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Displaying items by tag: Figaro

Are you interested in shorthanded offshore racing? Do you want to experience it at the highest level?

If so, come and sail in the Figaro Nationals in Lorient, France, this Autumn with the Offshore Racing Academy and Vivi Resources.

Kenny Rumball and Marcus Hutchinson are delighted to offer a fully inclusive package for individuals and teams to come and experience the pinnacle of offshore shorthanded racing in the Figaro 3 Class at the Figaro Nationals in Lorient, France, from the 7th-9th of October this year.

Offshore racing at the highest level in the Figaro classOffshore racing at the highest level in the Figaro class

The Nationals at the end of the season encompasses a mix of inshore and coastal courses with four persons per boat. Marcus and Kenny offer a complete package that only requires you to get yourself and your team to Lorient. The Offshore Racing Academy team will organise logistics, allowing you to experience an in-depth exposure to the world of shorthanded offshore sailing in the hub - La Base Lorient.

the world of shorthanded offshore sailing in the hub - La Base LorientThe world of short-handed offshore sailing in the hub - La Base Lorient

The Figaro Nationals end-of-season event is the only fully crewed event with four persons on board the powerful Figaro 3 to sail in an exciting mixture of windward-leewards, round the cans and a long-distance coastal race circumnavigating the Ile de Groix. A great social life and entertainment are also a significant and guaranteed part of the package!

There will be three days of on and off-the-water coaching before the event led by Kenny Rumball, who has accumulated three full years of experience in the highly competitive class. Coaching will run from Tuesday the 4thto Wednesday 6th October. There are direct flights with Ryanair to nearby Nantes airport from Dublin on Monday 3rd October.

The complete turnkey solutionThe complete turnkey solution

This is a complete turnkey solution; no logistics to organise other than bring your oilskins and boots. Marcus and Kenny will arrange race-ready Figaro 3's, complete with sails and their envious streamlined backup service both on and off the water. We have several boats available, all in full 2022 class specifications and ready for the event.

This is an incredible opportunity to meet and participate in the world's highest level of offshore One Design racing for anybody interested in shorthanded offshore racing.

For more information, please email Kenny Rumball of the Offshore Racing [email protected]

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Here I am on the ferry back to Ireland, absolutely shattered after another month of intense offshore sailing in France at the highest level, there is a lot to reflect on as always and more importantly build upon!

If you prefer a video, full video log here

We headed out for some last-minute sail testing and short course practise ahead of the Solo Maitre Coq, the first solo offshore event of the year for the Figaro Class at the beginning of the month. The time flew by and before we knew it after some rig tweaks and changes of battens in our jib, we were off up to Les Sables d’Olonne to line up for the first time this year against the rest of the fleet.

We had glorious weather for the few days of boat, sailor and meteo preparation for this event. I was very lucky to have Paddy Hutchings an experienced preparateur and future Figaro rockstar join me to make sure the boat was 110% ready for the races. Paddy was busy checking lines, re-splicing and swimming in the boat daily to make sure the underside of the hull was as clean as possible for racing! Timothy Long who had done some sailing with me as part of the Academy was also on hand to help out as he was learning all about the preparation that goes into these boats before we head to sea for a race!

Solo Maitre Coq Kenny RumballKenny Rumball in the Solo Maitre Coq Regatta Photo: Vincent Olivaud

Our racecourse was largely unchanged with the notable exception that we would be omitting the Birvedeau lighthouse from the course as there would be military firing exercises in that area while we would be racing. It would mean rounding the Island of Belle Ile would be the most northerly part of the course! As for the weather, it was looking pretty straightforward, upwind there, downwind home, a windward-leeward just 330 miles long!

The race started off as predicted by the weather with a light 10-13 knots of wind from the north, the race committee gave us a short beat to ensure the fleet got away evenly before we headed off downwind to Ile d’Re. The wind was coming from the shore and initially, those the dared go as close to the exclusion zone on the shore as possible were the early boats to gain, of which IRL 20, Kenny was…

Not more than three hours into the race, we had our first shutdown and weather transition with the new wind coming from the North West. This saw a small reshuffle of the pack but nothing to worry about. This new wind was to build for the rest of the day and shift back to the North East overnight, which it did exactly! Coming around Ile d’Re we were quickly sailing upwind in demanding conditions short tacking as close to the coast as possible, moving the 90kgs of stackable weight on every tack! Tiring work but working hard here separates the fleet!

Kenny RumballKenny Rumball was as a high as 11th a one point Photo: Vincent Olivaud

Eventually, the fleet settled onto starboard tack which would take the fleet past Ile d’Yeu, leaving it to port and all the way up to Belle Ile. From here it was a drag race of identical boats! Sail selection, setup and time spent driving would be the determining factors on speed and ultimately position! It was the first real test of speed for the fleet in 2022!

By early morning the time spent sailing the boat hard through the night was well spent with some place gains overnight and approaching Belle Ile in a good position! The wind had not really changed with around 20-24kts all the time! We were expecting it to have died to around 15 kts for the downwind kite sail back towards Les Sables! But more wind means more speed, our biggest spinnakers up and we were off heading downwind at speed to the Rochebonne plateau. 25kts of wind, big sea state saw consistent boat speeds in the high teens all the way south…. Lots more driving required meant no time for rest or food, this was turning out to be a tough race.

By the Rochbonne Plateau, we had a big sea state and winds into 30kts, taking the big spinnaker down solo was demanding especially when there is only one of them on board and we knew it was needed later on in the race! Damaging it was not an option…

If you thought there was time for rest, the intensity continued with gennakers unfurled blast reaching back in the direction of Les Sables at a consistent 15 knots or so. At this stage, I was sitting comfortably in 11th position knowing all that was a left was a 60nm loop from Les Salbes out to a weather buoy 30 miles to the South West and then back again. How hard could it be?

As is typical in the Figaro class… Very! Approaching the weather buoy, the wind died and died and we rounded it in 0kts. 30 Miles back to Les Sables, tired, hungry and being honest, a bit emotional!

Given that in the fleet we are not allowed to carry mobile phones or have any assistance from the outside world our weather information was now 48hours+ old so it was very hard to determine where to position oneself on the beat home.

Ultimately the left-hand side of the course paid with the top back having a pretty big reshuffle as well as the rest of the fleet. Frustratingly, I dropped 9 places eventually crossing the finish line in 20th position. However, I was very content with my overall performance taking into account decision making, speed and sail selection!

We now had A FULL DAY off to recover before two coastal sailing days on Saturday and Sunday. It was a joy for me as my parents came out to visit and support the last two days of the event. Saturday was very very light winds, no more than 5kts where the race officer gave us Bannane courses which are windward-leewards. Hugely unstable light and variable winds saw one messy race completed where I was consistent finishing 19th, leaving me 18ht overall in the standings going into the last day.

For the last race, we were to have a coastal race of 30 miles with a short upwind, equally short downwind before a beat up the coast past Les Sables and then back. A good start saw me around the first windward in the mix of the lead pack and I held this on the next downwind leg. However on the 11 mile upwind I started to realise something was wrong as my speed was not as good as on the long offshore race. Post-race discussion and it would be evident I had set my mast up wrongly with too much tension in the D1 shrouds. I still managed to keep the boat moving and finished this race in 20 position, leaving me 20th overall in the event.

Given this was my first solo race in two years with a considerable improvement in performance and finishing position over my last solo race, I have walked away from the event very content.

It was now time to rest, I was very fortunate that Paddy along with some members of the Malizia IMOCA team took the boat north for me to Port La Foret where it lives when not sailing. It has been a very intense few months with the boat being lifted out of the water for the first time since January!

There is now some time off before we’re off to the UK this weekend for the RORC Cervantes race this weekend with some fellow Irish sailors. It's busy busy and important to find some rest in-between these races if only for a day or two!

Lots more to come so keep tuned for next month’s exploits.

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Ireland’s leading solo offshore racer Tom Dolan has almost finished his training phase prior to the start of the five events which comprise the 2022 French Elite Offshore Racing Championship, the season-long solo and short-handed circuit which has La Solitaire du Figaro (Aug 15th to September 11th) as its pinnacle.

Dolan’s career-best finish in the championship was sixth in 2020, the year he finished fifth on La Solitaire. After six intense weeks of training he now feels his overall game is in excellent shape as he seeks to break into the top five overall on the prestigious circuit which runs from April to September.

His season with his Figaro Beneteau 3 Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan starts with the Solo Maître CoQ (from April 15 to 25) followed by the Le Havre Allmer Cup (from May 21 to 29), the Sardinha Cup ( from June 3 to 19), the Solo Guy Cotten (from August 2 to 8) and then the famous La Solitaire du Figaro (from August 15 to September 11). A final placing inside the top five on the end-of-season rankings is the target as are top fives in each of the constituent regattas.

“The season looks good, all in all. I have set myself the goal of finishing in the Top 5 at all the races on the circuit this year but really without putting too much pressure on myself”, explains Tom Dolan, “The training has gone very well and I have had time to really look at each area closely and now even can make sure I get a little rest to ensure I start the season fresh and full of energy. I have worked a lot on my speed and to that end looking at and picking the best sails. I am especially happy with my mainsail and its setup. I think maybe before I worked well but ended up being too complacent in my speed but now I am vey happy. Lately we have worked on boat handling and boat on boat stuff and so I feel I have strengthened some of my weaknesses.”

Dolan will shortly also return to the Mini650, the class of very small offshore boats in which he cut his teeth, to sail and coach a young Japanese sailor Federico Sampei who has been selected for a training programme for DMG Mori, a Japanese talent training initiative which complements a Vendée Globe round the world programme. He will race the Plastimo Lorient Mini race April 4-10 with the young Japanese skipper.

“It is always good to be sailing on different boats from time to time. Federico is new to France and the whole scene here so it is good to be able to help him advance his skills and make him feel comfortable.” Smiles Dolan who recalls arriving in France from Ireland 11 years ago as he sought to carve out a solo racing career.

Tom Dolan has one more week of training with the Lorient group he sails with, focusing more on starts and first leg strategies – still his weakest area – before setting up for the first regatta of the season the Solo Maitre Coq in three weeks time. Having hurt his ankle during the early stages of the offshore race and retiring, Dolan is keen to put start his season on a good note.

In May he will race the Sardinha Cup to Portugal and back on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan with the English Figaro sailor Alan Roberts.

“ I think we have very complementary skills and can be good for each other. For me, Alan is one of the best starters and tactical sailors round the buoys inshore and I am maybe stronger offshore and so it should be good for us both,” concludes Tom.

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The Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan is leading the 52nd La Solitaire du Figaro fleet towards the Fastnet Rock with high hopes that he will be able to stay in front and lead the 34 boat fleet round the iconic lighthouse around midnight local time tonight.

The skipper of Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan made a key move early this morning when he chose to stay west, close to the Scilly Isles where he found more wind and was able to accelerate ahead of his rivals, most of whom had stuck close to the Cornish coast.

Dolan, 34, from County Meath, has had a good record racing to the Fastnet in recent editions of the annual French multi-stage solo race. Last year he also led the race and rounded third, en route to finishing fifth overall.

After two disappointing stages to Lorient and Fécamp, Dolan is hoping he has saved his best for the last leg, a marathon 685 miles leg which started from Roscoff Sunday afternoon and should finish into Saint Nazaire on the French Loire-Atlantic coast late on Thursday.

With 70 miles to sail to the Fastnet, he was more than five miles clear of the next sailor, France’s Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) who led Dolan round the rock last year. Macaire, who lies second on the overall standings after three of the four stages, has been fast all afternoon and was closing miles on the Irish leader.

I was kinda expecting this ranking following my route to the west of TSS. I knew I was ahead but I didn't know by how much. It’s great to be in this position, especially when I feel like I’m heading homewards towards Ireland. I come from a small town which is in the northeast of Ireland, north of Dublin, almost on the border with Northern Ireland.” He told the race media team on board the guard boat,

Explaining his strategy he said, “I had seen from the files that it was more wind in the west, and that there was something to do. I lost everyone with the fog last night and the AIS not working. I had my doubts, I thought I was the only one going that way. But we have also Philippe (Hartz) and Maël (Garnier) I think it was them as I heard them talking in the radio. The Fastnet, I must have passed it about 50 times because I spent a lot of time in Baltimore, and we often went out there often.”

“Right now the sun is shining, it's great if a bit rare at this time of year. I'm afraid there won’t be much wind when I get to the lighthouse. This morning, I slept a lot and now I'm steering a lot to get to the Fastnet because I would like to get round before the bad wind arrives. I feel like I'm on the right timing I think, I have my fingers crossed, I might get some good luck from Ireland.”

In English Dolan said, “I am happy with my position at about 80 miles from the Fastnet, I think we will arrive there about midnight Irish time, it will be a bit of a pig because I was looking forwards to seeing Ireland, so I won’t see much of it this time around. I am happy to be going there just the same. The conditions are fairly good at the moment. I have around 20-24kts of wind and am under big spinnaker with a bit of swell over the back of the boat and I am pushing along at 12-13-14kts. I am happy with what happened. On the GRIB files I had seen there was a but more wind in the west and sailed very low and it seemed to work. I was a bit doubtful heading into the fog but here we are, voila, voila.

Tracker here

Published in Tom Dolan

After a promising tenth place on the 627 nautical miles first stage of La Solitaire du Figaro, Ireland’s Tom Dolan was fighting something of a rearguard battle after a modest start to Stage 2 this afternoon off Lorient.

At the exit from a challenging four leg round the buoys sprint stage, leaving Lorient, Dolan on Smurfit Kappa-Kinsgpan was in 24th place over one mile behind the early leader, French ace Tom Laperche.

Dolan was staying cool and planning to stick to the strategies discussed with weather guru Marcel Van Triest who advises the Lorient Grand Large group that the Irish skipper has been training with since his days in the Mini650 class. A slow down was predicted for early evening some three or four hours after this afternoon’s 1400hrs start. As the 34 boat fleet approach Belle Ile on the early part of a 100 miles downwind passage to Rochebonne light, the NE’ly wind should go light and so present some opportunity for a catch up.

But in terms of the General Classification he was in good shape, starting the 490 miles stage round Brittany with a deficit of 2hrs 15 minutes 41 seconds on the leader of the race Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) 47 minutes behind third placed Tom Laperche (Bretagne CMB Performance) and within a handful on minutes of the top five.

His tenth place on the first leg as a great morale boost for him, not least as an opening benchmark in the 34 boat fleet. But this second stage passes through all of Brittany’s notorious tidal traps including Raz du Sein at Ushant and the Raz Blanchard – or Alderney Race – as well as an often challenging finale into Fécamp – and so big time gaps can be opened or closed depending on timing at these key stages and the prevailing wind strength.

As he cast of his lines from Lorient this afternoon, in bright sunshine Dolan commented,

“The weather is looking that there might be no really big tidal gates unless we are behind the routing we have. We get stuck a bit at Penmarc’h tomorrow but you never know. Because the wind has been in the North East for so long it might mess up the tides a bit in the English Channel but let’s see. The focus straight away is getting off the start line better this time and not being left behind, and not crashing into anyone. This first part has a lot of manoeuvres and so they need to be clean and then you need to be quick tonight. I know this passage to Belle ile and to Rochebonne pretty well, I’ve been out there more times than I have had hot dinners!”

“This is a good old fashioned La Solitaire coastal course. There will be hardly any time to sleep, maybe a bit of a siesta before the chenal de Four but it not like the first leg when we could sleep a lot on the upwind in the open waters of the Bay of Biscay. But with this high pressure system centred over Ireland and Scotland the thing is it will upwind almost all the way. That should, I hope be good for me as I had pretty good speed upwind, I have a little magic setting for my jib that I have worked on. That was good in the strong winds, but let us see.” Dolan explained on Saturday as he did his final strategic planning.

“It has been a good stopover for me. I feel rested even if I struggle to sleep. This morning I found myself up at four in the morning doing weather, but I kind of figure that is OK. As long as I bank sleep when I am feeling tired then I do find it is better to try and stay in the rhythm of the race.” He explained.

“The English channel will be interesting. I have two very different routings and need to see how it plays out nearer the time.”

The stage is expected to finish into Fécamp on Wednesday morning, which would in theory mark the halfway point of the four stages race.

Tracker chart here

Published in Tom Dolan

A faltering wind and strong contrary tide put paid to the hopes of Ireland’s Tom Dolan and French co-skipper Tanguy Leglatin of rescuing a solid final race result on the Tour de Bretagne à la Voile which finished today in Quiberon, Brittany. Dolan and Leglatin, sailing Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan, were one of the ten boats in the field of 32 which were timed out, crossing the finish line outside of the time limit today and so scoring maximum points.

This dropped Dolan and Leglatin from his intermediate standing of eighth on the General Classification after Saturday’s 25th place finish which was also scored in light and fickle conditions. “It is not the way we wanted to finish the week. We have had a tough couple of days that did not go our way. We made a few mistakes which we have learned from but ultimately in this fleet you have to be able to be consistent all the way through the week and we did not manage that.” said Dolan on the dock in Quiberon at the end of the seven racing stages which started in Saint Malo a week ago on Saturday. “We are disappointed, of course we are, but this was not a key regatta, this was most of all about validating the new sails I have for La Solitaire and for sure I have been quick enough, but unfortunately that is not enough if you are going in the wrong direction.”

Afloat adds: RL Sailing Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee finished 24th in the fleet. Download results below as a PDF file

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County Meath solo sailor Tom Dolan is confident he will be fighting fit for the double-handed Transat en Doible Concarneau to Saint Barthelem which starts May 9th. This is despite an ankle injury sustained by Dolan in the Season Opening Solo Maître Coq at the weekend.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Irish Sailor of the Year sustained the ankle injury midway through the 340 nautical miles long offshore race curtailed Dolan’s chances of a top 10 overall finish in the first solo race of the French Figaro season.

At the Ile de Ré, the southernmost turning point of the course, the skipper of Smurfit Kappa was comfortably racing among a strong breakaway group of ten leading the 29 strong fleet, when he overbalanced while stepping back into the cockpit of his Figaro Beneteau 3 and landed heavily, hurting his ankle and injuring his hand.

At first, in the light airs he tried to carry on but as the wind and seas built with the arrival of a front, the pain was scarcely bearable and it became obvious to Dolan that he had no alternative but to retire into Lorient. A medical examination has subsequently confirmed his ankle is badly sprained with some nerve damage. He has been told to rest his leg for three weeks to one month.

“It is just one of these things. I had had a problem with the tack line and had been up to the bow to fix it and I just stepped awkwardly back into the cockpit. I hurt my left hand and right foot. It is a lesson to be more careful in the future. I’ll lose a little bit of training time before the Transatlantic Concarneau Saint Barths but I am staying positive. I had sailed well in the opening races and was up with the top group when it happened so I am not despondent.” Dolan reported today (Monday) after finally being reunited with his phone which was left (according to the race rules) in Les Sables d’Olonne, the start and finish port.

“Initially I was determined to go on and finish but as the wind and seas built up it was apparent how immobile I was and it was clearly dangerous to go on.” He recalled, “I will be so much more careful in the future.”

Having finished seventh and 13th in the two inshore races last Monday and Tuesday, Dolan had started the offshore race in ninth place. Even counting the ‘RTD’ (retired) from the offshore race he still finished 18th, still his best result in the season opener yet.

“Look I am pretty happy nonetheless. I was good all round and was with the breakaway group and was going well. Overall I have good speed. I am still not very quick under gennaker and so that is a work in progress, I am not slow but neither am I the fastest. Meantime I have two or three weeks of physiotherapy to get on with and will be taking it carefully.” Tom Dolan concluded today.

Published in Tom Dolan

Ireland's Sailor of the Year Tom Dolan gets his first test of the 2021 season this week when he races in the Solo Maitre Coq Regatta in the Figaro Beneteau 3 foilers.

For two days, the Dolan among a fleet of 29 face each other on inshore courses in the bay of Les Sables d'Olonne with the big race of next week on Thursday, routing the skippers around the islands of Re, Yeu and Belle-ile.

Known in France, where he is based, as L’Irlandais Volant (the flying Irishman), Dolan put his Figaro 3 Smurfit Kappa back into the water in February and began his first training sessions from Lorient, ahead of this week's first races of 2021.

Over the last week, the Lorient training group made a round trip from Lorient to Concarneau.

The Solo Maitre Coq is taking place behind closed doors. No visitors are allowed on the Vendee Globe pontoon.

Dolan lifted the Irish Sailor of the Year award in February, now in its 25th year, the top award is presented by Afloat magazine and recognises not just his 2020 La Solitaire success but his sixth place overall in the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship.

Solo Maitre Coq 2021 Provisional programme

Friday, March 19
9h: Deadline for the arrival of the skippers and their boat at the Port Olona race pontoon - Tonnage checks.

Monday, March 22
9:30 am: Departure from the pontoon and up the channel.
11 am: Departure off the first leg.

Tuesday, 23 March
9:30 am: Departure from the pontoon and up the channel.
11am: Departure off the second round.
7 p.m .: Official evening - Dinner.

Thursday, March 25
11am: Departure from the pontoon and up the channel.
1 p.m .: Start of the big race.

Saturday, March 27
Arrival of the offshore race.

Sunday, March 28
11:30 am: Prize giving.

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Rookie Kenny Rumball competed in his Figaro debut this autumn, reaching as high as 15th in the third stage in the notoriously tough French solo marathon event that saw the Dubliner end up 33rd from 35 starters overall.

It marked the first big challenge of his and his co-skipper Pamela Lee's campaign for a spot in the new Olympic mixed double-handed offshore event currently set to debut at Paris 2024.

But also key to their ambitions is their sail wardrobe, and Rumball and Lee enlisted the help of Nigel Young and his team at North Sails Ireland to see them right.

“With our training schedule, I didn’t want to buy sails and then go back and ask for things to be changed,” INSS head Rumball tells North Sails. “I wanted sails that worked would be fast and long-lasting. Nigel Young was my first call to make that happen.”

The pair’s full 3Di set-up got its first proper workout in this year’s La Solitaire du Figaro — one of the few major sailing events that managed to run safely amid the continuing Covid-19 upheaval.

And more recently, Lee took out the Beneteau Figaro 3 with Catherine Hunt and set a new WSSR-recognised round Ireland double-handed world record, demonstrating the powerful combination of skilled sailors, boat and sails.

North Sails has more on the story HERE.

Published in North Sails Ireland

The newfound more robust, cool-headed approach continues to work for Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan who today finished seventh on Leg 3 of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro, an epic four day 492 miles light winds slog from Dunkirk all the way down the Channel, around the Brittany peninsula finishing off Saint Nazaire on the Loire estuary this evening.

As Afloat reported earlier, The best ever finish of his three La Solitaires to date sees the 33-year-old skipper of Smurfit Kappa rising to fifth overall in the 33 strong fleet 1 hour and 29 minutes behind overall leader French skipper Armel Le Cléac’h but only 28 minutes shy of the podium.

No non-French skipper has finished on the overall podium since 1988 when Swiss skipper Laurent Bourgnon won. The best international finish overall recently was Britain’s Alan Roberts’ ninth in 2015, Ireland’s Damian Foxall was tenth overall in 1998 when he won the last leg.

The stage which started last Saturday afternoon from Dunkirk was raced mainly in light winds and passed through three major tidal gates where big gaps were opened up in the 33 boat fleet.

The final 30 miles today along the south Brittany coast were complicated and saw major upsets as the winds died completely. French ace Fred Duthil lead a breakaway trio offshore, outside Belle Ile island where they found more consistent breeze, they were able to pull back some eight miles of initial deficit to take the top three places.

Dolan was at one time leading the main peloton but was quietly delighted with his seventh place, adding to his 10th and 11th on Stages 1 and 2.

He wins the VIVI Trophy award for the best non-French skipper on the leg.

Dolan who was 32nd overall last year said: “To be honest with you I am a bit surprised because I really have not been doing anything different in the way I sail the boat, I trim the sails the same way and everything else but I really have made an effort to get my head sorted and so I don’t lose the plot a bit the way I maybe used to. And I really don’t focus on the other boats I just concentrate on my speed and trim and don’t get wound up where I am. But fifth overall, I better get some sleep before the last leg.”

He adds, “I am really enjoying the sailing much more too. That was a very hard leg, really very typical of what we had last year lots going on and very little time to sleep and recover. I had a bit of sleep on the first night but really very little since, but you really get very tired.”

Standings

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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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