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Round Ireland Race 2022: Countdown to January's Online Entry

9th December 2021
Entry for the 704-mile SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race opens in January
Entry for the 704-mile SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race opens in January Credit: Afloat

Online entry for the 704-nautical miles SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race will open at midday (UTC 1200) on Monday 24th January 2022 organisers at Wicklow Sailing Club have confirmed.

After cancelling the 2020 race due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 21st edition of this classic offshore event is being planned with relevant precautions in place to ensure a safe experience.

"We were anticipating a fleet of close to 80 boats when we had to cancel our 2020 plans," said Kryan O'Grady, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club. "Now that we are learning how to live with Covid-19, there is pent-up demand on top of a surge of interest in offshore racing so a strong turn-out is on the cards."

The course follows the traditional route first contested in 1980 that states "leave Ireland and its islands to starboard" while starting and finishing at the scenic port of Wicklow on the East coast of Ireland.

The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association (ISORA) is working with Wicklow and fully supporting and promoting the race. ISORA have included the race in their 2022 schedule and will be preparing boats to qualify for the circumnavigation. ISORA will also be providing the tracker service to the race. 

Kryan O'Grady, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing ClubKryan O'Grady, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club

Berthing facilities at the pier and quays close to Wicklow Sailing Club's base will be available while the Royal Irish Yacht Club in nearby Dun Laoghaire will once again act as a second club base for registration and inspection.

The race itself offers both competition and personal achievement for boat owners and crews alike. Growing popularity with sail training centres has already seen many pre-entry enquiries.

Race-winning navigator from 2018 and 2004 Ian Moore has likened the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race as the "Mount Kilimanjaro of Sailing" - a bucket-list opportunity and one of the few full circumnavigation voyages of significant but achievable duration in the world.

"This is a unique race and special in many ways," said Michael Boyd, a regular competitor and past-Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. "It's like a series of races within a race and always a twist or two.

"Aside from the racing, the course itself sails past spectacular coastlines as well as stages into the Atlantic before turning for inshore waters heading to the finishing line."

Starting at 1300 hrs on Saturday 18th June 2022, the event is also well-timed to allow completion of the race in good time to deliver to Crosshaven on the South coast for the biennial Cork Week and special celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Royal Cork YC, the world's oldest yacht club.

Round Ireland Race day at Wicklow HarbourRound Ireland Race day at Wicklow Harbour

Entry will be open to IRC-rated yachts of at least 9.15m/30 feet overall and MOCRA-rated multihulls of 9.0m/29.53 feet with prizes awarded in a variety of categories including overall winner under IRC along with line honours trophies for first monohull and first multihull. Two-handed entries, Sailing school and Services entries will also be amongst the prizes.

Full details will be included in the official Notice of Race document that will be published in mid-December 2021.

Published in Round Ireland Team

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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

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At A Glance – Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022

Race start: Off Wicklow Harbour date to be announced, June 18 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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