Sailing: Rob McConnell claims Sovereigns Cup

Portcullis Trophy goes to Kieran Collins’ Coracle VI from the Royal Cork YC

Rob McConnell’s Fool’s Gold from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club was confirmed the overall winner of the O’Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

A four-day series marked by near Mediterranean-like conditions for the most part saw Waterford's Rob McConnell lift the overall O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at the weekend.

A perfect scoreline across the six-race series – all race wins including a discarded first place – was almost unmatched in the 98-strong regatta. But McConnell’s Class One had the largest turnout at 18 boats so was declared the best overall performance.

His crew of 10 on board Fool's Gold was not short on competition, including 11 J109s that counted three-times Division 1 national champion John Maybury on Joker 2 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

While Maybury had to be content with the prize for first J109 and third in class, it was left to David Kelly's Storm from Howth to be McConnell's principal challenger who in turn scored a neat row of second places.


The contest for the Portcullis Trophy, the other major prize of the regatta and awarded to the Best Overall Performance under Progressive ECHO handicap, was won by Kieran Collins' Coracle VI from the Royal Cork YC.

The host club also featured in the results including past Kinsale YC commodore Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger who won the IRC competition for Class 2 by half a point from Collins.

Amongst the 1720 Sportsboats sailing for their European Championship at Kinsale, Anthony O’Leary recovered from a close challenge from his Olympian son Peter to win the class that he had led since Wednesday.

Other notable results from the series included Stephanie Ennis and Windsor Lauden on Demelza, the venerable yet potent Club Shamrock that won all races under IRC handicap in White Sails Division 2 and took home the best family entry prize to Howth.

The four-day series at Kinsale continued the recent weather trend of fresh to strong conditions, including cancellation of Friday’s programme. However, shelter from the Old Head of Kinsale on the other three days resulted in otherwise perfect racing conditions.

David Branigan

David Branigan

David Branigan is a contributor on sailing to The Irish Times