Consistency paid dividends for Mike and Ritchie Evans’s Snapshot from Howth on Thursday as the J99 took the overall lead of Division Two at the O’Leary Insurance Group Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale.
Disrupting the dominance of the more established J109 class that has been an unstoppable force around Irish coasts in recent years, the Evans brothers have carved out an eight-point lead in the class at the halfway stage of the event.
A second place and a race win puts them ahead of Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National Yacht Club.
However, former class leader Pat Kelly on Storm, also from Howth, looks set to make a comeback from third overall when their crew strength returns to normal for the second half of the event.
Whether or not the Fingal crew can claw back eight points in four races means the class is likely to have a showdown final.
Meanwhile, Conor Phelan's Jump Juice from Royal Cork took over the lead of the 17-strong Coastal division after closely pacing on-the-water leader Conor Doyle on Freya from the host club.
Fresher winds expected for the final two days could yet upend the results in this class where the top three boats are two points apart.
Meanwhile, in the remaining classes, the Covid-19 reduction in fleet size by almost 50 per cent has only seen a small entry in Divisions Two and Three with five boats apiece.
A Royal Cork match race between David Lane's YaGottaWanna and Supernova owned by Dave O'Regan with Denise Phelan and Tony Donworth, sees both boats tied on equal points after four races.
David Kelly’s King One from Howth has moved one point ahead of Kieran Collins’s Coracle VI from Crosshaven in a similar two-way battle in Class Two.