Kilcullen Voyager to represent Ireland in Fastnet Race

Kilcullen Voyager
Kilcullen Voyager

On Sunday 16th August Ireland will be represented for the first time in the Bi-Annual Rolex Fastnet Race off Cowes, Isle of Wight.

In the IMOCA Open 60 class will be “Kilcullen Voyager”, skippered by Enda O’Coineen and Co-Skipper David Kenefick. They will sail in the Two-Handed class in a record fleet – and a major test for new foil design developments.
The Fastnet ( www.rolexfastnetrace.com) one of the world’s great classic ocean middle-distance races, gets under way off Cowes, Isle of Wight at noon on Sunday August 16, to the traditional blast of the cannon from the Royal Yacht Squadron.  

The event is a challenging race which has a reputation of having a wide variety of weather conditions, from calm waters to violent storms such as those experienced in 1979 when 17 lives were lost.
As part of preparations the Irish team will sail with full crew in the Artemis Challenge on Thursday August 13  (www.artemischallenge.com).

Kilcullen Voyager’s crew will include Minister Simon Coveney, who is taking time out from his holidays to use the event to highlight Ireland’s marine industry, as well as sporting personalities such as Gavin Hastings.
The Artemis Challenge is a race around the Isle of Wight which raises funds for charities.The Irish team’s nominated charity will be the Atlantic Youth Trust.

In the Kilcullen Voyager’s last race off Cork, as part of Seafest and the Oceanwealth Conference she raced the Hugo Boss Open 60 for the Galway Plate. This was first competed for in 1884 on Galway Bay.

The €10,000 prize money which was won was donated to the Atlantic Youth Trust by Stephen O’Flaherty, whose family hail from the Aran Islands.
While getting ready for these big events ahead, starting this morning, Skipper Enda O’Coineen was quietly confident and said it was a great privilege to sail in this Fastnet ocean classic on such a great boat and a world class fleet. 
“This challenge is more a personal quest and adventure, bringing back memories when I first competed in this race in 1979” said  O’Coineen. In fact he was on one of the smallest boats in the race which capsized but happily emerged with little damage while sadly others were not so lucky.
Kilcullen Voyager is seven years old and a veteran round the world campaigner. The 60 footer is an IMOCA60  was designed by Owen Clark Design who will be on board for the Artemis Challenge.
Over 10 Open 60’s are racing in the Fastnet Race and the Artemis Challenge, many of whom are new with all having the latest in dynamic stability systems.

This gives the yachts added lift. 

This is the first time these new generation boats will compete with the older boats, being prepared for the 2016 Vendee Globe Around the World Race, including the Kilcullen Yoyager.