The All Ireland Championships at Kinsale today turned out in the end to be an event well worth the long wait and provided thrilling competition from start to finish writes Claire Bateman. It was sailed in a three metre swell between the Bullman Buoy and Sandycove. It was particularly difficult for the Race Committee under PRO David O'Brien in the continuous undulating swell.
Nicholas and his winning crew Adam McCarthy and Alex Barry in Kinsale this afternoon. Photo: Bob Bateman. More photos on the gallery HERE
After four races the Race Committee were calculating the results only to find that they had three Royal Cork crews tied on five points each including the twice previous holder Nicholas O'Leary, his father Anthony and Niall Kenefick who was sailing with his two sons David and George. And so the competition went down to the wire with the result dependant on the final race. Nicholas O'Leary triumphed taking his third consecutive Championship win, the first ever to do so, followed by Anthony O'Leary in second place and Niall Kenefick taking third place.
This exceptional result finally puts to bed any previous suggestions that local knowledge could prevail in the results by the competition taking place in the home club of the winner.
In his acceptance speech Nicholas said it was very difficult in the first race today to have to protest his father who was coming in on port to the mark but with a twinkle in his eye said it had to be done!
After it was all over one wag suggested to Nicholas that he should now seek to keep the trophy as he had won it three times in a row. The reply should be rather interesting!
Speaking at the reception afterwards the ISA said the three year sponsorship had now expired so they will be looking for new sponsors but such was their confidence in the continuance of the fleet they have already ordered new sails.
1. Nicholas O'Leary
2. Anthony O'Leary
3. Niall Kenefick
4. Garrett May
5. James Espey
6. Nick Walsh
7. Niall Henry
8. Ewen Barry