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Volvo Round Ireland Race Soars To New Heights

19th May 2016
Round Ireland Yacht Race
The MOD 70s in their first incarnation in Dublin Bay in 2012. With the class’s recent revival, their enthusiasm for the new multihull division in the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 has given this classic Irish event additional international prestige The MOD 70s in their first incarnation in Dublin Bay in 2012. With the class’s recent revival, their enthusiasm for the new multihull division in the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 has given this classic Irish event additional international prestige

Entries for the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 from Wicklow on June 18th have today sailed through the 62 mark to overtake the previous record established all of 26 years ago in 1990, when numbers totalled 61 writes W M Nixon.

Since then, a combination of changing patterns in sailing and sponsorships, and the prolonged economic recession, took a severe toll. So though in recent years the theoretical entry number of 39 boats has been reached, when it really came down to who was on the starting line, we’d three races in succession which had just 36 starters.

But now we’re looking at what is almost a doubling of the entry list, an extraordinary achievement which reflects great credit on Volvo Round Ireland Race Chairman Peter Shearer, organiser Theo Phelan, and their co-team and supporters who have kept the faith when the very existence of this iconic event was in doubt among pessimists.

While the underlying economic improvement is undoubtedly a playing a key role in the recovery, four other factors – all of international significance but completely unrelated to each other – have also played their part.

Back in August 2011, all Ireland showed its sympathy and concern when the canting keel of George David’s Rambler 100 snapped off just after rounding the rock during the Fastnet Race of that year. This resulted in a disastrous though non-fatal capsize, and in the emotional aftermath, the gallant and popular owner mentioned that some time in the future he’d like to do the Round Ireland Race as a token of his appreciation. That seemingly throwaway remark came good last year when Wicklow Sailing Club first received intimations that the new Rambler 88 had the Round Ireland Race 2016 very much in her programme, which immediately raised the event’s profile at international level.

Meanwhile the RORC had acquired its second Irish Commodore in the person of Michael Boyd of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, and as he’d been a winner of the Round Ireland Race of 1996 himself, he wasted no opportunities to promote this special event within his club’s programme, and he is an entrant for 2016 in the First 44.7 Lisa

Then the autumn of 2015 brought two further boosts. Wicklow SC decided to provide an additional division for multihulls just as the MOD 70s – the stars of 2012 in Dublin Bay and around the coast of Europe - re-invented themselves as the pace-setting class in major offshore events. The Round Ireland could have been invented with his class in mind, they have responded with enthusiasm to the new dispensation, and the event now has genuine international multihull credibility.

Finally, without any undue fanfares, it was almost coyly revealed that Volvo Cars Ireland had come aboard as sponsors. While the official title of the race would be cumbersome were we to deploy it in full, the Volvo Round Ireland Race was tripping lightly off sailing tongues from the moment it was made official in its longer form, giving the Wicklow project even greater credibility.

As of this morning, there were 60 entries recorded in the official list. By this afternoon, it had climbed to 62, as two days of negotiations have resulted in the Open 40s being allowed to race as a separate class while also being in IRC. We give you the list of 60 to study in the knowledge that the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 starts in just four weeks and one day’s time, and in those four weeks we’ll all be analysing the entries in detail.


Boat Name Entrant/Skipper Boat Type Sail No TCC Club Class

1 Xanadu Simon Costain X-50 GBR905R 1.149 RAFYC RORC 1

2 Mojito Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox J/109 GBR9047R 1.018 Pwllheli S.C. 3

3 Bam Conor Fogerty Sunfast 3600 IRL1471 1.047 Howth Yacht Club 2

4 Groupe 5 Carpentier Patrice SUN FAST 3200 FRA 38483 0.996 SN LA TRINITE SUR MER 4

5 Lynx Irish National Sailing & Powerbaot SchoReflec 38 IRL 7386 1.049 Irish National Sailing Club 3

6 Aurelia Chris & Patanne Power Smith J122 IRL35950 1.077 Royal St George Yacht Club 2

7 Pyxis Kirsteen Donaldson X332 GBR5963T 0 RORC 4, 6

8 Polished Manx2 Kuba Szymanski Beneteau First 40.7 GBR 7003 T 1.049 Douglas Bay Yacht Club 3, 6

9 Wild Spirit Paul Jackson (LYC Sea School) Jeanneau 40 GBR8799T 0.983 RORC, JOG 4

10 Quid non? Nigel Philpott Swan 40 (92) GBR7384T 1.005 RNSA 6

11 Arthur Logic Sailing Logic Beneteau First 40 GBR 7408R 1.07 RORC 3

12 Pegasus of Nortumberland Ross Hobson Open50 GBR715R 0 RORC 6

13 Maybird Darryl Hughes Gaff Ketch GBR 644R 0 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club 5

14 Artemis Ocean Racing Mikey Ferguson IMOCA 60 GBR100 1.6 Royal Ulster Yacht Club.. RORC CK

15 Heimatau Tom McLuskie Farrier F36 GBR708M 0 Port Edgar Yacht Club M

16 Lisa Michael Boyd First 44.7 GBR4947R 1.103 Royal Irish Yacht Club /RORC 1

17 Wakey Wakey Roger Smith J109 GBR5909R 1.015 Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club 3

18 Rockabill VI Paul O'Higgins JPK 10.80 IRL10800 1.045 RIYC 2

19 Arcsine Kathy Claydon Arcona 370 GBR8643T 1.01 Weymouth Sailing Club 6

20 Euro Car Parks David Cullen J109 (Storm) IRL1141 1.015 Howth Yacht Club 3

21 Change of Course Keith Gibbs C & C 115 GBR9070R 1.031 Channel Sailing Club 3

22 Bellino Rob Craige Sunfast 3600 GBR 3657 L 1.039 RORC 3, 6

23 Rambler George David Juan K canting keel USA25555 1.827 New York Yacht Club CK

24 Andante Keith Miller Yamaha 36 c IRL375 0.947 Kilmoer Quay sailing Club 5

25 May Contain Nuts Kevin Rolfe Rogers Whitbread 30 GBR9030 1.014 Cardiff Bay Yacht Club 3

26 Sarabande Rob Mably Swan 47 GBR 1238 1.034 Royal Cornwall YC 3, 5

27 Fuji Ari Känsäkoski CLASS 40 CC40 GBR 38 1.223 RORC 1

28 Masai Ben Korner Class 40 Pogo S2 109 12345 Team Masai 1

29 Fulmar Fever Robert Marchant Westerly Fulmar FR14 0.858 Waterford Harbour Sailing Club CK

30 Lula Belle Liam Coyne & Brian Flahive First 36.7 IRL 3607 0.998 Wicklow Sailing Club 4, 6

31 Hissy Fit Simon Baker Dazcat 1495 GBR 788M 1.22 Saltash Saling Club M

32 Port of Galway Martin Breen and Nigel Moss Dehler 37Cruising IRL 5687 0.952 Galway Bay Sailing Club 4, 5, 6

33 IOS Desert Star Ronan O Siochru Jeanneau Sunfast 37 IRL 1397 0.968 Irish Offshore Sailing 4

34 Katsu Alan Hannon Reichel-Pugh RP45 1.241 RORC 1

35 Fortify Simon M Brady Sunfast 3200 GBR4545N 1.005 RORC 6

36 Albireo David A Simpson Swan 371 IRL 3435 0.939 RIYC 4

37 J Taime Christopher Dowd Palmer J109 GBR6709R 1.011 RORC 3

38 Musandam - OmanSail Sandrine Pelletier MOD70 OMA 07 1.971 AL Mouj - Muscat M

39 Concise 10 Tony Lawson MOD 70 GBR 70 1.971 RORC M

40 Pipedreamer VI Paul Sutton Dufour 40 GBR 2271L 1.016 Holyhead Sailing Club 3

41 Just Plain Krazy Ian Knight JPK 1010 GBR3789L 1.008 Royal Western 3, 6

42 Teasing Machine Teasing Machine A13 FRA 38757 1.169 SRR 1

43 BigDeal Derek & Conor Dillon Dehler nova IRL 3492 0 Foynes YC 4, 6

44 Fortissimo Dream or Two Sailing Ltd Class 40 - Akilaria RC1 GBR 97 1.257 Portchester Sailing Club 1

45 Desperado of Cowes Richard Loftus Swan 65 GBR1665 1.101 RORC 1

46 Denebola Alain Poncelet Mount Gay 30 modified BEL1265 1.01 RNSYC 3, 6

47 Persistance Jerry Collins Sigma 38 2.08 IRL 8237 0.978 Royal St George 4

48 Cavatina Ian Hickey Granada 38 IRL3861 0 Royal Cork yacht Club 4, 5

49 Colombre XL Massimo Juris Class 40 Pogo S2 FRA 101 1.26 Compagnia Della Vela Venezia (CDV Venezia) 1, 6

50 Suenos Rupert Kidd Dazcat 1195 GBR741M 1.168 Royal Western Yacht Club M, 6

51 Bare Necessities Bruce Sutherland Dazcat 1150 GBR 725 M 1.221 Saltash Sailing Club M

52 AJAX Paul Macro J109 GBR 6908R 1.009 RACYC 3

53 roaring forty2 roaring forty2 class 40 kiwi fc bel 107 0 RYCB / RBSC 1

54 Phaedo^3 Lloyd Thornburg MOD70 03 1.971 New York Yacht Club M

55 Medicare First Aid Joe Conway Beneteau First 40 FRA39886 1.096 Royal Irish Yacht Club 2

56 Adelie Peter Hall Beneteau First 34.7 IRL 9631 0.987 National Yacht Club 4

57 Crackajack Philip Quinn Beneteau First 40.7 GBR7664T 12345 SLYC 3, 6

58 Lambay Rules Stephen Quinn J97 Irl 9970 0.971 Howth Yacht Club 4

59 Applegreen Sail for Kids Stephen Mullaney Beneteau First 375 IRL7963 0 Howth Yacht Club 4, 5

60 Dear Prudence c/o Barry Lyons J109 IRL 1095 1.004 RIYC 3

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


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.

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