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Round Ireland Yacht Race Entries Already Going Big On Size & Variety

12th February 2020
Now here’s a lotta boat……the 26-metre (86ft) Neptune 3 from Malta is currently the largest of the 23 confirmed entries for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th Now here’s a lotta boat……the 26-metre (86ft) Neptune 3 from Malta is currently the largest of the 23 confirmed entries for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 20th

It may be only mid-February, but entries for the 704-mile 40th Anniversary 21st edition SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow on June 20th are already on the two dozen mark, and the fleet is remarkable for its variety of size and type, writes WM Nixon.

In an initial lineup which has 15 boats from outside Ireland, the most exotic has to be Neptune 3 from Malta, the 26-metre alloy Fitzroy cutter (with Judel Vrolik input) which is skippered by Greg Miller.

Another biggie is the former Volvo 70, Telefonica Black, while smallest is the First 310 More Mischief, just 9.15 metres long and entered by Grzegorz Kalinecki of Dun Laoghaire. At the moment there’s only one J/109, Outrajeous from Howth entered by Johnny Murphy, who co-owns her with ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell, but doubtless others of this famous marque will throw their hat into the ring in due course.

more mischief2The First 310 More Mischief from Dun Laoghaire is currently the smallest entrant. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien
Paul O’Higgins’ otherwise all-conquering JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC) is down to go for her third campaign in a circuit where victory has eluded her so persistently - despite conspicuous successes in every other offshore competition - that it’s all beginning to be reminiscent of Saoirse Ronan and the Oscars…… 

rockabill six3The Saoirse Ronan of Irish offshore racing? Paul O’Higgins’ otherwise all-conquering JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (twice winner of the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race) is entered for her third Round Ireland challenge, despite success eluding her in 2018 and 2016 when she seemed to win everything else on the offshore circuit. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Published in Round Ireland
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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