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Round Ireland Race Day Six (Thursday) 1700 hrs -  In the end, it was just about two miles of the Wicklow coast that did for them. Mike and Richie Evans with the J/99 Snapshot knew they’d to be at the finish on the Wicklow Harbour pierheads at 16.33 hrs to hold their overall SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race lead in IRC which – if added to their overall victory last year in the Sovereigns at Kinsale – would have made for two years of mega-achievement.

But even though in the final ten miles of flukey windward work they made mincemeat of all the boats around them, it wasn’t quite enough, 16:33 came and went, but though the finish line was clearly in sight, it was a case of oh so very near, but oh so very far. And now it looks very much as though the French J/111 SL Energies skippered by Laurent Charmy is going to be the overall winner. (Wicklow organisers confirmed on Thursday at 10 pm the Clubhouse winner is French J/111 SL Energies -Ed).

So how did she do it? Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon we referred to the better southeast breeze that seemed in evidence deep into in the big bight on Ireland’s east coast between Howth Head and St John’s Point. Which was all very well if you happened to be in a position to avail of it. But the only boat properly placed to do so was SL Energies, and it enabled her to go from zero to hero.

it looks very much as though the French J/111 SL Energies is going to be the overall winnerIt looks very much as though the French J/111 SL Energies is going to be the overall winner Photo: Afloat

As had been pointed out in our previous report, she was so becalmed off the County Down coast in the region of the entrance to Strangford Lough that at one stage she’d lost steerage way completely, and was pointing in the opposite direction to her intended course. But once she got the properly into the edge of this handy little breeze, she held on and stayed on port tack going well, and going further west than any other boat in the fleet, only finally tacking south of Drogheda in order to leave Rockabill to starboard.

It was the second time during the race that SL Energies had made such a remarkable recovery from being in the crabgrass. But this time she was near enough to the finish to carry the benefit of it all the way to Wicklow, and when she crossed the line at 0845 this (Thursday) morning, we knew that we were looking at a time which was going to take a lot of beating.

It was all put into perspective with Afloat.ie’s subsequent publishing later this morning of the times SL Energie’s challengers had to beat at Wicklow to topple her from her perch. And it has made for an excruciating day as boats from one’s own port have been putting in a performance which could do the job, but then faded again as the life went out of some temporarily helpful breeze.

So now at least the agony of watching and waiting is over. How on earth do people do this every week with their favourite football team? About once a year is enough for civilised folk. But my goodness, what a race it has been, and still is as the final stages of the drama are played out. A race which broke people’s boats off the west coast, and broke their hearts off the east coast. Time for over-involved observers to lie down in a darkened room…….

Race Tracker & Data below

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As more boats cross the finish line at Wicklow and celebrations of completing the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race's 700-mile course get underway, the clubhouse leaders  – the French crew of the J111 SL energies Groupe Fastwave – are watching the clock ticking down and keeping an eye on nearby rivals in the hope that none of them can outwit the light airs and tides out on the Irish Sea. 

Afloat has compiled an (unofficial) list of times required for boats to beat the J111 in the race for Round Ireland 2022 overall IRC honours.

Mike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snapshot has until 1630 to finish the race and win overallMike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snapshot has until 1633 to finish the race and become the new clubhouse leader See table below. Photo: Afloat

Already the first four boats (below) have been unable to eclipse the Fastwave time. And at 11.30 am it is looking extremely tight for the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins, RIYC) and her lunchtime (12.26) deadline.

The IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) finished the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this Thursday morning at 0845 and is the club house leader in WicklowThe IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) finished the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this Thursday morning at 0845 and is the club house leader in Wicklow Photo: Afloat

(Unofficial) times to Finish to Beat SL Energies Groupe Fastwave

In the race for round Ireland overall honours, double winner Cavatina (Ian Hickey, Royal Cork) has until 0425 on Friday morning to beat the clubhouse leader Photo: AfloatIn the race for Round Ireland overall honours, double winner Cavatina (Ian Hickey, Royal Cork) has until 0425 on Friday morning to beat the clubhouse leader Photo: Afloat

For an update on the current weather try threelive Dublin Bay webcams to give an idea of the conditions.

See race tracker and data below

Published in Round Ireland
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The white smoke has gone up from the chimney on a lonely cottage high in the Wicklow hills, and the word has come down from Maritime Mystic Meg on potential betting movements in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race:

"Based on the updated forecast, it looks like a slow race, bringing the smaller boats into the mix. I've updated odds with this in mind and thrown in a bit of my gut feeling".

  • 8/1 - Cavatina, Rockabill
  • 10/1 - Nieulargo, Darkwood, Aurelia
  • 12/1 - More Mischief, Pyxis, InoXXX
  • 13/1 - Checkmate XX
  • 15/1 - Mojo, Indian, Cinnamon Girl, Bellino, Jackknife, Shindig, ArtfulDodjer
  • 20/1 - Samatom. Luzern eComm U25
  • 30/1 - Blue Oyster, Sherkin Irish Offshore Sailing
  • 35/1 - The field
Published in Round Ireland
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After 42 years of the 704 miles biennial Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow, there must be hundreds – indeed, possibly thousands - of sailors throughout Ireland and beyond who will be pausing thoughtfully from time to time during the coming days before the start on Saturday, June 18th’. What they’re feeling will be reinforced by the fact that the 2020 race was pandemic-prevented to make for a four-year gap. For they’ll be pausing, these old Round Ireland veterans – let’s call them Orivs - to remember again that special feeling of slightly dry-mouthed anticipation which was and is an inevitable part of the total experience.

It never quite leaves you, no matter how many times you’ve qualified to be an Oriv. And a quick scan of the entry list – which we’ll look at in full detail nearer the race start – reveals it to be currently over the 50 mark, but with one or two of the earlier entries no longer quite so rock solid. Nevertheless, the list indicates that there will be many competitors who are going yet again, some of them in boats with such a record of regular round Ireland competition that they could probably find their way round unaided.

Entries here

Ian Hickey’s successful multiple-circuiteer Cavatina (RCYC) could probably find her way along the Round Ireland course unaidedIan Hickey’s successful multiple-circuiteer Cavatina (RCYC) could probably find her way along the Round Ireland course unaided

ROBOT ROUND IRELAND RACING?

Perhaps it’s tempting fate even to mention such a possibility, as the world of electronics must be on the cusp of making an un-manned round Ireland race a viable proposition. And heaven knows but there have been times in races past when – running down on the coast of northwest Donegal for instance, on a rising gale in the gathering night, with blocks and sheaves exploding under overload left and right - that you’d be wishing such a stage of technological advance had been long since reached.

But then somehow you emerge into the dawn to find yourself on a smooth spinnaker reach from Tory Island towards the outer end of those saw-toothed rocks off Malin Head, with That Certain Boat With The Same Rating now tucked increasingly further astern, clearly not finding this particular point of sailing so much to her liking. And then you wonder that your enthusiasm for Round Ireland racing could ever have become even slightly muted the night before.

The new First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & David Cullen, HYC) will be a Round Ireland debutante on June 18th. Photo: Afoat.ieThe new First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & David Cullen, HYC) will be a Round Ireland debutante on June 18th. Photo: Afoat.ie

Yet there’s no doubting it’s a specialist passion. Beforehand, it’s toughest of all for the owner-skippers doing their first race. Despite the need for the completion of qualifying races, smaller boats in those days were obliged to be in Wicklow at least three days in advance for decidedly serious scrutineering. Significantly larger craft could opt for that in their home port or in Dun Laoghaire, and of course, Greystones has also been conveniently available for several years now, but back in the day, the debut-making little ’uns had to report to Wicklow time to spare.

In port, you experienced all the joys of transforming one’s quite well-equipped little cruiser-racer into a state-of-the-art offshore racing machine compliant with the strictest dictates of the RORC. This was done by the transfer of significant funds from an already severely over-drawn Boat Account into the trading account of a noted Dublin chandlery company.

AN ASTONISHING SAILING CLUB

This company had found it well worth its while to have an equipment-laden van stationed on Wicklow’s very busy and often dusty quayside. For although every effort was made to give the impression that Wicklow was and is an international yachting centre, despite the best efforts of Wicklow SC’s large group of tireless and patient volunteers it’s still basically a workaday little freight, commodities, windfarm-servicing and fishing port with an astonishing sailing club which works a biennial miracle to stage a great race.

Dream starting conditions. Barry Byrne gets clear away in the J/109 Joker II – and was well in the frame at the finish. Photo{ Afloat.ie/David O’BrienDream starting conditions. Barry Byrne gets clear away in the J/109 Joker II – and was well in the frame at the finish. Photo: Afloat.ie

And for Round Ireland participants, it’s so utterly worthwhile, for there is simply nothing in sailing that I know of to compare with the feeling of closing in on Wicklow for the finish, sailing those final miles along the incomparable Wicklow summertime coast for the totally-focused hospitality of the finish, when everyone’s a winner though some admittedly are evidently more clearly winners than others. But that’s a matter of rather prosaic interpretation of finishing times and the application of ratings while it’s a very important part of the race, no figures for the FG Factor will appear in the final listings, even though the Feel Good Factor is really what it’s all about.

PEN DUICK VI SCATTERS STARDUST

Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick VI looked quite special when she first appeared 49 years ago – and she still does.

That, and the strong international element. It was 1974 when the late great Eric Tabarly’s 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI made perhaps her only previous visit to Ireland, and in so doing she won the RORC Cowes-Cork Race. Nearly 50 years later, this great boat is still going strong under the command of Tabarly’s daughter Marie, and Pen Duick’s presence on the Wicklow start line will spread stardust which will be augmented by another noted French entry, Eric de Turkheim’s 54ft Teasing Machine.

Marie Tabarly wil be skippering Pen Duick VI in her first Round Ireland RaceMarie Tabarly will be skippering Pen Duick VI in her first Round Ireland Race

As the start time approaches, weather forecasts for the round Ireland will begin to become more precise, but at the moment there’s a reasonable hope that in a week’s time, we’ll be in a period of more settled weather. Meanwhile, the dominating feature in recent days has been the presence to the northwest of the very deep and slow-moving centre of decaying tropical storm Alex. Intense bubbles of tropical air – however much “decayed” - are a course of meteorological uncertainty, and they’ve made things distinctly nervous for the tail-enders in the four-stage RYWC Round Britain and Ireland Race.

THE TENTACLES OF STORM ALEX

The last boat to depart the 48-hour Galway stopover, the veteran 25ft Vertue MEA (Matteo Richardi, Italy) found that the big southerly winds of Alex were getting very close as she ran along the Connacht coast, so she took shelter on Wednesday night in Broadhaven in Mayo before a slight easing on Thursday enabled her to sail along the Donegal coast until the next wave of wind caused her to seek shelter at the Ard Priory anchorage in Sheephaven on the north coast of Donegal on Thursday night.

Lou Boorman and Elin Jones in good spirits aboard their Contessa 32 White Knight after a long and difficult race from Plymouth to Galway. They have since been making the best of much more favourable conditions from Galway to the Shetland Islands. Photo: GBSCLou Boorman and Elin Jones in good spirits aboard their Contessa 32 White Knight after a long and difficult race from Plymouth to Galway. They have since been making the best of much more favourable conditions from Galway to the Shetland Islands. Photo: GBSC

Meanwhile, the female crew from Wales, Lou Boorman (19) and Elin Jones with the Contessa 32 White Knight, had got away from Galway in Sunday evening in time to take advantage of the rising southerlies before they became a threat, and they’ve had a fantastic if arduous passage from the Aran Islands to Muckle Flugga in the Shetlands to get them right back in the hunt, for they’d a better recorded time in this long Atlantic leg than several of the multi-hulls, which had found themselves doing this stage before the strong but favourable breezes had set in.

Storm Alex may be slowly fading away to the northeast, but he continues to dominate our weather for the early part of this weekend, and already Kinsale YC’s planned race last night to Glandore has been cancelled, though today’s 120-mile ISORA Race on Ireland’s east coast round various marks between Dun Laoghaire and Dunany on Dundalk Bay, with the finish (probably in the small hours of Sunday) in Howth an acknowledgement of the fact that ISORA in its present form is 50 years old in 2022, and it was first proposed in Howth in August 1971.

FRESH WINDS IN BRITISH IRC CHAMPS

The tentacles of a storm of the power of Alex spread far and wide even when he is decaying, and thus it’s expected to bring fresh to strong winds to the ongoing IRC British Championship in the Solent in which the Irish squad used to be a force with the likes of Davie Dwyer’s Mills 39 Mariners Cove and Anthony O’Leary’s various boats called Antix, all this being back in the crazy boom years when at one stage Ireland had no less than three teams – and all competing against each other – racing in the Commodore’s Cup, with teams led by Anthony O’Leary finally winning in 2010 and again in 2014.

But while we’re dealing with the current effects of Storm Alex and hoping for the chance of some gentler weather for the Round Ireland in a week’s time, across the Atlantic they’re ahead of our weather in new systems and starting to gather in Newport, Rhode island for the start of the 217 boat 635-mile Newport-Bermuda Race, one of the great classics.

Only one of them is going to win……this year’s biennial Newport-Bermuda Race (starting next Friday) is incorporated in the Centenary Celebrations of the Cruising Club of America. Thanks to the wayward conditions of the Gulf Stream, despite it being a straight line race the tactical choices seem as numerous as the boats in the fleet, which this year will be 217. Only one of them is going to win……this year’s biennial Newport-Bermuda Race (starting next Friday) is incorporated in the Centenary Celebrations of the Cruising Club of America. Thanks to the wayward conditions of the Gulf Stream, despite it being a straight line race the tactical choices seem as numerous as the boats in the fleet, which this year will be 217. 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE CRUISING CLUB OF AMERICA

It’s doubly classic this year, as the organising Cruising Club of America is celebrating its Centenary. The CCA is a “cruising” club like no other, as it’s a wide-ranging maritime organisation which is into everything – research, exploration, safety initiatives and so forth - in a very positive way. But inevitably the race to Bermuda is its flagship event, and with its hundred years history intertwined with the biennial “dash to the onion patch” across the bewildering waters of the Gulf Stream, the CCA is in process of clarifying is complex history.

In some versions, it sounds like a story out of Damon Runyon or P G Wodehouse in his New York years, with a sailing journalist called Bill Nutting gathering his buddies in a Manhattan speakeasy called Beefsteak John’s (I’m not making this up) to set up a seafaring and offshore racing club.

CCA IRISH AWARDS

However it may have come into being, the CCA is now a Good Thing, and in 1923 it established the Blue Water Medal for outstanding international seafaring achievement. There have been no less than four Irish awardees over the years – Bill King, John Gore-Grimes, Paddy Barry and Jarlath Cunnane - and more recently the CCA’s international Rod Stephens Trophy for seamanship was awarded to two Irish sailors.

Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medallists Paddy Barry, Bill King and John Gore-Grimes at an ICC gathering in 1992.Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medallists Paddy Barry, Bill King and John Gore-Grimes at an ICC gathering in 1992

Gregor McGuckin received it in 2020 for his heroic part in the rescue in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, while Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly for successfully saving an MOB in the Pacific in the Clipper Race. Thus in this its Centenary year there’s a definite Irish interest in the CCA, and in the circumstances, they’re allowed to have their Bermuda Race start the day before our SSE Renewables Round Ireland race from Wicklow.

Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly receives the 2014 Rod Stephens award from CCA Commodore Tad Lhamon in the New York YC.Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly receives the 2014 Rod Stephens award from CCA Commodore Tad Lhamon in the New York YC.

2020 award of CCA Rod Stephens Trophy for Seamanship to Gregor McGuckin by Commodore Bob Medland.2020 award of CCA Rod Stephens Trophy for Seamanship to Gregor McGuckin by Commodore Bob Medland

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The 50th entry into June's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race is the potent Welsh J/125 Jackknife, the weekend winner of ISORA's cross channel race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. 

The Andrew Hall skippered yacht won the line honours, overall and Class Zero prizes in the 60-mile race that drew a strong entry of 20 boats. 

As Afloat's WM Nixon reported recently, the 50 boat fleet reflects a strong international interest in the biennial Irish ocean classic. This latest Pwllheli Sailing Club entry is one of several hotly tipped visiting race teams.

ISORA Race six, the second cross-channel of the season, was considered a critical warmup ahead of June 18th's 700-mile race from Wicklow. The light air race included Round Ireland Race local favourites such as Paul O'Higgins Rockabill VI of the Royal Irish Yacht Club and Chris Power Smith's Aurelia – this month's Inishtearaght Race line honours winner – from the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

After six races sailed, Saturday's result puts Jackknife at the top of the Musto ISORA scoreboard. Full ISORA results here

Jackknife is no stranger to Irish waters is a regular ISORA contender and also a top-ranked Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race competitor.

The next ISORA race is on June 11th, just a week before the Round Ireland Race from Wicklow.

Published in ISORA

The 40th entry to the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race is Ross Farrow’s Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Asgard from the Hamble.

The milestone was reached this week with just over eight weeks to go to the 700-mile race starting off Wicklow. 

Farrow's entry follows the high-quality entry of Mike and Ritchie Evans Sovereign's Cup Champion J/99 Snapshot from Howth Yacht Club.

As Afloat's WM Nixon reported previously, entries doubled in late March as competitors availed of the early bird entry fee discount and now this week the fleet has hit the big Four O.

But it's not only the quantity of boats assembling off Wicklow on June 18 but also the quality with Mark Emerson's, Archambault A13, Phosphorus II, from the RStGYC also in the lineup.

There are two ex-Volvo Racers, as the gallant warhorse Green Dragon (Conor Ferguson/Enda O Coineen, GBSC/RIYC) will be lining up against Lance Shepherd’s Volvo 70 Telefonica Black. And two ICRA “Boats of the Year” have joined the hunt, with current title-holder Nieulargo (Grand Soleil 40, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, Royal Cork YC) up against, Paul O’Higgins’ well-proven JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC).

See the current entries here.

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When this year’s SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 was top of the agenda on Afloat.ie a fortnight ago, it was in the context of Wicklow Sailing Club being in double celebratory mode. They’d already logged 18 high-quality early entries for their great biennial offshore classic, while in the local context, the WSC float entered for the Wicklow & District St Patrick’s Day parade had won the prize for Best in Show.

Yet this past weekend there has been every cause for further celebration in the hospitable harbourside clubhouse, as the expected surge of entries to avail of the Early Bird Discount that ended on March 31st had exceeded expectations. For not only did they more than double to 37 boats, but in terms of “fleet weight” they probably tripled the heft of the total entry list, as the latest entry list includes some serious biggies in addition to several quality entries with proven track records.

There are now two ex-Volvo Racers, as the gallant warhorse Green Dragon (Conor Ferguson/Enda O Coineen, GBSC/RIYC) will be lining up against Lance Shepherd’s Volvo 70 Telefonica Black. And two ICRA “Boats of the Year” have joined the hunt, with current title-holder Nieulargo (Grand Soleil 40, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, Royal Cork YC) up against the 2021 ICRA Champ, Paul O’Higgins’ well-proven JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC).

Current ICRA “Boat of the Year” Nieulargo from Cork (above, photo Robert Bateman) will be lining up against the 2021 Champion Rockabill VI from Dun Laoghaire (below, photo Afloat.ie/David O’Brien)Current ICRA “Boat of the Year” Nieulargo from Cork (above, photo Robert Bateman) will be lining up against the 2021 Champion Rockabill VI from Dun Laoghaire (below, photo Afloat.ie/David O’Brien)

Time was when Howth YC was such a force in the offshore world that they provided two out of the three boats in the Irish Admiral’s Cup, but that was way back in 1973 in an era when the Howth clubhouse hosted the meeting which led to the creation of ISORA, which this year is celebrating its Golden Jubilee.

However, fleet numbers and fleet weight have been increasing in Howth lately, and those giving the HYC flotilla a bit of beef in this year’s circuit include Robert Rendell’s successful Grand Soleil 44 Samatom and the recently-announced linkup of Dave Cullen and Nigel Biggs in the new First 50 Checkmate XX.

The Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell, HYC) on her way to the class win in the Sovereign’s Trophy 2021 in Kinsale. Photo: Robert BatemanThe Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell, HYC) on her way to the class win in the Sovereign’s Trophy 2021 in Kinsale. Photo: Robert Bateman

Also of special note is Adrian Lee’s Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II (RStGYC), a newish but already well-travelled campaigner as she is making her way towards Wicklow from February’s RORC Caribbean 600.

And the Class40 inclusion of the Round Ireland as a designated event in their 2022 programme is indicated by the new listing of Ari Kaensaekoski’s OCD 40 Fuji from Cherbourg, while Ireland’s western challenge is further reinforced by Derek Dillon of Foynes YC making the debut with his newly-acquired Grand Soleil 37 Big Deal, continuing to carry the name of the Dehler 34 with which he completed very many long-distance two-handed races with his son Conor.

Back in the day…..Derek & Conor Dillon in their early days of two-handed campaigning in the Dehler 34 Big Deal. The new Big Deal – entered for the Round Ireland 2022 – is a Grand Soleil 37Back in the day…..Derek & Conor Dillon in their early days of two-handed campaigning in the Dehler 34 Big Deal. The new Big Deal – entered for the Round Ireland 2022 – is a Grand Soleil 37

Published in Round Ireland
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The 2021 Fastnet Race winner Sunrise from Plymouth will compete in June's Round Ireland Race adding to the international competition of the 21st edition of Irelands' top offshore race.

Responding to a question from the audience, Sunrise skipper Tom Kneen told ICRA conference delegates in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday he was '95% sure' he would contest the biennial Irish 700-miler in 14 weeks.

The Devon-based skipper said current plans include the Round Ireland and the new Baltic Race this summer.

Round Ireland bound - Sunrise skipper Tom KneenRound Ireland bound - Sunrise skipper Tom Kneen

Kneen was a guest speaker at the National Yacht Club hosted event, where he gave an inspirational but very down-to-earth account of his rise to the top of the International Offshore scene.

Currently the world's most successful offshore racing owner-skipper, Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunshine was RORC Champion in 2020, Fastnet Race winner 2021 and Middle Sea Race winner as well by any standards of reasonable fairness. Either way, she was the highly-acclaimed RORC Boat of the Year in 2021, and already this year, she has kept up the pace by winning her class in the RORC Caribbean 600 in February, so she becomes the boat to beat this June off Wicklow.

Also at Saturday's ICRA Conference was Round Ireland Race organiser Kyran O'Grady, predicting a solid fleet on June 18th. The Irish race is now on the ISORA, UNCL, RORC and Class 40 international calendars. 

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Royal St. George's Chris Power Smith has shown the depth of his Round Ireland Race ambitions by being one of the first entries for June's 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow. 

Having narrowly missed out on the top prize in 2019, the Dun Laoghaire skipper and his corinthian crew are slated to go round again in his impressively campaigned J/122 Aurelia. 

Nine boats have so far availed of Wicklow Sailing Club's early bird offer for the 700-miler that includes double race winner Cavatina, the vintage Granada 39 skippered by Ian Hickey of Royal Cork.

Seven entries thus far are Irish, and two are from the UK since registration opened this week for the Jun 18 race.

Organisers expect a more significant entry than normal (up to 60 boats or more), given the 2021 race was cancelled due to COVID plus the fact that the Wicklow Classic has made the international Class40 calendar.

The prompt Grzegorz Kalinecki skippered First 310 More Mischief from Dun Laoghaire Harbour was the first entry in and at just 31-foot overall is likely to be one of the smallest in the fleet.

Early Bird entry closes on Mar 31 2022.

Early Round Ireland Race entries (up to Jan 25 2022)

  1. More Mischief Grzegorz Kalinecki First 310 9.15 ISA
  2. Cavatina Ian Hickey Granada 38 11.60 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  3. Aurelia Chris Power Smith J/122 12.20 RSGYC RORC
  4. Prime Suspect Keith Miller Mills 36 10.97 Kilmore Quay BC
  5. Mojo Kieron Blamey J105 10.51 Isle of Man Yacht Club
  6. Elantic Clarke Allen Elan 40 11.90 Arklow Sailing Club
  7. Blue Oyster Noel Coleman Oyster 37 11.30 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  8. Hiro Maru Hiroshi Nakajima Sparkman & Stephens 15.05 Stamford Yacht Club
  9. Finally Paul Kitteringham Elan 350 10.50 Pwllheli Sailing Club
Published in Round Ireland
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Darryl Hughes’ immaculately-restored 1937 43ft Tyrrell gaff ketch Maybird became both the oldest and the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the Round Ireland Race in 2018. 

The historic yacht now moored in Cork Harbour on the Owenabue river is the centrepiece of a new trophy for June's 700-miler from Wicklow that is expected to draw a large entry when entries open on January 24th.

The Hughes’ 43ft ketch originally built by Tyrrell’s of Arklow in 1937 and restored with the owner as Project Manager in a superb two-year job concluded in 2011, got back to Wicklow in 2018 in a time of nine days and 22 hours.

In the workshop at his recently-acquired house in Crosshaven, Hughes crafted the Maybird Mast Trophy from timber salvaged from some of the ketch’s original spars.

As Afloat's WM Nixon previously noted, the resulting trophy will have added meaning in several ways, not least in that it will be a piece of high-quality woodwork which - in its original form - will have been handled by the great Jack Tyrrell himself, a world-renowned shipwright who gave real meaning to the term “hands-on management”.

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