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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Ireland's Biggest Sailing Event on Dublin Bay
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Attracts Early UK Entries for July Event
#VDLR – There's still six months to go to the first gun of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2013 (VDLR) but already the country's biggest sailing event is clocking up the entries and many are return visitors, a heartening prospect for…
Dun Laoghaire Regatta and Volvo Drive into 2013
#vor – Volvo's long association with Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) is set to continue into 2013 with the car marque taking the Title sponsor package for the event next year. Dun Laoghaire Regatta has announced Volvo Car Ireland will sponsor…
Cork Sailors Urged to Attend Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) 2013
#vdlr – Dun Laoghaire's Phil Smith urged Cork sailors to make a special effort to race at this year's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta, the country's biggest sailing event  when he presented the Notice of Race (NOR) for the biennial event…
Sailing to Success on Supernova
She maybe old but she's still a fast one. Don't let the fact that a 33-year old local yacht took top prize from a combined fleet of 420 competitors at Ireland's biggest sailing regatta, the Volvo regatta in Dun Laoghaire…
Supernova is Overall Winner of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Local success is being toasted in Dun Laoghaire tonight following the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta prizegiving this afternoon. SCROLL DOWN FOR PRIZEGIVING PHOTOS by Gareth Craig. The bulk of the major trophies were divided among sailors from the waterfront Dublin…
Day Three: Top Race Management Saves the Day at Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Responsive race management in trying conditions pulled off a successful day afloat and – averted a major regatta set back  – for the massive 420 boat fleet in the penultimate round of the four day Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta today.…
16 foot Wayfarer Dinghy Sails Across the Irish Sea to Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Dun Laoghaire Regatta in conjunction with the National Yacht Club is currently hosting the British Wayfarer Nationals and there are 27 racing, many from the UK. Some decided to skip the ferry and sailed straight here writes Tim Fenelon. The…
Day Two: Heavy then Light at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Light winds replaced heavy for day two of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and although it has been a regatta of extremes so far it is also one that has completed the full schedule for all 25 classes. Ireland's largest sailing…
Big Winds Start Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Unexpected strong winds got the fourth Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta off to a stunning start on Dublin Bay yesterday even though a number of boats in the massive 420-boat fleet got into difficulties as the southerly breeze hit 25 knots.…
400 Now Expected for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
With a week to go to the biggest regatta of the season, organisers of Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta are still accepting entries in all 25 classes. There is now a likely total VDLR fleet size of 400 boats. The biggest…
Entry List for 2011 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
With nearly 400 yacht in 25 classes there is no doubt about the size of July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. Here's the entry list class by class for Ireland's biggest regatta in 2011. table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial,…
Post-DL Regatta Event for Ultimate Bragging Rights
Competitors in this year's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta are set to race for the ultimate bragging rights in a new bonus event. http://www.afloat.ie/sail/events/volvo-regatta/ The Royal Irish Yacht Club is proposing the one-day event on Sunday 31 July modelled on the…
Final Preparations in Place for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
With four weeks to go around 3,000 sailors are expected to start the biennial Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (July 7th – 10th) organised by the four waterfront yacht clubs on the Southside of Dublin Bay. Entries are being received steadily…
Sneak Peek at Volvo Dun Laoghaire's 360 Entries So Far
With still eight weeks to go to the first race in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta there are 360 entries now in from across 24 classes. July's event stood at just 22 entries six months ago but it grew steadily over…
Dun Laoghaire Regatta Extends Entry Discount for Extra Two Weeks
In spite of a healthy entry of over 300 boats for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, organisers have extended the early bird entry incentive discount (due to close yesterday) for another two weeks. Current Entries to the country's biggest sailing…
100 Boats Sailing in for July's Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary, Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Year, is an early entry for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta that has already attracted 100 entries, 50% of which are come from outside the Dublin Bay area.  The hope is O'Leary…

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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