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Irish OK Dinghy Class News & Regatta Results

Sole Irish Laser sailor Liam Glynn of Ballyholme Yacht Club in Northern Ireland raced four races in 20–25 knots at Kiel Week, Germany. By his own account, the former Topper World Champion said he had some 'good sailing' but also made some 'costly mistakes', including a yellow flag penalty in 25–knots.

'I had great starts' but, Glynn says, he needs to work on 'better concentration to suceed in some very tricky conditions'. 

Although he was close to gold fleet standard, early mistakes left him in silver.  'Onwards and upwards!', concludes the Tokyo campaigner.

Published in Laser

DBSC Laser fleet, the fastest growing fleet on Dublin Bay welcomed new sailors Judy O'Beirne and Theo Lyttle to the fleet yesterday evening for two races in testing conditions writes Ross O'Leary.

17 boats turned up on the start line from an updated entry of 30 – with a couple of laser sailors on committee boat duty.

The glorious mid-summer conditions placed emphasis on boat handling, mark rounding and speed in the light conditions. Sean Craig, on committee boat duty got shot for calling some of his fellow laser sailors over the line – no doubt retribution will be enforced when he gets back out on the water!

Darach Dineen revealed in the conditions and used his speed to recover from poor starts to get 2 bullets. Benefiting from the DBSC Laser Coaching program, the most improved Laser Sailor Marco Sorgassi posted 2 seconds. Our soon to be Great Grandmaster – Chris Arrowsmith – showed his quality placing third in both races.

In the Radial fleet the ladies, Shirley Gilmore and Judy O’Beirne enjoyed great competition and are benefiting from having Radial ace Ronan Wallace on the race course. It has been noted that Judy O’ Beirne has been enjoying the competitive advantage of having her kids rig and derig her Laser – Full investigation to follow!

You can still enter Tuesday evening Laser racing at dbsc.org.

Dublin Bay Lasers will have a Full rig and Radial Rig fleet at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 7th to 9th July – entries are already in the double digits and growing. 

Laser Connaught Championships take place in Wexford in the 1st & 2nd July – early bird entry closes this Friday.

Published in Laser

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, who was Ireland's youngest ever Olympic helmsmen in Rio, has sailed in his first ever medal race at Delta Lloyd regatta, Holland yesterday. 

Lynch finished eighth in the medal race and tenth overall.

The Tokyo campaigner said he was happy with the week as a whole. 'I sailed very consistently and was rewarded for it! Looking forward to a few days off and then heading to Santander Spain to the World Cup Final!'.

Published in Tokyo 2020

DBSC Laser fleet travelled north to Ballyholme last weekend for the Laser Masters (report here) and there were great results all round for the Bay's fastest growing class. Theo Lyttle of the Royal St. George Yacht Club finished an impressive third overall with some solid, consistent sailing. Shirley Gilmore collected the Ladies trophy in the Radial Fleet.

Future events:
Volvo Regatta – Laser Fleet entry still open – 3 days of great sailing guaranteed! For Full & Radial rigs 7th to 9th July
Laser Association – Connaught Championships Wexford 1&2nd July
Tuesday evening Racing – Still taking entries for Full & Radial Rigs

Published in Laser

DBSC Laser fleet, the fastest growing fleet in Dublin Bay, has seen a marked increase in 'Ladies who Laser' this year. Shirley Gilmore from the Royal St George YC writes that she is leading the charge and has recently taken up duties as DBSC Lady Radial Captain – to encourage more female sailors to join her. Joining her this year are Mary and Brenda from the DMYC – busy getting to grips with Laser sailing they can be seen out on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings building experience and confidence under the DBSC Fleet coaching programme.

This is a growing category for ladies who are still keen to sail in dinghies, partake in club racing but more importantly, who want to have fun on (and off) the water. We compete mostly with the “Masters” category so that would make them “Mistresses”??!! However our Tuesday night DBSC racing is open to all ages. The times are adjusted according to rig which keeps us in the picture and makes for more competitive racing for all.

‘In my case, diminishing family demands has facilitated my return to the laser. The radial rig is great for me. I need to maintain a level of fitness and love a few challenges to keep me motivated and exhilarated. What better way to embrace all of that than sailing a laser? It’s much better and more exciting than working out in a gym I think.’

But there is an awful lot more than just the sailing. Yes it can be challenging in windy conditions but many of the guys capsize too (I won’t mention Conor!!) so that’s reassuring! Most of all, it is so much fun as there is great comradeship amongst the whole fleet. It is a very inclusive group and we are always ready to welcome new members. We always enjoy the après sail too! I have received nothing but great support and encouragement from fellow laser sailors since I got back to lasering two years ago. I certainly recommend it!

Interested in joining us? email me on [email protected]

 

Published in Laser

Almost 40 Laser sailors enjoyed great sailing over the weekend in Belfast Lough, hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club at the Danske Bank Private Banking sponsored Irish Laser Master Championships. Despite the forecast of little wind on the Saturday followed by too much on Sunday, the conditions were much more enjoyable. Saturday was a bit gentler Westerly with the odd hole but there was plenty of hiking and the odd gust into the high teens or low 20's, whilst Sunday was a bit stronger but thankfully manageable with flat seas due to a fairly steady Southerly. Race Officer Aidan Pounder was heard to comment that somehow the wind strength on Sunday seemed to lower on each downwind leg - divine intervention maybe.

The racing was very tight for most with little room on the start-line for those not used to accelerating as quick as some of the others. Top and bottom mark roundings are always busy and there were more than a couple capsizing at the leeward mark on top of other Lasers - in fact one mast slicing the tiller extension rope somehow on the other. However you could almost see a smile on the victims face as instead of a long slog of a beat home, he happily accepted a tow.

It was always going to be a close championship between Cork's Nick Walsh and Ballyholme's Gareth Flannigan even if Gareth has been seen more in RS400's over the last couple of years. Both have won the overall title before, and it was Flannigan who set the early pace with a marked lead in Race 1 followed by 2 second places. Unfortunately Walsh hadn't fully read the sailing instructions which detailed different coloured buoys for the start and finish line and having thought he had finished high in the first race, was signalled by a colleague to finish properly and ended up counting an 8th. This proved pivotal as he then won 4 of the next 5 races (and by some margin on the Sunday) discarding the last race of Saturday but the race one event gave Flannigan some wriggle room.

More used recently to getting his RS400 crew mate David Fletcher (who won the final race of Saturday) to do the hiking for him, Gareth struggled a little on the breezier Sunday and was often found at the first mark mid-fleet or in the final race almost last. In the 5th race he even found himself upside down not once but twice after an initial rear end bump from Theo Little - a rare sight for the multiple Irish champion. However his downwind speed came to his rescue and needing a 4th in the final race, scrambled back through the fleet to win the championship by a single point from Nick Walsh.

Monkstown's Paul O'Sullivan won the Apprentice Masters whilst Great Grand Master Chris Boyd somehow kept his body with a 5th overall place and the GGM trophy. Grand Master Charlie Taylor also showed great speed as always in the breeze with 4,8,3 on the Sunday. Royal St George's Shirley Gilmore was Lady Master in the Radials with Colm McLarnon winning overall. With one year to go before the Laser Masters World Championships come to Dun Laoghaire, there was a lot of chatter on how to qualify for next years event, especially as 8 hope to go to Croatia this year but with only 6 guaranteed spaces. Ron Hutchieson spelled out that 3 out of the 5 provincial/national Championships will count towards ILCA ranking points and there should be a few more Masters seen at the next event at Wexford Harbour.

The event was great craic as always with the traditional Laser Masters dinner attended by most of the competitors and partners. Many thanks must go to Garth Maxwell of Dankebank Private Banking for sponsorship, and Quay Marina for assistance. It was great to see lots of visitors from Cork and Dublin bay to come and play with the large Ballyholme contingent.

Results

Radial
1st Colm McLarnon
2nd Shirley Gilmore (1st Lady Master)

Apprentice Master
1st Paul O'Sullivan
2nd David Fletcher

Master
1st Gareth Flannigan
2nd Nick Walsh
3rd Theo Lyttle

Grand Master
1st Charlie Taylor
2nd Richard Ramsay

Great Grand Master
1st Chris Boyd

Overall
1st Gareth Flannigan
2nd Nick Walsh
3rd Theo Lyttle

Published in Laser

DBSC Laser dinghy fleet began their month of May training over the weekend in both extreme conditions. Friday evening saw the fleet of Lasers leave the harbour in a solid 26–knot breeze and large swell practicing upwind technique, followed by some fun fast reaching and wave surfing hitting speeds of nearly 30km! The session built confidence while giving all sailors a good workout under coach Troy McNamara.

Sunday’s 3 hour session followed with little wind in the harbour – boat handling techniques was the focus for the fleet of all levels and abilities with new comers to the Laser fleet gaining invaluable knowledge and experience.

Tuesday night racing has seen a healthy turnout of 16 lasers from an entry of 25. DBSC race management have made the right calls to stay inside the harbour in the light conditions with 4 races completed already. Light air specialist Damian ’lightweight’ Maloney leads the fleet, with the much improved Conor ‘all that coaching’ O’Leary in 2nd and the usual pair of Gary ‘frostbite champ’ O’Hare and Ross ‘OCS’ O’Leary in joint 3rd. Darach Dineen is staging a comeback with two bullets in last Tuesday night’s racing.

DBSC Laser Fleet welcomes all Laser sailors of all abilities to get out for some good quality competitive and fun racing in Dublin Bay on Tuesday evenings. Radials and full rigs... the fastest growing section is ‘Ladies who Laser!’...

Interested in joining us get on to dbsc.org and enter now or contact class captain [email protected]

Published in Laser

Ireland's youngest ever Olympic helmsman won three of six races to be crowned Ulster Laser Champion yesterday at Royal North of Ireland. Finn Lynch, of the National Yacht Club, had a four point margin with six top three results but was chased hard by Ballyholme's Liam Glynn, who also had a consistent score sheet with five results in the top three to finish on 11 points. Kinsale Yacht Club's Darragh O'Sullivan was one point back to take third in the 13–boat fleet. Both Lynch and Glynn are on the Tokyo 2020 campaign trail, and benefited from a week of competition at the Sailing World Cup in Hyeres immediately before the Ulster event. 

Full results in each division are downloadable below.

The breeze on Belfast Lough held very well over the weekend despite fears to the contrary.  At eight to 13 knots, a mainly easterly wind had predictable shifts with a short and choppy sea for the combined turnout of 116–boats in three divisions.

As Afloat.ie reported earlier, there were not many surprises in the six–race Radial division with Howth's Ewan McMahon staying top of the 32–boat fleet. Wexford Boat Club's Ronan Wallace was second with Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club third. A visting Norwegian girl Elnan Flotoft finished sixth.

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins was very quick in the 4.7 division with a scoresheet resembling Finn Lynch's. Higgins, a past UK and Irish Optimist Champion, had three race wins to be seven points clear of club mate Jack Fahy. Kinsale's Michael Caroll was third in the 24–boat fleet.

Published in Laser

Finn Lynch leads the Laser Ulster Championships At Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club this morning writes our Special Correspondent.

The fleet launched this morning on a beautiful sunny day two on Belfast Lough. There is a light breeze from the east. Its holding so far – many had anticipated no wind at all. 116 boats are on the water by tally. count.

Lynch, from Dublin's National Yacht Club, has two wins from three races and is on four nett points with Befast's Liam Glynn in second on eight points. Third is Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan on ten.

In the Radials, youth pathway champion Ewan McMahon of Howth YC (and Afloat's Sailor of the Month) leads a 31–boat fleet.

Yesterday was easterly also – solid to upper medium for a time in the morning, dying off during the next two races. Race three became a bit of a lottery with shifts and many experienced sailors playing an expensive game of snakes and ladders.

Results after day one are below for download

Published in Laser

In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club, who finished in 42nd today after a similarly consistent week in the middle of the pack. These are important results for the young Irish sailors in an early Olympic preparation event. As Aoife says, "I wasn't looking for a result at this regatta as its near my Leaving Cert but my process goal was to improve my starts. I've made massive progress on them and am getting a good start in most races now. So it's been successful all round."

The success story of the week came from the women's 49erFX fleet when RIYC sailor Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson came in 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal in the 20 boat fleet. Having only sailed together for team GBR for 4 months, the young pair have proven to be major contenders in this year's Sailing World Cup, and will be ones to watch during the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020, which will be Tidey's second Olympics in the 49erFX, but first crewing with Dobson.

NYC's Finn Lynch is sitting in 32nd place, out of 60 boats, in the men's Laser class after the first day of live medal racing at Hyères, as NE winds continued to hover around 10 knots.

Seven medals were confirmed today (Saturday) at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.

In the first of two live Medal Race days, France's southern coast was blessed with glorious sunshine. Coupled with an 11-13 knot breeze from the west, the day was virtually perfect.

The skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls, foiling kiteboarders and the Para World Sailing 2.4 Norlin OD concluded racing.

As the Medal Races played out, there was also fighting for the top ten positions in the one person and two person dinghies ahead of Sunday's live final day of racing.

Spain's 49er team, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, had the luxury of knowing that whatever happened in the Medal Race the gold medal was theirs. With an unassailable overnight lead, even with the double points on offer in the final race, they could not be beaten.

Reflecting on the impressive win, skipper Botin said, "It's been a really good week for us. We hope every time we come in to a Championship that we will be in with a chance at the end of the regatta and this time around we were really surprised that we were top with a day to spare.”

Digging deeper to find their secret to success, Botin confirmed a simple fact of sport, "It was a lot of things. But it really came down to yesterday when we sailed well and everyone else didn't.”

Holding on to silver was Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) who finished third in the Medal Race. The bronze medal went to Sweden's Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark who just needed to stay ahead of nearest rivals Yago and Klaus Lange (ARG) which they did with ease as the Argentinean brothers fell to the back of the fleet finishing tenth.

In the 49erFX, Rio 2016 golden girls, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have done it again as they claim another Medal Race and 2017 World Cup Series win. Backing up the gold they took in Miami, USA in Round One, the Brazilian girls were just too good for the fleet.

"We have nailed the year now with Miami and now Hyères,” said a smiling Grael, "but we have to keep our feet on the ground as we know there will be big competition ahead.”

One of those big competition's is the Final in Santander, Spain this coming June. So, could it be a clean sweep? "It would be awesome,” said Grael, "let's see what happens. The FX is a tough competition.”

Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz win silver and the new 2017 pairing of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) claim their first World Cup Series medal with a bronze.

Whatever Grael and Kunze can do, France's Louis Giard can do too. Just like the Brazilian FX sailors, the French windsurfer has also added the Hyères title to the Round One Miami gold.

Despite a nervy start, Giard has slowly but surely climbed the ladder to the top of the podium racing better and better throughout the regatta, as he explains, "It's another win for me after Miami. It wasn't an easy week of racing and I had to improve my level throughout the week. I did that so I am happy.”

One sailor in the Men's RS:X not happy is Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI). While Giard started slow and gained confidence, Sanz Lanz seemingly did the opposite. With a tenth place finish in the double point Medal Race, Sanz Lanz missed out on the medals altogether allowing Piotr Myszka (POL) to take silver and Kiran Badloe (NED) to sneak in to take bronze.

Taking the Women's RS:X gold was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. It has been a mixed bag of results from the Polish windsurfer, but in the end a string of high finishes throughout the week was enough to claim the title, "Today I enjoyed the racing. It was stable conditions and great planing. Compare that to yesterday when it was very hard.

"Overall though I have sailed consistent. If you think I haven't won a race but I have won gold. It was all about consistency.”

That consistency equated to a 23-point win over second placed Yunxiu Lu (CHN) who takes silver and a 32-point margin over third placed, and bronze medallist, Noga Geller (ISR).

If you are going to win a gold medal, you may as well win it with a first place in the Medal Race. That is what Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) did in the Nacra 17.

For the Spanish team it seems that Hyères has been a collection of puzzle pieces fitting to make one golden picture, as Echavarri explains, "It's a good prize for a lot of things coming together. We are enjoying our sailing and have a solid base. We are putting everything we have learned in the last two years together and it is working well.”

French medal hopefuls Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet secured silver when they finished ahead of Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). That meant the Danes had to settle for the bronze medal.

It would seem that the mechanical issue that kept Damien Seguin (FRA) out of day four action was well and truly fixed. The impressive Frenchman returned to action in style to claim all three bullets on offer and close out the 2.4 Norlin OD series.

Summing up the regatta Seguin said, "We had ten beautiful races, especially today with an east wind and big waves. I'm happy because I love this place.”

Seguin's love has increased even more with a 17-point gap back to nearest rival Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in second. Xavier Dagault (FRA) claimed the bronze medal with 30 points.

If Seguin loves Hyères, just imagine how Nico Parlier (FRA) feels. The Frenchman has won all but one race in the Formula Foiling Kiteboarding, including the final three Medal Races.

Despite the dominance, Parlier still felt it was closer than the results suggest, "It's been tough with really close racing. I've been really dialled in with my equipment though and had the wind I like so I am really happy with everything.”

Parlier's compatriot, training partner and friend, Axel Mazella (FRA), has always been one step behind, but still secured the silver with room to spare ahead of Monaco's Maxime Nocher.

Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will have a Hyères gold medal around their neck in the Men's 470 no matter where they finish in the final Medal Race. With two bullets from two races, they opened up a 24-point lead to second placed Carl-Fredrik Fock and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE).

In the Women's 470, Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen (NED) and Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) have been neck and neck all week. Not anymore. The Dutch team took two bullets compared to a tenth and 11th from the Swiss. Zegers and van Veen now hold a 19-point advantage.

With a 1-2 finish on day five, Alican Kayner (TUR) remains top of the Finn fleet going in to Sunday's live Medal Race. Nicholas Heiner (NED) holds second and Ed Wright (GBR) third.

Six points separate the top two in the fight for Laser gold. Italy's Francesco Marrai is the current leader on 53 points from a 2-9 day, bettering second placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides who scored a 2-11. Australia's Matt Wearn is in third.

Evi van Acker (BEL) has secured at least a silver medal ahead of the final Medal Race in the Laser Radial. Fighting the Belgian all the way will be second placed Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) who is 12 points behind.

Racing continues on Sunday 30 April at 12:05 local time as the final five Olympic classes race in the second and final day of Live Medal Races.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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