Is Ireland about to mount a challenge for the America’s Cup?
No so fast — the photo above is just Enda O’Coineen posing with the Auld Mug as it sits prude of place in the clubhouse the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland.
Former Vendée Globe contender O’Coineen was invited to the home of this year’s America’s Cup winners yesterday (Friday 24 November) along with the rest of Kilcullen Voyager Team Ireland as they paused their summer circumnavigation of New Zealand.
The trip comes ahead of O’Coineen’s ‘unofficial’ completion of his previously abandoned solo round-the-world effort, as he joins the race to Les Sables from 25 January.
But first comes a return to Ireland next week for the launch of Kilcullen Voyager Team Ireland’s Schools Adventure programme, a workshop on using ocean adventure in education, a reception hosted by the French ambassador — indeed a packed calendar of events in the run-up to Christmas.
Meanwhile, with an offshore specialist like O’Coineen in charge, and a strong Irish contingent in the current Volvo Ocean Race who might feasably lend their talents, maybe an Irish America’s Cup team isn’t such a pipe dream after all…