Boyd is back!
The 18th Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race is set to be the most heated competition in the race’s history with a number of prestigious international sailing champions announcing they will contest this year’s edition.
Run by Wicklow Sailing Club, the renowned biennial race has received a major boost with Volvo Cars Ireland coming on board as title sponsor this year after four years without sponsorship.
Among the entries, Michael Boyd, Commodore of the RORC and current holder of the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup, will return to compete in the 2016 race. This marks the 20th anniversary since his win with Big Ears the 1996 Round Ireland. On board he will be sailing with many of the same crew.
Phillip Johnston, who runs the current holder of the Round Great Britain and Ireland Race record for 60ft monohulls, Artemis-Team Endeavour, has also confirmed that the Open 60 will once again be competing under skipper Michael Ferguson.
Current holder of the Fastnet Roger Justice trophy Rónán Ó Siochrú has also confirmed that he will be back to contest the Volvo Round Ireland for the fourth time.
At the end of 2015 internationally renowned sailor and US businessman, George David also announced his intention to enter his yacht Rambler 88 in the 2016 race. The canting keel maxi yacht would be a strong contender to break the Volvo Round Ireland Race record of 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds, which was set by Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard in 2008.
Meanwhile, following the announcement that 2016 will be the first time that multihulls will be invited to compete, Team Concise intends to enter their fleet. Ned Collier Wakefield, Team Director and Skipper for Team Concise, has indicated that they intend entering their three boats into the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland – the MOD 70 and their two Class40s.
Team Phaedo has also announced its intention to enter its MOD 70 Phaedo 3. Owner Lloyd Thornburg has been campaigning his MOD 70 for a year now and has notched up an incredibly successful run of world records and regatta wins.
With this brief glimpse of what lies ahead, race organisers expect the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland to be one of the most competitive and exciting races ever, attracting serious quality sailors and some of the finest yachts from across the world.
Race organiser Theo Phelan commented: “We have further expressions of interest from some really exciting names that we hope to be in a position to announce in the coming weeks. Already the competition is heating up and we expect many previous race entrants to return to contest what is set to be one of the most exciting races ever.
“The Volvo Round Ireland is one of the most gruelling but spectacular sailing challenges in the world, bringing entrants through widely different sea types and coastlines, from the Atlantic Ocean to the more sheltered Irish Sea, with difficult tidal gates, particularly around the North Eastern coast and navigational challenges requiring day and night tactical decisions at every change of forecast.”
The 2016 Volvo Round Ireland departs Wicklow Bay on Saturday 18th June 2016 with the first start at 13.00 hours.