Update 30 September: Due to poor weather interfering with his planned sail to Ireland from Brittany, and concerns with Hurricane Lorenzo later this week, Tom Dolan has had to cancel his scheduled visit to and sailings in Dublin Bay in early October.
Dolan said: "I’ve been on standby for the last week waiting for a weather window to be able to get from Brittany to Dublin but there has not been one and now with the forecast of Hurricane Lorenzo arriving I’m afraid that I cannot take the risk to sail the boat to Ireland into conditions where it might not even be safe in port.
"It has been a hard decision to make and I only just decided this morning but the wind and especially sea state conditions that are on their way leave me no choice."
Dolan added that he has been in touch with Sailing into Wellness and they will together endeavour to reschedule the planned sailing trips to a calmer season as soon as possible.
From 1 October you could sail with Figaro veteran Tom Dolan in Dun Laoghaire to raise funds for Sailing Into Wellness, which operates wellness programmes in Dublin, Cork and Kinsale to help rehabilitate people recovering from mental health and addiction issues.
All funds raised through this initiative will be go towards an award-winning programme which uses the experiences of sailing to help create stable lives for people suffering from poor mental health, addiction and social exclusion.
Dolan’s boat Smurfit Kappa — which will sail from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 and Tuesday 8 to 11 October — can host up to six guests for a three-hour sail which can be booked for a donation of at least €600.
The state-of-the-art Beneteau Figaro 3 offshore one design yacht, on which Tom recently completed the 2,100-mile La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro race in 25th place overall, will be sailed to Dublin Bay from its current home base in Brittany.
Dolan says: “I have always wanted to be able to take time to share the experience with others and to be able to give a little insight into what it is like sailing offshore like I do.
“And there are so many people have helped me along the way, literally hundreds of people over the years, that I would like to be able to help others who are less fortunate.”
“I want to be able to give a little something back to others who I know will benefit. If I can even help get someone’s life on course it would mean so much to me,” he says.
Thirty-two-year-old Dolan grew up in a small farming community in Kells, Co Meath before he left Ireland 10 years ago to pursue his offshore sailing dreams.
He is a dedicated supporter of Sailing Into Wellness, a not-for-profit social enterprise whose corporate sailing events provide vital revenue to fund its community projects.
Founders Colin Healy and James Lyons say they are passionate about sharing their love of the sea to provide long-lasting social impact, working with those affected by substance abuse and poor mental health to help build their recovery.
One hundred percent of Sailing Into Wellness’ profits are used to fund community sailing projects — so by sailing with Tom next month, you would be directly funding vulnerable groups to experience a completely new environment on the open sea.
“One of the things about Tom is that he wants to see sailing as totally inclusive,” says Lyons. “He is totally down to earth and did not come up through the traditional sailing club systems, and feels strongly that it is fun, challenging activity which should be accessible to as many people as possible.
“And he clearly sees it as a catalyst which can change lives for the better. We are really looking forward to working with him.”
To book your charter with Tom onboard Figaro 3, contact [email protected] or 083 442 9629.