2018 Volvo Round Ireland

2018 Volvo Round Ireland

After a tough but successful race in 2016 we will be back in 2018 for the best Offshore 600 in the World.You can get a flavour from the report for the 2106 race report and details below.


As well Cowes Week and the and the Round the Island race we have the less famous Round Ireland Race which is 100 miles longer than the Fastnet, it is held in non Fastnet (even) years. With less than 100 entrants it is based on Wicklow and the main hazard before the start is the famous Irish welcome, which has seen many a team cross the start line with a hangover. This race has great scenery all the way round and if you can’t see it because you are too far offshore, then you need a new navigator. The navigation is much more challenging, partly due to the lack of written information, one particularly challenging part is Rathlin Island with its tidal races and counter currents, but as long as you keep Ireland to starboard you should reach the finish line.

I have skippered Sydney Hobarts, Fastnets, Caribbean 600s, Round Ireland and many other races but the Round Ireland is the best overall.
As with all the teams where I am skipper our objectives are simple and in this order:

1) Complete the race safely
2) Enjoy ourselves
3) Do as well as we can.

Our Round Ireland Race package contains more races and training than most others plus a few races later in the year and a re-union weekend. At 30/11/15 we have just one place left and it will go, so if you want a major race either get in quick or, particularly if leave is an issue, consider

Who’s the Skipper—Paul Jackson Ocean Yachtmaster, RYA Instructor and Offshore Heavy Weather Safety Instructor. He has completed Fastnets, Sydney Hobarts, Transatlantic, Round Irelands, round Britain and Ireland, Caribbean 600s and taken line Honours in the Lord Howe Island race during his 95,000+ NM sailing experience.

Who’s the team, well it varies every time, but normally includes one or two who have already completed Fastnets, Sydney Hobarts, Round Ireland or Caribbean 600s plus some with other racing experience and a couple of novices.
No 2 Paul LW who has completed Fastnets, Caribbean 600 and Round Ireland plus Sydney Hobart.
Ross (aka Perfect Bowman) who has completed a Caribbean 6oo with me and raced on WS.
JC, Fastnets, round Ireland, Caribbean 600s etc and an excellent photographer.
Dylan, Fastnet and other races
Geoff, RIR, Fastnets inc as skipper plus lots more
Mel, Fastnet etc
Aussie Bruce, flying in to race with us again, he has done Sydney Hobarts ,and a Fastnet plus lots more.
Andreas joins us after having completed his day skipper on Wild Spirit.

Wild Spirit is a fast cruiser that has been optimised for racing. On 15/7/15 as I write this we are 6th out of 104 in the RORC Class 4. We won’t win but our chances of finishing are higher than most as we do fairly well in heavy weather. 2014 round Ireland race had a full Atlantic gale and we finished 12th overall beating a couple of Volvos and sailing Logic on handicap and taking the Team prize. In the 2013 Fastnet which was a light wind race we still finished in the top half. We race with a maximum of 9 on board, so with a watch of 4 you won’t just be ‘rail meat’ which can happen on some yachts with bigger crews.

We teach people to race, the team runs because I enjoy teaching people to sail and race, there are other companies who run teams but we believe few offer such a good package. When comparing do remember we have to qualify with 300NM of racing on Wild Spirit in the year before the start of the. By having more races we increase our probabilities of qualifying without too much hassle such as taking 2 days for the St Malo race due to lack of wind, which happened for quite a few competitors in 2013. It does mean you need to do the qualifying races, whether you are experienced or a novice we are a team.

Wild Spirit racing 2016

Big one is Round Ireland in June and in my 85,000+ NM experience which includes 6 Sydney Hobarts, 3 Caribbean 600s, 2 Middle Sea race, quite a few Fastnets plus several other big offshore races it is the best one. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but overall the Round Ireland is the best.

We run Wild Spirit on a ‘Not for profit’ basis but the fixed costs are still around £20,000 a year and race team members get around 11 races plus the RIR, some cruising, training and re-union weekends; about as much sailing as most partners will tolerate. For those who aren’t encumbered and have the time we also run teams in the Sydney Hobart and Caribbean 600. For those pursuing RYA quals we can also help.

The RORC and JOG are still finalising their race programmes so the following is only indicative of how our programme will look.

Date Destination Detail
5th Feb 2016 Solent training weekend 1
4th Mar 2016 Solent weekend 2
25th March Easter Cherbourg Our first big race across the Channel
27th March Cowes The race back.
9th April Nab Tower Race on Saturday and train on the Sunday
29th April St Vaast One of our favourite destinations. It is a Bank Holiday weekend so we will return on the Monday.Alternative is RORC to Le Havre.
14th May Yarmouth—but not by the shortest route A great social weekend
15th May Cowes
28th May Bank Holiday weekend Eddystone race
11th June Delivery to Ireland
18th June Round Ireland Race Great social scene, brilliant scenery and a real sailing challenge. We picked up some silverware in 2014.
26th June Return to Lymington
Either 2nd Septemeber to Cherbourg or
10th Sept Poole long way round followed by
11th Sept Cowes
23rd Sept Cherbourg Last cross channel race of the year
1st October Poole by south of Island October plus return race
Race and/or re-union weekend.

Cost will be £2750 with reduction of £350 for those signing up and paying £500 deposit by 12th December.

Round the Island Race, Cowes Week and new RORC 400 (Ushant) Race are separate programmes.

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