Friday 15 December 2017

Fool's Gold rampages to clean sweep in Sovereigns Cup

McConnell’s 10-strong team included former Olympian Tom Fitzpatrick from Howth and left a star-studded field of challengers in their wake. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport
McConnell’s 10-strong team included former Olympian Tom Fitzpatrick from Howth and left a star-studded field of challengers in their wake. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

James Hall

Glorious conditions swept over the 98-strong fleet on the final day of the O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup off the Old Head of Kinsale.

In a masterclass finale to the series, Rob McConnell's Fool's Gold scored another two wins to complete a six-race clean sweep in the 18-strong Class Two fleet.

McConnell's 10-strong team included former Olympian Tom Fitzpatrick from Howth and left a star-studded field of challengers in their wake.

John Maybury's Joker 2, the three-time class national champion who was without regular tactician Mark Mansfield, could only look on as Fool's Gold led the pack in every race.

Maybury had to make do with third overall plus first of the 10 J109's in the field was as good as it gets for the week.

McConnell's win is far from exceptional for his team, with other major triumphs in recent seasons including the Scottish Series in 2015. And his latest victory for Waterford Harbour Sailing Club underlines how much the old school Dublin-Cork axis no longer applies absolutely.

Challenge

Anthony O'Leary on Antix managed to withstand a challenge from his Olympian son Peter in the 1720 Sportsboat European Championship after he came within one point of defeat at the halfway stage.

After near-gale conditions had forced the cancellation of Friday's entire programme, Antix regained form on Saturday, with a first, second and fourth place sufficient to beat the young pretender by a healthy six points.

In other classes, the match-race series started two weeks ago at the ICRA National Championships at the Royal Cork YC between local champion Jump Juice and Welsh entry Dark Angel fizzled out as the visitor emerged top dog once again by winning Saturday's races.

There was good news elsewhere for the Crosshaven club as Class Two winner Coracle VI, skippered by Kieran Collins, lifted the Portcullis Trophy, the other major prize for the series awarded for the best overall performance on Progressive ECHO handicap.

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