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Displaying items by tag: Finn Lynch

#sailingonsaturday – Captain Cool of Carlow is the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" for July. Captain Cool is Finn Lynch, winner of the Silver Medal at the Youth Worlds 2012, and he's just sixteen. So maybe it would be more correct to refer to him as Cadet Cool. But as his style of winning - staying mentally calm and finishing in control of the race - is something that many much older sailors could usefully emulate, we'll acclaim him as Captain.

In fact, the entire country, afloat and ashore, could learn from his way of doing things. But how does a young lad from Bennekerry in the depths of north county Carlow come to be setting a national sailing example? Well, his father Aidan (a Dub) acquired a taste for sailing during ten years in Australia. Then back in Ireland his mother Grainne took up a job offer in Carlow, than which there is no lovelier county in Ireland.

The family settled there in Bennekerry, which as Aidan cheerfully admits is the middle of nowhere even by Carlow standards. But as it's in the north of the county, lake sailing at Blessington wasn't so very far away, and the three boys - Ben, Rory and young Finn - were introduced to sailing with the Topper fleet at the hospitable Blessington Sailing Club, where Aidan stood his watch as Honorary Treasurer.

All three emerged as top class sailors, and their Topper skills were soon noticed. Each in turn graduated into sailing the Laser Radial, and that led on to the subtle recruiting moves from Dun Laoghaire. The word is that it was Con Murphy of the National Yacht Club, father of Olympian Annalise, who was the talent scout in this case, and the Bennekerries found themselves sailing with the NYC star junior squad.

Even by those standards, Finn was something special. He'd been racing Toppers since he was eight, he was into Lasers in his teens and earlier, and now at sixteen he's proven world class, with three clear years of international youth sailing in front of him.

At the moment thanks to his Silver Medal, Finn Lynch is sailing in Denmark at a youth elite regatta in Aarhus, then it's on to the Euopean Youth Championship in Belgium at mid-month, and after that......well, after that, Captain Cool goes back to school.

The nail-biting classes are doubling their numbers by the minute as the Annalise Murphy challenge battles on through he sailing Olympics. It's deadline in two days time, with the double points scoring Medal Races bringing it all to a conclusion. For once, Baltimore Regatta on Bank Holiday Monday will have to accommodate itself to a lower slot on the national sailing scale.

Meanwhile in the Finn Class we can enjoy a majestic gladiatorial contest without an excruciating depth of personal involvement, as it's the battle of the Ben of Britain and the Great Dane reaching its conclusion tomorrow.

Ben Ainslie's 2012 Olympics got off to a terrible start with one mediocre performance after another, by his standards anyway, while Jonas Hogh Christensen of Denmark was putting in a showing matched only by Annalise Murphy in the Women's Laser Radials. But by Thursday, Ainslie was making a comeback, having made the throwaway comment that missing out on the Gold wouldn't be a setback, it would be a disaster.

Ben analysts wonder if this means that his contract with the America's Cup 2013 (which he takes up immediately after this Olympiad) is dependent in any way on his performance at Weymouth. Stranger things have happened. Be that as it may, it's battle to the death tomorrow, after less than harmonious scenes yesterday and on Thursday.

Thursday saw the Dane and Dutch helm Pieter-Jan Postma shout to Ainslie that he had hit a mark. He took the penalty turns but afterwards was in a real strunt about the whole business, claiming there had been no contact. When Ainslie has one of his moods, it's awesome, and the Dane in particular was upset.

Then in yesterday's second race, Ainslie was leading with the Dane second approaching the finish. Ainslie slowed back in his classic style to sit on the Dane and allow the Dutchman through to second, with the result of GB first, Netherlands second and Denmark third making it very close indeed for the up-coming medal races. The Dane still narrowly leads on points, but the number crunchers are already working out all the possible permutations which can provide another Ainslie gold.

asgard2nixon

Asgard may have been small for her role as a naional sail training vessel, but she definitely punched above her weight in racing success.

Next week, Erskine Childers' Asgard is put on permanent display in her conserved form in Collins Barracks. John Kearon and his team have done a wonderful job in the painstaking task of saving as much of the original as possible while capturing the spirit of the gallant ketch which Childers sailed to Howth in July 1914.

As one of the finest creations of the Norwegian designer and shipwright Colin Archer, the 1905-built Asgard is of international importance over and above her role in Irish history. But in the midst of all this, let us not forget that between 1969 and 1974 she served as Ireland's first sail training ship. She was too small, she was too old, yet she did her very best, and thanks to the skill of Archer's design, she achieved some notable racing success in her brief sail training career.

During those five years under the command of Eric Healy, more people – including many young trainees – would have sailed on Asgard than in all the rest of her sailing life. It meant a lot to them, it meant a lot for Irish sailing. Forty years on, they will appreciate this new display in Collins Barracks even more than the rest of us. Just the job for a day out on the travel pass. Photos of the restored Asgard at the museum

W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays

Published in W M Nixon

#isafyw12 – Sailing folk are getting worried about this summer's weather in northwest Europe. There's a real chance that it might be going to improve, particularly in northern France and southern England. And that might mean gentle conditions spreading in over the Olympic sailing venue at Weymouth on the Dorset coast.

Normally, of course, we would wish Weymouth all the very best in the matter of summer weather. In the heart of the place is a nice little river port where many an Irish sailor has been glad to spend a night or two for a spot of R & R. It has a bustling and attractive quayside which looks all the better for some sunshine. Just enough breeze to waft away the aroma of fish and chips, and Bob's your uncle.

But these are not normal times. A week hence, they'll be gearing up for the opening ceremony of the Sailing Olympiad at the Weymouth and Portland centre. Back in June, they staged the huge Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta there, as near as makes no difference to being an Olympic dress rehearsal. But the weather wasn't impressed – it was absolutely foul, with strong winds, plus enough rain for a year. Yet the Irish contingent loved it, with the Star crew of Peter O'Leary of Crosshaven and David Burrows of Malahide winning Gold, while Laser Women's Radial sailor Annalise Murphy of Dun Laoghaire took the Bronze.

We like to think we can be as good as the next crew in racing in light airs and sunshine, but there was no mistaking the way in which the Irish contingent revelled in the Dorset downpour. 'Tis only a shower, they merrily quipped, and went out and notched yet another win. Meanwhile other contenders – particularly those from sunnier climes – complained endlessly. And even the British crews (for it was their weather, after all) solemnly announced that they were carefully pacing themselves, as they didn't want to peak too early.

Be that as it may, the Irish squad are in the weird situation that their supporters – which is all of us – are getting worried that if things get better, then they'll actually be getting worse. Better on the weather front may mean worse on the results front. But you never know. The weird weather having moved centre stage in recent weeks, we're now aware that one line of thought is that the level of sunspot activity has a lot to do with disturbed global weather patterns.

For most of us in Ireland, if we could only see the sun now and again, we'd be perfectly happy for it to display signs of advanced acne. But apparently last week the sun became hyperactive again, and there were sunspots galore on July 12th. The date being what it was, on the Emerald Isle we could be excused for overlooking this. But the top sunspot honchos tell us that normal predictions are now out the window, and late July and early August could be every bit as awful as June.

It'll all be slightly clearer in a week's time. The first classes will be racing from July 29th onwards, and the final medal races and victory ceremonies – for the Finns and the Stars – will be on August 5th, with the Laser Radials a day later.

Meanwhile, watch those sunspots. But just for now, it's taking a while for it to sink in that Finn Lynch collected his silver yesterday at the ISAF Youth Worlds, aged just 16. Because the age span of 16-19 is so narrow, the rest of sailing tends to see the Youth Worlds as being something rather ephemeral, gone in a trice. But when you're just 16, the years stretching ahead to 19 seem to be for ever, and heaven only knows what young Lynch will be achieving at the end of the time he is still qualified to sail in the Youth championship.

It was fascinating to note as the championship progressed that the true origins of our young stars became clarified. The Dun Laoghaire machine tends to hoover up talent from all around the country as it begins to manifest itself. Thus when the Irish lineup was announced, it seemed to be wall-to-wall Dun Laoghaire and Crosshaven. But those of us who savour the sheer variety of places where people sail in Ireland were happy to note that Sophie Murphy's Strangford Lough connections – Quoile YC to be precise – were getting at least equal billing with her adopted base at the Royal St George. And though Finn Lynch may be promoted as part of the National YC lineup of talent, we trust there was celebration last night in Blessington for their new star from the lake.

W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays

Published in W M Nixon
Tagged under

#isafyw12 – Success for Ireland on home waters this afternoon as local young Laser Radial sailor Finn Lynch provided the most emotional finale to the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships on Dublin Bay when he clinched a silver medal, the best ever result for an Irish sailor or crew, since the championship was first run in Denmark in 1971.

In a fitting payback for the small Dun Laoghaire sailing community that staged the event the youngster eclipsed the hopes of all when he sailed home through the harbour mouth this afternoon with a silver medal in the bag, putting the icing on the cake for the whole Dublin Youth Worlds team.

Over the last three days Blessington's Lynch, who races for the National YC, sailed himself from eighth to third to finally secure second overall today on his home waters in the 58 boat fleet, arguably the toughest in the championship.

A ninth place finish in the last race, profiting when two of his nearest rivals slugged it out at the back of the fleet, match racing for gold, ensured Lynch had relatively free reign to sail his own race.

His result exceeds Ireland's previous high water mark, a third place which was achieved in 1996 in the Laser 2 class in Newport by Laura Dillon and Ciara Peelo, the year that Lynch was born.

At aged 16, in his first of three possible years at the under 19 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, his silver medal marks him out as a substantial talent for the future.

Lynch is member of the Irish Sailing Academy and attributes some of his success here to the ongoing initiative to maximise training and racing opportunities in mainland Europe.

"It feels great. Simple as that." Said Lynch after he was carried from the water shoulder high in his boat by supporters and friends at the Royal St George YC. "I was pretty deep in the first part of the race today but had a good second stage and took places all the time."

"It was never really my goal to medal here, I just wanted to get a good result. I think the support here has really helped in the end. My coach Milan has been a great asset.

It was crazy being carried up the slipway. It was a bit of an anti-climax with the long sail home in light winds, that in the end was just fantastic."

I have trained so hard for this since February, including a month in Europe. There were ten of us doing a huge amount of training with the Irish Sailing Association Academy. That was great for my sailing. I have trained constantly this year. I want to qualify again for this for next year and maybe go one better, but then after that it's the Olympics."

Back in 2008 Event organiser Brian Craig told the Irish Times

"Our main objective is to get an Irish sailor on the podium in Dun Laoghaire'.

Back then securing the event was one thing and identifying young Irish sailing talent capable of such an achievement is another. However Lynch emerged as a credible force winning the trials in May and the right to represent to Ireland on home waters.

Craig's foresight and thinking four years ago though was that if Irish success can be produced on the bay in 2012 then it is a solid stepping stone for the Olympics in 2016.

"To be honest we are slightly stunned." Commented the Irish Sailing Association's Performance Director James O'Callaghan. "We have long since realised that Finn is a talent, but to achieve this is his first year at Youth Worlds is incredible."

"He is a great kid, very mature for his years. To give an insight into what this result represents Peter O'Leary who will be in the Star at the Olympics and won the last regatta at the Olympic venue before these upcoming Games, sailed at three Youth Worlds and finished mid 20's in his first year and progressed to sixth in his third year."

"And this so close to the Olympics is just great. All of the Olympic sailors in Weymouth have been following this."

#isafyw12 – Hopes of landing Ireland's first Youth Sailing World Championship medal since 1996 were kept very much alive today by National YC Dun Laoghaire's Finn Lynch when the young Laser Radial helm responded perfectly to the requests of his experienced coach and delivered an eighth and fourth on the penultimate day's racing at the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship on Dublin Bay.

Whilst many of his key rivals in the 58 boat Laser Radial Boys fleet struggled for such consistency across another two challenging races in moderate 8-13kts breezes, Lynch elevated himself to third place overall with just one final race scheduled tomorrow (Friday).

First and second steps on the podium are very much out of reach for the 16 year old helm who is racing at his first Youth Sailing World Championship and he faces a tough showdown with the Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard who is only one point behind. While Lynch has risen to the occasion, sailing a mature regatta considering his years, Tomaasgard is the reigning Laser Radial Youth World Champion and was one of the favourites to lift this ISAF Youth Sailing World title.

"Those results were pretty good by comparison." Smiled Lynch, " I was trying to risk a bit more again today so that I can get up there, and that seemed to work. I think I was smart enough in my risks though. I was in 15th in the first race and caught up to seventh which was good."

" Then in the second race I went all out for the pin end of the start line and won it and so I felt good from there."

Lynch is certain he has felt no home advantage: " I really have not felt that comfortable at all, not in any of the races just because it has been so unpredictable. I had some luck today. "

" It is so unpredictable I can go out there and get a 40th tomorrow, so I will just concentrate on the same things and try and get a result."

" It has been a great event. I have not felt so on top of the weather because it has been so changeable, but it feels really good now today. Now there is so much support for me it is really nice and it all helps. I feel like I have a bit of momentum going into tomorrow. There has been no extra pressure and I feel like I have peaked at the right time, peaking towards the end of the regatta."

In the Laser Radial Girls class Ireland's Sophie Murphy remains in 14th place after a mixed day on the water. After concentrating on her school studies this winter and spring she has raced fewer regattas than many of her rivals, but nonetheless has remained solid in the top third of the fleet.

The young Cork 420 duo of Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts lie 15th after finishing their penultimate day with a seventh, though a bad start in the earlier race left them struggling to a 21st.

"We were dead on the start line, left behind with no speed which was not good. But the second race was so much better." Said Roberts.

With one race left scheduled to be sailed two titles have already been decided. First ashore to the Royal St George YC slipway were the young Barcelona duo of Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel who successfully defended the 29er skiff class title that they won last year in Croatia.

And in the SL16 catamaran class GBR's Rupert White and Tom Britz, current overall world champions in the class, secured the gold medal with a flourish, winning both races today to set up an unassailable lead.

White, grandson of 1976 Oympic Tornado gold medallist Reg White, won bronze in this class last year in Croatia with a different crew.

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

Day FIVE results (& overall points)

Laser Radial (Boys)

1st - Mitchell Kiss (USA) 95pts 2nd – Mark Spearman (AUS) 108pts 3rd – Finn Lynch (IRE) 125pts

Laser Radial (Girls)

1st – Julia Carlsson (SWE) 55pts 2nd – Line Flem Host (NOR) 74pts 3rd- Cecilia Zorzi (ITA) 88pts

420 (Boys)

1st – Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) 49pts 2nd - Pieter Goedhart/Lars Van Stekelenborg (NED) 59pts 3rd - David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) 62pts

420 (Girls)

1st – Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Disalle (ITA) 40pts 2nd – Carrie Smith/Ella Clark (AUS) 41pts 3rd- Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) 51pts

29ers

1st - Carlos Robles/Florian Trittel (ESP) 20pts 2nd – Lucal Rual/Thomas Biton (FRA) 28pts 3rd – Klaus Lange/Mateo Majdalani (ARG) 34pts

SL16 Catamaran

1st –Rupert White/Tom Britz (GBR) 18pts 2nd – Martin Manzoil Lowy/Kim Vidal (BRA) 35pts 3rd - Paul Darmanin/Lucy Copeland (AUS) 37pts

RSX Boys

1st – Wonwood Cho (KOR) 29pts 2nd- Matta Camboni ( ITA) 29pts 3rd – Maxime Labat (FRA) 58pts

RSX Girls

1st - Saskia Sills (GBR) 28pts 2nd – Naomi Cohen (ISR) 41pts 3rd – Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) 53pts

Irish Team Standings after DAY FIVE

Radial Boys

Finn Lynch – 3rd (125pts)

Radial Girls

Sophie Murphy – 14th (144pts)

420 Boys

Patrick Crosbie/Grattan Roberts – 15th (141pts)

SL16 Boys

Alexander Rumball/Rory McStay - 9th (90pts)

29er Boys

Sean Donnelly/Tadgh Donnelly – 11th (113pts)

Over the next few days hundreds of boats will arrive in Dun Laoghaire in preparation for the Mitsubishi Youth National Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend (29 April – 02 May).

Over 300 sailors will compete in Dublin Bay in seven different classes (Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Feva, Topper, SL16 and Optimist). For youth sailors, this event is the most important in the annual calendar as it is the decider for the top Irish sailors to compete internationally during 2011 and is the pathway for future Olympic sailors. Podcast with Olympic Team Manager James O'Callaghan here.

The 420 fleet is already in situ as the Leinster Championships were held over Easter and the girls team Emma Geary and Niamh Connolly won the event in style. This team is the only 420 crew to qualify internationally for a place on the Irish team to compete in the ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia and will be looking to win next weekend to secure this honour.

Dublin Bay will host the 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships and this year's ISA Mitsubishi Youth National event is an important test event with representatives from the international sailing authority visiting Dun Laoghaire to view plans and test logistics.

In addition to the 420 fleet the Laser radial fleet will also be competing to qualify to represent Ireland in Croatia. Philip Doran aged 17 from Courtown in Wexford is the current former under 17 World Champion in the Laser Radial fleet although the National title has eluded him so far. In the girls fleet it will be a toss up between Saskia Tidey (RIYC) and Sophie Murphy (Quoile YC) as both already have a national title each under their belts.

optimist2

A fleet of top Optimists are expected. Photo: Bob Bateman

The younger Optimist fleet is also celebrating this week after two top 5 positions at the Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, the Netherlands. In fact an Irish team has competed at this event for 23 years and this is the first time that Ireland has won the country prize. Sean Donnelly from Dun Laoghaire who finished fourth in Braassemermeer is also leading the Optimist fleet in the trials and will be anxious to hold on to first position during the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals.

In other fleets, the laser 4.7 fleet is enjoying record numbers with many ex-Optimist and Topper sailors choosing this boat. Finn Lynch from Blessington and Seafra Guilfoyle from Cork will be firm favourites to win the class.

Overall Dublin Bay will be a spectacle of sail over the May Bank holiday weekend with light winds forecast.

Mitsubishi Motors have been a proud supporter of junior sailing in Ireland for the last 7 years. In recent years Ireland has had successes at youth level with winner of the girls under 21 Laser World Championships and a top 10 at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds and wins at the British National Optimist Championships.

Published in Youth Sailing

In one of her last official functions as Minister for Sport, outgoing local TD Mary Hanafin attended the Irish Sailing Association's annual Ball last Saturday in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

Attended by 315 people the black tie ball featured an awards ceremony that has been hailed  'a great success' by the association.

On Saturday afternoon the association elected a new President, Niamh McCutcheon, the first female ISA President since the organisation was founded in 1945.

A collection in aid of the RNLI raised over €2,250.

Award details below:

ISA Sailing Achievement of the Year
This award is presented by the ISA to recognise the outstanding achievement in a sailing craft by an Irish person or in Ireland during 2010.
Winner: Nicholas 'Nin' O'Leary, Royal Cork Yacht Club
Nicholas' achievements included narrowly beating his father Anthony at the ISA All Ireland Championships in 2010 by just a single point after a nail-biting finale in difficult conditions off Kinsale in November. The win made it three-in-a-row for this remarkable young 24 year old sailor - the only person to achieve this in the 64 years of the event's history.

ISA Volunteer of the Year
This award is given to a member of an ISA affiliated club or class who has made a significant voluntary contribution to their sport during 2010.
Winner: Brian Craig, Royal St. George Yacht Club.
Brian has been nominated by the Royal St. George Yacht Club for the vital role he has played in developing sailing in Ireland and specifically Dun Laoghaire over the past 40 years. His most recent success was winning the bid for Dun Laoghaire to host the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds.

ISA Youth Sailor of the Year
This award is presented by the ISA to recognise the outstanding achievement by a sailor competing in ISA Performance Pathway boats during 2010.
Winner: Finn Lynch, Blessington Sailing Club
Placing 2nd overall at the Topper World Championships in 2010 left the Carlow sailor in good stead for a Youth Sailor nomination. A determined sailor and strong character, it's clear that with these strengths Finn has the potential to go far in our sport.

ISA Instructor of the Year
This award recognises the role instructors have in providing access to our sports. The final 5 have been nominated by their students with the ultimate winner selected by an ISA judging panel.
Winner: Aine Carroll, Rush Sailing Club
Aine has been an ISA instructor for the last 11 years, instructing both adult and junior sailors in Rush Sailing Club. A keen Mermaid sailor, her love of sailing, her enthusiasm for the sport and willingness to give her time to her sailors have been infectious and remarkable. Apparently the kids at the club think she is a 'legend' and 'cool'!

ISA Training Centre of the Year
The face of ISA water sports to thousands of participants. The best in 2010 as nominated by their students.
Winner: University of Limerick Activity Centre
Situated on the sheltered shores of Lough Derg, University of Limerick Activity Centre has been in operation for over a decade. ULAC provides a varied programme of adventure activities to the general public. The University of Limerick Activity Centre runs ISA courses in sailing dinghies, windsurfers, powerboat as well as emergency care training courses.

Published in ISA
The National Yacht Club announced its staging of the 2011 Sovereign Ski Topper dinghy World Championships on Dublin Bay from August 15-19 last night and on hand to celebrate its launch was Annalise Murphy, the club's Olympic Laser Radial campaigner who is also a past Topper champion.

The club is expecting a turnout of up to 300 sailors that will make it the biggest dinghy sailing event in the country this year. "We will have a large contingent from the UK and many sailors from far away – we have had interest from Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, for example". Says Margaret Margaret Kneafsey, Chairperson of the Organising Committee.

Carlow sailor Finn Lynch, 16, who is the reigning British and Irish champion finished third in the 2010 World Championships in Lake Como, Italy.

The event has its own website with details on accommodation and logistics and entries.

Published in Topper
12th September 2010

Lynch Adds Leinster Title

Blessington's Finn Lynch added the Topper Leinster title to his 2010 roll of honour when he emerged as winner of the 50-boat event at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire today. The Carlow based teenager was the winner of the British Topper Championships sailed at Abersoch in August. 

topperIMG_3527

The start of the second race today in Scotsman's Bay

Published in Topper
In spite of a final race win overall victory escaped Carlow's Finn Lynch at the Topper World Championships on Lake Garda. At the halfway stage of the event the Blessington sailor was lying joint second but the next nine races saw a number of changes at the top of the leaderboard. Italy's Michele Benamati emerged as winner after 15 races on 28 points leaving Lynch, who won the British topper title in July, fourth overall in the 124 boat fleet. Official results HERE.
Published in Topper

Recently crowned British National champion Finn Lynch from Co. Carlow is looking to add the World title to his list of achievements this summer. At the British nationals he beat a staggering 323 boats to take the title. Currently at the 124boat fleet in the Worlds he is lying joint 2nd after 6 races. More HERE

 

Published in Topper
Page 13 of 14

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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