The combined waterfront clubs are delighted to confirm the continued Title sponsorship by Volvo Car Ireland of the Dún Laoghaire Regatta. This sponsorship coupled with significant format changes to VDLR 2021, will give sailors, sponsors, classes and the four waterfront clubs certainty in planning ahead for the 2021 season.

Volvo Car Ireland has been the Title sponsor of Ireland’s largest sailing event since 2007 and is again joined by Spirit Motor Group, the premier dealership for Volvo.

Background to the event

Growing over the last 16 years, the regatta is now proudly one of Northern Europe’s greatest shows on the water, eclipsed only by the UK’s Cowes Regatta, one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world.

Since it first set sail in 2005, Dún Laoghaire Regatta has grown biennially and showcases the very best of Irish sailing action on the water. A regatta of this size also brings a lot of shoreside summer colour and significant economic benefit to the town of Dún Laoghaire.

The last edition in 2019 comprised over 300 sailing races across 30 classes, and 2,500 competitors ranging from Olympic and world-class professionals to weekend sailors drawn from both across Ireland and overseas.

Meeting the COVID-19 challenges in 2021

Dún Laoghaire is unique in being able operate in this pandemic because of the extensive area within the harbour site and facilities provided by the waterfront clubs and organisations. The Regatta will utilise the full infrastructure of Dún Laoghaire Harbour venue to the best advantage and bring certainty to a calendar that has been hugely dictated by Covid-19 and the constraints imposed due to social distancing.

Format Changes planned for 2021

The focus of the new format will be to provide Regatta Sailing of the highest standard – taking advantage of the extensive shoreside facilities for the après sail enjoyment of the local and visiting sailors.

The new format Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta will comprise a One Design Championship (2nd – 4th July 2021) specifically tailored for sailors in the one design keelboat and dinghy classes. This to be followed by an Open Cruiser Championship (8th – 11th July 2021) catering for the full range of Cruiser Handicap classes.

The Regatta will provide competitive sailing, fun ashore and offer classes an exciting opportunity around which to plan their championships for 2021.

“Volvo Car Ireland, together with our retail partner, Spirit Motor Group are very proud to continue our relationship with the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in 2021. Together with Spirit Motor Group we work to support what we see as important events in the community where our customers live, work and engage in sporting activities as an important part of life. Sailing is a sport Volvo support at a community and international level.

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has grown to become the largest sailing regatta in Ireland and we are proud to be part of that team and to continue to be associated with the event”.

David Thomas, Managing Director, Volvo Car Ireland Ltd

“In these most trying and uncharted times it is truly wonderful to have Volvo Car Ireland back on board for 2021. The VDLR regatta is now in its 9th edition over 16 years and Volvo’s participation has been a key to its success. In light of Covid-19 and the possible constraints it will place on the event, we are currently working on a new format for the regatta which will see one-design classes racing on one weekend (2nd – 4th July) and keelboats the following weekend (8th – 11th July). Dun Laoghaire and its unique four waterfront clubs lends itself to facilitating social distancing and being Covid-19 compliant. It is this uniqueness that allows us plan for, what hopefully will be, another very successful Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta”

Don O’Dowd, VDLR Chairman