Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Guilfoyle Lying Third on Aleph in 44 Cup World Championship in Italy

8th October 2021
Dublin Bay sailor Cian Guilfoyle is sailing on French yacht Aleph at the 44Cup worlds in Italy

Dublin Bay's Cian Guilfoyle lies third overall on French yacht Aleph after three races sailed at the 44 Cup World Championship in Scarlino, Italy today.

Guilfoyle, who is a regular crew on Aleph, is joined by another Irish crewman in Italy, Simon Johnson, who is racing on the rival yacht, Atom Tavatuy, in the nine boat fleet.

After 30-knot winds prevented any racing on day one of the 44Cup World Championship in Scarlino, Italy, the race committee pulled out all the stops to ensure racing took place today by bringing the start time forwards by two hours. Racing at the 11th 44Cup World Championship was finally able to get underway just after 1000 this morning.

Three races were successfully held in the bay off Marina di Scarlino in a northerly that built to 20-knots gusting 25.

Partly due to the difficult-to-read conditions and the intense competition between the nine boats, it was a high-scoring opening to the World Championship. But most incredibly, after three races, and with a potential 27 points on the table today, just one point separates the top seven boats and two points from the top eight in the nine boat fleet.

Simon Johnson is racing on Atom TavatuySimon Johnson is racing on Atom Tavatuy.

The first race was the hardest fought with Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing doing well on the upwinds and Nico Poons' Charisma edging ahead on the runs. The Dutchman's team was first home as the Swedes dropped to fourth.

"Everyone sailed pretty well, and I managed to get a few shifts as well - it all helped," explained Charisma's tactician Hamish Pepper: "Artemis is going well. They had one small problem which opened the door for us, thankfully and we took advantage of it.

"It wasn't a 'go hard right' sort of day. There were still a few shifts coming back from the left and you had to try and join the dots. It was tough because everyone was expecting a bit more right breeze and more breeze to come, so sail selection was tricky – we were all pretty conservative; the fleet matched itself…"

Artemis Racing turned race one's result around in the second. Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing led around the top mark, showing some of the same form that won her the 44Cup Cowes in August, but a gybeset launched Artemis into the lead which she never relinquished.

Andy Horton, tactician for the Swedish team, explained: "We had a great start up by the boat and sailed a couple of shifts well. Then we did what TT [Torbjörn Törnqvist] called 'the boat handling move of the day' - a gybeset at the top and that got us past Aleph and then we were pretty much gone." He added that generally it was a difficult day: "We were getting reports from the top mark that it was 25 knots from 30°and we sailed up the beat in 12 knots from 5°."

Törnqvist added: "The first two races were great but unfortunately coming out of the first gybe on the last beat, when we were leading, we lost our bowsprit. It took us some time to sort that out, but these things happen. That small thing lost us three places. I'm sure everyone had similar stories today."

In the third and final race Igor Lah's Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 won the pin, then stayed to the mid-left and eventually crossed the fleet on port to lead around the top mark. The overall 2021 44Cup leaders then never looked back. Artemis Racing held a strong lead overall after race two, but lost her advantage with a seventh-place finish in race three. Therefore the day ends the closest it has ever been in 44Cup history, or in perhaps any sailing class, after three races.

Nominally the leader after day one is Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860, but with such a leaderboard, this is all but meaningless. The 44Cup Scarlino World Championship will effectively restart tomorrow.

"It is amazing. It cannot get closer so tomorrow we start from scratch, like today didn't happen," said Igor Lah, adding of his race win today: "The last one was great. The first was a big mistake on my side at the start, but luckily we came back. The conditions were great - really fun. I loved it, it was brilliant."

Of the tight overall result, Nico Poons added: "That is crazy. This shows how close this is!"

Torbjörn Törnqvist: "First of all it shows the standard within the class and perhaps some of the difficulties today – it was shifty and windy, a bit all over the place. And you had to have luck also. We had two good races and one where we were dictated by the situation on the course – which does happen."

Enjoying her first 44Cup races today was Moscow lawyer Valeriya Kovalenko on board her ARTtube. While she and her fledgling team were expecting to bring up the rear in every race, in fact in today's second race they finished ahead of two teams. "Today was a great day," she said. "We were happy sailing especially in the second race." While it was Kovalenko's first day of 44Cup racing, this was not the case for the majority of her team which have previously sailed on Kirill Podolsky's RUS-7, the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge and Synergy. Her tactician for example, Igor Lisenko raced for a season and a half on Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, before joining Kovalenko on board her victorious J/70. "We are young in this class but it was a good day for us," he said. "In strong winds it is not easy, because we don't have practice. But overall we are very happy."

With a similar forecast tomorrow, racing is again being brought forward by two hours with a first warning signal at 1000 CEST. Follow live at


(after three races)
1. Slovenia CEEREF powered by HRASTNIK 1860 - 8 3 1 - 12
2. Sweden ARTEMIS RACING - 4 1 7 - 12
3. France ALEPH RACING - 6 2 4 - 12
4. Monaco CHARISMA - 1 6 6 - 13
5. Monaco TEAM NIKA - 2 8 3 - 13
6. ATOM TAVATUY - 7 4 2 - 13
7. United Kingdom TEAM AQUA - 3 5 5 - 13
8. United Kingdom PENINSULA RACING - 5 9 8 - 14
9. United Kingdom ARTTUBE - 9 7 9 - 25

Published in Dublin Bay Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

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.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020