St. Michael’s Rowing Club are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the ‘Hobblers Challenge’ on Saturday 17th September 2022. Entries are invited from any coastal rowing club in Ireland or Wales, with the last date for entries on Friday 9th September 2022. As well as traditional East Coast Skiffs, this race will be opened up to Celtic Longboats (Welsh design), and Celtic Yawls (‘All Ireland’ one design), and Fisa Coastal 4s (coxed, scull, slider 4s), although the Hobblers Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the first Skiff over the line.


This race builds on the tradition of the ‘Hobblers Challenge’ race, hosted by St. Michael’s Rowing Club at various times since the 1990s, which used a number of courses, predominantly from Dún Laoghaire Harbour to the Kish Lighthouse and back.

The 2022 course follows an inshore course of the same length, but still begins and ends in Dún Laoghaire Harbour. This exciting new course was run for the first time in 2018, and again in 2019.


The Course

In summary, the course starts at Dún Laoghaire Harbour, at the east breakwater beneath the Hobblers Memorial, out the harbour mouth, around the landward side of a ‘gate boat’ off Merrion Strand, around Poolbeg Lighthouse, up the Liffey as far as the ESB towers, before doubling back, across the mouth of Dún Laoghaire Harbour, across Scotsman’s Bay, past Sandycove and Bullock Harbours, turning at Coliemore Harbour, before returning to Dún Laoghaire Harbour, finishing at the end of the East Breakwater. See the Maps (jpeg and embedded) below.

The course is 27km long (purple line below), with an option of a ‘short course’ of 18km (red line below), which runs parallel to the long course, but without the section east of Dún Laoghaire Harbour – i.e DL > Poolbeg > ESB > Poolbeg > DL. It is recommended that only strong and experienced crews enter the long course. Winning times on the previous Kish course were in the order of 3hrs, with times of 4.5hrs+ being recorded for the back of the field. Both races will start on Saturday 17th September at 12.00pm sharp. Boats may launch from the Coal Harbour Slip in Dún Laoghaire.



Entries and Safety

Only East Coast skiffs, Celtic Longboats (Welsh design), and Celtic Yawls (‘All Ireland’ one design) may enter, crewed by members of coastal rowing clubs. Crews may be male, female, or any mix of male and female. Prizes will only be awarded for crews completing the Long Course in the categories below.

– 1st boat to finish

– 1st skiff to finish

– 1st ladies skiff crew to finish

– 1st mixed skiff crew to finish (may be 2 men/3 women, or 3 men/2 women)

– 1st U21 crew to finish

There must be 5 people in the boat at all times, and the same 5 must finish the race as start it! Crews may substitute cox for rowers at any stage and as often as they wish, depending on strategy or circumstance. All competitors must be over 18.

For any club wishing to enter crews, please get in touch via  via Following this enquiry you will be issued with the password for this Cox’s Instructions and Crew Entries Page which also contains the cox’s instruction pack and safety requirements. Bear in mind, the last date for entries is Friday 9th September 2022.

It is the responsibility of the competing club to ensure that each of their competing crews has sufficient strength, stamina, and seamanship to complete the race safely.

Viewing and Afters

The best viewing for the beginning, middle, and end of the race will be from the East Pier Battery in Dun Laoghaire. Crews will be given their gifts, trophies, refreshments, and applause at the Coal Harbour Boatyard, starting around 4.30pm.