A record number of yachts have entered the Volvo Round Ireland 2016  race which will see 64 boats and teams from ten countries competiting in what is described as one of the ‘most gruelling off-shore challenges’ on the globe.

Volvo Round Ireland 2016

Race organiser Theo Phelan in Dalkey Sound awaits Phaedo 3. The  trimaran is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and the crew includes Ireland’s Justin Slattery

The 704 nm race starts at 1300 tomorrow (June 18) from Wickow and has a ‘simple course’, say the organisers: ‘Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.’ But the teams will have to negotiate complex wind angles, tides and open ocean sailing along Ireland’s west coast.

This year’s event welcomes newcomer multihulls and three MOD70s who will be chasing the course record set by Musadam-Oman Sail of 40 hours, 51 minutes and 57 seconds and reaching speeds of 38 knots off the west coast. Hot favourite for monohull line honours is RORC member George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88.

Countries represented are Belgium, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Oman, Switzerland, USA and Ireland.