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Displaying items by tag: ILCA

Finn Lynch's defence of his ILCA 7/Laser World Championships silver medal suffered a gear failure setback yesterday at Vallarta, Mexico when the National Yacht Club ace posted a 'Did not Compete' (DNC) in his final qualification race.

Until yesterday, the consistent performance of the 26-year-old Carlow sailor kept him inside the top ten with an impressive scoresheet of 10, 2, 4, 13 and 10 in the 126-boat fleet.

With such scores, Lynch eased into the Gold fleet finals after three days of competition but will, however, rue the missed final qualification race.

It was a day of drama for Lynch who was lying eighth in the first race of the day but 'made contact' with another boat and ended tenth. In the second race, in ideal 12-18 knots winds, his downhaul rope broke ruling him out of the race.

Coach Vasilij Zbogar said "his downhaul rope broke but fortunately it was the last race and it is discarded so it's acceptable - the points are close and there's a lot in play in the finals."

Downhaul ropes have huge loads in Laser rigs and are fitted as a double block 8:1 purchase requiring replacement every four-to-five events, according to top campaigners.

Now at the halfway stage of the regatta and in 11th place going into the final six races, Lynch will be aiming to make up the 27 point gap between leader Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France on 12 points and his own 39-point tally.

One race discard applies after the qualification round while a second discard will be available in the final round.

Bernaz with (19, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2 places) has maintained his overall lead in the regatta, with former World Champion Kontides moving up several places to fifth with a strong performance on Wednesday.

The championships continue with the final series where a maximum of six races will be sailed over the next three days. The top half of the fleet will sail in the Gold fleet while the balance, including injury-hit Ewan McMahon of Howth, are in the Silver fleet.

Howth's Ewan McMahon completed the qualification races of the Laser World Championships with painful ankle injuries Photo: John Pounder/ILCAHowth's Ewan McMahon completed the qualification races of the Laser World Championships with painful ankle injuries Photo: John Pounder/ILCA

McMahon, who has battled his ankle problems since last week's pre-worlds training, has decided not to continue.  Zbogar said "Ewan isn't able to perform because of his injury, it doesn't make any sense to continue to sail and make things worse," said Zbogar.  "There's too much pain and too many anti-inflammatories and painkillers needed."

The top 5 starting their Final series:

1. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) - 12 points
2. Elliot Hanson (GBR) - 15
3. Jonatan Vadnai (HUN) - 18
4. Daniel Whiteley (GBR) - 19
5. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - 20

11. Finn Lynch, (IRL) - 39

Full results here Gold fleet finalists here

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With winds between 8 and 20+ knots and plenty of squalls predicted, racing took place for the DBSC Lasers inside Dun Laoghaire harbour on Tuesday, May 10th. Staying in your boat with the mast pointing at the sky was the best tactic. In the Radials, with huge wind shifts allowing for big gains upwind, the never say die attitude of Michael Norman and Hugh Cahill allowed them to share the honours with one win each.

In the standard rig Gary O’Hare and Conor O’Leary, standing in for Theo Lyttle, battled it out. Both had capsizes and the 2nd race was particularly close after a well-fought battle for the favoured pin end at the start.

All sailors were delighted when the DBSC race committee posted a X2 course rather than X3, there were some tired sailors nursing their boats ashore afterwards.

Standard Rig

Race 1, 1: Gary O’Hare 2: Theo Lyttle

Race 2, 1: Gary O’Hare 2: Theo Lyttle

Radial rig

Race 1, 1: Hugh Cahill 2: Michael Norman 3: Judy O’Beirne

Race 2, 1: Michael Norman 2: Alison Pigot 3: Judy O’Beirne

Published in DBSC
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Eighty Laser/ILCA dinghies from twenty clubs around Ireland returned to the sunny South East venue of Dunmore East this past weekend for the 'Connaught' Championships at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.

Although the wind God didn’t deliver the usual breezy/wavy conditions that is standard to this region, the sun shone on this glorious venue for the entire weekend providing for a beautiful setting. Waterford Harbour Sailing Club put on a first class performance of volunteer coordination and support ashore making it a truly magical weekend of sailing and socializing for all, topped off with a barbeque on the Clubhouse balcony on Saturday night as the sun set.

Race Officer, Con Murphy, and his very able team of hard-working support crew aboard the flagship and ribs had their work cut out for them in a strong ebb side and light unstable breeze for the duration of the weekend. Not ones to be put off by a challenge, however, they managed to get the full complement of six races in over the entire weekend.

ILCA 4

In the ILCA 4’s, Daniel O’Connor of the RStGYC continued his rich run of form and took home first prize with Daniel Palmer of BYC and Krzysztof Ciborowski of RStGYC in close second and third respectively with a point between them. True to recent form, Ava Ennis of RStGYC was the first girl, followed by Megan O’Sullivan of RCYC and Lucy Ives of CSC. Lucy just pipping Isabel McCarty of RCYC for third-placed girl on count-back. Four of the top ten places consisted of girls, a testament to the sailors, their club programmes and fun competitive draw of the ILCA class to all, no matter their gender.

ILCA 6

In the considerable and ever-competitive ILCA 6 fleet, the usual suspects of Rocco Wright and Luke Turvey of HYC took home first and second, while Sam Ledoux of NYC took third, with just four points separating the three of them showing just how tight the margins were. Becky Lowney of RSGYC/WHBTC was the first girl in tenth overall, with Sophie Kilmartin of RSGYC/MYC second and Anna O’Connor of RIYC/RSGYC third. Sean Craig, Marco Sorgassi and Hugh Delap, all of RStGYC, were first, second and third placed Masters.

ILCA 7

In the ILCA 7’s, Rory Lynch (BSC) and Chris Bateman (PWWC) battled it out for the entire weekend, ending with an equal share of points and Lynch winning it out on count-back. Nick Walsh (RCYC) was third and first placed Master with Darragh Kelleher (SSC) second placed Master and Dan O’Connell (ISA) third.

Results here

Published in Laser

Twelve Dun Laoghaire Harbour Laser/ILCA sailors competed last weekend at the XIV edition of the Spanish ILCA Masters, at picturesque Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava coast.

Racing in nine ILCA 6’s (Radials) and three ILCA 7’s (Full rigs), the sailors came from RStGYC, NYC and the Coal Harbour.

Ireland was also represented on the water by our International Judge/Umpire Michael O’Connor, from Kinsale.

This is one of the most popular regattas on the popular EuroMasters circuit which attracts over 700 ILCA sailors to various wonderful venues each year. For this regatta, hosted by the hospitable Club Vela Calella, there were 64 ILCA 6s and 34 ILCA 7s.

The Spanish ILCA Masters at picturesque Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava coast(Above and below) The Spanish ILCA Masters at picturesque Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava coast

Sailed in glorious sunshine throughout and very pleasant temperatures, the regatta began on Thursday, April 28 with an epic practice race in 15-20 knots, followed by Day 1 proper with 3 races in 10-14 knots but, by the weekend, competing weather systems left the venue windless and only one more race was possible on the Sunday. So Friday was key and, despite a very one-sided first beat, results were very up and down as starts were congested (especially with the 6’s) and finding lanes on the favoured port lay line was absolutely treacherous.

The Spanish ILCA Masters at picturesque Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava coast

The Irish squad proved that the vibrant local Masters' scene means our sailors are very competitive and all acquitted themselves well. Off the water too, where the team represented the second-largest contingent after the hosts, among the 13 countries represented!

In the ILCA 6’s, Monica Azon claimed first overall for Spain, proving her pedigree as a dual Olympian from 2004 and 2008. She was pushed hard by Max Hunt (GBR), very well known for his specialist ILCA parts business. Next were Dutch and Mexican competitors (the latter preparing for the Master Worlds in Mexico in June) and the top 5 was rounded off by Sean Craig (RStGYC), a result which also gave him a podium 2nd in the 28-boat Grand Master category. The next best of the Irish was Judy O’Beirne in 28th overall (and 6th lady overall), followed by Sean Flanagan in 32nd, Shirley Gilmore in 34th and Michael Norman in 37th.

In the ILCA 7’s, the Spanish dominated, taking the top 6 overall and the great Jose Luis Doreste (470 Gold in 1984 Games and Flying Dutchman Gold in 1996 Games) didn’t actually make top three. Best of the Irish was Theo Lyttle in 17th overall who had the satisfaction of a win in the Practice race.

The Irish competitors were ; Alison Pigot (NYC), Ali Robinson (RStGYC), Judy O’Beirne (RStGYC), Shirley Gilmore (RStGYC), Michael Norman (Coal Harbour/Wicklow SC), Hugh Cahill (Coal Harbour/DBSC), Sean Flanagan (RStGYC), David Cahill (NYC), Sean Craig (RStGYC), Theo Lyttle (RStGYC), Conor O’Leary (RStGYC), Chris Arrowsmith (RStGYC)

The 2022 ILCA Master European Championships will take place not far up the coast from Calella de Palafrugell, in October, at L’Escala. A strong Irish team is expected to compete.

Results of the 2022 Spanish Masters are downloadable below

Published in Laser

Baltimore Sailing Club welcomed over 80 ILCA/Lasers for the Munster Championship this Easter bank holiday weekend.

The magnificent West Cork setting that is Baltimore delivered superb sailing conditions with South/South Westerly winds averaging between 15-18 knots over the course of the weekend. Expert Race Officer, Kieran McSweeney and his team, set a trapezoid course format for the six-race event series with three races on a Saturday and three on the Sunday.

True to form in the ultra-competitive ILCA 7 (Standard Fleet), Paris 2024 campaigner Ewan McMahon of HYC took first place overall with a flawless six first place results. 

A startline view of the Laser Munster Championships at Baltimore in West CorkA startline view of the Laser Munster Championships at Baltimore in West Cork

Hot on his heels in second place overall was Micheal O’Suilleabhain of KYC. Darragh Kelleher of SSC took third overall and was first placed Master.

Second placed Master in fourth overall was Dan O’Connell, while Nick Walsh of RCYC was third-placed Master and fifth overall. The ILCA 7 fleet has seen huge growth this season thanks to the Irish ILCA Association promotional offer of free annual membership and event entry to the 18-30-year-old age group. This has proven to be a great initiative in attracting this cohort back to the association and taking part in regional events once again.

In the considerably sized and super-competitive ILCA 6 (Radial) fleet, Rocco Wright and Eve McMahon (both of HYC) shared equal net points with the former taking first place overall on count-back.

Chris Bateman of PWWC took third overall and just one nett point behind first and second, showing there was little or nothing between the top three. Sean Craig, Marco Sorgassi and Brendan Hughes (all RSGYC) took first, second and third-placed Masters in eighth, tenth and fifteenth place overall.

In the ILCA 4 (4.7 fleet) Daniel O’Connor of RSGYC took first place overall, very close behind was Sienna Wright of HYC while Daniel Palmer of BYC was third overall. A large cohort of this group used the event as practice for the upcoming Irish Youth Sailing Nationals in Ballyholme this coming weekend as did their friends in the ILCA 6 fleet.

The first female Master in the ILCA 6 was Judy O’Beirne of RSGYC

Full results can be found here

Next up is the ILCA/Laser Connaught Championship in Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, Dunmore East from 07 – 08 May.

The magnificent setting that is Baltimore delivered superb sailing conditionsThe magnificent setting that is Baltimore delivered superb sailing conditions

Published in Laser
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The Laser (ILCA) Munster Championship at Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork, ever a class favorite event, has not failed again this season with 80 boats currently entered including Olympians and top youth sailors. 

Entries continue to pour in from all four corners of the country, with 26 individual clubs now represented.

Amongst those entering are brothers and fellow Olympic campaigners, Ewan and Jamie McMahon and sister Eve, 2021 Irish Sailor of the Year and 2021 Youth World Champion.

Ewan McMahonEwan McMahon

They will be joined by top youth sailors Jonathan O’Shaughnessy, Oisin Hughes, Luke Turvey, Sophie Kilmartin, Fiachra McDonnell and hot off his Sprint Series Regatta win in Dun Laoghaire last week in the ILCA 6, Rocco Wright. Rocco and Co will undoubtedly be using the five-race Sprint Series which attracted 65 ILCAs to Dublin Bay last weekend to get a jump on their closest competitors.

Olympian Finn Lynch who had success at the Princess Sofia Regatta last week with a fourth place finish was understood to be heading for Baltimore but will not now be travelling.

Investing in training

As announced at the recent Irish ILCA AGM, the class is investing heavily in training, development, events and social, the four pillars which make the ILCA class the most successful and arguably, most fun, dinghy class in Ireland today.

The fruits of this effort can be seen in the sheer number of entries from Rush Sailing Club, where, Tokyo campaigner Aisling Keller, has been recently spending time with members there to hone their racing skills.

Tokyo campaigner Aisling KellerTokyo campaigner Aisling Keller

Aisling is actively engaged with several other Clubs throughout the country to help develop their youth squads. Another initiative the class are investing in is the concept of chartering, where boats that aren’t being used by local club members for an event can be rented to competitors. This may help those that don’t want the hassle of towing/roof-racking to events or simply don’t have the means to do so.

Racing is just part of what makes the ILCA such a fun, competitive class. The Munster’s and all ILCA events are also heavily focused on the social side, with entertainment and activities for all ages.

This can be seen in the large contingent of families that travel to events and the resulting slagging that inevitably arises both on and off the water between competing mums, dads, sons and daughters….invariably youth wins out in the end!

Remaining ILCA 2022 Event Calendar

  • Connaught Championships – WHSC, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford - 07/08 May
  • Master Championships – NYC, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin – 28/29 May
  • Leinster Championships – RStGYC, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin – 23/24 July
  • Ulster Championships – SLYC, Newtownards, Co. Down – 02/03 July
  • National Championships – TBSC, Fenit, Co. Kerry – 18/21 Aug

This article was updated on April 13 to reflect the fact Finn Lynch is not competing in Baltimore

Published in Laser
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A most consistent performance from Irish Laser sailor Finn Lynch on the Bay of Palma shows the depth of the Rio Olympian's ambition for Paris 2024 as the National Yacht Club ace broke into the top ten overall of the 162-boat fleet.

Gold fleet racing started for the ILCA7 class today with Lynch taking an eighth place that matches his top ten scores of the qualification series.

A 15th place in the next race is his discard so far with four races remaining in the Gold fleet to decide the top ten boats that will sail Saturday's medal race final.

"I feel good after a tricky day with lots of shifty winds," said Lynch after racing. "I'm happy with my position after four days of racing to have not used my discard - 15th is still a good result in Gold fleet."

Ireland's other ILCA7 Gold fleet sailor Ewan McMahon had a mixed day, discarding a weighty 49th place but staying calm to deliver a third place straight after. The Howth sailor lies 23rd overnight.

Younger brother Jamie McMahon lies eleventh overall in the Silver fleet after a 14th and a discarded 47th place.

Racing continues for all fleets on Thursday and Friday to decide the top ten in each event for Saturday's medal race final.

French veteran campaigner Jean Baptiste Bernaz, who is setting out on his fifth consecutive Olympic journey looking to represent France at their home games holds the overall lead in the ILCA 7 class just one point ahead of his German training partner Philipp Buhl who won the second race for gold fleet.

“The first race was not easy there was one big wind shift and if you were not there you were finished. I lost about ten boats and finished 18th but the second race was better. It was that kind of day.” Said Buhl, the 2020 world champion who is looking to get to his third Olympics “This feels different this time because it is a much shorter lead in. It is not always enjoyable. When you are sitting around in the rain waiting it is not so nice but when you are leading a gold fleet race in the sunshine in good conditions this evening, that is good fun and keeps you motivated.”

Results here

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The Royal Malta Yacht Club hosted the first-ever Malta ILCA/Laser Masters regatta, part of the extremely popular EuroMasters Circuit. The regatta took place from March 18-20.

As a first-ever edition, slightly off the beaten track, the very small turnout of 12 ILCA 6/Laser Radials and just three ILCA 7/Laser Standards was to be expected. However, it is expected that word will quickly spread for next year following the show of hospitality and organisation by the hosts.

Owing to something of a storm for the three days and the worst weather in Malta since 2019, racing was confined to Valetta Harbour, with the middle day cancelled due to 40-knot winds and enormous waves at the harbour-mouth. Competitors and their supporters enjoyed a regatta reception, a closing night dinner and excellent shoreside support, featuring Irish transition-year students on a TY sailing programme. These guys risked life and limb to get the Master sailors launched out and back again, in a very tricky onshore wind and swell!

The small fleet of twelve ILCA 6’s from seven nations had really good racing, as the race-course had an amphitheatre feel in the close confines and there was plenty of place changing, with massive wind shifts. Gusts of 25-30 knots were swooping in on both the Friday and Sunday too, and absolutely every single boat in the fleet had a capsize (or a few) on Friday! The enforced rest-day was announced at the reception on Friday night, to enthusiastic applause.

Despite the size, the ILCA 6 fleet had good depth with 4th, 5th and 8th from the recent 60-boat GrandMaster Worlds in Barcelona present; Sean Craig (IRL), Myrin (Swe) and Hunt (GBR), respectively. Myrin sailed best, virtually error-free, and comfortably took the win from Craig in 2nd and Walt Spevak (USA) from San Francisco in 3rd. Three seasoned GBR Master competitors may have been surprised to be all outside the top three, though all had some very good races and moments. In the Ladies, Ireland’s Shirley Gilmore, seen in the attached photo heading upwind under the fabulous Basilica of Our lady, defied her smallish stature and competed really strongly in all 5 races to edge out her Lady rival from Sweden, Ann Loren, who has been competing at the Master Worlds on a regular basis for the last 10 years.

This event, to include the training clinic in the days beforehand is on the calendar again for 2023. Generally, racing will take place outside Valetta Harbour, in superb, rolling waves.

Download results below

Published in Laser
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The Dún Laoghaire ILCA Laser fleet has announced a bumper 2022 season for local sailors.

With over 150 regular sailors, the ILCA/Laser fleet in Dun Laoghaire is the largest one-design senior dinghy fleet in the country. Sailors launch from all of the local clubs, including the Coal Harbour, with 120 launching from the Royal St. George Yacht Club alone in 2021. Local organisers are expecting the fleet to continue to grow in 2022 given the flexibility of this particular dinghy.

This year’s plans see the local class continuing with the sprint regatta format which they trialled last year. This regatta format, sponsored once again by Grant Thornton, offers five races back to back in quick succession. Both of last year’s sprint events were sold out within days of being announced and so it is no surprise that the class intends to host five regattas with this format in 2022. The first regatta takes place on Saturday, April 02.

Grant Thornton Laser Sprint

To facilitate weekly full-fleet racing in the bay a new “Friday Nights R&R” (Race & Relax) series is being introduced this season, running from April through to September. Sponsored by MGM Boats, this will consist of up to three races in the bay back to back on Friday evenings. The format is open to all ages and fleets, with series prizes awarded across the fleets in both male and female categories. The series kicks off on Friday, April 29.

MGM Laser racing

The Irish Laser Association, recently renamed ILCA Ireland, is hosting two events in Dublin Bay this summer. On May 28-29, the National Yacht Club will be organising the Masters National Championships. Then on July 23-24 the Royal St. George Yacht Club will be hosting the Leinster Championships which is open to all fleets. Given the size of the fleet locally, it is expected that both events will achieve record turnouts.

In addition to the regional events, the local Laser fleet will be organising its own mini-series on the basis of Laser results from the four local club regattas hosted by DMYC, NYC, RIYC and RSGYC each weekend from June 11 to July 02. Entrants to the regattas will be eligible to win prizes at each individual regatta plus overall prizes across the four-regatta mini-series.

The local fleet is well known for the high level of open coaching that it organises at both junior and adult levels. This year will see the introduction of new coaching formats for both beginners and advanced sailors. A new “strength and conditioning” coaching format, launched in January, which focuses on on-the-water fitness and resilience is already proving very popular. The fleet plans to introduce mid-week free sailing which will be a mix of racing and fun in Dublin Bay.

When asked about the rationale behind the plans for 2022, local class captain Brendan Hughes said, “The ILCA Laser fleet locally is unique in that it caters for the broadest range of skills and ages; from novices through to Olympic campaigners, from teens to sailors in their seventies. Existing local structures are currently unable to meet the needs of the largest fleet in Dublin Bay, so we needed to create our own agile approach to ensuring that sailors of all ages and abilities can have a challenging, fun and safe place to sail. We are not a club, but operate as a group of around 30 volunteers who work within the club structures to make things happen.”

Full details of the 2022 schedule are downloadable below as a PDF

Published in Laser
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Despite the massive upsurge in Laser sailing in the capital's waters over the last few seasons, it was Cork Harbour helmsman that topped the 2021 Irish Laser rankings in all three rig divisions.

In the Standard rig (ILCA 7) rankings, Royal Cork Yacht Club's Ed Rice finished 2021 in first place, just .5 of a point over Royal St. George's Ross O'Leary. 

In the ILCA 6 rankings, the latest Crosshaven wunderkind, Jonathan O'Shaughnessy finished top of the Radials. As regular Afloat readers know, O'Shaughnessy had a standout season for which he was rewarded in January with RCYC's Pyewacket Trophy.

O'Shaughnessy's clubmate Dara Collins led the 2021 rankings in the ILCA 4 or 4.7 rig.

 Download the full Irish Laser rankings for 2021 below.

Published in Laser
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