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Tom Dolan to Start Anti-clockwise Round Ireland Record Bid This Afternoon

29th October 2023

On stand-by in Greystones, County Wicklow for his second attempt at a Round Ireland speed record since early October, Tom Dolan will set off this afternoon for the Kish lighthouse startline on Dublin Bay.

After some final weather discussions with Marcel Van Triest, the famous router, the skipper of the Figaro Bénéteau 3 in the colours of Smurfit Kappa and Kingspan has confirmed that he will set off on Sunday between 1500 and 1600 hrs UTC. 

"Dolan hopes he will be sailing downwind practically from start to finish"

“I’ll be taking advantage of a SE’ly wind to set sail. The wind is expected to back Easterly and then NE’ly as I make my way around the island, which should mean I will be sailing downwind practically from start to finish, with just a short tricky stretch on Tuesday afternoon around the Fastnet, due to an area of light winds, but which should not last,” explained the Irish sailor, who will set off anti-clockwise around Ireland.

“If the weather forecast is right, I would hope to cover the 698 miles in three and a half days,” said Tom, who, respecting Irish shipping rules, must keep a permanent watch and remain alert. He will be accompanied by Andrew Smith, a media man who of course will not be involved in the performance of the boat. “It all seems to be falling into place, which means I am optimistic. In any case, I must not hang around as a nasty weather system (gales) is due to sweep across Ireland on Wednesday,” the sailor concluded.

The outcome of his latest bid will be known on Tuesday.

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.