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Cinnamon Girl Leads Fastnet 450 Fleet After Fast Start From Dublin Bay

22nd August 2020
Cian McCarthy's Cinamonn Girl from Kinsale is front row after the 1pm start today of the Fastnet 450 Race on Dublin Bay Cian McCarthy's Cinamonn Girl from Kinsale is front row after the 1pm start today of the Fastnet 450 Race on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

A brisk sou'wester provided a fast reaching start for the 266-mile Fastnet 450 Race at 1300 hrs today in Dublin Bay, with Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC), John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (NYC) and Robert Rendell's X45 Samatom (HYC) seeming to get the best of it at the weather end of the line. But top contenders such as Cian McCarthy's new Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale and Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (RCYC) out towards the pin were more interested in keeping their wind clear in order to shape their course at max speed towards the Muglins and the stronger south-going tide beyond.

Those who held to weather found a flat gap off Killiney, while Mark Mansfield's presence on Cinnamon Girl manifesting itself in a pesky persistence in being in the lead every which way, while another notable performance was being put in by John Conlon's now-vintage Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow, which was right in there going like a train and showing her transom to boats who should have been clear ahead.

Eventually, the Killiney Delayeds got themselves going again, and heading on south far enough off Bray Head to avoid any wind shadow. Aurelia began to show just in front of Nieulargo, but Cinnamon Girl was clearly being sailed by men possessed, as she stayed doggedly ahead of big sister Hot Cookie with The Prof himself on board.

It's always a mistake to assume an offshore breeze down the Wicklow and Wexford coasts turns it into a straightforward drag race. Even when the gradient wind has power to it, unexpected gaps always appear, and this afternoon were are twists and turns with rain about.

IRC leader Cinnamon Girl works her way along the Wicklow coast in the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race from Dublin to Cork Photo: Roger BatemanIRC leader Cinnamon Girl works her way along the Wicklow coast in the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race from Dublin to Cork Photo: Roger Bateman

But eventually, it's going to veer and ease, and in the demanding business of covering ground against the late evening's new north-going flood tide, smaller craft may find themselves having to resort to all sort of tide-dodging channels with bewildering names through the Wexford Banks, while the leaders find that as they close in on the corner at the Tuskar, those enigmatic sandbanks get placed by a profusion of non-nonsense rocks.

Signing this off after two hours of racing, with next thing on the agenda a thoughtful passing of Wicklow on the very day they'd hoped to have their last chance of staging the Round Ireland Race, we have Aurelia, Hot Cookie, Cinnamon Girl and Samatom more or less in line abreast across a mile of sea with 250 miles still to race, Nieulargo is right on their tail, and in the next less even line abreast just over a mile astern, we find Aquelina, Indian, and Juggerknot 2 with Humdinger out to sea half a mile away, going like a train and giving the newer boats a tough time – there'll be pensioners dancing in the streets of Arklow, even if it does contravene COVID guidance for the elderly.


Published in Fastnet 450 Race

K2Q - 260 mile course

K2Q - 160 mile course

'K2Q' Dun Laoghaire to Cork Race Live Tracker 2022

Track the progress of both the 160 mile and 260 mile K2Q Race fleet on the live trackers above and see all Afloat's K2Q Race coverage in one handy link here

The K2Q will consist of two combined events:

The primary race for the "The Breffni McGovern cup" will be approximately 260 miles, starting in Dun Laoghaire, passing through a virtual gate at the Cork Buoy, rounding the Fastnet Rock and finishing at Roches Point.

The "restricted" race for a still-to-be-announced trophy will start with the primary fleet in Dun Laoghaire but finish at the same virtual finish gate at Cork Buoy – approximately 150 miles.

All boats starting will be included in the "restricted" race. Boats passing through the finish gate at Cork Buoy and continuing to round the Fastnet and finish at Roches Point would also qualify for the primary K2Q event. Yachts can only win prizes in one of the events.

The race for the ISORA points will be the primary race – 260 miles. 

The plan is for both 'K2Q races' to finish at the old RCYC clubhouse on the Cobh seafront.

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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The Kingstown to Queenstown Yacht Race or 'K2Q', previously the Fastnet 450

The Organising Authority ("OA") are ISORA & SCORA in association with The National Yacht Club & The Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Kingstown to Queenstown Race (K2Q Race) is a 260-mile offshore race that will start in Dun Laoghaire (formerly Kingstown), around the famous Fastnet Rock and finish in Cork Harbour at Cobh (formerly Queenstown).

The  K2Q race follows from the successful inaugural 'Fastnet 450 Race' that ran in 2020 when Ireland was in the middle of the COVID Pandemic. It was run by the National Yacht Club, and the Royal cork Yacht Club were both celebrating significant anniversaries. The clubs combined forces to mark the 150th anniversary of the National Yacht Club and the 300th (Tricentenary) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Of course, this race has some deeper roots. In 1860 the first-ever ocean yacht race on Irish Waters was held from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to Queenstown (now Cobh).

It is reported that the winner of the race was paid a prize of £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, and had sixteen boats racing.

In 2022, the winning boat will be awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.

The 2022 race will differ from the original course because it will be via the Fastnet Rock, so it is a c. 260m race, a race distance approved by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club as an AZAB qualifier. 

A link to an Afloat article written by WM Nixon for some history on this original race is here.

The aim is to develop the race similarly to the Dun Laoghaire–Dingle Race that runs in alternate years. 

Fastnet 450 in 2020

The South Coast of Ireland Racing Association, in association with the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork, staged the first edition of this race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour via the Fastnet Rock on August 22nd 2020.

The IRC race started in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, August 22nd 2020. It passed the Muglin, Tuscar, Conningbeg and Fastnet Lighthouses to Starboard before returning to Cork Harbour and passing the Cork Buoy to Port, finishing when Roches's Point bears due East. The course was specifically designed to be of sufficient length to qualify skippers and crew for the RORC Fastnet Race 2021.

At A Glance – K2Q (Kingstown to Queenstown) Race 2024

The third edition of this 260-nautical mile race starts from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay on July 12th 2024 finishes in Cork Harbour.

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