The trophy-winners of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 representing a fleet of 475 boats have gathered for the biennial four day series. Picture: David Branigan/Oceansport

NEARLY 2,500 sailors took part over four days at Ireland’s largest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, last weekend.
Sailors travelled from as far away as Australia and South America, as well as the UK and Europe, to participate in the prestigious biennial event on picturesque Dublin Bay.
475 boats took part across 35 classes between Thursday and Sunday and more than 300 volunteers were on hand to ensure the event ran as smoothly off the water as it did on.
Dublin clubs led the prize haul, winning 23 of 35 classes, including the most prestigious of all, the Boat of the Week trophy, awarded to John Maybury of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.
Maybury was presented with the top award for his J109 Joker II boat at the prize-giving ceremony at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday afternoon.
His boat had led the ultra-competitive IRC class one 28-boat fleet from start to finish and was the standout candidate for the ultimate prize.
Maybury faced a challenge going into the final day as his Royal Irish clubmate Richard Goodbody’s White Mischief cut his lead to three points overnight but he ultimately won by a comfortable 13.5-point margin.
Sunday was Maybury’s fourth successive class win at the Dun Laoghaire Regatta, having first won in 2011.
It follows his achievement of a first-ever hat-trick of IRC National Championship wins at Crosshaven last month.
Howth Yacht Club’s Paddy Gregory in his Beneteau 34.7, Flashback, was another contender for the Boat of the Year prize after he led a 31-boat field to lift the Royal Dee Offshore Championship.
Ten classes included the Regatta as part of their championship calendar, including three deciding national titles: Sigma 33s, Beneteau 21s and the Wayfarers.
290 races were scheduled in all over the four-day Regatta with a lighter-than-forecast sea breeze of six knots ensuring there were few unforeseen complications, and several races hung in the balance heading into the final day’s sailing.
Coastal classes finished inside the harbour on the final day, a long-standing tradition, in the harbour’s bicentenary year.
Although there were 180 visiting boats in the Regatta, the majority of awards remained in the Dublin Bay area with the bulk going to Dun Laoghaire’s big four yacht clubs.
Royal Irish led the way with six awards, ahead of the Royal St George with five wins, the National Yacht Club with three and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club with two.
Sunday marked the end of Tim Goodbody’s chairmanship of the Regatta as he hands over the reins to incoming chairman Don O’Dowd after presiding over the 2015 and 2017 events.
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta will next take place in 2019 from July 11 to 14.

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