Kinsale in the summertime…..If you set out to create the dream harbour as the perfect location for a regatta which captures the essence of the many pleasures of sailing and racing on Ireland’s south coast, then you’d end up with somewhere very like Kinsale writes W M Nixon. The characterful and hospitable old town climbs picturesquely above the bustling facilities-blessed waterfront, complete with its friendly yacht club. It makes for the ideal setting for the biennial Sovereign’s Cup, sponsored again by O’Leary Life, with the dates for 2019 being Wednesday June 26th to Saturday June 29th).
The impressive larger craft at the head of the cruiser-racer divisions inevitably draw the eye, with a distinct X-factor at the top of the fleet where Conor Doyle’s impressive XP 50 Freya will sail for the honour of the home fleet against such challengers as George Sisk’s new-acquired XP 44 WOW from Dun Laoghaire, and Robert Rendell’s XC 45 Samatoma from Howth - all of them electing to race with the Coastal Fleet.
X-Yachts of Denmark have a good track record at the Sovereign's, as main trophy winners in times past such as the Gore-Grimes family’s X-302 Dux from Howth will be very much in the fray, in against craft like D-Tox and Alpaca in 2019, while their club mates from the north Dublin port’s noted Half Ton Classics flotilla will be strongly represented, as will the popular J/109s from several different ports.
For those who prefer their racing at a slightly less high-powered level, the attractive racing waters between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Sovereign’s Islands off Oysterhaven will be the location for the White Sail Fleet, while nearby the race areas of the International Dragons and the International 1720s will be seeing some very intense sport.
In its early years, the Sovereign’s Cup was very much a cruiser-racer event. But the revival in popularity of the 1702 Sportsboats - and this year’s 90th Anniversary of the ever-young International Dragons - makes the addition of these rather special One-Designs seem like an appropriate and invigorating spicing-up of the Sovereign’s Cup 2019.
Written by W M Nixon