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Sailing Chandlery 2024 LEADERBOARD

SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race to showcase top quality teams in 22nd edition of the race

by Wicklow Sailing Club 11 Jun 10:23 BST 22 June 2024
Black Magic skippered by Barry O Donovan at the start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022 organised by Wicklow Sailing Club with a fleet of 44 teams from seven countries © David Branigan / Oceansport

Ireland and Wicklow are ready for what is arguably one of the greatest races on the world's sailing calendar. Coming to you from the beautiful Irish coastline, SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race will start at 1300 hrs on Saturday June 22nd. Teams from all over Ireland, Britain and Europe will descend on Wicklow Town for the 22nd edition of this historic race, which is accredited with putting Ireland on the map in terms of offshore racing.

The Round Ireland has become a prestigious biennial race hosted by Wicklow Sailing Club that began in 1980 with just 16 boats. Since its inception, the event has grown to become a must for keen sailors all over the globe. A bucket list race, it has earned a place on the world stage of racing. Many teams return time and time again ready to do battle on the 704 nautical mile course. The race ranks as one of the most challenging category 2 offshore races in the world, along with the Fastnet and Sydney Hobart to mention but a few in this category. How many nights at sea will depend on the size of boat, the weather and the skills of the sailors. With monohull Rambler 88's current record of 2:02:24:09 set in 2016, the door is open for the boat that manages to execute a race of skill, strategy and endurance with a bit of Irish luck thrown in.

Wicklow Sailing Club is thrilled to have SSE Renewables returning as title sponsors for the Round Ireland. As the leading renewable energy developer and owner-operator in Ireland, their support emphasizes the significance of this event in the sailing calendar. The synergy between both race and sponsor highlights their shared passion for wind and the exhilaration of performance.

As entry closes and with 54 boats competing, the Round Ireland will showcase top quality teams in an event renowned for exceptional racing and high performance competition. It invites sailors and spectators to be part of this unrivaled celebration of competition and camaraderie.

With the port town of Wicklow becoming a bustle of social activity during racing, the event will be accompanied by its increasingly popular on-shore festivities. After 2022's hugely successful Black Castle Festival, it returns again bigger and better with fun for all the family.

Looking to the fleet, it is truly a lineup exceeding all expectations. 2022 winners SL ENERGIES GROUPE FASTWAVE return to defend their title amongst other previous winners. Race Director Kyran O'Grady enthusiastically welcomed the news that RORC Commodores both present and past would be racing saying "We're delighted to have Deborah Fish (present RORC Commodore) racing on BELLINO and James Neville (past RORC Commodore) racing on his new boat INO NOIR. It will be a contest like no other with an undeniable battle of wills."

Included in the mix is INFINITY who will represent the RNLI as they celebrate their 200 year anniversary. " We are joining forces with the RNLI to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication and commitment of this amazing volunteer service " says Karen Kissane, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club.

We pay homage to each and every sailor in this epic race. In the past, it has been a battle in high winds and big seas navigated with passion and sheer nautical determination only to change to the frustrations of calm waters and absence of wind. We wait with bated breath to see what this year's race brings.

The Round Ireland encompasses the true spirit of sailing and the stage is set for June 22nd.

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