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Dun Laoghaire Regatta News

Jamie McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is back in the hunt after his disappointing start and counted 28,17, 7 yesterday to be 20th overall in the boy's Laser Radial fleet from 57 in Gdynia, Poland.

The Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial fleets only completed one race on opening day and sailed three on Tuesday to catch up on their schedule of races.

Ireland is represented in the Laser classes by Ireland's first-ever siblings with Jamie's sister Eve competing in the Girls class.  

More than 400 sailors from 66 nations are racing in Poland. Even to make it to the Youth Worlds is an achievement in itself with only one nation represented in each fleet.

Poland’s Tytus Butowski has come to the forefront for the home nation and grabbed the lead in the boy’s division. His 3-5-7-(10) scoreline positions him one point clear of Wonn Kye Lee (SGP) and a further two ahead of Juan Cardozo (ARG), the silver medallist from 2018.

In the Girl’s Laser Radial, 15-year-old Eve McMahon is 22nd from 47 after four races sailed. 

overnight leader Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) had a mixed day with a 3-7-(22) scoreline but that was enough to hold onto the lead. Laser Radial Youth Girl European Champion Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP) sailed beautifully, recording a 4-4-5 which positions her in second. Shai Kakon (ISR) is third.

Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time as the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships reaches its mid-point.

Published in Laser
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There was an inauspicious start for Ireland's Jamie McMahon at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland today when the Howth Yacht Club youth was disqualified from the first race following a premature start.

McMahon was one of 11 in the 47-boat Laser Radial Boy’s fleet to incur the Black Flag penalty.

Finland’s Otto Dahlberg claimed the win. He was followed by Connor Nelson (USA) and Polish hopeful Tytus Butowski. 

After two days of preparation, boat work and practice, Monday signalled the start of the 49th edition of the Hempel Youth Worlds with 409 eager sailors from 66 nations ready to race across nine events.

In a light breeze, just one Laser Radial race was completed in both the boy’s and girl’s divisions.

In the Girls Radial, McMahon's sister Eve fared better and was 26th in her 47-boat fleet.

Results are here.

Radial youth worldsThe Radial dingy park at the Youth Worlds in Gdynia, Poland

Just one year ago, Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani was sailing the Laser 4.7 in Gdynia at their World Championships. The Italian won the first race of that World Championships and later went on to win gold. She won the first Laser Radial Girl’s race at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships and was delighted with her start, "This is my first Youth Worlds. I’m using my experience from last year. I was able to understand a lot of things about this place last year and it’s certainly helped.

"Today was a little bit gusty and shifty. I started today’s race well and some boats headed to the right of the course. I stayed left and that paid off for me. It was between 7-8 knots with gusts up to 10 today. They’re my type of conditions. I like 11-12 knots normally."

Whether she can go on and replicate her Laser 4.7 Worlds performance is a question that will be answered on Friday 19 July when racing concludes.

Manon Peyre (FRA) finished in second and 2017 Laser 4.7 World Championship silver medallist Simone Chen (SGP) came in third, also drawing upon her own experience of the Polish waters.

Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 16 July.

The Howth brother and sister are the first Irish siblings to qualify for the same Irish Youth Sailing Team.

Alongside the McMahons in Poland are Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge (of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire), read about their race win here, and Leah Rickard (from NYC) and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (from Kerry’s Tralee Bay Sailing Club) in the 29er class.

Joining the team is Irish Sailing Laser Radial coach Sean Evans, and Thomas Chaix who will coach the 29ers.

Published in Laser
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George Kingston has won the Laser Standard division of the prestigious 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta by seven clear points overall.

The Cork native led the 11-boat series from Thursday's first race and counts five race wins from seven sailed.

As Afloat reported previously, the Royal St George sailor gave a masterclass in race management and consistency last weekend when he strolled to the Laser Leinster title in the waters off Rush.

Second overall is Kingston's clubmate Ross O'Leary with a third Royal St George sailor, Gavan Murphy, the Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain in third.

Published in RStGYC

Trading a few years of experience on your rivals isn’t a major problem when you’re on a run of form like George Kingston.

The Royal St George sailor gave a masterclass in race management and consistency last weekend when he strolled to the Laser Leinster title in the waters off Rush.

And the return to Dublin Bay clearly hasn’t broken his stride - finishing Day 2 of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta with three bullets out of three in the standard rig class.

Clubmate Ross O’Leary and Royal Irish’s Justin Maguire - both of whom were gearing up for a home challenge in the Master Worlds this time last year -  were left swapping second and third spots.

Justin Maguire Laser 2743Justin Maguire of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Meanwhile in the Radial fleet, Marco Sorgassi tops a runners and riders list that he didn’t even appear on when it went to press, scoring a brace of race wins and a second place.

Rush’s Tom Fox - the only non-Royal St George-affiliated entry in the 10-strong fleet - lies second, with a comfortable five-point gap over next placed Sean Flanagan.

Published in Laser

There was disappointment for Ireland as Finn Lynch's 2019 bid for a Tokyo berth sank in the final races of the Laser World Championships in Japan earlier today.

Australia’s Tom Burton, the Olympic Gold medalist from Rio, took the title followed closely by teammate Mathew Wearn.

Ireland's Rio rep, Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) was best placed to achieve qualification (the top five unqualified countries go through this week) but has ended the championship in 40th overall in the 148-boat fleet, 11th unqualified country and some 56-points off the tally required.  Results are here.

Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) placed a solid 50th for his debut at senior level world championship while Liam Glynn (Bangor, Co. Down) in only his second worlds made the top 100.

"For sure, the result is disappointing, especially after such a strong season," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. "However, sport always has highs and lows, the key thing now is to bounce back and be ready for Genoa.”

Last Chance for Ireland in Genoa

Unfortunately, Ireland also missed out on qualification last year when the first 14 nation places were allocated at the 2018 World Championships in Aarhus. This represented 40% of the 35 boat Olympic Laser fleet.

The Laser Men’s European sailing teams who qualified in Aarhus 2018 were;

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Norway

Six non-European countries also qualified for Tokyo in Aarhus. Those were;

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • United States

In addition, Japan as a host nation automatically qualifies for the Games meaning 15 of 35 places were already booked coming into the pre-Olympic season.

In Japan today, a further five berths were decided between the 44 unqualified nations from 58 competing. These are: 

  • Sweden 
  • Argentina
  • Russia
  • Hungary
  • Guatemala 

This leaves 15 places to complete the Olympic fleet.

These will be available at Continental Qualification events throughout the remainder of 2019 and moving into 2020. Full details of how these places will be distributed are in the Tokyo Qualification System document that is downloadable here but for Ireland, the news is that there are just two European places left and these will be decided next year in Genoa.

The following five European countries, (who have still not qualified their country) all finished ahead of Ireland today so Ireland will have to overhaul all but one of these to win a Tokyo berth in Genoa next April 13-19. 

  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium

It'll be a tough nut to crack especially as both Belgium and Spain beat Ireland at the 2018 World Championships too yet the Italian venue is where Lynch performed so well earlier this season.

Read Afloat's coverage of the 2019 Laser World Championships in one handy link here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Sixty five Laser Standards, Radials and 4.7’s from all four corners of Ireland gathered at the beautifully picturesque and recently refurbished Rush Sailing Club for what was a fantastically enjoyable weekend, both on and off the water writes Gavan Murphy

OOD, David Lovegrove and his capable crew had made the very wise decision to postpone racing on the Saturday by one hour to 12:30 pm to ensure boats were launching into a significantly weaker tide and deeper estuary.

Saturday started as an overcast, damp day with 3-4 knots out on the racecourse. George Kingston (RSGYC) showed superb race skills and consistency to take the overnight lead in the Standard fleet with two first’s and a second. Sean Craig (RSGYC), who wisely opted for the Standard rig in the lighter conditions, proved his mettle with a second and two thirds to take second overall going into the Sunday. Ronan Wallace, following his recent success in East Antrim at the Laser Northern Championships, continued his fantastic run of form going into Sunday just one point behind Craig in third place. Local Rush sailor, Aaron Rogers, was never too far behind the leading pack and was sure to cause an upset come Sunday based on Saturday’s form following a second-place result to his name.

Rush2The fleet return to Rush Sailing Club

In the Radial fleet, recently returned 29er Nationals sailors, Chris Bateman (MBSC) and Atlee Kohl (RCYC) showed superb form with two top three results amongst them on the Saturday, leaving them in first and third overnight. However, French sailor Martin Kowalsaki (Usamvoile Brest SC) showed he wasn’t visiting as a spectator following a first and third in day one, which put him in second place going into the Sunday.

In the 4.7 fleet, Iseult Hogan (RSGYC), showed her class with a second, third and first on day one taking her into top spot going into the Sunday. However, with Michael Crosbie (RCYC), just one point behind Hogan, Sunday would prove to be a very competitive affair. Hugh O’Connor (NYC) was also biting at their heels with a first and third on day one, leaving him in third place overnight.

On Sunday, Rush turned on its charm as sailors were greeted to wonderful conditions with a 6-8 knots northwesterly in glorious sunshine. Again, the race committee had opted to start the fleets an hour later at 1:30 pm on account of the strong tidal streams and water depth launching into the estuary.

In the Standard fleet, George Kingston showed his superb race management and match racing experience to cover and keep the challengers at bay with a fourth, and two seconds, finishing first overall. Aaron Rogers came to the fore on Sunday with a second and first to his name and squeezed Sean Craig out by just one point to take second place. Craig took third, just one point ahead of Ronan Wallace in fourth.

With just 4 points between them, the twenty-nine strong Radial fleet went unchanged on the Sunday following a superb set of results from Bateman (first), Kowalsaki (second) and Kohl (third).

The 4.7 fleet turned out to be a major reversal of results and fortune for some on the Sunday. Michael Crosbie showed some serious class with three firsts to take a very well-deserved first overall. Hugh O’Connor continued on from his success on the Saturday with two seconds and a fourth to take second overall. Alana Coakley continued her recent run of form to take third overall following a third and fifth on day two.

Many thanks to David Lovegrove and his team for their race stewardship and to Austin Hughes and his team for their hospitality in what was a most enjoyable weekend in a superb venue. 

Gavan Murphy is Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain

Published in Laser
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With only two races left to sail at the Laser World Championships and Olympic Qualifier in Japan, top Irish contender Finn Lynch needs to move up 16 places overall in order to secure the last of the five Olympic berths up for grabs.

There's no doubt he'll rue some inconsistent sailing this past week that has put him in the same position as 2018 when, with some promising performances, he missed the standard then by 20 points and finished 31st place overall.

This week Guatemala's Maegli Juan Ignacio in 21st place will take the final qualification place as things currently stand unless Lynch, an individual race winner at the Japanese championships, can address the existing 40-point deficit and leapfrog four other unqualified countries between him and Juan Ignacio. Results are here

Tomorrow will be a big ask for the Carlow sailor but he can still do it, for two reasons.

Firstly, he has an uncanny, ruthless ability to finish regattas strongly (he finished ninth in the last race in the 2018 Worlds) and that is perhaps the greatest skill of all for an elite racer.

Secondly, this Gold Fleet in the Laser Worlds is of a ridiculously high standard. What this means in practice is that the overall results can flip dramatically on a single day, especially on a high-pressure final day!  World Champions and Olympic medalists are winning races and then coming in the 40s in the next race, for example, the current World Champion Kontides Pavlos is 19th overall.

The National Yacht Club man probably needs no more than about 20 points over the two races to do it, but if anybody in Ireland can, Lynch can!  

The penultimate day on Monday saw Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) end in 37th overall (down four places from 33rd) as he was unable to repeat the race-winning performance he showed on Sunday.

Debutante Ewan McMahon

On his first-ever appearance at a senior-level world championship Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) had two back of fleet results that showed him pushing hard for experience including a 'Black flag' disqualification for early starting that masked an excellent top five position early in the race.

Laser worlds

“I just want to see the fighting spirit tomorrow," commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing's head Laser coach.

The series concludes in Sakaiminato on Tuesday before a break for a week when the women's Laser Radial World Championship begins with Aoife Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) and Aisling Keller (Tipperary) both aiming to secure a place for Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored an impressive win at the Laser World Championships in Japan today to move up 17 places overall.

The fourth day of the Championship (that doubles as an important Olympic Qualifier) has two Irish sailors in the Gold fleet final series for the top 52 boats in the 156-strong regatta.

On his first-ever appearance at a senior-level world championship Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) showed good boat speed but has dropped overall from 42nd to 50th. 

Finn Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) won the eighth race with a 50-metre lead at the finish after starting-well and was with the top five boats at the first mark before pulling ahead.

Currently, Lynch lies 33rd overall having been 50th going into Sunday’s races of the event.

“He didn’t need to do anything special as he is sailing well,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s head Laser coach. “He just needed a spark to boost his confidence and that is exactly what he got.”

The win is hopefully a return to form for Lynch who has been in blistering form this season.  Lynch will be attempting to keep some consistent scores going over the remainder of the series and he will be cognisant of the fact that despite three top ten finishes at the 2018 World Championships he missed qualification by about 20 points. He will also be sure to recall that it was race eight last year that proved his undoing with a disqualification while today he celebrates winning it in Japan!

Despite the significant boost of the individual Irish race win, though, Ireland remains tenth of the unqualified countries seeking only five Olympic berths on offer at this event. 

Racing continues until Tuesday and with it the chance of an Irish Laser spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Although Ireland's Finn Lynch and Ewan McMahon have both made it into the top third of the Laser World Championship 158-boat fleet in Sakaiminato today, the main aim of this week's Japanese venture was always to secure one of five country berths on offer for next year's Tokyo Olympic Games because, if unsuccessful, Ireland will have to wait until Olympic year itself for the last and the slimmest chance to make the Tokyo startline.

It's very early days in the Championships, but in the overall standings after six races sailed, (results here) the last of those five-nation slots is currently occupied by Guatemala's Maegli Juan Ignacio in 21st place with 42 nett points. The first of the five nation places is held by Sweden in tenth overall.

As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland's top sailor in these championships is Ewan McMahon currently in 41st on 69 nett points, a score that represents the tenth unqualified country.

In an example of what needs to be achieved by Tuesday, the 20-year-old from Howth (competing at his first senior worlds) would need to move up 20 places in order to take the last qualification berth as things currently stand. That's a tall order by any yardstick especially given the quality of this fleet that, for example, includes the defending World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Kontides Pavlos currently in 22nd place.

Scoreboard JapanAll eyes are on the scoreboard in the closing stages of the Laser Worlds in Japan

But in such situations, anything can and regularly does happen and there are still eight races to be sailed. McMahon took silver at the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in 2016 and has been on an upward trajectory ever since but there's no hotter fleet than this one assembled in Sakaiminato so leapfrogging five nations into a Tokyo berth will be tough. What's more, there's a queue of unqualified countries biting at McMahon's heels. The Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland and Portugal, for example, are all within six points of the HYC man.

It has prompted Irish coach, Croatian Vasilij Zbogar, to bet heavily on the elements for Irish success; “It definitely depends on the wind; with lighter wind, anything is possible as the (overall) points are actually quite close. Many good sailors didn’t make the Gold fleet and now we have nothing to lose. For now, it’s not about the (final) result, it’s about sailing freely and having fun.”

Ireland Missed Out in 2018

Unfortunately, Ireland missed out last year when the first 14 nation places were allocated at the 2018 World Championships in Aarhus. This represented 40% of the 35 boat Olympic Laser fleet.

The Laser Men’s European sailing teams who qualified in Aarhus are;

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Norway

Six non-European countries also qualified for Tokyo in Aarhus. Those were;

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • United States

In addition, Japan as a host nation automatically qualifies for the Games meaning 15 of 35 places were already booked coming into the pre-Olympic season.

Last Chance

After a further five berths are decided between the 44 nations from 58 competing this weekend, it will leave 15 places to complete the Olympic fleet.

These will be available at Continental Qualification events throughout the remainder of 2019 and moving into 2020. Full details of how these places will be distributed are in the Tokyo Qualification System document that is downloadable below. However, from an Irish perspective, if a qualification is not triggered this weekend then only two European berths are still open for Ireland.

These will be decided at Genoa Regatta in Olympic year itself but neither Lynch or McMahon will want to be waiting in the last chance saloon.

Trials

If Irish qualification is achieved, the focus then shifts to a trial series to decide whether the rookie McMahon or Rio veteran Lynch will be Ireland's rep in Tokyo. Details of the Qualification System is available to download here.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Ireland’s Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) and Finn Lynch (Bennekerry Co. Carlow) made the Gold fleet for the top 52 competitors at the Laser World Championship in Japan that is an important qualification event for next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Six races over the coming three days will decide the finals standings and the next five nations to be included on the Laser Olympic start line next year.

Out of the 44 countries seeking a Tokyo berth this week, Ireland is currently ranked in ninth country position (moving up from 11th after four races). However, five other nations also seeking a Tokyo place are within ten points of McMahon, who counts a Black Flag Disqualification from race two as his discard, so the stakes are high.

See overall results here

While Lynch scored two top 20 places earlier today to stand 50th overall in the 156-strong fleet, it is McMahon who has the best overall Irish placing in 41st place following a 14th and 13th for the day in his first senior World Championship in the class. The 20-year-old rookie has already given notice of his intent this season with a stand out European performance in May, as Afloat reported here

If McMahon can maintain such form and qualify the nation this weekend, it sets the stage for a trial between him and Lynch for the single Tokyo 2020 berth

Liam Glynn from Bangor was unable to find his opening day form and lies mid-fleet in 77th overall.

“It definitely depends on the wind; with lighter wind, anything is possible as the (overall) points are actually quite close,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s head Laser coach. “Many good sailors didn’t make the Gold fleet and now we have nothing to lose. For now, it’s not about the (final) result, it’s about sailing freely and having fun.”

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Page 3 of 46

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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