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The fifth edition of the IRC European Championship will take place in Hyères, France, organised by the COYCH (Cercle d'Organisation du Yachting de Compétition Hyérois), in collaboration with the UNCL (Union Nationale pour la Course au Large).

Following Cork Week in 2016, Marseille in 2017, Cowes in 2018, and San Remo in 2019 which crowned the French team of Absolutely, the 2021 edition of the European IRC Championship will take place in Hyères from 23 to 27 June with four days of racing on one of the most competitive & popular sailing areas in the Mediterranean.

Alternating between the North and the South of Europe (the Channel and the Mediterranean Sea), the IRC European Championship is a flagship event of the 2021 IRC season and aims to bring together more than 60 boats.

The 2021 IRC European Championship is open to all IRC rated boats. It will consist of a minimum of four coastal or tactical races (coefficient 1) and a long coastal race (coefficient 2).

At the end of the week, a Trophy rewarding the leaders of each IRC Class will be awarded, as well as a Special Trophy for the first in the overall ranking who will be crowned European IRC Champion 2021.

2021 IRC Europeans Programme

  • Wednesday 23 June 09:00 – 18:00 Registration and rating inspection
  • Thursday 24 June 09:30 – Briefing / 12:00 Racing
  • Friday 25 June Racing
  • Saturday 26 June Racing
  • Sunday 27 June Racing and awards ceremony
Published in RORC

The ‘stay at home’ rule in the UK will end on the 29th March allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to organise a Spring Series of racing in April and early May. With some government restrictions still in place, three races are planned to offer crews the chance for some early season training and race practice. The series is open to IRC rated boats including an IRC Two-Handed Class and MOCRA rated multihulls.

The first race of the RORC Spring Series is scheduled to start on Saturday 3rd April from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. One long race is planned of approximately 6-8 hours duration and online entry is open.

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring SeriesMichael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series Photo: Paul Wyeth

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series. This will be the first RORC race of the year in preparation for their Rolex Fastnet Campaign. “Like everyone else, we are desperate to get back on the water and this series is a very pragmatic solution to the current restrictions,” commented Michael. “It is a safe way to get almost fully-crewed boats back racing. For us, this is an absolute no-brainer.”

Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green CowesKelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green Cowes

IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series. Early entries include 2020 RORC Yacht of the Year, JPK 10.10 Jangada. Richard Palmer will return to the fray after a knee operation and will team up with Jeremy Waitt. 2020 IRC Two-Handed Champions James Harayda and Dee Caffari, will be racing the Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo. Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries will be racing with the RORC for the first time. Rawlings will be racing Two-Handed with Stuart Childerley, the team won the Two-Handed class in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race.

“Kelvin’s got another big birthday and he wanted to treat himself, have some fun and we really enjoy racing together,” commented Stuart. “The RORC Spring Series is an opportunity for us to continue the training we started last year before lockdown. We are especially keen on developing our polars for the boat and hopefully, we will have some long legs to improve our data. Ultimately we want to improve our performance by getting to know how to sail Aries.”

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Photo: Louay Habib

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT will be racing in the RORC Spring Series. Laidlaw has won the Quarter Ton Cup twice and BLT won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1980. The vintage Jacques Fauroux design is currently the smallest boat entered for the race. “We usually compete at the RORC Easter Challenge, as it’s a good start to the season. This is a low-key series with no stress. A perfect opportunity to shake the cobwebs away, do some training, and test the modifications to the boat over the winter.”

The RORC Spring Series Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times.

Published in RORC
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This Friday’s RORC interview guest is with Deb Fish - one of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Like most of the thousands of RORC members, Deb is an amateur sailor who enjoys the challenges of offshore racing and has competed Round Ireland.

Watch the half-hour interview with Deb Fish that gives an insight into maximizing performance for offshore racing, suitable for any sailor to put into practice.

Deb Fish has been racing with Rob Craigie Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3600 Bellino. Winning their class in the 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship, Bellino beat over 100 professional and amateur teams. Bellino also achieved second overall for the 2019 season, racing against over 500 teams in a Rolex Fastnet Race year.

One of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the RORC - Deb Fish on Bellino collects silverware at the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rick TomlinsonOne of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the RORC - Deb Fish on Bellino collects silverware at the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rick Tomlinson

Deb works for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and in 2011 received an OBE for her work with the UK Armed Forces.

Watch the half-hour interview with Deb Fish: an insight into maximizing performance for offshore racing, suitable for any sailor to put into practice.

On: Friday 26 March 1700 below

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The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race will see a collaboration between two eminent yacht clubs; The Royal Ocean Racing Club and Yacht Club de France, as they team up for the next edition of the 3,000 nm (5,500km) race from Lanzarote, Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

With an interest in expanding their programme of races, the Paris-based Yacht Club de France were keen to seek an alliance with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the International Maxi Association to promote the already established RORC Transatlantic Race to its members and affiliated clubs. Modern IRC boats, as well as classic yachts will be invited to participate in the 8th edition of the annual race which has attracted previous entries from around the world to date.

“With the still-growing popularity of offshore racing in France and amongst our membership, we are very happy to join together with one of the most active and renowned offshore racing clubs in the world – the Royal Ocean Racing Club. We will be honoured to present a trophy on behalf of our historic club and help promote the RORC Transatlantic Race to our members and through our 32 associated clubs in France,” explains President of Yacht Club de France, Philippe Heral.

The dramatic volcanic mountains of Lanzarote make an impressive backdrop as the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet head for GrenadaThe dramatic volcanic mountains of Lanzarote make an impressive backdrop as the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet head for Grenada Photo: James Mitchell

The longest offshore race in the RORC’s Season’s Points Championship, which consists of over 20 events, the RORC Transatlantic Race was originally set up as a feeder race for the popular RORC Caribbean 600, to allow RORC members and Maxi boat owners the opportunity to race across the Atlantic before competing in the Caribbean regatta season.

“We very much look forward to working alongside our colleagues at the Yacht Club de France, which is one of the oldest yacht clubs in France (1867), to promote the race to its members and associations, and open the event to a wider audience,” commented RORC Commodore James Neville. "This is not the first time we have worked together as the RORC has used the Yacht Club de France’s prestigious Paris headquarters for the organisation of dinners for RORC members based in France."

Since the inaugural race in 2014, the RORC Transatlantic Race has been run in association with The International Maxi Association who award an impressive silver trophy to the Line Honours winner each year and the 2022 race will continue this custom.

Teasing Machine arriving in the sunny Caribbean after the Atlantic crossing in the RORC Transatlantic Race Photo: Arthur Daniel

IMA Secretary General, Andrew McIrvine said: “Since Charlie Barr first raced across the Atlantic back in the early 1900s in his three-masted schooner, its lure has drawn dozens of sailors who have a shared dream. Whether a passionate owner of a Maxi yacht, a modern IRC or classic yacht, or an experienced or novice crew, those who have competed in the RORC Transatlantic Race have fulfilled their ambition and we are delighted to be working alongside RORC and Yacht Club de France to help achieve this.”

The RORC Transatlantic Race will start on 8th January 2022 from Lanzarote and hosted by Calero Marinas in the Canary Islands.

Published in Offshore
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RORC's North Sea Race and Vuurschepen Race have both been cancelled due to travel restrictions in the UK and the North Sea Regatta has decided to organise an 'exciting replacement race'.

During this year’s upcoming Ascension Day Weekend, on Friday, May 14th and Saturday, May 15th the North Sea Regatta will host a brand-new Race: the NSR C-19 Windmill Race.

The NSR C-19 Race will cover a figure-eight course providing exciting and challenging racing around existing marks such as buoys, wind farms and platforms on the North Sea, starting and finishing in Scheveningen. The ORC/IRC 1 and 2 divisions and the Double Handed division will sail a 160 NM long course and the ORC 3 and SW-division will follow a short course of 130 NM.

“The NSR C-19 Windmill Race is a great alternative offshore race to replace both the Vuurschepen Race and the RORC North Sea Race. Due to the strict travel restrictions to enter the UK and the current Covid-19 regulations both races won’t be able to take place this year,” comments Peter Tjalma chair of the North Sea Regatta Foundation.

The North Sea Race C-19 Windmill Race Map courseThe North Sea Race C-19 Windmill Race Map course

Frans Driessen, Event Director of the North Sea Regatta adds: “On the day before the start, Ascension Day May 13th, the race teams have the opportunity to prepare their yachts for the race. On both the preparation day as well as the awards ceremony day, the organizing committee anticipates planning a fun-filled programme suitable to fit the Covid-19 regulations in place at that time.”

The NSR-19 Windmill Race counts as a qualifier event for the Fastnet Race 2021. In order to qualify to participate in the Fastnet Race at least 50% of the crew (with a minimum of 2) including the Person in Charge is required to have sailed 300 NM of offshore races, where an offshore race is considered to be more than 75 miles including at least one night at sea.

NSR Re-Save The DateNSR Re-Save The Date

“With the cancellation of the originally scheduled races, there is even an opportunity to organize an extra Fasnet qualifying race on Tuesday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 13th.

Interested skippers can send a mail to [email protected]” concludes Frans.

Published in Offshore
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Following on from the UK Government's Roadmap out of lockdown’ on Monday 22nd February, the RORC Committee, working with the RYA and Government, is confident that overnight racing will return for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship. Some changes will be necessary for the early part of the season, but unless the recovery from the pandemic changes, the world’s largest offshore championship will go ahead, including the 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

“Whilst the RORC would like to run our full programme of races, the reality as a consequence of the pandemic is that the RORC Easter Challenge, Cervantes Trophy and North Sea Race are cancelled. However, with COVID-19 protocols in place, the club intends to organise a RORC Spring Series during April and May. We are also considering an additional longer race for Two-Handed Teams,” commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone.

Fastnet Race Likely to have COVID Protocols

“The Rolex Fastnet Race is expected to be a fully crewed race, but more than likely to have some COVID-19 protocols for crews to follow. Our meetings with immigration authorities in both the UK and France have been positive and productive, and we continue our discussions with the RYA and health professionals on minimising risk to our competitors. Throughout this pandemic, our partners in France have never wavered in their commitment to give all competitors a fantastic welcome when they arrive in Cherbourg,” continued Stone.

RORC racing is expecting to returns to the Solent with the 2021 RORC Spring Series Photo: Paul WyethRORC racing returns. 2021 RORC Spring Series in the Solent © Paul Wyeth

RORC Spring Series

The 2021 RORC Spring Series will consist of three long day races, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. Designed to last between 6-8 hours, the permitted crew is expected to be up to 80% of the IRC certificate allowance, which is to be confirmed in March following further consultation with the relevant authorities:-

  • RORC Spring Series 1: Saturday 03 April
  • RORC Spring Series 2: Saturday 10 April
  • RORC Spring Series 3: Saturday 01 May

The 2021 RORC Season’s Point’s Championship is scheduled to continue with regular offshore races from late May through to September, including the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, starting from Cowes on Sunday 8th August.

Published in RORC
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The Royal Ocean Racing Club in London has published new dates for its 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship

The second edition of this biennial event will be held from 23 June to 1 July 2022 in Porto Cervo.

After consultation between the Federazione Italiana Vela (FIV), the Unione Vela Altura Italiana (UVAI) and the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL), the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), the dates for the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship have been changed.

The new dates for the event will be from 23 June to 1 July 2022.

A large fleet is expected to take part in Porto Cervo, with organisation provided by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

The new dates will avoid any overlap with the Rolex Giraglia regatta scheduled for mid-June.

The Notice of Race for the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship will be published in June 2021, one year ahead of the regatta.

Published in RORC
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Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon crossed the finish line of the 7th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race at 04:53 UTC in an elapsed time of 9 days, 18 hours, 53 mins and 40 secs. Green Dragon wins the IMA Trophy and takes Monohull Line Honours for the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was less than five hours behind, completing the 2735-mile race in a phenomenal elapsed time of 10 days, 1 hour, 43 mins and 18 secs. For the moment, Palanad 3 have scored the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Green Dragon becomes the seventh boat to win the International Maxi Association’s IMA Trophy. Whilst this year’s race is a different route, Green Dragon is the first monohull to complete the RORC Transatlantic Race in under 10 days. The Secretary-General of the IMA, Andrew McIrvine commented: “Congratulations and best wishes from the IMA to Johannes and the Green Dragon team. We are sorry not to able to greet you, as we would have in more usual times, but we hope you enjoyed the race.”

“It is an honour to win the IMA Trophy, as so many famous boats have done, but to finish the race in such a fast time is incredible. Although we finished in Antigua and not Grenada, the route we took was to the south, so there is not much difference in the miles we have raced,” commented Green Dragon’s Johannes Schwarz.

Celebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic RaceCelebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic. Race. Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

“In the early part of the race we didn’t push too hard because we are a mixed pro-am crew and there were strong winds on the reach from Lanzarote to Tenerife,” explained Schwarz. “Later in the race we deployed the big kite and the conditions were just so fantastic. It was really special and very emotional for all the crew - we went faster and faster. I have to say that we are deeply impressed by the performance of the Class40s, they were so incredible! When we arrived in Antigua, it was not possible for the RORC team to meet us due to the curfew, but as if by magic, there was a cooler of cold beer on the dock!”

Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

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 (1200 UTC Sunday 17 January) Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon is leading the RORC Transatlantic Race for Monohull Line Honours and is approximately 500 miles from Antigua

The race reaches an exciting stage on the ninth day with the leading boats closing in on the finish line in Antigua. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella was under 400 miles from the finish and expected to take Multihull Line Honours on Monday 18th January.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was just 60 miles behind Green Dragon and is expected to finish the 2,735 nautical mile race in just over 10 days - lightning-quick for a 40-footer. “The boat is going fast!” commented Palanad 3’s Luke Berry. “The only problem we have is the seaweed. We clean the rudder after a gybe, but have also resorted to taking the kite down and trying to sail backwards! All is good, so we mustn’t complain.”

Half of the time, racing in the 2,735-mile RORC Transatlantic Race is conducted at night. Whilst moonlight can guide the way, it becomes much more difficult to see, let alone adapt to a sudden change in conditions. For this race, in messages sent back to the RORC Race Team, competitors have reported significant squall activity, especially at night.

Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman looks unlikely to catch their sistership Palanad 3 in the race to the finish. In his recent blog, Carpentier describes the frustration at night on Day 8. “Last night was not good for us (Saturday 16 Jan.). A local cloud formed sucking the wind from 20 knots down to just six knots and shifting 90 degrees. In torrential rain we put in a series of gybes to get out of the position; there was no sleep for the Redman crew. When we looked at the race sched. updates and saw our friends on Palanad 3 had not lost any speed, we were green with envy. How to stay motivated? All our efforts to get the boat to move as quickly as possible will have been in vain if we give up.”

Class40 Redman also reports problems with Sargassum seaweed during the RORC Transatlantic Race © Antoine Carpentier Sailing Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi gybed on to starboard on Saturday evening. In the last 48 hours, Moshimoshi has turned a 16-mile deficit into a 40-mile lead on Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali.

Benedikt Clauberg commented via satellite about encountering a squall in darkness, which has dramatically affected their performance: “At night without the moon it is so dark that we don’t see even one boat length in front of us, watching only the compass and wind instruments. If the clouds arrive it becomes more than black and the wind can pick up very quick. After surfing at up to 13kts we got hit hard by a strong gust with rain and ripped our spinnaker. With everyone clipped on we got it down and went into cruising mode for the rest of the night. Today the sun is back but we are now in ‘Schmetterling’ mode as we say in Swiss, or wing-on-wing. Otherwise, all is good on board. The crew had a salty shower and are having fun and we see birds and flying fish. Dinner is a Porcini Risotto with a tomato mozzarella salad caprese. We hope you all are fine and no bad news on the other side.”

News from Tim and Mayumi Knight, racing Pogo 12.50 Kai is that they have been racing conservatively due to a gear problem. However, the latest news from Tim is: “Much of our problem has been sorted out and we are back sailing less cautiously with a target speed of 7-8 knots. Kai was approaching halfway in the race and 1,560 miles from the finish.

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On the fifth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, all of the competing yachts are fully offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Life on board will have found a rhythm to the corkscrew motion of surfing downwind for days on end. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella is leading the fleet and they will be celebrating having crossed the halfway mark in the 2,735-mile race from Lanzarote to the Caribbean. Rayon Vert’s skipper Pella is very much at home in the Atlantic. The Spaniard has won both the Route du Rhum and the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 is the leading monohull, 18 miles ahead of Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. The leading boats in the RORC Transatlantic Race are hundreds of miles south of the rhumb line. High pressure has pushed the ENE trade winds further south and the front runners have raced the additional miles to hook into the bigger breeze to maximise their velocity made good (VMG).

Third in the monohulls is Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman; currently, 114 miles behind Palanad 3 when they contacted the RORC Race Team: “Everything is going well. We have solved a problem with our starboard rudder and everything is working normally. We spent most of the nights gybing and changing sails. Now the weather is better- it’s a good time to get back in the kitchen.”

Palanad 3’s Olivier Magre commented via satellite link: “All is well onboard and much calmer than the first 48 hours. We did have an issue with the spinnaker when it fell completely into the water, but there is not too much damage and Luke (Berry) has been up the rig to untangle the halyards. The atmosphere on board is very good. We have to be careful of the squalls because the trade winds are quite active.”

The performance cruisers racing in IRC are positioned further north. For these boats the strategy for maximizing VMG has produced a different tactic. Racing further south does not improve their speed enough to warrant the extra miles. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali and Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi maybe over 100 miles apart on the water, but they are both approximately 2,000 miles from the finish.

Sebastian from Moshimoshi reports that life is good on board and that racing across the Atlantic has magical moments, such as visits from tropical birds who are also making their migration!

As previously reported, the IRC56 Black Pearl retired on January 10th. Black Pearl’s bowsprit had broken just west of the Canary Islands. The crew sailed back to Lanzarote unassisted, arriving on January 12th. The team are disappointed, but safely ashore and received a warm welcome from Marina Puerto Calero.

Published in RORC
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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.

© Afloat 2020

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