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The anticipation for the 2024 Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club is building as some of the biggest names in Dragon sailing have already confirmed their participation in the upcoming event, sponsored by Astra Construction Services Ltd. With almost six weeks remaining until the entry closing date, 30 teams from various countries, including Switzerland, Great Britain, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, the Netherlands, and France, have already signed up.

Reigning Gold Cup Champion Lawrie Smith, a well-decorated sailor with achievements in the Olympic and America's Cup, is set to defend his title under the flag of the Glandore Yacht Club. Having won the Gold Cup in 2023, Smith will strive to join the exclusive group of sailors who have successfully defended their title in the event's 80-year history. 

"Ireland's exceptional venue with superb open ocean racing and great shoreside atmosphere make it impossible for us to resist defending our title. We'll be up against some tough competition, but we'll give it our best shot," commented Lawrie Smith. 

That tough local competition was on show on Dublin Bay as recently as last weekend when an Irish team bested a three-nation Cannonball Trophy event on Dublin Bay.

Other notable sailors will also participate, such as Wolf Waschkuhn, the reigning Dragon World Champion, and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade of Portugal, who claimed victory in the 2019 Gold Cup. Additionally, Graham and Julia Bailey will sail the historic Bluebottle, once raced by the late Duke of Edinburgh and now owned by the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. 

The 2024 Dragon Gold Cup Kinsale promises an exciting après sailing programme, with sponsorships from Yanmar, Astra Construction Services Ltd, TNG Swiss Watches, Cork County Council, Rooster, Guinness, and more. International visitors will find it convenient to travel to Ireland, with negotiated deals by Kinsale Yacht Club with major ferry companies and excellent direct links to many European cities from Cork International Airport.

The championship, scheduled from September 5 to 13, will feature registration and weighing from Thursday, September 5 to Saturday, September 7, followed by a Practice Race. Championship racing will take place from Sunday, September 8 to Friday, September 13, with six races scheduled in the open ocean against the stunning backdrop of the Old Head of Kinsale. With no discards, four races are required to constitute a series.

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The third race of Kinsale Yacht Club's La Bougie Midweek Cruiser-Racer Series on May 15th presented challenging conditions for sailors. Easterly winds, gusting up to 15 knots, tested their skills.

In the Class One IRC category, Finbarr O’Regan’s J109 Artful Dodger again demonstrated its prowess, securing the top position. Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra Too put up a strong fight but settled for second place. In the ECHO division, Peter Donegan’s Jalapeño claimed victory, with Reavra Too securing the second-place finish.

Class Two IRC witnessed an impressive performance from Mathilde Dingemans and Gerard Campbell’s Cirrus, which secured a decisive win. David O’Sullivan and John O’Regan’s No Notions finished second. In the Echo division, Patrick Beckett’s Miss Charlie took the top honours, with Cirrus capturing second place in this category as well.

In Class Three IRC, Alan Mulcahy’s unstoppable Apache claimed first place, extending its dominant streak. Paul Cotter and Dominic Falvey’s Swift followed closely, securing second. The Echo division saw Swift taking the lead, with Padraig O’Donovan’s Chameleon capturing a well-earned second place.

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With two race wins, David Riome's Sigma 33 Valfreya is the White Sails IRC 1 leader on seven points after three races sailed at Kinsale Yacht Club's Friday night Denis & Mary O'Brien Citroen Car Sales sponsored ''Thank Goodness It's Friday'' Series for cruiser-racers.

There is a tie-break for second place between David O'Sullivan's XC42 Cimarron and John Stallard's Sunfast 32i, Sibone, both on ten points.

In IRC 2, Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express, Apache leads.

All yachts retired due to light winds in Friday's (May 17) race.

Published in Kinsale
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Members of the Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group had a wonderful start to the cruising season with a BBQ and overnight stay at the Naval Services Yacht Squadron in Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork Harbour.

The event was organised by Niall and Bernadette McCann under the aegis of KYC Commodore Anthony Scannell and took place on the first weekend of May, and the weather was perfect for sailing: light SW winds, flat seas, and sunshine.

18 boats and their crews departed Kinsale before midday and began arriving at Haulbowline from 4.00 pm onwards. Despite the number of boats, everyone was impressed with the crew's skill in coming alongside so effortlessly. The Naval Services Yacht Squadron members were on hand to assist too.

After arriving safely, everyone made their way to the officers' mess where they enjoyed a most enjoyable BBQ and hospitality in the bar. The comradeship and laughter amongst everyone were evident, and they raised a glass to Sean Walsh, who was celebrating a significant birthday. It was the first cruising group sail in company.

The Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group celebrated Sean Walsh's birthday (above) as part of its trip to the Naval Services Yacht Squadron at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were entertained in the officers' mess (below)The Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group celebrated Sean Walsh's birthday (above) as part of its trip to the Naval Services Yacht Squadron at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were entertained in the officers' mess (below)

The Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group celebrated Sean Walsh's birthday (above) as part of its trip to the Naval Services Yacht Squadron at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were entertained in the officers' mess (below)

The Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group celebrated Sean Walsh's birthday (above) as part of its trip to the Naval Services Yacht Squadron at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were entertained in the officers' mess (below)

The Kinsale Yacht Club Cruising Group celebrated Sean Walsh's birthday (above) as part of its trip to the Naval Services Yacht Squadron at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were entertained in the officers' mess (below)

Neil and Felicity Prendeville began this event 20 years ago, and they participated this year, too. Captain William Roberts led the hospitality and welcome from the Naval Services Yacht Squadron.

The next morning, boats slowly departed, with the last boat leaving a little after 13.00. While the return journey was slightly uncomfortable due to an easterly wind and a lively sea, the highlight for some was spotting a group of at least 15 basking sharks off the Sovereigns. 

All the boats and crew returned to Kinsale safely throughout the day. Everyone's positive feedback was much appreciated, and the group now looks forward to their next adventure: a picnic in Oysterhaven.

Published in Kinsale

Kinsale Yacht Club's Cruiser Mid-Week Series, sponsored by La Bougie, kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, May 1st. The sailors were greeted with winds up to 14 knots, and flat seas, setting the stage for a great competition.

The Elan 333, Reavra Too, owned by Stephen Lysaght, dominated both the IRC 1 and Echo 1 categories, while Dave Sullivan's J80, No Notions, skillfully claimed the lead in IRC 2 and Echo 2.

Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express, Apache, commanded in IRC 3 and Echo 3.

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After five races sailed and one discard, Denis and Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo was crowned IRC One champion at Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 on Sunday.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club Grand Soleil 40 crew, skippered by RCYC's Lady Admiral, were clear winners in the 13-boat fleet by six points from Crosshaven clubmate James Dwyer on the helm of the restored Farr Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble, who finished on ten points.

Third place was taken by Stephen Lysaght's Reavra Too, an Elan 333, from the host club.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club Grand Soleil 40 'Nieulargo' winning crew at Kinsale's Spring League, skippered by RCYC's Lady Admiral, Annamarie Murphy, pictured back row third from right Photo: Bob BatemanThe Royal Cork Yacht Club Grand Soleil 40 'Nieulargo' winning crew at Kinsale's Spring League, skippered by RCYC's Lady Admiral, Annamarie Murphy, pictured back row third from right Photo: Bob Bateman

The final race under Race Officer John Corkery on Saturday, April 27th, was held in medium conditions but a return to more winter-like conditions in a sloppy sea state. See the final day's racing photo gallery below.

The final course of the Spring Series IRC One Champion off Kinsale. K = Hake M=Sandycove  B= Bullman Photo: Bob BatemanThe final course of the Spring Series IRC One Champion off Kinsale. K = Hake M=Sandycove  B= Bullman Photo: Bob Bateman

The series prizegiving was held in a packed clubhouse immediately after, and prizes were presented by series sponsor Tom Roche of Axiom Private Clients. See the prizegiving photo gallery below.

The scene at Kinsale Yacht Club for the Axiom Spring Series prizegiving Photo: Bob BatemanThe scene at Kinsale Yacht Club for the Axiom Spring Series prizegiving Photo: Bob Bateman

In IRC Two, vintage designs dominated the podium, with Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner Diamond from Kinsale Yacht Club beating the visiting challenge of Waterford Harbour's Sigma 33 Flyover. Third was Padraig O'Donovan's Finot-designed Fastnet 34, Chameleon. 

(Above) Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner Diamond is in winning mode downwind at the Axiom Spring Series off Kinsale (and below) Kieran Kelleher' and Colman Garvey at the prizegiving with sponsor Tom Roche of Axiom Private Clients pictured centre Photo: Bob Bateman(Above) Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner Diamond is in winning mode downwind at the Axiom Spring Series off Kinsale (and below) Kieran Kelleher' and Colman Garvey at the prizegiving with sponsor Tom Roche of Axiom Private Clients pictured centre Photo: Bob Bateman

(Above) Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner Diamond is in winning mode downwind at the Axiom Spring Series off Kinsale (and below) Kieran Kelleher' and Colman Garvey at the prizegiving with sponsor Tom Roche of Axiom Private Clients pictured centre Photo: Bob Bateman

With five race wins, Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache was the clear winner on four nett points from John O'Connor's Impala 28 Fast Buck on eight. Third was Patrick Beckett's Tofinou 8, Miss Charlie on 15. 

Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache (above) was the clear IRC White Sails 1 winner(at prizegiving below) on four nett points in the Axiom Spring Series at KinsaleAlan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache (above) was the clear IRC White Sails 1 winner(at prizegiving below) on four nett points in the Axiom Spring Series at Kinsale

Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache (above) was the clear IRC White Sails 1 winner(at prizegiving below) on four nett points in the Axiom Spring Series at Kinsale

A three-boat 1720 fleet division was won by James Matthews.

Full results below

Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 Final Race Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 Prizegiving Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Kinsale
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What a difference a week makes in the Axiom Spring Series for mixed cruisers at Kinsale Yacht Club.

From last week's dramas in winter-like conditions to the blue skies and sunburn this week, Race Officer John Corkery and his team ran one race.

Class 1 was dominated by James Dwyer's Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble and Denis and Annmarie Murphy's Nieulargo. Both elected to take the left-hand side of the course on the first beat, and this paid off as they led the fleet for the rest of the race. Swuzzlebubble finished two minutes ahead of Nieulargo. Swuzzlebubble came first in both Echo and IRC in Class 1. Nieulargo came second in IRC and third in Echo. Stephen Lysaght's Reavra Too came second in Echo and third in IRC.

 In Class 2, Kieran Kelleher's ¼ tonner Diamond led the fleet and came first in both Echo and IRC in Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Spring League Photo: David Cullinane In Class 2, Kieran Kelleher's ¼ tonner Diamond led the fleet and came first in both Echo and IRC in Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Spring League Photo: David Cullinane

In Class 2, Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner Diamond led the fleet and came first in both Echo and IRC. Padraig O'Donovan's Chameleon finished second in Echo and third in IRC. David Marchant's Flyover (Waterford Harbour Sailing Club) came second in IRC and third in Echo.

Alan Mulcahy's Apache continues his winning streak with first place in IRC for the fourth race in a row at Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Spring Series Photo: David CullinaneAlan Mulcahy's Apache continues his winning streak with first place in IRC for the fourth race in a row at Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Spring Series Photo: David Cullinane

In White Sails, Alan Mulcahy's Apache continues his winning streak with first place in IRC for the fourth race in a row. John O'Connor's Fast Buck from RCYC came second in IRC, followed by Patrick Beckett's Miss Charlie. Fast Buck came first in Echo, followed by Nigel Dann's Val Kriss and Apache.

Only two 1720s competed this week, with James Matthews coming first with Matthews Helly Hansen and then Bobby Nash's 1601.

A special guest was in Kinsale for the prize giving. Round the world sailor Robin Knox-Johnson was cruising in West Cork and stopped off in Kinsale, where he kindly agreed to present the prizes, having presented prizes at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Saturday evening for the annual PY 1000 race.

Robin Knox-Johnson, KYC Commodore Tony Scannell, KYC Rear-Commodore Dave Cullinane and RCYC Admiral Annamarie Fagan at the KYC Axiom Spring Series weekly prizegivingRobin Knox-Johnson, KYC Commodore Tony Scannell, KYC Rear-Commodore Dave Cullinane and RCYC Admiral Annamarie Fagan at the KYC Axiom Spring Series weekly prizegiving

Published in Kinsale
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Royal Cork Yacht Club Lady  Admiral Annamarie Murphy leads the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club after three wins from three races sailed.

In provisional results subject to protest, the Murphy family Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Crosshaven heads a 12-boat entry to lead IRC and ECHO in Class One on three points.

Lying second is Stephen Lysaght's Reavra Too of the host club on seven. Third is KYC clubmate Thomas Roche on Meridian with 12 points.

Stephen Lysaght's Elan 333 competing in Class One of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanStephen Lysaght's Elan 333 competing in Class One of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Thomas Roche's Salona 45 Meridian competing in Class One of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanThomas Roche's Salona 45 Meridian competing in Class One of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Having suffered a cancellation under Storm Kathleen last weekend, KYC race organisers meant business today and set about staging two races to put the Spring Series back on schedule.

Racing started at Kinsale Boatyard in a 16-knot south-westerly wind, occasionally gusting to the high 20s in rainy squalls.

Race Officer John Corkery laid a weather mark off Hake Head with a run back to the Bullman buoy and a beat across to Sandycove back to Bullman and an in-harbour finish.

At the top of the Class One fleet, Nieulargo and Meridian saw the lead changing several times.

In one of the squalls, one boat broached and lost two crew overboard, but they were quickly recovered.

Kieran Kelleher's Quarter Tonner, Diamond, leads IRC Class 2  with three straight wins from Waterford Harbour's David Marchant sailing the Sigma 33 Flyover. Padraig O'Donovan's Fastnet 34 Chameleon is third on six. 

Waterford Harbour visitor David Marchant sailing the Sigma 33 Flyovercompeting in Class Two of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanWaterford Harbour visitor David Marchant sailing the Sigma 33 Flyovercompeting in Class Two of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Padraig O'Donovan's Fastnet 34 Chameleon competing in Class Two of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob BatemanPadraig O'Donovan's Fastnet 34 Chameleon competing in Class Two of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

Alan Mulcahy's Albin Express Apache continues its strong form from March and stays top in IRC and ECHO in the five-boat White Sail fleet, according to KYC's provisional results below.

Axiom Private Clients Spring Series 2024 at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo Gallery (April 14th) by Bob Bateman

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An 'ugly' sea state and a gale warning in operation have led to the cancellation of the second day of racing at Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom April League on the south coast.

The league began last weekend for mixed cruisers in both Spinnaker and White Sail divisions as Afloat reported here.

On Friday evening, Storm Kathleen closed Kinsale Yacht Club's marina. Berth holders were asked to vacate the marina and refrain from staying overnight.

Published in Kinsale
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Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt were honoured at home on the Easter weekend by Kinsale Yacht Club, the West Cork club joining a long list of organisations that saluted the duo's Christmas 2003 achievements competing in Australia's Sydney Hobart Race.

After Monday's April league racing, Kinsale Commodore Anthony Scannell and cruiser-racer skipper Brian Carroll led tributes to the Sunfast 3300 'Cinnamon Girl' pair at a special KYC clubhouse gathering. 

The gathering included Poppy and Keith Hunt, who represented Sam, who was unable to attend.

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Anthony Scannell presents Cian McCarthy's wife Catherine with a bouquet Photo: Bob BatemanKinsale Yacht Club Commodore Anthony Scannell presents Cian McCarthy's wife Catherine with a bouquet Photo: Bob Bateman

As regular Afloat readers know, the duo were the keynote speakers at February's ICRA conference at Dun Laoghaire when they pair recalled the ' brutal experience' in parts, as Hunt recalled for Afloat here.

Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt on board the Sunfast 3300 'Cinnamon Girl' Photo: AfloatCian McCarthy (left) and Sam Hunt on board the Sunfast 3300 'Cinnamon Girl' off the Dublin coast Photo: Afloat

In Irish offshore doublehanding sailing, few stories are as inspiring as that of Cian McCarthy, a dedicated sailor whose journey to success is marked by resilience, determination, and a passion for the open sea.

From relatively humble beginnings on Laser dinghies to triumphant victories in prestigious races, Cian's remarkable career has earned him admiration and respect within the sailing community, especially at home at Kinsale Yacht Club.

Poppy and Keith Hunt receive prizes on behalf of Sam Photo: Bob BatemanKeith (left) and Poppy Hunt receive prizes on behalf of Sam from Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Anthony Scannell Photo: Bob Bateman

Cian's sailing odyssey began with Lasers, where his talent quickly caught the eye of Denis Doyle. Recognizing his potential, Doyle offered him a position on Moonduster, propelling Cian into the world of competitive sailing. It was on Moonduster that Cian completed a Round Ireland and participated in a series of Fastnet Races, laying the foundation for his future achievements.

In 2003-2004, Cian delved into Mini Transat racing aboard a boat named Tom Crean. Despite facing challenges along the way, he sailed Tom Crean with remarkable success until a rig loss brought an end to that chapter of his journey.

Undeterred, Cian's determination led him to the BT Challenge, where he crossed paths with his future wife, Catherine. His exceptional skills and dedication caught the attention of skipper Conrad Humphries, who promoted him to First Mate on L G Flatron. Cian played a pivotal role in their victory in the round-the-world race, earning accolades for his invaluable contributions.

In 2009, Cian embarked on a new venture, building a Class 40 yacht. However, the arrival of his identical triplet sons prompted him to sell the boat and shift his focus to family life.

The McCarthy family at Monday's KYC presentation Photo: Bob BatemanThe McCarthy family at Monday's KYC presentation Photo: Bob Bateman

Despite these changes, Cian's passion for sailing remained unwavering. He continued to pursue his love for the sport, participating in the X-yacht EOS and competing in challenging races such as the Fastnet Race and Round Ireland, often sailing two-handed.

In 2022, Cian's dedication and skill were once again on display as he entered and emerged victorious in the inaugural KYC Inishtearaght Race aboard Cinnamon Girl, racing two-handed with Sam. His success continued with a commendable second-place finish in the biennial Round Ireland Race, showcasing his prowess in navigating the most gruelling of conditions.

The Kinsale Yacht Club entry Cinnamon Girl sailed by Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt berthed in Hobart after completing the 2023 Sydney-Hobart offshore raceThe Kinsale Yacht Club entry Cinnamon Girl sailed by Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt berthed in Hobart after completing the 2023 Sydney-Hobart offshore race

A familiar sight in Kinsale Harbour, Cian can often be found training tirelessly, honing his skills in preparation for future challenges. His contributions to the sailing community have not gone unnoticed, as he is held in high esteem at KYC and beyond, admired for his ability to excel in the most demanding of conditions, as this recording of the Kinsale Yacht Club presentation (below) reveals.

As Cian's journey continues, his determination, resilience, and passion inspire sailors everywhere, proving that anything is possible on the open sea with perseverance and dedication.

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Wave Regatta provides Howth Yacht Club and the community on the Howth peninsula in County Dublin with a biennial keelboat racing event that aims to be the most attractive sailing event in Ireland.

Maximising many of the local natural resources and involving allied Howth businesses and services, it attracted competitors, visitors and others on its first staging in 2018 with a weekend-long spectacle establishing Howth as a destination of choice for sailors, visitors and allied marine tourism.

Read Afloat's preview and review of the first staging of Wave Regatta.

At A Glance - Wave Regatta 2024

Howth Yacht Club's 2022 WAVE Regatta will be sailed from May 24th to 26th 2024

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