Unexpected strong winds got the fourth Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta off to a stunning start on Dublin Bay yesterday even though a number of boats in the massive 420-boat fleet got into difficulties as the southerly breeze hit 25 knots.Nearly 3000 sailors and 420 boats are afloat for the four day regatta that is the biggest sailing event in the Irish Sea area.

An impressive line up of 14 Class Zero boats has made Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta the biggest turnout this year for the 40-footers and it was appropriate yesterday that Howth's well campaigned Crazy Horse should make the running in the big sea conditions. The Chambers/Reilly skippered Mills 36 beat Fairlie visitor Christine Murray's Elf too, a Beneteau First 40 on the windward leeward course.

Anthony O'Leary's put on a David vs Goliath performance in yesterday's dramatic opener of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta which was a result of the surfing conditions that gave his modified 1720 a real chance to show her speed downwind against some boats seemingly twice the size in IRC One.

In class two Sligo visitor Ruthless, a Corby 26, sailed by Conor Ronan beat the locally based half tonner Dick Dastardly from the DMYC. Another vintage half tonner, King one, from Howth and skippered by Dave Cullen was third.

In the one design divisions there were plenty of familiar names at the top top of the fleets given the testing southerlies that prevailed. Tim Goodbody leads the Sigma 33s, David Gorman the Flying fifteens, Patrick Boardman the Mermaids, Colin Galavan the SB3s, first race winner Ben Duncan did not sail the second race. Pat Kelly's Storm leads the 10 boat J109s who are also racing for national championship honours.

  Thurs North Course  
  Thurs South Course  


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