Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Maybury's J109 Off to Flying Start at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

11th July 2013
Crazy Horse
The Howth based Mills 36 design, Crazy Horse, (Alan Chambers/Norbert Reilly) was the winner of the first six races of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta this afternoon. Photo: Aidan Tarbett Scroll down the page for more day one photos
Maybury's J109 Off to Flying Start at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

#vdlr2013 – Inshore and offshore campaigner John Maybury's J109, Joker II, continues her winning form this season after victory in this afternoon's light and shifty opening race of the 2013 Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta.

Nearly 3000 sailors are afloat on Dublin Bay for the four day regatta that is the biggest sailing event in the Irish Sea area. The event hit the headlines yesterday with a full page entry list of all competing boats in the Irish Times. The value of the event is estimated by organisers to be worth €600k to the local economy.

The regatta got off to a prompt start in spite of forecasts of no wind, with all 25 classes completing the first day's programme.

Local sailor Maybury, from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, who was a class winner in June's Sovereign's Cup, took the first race of the 14–boat J109 fleet by a considerable margin, making every use of multiple Olympic keelboat helmsman Mark Mansfield on board.

Second was John Collins in Jet Stream from Pwllheli Sailing Club. His club mate, the ISORA offshore champion, Sgrech, sailed by Stephen Tudor was third.

Conditions could not have been more different than the first race this time two years ago when strong southerly winds gusted to gale force in the biennial event.

Today was equally as testing but for completely different reasons as sailors struggled to keep sails filling in the gentle sea breeze and strong sunshine that prevailed. 'It was light and shifty, you really had to keep your head out of the boat' said Mansfield, a veteran of the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the Star keelboat.

Racing is being staged until Sunday over eight separate courses and a combined fleet of 393 boats, with 120 visiting yachts.

An impressive line up of 12 class zero boats has made Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta the biggest turnout this year for the 40-footers.

Ten are visiting boats, but first race honours are staying local with Howth's well campaigned Mills 36 Crazy Horse (Alan Chambers and Norbert Reilly) taking a win from the Clyde based First 40, Zephyr (Stephen Cowie). Third this afternoon was Swansea's Dark Angel, a Dubois 37 skippered by Anthony Ackland.

In Class one's 16–boat fleet the recently crowned Irish class one champion Bon Exemple, a new Xp33 design, is on top again beating Fairlie's Mat1010 in the opening round. Third was Paul O'Higgin's Rockabill from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Yachts are sailing different courses including trapezoid, windward–leeward, and triangular configurations. This year for the first time there is also a coastal division but no winners details are available so far, with this 16-boat division only returning to harbour last night (under engine) at 1930.

The 2011 winner of the overall Volvo trophy Ken Lawless is back in  contention again but in a different boat. 

His new vintage quarter tonner Cartoon was fifth in today's opening race in one of the regatta's biggest fleets today but taking the gun in this 24-boat division is the IRC Class three National Champion Quest, skippered by Barry Cunningham of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

In the one design and dinghy divisions, sailing in the centre or the north west of the bay, there were plenty of familiar names at the top of the fleets.

Tim Goodbody leads the Sigma 33s, Ian Mathews the Flying fifteens, Gerry O'Connor the Squibs and Michael O'Connor in the SB20s.

Sailing in Seapoint bay with a 120 degree wind, a nine boat Fireball fleet sailed two races with winds strong enough for marginal trapezing. Both counting a 1 and a 2, the Clancy Brothers are tied with Brian Byrne and Stephen Campion for first place. More on the Fireball racing here.

Racing continues tomorrow (Friday).

Day one provisional selected results 

IRC CLASS 0 1. Crazy Horse (Chambers/ Reilly) 2. Zephyr (S Cowie) 3. Dark Angel (A Ackland)

IRC CLASS 1 1. Bon Example (X Yachts GB) 2. Now or Never 3 (N Stafford) 3. Rockabill V (P O'Higgins)

IRC CLASS 2 1. Checkmate XV (N Biggs) 2. Scenario Encore (S&J Fitton) 3. Tribal (L Burke)

J109 1. Joker II (J Maybury) 2. Jet Stream (J Collins) 3. Sgrech (S Tudor)

SIGMA 33 1. White Mischief (T Goodbody) 2. Leaky Roof 2 (A Harper/ E&K Robertson) 3. Rupert (R&P Lovegrove)

BENETEAU 31.7 1. Eauvtion (J&D Corlett) 2. Twister (Byers/ Fletcher/ Fair) 3. Prospect (C Johnston)

 

Published in Volvo Regatta

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta Quick Links:

Dun Laoghaire Regatta News here

Dun Laoghaire Regatta Results here

Dun Laoghaire Regatta Preview here

Download Sailing Instructions/Race Schedule here

Download IRC Class Divisions here

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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.

Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating