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Excitement Builds as Ten Day Countdown to 22nd SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race Begins

11th June 2024
The start of the 2022 Round Ireland Yacht Race. The biennial event epitomises the spirit of sailing, and with the countdown to June 22nd underway, the stage is set for an exhilarating 2024 event
The start of the 2022 Round Ireland Yacht Race. The biennial event epitomises the spirit of sailing, and with the countdown to June 22nd underway, the stage is set for an exhilarating 2024 event Credit: Afloat

With just 10 days to go until the 22nd edition of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race, scheduled for June 22nd at 13:00 hrs, Wicklow Sailing Club, in partnership with SSE Renewables, is gearing up to welcome 54 boats to the starting line.

Since its inception in 1980, the Round Ireland race has gained significant prominence, attracting strong contenders from across the board. Competitors will navigate the 704 miles of the stunning Irish coastline as a category two offshore race, showcasing nautical determination and resilience.

Round Ireland Race yachts gather in Wicklow Harbour before the 2022 race start Photo: Bob BatemanRound Ireland Race yachts gather in Wicklow Harbour before the 2022 race start Photo: Bob Bateman

Over 50 boats are registered to race; one entry will represent the RNLI in celebrating its 200-year anniversary. The iconic race promises to draw a large fleet of boats, allowing spectators to witness the action from the Wicklow piers and along the cliffs of Black Castle.

The 2022 Round Ireland Race race start. Over 54 boats are entered for the 2024 race on June 22nd Photo: Bob BatemanThe 2022 Round Ireland Race race start. Over 54 boats are entered for the 2024 race on June 22nd Photo: Bob Bateman

Karen Kissane, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club, expressed her gratitude towards the dedicated volunteers, stating, "Preparations in Wicklow are in their final stages now, and excitement is ramping up. We are so grateful to have such wonderful volunteers ready to step up and give so much time to get us over the line."

Round Ireland race spectators on Wicklow harbour pier Photo: Bob Bateman

Those interested in following the race can access all the action through YB Tracking, where race progress and the latest updates will be readily available on Afloat.

Race Director Kryan O’Grady commented, "The eagerly anticipated Round Ireland vows to be a highly competitive race, with a fleet of boats battling for position and a chance to win the coveted title."

As the port town of Wicklow excitedly prepares for the event, the festival on Black Castle is set to return. It will offer a variety of entertainment for all the family, including live music, bouncy castles, and a selection of food stalls.

Published in Round Ireland
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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

FAQs

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 https://afloat.ie/sail/events/round-ireland/item/25789-round-ireland-yacht-race-tracker-2016-here.

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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