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Enter The Dragon – RTE Star Bobby Kerr for Round Ireland Yacht Race

19th June 2014
bobby kerr round ireland
Former RTE Dragon's Den star and Dublin Bay Sigma sailor Bobby Kerr is going Round Ireland. Photo: Afloat.ie

#rdilr – The 2014 Round Ireland Yacht Race is heating up with the announcement that seasoned sailor and former Dragon Bobby Kerr is hoping to be part of the winning crew in one of the most gruelling and challenging yacht racing competitions in the world... and a Wicklow farmer is not impressed!

Kerr is joining a crew of 18 in a 60ft yacht to compete with 34 other boats from Ireland and abroad in the 5 day race, which departs Wicklow Bay on Saturday, 28th June.

The first yacht over the line is typically one of the bigger boats (60 ft and over) sailed by experienced crews. Bobby's Boat – the Newstalk for Adrenalin is 60ft in size, and is in the running.

However a crew of amateurs from Wicklow, led by local farmer David Ryan have declared war on the Dragon!

48 year old David has gathered together what he describes as 'a passionate crew' of 18 people aged between 18 and 57 and convinced the owner of the 70ft Monster Project, a Volvo 70, to provide the yacht to enter the race in the hope of fulfilling his lifelong dream of being the first yacht to cross the line in the biennial Round Ireland.

He is determined that Kerr and his crew will not destroy their dream, insisting that all the coffee in the world wouldn't get the Insomnia boss over the line before them.

"The Monster will devour the Dragon. They may have an expert crew but we're coming from the heart – there will be massive hardship, sleep deprivation; we'll likely get soaking wet and the physical strain will be immense. It doesn't matter when you're chasing a dream... we will win!"

"Bobby will miss his creature comforts and will be pining for his coffee every morning. Our willpower will knock them out of the water."

Kerr remains undaunted by Farmer Ryan's challenge, saying he does like his Americanos but has every intention of smuggling a small Espresso maker on board, despite weight restrictions.

"David's boat may be the first over the line – it's the biggest boat in the race so it would be a pretty bad reflection on the crew if they didn't make it over first. We are the better crew and the actual winner is not the first over the line but based on handicap; we're pretty confident our experienced crew will beat the Monster in real terms!"

"I may not be the best sailor, but I'm certainly not the worst. I've competed in, and won races before, and sleep deprivation is not a problem for me. I have often worked 24 hours straight – you draw on your inner resources. If you programme yourself, knowing you'll get little or no sleep for four or five days and then it's over, you can do it. Farmer Ryan hasn't a hope!"

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is now in its 36th year (18th sailing of the biennial race) and is Ireland's premier offshore sailing race attracting entrants from across Europe and as far afield as Russia, the USA and New Zealand. It will depart Wicklow on Saturday, 28th June 2014 at 2.00 pm.

It is the only RORC race based in Ireland and regarded as equivalent in terms of rating points to the Fastnet Race, the classic offshore race, which runs in alternate years to the Round Ireland.

Internationally, completing the race, is considered a significant feat as the race is one of the most gruelling and challenging sailing competitions in the yacht racing calendar.

The course, starting and finishing in Wicklow, brings entrants through widely different sea types and coastlines, from the Atlantic Ocean to the more sheltered Irish Sea, with difficult tidal gates, particularly around the North Eastern coast and navigational challenges requiring day and night tactical decisions at every change of forecast.

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 Rescheduled to August 22

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

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 setbacks, however, a record entry is in prospect for 2020 with 41 boats entered with 23 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.

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

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, August 22nd 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. Read the first Round Ireland Yacht Race 1980 Sailing Instructions here

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, August 22nd 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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