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'Mata' Wright Crew Win Irish Half Ton Cup at Kinsale as Checkmate XVIII Wins Class Two

29th June 2019
Michael Wright's Mata took the win in the IRC Half Ton Cup Division of the Sovereign's Cup Michael Wright's Mata took the win in the IRC Half Ton Cup Division of the Sovereign's Cup Credit: Bob Bateman

In an intense battle of the Half Tonners, Michael Wright's Mata briefly overtook Class Two overall leader Nigel Biggs's Checkmate XVIII in the closing races of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale today.

As Afloat predicated here, Half Tonners dominated the 19-boat IRC Two fleet and took the top five places overall. 

As well as IRC2 and ECHO honours, the seven competing Half Tonners in IRC 2 were also racing for the Irish Half-Ton IRC Cup that was staged in tandem.

After a sluggish start on Wednesday, the new Howth Yacht Club Half-Ton campaign took wins in races three, four and five to overhaul the Manchester sailor but Biggs representing the Royal Irish and Howth Yacht Clubs had a 'do or die' final race with Mata.  A win for Wright in the penultimate race brought him one point ahead of Biggs who then won the match-race for the final as the pair were unbeatable for the top two places in the Sovereign's biggest fleet.

Checkmate XVIIINigel Biggs's Checkmate XVIII was the winner of Class Two Photo: Bob Bateman
However, Wright still emerged with the Irish Half-Ton Cup to sit alongside his Division Two national championship title from earlier this month on Dublin Bay.

As Afloat predicated here, Half Tonners dominated the 19-boat fleet and took the top five places overall. 

The Class Two Sovereign's Cup fleetThe Class Two Sovereign's Cup fleet Photo: Bob Bateman

Third in IRC Two was another Howth boat, Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV. 

See full overall results here for class 2 and here for the Half Ton Cup and read WM Nixon's review of the 2019 Sovereign's Cup here.

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