The new All-Ireland Champion Helm, Peter Kennedy of Strangford Lough, is the Afloat.ie/Irish Sailing “Sailor of the Month” for October after his victory in the breezy and hard-fought 71st Annual Championship, sailed this year in SB20s on Lough Ree.
Kennedy came to the championship weekend in early October with a perceived if slight boat-familiarity advantage, as he’d won the Irish SB20 Nationals at the National YC on Dublin Bay in June. But once the top contenders had reached the final stages, his closest competitors had got to grips with this ingenious Tony Castro design, and two in particular – 2016 All Ireland title holder Alex Barry (Royal Cork YC) of the RS 400s, and Rob Kearney (Royal North of Ireland YC), who in 2018 had already won the Irish GP 14 Nationals and had finished runner-up in the GP14 Worlds – gave him a challenge before he was finally able to hold the historic silver salver aloft.
It’s yet another star in the Kennedy family’s sailing crown. Peter Kennedy has been an Irish sailing Olympian, while his parents Terence & Bridget Kennedy were serial Flying Fifteen championship winners to world level in an era when SLYC was the top international F/F club.