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Just as the 2022 Round Ireland Race concludes at the end of June, a new Irish biennial offshore racing fixture between Dublin and Cork has launched with a start in five days' time, and a 'novel set up' to provide two races in one.

The long-established Dun Laoghaire to Cork offshore race – reintroduced in Covid as the 'Fastnet 450' in 2020 – has been further developed as the 'Kingstown to Queenstown Race' or 'K2Q' race.

The Dublin-Cork promoters say it will facilitate all offshore sailors by providing a medium-length offshore race and a long offshore race by having two races in one, with all boats completing the shorter race.

The new race echoes the first-ever ocean yacht race on Irish waters in 1860 held from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to Queenstown (now Cobh), a story told here by Afloat's WM Nixon.

Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen's First 50 Checkmate XX from Howth missed the Round Ireland Race due to COVID but will race the K2QNigel Biggs and Dave Cullen's First 50 Checkmate XX from Howth missed the Round Ireland Race due to COVID but will race the K2Q Photo: Afloat

The race has attracted an initial entry of up to 15, with entry still open for the July 1 fixture. The entrants to date comprise Welsh, Dublin Bay, and Howth boats from the ISORA ranks but also include top Cork Harbour yacht Nieulargo.

ISORA boss Peter Ryan of the National Yacht Club, who has developed the race in conjunction with SCORA's Daragh Connolly and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, says in the following years, the race aims to incorporate a "rally class", too.

The race is aimed to run in alternate years to the popular Dun Laoghaire Dingle or 'D2D race'.

The K2Q will consist of two combined events:

The primary race for the "The Breffni McGovern cup" will be approximately 260 miles, starting in Dun Laoghaire, passing through a virtual gate at the Cork Buoy, rounding the Fastnet Rock and finishing at Roches Point.

The "restricted" race for a still-to-be-announced trophy will start with the primary fleet in Dun Laoghaire but finish at the same virtual finish gate at Cork Buoy – approximately 150 miles.

All boats starting will be included in the "restricted" race. Boats passing through the finish gate at Cork Buoy and continuing to round the Fastnet and finish at Roches Point would also qualify for the primary K2Q event. Yachts can only win prizes in one of the events.

The race for the ISORA points will be the primary race – 260 miles. 

Peter Dunlop and Victoria Cox's champion J109 Mojito from Pwllheli Sailing ClubPeter Dunlop and Victoria Cox's champion J109 Mojito from Pwllheli Sailing Club Photo: Afloat

UK Entrants so far include Nigel Ingram's RORC flagged Farr 30 Wild Haggis, Paul Sutton's Holyhead SC J109, Jaydreamer, Peter Dunlop, and Victoria Cox's champion J109 Mojito from Pwllheli Sailing Club, the Sunfast 3200i of Mark and Jo Thompson Jac y Do from Pwllheli Sailing Club. Andrew Halls' J125 Jackknife is also sailing.

Mark and Jo Thompson's Sunfast 3200i Jac y Do from Pwllheli Sailing ClubMark and Jo Thompson's Sunfast 3200i Jac y Do from Pwllheli Sailing Club Photo: Afloat

Magic Touch will be racing from Ireland Steve Hayes's Beneteau First 34.7 from Bray Sailing Club. George Sisk and Tim Kane's new Reichel/Pugh design "X-Treme 37", WOW is also confirmed.

The customised Mills 36 Prime Suspect is sailing, and so is Joe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Elandra.

The customised Mills 36 Prime SuspectThe customised Mills 36 Prime Suspect Photo: Afloat

Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen's First 50 Checkmate XX will compete from Howth.

Cork yacht of the year, the Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (Denis and Annamarie Murphy), John Conlan's Sunfast 37 Humdinger and Noel Coleman's Oyster 37 Blue Oyster will also race.

Noel Coleman's Oyster 37 Blue OysterNoel Coleman's Oyster 37 Blue Oyster Photo: Afloat

Ryan also says some top ISORA performers, such as the J122 Aurelia (Chris Power Smith) and  Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom, are currently 'maybe but unlikely' to race, given the boats also competed in the 700-mile Round Ireland.

The plan is for both 'K2Q races' to finish at the old RCYC clubhouse on the Cobh seafront, which will require a tweak to the ISORA YB trackers.

The Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. Originally the 1854-completed Royal Cork YC clubhouse, it was here that the first Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race of 1860 finished, and where the new K2Q race will finish this July.The Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. Originally the 1854-completed Royal Cork YC clubhouse, it was here that the first Dublin Bay to Cork Harbour Race of 1860 finished, and where the new K2Q race will finish this July

This year, the winning boat will be awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a special trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.

Download the Notice of Race details below 

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With six days to go to the highlight of the offshore season and the Round Ireland Race, ISORA debutante Checkmate XX emerged as a possible pre-race favourite when she won Saturday's ISORA's 120-mile race 7 off the Dublin and Wicklow coasts.

The Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen Howth Yacht Club entry was the overall winner by approximately two and half minutes on corrected time, taking line honours and the class zero victory too.

Andrew Hall's J125 Jackknife was second in line honours and IRC Zero. John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie from the National Yacht Club took the IRC 1 gun and was fourth in line honours.

Both Checkmate and Jackknife are entries in the 50-boat Round Ireland fleet.

Andrew Hall's J125 Jackknife from Pwllheli Sailing Club (Above and below) Andrew Hall's J125 Jackknife from Pwllheli Sailing Club powering along at the Dun Laoghaire Harbour start

(Above and below) Andrew Hall's J125 Jackknife from Pwllheli Sailing Club

The 14-hour race took the fleet from Dun Laoghaire and down the coast to India South (just off Wicklow), and then to M2, the Weather buoy which is halfway to Holyhead, then north-west to Dunany. Then a long 30nm leg south to the finish line outside Howth at Rowen Rocks with the first boats home just after 11 30 pm.

ISORA Race Officers Barry MacNeaney (left) and Larry Power of the National Yacht ClubISORA Race Officers Barry MacNeaney (left) and Larry Power of the National Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

The Under 25 Figaro 3 Luzern team (Ronan Mooney)The Under 25 Figaro 3 Luzern team (Ronan Mooney) Photo: Afloat

The race started in strong westerly winds at 0800 with three separate starts for the 14-boat fleet. 

Off the line, it was a little too shy for spinnakers but both the J125 Jackknife (Andrew Hall) and the Under 25 Figaro 3 Luzern team (Ronan Mooney) put code zero sails to good use in the gusty offshore conditions.

Barry O'Donovan's First 44.7 Black Magic from Howth Yacht Club Photo: AfloatBarry O'Donovan's First 44.7 Black Magic from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

Results are provisional and according to the ISORA race tracker.

 Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George Yacht ClubChris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George Yacht Club Photo: Afloat

Jac Y Do, a Sunfast 3200i from Pwllheli Sailing Club sailed double-handed by Mark and Jo Thompson in ISORA IRC Class 2 Photo: Afloat

IRC Class 1 competitor Prime Suspect, a Mills 36 customised skippered by Keith Miller Photo: AfloatIRC Class 1 competitor Prime Suspect, a Mills 36 customised skippered by Keith Miller Photo: Afloat

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Visiting UK ISORA Skippers gathered at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on the eve of the offshore association's Race No.7 to make a special presentation to ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan.

The Welsh skippers presented Ryan with an ISORA Chairman's jacket in recognition of his 'hard work and dedication' to offshore racing in the Irish Sea.

As Afloat reported earlier, the seventh race in the 50th anniversary season of ISORA starts on Saturday morning at 8 am off Dun Laoghaire. 

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ISORA's race number seven and the third race offshore fixture takes place on Saturday, 11th June. This is a challenging 120-mile race from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

21 competitors will be on the three start lines with Class 2 off first at 0800 with six starters, then the seven boats in Class 1 boats at 0830, followed by eight Class 0 boats at 0900hrs.

The Musto 2022 ISORA series has already attracted a strong and competitive fleet with 30 boats entered for the series so far.

The SSIs for the race are published on the ISORA home page here

ISORA race 7 has been set to take the fleet down the coast to India South (just off Wicklow), and then to M2, the Weather buoy which is halfway to Holyhead, then north-west to Dunany. Then a long 30nm leg south to the finish line outside Howth at Rowen Rocks.ISORA race 7 has been set to take the fleet down the coast to India South (just off Wicklow), and then to M2, the Weather buoy which is halfway to Holyhead, then north-west to Dunany. Then a long 30nm leg south to the finish line outside Howth at Rowen Rocks.

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The 50th entry into June's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race is the potent Welsh J/125 Jackknife, the weekend winner of ISORA's cross channel race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. 

The Andrew Hall skippered yacht won the line honours, overall and Class Zero prizes in the 60-mile race that drew a strong entry of 20 boats. 

As Afloat's WM Nixon reported recently, the 50 boat fleet reflects a strong international interest in the biennial Irish ocean classic. This latest Pwllheli Sailing Club entry is one of several hotly tipped visiting race teams.

ISORA Race six, the second cross-channel of the season, was considered a critical warmup ahead of June 18th's 700-mile race from Wicklow. The light air race included Round Ireland Race local favourites such as Paul O'Higgins Rockabill VI of the Royal Irish Yacht Club and Chris Power Smith's Aurelia – this month's Inishtearaght Race line honours winner – from the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

After six races sailed, Saturday's result puts Jackknife at the top of the Musto ISORA scoreboard. Full ISORA results here

Jackknife is no stranger to Irish waters is a regular ISORA contender and also a top-ranked Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race competitor.

The next ISORA race is on June 11th, just a week before the Round Ireland Race from Wicklow.

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Welsh yachts shared the bulk of the silverware in Saturday's second ISORA Cross Channel 60-mile race sailed in light westerly winds from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

12 Irish and seven Welsh boats competed in the day-long Musto sponsored fixture that is a warm-up for the 700-mile Round Ireland Race in three weeks' time. 

Starting at 8 am, the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead via M2 buoy race saw Andrew Hall's J/125 take line honours, IRC overall and the IRC Zero class win.

Second in IRC Zero was Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom with Paul O'Higgins JPK10.80 Rockabill VI in third place. 

IRC One J109 sisterships shortly after the start at Dun Laoghaire Harbour; Mojito to windward  from Pwllheli and Indian from HowthIRC One J109 sisterships shortly after the start at Dun Laoghaire Harbour; Mojito to windward from Pwllheli and Indian from Howth

Topping IRC One was former ISORA champion Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) who also took second in IRC overall. Second in class was Welsh J109 sistership Jaydreamer skippered by Paul Sutton. Third was Simon Knowles' Howth J109 Indian. 

IRC Two class yachts depart Dublin Bay in light airs in Race six of the ISORA seriesIRC Two class yachts depart Dublin Bay in light airs in Race six of the ISORA series

IRC Two honours went to Greystones Harbour First 34.7 Magic Touch skippered by Steve Hayes. Second and third were Sunfast 3200s Zig Zag (Pete Ashworth) and Jac Y Do (Mark Thompson).

Provisional results are here

Update Sunday, May 29th: Following the release of results, ISORA said there was 'an issue with Samatom’s finish time. The YB tracker was not correct. Samatom moves up to third overall'.

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A 23 boat fleet – with possibly more to come as entries are still open this week – is mustering at Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the second cross channel ISORA race of the season this Saturday. 

Starting at 8 am, the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead via M2 buoy race is approximately 60-miles long and will feature form boat, Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80, Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

The Dun Laoghaire yacht – which has won all its ISORA fixtures this season – had just 52 seconds over Welsh rival J109 Mojito in the first Cross channel a fortnight ago, as Afloat reported here 

Mojito co-skippers Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox are also entered on Saturday so another tight race across the Irish Sea is in prospect.

In total, 11 Class Zero boats, four Class One and eight Class Two boats are entered. 

Currently, weather forecasts predict light variable winds for Saturday.

The race also sees the return of Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia to the ISORA line. The Royal St. George entry was last weekend's line honours winner of Kinsale's inaugural 260-mile Inishtearaght Race

This weekend's race to Holyhead is the first ISORA race of the season for the Royal St. George J/122 Aurelia that competed on the south coast last weekend.This Saturday's race to Holyhead is the first ISORA race of the season for the Royal St. George J/122 Aurelia that competed with distinction on the south coast last weekend Photo: Bob Bateman

Joe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra from the RIYC is racing to Holyhead Photo: AfloatJoe Conway's Sigma 33 Elandra from the RIYC is racing to Holyhead Photo: Afloat

With just three weeks to go to the Round Ireland Race start, the Musto ISORA offshore fixture has added meaning as a warm-up for the 700-miler. 

Speaking to Afloat about the buoyant entry, ISORA boss Peter Ryan of the National Yacht Club said:  "If they turn up there are some interesting groups of boats in all classes, so plenty of mini races within the race" 

That's certainly the case with three J109s, three Sunfast 3600s, two Sunfast 3200, two Sigma 38s and two Sigma 33s placing an emphasis on class results as well as overall honours.

ISORA Race Six 2022 Entry List

ISORA Race Six 2022 Entry List

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Royal Irish JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI skippered by Paul O'Higgins reigned in Saturday's first ISORA cross channel IRC race for over two years but with a winning margin of less than a minute after nine hours on the water.

The Dun Laoghaire yacht – which has won all its ISORA fixtures this season – had just 52 seconds over Welsh rival J109 Mojito, skippered by Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox.

The yachts finished under spinnaker in light airs at tea time at Dun Laoghaire Harbour with respective corrected elapsed times of 9 hours 34 minutes and 28 seconds and 9 hours, 35 minutes and 20 seconds.

14 ISORA boats raced across the Irish Sea on a 59 mile course from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire Screenshot: YB Tracker17 ISORA boats raced across the Irish Sea on a 59-mile course from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire Screenshot: YB Tracker

From a pre-race billing of over 20, a fleet of 17 came to the line at Holyhead in North Wales on Saturday morning with 13 finishers of the Musto sponsored race on Dublin Bay.

The fleet sailed into fog off the Irish coast that reduced visibility so severely that it led to the cancellation of the bulk of DBSC racing on Dublin Bay but cleared briefly around 6 pm to let the leaders at least finish in relatively clear conditions.

The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) of Howth, who finished on a corrected time of 9.46.35 to take third overall on IRC.

The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) The line honours winner was the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom (Robert Rendell) Photo: Afloat

With IRC Zero victory going to Rockabill VI, second in the big boat division was Rendell's Samatom, with Andrew Hall's Pwhelli based J125 Jackknife second.

The J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and vicky Cox) was second in the line honours race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: AfloatThe J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) was second in the line honours race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

Second to Mojito in IRC One division was Paul Sutton's sistership and Pwhelli clubmate, Jaydreamer. In a J109 clean-up in that division, Simon Knowles was third in the Howth Yacht Club J, Indian.

IRC Class 2, Pwllheli Sailing Club's Pete Ashworth's Sunfast 3200 beat Mark and Jo Thompson's Sunfast 3200i. 

Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association Results Race 05 - Class 0/1/2 IRC/ECHO

Live Dublin Bay webcams here

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Saturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire now has over 21 entries for the first cross-channel race since the COVID epidemic.

A buoyant fleet of eight Class Zeros, seven Class One and six Class Two yachts are now entered with one of the biggest and smallest boats being the latest entries into the 60-miler. 

The First 44.7 Black Magic (Barry O'Donovan) will add extra spice to special Class Zero that includes champion JPK10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)

At the other end of the size scale, the First 310 More Mischief is joining Saturday's Class Two race. 

Saturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire entry listSaturday's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire entry list

As Afloat reported earlier, the race counts towards points for the overall ISORA Wolf’s Head trophy, the race is significant because it marks a resumption of normal ISORA activities between Ireland and Wales in the association's golden jubilee year.

The race will start in North Wales for Class One and Two yachts at 09.15 and finish that evening in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Class Zero starts at 10.00

The boats will race between the two ports leaving ISORA's Dublin Virtual Mark to starboard.

An Apres sail party and “Jack Ryan Whiskey” prizegiving in the National Yacht Club soon after the last boat finishes.

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A strong entry of 19 boats spread over three classes includes the current form boat Rockabill VI for the first ISORA Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead race this Saturday (14th May).

Eight of the 11 boats are UK entries setting up the first Musto offshore race of the 2022 season (and the first 'traditional' cross-channel race since Covid) as a hotly contested 60-miler.

Early forecasts, however, indicate a light variable forecast for the Irish Sea race track.

As the season's Round Ireland Race offshore highlight is just five weeks away, further entries are also expected for this weekend as the ISORA serves as a warm-up race for the biennial Wicklow classic, according to ISORA Chief Peter Ryan.

Paul O'Higgins' RIYC based JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI has had an impressive start to the season, winning both of ISORA's Viking Marine Sponsored coastal races so far and an inshore DBSC Thursday night race.

Saturday's fleet includes former ISORA champion, the J109 Mojito from Pwllheli and two Sunfast 3200s from North Wales. 

Three Irish Sunfast 3600s are also entered. 

Current entries for the first Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead race this Saturday

Racing for points for the overall ISORA Wolf’s Head trophy, the race is significant because it marks a resumption of normal ISORA activities between Ireland and Wales in the association's golden jubilee year.

The race will start in North Wales at 9 am (approx) and finish that evening in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

An Apres sail party and “Jack Ryan Whiskey” prizegiving in the National Yacht Club soon after the last boat finishes.

Online entries are still being accepted on www.isora.org

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