#roundireland – American yachtsman George David, the owner of one of the world's fastest yachts, has his sights on the Round Ireland Yacht Race record and intends to compete in the 2016 Irish offshore race, according to Wicklow Sailing Club organisers.
In a written comment to Wicklow organisers David says the yacht will be in Europe next year and the Rambler programme includes competing Round Ireland.
David, who raced the 2015 Fastnet Race, has confirmed his interest in entering his yacht Rambler 88, one of the yachting world's newest and most sophisticated racing machines, in the 2016 Round Ireland Yacht Race. David stated that the Round Ireland has been a priority for his yacht and crew since 2011.
It was his experience in the 2011 Fastnet, when Rambler 100 capsized close to the Fastnet Rock after its keel snapped off, that, says Wicklow SC, has prompted George David to announce his wish to enter the biennial race of the Irish offshore racing calendar. The efforts of the Irish rescue services in locating and bringing to safety George and several of his crew after three hours in the water, is a matter which raised his interest in finding a suitable offshore event for a return to the country for which he has enormous regard and appreciation.
Wicklow Sailing Club organises the race in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Irish Yacht Club. The 2016 race will be the 19th race of the series, with the first race having been organised by WSC in 1980. It starts on 18th June 2016.
Rambler 88 is George David's 3rd Rambler, after Ramblers 90 and 100. Given appropriate weather conditions, Rambler 88, with its state of the art carbon fibre hull and rig, would be a strong contender to break the Round Ireland Race record of 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds held by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard 3 achieved in 2008.
In 2014, the overall winner was Tanit (Richard Harris and team from Glasgow), while line honours went to Monster Project (Andy Budgen and local WSC sailor David Ryan).
The race officially opens for entries in January 2016.
Afloat adds: It's great to hear official confirmation of the story – circulating within a very secret group for some time now – that Rambler 88 really is on for the Round Ireland 2016. She's a fabulous boat, and was a hot favourite for the Fastnet last month, but the chips didn't fall the big boats' way. In fact, when that Fastnet downer happened, we were rather afraid that George David might have had enough of racing off flukey northwest Europe, and wouldn't be going ahead with the Round Ireland plan, which was divulged to a select few back in the Spring. But now it seems it's all systems go, and it's great news.
Far be it for Afloat to intrude on Rambler 88's crewing arrangements in June 2016, but a certain event in August 2011 with Rambler 100 looms large. So it should be pointed out that Youen Jacob Jnr of the Baltimore Lifeboat Crew was going great in the Round Ireland Race some years ago, skippering the J/35 Big Ears which he'd chartered from Michael Boyd (now RORC Commodore), when the stemhead fitting disintegrated off the West Cork coast, they lost the mast, and that was the end of the Baltimore challenge. So Youen Jacob has unfinished business in the Round Ireland race. And come to that, maybe Kieran Cotter, Cox'n of the Baltimore Lifeboat, might enjoy a sail too......But we mustn't go mad with this line of thought. During Round Ireland Race time, it's surely a good idea to have the Baltimore Lifeboat Crew at full strength on the home front.....