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Kinsale in the summertime…..If you set out to create the dream harbour as the perfect location for a regatta which captures the essence of the many pleasures of sailing and racing on Ireland’s south coast, then you’d end up with somewhere very like Kinsale writes W M Nixon. The characterful and hospitable old town climbs picturesquely above the bustling facilities-blessed waterfront, complete with its friendly yacht club. It makes for the ideal setting for the biennial Sovereign’s Cup, sponsored again by O’Leary Life, with the dates for 2019 being Wednesday June 26th to Saturday June 29th).

The impressive larger craft at the head of the cruiser-racer divisions inevitably draw the eye, with a distinct X-factor at the top of the fleet where Conor Doyle’s impressive XP 50 Freya will sail for the honour of the home fleet against such challengers as George Sisk’s new-acquired XP 44 WOW from Dun Laoghaire, and Robert Rendell’s XC 45 Samatoma from Howth - all of them electing to race with the Coastal Fleet.

X-Yachts of Denmark have a good track record at the Sovereign's, as main trophy winners in times past such as the Gore-Grimes family’s X-302 Dux from Howth will be very much in the fray, in against craft like D-Tox and Alpaca in 2019, while their club mates from the north Dublin port’s noted Half Ton Classics flotilla will be strongly represented, as will the popular J/109s from several different ports.

For those who prefer their racing at a slightly less high-powered level, the attractive racing waters between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Sovereign’s Islands off Oysterhaven will be the location for the White Sail Fleet, while nearby the race areas of the International Dragons and the International 1720s will be seeing some very intense sport.

In its early years, the Sovereign’s Cup was very much a cruiser-racer event. But the revival in popularity of the 1702 Sportsboats - and this year’s 90th Anniversary of the ever-young International Dragons - makes the addition of these rather special One-Designs seem like an appropriate and invigorating spicing-up of the Sovereign’s Cup 2019.

Early Bird 2 Closing date is April 26th so enter here

Published in Sovereign's Cup

Sovereigns Cup entries for the 1720 European Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club are well on target for what should be a very competitive and entertaining event this June.

Sailing as part of the O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup from 26 - 29 June, the one design course will also host the Irish Dragon National Championships, all under the control of International Race Officer Peter Crowley.

Avail of early entry deal online by 26th April by clicking HERE.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

With almost four months remaining to the start of racing, the fleet entered for the O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup regatta already stands at more than 50 boats, an increase of 10 per cent compared to this time in 2017.

Organisers at Kinsale Yacht Club have confirmed that overseas entries have been received from the UK and The Netherlands as well as from all around the Irish coast.

Contingency planning has started to accommodate a 100-plus boat fleet with at least 600 crew-members expected while visiting family and friends should boost the attendance to 1,000 people each evening of the four-day event.

The event was launched on Wednesday evening (27th February 2019) by celebrity chef Martin Shanahan of Kinsale’s award-winning Fishy Fishy restaurant. Local councillors Alan Coleman and Kevin Murphy were also in attendance representing Cork County Council who have confirmed sponsorship of the event.

"The biennial regatta aims to showcase Kinsale as the gateway to the West Cork"

The biennial regatta aims to showcase Kinsale as the gateway to the West Cork region by combining spectacular and unspoilt natural race courses afloat with world-class hospitality and entertainment ashore.

The open waters around the Old Head of Kinsale offer numerous racing areas for the Irish Half-Ton Cup and as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Dragon National Championships while the 1720 Sportsboat fleet gather for their European title.

The resurgence in offshore racing means added demand for a coastal course and daily races of up to six hours in duration are planned for the bigger entries such as George Sisk’s WOW! and Conor Doyle’s Freya that will have scenic routes as far west as the Seven Heads and back to the Sovereigns located just off Oysterhaven Bay.

Shoreside, Kinsale offers beautiful beaches, children’s playgrounds and the spectacular Charles Fort amongst the attractions while the Old Head Golf Links have sponsored an ‘offshore mark’ located on Hole Open Bay to link two sports synonymous with Kinsale.

The O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup Regatta organised by Kinsale Yacht Club will take place from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th June 2019. Full details and updates on Afloat.ie's dedicated Sovereign's Cup pages here and the Sovereign's Cup website here

Published in Sovereign's Cup

For the first time, Dragons will sail in the Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale this June, even though they have been part of the club for over 20 years.

“Yes, it’s surprising that they haven’t been in it before, but they are this time and it is great that they are participating,” Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Dave O’Sullivan told me at the launch of the Cup programme where Regatta Director, Bobby Nash, said that 53 boats had already entered, including two from the UK and one from the Netherlands.

"From June 26-29 Dragons will sail at the Sovereigns Cup"

Dragons are a major section of the club even though I learned at the launch that they could trace their history back to Cork Harbour, something I hadn’t known. There are no boats of the class in that harbour now. From June 26-29 they will sail with the 1720s, who will be holding their European Championships in conjunction with the Sovereigns regatta, on courses set specially for the one-designs.

Kinsale Yacht Club is partnering with the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club which is sponsoring a mark under the Old Head for the regatta.

Dragon racing at KinsaleDragon racing at Kinsale Photo: Bob Bateman

“Community involvement is very important to us,” KYC Commodore Dave O’Sullivan said. “That makes a great atmosphere in the town during the regatta.”

The O’Leary Life-sponsored Sovereigns Cup will be sailed from June 26-29.

• Listen to the Podcast below where Regatta Director, Bobby Nash and Commodore, Dave O’Sullivan outline the schedule and discuss the racing arrangements.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

Having been headline sponsor for the very successful 2017 edition, O’Leary Life is continuing its sponsorship of Kinsale Yacht Club's Sovereigns Cup. The news comes as the West Cork Club announces the dates for the 2019 event.

Running from June 26th to 29th next year, Regatta Director, Bobby Nash heads up a KYC team that promises to build on the success of previous editions.

Kinsale Yacht ClubKinsale Yacht Club during the 2017 Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob Bateman

"Kinsale's Sovereign's Cup 2019 will run from June 26th to 29th" 

Commenting on the announcement, O’Leary Life Director, Brian Goggin noted, that “Kinsale Yacht Club always run a fantastic series and having seen some of the initiatives and plans for 2019, we believe that the next edition of the Cup will be the best yet”.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

The standout performance of the 2017 O'Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup was Rob McConnell’s Fool’s Gold, with a string of six bullets in a Class 1 IRC fleet jam-packed with top-notch racers and no less than eleven J109s writes Peadar Murphy.

Scroll down for our prizegiving photos by Bob Bateman below. See Afloat's 2017 Sovereign's Cup coverage here including race reports, photo galleries and pre-regatta preodictions.

This year’s winner of the coveted Sovereign’s Cup belied the quality and competitiveness of her opposition with flawless execution allowing Fool’s Gold the luxury of discarding a first place! Pat Kelly’s Storm, triumphant in Scotland just a month ago could do no better than a string of second place finishes against the Dunmore East-based Archambault 35, and even John Maybury’s Joker II, so often a race and regatta winner, never scored better than a third place to finish up in third place overall in Class 1 IRC. Such was the awesome consistency of Fool’s Gold and Storm, they repeated their first and second places in ECHO, with Lauren Heskin and Jim Grealish’s NowWhat coming in third overall in Class 1 ECHO.

Sovereigns cup df 2087Sovereigns Cup Winner Fools Gold skippered by Rob McConnell Photo: Bob Bateman

Tony Ackland’s Dark Angel claimed two bullets on the final day to come home ahead of Conor Phelan’s Jump Juice and Johnny Mordaunt’s eye-catching Tshcuss in Class 0 IRC. In Class 0 ECHO, Robert Douglas on Spirit of Jacana was the meat in the Dark Angel and Jump Juice sandwich for podium places with two bullets on the final day helping Mordaunt’s cause no end. There was some consolation for the Jump Juice team when they were awarded the Michelle Dunne Prix d’Elegance for being the most elegant boat at this year’s regatta.

Sovereigns cup  Jump JuiceThe Jump Juice team won the Michelle Dunne Prix d’Elegance for the best presented boat at the 2017 regatta. Photo: Bob Bateman

Local boat Artful Dodger, skippered by former Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Finbarr O’Regan claimed overall victory in Class 2 IRC by the tightest of margins, squeezing out Kieran Collins’ Coracle VI by just 0.5 points after six races. 2015 Sovereign’s Cup winner Equinox, skippered by Ross McDonald, mounted a worthy defence of her crown and clinched third place overall by just 0.5 points also, in a fleet where every 0.5 points was significant. In Class 2 ECHO, Coracle VI claimed top honours, and the Portcullis Trophy for the best performing boat in ECHO, with Jim Cartwright’s Daydream Believer claiming second spot for the Liverpudlian team on tied points with Artful Dodger - getting her bow in front on count back.

Sovereigns cup df 2087Paddy Kyne’s Maximus, a Sovereigns Cup class winner Photo: Bob Bateman

Howth Yacht Club dominated in Class 3, where Paddy Kyne’s Maximus brought her 2015 form back to this year’s regatta finishing top of IRC on just seven points from five scoring races, after discarding a third place. Maximus was in good company, with the evergreen Dux, long campaigned by perennial visitor to Sovereign’s Cup, Anthony Gore-Grimes, in second place with Royal Cork’s Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers and Deasy) claiming third overall in IRC. In ECHO, Howth Yacht Club and X-302s claimed a 1-2-3 with Maximus, Dux and Eddie Bourke’s Xebec claiming the podium places in a very tight class, with Bad Company unfortunate to miss out on third place on count back.

 Sovereigns cup df 2087Sybil McCormack & Ken Lawless’ Cartoon was the only boat to feature in ECHO and IRC Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 4 proved to be the most open class with five different boats claiming the six available podium positions in IRC and ECHO. Sybil McCormack & Ken Lawless’ Cartoon was the only boat to feature in ECHO and IRC, winning the ECHO division and coming third in IRC. Only eight points separated the top six boats in ECHO, with David Delahunty’s Fulmar Fever and Jim Monaghan’s Enigma finishing up in second and third place overall. In IRC, Sinéad Enright’s J24 YaGottaWanna claimed top honours for Royal Cork Yacht Club while James and David Dwyer’s Anchor Challenge claimed second place.

Howth Yacht Club’s Colm Bermingham on Bite the Bullet claimed top spot overall in White Sails 1 IRC in a tight tussle with Denis Murphy’s Nieulargo and the McCarthy Brothers’ Baccarat coming home in second and third respectively. In ECHO, Nieulargo claimed top spot for Royal Cork, with Shane Statham’s Slack Alice, often a competitor in the spinnaker fleets in previous events, taking second place, with the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club visitor forcing Baccarat to third spot.

Stephanie Ennis and Windsor Lauden’s Demelza was the runaway winner of White Sails 2 IRC, with a string of bullets for the Club Shamrock. Samuel Cohen’s Gunsmoke II from Kinsale claimed two second places on the final day to hold off Royal Cork’s Tom McCarthy’s Whistlin’ Dixie for second place with two points separating them in the end. In ECHO, Dermot Lanigan’s Privateer came out top for KYC, with Demelza shading second place from Tom O’Mahony’s Loch Gréine on count back. An outstanding week for Demelza was capped with the Howth team being judged the inaugural winner of the O’Leary Life Family Boat prize.

In the Coastal Class, the blown out day on Friday meant that there were no discards and after the three races, the overall podium positions in IRC and ECHO were identical. Conor Doyle’s Freya, fresh from a broken boom in KYC’s Spring Series, claimed top spot, despite not matching her race winning exploits of Wednesday and Thursday. The Coastal Class was locked out by Kinsale Yacht Club boats with the Carroll Brothers’ Chancer second overall, with John Godkin’s Godot finishing the event in third place.

Sovereigns cup 1720 Anthony O'Leary1720 Euro Champion – Anthony O'Leary Photo: Bob Bateman

In the 1720 European Championships, run as part of the O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup this year, Anthony O’Leary’s Antix was crowned 2017 Champion despite a heavy collision in pre-start manoeuvres for the final race. The level of competition in this fleet was underlined by the fact that there were seven different winning boats in just nine races! Antix was the only boat to win more than one race, and that consistency ensured overall victory from son and former Olympian Peter’s Dutch Gold, with Tom Durcan’s T-Bone putting in a final day rally to claim third overall.

Sovereigns cup  KinsalePost Sovereigns Cup celebrations at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

2017 Sovereign's Cup Prizegiving

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Tom Roche, Cork County Council’s Kevin Murphy, Brian Goggin of sponsors O’Leary Life and Mike Walsh, Sovereign’s Cup Regatta director, presented the prizes for this year’s Cup at a packed Kinsale Yacht Club

Photos by Bob Bateman

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Published in Sovereign's Cup

After yesterday's cancellations due to strong winds, 2017's O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup concluded in fine style off Kinsale today.

Bob Bateman captured the final races for Afloat.ie. See the gallery below.

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Published in Sovereign's Cup

Difficulty in anchoring Sovereign's Cup Commitee Boats in a large Atlantic swell has been given for the postponement of today's racing off Kinsale. 

Racing for the 98–boat fleet is scheduled again for tomorrow (Saturday) for the final day of 2017 Cup competition at Kinsale Yacht Club

Read all Afloat.ie's coverage so far here.

 

Published in Sovereign's Cup

The halfway stage of the O’Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club was marked by perfect sailing conditions today with the 98-strong fleet revelling in the steadily building breeze that topped out with 25 knot gusts and brilliant sunshine throughout the day.

Bob Bateman's Day Two photo gallery is here. All Afloat's Sovereign's Cup 2017 is here. Results are here.  Afloat's Sovereign's Cup 2017 predictions here

Most divisions now feature a short-list of contenders for class wins though few can match the consistency of Rob McConnell’s Fool’s Gold from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club for delivery a fourth straight win in Division 1.

However, with half the regatta at stake including a forecast strong-wind day tomorrow (Friday), much remains to play for especially by David Kelly’s Storm from Howth, the consistent runner-up in the class and lags by just four points.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Andrew Algeo's J/109 Juggerknot from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is tied on 16–points for third place overall. Photo: Bob Bateman

“The key to the day was doing everything in plenty of time - and staying upright...” remarked Tim Goodbody, skipper of J109 White Mischief that is currently sixth overall in the 18-strong Division 1 fleet.

Kinsale’s own Conor Doyle on Freya has also delivered a straight run of first places albeit with just two races sailed in the much longer courses of the Coastal Division. Yesterday featured a 32-mile, 4.5 hour race that included a leg around the scenic Old Head of Kinsale into Courtmacsherry Bay and back.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Kieran Collins' Olson 30 Coracle VI (77883) from Royal Cork Yacht Club has three wins from four races and leads class two IRC Photo: Bob Bateman

Closer to Kinsale, the bulk of the regatta fleet sailed a mixture of Windward-Leeward and Round the Cans style courses with relatively flat seas thanks to the shelter of the Old Head peninsula. Nevertheless, there were widespread broaches and busted sails in the gusts.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Brian Goggin's Jeanneau 349 Allure of the host club is racing in Non–spinnaker 2. Photo: Bob Bateman

“We had exciting racing and plenty of drama plus a few cuts and bruises, especially in the second race after one of the sheets got fouled in the steering gear... fun was had by all!” said Brian McCarthy, skipper of Baccarat that leads White Sails Division 1 on Progressive ECHO handicap.

In Division 4, Sinead Enright’s J24 YaGottaWanna from the Royal Cork YC managed to overcome a few “moments” that were plentiful in the class during the day to score a win and second place to take the lead in the class and holds a seven-point overall lead.

Sovereigns cup ds 1751Thrills'n'spills in the 1720 Europeans Photo: Bob Bateman

Meanwhile, in the continuing family battle for the lead in the 1720 European Championship, first placed Anthony O’Leary saw his lead stripped back to one point after a three-race day in which his Olympian son Peter narrowly miss drawing level for the lead. With half the series left to sail, the match could end either way as the breezy conditions are proving challenging for many of the other boats in the ten-strong fleet.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

There were ideal sailing conditions off Kinsale today for the second day of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup

Medium to heavy winds and sunshine delivered another racing programme, mostly incident-free. A turnout of 98 boats from around Ireland and further afield will enjoy two more days of racing for the Sovereign's Cup trophy, awarded to the best overall performance on IRC handicap. See Day Two Report here.

Bob Bateman captured the action today below: 

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