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Displaying items by tag: Round Ireland Yacht Race

#RoundIreland - Father-and-son duo Derek and Conor Dillon have been congratulated by Foynes Yacht Club after taking the two-handed category in this year's Round Ireland Yacht Race, writes Gerry Ryan.

The Shannon Estuary team raced their Dehler 34, Big Deal, to first in IRC 7 as well second in IRC 4, where they were beaten only by Cavatina from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, skippered by Ian Hickey - a twice previous winner of the Round Ireland.

Add to this an overall eighth-place finish and their performance is testimony to the nautical skill and personal perseverance on both these intrepid sailors, the best performing entrants in the Round Ireland in FYC history.

This was no easy feat to perform for the Dillons, for the Round Ireland is a mammoth task against stiff competition, certainly not a race that you can 'rest'.

Yet despite the odds, Derek Dillon says the "high pressure and the light winds certainly favoured us for the race in accomplishing the task on Big Deal."

On Sunday afternoon 6 July, a bottle of champagne was presented to the Dillons by FYC Commodore James McCormack, who praised their expertise and hailed their result as a source of pride and a "great day" for the club.

But the season's not over yet for Derek and Conor, who are already preparing for the Fastnet Race scheduled for next month.

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – Richard Harris' Tanit, of the Serpent Yacht Club on the Clyde, has pipped Liam Shanahan's Ruth for the clubhouse lead in this year's incident-filled Round Ireland Race. Ruth looked all set to be the leader until a cruel combination of decreasing wind and increasing adverse tide held her up within sight of the Wicklow finish. Tanit, a Sydney 36, was safely in the club at this stage, knowing that any setback to Ruth's progress would establish them as the target boat for the rest of the fleet.

While there are boats yet to finish, Tanit is not guaranteed to be the overall winner, but as closest contender Cavatina, with a current VMG of 4 knots, needs to average over 6 knots  for the remaining 70 miles, it looks likely that Tanit will be the name on this year's trophy.

Celebrations may be on hold for a while, as Cavatina has until just after 2am to reach Wicklow. It's not the forecast wind speed that will thwart Cavatin'a hopes for a threepeat, it's the direction of SSW that makes it a dead beat and thus requiring the extra distance through having to tack for the finish.

 

Published in Round Ireland

RoundIreland14 – It has been a classic Round Ireland Race. Just about everything except a gale, and even then there was some gear-breaking wind in the latter stages. But mostly, the sun shone. Or at least, there was little or no rain until Friday. And even if the wind didn't blow nearly enough, even those on the smaller boats who had committed a week's holiday time to this very special experience found they stayed within their leave limits, though only just.

When Wicklow farmer David Ryan confirmed in May that he had chartered the Volvo 70 Monster Project for the 2014 Round Ireland Race starting June 28th, he was succinct in his objectives. The bottom line was to support the Care For Shane campaign, which is raising funds for his nephew Shane Horgan, who was brain-damaged in a serious assault in 2012.

With the foundation of the plan in place, the details could be filled in. The Volvo 70 chosen was Russian, built in 2008 by Green Marine of Lymington. Owing to a shortage of funds during the race itself in 2008-2009, she didn't compete in all the legs. But once that race was over, here was this fine big Rob Humphreys design seeking a purpose, with time available to bring her up to standard. And she'd a new commercially-minded owner who cheerfully re-named the boat Monster Project, and worked on the basis of scouting out fresh fields for competition, as the Volvo World organisation was moving on to a new generation of boats in the next race.

But for round Ireland racing with fund-raising a priority, Monster Project ticked all the boxes. Nevertheless, Farmer Ryan was very realistic in his objectives. For sure, he hoped he might break the race's course record, which is a very different thing from the open round Ireland mono-hull record. But if he harboured even the slimmest hope of winning overall on corrected time, he kept it to himself. Yet he clearly stated that the main race objective was to win line honours – "first over the line for Shane". And at 18:25:25 hours on Wednesday July 2nd in a brisk southerly off the Wicklow pierheads with the enthusiastic support of the home crowd, Monster Project did that very thing.

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Job done. Monster Project takes line honours at Wicklow. Photo: Aidan Tarbett

As she was 70ft LOA and the next three biggest boats were "only" 60ft, it may have seemed a foregone conclusion. But the Round Ireland Race really is a case of swings and roundabouts and big dippers from time to time for every one of the 36 boats taking part. So though the Wicklow Monster may have built up a lead of 32 miles over the Open 60 Teng Tools Kilcullen (Eamon Crosbie & Enda O'Coineen) by the time she finished, she'd surely had to work for it. And had there been more fast off the wind stuff, things might have gone otherwise.

Despite the 10ft difference in length, the Open 60's potential is such that she rates an eye-watering 1.635 to the 1.6498 of Monster Project. So in rating terms the two boats were almost racing boat-for-boat, and in tactical terms that's the way Monster's 18-strong crew of all the talents had to see it.

But of course, with the predictions of light airs and calms for the first half of the week coming all too true, within 24 hours of the start it was becoming highly likely that one of the smaller boats would win, and low ratings became pearls beyond price. Observing it all and getting feedback from many sources, you became aware of the "Community of the Round Ireland Race" as the miles were slowly sailed. Their boats may have covered a wide variety of types and sizes, but the crews sharing this experience were joined together in a subtle way which gently but totally excluded outsiders.

You'd a sense of this in Wicklow as start time approached and the tension built up, with crews beginning to distance themselves from the shore crowds. Indeed, I got a blast of it in the car on the way down, listening to the Saturday morning's Down to Business programme on Newstalk, which is normally fronted by Bobby Kerr.

But as he was off to do the race on the fine big Farr 60 Newstalk for Adrenalin (chartered by Joe McDonald of the National YC), they'd a stand-in presenter. On the car radio, Kerr (a boat-owner himself) was trying to explain from the Farr 60 – with his usual zest – the special attractions of the Round Ireland Race to the American woman business journalist who was filling in for him in the studio. But he wasn't really making much progress. Her genuinely sceptical response to his enthusiasm for working coffee grinder winches and standing four hour watches 24 hours a day – and every chance of being called when you're off watch too – reminded me of the classic Bob Newhart sketch about the introduction of tobacco. The mutual incomprehension was just about total. And if Bobby Kerr can't explain the special attraction of racing round Ireland on his own radio show, then why do the rest of us even try?

The Round Ireland Race produces many imponderables. For instance, there's the matter of the new harbour and marina at Greystones finally hitting the headlines as a result of having Monster Project and Newstalk for Adrenalin based there in the leadup to the race, as Wicklow Harbour isn't really deep enough for them and both needed a pontoon berth.

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Arise, Greystones, and join the big time.....having Monster Project and Newstalk for Adrenalin in port pre-race raised Greystone's pofile something wonderful. Photo: Alan Corr

So Afloat.ie posted a pic from Alan Corr of Greystones Harbour showing the two biggies in port, and by sailing website standards it went viral. All because it's hashtagged #greystones. So be warned, in future you may find some very sleepy stories #greystones here on Afloat.ie if we hope to get them the Monster Newstalk level of attention.

But enough. Just as the sailor/spectator divide was beginning to manifest itself, I managed to get myself on board Wildwood for a quick recce. Not only was she the shortest entrant at just 30.5ft, but she was the newest with a build date of 2012. Yet in truth she was building since 2003, as this has been an extraordinary amateur design and build project, a case of good work done by stealth.

Though Wildwood sails from East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough, the first gleam of a notion came in the bar at Carrickfergus SC. Over a pint or three, amateur designer Richard McClure and can-do potential owner Ian Patterson sketched out ideas for a handy little dream performance cruiser-racer.

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Little self-build 30-footer Wildwood (seen here outside the J/109 Mojito) came down from Larne to Wicklow for her first stab at the IRC big time. Photo: W M Nixon

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Ian Patterson built Wildwood between 2003 and 2012, and they've won their class in the Scottish Three Peaks Race Photo: W M Nixon

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Wildwood brought her shore support team – they came down from Larne with a couple of camper vans Photo: W M Nixon

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Below, Wildwood is roomy, with a highly individual layout Photo: W M Nixon

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Wildwood has a substantial galley which wouldn't look out of place on a 40 footer. Photo: W M Nixon

It will be a good story to flesh out in more detail during the coming winter. Sufficient to say that she was launched in 2012 and arrived in Wicklow in June 2014 with honours already achieved by winning their class in last year's Scottish Three Peaks Race.

Nevertheless, despite the cheerful quayside support of family and friends who have stayed with the Wildwood project through its long gestation, the mood aboard was a bit subdued. The Scottish race had been on very basic handicaps, but the Round Ireland – which itself started in 1980 using a Wicklow modification of the ECHO system – is now part of the RORC programme, using strictly regulated IRC.

This new measurement routine put little Wildwood up from her notional rating of 1.02 to an official rating of 1.045. That may not seem like a huge jump, but for the crew of a little boat which prefers fast offwind stuff yet was going out to face a long beat right up Ireland's long Atlantic seaboard, it seemed like yet another mountain to climb.

But out they all go for the start, these 36 boats in all shapes and sizes, and any crewmember who denies abdominal butterflies at this time is either in denial, or so full of Stugeron they don't know what's going on below their navel.

With a decent nor'east breeze and a sluicing ebb running south, it's a tricky close reaching start at 1400 hours, but Teng Tools Kilcullen and serial overall winner Cavatina (Ian Hickey) are right there on time, and the only shunt in the body of the fleet is between western boats Lynx Clipper (Galway) and E F Collins/Amazing Grace (Tralee), with the latter returning to port to fix a fist-sized hole in her stern and set out again after some hours with a post-race protest in the offing.

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Out of the ruck of the start, the little Cavatina showed well among a raft of larger boats. Photo: David O'Brien

Coming out of the start, with boats which would emerge as performers as the race went on starting to show themselves. The Sydney 36 Tanit is left foreground, the Rodman JV 42 Phosphorus (Mark Emerson) is making hay with Code 0, the "steady Eddy" Ker 39 Inis Mor is right front, and the big Farr 60 Newstalk for Adrenalin is starting to show a performance which just kept getting better throughout the race. Photo: W M Nixon

Thanks to the Yellowbrick plotters, following the fleet has become like a computer game. If you're bored with the progress, you can always accelerate them electronically up and down along the course, with it all becoming – as the less reverent have remarked – like a pack of rats trying to get up a drainpipe.

It's when you see it reduced to symbols on a screen in the big picture that you realise how restrictive the round Ireland is for epic tactical gambles. In the Newport-Bermuda race, for instance, the 600 miles of straight line across the open ocean provides a broad canvas, and the famous Carina once notched one of her legendary wins by being all of 60 miles to the westward of the rhumb line. But in the round Ireland, only along the south coast is there a decent option for taking a real flyer, and it was there south of Youghal that Teng Tools went offshore as the wind drew sou'westerly, while the nearby and faster-to-windward Monster Project went off to close the land and cover the French Volvo 60 Libertalia and Newstalk for Adrenalin.

Monster put those two well away, but at the Fastnet she was only 20 minutes ahead of Teng Tools Kilcullen shortly after noon on Sunday, TTK coming sweetly in from seaward and doing very well in conditions which didn't really suit her at all.

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Teng Tools Kilcullen at the Fastnet 21.5 hours after the start. Photo: Paul O'Flynn

In fact, if you'd set out to design a race which didn't at all suit an Open 60, then the 2014 Round Ireland would be in the top five. An awful lot of light windward work, and gates at every turn. In these conditions, a Volvo 70 is more flexible, but even so on Tuesday as Monster sat stopped off Inishtrahull, TTK was close to the southwest and energetically tacking inshore along the north coast of Donegal against a local easterly, keeping herself well in touch.

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Fine day out west – the Kerry coast with the Blaskets as seen from Liam Shanahan's J/109 Ruth

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Good morning, Ireland. The Scottish Sydney 36 Tanit (Richard Harris) enjoys a summer sunrise on the Atlantic coast, even if they do have to turn to windward. Photo: Roisin Harris

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Even with all June's sunshine, the North Atlantic was distinctly chilly for this swim from the First 40 Arthur Logic

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Downtime on the Sydney 36 Tanit out in the Atlantic. Owner Richard Harris sails under the burgee of the Serpent YC, a Scottish club founded in 1976 for sailing health professionals. Photo: Roisin Harris

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All hands to the lee rail to get a bit of heel on the hefty Swan 57 Bow Waves Racing from Galway as she makes slowly to windward off the Atlantic coast.

The two biggest boats then had an awful lot of hard work tacking through the North Channel, but astern Newstalk was getting into the groove, and by the time Monster was finishing the Farr 60 had seen off the Volvo Ocean 60, and was giving TTK a bad time.

With the new southerly filling in with gusto, the little boats still off the Donegal coast were making hay, with Cavatina coming in round Tory Island well up with the Swan 57 Bow Waves from Galway. Cavatina's crew were having the time of their lives and living well with it – they tweeted the cooking spuds which power the boat, presumably with buckets of Barry's tea. However, until Donegal the talking point had been the impressive game of catch-up being played by Brian O'Sullivan and his Tralee Bay crew in the Oyster 37 E F Collins/Amazing Grace, as they were ninth overall in IRC at one stage, and of course if their protest was upheld post-race, Heaven only knows what compensatory time would be added.

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Grub up! In many years of successful Round Ireland racing, Cavatina's crew have learned the importance of feeding the inner man.

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The brisk new sou'wester brought the Swan 57 Bow Waves Racing sweeping in past Tory Island, but she'd the much-smaller Cavatina in sight astern.

But that spirited performance ended with a bang on Wednesday with a broken mainboom which, together with other problems, led to their withdrawal. However, there were plenty of others to take their place in challenging for the overall lead, with Liam Shanahan and his crew from the National YC in the J/109 Ruth getting themselves firmly ahead of Frank Doyle's A 35 Endgame from Cork, while the attractive Sydney 36 Tanit from Scotland was also very much in the running.

Looking at the fleet overall as they made along the Donegal coast, there were discernible patterns emerging, with boats you'd call the "solid performers" starring on the track chart. These were boats such as Inis Mor, Tanit and Ruth which always seemed to be there or thereabouts, always plugging away and showing a clean pair of heels to the nearest-rated boats, and always well placed such that if local wind and tide conditions favoured them, they were poised to ascend rapidly to the top of the leaderboard.

As for the "sail training" vessels, in the closing stages the Jeanneau Sunfast 37 Desert Star of Irish Offshore Sailing at one stage on Wednesday found herself lying second overall to Cavatina. But with 170 miles still to go, and most of them to windward, it was going to be hard work for a keen multicultural crew of many nationalities to maintain this exalted placing.

It was Thursday morning which was crunch time. Having filled in from the south, there was a brief period in which the wind veered towards the west, and with Monster Project well finished and then Teng Tools Kilcullen, Newstalk for Adrenalin and Libertalia finishing during the night, first light saw the steady and reliable Inis Mor finishing at 04:13:56 to stake a claim which was challenged by boats such as Tanit and Ruth closing up from astern in a now-favourable tide, the tide having been against Inis Mor all the way down from Rockabill except for the last hour or so.

The challenge from a hundred miles away of Cavatina faded for a while with light airs off Belfast Lough and a foul tide in the North Channel. But in the south end of the Irish Sea and through St George's Channel, the sou'west to west breeze was holding enough to have Tanit and Ruth moving theoretically into the top slots ahead of Inis Mor. But then with the tide turning again to run north around 0900 hrs, it was to be nail biting stuff through Thursday morning.

Tanit was in by 10:00:44 hrs on Thursday, leaving the lower-rated Ruth with a mountain to climb, the tide against her and the breeze light. It was excruciating to follow, with her speed down at times to barely a knot over the ground off Greystones, and the lovely Wicklow coastline just crawling past at snail's pace. Meanwhile, far astern Cavatina was back in business with just 80 miles to sail, and a local breeze giving her better than 5 knots on the clock.

Meanwhile by 1300hrs Ruth had just 5 miles to go, and speed slowly building as the wind was generating around big clouds over Dublin.

But by just after 2pm Thursday it was clear Tanit had pipped Ruth for the clubhouse lead. Ruth had looked all set to be the leader until a cruel combination of decreasing wind and increasing adverse tide held her up within sight of the Wicklow finish. Tanit,  safely in the club, knew that any setback to Ruth's progress would establish them as the target boat for the rest of the fleet. Wicklow Sailing Club could not formally announce the winner until much later on Friday as the last of the boatts finished but it was clear not even Cavatina who had until 2am on Friday could match the time of the Scottish Sydney 36.

They and all the other competitors will have this weekend to decompress and try to explain to family, friends and workmates just what this crazy Round Ireland Race thing is all about. But it isn't until the great prize giving dinner in Wicklow in the Autumn that they can all really tell the stories that just have to be told, and tell them to people who will really understand.

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – Round Ireland races have many twists and turns before a winner can be declared and this one is living up to this reputation. Earlier this morning it looked like Ruth was going to romp home in a decent breeze to victory. The wind and tide had other ideas and now Ruth is looking at the finish line, but from the course side, not from the comfort of the Wicklow Sailing Club Bar.

It looks like Ruth could well be denied the overall wind by the combination of light winds and a foul tide as she languishes off Kilcoole, just 7 miles from the finish. If the breeze doesn’t pick up, Tanit, the clubhouse leader, will be looking pretty, unless, and there is always a caveat, a freshening and veering breeze sweeps the smaller boats down the Irish Sea. This would put long time on the water leader Cavatina back into the mix.

There is a slight hope for Ruth – the flood tide is easing off and there is a small increase in the breeze. If she can average 6 knots and get to Wicklow by 13:53. Tight, but possible.

Next report in an hour. 

 

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – In a dramatic change of fortune for the long time Round Ireland Race favourite Cavatina, Liam Shanhan's Ruth, a J/109 class yacht from the National Yacht Club, has taken over as the main contender for the overall prize in this year's Round Ireland race. Cavatina, along with many of the lower rated yachts has sailed in to a calm patch off Belfast Lough and as a result has lost any benefit gained from a favourable tide in the North Channel.  With only 45 miles to go at 4am, the forecast suggests that Ruth will enjoy a fairly steady breeze of medium strength for the final fetch to the finish, while those astern will encounter less favourable winds in the last stretch down the Irish Sea.  

The effect on Afloat's race predictor is remarkable. None of the lower rated boats feature in the latest prediction, as the 16 knots that Ruth is experiencing now appears to diminish in her wake, effectively creating a block behind her that will hinder the chasing boats. This will favour those boats ahead of Ruth that have finished or will finish before 10am.  

So now the final Round Ireland 2014 result might look something like this:

1. Ruth
2. Tanit
3 Inis Mor
4. Fujitsu
5 Phosphorous
6 Arwen

Afloat hesitates to predict beyond this - there may be some surprises left in this race yet.

Click this link for all our RoundIreland2014 coverage

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – Once again the smaller boats in the Round Ireland race are benefitting from the variations in weather along our coastline and those positioned on the north Donegal coast are enjoying a wild ride in near gale conditions.  Too wild for some as the comeback kid Eugene F Collins/Amazing Grace has suffered her second setback, this time race-ending as a broken boom has forced her retiral.  For those who can hang on until past Inishtrahull, the most northerly point of the race, there is lighter wind ahead but, as yet, not so light that it will spoil their chances of an overall IRC win.

Up ahead, as is so often the case, the leaders are facing a ‘noser’ all the way to Wicklow and while Monster project will take line honours at about six o’clock this evening, the real battle is back up off the north coast amongst the lower rated yachts.  Cavatina currently holds the advantage with Ruth in 2nd place, but Ruth has a foul tide at Rathlin, while Cavatina looks set to arrive in time to catch the new flood.

Still a long way to go and some lighter winds ahead.  Inis Mor, currently just east of Strangford Lough, will become the boat to beat when she arrives in Wicklow sometime after midnight, but the extra distance incurred from tacking down the Irish Sea will mean her lead will only be temporary, probably overtaken by Tanit when she arrives close to daybreak. 

The big question then is will Tanit be able to hold off the chasing pack?

Afloat’s updated Round Ireland 2014 prediction:

1 Cavatina
2 Tanit
3 Big Deal
4 Ruth
5 Polished Manx
6 IOS - Desert Star
7 Inis Mor
8 Endgame
9 McGregor IV
10 Dreamcatcher

Click this link for all Afloat's RoundIreland2014 coverage

 

   

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – Amazing Grace, the comeback kids of Round Ireland 2014, have retired following a broken boom sustained this morning off the County Donegal Coast. The 2013 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Champions under County Kerry skipper Brian O'Sullivan had climbed back as high ninth on handicap after a six hour delay in starting the race from Wicklow last Saturday.

The Oyster 37 sponsored by Eugene F Collins Soliciors had to pull back into Wicklow for repairs after a starting line collision only seconds into the 700–mile race. After effecting a fibreglass repair to the transom of Amazing Grace the crew rejoined the race in little wind and an adverse tide, some hours later.

The Tralee Bay Sailing Club entry made impressive gains on the 35–boat fleet as the race restarted in light winds off the South and West Coasts.

Reports from onboard say all crew are safe and well and the boat is heading for harbour in Donegal. 

Click this link for all Afloat's RoundIreland2014 coverage

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland14 – The 2014 Round Ireland Race is approaching endgame as Monster Project enters the North Channel with less than 150 miles to go.  Half a country away to the west, the prospect of an increasing and following breeze overnight must be a welcome relief to the crews of those boats that have been looking at the Mullet peninsula for the best part of twelve hours. The forecast suggests that, once again, the big boys will be severely disadvantaged by the repeating meteorological pattern of a wind dying from ahead and filling in from behind.  So while the large vessels encounter head winds of not much more than 10 knots, the IRC 3 and IRC 4 yachts will enjoy 15 knots plus of following breeze.

The boats are now generally following the rhumb line so it’s all about squeezing every bit of boat speed out of sail and boat trim, giving the tacticians a much needed brain rest.

Predicting the overall result at this stage is akin to sticking a pin in the entry list, but Afloat has developed a very sophisticated algorithm over the years that has indicated the boats that are likely to be in the mix on corrected time at the finish.

Currently, our top ten looks like this:

1. Cavatina
2. Polished Manx
3. Big Deal (Sponsored by Union Chandlery)
4. Eugene F Collins/Amazing Grace
5. Tanit
6. Ocean Tango
7. IOS Desert Star
8. Dreamcatcher
9. McGregor IV
10. Ruth

With many miles to go, this list will be much refined before the winner emerges and much will depend on the positioning at the tidal gates of the North Channel.

Click this link for all Afloat's RoundIreland2014 coverage

Published in Round Ireland

It is rare enough that the west coast portion of the Round Ireland Race becomes an uphill slog but this year’s race seems set to be unusual in more ways than one.  As naviticians, or should that be tactigators, are forced to abandon the rhumb line, they face numerous decisions based on relatively unpredictable factors.  The light and variable winds pose particular problems – stronger inshore or offshore?, heading or lifting?, when will it shift/increase? and where should we position the boat to benefit most?  In doing so, can we ignore our rivals?  Is it best to stick with the pack?  What will the tide effect at the headlands be?  

At the very front, Monster Project’s course is more dictated by tactics then by navigation as she covers 2nd placed Teng Tools Kilcullen as they beat into Donegal Bay.  It is to be hoped that this pre-occupation with each other will keep their minds off the falling winds ahead that look like making the north coast a very challenging phase.

Back down off Achill, News Talk for Adrenalin has been crossing tacks with Libertalis, not far ahead of 2012 winner Inis Mor, currently the best placed IRC boat of the high raters.

The two Class 40s, May Contain Nuts and Arwen, might as well be racing one–design, although Arwen has a modest rating advantage. Neither are currently challenging the overall lead.

Inshore just past Slyne Head, the Sydney 40 Tanit is perhaps the best placed yacht to benefit from any positive change in weather that reaches the front of the fleet first.  Tanit is lying 6th overall at the time of writing. 

The podium battle is just a little further back and it is the two time course and distance winner Granada 38 Cavatina that continues to maintain the lead from Sigma 33 Polished Manx and J109 Ruth.

In the two-handed class, Dehler 34 Big Deal leads from Muskox.

The two Irish Offshore School Sunfast 37s Desert Star and Sherkin are putting in a very creditable performance, currently in 7th and 8th position.

While there is significant wind coming later in the week, it will probably be too late to have any major impact, and it could well be late on Thursday before a winner can be declared.

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – The leading yacht in the Round Ireland Yacht Race has just reached the halfway point and the fleet is now experiencing a modest east to southeast breeze. As has been the trend in this slow race, the larger yachts will encounter lighter winds while the main fleet carries the pressure up to them, effectively resetting the clock back to zero, reducing the race length and favouring the lower rated boats.

At the head of the fleet, the Volvo 70 Monster Project has opened up a 12 mile lead over Teng Tools Kilcullen, equivalent to a projected 2 hour advantage at the finish, although it will only be a class win and not an overall victory. 

Back at the Blaskets, Cavatina maintains her overall lead, some two corrected hours ahead of Dillon father and son sailing two-handed on Big Deal, and just ahead of Liam Shanahan’s Ruth who seems to be winning the battle of the J-boats.

Joe McDonald’s News talk for Adrenalin is comfortably ahead of Libertalia in IRC Z, while 2012 winner Inismor leads IRC 1. The Harris/Riggs Sydney 36 Tanit is ahead in IRC 2, J109s Ruth and Mojito(Dunlop/Cox) top IRC 3, while Cavatina leads in IRC 4,5 and 6. 

The fleet can expect lighter, heading winds as it makes for the Galway and Mayo coasts, once again favouring the lower rated boats. 

Midnight Tuesday is probably the very earliest that the leaders will finish, more likely later in the morning, with the IRC winners coming in some 24 hours later.

Selected 'Tweets' from the race course below: 

Published in Round Ireland
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