Dragons racing off the Old Head of Kinsale – (c) Giles Norman


30 November 2023 – Kinsale, Ireland – Preparations are underway in Kinsale, Ireland’s yachting and gourmet capital, for celebrations to mark the 80thanniversary of one of international sailing’s most prestigious events. From 6 to 13 September 2024, Kinsale will welcome Dragon sailors from across the globe to compete for the Kinsale Yacht Club Dragon Gold Cup, which has been raced annually since 1937 and this year will be sponsored by Astra Construction Services Ltd.

This will be the third time that Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) has hosted the Dragon Gold Cup, the first being in 1977 and the second in 2012. The venue is hugely popular with the Dragon sailing community and many international teams are expected to compete alongside a strong Irish contingent. International Dragon Association Chairman Gérard Blanc is looking forward to returning to Kinsale, saying, “Since the last Gold Cup in Ireland in 2012 I know that many international Dragon sailors are excited to be returning to one of their favourite venues in the southwest of Ireland. Kinsale is a fantastic place to sail, and a legendary social welcome awaits you. I plan to be there and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible”.

Already confirming their intention to race are crews from some 20 nations across Australasia, Asia, North America, and Europe. In attendance will be some of the best sailors on the planet including multiple Olympic medallists, America’s Cup veterans, World, Continental, and National Champions. The regatta will also feature a Corinthian Division for all amateur crews, who will race alongside the professional teams, whilst at the same time scoring in their own ranking.

Kinsale’s open ocean race area has minimal currents, excellent sailing winds, and is backed by southern Ireland’s spectacular coastline, including the famous Old Head of Kinsale. KYC is renowned for creating international regattas of the highest quality and for its generous Irish hospitality.

The Gold Cup has always been an event aimed at fostering camaraderie amongst the teams and their friends and family. In addition to a superb social programme, which will include opening and closing ceremonies and a special 80th Anniversary gala dinner at Actons Hotel, plus après sailing daily and other social events, Kinsale is a wonderful holiday venue for those accompanying the sailors. This part of Ireland is famed for its stunning coastline and countryside, great walking, cycling, and horse riding, superb golf courses – one of which has a spectacular view over the race area – places of historical interest, water sports and so much more. Visit www.kinsale.ie for further information about the area.

Already several companies have confirmed their sponsorship of the event including principal sponsor Astra Construction Services Ltd, a Carrigaline based residential construction company, whose Managing Director Stephen McCarthy will also provide the committee boat for the regatta. TNG Swiss Watches are signed up as the official timekeeper and will be presenting time pieces to the Gold Cup Open and Corinthian Champion helms. Guinness and Cork City Council are also onboard as sponsors, whilst Actons, The Trident and Perryville House hotels will be offering special rates for competitors which can be booked via the event website.

Heading up the organising committee is Maeve Cotter, an experienced Dragon sailor with international event management experience. “I am really looking forward to welcoming our Dragon sailing friends to our lovely harbour for the Kinsale YC Dragon Gold Cup in 2024 and to celebrating the 80th anniversary of this historic competition.”

Further information about the Kinsale YC Dragon Gold Cup 2024 supported by Astra Construction can be found at the event website, on Facebook and Instagram (add link as soon as we have it) or by contacting:

Maeve Cotter
Regatta Chair – Kinsale YC Dragon Gold Cup 2024

Fiona Brown
Press Officer – Kinsale YC Dragon Gold Cup 2024
Tel +44 (0)7711 718470

Whisper launching off a wave in front of the Old Head of Kinsale –  (c) Dave Cullinane