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SSL Renewables Round Ireland Race Should See Kuka3 Take Line Honours At Wicklow In Late Morning

22nd June 2022
On-water leader Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) should be in Wicklow at lunchtime today
On-water leader Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) should be in Wicklow at lunchtime today

Round Ireland Race Day Five (Wednesday) 0800 hrs - Despite the continuing prospect of light north to northeast winds, this morning’s south-going ebb tide off the Wicklow coast should speed up the progress of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow, helping on-water leader Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) towards the finish before lunchtime today (Wednesday).

Crosshaven native Tom McWilliam (third from right) is part of the international Kuka3 crew Photo: AfloatCrosshaven native Tom McWilliam (third from right) is part of the international Kuka3 crew

Towards 0800hrs, Kuka was gliding along at 4.0 knots, well at sea off Dublin Bay, (see live Dublin Bay webcams here - Ed) with 20 miles still to sail to the Wicklow pierhead. After two days of light air sailing while dealing with the many challenges of the tide-riven north and northeast coasts of Ireland, the diverse fleet is now spread along almost 200 miles of the Irish coastline, with the smallest boat in the race, Grzegorz Kalinecki’s First 310 More Mischief from Dun Laoghaire, in process of passing Tory Island in Donegal in the tail-ender position, but sailing at a good 6.2 knots in her own private westerly breeze.

Grzegorz Kalinecki’s First 310 More Mischief from Dun LaoghaireSmallest boat in the race - Grzegorz Kalinecki’s First 310 More Mischief from Dun Laoghaire Photo: Afloat

Meanwhile, the key boats in the current battle for the overall IRC Handicap win have spent a night of little wind in the North Channel and the North Irish Sea. The 0800 leader, the French J/111 SL Energies, was off the entrance to Strangford Lough and showing a speed of only 1.8 knots, but while the now second-placed J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) is making 5.5 knots off Red Bay on the Antrim coast, she is aided by the locally stronger fair tide in addition to a slightly firmer nor’west breeze.

The 0800 leader, the French J/111 SL EnergiesThe 0800 leader, the French J/111 SL Energies Photo: Afloat

J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC)Up to second oiverall - J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) Photo: Afloat

Third on IRC overall is Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC), making 4.6 knots off Belfast Lough, though well out in the middle of the North Channel.

Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood (RIYC)In the north Irish Sea - Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood (RIYC) Photo: Afloat

The two on-water leaders in the main IRC Division, Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (HYC) and Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood (RIYC) are in the north Irish Sea in close proximity, with Samatom ahead boat-for-boat, but Darkwoood, at sixth overall, the better placed on handicap.

Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt)Back in the hunt - The two handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt) Photo: Afloat

In fact, it’s one of the smaller boats, the gallant two-handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt) which is back in the frame at fourth overall in IRC, and currently off the Antrim coast at 130 miles from the finish, racing in close proximity with Snapshot.

Race Tracker & Data below

Published in Round Ireland

Round Ireland Yacht Race Live Tracker 2022

Track the progress of the 2022 Wicklow Sailing Club Round Ireland Race fleet on the live tracker above and see all Afloat's Round Ireland Race coverage in one handy link here

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

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, 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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