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Tom Dolan Still Waiting for Round Ireland Speed Sailing Winds to Blow for His Second Record Attempt

23rd October 2023
Tom Dolan, is still waiting for the right wind to embark on his second bid at the Round Ireland speed sailing record
Tom Dolan, is still waiting for the right wind to embark on his second bid at the Round Ireland speed sailing record Credit: Afloat

 Ireland's leading solo sailor, the French-based Tom Dolan, is still waiting at Greystones Harbour Marina in County Wicklow for the right wind to embark on his second bid at the Round Ireland speed sailing record.

Sunday night (October 22) brought the prospect of ideal conditions for a start off the Kish light on Dublin Bay, only for a late shift in the weather forecast to thwart plans.

"We have reviewed the latest forecast and decided not to go this evening. Winds are light on Tuesday off the coast of Clare, and the LP 973 is coming in Wednesday with 30-40 knots", Dolan said.

It is now considered 'unlikely' that the right conditions will be present this week for Dolan's latest adventure to round Ireland in under four days and break the 2020 doublehanded record, according to the bid lodged with the World Speed Sailing Record Council. He is also attempting what he describes as a 'faux' solo record and carrying an onboard reporter.

Whenever the bid happens, it will be a journey of 700 nautical miles around Ireland and all its islands; his seven-sail boat can hit speeds of up to 26 knots, or 52km per hour, but averaging much less than that, about seven knots.

Published in Tom Dolan

Tom Dolan's Round Ireland Speed Record Bid Live Tracker

Follow Tom Dolan (and his onboard media man) during his Round Ireland Speed record attempt in the live tracker below.

Dolan has agreed with the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) that he will attempt to break the 'Round Ireland Double-handed less than 40ft record'.

While the WSSC is not recording this as a solo attempt (as Dolan has a journalist onboard), Dolan says he is also seeking to set a 'faux record' by attempting to break the Belgian Michel Kleinjan's solo 2005 record time.

The course is approximately 700 miles long. 

Reference times are the 2005 solo record by Kleinjans aboard a Class40: 4 days, 1 hour and 53 minutes and 29 seconds and the doublehanded record set in 2020 by Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt on a Figaro3 of 3 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes and 39 seconds.

The exact time Dolan must beat for the double-handed record is Thursday, 2 November 2023, 11:32:12

The exact time Dolam must beat for the solo (faux) record is Thursday, 2 November 2023, 17:44:02

Check out all Afloat's regular Tom Dolan updates on the record bid right here

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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.