Light winds and blazing sunshine predicted for Saturday's BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race start 29/6/06

The BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race kicks off this Saturday and with some very unusual conditions, including warm sunshine and record high temperatures at the start see preview story here. 

Yacht racing weather guru, Mike Broughton navigated J/145 Jazz to class victory in the 2004 race and his prediction is for very different conditions to the memorable gales last time out, Mike Broughton commented: “This race is always a difficult one for a weather forecaster and things can change right at the last minute but as I see it, there is a ridge of high pressure extending all the way across from Scandinavia to Dublin and this should induce light southerly winds on Saturday afternoon of 5-11 knots possibly enhanced by sea breezes, the wind may well back to the east for an unusual spinnaker run of 12-16 knots to the Fastnet Rock.”

Ger O’Rourke’s ALTANA Chieftain team who are in with a good chance of winning the race on handicap had a welcome surprise today in the shape of 16 pairs of top of the range Dubarry sea boots. Brian Geraghty head of Dubarry’s research and development explained the reasons why they thought the team should be wearing the boots:

“Dubarry have been making footwear in Ireland for 70 years next year and what better way to test out our product than with a top Irish crew racing around Ireland, we will be looking to get feedback from the crew about the footwear which is the Dubarry Ultimate sea boot and wish ALTANA Chieftain the very best of luck.”

Those sea boots may well come in handy as Mike Broughton explains the weather possibilities along the beautiful but rugged West Coast of Ireland: “It looks like the competitors may experience northerly winds for a long beat up the west coast of Ireland with wind speeds in the 12-20 knot range, the competitors may well experience wet conditions on deck and it could be very bumpy due to the Atlantic swell, after that it is too far into the future to even guess what will happen, the BMW Round Ireland is a great yachting race course as it can be both challenging and changeable.”