Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Round Ireland Latest. French Yacht Leads Fleet Past Cork Coast

25th June 2012
Round Ireland Latest. French Yacht Leads Fleet Past Cork Coast

#roundireland – (Monday morning, June 25th). There is an element of déjà vu about the early leaderboard as the yachts make slow progress along the south coast in the 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race.  Inis Mor, second in 2010, leads on corrected time from Noonmark VI with the 2010 winner Tonnerre de Breskens III in third place.

Light and variable head winds make this edition very unpredictable at this early stage, and it is unlikely that we will see any clear definition until the larger boats round Blackrock on the Mayo coast sometime on Tuesday.

Top rated boat and on-the-water leader, the Volvo 70 Green Dragon, took a more offshore route down the Irish Sea, tacking well south of the Tuskar before tacking back out again at the Hook.  The extra distance covered has not served her well and as she leads the fleet past the Old Head this morning, she lies 21st on corrected time.


NUI Galway crew work hard after the start yesterday. Photo: Bob Bateman

As is usual in the early stages, the faster boats tended to benefit from passing the Tuskar before the stronger flood tide set in and consequently dominated the early leaderboard.  However, lighter heading winds balanced the equation and the medium sized boats have started to progress up the correct time rankings.  Notable among these are Kirsten Donaldson's X332 Pyxis, Liam Coyne's Beneteau 36.7 LC Tyres Lulabelle from the host club and James Tyrell's Aquelina – the J122 from Arklow Sailing Club.


Although light winds prevail, there is good gusts near rain showers, here's Scottish entry EOS (an Elan 310) skippered by Rod Stuart going well after the start. Photo: Bob Bateman

Two-time Winner Cavatina (Granada 38), skippered this time by Royal Cork's Ian Hickey, lies mid fleet after taking the offshore route, but is enjoying some breeze advantage over those boats that stayed inshore.  Whether this will last long enough to overcome the greater distance sailed, is yet to be seen.

Cavatina yacht in Round Ireland

Double winner Cavatina is in a mid fleet position this morning but there is still 600 miles to go. Photo: Bob Bateman

With most boats still having 600 mile to the finish, it would be foolhardy to predict finishing times and finishing order – like all Round Ireland races it won't be over until the  bar in Wicklow Sailing Club is adorned by a large lady exercising her vocal chords.

Stay tuned for Afloat's next Round Ireland update this evening. 

Meanwhile a selection of photos from yesterday's Round Ireland start from Gareth Craig are in our gallery below

Published in Round Ireland Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

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.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating