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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta - Day 1

by David Branigan 7 Jul 2017 06:56 BST 6-9 July 2017
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta day 1 © David Branigan / Oceansport

A record breaking 475 boats taking part in a total of 290 races across the four days

It was business as usual for John Maybury's Joker 2 on Thursday afternoon's opening races of the 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The triple class one national champion has move to the top of the leaderboard in Ireland's biggest sailing event after scoring a first and second to be five points ahead in an extremely competitive class one fleet.

From a forecast for a dubious six–knots from the west, Dublin Bay instead produced a solid sea–breeze for the first races in a total schedule of 290 races in 35 classes by Sunday.

2,500 sailors are racing in the four day regatta that has attracted sailors from across Ireland and the UK but also from Europe, America and Australia.

A near–record breaking fleet of 475 boats across 35 classes took to the water this afternoon for a 3pm start and some classes were still racing after 6pm.

A 29–boat class one – one of the most competitive of the regatta – could not resist the temptation of an early start on the North Course and race officer David Lovegrove was forced to signal a general recall in the unruly fleet.

With a 150–degree wind direction and an ebbing tide, Maybury, with tactician Mark Mansfield onboard, made sure of an early advantage off the start line in race one when he tacked inshore out of the tide to be in contention at the windward mark.

The ICRA champion from the Royal Irish Yacht Club leads Scottish entry Banshee Charlie Frize. Third is June's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race winner Paul O'Higgin's in the JPK 10.80, Rockabill VI.

In Class three, Richard Colwell's Fusion of Howth Yacht Club took an early lead when he won both races in IRC Class three. The Corby 25 opened up a five–point lead over the X-302 GP Online-Viking Kevin Darmody on the southern course. Eight are competing.

Conditions could not have been more different than the first race this time two years ago when strong winds and big seas opened the biennial event.

Today was equally as testing but for completely different reasons as sailors dealt with light winds and tricky start lines that demanded a clear lane to get top boat speed.

In a 15–boat class four, Paul Colton's Quarter Tonner Cri Cri from the Royal Irish Yacht Club has opened up a four point lead from the Wicklow Sailing Club Modified Formula 28, Flash (Jonathan Flood).

Racing is being staged over seven separate courses for a combined fleet of 475 boats, with over 180 visiting yachts from 70 different yacht clubs.

Results are provisional and subject to protest Full results in all 35 classes are available on www.dlregatta.org.

Racing continues Friday.

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland's biggest sailing event and takes place for the next three days until Sunday 9th July with 475 boats and over 2,500 competitors taking part. There is a great festival atmosphere across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

For more information see www.dlregatta.org or find Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Facebook and Twitter.

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