Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Fastnet 450 Today Shaping Up as Windward Work Along Entire South Coast

23rd August 2020
Fastnet 450 race leader - Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil Niueulargo Fastnet 450 race leader - Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil Niueulargo Credit: Afloat

Sunday, day two, 0930hrs: After yesterday (Saturday) afternoon's swift ebb-assisted close reach down the East Coast from Dun Laoghaire to the first major turn at the Tuskar Rock, the fleet in the Fastnet 450 have found a determinedly west wind of between 15 and 20 knots blowing almost directly along the south coast, with only a slight tendency to draw off the land, so there's every likelihood they'll have a slug directly to windward all the way down to the Fastnet.

Fastnet 450 race course tracker The Fastnet 450 race course at 10 am this morning. See tracker below

Progress has been steady with the fleet gradually seeing the leaders extend ahead, but racing numbers are now down to 13 as more recent retirees have included the Sigma 33 Valfreya and the Oyster 37 Blue Oyster, while an incident around 0712 this morning saw the JOD 35 Red Alert (Rupert Barry, Greystones SC) pull out, and the Sunfast 37 Desert Star (Ronan O Siochru, Irish Offshore Sailing) change course to assist and accompany the Greystones boat towards Dunmore East.

Valfreya Sigma 33 - IRL 4297 Skipper: D Riome & M Leonard Retired - Sigma 33 Valfreya

JOD 35 Red Alert (Rupert Barry, Greystones SC)Dismasted - JOD 35 Red Alert (Rupert Barry, Greystones SC)

With firmer breezes offshore, all the racing fleet have stayed on starboard with only the occasional stab at port to see how it is shaping up before reverting to starboard again. The first night at sea has been particularly demanding for crews less hardened in the offshore racing game, and some boats that had been showing well in yesterday's daylight and straight-line sailing have found themselves slipping in the rankings during the dark.

Still in line abreast at the front, and now almost due south of Cork though around 30 miles offshore, Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC) continues narrowly in line honours ahead of Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil Niueulargo, and Cian McCarthy's little Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl neck and neck, but a couple of miles further south.

cinnamon girl Sunfast 3300Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl

In the main part of the fleet, only two boats had found the wind briefly obliging enough to enable them to hold the westward course as they put the Tuskar astern, they were Red Alert and Siimon Knowles J/109 Indian, but while Red Sert subsequently sipped to lee. Indian hung on to her small but significant advantage, and though now in the same wind as everyone else, is in a useful windward station close to the higher-rated Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (John O'Gorman, NYC) and ahead of the J/99 Juggerknot (Andrew Algeo).

Juggerknot IIJ/99 Juggerknot (Andrew Algeo)

A really steady performance has been put in by Peter Coad's vintage Pocock 37 Blackjack (WHSC), which revels in windward work and is boosted by a rating of only 0.917. Signing off at 0930 Sunday, we find on IRC overall Nieulargo continues to lead, Cinnamon Girl is second, Blackjack third, Aurelia fourth, Indian fifth, and Hot Cookie sixth.

Big Deal Dehler 34 - IRL 3492  Skipper: Derek DillonBig Deal, Dehler 34 (Derek Dillon)


Published in Fastnet 450 Race

K2Q - 260 mile course

K2Q - 160 mile course

'K2Q' Dun Laoghaire to Cork Race Live Tracker 2022

Track the progress of both the 160 mile and 260 mile K2Q Race fleet on the live trackers above and see all Afloat's K2Q Race coverage in one handy link here

The K2Q will consist of two combined events:

The primary race for the "The Breffni McGovern cup" will be approximately 260 miles, starting in Dun Laoghaire, passing through a virtual gate at the Cork Buoy, rounding the Fastnet Rock and finishing at Roches Point.

The "restricted" race for a still-to-be-announced trophy will start with the primary fleet in Dun Laoghaire but finish at the same virtual finish gate at Cork Buoy – approximately 150 miles.

All boats starting will be included in the "restricted" race. Boats passing through the finish gate at Cork Buoy and continuing to round the Fastnet and finish at Roches Point would also qualify for the primary K2Q event. Yachts can only win prizes in one of the events.

The race for the ISORA points will be the primary race – 260 miles. 

The plan is for both 'K2Q races' to finish at the old RCYC clubhouse on the Cobh seafront.

WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

Email The Author

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

The Kingstown to Queenstown Yacht Race or 'K2Q', previously the Fastnet 450

The Organising Authority ("OA") are ISORA & SCORA in association with The National Yacht Club & The Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Kingstown to Queenstown Race (K2Q Race) is a 260-mile offshore race that will start in Dun Laoghaire (formerly Kingstown), around the famous Fastnet Rock and finish in Cork Harbour at Cobh (formerly Queenstown).

The  K2Q race follows from the successful inaugural 'Fastnet 450 Race' that ran in 2020 when Ireland was in the middle of the COVID Pandemic. It was run by the National Yacht Club, and the Royal cork Yacht Club were both celebrating significant anniversaries. The clubs combined forces to mark the 150th anniversary of the National Yacht Club and the 300th (Tricentenary) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Of course, this race has some deeper roots. In 1860 the first-ever ocean yacht race on Irish Waters was held from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to Queenstown (now Cobh).

It is reported that the winner of the race was paid a prize of £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, and had sixteen boats racing.

In 2022, the winning boat will be awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.

The 2022 race will differ from the original course because it will be via the Fastnet Rock, so it is a c. 260m race, a race distance approved by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club as an AZAB qualifier. 

A link to an Afloat article written by WM Nixon for some history on this original race is here.

The aim is to develop the race similarly to the Dun Laoghaire–Dingle Race that runs in alternate years. 

Fastnet 450 in 2020

The South Coast of Ireland Racing Association, in association with the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork, staged the first edition of this race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour via the Fastnet Rock on August 22nd 2020.

The IRC race started in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, August 22nd 2020. It passed the Muglin, Tuscar, Conningbeg and Fastnet Lighthouses to Starboard before returning to Cork Harbour and passing the Cork Buoy to Port, finishing when Roches's Point bears due East. The course was specifically designed to be of sufficient length to qualify skippers and crew for the RORC Fastnet Race 2021.

At A Glance – K2Q Race 2022

The second edition of this 260-nautical mile race starts from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay on July 1st 2022 goes via the Fastnet Rock and finishes in Cork Harbour.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating