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The 2025 ICRA National Championships will be held at Kinsale Yacht Club it has been confirmed. 

Newly elected ICRA commodore Denis Byrne announced at Saturday's AGM that after examining several submissions, the cruiser-racer national championships would return to the biennial Sovereign's Cup in June 2025.

Up to 100 boats are expected to compete at the June championships, encompassing IRC boats in divisions Zero to Four, with White Sail fleet racing also included.

The ICRAs were most recently previously incorporated at the Sovereign's Cup in 2019 and 2015.

The 2025 edition of Kinsale Yacht Club's Sovereign's Cup and ICRA National Championships will be held from June 25-28, 2025.

The Irish event occurs a month before the resurrected Admiral's Cup takes place in Cowes, where Ireland is one of 11 countries that has registered an interest.

Published in ICRA

Checkmate XX won in the offshore class in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Sunday (9 July), making it a double of offshore wins in the Sovereign and VDLR this season.

Prior to the event, Afloat.ie asked co-skipper Nigel Biggs about his and the team’s philosophy behind the Checkmate campaign. He was candid about their approach of putting enjoyment first, while also giving the younger generation a role to play.

That appears to be a winning combination, and one that should definitely lift spirits heading into their Fastnet Race challenge in the coming weeks.

Dave Cullen (left) and Nigel Biggs with the Sovereign's Cup Offshore trophy won last month at the Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale Photo: Bob BatemanDave Cullen (left) and Nigel Biggs with the Sovereign's Cup Offshore trophy won last month in Kinsale Photo: Bob Bateman

“The Sovereign’s was fun and we certainly enjoyed being back on the podium,” said Nigel, referencing the First 50 and crew’s achievement in late June.

The next big target for the Checkmate XX crews is the Rolex Fastnet Race later this month Photo: Bob BatemanThe next big target for the Checkmate XX crew is the Rolex Fastnet Race later this month Photo: Bob Bateman

“When we bought Checkmate XX last year, we did so in the knowledge that she wasn’t a successful race boat, more a platform for us to enjoy our sailing, as age begins to catch up with us, whilst also trying to encourage more younger people into keelboat racing,” he added.

Some of the Checkmate XX crew at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta prizegiving Photo: Michael ChesterSome of the Checkmate XX crew at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta prizegiving Photo: Michael Chester

“The plan appears to be working as we have already had some great times, sailing with friends both old and new.”

Elaborating on the importance of encouraging younger sailors, Nigel said: “Young people are the future of our sport and having discussed with some of them the reasons why they haven’t previously got involved in keelboat racing, we are trying to remove the perceived obstacles so they, both male and female, feel they can become valuable members of our crew, learning more about the sport and having fun along the way.”

As regards Checkmate XX’s stronger performance in 2023, Nigel said the answer is a simple one: using experience as a learning opportunity.

“The improved performance of the boat is not so much about rating optimisation; anyone can do that,” he said. It has more to do with the time we have spent thinking about the lessons of last year and working to improve the way we sail the boat, particularly in the conditions in which she was less competitive.

Co-skipper Nigel Biggs on the helm of Checkmate XX in an early season ISORA race(Above and below) Co-skipper Nigel Biggs on the helm of Checkmate XX in an early season light airs ISORA race Photo: AfloatCheckmate xx

“We have been fortunate to already have more hours under our belts this year than we managed in the whole of 2022, in a variety of conditions and are developing a better idea of what the boat likes in terms of rig setup, weight distribution and trimming, every time we go out.”

Nigel was modest about the team’s expectations for the VDLR, and harbours similar feelings for the Fastnet, “but if we continue to have as much fun with the great group of people we sail with, that is all the success we need”.

Published in Volvo Regatta

The Two White Sails Division at the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale totalled 20 boats, roughly a fifth of the overall fleet at the four-day event. It's a contemporary size that Afloat's WM Nixon says is a sweet size for Kinsallions.

The white sailors were in the prizes on Saturday night, too, walking away with the Portcullis Trophy for the best performance under ECHO and the Michelle Dunn Prix d'elegance award to Division Two competitor, the restored 1954 Marian Maid, as Afloat reports here.

The Portcullis trophy for the best performance under ECHO was won by White Sails division One entry, Ronan Twomey's Beneteau 40.7, Rosmarina in an eight-boat fleet.

 Beneteau 40.7, RosmarinaThe Portcullis trophy for the best performance under ECHO was won by Ronan Twomey's Beneteau 40.7, Rosmarina with her winning crew pictured below Photo: Bob Bateman

Ronan Twomey's Beneteau 40.7, Rosmarina

Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache was the White Sails Two IRC winner.

2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup White Sails 2 Echo winners were the McJenkins Family in the S&S 34  Morning After from Royal Cork YC pictured with Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group Photo: Bob Bateman2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup White Sails 2 ECHO winners were the McJenkins Family in the S&S 34  Morning After from Royal Cork YC pictured with Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group Photo: Bob Bateman

Stephen Harris and Frank Hughes were the White Sails One IRC winners in the Beneteau 40.7 Tiger and were awarded the McCarthy Cup. 

Stephen Harris and Frank Hughes and crew were the White Sails One IRC winners in the Beneteau 40.7 Tiger and were awarded the McCarthy Cup. Stephen Harris and Frank Hughes and crew were the White Sails One IRC winners in the Beneteau 40.7 Tiger (pictured below) and were awarded the McCarthy Cup by Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group (with cup) and Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern Photo: Bob BatemanBeneteau 40.7 Tiger

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

Published in Sovereign's Cup
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Kinsale Yacht Club's premier 'Michelle Dunne Prix d-elegance’ trophy for the best-presented entry at the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup went to the lovingly restored 1954 eight-metre cruiser Marian Maid owned by the Sisk family.

Marian Maid was built by Hal Sisk’s father John Sisk in 1954 in Dun Laoghaire, in a shed behind the West Pier after Sisk Snr had to move his Dalkey Yacht Company from premises at Bulloch Harbour.

Marian Maid is unusual in many ways, not least in being a yawl-rigged version of Swedish designer Knud Reimers take on the newly-introduced International 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer Rule, with Reimers liking the boat so much that he had a sloop-rigged version built for himself in Sweden as Afloat reports here.

At 69 years old, Marian Maid has been re-born. Photo: Robert BatemanAt 69 years old, Marian Maid has been re-born. Photo: Robert Bateman

Read also: 

The Amazing Mr Sisk, Pioneer Of Ireland’s Economic Revival and Kinsale’s Sovereign’s Cup Regatta Can Sparkle As Sailing Stars Shine

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

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Kinsailor, the Kinsale Yacht Club Under-25 J24 crew were the inaugural winners of the 'Jack Roy Perpetual Trophy', awarded to the best female helm at Saturday night's 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup prizegiving.

The trophy was commissioned by the club and made in West Cork.

KYC created the award as a mark of appreciation to the late Jack Roy's running of many events for the club, particularly as Race Officer and Principal Race Officer for The Sovereign's Cup Regatta for many years.

The club asked his wife, Rosemary, who also officiates at Sovereign's Cup races, to present the trophy to the inaugural winners.

Jill Roy, with (from left) sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern and her month Rosemary thanked the club for commission the new trophy in her late father's honour Photo: Bob BatemanJill Roy, with (from left) Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern and her mother Rosemary thanked the club for commissioning the new trophy in her late father's honour Photo: Bob Bateman

The Roy's eldest daughter Jill thanked the club on behalf of the Roy family, highlighting how Jack loved everything about Kinsale Yacht Club and particularly enjoyed his involvement in the Sovereign's Cup.

Jill Roy's words were met with the biggest applause of the night as the packed clubhouse remembered their much-missed race officer.

“Always ready to take a joke” – during a very challenging flukey wind pattern at the Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale, Race Officer Jack Roy takes a personal prize in the proper spirit at the evening awards ceremony. Photo: Robert Bateman“Always ready to take a joke” – during a very challenging flukey wind pattern at a previous Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale, Race Officer Jack Roy takes a personal prize in the proper spirit at the evening awards ceremony. Photo: Robert Bateman

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

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There was a packed clubhouse and some emotional moments at Kinsale Yacht Club for the presentation of Simply Blue 2023 Sovereign’s Cup prizes on Saturday evening.

James and David Dwyer of Royal Cork Yacht Club with their Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble crew, who were overall winners of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup, after a perfect score of six wins from six races sailed off Kinsale, are pictured with Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group (right) Photo: Bob BatemanJames and David Dwyer of Royal Cork Yacht Club with their Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble crew, who were overall winners of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup, after a perfect score of six wins from six races sailed off Kinsale, are pictured with Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) and Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group (right) Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat reported earlier, with a superb string of six race wins in Class Two IRC in the four-day event, James and David Dwyer's Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble from Royal Cork Yacht Club took the overall Sovereign's Cup as the best boat performing under the international IRC rating system.

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern congratules the prizewinners at Saturday night's 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup prizegiving Photo: Bob BatemanKinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern, watched by Regatta Director Tony Scannell, congratulates the prizewinners at Saturday night's 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup prizegiving Photo: Bob Bateman

Simply Blue 2023 Sovereign’s Cup prizewinners

Simply Blue 2023 Sovereign’s Cup prizewinnersSimply Blue 2023 Sovereign’s Cup prizewinners

As Afloat reports here, the 1720 Europeans, raced as part of the Sovereign’s Cup programme, were successfully defended by Ross McDonald's Ropedock Atara

Three race wins enabled John Maybury's Joker II to take the Class One IRC title, while five wins saw Conor Phelan take the Class Three IRC title in his Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge.

The coastal class saw a similar dominant scoreline when the Howth Yacht Club First 50 Checkmate XX closed their account with three wins from four races

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) looks on as Hugh Kelly of sponsors Simply Blue presents the Axiom Trophy to Dave Cullen and Nigel Biggs of First 50 Checkmate for their IRC coastal division victory in the 2023 Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob BatemanKinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern (left) looks on as Hugh Kelly of sponsors Simply Blue (right) presents the Axiom Trophy to Dave Cullen (second from left) and Nigel Biggs of the Howth Yacht Club First 50 Checkmate for their IRC coastal division victory in the 2023 Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob Bateman

Sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group raced in the event skippering the J122 Jelly Baby and won third overall under ECHO in the coastal class. He gave his thumbs up in this short vid below.

New 'Jack Roy Perpetual Trophy' 

Kinsailor, the Kinsale Yacht Club Under-25 J24 crew were the inaugural winners of the 'Jack Roy Perpetual Trophy', which was awarded to the best female helm.

The trophy was commissioned by the club and made in West Cork. It was created as a mark of appreciation for the late Jack Roy's running of many events for the club, as Afloat reports here.

Kinsailor, the Kinsale Yacht Club Under-25 J24 crew are presented with the inaugural 'Jack Roy Perpetual Trophy', made to the best female helm at the Sovereign's Cup 2023 by Jack's wife Rosemary and Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern Credit: Bob BatemanKinsailor, the Kinsale Yacht Club Under-25 J24 crew are presented with the inaugural 'Jack Roy Perpetual Trophy', made to the best female helm at the Sovereign's Cup 2023 by Jack's wife Rosemary and Sovereign's Cup sponsor Hugh Kelly of Simply Blue Group, Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern Photo: Bob Bateman 

‘Prix d'elegance’ trophy for Marian Maid

The Michelle Dunne ‘Prix d-elegance’ trophy for best-presented entry in the event went to George, Hal and Owen Sisk's stunningly restored 1954 eight-metre cruiser Marian Maid that competed in White Sails Two division, as Afloat reports here.

George Sisk helming the immaculately restored 1954 eight-metre cruiser Marian Maid in White Sails Two division on the final day of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup Credit: Bob BatemanGeorge Sisk helming the immaculately restored 1954 eight-metre cruiser Marian Maid in White Sails Two division on the final day of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup Credit: Bob Bateman

White Sails Success

There was success for the 20-boat white sails divisions, too, with the Portcullis trophy for the best performance under ECHO won by Ronan Twomey's Beneteau 40.7, Rosmarina, more on the White Sails winners here

2025 dates confirmed for Sovereign's Cup

KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern confirmed the 2025 Sovereign's Cup dates as June 25-28.

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

Sovereign’s Cup prizewinners Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Sovereign's Cup
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A first and a second scored in today's final races has given National J109 Champion John Maybury of the Royal Irish Yacht Club the overall Class One IRC title at the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale.

Maybury's Joker II crew ended the six-race series with all their results in the top five, and with three race wins to boot, the RIYC crew were two points clear at the top. 

Camelot in Kinsale is how Afloat's WM Nixon described the scene on the first two days of the regatta, but the 2023 Cup concluded with 100% cloud cover and drizzle on Saturday afternoon.

Five times J109 National Champion (and top ICRA yacht at Cork Week 2022), John Maybury and his Joker II crew won the Sovereign's Cup Class One IRC division Photo: Bob BatemanFive times J109 National Champion (and top ICRA yacht at Cork Week 2022), John Maybury and his Joker II crew won the Sovereign's Cup Class One IRC division Photo: Bob Bateman

Defending Sovereign's Cup Champion, Mike Evans's J99 Snapshot finished as runner-up by virtue of a final race win to be on 10 points overall. 

The Howth J99 broke up a J109 stranglehold in IRC One, with five of the top six boats being 109s. 

Maybury's clubmates, Richard and Timothy Goodbody, on' White Mischief', took a well-earned third overall with no race wins but six top-four results to finish on 15 points.

Mike Evans's J99 Snapshot from Howth has moved up to second place in IRC One of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale Photo: Bob BatemanMike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snapshot from Howth (above and prizegiving below) finished in second place in IRC One of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale Photo: Bob Bateman

Mike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snapshot from Howth (above and prizegiving below) finished in second place in IRC One of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off KinsaleMike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snapshot from Howth (above and prizegiving below) finished in second place in IRC One of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale

The 15th edition of the biennial regatta attracted 90 entries across all divisions and ran from 21st to 24th June and incorporated the 1720 European sportsboat Championships.

Results below

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

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The perfect scoreline of six wins from six races saw James and David Dwyer's Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble take the Class Two title and the overall 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale today. 

Camelot in Kinsale is how Afloat's WM Nixon described the scene on the first two days of the regatta, but the 2023 Cup concluded with 100% cloud cover and drizzle on Saturday afternoon and some tricky sailing conditions. 

Sovereign's Cup winners 2023: James and David Dwyer of Royal Cork Yacht Club on the Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble Photo: Bob Bateman(Above and below) Sovereign's Cup winners 2023: James and David Dwyer of Royal Cork Yacht Club on the Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble Photo: Bob Bateman

Sovereign's Cup winners 2023: James and David Dwyer of Royal Cork Yacht Club on the Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble

Finishing on five nett points, the Royal Cork crew celebrated their six-point margin over John Gordon X-332 X-Rated from Mayo Sailing Club.

John Gordon' Mayo Sailing Club X-332 X-Rated is lying third in IRC Two of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup from Elan 333 Reavra Too, skippered by Stephen Lysaght of the host club Photo: Bob BatemanJohn Gordon's Mayo Sailing Club X-332 X-Rated and her crew at the prizegiving below Photo: Bob Bateman

John Gordon's Mayo Sailing Club X-332 X-Rated and her crewat the prizegiving below Photo: Bob Bateman

Kinsale YC Elan 333, Reavra Too, skippered by Stephen Lysaght, was third in the eight-boat fleet on 13 points. 

The 15th edition of the biennial regatta attracted 90 entries across all divisions and ran from 21st to 24th June and incorporated the 1720 European sportsboat Championships.

Consistent sailing in the Kinsale Yacht Club's 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup from Elan 333 Reavra Too, skippered by Stephen Lysaght of the host club Photo: Bob BatemanElan 333 Reavra Too, skippered by Stephen Lysaght of the host club Photo: Bob Bateman

Results are below

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

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Conor Phelan's Royal Cork Yacht Club Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge has won Class Three IRC at The Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale.

As Afloat reported earlier, Quarter Tonners had a grip on the ten-boat fleet since Wednesday's first race. 

Phelan led all the way and ended the regatta with five wins, taking two guns on the final day and discarding a second place.

Another Quarter Tonner, Courtown Sailing Club's Joubert Quarter Tonner, Snoopy (Joanne Hall & Martin Mahon), leapfrogged visiting Welsh Sigma 33 'Partisan' into second overall on Thursday, and that's how things stayed despite two more races on Saturday in some light winds and drizzle.

The 15th edition of the biennial regatta attracted 90 entries across all divisions and ran from 21st to 24th June and incorporated the 1720 European sportsboat Championships.

Results below.

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

Published in Sovereign's Cup

With three wins from four races sailed, Howth Yacht Club's First 50 Checkmate XX, co-skippered by Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen, were presented with the Axiom Trophy for their overall win of the IRC Coastal division of the 2023 Simply Blue Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club on Saturday night.

Howth Yacht Club's First 50 Checkmate XX, co-skippered by Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen is the Sovereign's Cup Coastal Division winner after four races off Kinsale Photo: Bob BatemanHowth Yacht Club's First 50 Checkmate XX, co-skippered by Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen is the Sovereign's Cup Coastal Division winner after four races off Kinsale Photo: Bob Bateman

Early leader Scotland's J122E El Gran Senor was overhauled by Checkmate XX on Thursday, and Biggs and Cullen then went on to wrap up the Cup's biggest class (17 boats) on three nett points after two more wins on Saturday.

Finishing second overall was the brand new J112 Valentia of Johnny Treanor of the National Yacht Club, with a score of 3,2,3 and (5.0) in his first Irish regatta in the new boat.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Treanor took a debut victory last week on the Solent when Valentina won her class at the Key Yachting J Cup.

Third overall was the Clyde visitor Jonathan Anderson in the J122. 

The crew of the J112E Valentina skippered by Johnny Treanor of the National Yacht Club, with her second prize overall prize in the coastal division of the Sovereign's Cup 2023 Photo: Bob BatemanThe crew of the J112E Valentina skippered by Johnny Treanor of the National Yacht Club, with her second prize overall prize in the coastal division of the Sovereign's Cup 2023 Photo: Bob Bateman

Scotland's J122E El Gran Senor skipper Jonathan Anderson was third overall in the Sovereign's Cup Coastal Division Photo: Bob BatemanScotland's J122E El Gran Senor skipper Jonathan Anderson was third overall in the Sovereign's Cup Coastal Division Photo: Bob Bateman

See results below

Read all Afloat's 2023 Sovereign's Cup Regatta coverage in one handy link here

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