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Dun Laoghaire Regatta News
Philip Watson's Jam Jar upheld the J80 class honour with third-place finish
First round in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta battle of the sportsboats was won decisively by the 1720s - and the Royal Irish. David Ryan’s 'Big Bad Wolf' took the first bullet in a mixed series that is being fought…
Good breeze for the start of the Coastal Race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
It was ultra-high summer, and it was difficult sailing in Dublin Bay for the hugely varied fleet starting their racing in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019 writes W M Nixon. Today’s opening racing started with so much promise –…
Gaff-Rigged Colleens Racing as a Class on Dublin Bay
Dermot O’Flynn’s 'Colleen Deas' finds some sparkling sailing with the Classics while the early breeze lasted in the first race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta today. With three Colleen replicas sailing this afternoon, it was reckoned to be the first…
Never mind spotting gusts, what about the swimmer!
'Forty-foot' can mean different things to different people on Dublin Bay. In sailing terms, it might very well be a nick-name for 'Class Zero' but for most of the Capital's citizens, it's the stronghold for sea bathers on the southern tip of…
Thursday's 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has attracted a fleet of 500 boats. Scroll down for a review of the IRC fleet divisions
There is no doubt about it that 500 entries – so far – for Thursday's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is a great indication of the state of yacht racing in Ireland, especially when so many other regattas struggle for numbers.…
15 boats make up Division two where Half Tonners (pictured above) are sure to make their presence felt. Photo: Afloat.ie
When the starting gun sounds off Dun Laoghaire’s famous harbour on Thursday, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta will not only surpass 2017’s fleet with a fleet this morning of 498 but it is likely to come close to breaking 2007's all time…
It’s a Race Ready venue– Dublin Bay and Dun Laoghaire Harbour provide world class sailing right on the capital city’s doorstep
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has something for everyone at all levels of sailing writes W M Nixon. It’s an event which attracts sailors who have reached the highest levels of international competition ranging through Olympic Medalists and America’s Cup…
There will be five race tracks across Dublin Bay for 480 boats and 34 classes at next month's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have published the Sailing Instructions document for Ireland's biggest regatta next month on Dublin Bay. Five race tracks across Dublin Bay will cater for 2,500 sailors in 480 boats across 34 classes when the first gun sounds on July…
Conor Fogerty's new foiling Figaro 3 'Raw' at the start of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race
Conor Fogerty's new Figaro 3 keelboat 'Raw' will be the only foiling keelboat racing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta next month in the former Sailor of the Year's lead up to August's Fastnet Race. After that, the new vessel stars at the…
Promoted
Viking Marine Taking Pre-Orders For Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Official Clothing Collection
The official clothing collection from Helly Hansen for the 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is now available for pre-order from the event’s retail partners Viking Marine. And what’s more, all items ordered by Friday 14 June come with free screen…
The essence of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (built 1947) and the 1897 classic cutter Myfanwy approaching the harbour mouth racing neck-and-neck in idyllic summer sailing conditions in July 2017
In the years to come, Thursday, April 4th 2019 will be remembered as a pivotal date in the development of Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a maritime, recreational and community amenity, a key moment in the significant growth of a shared…
The assembled crowd of sailors, sponsors and volunteers attending the official launch of Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta 2019 at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland. Scroll down for photo gallery
A crowd of sailors, sponsors and volunteers attended the official launch of Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta 2019 at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland last night. This eighth edition of the regatta event promises to be the second biggest sailing event in Northern…
A Class One start at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With three months to go to the first gun off Dun Laoghaire’s famous harbour, 410 boats are already entered — and more than half the entries are visiting craft to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019. It is an early-season marine…
 A Seabird Half Rater at Trearddur Bay in North Wales
#VDLR - Trearddur Bay Sailing Club brings its centenary year celebrations to Dublin Bay this summer as a number of its Myth class and Seabird Half Raters will be making the trip across the Irish Sea for the Volvo Dun…
Memories of idyllic summer days of sailing – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017
In this week of meteorological mayhem exacerbated by an unsettling international political atmosphere, a reassuring and heartening mood of warm optimism was provided by getting together with Don O’Dowd, Chairman of the Organising Committee for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019…
Mike McIntryre
A stellar RS Elite entry for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta includes Olympic medallists, World and National champions competing for the 2019 UK National Championship – held for the first time as part of a larger event and outside of the…

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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