Irwin ready to race home from Fremantle

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
French Kiss V, right, will compete in this weekend’s Fremantle to Albany Race.
Camera IconFrench Kiss V, right, will compete in this weekend’s Fremantle to Albany Race. Credit: Ironbark Photos

Albany woman Clodagh Irwin and her boat French Kiss V will be among a fleet of yachts that will take part in the Fremantle to Albany Race, starting tomorrow.

At least 10 yachts will take part in the historic race, last held in 2015 as the Albany Anzac Commemorative Yacht Race.

Irwin will be the sole Albany competitor as her vessel takes on some strong ocean sailing boats for top honours.

The Fremantle to Albany Race, part of the Blue Water Series, is unique in that it takes competitors through both the Indian and Southern oceans and, being a corners race, yachts have to make left turns all the way, adding to the challenge.

Organised by Royal Perth Yacht Club, the race starts at 11am tomorrow as competitors sail down the west coast, with an expected finish in Albany on Sunday afternoon.

A member of Princess Royal Sailing Club here in Albany, Irwin has been competitively sailing since 2004, but this will be her first attempt at the Fremantle to Albany Race in French Kiss V, which is part of division 1.

Albany’s Clodagh Irwin at the wheel of French Kiss V.
Camera IconAlbany’s Clodagh Irwin at the wheel of French Kiss V. Credit: Ironbark Photos

“When I brought this boat, an ocean racing boat, I began to compete in these kinds of races,” Irwin said. “For me this will be my first time but I’ve done a heap of ocean racing up and down the WA coast and this is the last race of the season.

“ It’s been a family thing for me, all my sons sailed so I got back into it. Just being out on the water and sailing is the reason why I do it.

“It should be an interesting finish given the strong weather coming in, but the faster boats should take 48-50 hours to get to Albany.”

The race was first held in 1968 with a fleet of five yachts and this year’s entries include Atomic Blonde, Christine, Crush, Dirty Deeds, Fourth Dimension, Joss Kraken, Obsession and Toroa IV.

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