Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee make their double-handed debut for Ireland at the Drheam Cup on Sunday and joining them on the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet start line are County Meath and French combination Tom Dolan and Mini Transat Winner François Jambou in what is the first major multi-class race on the French coast this season.
The 400-mile race mirrors some of what is likely to be part of September’s pinnacle event the La Solitaire du Figaro offshore in which Rumball and Dolan have their sights on.
Both Rumball and Dolan will be looking for a performance boost after both Irish solo sailors posted mixed results in the Solo Maitre Coq last month.
It will be the first time the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet has been invited to race in this 100-plus boat event which has become a multi-class French offshore Grand Prix, set to feature the Ultime and IMOCA fleets too.
The course starts from Cherbourg Cotentin and finishes in Lorient and first takes the fleet across the Channel to the West Shambles mark off Weymouth, westwards along the English coast to Wolf Rock off Land’s End and then back across the entrance to the Channel to finish at Lorient.
"We’ve had a bit of time off now with the boat in the shed getting antifouled and we had a chance to get the rig out ahead of the Drheam Cup. This we will do doublehanded, in line with the main aim of the programme" says Rumball who gives a nod to their Paris 2024 Olympic bid.
Dolan admits he did not do well on the Maitre CoQ. "That was disappointing so I am really looking forward to putting that behind me and sailing with Francois. We have been good mates for many years together and started a little business teaching and coaching people on the Mini, so we know each other well.” Dolan emphasises, “Our skills are complementary, we work well together. He has shown he can win races and so it will be good to have some fresh ideas and to be able to support each other. A second opinion is what you lack racing solo and so it will be nice to have that this time.”
The Drheam 2020 programme
- Thursday 16 July: Arrival of boats in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
- Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July: Technical and safety checks
- Sunday 19 July: DRHEAM-CUP start
- From Tuesday 21 July: arrival of boats in La Trinité-sur-Mer