The O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup regatta could top 100-boats when the first gun goes in ten days time at Kinsale Yacht Club. Among the front runners are some of the new national title-holders who won their events at the recent ICRA national championships on Dublin Bay a fortnight ago.
ICRA overall winner, Anthony Gore-Grimes’ X302 Dux from Howth Yacht Club will be a contender for the Sovereign's Cup that is decided on the international IRC rating system.
The 13th edition of the biennial event runs from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th June.
Also in action will be Conor Phelan’s Jump Juice from the Royal Cork Yacht Club who missed the national championships due to family exam commitments while a showdown can be expected between two of the largest boats in the event, Conor Doyle’s Freya from the Kinsale Yacht Club and George Sisk’s WOW from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, both racing in the coastal division.
Meanwhile, the J109 fleet in Division 1 sees the Waterford Harbour skipper of Fool’s Gold, the overall winner of the 2017 Sovereign’s Cup join Brian Jones’ Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork Yacht Club for the regatta. Rob McConnell will be the mainsheet trimmer on the Cork yacht for the four-day event. It will be a closely-contested class that includes four-times Division 1 Irish champion John Maybury on Joker II from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.
The O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup will also include the Irish Half-ton championships that will see the new Division 2 national champions in action. Michael and Darren Wrights’ Mata from Howth Yacht Club leads a pack of contenders for the title with a repeat of the extremely close racing of the nationals likely to be repeated off the Old Head of Kinsale next week.
Another Howth entry and regular competitor in Kinsale is Windsor Lauden and Steffi Ennis’ Demelza that was the top White Sails entry at the national championships winning the ICRA Corinthian Cup and is a previous winner in Kinsale.
Among the one-designs, good turn-outs in both the 1720 Sportsboat and International Dragon classes are expected with the latter preparing for the Gold Cup to be hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club in September 2020. Martin Byrne of the Royal St. George Yacht Club on Jaguar leads the field in the Dragon class while James Matthews of Kinsale Yacht Club returns to the class with a new boat. Anthony O’Leary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club with Antix is the boat to beat in the 1720 event with a fleet of mostly south coast boats but with added flavour from Dublin, Galway and Britain.