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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
VDLR SPECIAL TROPHY WINNERS 2017
|Special Trophies||Boat Name||First||Surname||Other||Club|
|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