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Interesting Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race is Now Utterly Fascinating

13th June 2019
Now how on earth did they do that? Noel Butler helms the J/109 Outrajeous through the light spots after passing the Fastnet Rock while skipper Johnny Murphy ponders his options on how to get back into battle with the Shanahan family, who have just made a swift move to get ahead with sister-ship Ruth. Now how on earth did they do that? Noel Butler helms the J/109 Outrajeous through the light spots after passing the Fastnet Rock while skipper Johnny Murphy ponders his options on how to get back into battle with the Shanahan family, who have just made a swift move to get ahead with sister-ship Ruth.

Day #2 10 pm – The Line Honours winner, the 94ft Windfall (Mick Cotter) may be finished with a new course record established, but for many boats you get the impression that the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is only just becoming serious writes W M Nixon.

Even with the drag race in a reaching northerly for much of the south coast, it was an interesting bit of fleet sailing to monitor. But now that the bulk of the boats are beating to windward from the Fastnet Rock towards the finish, it has become utterly fascinating with a massive fleet compression and former leaders demoted by a place or three.

For some boats, the longer it goes on, the better they seem to get. Conor Doyle’s Xp50 Freya may have had a very disagreeable experience with fishing gear off Ireland’s southeast corner, but since then she’s been into the groove with increasing confidence, and has been turning to windward along the West Cork and Kerry coasts in such a convincing style that she may well pip Andrew Hall’s J/125 Jackknife to take second place on the water.

FREYA X Yacht Conor doyle 1980Full Concentration on Conor Doyle's X Yacht, Freya Photo: Afloat

Two other boats which seem to have found unexpected reserves of extra speed are the Shanahan family on the J/109 Ruth from the NYC, and Rupert Barry’s JOD 35 Red Alert from Greystones, with sailmaker Shane Hughes on the strength.

Red alert D2D Race start 2985Rupert Barry’s JOD 35 Red Alert from Greystones

Admittedly with the unstable wind full of holes, some crews have had the exasperation of sitting almost becalmed while another boat within a mile appears to find a private line of breeze, and seemingly within minutes there she is – gone……

Nevertheless, the showing by Ruth has been extra impressive, She was always there or thereabouts, but Johnny Murphy with Outrajeous seemed to keep the rest of the J/109s under control astern. But from the Old Head of Kinsale westward, Ruth provided an increasing challenge, and at the Fastnet itself she swept past, such that as of 2200 hrs she was ahead of Outrajeous by an entire mile, and top of the leaderboard in IRC as she put Mizen Head astern at 6.5 knots.

"Nevertheless, the showing by Ruth has been extra impressive"

Tonight and tomorrow looks like being another period of lovely soothing rain in best June 2019 style, and Kerry will get its fair share and more, so the winds could go anywhere. But the final result is wide open as first one part of the fleet, and then another, finds a brief period of extra-favourable conditions.

Ruth Shanahan family 2671The 2015 D2D champion, Ruth (Shanahan family) is back at the top of the leaderboard Photo: Afloat

We’ll try to make sense of it in the morning, and then do further analysis in Sailing on Saturday on June 15th.

 Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

Tracker & Leaderboard here:

Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Live Tracker 2021

Track the progress of the 2021 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Yacht Race fleet on the live tracker above 

The 14th edition of the 280-mile race organised by the National Yacht Club starts at 2 pm on Wednesday, June 9th on Dublin Bay.

  • Read the full 2021 race preview by WM Nixon here
  • Read all the D2D Race News in one handy link here

WM Nixon will be posting regular race updates and analysis throughout the 2021 race

WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Yacht Race Information

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 in County Kerry.

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 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 also two-handed.

D2D Course change overruled

In 2019, the organisers considered changing the course to allow boats to select routes close to shore by removing the requirement to go outside Islands and Lighthouses en route, but following input from regular participants, the National Yacht Club decided to stick with the tried and tested course route in order to be fair to large and smaller boats and to keep race records intact.

RORC Points Calendar

The 2019 race was the first edition to form part of the Royal Ocean Racing Club “RORC” calendar for the season. This is in addition to the race continuing as part of the ISORA programme. 

D2D Course record time

Mick Cotter’s 78ft Whisper established the 1 day and 48 minutes course record for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race in 2009 and that time stood until 2019 when Cotter returned to beat his own record but only just, the Dun Laoghaire helmsman crossing the line in Kerry to shave just 20 seconds off his 2009 time.

Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race 2021

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

This will be a limited entry event.

Previous entrants will be offered early entry options and then the entry will be opened to others to allow up to a maximum of 50 yachts.

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