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The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle discarded a 19th place scored in the fourth race of the series this afternoon to lie sixth overall in the Grand Masters division of the Laser Masters World Championships on Dublin Bay. 

Next best to Lyttle is Belfast Lough's John Simms in 25th with Royal Irish Yacht club's Justin Maguire 26th. Grand Master results are here.

In the Radial Master division, Sean Craig of the host port lies fifth. See Radial results here.

Adding two further race wins to his tally, Australia’s Brett Beyer continued to dominate the Standard rig Master class.  Royal Cork's Nick Walsh is best of the Irish here in 20th place.

Despite a shifting breeze that gusted from ten to over 20 knots at times, Beyer’s bid to defend his 2017 title showed no loss of his opening day form as he sailed in clear air ahead of his nearest challengers in the 60-boat class.

Elsewhere in the 302-strong event, the Grand Masters class proved that age is no barrier to Sailing’s naughty-step with no fewer than 14 Black Flag disqualifications after the opening race of the day required five general recalls with racing delayed more than an hour.

The fleet is also grappling with the biggest Spring tides of the year with a strong ebb flow adding to the challenge of the fresh to strong winds.

Despite receiving one of the Black Flag disqualifications, Sweden’s Tomas Nordqvist remains atop the Grand Master class after the weighty penalty was dropped when the discard came into play.

Amongst the Great Grand Masters, two wins for Germany’s Wolfgang Gerz keeps him ahead of Australia’s Mark Bathwaite by two points. And two wins for Canada's Gord Welsh sees him ahead on tie-break with Spain's Leandro Rosado for the Laser Standard apprentice class.

Australia’s Scott Leith added two further wins in the Radial Master class while in the Grand Masters, Britain’s Stephen Cockerill leads this 57-strong division by five points after a mixed day afloat.

“It was a pretty tough day out there,” Cockerill admitted afterwards. “If you played the middle it was deadly. I rounded the first mark in 40th place and it was a fight to get back up the fleet (eventually to 16th for the first race). The plan for the regatta has to be at the top mark in the top few boats.”

Marking his debut year in the Grand Master division, Cockerill went on to score his third win of the series in the second race of the day and remains ahead of Australia’s James Mitchell.

After two days of 20 knot westerly winds, Tuesday’s forecast offers the prospect of another testing day ahead of Wednesday’s welcome break in the schedule. Ironically, the conditions are expected to ease off for the day before building steadily towards a gale by Saturday evening.

Full results are here

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1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club had a promising start to the Laser Masters World Championships at Dun Laoghaire today. In the Grand Master event, Lyttle (55) finished seventh overall for the day. In the Master series, Nick Walsh lies 12th overall while Pete Smyth was third in the Standard Apprentice division. Shirley Gilmore in the Radial Master was 23rd overall and fourth woman overall in her class.

Dublin Bay served up a robust opening day to the Championships organised by the Royal St. George and National Yacht Clubs. 302 entries from 25 countries nevertheless enjoyed the planned race programme of two races.

Defying winds gusting from 20 to 27 knots, Australia’s Brett Beyer in the Standard Master class, Britain’s Stephen Cockerill in Radial Grand Master and Bill Symes in the Great Grand Masters along Peter Seidenberg in the Legends event - both of the United States - all scored two wins each.

Full results here

Monday’s second day is also expected to have similar or perhaps stronger conditions to test the eight divisions racing under Standard and Radial rigs.

Yet Beyer, Cockerill and Symes hardly have runaway leads at such as early stage of the regatta and each has a hunting pack close behind.

The Standard Grand Master class has Australia’s David Whaite tied for second place with Canada’s Ray Davies and Britain’s Orlando Gledhill just a point behind them in their 60-strong class.

Similarly, in the Radial Grand Master Class, Sweden’s Gustaf Svensson is second overall with just two points separating him from fifth place.

Sunday’s opener came as a surprise for some competitors after two days of near calm and drizzle; the westerly wind produced a tricky day with frequent shifts in the gusts that led to plenty of capsizes and one or two minor injuries.

A rest day is planned for Wednesday when lighter breezes are currently forecast to arrive.

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Lasers Masters do not grow old as those who stay ashore or go into keelboats grow old. On the contrary, they’re Tir na nOg afloat. It’s the Land of the Ever-Young out on the sea. And the prospect of the 300-plus Laser Masters fleet from 25 countries evokes these visions as they begin their annual Worlds at Dun Laoghaire today (Saturday) with the practice race for an extraordinary week of senior sport writes W M Nixon.

The Laser at just under 14ft in length is arguably the greatest boat design in the world. Created from a doodle in a flash of inspiration during a phone call in 1970 between Canadian designer Bruce Kirby (noted at the time for his International 14s) and the late Ian Bruce (also a Canadian), the Laser is the only boat to have both Olympic status and universal popularity. In addition to its lofty Olympic recognition, it is sailed and raced regularly by club sportsmen and women worldwide for sheer sport and fun, and it acquires lifelong adherents whose continuing joy in this wonderful little boat is honoured through the annual Laser Masters.

That said, they set the initial bar for a plain ordinary Master quite low by putting it age 45. I mean, honestly – 45? The great Dennis Conner himself reckons he was at his ace best as a helmsman at the age of 45. But then, he was racing International 12 Metres to America’s Cup success at the time, with a great big ballast keel under the boat to keep her upright. It’s so different from the
Laser’s total reliance on crew weight kept athletically in the right place – often with strenuous physical effort - to do the job. 

laser masters croatia2A major event in the International Calendar, this is the Laser Masters World Championship at Split in Croatia in September 2017

Certainly, it’s difficult to imagine The Dennis in a Laser, though doubtless it has happened. But even so, having accepted the Laser’s need for physical ability, we note that the Powers-that-Be in Laserdom make entry into this magical world of Masters sailing even more painless by having an Apprentice Master category of 35-44, while the actual Masters are 45 to 54.

And then it gets exciting with Grand Masters from 55 to 64, and Great Grand Masters above 65. You might think that was enough of a good thing, but they’ve a category beyond the GGMs of 75+, the Legends, with 14 of them in Dun Laoghaire. And beyond that, there are keen Laser sailors in their 80s regularly competing at clubs worldwide. Denis O’Sullivan of Monkstown Bay SC on Cork Harbour is one of them - he was at the 2017 Worlds in Croatia last September when it was still summer, and he’s on Dublin Bay now when we can only hope it will be summer again.

denis osullivan3Denis O’Sullivan, Ireland’s most senior representative at 80 ++, is seen (above) at the Apres Sailing while (below) he races on the waters of Croatia in 2017

denis osullivan4

As there are significant US and Canadian contingents in Dun Laoghaire, the views of the North American Laser Class Association are of interest in putting it in perspective:

“Master’s sailing is for ‘seasoned’ sailors… It is still the competitive racing that you remember, but recognises that while your mind is still young, your body might not still be there anymore with the 20-somethings.

“At the highly competitive but very fun World Championships, you race against competitors only in your age division, while at National level, the Masters typically race as one fleet but score in their age divisions.

“The racing, both in age divisions and overall, is extremely close on the water. Off the water, the emphasis is on having a great time with all of your fellow-Masters sailing friends.”

A key player in the drive by Paul Keane (RIYC) to get the Masters Worlds to Dun Laoghaire is Sean Craig (Helmsmans Champion of Ireland in 1993) of RStGYC, and back in January here on he introduced us to this mature but vibrant world of Laser Mastering well into one’s eighties after we’d reported on the great 92-year-old Gordon Ingate winning the Australian International Dragon Nationals in January 2018.

sean craig and salver5Sean Craig with the Helmsmans Championship Salver in 1993 (above), and racing in the Laser Masters Worlds in Croatia last September (below)

sean craig croatia6

Winning races at 92 is completely off the scale. But here again, the Dragon has a fine big keel hung under her and the Laser doesn’t. So Sean quite rightly reckoned the senior Laser sailors deserved their place in the limelight, and revealed the story of the Irish contingent who had been at the Masters Worlds at Split in Croatia back in September, and we headed it: “Sailing is a Sport for Youth of all Ages”, a happy notion first enshrined by Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Network in Limerick.

laser masters croatia7The “Irish & Associated” squad in Croatia last September were (left to right) Niall Peelo, Paul Keane, Kevin Currier, Nick Walsh, Denis O’Sullivan, Ed Rice and Theo Lyttle with Sean Craig in foreground
Handling a large fleet of “Youth of All Ages” is demanding enough at the best of times, but in addition to the age group divisions, the fleet in Dun Laoghaire is almost exactly halved between Standard Rig (159 boats) and Radial (142 boats) providing yet another administrative challenge for Organising Committee Chairman David Kelly and his team of many volunteers, dealing with competitors from 25 different countries in a massive joint venture between the Royal St George YC, the National YC, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the International Laser Class Association supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

300 sailors from 25 Nations on Dublin Bay



Age Bracket



75+ Yrs

Great Grand Master


65+ Yrs

Grand Master


55>64 Yrs



45>54 Yrs



35>44 Yrs




The simple tabulation of the basic top results from 2017 gives some idea of the administrative challenge, and the international emphasis:

2017 Final Standings (top 3 in each fleet)

Standard Apprentice:
1. Maciej Grabowski POL 6pts
2. Maxim Semerkhanov RUS14pts
3. Adonis Bougiouris GRE 15pts

Standard Master:
1. Brett Beyer AUS 12pts
2. Peter Hurley USA 16pts
3. Emesto Rodriguez USA 25pts

Standard Grand Master:
1. Allan Clark CAN 11pts
2. Andy Roy CAN 20pts
3. Tomas Nordqvist SWE 21pts

Standard Great Grand Master:
1. Michael Nissen GER 9pts
2. Mark Bethwaite AUS 10pts
3. John Pitman NZL 16pts

Radial Apprentice:
1. Jon Emmett GBR 6pts
2. Anastasia Chernova RUS 17pts
3. Noel Bayard FRA 24pts

Radial Master:
1. Alessio Marinelli ITA 10pts
2. Scott Leith NZL 17pts
3. Wilmar Groenendijk NED 34pts

Radial Grand Master:
1. Martin White AUS 20pts
2. Pierantonio Masotto ITA 27pts
3. Terry Scutcher GBR 36pts

Radial Great Grand Master & 75+:
1. Bill Symes USA 12pts
2. Robert Lowndes AUS 23pts
3. Kerry Waraker AUS 27pts

Women’s Radial Apprentice:
1. Anastasia Chernova RUS 17pts
2. Georgia Chimona GRE 30pts
3. Paula Marino URU 31pts

Women’s Radial Master:
1. Giovanna Lenci ITA 53pts
2. Michelle Bain NZL 78pts
3. Monica Wilson USA 84pts

Women’s Radial Grand Master:
1. Lyndall Patterson AUS 90pts
2. Vanessa Dudley AUS 117pts
3. Anne Loren SWE 238pts

Women’s Great Grand Master & 75+:
1. Hilary Thomas GBR 255pts
2. Gill Waiting NZL 258pts
3. Deirdre Webster CAN 293pts

Add in the challenge of deriving such a set of meaningful results from a big fleet event staged in the sometimes wayward weather of Dublin Bay in early Autumn, and you begin to get the complete picture of what the organisers face. But with all this generously-given effort, are we going to get a result which will bring some medalware the way of the Irish sailors?

Certainly, there are some home talents in the “Irish & Associated” category who haven’t raced the Masters Worlds before who might make those final inches to the podium, the Holy Grail which in some cases only very narrowly eluded 2017’s squad.

Apart from former Laser National Champions, our Irish group of Damian Maloney, Gavan Murphy, Roger O’Gorman, Ross O’Leary, David Quinn, Pete Smyth, Kevin Currier, Michael Delaney, Mark Kennedy, Francis Kennedy, Mark Lyttle, Theo Lyttle, Alan McNab, Dan O’Connell, Ed Rice, Ian Symington, Nick Walsh, Chris Arrowsmith, Marc Coakley, Conor Costello, Justin Maguire, Gary O’Hare, Conor O’Leary. John Simms, Paul Siffe, Richard Tate, Charlie Taylor, Thomas Chaix, Darrell Reamsbottom, Sean Craig, Shirley Gilmore, Troy Hopkins, Brendan Hughes, John Sisk, Marco Sorgassi, Paul Ebrill, Ian Magowan, Chris Boyd and Denis O’Sullivan includes a clutch of Helmsmans Championship winners and stars from other classes, and with the many categories over which they’re spread, there’s surely a prize somewhere. 

brett bayer8Brett Bayer of Australia, defending champion in 2018 at the premier division of Standard Masters

Any prizes will be hard-won, as the competition at the premier level – the Standard Masters – includes defending champion Brett Bayer of Australia, Olympic coach and multiple past winner. But with this World Championship more than any other, it’s ultimately all about people. The back-story of the people taking part for the next seven days is quite something. Out of the woodwork, for instance, comes Chris Arrowsmith, Helmsman’s Champion of Ireland (as it was called then) in 1979. And from the north comes Chris Boyd, yacht designer/builder, and creator of – among other craft – the enduring Puppeteer 22. These days, his sailing is for sport and recreation, with his main base at Ballyholme.

Meanwhile, the success-garlanded Grand Master Mark Lyttle – originally from Dun Laoghaire and with the National YC still listed as one of his clubs – has been London-based since 1998. Nowadays he’s Hiberno-British, but in 1996 he represented Ireland in the Atlanta Olympics racing Lasers (he came 11th, and had a race win) and became's inaugural Sailor of the Year, while on the home front he was Helmsman’s Champion in 1986, 1987 and 1991 during an outstanding progress through Irish sailing which started with Optimists and soared on through Lasers, 470s, J/24s and 1720s.

After a successful period in the more cerebral areas of industry in London – he was six years with Accenture, then started his own IT business - he has focused on Sports Science. This has been done though further third-level education, and giving enormous amounts of his time to voluntary work in other sports areas such as swimming and fencing – he has been brought in as an outsider to be Chair of British Fencing - with additional interests in sports technology, while also somehow being Chairman of the British Optimist Association for three years.

Mark Lyttle RacingMark Lyttle in Laser training for the 1996 Olympics at Atlanta, the first time the class was used in the Sailing Olympics Photo: David O'Brien/

He is active in more voluntary and advisory bodies than you’d think possible, while his sailing home base is Queen Mary Reservoir in South London, created in 1970 from a joint venture by the River Thames-based clubs which were seeking a sailing space where the winds might be more reliable than in the narrow and very urban setting of their river.

The timely advent of the Laser in 1973 had seen the new Queen Mary Sailing Club move on to new levels of success, and while he has sailed other boats, the Laser in which Mark Lyttle achieved so much remains his special boat. So much so, in fact, that he won the British Masters back in June (having just qualified at 55 as a Grand Master), and then a fortnight ago he came back to Ireland to race the Laser Nationals on Lough Derg as part of his build-up to the Worlds, taking third overall with current Olympic hopeful young Liam Glynn of Ballyholme (definitely not currently a Laser Master in any age sense) being overall winner.

Despite his many years with the class, Mark Lyttle continues to adore the Laser and will be racing his eighth boat of the marque in Dun Laoghaire. Being fit is part of his nature, but nevertheless, he acknowledges that Laser sailing at 55 imposes a new perspective, and in each series, he now subscribes to that mantra which is the code for so many senior Laser sailors – TAKE IT ONE RACE AT A TIME.

An intriguing character in the show is Doug Peckover of Texas, who first won the Laser World Masters in 1997 and has been right in the frame many times since, and is now a GGM, but gallantly racing a Standard (full rig) boat. Sailing development and coaching is Doug’s thing, particularly in North America where his coaching and opinions are highly valued.

Despite sight difficulties which have latterly been improved, he continues Laser sailing and racing with as much zest as ever, as he does with the living of life in general. His recent arrival in Ireland in the countdown to the worlds saw images being posted of Doug and newbie Grand Master Chris Henkel (also USA) beginning the experience by savouring the classic Irish breakfast of the very full fry-up accompanied by strong tea and the obligatory pint of Guinness – is there any other way to start the day?

chris and doug10Athletes in training….American Master Chris Henkel and Grand Master Doug Peckover, the renowned Texan sailing guru, absorbing some of the local culture on their arrival in Ireland.

chris doug breakfast11Is there any other way to start the day properly? The full Irish accompanied by the essential cup of Barry’s tea and the optional pint of Guinness

Another stellar presence is Mark Bethwaite of Australia, who turned 70 back in March, having taken second in the GGM (Standard) division in Croatia last September to make it ten wins in various categories of the LGM over the years. Scion of a clan which has been in the forefront of sailing development for decades, Mark sailed for Australia in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics in the Flying Dutchman, his brother Nicky was a fellow Olympian, and another member of this remarkable family is Julian Bethwaite, who developed the 49er skiff and is reputedly doing some very interesting work in the next stage of what a state-of-the-art single-hander for 2020 – the Laser of the future? - might be like.

mark bethwaite12Mark Bethwaite of Australia on his way to winning the 2016 Great Grand Masters at Vallatarta in Mexico

But for most of those in Dun Laoghaire for this very special gathering, the wonderful Laser in the pure form is more than enough to be going on with. She is as she is. She is one of their secrets of eternal youth, the basis for their very special sense of community and camaraderie and life lived as it should be. The Laser is irreplaceable.

lasers return to dl13Post-race camaraderie envelopes the Lasers as they return to base at the Royal St George and National Yacht Clubs in Dun Laoghaire. Photo O’Brien

Published in W M Nixon
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A star-studded fleet of 301 competitors from 25 countries will begin competition on Dublin Bay tomorrow as the annual Laser Masters World Championships sponsored by DLR gets underway. Olympians, multiple world champions and local talent will contest the seven-day event that is co-hosted by the Royal St. George YC and National YC.

The field of men and women is spread across five divisions plus Standard and Radial rigs and is grouped by age ranges: Apprentice age 35 and over; Master age 45 and over; Grand-Master age 55 and over; Great Grand-master age 65 and over; Legend age 75 and over.

Britain and United States have the largest numbers entered but other countries such as Japan and Argentina as well as many European nations are also represented.

Australian Brett Bayer, an Olympic coach and multiple past winner will defend his 2017 title in the Masters division where some of the most intense racing is expected. Of the host nation, Nick Walsh and Dan O’Connell are arguably the strongest contenders at this level.

In the Grand Masters event, Britain's Tim Law is on form along with Canada's Andy Roy, the North American class President.

Ireland's 1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of the National YC will also be competing, fresh from placing third overall at the Irish championships two weeks ago in addition to his recent British Masters title win in June. Lyttle is racing under his adoptive GBR colours and along with Sean Craig and Shirley Gilmore of the co-hosting Royal St. George Yacht Club, the trio is expected to lead the local interest for the championships.

Amongst the Great Grand Masters, two-times Australian Olympian Mark Bethwaite will be racing and aiming to better his 2017 result when he missed out on first place by a single point. In the Radial Masters fleet, New Zealand's Scott Leith is a six-times World Champion and must be a favourite for 2018.

Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan from Cork is one of the dozen Legends taking part having competed in multiple previous events.

In the Standard Apprentice fleet, David Hillmyer from the United States has sailed on Dublin Bay before and could easily challenge a very strong Irish contingent that includes Dave Quinn, Pete Smyth and Roger O’Gorman.

After Saturday's practice race and opening ceremony, racing begins in earnest on Sunday afternoon with a continuous fleet series concluding on Saturday 15th September.

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There are some great deals to be had on new and ex-charter Laser dinghies from leading Irish chandlery CH Marine.

Right now you could have an ex-charter for €6,490 (£5,776.10) VAT inclusive ahead of the Laser Masters coming to Dun Laoghaire in September.

Also available is the all new Laser standard dinghy with XD rid and a composite upper for €7,190 (£6.399.10).

All come with a trolley, top cover and foil bag plus new lines, sail, carbon tiller and extension, XD vang and outcall package.

Keep an eye on these and other great deals from CH Marine, which currently has Jabsco bronze electro-magnetic clutch pumps at special low prices.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery
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Aisling Keller made her home club Lough Derg Yacht Club proud by winning the Laser National Championships over four days sailing, winning six out of nine races, as reported earlier here.

Con Murphy, the International Race Officer in charge of the event, had a challenging time getting nine races in over the four days, with Saturday having to be cancelled due to lack of wind.

Aisling, who came to sailing on the lake through the schools sailing programme, started by Liam Maloney, then headmaster of Carrig NS, rose through the ranks very quickly, as did her brother Eoin who also won this event in 2011 in LDYC.

Aisling, who hopes to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, is heading to Tokyo next week to take part in the World Cup, followed by Olympic Week also at the same venue. She is a carded athlete for 2018 as a result of her under–21 European Championship second-place result and hopes to retain her funding in 2019.

Below LDYC supporters at Dromineer carry Aisling from Lough Derg following her national championships win on Sunday:

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The Laser Radial Youth Worlds wrapped up on Saturday in Kiel, Germany with the stand out performance coming from Tom Higgins of the RStGYC finishing in 7th overall in the 269 strong boys fleet and narrowly missing out on the first under 17 overall title, finishing in the runner-up position.

The 11–strong Irish contingent gained valuable international experience with many top ten race positions including race wins from Clare Gorman NYC, Jack Fahy and Henry Higgins both RStGYC.

A long winter on the water, in the gym and on the bike now awaits the top laser youth sailors, before international competition commences again in the Spring.

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Olympic trialist Aisling Keller was carried from her home waters of Lough Derg shoulder high by supporters eager to crown the 2018 Irish Laser Radial Champion yesterday evening at Dromineer. The Tipperary sailor, who is in a two-way fight for selection against Aoife Hopkins for the single Tokyo place, (who did not compete due to illness) was a clear winner by seven–points in the championships biggest fleet of 46 boats. Second overall in the Radial division was Spanish youth sailor Arturo Moratilla and third Micheal O'Suilleabhain from Kinsale. The first master was Dublin Bay's Sean Craig in fifth place overall.

Glynn Adds Irish Title to Season's Haul

In the full rig, there was also a straight win for men's Olympic trialist, Liam Glynn who adds the Irish title to July's bronze at U21 World level also earned this season. The full rig results ended as they started last Thursday with Belast Lough's Glynn dominating the 23-boat fleet ahead of Daragh O'Sullivan, the only competitor to challenge the former Topper World Champion. O'Sullivan, of Kinsale Yacht Club, took three race wins from nine starts to be only three points behind Glynn at the end of the championships on 14 points. Third on 25 points was the National Yacht Club's Grand Master Mark Lyttle.

Cullen is Irish 4.7 Champion, Valetta is Open Champion

Royal St. George youth sailor Edoardo Valletta, sailing for Italy, is the Laser 4.7 open champion emerging three points clear of Royal Cork Yacht Club's Atlee Kohl, sailing under US Virgin Islands on 22 points. Charlie Cullen of the National Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club was third in the 38–boat fleet and took the Irish title.

Charlie CullenIrish 4.7 champion Charlie Cullen (centre) with LDYC Commodore John Leech (left) and Race Officer Con Murphy

Overall results are here

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Ireland was the only country to have two sailors finish in the top six of the the Laser U21–European Championships 2018 that concluded on Friday.

Just two Irish sailors travelled to travelled to Bastad, Sweden for the regatta.  Royal Cork's Johnny Durcan finished fifth overall moving up from his tenth placing, as reported earlier in the week, to finish on 51 points. Durcan was three points ahead of Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon finishing 6th on 54 points after ten races sailed and two discards.

The overall winner was Poland's Kuba Rodziewicz with Germany's Max Wilken second and Russian Daniil Krutskikh third.

Results are here


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Three straight wins for Ireland's Liam Glynn in the opening races of the Irish Laser National Championships on Lough Derg puts the Ulsterman at the top of the 24-boat full rig fleet.

Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan lies second counting three seconds and Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club is third with three third places so far.

Laser nationals lough dergWet and wild for the first races of the Laser Nationals on Lough Derg Photo: Deirdre Horgan

In the 51-boat Radial rig fleet, the biggest of the championships, visitor Arturo Moratilla from Club Nautico Sevilla leads Lough Derg's own Aisling Keller with youth category sailor Chris Bateman of Royal Cork Yacht Club third. 

The 4.7 fleet is led by Royal St. George's Edoardo Valletta with Maeve Leonard of Royal Cork second and Charlie Cullen of the National Yacht Club third.

Racing continues today. 

Full results here 

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Page 18 of 54

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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