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Displaying items by tag: Grand Soleil

Mark Mansfield, Irish agent for Key Yachting, has announced that two Grand Soleil designs have been shortlisted in the 2020 British Yachting Awards.

In the Cruising Yacht of the Year class, The Grand Soleil LC42, which premiered at the 2020 Dusseldorf boat show last January has been nominated.

In the Performance Yacht of the Year, The Grand Soleil 44 performance has been nominated. The Grand Soleil 44 performance has just premiered at the Genoa Boat show this month and will be on show at Dusseldorf in January.

In addition, the J Cup Regatta, successfully held just a month ago, just for J Boats, has been nominated as Event of the Year.

To Enquire about either of these nominated Grand Soleil Models, or any others in the Key Yachting range (Grand Soleil, J Boats, Tofinou or Nautitech ) contact Mark Mansfield at [email protected] or at 087 250 6838

Key Yachting is delighted to scoop three nominations in the  British Yachting Awards 2020

Key Yachting is thrilled to have received a nomination for this prestigious award that is decided by the sailors themselves. We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from the J Boats community for the J-Cup in 2020, so please do support us again by casting your votes.

The 2020 Landsail Tyres J-Cup celebrated the 21st birthday of the annual regatta, with 50 boats and some 200 sailors competing. The event included racing for two national titles, as well as Covid-secure socials in Cowes.

Cruising Yacht of the Year: Grand Soleil 42 LCCruising Yacht of the Year: Grand Soleil 42 LC

Grand Soleil 42 LC

Italian boatbuilders Grand Soleil have once more excelled themselves with the introduction of the new 42 LC. This is a performance cruiser that simply oozes class topped with plenty of clever touches for the long-distance sailor.

Performance Yacht of the Year: Grand Soleil 44 PerformancePerformance Yacht of the Year: Grand Soleil 44 Performance

Grand Soleil 44 Performance

Grand Soleil has struck a balance between cruiser and racer with the sporty 44 providing thrilling performance on the racecourse while remaining a well-mannered yacht.

Voting is now open and the winner in each category is often decided by a handful of votes, so every vote counts!

Vote here

Voting closes at midnight on 15 November.

Everyone who votes will be entered into a prize draw to win a 40L DryBag.

Published in J Boats & Grand Soleil

Following its announcement this past January at boot Düsseldorf, Grand Soleil’s new 44 Performance model has enjoyed its world premiere at the Genoa Boat Show in Italy.

The Grand Soleil 44 already has an impressive pedigree, with Nieulargo and Eleuthera among the familiar race-winning names in Irish waters.

The Performance version promises even more, and Mark Mansfield of Kay Yachting previously outlined the combination of comfort, cruising and racing excellence that the Grand Soleil 44 Performance epitomises.

For further details on this or any other vessel in the Grand Soleil range, contact Mark at [email protected] or 087 250 6838.

Published in J Boats & Grand Soleil

Mark Mansfield, Irish agent for Grand Soleil, highlights recent Irish sailing successes on different Grand Soleil models and looks forward to the New Grand Soleil 44 Performance being similar

The much-lauded Grand Soleil 44 performance was announced at Dusseldorf Boat Show last January, and much is expected from this proper "cruiser-racer". The first model of this range has been launched and will debut at the Genoa Boat show at the start of October.

Grand Soleil has a history of producing 'Proper Yachts' that are handmade, thus keeping excess weight to a minimum and ensuring that, though they are beautifully fitted out inside, they also can race very competitively. Recently, the Murphy family's' Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Cork Harbour won the Fastnet 450 race, among other races. This is a fully fitted out cruiser-racer, with teak decks, which can match and beat many full race designs.

Nieulargo Grand Soleil 44Nieulargo, Grand Soleil 44—Fastnet 450 winner, pounding upwind Photo: Bob Bateman

A year or two ago we had the previous model Grand Soleil 44, Eleuthera, taking all before her, virtually unbeatable. She, likewise, had a fully fitted out cruising interior. Back in 2014, the Grand Soleil 43, Quokka, formed an integral part of the Irish winning Commodores Cup team that year, having just won Cork Week overall with straight wins. Though tricked up for racing, Quokka had a fully fitted out cruising interior.

 Eleuthera, an older model Grand Soleil 44, winning Cork Week in 2018 Eleuthera, an older model Grand Soleil 44, winning Cork Week in 2018 Photo: Bob Bateman

Not many yacht manufacturers can claim their designs are proper cruiser racers. Some claim this, but in reality, few manage it. The time and effort that is needed to keep the weight down, particularly in the ends of the boat, means the normal mass-produced "cruiser-racers" end of being cruisers that can race but will not be that competitive on handicap.

Grand Soleil Performance 44 interiorGrand Soleil Performance 44 interior layout

In the case of the New Grand Soleil 44 performance, this boat can be had in a Race mode (with a slightly lighter interior and the deck layout designed for a full crew, or the cruiser/racer model, with a full cruising interior and a deck layout to suit less crew. Both will be fast, just tweaks for individual preferences. Both will be able to be cruised in great comfort.

Grand Soleil Performance interior(Above and below) Grand Soleil Performance 44 interior

In these COVID times, those wanting a comfortable Cruising interior for cruising in waters more local (or abroad) with the family, and still wanting to cut their teeth in the top-level racing scene have few options. Grand Soleil has to be on the wish list, and this new 44 Performance has to be close to the top of that list in this size range. 

Grand Soleil also has a specific Cruising range, the Long Cruise line where the Long Cruise 42 and Long Cruise 46 have been selling very well.

For further information on the Grand Soleil 44 performance, or any of the Grand Soleil Range, contact Mark Mansfield at [email protected] or ph 087 250 6838

Published in J Boats & Grand Soleil

Royal Cork Yacht Club's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is the latest entry into this June's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow that gets underway in just over 15 weeks time.

Denis and Annamarie Murphy's well-proven Italian marque has been a force to be reckoned with on the south coast (especially in a breeze) and was the winner of RCYC's Yacht of the Year in 2018

And it's not the first foray offshore for the Murphy family's most successful all-rounders as they were entrants in last year's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race too.

Nieulargo brings to 34 the number of entries so far for the Round Ireland that is attracting considerable international interest this year. Wicklow organisers are aiming for a 60-boat fleet and with 15 weeks to go, and entries running typically very late there is still every chance this will be met for its 21st edition.

One of those skippers yet to declare is the weekend Class One winner of the RORC Caribbean Race. Royal Irish skipper Michael Boyd leads the race for a Volvo Car prize in this year's Race but only three points separate the top four skippers overall and the RIYC man has yet to reveal his boat of choice for the 700-miler.

Published in Round Ireland

The Grand Soleil 44 is the new performance yacht of the Cantiere del Pardo yacht builders writes Irish agent Mark Mansfield of Key Yachting.

To rise to this challenge, Cantiere del Pardo has turned to the designer who, in recent years, more than anyone has known how to interpret the concept of performing hull: Matteo Polli.

Many call him the “Wizard of ORC” thanks to the numerous titles won in recent years with the boats he has designed: three world championships and two Italian championships in the ORC category from 2015 to date, as well as finishing on the podium in many other important European regattas.

Grand Soleil Performance 44

This new 44-footer completes the Grand Soleil Yachts Performance range dedicated to the more sporty owners in search of a boat that offers high performance able to give results also in regattas, inserting itself among the GS 34, GS 48 and GS 58.

As already seen onboard the Grand Soleil 48, the GS 44 will also be available in a double version: one layout will be more indicated for cruising, with a different sail plan set-up and deck to simplify manoeuvres, the other will be more suited to racing to give the best in regattas.

Grand Soleil Performance 44

Style and elegance complete the DNA of this new 44-footer which resumes the family feeling of the other models of the range.

Gigi Servidati, head of new model development at Cantiere del Pardo, explains the philosophy of this new hull: “Performance, style, elegance, navigability and safety. It has been a great stimulus to think up this new Grand Soleil 44 Performance, because we wanted to design a boat with all these characteristics. I asked Matteo Polli to realise a hull with good shape stability, which could win regattas but not too extreme in the lines to avoid penalising volumes”.

Grand Soleil Performance 44

As always, the protagonists of this new project also include Nauta Design (Exterior and Interior Design) and the Technical Department of Cantiere del Pardo.

Vincenzo Candela, chief engineer of the Technical Department at Cantiere Del Pardo, comments the birth of the new GS44 as follows: “This new model has allowed us to achieve the great target of completing the new Grand Soleil Performance range. The GS 44 is the only boat on the market to offer the possibility of the double layout of the deck to satisfy both owners with racing ambitions and owners who prefer cruising and appreciate an aggressive but elegant design, a distinctive feature of every Grand Soleil. An extremely clean-cut layout, three cabins and two bathrooms both with separate walk-in shower complete the boat. Particularly stimulating for the entire Technical Department was the new collaboration with Matteo Polli: we found ourselves immediately on the same wavelength in terms of the goal and achieved our target, the most beautiful and fastest cruiser on the market in its category is about to be born. And now we will apply our maximum concentration to make it win on the first regattas.”

Grand Soleil Performance 44

Massimo Gino of Nauta Design speaks of this new hull as follows: “The collaboration between Nauta (Exterior and Interior Design), the Technical Department of Cantiere del Pardo and Matteo Polli (Naval Architecture) has led to the development of the 44 Performance, the most performance-oriented model of the entire Grand Soleil range. The deck, with resumes the family feeling of the big sisters is, if possible, even more, streamlined and sporty with the addition of several important new touches of styles on the geometries of the deckhouse, on the sheer line and on the transom. Despite a light and sporty hull, the interior liveability is astounding for the volume that can be used and perceived. Following the trend of the latest Grand Soleil Performance models, the on-deck space available on the 44’ to race in a regatta and to enjoy the boat in cruise mode is truly remarkable, with cockpit dimensions that have been increased significantly, compared to previous models”.

Grand Soleil Performance 44

The soul of the new Grand Soleil 44 is that of a performance cruiser which knows how to be competitive on the IRC and ORC regattas: a boat that is easy to use for both cruising and racing in regattas. The lines of the hull are modern and aesthetically delightful with no particular forcing.

The distinctive features of the boat include the positioning of the mast further to the rear to allow a greater sail area for the bow sails to maximise performance considering the average Mediterranean conditions. This choice has also allowed to move the position of the cabins forward and have a larger cockpit compared to preceding models. Matteo Polli explains this decision as follows: “The position of the mast on the new GS44 is more rearward to benefit the dimensions of the foretriangle. The larger size of the jibs not only improves the performance in light air but also makes the boat more agile in coming out of turns. Furthermore, this feature allows the use of self-tacking sails for cruising that maintain very respectful area and proportions. A large foretriangle also allows to make the best use of rollable sails (foresail, jib, Code 0), ideal on cruises and in regattas, because they always allow having the right sail at the right moment without the need for conventional demanding sail changes.


The maximum beam of four metres is essential to maximise the stability of shape, but also to ensure large volumes both on deck and in the interiors.

Simple technical solutions have been integrated with the aesthetics of the deck that can be equipped with six winches (race set-up) or four winches within reach of the helmsman if cruising and easy sailing is preferred. The self-tacking jib is standard, to allow easy management of the boat, but transverse rails can be mounted on request to regulate the jib lead. The result is a deck level that guarantees excellent performance and speed in manoeuvres during a regatta and when cruising.


As already seen onboard the Grand Soleil 48, the 44 also foresees the possibility of choosing between two different sail plans: standard, with aluminium mast intended more for the cruise sector and race, in carbon (larger) for the competitive sector.

As regards the appendages, there is the possibility to choose between three different drafts: the standard one of 2.50 metres while options are available with drafts at 2.40 metres and 2.80 metres.


To note is the interior layout, which includes three cabins and two bathrooms (both with separate walk-in shower). The liveability of the space is astounding, considering the sporty nature of the hull. The volumes perceived are truly remarkable. The space below deck enjoys a generous beam which provides large and comfortable volumes: the L-shaped kitchen is positioned to the left, the dinette is composed of a comfortable U-shaped sofa with a dining table at the centre which can seat up to 8 people and, on the right, of the walled in sofa for three with chart table positioned against the bow bulkhead. The master cabin, with a comfortable double bed, small sofa and dedicated bathroom is generous in size for a sporty 44-foot hull.

The considerable natural light that enters through the various hull windows and on deck makes the interior space even more comfortable.


This new model does not intend to conceal its racing soul. Matteo Polli has done an excellent job of optimisation to achieve a hull that would allow to maximise absolute performance and performance/rating ratio. The clear goal is to maintain balanced hull lines to simplify navigation even for the less experienced owners. The fundamental parameters of the hull were chosen based on an in-depth study: four different hulls were subjected to CFD and VPP analysis to achieve the best optimisation in the real performance of the boat and in the performance/rating ratio.


Hull length: 44 ft Maximum beam: 14 ft Draft: 8,20 ft (7,90 – 9,20 opt.)
Displacement: 19.850 lb
Ballast: 5.5950 lb

Published in J Boats & Grand Soleil
Tagged under

The official presentation of the new Grand Soleil 44 Performance to the press will take place on Tuesday 21st January 16:30 on the Grand Soleil stand.

Boot Dusseldorf will be the first chance to glimpse the latest design from Grand Soleil.

This new Performance 44 footer follows on the lines of the very successful Grand Soleil 48 Performance and is aimed at the discerning client who wants to compete successfully on the racecourse, but also likes to cruise in comfort or complete some long passages at speed.

Mark Mansfield, the Irish Grand Soleil Agent will be in attendance at the show for the full 10 days. Mark can be contacted at [email protected] or 00 353 87 2506838

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
Tagged under

Mark Mansfield, newly appointed Irish agent for Grand Soleil yachts and J Boats, is sharing the announcement that the Grand Soleil 42 Long Cruise has been shortlisted in the Luxury Cruiser category for the 2020 European Yacht of the Year prize, which will be announced during the Düsseldorf Boat Show in January.

The Italian Grand Soleil range is well known in Ireland for their premium quality finish and design. A high emphasis, from America's cup designers, has gone into ensuring all the yachts in the Grand Soleil range sail extremely well. In Ireland, such boats as Eleuthera, the near unbeatable Grand Soleil 44 and Nieulargo, the Grand Soleil 40 have been winning regattas everywhere, while still providing massively comfortable interiors.

The Long Cruise (LC) range has been extremely successful, with over 80 boats sold to date. These yachts offer beautifully crafted innovative interiors and deck lounging areas, while still providing a fast and stable sailing experience. The newly launched Grand Soleil 42 Long Cruise looks set to join that successful range and will be exhibited at Düsseldorf Boat Show from the 18th to the 26th of January. See details here.

Interior Grand Soleil 42 long cruiseThe interior of the Grand Soleil 42 Long Cruise
Mark Mansfield will be in attendance on the stand for the full show period and welcomes anyone who would like to make an appointment to view the new boat or other Grand Soleil yachts (or J Boats) on Show. Grand Soleil will also have the amazing 48 Performance at the show, which is a real head-turning cruiser-racer.

New Grand Soleil 48 Performance 1The new Grand Soleil 48 Performance
Mark can be contacted at [email protected] or by phone at 00 353 87 2506838

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
Tagged under

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)


ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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