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Kinsale’s Freya is Past the Fastnet & Accelerating Towards Dingle

10th June 2021
Newly into the podium positions is John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie from the National YC
Newly into the podium positions is John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie from the National YC

Day #2 2230 - Conor Doyle's Xp50 Freya was leading the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle fleet at the Fastnet Rock at 2147hrs tonight (Thursday), and then with slightly eased sheets eased was starting to make more serious knots – 9 knots and rising - to see off the remaining sixty miles to the D2D finish at Dingle.

Being the first of the fleet to get into faster sailing mode after a day of windward work gives her a brief advantage, and for now shows her as second on estimated finish. But unless the wind evaporates for the group of six boats following in a relatively tight-packed group, her advantage will be short-lived. That said, the post-finish working out of the redress she’s owed for time out to save a drifting kite-surfer near Arklow will provide some interesting research.

Conor Doyle's Xp50 FreyaConor Doyle's Xp50 Freya

All the leaders may have to face a new twist to the wind tomorrow with an easing and veering to a northwest direction a possibility. But as today’s southwester has already lasted for several hours longer than forecast, it may be that all the leading group gets to the finish with a fair wind from the Fastnet.

Chris & Patanne Power Smith's J/122 AureliaChris & Patanne Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia

While Chris & Patanne Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) is now second on the water with George Sisk’s Xp44 WOW third, the exceptional performance by the Murphy family’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo has been maintained to such good effect that she may even pass the legendary rock ahead of her larger new sister, Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom.

Newly into the podium positions is John O’Gorman’s Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie from the National YC. Her crew includes the formidable talents of Mark Mansfield, and with some other crews showing signs of exhaustion, it seems that the hyper-tough Mansfield is finding fresh reserves of energy to bring the O’Gorman boat up into more immediate contention with the newer sister-ship, Pete Smyth’s Searcher (National YC), where the already impressive talents of the Smyth brothers Pete and Nick have been augmented by Maurice “Prof” O’Connell and a suit of his very newest North Sails.

George Sisk’s Xp44 WOWGeorge Sisk’s Xp44 WOW Photo: Michael Chester

Defending champion Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins) has always been there or thereabouts with the leaders, and currently lies fifth overall on CT, but this puts her almost exactly an hour-and-a-half adrift on the extraordinary Nieulargo, with the two Sunfast 3600s between them.

Overall, it may look fairly straightforward from here to the finish. But as much of it is being sailed off the coast of Kerry, absolutely nothing – but nothing - will be quite as it seems.

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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