Wicklow Sailing Club has confirmed that entry for the next edition of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, the 704-nautical miles will open at midday on Monday, 24th of January 2022. The race has been described as the Kilimanjaro of Sailing. The event will commence on Saturday, 18th of June 2022.
The classic biennial offshore event which was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic is being planned with relevant precautions in place to ensure a safe experience. The course follows the traditional route first contested in 1980 that states – leave Ireland and its islands to starboard – while starting and finishing at the scenic port of Wicklow on the East coast of Ireland. Berthing facilities at the pier and quays close to Wicklow Sailing Club’s base will be available, plus marina options at Greystones and Dun Laoghaire to the north for big boat entries.
The race will offer both competition and personal achievement for boat owners and crews alike. Over the past year, sail training centres across the country have experienced a growth in demand and popularity. This has directly resulted in pre-entry enquiries to Round Ireland Race 2022.
The event is well-timed to allow completion of the race to arrive in Crosshaven for the biennial Cork Week and special celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Royal Cork YC, the world’s oldest yacht club.
Kyran O’Grady, Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club said: “We were anticipating a fleet of close to 80 boats when we had to cancel our 2020 plans. Now that we are learning how to live with Covid-19, there is pent-up demand on top of a surge of interest in offshore racing so a strong turn-out is on the cards.”
Leading renewable energy developer, owner and operator SSE Renewables came on board as title sponsor ahead of the planned 2020 event.
The partnership with Wicklow Sailing Club continues as the company works to develop Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park off the coast of Arklow, Co. Wicklow and to expand its offshore wind portfolio with projects off the coasts of Louth and Waterford before the end of the decade.
Maria Ryan, Director of Development, SSE Renewables said: We are delighted to once again partner with Wicklow Sailing Club to deliver an eagerly anticipated event which we hope will offer the domestic and international sailing community an exciting competition and something to look forward to as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic. This event reflects the potential that Irish waters offer and we look forward to seeing competitors sail past our proposed development sites at the Arklow Bank in Wicklow and off the coasts of Louth and Waterford where we hope to develop Braymore Wind Park and Celtic Sea Array.”
Cllr Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council said: “I welcome the partnership between SSE Renewables and Wicklow Sailing Club as they work to deliver the country’s premier sailing competition and indeed one of County Wicklow’s most popular summer events. The economic benefits that the Round Ireland Race brings with it are significant and it is positive to see organisers and sponsors committing to popular events such as this for next year.”
Race-winning navigator from 2018 and 2004, Ian Moore has described the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race as the “Mount Kilimanjaro of Sailing” – a bucket-list opportunity and one of the few full circumnavigation voyages of a significant but achievable duration in the world.
Michael Boyd, a regular competitor and past-Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club said: “This is a unique race and special in many ways. It is like a series of races within a race and always a twist or two. Aside from the racing, the course itself sails past spectacular coastlines as well as stages into the Atlantic before turning for inshore waters heading to the finishing-line.”
Entry will be open to IRC-rated yachts of at least 9.15m/30 feet overall and MOCRA-rated multihulls of 9.0m/29.53 feet with prizes awarded in a variety of categories including Overall winner under IRC along with line honours trophies for first monohull and first multihull. Two-handed entries, Sailing school and Services entries will also be amongst the prizes.
Early bird entries will be accepted from 24 January to March 31, 2022. Full details will be included in the official Notice of Race document that will be published mid-December. Visit www.roundireland.ie for updates.