Sunday 21 September 2014

Amazing victory for Fenit crew in Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race

Published 12/06/2013 | 05:36

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Celebrating in the early hours at Dingle Harbour the winning Amazing Grace crew are back row (left to right) Finbarr O'Connell, skipper Brian O'Sullivan, Fergus Kelliher, Pearse Boyland, Tim Kelliher, Cian O'Donnell. Front row Brendan Culloty and Michael McCormack. Photo: Frances Clifford

Niamh Ryan

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A CREW from Fenit have recorded an historic win in the prestigious Dun Laoghaire to Dingle yacht race.

Shortly after 3am on Tuesday morning the yacht "Amazing Grace" representing Tralee Bay Sailing Club, crewed by a team from Fenit and skippered by Tralee man Brian O'Sullivan, became the first ever entry from Kerry to win the race in its twenty year history.

The Fenit crew's achievement is all the more impressive given that the yacht was one of the slowest, oldest and heaviest boats in the race and still managed to beat off competition from 21 other boats crewed by some of Ireland's top offshore racers.

The Amazing Grace is a past Round Ireland and Fastnet race competitor and was built on a farmyard in the 1980s by renowned Cork sailor Jim Fegan.

The boat was raced out of Kinsale for a number of years before moving to Fenit under new skipper Gerard O'Donnell who sold the yacht on to Brian O'Sullivan last March.

The win for the Fenit crew was hailed as an outsider's victory. Tralee Bay Sailing Club Commodore Pat Daly congratulated Brian O'Sullivan and the crew of 'Amazing Grace' on their "historic" win which he said was a first for a local boat and would prove a huge boost for the club.

"Amazing Grace, one of the oldest, heaviest and slowest boats in the fleet of 22 boats in total was sailed impressively by her skipper and crew in very lights winds and challenging conditions beating some of Ireland's top offshore racers. This is the first for a Tralee boat in this race," he said.

The Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race was a feeder revent for what romise to be two of the biggest cruiser racing events this year the ICRA National Cruiser Championship and the WIORA Regional West Coast Championships that will be hosted by Tralee Bay Sailing Club this week.


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