Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine


Dun Laoghaire Regatta Champions Crowned, Royal Irish's Joker II Named 'Boat of the Week'

9th July 2017
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 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 Credit: VDLR

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 six knots allowed organisers to complete nearly all 290 scheduled races with many class titles hanging on the outcome of today's final race.

In a fitting tribute to the harbour's bicentenary year, racing for the coastal classes finished inside the harbour, a nod to a long-standing Dun Laoghaire yachting tradition.

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247For a time this morning, it looked like there might be no wind for sailing but after a short delay all six courses – catering for 475 yachts – raced in a six–knot sea breeze

Dublin Yacht Club's shared the bulk of the overall prizes, awarded this afternoon at the official prize giving at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, winning 23 of the 35 classes including the coveted 'Boat of the Week' Trophy.

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247CLASS ONE – John Maybury's Joker II on the way to overall victory this afternoon. Maybury had a 13 – point win margin in a very competitive class one 28–boat fleet. In a remarkable performance for the J109 campaign, Joker II has now won three ICRA nationals in a row and today's class one win (see race start photo below) represents four VDLR wins in succession; 2011, 2013, 2015 and now 2017.   

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247

John Maybury's J109 Joker II from the Royal Irish Yacht Club was named top boat after leading an extremely competitive IRC class one 28–boat fleet from start to finish.

Maybury's lead, however, was cut to three points overnight by club–mate Richard Goodbody's White Mischief but a final challenge to Maybury on the South Course today did not materialise in the single race sailed. Instead the RIYC sailor ended the series on a 13.5–point cushion.

Regatta Chairman Tim Goodbody's reminder that 'Volvo Dun Laoghaire is a fun regatta, not a championship' did little to stem the fierce competition for the coveted Volvo prizes in 35 classes as the last race of the event concluded in the lightest sea–breezes of the series.

In a summer of achievements for John Maybury, his Volvo Trophy follows the first ever hat-trick of IRC National Championship victories achieved in Crosshaven last month. Today's victory was Maybury's fourth VDLR class win in a row winning first in 2011.

The premier award for top visiting boat went to Fergus Burnham and Andy Hunter in the GP14 Class.

The best one design keelboat award went to David Gorman and Chris Doorly in the flying Fifteen class.

Flashback VDLR offshore 1884Paddy Gregory's Flashback from Howth is the VDLR offshore champion. The Beneteau 34.7 is also the winner of the Jack Ryan Whiskey Royal Dee Offshore Championships

The 31-boat offshore prize was won by Howth's Beneteau 34.7, Flashback skippered by Paddy Gregory. Gregory also lifted the Royal Dee Offshore Championship Trophy that was raced as part of the regatta.

The Classic Division shared the coastal course start line today in Scotsman's Bay. The restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (below) finished tp of the 18–boat classics keelboat division

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247CLASSICS –Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle skippered by David Espey

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247CLASSICS – (Above and below) the Gaff Cutter Myfanwy from Neyland Yacht Club was the winner of the Kingstown 200 Trophy

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247

Dark Angel VDLR 0295CLASS ZERO – After wins at the ICRA Nationals and the Sovereigns Cup, Swansea's Dark Angel always looked on target for another Irish win at VDLR in the five boat class  (below)

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247

Checkmate VDLR 0235CLASS TWO – After a tightly bunched start (below), Howth's Checkmate XV (Dave Cullen) outwitted Scottish entry Trastada for the overall win. Angus Roddy's Clyde half tonner was third while Cullen's club mate Jonny Swan was third in Harmony

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247

Fusion Corby 33 VDLR 0974CLASS THREE –There were no surprises on the final day where Richard Colwell's Fusion made sure of overall victory in an eight–boat fleet

Cartoon quarter tonner VDLR 1371CLASS FOUR – Two wins in the final two races this morning clinched the title for Ken Lawless's Quarter Tonner Cartoon. The Royal Irish Yacht leap–frogged overnight leader, Flash, Jonathan Flood's Formula 28 from Wicklow Sailing Club by a margin of 5.5 points. Third in the 15–boat fleet was another Royal Irish Quarter Tonner, Paul Coulton's Cri Cri. Ten races were sailed with two discards.

GP14 Burnham VDLR 1194Top UK visitors Fergus Burnham and Andy Hunter from Nantwich were GP14 Leinster Championship winners

Ten classes included the regatta as part of their championship calendar in 2017: GP14s, 420s and Mermaid dinghies raced for Leinster honours. The J24s, SB20s and Squibs decided regional titles and the Sigma 33s, Beneteau 21s and the Wayfarers raced for national trophies.

The biennial event is being hailed an enormous success both afloat and ashore for a combined fleet of 475 boats, the biggest on the Irish Sea. Over 290 races on five different courses were staged in a range of light to medium conditions since racing began last Thursday.

Although 180 visiting boats made up nearly half the fleet, yachts from outside the bay area took away only seven trophies. The bulk of the silverware have stayed on Dun Laoghaire's waterfront.

Trophies were awarded in each of the 35 competing classes this afternoon, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful staging’s of Ireland's biggest sailing event.

VDLR Sunday Yacht Race 0247Alan Harper's Clyde–based Mayrise beat an excellent turnout of 20 Sigma 33s

Scotland's Clyde Cruising Club took a win in the Sigma 33 Irish open Championships. Howth Yacht Club had six wins in IRC two and three, the Howth 17s, J24s and non–spinnaer divisions but outside of that there was only single wins for Belfast Lough in the RS Elite, Rush Sailing Club in the Laser Radial, Sutton Dinghy Club in the IDRA 14s and Greystones Sailing Club won the Wayfarers.

In Dun Laoghaire, the Royal Irish Yacht Club topped the leaderboard winning six classes from IRC keelboats to Water Wag dinghies.The Royal St. George had five wins in one design classes. The National Yacht Club had three victories and the DMYC had two.


Special Trophies Boat Name First Surname Other Club
At End          
Best Overall ECHO Platinum Blonde Paul Egan   Royal St George YC
Most Successful Royal St George YC Boat Glen Luce Richard O'Connor Donal O'Connor Royal St George YC
Best Visiting Boat   Fergus  Barnham Andy Hunter Snettisham Beach&Nantwich
Best Dinghy/Small Keelboat Betty David Gorman   National Yacht Club
Best One Design/Keelboat Mayrise Alan Harper A Harper/E & K Robertson Cove SC,Argull & Bute, Clyde CC
Best Overall IRC Joker 2 John Maybury   Royal Irish Yacht Club
Boat of the Week Joker 2 John Maybury   Royal Irish Yacht Club
Best Overall Flying 15 Betty David Gorman   National Yacht Club
Best Overall Ruffian 23 Diane 2 Chris Helme Alan Claffey Royal St George Yacht Club
Best Overall IDRA 14 Dubious Simon Revill   Sutton Dinghy Club
Royal Dee Irish Sea Offshore Championship TBC        
IRC Offshore Class Challenge Trophy Flashback Paddy Gregory Don Breen Howth Yacht Club
Best DBSC Non Spinnaker Not Awarded        
Most successful Water Wag   Guy Kilroy Jackie Kilroy Royal Irish Yacht Club
Best Classic Boat & 100 Guinea Purse Myfanwy Robert Mason   Neyland Yacht Club

The next Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta will be held from 11th –14th July 2019

Full results for the 2017 Regatta here

Read all of Afloat's 2017 VDLR coverage in this one handy link here

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.

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