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Green Dragon Galway Youth Crew Take Line Honours Runners Up Prize in Round Ireland Race

27th June 2022
Volvo 70 Green Dragon's entry in the Round Ireland Race marked the ten year anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race in Ireland
Volvo 70 Green Dragon's entry in the Round Ireland Race marked the ten year anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race in Ireland Credit: Afloat

Ten young sailors from Galway Bay who were part of the crew that sailed the Green Dragon in last week's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow finished as Line Honours runners-up and second in Class Zero in the biennial 700-mile race. 

As co-skipper Enda O'Coineen previously reported on Afloat, the former Irish VOR boat Green Dragon was entered into June's circumnavigation race to mark the tenth anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway.

Green Dragon is currently owned by a yacht charter company based in Vigo in North West Spain.

Upwind conditions on Green Dragon on the West Coast of IrelandUpwind conditions on Green Dragon on the West Coast of Ireland

Ten Galway Bay Sailing Club members were aboard for the delivery trip across the Bay of Biscay to Dun Laoghaire. They departed on the morning of June 5th and arrived late June 8th. Following wind and seas, they maintained double-digit boat speeds most of the way. They saw 21kts at one point surfing down the 5m Atlantic swell, which was truly magnificent.

On Green Dragon - Cathal Mahon and Rob Talbot from Spiddeal Sailing ClubCathal Mahon and Rob Talbot from Spiddeal Sailing Club

The owner made young Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal Sailing Club) skipper in the days before the race. A very competent sailor with a calm yet confident manner. He was joined by sailing colleague Rob Talbot (Spiddeal Sailing Club).

Aaron O'Reilly, Fiona Christie, Iso Inan, Mark Wilson, Paddy Hennelly, Michael Flemming, Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal), Cian ConroyGreen Dragon crew (from left) Aaron O'Reilly, Fiona Christie, Iso Inan, Mark Wilson, Paddy Hennelly, Michael Flemming, Cathal Mahon (Spiddeal), Cian Conroy

The highlights of the race were rounding Fastnet in near calm conditions only to be followed by the very tough upwind leg up the West Coast on Sunday 19th, where there were 38kt gusts and big seas. The tidal gate at Raitlin was also a tricky period. The light winds on the East Coast also proved very frustrating as the boat suffers in light winds. Overall, the crew members had a great atmosphere on board with excellent communication.

Green Dragon and her Crew for the Round Ireland in light windsGreen Dragon and her Crew for the Round Ireland in light winds

Green Dragon finished in 4 days, eight hours, and 54m 21s. 2nd in line honours and 2nd in Class Z to Kuku 3, a Swiss-registered Cookson 50.

Cathal Mahon (Skipper) Spiddal SC
Rob Talbot (Bow) Spiddal / Galway city

Watch 1
Sammy Burke (Helm/watch lead) Lough Swilly
Jim McGowan (Helm) Lough Swilly
Iso Inan (Pit) GBSC
Michael Starr (Trimmer) Lough Derg YC
Oisin Lyons (Trimmer) Royal Irish YC
Paddy Hennelly (Bow) GBSC
Fiona Christie (Crew) GBSC

Watch 2
Mark Wilson (Helm/watch lead) GBSC
Aaron O'Reilly (Helm/bow) GBSC
Matija Rossi (Pit) Croatia
Michael Fleming (Trimmer) GBSC
David Adley (Trimmer) LDYC
Cian Conroy (Trimmer) GBSC
Barry O'Brien (Trimmer) Kinsale

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 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

At A Glance – Round Ireland Yacht Race 2024

Race start: Off Wicklow Harbour on Saturday, June 22 2024

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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