Winds gusting up 20 knots put Ireland’s biggest sailing event back on schedule at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta today with a full programme of racing held for the 500 competing boats.

Potential winners are emerging as the biennial regatta approaches the halfway stage across 34 racing classes. 

So far the eighth edition of Ireland’s biggest sailing event has delivered breezes throughout the wind range to be a true test of sailors’ skills. It has also produced some impressive performances on the water but there are few if any class leaders able to count straight wins after two full days of tricky racing in light to medium winds.

With all classes aiming for either two or three races today (Friday), results in the fleet were still being computed in some classes at 6 pm, including the large 28-boat coastal division who sailed a single race.

The Howth J/109 Outrajeous leads the highly competitive 26-boat IRC Class 1 after four races sailed and one discard. The Richard Colwell and John Murphy campaign overhauled overnight leader, John Maybury’s Joker II, when they took two race wins and a third today to top the leaderboard but only by a single point. The HYC crew leads from Timothy & Richard Goodbody’s White Mischief from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Joker II, the defending Volvo champion lies third. 

In IRC Zero, Greystones Sailing Club’s Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera (Frank Whelan) is two points clear of Down Cruising Club’s First 40, Forty Licks (Jay Colville) with Jamie McWilliam’s Hong Kong entry Signal 8, a Ker 40, in third place in the six-boat fleet.

In the one-design classes, after five races sailed at the Flying Fifteen National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly clearly broke the overnight points tie in their favour today when they won all three races to stamp their authority on the 24-boat fleet. The National Yacht Club duo now lead the regatta by a cool 10-point margin at the halfway stage. Second overall is the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Ben Mulligan sailing with Cormac Bradley. Third is Fflagella, Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux also of the National Yacht Club.

Scottish crews are in command at the 20-boat Sigma 33 Irish National Championships hosted as part of the Regatta. After four races sailed and one discard, James Miller’s Mayrise of Helensburgh Sailing Club leads Leaky Roof 2 (Alan Harper/Robertson, Eric Robertson & Kirsty Robertson) of Cove Sailing Club by three points. In third place overall is Fairlie Yacht Club’s Busy Beaver (Mark Bradshaw & Jack Gallagher). Best of the Irish is Paul & Emma Prentice’s Squawk from Ballyholme Yacht Club in fourth place but you have to go as low tenth to find the first Dublin Bay boat, Joe Conway’s Elandra from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

More northwesterly winds are forecast for racing tomorrow. 

Results are provisional and subject to protest. Full results in all classes are available on www.dlregatta.org

Racing continues tomorrow (Saturday)