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Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race Fleet Make Good Progress on Track on South coast

10th June 2021
Pete Smyh's new Sunfast 3600 Searcher is lying second in IRC overall on day two of the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race
Pete Smyh's new Sunfast 3600 Searcher is lying second in IRC overall on day two of the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race

Day #2 0930: The “Dash to Dingle” began to live up to its name with renewed enthusiasm through the brief summer night, as the tide turned in the fleet’s favour approaching the Tuskar, and the breeze sharpened with enough south in it to enable them to lay the course round the corner clear outside the many hazards in the Saltee Islands area. 

The Grand Soleil 44 Nieulargo (Murphy family of Royal Cork) continues to lead the 2021 Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race on Day Two The Grand Soleil 44 Nieulargo (Murphy family of Royal Cork) continues to lead the 2021 Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race on Day Two Photo: Michael Chester

Conor Doyle’s Xp50 Freya from Kinsale, having been delayed to rescue a kitesurfer blown offshore south of Arklow, has been very much back on the pace at the front of the fleet, and she was past the Tuskar at 0100hrs this morning making better than 8 knots – sometimes quite a good bit better – to confirm her line honours position.

However, not so very far astern the leading group on corrected time – which has usually included the defending champion Paul O'Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC) in addition to other steady performers of the calibre of the Murphy family’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (RCYC), Pete Smyth’s Sun Fast 3600 Searcher (NYC), Chis and Patanne Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) and Bob Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (HYC) - have never been too far astern, and all are now well into clear water far at sea, and west of Hook Head, with Freya piling on the knots to such good effect she’s south of Dungarvan.

 Artful Dodjer leads Indian in IRC2 division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race    Artful Dodjer leads Indian in IRC2 division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race  

It’s drag racing by comparison with the struggle of getting down the east coast of County Wexford through yesterday evening and early night against flukey winds and strong flood tide. Off Arklow, Nieulargo and the slightly higher-rated Rockabill VI became glued together and match-raced all the way to the Tuskar, which they passed – still joined at the hip – at 0250hrs, with the even higher-rated Searcher crossing just in front of them on port tack to put the Pete Smyth-skippered Sun Fast 3600 into second slot on CT, between the leader Nieulargo and Rockabill VI

Other leaders who’d had their moments of glory were either there or thereabouts, including Aurelia who some hours earlier been briefly in the line honours slot through being in a better breeze slightly offshore while the bulk of the leading group struggled with very little wind close inhore on the North Wexford Coast.

Although they’re currently laying the course, today’s forecasts suggest the brisk sou’sou’west breeze will gradually veer to head them. And in any case, there’s something about the alignment of Ireand’s south coast which means that any breeze between south and west always eventually seems to settle in as the day goes on as a sou’wester – precisely on the nose for anyone making from the Coningbeg for the Fastnet.

It’s a scenario which favours those at the front of the fleet, as they’ll make the most distance in a leading wind, and they’ll also have less distance to sail along the coast of Kerry to the finish as the breeze then lightens as expected as Friday approaches.

Day 2 of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race sees the fleet spread from the Hook to the Tuskar.  Now reduced slightly by the retirals of Prima Forte, Suaimhneas and Cambrinus.At 6 am on day 2 of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race sees the fleet spread from the Hook to the Tuskar.  Now reduced slightly by the retirals of Prima Forte, Suaimhneas and Cambrinus.

Meanwhile it’s bumpy enough out there, with every mile well-earned. Freya is clear as on-the-water leader, but not by enough to save her time on overall and Class I leader Nieulargo which has 50 minutes in hand on Searcher with Rockabill VI third 34 minutes later.

The J boats dominate Class 2, with Finbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful Dodjer from Kinsale now ahead Andrew Algeo’s J/99 Juggerknot II (RIYC) by 27 minutes, while Simon Knowles’ J/109 Indian from Howth is 21 minutes further back.

Double-handed Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale is up to sixth overall in the IRC division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle RaceDouble-handed Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale is up to sixth overall in the IRC division of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race

In Class 3 the lead has now been taken by Paul & Deirdre Tingle‘s X34 Alpaca from Crosshaven, with Irish Offshore Sailing’s Sunfast 37 Desert Star (Ronan O Siochru & Conor Totterdell) second, while Kinsale’s Sun Fast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt) has stayed well ahead in the Two-Handed Division, giving some fully-crewed boat a hard time while she’s at it.

Update 4 will be posted early afternoon.

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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