Almost 40,000 people visited Dun Laoghaire Pier for the Route des Princes festival despite the strong gusty winds and rain over the weekend. Saturday was the busiest day of the event with almost 14,000 people walking the pier, despite the strong winds.

As the fleet of multihulls departed the bay at 1100 today the fleet of multihulls were gifted with champagne sailing conditions – sunshine, blue skies and a moderate NW’ly breeze.
Plans to challenge the Round Ireland speed record were changed as breezes were forecast to be insufficient for a meaningful attempt on the 20 year  record which it was hoped might be an integral part of the Leg 3 course.
The revised course will see the fleet head to Bardsey Island off Wales before heading south to the Fastnet. It is anticipated they will reach the Fastnet Rock mid afternoon tomorrow however winds are expected to drop away after Fastnet.

Only the MOD70s will take the course to the Fastnet whilst the Multi 50s will take a shortened course. It is anticipated that all 8 multihulls will arrive in Plymouth on Wednesday for the penultimate festival which takes place until Saturday 29 June before the short sprint across the Channel to the Bay of Morlaix for the world famous Entre Terre et Mer festival where hundred’s of thousands of spectators will welcome the Route des Princes. 

Shortly after departure today Sidney Gavignet, skipper of Oman Air Musandam sent this email from onboard:
‘Here we go again. Bye bye Ireland and thank you for your warm welcome. A thought for Spindrift which will remain at the dock. The story of the Route des Princes has been eventful and I’m sure there are still things to happen. On board we have Ahmed who is only 20 years old who has been only sailing small 18 foot catamarans for a couple of years. Just now we are in visual contact with Virbac-Paprec and Gitana in less than 10 knots of wind. Behind us Prince de Bretagne has blown their gennaker. It is going to be a long race for them…..’

Meanwhile Spindrift remains at the dock in Dun Laoghaire as plans are made to transport the 70’ vessel to France. Spindrift crew Jacques Guichard is comfortable and will remain in hospital in Dublin for further medical attention.

Photo Credit: Marcel Mochet
Posted in: ISA News
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