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O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club - Overall

by David Branigan 24 Jun 2017 22:05 BST 21-24 June 2017

There was no doubt about the overall winner of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club at the weekend when a standout performance by Rob McConnell's Fool's Gold delivered the trophy to Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.

Straight wins across the series - a string of six bullets - in Class 1 IRC which was the largest division with 16 boats out of the 98-strong fleet meant McConnell's result was the best score of the event.

Pat Kelly's J109 Storm from Howth YC followed victory at the Scottish Series barely a month ago with straight second place finishes against the Dunmore East-based Fool's Gold.

With no fewer than 11 J109's taking part in the division, a separate title was sailed within the series. However, as Storm is currently ineligible for J109 one-design racing, the class title went to John Maybury's Joker II, just one point ahead of Andrew Algeo's Juggerknot with Timothy and Richard Goodbody's White Mischief in third place; all three boats sail from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

In the 1720 European Championships, run as part of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup this year, Anthony O'Leary's Antix was crowned 2017 Champion denying overall victory from his son Peter, a double Olympian veteran.

In Class Zero, Tony Ackland's Dark Angel claimed two bullets on the final day to come home ahead of Conor Phelan's Jump Juice and Johnny Mordaunt's eye-catching Tshcuss. There was some consolation for the Jump Juice team when they were awarded the Michelle Dunne Prix d'Elegance for the best presented boat at the 2017 regatta.

Local boat Artful Dodger, skippered by former Kinsale YC Commodore Finbarr O'Regan claimed overall victory in Class 2 IRC by the tightest of margins, squeezing out Kieran Collins' Coracle VI by just 0.5 points after six races. Overall 2015 Sovereign's Cup winner Equinox, skippered by Ross McDonald mounted a worthy defence of her crown to third place overall by a narrow 0.5 point margin.

But in Class 2 under Progressive ECHO handicap, Coracle VI claimed top honours and the other overall prize for the regatta, the Portcullis Trophy for the best performing boat under Progressive ECHO handicap.

Howth YC had a clean sweep of prize-winners in the Half Ton IRC class, sailed as part of the Class 2 fleet. David Cullen's Checkmate XV edged out Michael Evan's The Big Picture for top spot, with John Swan's Harmony claiming the third podium spot.

Howth also dominated in Class 3 where Paddy Kyne's Maximus brought her 2015 form back to this year's regatta finishing top boat under IRC with just seven points from five scoring races, after discarding a third place. Under Progressive ECHO, the club also claimed a 1-2-3 with Maximus, Dux and Eddie Bourke's Xebec taking the podium places in a very tight class.

Class 4 proved to be the most open class with five different boats claiming the six available podium positions in IRC and ECHO. Sybil McCormack & Ken Lawless' Cartoon was the only boat to feature in ECHO and IRC, winning the ECHO division and coming third in IRC while under IRC, Sinéad Enright's J24 YaGottaWanna claimed top honours for Royal Cork YC.

In the two White Sails divisions, there was further silverware for Howth YC as Colm Bermingham on Bite the Bullet claimed top spot overall in White Sails 1 IRC while in ECHO, Denis Murphy's Nieulargo claimed top spot for Royal Cork. Stephanie Ennis and Windsor Lauden's veteran Howth entry Demelza was the runaway winner of White Sails 2 IRC, with a string of bullets for the Club Shamrock. Under ECHO, Dermot Lanigan's Privateer came out top for KYC, with Demelza shading second place from Tom O'Mahony's Loch Gréine on count back.

An outstanding week for Demelza was capped with the Howth team being judged the inaugural winner of the O'Leary Life Family Boat prize.

In the Coastal Class, as Friday's programme was cancelled due to high winds, there was no series discard so after the three races, the overall podium positions in IRC and ECHO were identical. Conor Doyle's Freya, fresh from a broken boom in KYC's Spring Series, claimed top spot, despite not matching her race winning exploits of Wednesday and Thursday. The Coastal Class was locked out by Kinsale boats with the Carroll Brothers' Chancer second overall and with John Godkin's Godot finishing the event in third place.

Full results can be found here.

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