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Displaying items by tag: Sovereign's Cup

A new 'Family Boat Award' will be presented to the best placed boat with two or more direct family members sailing on board at June's Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale. 

Kinsale Yacht Club Regatta Director Mike Walsh, announcing the award said 'We encourage competitors to bring their families to Kinsale and enjoy our magnificent town. That is why we put such an emphasis on the day time and social shore side activities of the event'.

Up to 100 boats are expected to compete in the biennial event that runs from June 21st. More on the event here.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

Over 100 boats are expected to enjoy four days racing in the open waters of Kinsale Harbour when the Sovereign’s Cup 2017 takes place at Kinsale Yacht Club from 21st-24th June, 2017.

The O’Leary Life & Pensions sponsored event was launched at Kinsale Yacht Club today by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. 

Minister Coveney praised the co-operation between all the stakeholders and cited Sovereign’s Cup as a prime example of what can be achieved to bring benefits to whole communities when clubs and associations work closely with business groups and local authorities to organise world class events.

Soverigns Cup 2017Jack Roy at his first official event as President of the ISA, Carrie Dunne, Ronan Goggin, O’Leary Life & Pensions, Minister Simon Coveney, Susan Horgan, Rear Commodore KYC, Cllr Kevin Murphy, Cork Co Council, Dave O’Sullivan, Vice Commodore KYC.

Some of the entries to the Sovereign’s Cup 2017 to date include 2015 Champions, Equinox the X-333 from Howth YC, skippered by Ross McDonald.

Also returning to Kinsale are WOW, the Farr 42 sailed by George Sisk, DUX, the X302 sailed by Anthony Gore-Grimes, Fool’s Gold the Archambault 35 sailed by Robert McConnell and Jump Juice, the Ker 37 sailed by Conor Phelan.

The J-109s are represented by Jump The Gun, sailed by John Kelly and Michael Monaghan, White Mischief, sailed by Tim & Richard Goodbody, Powder Monkey, sailed by Mark Byrne and Chris Moore and Indecision sailed by Declan Hayes.

IMG 0414J109, Jump The Gun,  sailed by John Kelly and Michael Monaghan is heading for Kinsale

Half Tonners, Checkmate XVIII, sailed by Nigel Biggs, The Big Picture, sailed by Michael Evans and Checkmake XV sailed by David Cullen will enjoy great racing in advance of the Half Ton Classic Cup that also takes place in KYC from 14th-18th August.

There are a number of 1720 sportsboats including Antix, sailed by Anthony O’Leary, Dutch Gold, sailed by Peter O’Leary, T-Bone, sailed by Clive O’Shea and Tom Durcan, Déjà vu, sailed by Rory and Ross Johnson, Aquatack, by Denis Murphy and 1601 sailed by Michael Walsh.

Kinsale YC is well represented by Meridien, skippered by KYC Commodore, Tom Roche, Freya, sailed by Conor Doyle, Artful Dodger sailed by Finbarr O’Regan and Cimarron VI, sailed by Vice Commodore Dave O’Sullivan.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

With just over six weeks to the Sherry Fitzgerald sponsored Dublin Bay Sailing Club season the stand–out class of the year looks like Cruisers One where a 20–boat fleet has 13 J/109s among its number. It's an impressive result that bodes well for a very competitive season but in the neighbouring big boat class should something be done to assist falling numbers in Cruisers Zero?

A story this week on Afloat.ie shows George Sisk's Wow from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is on the market. With only four other entries presently in DBSC Cruisers Zero is it now time to dispense with a Cruisers Zero class on Dublin Bay and rearrange the bands to take some lower–rated Cruisers One boats back into Cruisers Two?

Such a scenario is unlikely with the news that Sisk's WOW will be campaigned fully this season and a new Sisk forty footer is in the wings. In fact, there is also the possibility that Cruisers Zero could reach six boats this season with another new boat – yet to be announced – coming into the Bay. 

There is also talk of DBSC moving the Cruisers One band lower to move some Cruisers One boats into Cruisers Zero but is that the answer?

Cruisers Zero was never that particularly strong in Dublin Bay and generally came about to ensure they got decent length races as the Cruisers One boats were considerably slower. However with the ever increasing speed of Cruisers One boats the gap in elapsed time between Cruisers Zero and Cruisers One has been reducing considerably.

WOW Farr 42Cruisers Zero Farr 42 Wow is for sale but will be replaced with a similar sized boat Photo: Afloat.ie

Cruisers One, spearheaded by the J109 designs, is clearly the strongest class in DBSC and likely in the country. Since the J109 class moved to non–overlapping jibs and consistently updated their sail wardrobes with the latest in sail technologies, they have been getting quicker and quicker.

Joker 2 J109ICRA Boat of the Year, Joker 2, a J109 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Three of the last four ICRA championships in Cruisers One have been won by J109’s including the last two years (Joker II) and the 2016 ICRA Boat of the Year is also a J109 (Joker II). A J109 also was a class winner in the Round Ireland race 2016 (Storm). The J109 class has pushed others in Cruisers One to up their game and now we see both the Archambault 35s Gringo and Adrenalin becoming much more competitive, along with the XP33 Bon Exemple that has gone through many changes over the last few year (symmetric to Asymmetric and back again, lowering their rating). Add to this Paul O'Higgins mighty Rockabill VI, the JPK 10.80, and Cruisers One is the strongest it has ever been.

Rockabill VI JPK10.80Paul O'Higgins mighty Rockabill VI, the JPK 10.80 design will be unstoppable in heavy airs. Photo: Afloat.ie

At the start of last season Tim Goodbody brought in the J109 White Mischief and two further J109’s have entered the fleet in the last six months, Andrew Algeo's Juggerknot and Andrew Craig's Chimeara. All three are seasoned campaigners and will surely drive the fleet further.

White Mischief J109Recent arrival – Tim Goodbody's White Mischief J109 was immediately competitive Photo: Afloat.ie

Gringo A35The A35 Gringo has a flatter stern and quick dead downwind. Photo: Afloat.ie

So who will be on the DBSC podiums this year in Cruisers One and also Cruisers One at ICRAs? With 13 J109’s competing surely the podium will be stacked with these 15–year–old designs? They are extremely competitive in lighter airs and can hold their own when the breeze gets up. Their only weakness is running in stronger winds where the lighter, and flatter sterned modern designs, like the A 35’s and XP 33’s can pull their poles back and go straight downwind, whereas the asymmetric J109’s have to do higher angles.

Bon Exemple XP33XP33 Bon Exemple – different spinnaker configurations. Photo: Afloat.ie

If, however, the winds stay stronger for a whole series, like ICRA's 2015, it will be very hard to beat Rockabill VI. This boat is extremely powerful and will go upwind and downwind much faster than the rest of the fleet in a breeze, even taking into account her higher handicap. However it appears she has a weakness in light airs and one day of these conditions in a series might be a problem for her.

Three in a Row for Joker II at ICRAs?

Among the J109’s the top performer from 2016, John Maybury's Joker 2 is going for three in a row at ICRA's having won in 2015 and 2016. She will not have it all her own way however as Tim Goodbody's White Mischief and Pat Kelly's Storm are always very competitive. The newly arrived Chimeara and Juggerknot might also have something to say. The A35 Gringo has shown a lot of form as has Bon Exemple. At ICRAs you will also likely be seeing the A35 Fools Gold of Rob O'Connell in contention as he has done in the last two events.

Packed Season

2017 is set to be a very interesting year for this ever strengthening class with 3 large events in Ireland for them to battle it out. The ICRA Championships in Cork Harbour in June, ten days later, Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale, and a few weeks after that Dun Laoghaire Regatta Some may also venture to Tarbert in Late May, Calves Week in Early August and Abersoch week in Late August. There are plenty of good events available and some great racing ahead. Allied to all of this a great regular racing scene in Cruisers One in the DBSC series.

Published in DBSC

#Joker2 - John Maybury's Joker 2 has had an impressive run of form since June, with big wins in both the ICRA Nationals/Sovereign's Cup week and more recently in the J/109 Nationals at the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

The first of these victories for the Royal Irish YC boat came on Saturday 27 June in the hotly contested Class 1 at Kinsale, with Joker 2 squaring off against Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby – off the back of a win at the UK J/109 Nationals, and with Olympian Killian Collins on tactics, no less – and Pat Kelly's Storm from Rush.

In addition to the J109s, there were other very well-prepared boats such as Rockabill (Paul O'Higgins, with Mel Collins steering and Mark Pettitt calling tactics), Bon Exemple (with Ben Duncan calling the shots) and Fools Gold (Rob McConnell), which had just won the Scottish Series overall.

On the lighter first day, Jelly Baby, sporting a larger jib than the other J/109s, excelled with a first and a second, but Joker 2 kept in touch with a 1,3 scoreline. On the Archambault 35, Rob McConnell and crew found the lighter conditions less to their liking with a 7,2 scoreline, but they were to improve as the wind increased on later days.

Indeed, days 2 and 3 had much stronger conditions, with winds around 20 knots, and Joker 2 started to take control with a 2,1,4,1 scoreline. Fools Gold also showed strong with a score of 2,1,3,1 to keep them just just three points off the lead after discard, with Jelly Baby a further two points behind.

Roll on the final day at Kinsale, and Joker 2 took control of the first race to win by over a minute on corrected time, giving Maybury and crew (including Olympic sailor Mark Mansfield) the championship with a race to spare. Fools Gold would later take a win in the final race to end up second overall, with Jelly Baby taking third – meaning two J/109s placed in the top three. 

Joker 2 and Storm would also dominate next big event for the J/109s, their Nationals as part of the Dun Laoghaire Regatta – racing as a separate class but with the same courses in most races as Class 1.

What's more, a glance at the finishing times would have had the J/109s winning most of the Div 1 races had they sailed as a single group.

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This race was abandoned at VDLR after a starting sequence error

After a faltering start on the Thursday (9 July), with racing abandoned after an early starting gun, the boats were flying in strong winds on day 2, held mainly in and around Howth.

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Storm won both heavy air races on Day two of VDLR

Pat Kelly's Storm was the star of the show here, excelling in the conditions to win both races, though Joker 2 was a close second, with Something Else taking third overall.

Day 3 was sailed in 15 to 17 knots, and ended with a 1,2 scoreline for Joker 2 and a 1,4 for Storm, putting the latter ahead after discard by two points.

The next day would be the decider, and going in fleet was unsure whether the race committee would field a restart of Thursday's abandoned race as well as the final.

If there was just the one race, Joker 2 needed a win – and needed Storm no better than fourth place – to clinch the title. Two races would give Maybury a better opportunity to make up the deficit.

Sunday came and brought lighter winds. Joker 2 had the better of the start and tacked on Storm a number of times up the first beat, before breaking through to lead on the first downwind, with Storm yo-yoing between fifth and sixth.

However, that lead evaporated after the bottom mark when a left-degree shift with extra pressure brought Jigamaree, Something Else  and Jalapeno into the top three, with Joker 2 now fourth.

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Close racing in the J109s

It took until the very final mark for Maybury and company to overhaul that trio, taking the gun from Jalapeno by 30 seconds. With Storm coming in fifth and trailing by a point, with Joker 2 also having the better discard, the RIYC boat had done the necessary, provided no more racing was in order. 

With the wind disappearing, race officer Jack Roy decided there was insufficient breeze to complete another race, and that was that: Joker 2 took the overall win and the J/109 National title for 2015 from Storm, with Jalapeno taking third on countback from Something Else due to her fine second place in the last race. 

Continuing to grow in Dublin and elsewhere, J/109s have shown that they are not only a very well constructed and designed cruiser racer, they are also extremely competitive in IRC and have now won the last 2 IRC Nationals in Class 1.

Published in Racing

#j109 – Perhaps the fact J109s race for IRC handicap honours as part of the ICRA national championships and separately for the class national championship title may have contributed to wires getting crossed at last weekend's Sovereign's Cup and ICRA Nationals event in Kinsale.

Irish J109 fans are currently on a high with Royal Corks' Jelly Baby winning the UK National Championships and the National Yacht Club's Ruth winning offshore in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race but after another good showing of the class last weekend (first and third for Js in ICRA Div one) there was confusion over the status of the Irish championship when Kinsale Yacht Club declared Joker II the winner of the J109 national championships. [See KYC press release HERE].

John Maybury's Joker II won the ICRA division one crown off Kinsale in fine style, but J109 class captain Martin Carey has been quick to point out the 2015 J109 National Championships – a season highlight – has not yet been sailed. The J109 Irish championships will be sailed next week as part of Dun Laoghaire Regatta. 'The Nationals are part of Volvo Dun Laoghaire, they always were going to be, as we get our own start,' Carey told Afloat.ie

Published in Racing

#sovscup – W M Nixon casts a quick eye over the final outcome of the ICRA Nats/Sovereigns Cup. George Sisk has been an active participant in the distance racing scene for so long that you could be forgiven for thinking that he must have made his first offshore passage with Noah on the Ark. But you'd be wrong in that assumption. A Sisk would never have had to seek a berth with Noah. The family have always had their own yacht.

Be that as it may, the man is a real trouper, sailing with a bunch of old mates in true Corinthian style aboard the Farr 42 WOW, a boat they now know better than the backs of their own hands. Before Kinsale, they did the race to Dingle, and had their moments of glory in it, their 9th overall in the final placings just behind Anthony O'Leary's Ker 40 Antix being a more than respectable showing.

Then over the past five days they've been making the scene in the ICRA Nats 2015/Sovereigns Cup Regatta at Kinsale, and as the breeze built over the four day event, WOW began to come into her own while others fell by the wayside, some with damage which saw their withdrawal.

Thus by Saturday morning the smart money was on WOW to be second overall in Division 0. But as the wind piped up still more, overnight leader Crazy Horse (Mills 36, Nobby Reilly & Alan Chambers, HYC) found herself enjoying the going less and less, She was not at all a happy budgie, while the good old WOW just powered around the course as if this was all part of the day's work. And then the last race saw Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice put in such a stormer that she not only won IRC going away, but won ECHO in that race too, which is wellnight unprecedented for a boat of this calibre.

However, WOW hung in with a scoreline to die for, and suddenly she was the new Division 0 National Champion. It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of old salts. Jump Juice jumped into second overall, while Crazy Horse managed to hang onto third, a podium place perhaps, but it was a long way adrift of her expected win.

But the boisterous Howth contingent, having had their hopes partially dashed by Crazy Horse's fall from grace even if their dominance in other classes was almost indecent, then found unexpected consolidation when the sea lawyers got to work on the results among the Quarter Tonners, J24s and whatever in Div 4. When things were tidied up, the "corporate" Howth J/24 Kilcullen with her under-25 crew were declared overall class winner. Helmsman was Cillian Dickson, grandson of the legendary Roy.

So the Irish sailing world rolls on, and WOW and her crew just keep rollin' along too – they're racing in the Offshore Division in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Week 2015. These really are true sportsmen

Published in Sovereign's Cup

#sovscup – Counting four race wins Royal Irish Yacht Joker II (John Maybury) emerged as winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association's ultra–competitive division one fleet at Kinsale Yacht club today. It was one of five national championships decided at Kinsale that combined the Irish Cruiser Racing Association championship with the biennial Sovereign's Cup for the first time. Read more about the event here.

The Dublin Bay J/109 yacht with four time Olympian Mark Mansfield onboard was chased hard by May's Scottish Series winner, Fool's Gold (Rob McConnell). 

Maybury's Joker 2 was initially challenged by Ian Nagle's Royal Cork YC entry Jelly Baby and then towards the end of the series by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club's McConnell. It gave the Division 1 national championship title to Maybury as well as ICRA's J109 title.  In the end, McConnell came within a point of beating Maybury but had to settle for second. The J109s next big event is the Irish National Championships that will be sailed early in July as part of Dun Laoghaire regatta.

Howth Yacht Club's Ross McDonald and the crew on Equinox emerged winners of the Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale after an intensive eight race series in a full range of conditions. The Dublin 32-footer won the 17-boat Division 2 and became the ICRA National champions for the class in addition to the Sovereign's Cup at the four-day event.

McDonald's Equinox was part of a 15-strong flotilla from Howth that featured in the top places of half the racing divisions on the two race courses between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Sovereigns Rocks close to the coast.

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 (Above and below) ICRA division 2 champion and Sovereign's Cup winner Equinox from Howth. Photo: Alan O'Regan 

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Equinox won six of the eight races in Division 2, a factor that assisted the decision to award the Sovereign's trophy when Maybury had a matching score but with fewer race wins in a bigger class.

But there was more cause for Howth victory celebrations including Paddy Klyne's Maximus that won the Portcullis Trophy for the best boat on ECHO handicap.

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 Maximus (Paddy Klyne) from Howth was the winner of the Portcullis Trophy for the best boat on ECHO handicap. Photo: Alan O'Regan

In a continued sweeping up of the results, Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbes' Corby 25 Fusion - also from Howth YC - won the Division 3 national championship. Tim Goodbody of the Royal Irish YC came close the taking the title but the north Dublin crew recovered from two fifth places on the penultimate day and a race win and fourth place sealed the win.

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Division 3 national champion Fusion of Howth (Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbes). Photo: Alan O'Regan

A Howth YC-owned J24 Kilcullen with an Under 25 crew won Division 4 IRC and is likely to represent the fleet at the annual ISA All-Ireland sailing championships in the Autumn.

The Irish Quarter-ton championship was won by Tony Hayward's Blackfun from Cowes with fantastic scores throughout the event. This championship was held as part of the event with Barry Cunningham's Quest from the Royal Irish YC taking second overall in the five boat class.

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ICRA class zero champion WOW. Photo: Alan O'Regan

Meanwhile, George Sisk's WOW from the Royal Irish YC became national champion for Class 0 after hitting form in the bigger breeze of the second half of the series. A win and second place on the final day deposed Norbert Reilly's Crazy Horse from Howth who had led the class for the opening half of the series.

That win came in part from the absence on Saturday of Conor Phelan's Jump Juice from the Royal Cork YC who suffered broken steering gear in race five and was out of action for the day. Second and first places in the final day was not enough to overcome Sisk's performance for the week.

In the two non-spinnaker classes, more boats competed under the ECHO handicap system than under IRC with Kinsale boats topping the standings in both divisions. Anthony and Brian McCarthys' Baccarat won Division 1 counting all top three places in the four race series. Howth's Colm Bermingham won the IRC fleet with three race wins.

In Division 2, straight wins took Windsor Laudan on Demelza from Howth to the podium to collect the overall trophy under IRC and though he led the ECHO stakes early in the series, Kinsale's Dermot Lanigan on Privateer won overall under ECHO, beating clubmate David Riome on Valfreya into second place.

"We were delighted with sailing conditions and competitive spirit in Kinsale Yacht Club over the past four days and many congratulations to all competitors, race management and countless volunteers on and off the water. Special thanks to Cork Co. Council, CH Marine, Anderco, Olimpic Sails and the Kinsale Good Food Circle for their sponsorship and support," said Regatta Director, Mike Walsh. Cork Co. Council was represented by Cllr. Joe Carroll, Deputy Mayor and ICRA was represented by Norbert Reilly.

Results – ICRA Nationals & Sovereign's Cup 2015 Day 4 after 8 races sailed (27th June 2015)

Division 0 IRC

1 WOW George Sisk,(Royal Irish YC)
2 Jump Juice, Conor Phelan (RCYC)
3 Crazy Horse, Norbert Reilly/Alan Chambers (Howth Yacht Club)

Division 0 ECHO

1 Godot, John Godkin (Kinsale YC)
2 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (CCC)
3 Meridian, Tom Roche (KYC)

Division 0 Restricted

1 WOW George Sisk,(Royal Irish YC)
2 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (CCC)
3 Forty Licks, Jay Colville, (East Down YC)

Division 1 IRC

1 Joker 2, John Maybury, (Royal Irish Yacht Club)
2 Fool's Gold, Robert McConnell (Wicklow Harbour SC)
3 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle, (Royal Cork Yacht Club)

Division 1 ECHO

1 Adrenalin, Joe McDonald (National Yacht Club)
2 Indecision, Declan Hayes (RIYC)
3 Gringo, Tony Fox (NYC)

Division 2 IRC

1 Equinox, Ross McDonald, (HYC)
2 Checkmate XV, DaveCullen (HYC)
3 Harmony, Jonny Swan/James Freyne, (HYC)

Division 2 ECHO

1 Lisador, Henry Hogg, (Garrykennedy SC)
2 Equinox, Ross McDonald, (HYC)
3 Graduate, PJ Barron, (RIYC)

Division 3 IRC

1 Fusion, Richard Cowell, (HYC)
2 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)
3 Bad Company, Desmond, Ivers, Deasy (RCYC)

Division 3 ECHO

1 Maximus, Paddy Kyne (HYC)
2 Monkey, Liam Lynch, (Tralee Bay SC)
3 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)

Division 4 IRC

1 Kilcullen, (HYC)
2 Quest, Barry Cunningham (RIYC)

Division 4 ECHO

1 Seven Whistler, Rene Wubben (WHSC)
2 White Magic, Donal Harding (Waterford Harbour SC)
3 No-Gnomes, Leonard Donnery, (RCYC)

J109
1 Joker 2, John Maybury (RIYC)
2 Storm, Pat Kelly (Rush SC/HYC)
3 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle (RCYC)

Quarter Tonner

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)
2 Quest, Barry Cunnigham (RIYC)
3 Anchor Challenge, Paul Gibbons (RCYC)

White Sail Division 1 IRC

1 Bite the Bullet, Colm Bermingham, (HYC)
2 White Lotus, Paul Tully, (Dun Laoghaire Motor YC)
3 Baccarat, Brian & Anthony McCarthy (KYC)

White Sail Divison 1 ECHO

1 Baccarat, Anthony/Brian McCarthy (KYC)
2 Cimarron VI Dave O'Sullivan (KYC)
3 White Tiger, Tony O'Brien (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 IRC

1 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)
2 Loch Greine, Tom O'Mahony (RCYC)
3 Guinness Khan, Caroline Forde (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 ECHO

1 Privateer, Dermot Lanigan (KYC)
2 Valfreya, David Riome (KYC)
3 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)

Published in Sovereign's Cup

#sovscup –  It's only now, with clear signs that the Irish economy is on track to return to vigorous health so long as everyone is reasonably sensible, that we can look for a real upturn in sailing enthusiasm. But with a good fleet getting great racing in the four day ICRA Nats/Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale, there's no denying a growing atmosphere of optimism. WM Nixon muses on the new mood, sets Kinsale in the local and national context, and speculates on the cast of thousands who might be on the podium when the championship finishes this evening.

When Ireland was still reeling from the savage economic downturn which followed the Celtic Tiger years, active numbers in sailing showed a marked decline. The nadir was reached in 2012, when the Irish Cruiser Racer Association failed to raise a three boat team to defend the Commodore's Cup which had been won so stylishly by Anthony O'Leary and his squad in 2010.

That it should have come to this.......After all, at the height of the boom years, there'd been three Irish Commodore's Cup teams competing for the same trophy. So the 2012 No Show served to emphasize the severity of the decline. But ICRA gritted its teeth, and planned accordingly. While Anthony O'Leary quietly beavered away under the radar on what was virtually a solo run in putting together a Commodore's Cup team which was to make a triumphant return to the fray in 2014, the national offshore racing authority had meanwhile been calculating the odds on getting good turnouts in its annual Irish championship.

There were hopes that there would continue to be a respectable turnout when the ICRA Nats were staged in Dublin Bay, as they'd be with the Royal Irish YC in Dublin Bay in 2014. And those hopes were duly fulfilled, even if many boats were racing with older sails than would have been the case in the boom years, while new boats were as rare as hen's teeth.

But for the first of the unforeseeable years beyond 2014, it was reckoned new thinking was required, and ICRA's number cruncher Denis Kiely came up with the notion that for 2015, it would make sense to run the ICRA Nats in conjunction with the established biennial Sovereigns Cup Regatta in Kinsale. To most, it seemed a good idea. A superb venue. And a very experienced race management team with a fine track record in the Sovereigns and other major events. All they needed to demonstrate their capabilities was a decent fleet. But with active cruiser-racer numbers weakened on the south coast, a decent turnout could not be taken for granted without some magic Ingredient X to encourage boats to travel from other areas.

Like it or not, the two words "National Championship" are Ingredient X. And in ICRA's case, there's multiple value, as their National Championship provides racing for a total of nine classes, and seven of those classes are racing under both IRC and ECHO.

It takes a while to get your head round all this, but it means that tonight there could be a total of sixteen different crews who can rightfully claim to be National Champions. Add in further multiple permutations which might just emerge among the minor places, and it's within the remoter realms of possibility that about half of the 109 boats taking part will be able to claim, when they've finally wended their way home along most of the coasts of Ireland and beyond, to have had a podium place in a National Championship.

So what's not to like? For a sailing community emerging from an economic recession so disastrous we still haven't really grasped its extent and depth, an event which aims to provide something for half the people in the audience is just the ticket. And if harsh critics say that this is fantasy sailing, the photos – particularly from yesterday's sun-blessed racing – tell us otherwise.

And as for the venue, well, there's something unreal about Kinsale anyway. It seems too good to be true. Yet it is there, and it's for real. And all the factors which saw it relinquish its position as the south coast's premier Naval Port from around 1750 onwards work together to make it the perfect sailing venue for our own times.

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Toytown harbour – Kinsale's compact size made it obsolete as a naval port as ship sizes grew from 1750 onwards, but the same factors make it perfect as a sailing venue today.

For Kinsale is a sort of Toytown. When it was at its height of naval importance, ships were much smaller, and harbour towns had to be as compact as possible to provide them with defence. But as ship sizes grew rapidly, Cork Harbour began to take over, and on Cork Harbour, it was Cobh with its big, new and confident sea-facing terraces of houses which became the expression of a growing naval presence.

By contrast, Kinsale in its great naval period around two or three centuries ago had generally smaller houses which clustered along both sides of a winding and very narrow main street which ran along the shoreline, but didn't provide a waterfront as we know it now. And though the Royal Navy had shifted its emphasis to Cork Harbour, Kinsale continued to house an army garrison to keep the place busy. That's why Kinsale is such a fascinating place to visit by boat. What you see is not what you're going to get. The "new" waterfront may be gradually developing, but the real Kinsale with its myriad of good restaurants and pubs is to be found in a rabbit warren of little streets which hark back to a much earlier age.

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Kinsale's rabbit warren of little old streets dates back a long time

k4.jpgThe contemporary waterfront of Kinsale is on reclaimed land along the original uneven and marshy shore. The houses on the south side of the main street had their backs to the sea, and Kinsale YC (on the extreme left) is a mixture of old and new, with the modern south-facing part of the building, looking towards KYC marina, added to the back of a handsome town house which faces north away from the harbour.

k5.jpgOnce upon a time, this was the most important trading and naval port on the south coast, but Kinsale today is all about sailing and fishing.

It has an attractively prosperous and busy air to it all, but it's not so long ago that Kinsale seemed a place in irreversible decay. Time was, though, when it had enough people in business in the 1800s to support busy local sailing, and the Royal Cork YC's most famous trophy, the Kinsale Kettle of 1859, attests to this, while a regatta was reported as early as 1839. The Thuillier family set much of the waterborne pace, and John Thuillier's fascinating book Kinsale Harbour – A History (Collins Press, 2014) puts a complex story into perspective.

Ship and boat building was part of the scene, but sometimes the shipwright branch of the Thuilliers built a yacht, the most famous being the 35ft cutter Tertia from 1898. According to Lloyd's Register, she was designed by a local clergyman, the Reverend Welsted, but the folk in Kinsale reckon the Thuillier brothers put manners on the Reverend's vague drawings to make Tertia a real performer.

Certainly around Kinsale she's remembered as a boat which – during the 1920s and '30s – used to give Harry Donegan's famous Gull a hard time on the competitive course, particularly in the legendary August weekend "ocean race" from Cork Harbour to Kinsale. But inter-harbour rivalry is such that around Cork Harbour – where she was ultimately based, ending her days as a fishing boat in Cobh - she's remembered as the boat in which a very young crew, under the command of the then 15-year-old Clayton Love Jnr, sailed from Cork Harbour to Dublin Bay early in the summer of 1944. Ireland was so cut off from much of the rest of the planet during World War II that it was only when the young sailors arrived into Dun Laoghaire that they found they'd been making their voyage during D-Day, but that's a story for another day.

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Tertia, designed and built in Kinsale in 1898. In June 1944, she was cruised from Cork Harbour to Dublin Bay, but her crew of schoolboys only found out after they'd arrived in Dun Laoghaire that D-Day had happened while they were at sea.

By the late 1940s, Kinsale was only a shadow of its former sailing self, but some such as John Henry Thuillier and Dick Hegarty continued to keep the faith, and by the 1950s Kinsale Sailing Cub – nowadays Kinsale Yacht Club – was in being, the pace gradually increasing until it today it is one of Ireland's top ten, and was the Mitsubishi Motors "Club of the Year" in 1998 and 2014.

With its glorious yet compact natural harbour leading into the midst of the hospitable and historic town, Kinsale is Ireland's most popular international cruising destination. But as has been seen these past three days, it lends itself equally well to being a racing venue, and with the weather picking up as the current four day regatta has progressed, we face into the final day with top sport guaranteed.

As for the number of visiting boats, they have been the making of the event. The Royal Irish YC – hosts for the 2014 ICRAs – have sent seventeen spread across most classes, while Howth – who step up to the plate to host the 2016 ICRA Nats – have sent fifteen, with their Kinsale HQ established in The White Lady.

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Team spirit. The successful squad from Howth YC have established their Command HQ in Kinsale in The White Lady. Photo: Kevin Burke

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The veteran X332 Equinox (Ross McDonald). As the wind has freshened, Equinox has consolidated her lead in Div 2, even though the three Half Tonners had shown ahead in the early races.

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The successful modified Half Tonner Harmony (Jonny Swan and Jim Freyne) clearly subscribes to the theory that best speed downwind in light airs is best obtained through keeping weight well away from the stern.

It seems the Howth men and women are in serious training for 2016 already, as they're in there battling at the top of several classes, and even with today's races still to be sailed, your money would be very safe betting on a Howth boat to win Division 2, as they're in the top four places after six races.

The series started in a gentle and muggy southerly breeze, and in the soft going the light breeze specialists did mighty well, with the three hot Howth Half Tonners – Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV, Jonny Swan & Jim Freyne's Harmony, and the Evans brothers' Big Picture – vying for the lead.

But as the breeze sharpened over the next couple of days towards yesterday's sunny power-blast which saw sails torn, spars broken, and four crewmen over the side, Ross McDonald's veteran X332 Equinox found conditions increasingly to her liking, and last night as the discard swung into place, she moved clear on top with a discarded fourth while counting four bullets and a third.

ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly – also from Howth – has likewise been having a good series up in Class 0 with the Mills 36 Crazy Horse, which he co-owns with Alan Chambers. Crazy Horse's performance hasn't been at all impaired by having the great Dave Harte of Schull on board, though the notching of discards had been to the advantage of Andy Williams from south Devon with the Ker 40 Keronimo (Class 0 find great inspiration in the names of Native American chieftains) which was only two points adrift on the Horse.

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The Mills 36 Crazy Horse (Nobby Reilly & Alan Chambers) has the points lead in Division 0 going into the final day's racing in the ICRA Nats this morning.

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The Ker 40 Keronimo (Andy Williams, Yealm YC) was a contender for the top slot in Dvision 0, but damage in yesterday's second race has resulted in her withdrawal from today's races. Photo: Courtesy KYC.

However, in the breezy second race yesterday, Keronimo had such a contretemps with her spinnaker that it resulted in serious damage to her pulpit and liferails which cannot be repaired in time for this morning's first race, and she has withdrawn. This means that second overall in Div 0 is now likely to be George Sisk's Farr 42 WOW (RIYC), which is thus doing best in class of the three gallant Dun Laoghaire boats which did the recent Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race before coming back to Kinsale. The other two are the J/109 Dear Prudence (Bourke, Cummins & Lyons, RIYC) currently 16th in Division 1, which has her astern of the twin-ruddered JPK 9.60 Alchimiste (Mike Murphy, NYC) – Alchimiste is 12th, which is some small compensation for being pipped by Dear Prudence by 50 seconds for fourth place in the race to Dingle.

Division 1 is a seriously strong brew, with Olympian Mark Mansfield of Cork helming John Maybury's J/109 Joker from the Royal Irish in what was developing as a battle with the new British J/109 champion, Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby from Royal Cork. But after yesterday's brisk sport, Scottish Series 2015 overall winner Rob McConnell from Dunmore East has got in between the two of them after scoring a first and fourth with his A35 Fool's Gold.

Division 2 we've looked at already, Division 3 sees another Howth boat on top, but this time it's only equal top for Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbe's Corby 25 Fusion to lead on count-back, as they're level-pegging on 13 points with Tim Goodbody (RIYC) in the Sigma 33 White Magic. Captain Tim is relishing every minute of sport in Kinsale, as he has indicated that as Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015 in ten days' time, he won't have time to campaign his own boat on Dublin Bay. White Magic got a first in the second race on Thursday, and with a second and a fourth yesterday, she's very much in contention.

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Tim Goodbody blasting downwind in his Sigma 33 White Mischief in yesterday afternoon's race. He currently lies equal first in Division 3 at Kinsale, and it's his last opportunity for some sport afloat before his duties as Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta take over completely in ten days time. Photo courtesy KYC

The Quarter Tonners and others in Division 4 are well led by Tony Hayward's Blackfun from Cowes, which – thanks to consistency – is all of ten points ahead of a couple of J/24s, Kilcullen with the Under 25 squad from Howth, and Flor O'Driscoll (who doesn't quite qualify for an Under-25 squad) with Hard on Port from Royal St George YC.

In the two White Sails Divisions which have their starts in civilised style in the harbour off Charles Fort, we just can't sidestep the fact that Howth boats are setting the pace again, with Colm Bermingham's Elan 333 Bite the Bullet three points clear of Paul Tully (DMYC) in his sister-ship White Lotus in Non-Spin Div 1, while Non Spin Div 2 sees HYC's Windsor Laudan and Steph Ennis with the Club Shamrock Demelza (winners in 2014) ahead again in 2015 after logging four wins in the first four races.

Having sailed with this formidable duo in the ICRA Nats 2014, this is no surprise – they're a marvellous testimony to the racing potential of a good old boat well tuned, well cared for, and well sailed. But with plenty of wind expected from the south by this afternoon to round out the ICRA Sovereigns 2015, the Demelza team - together with all the other front runners in all divisions under whatever handicap systems – are going to have to play it cool to bring this great regatta to a safe and successful conclusion before the weather goes down the tubes again tonight.

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Heading out from the start in Kinsale for yet another win. Demelza is probably the most successful of the veteran Club Shamrocks designed by Ron Holland in the 1970s. Currently owned by Windsor Laudan and Steph Ennis, Demelza won Div 2 (Non-spinnaker) in the ICRA Nats 2014 in Dublin Bay, and looks likely to complete a successful defence today at Kinsale. Photo: Peadar Murphy

Results – ICRA Nationals & Sovereign's Cup 2015
Day 3, after 6 races sailed (26th June 2015)

Division 0 IRC

1 Crazy Horse, Norbert Reilly/Alan Chambers (Howth Yacht Club)
2 Keronimo, Andy Williams (Yealm Yacht Club)
3 WOW George Sisk

Division 0 ECHO

1 Godot, John Godkin (Kinsale YC)
2 Forty Licks, Jay Colville, East Down YC
3 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (CCC)

Division 1 IRC

1 Joker 2, John Maybury, (Royal Irish Yacht Club
2 Fool's Gold, Robert McConnell (Wicklow Harbour SC)
3 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle, (Royal Cork Yacht Club)

Division 1 ECHO

1 Adrenalin, Joe McDonald (National Yacht Club)
2 Indecision, Declan Hayes (RIYC)
3 Gringo, Tony Fox (NYC)

Division 2 IRC

1 Equinox, Ross McDonald, (HYC)
2 Harmony, Jonny Swan/JamesFreyne, (HYC)
3 Checkmate XV, Davie Cullen (HYC

Division 2 ECHO

1 Harmony, Jonny Swan/JamesFreyne, (HYC)
2 Dexterity, Foynes Team (Foynes YC)
3 Black Velvet, Leslie Parnell (RIYC)

Division 3 IRC

1 Fusion, Richard Cowell, (HYC)
2 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)
3 Bad Company, Desmond, Ivers, Deasy (RCYC)

Division 3 ECHO

1 Powder Monkey, Liam Lynch, (Tralee Bay SC)
2 Maximus, Paddy Kyne (HYC)
3 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)

Division 4 IRC

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)
2 Kilcullen, (HYC)
3 Hard on Port, Flor O'Driscoll (RSt.GYC)

Division 4 ECHO

1 Seven Whistler, Rene Wubben (WHSC)
2 Kilcullen (HYC)
3 No-Gnomes, Leonard Donnery, (RCYC)

J109

1 Joker 2, John Maybury (RIYC)
2 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle (RCYC)
3 Storm, Pat Kelly (Rush SC/HYC)

Quarter Tonner

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)
2 Anchor Challenge, Paul Gibbons (RCYC)
3 Quest, Barry Cunnigham (RIYC)

White Sail Division 1 IRC

1 Bite the Bullet, Colm Bermingham, (HYC)
2 White Lotus, Paul Tully, (Dun Laoghaire Motor YC)
3 Baccarat, Brian & Anthony McCarthy (KYC)

White Sail Divison 1 ECHO

1 Baccarat, Anthony/Brian McCarthy (KYC)
2 White Tiger, Tony O'Brien (KYC)
3 Cimarron IV (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 IRC

1 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)
2 Loch Greine, Tom O'Mahony (RCYC)
3 Saoirse, Richard Hanley (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 ECHO

1 Privateer, Dermot Lanigan (KYC)
2 Valfreya, David Riome (KYC)
3 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)

Published in W M Nixon

#sovscup – No surprises that form boat Jelly Baby leads division one of the 2015 ICRA Nationals in Kinsale Yacht Club tonight writes Claire Bateman. No surprise either that another Irish UK champion this season is also in the frame after two light races on the south coast.

The annual (ICRA) championship that combines the club's Sovereigns' Cup event runs until Saturday. The event featured in today's Afloat enews. For more click here.

Forecasted moderate to fresh south–westerly winds gusting up to 25 mph that look set to provide perfect racing conditions for the 122–boat fleet failed to materialise this afternoon as did the summer sunshine. 

Ian Nagle's Royal Cork leader – that has already chalked up two UK victories this season – is a single point ahead of J109 sistership Joker II (John Maybury) in the biggest fleet of the championship. Third, six points off the lead, is May's Scottish series winner Fool's Gold skippered by Rob McConnell of Waterford Harbour, Afloat's sailor of the month for May. 

But despite the Munster lead in division in one, it is Howth Yacht Club that has set a strong early pace in the four-day series off the Old Head of Kinsale. The north Dublin club holds leading places in four of the eight racing divisions including the top four boats in Division 2.

Kinsale was like a deserted village when everybody had taken to the water. The day was dull and had what started out as a light breeze that filled in later in the day.

Former RCYC Admiral Peter Deasy reported from Class Three that it was very competitive and a very enjoyable day's racing.

Fleets were divided into red and green to alternate each day between windward/leeward and round the cans courses.

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Champion Sigma 33 White Mischief skippered by Timothy Goodbody of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is fourth in class three 

Class Three were to sail today on the round the cans course but due to the fickle breeze in the morning Race Officer Jack Roy set a windward/leeward course and shortened it to two rounds instead of three. As the wind filled in during the day a round the cans course was set and while the Desmond/Deasy Ivers Bad Company (RCYC) led all the way from the weather mark, she was caught at the finish by Richard Colwell's Corby 25 who had a two and a one in IRC with Bad Company on three and two in second and another Corby 25 , Paul Tingle's Alpaca (RCYC) also enjoying the lighter conditions lying third.

Meanwhile, in Alan Crosbie's red fleet sailing the windward/leeward course were Classes Zero, One and Two, and in the lighter airs of the morning ICRA Commodore, Norbert Reilly, sailing the Mills 36 Crazy Horse Zero took the first gun followed by regular visitor to Ireland Andy Williams of Yealm Yacht Club in his Ker 40 Keronimo, in second but these positions were reversed in Race Two so an interesting battle is already developing in this fleet. Currently lying third is the Jonathan Anderson Roxstar an XP381 followed by local RCYC boat Denise and Conor Phelan's Jump Juice.

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Dublin Bay's Joker II is second overall in IRC one

As previously mentioned, in Division One IRC, one of the hardest fought divisions the current two first places are occupied by RCYC Ian Nagle's J109 Jelly Baby, currently riding high on a succession of major wins, followed John Maybury's Joker 2 another J109 and a previous winner of this class Rob McConnell's Archambult 35 Fool's Gold in third place. Following in fourth place is Richad Fides Corby 33, with Paul O'Higgins Rocakbill V in fifth and Pat Kelly's J109 Storm in sixth place. A truly formidable line up and a good week of battle to look forward to.

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The Quarter Tonner Cartoon (Ken Lawless, Joe Brady, Sybil McCormack) second in class four

As reported today in Afloat.ie, the battle for the half tonners is in already in full swing. With the first four positions dominated by Howth Yacht Club led by David Cullen's Checkmate XV with two wins, with Harmony having to be content with two seconds. Lying third is the well travelled Equinox the X332 of Ross McDonald on equal points with another half tonner Michael and Richard Evans The Big Picture.

Tomorrow's winds are expected to be stronger so a great day's racing lies in store

Results ICRA Nationals & Sovereign's Cup 2015

Day 1, after 2 races sailed (24th June 2015)

Division 0 IRC

1 Keronimo, Andy Williams (Yealm Yacht Club)

2 Crazy Horse, Norbert Reilly/Alan Chambers (Howth Yacht Club)

3 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (Clyde Cruising Club)

Division 0 ECHO

1 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (CCC)

2 Crazy Horse, Norbert Reilly/Alan Chambers (HYC)

3 Forty Licks, Jay Colville, East Down YC

Division 1 IRC

1 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle, (Royal Cork Yacht Club)

2 Joker 2, John Maybury, (Royal Irish Yacht Club

3 Fool's Gold, Robert McConnell (Wicklow Harbour SC)

Division 1 ECHO

1 Adrenalin, Joe McDonald (National Yacht Club)

2 Raptor, Denis Hewitt & others (RIYC)

3 Joie de Vie, Glenn Chaiul, Silvie Blazkova (Galway Bay SC)

Division 2 IRC

1 Checkmate XV, Davie Cullen, HYC

2 Harmony, Jonny Swan/James Freyne, HYC

3 Equinox, Ross McDonald, HYC

Division 2 ECHO

1 Harmony, Jonny Swan/James Freyne, HYC

2 Jostler, Patrick Beckett, (KYC)

3 Checkmate XV, Davie Cullen, HYC

Division 3 IRC

1 Fusion, Richard Cowell, (HYC)

2 Bad Company, Desmond, Ivers, Deasy (RCYC)

3 Alpaca, Paul & Deirdre Tingle (RCYC)

Division 3 ECHO

1 Reavra, Stephen Lysaght (KYC)

2 Maximus, Paddy Kyne (HYC)

3 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody (RIYC)

Division 4 IRC

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)

2 Cartoon, Ken Lawless, Joe Brady, Sybil McCormack (RIYC)

3 Anchor Challenge, Paul Gibbons, (RCYC)

Division 4 ECHO

1 White Magic, Donal Harding, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club

2 No-Gnomes, Leonard Donnery, (RCYC)

3 Seven Whistler, Rene Wubben (WHSC)

J109

1 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle (RCYC)

2 Joker 2, John Maybury (RIYC)

3 Storm, Pat Kelly (Rush SC/HYC)

Quarter Tonner

1 Cartoon, Ken Lawless, Joe Brady, Sybil McCormack (RIYC)

2 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)

3 Anchor Challenge, Paul Gibbons (RCYC)

White Sail Division 1 IRC

1 White Lotus, Paul Tully, (Dun Laoghaire Motor YC)

2 Bite the Bullet, Colm Bermingham, (HYC)

3 Val Kriss,Nigel Dann (KYC)

White Sail Divison 1 ECHO

1 White Lotus, Paul Tully, (Dun Laoghaire Motor YC)

2 Baccarat, Anthony/Brian McCarthy (KYC)

3 Sonas, David Ross (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 IRC

1 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)

2 Loch Greine, Tom O'Mahony (RCYC)

3 Saoirse, Richard Hanley (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 ECHO

1 Loch Greine, Tom O'Mahony (RCYC)

2 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)

3 Guinness Kann, Caroline Forde (KYC)_

Full results here

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Published in Sovereign's Cup

#SovereignNavy – The call of the Naval Service's L.É. Eithne (P31) to Dublin Port yesterday saw Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Defence attend the launch of the ICRA Nationals and Sovereigns Cup to be held on the 24-27 June, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie the ICRA Nationals, the south coast's biggest sailing event of the year is to be hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club as part of its Sovereign's Cup event. 

The launch held on board L.É.Eithne took place as part of a routine call to the capital where the 1984 built (HPV) Helicopter Patrol Vessel is now in her fourth decade in service since her commissioning also that year. The 31 year-old L.É.Eithne also shares the same number with that of the pennent number designated to the HPV where 'P31' is displayed on her bow.

Originally, she came equipped with French built 'Dauphin' helicopters of the Irish Air Corps that after duties could return to the stern heli-deck and be stowed in the adjoining hanger. 

On her visit to the capital this saw her make an entrance on the Liffey having sailed upriver through the East-Link toll-lift bridge which as it happens was also completed in 1984.

The 1,900 tonnes vessel is one of three ageing patrol vessels all dating to 1984 out of seven-strong fleet based in the Naval Service HQ on Haulbowline Island in lower Cork Harbour. 

Easily recognisable compared to fleetmates as the 80-metre L.É. Eithne has a larger superstructure and a pair of funnels.

She was launched nearby to the naval base in Rushbrooke at the Verolme Cork Dockyard. This would be the yard's final order before closing that same year.

A total crew of 55 (6 officers) serve on board the HPV which has a main armament consisting of a bow-mounted Bofors 57mm canon. 

Secondary armament are a pair of 20mm Rheinmetall canons in addition to a variety of smaller arms ranging from 9mm pistol to a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun.

The 55 crew of L.É.Eithne in which six are officers had departed Dublin Port this afternoon that saw a southbound passage through Dublin Bay and out into the Irish Sea.

During her career the 7,000 nautical-mile range capable vessel has carried out numerous fishery patrol duties, related boardings and among other roles that of drug-interdiction duties. 

She has also been tasked with deployments overseas along with becoming the first Naval Service ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. On that occasion in 1986, the HPV visited the eastern seaboard of North America with calls to New York, Boston and Hamilton. 

L.É.Eithne along with her fleetmates are to regain the usual total of eighth patrol vessels. This will be achieved when the newbuild OPV90 class James Joyce as previously reported is due for delivery next month.

She is the second of a trio of Enhanced 'Roisin' class vessels following last year's introduction of L.É. Samuel Beckett (P61). 

The final unit due in 2016 represents a fleet renewal and modernisation programme when the remaining 'Emer' class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) L.É. Aisling (P23) is to be withdrawn. 

 

 

Published in Navy
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