The tenth edition of Kinsale Yacht Clubs bi-annual Sovereign’s Cup gets under way next week with a very healthy entry list of 90-boats.The recent reopening of Kinsale Yacht Club after extensive renovations creates a fitting venue to celebrate the tenth birthday of this most popular event. The warm welcome, competitive racing in what are some of Irelands most beautiful sailing waters, along with the very social atmosphere ashore characterise Sovereign’s Cup and have made it the success it is over the last ten years.

The 90-boats registered to date are spread across 16 classes with a healthy sprinkle of talent from both at home and overseas racing in each division. The regatta will be sailed across four different  courses. The windward/leeward course will be managed by Alan Crosbie with  Jack Roy shepherding the round the cans course.Peter Crowley has his hands full with both the 1720 and Quarter ton classes and  Donal Hayes is looking after the White Sail division.

Class Zero has an impressive line-up of 8 boats, primarily made up of custom IRC boats from around the Irish coast and the UK. Entering for the first time is the Ker 40 “Keronimo” which will no doubt put it up to regatta stalwarts such as Jump Juice, Dark Angle and Impetuous. Class 1 has 17 entries in what is a very tight class band. The majority of boats range from 34 to 36 feet. Travelling through the water at similar speeds, there are sure to be plenty of traffic management issues. An impressive six J109’s line up in class one. In light of this Regatta Director Mike Walsh has elected to make them a class within a class and award prizes to the top three scoring boats under IRC.

This year sees the return of the Quarter ton fleet for what will be their third class start at Sovereign’s Cup. The fleet is made of the who’s who of the class from both at home and the Uk. Rob Gray, class winner in 2011 returns with a “new” boat “Cote”. Other notable Solent raiders are making the journey with recently crowned ICRA National Champion Quest along with Diarmuid Foley’s beautiful Anchor Challenge leading to Irish charge.

Racing on the same course as the Quarter Tonners are the 1720’s who hold their European Championships as an integral part of this year’s Sovereign’s Cup. The class last sailed in Sovereign’s Cup in 1997, when the class trophy and indeed the overall award, the Sovereign’s Cup was awarded to the Anthony O’Leary. The 16 boats entered so far this year are packed previous National and European Champions. As with so many other classes this year, anyone could win this class making one to keep a close eye on as the regatta progresses. 

Regatta director Mike Walsh looks forward to extending a warm welcome to all competitors next week.  “The scene is set for a successful four days racing afloat and four nights fun ashore. The child of Prague has been dusted down and early indicators are that we will get some good weather. I look forward to what will hopefully be a great regatta”.
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