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Dun Laoghaire's Cian Guilfoyle on Aleph Moves into the Lead at 44Cup Worlds in Italy

9th October 2021
Dubliner Cian Guilfolye is a crew member on Aleph, the overall leader of the 44Cup Worlds in Italy
Dubliner Cian Guilfolye is a crew member on Aleph, the overall leader of the 44Cup Worlds in Italy

Conditions could not have been better for day three of the 44Cup Scarlino World Championship. Coming out two hours ahead of schedule to make the best of the breeze, the wind was already knocking on the door of 20 knots. By the time the first race started at 1000 the wind was firmly 20 knots and then spent most of the day in the low 20s, frequently gusting more.

Blowing off mountainous Tuscany, the offshore breeze was shifty and puffy. It caused numerous lead changed and seemed to favour no one. Thus, to make up the schedule after a lost opening day four races were held and each featured a different winner.

The overall 2021 44Cup leader, Igor Lah's Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860, got off to a strong start winning today's opening race, but then a collision with Aleph Racing (with Dubliner Cian Guilfoyle onboard) in the next saw them come home last with a two-point penalty imposed on them for 'hard contact'.

Meanwhile, Nico Poons' Charisma team was sailing a blinder. Winning today's second race caused them to move to the top of the leaderboard, tied with Artemis Racing, the Swedish team showing excellent consistency, despite the difficult conditions. But, as is proving typical here, this position was short-lived for both as they scored deeply in the next race. In this Chris Bake's Team Aqua finally scored a bullet, propelling his team up to second overall as Aleph Racing took the lead.

“It was pretty tricky!” admitted Bake later. “But what beautiful conditions – sunny, breezy. It was a full-on day today, but it was good. All the boats are going really well, one mistake and you are toast – you’ll get spat out mercilessly.”

Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton added: “It has been a battle. This fleet is tight and we’ve had tricky conditions to execute all the time out there. We always know we are capable of it, we just have to connect everything together. We finally got a good start and sailed well in the placement up the course. As soon as you get your nose out, things become a bit easier than when you are in the back of the pack trying to fight your way out of there, because you don’t get much room in this fleet.

“The fleet is so close and everybody just knows how to sail the boats well. Every regatta this year has been windy, so we don’t have to worry about that anymore. It is now about going out there and positioning better and doing the basics well. It is going to be a good battle all the way to the finish.”

In the fourth and final race of the day, a 1-2 for Artemis Racing and Charisma caused them to catch Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing creating an ultra-close leaderboard going into the last day. In front is Aleph Racing, but the Frenchman's team is just one point ahead of Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing and Nico Poons' Charisma.

“We have always known in this fleet that it is important to be always up there,” explains Aleph Racing tactician Michele Ivaldi. “You win regattas with an average of 3.5-4 points. So if you manage to squeeze in 2nds, 3rd and 4ths you end up in good shape.”

But consistency has been the one thing difficult to achieve in the blustery conditions this week and even the leader’s average score has been just under 4 per race. “With the offshore wind there are huge shifts, as much as 30° during a single race,” continued Ivaldi. “I think we managed to start reasonably well and be able to sail the first shift and then you have to sail the wind that you have and try to get out of phase as little as possible….”

As to the tight leaderboard going into the final day, Ivaldi is not surprised: “It is good to be coming into the last day with the possibility to win, but we know perfectly that four or five boats can still win. Everything is still up for grabs. We’ll just go out tomorrow as if it is a normal day.”

In the final race victory slipped through the fingers of Pavel Kuznetsov’s Atom Tavatuy, not once but twice. Firstly a beneficial shift while on starboard propelled them into the lead at the first top mark rounding. “We started very nicely on the downwind and gybed at the right time and we were leading by 100m,” recounted tactician Evgeny Neugodnikov. “But then the wind dropped to 12-13 knots and Charisma got in front but we were still second [Charisma going left as they went right at the gate].”

There was another roll of the dice up the second beat as Artemis Racing did well on the right to lead at the second top mark rounding with Atom Tavatuy a close fourth behind Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika. Gybing early and splitting from the leaders, Kuznetsov’s team rolled Team Nika and was again in contention for the lead but Artemis Racing and Charisma covered to leave Atom Tavatuy third. “It’s nice weather, nice wind and very close racing – like usual! I hope tomorrow we will be better,” concluded Neugodnikov.

Tomorrow, the final day of the 44Cup Scarlino World Championship, racing is scheduled to start at 1100 CEST and with three or four races likely to be held, weather permitting any of the top eight boats remains capable of winning.

Published in Dublin Bay
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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.

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