Thursday 14 December 2017

McDonald top of the class as Howth lord it

Division 1 boats competing on final day of the ICRA Sovereigns Cup off Kinsale
Division 1 boats competing on final day of the ICRA Sovereigns Cup off Kinsale

By Gerard Hughes

Howth Yacht Club was in celebration mode after the ICRA Nationals Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale proved a worthwhile hunting ground for their 15-boat fleet that competed.

In all, Howth won three national championship titles and two overall trophies, including the Sovereigns Cup itself, which is awarded for the best overall performance under IRC handicap.

Ross McDonald had the honour of lifting that trophy after six wins in the eight-race series earned the Division 2 crown his X332 Equinox crew, which also had a third-place finish and a discarded fourth.

Initially, it appeared that David Cullen's revamped half-tonner Checkmate XV, previously owned and campaigned with huge success by Nigel Biggs, would again dominate at Kinsale.

In Division 1, John Maybury from the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire was the clear winner in Joker 2, a J109 that led the biggest fleet at the event.

The Dun Laoghaire owner-driver initially faced a strong challenge from Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork YC but this faded somewhat in the second half of the event when a new challenger in Rob McConnell's Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour SC came within a point of snatching it.

The Portcullis Trophy, awarded for the best performance under the Irish ECHO handicap system, was also won by a Howth boat.

Paddy Kyne's Maximus won the Division 3 contest under this handicap, while the IRC event was won by his clubmates Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbe on Fusion.

Howth's U-25 team won Division 4 on Kilcullen, while veteran Dun Laoghaire campaigner George Sisk won Division 0 on WOW.

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