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24th June 2016

American Maxi yacht declared overall handicap winner in epic Volvo Round Ireland Race

Nearly six days since the off, American businessman George David’s world-famous maxi yacht Rambler 88 has been officially declared the outright winner of the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race.

In what has been one of the toughest ever editions of the race, with rough seas resulting in 15 retirals from the record 63 strong-fleet, sailing history has been made across a series of fronts.

Last Monday George David smashed both the race record and the speed record for sailing around Ireland* when the yacht crossed the Wicklow finish line after just 50 hours 24 minutes and 09 seconds.

However as the race is decided on handicap, it wasn’t until this morning (Friday 24th June) when the majority of the fleet had completed the 704 mile course around Ireland that the official result was certain.

His IRC handicap time was 3 days 20 hours and five minutes.  Second place goes to Eric De Turckheim’s  Teasing Machine and third place has been taken by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd aboard Lisa.

Race organisers have confirmed this has been the most exhilarating ever race in the Volvo Round Ireland’s 36 year history with a series of new race records and new  world records smashed over the past week.

For the first time ever, multihulls were eligible to compete in the Race and three of the fastest and most-famous Mod 70’s from the US, Oman and the UK came to Wicklow with one aim – to break records – and all three did.

In a spectacular nail-biting contest, the three remained as little as half a mile apart for the entire course with Phaedo3 and Concise 10 looking likely to be first across the line right up to the end.  In an astonishing change of fortunes, Oman Sail took advantage of an inshore track and pipped Phaedo to the post by six minutes, breaking their own 2015 record* by an incredible 2 hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds. Concise 10 came in just over a minute later.

Beyond the competition aspect, this has been a very poignant and emotional event for many concerned.

The fact that it was George who set the new record was particularly meaningful as it was as a tribute to the Irish Rescue services who saved his life in 2011 that he took the decision to sign up for the race.  He had two main objectives:  first and foremost to grow the reputation of the race and attract other world-famous sailors to travel to Wicklow.  The second was to break records – both targets were more than exceeded, but he hesitated to declare these intentions too soon, learning from his long and impressive business career that ‘actuals should exceed expectations.’

Indeed as he sprayed his crew with the winning Jeroboam of exclusive Italian Astoria prosecco, he reminded race organisers of his wise words.

It was also particularly nostalgic to see RORC commodore, Irish man Michael Boyd take the win for third place aboard First 44.7 Lisa.  The 2016 Race marks the 20th anniversary of Boyd’s 1996 win with many of the same crew from his 1996 winning yacht, Big Ears.

Like George David, the RORC commodore, was determined to support Wicklow Sailing Club in growing the international profile of the prestigious race by participating himself.

These and many others came good on their promises and helped deliver a 63-strong fleet, the largest ever number of entries in the 36 year history of the race.

Race organisers at Wicklow Sailing Club say it has been an unforgettable week of sporting history.

Theo Phelan, Race organiser (speaking on Friday 24th June 2016 at 9am):

“The race is not over until every single yacht is back safe and sound across the finish line. There are still 4 boats at sea, which we expect in this afternoon.  The reports from the sailors are that it was a fantastic race, with everything a race should contain.  It started on Saturday afternoon and already by midday on Sunday, they were being hit full blast by 30 knot winds, leading to 11 retirals on Sunday alone.”

“The conditions were ideal for the fast yachts however – the Mod 70’s were outside the wind pattern of everybody else.   The competition with the Mod 70’s was epic.  As top Irish off-shore sailor Damian Foxall, who finished first aboard Oman Sail said, ‘if you really want to achieve good racing seed, you have to do it against other boats.  The last boats are just as important as those which arrived in early. They have endured the greatest hardship and it is a tremendous feat that they have completed the 704 mile course’”

Race organisers have already confirmed a date for the next edition of the biennial race for June 30th 2018.  Already some of the big names have declared their intention to return to contest their titles and new title sponsor Volvo has upped the ante by putting a brand new Volvo car up for grabs for the skipper who has accumulated the best overall points’ results on corrected time, over a three-race series including this year’s edition.

This evening the tired but exhilarated sailors will attend the awards ceremony at Wicklow Sailing Club.  The renowned sailors’ rum Goslings are putting on a special Goslings dark n’ stormy reception to welcome all the crews back.

22nd June 2016, 10:30 hrs

Finishing boats struggle against the tide

Eric de Turckheim in his A13 Teasing Machine and Ross Hobson sailing his Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland 2 handed with Chris Briggs both battled the tide for the last hour or so to cross the line before 8.00 am this morning. Hissy Fit Dazcat 1485  and Class 40 Roaring Forty2 are about 5 miles out, but not much wind and against the tide it will be a while yet before they get home.

20th June 2016

Another Race Record Set

Just hours after Musandam Oman Sail, Phaedo and Concise all came in under the previous record for rounding Ireland by sail, George David smashed the monohull race record which has been held by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard since 2008. Mike Slade managed it in just under 2 days and 17 hours: George David took just 2 days 2 hours 24 minutes and 9 seconds. And even managed to pose for the photographers before crossing the line!

Rambler has set a new record, taking Line Honours for multihulls and is looking good to win the race outright; what an achievement! Well done Rambler!


George David and Rambler crew celebrate with Theo Phelan Race Organiser & David Ryan Race Organising Ctte.


20th June 2016

Round Ireland Speed Record Smashed by Volvo Round Ireland entry: Musandam-Oman Sail

An historic new record for the fastest-ever sail around Ireland has been set.

The Sultanate of Oman’s flagship trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail has completed the full 704-mile course in just 38 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds smashing their own 2015 record by an incredible 2 hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds. *


They set off from Wicklow Bay at 13.10 on Saturday (18th June) for the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht race.  Incredibly, all three of the Mod 70 trimarans arrived back to Wicklow within minutes of each other, every single one of them breaking the 2015 record.

Team Concise were out front for most of the race with Phaedo 3 overtaking them in the early hours of Monday morning, and it looked certain one of the two would take line honours.  Musandam-Oman Sail however took advantage of an inshore track and manoeuvred ahead in the final hour.

Difficult seas meant 12 of the 63 yachts that set off on Saturday have since retired from the race.  The remaining 48 are still making their way around the Irish coast.

The next yacht expected in the monohull category is George David’s Rambler 88, which depending on winds is due in later today.

Upon coming ashore a beaming but tired Damian Foxall said it was a very demanding race:

“Even though we did it in record-breaking time, we had no rest. It was pretty full on. The only important part of leading the race is when you get to the finish line.  Coming inside Howth we realised we could do it.  I am exhausted!”

30th May, 2016

Race polo shirts now available to order online. These high quality polo shirts will display the names of all registered entries (as at 30th May, 2016) and cost just €24 each

Volvo Round Ireland Polo shirt


19th May, 2016

New record set for entries in the Round Ireland race! With the entry of two Class 40 yachts from Team Concise the number of entries has now surpassed the previous record set in 1990 of 61 boats.

Concise2_2web Concise8_1web


18th May, 2016

In response to the number of yachts who have entered the Volvo Round Ireland and who  qualify for Class 40 association racing the Organising Committee of the Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race, in accordance with clause 6.7 of the Notice of Race, have decided to introduce a separate class for the Class 40 yachts.

Read full post here

15th May, 2016

Lloyd Thornburgs Phaedo 3 makes it 3 MOD70s amongst the 55 registered entries as at midday on Sunday 15th. Its shaping up to be a battle royal amongst these three for line honours and the multi-hull race record.

Phaedo 3
Musandam-Oman Sail
Musandam-Oman Sail
Concise 10


13th May, 2016

An amended NoR is available here.

The amendments are procedural and facilitate (i) an extended closing date for the payment of the balance of the entry fee to the race and (ii) late application.

o   The closing date for the payment of the balance of the entry fee to the race has been extended until 30th May 2016.

o   Later application is possible without penalty.



11th May, 2016

Volvo offer car as prize to winning skipper in Volvo round Ireland series. Read the press release here


7th May, 2016

Check out the Sunday Business Post on Sunday May 8th

22nd April, 2016

With two MOD 70’s, Concise 10 and OmanSail, plus a Dufour 40, PipeDreamer V1, registering in the last week we are now up to 42 signed-up entries, well ahead of where we have been at this stage in previous races. With just a €100 deposit required to register there is no need to wait until the last moment – register here now

5th April, 2016

We are now up to 39 registered entries! Any skippers looking for crew please check out our register of available crew looking for boats

15th February, 2016

George David’s Rambler becomes the 25th registered entry for this years race

Entry confirmed for one of sailings premier offshore racing yachts, George David’s Rambler. This years race looks set to be the largest and most prestigious in the 36 year history of the event.

Rambler,USA 25555,Class 1,
Rambler,USA 25555,Class 1,

Lloyd Thornburg to enter his MOD 70 Phaedo 3 in the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race

Team Phaedo has announced their intention of entering their MOD 70, Phaedo 3 in the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race. The boat is currently in Barbados for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

Lloyd Thornburg has been campaigning his MOD 70 Phaedo 3  for a year now. He has had an incredibly successful run of world records and regatta wins. This year,  after a few events in the Caribbean, he will be heading over to Europe again. Here he will be taking part in the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 and is really looking forward to the challenges this race will bring for the MOD70 and his crew.

Back in November, Ned Collier-Wakefield confirmed that Team Concise would be entering their 3 boats in the race, including Concise 10, their MOD 70. Concise 10 and Phaedo3  compete regularly on the off-shore sailing circuit and the Volvo Round Ireland will now be added to their list!


Yesterday, Monday 18 January, saw the opening of on-line entries to the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland and ISORA veteran Kuba Szymanski was first to register. Kuba will race his new boat Polished Manx 2 – First 40.7. Boats from France, UK and Ireland have been registering thus far with anticipation building that Volvo Round Ireland 2016 will be an epic race in the series.

14 Jan 2016 : RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd, to compete in 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Race

Michael Boyd, the Commodore of RORC and current holder of the international Commodore’s Cup, will return to compete in the 2016 race, marking the 20th anniversary of his Big Ears win in the 1996 Round Ireland, with many of the same crew.


17 Dec 20152016 Notice of Race

Volvo to become title sponsor of historic Round Ireland Yacht Race           

Volvo Car Ireland is to become the new title sponsor of the prestigious Round Ireland Yacht Race.

2016 marks the 36th year anniversary of the biennial race, renowned as one of the world’s most gruelling off-shore challenges, attracting entries from the UK, across Europe and as far afield as Russia, the USA and New Zealand as well as the home country.

Run by Wicklow Sailing Club, the Round Ireland Yacht Race is the only RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) race based in Ireland and is one of the longest off-shore race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club calendar, taking up to 7 days to complete.  The first race took place in 1980 with only thirteen boats. Since then, held biennially, the fleet has grown steadily, attracting a record sixty boats.

The Race is regarded as near equivalent in terms of rating points to the Fastnet Race, the classic offshore race, which runs in alternate years to the Round Ireland.

The Volvo sponsorship marks the expansion of the company’s global partnership with sailing.  Already renowned as owners of the Volvo Round the World Yacht Race and title sponsors of Cork Week and the Dún Laoghaire regatta, the Round Ireland title sponsorship agreement firmly consolidates Volvo’s position as leaders in sailing both in Ireland and internationally.

The Round Ireland course, starting and finishing in Wicklow, brings entrants through widely different sea types and coastlines, from the Atlantic Ocean to the more sheltered Irish Sea, with difficult tidal gates, particularly around the North Eastern coast and navigational challenges requiring day and night tactical decisions at every change of forecast.

The Volvo sponsorship comes at a pivotal time in the Race’s development.  Last year saw the establishment of a Dún Laoghaire base through a partnership with the Royal Irish Yacht Club, providing facilities thereby allowing larger yachts to compete.  Race organisers have also just announced a further expansion to include a multi-hull category for the first time ever in its 36 year history.

Since the multi-hull expansion was announced, a UK giant 70-foot trimaran is already planning to compete in the 2016 edition of the race.

Adrian Yeates, Managing Director Volvo Car Ireland commented: 

Volvo Car Ireland is proud to be so closely involved with such a prestigious sailing event as the Round Ireland Yacht Race.  The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s leading offshore race and is a truly global event, involving state-of-the-art boats and high-performance competition sailing on the world’s roughest seas. The Round Ireland offers clear points of connection with Volvo’s image, including a long-term commitment to safety, a readiness for adventure and a deep passion for design.”

Race Organiser Theo Phelan says Wicklow Sailing Club is delighted to announce Volvo as title sponsor of the race:

“Volvo represents our ultimate choice of sponsor for the Round Ireland Yacht Race, an alignment of the ideologies of strength, longevity, trusted reputation and determination.   Volvo has a long heritage in sailing and an intricate understanding of the sport.  Over the past four years, the focus of Wicklow Sailing Club has been to develop and expand the race and Volvo has come on board at an important time in the consolidation of this expansion.   2016 is set to be an epic year for the Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race.”

The 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race will set sail on Saturday June 18th 2016.  The Race will officially open for entries on the 18th January 2016.

Round Ireland 2016 to include Multihulls

The Round Ireland Yacht Race organisers are excited to announce the inclusion of a separate multihull class for the 2016 race. This will be the first time that multihulls have been invited to compete.

One of the first multihulls to express interest is from Team Concise. Ned Collier- Wakefield, Team Director and Skipper for Team Concise, has indicated that they intend entering their 3 boats into the 2016 Round Ireland – the MOD 70 and their 2 Class 40 boats.


Race organisers in Wicklow are also in contact with the Multihull Offshore Cruising and Racing Association. The organisation welcomes this development and a number of boats have already expressed interest in competing in the race.

George David intends entering Rambler 88 into 2016 Round Ireland.

George David, recently returned to the US from the 2015 Fastnet Race, has confirmed his interest in entering his new yacht Rambler 88, one of the yachting world’s newest and most sophisticated racing machines, in the 2016 Round Ireland Yacht Race. George has stated that the Round Ireland has been a priority race for his yacht and crew since 2011.


It was his experience in the 2011 Fastnet, when Rambler 100 capsized close to the Fastnet Rock after its keel snapped off, that has prompted George David to announce his wish to enter the premier biennial race of the Irish offshore racing calendar. The efforts of the Irish rescue services in locating and bringing to safety George and several of his crew after three hours in the water, is a matter which raised his interest in finding a suitable offshore event for a return to the country for which he has enormous regard and appreciation.

In a written comment to the organising committee of the Round Ireland George has stated that his yacht will be in Europe next year and the present schedule of events in the Rambler programme includes competing in the RIYR.

Wicklow Sailing Club is delighted that Rambler 88 is an intended participant in the race, which the club organises in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Irish Yacht Club. The 2016 race will be the 19th race of the series, with the first race having been organised by WSC in 1980. It starts on 18th June 2016.

Rambler 88 is George David’s 3rd Rambler, after Ramblers 90 and 100. Given appropriate weather conditions, Rambler 88, with its state of the art carbon fibre hull and rig, would be a strong contender to break the Round Ireland Race record of 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds which is held by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard 3 achieved in 2008.

In 2014, the overall winner was Tanit (Richard Harris and team from Glasgow), while line honours went to Monster Project (Andy Budgen and local WSC sailor David Ryan).

The race officially opens for entries in January 2016 but expressions of interest are welcome so please Contact Us.

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