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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

Final Preparations in Place for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

6th June 2011
Final Preparations in Place for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
With four weeks to go around 3,000 sailors are expected to start the biennial Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (July 7th – 10th) organised by the four waterfront yacht clubs on the Southside of Dublin Bay. Entries are being received steadily in all 25 classes for the fourth edition of the regatta.

Already 380 boats have signed up for the regatta which will be the biggest sailing event in Ireland in 2011. The competing sailors are drawn from Dublin Bay yacht clubs as well as from across Ireland with added participation from English, Welsh, Scottish, Isle of Man, French, Spanish, German and Danish yacht clubs.

For many of the boats in the cruising classes, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2011 will be the culmination of hard training and participation first at the ICRA National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven (17th – 19th June) and then the Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale (22nd – 25th June.) When the first starting guns are fired in Dun Laoghaire on the afternoon of Thursday 7th July, the fleet form should be clearer based on the results from the earlier regattas.

However star contenders that lined up for prizes at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009 are already in contention for prizes in 2011.

IRC Class Zero has attracted ten entries and will feature boats such as Aquelina, a J122 Arklow Sailing Club, Dopplebock, German-entry Dopplebock from Nordduscher Regatta Verein, a new J111 that is the latest 'WoW' from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and Cork's Jump Juice from the RCYC; all are expected to feature in the top results. Organisers are also expecting entries from Allan Hogg's, Argie Bargie from Royal Western Yacht Club, Kilrush, Co Clare and Vincent's Farrell's, Tsunami, from the National Yacht Club.

IRC Class 1 has already attracted 22 entries and will feature Afloat's Sailor of the Year 2010 Anthony O Leary with Antix Beag (RCYC), a modified 1720 which in the right conditions is unbeatable. Paul O'Higgins's Rockabill V (NYC/ RIYC) was IRC 1 champion at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009 is also a key contender. Organisers say Rockabill is an extremely well crewed boat and could be in contention for the overall event prize.

IRC Class 2 has already attracted 24 entries and the star contender is David Cullen's King One, a half tonner from Howth Yacht Club which although a classic boat is very well sailed. Red Rhum, Jonathan and Christopher Nicholson's Dehler DB1 from the Royal St George Yacht Club which won on ECHO at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009 is also in this class.

IRC Class 3 also has a strong entry with 33 entries so far and Flor O'Driscoll's Hard on Port (RStGYC) was the only boat in 2009 which achieved race wins across the regatta and is obviously the star contender in this class.

The non spinnaker classes (White Sail 1 and White Sail 2) which demonstrate the true spirit of sailing, have already attracted 25 entries, especially from visiting entries.

Philip Dillworth's Orna, a Grand Soleil 40 from the National Yacht Club which will sail in Non Spinnaker class 1 is a wonderfully consistent boat that wins everything. Other boats to watch out for in this class are Persistance from the RIYC which won on ECHO in White Sail 1 class at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009 and Katanca from RIYC and MacMagic from HYC who both achieved line honors two years ago.

So far 12 J109's are registered to race at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2011 and John Hall's 'Something Else' from NYC is widely regarded as the boat to beat in that class. Other 'one design' classes will include the Beneteau 31.7s, the Sigma 33s, the Ruffian 23s and the Shipman 28s.

The dinghy classes will include Laser SB3s sportboats. Squibs, Mermaids, Dragons, Flying Fifteens, Fireballs and Lasers single-handed.

Ben Duncan and Brian Moran's SB3, Sharkbait from Howth YC is already sitting at top of its class. But another a key competitor in that class will be Annalise Murphy who is currently ranked 9th in the world by the ISAF (International Sailing Federation), is a 2012 Olympic sailing campaigner and has kindly taken on the role of 2011 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta ambassador. Annalise will be sailing the SB3, Bluebird. In the Dragon class, a former Olympic boat, Martin Byrne is currently the national champion on Jaguar, so is the boat to beat in that class.

The classic boat classes will include Glens, Howth 17s, IDRA 14s, Water Wags, Wayfarers and Etchells and may be consolidated into a single race area, depending on the turn out. The UK and Irish national championships for the Wayfarer class will also take place during the event, with 40 to 50 boats expected in this fleet alone.

Organisers are also trying to build a relationship with the kite boarding class, which may become an ISAF Olympic class by 2016. The Regatta will have a prize for a kite boarding event in Sutton, and will have a kite boarding demonstration on one of the regatta days.

In addition to the overall winners and runners up, special trophies will be awarded for Best IRC, Best One Design/ Keelboat, Best Dinghy/ Small Keelboat, Best Visiting Boat and the Irish Open White Sail Champion.

Behind the scenes, there'll be more than 300 volunteers making sure that the event runs smoothly and organisers say they will process more than 6,000 sets of results (including handicap combinations) over the four days.

The regatta will take over the entire waterfront at Dún Laoghaire for the event, using the four yacht clubs and benefiting from Dublin Bay Sailing Club's expertise and equipment.

Published in Volvo Regatta Team

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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates six separate courses for 21 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 Ireland's 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. 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. A flotilla of 25 boats regularly races 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.

No other regatta in the Irish Sea area can 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 – closes temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of six 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.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta FAQs

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland's biggest sailing event. It is held every second Summer at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is held every two years, typically in the first weekend of July.

As its name suggests, the event is based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Racing is held on Dublin Bay over as many as six different courses with a coastal route that extends out into the Irish Sea. Ashore, the festivities are held across the town but mostly in the four organising yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is the largest sailing regatta in Ireland and on the Irish Sea and the second largest in the British Isles. It has a fleet of 500 competing boats and up to 3,000 sailors. Scotland's biggest regatta on the Clyde is less than half the size of the Dun Laoghaire event. After the Dublin city marathon, the regatta is one of the most significant single participant sporting events in the country in terms of Irish sporting events.

The modern Dublin Bay Regatta began in 2005, but it owes its roots to earlier combined Dublin Bay Regattas of the 1960s.

Up to 500 boats regularly compete.

Up to 70 different yacht clubs are represented.

The Channel Islands, Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland countrywide, and Dublin clubs.

Nearly half the sailors, over 1,000, travel to participate from outside of Dun Laoghaire and from overseas to race and socialise in Dun Laoghaire.

21 different classes are competing at Dun Laoghaire Regatta. As well as four IRC Divisions from 50-footers down to 20-foot day boats and White Sails, there are also extensive one-design keelboat and dinghy fleets to include all the fleets that regularly race on the Bay such as Beneteau 31.7s, Ruffian 23s, Sigma 33s as well as Flying Fifteens, Laser SB20s plus some visiting fleets such as the RS Elites from Belfast Lough to name by one.


Some sailing household names are regular competitors at the biennial Dun Laoghaire event including Dun Laoghaire Olympic silver medalist, Annalise Murphy. International sailing stars are competing too such as Mike McIntyre, a British Olympic Gold medalist and a raft of World and European class champions.

There are different entry fees for different size boats. A 40-foot yacht will pay up to €550, but a 14-foot dinghy such as Laser will pay €95. Full entry fee details are contained in the Regatta Notice of Race document.

Spectators can see the boats racing on six courses from any vantage point on the southern shore of Dublin Bay. As well as from the Harbour walls itself, it is also possible to see the boats from Sandycove, Dalkey and Killiney, especially when the boats compete over inshore coastal courses or have in-harbour finishes.

Very favourably. It is often compared to Cowes, Britain's biggest regatta on the Isle of Wight that has 1,000 entries. However, sailors based in the north of England have to travel three times the distance to get to Cowes as they do to Dun Laoghaire.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is unique because of its compact site offering four different yacht clubs within the harbour and the race tracks' proximity, just a five-minute sail from shore. International sailors also speak of its international travel connections and being so close to Dublin city. The regatta also prides itself on balancing excellent competition with good fun ashore.

The Organising Authority (OA) of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Dublin Bay Regattas Ltd, a not-for-profit company, beneficially owned by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC), National Yacht Club (NYC), Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Royal St George Yacht Club (RSGYC).

The Irish Marine Federation launched a case study on the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta's socio-economic significance. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly €3million to the local economy over the four days of the event. Typically the Royal Marine Hotel and Haddington Hotel and other local providers are fully booked for the event.

©Afloat 2020

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

In order to facilitate social distancing and be Covid-19 compliant a new regatta format will comprise a One Design Championship (2nd – 4th July 2021) specifically tailored for sailors in the one-design keelboat and dinghy classes. This to be followed by an Open Cruiser Championship (8th – 11th July 2021) catering for the full range of Cruiser Handicap classes.


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