It is great to report more Irish success on the world sailing scene, where our sailors have done well this season, lifting the country’s reputation internationally.
SCHULL will stage the Youth World Team Racing Championships next year, which is a huge international recognition of Irish ability at organisational, as well as performance level, while a Kinsale Yacht Club team has won a top international regatta.
The decision by the world sailing authority, the International Sailing Federation, to award the team racing event to the West Cork village is a strong international recognition of the achievements of the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre which was established at Schull Community College in 1997. The event will be raced in TR 3.6 dinghies, a one-design boat purpose-built for team racing, sailed by a crew of two. Organisational work is underway at Schull and a formal announcement of plans for the event will be made next month. It is expected to cost up to €200,000 to stage. At least 20 teams from around the world will take part.
This is also a boost for youth sailing and for team and match racing which have been increasing in popularity amongst younger sailors. The Irish Sailing Association’s Women’s Match Racing Championships were held at Kinsale Yacht Club last weekend and were won by a team led by Laura Dillon from Howth YC. The next match racing event will be the ISA’s Open Championships also to be staged at Kinsale, where racing will be from the 23rd to 25th of this month. It is approved by the International Sailing Federation as a Grade 3 event which gives world rankings to Irish competitors.
The annual general meeting of Match Racing Ireland, which has been given formal recognition by the Irish Sailing Association, will be held in Kinsale YC on October 23. In conjunction with the championships, members of the association will review progress made in developing match racing.
CIT Cork won the Student National Championships sailed at the RCYC, qualifying them for the Student World Cup next year. Six college teams took part. The team was skippered by George Kennefick.
Olaf Sorensen from Kinsale Yacht Club, crewed by Martin Payne and Shawn Kingston achieved another international success for Ireland at Saint Tropez in the 2010 Dragon Regatta, winning the eight-race highly-competitive event. It was sailed over two days during which the 48-boat fleet, drawn from several countries, faced a wide variety of wind and sea conditions.
Sailing Dragon IRL 207 “Christianna” in a competitive fleet where there was little separation amongst the top boats, the Kinsale crew held the lead after the first day of racing, closely followed by two Russian boats. In the final day’s racing, with winds of up to 25 knots and big seas, they held onto their position to take the event overall, with Russia second and France in third place, securing another Irish win on the international scene.
Irish sailors have had some great victories overseas this season, lifting the reputation of the country.
This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO of Cork where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie