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Like most other charities, the volunteers of Kinsale RNLI have had their fundraising activities curtailed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So it came as a welcome surprise to learn that local steam engine enthusiast Rory Nagle had launched a special mission to help replenish the lifeboat station coffers.

Accompanied by two young assistants, Frank Sullivan and Billy Twomey, Rory embarked on a tour of the town aboard Old Mac, Ireland’s oldest surviving steam engine, which was built by McLaren in Leeds and lovingly restored by Rory.

Despite the inclement weather over the weekend (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October), they raised donations of €440 from members of the public eager to have their photographs taken alongside the historic engine.

Rory said: “The RNLI have been on duty throughout lockdown and are there day and night when we need them. It’s a pleasure to be able to do something for people that really deserve support, especially at this difficult time. I believe that we all need to remember the people that look after us.”

Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale (Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon)Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale | Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

Photographs of Rory’s expedition were widely shared on social media, with Niamh Henderson of the Kinsale Advertiser cheekily suggesting that some generous benefactor might round up the sum to €500.

Her appeal was immediately answered by John Farley, a Kinsale man who has been living in San Francisco for the past 30 years.

John said: “I always hit the lifeboat boxes when I’m home, but I didn’t make it back this year, so this makes up for it. The lifeboat lads rescued my sister, my niece Rachel and me off the Old Head about eight or nine years ago when our engine died. I also know Rory well and he’s a great guy, so this is a good opportunity to show my support.”

Kinsale RNLI’s press officer Tricia Tyson added: “This is not the first time Rory has raised funds for us. Last year he took part in the Celtic Steamers run from Baltimore to Kinsale, a spectacular cavalcade of vintage engines that raised over €5,000 for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.

“We also appreciate all the hard work of Billy and Frank who helped him both days, and the generosity of the public who filled the buckets. The RNLI relies on the support of the public, and that is one thing that is never lacking in Kinsale.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Day Two of the 60-boat Laser Munsters at Kinsale Yacht Club has just been cancelled due to weather conditions with winds forecast to gust to nearly 40 knots today.

With four races sailed yesterday, as Afloat reported earlier, the championship prizewinners were awarded after three races with one discard. 

Tralee Bay Sailing Club's Paddy Cunnane won an 11-strong Standard division. In the 4.7s, youth James Dwyer topped the leaderboard in the 26-boat division.

The host club's Micheal O'Suilleabhain won the 21-boat Radial division.

Results are here

Dave Cullinane's Day One Laser Munsters Photo Slideshow

Published in Kinsale
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"Unique" and "iconic" are words so overused they've almost become meaningless. So it says something about a very special harbourside house on the market in Kinsale, that it should so confidently restore the vitality and meaning of those terms - and then some. For Edgewater is the very special property which George and Philomena Kingston – the parents of all the Kinsale Kingstons, as you might say, for they had eleven children – created on Adams Quay around 1990 in a mutually-satisfactory deal with the powers-that-be when the council was keen to gentrify the waterfront while keeping it as an attractive place for meaningful interaction with boats in the best Kinsale style.

In writing about a desirable Kinsale house here, we're assuming we've no need to go into the inevitable estate agents' jargon about the special nature of the vibrant south coast harbour town. We presume you know the place already in all its special attractiveness, so we'll just move on to say that 1978's negotiations to purchase the quay ultimately resulted in a stylish house in a compact site between road and sea, a rare enough occurrence in Kinsale. It was made even rarer by the fact that the quay provided a very sheltered depth of 2.7 metres at low water right beside the house, so a small private six-boat marina was part of the eventual package.

Virtually no other house in Kinsale is so precisely located in a multi-use waterfront site, and it was a location imbued with maritime history. For it was here that John Thuillier built boats, the last of them being the now-classic Colleen 23 Pinkeen of 1952 vintage.

Modern facilities in an area steeped in history – it was here at what is now Edgewater in Kinsale that John Thuillier built boats a very long time agoModern facilities in an area steeped in history – it was here at what is now Edgewater in Kinsale that John Thuillier built boats a very long time ago

Subsequently, when George Kingston set up in business at Kilmacsimon Boatyard upriver on the west shore, this old quay was his Kinsale base as it was used to lift masts once the non-opening new bridge was put across the harbour, with income being augmented by a marine fuel supply business and other activities which increasingly were at variance with the affluent leisure image which the council were promoting, and doing so with such enthusiasm that in time they provided the local fishing fleet with their own neat marina.

In order to understand how the Kingstons fitted into all this, a bit of family history is needed. George was actually originally from Dunmanway, which is in West Cork but not remotely nautical. Philomena Derrig was from Mayo, and they met in America where both had emigrated, George at the age of just 16. At one time he served in the armed forces, where his natural military bearing was such that he was readily recruited into Guards of Honor. Yet although you were aware of this in the way he carried himself in his extraordinarily varied and successful post-military life back in Ireland, you can forget about clichés of a blustering sergeant major type – George Kingston had the quiet can-do presence of a retired four star general, and if he ever raised his voice, I never heard it.

He and Philomena liked America, as it agreed with their strong work ethic for they could both be prodigious grafters when needs be, and they were married there and had the first two of their children. But the call of home became too much to resist, particularly as they'd built up skills which could be applied in Ireland, so they returned to a new home in Cork city, and George soon found himself working for others in the growing leisure marine industry.

But the longterm plan was to have his own business built around a working boatyard, and as Cork Harbour was pretty well stitched-up with several small local yards and the big one of Crosshaven Boatyard, it was at a sleepy little rural place called Kilmacsimon upriver from rapidly developing Kinsale that he found a place with possibilities. But it required dedication to develop it, as he needed that vital toehold in Kinsale itself, and while things were gradually taking shape, he'd no option but to continue living in Cork city. He used to quip that he was a reverse commuter, but it wasn't just on working weekdays that he made the journey out from Cork– he made a point of being available to his growing clientele at the weekends too.

Where else can you stroll out from the living room onto the balcony and check that everything's okay with the boat in your private marina? Where else can you stroll out from the living room onto the balcony and check that everything's okay with the boat in your private marina?

In time, with some boatbuilding and much maintenance work, and with his sons now coming on to take over branches of the business, operations were greatly expanded with a completely new yard to seaward of Kinsale at Middle Cove. Kilmacsimon was gradually redeveloped as an idyllic waterside residential community, and with the Kinsale Yacht Club marina coming on stream, it was clear that Adams Quay was ripe for re-purposing in line with the council's aspirations.

The Quay, in the area known in Kinsale as World's End, is immediately west of the Trident Hotel, which would surely be in the Short List of Ireland's Most Ingeniously-Located hotels - like Edgewater, they've managed to squeeze it into that pricelessly advantageous position of being between the road and the sea.

An old stone private slipway – part of the Edgeware property – separates it from the west side of the Trident, and there plumb in the middle of the quay is the house which George and Philomena built, of quality materials to a design by Frank Godsil which reflects the Kinsale vernacular architecture, while having some attractive contemporary twists.

Nevertheless, it has to be remembered that Edgewater – the appropriate name came from a town where the Kingston's happily lived for a while in the US – was built way back in 1990. Although at the time it required massive work to strengthen the quay which was personally directed by a partner in Bowen Engineering - for as with his architect, George Kingston attracted special people to help with this very special house – the stratospheric rise of Kinsale property quality since then means that while Edgewater is now for sale at a cool €2.25 million, there are those whose are looking at it as a prime site which could lend itself to a larger and more modern statement building.

On the other hand, there are those of us who have been visitors to Edgewater by both land and sea, and have enjoyed the harmony and continuous interest of the place so much that we'd be reluctant to change anything, though it has to be said that after the experience of lockdown, most would now seriously look at some way of providing more in the way of a soothing mini-garden on the quite substantial free space available on the quay – bring on Diarmuid Gavin, it would be an interesting challenge in that salty setting…….

The space on the quay around Edgewater is sufficient to think in terms of a small secluded garden  The space on the quay around Edgewater is sufficient to think in terms of a small secluded garden

And then too there's all that under-utilised space on the old slipway. It may well be a protected structure, so historic are its associations, but it is only of very limited value in getting boats in and out of the water, as they're delivered straight onto a busy road at right angles at the top, and anyway, there's a much more accessible slipway beside the yacht club marina, while the travel hoist at Middle Cove looks after larger craft. So a fresh look at the slipway is surely in order.

By the time George and Philomena were building Edgewater, their family were already grown-up or approaching adulthood, so the house has only four bedrooms sharing just one bathroom, and the prime harbour-facing areas are taken up with a spacious kitchen dining/living room on the ground floor, and an equally spacious sitting room with balcony on the first floor, with copious use of hardwood in both, as you'd expect from a boatbuilder's house.

As would be expected with a boatbuilder's house, copious use is made of quality hardwood, as seen here in the first floor living room.As would be expected with a boatbuilder's house, copious use is made of quality hardwood, as seen here in the first-floor living room.

From either big room, the view of the harbour is panoramic, and anyone with an eye for boats and their activities is in heaven, but nowadays the expectation would be for bedrooms with harbour views, and a more general deployment of en suite facilities.

In fact, it's the direct boat connection which puts Edgewater in a league of its own. On occasions when the yacht club marina was frenetically busy, a timely phone call to George would provide a clear berth and a friendly yet unfussed welcome in the best George Kingston style at Edgewater. Yet you never felt you were imposing on them, as George and Philomena were keen that people should see and enjoy Kinsale as they knew it, savouring its most attractive and entertaining aspects secure in the knowledge that their boat was safely berthed with two of the most decent and obliging people in the place.

The view down Kinsale Harbour from the living room at EdgewaterThe view down Kinsale Harbour from the living room at Edgewater

Edgewater reflects their ultimately no-nonsense attitude to life. Now that it is finally being sold out of the Kingstown family after 30 years (George died at home in 2014 after 24 years in Edgewater - he and Philomena, who died a year ago, had 27 grandchildren), there may those who see it as a perfect and simple retirement pad in a setting of welcome liveliness. There may be others who see it primarily as the building serving their private marina, with all the convenience and possibilities that implies. And there will be the radicals, who will see Edgewater as the prime site for a new, much-larger dream home which, despite being right in the heart of the key maritime area of Kinsale, can be made a place of real privacy with stylish and skilful design.

But for those of us who were sailing in and out of Kinsale even before George Kingston and his family were making their quietly effective mark on the place, simply to see Edgewater from seaward is to remember a time when vague dreams were becoming real possibilities, a time when we were being shown that picturesque but sometimes decrepit waterfront sites could be sympathetically redeveloped to make a real contribution to the good of the community and its environment. Whoever takes on Edgewater will be taking on a fascinating place, and with it the heart-warming story of a remarkable couple who certainly made their mark on Kinsale life.

Contact: Catherine McAuliffe of Savills, Cork at  [email protected]

Download a PDF of the Savills brochure on the link belowDownload a PDF of the full Savills brochure on the link below

Published in Kinsale
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After some disappointing cancellations for the Dragon class this season at Kinsale Yacht Club, local Dragon racing made a welcome return to the West Cork harbour at the weekend.

As regular readers will know both the International Dragon Gold Gup planned for this month at Kinsale and then its replacement Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week were both cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, a busy weekend on the water for KYC, saw local racing resume as well as KYC cruiser racing in the first race of the Mary P September Series, as Afloat reported earlier.

Afloat's Bob Bateman captured the Kinsale Dragon action in the slideshow below

Published in Dragon
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Cameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' was the overall winner of Kinsale Yacht Club's one day Dragon keelboat Regatta on Saturday (August 1).

Good, who also won KYC's Pery Knox Gore 2020 Trophy in late July, sailed with Henry Kingston and Simon Good.

The Race officer for the one-day event was former KYC Commodore, Dave O'Sullivan. The event is part of the build-up for next month's Cantor Fitzgerald sponsored Dragon Week at the club. As Afloat reported previously, interest is building for the event that will include racing for National Championship honours.

Published in Dragon
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Royal Cork's Denis Murphy and Annamarie Fegan sailing Nieulargo were the winners of the IRC All In Fleet in Kinsale Yacht Club's Fastnet SCORA Race sponsored by UK Sailmakers Ireland.

The Grand Soleil 40 crew that included former All Ireland Sailing champion Nin O'Leary and 2004 Olympian Killian Collins were winners of KYC's will Fastnet Trophy awarded to the yacht with the lowest corrected time on IRC rating.

The crew of the Grand Soleil 40 crew Nieulargo from Kinsale Yacht ClubOnboard the winning Grand Soleil 40

Second overall was the race organiser Finbarr O Regan of the host club for his performance in the Elan 333, Artful Dodger.

Third was another Elan 333 Stephen Lysaght Reavra Too also of the host club.

Tom Roche's Meridian Crew return to the Kinsale dock afte the race. Among the Meridian crew (pictured right) is Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, DSM, the current Chief of Staff of Ireland's Defence Forces Photo: Bob BatemanTom Roche (pictured centre in green top) and the Meridian Crew return to the Kinsale dock after the race. Among the Meridian crew (pictured right) is Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, DSM, the current Chief of Staff of Ireland's Defence Forces Photo: Bob Bateman 

Racing began on Friday evening at 6.30 pm and the nine boat fleet raced through the night over the 100-mile course. 

As Afloat reported previously, Nieulargo was first out of the harbour after the start and one of the first to return just after mid-day.

Reaching home under spinnaker along the Kinsale coast Photo: Bob BatemanReaching home under spinnaker along the Kinsale coast Photo: Bob Bateman 

Winds were westerly and averaged 10-knots.

Prizes were presented in IRC and ECHO. Full results are here

KYC adds: Glorious conditions greeted the nine Cork & Dublin boats that came to the start line for the McWilliam Sailmakers sponsored annual Kinsale-Fastnet race. While the present Covid conditions may have affected the numbers those that turned out were well campaigned ensuring a very competitive event. The race was a fantastic tactical challenge working the tides in and out of the bays with a beat to the rock & run home. The sail to the rock was a fantastic offshore experience with a full moon, shoals of dolphins and even a meteorite shower to entertain the crews.

Meridian rounded the rock in first place with Nieulargo hot on her heels but the AIS positions & quick calculations showed Artful Dodger & Cinnamon Girl were proving difficult to shake off. The run home was nearly direct downwind bar the reach from the Old Head to the finish which didn’t suit the new Sunfast 3330 but both Niulagro & Artful Dodger relished those conditions. While Meridian took line honours and Nuilargo came home second it was impossible to know who was going to win the IRC Fastnet Trophy with all boats bringing home fresh breeze.

Prize giving was on the club balcony with Denis Murphy’s Grand Soleil 40 Nuilargo taking the Fastnet trophy after nineteen hours IRC racing by a mere three minutes from Finbarr O Regan’s Elan 333 Artful Dodger who won the newly presented Ocean trophy. Cian McCarthys Cinnamon Girl took the Echo trophy.

Slideshow of KYC Fastnet Race below by Bob Bateman

Published in SCORA
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Kinsale Yacht Club has announced Cantor Fitzgerald is the headline sponsor for Dragon Week 2020 which will be held in Kinsale from the 5th to 12th of September 2020

After the unfortunate cancellation of September's Gold Cup, the Kinsale fleet got together and the idea of Dragon Week was born.

“We had huge interest in the Gold Cup this year and were expecting over 80 entries”, commented Kinsale Dragon stalwart Cameron Good. “However we know that there are many very keen Dragon sailors out there looking to get sailing and the idea with Dragon Week was to maintain the enthusiasm within the Irish fleet. We are using the same dates as the Gold Cup and will run a weeklong series, incorporating the South Coast and National Championships, but with an open invitation to sailors from any nation to come and race if they can”.

The “Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week” will run in the following format:

  • South Coat Championships - Saturday 5th – Monday 7th September
  • Lay Day – Tuesday 8th September
  • National Championships – Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th September

Reacting to the announcement that Cantor Fitzgerald were to headline sponsor this unique event, Daniel Murphy, Head of Cantor Fitzgerald’s Cork office stated that “With the disappointment associated with the cancellation of the Gold Cup, we were immediately attracted to the proactive nature of how Kinsale Yacht Club went about redesigning the calendar by being creative and coming up with the concept of Dragon Week.

Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland is part of leading global financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald. With a proud history of stockbroking and servicing our private clients and financial advisors in Ireland since 1995, we provide a full suite of investment services, primarily in personalised share dealing, pensions, wealth management, fund management, debt capital markets and corporate finance. We are proud to be working in tandem with the Irish Dragon fleet and Kinsale Yacht Club in these exceptional times and look forward to a great week.”

Published in Kinsale
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A motorboat with four on board which was overcome by poor weather was towed to safety by Kinsale RNLI volunteers this past week.

The inshore lifeboat Miss Sally Anne Baggy II was requested to launch shortly after 11.30am on Wednesday (8 July) to assist the 16ft motor boat off Barry’s Head, near Nohoval.

All four on board the vessel were found to be unharmed, and their boat was taken under tow to the safety of Kinsale Marina.

This marked the first rescue for the Kinsale lifeboat crew under the new RNLI coronavirus protocol, with the crew wearing protective masks and gloves in addition to the standard PPE.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said: “The RNLI remains on call throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. When we go on a callout, we don’t know the level of assistance required, or the proximity we will have to the people we are going to help.

“Safety is always paramount in our minds and wearing the full PPE and following strict RNLI guidelines minimises the risk of exposure for both our volunteer crew and those we rescue.

“The people onboard this boat did exactly the right thing by calling for assistance. If any member of the public gets into difficulty on the water or spots someone else in difficulty, they should call 112 or 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.”

Shortly after their return to station, the crew were requested to launch for a second time to assist a 30ft vessel that had lost steerage at the mouth of the harbour.

But the lifeboat was stood down en route when the crew onboard managed to right the craft and make their own way to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Squib National Championships 2020 scheduled for 21 - 26 June at Kinsale Yacht Club has been cancelled.

Regatta Director, Ruth Ennis told Afloat: 'The Squib 2020 Organising Committee in conjunction with Kinsale Yacht Club and the N.S.O.A. reluctantly made this decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic'.

The prospect of the championships going ahead was discussed as recently as this week by Tom MacSweeney on Afloat here.

Ennis says Kinsale is looking at the 'possibility and logistics of hosting the event in Kinsale Yacht Club next year 2021'. All registration fees to the event will be refunded.

Published in Squib
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A “squib” I was told when first shown one of these boats by its owner, is “an explosive boat.

Several of them were riding nicely on the rippling water at Kinsale Marina that day two years ago when it was announced that Kinsale Yacht Club would be the location for a joint event bonding the Irish and Uk fleets in both their national championships together, then to be held in two years’ time.

“Explosive in performance, challenging and fast .. a great boat to sail,” I was told. That was back in 2018 and the Squib owner was making the point that they would be every bit as important to Kinsale as cruisers, “a major part of the club’s sailing fleet.”

Above and Below Local Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanAbove and Below: Local Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

There are Squibs in the fleets of several clubs around the country and they come to my mind this week because they were the last big racing fleet on the water before the shut down of sailing. We are at the stage where there is neither physical contact with our boats in most cases, as well as social isolation in our sport and uncertainty about when it will be able to resume.

Squib Kinsale2

The Squib is a racing keelboat for a crew of two, designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee as a successor to the Ajax 23. It is a one-design class of 5.79 metres long and a beam of 1.87 metres. The Royal Yachting Association in the UK gave them national keelboat recognition. They have the advantage of being trailed pretty easily, according to their advocates.

One of the big tactical successes in promoting Squibs was made by the class In 1974 when, with sail numbers approaching 400, leading British yachting journalists were invited to Burnham-on-Crouch to race Squibs, in an event called the ‘Squib Symposium.

“This resulted in raising the Squib's profile with the yachting press,” says the Class. And there was an extra benefit from all that publicity! Around this time, the UK Design Council put the Squib on its index of selected designs. A pretty good recognition.

The original boat design by Oliver Lee for Hunter Boats has had changes made by the Class as interest evolved. The dinghy is credited for having led to the building of the Hunter 19, which was described as putting “a lid on the Squib.” The Squib also spawned the Sandhopper, a boat with shoal draught and triple keels of which 45 have been built and raced on the British East Coast.

The Squib National Championships and UK Championships are due to be held this Summer at Kinsale Yacht Club, scheduled for June 21-26. A lot of work has been put into the preparation of the event and now, of course, the Coronavirus Covid-19 crisis is causing a degree of concern.

Squib Kinsale3A recent Squib class start at Kinsale in February 2020 Photo: Bob Bateman

The Committee in Kinsale, led by Regatta Director Ruth Ennis, announced this weekend that it remains “committed to running the championships. We are aware that the situation regarding Covid-19 continues to evolve.” If the event must be postponed or cancelled a full refund will be available it says to those who have already entered. The club has an experienced organising team in place, building on the success of many previous large events hosted by KYC.

Custom Rigging Frostbite Series at Kinsale Yacht Club

For the record, that last competitive event before the sailing close-down was the final day of the Custom Rigging Frostbite series at Kinsale Yacht Club and it was a testing one for all competitors. Wind speeds gusted to 30 knots, averaging between 19 and 21 with gusts going from 27 to 30.

"There were eleven Squibs racing in the Series"

There were eleven Squibs racing in the Series, with sponsor Harry Lewis amongst them. Sailing with Sean O’Riordan in Longshot, the duo won third prize overall.

The series winner was Allegro raced by Colm Dunne and Rob Gill. They had seven first places and finished third across the line in two other races. Second was Outlaw, sailed by Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan, who won two of the races in the series and had five second places. Allegro finished on 7 points, Outlaw had a total of 12 and Longshot 25 points.

The Squibs also raced under ECHO handicap, in which the final positions changed from the premier division. Under ECHO, Outlaw finished 1st, Allegro was 2nd and Sibu, sailed by Geraldine and Denis Kieran got third place.

And that explosive” comment about the performance of the boats, made by that Squib owner in Kinsale has an appropriate definition. The word “squib” is defined in dictionaries as “a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding….”

Listen to the podcast below:

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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