Greystones Yacht Lifts the Sovereign’s Cup at Kinsale
With an enviable string of all race wins in the four-day O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup, Frank Whelan's Eleuthera from Greystones Sailing Club took the overall trophy at Kinsale Yacht Club on Saturday night as the best boat performing under the international IRC rating system.
The Portcullis Trophy was awarded to John Gordon’s X-Rated from Mayo Sailing Club for best overall performance under the ECHO handicap system.
Eleuthera’s string of six wins was matched in kind by straight second places for Conor Phelan’s Jump Juice and Denis and Anne Marie Murphys’ Nieulargo in third, both from the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Saturday’s final day brought sunshine and a light to moderate breeze - welcome relief after unseasonal gales and fog earlier in the event - to complete the race programme on all courses.
George Sisk’s WOW from the Royal Irish Yacht Club also delivered a hat-trick of wins in the Coastal class that enjoyed a 15 nautical-mile race between the new racing mark at the Old Head of Kinsale Golf links and the Sovereigns rocks off Oysterhaven.
In the championship events sailed within the O’Leary Life Sovereign’s Cup this year, Peter Bowring’s Phantom from the Royal St. George Yacht Club convincingly won the Dragon Nationals thanks to two race wins on the final day. Ross and Aoife McDonald’s Ropedock - Atara from Howth Yacht Club won the 1720 championship with all podium places.
Amongst the bigger fleets, there was cut and thrust racing aplenty, notably in Division 2 where Nigel Biggs from Manchester on Checkmate XVIII and representing the Royal Irish and Howth yacht clubs had a 'do or die' sixth race with Michael Wright’s Mata from Howth. A win for Wright in the penultimate race brought him one point ahead of Biggs who then won the match-race for the final as the pair were unbeatable for the top two places in their 19-strong fleet.
However, Wright still emerged with Irish Half-ton Cup to sit alongside his Division 2 national championship title from earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Howth continued in the prizes with a win for Richard Colwell and John Murphys’ Outrajeous in Division 1, completing a scoreline of all first and second places for the series. Their victory was only assured in the final race after Paul and Deidre Tingles’ Alpaca from the Royal Cork Yacht Club broke through the wall of J109’s in the class, bringing their X-34 up to second place overall with a win and second on the last day that dropped their clubmates on JellyBaby into third overall.
In the non-spinnaker fleets, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club’s Shane Statham on Slack Alice won the overall White Sails trophy for his straight wins under IRC plus his counterpart victory on ECHO handicap, a feat only managed by Eleuthera in Division 0 and Kinsale’s John Twomey on Shillelagh in White Sails 2.
Other major prizes included Patrick Burke’s Prima Luce from the Royal Irish Yacht Club competing in the Coastal division that won the Michelle Dunne ‘Prix d-elegance’ trophy for best presented entry in the event.
Enjoy this incredible gallery of the action by David Branigan : Oceansport