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Current Affairs to Dominate Round Ireland Today

23rd June 2010
Current Affairs to Dominate Round Ireland Today

As the leaders of the Conway Media Round Ireland Yacht Race enter the northern end of the Irish Sea, today will be all about current affairs, so be prepared to watch the teams' fates ebb and flow with the vagaries of Northern Irish tides. Tonnerre de Breskens and Spirit of Rosslare Europort are currently being hurried around the north-east corner by the end of a flood tide. However, Larne saw high water come and go at 08.11 this morning. That means that the leaders and those in their wake (Inis Mor and have maybe an hour of slack water before things turn against them and they end up jogging on a nautical treadmill. Adding to the impending misery, those east of Malin Head are in light airs, whereas those off the Donegal coast and even further back have stronger following winds whisking them up the rankings in handicap terms and helping them battle the tide. Tonnerre and Rosslare are past Rathlin, but not out of the woods yet.

Low Water at Larne is at 1418hrs, and how much the fleet will compress before then could well define how the results pan out when the finishers hit Wicklow.

One curiosity now will be who gets line honours. 

Favourite before the race was the Open 60 Spirit of Rosslare Europort, the one boat in the fleet with the potential for greatest speed. However they've failed to make gains when the conditions were in their favour, and now face upwind conditions, or a fetch at best, down the Irish Sea. Open 60s are built for downwind sailing, and this will do them no favours.

They're duelling with the Dutchmen on Tonnerre de Breskens, who have sailed a near impeccable race so far, in line with their winning form on the RORC circuit, and led the IRC rankings at the last mark. From the Spirit of Rosslare Europort blog earlier this morning: "Passed Rathlin Island and chasing Tonnerre de Breskens 3 hard.  We are set for a great duel down the Irish sea.  We are sailing with 3.4knts of favourable tide but this is due to change at about 09.30 this morning as the tide turns foul.

"While we are on a IMOCA 60  - We have to take our hats off to the Guys on “Tonnerre de Breskens 3”  - They are sailing that Ker 46 to her max."

Further back, Inis Mor is the main challenger for the overall title, with Visit Malta Puma pushing hard and the pair of them battling with the youngsters on Pride of Wicklow who have put in a valiant debut performance in a race that has thrown up ideal conditions for an opening foray into offshore sailing. 

Psipsina continues to hold onto her double-handed lead, and could do some further damage to's lead on the water around the top. have been struggling with their on-board alternator, meaning that their on-board electronics have been used sparingly. This may have made things difficult for blind sailor Mark Pollock, reliant on a power-hungry audio nav system to help him steer the boat while Mick Liddy sleeps. (UPDATE: Mark Pollock just tweeted to say that their backup autohelm cut out during a gybe, and they report a suspected cracked spreader. Kite is down and they are assessing what to do)

Boats can now call in race reports from the water direct to our webmaster's voicemail for use as podcasts, just dial 08652570320 and leave your report after the beep, and we'll get it up online as soon as possible.

Have your say on the racing in our forum thread HERE.

The race tracker is HERE, and the official site is HERE.

More on the Round Ireland Yacht Race:

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Review

Round Ireland Yacht Race, Ireland's top offshore fixture

A Round up of 80 stories on the 2010 Round Ireland Yacht Race
Published in Round Ireland Team

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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


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

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

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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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