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'Fools Gold' Keeps Lead At Halfway Stage of Kinsale's Sovereign's Cup

22nd June 2017
Great racing in great conditions for the second day of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale today Great racing in great conditions for the second day of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale today Photo: Bob Bateman

The halfway stage of the O’Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club was marked by perfect sailing conditions today with the 98-strong fleet revelling in the steadily building breeze that topped out with 25 knot gusts and brilliant sunshine throughout the day.

Bob Bateman's Day Two photo gallery is here. All Afloat's Sovereign's Cup 2017 is here. Results are here.  Afloat's Sovereign's Cup 2017 predictions here

Most divisions now feature a short-list of contenders for class wins though few can match the consistency of Rob McConnell’s Fool’s Gold from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club for delivery a fourth straight win in Division 1.

However, with half the regatta at stake including a forecast strong-wind day tomorrow (Friday), much remains to play for especially by David Kelly’s Storm from Howth, the consistent runner-up in the class and lags by just four points.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Andrew Algeo's J/109 Juggerknot from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is tied on 16–points for third place overall. Photo: Bob Bateman

“The key to the day was doing everything in plenty of time - and staying upright...” remarked Tim Goodbody, skipper of J109 White Mischief that is currently sixth overall in the 18-strong Division 1 fleet.

Kinsale’s own Conor Doyle on Freya has also delivered a straight run of first places albeit with just two races sailed in the much longer courses of the Coastal Division. Yesterday featured a 32-mile, 4.5 hour race that included a leg around the scenic Old Head of Kinsale into Courtmacsherry Bay and back.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Kieran Collins' Olson 30 Coracle VI (77883) from Royal Cork Yacht Club has three wins from four races and leads class two IRC Photo: Bob Bateman

Closer to Kinsale, the bulk of the regatta fleet sailed a mixture of Windward-Leeward and Round the Cans style courses with relatively flat seas thanks to the shelter of the Old Head peninsula. Nevertheless, there were widespread broaches and busted sails in the gusts.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Brian Goggin's Jeanneau 349 Allure of the host club is racing in Non–spinnaker 2. Photo: Bob Bateman

“We had exciting racing and plenty of drama plus a few cuts and bruises, especially in the second race after one of the sheets got fouled in the steering gear... fun was had by all!” said Brian McCarthy, skipper of Baccarat that leads White Sails Division 1 on Progressive ECHO handicap.

In Division 4, Sinead Enright’s J24 YaGottaWanna from the Royal Cork YC managed to overcome a few “moments” that were plentiful in the class during the day to score a win and second place to take the lead in the class and holds a seven-point overall lead.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Thrills'n'spills in the 1720 Europeans Photo: Bob Bateman

Meanwhile, in the continuing family battle for the lead in the 1720 European Championship, first placed Anthony O’Leary saw his lead stripped back to one point after a three-race day in which his Olympian son Peter narrowly miss drawing level for the lead. With half the series left to sail, the match could end either way as the breezy conditions are proving challenging for many of the other boats in the ten-strong fleet.

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