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Two Belfast Lough Yachts Competing for the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Top Prize

8th June 2021
The IMX 38 eXcession, under the triple ownership of John Harrington, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh and Jonathan Mullholland
The IMX 38 eXcession, under the triple ownership of John Harrington, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh and Jonathan Mullholland

The National Yacht Club's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race which starts on Wednesday, 9th June should go some way this season to compensating two Belfast Lough boats for the cancellation of the Bangor Town Regatta.

The IMX 38 eXcession, under the triple ownership of John Harrington, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh and Jonathan Mullholland, representing Royal Ulster, Ballyholme and Sutton Dinghy Club will start in the IRC Racing division.

Shaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7 is entered under Ballyholme YC and Cockle Island BC. It is probably the first time the small Groomsport based club (CIBC) has had a representative in such a prestigious race. She will join eXcession in the IRC Racing division.

eXcession last raced in Dublin Bay in 2020 when she became the first Northern Ireland yacht to compete in ISORA racing in many years. So enthusiastic were the crew that after a fast turnaround they headed back North to race in Belfast Lough on the Sunday. No doubt the trio will be hoping to better the third in ISORA's IRC Class One last year.

John will deliver eXcession with Jonathan Mulholland, and Lough Neagh Sailing Club's Jim Tennyson and the return from Dingle will be skippered by David and Laura Anderson of Ballyholme, giving some of the less experienced crew some sea miles with hops along the South Coast.

For the big race, the crew will be John Harrington – Helm, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh - Skipper/helm, Ken Sharp - pit man and keyboards, John O'Connor – mastman, Jim Tennyson – trimmer, Stuart Ogg – foredeck, Robson Ogg – foredeck, Greg Bell – trimmer, Stephen Boyle - main sheet trimmer, John Bourke - trimmer/helm and Charlotte O'Tiarnaigh – trimmer.

After this event, John looks forward to the Strangford Narrows Series and then ISORA races out of Dublin. John and his crew are excited about the race to Dingle; "The crew are very much looking forward the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race. Adam Winkelmann and Olivier Prouveur and the National Yacht Club have done sterling work steering the event and the preparations through the challenges of Covid.  We feel very privileged to be able to enjoy our sport during this difficult time and we greatly appreciate the work of the officers, volunteers and fellow competitors that make it possible."

The other Northern yacht is Shaun Douglas's First 40.7 from Ballyholme and Cockle Island which has Michael Ennis of Strangford Lough YC and Colin Coffey from Belfast Lough as the movers and shakers. He says "I am keen to put something back into sailing so on the team for d2d are two
young lads in their early twenties – both Jody Thallon and Josh Coffey will learn a lot on this race".

Game Changer - a good show in Royal Ulster's inaugural race to Portaferry on Strangford Lough earlier this seasonGame Changer - a good show in Royal Ulster's inaugural race to Portaferry on Strangford Lough earlier this season

Shaun bought Game Changer less than a year ago; "When I was looking for a boat, this was the type of event I had in mind. So after this, we will race in the Round the Isle of Man event, West Highland Week, then the Irish Cruising Racing Association National Championships in early September". But before all that Shaun plans to have Game Changer back in Bangor for Royal Ulster's Ailsa Craig race at the end of June.

GameChanger is in good form having put up a good show in Royal Ulster's inaugural race to Portaferry on Strangford Lough when Douglas topped the IRC fleet.

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

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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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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