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Final Battle Today In The Context For Supreme Position of IRC Overall Winner in Round Ireland Race at Wicklow

23rd June 2022
IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) finished the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this Thursday morning at 0845
IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) finished the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this Thursday morning at 0845 Credit: Afloat

Round Ireland Race Day Six (Thursday) 0900 hrs - Although the Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 and the Volvo 70 Green Dragon took first and second in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 in full daylight yesterday evening, an entire summer’s night - though admittedly the second-shortest one of the year - had elapsed before the next finisher, Andrea Fornaro’s Clas40 Influence (Italy) crossed at 05:05hrs this (Thursday) morning, having got the best of the race-long duel with sister-ship Kite (Greg Leonard) by an hour and nine minutes.

Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across the Wicklow finish line at 05:37 Photo: AfloatRobert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across the Wicklow finish line at 05:37 Photo: Afloat

With the boats only crawling along in the lightest of breezes, what had been relatively tight gaps were exaggerated in time, but in that Influence/Kite divide, Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Howth YC) got across at 05:37, the first of the “orthodox” IRC boats to finish. But then with Kite across at 06:14 the way was clear for Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood (RIYC) to get in at 06:36, thereby correcting in to an IRC I win by 59 minutes over Samatom, a state of affairs in class which is likely to continue even with other IRC 1 boats getting to the line this morning, as many of them are higher-rated.

Michael Boyd's J121 Darkwood crew prepare to come ashore in Wicklow Harbour after finishing at 0636 hours on ThursdayMichael Boyd's J121 Darkwood crew prepare to come ashore in Wicklow Harbour after finishing at 0636 hours on Thursday

In fact, it is an IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) which will likely be across within the hour, for at 08:00 hrs she was just 4.8 miles from the finish and making good 6.8 knots. (She finished at 0845). However, although this will put her in a position of some certainty during a race in which sailing conditions cannot be relied on for any significant length of time, the morning-long (and more) ebb tide down the Wicklow Coast will aid boats still at sea on the final stage to get to the finish, and at 0800 the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was still in the IRC Overall First Position she has held for some time, but now just 36 miles from the finish and sailing at 5.7 knots and south of Rockabill, racing in her home waters, and showing an hour in hand on the next batch of boats.

Ian Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from CorkIan Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from Cork

The Wednesday evening excitement of Ian Hickey’s veteran Granada 38 Cavatina from Cork moving into second overall proved cruelly short-lived, as the tidal gate at Rathlin slammed shot, and Cavatina and those about her went nowhere for five hours, whereas boats through the North Channel and into the less fiercely tidal waters of the Irish Sea were able to make progress, albeit at time very painfully slowly, and even then at very different speeds.

Thus another new name from Cork has come to the fore, but this is a Kinsale boat, Finbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful Dodjer, currently lying second to head a complete line of Cork boats as the Grand Soleil Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy, RCYC) is now third with 42 miles to sail, while the astonishing two-handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt, KYC) is fourth with a very short indicated lead over SL Energies.

Finbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful DodjerFinbarr O’Regan’s J/109 Artful Dodjer Photo: Afloat

However, although regular contender Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, RIYC) is currently indicated at 12th in IRC overall as the fleet make south in increasingly light airs, she has only 37 miles still to race, but the wind pattern suggests that it will be a slow and frustrating haul to the finish.

Live 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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