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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Ireland's Biggest Sailing Event on Dublin Bay
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…
Full Page Irish Times Sailing Coverage Lists 390 Dun Laoghaire Regatta Entries
#vdlr2013 – To mark today's opening of the country's biggest sailing regatta, the Irish Times Newspaper has published the full entry list of 393 competing boats on page 25 of this morning's edition. Dublin becomes the heart of Irish Sea yachting today…
'Hang in There Dun Laoghaire Regatta, The Winds Are Coming', Says Met Guru
#vdlr2013 – A weather expert has allayed fears of a windless start to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta tomorrow in spite of the current calm on Dublin Bay. An area of high pressure hangs over Ireland on the eve of the event…
Final Entry List for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2013
#VDLR2013 – Scroll down this page for the full entry of 390 boats in 25 classes equalling the inaugural 2005 regatta.   ClassBoat NameOwnerClub IRC 0 Jezebel Guy Cowper Royal Dee YC   Eos Rod Stuart Clyde CC   Impetuous…
Dun Laoghaire Regatta to Bring €600k into Local Economy
#vdlr – Irish sailing tourism is buoyant in the capital with 250 boats from all over the world visiting Dublin Bay over the last four months and this week 120 boats from outside the Bay area are expected for Volvo…
Tune Up at Royal Irish YC Coaching Day Before Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#dlregatta – In the week preceding Ireland's biggest sailing event, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta, the Royal Irish Yacht Club is staging a coaching event with video de-briefings on sail trim and upwind and downwind techniques.The day long event on July 6th…
Lyver Trophy Brings British Boats into Bay for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#dlregatta – Liverpool Yacht Club and Royal Dee Yacht Club will race offshore to Howth on July 5 for The Lyver Trophy race that forms part of the overall ISORA series. The race that attracted a strong Irish entry two…
New Dun Laoghaire Regatta Coastal Course Entry Proves Organisers Are on the Right Tack
July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is running a coastal series as part of the fifth edition of the combined club's event and judging by entries to date (see below) there it looks like the initiative is getting a good response.…
Over 100 Visiting Boats Due for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
#vdlr – Over a third of entries for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2013 are coming from outside Dublin Bay. See entry list below. The buoyant statistic for Dun Laoghaire's combined clubs regatta was revealed yesterday as a current entry…
Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2013 Lines Up Eight Visiting IRC Zero Entries
#vdlr – Eight of nine of the IRC zero entries for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay are overseas entries. The exception is the defending IRC champion, the Howth based Mills 36, Crazy Horse skippered by Norbert Reilly.  In…
Strong Take Up for Entry into Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2013
#vdlr – With a week still to go on its early bird entry and over three months to the close of entry, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) has received over 120 entries for what is expected again to be…
Champions Set to Defend VDLR Crowns this July on Dublin Bay
#vdlr – More than half of the champions from Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2011 have indicated (see table below) they will be back this July to defend their respective titles in Ireland's biggest regatta. The biennial event features over 28…

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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