The busy and hospitable Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is set to pull off a remarkable double act on Saturday, June 30th writes W M Nixon. As this is an even year, there’s no biennial five-day Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. Instead, each club is reverting to expressing its own style through an individual traditional regatta day, and on Saturday, June 30th it will be the turn of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.
Following the well-proven Dun Laoghaire day regatta programme of efficiently-orchestrated racing in Dublin Bay, the many participating crews will then be welcomed to the RIYC’s elegant neo-classical clubhouse by Commodore Joe Costello and his support team. They’re an active group whose 2018 programme is already bringing the club noted success in everything from dinghies to offshore racers, with the syndicate headed by Andrew Algeo in the J/109 Juggerknot setting the pace for a notable across-the-board range of achievement.
It’s performance afloat at this level which sets the tone for regatta festivities ashore. And the word is that Ireland’s strawberries have never been tastier than they are in June 2018…….so the vital ingredient of best strawberries and cream will be in place for a festival of high summer in the RIYC forecourt and clubhouse on June 30th, with the regatta sponsored by Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.
Yet on that very same day, the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 gets underway from Wicklow some 21 nautical miles to the south.
And the Royal Irish is not only an active supporting partner with Wicklow Sailing Club in providing pre-race facilities for this major event in the international calendar, but the RIYC is providing one of the largest club entry contingents in a fleet which currently stands at 58 boats.
Included in the formidable RIYC fleet-within-a-fleet which will be taking on the 704-mile round Ireland challenge will be noted contenders such as former winner Michael Boyd with the J/109 Jedi, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle 2017 Race overall winner Paul O’Higgins with the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI, and RIYC ex-Pat member Niall Dowling with the highly-fancied Ker 43 Baraka GB.
In all, it’s a lineup which well reflects the considerable strength of RIYC sailing in 2018, a strength which is there in such depth and breadth that the club can also confidently anticipate hosting a memorable regatta at home on the same day.