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Olympian Peter O'Leary Lifts 2013 Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale YC
Posted by Kinsale Advertiser on Monday 1 July 2013

The final day of the 2013 Covestone Asset Management Sovereign’s Cup, Saturday 29th June, enjoyed Caribbean-like conditions of 14-16 knots of wind, flat seas and blazing sunshine, to conclude a week of magnificent sailing in Kinsale Harbour.
At the Prizegiving Ceremony, Regatta Director Mike Walsh thanked all competitors for taking part and the huge number of KYC volunteers and staff that ensured the smooth running of the event. Also, he thanked Donal Roche, Managing Director of Covestone Asset Management and acknowledged their sponsorship and excellent support.
The Sovereign’s Cup 2013 was awarded to Peter O’Leary and his crew on 1720 Sportsboat Spiced Beef, “for their consistency in performance in an incredibly competitive class,” according to Regatta Director Mike Walsh. “This was a very difficult decision to make as there were four boats in the running but O’Leary and his team were outstanding in my opinion,” he added.
The Spiced Beef crew comprised Peter and Robert O’Leary and Jamie Donegan from RCYC and Cathal Cottrell and Youen Jacob of Baltimore Sailing Club, who were all delighted to accept the beautiful Waterford Crystal perpetual trophy.
The Portcullis Trophy, awarded to the boat with the best performance under ECHO handicap, was presented to Godot, skippered by KYC stalwart, John Godkin.
The idyllic conditions provided the battleground for all classes, who after three days racing remained very tight at the top with all to play for on the final day.
Classes 0 and 1 blasted ‘around the cans’ course on the final day of racing. In Class 0, Andy Williams’ team on-board Keromino stretched their legs in impressive style, displaying awesome power under her A-sail on the downwind legs to finish her regatta with two bullets and the Class 0 overall trophy. RCYC’s Corby 39 Gloves Off came home in second with club mate Conor Phelan’s Jump Juice pipping Richard Fildes Impetuous into third by a mere half a point.
Class 1 proved to be a battleground between the J109’s and A-35’s for all podium positions. John Maybury’s Joker II with North Sails Ireland Nigel Young calling shots took the laurels on 15 points with Howth YC’s Storm coming second on 18 points. Third was Rob McConnell’s Fools Gold on 26 points. A mere 3 points separated third from fifth, making this one of the tightest contests of the regatta.
In Class 2, Sovereign’s Cup veteran and former overall trophy winner, Anthony Gore-Grimes and his team on Dux proved consistency is the name of the game. Discarding a 10th, the team on Dux never finished outside of the top five to win the class. Wicklow Harbour Sailing Club’s Slack Alice took second, with the evergreen Cavatina filling the final podium position.
KYC’s paralympian, John Twomey made Class 3 his own, winning all races in his Blazer 23, Shillelagh. John showed a masterclass performance in both the heavy and light airs beating the Foley/Bergin/Byrne J-24 into second place. An T’Oileanach took third place, with both J24’s clearly enjoying the planeing conditions downwind.
The 1720 European Championships was an extremely closely fought event. Going into the final day, the leader board remained wide open, demanding consistency in performance in the last two races. Grasping the opportunity was Peter O’Leary and his RCYC/BSC team on Spiced Beef who along with her four bullets from earlier in the regatta, scored a third and fifth to take the overall title ahead of Tom Forrester-Coles on Ricochet. Third was the Durkan/O’Sea team on T-Bone with Nicholas O’Leary at the helm who, despite winning the final two races, were unable to recover from dropping their rig on windy Friday. Great credit is due to this team who worked well into the Friday night to ensure they made the last two races. 
The Quarter tonners had their fair share of excitement over the regatta. Getting these boats downwind in big breeze and rolling seas with the rig pointing in roughly the right direction is no mean feat, as Sam Laidlaw’s Aguila displayed excellent crew work and skill to take the class win. Tony Hayward on Black Fun was second with Rob Gray on Cote third on count back from Willie McNeill’s Illegal Immigrant.
The White Sail classes enjoyed four great races over the course of great racing throughout the regatta. The Charles Fort line provided an alternative experience for sailors and was deemed a great success by visiting competitors. In White Sail Class 1, the Elan 333 Bite the Bullet took the honours from the Hanse 311 Loch Greine with Emir Herr third. White Sail Class 2 proved an all-Kinsale affair, with Ger and Fiona Grant taking the class win on Loa Zour, Ray Bowes Calero second and Richard Hanley third in his GK24, Saoirse. Loa Zour won the Overall White Sail Trophy much to the delight of skipper and crew.
The Michelle Dunne Prix d’Elegance trophy for the best turned out boat and crew was presented by Carrie Dunne on behalf of the Dunne Family to Andy Williams’ Keronimo.
Regatta Director, Mike Walsh made a small presentation to KYC member Denis Kiely, who, 20 years ago had the vision to establish the Sovereign’s Cup regatta in Kinsale on the alternate year to Cork Week at RCYC. Mike also made a special presentation to recognise the efforts of Ben Fusco and his young team on the 1720 Sportsboat Merlin with an on-board average age of 17. Closing the prize-giving, Mike announced the next Sovereign’s Cup dates of 24th-27th June 2015 and welcomed everyone back to Kinsale Yacht Club in the near future.