Perfect conditions awaited the 21 boat SB20 fleet this weekend at Kinsale for the Southern Championships hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club.  Blue skies and light to medium easterly breeze allowed the fleet at last to drop the thermal layers in favour of sun cream, shorts and t-shirts so often lacking on the circuit of late.  The six race series over Saturday and Sunday was masterfully conducted on the water by PRO Tony Ireson and his team.  

It was Scott McKeon on board Magic who got proceedings off to a fine start with a win in Race 1 closely followed by Darren Martin on board The Sloth in 2nd.  Although Peter Kennedy on board Ridgefence got off to a slow start in Race 1 he took line honours in Race 2 closely followed by the ever quick and consistent John O’Driscoll from RSGYC on Boomchicawahwah again with Darren Martin in the leading pack in 3rd.  

Race 3 on Saturday was shortened due to a dying breeze.  The fleet and PRO hoped a sea breeze would develop but this never materialised and as a result the final race favoured the lucky and frowned on the not so fortunate. Mel Collins from RCYC won this race with Peter Lee on Seriously Bonkers in 2nd and John O’Driscoll in third, thus leaving John as overnight leader.

The first race on Sunday again was won by Peter Kennedy, Stephen Kane and Bob Espey who were sporting a brand new set of the new Sportsboatworld black sails which have been adopted by the class internationally.  The sails are made of the same material as the white sails with a dye added which is claimed to offer better UV protection and longevity. If anything they’re easy to spot on the race course.

Scott McKeon proved again to be slippy in the light breezed and won Race 5 but the scene was being set behind the stage by the ever consistent Ben Duncan on Sharkbait who was now one point behind John O’Driscoll going into Race 6.  BoomChicawahwah had to beat Sharkbait to ensure their win but this was not to be.  Despite PRO Tony Ireson’s warning to the fleet, it was the 3rd Black Flag of the day that decided John’s fate and he received an early shower instead.  Duncan with John O’Driscoll sent home, had to place in the top 3 in the final race to win the event.  Despite the attention of Scott McKeon and Darren Martin, Duncan managed to end in third behind Martin and HYC helm Keith Cassidy who had the final say and took line honours.    

So Ben Duncan and team on Sharkbait retain the SB20 Southern Trophy and remarkably win their second event this year to John O’Driscoll on count back on the final race.  Consistency is obviously the key to the Duncan mantra.  Peter Kennedy was third and Scott McKeon fourth.

For full results see
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