Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: D2D

The National Yacht Club has announced dates for its biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle (D2D) Race in 2019.

The 2019 mini offshore race, that is also a fixture on the international RORC calendar, will start on Wednesday, 12th June off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

At almost 300 miles, the race has proved popular with offshore crews because, say the organisers, it is the 'perfect length', typically taking the whole fleet between 30 and 50 hours to get to Dingle in County Kerry.

The defending champion is Paul O'Higgins' well-sailed JPK10.80, Rockabill VI.

It is the second headline 2019 sailing event to announce dates this week. Earlier, Kinsale Yacht Club announced it will stage its 2019 Sovereign's Cup regatta from June 26th to 29th.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

#D2D - In Dingle of a warm summer Friday’s evening, the night has barely started at 9pm, writes W M Nixon. So the multi-talented crew of Paul O’Higgins’ JPK1080 Rockabill VI were in plenty of time for a leisurely winner dinner when they swept across the finish line in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 at 2048 hrs to stake what looks like an unassailable claim to have won just about everything in this race for which they’re eligible.

There have been Dingle Races in the past where the nearer you got to the finish, the more difficult it was to find enough breeze to close the race. But this time round, Rockabill VI has found such sparkling conditions towards the end that, with a warm yet brisk fair wind sweeping her up the majestic Dingle Bay, she covered the last nine miles in less than an hour.

Considering the miserable conditions everyone was enduring only 30 or so hours ago, it was an almost supernatural change to the weather. But with this crew and this rather special boat, Paul O’Higgins had the combination to make the best of the rough going, and yet have some real champagne sailing when the weather improved.

The crew who shared this victory with him were Conor O’Higgins, Mark Pettit, Ian O’Meara, Peter Wilson, William Byrne, Rees Kavanagh, and Ian Heffernan. Many have done the Dingle race before, with some of them winning in times past. Many will do it again. But the totality of Rockabill VI’s win — with line honours thrown in despite the fleet having started with many larger boats — is more than enough to be going along with for now.

Rockabill VI by Rebecca HayterRockabill VI coming into dock earlier this evening | Photo: Rebecca Hayter

The mainly southwest breeze is distinctly firmer the further north you go, and back at Mizen Head a surprisingly persistent flat patch has provided an obstacle at which nearly everyone has stumbled. Thus as Rockabill came careening into the finish, back at the Mizen, Rónán Ó Siochrú of Irish Offshore Sailing, with his school yacht the Jennneau 37 Desert Star, was finding the going very sticky at just 3.4 knots. It was very frustrating after the very businesslike way he came past the Fastnet to take the Racing 2 lead from Ian Hickey’s Granada 38 Cavatina, which is herself now (at 2100 hrs) at the Fastnet Rock, and back in the Racing 2 lead.

In the cruising division, the Tyrrell family’s J/112E Aquelina lost the lead to the Dufour 40 Pipedreamer (Paul Sutton) thanks to an unscheduled slowdown at Mizen Head. But there’s a long way to go yet for these mid-fleet boats.

Up in front, the Two-Handed Division leader Soufriere (Stephen O’Flaherty & David Cagney) is sailing in a style which befits a stately Spirit 54, and she’s there in a bunch with various J/109s of which the leader is Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox), which now seems firmly placed to take second overall, but by this time quite a distance astern of Rockabill VI.

It has been, and continues to be, an intriguing edition of the Dingle race which will be worthy of further analysis. But for now, the night is Rockabill VI’s, and she won it well.

Read all Afloat.ie's 2017 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race coverage in one handy link here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

“Anybody who finishes this race deserves a prize......” So said one battered yet usually successful old salt after retreating into Dunmore East writes W M Nixon. And for a while early this afternoon, retirals were coming so thick and fast that it looked like there’d be enough official prizes for everyone - maybe even with some to spare - in Dingle at Saturday night’s prize-giving.

But in fact there are still 25 boats out there racing into the night in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017, and they’re a bizarre mixture. For instance, the battle for the two-handed Division is now between Derek & Conor Dillon, Father and Son from Foynes with the Dehler 34 Big Deal, and Stephen O’Flaherty and David Cagney, the Odd Couple from Howth with the stately Spirit 54 Soufriere.

big deal1With the two front runners beaten by the early afternoon’s rough weather, the lead in the Two-Handed Division was taken by Derek and Conor Dillon from Foynes on the Dehler 34 Big Deal from Foynes, and they still hold it going into the second night. Photo: W M Nixon

Former leaders Indian (J/109) and Lambay Rules (J/92) have both given it best, with one retired to Dunmore East and the other shaping a course back towards Arklow. But down off the South Coast, Soufriere and Big Deal are still doing the business, and with the headwinds at last showing signs of slackening, they’re likely to stay doing it.

Up at the front of the fleet, Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI still leads on the water, overall and in Racing I as she nears Ballycotton. But she’s having the devil’s own job in putting any truly significant distance between herself and the pesky trio of J/109s Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox), Juggerknot (Andrew Algeo), and Ruth (Shanahan family), while in the midst of this bunch of leaders, the powerful First 44.7 Lively Lady (Derek Martin) is clearly having a fine old time, and going well enough to have the potential to move into second on the water.

Port of Galway Mini Yacht(Above and below) Life ain't a bed of roses onboard a Mini in the 2017 D2D

IMG 0707

In such conditions, size really does matter, so spare a thought for the two little Mini 650s which are still battling along, with Port of Galway Green (Yannick Lemonnier & Dan Mill) leading from Port of Galway Black (Marcus Ryan). They’re certainly punching way above their weight, and their ability to do so should result in more Mini 650s next time round.

Meanwhile for now, other successes include the Tyrrell family’s very attractive J112E Aquelina leading the Cruiser Division, while the tough team from Cork on Ian Hickey’s Cavatina continue to lead in Racing 2.

CavatinaThe vintage Granada 38 Cavatina, a double Round Ireland winner

After today’s blood-letting, we’d expect at least two dozen boats to make it to Dingle. It’s more than enough to form a quorum. But as for now, in searching every source for news of any imminent improvement in the weather, we note that Met Eireann have alerted the farming community to be ready for hay-making next week.

Quite. Could we suggest that, in 2019, the date of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is placed in a fortnight-long time slot, but the actual date isn’t finally set until that very welcome alert is given?

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Although a fairly consistent southwest breeze gave the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race fleet a useful slant from Arklow southwards through the night, they’re currently rounding the Tuskar with the expectation of a dead beat most of the way to the Fastnet being confirmed writes W M Nixon

Paul O’Higgins JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC) has taken the lead on the water and IRC from clubmate George Sisk’s Farr 42 WOW in the open division, while Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles (Howth YC) lead the two-hander in the J/109 Indian, and Ian Hickey’s Granada 38 Cavatina (Royal Cork YC) is right there in the lead in Racing 2.

But the way that the ferocious tides of the southeast have taken their toll on overall handicap placings is fascinating to observe. The reality is that if your boat was of such a size that she arrived at a headland while the tide was still adverse, you were losing no matter what you did, and the pattern seems to have suited the J/109s better than anyone else.

Beneteau_44.7_Lively_lady_Dingle_raceDerek Martin's Lively Lady, co-skippered by sons Rodney and Keith, is a Beneteau 44.7 from the RIYC Photo: Afloat.ie

Thus Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox) has shunted up into 3rd in IRC at the 0800 Thursday placing, while J/109 sister-ship and Pwllheli clubmate Sgrech (Stephen Tudor) is showing fifth, with Derek Martin’s First 44.7 Lively Lady between them.

On this first morning of the race with the underlying trend to towards more summery weather being maintained, the hectic pace Paul O’Higgins set himself in campaigning Rockabill VI in the ICRA Nats last weekend in Crosshaven, then getting her home to Dublin Bay simply to start this race back to the southwest, is being amply justified. But those J/09s will take some watching. As will the race results system. It’s still seems to be in process of settling down to give us a true picture of the placings.

Read also: 

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race Tracker

Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Form Guide: D2D Could Be Another J/Boats Triumph

Five Reasons Why Volvo 'D2D' is The Perfect Mini-Offshore Race

Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race Entry 'Exceeds all Expectations'

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Yacht Race Gets National Yacht Club Turbo Power

WM Nixon will be posting regular race updates on Afloat.ie here

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

The interest and resulting entry for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle D2D Race has exceeded all our expectations, writes race organiser Adam Winkelmann.

We now have 39 confirmed entries and expect to have close to 45 boats on the start line on Wednesday June 14th. Janet Grosvenor from RORC will be here to observe the start on June 14th and race management procedures with a view to our ambition to be a RORC endorsed race in 2019. I think with these numbers we are on a good path to that. There is no doubt that the resurgence in ISORA has been a significant factor in the growth and composition of the racing class. By adding RORC in the future we can expect other boats to enter to qualify their crew for the Fastnet Race later in the same year.

We have had a very positive reaction from sailors to our revised schedule of a Wednesday evening start and a Prizegiving Party in Benners Hotel in Dingle on Saturday June 17th. We have included a time limit of 18.00hrs on Saturday in the Sailing Instructions to ensure that we can proceed with prizes later that evening. This facilitates the sailors crew planning for a return to Sovereigns Cup or to work on Monday! We will be giving each boat a crate of Crean’s Beer on arrival in Dingle. Many boats have also booked accommodation with our long term partner the Dingle Skelligs Hotel and no doubt much of the post race analysis will take place in the bar there.

We are looking forward greatly to the start from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on June 14th at 19.00hrs (starting area in Scotsmans Bay) and encourage as many as want to come out either on the pier or in boats to wave the fleet off on its journey. Yellow Brick tracking of the race will be available so families and supporters can follow the race from start to finish. If the crews bring the trackers to the pub with them as happened last time you will even be able to locate them there!

UPDATE: Comment From Sgrech skipper Stephen Tudor:

Sgrech is committed to the 'D2D' classic offshore race and will be on the starting line on June 14th.
The race provides offshore challenges at 270 miles but also some of the most spectacular scenery from the start in Dublin Bay, southwards down the banks along the east coast of Ireland, Tuskar Rock Light with her South Hen and Chickens. Along the south coast to Fastnet and onwards into the Atlantic.
The next corner the Bull, The Cow and The Calf - spectacular and it does look like a bull.
Next the Great Skellig - truly magnificent but watch out for the Washerwoman Rock - she is vicious!
Then north east to Dingle, the welcome from Fungie the resident dolphin.
Then there is Dingle - a fantastic destination and the high street pubs worth a visit before a party and a gentle cruise home! - Classic join us.

ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan adds: After the Round Ireland Race, it is one of the best offshore races in these waters. After the race, nothing matches the craic in Dingle.

Class divisions breakdown as follows: 

11 Cruiser Class
3 Mini 650 Class
5 2 Handed Class
19 Racing Class

39 D2D entries to date are below: 

ACT Two

DuFour 425

IRL4250

Cruiser

AJ Wanderlust

Jeanneau 45.2 Sun Odyssey

IOM 8931 R

2-handed

aquelina

J-112E

IRL 1507

Racing

Aurelia

J Boats

IRL35950

Racing

Birmayne

Bruce Roberts

IRL 756

Cruiser

Cavatina

Granada 38

IRL3861

Racing

Elandra

SIgma 33

IRL 4536

Racing

EOS

X 362 SPORT

IRL 6695

Racing

Fulmar Fever

Westerly Fulmar

FR 14

Cruiser

Gemo

Mini 650 Dingo 1

FR 699

2-handed

Golden Fleece

Sigma 41

IRL51215

Cruiser

Harriet Marwood

Farrow & Chambers,   Collins 40 Tandem Keel

GBR3556L

Cruiser

Indian

J109

1543

2-handed

IOS Desert Star

Jeanneau

irl 1397

Racing

Jedi

J109

IRL 8088

Racing

Juggerknot

J/109

IRL 3660

Racing

Lady Rowena

Sadler

IRL34218

Cruiser

Lively Lady

Beneteau First 44.7

IRL1644

Racing

LOBSTER

Two Ton Dubois

IRL 7077

2-handed

Maybird

Shepherd design built by Jack Terrell in 1937

GBR 644R

Cruiser

Mojito

J/109

GBR0947R

Racing

Oystercatcher

Dufour

IRL 1177

Cruiser

Pamela

Discovery 55

IRL5503

Cruiser

Pipedreamer VI

Dufour 40

GBR 2271L

Cruiser

Platinum Blonde

Beneteau 35 First

IRL 3516

Racing

Port of Galway Black

Mini 6.50/ Proto

303

2-handed

Port of Galway Green

Mini Transat 6.5 Proto

IRL78

2-handed

Prima Luce

Beneteau First 35

IRL 3504

2-handed

Rockabill VI

JPK 10.80IRL

IRL 10800

Racing

Ruth

J/109

IRL 1383

Racing

Soufriere

Spirit 54

IRL 1974

2-handed

Spirit of Jacana

J133

IRL1335

Racing

Thalia

Sigma 400

IRL733

Racing

Thisbe

Nicholson 32

IRL 1530

Cruiser

Wakey Wakey

J109

GBR5909R

Racing

White Tiger

Beneteau First 44.7

IRL4470

Racing

Windshift

Sunfast 37

37737

Racing

WOW

Austral Yachts

IRL4208

Racing

 

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

Time was when the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race was promoted as a handy way to position your little old cruiser in West Kerry to be nicely placed to make her way in gentle hops back to her home port on the south or east coast, ambling in leisurely stages along one of the finest cruising grounds in the world writes W M Nixon.

It was envisaged primarily as a sort of enlarged club race, the club setting the tone being the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. There, enthusiastic members and Dingle race plotters Martin Crotty, Peter Cullen and Brian Barry added a further attraction when promoting the first race, as it drew nearer in 1993, by suggesting that real dyed-in-the wool cruising types might find the race of interest if they were thinking of continuing with a clockwise cruise on round Ireland.

dingle harbour 2Dingle Harbour makes for an attractive destination...

dingle marina3…while its marina is enticing for cruisers and racers alike

Lovely idea. But so far as I know – though it’s very much hoped that I’ll be rapidly informed otherwise – it is this goggle-eyed wordsmith focused on his ancient computer screen who is still the only cruiser-racer skipper who has completed the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, and then cruised on round Ireland.

We did it in handy stages, leaving the boat in Dingle for ten days after the race was completed to return home to the word-production coalface, then going on to leave her on a mooring we’d laid at Arbear at the head of Clifden Bay after we’d cruised the Aran Islands and Connemara in detail, followed by another return home for the manufacture of merchandisable verbiage. Then the third stage was home to Howth round the top, with Donegal doing its best to rival Kerry for dramatic scenery.

However, that was all a very long time ago. In fact, it was so long ago it was the first time I’d sailed with a proper pair of Dubarry Shamrock Goretex boots. I’d previously had an experimental leaky pair from a different manufacturer with which I’d persisted for years, so I can still remember the sheer joy of dry warm feet whatever the weather after the genuine Dubarrys had been deployed.

But enough of such ramblings - even if it does serve to remind us of the way the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race has become a much-loved part of our sailing world. And as for the reason for people not cruising on round Ireland when being in Dingle leaves them so handily placed for continuing the circuit - the answer is simple. The fact is that the course of almost 300 miles has taken them as swiftly as possible past some of the most glorious cruising places in Ireland, and the only way the skipper can keep his shipmates plugging on is by swearing on all that is holy that they’ll cruise gently back the same way in a much more civilised style.

In such circumstances, you’re whistling against the wind in trying to sell the coast of Connacht as the more interesting way to get home. Yet from an early stage, even the notion of the Dingle dash as having a strong cruising orientation hasn’t really held up for a significant part of the entry. People go into it with every intention of winning, and the talk of conveniently positioning the boat for a spot of cruising in Kerry and West Cork has only been smoke and mirrors.

dingle yacht tracker4The Yellowbrick record of the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race in 2015. Sometimes the fleet has been even more widely spread than this

The pace was set from the off in 1993, when the winner was Richard Burrows’ Sigma 36 Black Pepper. In subsequent years, she was cruised to Greenland and other Godforsaken spots in the ownership of fellow Malahide sailor Peter Killen, so Black Pepper has a boat history which must make her the best-used Sigma 36 ever. Certainly for the Dingle dash of 1993, skipper Burrows shipped aboard the formidable talents of Peter Wilson and Robert Dix as the main occupants of the driving seat, and Black Pepper had a wellnigh perfect race.

That said, at the riotous prize-giving afterwards – the Dingle prize-giving is always riotous, just relax and enjoy it – Black Pepper’s skipper gave a wildly funny speech which he rounded out by presenting Robert Dix with the Golden Blanket Award. As to what was meant by that I haven’t a clue, so you’ll have to ask Dixie himself. But as he has been winning major awards of every kind since 1970 when he became the youngest ever Helmsmans Champion, the Golden Blanket goes well in his trophy cabinet.

With the first race off to such a humdinger inauguration, the vision of the founders had been justified. Well, perhaps “vision” is overstating it. At this week’s launching of the 2017 staging, which will be on June 14th, longtime organiser Martin Crotty revealed that the idea of the Dingle Race came about almost by misadventure.

martin crotty5The founding Dingle Race organiser Martin Crotty reminiscing about the early days in 1993 at this week’s reception in the National Yacht Club. Photo Michael Chester

peter cullen6Peter Cullen was another of the inspired group who first thought of the race in 1992. Photo: W M Nixon

He and fellow owner Peter Cullen had been doing the 1992 Round Ireland Race with their hefty Sigma 41 Koala, and in slugging up the west coast into a particularly unpleasant northerly (I remember that one too), their mainsail went into several pieces on the latitude of Loop Head, so they retired and ran back to Dingle, a place they didn’t know at all.

They got to know it very well indeed over the next day or two, and the hospitality the little West Kerry port meted out to them – with the Dingle Skellig Hotel more or less providing open house – soon got them thinking that a race there rather than sailing all the way round the Emerald Isle would be an interesting alternative in the years when the biennial Round Ireland Race from Wicklow was not being staged.

Such ideas seem marvellous over a pint or three as midnight draws on, then fade from the memory. But there was some special chemistry already at work between the can-do Dun Laoghaire sailors and the maritime-minded folk of Dingle. Perhaps it’s because both ports think they’re the hub of the universe…… Whatever the secret ingredient, by 1993 in Dingle Harbour, Master Brian Farrell was ready to welcome the fleet, a new marina was in the making, and Dingle was on the cusp of an entirely new era.

dingle town7Dingle in the far west of Kerry has formed strong links with Dun Laoghaire in Dublin Bay, yet the two places could not be more different.

As for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, we knew it was fully part of the scheme of things by 1995, as Denis Doyle turned up to compete with Moonduster. Once that happens, you know your race has arrived, and “The Doyler and The Duster” were honoured participants for many years, encouraging some very substantial boats to subsequently take part, with new heights being reached in 2009 when Michael Cotter’s handsome 78ft Whisper brought a touch of global glamour and a new record, though she missed the magic 24 hours by 43 minutes and 45 seconds.

As each race succeeded its predecessor, a bonus emerged when it was acknowledged that the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle would count as a qualifier for the Fastnet Race, which would as usual be staged about eight weeks later. By this stage the race had so much going for it that it seemed impervious to setback, but like everything else in Irish life, it went through diminished times during the recessionary years.

denis doyle8When “The Doyler and The Duster” (Denis Doyle and Moonduster) became involved from 1995 onwards, the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race was made. This is a page from the August 199 Afloat magazine, with Moonduster much in evidence in the race report. The winner that year was Donal Morrissey’s GK34 Joggernaut from Galway, and in those days the start was in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

But then came 2015, and the numbers were back up, and then some. Having seen his pet project through times good and bad, Martin Crotty had indicated that this 12th Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race would be the last he would personally administer, but already a strong successor was being briefed in the person of Adam Winkelmann. And in the 2015 race he had a vintage familiarisation to observe how it all worked, though as his mother Carmel was for many years one of the time-keepers, he started from a position of inside knowledge.

Over the years, the Dingle Skellig Hotel, which showed such generosity to the sea-battered crew of Koala way back in 1992 – leading to the inception of the race – has stayed on board as co-sponsor, and everyone’s longterm faith in the event was born out in 2015’s race, which was a classic. Before it, the atmosphere around the National Yacht Club was pure carnival, and while the start may have been slow, the winds soon filled in from the north and the fleet scampered down the east coast.

Out in front, the line honours battle was between Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners from Dun Laoghaire and Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 40 Antix from Cork, and they went so well that for a while it looked like Antix might get the corrected time win. But holes in the wind at the Fastnet and beyond shook up the order, and by the finish it was glory day for J Boats, with the Shanahan family’s J/109 Ruth (NYC) winning by 20 minutes from her Pwllheli-based sister-ship Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox), the first foursome being very complete for the Johnstone brothers as the J/122 Aurelia was third and the J/109 Dear Prudence was fourth.

Antix dingle 2015Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 40 Antix crossing the finish line at Dingle in 2015

liam shanahan10Overall 2015 winner Liam Shanahan at the helm of his J/109 Ruth with Skellig Michael put astern, and crewman Kevin Daly trimming the main for the final stage up Dingle Bay to the finish.

dingle party llAfter a rugged race, there’s nothing like an al fresco party at Dingle

But in a fascinating contest, almost every boat was having her day at one stage or another, and for those who were doing the race as a Fastnet qualifier, it came up trumps. Irish Offshore Sailing’s 36ft Jeanneau Desert Star may have only been in the middle of the fleet in the Dingle results, but her crew were on a learning curve and on top form by the time they did the Fastnet Race, so much so that they won overall in the 33-boat fleet making up the Sailing Schools Division, a well-earned dream result for skipper Ronan O Siochru.

So Martin Crotty handed over a prestigious event in really good order to Adam Winkelmann after all the D2D business was done and dusted in 2015, and this week’s launching reception in the National Yacht Club for what is now the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race was one of those gatherings which ticked so many boxes that we could get a month’s worth of Sailing on Saturdays out of it.

The heartwarming sense of continuity was palpable. Not only was Adam Winkelmann taking over the D2D from Martin Crotty, but in the host club, Ronan Beirne had been barely a wet week as the new Commodore in succession to Larry Power. To say that the speeches were in tune with the mood of the evening barely gets the flavour of it. It was a time for nostalgia, a time for relishing the present, and a time for keenly anticipating the future, with all aspects covered.

adam winkelmann12Adam Winkelmann, chair of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle race Committee, reveals his hopes for 2017’s race and the races beyond. Photo: Michael Chester

It was Adam Winkelmann who summed it all up in a friendly presentation – he does it so painlessly that the word “speech” is way too pompous – effortlessly telling us about the new dynamic with the lineup with Volvo, the continued support from Dingle with the Dingle Skelligs Hotel joined by Crean Brewery – and the growing interest from the RORC with that club’s Janet Grosvenor – a very good friend to Irish offshore racing – planning to monitor the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 with a view to giving it greater recognition in the RORC’s 2019 programme.

dingle volvo adam13Graham Fitzgerald of the Dingle Skellig Hotel, Patricia Greene of Volvo Car Ireland, Adam Winkelmann, and Jerry O’Sullivan of Crean Brewery, Dingle. Photo Michael Chester

As it is, the 2017 race will start on the evening of Wednesday June 14th, which research among competitors has show is reckoned as the most user-friendly time for those fitting the race into work breaks, as it means you can definitely do a three day week, yet have every chance of making the clock-in at the workplace first thing Monday morning.

Thus the prize-giving will be on Saturday night, and it is being moved beck to the Dingle Skelligs’ sister establishment, Benners Hotel in the heart of town. As for the bigger picture, the timing also allows a useful gap before the Sovereigns Cup series starts at Kinsale on June 21sr, but while the start time will be tight for anyone who also plans to also do the ICRA Nationals at Crosshaven from Friday June 9th to Sunday June 11th, in times past we’d have reckoned that’s it a logistical challenge which is do-able, you just draw lots for the three guys who are going to take the boat to Dun Laoghaire as soon as the last race at Crosser is over.

As if that’s not enough of a challenge, Ric Morris has lately been airing a suggestion that it’s time to think seriously about an Irish National Offshore Championship based around the many events already in existence. He reckons that with the Round Ireland and the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle races alternating at the peak of this annual season-long series, we’d have an intriguing setup which has the potential to involve many boats – and he means many big time.

Certainly the imprimatur of the RORC on the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race would give it turbo power, making it a serious points accumulator apart from being a superb race in its own right. Truly it has moved on a long way from being a handy little club-oriented event best used to position your boat in Ireland’s finest cruising ground. But we shouldn’t be surprised, when we remember that the Fastnet Race itself started in a very modest way in 1925. It was so shunned by the sailing establishment that it couldn’t get a starting line at Cowes, and had to be sent eastward out of the Solent from the start line of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club at Ryde.

ronan beirne14Brian Farrell, Harbour Master of Dingle when the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle race was inaugurated in 1993, Ronan Beirne the newly-elected Commodore of the National Yacht Club, and Yannick Lemonnier, who will be racing a Minitransat 650 to Dingle. Photo Michael Chester

Presumably the RORC still sends the RVYC an annual Christmas card as a token of their appreciation of that display of faith way back in 1925, now that the hugely popular Fastnet Race is started from all the glory of the Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes.

And as for the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race in all its manifestations, while it has always been comfortably under the imprimatur of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, the developing positive attitude towards sailing at official levels in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown was underlined by the official presence at Tuesday’s gathering of Councillor Cormac Devlin, Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council.

But while the new turbo power of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race was quietly in evidence at the party in the National YC this week, it was good to meet up with old friends from Dingle from the earliest days, particularly the former Harbour Master Brian Farrell whose enthusiasm for his job always went way beyond the call of duty.

There too were Brian Barry and Peter Cullen, both of whom did so much to put the show on the road and keep it there through times good and bad. But it was appropriate that also present was the one and only Yannick Lemonnier, who did the race in the two-handed division in 2015 (he was second to Howth’s Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles) but in 2017 will be doing it in a new special division which has been encouraged into the fray by the National’s Sailing Manager Olivier Prouveur.

Yes indeed – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race will be providing a start for Mini 650 boats, and Yannick Lemonnier will be right in the thick of it all. They’ll get a separate prize and won’t be in the IRC Division, but it’s a new twist in a race which, in 2017, will also have a new old twist.

david thomas15David Thomas, MD of Volvo Car Ireland, with Emma O’Carroll, also of Volvo Car Ireland, and Darryl Hughes, owner-skipper of Maybird, the first gaff-rigged entrant in the Dingle Race. Photo Michael Chester

For no-one has any recollection of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race ever having a gaff-rigged entry in its 24 years. Yet the madly enthusiastic Darryl Hughes has entered his beautifully-restored 1937 Tyrrell-built 43ft gaff ketch Maybird. He knows he’ll be doing quite well to make it to Dingle in time for the prize giving. And then he’ll have to think of further schedules, as he is also entered for the Classics Division in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta from July 9th to 12th. But in the National this week this week he was able to assure everyone that Maybird is already well n the way to being race ready. Sure hadn’t he and his mates scrubbed her and anti-fouled her – including a fresh boot-top – all on the one Spring tide at Poolbeg a couple of weeks ago? So the count-down is already well under way for the turbo-powered Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race 2017.

maybird scrub16Race preparation. Maybird gets completely re-antifouled and with a fresh boot-top a fortnight ago, all in one tide at Poolbeg

Published in W M Nixon

Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race (D2D) race organisers at the National Yacht Club have published five compelling reasons why June's race measures up to be the 'perfect family friendly offshore race'. The club is keen to build on the ethos and tradition of the race.

  • 1. At almost 300 miles it is the perfect length typically taking the whole fleet something between 30 and 50 hours to get to Dingle in the beautful surrounds of Kerry.
  • 2. It is mostly along the coast rather than a crossing which contrubites to safety and enjoyment.
  • 3. It mixes both racing boats and cruising boats with prizes for both.
  • 4. It is in the same year as the Fastnet race, thereby providing a perfect training ground for crew and boat as testified to by RORC (the Royal Ocean Racing Club) the Fastnet Race organisers. It also forms part of the ISORA (Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association) season.
  • 5. It is a great feeder race. Having arrived in Kerry the participants can choose to cruise the amazingly beatiful area of Kerry and West Cork or head back to Kinsale for Sovereigns Week.

On Tuesday, (April 4) at the official launch in the NYC, the club announces new race sponsors and associates under new race Chairman, Adam Winkelmann. 

As if to emphasise this family racing aspect, the last race winner, from 2015 was a dedicated family boat from the host club. Liam Shanahan Jnr skippered his J109 Ruth to victory ahead of Welsh yacht Mojito, (J/109) Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox, Pwllheli SC. It was a result that enabled Shanahan to lift the Irish Sailor of the Year Award for 2015. The Shanahan entry intends to defend her title and is among the first race entries along another Dun Laoghaire family boat, Aurelia, a J/122, Chris & Patanne Power Smith, from the Royal St George YC who was third in 2015. Read about Liam Shanahan's family sailing values here.

amazing grace D2DKerry yacht Amazing Grace (Brian O'Sullivan) clinched the light air 2013 Dun Laoghaire Dingle race title... Photo: Michael Chester

whisper D2D...but not all editions have been light air affairs. In 2009, competitors got a wild ride to Dingle when winds gusted to 30–knots for the start off Dun Laoghaire and Michael Cotter's Whisper (above) set a new course record. Photo: Afloat.ie

Winkelmann is confident of a buoyant entry to match 2015's 30–boat fleet but makes the point entry is still wide open and boats from all ports are very welcome.

The 2017 race starts in Dun Laoghaire from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday June 14th at 19.00 hours. The prizegiving party will take place in Dingle in Benners Hotel on June 17th evening. The organisers expect between 30 and 35 boats across 3 classes, including the mini-transat class racing for the first time with some well know international sailors.

Winkelmann adds “It is great to have Volvo on board to compliment our long term partners in Dingle and in particular the Dingle Skellig Hotel Group. We have been encouraged by the growing interest in the race both at local and international level.” We see the race as the perfect mini offshore.

In addition, the race also has an association with Crean’s Brewery and Billy Naughton Cars of Tralee. Since its inception in 1984 this race has always thrived on the wonderful co-operation between the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and those local businesses in Dingle that provide a great welcome and hospitality at the finishing destination.

Volvo Car Ireland already firmly established as the brand partner for sailing in Ireland have added the D2D race to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the other major events on the sailing calender in Ireland. David Thomas, recently appointed new Managing Director for Volvo Car Ireland commented that “We are delighted to support this race as we see it as a perfect fit with our global commitment to sailing which extends from the Volvo Ocean Race right down to these important grass roots events in Ireland”.

Read more: Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

#ISORA - The draft ISORA race schedule for 2017 is now available online.

The new season kicks off with two races on Saturday 22 April, the ISORA/RAYC Dun Laoghaire to Wicklow coastal race, and the Pwllheli Castle Race on the other side of the Irish Sea in Wales.

That’s followed by the first offshore race on Saturday 13 May from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire.

The highlight of the schedule as always is the 270-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle offshore race, set for Wednesday 14 June.

And almost five months of racing is set to conclude on Saturday 9 September with the Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire offshore run.

The Notice of Race is has also been published, available to download with the 2017 race schedule below.

Published in ISORA

#d2drace – The results in the National YC's 280–mile 30–boat Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race have now been officially ratified, and they confirm the Shanahan family's J/109 Ruth (National YC) as overall winner. The race has been a remarkable success for J/Boats, as top performing craft from the design board of American Rod Johnstone have taken five of the first six places.

In the Two-Handed Division, at Dingle Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles (Howth YC) had regained their initial lead – which they'd lost while battling light headwinds off the Kerry coast - and they finished well to place 12th overall with the Elan 340 Blue Eyes, thereby putting 16 fully-crewed boats astern. Just one place behind Blue Eyes in 13th overall was the defending champion from Tralee Bay SC, Brian O'Sullivan and Frances Clifford's Oyster 37 Amazing Grace, which won the Cruiser Division.

This weekend's Sailing on Saturday blog on Afloat.ie by W M Nixon will feature a profile of the Shanahan family and Ruth, together with a more detailed analysis of the race and the results.

Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2015 (National YC & Dingle Sailing Club)

IRC Overall: 1st Ruth (J/109, B, W, A, T & P Shanahan, National YC) Corrected Time: 1 day 23hrs 30 minutes & 48 seconds; 2nd Mojito (J/109) Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox, Pwllheli SC) 1:23:51:50; 3rd Aurelia (J/122, Chris & Patanne Power Smith, Royal St George YC) 2:0:15:52; 4th Dear Prudence (J/109, Jonathan Bourke, Manhattan YC) 2:1:18:14; 5th Alchimiste (JPK 9.60, Mike Murphy, National YC) 2:1:19:04; 6th Aquelina (J/122. James & Sheila Tyrrell, Arklow SC) 2:1:31:10

Two-handed Division: 1st Blue Eyes (Elan 340, Colm Buckley & Simon Knowles, Howth YC) 2:4:27:10; 2nd Joker (Sigma 38, David Gibbons, Kinsale YC) 2:7:24:19

Cruising: 1st Amazing Grace (Oyster 37, Brian O'Sullivan & Frances Clifford, Tralee Bay SC) 2:8:46:54; 2nd Yahtzee (Beneteau Oceanis 411, Richard Mossop, Dun Laoghaire Motor YC) 2:7:58:48; 3rd Lady Rowena (Sadler 34, David Bolger RStGYC) 2:8:41:10

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle

#D2D –  When the crew of Anthony O'Leary's Antix began collating weather predictions at mid-week for the approaching Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race writes W M Nixon, they found themselves in the happy position of being told on Thursday that when the wind expectations were combined with the boat's known performance capabilities, they might be looking at breaking the 24 hours for the dash to Dingle.

Quite. As of 1600 hours this afternoon (Saturday June 13th), we're looking at the dribble to Dingle. The two leaders – Lee Overlay Partners and Antix – are within a couple of miles of each other well seaward off Cork Harbour, and making a less-than-stellar two to four knots while turning slowly to windward in a local sou'westerly.

Antix continues to lead the fleet on handicap while Lee OP is eighth in IRC. But when things get as slow as this, the little guys somewhere astern are making hay just sitting still, so the lead which Antix has held virtually from the start could easily evaporate.

However, this year the boat has had her performance maximized for lighter conditions, so the slightest little bite to the breeze could see her getting ahead of Lee OP and holding on to her overall lead. That said, if the underlying northerly comes in again after the day's sea breeze effect has waned along the Cork coast, the Cookson 50 could be back in business.

Twenty-two miles astern, as of time of writing George Sisk's Farr 42 Wow is next in line, churning merrily along on course in a private breeze at better than 4 knots, while her closest contender, the Power Smiths' J/122 Aurelia, has lost most of her wind after an excellent race until now, and is headed off almost to a southerly course, while barely registering one knot.

Mike Murphy's characterful twin-ruddered JPK 9.60 Alchimiste continues to have a cracker of a race, lying second on IRC after Antix, but like the leader now obliged to turn to windward as the summer sou'wester works its way along the coast.

Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles have been putting in an impressive performance in the two-handed division which they lead by quite a margin with the Elan 340 Blue Eyes, on top of which they're lying eight overall in IRC, and have many larger fully crewed boats well astern of them on the water.

rev2.jpg
Captains Cool.....Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles with the Elan 340 Blue Eyes knew that it would be a mistake to mix it with the rest of the fleet in the thick of a potentially messy start, so they held back and started with room to spare........Photo: W M Nixon

rev3.jpg
.....but soon Blue Eyes was in perfect trim and going well, and already had closest two-handed rival Joker (David Gibbons) put in place astern. Photo: W M Nixon

They've done well sailing two-handed in the Dingle Race before, and at last night's inevitably messy running start, it was noted that the two guys stayed well out of the crowd to make a very conservative start. Yet they soon had themselves up and running in good order with spinnaker setting perfectly, picking off one boat after another until by the time the fleet was off the Wicklow coast, they were comfortably leading the two-handed division, and were even in the frame in the fully-crewed sector.

Signing off, it's noted that Lee OP and Antix are back on course for the Old Head of Kinsale and making better than four knots, but whether this is a temporary breeze or a return of the overall slack northerly remains to be seen. Either way, we won't be seeing a new course record with D2D 2015. But although tomorrow may seem some local southwest winds, the gradient is not expected to draw properly from the south until Monday afternoon, by which time everyone should be long since finished.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Page 1 of 3

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating