Congratulations to Team Munster on winning the inaugural The President’s Cup in Kinsale Yacht Club on Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of September. The event was a combined initiative from Sailability Ireland and the ISA.
48 sailors, representing all four provinces, competed in a series of six races over the two days, all in idyllic sailing conditions in Kinsale Harbour. Race Officer Tony Ireson and his team did tremendous work in setting extremely punctual courses and his determined attitude saw the races in the bag in light patchy conditions, before retiring to the club house Saturday evening for some vintage après sail entertainment. The mighty MC for the night, Donal Hickey, coordinated a lovely meal and fabulous speeches from KYC Commodore Finbarr O’Regan and surprise Skype speech from the legendary John Twomey President of the IFDS, who the event is named in celebration of his achievements. The club was then spoiled by a lovely treat on the piano by competing sailor and musician Thomas Hosford, who is blind and played four songs from each province and finished with a powerful rendition of Ireland’s Call, where the four proud provinces truly sung and sailed shoulder to shoulder.
A beautiful blue Kinsale sky and 15 knot breeze greeted the sailors for Day 2, raising the bar for competition. This allowed the race committee to run longer and more challenging courses which the competitors duly responded to and seen some really tight close racing. Some teams in their excitement even started pushing over their own teams in different classes, causing much discussion back on shore. As a first time event of this nature the standard of sailing was excellent and competition fierce with no holds barred at the start line and rounding marks. All four classes, Sonar, Skud, Squib and Hansa, raced in every race with sailors of mixed abilities, with varying physical, learning or sensory impairments and experience ranging from first time to race to past Paralympians. This event truly demonstrating that sailing is a sport for all and a sport for life.
The prize giving was held out on deck after the BBQ where the fabulous commissioned trophy kindly sponsored by Kingspan was raised by team captain Kevin Downing and the rest of the Munster Team. Team Ulster was a close second and only one point ahead of Connaught while Team Leinster took the wooden spoon home to get preparations for the 2015 event underway. The event was initiated by ISA Development Officer Ciarán Murphy, who thanked all those who participated and facilitated the event. Ciarán pointed out that the prize giving was not the end but the start and the legacy of the President’s Cup, which should see some of this weekend’s winners taking on the Irish Flag from John Twomey into the future of Paralympic sailing.
Thank you to Kingspan for their generous sponsorship of this event.
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For those wishing to find out more about sailing for people with disabilities please contact Ciarán Murphy at email@example.com or 087 8800744.
Sailability Ireland, in conjunction with the ISA, has launched ‘The Presidents Cup’ - a new championship to encourage sailors with disabilities to compete in the classes sailed at Paralympic and international level.
‘The Presidents Cup’ has been named in honour of 10-time Paralympian and current President of the International Disabled Sailing Association, John Twomey from Kinsale Yacht Club. John himself is this week competing at the IDFS World Championships in Canada in the hopes of qualifying for his 11th consecutive Games.
A team of 10 sailors from each of the four Irish provinces will compete in four different classes; the Hansa 303, SKUD 18, Squib and Sonar for this prestigious prize. Kinsale Yacht Club has kindly agreed to host this inaugural event which will be held on 6th and 7th of September. In 2013 the Club hosted the IFDS Disabled World Sailing Championships to incredible success and this event will form part of that legacy.
Six races will be sailed and the team that has the best results in the four classes will be crowned champions. The event is being kindly sponsored by Kingspan, who are a global leader in high performance insulation, building fabric, and solar integrated building envelopes.
A limited number of places are still available for both sailors with disabilities and volunteers who would like to participate in the championship. For more information email Ciaran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sailability Ireland and the ISA are very excited about this new initiative and are hoping that this will encourage more sailors along the path to international competition.