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Kinsale Delivers: UK Sailmakers Customers’ Capitalise

1st July 2019
XP44 “WOW” sailing upwind off Kinsale with her UK Sailmakers Uni-Titanium Mainsail and J2 Jib. Photo: Robert Bateman XP44 “WOW” sailing upwind off Kinsale with her UK Sailmakers Uni-Titanium Mainsail and J2 Jib. Photo: Robert Bateman Photo: Bob Bateman

A busy June period drew to a close this weekend; concluding with the ever-popular biennial Sovereign's Cup Regatta – writes Graham Curran of UK Sailmakers Ireland. The weather did not make life easy for competitors over the four-day regatta but it certainly made for interesting sails. A mix of downwind surfing, a mythical sunny lay day, maritime hide and seek, and topped off with a day of glorious Kinsale weather which keeps us coming back year after year.

We had a busy couple of days in the loft with the hum of sewing machines running into the late hours of Wednesday and Friday evenings repairing torn sails to keep our customers, and all competitors, on the water with a full inventory.

XP44 “WOW” romps to Coastal Class Victory

XP44 WOWGeorge Sisk's XP44 Wow. Photo: Robert Bateman

George Sisk’s new WOW showed blistering pace throughout the series to claim overall victory with three wins from three races. Coming off the back of a disappointing end to their Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race the team were fired up and ready to attack the week on Wednesday. The long coastal courses allowed George and his long-standing crew to stretch the boat’s legs upwind and down.

She showed blistering pace at times, particularly on a long return reaching leg into Kinsale on Friday afternoon. WOW is equipped with a bowsprit mounted flying jib on an Ubi Maior furler which she used to great effect on this final leg. Crew member Red Power, commenting on that leg, said “The flying jib was the key on the last reach of the second race. With it we sailed higher and faster than with our zero. WOW had the only flying jib in the fleet and it was noticed.”

Outrajeous Seals Class One Victory

The Murphy/Colwell led J109 “Outrajeous” campaign held their nerve to claim victory in IRC Class One on Saturday. After a dramatic end to Friday’s racing, resulting in a DSQ in race five, the team refocused to win the first windward-leeward race of the day and second in the final race of the series to claim overall victory.

Richard Colwell, ICRA Commodore and owner of Outrajeous, commented “It’s a fantastic win for us, and reward for the hard work put into boat prep, teamwork, and sail development of the last six months. This hard work means we have the speed and ability to compete at the top end of a very competitive class. We are delighted with the progression made by a great team in such a short space of time.”

J109 Outrajeous J109 Outrajeous sailing downwind with her UK Sailmakers branded Matrix Spinnaker. Photo: Bob Bateman

Mark Mansfield, agent for Uk Sailmakers Ireland and tactician on Outrajeous, added “The Outrageous Project has been coming along very well, and we have been working with John and Richard since last winter, trialling and testing shapes. We were very quick at Sovereigns in a range of conditions with our Uni Titanium Main and headsails and in particular, very close winded. It is great to be able to perform so well against 7 other similar J109 class boats as it shows we have a very good fast product, able to win against the best. Our win in the 1720 class shows we are able to perform at a top level in one design fleets, as well as on IRC.

J109 Outrajeous sailingThe Outrajeous team (L to R): Bryan O’Donnell, Richard Colwell, Robert Kerley, David Cotter, John Murphy, Stuart Harris, Neil Spain, Mark Mansfield

Looking forward to the next challenge, as always, Mark continues “On Outrageous, we will be making some small changes again before Dun Laoghaire week, to tweak the sails even further. We are now seriously giving owners a proper choice when they are making a decision on who to go for when choosing their new sails. When we work with a client, it is very much a hands-on situation and we help with rig set up, crew training, helm coaching as well as working with the trimmers on how to set up the sails, and what rig/mode changes are needed in different conditions.”

The team celebrated a deserved win in style on Saturday night with family and friends sharing in the victory. Outrajeous now shifts focus to the upcoming Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Not So “Slack Alice” triumphs in White Sail One

Slack Alice Shane StathamGK34 “Slack Alice” sailing upwind with her Tape Drive Silver Mainsail and No 1 Genoa. Photo: Bob Bateman

Shane Statham and Trudy O’Leary’s GK34 “Slack Alice” claimed victory in White Sail IRC One with four wins from four races this week. Slack Alice is well known in the waters of Cork and is no stranger to victory here either. Shane and his crew opted for the white sails class for competitive racing while also being friendly to the flexible crew roster throughout the four-day series.

Rope Dock Atara Strikes Again; Crowned 1720 European Champions

1720 Rope Dock Atara Ross (helm) and Aoife (bow) McDonald’s Rope Dock Atara – 2019 1720 European Champions. Powered by UK Sailmakers Ireland. Photo: Bob Bateman

Aoife and Ross McDonald’s “Atara” has successfully defended her 1720 European Championship. Incorporated as a three day series within the 2019 Sovereigns Cup the 1720 Europeans produced tight racing throughout the fleet. Atara set the tone early; winning the first race of the series, and only one of the day, on Friday. They continued with another race win on Saturday and three thirds to clinch the European title three points clear.

Hard work Rewards

It is usually this time of year, after the major events of the year that the hard work of our customers – supported by the UK Sailmakers Ireland team – rewards them with the results they strive for. We are very proud of all our customers this week, and we are honoured to be your sailmaker.

uksails topper

About the Loft

UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 47 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today.

Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. ​As sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats. We design and build sails for your boat. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations.   

​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group, we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters.  

​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and an impressive pool of talent, the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal testbed for new technologies.​ 

​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​

Although much has changed; some constants remain. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. 


Barry Hayes [email protected]

Claire Morgan [email protected]

Andrew Steenson [email protected] 

Contact Information:

UK Sailmakers Ireland

Hoddersfield Mill


County Cork

P43 EY26

Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4831505

Fax: +353 21 4831700

Email: [email protected]

Graham Curran

About The Author

Graham Curran

Email The Author

Graham Curran is a sailmaker and director of UK Sails Ireland

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