Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close this afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with over 475 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing. A light sea breeze of six knots allowed organisers to complete nearly all 290 scheduled races with many class titles hanging on the outcome of today’s final race. In a fitting tribute to the harbour’s bicentenary year, racing for the coastal classes finished inside the harbour, a nod to a long-standing Dun Laoghaire yachting tradition.
Dublin Yacht Club’s shared the bulk of the overall prizes, awarded this afternoon at the official prize giving at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, winning 23 of the 35 classes including the coveted ‘Boat of the Week’ Trophy. John Maybury’s J109 Joker II from the Royal Irish Yacht Club was named top boat after leading an extremely competitive IRC class one 28–boat fleet from start to finish. Maybury’s lead, however, was cut to three points overnight by club–mate Richard Goodbody’s White Mischief but a final challenge to Maybury on the South Course today did not materialise in the single race sailed. Instead the RIYC sailor ended the series on a 13.5–point cushion. In a summer of achievements for John Maybury, his Volvo Trophy follows the first ever hat-trick of IRC National Championship victories achieved in Crosshaven last month. Today’s victory was Maybury’s fourth VDLR class win in a row for Maybury, winning first in, 2011.
Regatta Chairman Tim Goodbody’s reminder that ‘Volvo Dun Laoghaire is a fun regatta, not a championship’ did little to stem the fierce competition for the coveted Volvo prizes in 35 classes as the last race of the event concluded in the lightest sea–breezes of the series.
The 31-boat offshore prize was won by Howth’s Beneteau 34.7, Flashback skippered by Paddy Gregory. Gregory also lifted the Royal Dee Offshore Championship Trophy that was raced as part of the regatta. Ten classes included the regatta as part of their championship calendar in 2017: GP14s, 420s and Mermaid dinghies raced for Leinster honours. The J24s, SB20s and Squibs decided regional titles and the Sigma 33s, Beneteau 21s and the Wayfarers raced for national trophies.
The biennial event is being hailed an enormous success both afloat and ashore for a combined fleet of 475 boats, the biggest on the Irish Sea. Over 290 races on five different courses were staged in a range of light to medium conditions since racing began last Thursday. Although 180 visiting boats made up nearly half the fleet, yachts from outside the bay area took away only seven trophies. The bulk of the silverware has stayed on Dun Laoghaire’s waterfront. Trophies were awarded in each of the 35 competing classes this afternoon, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful stagings of Ireland’s biggest sailing event.
Scotland’s Clyde Cruising Club took a win in the Sigma 33 Irish open Championships. Howth Yacht Club had six wins in IRC two and three, the Howth 17s, J24s and non–spinnaer divisions but outside of that there was only single wins for Belfast Lough in the RS Elite, Rush Sailing Club in the Laser Radial, Sutton Dinghy Club in the IDRA 14s and Greystones Sailing Club won the Wayfarers.
In Dun Laoghaire, the Royal Irish Yacht Club topped the leaderboard winning six classes from IRC keelboats to Water Wag dinghies.The Royal St. George had five wins in one design classes. The National Yacht Club had three victories and the DMYC had two.
Full results are available on dlregatta.org.
Today also marks the end of Tim Goodbody’s chairmanship of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. Tim has held this role for the past two events and he hands over to incoming Chair, Don O’Dowd, at a particularly high point in the history of this great event, the third largest regatta in Europe, and an all amateur event. Don follows a long line of distinguished former regatta chairmen including Brian Craig (2005 and 2007), Phil Smith (2009) and Adam WInklemann (2011 and 2013). The Board of Dublin Bay Regattas Ltd, with Commodores of the Dun Laoghaire waterfront Yacht Cubs would like to acknowledge the massive contribution of Tim Goodbody in his role of chairman and thank him for all his involvement in the organization of two incredibly successful regattas.