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Volvo Regatta
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…
Irish Sea Events Offer Entry Discounts
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series are jointly promoting reduced entry fees in a tue up between the two big Irish Sea regattas.  50% discounts off entry fees is available for boats entering both events. "The…
Unique footage of 1926 Dun Laoghaire Regatta Uncovered
Here's a unique glimpse of a post World War One Dun Laoghaire Regatta in rare newsreel recently archived by British Pathe (below). The shots taken on August 2nd 1926 show a mixture of long shots of yachts sailing across Dublin…
Entries Roll in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Forty entries are already in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, a fixture widely expected to be the biggest in Ireland this season when it sets sail on Dublin Bay in July. Organisers are expecting up to 500 boats to keep…
Dun Laoghaire Announces Debut of Two Handed Fleet for Volvo Regatta
Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have confirmed this week. Up to six boats have expressed interest in the new intiative and the organisers say the class will race over a mix…
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2011
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta takes place from July 7th - 10th 2011. Below is an event preview, click here for the latest news on the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. There's a new helmsman at the wheel of Volvo Dun…
First entries in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta has taken in 22 entries six months ahead of the first race. It's an encouraging figure that's on a par with the 2009 VDLR, the biggest regatta in Irish sailing that year.The positive early response…
That's the Spirit, Dun Laoghaire Regatta Signs up Volvo!
The Dun Laoghaire Regatta team has announced its long term sponsor Volvo will continue their long association with the regatta. Volvo Car Ireland will sponsor the 2011 event in association with Spirit Motor Group, a dealership for Volvo in South…
Afloat.ie: Dun Laoghaire Regatta Airs on Sky
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta highlights will be broadcast tomorrow night on Sky Sports. Broadcast times are here. The country's biggest regatta will be the focus of a 30-minute documentary slot in the Watersports World Series to be aired at 6pm…
Afloat.ie: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Broadcast on Sky Sports
Highlights of the Summer's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta are to be broadcast on Sky Sports TV later this month. The country's biggest regatta will be the focus of a 30-minute documentary slot in the Watersports World Series to be aired…
VDLR 2011 - Promo Video Released
Dun Laoghaire Regatta has already started work on its 2011 regatta by releasing a promo for the biennial event. The country's biggest regatta will be the focus of a 30-minute TV documentary to be aired in November. More details 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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