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'Rosslare' Blessed in Dun Laoghaire and Bound for Wicklow

18th June 2010
'Rosslare' Blessed in Dun Laoghaire and Bound for Wicklow

The “Spirit of Rosslare Europort”, was the centrepiece of a traditional Irish ceremony in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this afternoon.  In an interdenominational event, the yacht took part in the “Blessing of the Boats” ceremony prior to setting out for the Round Ireland Yacht race.  The ceremony was conducted by Fr John McDonagh from Dalkey and the Rev. Gary Dowd from Glenageary.

The Blessing of the Boat’s ceremony is a widespread tradition all around the coast of Ireland and on inland waters.  Annual ceremonies take place in Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey, and in other centres around Dublin, including Poolbeg and Balbriggan, and are often a part of local festivals.  Boats of all sorts and sizes participate, ranging from sea going trawlers to sailing yachts, Galway Hookers, lifeboats and small craft.

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18/6/10
Pictured doing the blessing of ëThe Spirit of Rosslare Europortí yacht were Alan McGettigan, Fr John McDonagh and Rev.Gary Dowd, at Dun Laoghaire Marina, with crewmen Peter O'Mally and Paul ”Riain readying the yacht in the background.  The 60 foot yacht is competing in this weekendís Round Ireland Race.
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Pictured at the blessing of The Spirit of Rosslare Europort yacht were Alan McGettigan, Fr John McDonagh and Rev.Gary Dowd, at Dun Laoghaire Marina, with crewmen Peter O'Mally and Paul O'Riain in the background. The 60 foot yacht is competing in this weekend's Round Ireland Race.

 
Speaking at the blessing, Fr McDonagh said “For centuries the Blessing of the Boats ceremony has been an expression of faith by sea going communities in Ireland and represents an age old tradition”.

The Rev Dowd said: “It is entirely appropriate that in our modern age this ancient tradition should be observed with the blessing of a high technology yacht that has been a leading competitor in round the world races and is now going to circumnavigate Ireland”.

The group sailing the yacht is led by Dalkey man Alan McGettigan whose initiative it was to bring the “Spirit of Rosslare Harbour” to Ireland and to conduct the ancient Irish traditional blessing.  An experienced sailor, Mr McGettigan has sailed in areas as far afield as the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, the South China Sea and the Mediterranean. He is a member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

The 60 foot long Spirit of Rosslare Europort has sailed around the world four times, competed in numerous transatlantic races and is expected to be the fastest boat in next week’s 704 mile race around the island of Ireland.  The yacht has been sponsored by Rosslare Europort and will be skippered by Steve White, the renowned solo round world sailor who’s company White Ocean Racing owns the vessel.

Sailing enthusiasts will be able to track the Spirit of Rosslare’s progress in the Round Ireland Race on Twitter and Facebook.  The Facebook page features photos and video footage thanks to onboard camera’s which will give people an insightful view of how sailors overcome the various challenges during the course of the race.

Published in Round Ireland
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Round Ireland Yacht Race Information

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is Ireland's classic offshore yacht race starts from Wicklow Sailing Club (WSC) and is organised jointly with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC). This page details the very latest updates from the 2008 race onwards including the race schedule, yacht entries and the all-important race updates from around the 704-mile course. Keep up to date with the Round Ireland Yacht Race here on this one handy reference page.

2020 Round Ireland Race

The 2020 race, the 21st edition, was the first race to be rescheduled then cancelled.

Following Government restrictions over COVID-19, a decision on the whether or not the 2020 race can be held was made on April 9 2020 to reschedule the race to Saturday, August 22nd. On July 27th, the race was regrettably cancelled due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

Because of COVID-19, the race had to have a virtual launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club for its 21st edition

In spite of the pandemic, however, a record entry was in prospect for 2020 with 50 boats entered with four weeks to go to the race start. The race was also going big on size and variety to make good on a pre-race prediction that the fleet could reach 60. An Irish offshore selection trial also looked set to be a component part of the 2020 race.

The rescheduling of the race to a news date emphasises the race's national significance, according to Afloat here

FAQs

704 nautical miles, 810 miles or 1304 kilometres

3171 kilometres is the estimate of Ireland's coastline by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.

SSE Renewables are the sponsors of the 2020 Round Ireland Race.

Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London and The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dublin.

Off Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, August 22nd 2020

Monohulls 1300 hrs and Multihulls 13.10 hrs

Leave Ireland and all its islands (excluding Rockall) to starboard.

It depends on the boat. The elapsed record time for the race is under 40 hours but most boats take five or six days to complete the course.

The Race Tracker is https://afloat.ie/sail/events/round-ireland/item/25789-round-ireland-yacht-race-tracker-2016-here.

The idea of a race around Ireland began in 1975 with a double-handed race starting and finishing in Bangor organised by Ballyholme Yacht Club with stopovers in Crosshaven and Killybegs. That race only had four entries. In 1980 Michael Jones put forward the idea of a non-stop race and was held in that year from Wicklow Sailing Club. Sixteen pioneers entered that race with Brian Coad’s Raasay of Melfort returning home after six days at sea to win the inaugural race. Read the first Round Ireland Yacht Race 1980 Sailing Instructions here

 

The Round Ireland race record of 38 h 37 min 7 s is held by MOD-70 trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail and was set in June 2016.

George David’s Rambler 88 (USA) holds the fastest monohull race time of two days two hours 24 minutes and 9 seconds set in the 2016 race.

William Power's 45ft Olivia undertook a round Ireland cruise in September 1860

 

Richard Hayes completed his solo epic round Ireland voyage in September 2018 in a 14-foot Laser dinghy. The voyage had seen him log a total of 1,324 sea miles (2,452 kilometres) in 54 sailing days. in 1961, the Belfast Lough Waverly Durward crewed by Kevin and Colm MacLaverty and Mick Clarke went around Ireland in three-and-a-half weeks becoming the smallest keelboat ever to go round. While neither of these achievements occurred as part of the race they are part of Round Ireland sailing history

© Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022

Race start: Off Wicklow Harbour date to be announced, most likely end of June 2022

There will be separate starts for monohulls and multihulls.

Race course:  leave Ireland and all its islands (excluding Rockall) to starboard.

Race distance: is approximately 704 nautical miles or 1304 kilometres.

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