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Dun Laoghaire Regatta News
#dlregatta – As tonight's Dublin Bay Sailing Club summer season gets underway, Ireland's biggest sailing event at the same venue, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, is preparing to welcome some potent visitors to the Bay in July as its massive fleet…
#dlregatta – In a first for Dun Laoghaire Regatta the first C&C30 design in Europe will compete for the overall title at Ireland's biggest regatta this July. After dominating their class and being crowned top overall boat at the 2013 Dun Laoghaire…
#vdlr –With an entry list the envy of regatta organisers everywhere, July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) has received a massive entry of  302 boats so far with three months to run to its first gun. Over 63 different yacht…
#dlregatta –The race is on to muster a viable handicap dinghy class after Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta dropped its Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) dinghy class start from July's biennial event on Dublin Bay. The organisers say they are limited by resources and…
#vdlr – Up to 15 entries have already been received for what is expected to be Ireland's biggest sailing event in 2015. Among the early entries for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) is a number of Scottish, English and Northern Ireland…
#dlregatta – Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Chairman Tim Goodbody has published the Notice of Race for the 2015 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event. At this early stage, the following events have been confirmed as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire…
#vdlr –The Royal Ocean Racing Club's rating office in London has given a ringing endorsement of the dual scoring system employed at Irish regattas and reports of its findings when it visited Ireland's biggest regatta in July. The four clubs…
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Prizegiving Photos Here!
#VDLR2013 – Dun Laoghaire regatta prizewinners proudly showed off their just desserts at the Royal Irish Yacht Club yesterday evening following the conclusion of Ireland's biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay. In spite of an influx of over…
Local Boats Score at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#VDLR2013 – Home grown success is being toasted in Dun Laoghaire this evening following the conclusion of Ireland's biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay. In spite of an influx of over 120 visiting boats, key…
Perfect Score for Checkmate in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#VDLR2013 – Light winds brought changes to the leaderboard in the penultimate day of Ireland's biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay today. A contender for tomorrow's (Sunday) top prize of the Volvo Boat of the…
Howth Yacht Club's Crazy Horse is T-Boned in Home Water
#vdlr2013 – Competitors from Dublin's Northside got some wry satisfaction in yesterday's racing in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta when several classes were brought north round the Baily to avail of the superior racing waters between Ireland's Eye and Lambay…
Collision Forces Dun Laoghaire Regatta Class Zero Leader Out
#VDLR2013 – There is disappointment in class zero this morning following the withdrawal of the overall leader, Crazy Horse after a collision forced the Howth Yacht Club entry out of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta at the halfway stage. No one was hurt…
Dun Laoghaire Regatta Reaches Half Way Stage
#vdlr2013 – Ireland's largest sailing event reaches the half way stage tomorrow (Saturday) and already a number of potential champions are emerging in cruiser, one design and dinghy classes in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay. With all…
Phew! 7-12 knots Forecast for Dun Laoghaire Regatta Racers
#vdlr2013 – As all Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta competitors know only too well, the centre of this high pressure is bang over the top of Dublin Bay today, but fortunately it looks like it will slowly slide off to the…
Calls for Change to Dun Laoghaire Regatta Coastal Course as Boats Finish Late
#vdlr2013 – Dun Laoghaire regatta organisers will take a fresh look at the coastal course today in view of this morning's light wind forecast and the fact yesterday's finishers in this new 16-boat division did not get back to harbour until…
Maybury's J109 Off to Flying Start at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#vdlr2013 – Inshore and offshore campaigner John Maybury's J109, Joker II, continues her winning form this season after victory in this afternoon's light and shifty opening race of the 2013 Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta. Nearly 3000 sailors are afloat on…

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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