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#hyc – Ronan Cull continues to dominate the 40th Laser Frostbites at Howth Yacht Club. Cull showed no let up in demonstrating a master class in Laser sailing to the rest of the fleet. Concerns that the forecast of a dropping wind would impact the second race never materialised as the light westerly wind actually increased slightly through the morning.

The strong flood tide meant the race committee were forced in to having black flag starts in order to keep the fleet from being pushed over early after general recalls in both races.

In race 1 the fleet arrived in a tight bunch at the windward mark. The run against the tide proved to be tricky for the entire fleet and resulted in a group of five boats getting a small jump on the rest of the boats ,which they held to the finish line. While Cull had a built a good lead to take the gun, the race for the other podium places saw the next five boats having a great race with Daragh Sheridan taking 2nd, from Dave Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom and Ian Mc Sweeney.

Race 2 followed the familiar pattern of Cull storming away from everybody once again to take the win. Ronan appeared to really sail the runs well each time to pull away from the chasing bunch. Dan O'Connell showed good pace throughout to take a well deserved 2nd place. He was followed by Daragh Kelleher in third and a very tight finish between Dave Quinn 4th, Daragh Sheridan 5th and Darrell Reamsbottom in 6th.

Unfortunately the Radial fleet was missing the presence of the front runners this Sunday who were away training elsewhere. Carla Fagan and Ben Jennings took full advantage of this to record a race win each.

Daniel Hopkins continues to lead the 4.7 rigs from Alex Kavanagh and S Gallagher.

Hopefully the relatively mild temperatures continue for the two remaining Sundays.

Overall Positions

Full Rig

1. Ronan Cull

2. Dave Quinn

3. Daragh Sheridan

4. Daragh Kelleher

5. Darrell Reamsbottom

Radial

1. Aoife Hopkins

2. C. Twohig

3. Ewan McMahon.

4.7

1. Daniel Hopkins

2. Alex Kavanagh

3. S Gallagher

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#laser – It will be a final day shootout in the Laser and Laser Radial fleets at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

There is minimal separation in both fleets ahead of Sunday's double points do or die Medal Races following a thrilling penultimate day of racing. With the Medal Race places decided the competitors will be fighting it out for ISAF Sailing World Cup Final glory as well as a share of the USD$200,000 prize money.

Abu Dhabi treated the sailors to another glamorous day with a north westerly wind coming in around 10-13 knots which made for some exciting action.

Laser Radial

Just one point separates Belgium's Evi Van Acker and Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom in the Laser Radial heading into the final day.

The Belgian, a London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, and Danish racers traded blows on the penultimate day taking a win and a second apiece with minimal separation on the race track. Rindom came out flying in the opening race and took the lead from the start and she never looked back, sealing the deal by over 30 seconds over Van Acker.

Van Acker was dominant in the second race of the day, demonstrating exceptional downwind speed throughout to pull away from the pack.

As it stands Van Acker holds the lead on 11 points with Rindom on 12. Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) and Alison Young (GBR) are in the hunt behind the leading pair on 22 points but will likely fight their own battle on the final day.

"Wow, what a really nice day," beamed Van Acker after racing. "I really wasn't expecting this when coming to Abu Dhabi so yea, wow. It was a really nice day, really fun sailing with really big waves, nice breeze and how it should be every day.

"For me it was a good day. I was second in the first race but it didn't go so well. I was lucky to be really fast on the downwind so that made me some gains. In the second race I was good from the beginning and got the lead and kept on extending it. I am really happy."

Rindom was quick to echo her rivals thoughts on the days racing, "I like the weather, it's so much better than Denmark at this time of year," smiled Rindom, "I actually thought there was going to be no wind here but the conditions are so good.

"It was a brilliant day, I love the conditions and we had two good races which were done really fast by the Race Committee and the wind was perfect."

The level of competition in the Laser Radial fleet has been exceptional. World Champions in their numbers have battled it out over three days and now it all comes down to Sunday's Medal Race.

With double points on offer the game is wide open and Van Acker knows it's going to be tough, "I think I will just sail my own race. It's one point so you can't really do a lot. It's also quite close behind us so it's not like we have a 20 point lead over the rest. It will be really tricky and on the inside course [just off the Corniche] it will be really hard but I'm happy with my day and hoping to continue that tomorrow."

Rindom also remains wary, playing down her chances, "I don't know how I'll go into tomorrow yet, I have to go home and figure out what the points are. I can imagine there are some girls behind going for the win so we will just have to see."

Laser

World #1 Tom Burton and Matt Wearn are flying the Australian flag high in the Laser fleet at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE, occupying the top two spots in the ultra-competitive fleet.

Burton has been the standout performer of the week, recording three victories from six races. He leads on 11 points but his young compatriot, training partner, room-mate and rival Wearn piled on the pressure with an outstanding day on the water to pull within nine points.

Burton secured the opening race victory over Wearn by the narrowest of margins. Although Burton's lead seemed comfortable at the midway point of the race Wearn pushed hard to reduce the margin to two seconds at the final mark. Burton managed to hold on, narrowly, to take a slender victory.

Wearn ramped things up in the final race ahead of Sunday's deciding Medal Race and picked up an emphatic race win, finishing 60 seconds ahead of Jesper Stalheim (SWE). The result pulled the young Australian within reach of Burton and he was a happy sailor at the close of play, "I finally found some form," smiled Wearn. "I definitely needed it to get into that area to try and push for the top three. It's a bit of a shock to be up in second to be honest as the racing has just been so close in the Laser.

"With just 20 boats and one dropped score after six races anything can happen. But that's the way it is."

Burton and Wearn are sharing a room in Abu Dhabi and it will be a case of 'what goes on, on the race track, stays on the race track' on the final day. "I'm sure we'll have a good time tonight," joked Burton. "There will be a bit of banter and stuff like that but it's good to see an Australian one two."

"Matt and I train together a lot. I competed against [Tom] Slingsby in the regatta before he won the Olympic gold and I know how good a feeling it was for me to be just behind him. We train together so this will make for some good memories when we train this Australian summer."

Medal racing in a highlight competitive fleet is nothing new to Burton who has made the cut in all events he's competed at throughout 2014, picking up an abundance of medals along the way. For Wearn he has not faced off against all of the best Laser sailors in the world but goes in with no fear, "Tom's got a bit more experience than me in Medal Race situations but I think I'll go out there and just go for it. If I can win the race then anything can happen.

"It would be pretty big to finish on the podium. I had a bad regatta at the worlds so to get the confidence back up and get back into the groove of the Laser class would be really good."

An Australian one two is certainly on the cards but Tonci Stipanovic (CRO), Francesco Marrai (ITA) and Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) are all within touching distance. Nonetheless the ever confident Burton remains upbeat, "Depending on what the conditions are we will see what we can do. I'll see what the conditions are like tomorrow. I think that maybe there will be some more breeze and inside here [just off of the Corniche] it should be interesting."

Racing is scheduled to commence at 10:00 local time on Sunday 30 November.

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

#laserfrostbite – Overall Ronan Cull has a safe lead with five firsts at Howth Yacht Club's Laser frostbites series, followed by Dave Quinn and Darragh Kelleher while it's a family affair in the other fleets; Aoife Hopkins leads the radial fleet, with brother Daniel leading the 4.7's.

Yesterday's fourth day of the winter series started in 12 knots of wind from the west, brilliant sunshine with a sharp chill in the air and a strong ebb tide. Twenty-six Lasers competed on Sunday with the welcome return of the handsome Dan O'Connell and the brave but injury plagued Dave Mulligan.

A slight starboard bias at the start of race 1 favoured Darrell Reamsbottom, Dan O'Connell and Ian McSweeney, but it wasn't long before Ronan Cull and Dave Quinn emerged to be likely leaders at mark 1. The fleet split, but those on the middle left, playing the shifts, got out ahead, with Cull, Quinn, Mike Evans, Ian McSweeney, and Darrell Reamsbottom rounding first. While Cull and Quinn were safely away, there was a good fight for the next slots between McSweeney, Evans, Reamsbottom, Darragh Sherdan, and O'Connell. McSweeney was able to defend 3rd until O'Connell took advantage of a left hand shift at the top of the last full beat. McSweeney got back at him by beating toward the finish line, but a poorly timed tack allowed O'Connell to squeeze in at the pin taking 3rd. Darragh Sheridan finished 5th.

Date: 23/11/2014

Wind: SW, 12-14 knots

Races sailed: 7 & 8, Olympic triangle followed by Windward/Leeward,

Race length: 40 min each

Leader, standard: Ronan Cull

Leader, radial: Aoife Hopkins

Leader, 4.7: Daniel Hopkins

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Ronan Cull

2. Dave Quinn

3. Dan O'Connell

4. Ian McSweeney

5. Darragh Sheridan

Approximately 1 second elapsed between the last finisher of race 7, and the warning signal of race 8 – PRO Liam Dineen opting for a windward/leeward course, making for challenging and competitve downwind legs. Dan O'Connell was on the money at the pin with a slight port bias, and at one point it looked like he was going to cross the fleet. He tacked and led the fleet toward the left, in a strengthening ebb. There was plenty of jostling for position off the line, and the majority of the fleet hit the left layline early. Dave Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom, and Ian McSweeney led around mark 1, having played it more safely up the middle left. The second round saw Cull taking a convincing lead (from 4th around the leeward), not missing a shift, or any extra breeze on offer as the wind abated. Dave Quinn fell back to fourth and to a battle with Stephen Quinn, leaving McSweeney and Reamsbottom to fight for 2nd. McSweeney got ahead on the last full beat, Reamsottom having gone too far left, and a closely fought run ended with Reamsbottom establishing an inside overlap in the zone at the last leeward mark. McSweeney got a lucky jump ahead at the critical moment and was able to sneak around ahead and in 2nd place. Cull was well ahead at this stage and a worthy winner once more. 4th was also hotly contested by the two Quinns. They had split up the final beat and coming to the line Stephen - on starboard coming from the right – forced Dave to duck, and be postally pipped.

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Ronan Cull

2. Ian McSweeney

3. Darrell Reamsbottom

4. Stephen Quinn

5. Dave Quinn

Published in Laser

#hyc – Howth Yacht Club sailors were treated to a mild day for the third outing races of the Laser dinghy Frosbite series off Ireland's Eye. A 12-15kt easterly made for an interesting change for sailors with a swell rolling down the channel. The 37 entries are enjoying ideal conditions for this 14–race series.

The race committee set a windward leeward course for the first race. With a low tide at 12:10, the big decision for race one was when the tide was going to turn. With the Ebb still running, those who went left on the first beat towards the Island gained the advantage. Ronan Cull and Darrell Ramsbottom came out best leading at the first mark. Ronan gave an exhibition in downwind laser sailing to extend away from the fleet. The rest were left to manage the waves and angles in his wake. Racing was tight with many place changes. Darragh Kelleher moved into second spot on the first run, a position he held to the finish. Darrell Reamsbottom, Mike Evans, Stephen Quinn and Dave Quinn were in close proximity all the way to the finish with Stephen Quinn pipping Dave Quinn on the finish line to get third

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Darragh Kelleher

3rd Stephen Quinn

4th Dave Quinn

5th Mike Evans

Race 2

By the start of the second race the tide had clearly turned. The second race saw a change of course to triangles. A committee boat bias and desire for the fleet to get right made for a busy committee boat start. Ronan Cull and Dave Quinn got off the line reasonably well and tacked right, as did most of the leaders. Ronan Cull, furthest right of the leaders, showed good speed to lead again at the first mark. A fast reach towards the Island mark spread the fleet out somewhat with Ronan Cull extending his lead by the leeward mark, followed by Dave Quinn and Darragh Kelleher. These positions didn't change for the sausage and final triangle. Daragh Sheridan recovered from a disappointing first race to finish 4th.

1st Ronan Cull

2nd Dave Quinn

3rd Darragh Kelleher

4th Daragh Sheridan

5th Darrell Reamsbottom.

Overall Darragh Kelleher leads on countback from Dave Quinn with Ronan Cull in third. Ronan is carrying a 13th so is very much in contention with all still to play for half way through the series. The Radial Class is also close with Aoife Hopkins just a point ahead of E McMahon.

Published in Laser
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#lasersailing – Thirty seasoned Laser sailors were greeted with a Westerly at 8knots at Howth Yacht Club for the second race of the 40th Laser winter series, slightly calmer conditions than last week! The Race Committee had their work cut out for them as both the wind and fleet were making things difficult.

After a General Recall, the fluctuating wind delayed the restart and eventually stabilized from a SW direction. Taking no prisoners, the RC went with a Black flag and needless to say managed to catch one over the line early! Half of the fleet went left and the other right. Things started to get tricky at the top mark with the boats from the right just edging out those from the left. A bunch that included Daragh Kelleher, Ian McSweeney, Oliver Keenan, Ronan Cull, Dave Quinn and Mike Evans all rounded in quick succession. Those who stayed to the left of the run or up tide managed to make some good gains and round the LW mark in good position. Sailors jockeyed for position throughout the race as picking up the little puffs and shifts on the beat made for tight tactical racing.

Ronan Cull was the one and only sailor falling foul of the Black Flag, leaving Dave Quinn to take the bullet ahead of Oliver Keenan.

Race 2 got underway in lighter conditions after the wind veered back to the West. A clean start this time, and a last minute right hand shift biased the committee boat for the start. Some boats headed left, but the leaders came in from the mid-right once again! Dave Quinn and Troy Hopkins took the lead around the WW mark with the fleet in hot pursuit. Darrell Reamsbottom showed some great pace on the light air reaches to pull up to third by the Leeward mark, and eventually climbed to first early on into the second beat.

Heart Rates began to rise as the Race Committee shortened the course and sailors could see the finish line at the WW mark. The three boats left of centre were looking pretty good until Darragh Sheridan put in a "Brilliant Performance" (best of luck Daragh with the new book) on the last beat to throw the cat amongst the pigeons leading a bunch of boats in from the right in slightly better breeze. The wind died in the final third of the beat, and Ronan Cull showed good speed in the home straight to take the win. Closely followed by Oliver, Daragh, Darrell and Dave, who were only separated by a mere boatlength on the finish line.

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Dave Quinn

2. Oliver Keenan

3. Ian McSweeney

4. Darrell Reamsbottom

5. Darragh Kelleher

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Ronan Cull

2. Oliver Keenan

3. Daragh Sheridan

4. Darrell Reamsbottom

5. Dave Quinn

Published in Laser

#frostbites – Dun Laoghaire harbour was quite a soggy scene when a downpour hit the DMYC Frostbite fleet just before the scheduled start of proceedings and whatever wind there might have been was killed off shortly thereafter writes Cormac Bradley.
From a waterside location, just on the seaward side of the Dun Laoghaire marina, the committee boat started off at the mouth of the harbour and progressively moved inshore until it was just to the west of the gantry for the HSS ferry. A substantial fleet of Lasers, RSs, IDRAs and nine Fireballs floated around the committee boat until, just after 14:30, three blasts of the starter's horn brought proceedings to a close.
By that stage the atmosphere was starting to improve, the rain had disappeared off to sea but stillness descended to replace it. The air temperature wasn't bad at 10˚, but the fleet would have a long sail home.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

#lasersailing – Fifteen knots of wind and bright sunshine welcomed 31 Laser dinghies on the first day of the 40th Laser Frostbites at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday morning. It was a baptism of fire for some, conservative downwind sailing for most, and plenty of off-wind planning and gybe mark capizes. Shifty breeze under the west pier made the upwind legs tricky at times, but our equally effective and efficient race committee (Liam Dinneen, Richard Kissane, John Doran and veteran of the first series David Jones) ran two 38 minute races with practiced presicion.

For the standard fleet, Race 1 kicked off promptly at 10:50, with reformed golfer Dave Quinn leading the fleet from the slightly biased pin followed closely by Daragh Kelleher, Daragh Sheridan and Ian McSweeney. Quinn held the lead around mark 1 and until second beat, Kelleher grabbing it then, with Ronan Cull taking advantage of the left and rounding the second windward mark in 3rd. Cull got inside Quinn downwind and rounded in 2nd - and this is how it would finish.

Further back there was more shifting of places: Daragh Sheridan, Stephen Quinn, Darrell Reamsbottom and Mike Evans battling for the next slots. Sheridan came out on top of the group finding his usual top 5 form after some first-day jitters and a capsize at the first leeward mark.

Wind: SW, 14-22 knots

Races sailed: 1 & 2, Olympic triangles

Race length: 38 min each

Leader, standard: Daragh Kelleher

Leader, radial: E McMahon

Leader, 4.7: N Staunton

First capsize of the season: Carla Fagan

Race 1 - Standard fleet:

1. Daragh Kelleher

2. Ronan Cull

3. Dave Quinn

4. Daragh Sheridan

5. Stephen Quinn

True to his pre-race briefing, no time was wasted by race officer Richard Kissane and only 50 seconds elapsed between the last finisher of race 1 and the start of race 2. The breeze was freshening, and those nearer the pin gained from a left-hand shift within the last minute. The first four around mark 1 were Kelleher, Dave Quinn, Evans and McSweeney all having gone left upwind, and this was the order of finishing, with Sheridan catching up to 5th. Ronan Cull was conspicuous by his absence having broken his boom immediately after the start. Again there was plenty of close sailing throughout the fleet - a good omen for some close racing over the next few months.

Race 2 - Standard fleet

1. Daragh Kelleher

2. Dave Quinn

3. Mike Evans

4. Ian McSweeney

5. Daragh Sheridan

 

Published in Laser
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#liffeylasers – If you thought all the Irish Laser action was in the south of France this week, you'd be wrong. Paul MacMahon (Strangford/Howth), a previous number one on the domestic full rig rankings, is among 18 Lasers now entered for the Saturday's Royal Alfred Laser Challenge on the River Liffey. Other competitors heading for the captial's waters are a mix of younger guys graduating up from the 'Radial' rig and some senior 'Masters' including Theo Lyttle, Rob Cahill and Sean Craig.  

As previously reported, the East Link Toll bridge lifts at 1015 for the Lasers, racing (as many races as possible) from 1100, bridge back up at 1500, then Poolbeg YC for the prizegiving.

Published in Royal Alfred YC

#lasermasters – There's a strong contingent of Irish competing in the Laser Masters Worlds taking place from the 4th - 11th October in Hyeres, France this week.

The event has broken records for the number competing which topped out at an eye watering 499.

The logistics and challenges for the event organisers of dealing with a fleet this size both onshore and afloat are daunting but COYCH are managing.

Masters fleets are divided by age brackets. The youngest competitors are 35 in the apprentice fleet. At 45 these "young guns" graduate to Masters and so on as the bands continue up in blocks of 10 years.

The Irish team consists of Worlds stalwart and Great Grand Master Denis O'Sullivan. Chris Arrowsmith from RStGYC is in the Grand Master category. Ed Rice and Nick Walsh from Royal Cork YC along with Colin Galavan from RIYC and Kevin Currier from Ballyholme are in the Masters fleet. The team is rounded out by three Apprentice Masters, Dan O'Connell from RCYC, sailing coach Thomas Chaix and Paul Keane also from RIYC.

The weather has not played ball for the organisers who have been plagued by light airs and blue skies. Nice for the beach, of which there are plenty, but not for sailing. After two days of light racing some fleets have only two results but the Great Grand Masters have yet to finish a race.

After coming second in the Pre Worlds and winning the practice race Thomas Chaix was confident going into the first race but there is no quarter being given in the Apprentice fleet which includes 2 current and a very large percentage of ex Olmypians. The start line and contested mark roundings are not for the faint of heart.

The Masters fleet is around 130 boats so it's further split into Yellow and Red fleets. In the Red fleet Nick Walsh is on the hunt for some good results after a very successful domestic sailing season. Nick's sparring partner from home, Ed Rice is in the Yellow fleet and after a shaky first race put the demons behind him to score a decent result in the 2nd.

Well known RStGYC sailor Chris Arrowsmith had a middle of the road result in the first race but a strange abbreviation "PTSr" appeared beside his and others scores. This seemed to be "Penalty turns, retrospective" i.e. you're not whistled by the jury on the water but they take your number and penalise you after the race. An Australian team sailor was also penalised in this way and took the RC to the protest room where it seems to have been dropped. In the second race Chris scored a very respectable 11th. Onwards and upwards.

The forecast for the next few days is quite mixed. Last night a big rainstorm went through the area and there is a current "Orange" weather alert. Tomorrow the sun is due to come back and the wind is forecast in the 12-18kt range from a stable Easterly direction. This means waves in Hyeres Bay. Sun, Waves and Breeze for a Laser Sailor is better than a lotto win.

There is so much more to say about this event I could go on but I've just heard a gun and the AP is being lowered so I've got to go and get out on the water. For a very well observed flavour of the "internationality" of this event read USA team member Joe Berkeley's piece here 

Event photos are here and results here

Published in Laser

The Royal Alfred Yacht Club will hold a river Liffey racing event for the Laser dinghy class on Saturday 11th October. Dublin's East Link bridge is being opened at 10.30am to allow the passage of the fleet up the river and racing is due to start at 11.00.

Royal Alfred Yacht Club Commodore Barry MacNeaney reports there will be continuous races with a short lunch break until 15.00 and the bridge will open again  at 14.30 to let the competitors return to the Poolbeg Yacht Club where refreshments will be available before the prize-giving. 'This format tests the skills of the sailors in an environment of narrow waters and changing winds and provides an extra dimension to the more normal sailing conditions they usually experience', says MacNeaney.

Entry forms are available for downloading on the Royal Alfred website from next Monday (29th September).

 

 

Published in Royal Alfred YC
Page 32 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.

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Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

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