Exciting Yacht Racing

Exciting Yacht Racing

Location: Outside Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Typical Duration: 3hrs

Group Size:

8 – 14 (2 Yachts, Sherkin & Desert Star)
15 – 20 (2 Yachts, Explorer & Desert Star)
21+ (3 Yachts, Explorer, Sherkin & Desert Star)

Cost: €57 per person (based on full occupancy of each yacht)


Whats involved:

We have two identical offshore sailing yachts called Sunfast 37s. Each yacht can take 7 participants with one instructor. After a 10 minute saftety briefing, the two yachts depart Dun Laoghaire Marina for the outer harbour. The first hour is spent practicing how to use the winches, and systems on the boat. Each team member gets the opportunity to take part in all jobs on the yacht including helming.

During the second hour we manoeuvre the yachts closer together so that you start to get a feel for making sudden decisions to avoid another yacht.

We then setup a course involving one windward and one leeward mark, both yacht compete closely for the best starting position, the two yachts then race at a close angle to the wind to the first mark, with each yacht ducking and diving under each other to take best advantage of the wind and tide.

The helmsman of each race, under the guidance of your instructor will make the tactical decisions onboard, these decisions can win and lose a race. Good communication is essential for the helmsman, while it is each crewmember’s ability to control the yacht and co-ordinate each manoeuvre which will cause the yacht to get around the course quickly.

There are 5 jobs onboard the yacht during any race (helmsman, mainsheet trimmer, headsail trimmer x 2, and bowman). Two other crewmembers are needed to shift their weight from side to side onboard to keep the boatspeed up and take a few photos during the race, they usually swap in and out between races. However, if you are not comfortable with the physicality of trimming the sails, you may enjoy sitting on the rail and just taking in all the excitement.


16:00 Meet at the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Marina, outside the marina office
16:05 Step onboard the yacht. Gear up with lifejacket and clothing and short safety brief. Familiarise yourself with the operation of the winches that control the sails.
16:15 Depart Dun Laoghaire Marina, hoist the sails in the harbour and head out into Dublin Bay.
16:40 Practice tacking the yacht upwind. Learn how release and take on the ropes in perfect timing to minimise any loss in speed as the yacht turns through the wind.
17:15 Practice gybing the yacht back and forth downwind, remembering to avoid the heavy swinging aluminium boom! All the time alternating crew positions so that everyone gets a chance to every job onboard.
17:30 We bring the yachts closer together in preparation for our first real race! The course is laid out at this stage.
17:45 The first of a series of six short races begins, as the two yachts duel against each other in close quarters.
18:30 We make our way back into Dun Laoghaire harbour and being taking the sails down.
18:50 Tie up alongside the marina, having had a superb afternoon racing on the water!

This is truly a unique experience to Ireland, and a superb opportunity for a group or company team to have an exciting afternoon on the water. It is the best introduction to yacht racing the country has to offer.

Sailing Yachts

Name Type of Yacht No. Of Students Instructors Cost
Desert Star Sunfast 37 7 1 €390
Sherkin Sunfast 37 7 1 €390
Explorer Hanse 54 12 2 €690

Additional vessels are available to us to cater for group sizes more than 26 people, consult us for full details. Full day excursions are available with a more competitive rate, and lunch is included.

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