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Displaying items by tag: ILCA

Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club played host to the ILCA Connaught Championships last weekend, with a healthy turnout of 60 ILCAs descending on the location for what was a spectacular weekend on and off the water. Although entries were down somewhat with theICRA Champs running in parallel in Howth, organisers managed to provide a perfect trapezoid course under the expert eye of Race Officer Captain Michael Doyle and his team.

Due to the light wind forecasted, the launch on Saturday was delayed until a steady 8-knot sea breeze filled in from the southeast in a gradually warming day. In the ILCA 7s, Sam Ledoux from RStGYC showed a clean pair of heels, only to discover an OCS was waiting for him at the finish. Clubmate, Oisin Hughes took advantage, with another newly converted ILCA 6 squad member, Jonathan O’Shaughnessy, in second, followed by Conor Byrne in third. 

In the twenty-two boat ILCA 6 fleet, Irish Sailing squad member, Sophie Kilmartin from RSGYC & MYC was lying just one point ahead of Charlie Keating from HYC after two races. Andrew Kingston of RCYC showed some great boat speed with a well-earned win in the second race of the day, which left him just one point behind Daniel O’Connor and Keating after two races.

In the twenty-nine-strong ILCA 4 fleet, Thea Daly from RSGYC was the overnight leader, with recent Optimist Class converts and clubmates Caoilinn McDonnell and Marcus Shelley on joint points in second and third respectively.

Due to a continued dying breeze, sailors were ushered ashore after race two of the day to be greeted by a warm welcome, cold drinks, and rugby in the bar. 

On Sunday, organisers were keen to get sailors on the water early for a 10:25 am start. In an overcast and thunder-threatening sky, the breeze was slow to build, but finally settled in a 5-knot north-easterly for the first race of the day. In the ILCA 7 fleet, Sam Ledoux yet again took advantage of the light winds with two first-place finishes, with clubmate Oisin Hughes finishing with two-second places. Jonathan O’Shaughnessy held onto his overnight third place, but not without drama, as Conor Byrne was pipped in separate match-racing duels with Ledoux and Hughes, forcing him into a third-place finish and fourth overall.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Charlie Keating came out of the blocks like a bullet with two first-place finishes on Sunday, pipping Sophie Kilmartin by just one point, with Daniel O’Connor in third place overall. In the ILCA 4 fleet, Thea Daly held onto her overnight lead to finish first overall and one point ahead of Caoileann McDonnell in second and Lucy Ives in third.

The event was sponsored by Rooster and Viking Marine, who provided prize-giving prizes that were thankfully received by all winners on the day. It was a challenging weather condition, but the organisers, Don Ryan, Joe Corrigan and Eoin Thompson, along with Race Officer, Captain Doyle, and his extended team, managed to get a full race series completed. It was a successful weekend, and the participants had a great time both on and off the water.

Published in Laser
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Of the 15 Northern Ireland competitors in the ILCA Nationals at Howth Yacht Club recently, the best showing was that of Tom Coulter from East Antrim BC and Portrush YC in Co Antrim, who topped the 23-strong ILCA 6 fleet with a string of first and second places and a discarded third. He managed to beat last year’s winner, Fiachra McDonnell of Royal St. George, by one point. 

This seems to be the first time in at least 14 years that the trophy for this class has come north. Lucy Whitford, Commodore of East Antrim BC, was delighted with her club’s results; “Tom sailed brilliantly, and it was fantastic to see him win the super competitive ILCA 6 fleet and become Irish champion.

Also, in the same fleet, it was a tight battle between Gavin Doig and Zoe Whitford, with Zoe finishing 13th and Gavin one place behind. And Gavin’s son Freddie competed in his first Nationals, the ILCA 4 class”. She continued, “Everyone at EABC was delighted for Tom, especially as he missed the Worlds and Europeans this season through injury”.

Another NI sailor, Bobby Driscoll from Royal North on Belfast Lough, the 2022 Topper World 5.3 runner-up on countback, performed well to finish sixth in Tom's class.

ILCA 7 national championship racing at Howth Yacht. Club Photo: Annraoi BlaneyILCA 7 national championship racing at Howth Yacht. Club Photo: Annraoi Blaney

In the ILCA 4 fleet, Ciara McMahon from Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough finished in the top third of the 31-boat fleet at 10th, counting as best results two eighth places. Another BYC competitor, Colin Leonard was never out of the top six and finished in fifth place in ILCA 7.

The Northern clubs that were represented were East Antrim, Portrush, Strangford Lough, Ballyholme, Holywood, Carrickfergus, Royal North and East Down.

Published in Laser
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The Howth Yacht Club (HYC) hosted International Laser Class Association (ILCA) National Championships and saw sailors from three different clubs take the top spots across the three fleets.

Despite losing a day of racing due to strong winds and rough seas, the remaining two days provided plenty of action.

On Saturday, the start of the races was delayed due to the remnants of Friday's storm, but the wind eventually moderated to 15-23 knots, allowing the ILCA 7s to complete four races and the ILCA 6 and 4 fleets to complete three races each. The choppy conditions from the south-easterly breeze made it a challenging race course.

Sunday saw more manageable conditions, with a 12-20 knot breeze welcoming the sailors to the race course. Scorie Walls and her team completed four races for each of the fleets.

Local sailor Jamie McMahon, who had just returned from a summer in the USA, took the crown in the ILCA 7s, narrowly beating Australian Isaac Schotte by one point.

Jonathan O'Shaughnessy from the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) had remarkably consistent results and came in third, while Ballyholme's Colin Leonard was the first master and came in fourth.

In the ILCA 6s, East Antrim's Tom Coulter won by one point from RStGYC's Fiachra McDonnell, despite McDonnell's storming day two with three of four race wins. HYC's Sienna Wright was first lady and secured her spot to represent Ireland at the World Sailing Youth Championships.

Carlingford Sailing Club's Lucy Ives showed the rest how it's done in the ILCA 4s, winning the fleet, followed by Liam Duggan (RCYC) and Patrick Foley (RStGYC).

The team trophy was awarded to the club with the best result across the three fleets, which went to RCYC for the second year in a row. HYC and RStGYC were also contenders, but RCYC was the strongest across the fleets.

The event was sponsored by Rooster, who provided prizes for the event, as well as bibs for competitors. HYC played host well, providing food and entertainment ashore for all sailors, with photos from the day's racing displayed on a big screen and music playing, creating a great atmosphere for all involved.

Results here

Published in Laser
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Hungary's Maria Erdi won the final gold medal at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague in a tight medal race.

The 25-year-old moved up from third place to claim her first world title in the ILCA 6 medal race.

Australian sailor Matt Wearn confirmed his own world title in the ILCA 7, adding to his Olympic gold won in Tokyo 2020.

The Netherlands finished as the most successful nation, with gold medals for Luuc van Opzeeland in the iQFOiL and Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken in the 49er, retaining the IOC President's Trophy for the best nation.

Australian sailor Matt Wearn is carried ashore after winning the ILCA 7 division at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague Photo: Sailing EnergyAustralian sailor Matt Wearn is carried ashore after winning the ILCA 7 division at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague Photo: Sailing Energy

As Afloat readers know, Ireland's Finn Lynch from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire won Ireland a place at the Paris 2024 Games at The Hague in the ILCA 7 class.  

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International economists and financial journalists trying to analyse just how and why the Irish economy is doing so well these days might learn something from studying the mutations of the annual sailing programme. National events that in times past might have taken a leisurely week or so are now being compressed to minimize interruption of the countrywide work mania, and the latest to leap on the short-break bandwaggon is the upcoming Rooster-sponsored ILCA ILCA Nats, at Howth from Friday 18th August through to Sunday, August 20th.

That’s right. Just three days for the Irish Open Nationals of the only Olympic class which can be said to have a truly global popularity at every level, from ordinary club pottering around, going the whole way up to the super-sharp heights of the Five Ring Circus.

And all this is coming down the line at a club which, next year, will be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Boat, Formerly Known As The Laser being a core element of its continuous sailing programme.

But that’s the way we sail now, folks. And Championship Organisers Conor Murphy and Darren Wright and their Senior Racer Officer Scorie Walls - with their team of all the talents - know it can be done, simply because it has to be done.


They’ll be dealing with a large and varied fleet with differing levels of familiarity with the venue. Last year at Tralee Bay SC, the ILCA 7s 2022 were won by Dan O’Connell of Cove, who is a regular on the Howth ILCA Winter Series,

The ILCA 6s at Tralee went to Fiachra McDonnell of Royal St George YC, while the ILCA 4s were topped by Hannah Dudley Young of Ballyholme.

This year’s fleet will include the home club’s super-siblings Sienna and Rocco Wright, while Howth’s awards-garlanded international veteran and mentor Aoife Hopkins will be shepherding her team of promising talent into the ILCA 4 section.

Entries for an already healthy list close tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 15th August). And those whose concern is the weather can be reassured that at present, there seems little chance of those character-forming northeasterlies which Howth sailors expect to provide them with ocean sailing skills.


Then too – as last weekend showed - the benefits of the “East Coast Effect” should never be underestimated. In other words, any Atlantic rain determined to dump on Howth finds itself being absorbed by the muddy midlands before it reaches the Irish Sea, leaving Howth and the many ILCAs in a world of their own, with a mind-blowing evening entertainment programme added in to maximise time-use even further.

Details including entry here

Published in Howth YC
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The U21 ILCA ILCA Europeans sailing competition has kicked off in Stavanger, Norway, with 230 sailors from over 36 nations competing for top honours.

155 ILCA 7 sailors and 75 ILCA 6 female sailors will participate in the event, with 59 of them vying for U21 and U19 prizes.

Irish youth sailors Sophie Kilmartin, Oisin Hughes from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and Royal Cork's Jonathan O'Shaughnessy represent their country in the competition, having recently completed their state exams.

The event, which began last week, is scheduled to run until August 13th, and strong winds are expected to give way to more moderate conditions as the week progresses.

Results can be found here

Published in Laser
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This year has already seen a plethora of successes for Howth Yacht Club in the ILCA division, including a one-two brother-sister punch from Ewan and Eve McMahon — who won the ILCA 7 and ILCA 6 fleets respectively in the ILCA Ulster Championships last month — and a double-silver for Sienna Wright in the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds and Europeans.

Now, Laser-heads set their sights on HYC for the ILCA National Championships over the weekend of 18-20 August, which the club says will be one for the books.

Entry forms and the Notice of Race are available on the ILCA Ireland website, while will have more details on race specifics and onshore entertainment throughout the weekend in the coming weeks.

Published in Laser
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RYA Northern Ireland has issued the Notice of Race and opened entries for the 2023 edition of the RYANI F10 Marine Youth Championships, which will take place on the weekend of 9-10 September.

Following the cancellation of last year’s championships due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, RYANI welcomes back the prestigious event to uncover the Northern Ireland champions across junior and youth sailing classes that include Toppers, Optimists, Fevas and 29ers, ILCA 4 and 6 and a regatta fleet.

Andrew Baker, performance manager at RYANI said: “Our annual Youth Championships is a major event in the youth sailing calendar and for many their first experience of a larger event. Whether a sailor turns up as the favourite to win or it’s their first time on a racecourse, the event really delivers something for all young sailors in NI.

“It is probably the biggest event we run alongside our clubs, at times it can be logistically challenging and demanding on volunteer resources but ultimately demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone plays their part and gets involved.”

RYANI is also excited to announce a new headline sponsor for the event in F10 Marine, an online boat shop that offers a wide range of products for boating enthusiasts and provides quality items to enhance the boating experience and cater to diverse needs.

Damian Goodman from F10 Marine said: “F10 Marine is proud to announce its sponsorship of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships, scheduled to take place in September. This significant partnership reflects F10 Marine’s commitment to supporting youth development in the field of sailing and its dedication to promoting water sports in the region.

“By supporting this event, F10 Marine is actively contributing to the growth of the sailing community and empowering young sailors to pursue their passion for the sport.”

On the announcement of the sponsorship, RYANI chief executive Greg Yarnall said: “It is fantastic to have a company like F10 Marine on board to support the RYANI Youth Championships, we would like to thank F10 Marine for their support, and we hope it will be the start of a long lasting partnership between the two organisations that can enable us to further develop sailing and boating in Northern Ireland.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

It was a challenging, very windy two days at Ballyholme on Belfast Lough for the ILCA Ulster Championships last weekend.

The big fleet in three divisions, ILCA 4, 6 and 7, attracted 47 competitors from as far away as Glandore in Co. Cork, Dublin Bay, Tralee, Cork, Wexford and Wicklow, and they joined the northern contingent for what proved to be an energetic weekend of Laser competition.

Busy Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club was the ILCA7 Ulster Championships winner is pictured with Commodore Rob Milligan. Prior to the Ulsters event, McMahon competed at a windless Moth Worlds in the UK and the 1720 Euros at Kinsale. His big target this season is the first Olympic qualification opportunity for Paris 2024 at the World Sailing Championships in The Netherlands in AugustBusy Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club was the ILCA7 Ulster Championships winner is pictured with Commodore Rob Milligan. Prior to the Ulsters event, McMahon competed at a windless Moth Worlds in the UK and the 1720 Euros at Kinsale. His big target this season is the first Olympic qualification opportunity for Paris 2024 at the World Sailing Championships in The Netherlands in August Photo: Jess Mackey

Between them, brother and sister Eve and Ewan McMahon took home two trophies to Howth Yacht Club, both proving invincible, counting a clean sheet each, Eve in the 19-strong ILCA 6 fleet and Ewan first of 20 in the ILCA 7.

ILCA 4 runner up Eolann Miles from Glandore Harbour Photo: Tim McCarthyILCA 4 runner up Eolann Miles from Glandore Harbour Photo: Tim McCarthy

In the ILCA 4, Viktor Samoilovs (Malahide YC) counted three seconds and a first to finish clear ahead of the far-travelled runner up Eolann Miles of Glandore Harbour. Third was Eve McCarthy of Royal Cork who along with Miles, managed to discard an NSC in the first race but, despite having to count an OCS, totalled three good results of two firsts and a third.

ILCA 4 Winner Viktor Samoilovs of Malahide YC with Commodore Rob Milligan Photo: Jess MackeyILCA 4 Winner Viktor Samoilovs of Malahide YC with Commodore Rob Milligan Photo: Jess Mackey

 The Ballyholme YC team for the Ulster ILCA championships staged in Belfast Lough The Ballyholme YC team for the Ulster ILCA championships staged in Belfast Lough

The best local result in ILCA 6 came from Bobby Driscoll from Royal North of Ireland YC, just six miles west of Ballyholme. He discarded a DNF but counted otherwise three seconds and a third to claim runner-up. In third was Patrick Hamilton from East Down YC on Strangford Lough.

Bobby Driscoll from Royal North of Ireland YC runner up in the ILCA6 Photo: Jess MackeyBobby Driscoll from Royal North of Ireland YC runner up in the ILCA6 Photo: Jess Mackey

And in ILCA 7, the best host club performance came from runner-up Colin Leonard, who proving consistency pays, put together a string of seconds to finish in runner-up slot. Conor Byrne from Royal St George was fortunate to be able to discard a UFD for a premature start in the first race to count three thirds and a fourth.

An ILCA 7 nearly airborne - James Murphy from Wexford Harbour finished eighth overall Photo: Rob MilliganAn ILCA 7 nearly airborne - James Murphy from Wexford Harbour finished eighth overall Photo: Rob Milligan

The next big event for Ballyholme is the Irish Topper Championships’ nine-race three-day event starting 7th July.

Commodore Rob Milligan was delighted that racing was so good; “Despite very challenging conditions over the weekend, the racing went well without incident. The volunteers worked hard to keep the sailors safe on the water and the onshore team proved a well-practised group”.

Published in Laser
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After a hugely successful ILCA/Laser sprint event in 2022 that was held across three clubs, the series has expanded to five locations, with a five-race sprint regatta to be held at each club from June to September.

What better way to see some of County Cork's finest sailing harbours in fun but competitive events?

Four qualifying sprint events will be held with a minimum of two qualifier event entries to allow you to win the overall series.

Starting off at Glandore Harbour Sailing Club on June 24th, then Kinsale Yacht Club on July 23rd, Bantry Bay Sailing Club on August 6th, Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club on Sept 3rd and the final event will be at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Sept 17th. The clubs will individually host the sprint regattas for ILCA4, ILCA6, and ILCA7, with prizes awarded on the day for each regatta.

The series winner will be decided after the final sprint event at RCYC on Sept 17th.

All details, NOR and entry can be found here. This is an open event, so sailors from across the country are welcome.

Published in Laser
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