Sailing: NYC decide to revert to traditional Dún Laoghaire to Dingle course

With 99 days to go before start gun fires, organisers have had a rethink

 Defending Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race champion Paul O’Higgin’s Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish. Photo: David O’Brien

Defending Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race champion Paul O’Higgin’s Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish. Photo: David O’Brien

 

Last year’s spectacle of the international Volvo Ocean Race round-the-world fleet closing in on Ireland’s coastline inspired organisers of June’s Dún Laoghaire to Dingle Race to amend the course, permitting skippers to sweep inside islands and lighthouses along the 400nm route.

But with 99 days to go before the 13th start gun fires, the National Yacht Club (NYC) organisers have had a rethink.

“We have decided that the course for the 2019 race shall be changed back to the traditional course of previous races,” organiser Adam Winkelmann said in a statement issued this week.

Feedback concerning larger draught entries in an expected 40-boat fleet forced the change of tack which means the biennial race that first ran in 1993 will again be leaving all islands to starboard including Muglins, Tuskar Rock, Barrells Buoy, Coninbeg, Fastnet Rock and The Washerwoman, close to the Dingle finish.

Paul O’Higgin’s Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is the defending champion, but it looks like there’s going to be plenty of competition for the JPK10.80 in the June 12th race.

Already stacking up are an exotic mix of IRC one and zero racers including Andrew Algeo’s brand new J99; the replacement WOW, George Sisk’s XP44 as well as the biggest yacht in the fleet; Michael Cotter’s Southern Wind 94, the Carbon-built Maxi, Windfall.

The race – now on the RORC and ISORA series race calendars – is a mini-offshore challenge for cruisers and racing boats competing in separate IRC rating divisions.

The course involves only one or two nights at sea, and this edition also offers competitors a bonus in those series to accumulate qualifying offshore racing experience for crews participating in the RORC Fastnet Race in August.

Cork Harbour teams are competing on the east and west coasts of the United States this weekend. Nicholas and Robert O’Leary are placed 11th overall at the Bacardi Cup in Miami, Florida. Their father, Anthony, the Irish Commodore’s Cup double winning Captain, will be in action on the same race course in a Viper keelboat this weekend.

Strong winds

On the Pacific Ocean, a Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) team captained by Harry Durcan and Grattan Roberts are competing in the Port of Los Angeles Harbour Cup Invitational Regatta, hosted by Los Angeles Yacht Club (LAYC) and Cal Maritime Sailing. The regatta uses an identically matched fleet of Catalina 37s.

The Irish Sigma 33 fleet is aiming to break its record and produce a 26-boat fleet for July’s Dún Laoghaire Regatta, the month in which the class celebrates its 40th birthday.

Although forecasted strong winds may yet mean the overall winner could be decided ashore, Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s Spring Chicken Series finale takes place this Sunday.

An Irish National Sailing School (INSS)1720 sportsboat leads the mixed 35-boat cruiser fleet after five races sailed from the NYC.

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy will talk about her Olympic success when she headlines a fundraising event for teammates and 49er Tokyo hopefuls Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove.

The fundraiser takes place at the Marine Hotel in Sutton on March 19th, just ten days before the pair go into action at the Princess Sofia Palma Regatta in Spain.

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