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Saturday Afternoon Should Be Go for Round Ireland Record

20th June 2013
Saturday Afternoon Should Be Go for Round Ireland Record

#rdp – Saturday afternoon is now shaping up as the optimal time for the multihulls in the Routes des Princes to start their round Ireland record challenge from the Kish Lighthouse writes W M Nixon, while the planned start on Monday looks even less favourable for a successful attempt.

Of course, today's large multihulls outperform the boats of twenty years ago by so much that they could still break Lakota's 15.84 knots average from 1993 for the 704 mile circuit in conditions which are only reasonably favourable. But a boat leaving the Kish heading anti-clockwise round Ireland around 1500hrs on Saturday should comfortably average 20 knots plus in totally favourable fresh to strong sou'westers for the 170 miles to Inishtrahull. In fact, a skipper knowing the speed and performance potential of his boat in these ideal conditions will be keen to leave at the latest possible time, and yet still reach Inishtrahull at midnight Saturday, as any hours chopped off from the start will stand to the good as they close for the finish back towards the Kish through Sunday night.

Up at Inishtrahull towards midnight on Saturday, a low of 989 easing to 991 will pass over the Malin Head area, and behind it strong nor'westers will firm in very quickly. The problem then will be not to damage the boat on the next stage from Bloody Foreland to Erris Head as she tries to make speed straight into old head seas running in from the southwest. But with every mile made good southwards down Ireland's Atlantic seaboard, this problem will ease and better speeds can be maintained.

The usual hassle with getting past the Blaskets should be minimal in a good nor'wester which can the be carried all the way back to the finish, hopefully with the boat being able to fetch up the final 70 miles from the Tuskar to the Kish. It can't be overlooked, however, that the low, having filled to 1005, is indicated as coming to a halt over the North Sea on Sunday evening. This will cause a distinct easing of wind pressure over the entire area, but by that time any boat which started on Saturday afternoon will be within sight of the finish, and the Holy Grail of the 36 hour circuit.

Published in Route des Princes
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