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Tally-ho! Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Yacht Race Fleet Gallop on Westward Through Cork Fog

10th June 2021
Defending Dun Laoghaire to Dingle champion Rockabill VI is currently lying third in the 2021 edition
Defending Dun Laoghaire to Dingle champion Rockabill VI is currently lying third in the 2021 edition Credit: Afloat

Day #2 1330: “Neither fog nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds….”.

Okay, so we’ve substituted fog for snow in a misappropriation of the US Mail’s gallant motto in our celebration of the onward progress of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle fleet along the south coast today. But when you find you’re racing at full chat through banks of sea fog off the shores of Cork, with visibility reduced to 300 metres or less, any inspirational quotation is a help.

This is so even if the original came from some poetry rejoicing in the achievements of the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire, whose descendants today in modern Iran aren’t quite the flavour of the month in western democratic circles. But whereas in ancient times it was common for ships to get lost in a fog - the Irish Rover out of Cork (where else?) being a prime example - modern electronics mean you press on regardless with a fairly accurate idea of where you are, sustained by the hope that radar will show other boats at risk of collision.

Visibility is improving as the day makes on, but the wind is veering and freshening, possibly to the point where its power is a hindrance rather than a help. Fleet leader Freya (Xp50 Conor Doyle KYC) has passed the entrance to Cork Harbour, but misses out on the hopes of getting past the Old Head of Kinsale without tacking, as the veering re-shaped her course in towards the entrance to Kinsale.

Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (HYC)Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (HYC) Photo: Michael Chester

Around ten miles astern, the group led by Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (HYC) is also significantly headed, but the Murphy family on overall leader Nieulargo were located in such a way that this wind shift has left them even better placed, and they’re looking good as usual – as SCORA Commodore Darragh Connolly puts it, “on Nieulargo, the only thing they know is fast”.

It’s all in detail in the Tracker Chart – the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2021 may have seen little change in relative positions for the last twelve hours, but there’s a lot of racing to be done yet.

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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