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Tide Turns for Fastnet 450 Fleet as Nieulargo Leads & Humdinger Lives Up to Her Name

22nd August 2020
Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race Credit: Afloat

Day One 1830 - As the onset of the adverse flood tide approaches with the leaders sluicing south past Cahore Point with the last of the ebb and more than 50 miles of the Fastnet 450 course already sailed, an underlying pattern is in evidence, with boats offshore experiencing a more westerly wind, while those closing the shore have found more sou'west in it as it tries to blows along the line of the beach, with five of them tacking.

The smaller slower boats have been tending more towards this tacking option, as the prospect of a weaker foul tide close along the Wexford beach, and being nearest the hoped-for onset of a forecast veering, is an attractive possibility. Nevertheless, the star of the lower-rated fleet, John Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow, has been continuing to blast south well offshore, and in a significantly stronger tidal stream and wind with more west in it, has got herself back ahead of sister ship Desert Star (Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore Sailing). The Star was in front for a while, but is now inshore on the tacking strategy.

Desert Star - Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore SailingDesert Star (Ronan O'Siochru, Irish Offshore Sailing)

Thus at time of writing (1830hrs), Humdinger's crew are having the time of their lives, leading both IRC 2 and ECHO 2, and in a close third overall in the entire fleet on IRC, with only Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) and Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy) ahead.

John Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from ArklowJohn Conlon's Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow

Nieulargo meanwhile is continuing the line honours battle with Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia, while the cheeky little Cinnamon Girl with Mono Mansfield aboard and the bit between his teeth continues to keep bigger sisters Hot Cookie and YOYO at bay.

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

As for the pride of Foynes, Derek and Conor Dillon's Deher 34 Big Deal which rivalled Cinnamon Girl in the precision of her start, she's in a ding dong with another little 'un. The First 31.7 More Mischief, but as we write the other small boat, the A 31 A Plus ((Grant Kinsman) appears to have pulled out, and looks to be heading for Arklow. This leaves us with 17 boats racing, as Andante was unable to leave Kilmore Quay to get to the start because of Storm Ellen, while the northern entry, the X38 eXcession, managed to batter her way south through the tail end of Ellen to Dun Laoghaire, but was unable to go any further.

Derek and Conor Dillon's Dehler 34 Big Deal clears the Muglins on Dublin BayDerek and Conor Dillon's Dehler 34 Big Deal clears the Muglins on Dublin Bay


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 Race 2022

The second edition of this 260-nautical mile race starts from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay on July 1st 2022 goes via the Fastnet Rock and finishes in Cork Harbour.

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