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Top Figaro Skipper Tom Dolan Gives Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Double-Handed Class the Thumbs up

8th December 2020
Tom Dolan - delighted to see double handed sailing as part of the VDLR 2021 slate Tom Dolan - delighted to see double handed sailing as part of the VDLR 2021 slate

Top Irish Figaro skipper Tom Dolan has given a thumbs up to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta's addition of a double-handed class into next July's event.

"Yes, it's great to see and about bloody time!" Dolan says about the new racing division for Ireland's biggest sailing event in 2021.

As outlined in the Irish regatta's Notice of Race published last week, Dun Laoghaire Regatta is open to Offshore Double Handed and Mixed Two Person boats with an IRC rating between .800 and 1.030.  Boats outside these limits may be accepted at the sole discretion of the OA.

As Afloat reported yesterday, while the VDLR race may not be a true offshore, it does provide the opportunity for serious competitors to sharpen their boat to boat skills while allowing newcomers to the discipline to try it out without the commitment required by full-on offshore. 

Dolan says depending on the format of the regatta – and if there is coastal races and windward/leewards courses – then sailors will get a bit more work around the cans shorthanded so it will be great for people who want something a bit more intense. "This will eventually lead to the overall skill level rising, I would imagine," Dolan told Afloat.

Dolan queried the proposed VDLR rating limits tho, "the rating limit of 1.030, seems very low and given the amount of Sunfast 3600s and J boats around Dublin, it seems a bit off but I'd imagine they will be a bit quite flexible for boats above this rating?" he said.

One of the first entries into the VDLR class is Conor Fogerty's classic half-tonner Silver Shamrock

Paris Olympic Mixed Keelboat decision deferred

Meanwhile, the IOC says it has deferred a decision on a spot for the Mixed Two Person keelboat in Paris 2024 until next Summer, as Afloat reports here 

Dolan, along with two other fledgeling teams are in the running for the Irish berth if adopted by the IOC.

Published in Tom Dolan, Volvo Regatta Team

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Tom Dolan, Solo Offshore Sailor

Even when County Meath solo sailor Tom Dolan had been down the numbers in the early stages of the four-stage 2,000 mile 2020 Figaro Race, Dolan and his boat were soon eating their way up through the fleet in any situation which demanded difficult tactical decisions.

His fifth overall at the finish – the highest-placed non-French sailor and winner of the Vivi Cup – had him right among the international elite in one of 2020's few major events.

The 33-year-old who has lived in Concarneau, Brittany since 2009 but grew up on a farm in rural County Meath came into the gruelling four-stage race aiming to get into the top half of the fleet and to underline his potential to Irish sailing administrators considering the selection process for the 2024 Olympic Mixed Double Offshore category which comes in for the Paris games.

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