Snapshot enjoys dream start with Sovereign’s Cup success

Mike and Richie Evans from Howth take victory in Kinsale

In a new boat, new class debut for Mike and Richie Evans from Howth, the Snapshot team lifted the O'Leary Insurance Group Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale after a blustery final on Saturday.

They secured the Division One victory with a healthy nine points lead after a conservative third place in the penultimate race.

Based on a formula combining various factors such as the class result and fleet size under the IRC system, the organising committee at Kinsale Yacht Club award the overall Sovereign’s Cup to the best performing boat of the 62 entries, which is about half the regular fleet size in non-Covid times.

The event also awards the Portcullis Trophy to the best performing boat under the domestic ECHO handicap system that was awarded to ReavraToo, skippered by Stephen Lysaght from the host club.

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The Evans's main challenger from their home club crashed out of the final day with a sixth place followed by a disqualification for early starting in the final, their second such penalty of the eight-race series. John Murphy's Outrajeous was missing co-owner Richard Colwell who was injured in the closing minutes of Friday's second race.

Snapshot’s win defied the established running order of a typical Division One competition that has been dominated by J109 designs in recent years which accounted for nine of the 14 entries in the class at Kinsale.

The Evans’s Snapshot is a new J99, slightly smaller than the J109 but is their first foray into the division having sailed their previous boat The Big Picture among the half-tonners of Class Two.

"It goes to show just how competitive Division Two racing actually is, thanks to people like Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen who really set the standard there," Mike Evans said.

The other possible class in contention for the overall win featured both the largest turnout at 17 boats as well as the largest yachts in the event, racing single courses around the coastline of West Cork.

With up to five boats in contention for the final race, another Howth entry was the eventual class winner as Bob Rendell’s new Grand Soliel 44 Samatom won the class by a narrow one-point lead.

As the only big regatta in Irish waters for close to two years, the results from the Sovereign’s Cup will act as a benchmark for the season ahead and particularly for the Irish Cruiser Racing Association national championships set for the National Yacht Club in September.