#rdp13 – Passing up this morning's promising weather window for a Round Ireland speed record attempt, the Routes des Princes grand prix multihull fleet will compete as scheduled in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon in what will be a series of heavy weather inshore races.
South–westerly winds are gusting to 25 knots on Dublin Bay one hour before start-time.
Nine multihulls will be racing with six key races planned over Saturday and Sunday for the four strong MOD70 fleet. Valuable race points tallying towards the overall scores for this new multihull race around Europe from Valencia, Spain to Morlaix, France are up for grabs for the MOD70 class.
Three races will be contested from 2pm this afternoon with a further three tomorrow (Sunday) when the winds are due to be even stronger. Courses are set as close to the land as possible to allow spectators a grandstand view of the action.
Visitors to the free La Route des Princes Festival on the East Pier will have the perfect vantage point with live commentary from Irish Olympic sailor Ger Owens and Fiona Bolger.
The substantial shoreside festival opened this morning, and there is a range of different exhibitions and stalls.
The food festival "With Taste" is organised for the general public with small tasting tents offered by restaurateurs and food producers.
Racing should finish around 1600hrs. During the afternoon and evening there is live music in the bandstand until 2130hrs.
At 1830hrs the public prize giving for Leg 2, the stage from Lisbon which finished on Wednesday morning, will be held on the pier and thereafter at 1900hrs Saturday, an autograph session skippers to the public followed by live music.
There are family entertainments for all ages right through the weekend with more live racing and music on Sunday. The Routes des Princes will leave Dun Laoghaire on Monday 24 for an 11am start at the Kish Lighthouse. Depending on weather conditions the fleet will attempt to break the round Ireland speed record.