Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta draws to a close in light winds

John Maybury’s ‘Joker 2’ of the Royal Irish Yacht Club judged boat of the week

After a blistering pace despite light to medium winds since Thursday, the Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta ended yesterday with a total of 397 races sailed across 34 different classes.

John Maybury's Joker 2 of the Royal Irish Yacht Club was judged boat of the week as well as top-performing boat under IRC handicap for his performance in the 28-strong division 1 event.

He led a trio of clubmates, also J109's with Richard and Tim Goodbody's White Mischief and Ronan Harris' Jigamaree placing second and third respectively as both vied to displace Maybury; neither was able to break Joker 2's grip on the fleet.

It was a similar story in the tiny division 0 where Tony Ackland's visiting Dark Angel from Swansea sealed a three-nil series of events in Irish waters that started with the ICRA national championships a month ago followed by the O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup week prior to Dún Laoghaire.


However, it was a closer call for the Welsh crew as Jay Colville's Forty Licks from East Down YC came within a point of taking the class.

Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV from Howth YC emerged from the calm that delayed the single race final day for Class 2 with another win, marking a seven-race series in which he counted first or second places.

His win ahead of two other half-tonners sets him fair for next month’s half-ton classics cup at Kinsale where 20 reconditioned IOR boats are expected.

Stand-out performance

Cullen’s clubmate Richard Colwell had one of the stand-out performances of the series in division 3 that enjoyed nine races in total. His Corby 25 Fusion counted all race wins with the two event discards used to drop two second places. He won the class with a 10-point lead but the eight-boat entry mitigated against a shot at the overall event prize.

Howth's success at the regatta continued in the 31-boat coastal event with Paddy Gregory's Flashback taking the top prize. The class ended the event as it started with a relatively short race around the perimeter of the bay due to the near calm conditions.

Wind was less of an issue close to the Dublin shore for the dinghies and dayboats that had steadier conditions compared to the bigger boats nearer the infamous “transition zones” where the sea breeze meets the forecast gradient wind.

At the Salthill and South Bull course areas, the pressure held for a full race programme with several notable results.

Dave Gorman's Betty from the National YC was the clear winner of the 23-boat Flying 15 event, winning six out of their 10 races to earn an 18-point lead over Neil Colin's Deranged from the Dún Laoghaire Motor YC.

In the dragon class, David Williams and Peter Bowring's Phantom led a trio of Royal St George YC boats as they won half their races for a clear win over Mick Cotter's Whisper and Joey Mason's DCision in third.

The final entry tally came to 477 boats comprising approximately 2,500 crew plus over 300 volunteers both afloat and ashore.

David Branigan

David Branigan

David Branigan is a contributor on sailing to The Irish Times