Round Ireland Race to set sail on 24 June

Lee Overlays Partners and Noonmark head the field

Tuesday May 15th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: Ireland

Wicklow Sailing Club is to hold the Round Ireland Yacht Race this year, starting from Wicklow Harbour on 24 June, the 17th time since the biennial, non-stop, 705 mile circumnavigation of the Emerald Isle started in 1980. The Round Ireland Yacht Race is run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

25 starters, to-date, have confirmed their entries with anticipation high for further additions before the closing date for entries on 8 June.

Entries to the race received so far include Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners in the big boat division along with Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy's Swan 56 Noonmark VI.

In the class 1 entries, is likely to be Piet Vroon's Tonnerre de Breskens 3 which has dominated the RORC racing calendar from the Rolex Fastnet Race to events in the Caribbean and is making a welcome return to Wicklow Sailing Club. Round Ireland would also like to welcome Dan Walsh, from the USA, together with six of his fellow sailors from the American Yacht Club of New York, who have chartered Alex Bennett's Class 40 Fujifilm, which will sail under the name of Team Wild Goose.

Having left Howth a few years ago, Cracklin’ Rosie is now returning under the helm of London-based Steven Anderson while the intrepid ladies, Kristeen Donaldson and Judith Eastwood, have entered their yacht PYXIS in the two-handed division. While on the subject of the ladies keep an eye on Allie Smith aboard Visit Malta Puma, which won her class in the 2010 race and is determined to defend her title.

The west of Ireland is well represented with Inis Mor from Clifden BC, and NUI Galway from Galway University Sailing Club while Cork and Dun Laoghaire have lately shown a stronger interest. Of local Wicklow interest is the return this year of club member, Brian Flahive, to the two handed class in LC Tyres Lulabelle to be sailed under the WSC burgee.

Approximately half of the yachts entered in the Round Ireland Yacht Race are RORC racers based in England and include entries from the RAF and the Army Sailing Clubs. Boats from Scotland, Wales and Guernsey will also join the fleet in Wicklow.

“To win the Round Ireland Yacht Race, your crew have to race consistently well, all day and all night, every day," said Theo Phelan, Race Organiser. "Given the challenging Irish coastline, it is not an easy course. 3000 miles of open seas to build up before they hit you on the west coast can be daunting. I have no illusions, winning against good opposition is never easy but it makes racing the Round Ireland Yacht Race all the more rewarding.”

The calibre of the yachts entering this race is a clear indication of the status in which the Round Ireland Yacht Race is held by the yachting world. It is a credit to Wicklow Sailing Club that, in the absence of any sponsor for the event, they have still managed to attract such a significant racing fleet to our shores and it is a testament to the ability of a small club to promote positive activity and achieve recognition, on an international level, for their town.


Boat Skipper Type
Nunatak Mike Jaques J120
Fortitude Simon Costain Pogo Class 40
Fujitsu Nicholas Bate Archambault A40RC
Inis Mor Laurent Gouy Ker39
Pyxis Kirsteen Donaldson X332
Cracklin' Rosie Steven Anderson Corby 40
Fastrak VIII Nigel Colley Sunfast 3200
Lancasrtian Neil Eatough Starlight 46
NUI Galway Cathal Clarke Reflex 38
Noonmark VI Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy Swan 56
EOS Rod Stuart Elan 10
Team Wild Goose Dan Walsh OwenClarke Class 40
Wild Spirit Paul Jackson Jeanneau 40SO
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 P W Vroon Ker 46
Cavatina Ian Hickey Granada 38
Lee Overlay Partners Adrian Lee Cookson 50
Exhale Derry Good X362 sport
Maxvmg Fortissimo Mark Denton Akilaria Class 40
Sgrech Stephen Tudor J 109
Spirit of Jacana Bruce Douglas J 133
Twister David Fletcher First 31.7
Visit Malta Puma Allie Smith Reflex 38
Irish Offshore Sailing School Ronan O'Siochru Sunfast 37
Diablo-j Nick Martin J 105
LC Tyres Lulabelle Coyne /Flahive Beneteau 36.7

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