#cluboftheyear – Kinsale Yacht Club have been confirmed as the Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" for 2014 in celebration of an outstanding year during 2013, in which Commodore Cameron Good led his enthusiastic membership through a busy programme of activities, innovations and improvements. There was top sailing achievement afloat, too, both in hosting a remarkable series of major events – regional, national and international – and in the members' own winning of trophies afloat.
In the pretty south coast sailing and fishing port of Kinsale, KYC is one of the major focal points in the town. It interacts vigorously with its community, while at the national and international level, it has set the pace in communication and image projection through an excellent upgrade of its website, which saw it being the winner of the Afloat.ie Club Website award.
Domestically, the club initiated a major upgrade of its harbourside premises which was project-managed with exceptional skill – the builders moved in at the beginning of March, and the job was completed on time in late June ready for Kinsale YC's hosting of its biennial major regatta, the Sovereign's Trophy.
Racing for the Sovereigns Trophy 2013, with Kinsale YC organising the event, their own boats getting into the frame, and the superbly re-vamped clubhouse waiting to welcome everyone back to shore. Photo: Bob Bateman
Very deservedly, the KYC team got the weather they needed to make the Sovereigns one of the highlights of the Irish sailing year, with strong sunshine and fine sailing breezes ushering in the proper summer after the unsettled weather of June.
(Above and below) Kinsale Yacht Club's sailing waters and the race area for both the IFDS worlds and Sovereign's Cup in 2013. Photo: Bob Bateman
One of the great strengths of Kinsale sailing is that, in addition to cheerfully fulfilling their hospitality duties in having a popular marina which is the key port for hundreds of cruising boats coming to Ireland every year, plus the club's ready ability to provide a top class race management team when visiting classes request it, the club also has its own very active local racing fleet. There's a strong out-turn of cruisers augmented by a growing fleet of the Squibs which have proven to be ideal for Kinsale's needs, while the keen fleet of Lasers is another part of the Kinsale fabric, balanced in turn by the heritage represented by the International Dragons in which, over many years, Kinsale has sent forth teams to win at global level.
A sailing club's achievement would be hollow if it only hosted major events. Kinsale's strength is under-pinned by its strong inshore racing classes, with the Squibs – seen here racing in the current early-season series – developing into one of the strongest fleets in the country. Photo: Aidan McLaverty
The club also plays an active role in providing talented administrators for national and international sailing bodies. David Tucker of Kinsale completed his tour of duty as Commodore of the Irish Cruising Club just last month, while KYC's former commodore John Twomey was elected President of the International Federation for Disabled Sailing in November 2012, a position he continues to fill with energy, enthusiasm, and a great ability to get things done.
Thus it was John Twomey's unrivalled prestige in the international world of disabled sailing that saw Kinsale hosting the highlight of its 2013 season, the IFDS Worlds in August. This was a very major event, an exceptionally international series in which the large fleet required the dedicated effort of something like 120 volunteers drawn from the KYC membership, while the club spread its community involvement beyond the confines of the town by bringing in Cork County Council as the main sponsor.
Summertime off Kinsale. KYC's staging of the IFDS Worlds in August 2013, with Cork County Council the main sponsors, achieved global recognition and was one of the highlights of the Irish season in 2013. Photo: Bob Bateman.
The outcome was a hugely successful event in which a genuine dynamic interaction between land and sea was played out every day. And it was all of a piece with KYC's very positive attitude to its role in sailing, in its own town, in Cork County, and in Ireland and the world. Kinsale Yacht Club is indisputably Ireland's Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" for 2014.