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Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2023: Top Tips from UK Sailmakers Ireland and Offshore Racing Academy

18th May 2023
Figaro sailor Kenny Rumball (above) will give eve of race advice weather briefing and some routing simulations for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2023
Figaro sailor Kenny Rumball (above) will give eve of race advice weather briefing and some routing simulations for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2023 Credit: Pilpre Arnaud

With a race starting on the 7th of June, there are a little over three weeks to the start of this year’s edition of the challenging Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. So what should boats and crews be thinking about?

Kenny Rumball, who has competed in the race many times, taking class wins and line honours, has some top tips in collaboration with UK Sailmakers Ireland and Offshore Racing Academy.

Boat prep…

Although the weather is unlikely to be too harsh for this race, it can be… one year we actually had to pull out on a J109 into Dunmore East after an upwind hammering the night before all the way from the start. As such, now is the time to check your rig, standing and running rigging, winches, clutches etc. A lot of time, money and effort goes into a race, so let’s control the controllable, one of which is the boat. A few solid days on the boat with the crew in the sun, checking crucial items could mean the difference between finishing or not.


‘The powerhouse of our boat, they are what will get us there under sail or not. Those who have competed in the first few ISORA races have been pretty light…. Have we had all the sails in the air and checked them ahead of the race? The last thing we want is to hoist the J3/J4 when we really need it to find its missing battens or, worse still, has a massive hole in it! For those seeking that extra edge in performance and trying to optimise their rating, it’s no secret that sails shrink! When was the last time your sails were re-measured? You never know how much they have shrunk, and this can lead to a few key crucial points on the cert!’

Now is the time to log important waypoints and dangers into your chart plotter or computer Now is the time to log important waypoints and dangers into your chart plotter or computer

Navigation & Routing

‘Something that is talked about in the bar more than anywhere else, routings, ETAs, going inside our outside banks etc. The most important part is to look at the safety side of things navigation-wise. Now is the time to log important waypoints and dangers into your chart plotter or computer rather than the night before! In the most basic part, we can predict the tides with confidence. The start is scheduled for 1400, and with high water that day at 1504; this is the perfect time if you wanted to catch the south-going tide past Wicklow head; worth looking at a tidal atlas to see where the tide runs fastest inshore or offshore….

To help competitors on this, I will be running a weather briefing and some routing simulations the night before the race in the National Yacht Club, where I’ll be able to answer some last-minute questions.


Logistically offshore races such as the D2D can be a challenge, finishing in a different port to the start and away from home. Don’t forget the basics to allow you to enjoy the event fully! Dingle is busy; book accommodation early!

For those boats looking to save weight on board, we in the Offshore Racing Academy are providing our bag drop service, checkout this link for more information!

We’ll have more information soon, however, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to contact the loft…

UK Sails Summer

About the Loft

UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 50 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today.

Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. ​As sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats. We design and build sails for your boat. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations.   

​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group, we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters.  

​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and an impressive pool of talent, the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal testbed for new technologies.​ 

​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​

Although much has changed; some constants remain. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. 

Barry Hayes

Contact Information:

UK Sailmakers Ireland

Kilnagary Business Park


County Cork

P43 YR22

Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4831505

Production: +353 (86) 198 0199


Kenneth Rumball

About The Author

Kenneth Rumball

Email The Author

Kenny Rumball is the Principal of the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. He is a multi dinghy champion and offshore sailor. In 2018 he was awarded the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Seamanship Trophy for a Man Overboard Rescue in the Round Ireland Race. In May 2020 he embarked on a mixed offshore doublehanded keelboat campaign with Pamela Lee.

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