Friday, July 25, 2014

J's Trounce Round Ireland

J/109 sailing RORC Round Ireland race J/109 Tops IRC 3, J/111 2nd IRC 2
(Wicklow, Ireland)- When the fleet of 35 ocean racing yachts took off on the from the starting line at Wicklow, Ireland, in the RORC Round Ireland Race, everyone secretly hoped the relatively light wind forecasts were wrong.  After all, sailing 704nm in 5-10 kt winds might take awhile!  In the end, for most it took 5+ days to complete the race and the competitors commented on the fantastic views, the pods of dolphins, whale and shark sightings, as well as the wonderful navigational challenges that the island of Ireland offered. For most, the significant amount of reaching mixed in with some running and beating provided a fairly high average speed for the boats finishing in just over 5 days— about a 9.0+ average!

J/105 offshore sailboat- sailing RORC Round Ireland raceThe Round Ireland Yacht Race is one of the classic middle distance offshore yacht races of the world and over the years, the challenging, interesting and beautiful race course has attracted world-class sailors and their boats.  The event is Ireland’s premier offshore sailing race and is held every two years by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 704nm race was first held in 1980 and still retains the original course; “leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.”  With a long range forecast for relatively light winds, one hopes it doesn’t become another “Bermuda 2014 (the new longest version ever)!”

Loving the conditions were the four J’s entered in this year’s edition.  In IRC 2 Class, the J/111 FUJITSU skippered by veteran offshore yachtsman DB Cattle took 2nd in class and 7th overall!

An even more remarkable story was that of another veteran Irish offshore yachtsman- Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH not only won IRC 3 Class, but also took 2nd overall!  Another J/109 sailed by P Dunlop & V Cox took 3rd in class and 11th overall!  They were closely followed by the fourth place J/105 JET DREAM sailed by Philip Bourke.  Good show mates!   For more Round Ireland Yacht Race sailing information