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Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Review - Nav Lights, Camera, Action

31st March 2011
Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Review - Nav Lights, Camera, Action
A win is a win, there and then. But when sail boat racing is first-past-the-post, there's only one plotline to follow, whereas the likes of the Round Ireland Yacht Race never fails to produce sub-plot after sub-plot, races within races. It is Ireland's greatest floating soap opera, and it's full of cliffhangers.

Before the race got on the water, the scene was set onshore with a storyboard lifted from Galway '09. In a bid to mirror the Volvo Ocean Race stop-over, the Round Ireland was smartly enmeshed with a successful town festival in Wicklow, drawing in thousands of non-sailing civilians, many of whom hung out on the cliffs to watch one of the best-attended starts in years.

The backbone for this year's story was Tonnerre de Breskens III, owned by Dutchman Piet Vroon. The crew arrived in Wicklow with a brace of RORC victories, leading RORC's offshore table, and went into the race as favourites. The first twist in Tonnerre's plot came before the starter's gun, when Vroon ended up in hospital, from where he would follow the race as his crew sailed on without him. However, that would be the only bump in their road. Tonnerre led from start to finish, both on the water and on handicap. Vroon's crew brought home the trophy for their ailing skipper in the race's happy ending.

There was drama in their wake, though. Not the high-octane 60-knot knock-down drama of 2008, but good stuff nonetheless. Bernard Guoy's Inis Mor chased hard to no avail, and in the end they just couldn't do it. Theirs was the story of the weary, the plucky but the ultimately unlucky. In 2008 gear failure put them out of the running, but in 2010 it was Tonnerre's sheer perfection that relegated Inis Mor to the runner-up spot. You would be hard pressed to find an error in their race, and they deserved the second slot.

There were other big guns, of course. Mick Liddy and Mark Pollock's Daft.com Class 40 was a drama mini-series all of its own, with a blind co-skipper in a high-powered double-hander seeming a deluded concept to many. Until the batteries died they were churning out their own stories, uploading video content to beat the band. Of course, directorial priorities shifted when their electrics went as they headed up the west coast. Pollock's input was limited to nearly nil without electronics, meaning Liddy became all but a solo sailor without relief, helming non-stop for four days. Their initially promising position was eroded in the last third of the race as fatigue bit hard.

No similar excuses for the biggest boat in the race, the Open 60 Spirit of Rosslare Europort, which by all accounts should have made hay in some heavier airs off the west coast and come home first for line honours. However, they couldn't capitalise on that. Some will say that Tonnerre was better suited to the conditions than the larger Open 60, while others will dismiss that as folly.

The dogfights, then, the meat-and-veg of the story, were in IRC 1. Visit Malta Puma, another hot contender from the Solent, was in charge for much of the race while things were quietly making their way up the west coast. In the Round Ireland, as in Irish history, things have a way of kicking off around the north-east corner. As the tides and light airs played with the fleet, the lead changed hands six times between Inistrahull and the finish, with Fujitsu and Visit Malta Puma match-racing down the Irish Sea, and Bejaysus and Aquelina doing the same behind them.

Visit Malta Puma would emerge victorious, and in the meantime, the leaders of Class 2 and the double-handers were passing the mouth of Strangford Lough and crossing Dundrum Bay. Psipina and Dinah would trade tacks all the way to Wicklow, with Paddy Cronin in Psipina (joined by John Loden) making it two in a row in the two-handers overall. Second place, however, would go to one of the backmarkers.

Theirs was the rags-to-riches tale of this Round Ireland. Brians Flahive and Byrne took a boat all but written off and kitted it out for the 704-mile offshore. Noonan Boat Oystercatcher was the racing equivalent of a transplant patient, with a large portion of its port side removed and rebuilt by its owner, boatbuilder Graham Noonan, also Flahive's boss. Ten days before the race, the pair were rigging the tiny Gibsea with a spinnaker for the first time, and as the front of the fleet slowed, they rocketed on into second, not bad for a major offshore debut.

And while champagne corks were popping on land, there were still cups of tea being handed up to the rail from many galleys along the Irish Sea coast. The finish to the Round Ireland was prolonged, but deciding the results was not as strung out an affair as years gone by, the winner having been decided well in advance of the last finishers' arrival.

The question mark at the end of this story leaves things open for an innovative sequel. Dropped into the narrative mid-race were questions in the national media over how more racers might be tempted to Wicklow for 2012. The festival was, no doubt, a good start, but what of the date? Would moving it away from the annual date of the 1700-boat Solent carnival that is the Round the Island, putting further distance between it and Cork Week make sense? Would it make for a greater foreign entry? Eight of the 36 entries this year were from outside of Ireland - who's to say that couldn't be doubled or tripled?

That's a script yet to be written. For Round Ireland 2010, the credits are rolling. Wicklow SC can be proud that they delivered yet another successful edition of Ireland's classic offshore, and the various actors can take a deserved bow for playing their part in another home-produced oceanic drama.

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Trophy Winners

Line Honours - Denis Doyle Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon

IRC Overall - Norman Barry Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon
Inis Mor - Bernard Gouy
Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle

Class 7 / Two Handed - The Noonan Trophy
Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher - Brian Flahive
& Bryan Byrne
Alchimiste - Michael Murphy & Alex Voye

Class Super 0
Spirit of Rosslare Europort - Alan McGettigan

Class 0 - Mew Island Trophy
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon
Inis Mor - Bernard Gouy
Pride of Wicklow - James Gair/David O'Gorman

Class 1 - Tuskar Cup
Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle
Fujitsu - Andrew Britton
Aquelina - James Tyrrell

Class 2 - Fastnet Cup
Raging Bull - Matt Davis
Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin
Dinah - Barry Hurley & Hannah White

Class 3 - Skelligs Cup
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher -
Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne
Alchimiste - Michael Murphy & Alex Voye
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson

Class 4 - Tory Island Trophy
Noonan Boats Oystercatcher -
Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson
Gumdrop - Derek Gilmore

Class 5 / Classic - Michael Jones Trophy
Cavatina - Ian Hickey/Eric Lisson

Class 6 / Sigma 38 - Larry Ryan Trophy
Persistance - Jerry Collins

ISORA Trophy
Raging Bull - Matt Davis

Irish Cruiser Racing Association -
Round Ireland Trophy
Aquelina - James Tyrrell

Team Kinsale Yacht Club Trophy
Team 'RORC': Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Piet Vroon / Visit Malta Puma - Philippe Falle / Psipsina - John Loden & Paddy Cronin Team 'Go Hard or Go Home': Pride of Wicklow - James Gair/David O'Gorman / Aquelina - James Tyrrell / Noonan Boats Oystercatcher - Brian Flahive & Bryan Byrne

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
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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

Following Government restrictions over COVID-19, a decision on the whether or not the 2020 race can be held is expected to be made at the end of April 2020. Already the race has had to have a virtual launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club for its 21st edition.  In spite of the setbacks, however, a record entry is in prospect for 2020 with 41 boats entered with ten weeks to go to the race start. The race is 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 looks set to be a component part of the 2020 race.

How many miles duration is the Round Ireland Yacht Race?

704 nautical miles, 810 miles or 1304 kilometres.

What is the distance around Ireland's coastline?

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

Who is the sponsor of the 2020 Round Ireland Yacht Race?

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

Who organises the Round Ireland Yacht Race?

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

Where is the Round Ireland Race Start?

Off Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, June 20th 2020.

What is the Round Ireland Race Start time?

Monohulls 1300 hrs and Multihulls 13.10 hrs.

What is the Round Ireland Race course? 

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

How long does it take to sail Round Ireland?

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.

Is there a Round Ireland Race Tracker?

The Race Tracker is here 

What is the history of the Round Ireland Race? 

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.

What to do in an emergency, such as a 'man overboard' (MOB), in the Round Ireland Yacht Race?

Skipper Kenny Rumball of the J109 yacht 'Jedi' faced that very problem in the 2018 race. How he dealt with it led to a RORC Award. He describes in detail the MOB recovery procedure he used here

What is the Round Ireland Race speed record?

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.

What is the Round Ireland Race Monohull Speed record?

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.

What was the first round Ireland voyage?

William Power's 45ft Olivia undertook a round Ireland cruise in September 1860. Full details of this first circuit are here 

What is the Smallest Boat To Sail Round Ireland?

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. Full story on these circumnavigations here

Who are the previous winners (on IRC & Line Honours) of the Round Ireland Race?

YearWinnerSkipperLine HonoursSkipperTimeStartersFinishers
2018 Baraka GP Niall Dowling Baraka GP Niall Dowling 3:23:20:44 48 41
2016 Rambler 88 George David Rambler 88 George David 2:02:24:09 50 37
2014 Tanit Richard Harris Monster Project David Ryan 4:04:25:25 36 33
2012 Inis Mor Bernard & Laurent Gouy Green Dragon Enda O'Coineen 3:17:01:16 37 37
2010 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Piet Vroon Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Piet Vroon 3:16:03:50 37 36
2008 Ireland West Aodhan Fitzgerald ICAP Leopard Mike Slade 2:17:48:47 41 30
2006 Cavatina Eric Lisson Konica Minolta Zara   4:04:57:30 39 36
2004 Calyx Voice & Data Eamon Crosbie O2 Team Spirit David Nixon 3:04:48:39 47 37
2002 Cavatina Eric Lisson Team Tonic Nick Hewson 3:11:34:50 28 24
2000 Imp George Radley Fenix R Balding 5:12:41:10 28 26
1998 Jeep Cherokee Colm Barrington Jeep Cherokee Colm Barrington 3:04:23:57 38 27
1996 Big Ears Michael Boyd Bridgestone Mike Slade 3:15:58:58 55 55
1994 Bridgestone Peter Wilson Virgin City Jet Dix/Power/Barrington 3:16:30:33 53 36
1992 Whirlpool Colm Barrington Whirlpool Colm Barrington 4:00:43:06 46 33
1990 Rothmans Laurie Smith Rothmans Laurie Smith 3:12:56:06 61 35
1988 Lightning Liam Shanahan Moonduster Denis Doyle 4:20:15:46 52 42
1986 Spirit R. Burrows Mazda Drum M. O'Leary/T. Power 4:03:35:43 27 27
1984 Moonduster Denis Doyle Moonduster Denis Doyle 4:03:45:25 17 13
1980 Raasay of Melfort B. Coad Force Ten-Sion A.J. Vernon/J.S. Morris 5:15:02:27 16 10

 

At A Glance – Round Ireland Yacht Race 2020

Race start: Off Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, June 20th 2020.

There will be separate starts for monohulls and multihulls. 

Starting times: Monohulls 1300 hrs and Multihulls 13.10 hrs.

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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