When the JPK 10.80 Yes! crossed the finish line at Cowes in the huge-fleet Round the Island Race 2017 on Saturday July 1st, it provided Irish sailing with something very special to savour. Skippered by Crosshaven’s Nicholas ‘Nin’ O’Leary, Yes! had won overall by nearly eight minutes in an event in which the corrected times of the top ten might often cover less than a minute.
On top of that, the Round the Island is the quintessential keelboat event. Yet at the same time back in Crosshaven, the Royal Cork YC’s new-format DinghyFest was in full and successful swing, thanks to an imaginative programme powered through by an energetic chairman. And who was that energetic voluntary chairman? Nin O’Leary, no less. Yet thanks to his organisational and delegation skills, he was able to leave the DinghyFest running smoothly for a whole day, and slip away to win the big one in the Solent, even if he had to give its gala prize-giving a miss to zoom back home again. Definitely our keelboat “Sailor of the Month” for July.