Sunday 11 December 2016

On the crest of a wave at Ireland's biggest regatta

Katie Morris

Published 11/07/2015 | 02:30

The crew of Signet of Kip from Strangford Lough Yacht Club try to gather their Spinnaker during the Sigma 33 class at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Sailing Regatta which will run in Dun Laoghaire until tomorrow
The crew of Signet of Kip from Strangford Lough Yacht Club try to gather their Spinnaker during the Sigma 33 class at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Sailing Regatta which will run in Dun Laoghaire until tomorrow

More than 2,500 competitors in 400 boats have flooded in to Dún Laoghaire this weekend for Ireland's biggest sailing event.

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The Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta has also attracted thousands of visitors to the town as members of 69 yacht and sailing clubs from all over Ireland and the UK race.

Organisers said the strong winds had produced some impressive performances on the water, with blustery south-westerly winds expected today.

Met Éireann issued a small craft warning as south to south-west winds reach force 6 or more on all coasts today, but the weather is forecast to moderate slightly for the final races tomorrow.

The event saw the return of the classic yacht - The Huff of Arklow - which was designed by Uffa Fox.

"The Huff was built by Tyrells of Arklow, and she was called the Huff, because there were various disagreements between how she was designed and how she was built. It's a very apt name," says Timothy Goodbody, regatta chairman.

"Modern yacht racing started here, people don't realise that. It started here in around 1857."

Steven Polly (58) first competed in the Volvo regatta in 2011 and has returned ever since, this time to compete in the RS Elite class.

Steven, from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club in Bangor Co Down, said that it's the level of organisation at the amateur event that keeps him coming back for more.

"My wife is down for the first time and she's really enjoying the town," he added.

Four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Irish Independent

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