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Cruise Village 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Glorious conditions expected for start of Volvo Round Ireland Race tomorrow at Wicklow

by John O'Connor 29 Jun 2018 13:29 BST 30 June 2018
Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race © Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race

Glorious conditions for the 55 boats competing in the Volvo Round Ireland Race are expected over the coming week after the 705-mile classic gets underway at Wicklow Sailing Club on Saturday at 2pm (June 30th 2018).

A week-long festival is already underway with family-friendly events running from 10am on race start day at Wicklow Harbour leading up the dockside farewells to the fleet before the crews head southwards.

The Irish Defence Forces will have a big presence at Wicklow including the Naval vessel Ciara in attendance and a display by the Air Corps Black Knight parachute team in the afternoon. A crew of Army and Naval personnel on Joker 2 will compete in the race aiming to lift a new trophy for military teams.

The forecast for the week suggests light, north-easterly winds for the start meaning the colourful spinnaker sails will be used, adding to the spectacle. Wicklow pier and the Black Castle area are ideal viewing areas. Parking and traffic restrictions will be in place.

Speaking this morning, Defence forces navigator and strategist Mick Liddy, foresees the race taking a full 5 days for them on board J109 "Joker II". "We expect a north easterly start with good gradient and thermal breeze given the fine conditions and a rhumb line course to the Fastnet Rock where we will encounter up to 20 knots, the most wind we except to see. North west corner looks most challenging and we expect that we are looking at a predominantly light and tactical race"

Last minute changes to the fleet feature a number of amendments as some boats have become unavailable or unable to prepare in time. Originally 60 boats were expected to start but the confirmed entry-list stands at 55 with boats from seven countries - Ireland, Britain, France, The Netherlands, Finland, Norway and the United States.

Boats range in size from 21 feet to 65 feet and the fastest entries are expected back in Wicklow by Wednesday evening. However, some of the smaller entries may not finish until next weekend depending on wind conditions.

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