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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race

So much happened during the brief and hectic Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2019 that the stories emanating from it will run and run for a long time writes W M Nixon.

And of course in trying to keep pace with it as it unfolded at breakneck speed, inevitably some boats which deserved a special mention slipped under the radar. Thus although Ken Cunnane’s Swan 46 Mynx was referred to in the previews as being the only Dingle-based boat in the entire fleet, during the race itself she never got a mention.

It happens easily enough with an active racing fleet of 43 boats all vying for attention. But for her rarity value alone, Mynx should have been in there with her solid 16th on line honours and 23rd overall, for this was definitely a case of being chucked in at the deep end.

mynx crew2 Crew of the Dingle-based Swan 46 Mynx at the finish, Ken and Paddy Cunnane second and third from left, Frank Larkin on right. Photo: Dominick Walsh

Her owner lives in Listowel and had his 17-year-old son Paddy in the crew, which means that Listowel in North Kerry, a town more noted for its literary and horse-racing connections, had two father-son lineups in the Dingle dash, as Listowel is also of course the home town of Derek & Conor Dillon, seasoned campaigners of the Dehler 34 The Big Deal, in which they took fifth in the Two-handed Division.

When The Big Deal isn’t being actively campaigned she’s kept at Foynes, but the Cunnanes go for the longer haul to join their ship further west in the Big Country at Dingle, and among those racing with them from Dun Laoghaire was experienced Limerick sailor Frank Larkin, who recently gave himself a 73rd birthday present in the form of a Laser (not his first by any means ), which he sails from Killaloe on Lough Derg.

Another name which should have been mentioned was to be found aboard John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (NYC), to which Mark Mansfield added some of Ingredient X to give her an outstanding performance to be third overall. There was more of Ingredient X added by the visiting navigator, which was Lough Swilly’s Richie Fearon, no less, navigator of Tanit, the Round Ireland Race 2014 winner, and shot-caller on many other successes.

Mark Mansfield Sunfast 3200 2917John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie placed third with Mark Mansfield (left) and Richie Fearon added to the strength. Photo: O’Brien

And the race runner-up Chris Power Smith who kept the Hot Cookie crew at bay has gone to the effort of documenting Aurelia's D2D voyage to Dingle in a three-minute vid (below) to the Stevie Wonder 'Superstition' soundtrack. 

Meanwhile, the Dingle dash seems to have had its own invisible man, and a very active role he played too. In the reports and results, you’ll see the Mini 6.50 Port of Galway listed as raced by Dan Mill and Yannick Lemonnier. But Dan Mill sustained a debilitating knee injury the day before the race. With just hours to spare, Yannick Lemonnier took the chance of phoning a guy who’d sailed with him relatively briefly in Galway Bay, and had shown promise and real talent.

John Malone is originally from Clontarf and honed his sailing skills there and in Howth, but these days much of his sailing is done from Lough Ree YC as he lives in Mullingar with his wife Joanne with 2 boys and a girl aged 5,8 and 11, while his time-consuming career is as CEO of Provident CRM. You can imagine what it was like when he got Yannick’s phone call on the Tuesday evening - we let John take up the story:

“I got a last minute call from Yannick on Tuesday evening - Dan had a knee injury and after months of preparation could not sail - he was utterly disappointed as the forecast certainly looked favourable. A quick review of the weather routing ensured a phone call back to Yannick less than 5 minutes later to say yes………

port of galway4“Are you new round here?” The newly-arrived John Malone on the helm and Yannick Lemonnier on the foredeck as the little Port of Galway closes in for the start. Photo: O’Brien

Familiarisation with Yannick’s Mini was brief due to the 24hr window before the race started. It included visiting Viking Marine to purchase an Personal AIS beacon based on what I had learned at a talk in the Spring at Poolbeg Y & BC by the Jedi crew on their MOB experience in the 2018 Round Ireland (I also brought a PLB, but based on the info from the Jedi talk, they are more useful for finding bodies than recovering MOBs).

The Mini is a very complex little boat, but at the start while I helmed Yannick set up everything including the canting keel, which is controlled by manually-operated tackles athwartships which sometimes seem to take up half the accommodation (such as it is), and finding a space to sleep can be a mater of heaving sailbags into a “comfortable” pile forward of the canting gear, and getting sleep as best you can.

Once it was all set up, Port of Galway absolutely took off. We streaked away from the rest of the feet, and only the giant Windfall was ahead as we got out into St George’s Channel and conditions which suited us even better.

Our trip down the East Coast can only be described as a fire hosing - cruising at 17-18kts for extended periods with our largest available A-Sail, jib & reefed main, NKE & Racegeek speedo showing a brief 20kts SOG at least once - just before our gybe to Tuskar. A change of clothes and four hours in a survival blanket were required immediately after rounding Tuskar due to getting soaked head to toe by the torrents of water flowing over the decks & coach roof for close to 6 hours

port of galway leads5Shortly after the start as seen from Dalkey, with Port of Galway scampering ahead on the right

In hindsight, we should have elected to go outside the Tuskar TSZ (longer but faster) - attempting to cross immediately north of the TSZ was hazardous with 4 ships in our pathway and a close call with a cruise liner.

The south coast was an amazing reach to Galley Head - carrying our favourite sail the Code-5 which we toasted with Dick Macs in Dingle - it was the making of our Mini 6.5 class win. We cruised at 10-12kts with this sail combination (code-5, jib & full main) for long periods passing many boats. The comfort of the sail setup afforded Yannick a 6½hr sleep - I'm not sure any other boat had such comfortable cruising conditions.

Becalmed in a convergence zone at Fastnet, the fast fun was over and we started the long beat which lasted all the way until the final approach from the Skellig to Dingle, which afforded a Code Zero and more speed.

john malone yannich lemonnier6Job Done. John Malone and Yannick Lemonnier head into Dingle Harbour. Photo: John Malone

We proved the YB tracker does successfully record a finish by sailing a few metres inside the lat-long co-ordinates for western end of line in the SIs - outside of the red line drawn on the YB tracker app - a subject of much discussion at the briefing and with only an eastern end buoy in the water we checked the app after crossing the virtual line to ensure we had digitally finished.

We were greeted by Yannick’s father-in-law Brian Farrell, the former Dingle HM who lives in Dingle, as did his daughter when the young Figaro sailor called Yannick came in search of some Irish culture all those years ago……

Warmest thanks to Yannick for a superb opportunity to experience the Mini in its optimal conditions, and his parents-in-law for the post-race shower, bed & great breakfast in their home only metres from the marina.

And special thanks to my long-suffering wife Joanne and my business partners at Provident CRM, Gary Cullen and James Forde, for their tolerant understanding of the very sudden absence of their CEO.”

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Howth Yacht Club J109 Outrajeous skippered by Johnny Murphy leads the potent J109 designs in fourth overall on IRC rating in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race this morning with 122 miles left to sail to the County Kerry finish line.

Her crew includes Galway Bay offshore sailor, Aodhan Fitzgerald, the winner of the 2008 Round Ireland Race.

Fitzgerald updates from the East Cork coast:  "We're currently sneaking along in a weakening breeze off Ballycotton with code zero".

Outrajeous, says Fitzgerald, had a 'fantastic' first night down the Irish Sea with an efficient sail down the rhumbline and escaped any encounters with lobster pots unlike some other competitors. It wasn't all plain sailing though, as Fitzgerald relates: "Only one massive Chinese gybe on the way but no issues".

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Kenny Rumball on the Kinsale Yacht Club XP50, Freya, currently in third place for line honours, reports snagging a lobster pot overnight in the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race

Conor Doyle's crew successfully disengaged themselves from the potline with some quick thinking and 'backing the yacht down'. As Rumball remarks: "fun times on a fifty footer backing down manually in 18 knots".

The incident reported was off the Tuskar Rock, a similar location on the Wexford coast to where coincidentally another competitor, Justina, a Grand Soleil 34, had a total loss of steering and was forced to retire as reported by Afloat here.

"There are lots of pots in the area", Rumball says.

Meanwhile, the Freya crew are off the coast of Youghal under a Code Two sail.

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

George Sisk's XP44 Wow has retired into Dunmore East in County Waterford due to gear failure.

The Royal Irish skipper informed the D2D Race Office that 'all is well' onboard and the crew were aiming to 'make repairs'.

Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Day #1 midnight - When we remember the increasingly rugged conditions the fleet found themselves contending with as they slugged into rising headwinds past the Saltee Islands in 2017’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race, the current fair wind romp may seem like a doddle writes W M Nixon.

But every offshore race sets its own scenario, and for boats running south towards the first major turn at Ireland’s southeast corner, the challenge is to get through before the ebb tide runs out and the new flood brings a major change in progress.

Mick Cotter’s Windfall led past the Tuskar Rock at 23000 hrs, and now with less than 200 miles to go to Dingle, she’s making good at 15 knots with the tide still in her favour, while the light of the Coningbeg – a mark of the course – would be in sight but for misty visibility.

Astern, Corrected Time placings have stabilised. Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife continues to lead overall, Paul O’Higgins’ defending champion the JPK 1080 Rockabill is second, and the Johnny Murphy-skippered J/109 Outrajeous is third.

As the boats make it round the corner and pass the Coningbeg, the relative benefits of long waterline length will start to show more markedly on the long reach in the northerly wind down to the Fastnet, and Windfall should begin to significantly increase her lead. But the Welsh wizards on Jackknife have astonished with their showing so far, and they well may continue to do so.

However, perhaps the most fascinating thing of all is how well one of the smallest boats – the Mini 6.50 Port of Galway – will continue to perform for Dan Mill and Yannick Lemonnier. While most of the fleet have held relatively close to the coast, in tacking downwind the little PoG has struck boldly offshore, and is well out in the Channel as she shapes in for the Tuskar turn on starboard gybe.

Monitoring her performance is a matter of speculation and deduction, for as we write this at midnight she’s shown as being on 15.9 knots, yet a while back she was down at eight. Normally our mantra is: “In Yellowbrick We Trust”. But this will need further examination in the morning.

Meanwhile, good sailing to all the fleet, and good night to you.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

#D2D - The National Yacht Club has launched a new website for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race.

Counting down the 85 days till the fleet sets off on the latest edition of the biennial offshore challenge, is the place to go for all the official documents, race notices and details for how to enter the 2015 event.

But the site will really come to life when racing begins, tracking the latest happenings via Twitter and's own D2D newsfeed.

And the history of the race is also well catered for, with full recaps of past editions and a history of previous winners in the storied event, one of the jewels of the Irish sailing scene.

See for more.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
D2D report 2200 BST Saturday June 11th. At Tuskar Rock, Martin Breen's Reflex 38 Galway Harbour (Galway Bay SC), leads the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race fleet out of the Irish Sea writes our Offshore Correspondent. Closely tracked by Cathal Drohan's Legally Brunette (Royal St George YC) and Aquelina (Arklow SC), Galway Harbour sailed a great race down the Irish Sea, timing carefully her forays in and out of the tide. With the wind set to back soon the leading boats should have a shy reach and may even get to fly spinnakers for a while in the forenoon, before being headed again along the Cork coast.

The early hours of day two are always a crucial phase as watch systems come in to play and helms and trimmers combat the fatigue caused by the adrenalin of the first day. Tracking will give those equipped with internet access a keen advantage as they monitor the heading and speed of their opponents, ensuring that they stay on their toes during the small hours.

Galway Harbour has done very well to stay ahead of handicap and if she can keep this up may well take the overall prize. However, in addition to Aquelina and Legally Brunette, she will need to keep an eye on Matt Davis' Raging Bull (Skerries SC) who has also sailed above the handicap to be second overall at the Tuskar.

Once past the Coningbeg Superbuoy, the forecast predicts that the leaders will have a beam wind increasing from force 3 to force 5 by midday Sunday.

The next test of the fleet looks like the headwinds that are predicted from the Fastnet to the finish and performance in the associated seas may prove to be the decisive factor.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Offshore boss Peter Ryan is urging as many boats as possible to get invovled in the next ISORA race on May 28th from Pwllheli to Wicklow but also to make it a great offshore weekend by participating too in the Turbine Race from Arklow on the Sunday. It is the last ISORA race before the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race on June 11.

It is hoped that boats will remain in Wicklow after the ISORA race for the evening and head down to Arklow (14 miles) the following morning for the start of the Turbine Race.

Published in ISORA

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race – The Cruiser Challenge

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down to the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour. Latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club. It never fails to offer a full range of weather, wind and tide to the intrepid entrants, ranging this year from a 32ft cruiser to a 79ft all out racer. Three divisions are available to enter: cruiser (boats equipped with furlers), racing (the bulk of the fleet) and two handed.


Latest Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race News 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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