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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Ireland's Biggest Sailing Event on Dublin Bay
75 different clubs from seven nations, racing 290 races are expected to compete at Dun Laoghaire Regatta in seven months time
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers are reporting a strong uptake for its early bird entry offer for next July's four-day sailing event on Dublin Bay. With seven months to go, the country's biggest yachting festival – a collaboration between all four waterfront…
The Sigma 33 class that will contest its Irish championships as part of 2019 Dun Laoghaire Regatta is one of 39 sailing classes set to compete at the regatta from 11-14 July
As part of the 2019 announcement of next year's biggest sailing event in Ireland, next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta will host a special event within the regatta for Scotland's RC35 yachts to compete for the 'Celtic Cup'. Details of the Dublin Bay regatta…
The Northern Ireland RS Elite fleet competing at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta
In 2019 the RS Elite fleet will travel to Ireland to hold its National Championship as part of the popular Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The regatta has been held biennially since 2005 and is the largest regatta in Ireland. This is…
Myfanwy shows her sweeping curves to best advantage as she races to success in Dublin Bay. Photo
The memorable Dun Laoghaire Regatta of 2017 included celebrations for the Bicentenary of the great harbour, and the Kingstown 200 Trophy in its honour became something very special for racing among the Classics writes W M Nixon. In a popular…
Howth Yacht Club's Flashback – attention to detail helped them win offshore at Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Taking on the dominance of the Dun Laoghaire J109 offshore fleet on its home waters and winning is no mean feat. Winning skipper Paddy Gregory of the Beneteau First 34.7 Flashback (owned by Don Breen and David Hogg) recalls last week's…
Kingstown 200 Bicentenary Rowing Race Prizegiving (l to r) Cathy McAleavy (Classic Race Coordinator) Chris Doorly (St Michaels Rowing Club) Paula Keating, Leona Franey, Marc Nichols, Michael Sillery, Michael Dunne of the Wicklow Rowing Club and Tim Goodbody (Volvo Race Director)
With a record entry of 123 crews, yesterday's St. Michael's Rowing Club regatta added a real splash of colour to the back of the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire. This year's annual event for the local club was scheduled to…
15 Mermaids took part in VDLR 2017 in what was also their Leinster Championship
The 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta saw the return of the Mermaid fleet in impressive numbers to Dublin Bay for the first time in a number of years. 15 Mermaids took part in what was also their Leinster Championship from…
Scroll down for a gallery of images from 2017
Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, had an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with over 475 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing. Here's a selection of images in the gallery below:   [data-ps-embed-type=slideshow] >…
Incoming Dun Laoghaire Regatta Chairman Don O'Dowd (third from left) with (from left) Commodores Paul Sherry of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Ronan Beirne of the National Yacht Club and Michael Pomeroy of the Royal St. George Yacht Club carry out a check of all six race courses
Tim Goodbody’s chairmanship of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta came to an end as the curtain fell on today's 2017 edition. Tim has held this role for the past two events and he hands over to incoming Chair, Don O’Dowd, at a…
VDLR 2017 Boat of the Week is won by Joker II from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. The J109 skipper, John Maybury, is joined onstage by all other trophy winners
Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close this afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with over 475 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing. A light sea breeze of…
Paddy Gregory's Flashback took the Offshore lead at Dun Laoghaire Regatta this afternoon
A sea breeze brought changes to the leader board in several classes in the penultimate day of Ireland's biggest sailing regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay today. One contender for tomorrow's (Sunday) top prize of the 'Volvo…
Class One competitors jostle for position at the favoured pin end of today's coastal race of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
As Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 reaches its halfway stage, overall leaderboards are shaping up across 35 racing classes. The so far light wind seventh edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event has produced some impressive performances on the water where…
The Howth Yacht Club Try Racing Team – Ciara Hennessy, John McNaboe, Orla Blake, Leah-Ann McHenry, Noel Davidson and Liz McNulty
One of the teams taking part in their very first regatta at today's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta are Howth Yacht Club's “Try Racing” team competing in the north Dublin Club's recently purchased J80 keelboats. This time last year none of…
Not hangin' around – The SB20 Sea Biscuit (Marty Cuppage) is racing for Southern Championship honours as part of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
It was business as usual for John Maybury's J109 Joker II in this afternoon's opening races of the 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The triple class one ICRA national champion has moved to the top of the leaderboard in Ireland's…
Check out the Spring Tides Video below
With light to moderate breezes anticipated for much of this year’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 which starts tomorrow afternoon, savvy sailors will be cognisant that the Full Moon, which occurs early in the morning of Sunday July 9th, will…
Racing at VDLR begins tomorrow
Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which takes place from tomorrow until Sunday, 9th July 2017, is set to be an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay. There will be a fantastic festival atmosphere across…

Dun Laoghaire Regatta –  From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates eight separate courses for 25 different classes racing every two years for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In assembling its record-breaking armada, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta (VDLR) became, at its second staging, not only the country's biggest sailing event, with 3,500 sailors competing, but also one of its largest participant sporting events.

One of the reasons for this, ironically, is that competitors across Europe have become jaded by well-worn venue claims attempting to replicate Cowes and Cork Week.

'Never mind the quality, feel the width' has been a criticism of modern-day regattas where organisers mistakenly focus on being the biggest to be the best.

Dun Laoghaire, with its local fleet of 300 boats, never set out to be the biggest. Its priority focussed instead on quality racing even after it got off to a spectacularly wrong start when the event was becalmed for four days at its first attempt.

The idea to rekindle a combined Dublin bay event resurfaced after an absence of almost 40 years, mostly because of the persistence of a passionate race officer Brian Craig who believed that Dun Laoghaire could become the Cowes of the Irish Sea if the town and the local clubs worked together.

Although fickle winds conspired against him in 2005, the support of all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs since then (made up of Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St GYC), in association with the two racing clubs of Dublin Bay SC and Royal Alfred YC, gave him the momentum to carry on.

There is no doubt that sailors have also responded with their support from all four coasts. Entries closed last Friday with 520 boats in 25 classes, roughly doubling the size of any previous regatta held on the Bay.

Running for four days, the regatta is (after the large mini-marathons) the single most significant participant sports event in the country, requiring the services of 280 volunteers on and off the water, as well as top international race officers and an international jury, to resolve racing disputes representing five countries.

Craig went to some lengths to achieve his aims including the appointment of a Cork man, Alan Crosbie, to run the racing team; a decision that has raised more than an eyebrow along the waterfront.

A flotilla of 25 boats has raced from the Royal Dee near Liverpool to Dublin for the Lyver Trophy to coincide with the event. The race also doubles as a RORC qualifying race for the Fastnet.

Sailors from the Ribble, Mersey, the Menai Straits, Anglesey, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Man have to travel three times the distance to the Solent as they do to Dublin Bay. This, claims Craig, is one of the major selling points of the Irish event and explains the range of entries from marinas as far away as Yorkshire's Whitby YC and the Isle of Wight.

Until now, no other regatta in the Irish Sea area could claim to have such a reach. Dublin Bay weeks such as this petered out in the 1960s, and it has taken almost four decades for the waterfront clubs to come together to produce a spectacle on and off the water to rival Cowes.

"The fact that we are getting such numbers means it is inevitable that it is compared with Cowes," said Craig. However, there the comparison ends.

"We're doing our own thing here. Dun Laoghaire is unique, and we are making an extraordinary effort to welcome visitors from abroad," he added.

The busiest shipping lane in the country – across the bay to Dublin port – is to close temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of eight separate courses each day.

A fleet total of this size represents something of an unknown quantity on the bay as it is more than double the size of any other regatta ever held there.

The decision to alter the path of ships into the port was taken in 2005 when a Dublin Port control radar image showed an estimated fleet of over 400 yachts sailing across the closed southern shipping channel.

Ships coming into the bay, including the high-speed service to the port, will use the northern lane instead.

With 3,500 people afloat at any one time, a mandatory safety tally system for all skippers to sign in and out will also operate.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the appearance of four Super Zero class yachts, with Dun Laoghaire's Colm Barrington's TP52 'Flash Glove' expected to head the 'big boat' fleet. At the other end of the technology scale, the traditional clinker-built Water Wags will compete just as they did at a similar regatta over 100 years ago.

The arrival of three TP 52s and a Rogers 46 to Dun Laoghaire regatta is a feather in the cap of organisers because it brings Grand Prix racing to Dublin bay and the prospect of future prominent boat fixtures on the East Coast.

With 38 entries, the new Laser SB3s are set to make a significant impact although the White Sail Class five almost rivals them numerically. The Fireball is the biggest dinghy class, with 27 entries, while there are 25 entries for the Ecover Half Ton Classics Cup which began on Monday.

Class 0 is expected to be the most hotly contested, if the recent Saab IRC Nationals, Scottish Series and Sovereign's Cup are any indication. Three Cork boats ­- Jump Juice (Conor and Denise Phelan), Antix Dubh (Anthony O'Leary) and Blondie (Eamonn Rohan) - are expected to lead the fleet.

(First published in 2009)

Who: All four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Yacht clubs

What: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Why: A combined regatta to make Dun Laoghaire the Cowes of the Irish Sea.

Where: Ashore at Dun Laoghaire and afloat at eight separate race courses on Dublin Bay. Excellent views from both Dun Laoghaire piers, Sandycove and Seapoint.

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