‘Line honours’ battle in Dun Laoghaire to Dingle boat race to be decided

Conor Doyle’s Freya enjoying solitary lead on the approach to Fastnet Rock

Leading yachts in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race passing Dalkey Island and the Muglins Rock on Dublin Bay as they face fresh southerly winds at the start of the 280 nautical mile race to Co Kerry. Photograph: David Branigan/Inpho

Leading yachts in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race passing Dalkey Island and the Muglins Rock on Dublin Bay as they face fresh southerly winds at the start of the 280 nautical mile race to Co Kerry. Photograph: David Branigan/Inpho

 

The battle for “line honours” in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is expected to be decided in the early hours of Friday morning as the fleet powers along the south coast.

Conor Doyle’s Freya from Kinsale Yacht Club, the largest entry in the race at 50ft was enjoying a solitary lead several miles offshore south of Galley Head on the the approach to the famous Fastnet Rock.

While the race leader was expected to pass “the teardrop of Ireland” around nightfall, the chasing pack were some 10 miles astern.

Doyle can also expected to get redress for an incident on Wednesday night while leading the fleet near Brittas Bay when his team spotted a kitesurfer in distress. After dropping their sails to assist, the kitesurfer was later transferred to the Arklow RNLI lifeboat.

Freya resumed racing and later overtook five boats to regain the race for line honours.

However, the overall title of the event has still to be decided under IRC corrected time and may not be won by the first boat to finish the 280 nautical-mile race.

Denis and Annamarie Murphy’s Nieulargo from the Royal Cork YC has been consistently leading the overall stakes and was last night listed provisionally in first place overall and in two divisions.

But a cluster of other boats close-by remain in contention and much hinges on the weather on Friday morning when some forecasts suggest the wind may veer to the West, thereby slowing the smaller boats in pursuit.

Of the 38 starters, four have been obliged to pull out for various reasons.

Ian Bowring’s Springer from the Royal St. George YC pulled in to Kilmore Quay yesterday due to a combination of navigation equipment failure and seasickness.

“We never going to be in the silverware hunt and as it stopped being fun plus the prospect of more heavy upwind sailing all the way to the Fastnet, we decided to retire,” he told The Irish Times.

The finishing-line in Dingle is likely to be busy over the coming 24 hours when the overall winner is likely to be confirmed.

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