State-of-the-art TP52s and classic boats in Dublin Bay
A fleet of 500 boats plus, ranging from state-of-the-art TP52s to wooden classics over 100 years old such as the Water Wag dinghy and Howth 17 keelboat – and everything in between – will converge on Dublin Bay in mid-July for the four-day Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Ireland’s biggest sailing event of the year.
The biennial event was revived two years, after an absence of almost 40 years, with the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs – DMYC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St.George YC- combining their resources to provide racing for 26 classes over six different race courses.
Racing is also organised in association with the two local racing clubs, Dublin Bay Sailing Club and the Royal Alfred YC, the latter celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary during the event. The ‘Alfred’ is the oldest amateur yacht club in the world and was the prime mover behind the establishment of what is now the RYA
Dubbed by some as the ‘Cowes of the Irish Sea’, the Regatta exceeded the 400 entries of the inaugural event in 2005 two months ahead of the first race. With some 3,000 competitors, it ranks not only as the biggest sailing event in Ireland this year but also one of the biggest participant sporting events in the country.
Biggest class on show will the all-new Laser SB3s with over 30 entries that includes some of the top helms in Ireland pitting their skills in Ireland’s newest fleet against some tough opposition from the UK.
UK boats will also feature in the various keelboat classes and a particular feature of the Regatta is the incorporation of the Ecover Half Ton Classics Cup that has attracted 23 boats from seven different countries. Among those expected to feature at the top of the fleet will be 2003 winner ‘General Tapioca’ from Belgium (Phillipe Pilate) and 2005 runner-up ‘Hakuna Matata’ (Jan-Francois Nouel from France).
The glamour of three TP52s in the Super 0 division is an added attraction and while Irish Commodore’s Cup skipper Colm Barrington in his recently acquired ‘Magic Glove’ may be new to the bigger boat, his experienced crew will be expected to top the class after four day’s racing.