The first edition of the Route des Princes, a new European Tour which is solely for racing multihulls, will take on a challenging new course over three weeks of racing, starting on June 9th from Valencia in Spain to the Bay of Morlaix in France via Lisbon, Dun Laoghaire and Plymouth.
The nine multihulls led by the flagship new Maxi 80 multihull Prince de Bretagne will arrive in to Dun Laoghaire Thursday 20/Friday 21 June depending on weather conditions. The race seeks to mix exciting competition on the water with engaging activities and festivals ashore. The host organisations are Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the National Yacht Club who will host a festival on the East Pier from Friday to Sunday.
The festival in Dun Laoghaire will start at 5pm on Friday 21 June with a concert from the Band Stand on the East Pier and will continue until Sunday 23 June with food courts and childrens amusements. On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, the multihulls will race in the bay from 2pm to 5pm and there will be live commentary from Irish Olympic sailor Ger Owens. There will be an emphasis on shared music traditions at the festival with the well known Breton guitarist Dan Ar Braz topping the list with a performance at 5pm on Saturday 22nd. Other acts performing over the weekend include Crash, Dirty Epics, The Shoos, Jupe and Robert Delaney.
The concept of this new yacht race is unique: associating the maritime and the land, by highlighting the town and the region’s food and culture at each stopover. Valencia, Lisbon, Dun Laoghaire, Plymouth and Roscoff, five stopovers, five European countries, where those multihulls competing in the Route des Princes will tie up to the dock. Five opportunities to smell, taste, marvel and thrill at, stroll around and let yourself be carried away by the entertainment on offer at each of the host venues.
Irish interest will be in the MOD70 Musandam Oman-Air where Irish offshore sailor Damian Foxall will be part of the crew. Damian is one of the world’s leading offshore sailors and has sailed around the world a remarkable 9 times and has won both the Barcelona World Race and the Volvo Ocean Race.