The Club's History

Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) as it exists today was established in 1950. The first Commodore of the club was John H. Thuillier. The club was first located in two cottages opposite the slip at Scilly, across the harbour from the current location. By the mid-1950’s, there were six boats racing in the club comprising of a dragon called ‘Sleuth’, two colleens, ‘Pinkeen’ and ‘Spalpeen’, an Uffa Ace, Dick Hegarty’s cruiser ‘Bedouin’ and a jollyboat sailed by the 70-year old Commodore Brigadier General Dorman. Jeanot Petch made an exotic addition to the already varied fleet when he built a Prout catamaran in 1957. Races started off the pierhead sailing to the Bulman Buoy at the entrance to the estuary and back via the harbour marks.

The fleet would leave the Bulman Buoy to port or starboard according to the wind, as the Commodore did not want to gybe that far out to sea! Later a 45 gallon drum was placed upriver and used as an upwind mark until the new bridge was built in the 1970’s. All the boats at that time were kept on swing moorings in the river.

In the early 1960’s, Dick Hegarty, in his capacity as the club's solicitor, purchased the present clubhouse on behalf of the Club. Over time, dinghy fleets of Albacores, Mirrors, Flying Fifteens, Fireballs and Enterprises developed and junior sailing instruction began. The Cork Harbour Dragon fleet also moved from the Royal Munster Yacht Club in Crosshaven, now the Royal Cork Yacht Club, to Kinsale.

In the 1970's, the Club started hosting Regional and National Championships and hosted the World Fireball Championships in 1977. In the same year, the Club also held the Dragon Gold Cup (to be held again in 2012) and started to develop it’s widely recognised race management teams. In 1978, the Club and its members funded and built the first marina.

In the 1990’s, the Club embarked on three separate extensions to the clubhouse, by which time it had become one of the leading yacht clubs in the country. The Marina was extended in 2003 to its current layout.

Junior sailing now encompasses Optimists, Lasers and Toppers. One design racing takes in International Dragons and Squibs. The Club also supports three very strong Cruiser Classes (Class I, II and III) who are also joined by a more relaxed White Sail Fleet.