Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Round Ireland Yacht 2024 Race Updates from Wicklow Sailing Club
Darkwood skipper Michael Boyd is in the Wicklow clubhouse, waiting anxiously for three rivals to complete the Round Ireland race to find out if he was won the prize of the car determined over the last three Round Ireland races
Following perhaps the longest drawn-out race for a prize in Irish sport, and perhaps the most valuable prize ever in Irish sailing, it is coming down to a matter of minutes and seconds in today's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race…
JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins, RIYC) must meet a lunchtime (12.26) deadline to beat Round Ireland Yacht Race Clubhouse Leader SL Energies Groupe Fastwave for overall IRC rating honours
As more boats cross the finish line at Wicklow and celebrations of completing the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race's 700-mile course get underway, the clubhouse leaders  – the French crew of the J111 SL energies Groupe Fastwave – are watching…
IRC 2 boat, the French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) finished the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this Thursday morning at 0845
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…
After four days five hours nine minutes and 46 seconds at sea the Cookson 50 Kuka3 (skippered by Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) and with Ireland's Tom McWilliam onboard (third from left) returned to Wicklow Sailing Club this evening to take line honours in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race for 2022
Round Ireland Race Day Five (Wednesday) 1830 hrs - The Cookson 50 Kuka3 (Franco Niggeler, Switzerland) took line honours in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 at 18:09 hrs this evening off the Wicklow pierhead, after closing in on the…
Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot (HYC) has been hanging in like a limpet to maintain her IRC lead
Round Ireland Race Day Five (Wednesday) 1500 hrs - Time was when most crews thought they’d had a crisp and efficient Round Ireland Race if they were finished by the Thursday evening. But George David’s sensational circuit with Rambler 88 in…
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…
Robert Rendell’s Grand Soleil 44 Samatom has done remarkable things to come south from Rathlin now clearly ahead of Michael Boyd’s J/121 Darkwood
Round Ireland Race Day four (Tuesday) 2100 With the tides of the North Channel running favourably southwards for the Round Ireland fleet from around 16:30hrs today, the state of play for the leaders in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race…
The Fastnet Race-proven French J/111 SL Energies (Laurent Charmy) has never been out of the top ten overall since the race got into its stride, but never – until now – had she been in and out of the top three frame
Round Ireland Race Day Four (Tuesday) 1500 hrs  Down Wicklow way, they sell their SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race as the Race With Everything. They can say that again. After some ferocious sailing through Sunday off the Kerry coast, when the…
Paul O’Higgins’ Rockabill VI – currently making the turn at Tory Island while registering a respectable 6.9 knots – is narrowly leading overall on Corrected Time
Round Ireland Race Day Four (Tuesday) 0830 hours: When the on-water leader, the Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3 (Franco Niggeler), came past Rathlin Island at 03:00 hrs this morning, her crew knew that they had barely two hours of tide still…
The Swiss-flagged Cookson 50 Kuka3 with former Crosshavian Tom McWilliam on the strength
Round Ireland Race Day Three (Monday) 2000 hrs -  As the overnight northerly morphed unevenly into the new breeze from the west today with the fleet strung out between the latitudes of Kerry and the Aran Island, the tacticians in…
Round Ireland Yacht Race competitor Michael Boyd made a special tribute to the lost helicopter crew of Rescue 116 at the Blackrock Island 2017 crash site
Passing Blackrock Island on the County Mayo coast, a mark on the course of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, leading skipper Michael Boyd has paid a moving tribute to the four air crew of Rescue 116 Irish Coast Guard…
The Green Dragon crew is a select group of 15 from Dublin, Donegal and Belfast skippered by Conor Ferguson
Enda O'Coineen, the (non-sailing) Round Ireland co-skipper of Green Dragon, writes this year's Volvo 70 entry marks the tenth anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race coming to Ireland. I am sorry to see the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race leader for line-honours…
Marie Tabarly's French 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI off the coast of Wicklow prior to the start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race on Saturday
Marie Tabarly's French 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI has retired less than 48 hours into the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race. As Afloat reported, fifty years after France's legendary Eric Tabarly was winning "just about everything" with his…
The JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, Royal Irish YC)
Round Ireland Race day three (Monday) 0830 - The northerly winds have been easing through the night as the bulk of the fleet in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race make varying rates of progress northwards off the coast of North…
Kuka 3 is closing in toward Loop Head
Round Ireland Day Two 2030 hrs - At 06:30 this morning, came sweeping past the Fastnet Rock, and hardened sheets for the long and rugged slug to windward up the coasts of West Cork and Kerry, fired up to maintain her…
Donall Ryan's Sunfast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier has retired from the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race this afternoon, according to Wicklow Sailing Club organisers.  The yacht retired due to 'gear problems' just 30 hours into the race and while on…

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