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475 Boats Confirmed For Ireland's Biggest Sailing Regatta at Dun Laoghaire

5th July 2017
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Racing at VDLR begins tomorrow 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 the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The area will be a hive of activity for the 7th staging of this event and there will be plenty of action out on the water with over 2,500 participants, 475 boats competing in 35 different classes of boats, large and small, old and new, racing on seven race course areas over the four days of the regatta.

The quality of sailing will be extremely high with some of the country’s top class sailors taking part including Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy. The event attracts yachts from the Netherlands, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, England and all four provinces of Ireland.
Most notably this year there will be a Classic Yacht Division in VDLR 2017 competing for the ‘Kingstown 200’ Bicentenary Cup as part of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bicentenary Festival.

There will also be a wonderful variety of entertainment around the waterfront for those on land including live music from the St. Maur’s Pipe Band at the East Pier Bandstand. Also on the East Pier will be Marine Artists, Living Earth Photography, Teddy’s Ice-Cream and the Fish Shack and entertainment will be spread out along the waterfront to ensure you’re kept amused at all times!

Dun Laoghaire will be the perfect location for a family day out with the delicious People’s Park Market offering some of the best market food available in Dublin. Volvo Cars Ireland will also be displaying their latest range of cars at The People’s Park, the East Pier and the Harbour Plaza.

The event is also set to bring in a significant amount to the local economy. Using the standard tourism formula, the four day event is expected to bring in €150,000 per day and €600,000 overall across the four days.

Speaking in advance of the event, Tim Goodbody, Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta said; “As we celebrate the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, we are looking forward to seeing 2,500 sailors and hundreds of spectators to the 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. This event has grown from strength to strength, and we believe that this year’s instalment will be the finest to date. We will have more than 300 volunteers who give their time and energy to ensure the Regatta runs smoothly, as well as the active cooperation of local area businesses and the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. We look forward to welcoming our sponsors, sailors, and the thousands of spectators to Dublin Bay this weekend.”

David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Car Ireland, added; “Having been involved in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta since 2007, we have seen first-hand what a magnificent event this is. The Volvo brand is synonymous with sailing around the world and we are delighted to continue this associated in Ireland with the country’s biggest sailing event. Together with Spirit Motor Group we work to support what we see as important events in the community where our customers live, work and engage in sporting activities as an important part of life. We wish all the participants the best of luck.”

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta takes place from Thursday 6th July until Sunday 9th July 2017.

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

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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.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

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