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Small boat wins for tough
SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022

SL ENERGIES Groupe Fastwave skipper Laurent Charmy and crew with their trophies at Wicklow Sailing Club after winning the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race.  Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport
One of the longest and toughest events of recent times was recalled when competitors gathered at Wicklow Sailing Club on Friday night for the prize-giving ceremony for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race.
While Laurent Charmy and the crew of SL Energies Fastwave received the overall win and Franco Niggeler's Kuka 3 won line honours for first boat to finish, prizes were also awarded in 14 other divisions.
"We like the Middle Sea Race, the Fastnet and now the Round Ireland because they are tough - and this was a tough race," commented Charmy who also received the Division 2 class and best Overseas entry trophies.
Even as the ceremony got underway, the remaining boats at sea were approaching the finishing-line at Wicklow with all safely ashore shortly after nightfall.
Mike and Ritchie Evans' Snapshot placed second overall and collected winning trophies for Class 3 and the Irish Cruiser Racing Association divisions, two of largest class turnouts within the 44-strong field of starters.
At 33 feet in length overall, the Howth boat was one of the smallest entries yet sail a near perfect race, only losing to their French rivals by five minutes after 150 hours at sea.
Like the rest of the fleet, they persevered though gale force conditions and confused sea state off the Blasket Island on the Kerry coastline on their second night at sea.
Arguably the hardest part of the race was the prolonged period of calm winds on the north and east coasts where tide cycles split the competitors into distinct groups depending on how each boat timed their arrival at key tidal gates.
At one stage early in the 705 nautical mile race, it appeared as if the smaller and older boats such as two-time past winner Cavatina under Ian Hickey might end up stealing the thunder of the newer and faster big boats further ahead.
In the end however, the cruising boats were similarly caught by the calm weather though the overall podium was still dominated by smaller boats led by Fastwave (37-foot), Snapshot (33-foot) and Artful Dodger (35-foot).  Only Eamon Crosbie's 2004 winner Calyx Voice & Data (Voodoo Chile) can better that at 32-foot overall.
Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger from Kinsale completed the podium line-up after coming into contention for the overall win at several points in the race.  His team collected the Corinthian class win in a field of 16 entries for this division.
Meanwhile, Michael Boyd's Darkwood won the Class 1 division and while missing the podium in fourth overall, the Dun Laoghaire sailor and former Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club won the contest for a new Volvo car for best performance over three editions of the race dating back to the previous race title sponsor.
Details of the 21st edition of the race in 2024 will be announced by Wicklow Sailing Club in the coming months.

More details and race tracker available - please click here.

Ends - Sunday 26th June 2022
For further information, please contact:
Kyran O’Grady, Wicklow Sailing Club
Mob +353 87 257 5400 /

Photographs are repro-free with photographer credit byline. 
For hi-res versions, please contact::  David Branigan/Oceansport
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