Saturday and Sunday on Dublin Bay off Dun Laoghaire’s National Yacht Club are expected to see some of the most spectacular inshore racing yet of the Route des Princes grand prix multihulls race around Europe.
The combination of strong winds and a relatively open water race course which will be easily viewed from the shore should provide the perfect combination when the six, short sharp round the buoys races are contested.
To date it has been Sébastien Josse’s crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild which has been best at both Valencia and Lisbon, winning top points for both regattas.
Part of their winning formula so far has been using the skills of a specialist inshore tactician, match racing ace Sébastien Col.
Maybe the terms will even out in Dun Laoghaire as Spindrift – who have been second in both inshore regattas – bring on board Olympic 470 bronze medallist Nicholas Charbonnier as tactician and skipper Yann Guichard resumes his normal service on the helm for the inshores. Due to commitments on their team’s D35 Ladycat powered by Spindrift, Guichard has not yet been able to steer Spindrift on the short course regattas.
Spindrift are overall leaders of the Routes des Princes by six points ahead of Josse’s Edmond de Rothschild.
With ten points available for winning the regatta, eight for second and six for third, Josse’s team will be looking to reduce that margin as much as possible before Monday’s start of the last high scoring offshore leg of the race, from Dun Laoghaire to Plymouth.
W-SW’ly winds are forecast to be between 19 and 27 knots Saturday which should mean fast, tight racing. Considerably stronger gusts are forecast Sunday.
The MOD70’s will compete over six short course over the two days.
A substantial shoreside festival is already under way on the East Pier where there are a whole host of different exhibitions and stalls.
The food festival "With Taste" is organised for the general public with small tasting tents offered by restaurateurs and food producers.
During the inshore races there will be commentary from Ireland’s Olympic 470 sailor Ger Owens and Fiona Bolger.
At 1900hrs Saturday, an autograph session skippers to the public at 19:30 followed by a concert by Dan Ar Braz.
And in Sunday at 19:30: barbecue and concert.