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Displaying items by tag: 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
Tagged under

#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

#Laser - Foiling Laser pioneer Peter Stephinson is currently on a tour of the UK to evangelise the potential of his easy add-on kit that can turn any Laser dinghy into a foiling rocket to give even the dedicated Moth a run for its money.

According to Sail World, Stephinson – who teamed with Moth class president Ian Ward to develop the concept in their native Australia, forming Glide Free Design – has kicked off his visit in Portsmouth, getting World Laser Masters champ Nick Harrison up to speed with a set of this company's Glide Free Foils.

Just over a year ago Afloat.ie reported on their foiling Laser kit going on sale, allowing Laser sailors to easily convert their vessels to foil across the water like the popular Moth class – reputed to be the fastest dinghy in the world – but without the expense such ultra-modern vessels entail.

Sadly Stephinson's itinerary doesn't seem to include a visit to Irish shores – though it's only a short trip to Britain for anyone who wants to see the remarkable foil conversion kit in action.

Published in Laser
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#isafsantander – The game will be wide open in the Laser and Laser Radial at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship with large numbers gunning for World Championship glory and a Rio 2016 Olympic place. Ireland takes its place on the Laser start line with newly crowned national champion James Espey and Finn Lynch seeking Rio qualification while Annalise Murphy is aiming for Laser Radial qualification in just under two weeks time.

Seventy two nations featuring 150 sailors will compete in the Laser fleet whilst 58 nations will sail in the 120-boat Laser Radial fleet. Both fleets will kick start racing in Santander on Friday 12 September.

Santander 2014 acts as the first qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Twenty three Laser and 19 Laser Radial nation spots are there for the taking which will make for tight and fierce competition on the Bay of Biscay.

Brazil's Robert Scheidt heads to Santander as the defending champion having taken his ninth Laser world title at the 2013 class World Championship in Al Mussanah, Oman. Since returning to the Laser in March 2013 Scheidt has picked up where he left off, racing at the front of the pack.

Throughout the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series Scheidt has continually been at the top of the leaderboard with silver in Miami, a ninth in Mallorca and a fourth in Hyeres to his name. With a tenth Laser world title in sight the Brazilian is excited to head onto the Santander race track, "It's going to be a huge regatta and I've never sailed there but I've heard it's very challenging with different courses with different conditions so I'm really looking forward to it.

"We know it's not going to be easy. The Laser is a very tough and demanding boat and there are a lot of good guys at the moment pushing very hard. I think I'll have my chances so I'll go there and play the game."

For the Brazilian sailors across the ten Olympic fleets the pressure to qualify for Rio 2016 is off with the host nation automatically receiving one spot in each event. For the Brazilian Laser sailors, Scheidt, Bruno Fontes and Alex Veeren it is a weight off their shoulders with all efforts and focus channelled towards top finishes, "We don't have to make a good result at the worlds but at the end of the day when you go to a regatta you always go to try and win regardless of the qualification system. A lot of the good guys already know that they're going to take a spot and do the best they can," concluded Scheidt.

Australia's Tom Burton heads into Santander as the man in form and the one to beat. Burton has amassed three consecutive race victories in highly competitive fields. He took ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca and Hyeres gold before winning on Rio 2016 Olympic waters at the first test event, Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 in August.

After a ninth at the last World Championship Burton has his eyes on the prize in the Spanish city, "Going into Oman the goal was to win the Worlds and I was pretty disappointed with how I went and the result there. Santander, definitely, I want to win the worlds. A few years back I was thinking, 'yeah win the worlds that would be pretty good', I was young and time is moving on so it's now time to start winning."

Burton has five World Championship appearances under his belt, building up knowledge and experience and he knows that in the competitive field anyone, on their day, can strike gold, "Robert will always be tough to beat at the worlds. For myself the worlds is a step up and only happens once a year so it's tough to get the experience of that atmosphere but Robert's been there so many times, won it so many times it's probably a little bit more chilled for him.

"Tonci's [Stipanovic (CRO)] been the most on form this season and I think he's got his Olympic trials there so he's putting in a bit more effort into it. The usual guys will be up there. Tonci, Robert, Rutger [Van Schaardenburg (NED)] and the Kiwis but it depends who's on form throughout the week. Anyone in the top 20 in the world could be really having a good week and be at the front."

All of the world's top 25 sailors in the Laser will sail in Santander with World #1 Stipanovic, World #2 Nick Thompson (GBR) and World #3 Pavlos Kontides (CYP) coming in with good form and aiming to take gold.

Competition in the 120 boat Laser Radial fleet will be fierce with any sailor who brings their A-game capable of taking gold.

Throughout the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series there were separate winners' at all five regattas. Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) took gold on her home waters in Qingdao, Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) claimed the Melbourne honours, Paige Railey (USA) defended her Miami title, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) dominated the Mallorca field and Evi Van Acker (BEL) stormed to Hyeres gold.

All will be in contention in Santander but several other contenders will be full to the brim with confidence and optimism ahead of racing inlcuding Ireland's Annalise, fourth in the 2012 Olympics and European champion in 2013.

Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom has consistently been at the front of the pack in the Laser Radial over the last 12 months yet lacked a major title. Her breakthrough came at the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014, the Rio 2016 Test Event, where she took gold in a world class field.

With Rio gold behind her Rindom is full of positivity going into Santander, "It's good to win before the World's next month," said the Dane after racing in Rio, "It's a good signal that you can sail at the Olympic venue.

"Top ten in Santander will be really good because then we will have funding for next year and that's the most important thing. Also it is important to get a national place for the Olympics, that will be really good but I'm also going for a medal now I know I can do it. I am looking forward to it."

At the Rio Test Event the Radial fleet were pushed to the max with big waves and plenty of breeze on the race courses outside of Guanabara Bay. The conditions were not too dissimilar to those expected on the race courses in Santander with the Bay of Biscay famous for big swell.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy thrived in the big conditions in Rio and goes into the ISAF Worlds eager, "I was in Santander training just before I came here [Rio Test Event] and it's a really nice place to sail. Again there's really big waves so maybe being here will help a little bit.

"I want to go and have a good event and qualify the country for the Olympics and try and race well. I'm looking forward to it, it's a big world championship and it's my goal of the year and I can't wait.

"If I can sail well and race well I want to try and be at the top of the fleet and kind of see how it goes. I've been pretty up and down this year but I'm going to try and do the simple stuff right and hopefully the results will come. It's going to be a really good event and really competitive."

Croatia's Tina Mihelic won gold at the 2013 Laser Radial World Championship in Rizhao, China and will aim to defend her title in Santander. Further contenders for the podium positions will be 2014 European Champion Svenja Weger (GER), Alison Young (GBR) and World #6 Tuula Tenkanen (FIN).

The Laser and Laser Radial fleets will be the first to commence racing in Santander and will take to the water on Friday 12 September for two races. The Qualification Series will conclude on 13 September with four races deciding the gold, silver and bronze fleets.

Final series racing will start on 14 September with 15 September a reserve day. Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 will see the Medal Race places decided before the finale on Thursday 18 September where the medallists will be decided.

Published in Olympic

#lasersailing – After three days of strong winds, the final day of the Zhik Laser National Championships was always forecast for light breeze before strengthening in the afternoon writes Mark Mackey. Race Officer Robin Gray attempted several early starts but the wind kept shifting from side to side and it was early afternoon before things settled down. It meant there was time for only one race as an early time limit jad been agreed so that people could get home.

James Espey again took the lead on the downwind in the Standards and led the way home. Fionn Lyden eventually overtook Finn Lynch in a close battle to take second place and also second place overall. Finn had to settle for third overall though also added 1st Irish Laser Youth to the World Under 19 title won two weeks ago. This was James Espey's fifth Irish National title matching the record of Bill O'Hara. Bill was also competing here coming 14th (3rd Master), before flying off tomorrow or get ready as Race Officer for the upcoming Volvo Round the World Race. Thomas Chaix was first Master.

In the Radial class, Cian Byrne won the final race from Annalise Murphy and with it second place overall. Annalise won overall (her second Nationals title) and was 1st Lady. Liam Glynn had been leading Cian overall coming into today although only by one point. Unfortunately a bad start and an early yellow flag for body pumping put paid to any chances of Liam catching Cian. Ross O'Sullivan had another consistent day to take 4th overall.

NSH_0486.jpg

4.7 winner Johnny Durcan

Johnny Durcan continued to show his great form at the top of the Laser 4.7 fleet adding a second to his tally, finishing with only eight net points overall and ten points ahead of his nearest rival Rory Fekkes. Rory Caslin won the final race but this was still only good enough for 3rd overall with Scott Levie in 4th.

Ron Hutchieson was given a special award at the prize giving for 35 years of continuous service to the Laser class by event organiser Paddy Brow and ILA's Colin Leonard. Many thanks were given to the Race Officer Robin Gray, safety lead Ruth Mullan and the many volunteers for another great event.

Standard
1st James Espey Ballyholme YC/ RUYC (1),1,1,1,1,1
2nd Fionn Lyden Schull SC 2,(6),3,2,3,2
3rd Finn Lynch (1st Youth) National YC 3,2,(6),3,2,3
4th Darragh O'Sullivan Kinsale YC 7,5,2,4,4,(8)
5th Colin Leonard Ballyholme YC 4,3,4,6,(8),5

11th Thomas Chaix (1st Master) Kinsale YC 12,12,(13),7,13,12

Radial
1st Annalise Murphy (1st Lady) National YC 1,1,1,2,(3),2
2nd Cian Byrne Royal Cork YC 2,6,6,1,(7),1
3rd Liam Glynn Ballyholme YC (6),4,5,3,2,22
4th Ross O'Sullivan Kinsale YC (16),5,3,4,4,5
5th Conor O'Beirne Royal St George (11),7,2,7,5

4.7
1st Johnny Durcan Royal Cork YC 2,1,1,(13),2,2
2nd Rory Fekkes Ballyholme YC (8),2,4,1,4,7
3rd Rory Caslin National YC (9),4,2,4,8,1
4th Scott Levie Lough Derg YC 1,9,9,11,(40 BFD),3
5th Conor Sherriff Courtown SC 5,8,3,15,6,(16)

NSH_0495.jpg

Annalise Murphy, Radial winner

NSH_0505.jpg

James Espey, Standard winner

 

Published in Laser
Page 35 of 49

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 dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021

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