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A busy weekend for Kinsale RNLI continued on bank holiday Monday (7 June) when the inshore lifeboat launched twice to assist boats in difficulty.

Miss Sally Anne Baggy II - Never Fear, Baggy’s Here launched at 2.45pm to assist the 20ft sailing boat with two people on board, which was taking on water and in danger of sinking off the Old Head of Kinsale.

After assessing the situation, the lifeboat crew transferred one of their number onto the bow of the stricken vessel to raise the hull and slow the ingress of water.

This stabilised the boat, which was taken under tow and brought safely to Kinsale’s main pier.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said: “The two people on board played it by the book and were able to give the coastguard the necessary information to enable us to quickly find them.

“One had radio training and both were wearing lifejackets, which are essential if you are going on the water.”

A few hours later, the volunteers answered their fourth emergency callout of the bank holiday weekend when the lifeboat was tasked to assist a yacht that had lost its mast.

The inshore lifeboat was on the way at 6pm to assist the 26ft vessel with two people on board just south of the harbour mouth.

After ascertaining that the passengers were uninjured, two lifeboat crew members boarded the yacht and secured the mast before it was safely towed back to Kinsale Harbour.

Kinsale RNLI’s Connor, who was helm on all four callouts over the weekend, added: “We expected the sunny weather and easing of restrictions to bring more people to the Kinsale area, but we were quite surprised to be called out four times in such a short period.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Kinsale RNLI’s inshore lifeboat took part in a multi-agency rescue yesterday morning (Saturday 5 June) after a crew member spotted a man in the sea in a remote area close to the Old Head of Kinsale.

The lifeboat was on a routine training exercise off Garretstown beach at 9am when crewman David Carter saw the exhausted casualty being repeatedly swept back off the rocks.

Volunteer lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor immediately alerted Valentia Coast Guard to request helicopter assistance as sea conditions prevented the lifeboat from reaching the casualty.

RNLI volunteers Jon Hynes and Colum O’Sullivan entered the water and swam in to help the man to safety and assess his medical condition, with the Old Head coastguard unit and Kinsale Garda also on the scene.

The Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 115 was tasked from Shannon and winched the man aboard to take him for further medical treatment.

Kinsale lifeboat volunteer David Carter who spotted the casualty on the rocks | Credit: RNLI/KinsaleKinsale lifeboat volunteer David Carter who spotted the casualty on the rocks | Credit: RNLI/Kinsale

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said: “He is a very lucky man as David spotted him by pure coincidence. We have no idea how the man entered the water, but he was alone in a fairly remote area so it is unlikely anyone else would have seen him and raised the alarm.

“We are all relieved that we decided to train in that area this morning, and that we were able to work with the other emergency services to bring the casualty to safety.”

Shortly after returning to Kinsale lifeboat station, the crew launched for a second time in response to concerns for the safety of a person on board a small inflatable RIB who had been at sea for longer than expected in the area of the Sovereign Islands.

Rescue 115 was also tasked, along with members of Oysterhaven and Summercove Coast Guard units. The vessel was located and escorted back to the safety of Oysterhaven.

Connor added: “We urge everyone who is going on or near the water this Bank Holiday weekend to exercise extreme caution as the water is treacherous, despite the sunshine.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It was exactly fourteen months ago – precisely on January 21st 2020 – that we featured the intriguing story of how Stephanie Lyons of Kildare had come to be in a role of active sailing prominence in Australia via training cruises on Asgard II and offshore racing from Kinsale. It's a story worth reading again here

If nothing else, it certainly makes you realise that in January 2020, we were living on an entirely different planet. The light-hearted optimistic expectations for the season of 2020 which permeate that piece are now almost heart-breaking to contemplate.

But in Australia as elsewhere, they've done what sailing they could, and even though the annual Sydney-Hobart Race on December 26th had to be cancelled just a week in advance of the start, as they moved into 2021 there was some semblance of normality in more local events. Thus Steph found herself in her familiar role of working the bow on Wild One in the 2021 Sydney 38 OD New South Wales Championship.

And meanwhile, the combination of her in-depth sailing experience, coupled with the high level of professional expertise required in her onshore position as Chief Risk Officer of major fund EISS Super, was to provide Australian Sailing with an ideal personal profile as they actively implemented their ongoing SheSails initiative, which is designed to get more female sailors involved at every level of the sport, both afloat and ashore.

Steph Lyons working the bow on the Sydney 38 Wild One in the recent 2021 New South Wales ChampionshipSteph Lyons working the bow on the Sydney 38 Wild One in the recent 2021 New South Wales Championship

In line with this, Stephanie became a valued member in the general Australian Sailing organisation. This was in addition to still being a member of Kinsale YC, which she combines with her local club Balmain SC in Sydney, and the high-powered Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. But the Australian Sailing link has now led on to international connections, as she has been appointed to World Sailing's Audit Committee, where a fellow-member is WS Vice President Marcus Spillane of Irish Sailing.

However, as she has been Australia-based for nearly twelve years now, it is Australian Sailing which deserves most credit for recognizing just how much Stephanie Lyons can bring to the party, and their exuberant press release – issued on Friday 19th March – deserves to be quoted in full:

Australian Stephanie Lyons is making her mark on the global sailing scene with her election to World Sailing's Audit Committee.

A native of Ireland, Lyons moved to Australia eleven years ago and brought her love of sailing with her. She is a member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Balmain Sailing Club and Kinsale Yacht Club (Ireland), with two Sydney Hobart races as bow woman to her name.

Off the water, Lyons is the Chief Risk Officer of the major super fund EISS Super, with strong experience in strategy, project management, financial management, risk management and compliance.

The Sydney 38 OD Wild One going sweetly in home watersThe Sydney 38 OD Wild One going sweetly in home waters 

"I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been appointed to this role at World Sailing," said Lyons today. "I am looking forward to combining my professional experience in finance, compliance and risk with my passion for the sport I love – sailing."

Lyons joins a growing group of Australian females in roles at World Sailing, following on from the election of Sarah Kenny as Vice President last year.

"Australian female sailors are doing amazing things both on the water and in posts that matter," said Australian Sailing President Daniel Belcher on Lyons' appointment.

"We have seen a huge increase in female participation in our sport across the board over the past three years. Locally we have seen over 20% growth in female membership in clubs around Australia. Internationally we have Rio Olympic

Silver Medallist Lisa Darmanin breaking barriers on the water and the likes of Sarah and Stephanie making their mark at World Sailing.
"It truly is a time to be excited about what women are doing in our sport."

Australian Sailing launched its female participation initiative SheSails in 2018.

SheSails is designed to recognise all the female contributors to our sport, and to encourage women of all ages to enjoy sailing through organised activities at their local sailing club. There are now SheSails representatives at 141 clubs all around the country who work to ensure a safe and inclusive space for all members and participants.

Lyons is ready to bring a fresh set of eyes to the global governing body for the sport of sailing.

"I am here to make a difference at World Sailing. My focus is on audit and risk, but I will be bringing fresh ideas and my own thoughts and experience on revenue generation to the Audit Committee" added Lyons.
Stephanie will serve a four-year term on the Audit Committee, concluding in 2024.

W M Nixon adds: They say that if you want anything done, then you should ask a busy person to do it. In a very recognisable combination of interests, Steph Lyons is also a Non-Executive Director of Equestrian Australia. You may well take the girl out of Ireland, but you can never entirely take Ireland (and particularly Kildare) out of the girl…..

It could only be Kildare……a vibrant equestrian heritage from Kildare and a maritime outlook from Kinsale have enabled Stephanie Lyons to bring a remarkable combination of skill sets and experience to Australian sport.It could only be Kildare……a vibrant equestrian heritage from Kildare and a maritime outlook from Kinsale have enabled Stephanie Lyons to bring a remarkable combination of skill sets and experience to Australian sport.

Published in Kinsale
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Like every other RNLI station, lifeboat volunteers at Kinsale RNLI have been unable to pursue their normal fundraising activities due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So they were surprised and delighted to receive a cheque recently for over $5,000 from a group of Irish expatriates in the USA.

McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco — owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh, West Cork — became an unlikely outpost for the lifeboat thanks to Kinsale native John Farley, who has lived in the Californian city for the past 30 years.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI, with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head.

Towards the end of the American NFL season, John organised a football pool with 25 friends, many from West Cork, for the final four San Francisco 49er games. They raised an incredible $5,200.

This is the largest single donation received by Kinsale RNLI since lockdown was introduced in March last, and the station says it will go a long way towards funding an essential service that has remained on call throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eileen and John have now installed an official RNLI collection box in McCarthy’s bar so fundraising can continue into the future. “We all appreciate that that RNLI is there for us when we need them, so we wanted to be there for them in their hour of need,” John said.

Kinsale RNLI lifeboat press officer Tricia Tyson commented: “John has been a great supporter down the years, and tells me their next big fundraiser will be for the RNLI in the Aran Islands as one of his group, Ronan Concannon, is from Aran Mor.

“We are delighted they are sharing their generosity with hardworking stations around Ireland. Our RNLI collection box only arrived in San Francisco a few weeks ago and John tells me it is almost full already.

“On behalf of all our RNLI volunteers, I wish to sincerely thank John, Eileen and all the McCarthy’s bar customers for remembering the RNLI back home. It just goes to prove the old adage that you can take a man out of Ireland, but you can’t take Ireland out of the man.”

The other Kinsale fundraisers in San Francisco are Fergus O’Shea, Derek Lovell, Polo Crosbie, Jason Davenport, Richard O’Keeffe, with John Farley and Kathleen Barry in Boston, Gertie O’Shea in Vancouver and the Callanan family, related to John Farley, who live in Kinsale.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 7 am this Sunday morning to go to the aid of a 50 ft-yacht with three people on board which had got into difficulties four miles east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and crew of 6 were underway within minutes and in the cover of darkness, the Lifeboat proceeded at top speed to the area of the causality. Winds were blowing force 4 to 5 in freezing conditions this morning and the stricken vessel, which was on passage from Salcolme in the UK to Kinsale, had encountered heavy weather over the past 24 hours.

They lost complete power off the Old Head of Kinsale and requested immediate assistance.

The Lifeboat reached the yacht at 7.29 am and the Lifeboat crew assessed the situation and quickly proceeded to attach a tow line to secure the vessel. Two Lifeboat crew members Kevin Young and Paul McCarthy were also put on board the yacht to help those on board and the Lifeboat then proceeded at slow speed to the safe surround of the inner Kinsale Harbour. Both vessels docked safely at the Kinsale Yacht Club Marina at 9.05 am and the crew on board the yacht were very glad to be on safe ground again after an eventful morning.

Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call outCourtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call out

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat crew members for their quick response from their beds early this freezing morning when the Coastguard activated the distress bleepers. He praised the great dedication of the seven volunteer Crew members and others who arrived, and put the interests of others as a priority in these difficult Covid times. He again reiterated that it is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident occurs.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Paul McCarthy, Peter Noonan and Denis Murphy.

The Lifeboat has now returned to its base in Courtmacsherry at 10 am and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Cork Beo reports that a body was recovered off the West Cork coast in a multi-agency operation for a missing person on Sunday (27 December).

Thermal imaging was used to locate the remains in the area of the Old Head of Kinsale.

The crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 were praised on social media for their bravery in recovering the body amid severe winds ahead of Storm Bella.

The incident came within days of the discovery of a body in the water at Dun Laoghaire’s Coal Harbour pier, which is being investigated by gardaí.

Published in Coastguard

Like most other charities, the volunteers of Kinsale RNLI have had their fundraising activities curtailed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So it came as a welcome surprise to learn that local steam engine enthusiast Rory Nagle had launched a special mission to help replenish the lifeboat station coffers.

Accompanied by two young assistants, Frank Sullivan and Billy Twomey, Rory embarked on a tour of the town aboard Old Mac, Ireland’s oldest surviving steam engine, which was built by McLaren in Leeds and lovingly restored by Rory.

Despite the inclement weather over the weekend (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October), they raised donations of €440 from members of the public eager to have their photographs taken alongside the historic engine.

Rory said: “The RNLI have been on duty throughout lockdown and are there day and night when we need them. It’s a pleasure to be able to do something for people that really deserve support, especially at this difficult time. I believe that we all need to remember the people that look after us.”

Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale (Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon)Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale | Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

Photographs of Rory’s expedition were widely shared on social media, with Niamh Henderson of the Kinsale Advertiser cheekily suggesting that some generous benefactor might round up the sum to €500.

Her appeal was immediately answered by John Farley, a Kinsale man who has been living in San Francisco for the past 30 years.

John said: “I always hit the lifeboat boxes when I’m home, but I didn’t make it back this year, so this makes up for it. The lifeboat lads rescued my sister, my niece Rachel and me off the Old Head about eight or nine years ago when our engine died. I also know Rory well and he’s a great guy, so this is a good opportunity to show my support.”

Kinsale RNLI’s press officer Tricia Tyson added: “This is not the first time Rory has raised funds for us. Last year he took part in the Celtic Steamers run from Baltimore to Kinsale, a spectacular cavalcade of vintage engines that raised over €5,000 for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.

“We also appreciate all the hard work of Billy and Frank who helped him both days, and the generosity of the public who filled the buckets. The RNLI relies on the support of the public, and that is one thing that is never lacking in Kinsale.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Day Two of the 60-boat Laser Munsters at Kinsale Yacht Club has just been cancelled due to weather conditions with winds forecast to gust to nearly 40 knots today.

With four races sailed yesterday, as Afloat reported earlier, the championship prizewinners were awarded after three races with one discard. 

Tralee Bay Sailing Club's Paddy Cunnane won an 11-strong Standard division. In the 4.7s, youth James Dwyer topped the leaderboard in the 26-boat division.

The host club's Micheal O'Suilleabhain won the 21-boat Radial division.

Results are here

Dave Cullinane's Day One Laser Munsters Photo Slideshow

Published in Laser
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"Unique" and "iconic" are words so overused they've almost become meaningless. So it says something about a very special harbourside house on the market in Kinsale, that it should so confidently restore the vitality and meaning of those terms - and then some. For Edgewater is the very special property which George and Philomena Kingston – the parents of all the Kinsale Kingstons, as you might say, for they had eleven children – created on Adams Quay around 1990 in a mutually-satisfactory deal with the powers-that-be when the council was keen to gentrify the waterfront while keeping it as an attractive place for meaningful interaction with boats in the best Kinsale style.

In writing about a desirable Kinsale house here, we're assuming we've no need to go into the inevitable estate agents' jargon about the special nature of the vibrant south coast harbour town. We presume you know the place already in all its special attractiveness, so we'll just move on to say that 1978's negotiations to purchase the quay ultimately resulted in a stylish house in a compact site between road and sea, a rare enough occurrence in Kinsale. It was made even rarer by the fact that the quay provided a very sheltered depth of 2.7 metres at low water right beside the house, so a small private six-boat marina was part of the eventual package.

Virtually no other house in Kinsale is so precisely located in a multi-use waterfront site, and it was a location imbued with maritime history. For it was here that John Thuillier built boats, the last of them being the now-classic Colleen 23 Pinkeen of 1952 vintage.

Modern facilities in an area steeped in history – it was here at what is now Edgewater in Kinsale that John Thuillier built boats a very long time agoModern facilities in an area steeped in history – it was here at what is now Edgewater in Kinsale that John Thuillier built boats a very long time ago

Subsequently, when George Kingston set up in business at Kilmacsimon Boatyard upriver on the west shore, this old quay was his Kinsale base as it was used to lift masts once the non-opening new bridge was put across the harbour, with income being augmented by a marine fuel supply business and other activities which increasingly were at variance with the affluent leisure image which the council were promoting, and doing so with such enthusiasm that in time they provided the local fishing fleet with their own neat marina.

In order to understand how the Kingstons fitted into all this, a bit of family history is needed. George was actually originally from Dunmanway, which is in West Cork but not remotely nautical. Philomena Derrig was from Mayo, and they met in America where both had emigrated, George at the age of just 16. At one time he served in the armed forces, where his natural military bearing was such that he was readily recruited into Guards of Honor. Yet although you were aware of this in the way he carried himself in his extraordinarily varied and successful post-military life back in Ireland, you can forget about clichés of a blustering sergeant major type – George Kingston had the quiet can-do presence of a retired four star general, and if he ever raised his voice, I never heard it.

He and Philomena liked America, as it agreed with their strong work ethic for they could both be prodigious grafters when needs be, and they were married there and had the first two of their children. But the call of home became too much to resist, particularly as they'd built up skills which could be applied in Ireland, so they returned to a new home in Cork city, and George soon found himself working for others in the growing leisure marine industry.

But the longterm plan was to have his own business built around a working boatyard, and as Cork Harbour was pretty well stitched-up with several small local yards and the big one of Crosshaven Boatyard, it was at a sleepy little rural place called Kilmacsimon upriver from rapidly developing Kinsale that he found a place with possibilities. But it required dedication to develop it, as he needed that vital toehold in Kinsale itself, and while things were gradually taking shape, he'd no option but to continue living in Cork city. He used to quip that he was a reverse commuter, but it wasn't just on working weekdays that he made the journey out from Cork– he made a point of being available to his growing clientele at the weekends too.

Where else can you stroll out from the living room onto the balcony and check that everything's okay with the boat in your private marina? Where else can you stroll out from the living room onto the balcony and check that everything's okay with the boat in your private marina?

In time, with some boatbuilding and much maintenance work, and with his sons now coming on to take over branches of the business, operations were greatly expanded with a completely new yard to seaward of Kinsale at Middle Cove. Kilmacsimon was gradually redeveloped as an idyllic waterside residential community, and with the Kinsale Yacht Club marina coming on stream, it was clear that Adams Quay was ripe for re-purposing in line with the council's aspirations.

The Quay, in the area known in Kinsale as World's End, is immediately west of the Trident Hotel, which would surely be in the Short List of Ireland's Most Ingeniously-Located hotels - like Edgewater, they've managed to squeeze it into that pricelessly advantageous position of being between the road and the sea.

An old stone private slipway – part of the Edgeware property – separates it from the west side of the Trident, and there plumb in the middle of the quay is the house which George and Philomena built, of quality materials to a design by Frank Godsil which reflects the Kinsale vernacular architecture, while having some attractive contemporary twists.

Nevertheless, it has to be remembered that Edgewater – the appropriate name came from a town where the Kingston's happily lived for a while in the US – was built way back in 1990. Although at the time it required massive work to strengthen the quay which was personally directed by a partner in Bowen Engineering - for as with his architect, George Kingston attracted special people to help with this very special house – the stratospheric rise of Kinsale property quality since then means that while Edgewater is now for sale at a cool €2.25 million, there are those whose are looking at it as a prime site which could lend itself to a larger and more modern statement building.

On the other hand, there are those of us who have been visitors to Edgewater by both land and sea, and have enjoyed the harmony and continuous interest of the place so much that we'd be reluctant to change anything, though it has to be said that after the experience of lockdown, most would now seriously look at some way of providing more in the way of a soothing mini-garden on the quite substantial free space available on the quay – bring on Diarmuid Gavin, it would be an interesting challenge in that salty setting…….

The space on the quay around Edgewater is sufficient to think in terms of a small secluded garden  The space on the quay around Edgewater is sufficient to think in terms of a small secluded garden

And then too there's all that under-utilised space on the old slipway. It may well be a protected structure, so historic are its associations, but it is only of very limited value in getting boats in and out of the water, as they're delivered straight onto a busy road at right angles at the top, and anyway, there's a much more accessible slipway beside the yacht club marina, while the travel hoist at Middle Cove looks after larger craft. So a fresh look at the slipway is surely in order.

By the time George and Philomena were building Edgewater, their family were already grown-up or approaching adulthood, so the house has only four bedrooms sharing just one bathroom, and the prime harbour-facing areas are taken up with a spacious kitchen dining/living room on the ground floor, and an equally spacious sitting room with balcony on the first floor, with copious use of hardwood in both, as you'd expect from a boatbuilder's house.

As would be expected with a boatbuilder's house, copious use is made of quality hardwood, as seen here in the first floor living room.As would be expected with a boatbuilder's house, copious use is made of quality hardwood, as seen here in the first-floor living room.

From either big room, the view of the harbour is panoramic, and anyone with an eye for boats and their activities is in heaven, but nowadays the expectation would be for bedrooms with harbour views, and a more general deployment of en suite facilities.

In fact, it's the direct boat connection which puts Edgewater in a league of its own. On occasions when the yacht club marina was frenetically busy, a timely phone call to George would provide a clear berth and a friendly yet unfussed welcome in the best George Kingston style at Edgewater. Yet you never felt you were imposing on them, as George and Philomena were keen that people should see and enjoy Kinsale as they knew it, savouring its most attractive and entertaining aspects secure in the knowledge that their boat was safely berthed with two of the most decent and obliging people in the place.

The view down Kinsale Harbour from the living room at EdgewaterThe view down Kinsale Harbour from the living room at Edgewater

Edgewater reflects their ultimately no-nonsense attitude to life. Now that it is finally being sold out of the Kingstown family after 30 years (George died at home in 2014 after 24 years in Edgewater - he and Philomena, who died a year ago, had 27 grandchildren), there may those who see it as a perfect and simple retirement pad in a setting of welcome liveliness. There may be others who see it primarily as the building serving their private marina, with all the convenience and possibilities that implies. And there will be the radicals, who will see Edgewater as the prime site for a new, much-larger dream home which, despite being right in the heart of the key maritime area of Kinsale, can be made a place of real privacy with stylish and skilful design.

But for those of us who were sailing in and out of Kinsale even before George Kingston and his family were making their quietly effective mark on the place, simply to see Edgewater from seaward is to remember a time when vague dreams were becoming real possibilities, a time when we were being shown that picturesque but sometimes decrepit waterfront sites could be sympathetically redeveloped to make a real contribution to the good of the community and its environment. Whoever takes on Edgewater will be taking on a fascinating place, and with it the heart-warming story of a remarkable couple who certainly made their mark on Kinsale life.

Contact: Catherine McAuliffe of Savills, Cork at  [email protected]

Download a PDF of the Savills brochure on the link belowDownload a PDF of the full Savills brochure on the link below

Published in Waterfront Property
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After some disappointing cancellations for the Dragon class this season at Kinsale Yacht Club, local Dragon racing made a welcome return to the West Cork harbour at the weekend.

As regular readers will know both the International Dragon Gold Gup planned for this month at Kinsale and then its replacement Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week were both cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, a busy weekend on the water for KYC, saw local racing resume as well as KYC cruiser racing in the first race of the Mary P September Series, as Afloat reported earlier.

Afloat's Bob Bateman captured the Kinsale Dragon action in the slideshow below

Published in Dragon
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