Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

RMS Leinster Commemoration Races on Dublin Bay This Weekend May be Affected by Weather

20th September 2018
Mona (Denis Aylmer) and Tir na nOg (Sean Walsh) racing in the inaugural event for the DBOGA’s Leinster Plate in 2013. This Sunday’s planned staging at Dun Laoghaire of the Leinster Plate Race 2018 may be affected by the inclement weather, and a decision will be taken on Saturday morning Mona (Denis Aylmer) and Tir na nOg (Sean Walsh) racing in the inaugural event for the DBOGA’s Leinster Plate in 2013. This Sunday’s planned staging at Dun Laoghaire of the Leinster Plate Race 2018 may be affected by the inclement weather, and a decision will be taken on Saturday morning Photo: Dave Owens

This year's Centenary of the wartime sinking of the mailboat RMS Leinster on 10th October 1918 will see a significant Dun Laoghaire and national commemoration on the day itself writes W M Nixon. As part of the buildup to those official events on Wednesday 10th October 2018, this weekend the sailing community is giving special Leinster Centenary emphasis to two major annual events on Sunday - the Dun Laoghaire Motor YC's Kish Race, and the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Leinster Plate Race.

Inaugurated in 2013 in memory of the Leinster tragedy, the Leinster Plate was presented by the Post Office Workers Union to the DB Old Gaffers Association to mark the OGA’s Golden Jubilee in that year, and to particularly recall that the numerous death toll on the Leinster included 21 postal workers who had been working in the ship’s sorting room at the time the torpedo struck. Normally the Leinster Plate would be raced for in June. But for 2018, the Race will be held this Sunday, 23rd September, in conjunction with the annual Kish Race organised by the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. DMYC expects that there will be approximately 70 boats competing in the Kish Race.

The main Kish Race starts just outside Dun Laoghaire harbour at 1030 on Sunday morning and the DBOGA Leinster Plate Race will start on the same line at 1045. As usual, the DBOGA course will either follow or cross the track of the RMS Leinster on that fateful day in 1918. The Leinster Plate will be presented to the winner during the official commemorations in Dun Laoghaire on October 10th. Starting this year, the winner will also be presented with a replica of the Leinster Plate which he or she will retain for the year.

This Saturday 22nd September, DBOGA (most of whom are based at Poolbeg Y & BC) will organise an afternoon race, starting around 1500 hrs near Poolbeg Lighthouse, to take the fleet to Dun Laoghaire. VHF channel 77 will be used for race information on Saturday afternoon. Boats will moor in Dun Laoghaire Marina on Saturday night, and there will be a social evening hosted by DMYC in their clubhouse.

However, in view of the unsettled period of exceptionally stormy weather being currently experienced, DBOGA have stated that they will be making a definitive confirmation of their weekend’s arrangements on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Neil Colin of DMYC and organiser of the Kish Race has been closely monitoring the weather and a range of prediction sources and agrees that while some forecasts are not favourable, others are more optimistic for Sunday. He told this morning:

“We plan to stand over our plans to run the Kish race as scheduled but will review the situation on Saturday. Our contingency plan is simply to postpone the race one week, to Sunday 30th September, and in the event, we have to abandon, all entries will be fully refunded.

While we aim to be responsible organisers, the final responsibility rests with the Skippers to consider the safety of their crew and craft, and to make the decision to sail or not, bearing in mind their own abilities and expectations”.

Published in Dublin Bay
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

Email The Author

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore. 

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.