it. But the crew of Koala were made of sterner stuff. They sailed home eventually, and they just wouldn't let go of the idea of a biennial race to Dingle alternating with the round Ireland. If they were going to do it, 'twas best 'twere done soonest. So 20 years ago, in 1993, Martin Crotty on behalf of the National YC organised the first 280 mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, Peter Cullen with his jelly bean manufacturing company put up the sponsorship, and one of the best events in the Irish sailing calendar became an instant success.

It's on again next Friday, June 7th, the 11th D2D, starting before the weekend to facilitate the boats using it to get to the ICRA Nationals in Tralee Bay from June 13th. And there's an excellent line-up, an interesting balance of 22 good boats which – considering the times we live in – is a fine turnout, particularly when we look at the calibre of the boats involved.

Fond memories of the great Denis Doyle and his enthusiasm for every offshore race going are evoked by the Cork presence of Anthony and Peter O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, briskly back to Ireland from the RORC Vice Commodore's campaigning in the English Channel series in order to race to Kerry, and make the lineup in Tralee Bay.

antixircd2d
Anthony O'Leary (Royal Cork) and Peter O'Leary (Baltimore SC) will be racing the busy Antix in the biennial D2D next Friday. Photo: Paul Wyeth

Antix has been in the frame if not on the podium in this year's RORC racing, so her presence sets a benchmark. Defending champion in the D2D is the Galway Reflex 38, curently sailing as Discover Ireland/The Gathering. She didn't exactly cover herself in glory at last weekend's Scottish series, but then she'd all the disadvantage of being the highest rated boat in IRC 2, which made her an easy target, and the offshore scene seems to suit her better.

Certainly the Dingle Race is important to Aodhan Fitzgerald's crew as a Fastnet qualifier. With the absence of any seriously large biggy to challenge the course record set by Mick Cotter's 77ft Whisper two races ago, there's a possibility that Antix and Discover Ireland will be battling for line honours, though that is an outcome which could well be upturned by the presence of boats like the Farr 42 Wow (George Sisk RIYC), and the three Beneteau First 44.7s - Adelie (Peter Hall NYC), Legally Blonde (Cathal Drohan & Paul Egan RStGYC), and White Tiger (Anthony O'Brien, Kinsale).

whisperd2d
Mick Cotter's 77ft Whisper almost broke the 24-hour barrier for the record for the Dingle Race in the race of 2009. Photo: David O'Brien

Although the Irish Sea's champion J/109 Sgrech (Stephen Tudor) won't be involved, there are four of these useful all-rounders taking part, and Liam Shanahan's Ruth from the National YC was showing promising speed in the Scottish Series.

And a seriously interesting entry from further down the size scale is Paul O'Higgins' Corby 33 Rockabill V from Dun Laoghaire, which has an enviable racing record. The Corby 33 is more than sparse enough for most folk for a night or two at sea. Add in the increasing demands of the seaways as you get further west, and you have a challenging proposition which nevertheless could serve up a race win if conditions fall the right way. The smart money might just be on Rockabill V.

rockabilld2d
Paul O'Higgins' Corby 33 Rockabill V offers only the most austere comfort for offshore sailing, but in the right conditions her proven racing record might find itself augmented by the Dingle title.

National YC/Skellig Hotel Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2013 Entry List

Boat NameSail noModelSun DivisionNameSurnameClubIRC TCC
Antix IRL 3939 Ker 39 Racing Anthony / Peter O'Leary BSC/ RCYC 1.136
Joker II IRL 1206 J109 Racing John Maybury RIYC 1.017
Blue Eyes IRL 9849 Elan 340 2-handed Colm Buckley HYC 0.983
Lisador IRL 1295 Dehler 36 Racing Henry Hogg Garrykennedy SC 0.958
Ruth IRL 1383 J109 Racing Liam Shanahan NYC 1.02
Jedi IRL 8088 J109 Racing Andrew Sarrath RIYC 1018
Spindrift IRL 1503 HR34 Cruising David Kelly Waterford SC 0.938
Polished Manx GER8666 Sigma 33 Racing Kuba Szymanski DBYC 0.898
Discover Ireland IRL 7386 Reflex 38 Racing Adhan Fitzgerald GBSC 1.055
Black jack IRL 1988 Pocock 38 2-handed Peter/ Darren Coad/Nicholson WHSC 0.934
Conundrum IRL 3503 Hanse Cruising Michael Pomeroy RStGYC 0.968
Amazing Grace IRL1966 Oyster 37 Racing Brian O'Sullivan TBSC 0.931
Rockabill V IRL 3307 Corby 33 Racing Paul O'Higgins NYC/IRIYC 1.041
Aquelina IRL 1281 J-122 Racing James S Tyrrell ASC 1.084
Chancer IRL 1583 Elan 40 Racing Brian Carroll 1.027
White Tiger IRL 4470 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Anthony O'Brien KYC 1.113
Mojito GBR9047R J109 Racing Peter Dunlop CHPwllheli SC 1.014
Ocean Tango GBR6848T Dehler34 2-Handed Robert Floate DMYC/ WSC 0.928
Legally Blonde IRL 3175 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Cathal/Paul Drohan/Egan RStGYC 0.952
Lulla Belle IRL 3607 Beneteau First 36.7 2-Handed Liam/Brian Coyne/Flahive NYC 1.001
Wow IRL 4208 Farr42 Racing George Sisk RIYC 1.144
Adelie IRL 9631 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Peter Hall NYC 1.003

 

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Published in W M Nixon

22 offshore yachts are confirmed for the start of the National YC's Dingle Skellig Hotel Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2013 on Friday 7th June.  See entry list below and also downloadable as an attached excel file.

As well as a large proportion of Dun Laoghaire's ISORA crews this year's race benefits from having Royal Cork's Antix on the startline. The former Commododre's Cup winner will use the race as a feeder for June 13th's ICRA Nationals in Fenit, Co. Kerry.

2011 winner Martin Breen's Reflex 38 is back as well as ISORA's potent J109 trio, Joker II, Jedi and newcomer Ruth of the host club.

There are four double handed entries in the two-handed division. 

All boats will be equipped with GPS trackers for the race.

 

Boat NameSail noModelSun DivisionNameSurnameClubIRC TCC
Antix IRL 3939 Ker 39 Racing Anthony / Peter O'Leary BSC/ RCYC 1.136
Joker II IRL 1206 J109 Racing John Maybury RIYC 1.017
Blue Eyes IRL 9849 Elan 340 2-handed Colm Buckley HYC 0.983
Lisador IRL 1295 Dehler 36 Racing Henry Hogg Garrykennedy SC 0.958
Ruth IRL 1383 J109 Racing Liam Shanahan NYC 1.02
Jedi IRL 8088 J109 Racing Andrew Sarrath RIYC 1018
Spindrift IRL 1503 HR34 Cruising David Kelly Waterford SC 0.938
Polished Manx GER8666 Sigma 33 Racing Kuba Szymanski DBYC 0.898
Discover Ireland IRL 7386 Reflex 38 Racing Adhan Fitzgerald GBSC 1.055
Black jack IRL 1988 Pocock 38 2-handed Peter/ Darren Coad/Nicholson WHSC 0.934
Conundrum IRL 3503 Hanse Cruising Michael Pomeroy RStGYC 0.968
Amazing Grace IRL1966 Oyster 37 Racing Brian O'Sullivan TBSC 0.931
Rockabill V IRL 3307 Corby 33 Racing Paul O'Higgins NYC/IRIYC 1.041
Aquelina IRL 1281 J-122 Racing James S Tyrrell ASC 1.084
Chancer IRL 1583 Elan 40 Racing Brian Carroll 1.027
White Tiger IRL 4470 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Anthony O'Brien KYC 1.113
Mojito GBR9047R J109 Racing Peter Dunlop CHPwllheli SC 1.014
Ocean Tango GBR6848T Dehler34 2-Handed Robert Floate DMYC/ WSC 0.928
Legally Blonde IRL 3175 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Cathal/Paul Drohan/Egan RStGYC 0.952
Lulla Belle IRL 3607 Beneteau First 36.7 2-Handed Liam/Brian Coyne/Flahive NYC 1.001
Wow IRL 4208 Farr42 Racing George Sisk RIYC 1.144
Adelie IRL 9631 Beneteau First 44.7 Racing Peter Hall NYC 1.003
Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Matt Davis was at the helm of the Sigma 400 'Raging Bull' that successfully defended the ISORA Title in September. Here the Skerries Sailor describes how he and his crew parepared for the defence of the coveted Wolf's Head Trophy

To retain our title as ISORA champions I knew there was going to be a lot of work involved as some of the ISORA fleet would be upgrading their boats over the winter months. I held a crew meeting early in 2011 to discuss with the crew what steps we would take and how we would go about defending our title. The meeting proved useful and we even got new crew members! The 2011 ISORA Series was to include the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race – with the new scoring and this race being rated the highest it was important to plan to do well in this race. The season started off eventful with the craning-in in Skerries - we broke one of the lower spreaders and this was one week before the first race. So within a week we had the spreader replaced and were on the start line for the first race in the ISORA calendar.

The first race was the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead race, which was to take in the M2 buoy. The wind was east to south-east, there was a lumpy sea with light winds in Dublin Bay and at times it was difficult to keep the boat going. The crew kept a watchful eye on sail trim and we worked our way out of the bay into a more-steady breeze. The wind kept building and top out in the 30 plus knots true. For an opening race it was tough going but the Sigma 400 liked the conditions. We tacked about five miles north of the M2 buoy and held that tack all the way to the finish at Holyhead. We started the season with a win, but in the back of my mind I knew that the weather had a lot to play in our victory and it was only matter of time when Stephen Tudor would get his new J109 up to speed.

We missed the second race, to the North Arklow buoy due to a faulty starter motor. Pwllheli to Wicklow was the next race that we got to the starting line. Dave Jackson and some of the crew delivered to boat to Pwllheli. On the week leading up to the race I had been tracking the weather and Peter Ryan was promising his famous 'weather window'. On the morning of the race the wind was whistling through the rigging and I knew it was going to be tough going to Bardsley. We got a good start and were one of the first boats off the line. About 20mins into the race we noticed the fleet were all rounding a mark way inshore of us, we had to bare off and reach for the mark, we lost a good 10mins to the leading boats. As we reached the halfway point we had climbed back up the leaderboard. English Mick was charging out in front and Tsunami was in second place on the water followed by Aztec, Jedi and Sgrech. One by one we passed Sgrech, Jedi and Aztec but there was no catching English Mick or Tsunami. We finished 3rd on the water and later found out we won overall on corrected time. We were delighted as it was such a close race.

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle was the next race. There were a lot of points going for this race and we had to do well. For most of the race I knew I wouldn't know where the competition was so I had to be sure of my tactics. Dave Jackson had been looking at weather and tides while Paul Ruigrok was getting the boat through its safety check. The D2D was a cold tough race. We got second over all but won the ISORA division. This now put us in good contention to retain the series.

A good result in the Lyver race would see us cement our position on the ISORA series. It was a tough race with the wind very light not getting above 5 knots. It was too light for the Sigma to pull away from the J109 of Stephen Tudor. Stephen won the Lyver race and we had to settle for second.

The night race to North India was another light race, which saw us hugging the shoreline with depths recorded under the keel of less than a meter, to try and stay out of the stronger tides. Once again we were not successful in getting a good result; our decision to go inshore did not pay off and when we rounded the buoy we found ourselves way down the fleet trying to work our way back into the race. The next day race was around Rockabill, again another poor result, this time not the weather gods but the crew gods did not help us, as we were a few people short. It was a great race with Lively Lady winning and only 3 min between the first 5 boats!

So the last race of the season - Pwllheli to Howth, this race was shortened due to bad weather and the race was to finish in Dun Laoghaire. We got a great start and were lying in second place until about halfway when we blew out our headsail. We lost a lot of time and had to sail in the wrong direction to help get the sail down. We were now fourth on the water and chasing Tsunami, Sgrech and Jedi. We fought hard to finish second on the water and were very happy to finish 3rd on corrected time. We had successfully defended our ISORA title! To win the ISORA Wolfs Head Trophy once is great but to do it again is something very special and I am delighted to thank the hard working crew of Raging Bull for all there support: Dave Jackson, Ross McMahon, Tracey Carey, David Boyle, Paul Ruigrok, Clodagh Whelan, Ben Malone, Paddy Dillon, Derek Fitzpatrick, Gavin Laverty, Donal Ryan and Emma Wilson.

It's a credit to the crew that have fought hard to help me retain the title and to anyone out there looking to try their hand in ISORA next season all I can say is please join the fun and come sailing! It's very competitive with a real family feel to it. Barry Hurley is trying hard to get the two-handed division going so ISORA has something for everyone. I'd like to say a huge thank you to Peter Ryan for reviving ISORA and bring it back to its former glory.

Published in ISORA
Dun Laoghaire based photographer Gareth Craig has added to last Saturday's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race coverage with a selection of start images on the Afloat Gallery here. Our race start coverage from the National Yacht Club is here.
Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Tagged under

Offshore racers Jedi, Aquelina and at least five J yacht designs – including George Sisk's new J111, Wow – are entered for next month's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle offshore sailing race (D2D) from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on June 11.

The last D2D race in June 2009 attracted 39 entries and a course record was set by Michael Cotter's Whisper. This year, organisers Martin Crotty and Brian Barry along with Dingle Harbour master Brian Farrell remain confident that they will break the 40 boat barrier. They may well be right as the event has been specifically timed to bring Dublin boats to the south coast for ten days of racing at the ICRA Nationals in Cork Harbour and the Sovereigns Cup the following week in Kinsale.

The event is also benefitting from inclusion in this year's ISORA calendar.

With just under a month to the start of the race 19 boats are officially entered (see table below) for the 320-miler but the National's Olivier Proveur says the club also expects the following: Tsunami (Beneteau 40.7 – Vincent Farrell), Quite Correct (Beneteau 54DS – John Roberts), Class 40 (Alan McGettigan), English Mick, Sailing West Intuition, Raging Bull (Sigma 400), Legally Brunette, Saxon Senator and Dublin Bay yacht Tiamat may also enter.

Full entry list below at May 19th:

Spindrift HR34 David Kelly
Dinah JOD35 Barry Hurley
Powder Monkey J109 Chris Moore
Lula Belle Beneteau 36.7 Liam Coyne
Orna Grand Soleil Philip Dilworth
Aquelina J122 Sheila/James Tyrrell
Ocean Blue Pacific Seacraft 42 Francis Cassidy
Wow J 111 George Sisk
Emir Herr Beneteau 47.3 Liam Shanahan
Something Else J109 John Hall
Premier Cru Beneteau 50 Alan Jackson
Lisador Dehler 36 Henry Hogg
Jedi J109 Andrew Sarratt
Galway Harbour Reflex 38 Martin Breen
Betty Boop Puppeteer 330S John Alvey
Tom Crean SJ320 Yannick Lemonnier
Mojito Bavaria 39 Peter Dunlop
Fortuna Redux Fast 42 Steve Kershaw
Yahtzee Beneteau 411 Richard Mossop

 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Tagged under
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