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The Fortunes of the Two Northern Ireland Yachts in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race

12th June 2021
Excession was one of two Northern Ireland yachts in the 2021 Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race
Excession was one of two Northern Ireland yachts in the 2021 Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Credit: Afloat

"Brutal" said the Harrington, O'Tiarnaigh, Mulholland trio in the IMX 38,eXcession, after the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race; "fantastic – a great collective learning curve," said Shaun Douglas in the First 40.7 Game Changer.

eXcession had an excruciatingly long passage from Belfast Lough to Dun Laoghaire and it left the crew with not much time for race preparation. Further hassle after the Tuskar because of a faulty charger meant no AIS, so a jury-rigged supply (and a handy electrician) got them through that.

After the beat to the Tuskar and yet another along the south coast in a short steep chop, it was a relief to turn the corner at the Fastnet, which John said they too couldn't see for the fog and hanging cloud. He added, "The big rolling Atlantic seas were much more consistent and easier to cope with". On the wind to Great Skellig, they hoisted the Code Zero and heading into Dingle, changed it for the A2 Asymmetric in the lighter breeze. "We had a great time; a great boat and we're delighted to be in Dingle".

The eXcession crew celebrate their arrival in DingleThe eXcession crew celebrate their arrival in Dingle

The trio are pleased to take fourth place prize in the Dingle Crystal Trophy in the IRC 2 division.

The three eXcession owners as signed on the deck of their IMX 38

Game Changer

Game Changer finished in eighth place overallGame Changer finished in eighth place overall

Game Changer put in a commendable performance, finishing in eighth place overall. The beat to the Tusker then another to the Fastnet, which Shaun says they couldn't even see in the bad visibility, despite hearing the waves crashing on the rock. After that they were able to crack off 20deg for Mizen Head. Having rounded Great Skellig, it was a 22-mile crawl in light winds to Dingle.

Some of the Gamechanger crewSome of the Game Changer crew

The crew were John and son Connor Simms, Colin and son Josh Coffey, and Michael Ennis. "The young lads" Shaun said, "have learned a lot and are keen to do more offshore passage races." At the time of writing a provisional eighth place overall is a very satisfactory result for Douglas and his crew.

As published earlier in a protest committee decision gave line honours winner Freya (Conor Doyle of Kinsale) joint second overall after redress with defending champion Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

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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