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Ireland took two top five overall results at the Laser (ILCA) World Championship results yesterday in the 'Master' categories at Barcelona, Spain.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig moved up to fourth overall in the 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. 

While the Irish sailors narrowly missed the podium both were presented with coveted top five Laser 'Cube' awards at the Barcelona Sailing Centre.

George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. 

The strong Irish international performance in the class follows Finn Lynch's runner up place at the Laser Worlds at the same venue earlier this month, when the Rio Olympian secured Ireland's best ever result in the Olympic dinghy.

Two races were completed for all the ILCA 7 divisions and the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters, while the one remaining race was completed for the other ILCA 6 divisions.

Sailors went out again for a 9:00 first warning signal in about 6–10 knots, enough wind to complete the championship.

ILCA 7

In the Apprentice division, Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer secured gold, with only 14 points, over Polish Maciej Graboswki and Italian Lorenzo Cerretelli.

In the Masters division, American Ernesto Rodriguez was named champion, 27 points ahead of fellow countryman Peter Hurley, and France’s Bertrand Blanchet rounded out the podium with bronze.

In the Grand Masters division, American Robert Hallawell finished first overall, with a comfortable lead over Argentina’s Alejandro Cloosand and Spain’s Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg Garcia.

In the Great Grand Masters division, Spain’s Jose Luis Doreste claimed gold, German Wolfgang Gerz won silver, and Great Britain’s Tim Law finished with bronze. 

ILCA 6

In the Apprentice division, Jon Emmett was named champion after finishing with only 12 points overall. Spain’s Arturo Reina and David Gonzalez secured silver and bronze, respectively. 

In the Masters division, Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson finished first overall ahead of France’s Jean-Christophe Leydet and Spanish Monica Azon. 

In the Grand Masters division, Gilles Coadou championed the fleet by 39 points, Spain’s Miquel Noguer won silver, and Belgian Pieter Van Laer finished with bronze.

In the Great Grand Masters division, American Bill Symes also ran away with gold, finishing the event with only 13 points. Canada’s Paul Clifford sailed into second place overall and Great Britain’s John Reay rounded out the podium in third.

In the Legend’s division, Americans Peter Seidenberg and Jaques Kerrest secured gold and silver, and Henk Wittenberg of the Netherlands won bronze.

The awards ceremony was presided over by Sergi Cadenas, vice president of the Catalan Sailing Federation, and Andrus Poski, ILCA representative. The championship was held at the facilities of the Barcelona International Sailing Center (BISC) and organized by the Catalan Sailing Federation, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, and the Real Club Marítimo de Barcelona, with the collaboration of World Sailing, ILCA, the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, and the Barcelona Provincial Council.

Seethe event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Ireland is on the cusp of further top international Laser (ILCA) World Championship results today, this time in the 'Master' categories at Barcelona with two races left to sail.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig is lying fifth overall - and just one point off fourth place - in the 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston is sixth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 10th in the same fleet.

The strong Irish international performance in the class follows Finn Lynch's runner up place at the Laser Worlds at the same venue earlier this month, when the Rio Olympian secured Ireland's best ever result in the Olympic dinghy.

Two races were completed yesterday on the penultimate day of the ILCA Masters World Championships. With another 9:00 first warning signal and a light northwest wind, the races went off without a hitch and the sailors were back on shore by 12:00. After today’s racing, two champions were predetermined in the ILCA 6 fleet: Great Britain’s Jon Emmett in the Apprentice division and American Bill Symes in the Great Grand Master division.

With one day to go, the ILCA 7 fleet has sailed 10 of the 12 championship races, as have the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters. The ILCA 6 Apprentices, Great Grand Masters, and the Legends divisions, however, have completed 11 of the 12.

Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer is still defending first place in the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, just three points ahead of Polish Maciej Grabowski; both Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Robert Hallawell hold significant leads in the ILCA 7 Masters and Grand Masters divisions, respectively, heading into the final day; and Spain’s Josele Doreste is also sitting far ahead in first in the Great Grand Masters division.

In ILCA 6 fleet, Emmett and Symes have secured their leads in the Apprentice and Great Grand Master divisions. Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson reclaimed his lead over France’s Jean-Christophe Leydet in the Masters division, France’s Gilles Coadou has a 29-point lead in the Grand Master division, and American Peter Seidenberg has maintained his first-place position in the Legend division.

The first warning signal is scheduled for the final day at 09:00, and the race committee will try to complete all 12 races of the championship today.

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Ireland stays close to the top of the leaderboards in both the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice and ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master 2021 World Championships at Barcelona with four races left to sail by Saturday.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig dropped one place to sixth overall in a 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston stays fourth overall after two third scored in races seven and eight, in the 13-boat  ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 11th in the same fleet.

Two races were completed on Thursday at the ILCA Masters World Championships. Another early start paid off, with the first warning signal at 9:00 and sailors were back on shore and finished for the day by 12:00. For the second day in a row, there’s been sunshine and stable wind, which has been ideal for racing. It was blowing about 8–10 knots this morning with gusts up to 14 knots, but the wind began to die right as the second races were wrapped up.

With two more races in all divisions, the ILCA 7 fleet has a total of eight races locked in. In the ILCA 6 fleet, the Apprentices, Great Grand Masters, and Legends have nine races and the Masters and Grand Masters have eight.

Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer secured his lead ahead of Polish Maciej Grabowski in the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, with two first-place finishes today. Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Robert Hallawell maintained their lead in the ILCA 7 Masters and Grand Masters divisions, respectively. Spain’s Josele Doreste also held tight to his lead today in the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters division.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett remains unstoppable in the Apprentice division with all nine first-place finishes. French Jean-Christophe Leydet slid ahead to lead the Masters division with first- and second-place finishes today, while fellow countryman Gilles Coadou returned to first place in the Grand Masters division. American Bill Symes also has nine firsts under his belt and leads the Great Grand Masters, while fellow American Peter Seidenberg continues to hold first in the Legends, just one point ahead of their compatriot Jacques Kerrest.

Two races are scheduled for Day 6 with the first warning signal at 9:00. Friday’s weather conditions are forecasted to be similar to those of Thursday, and just two days remaining to determine world champions.

See event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Ireland is close to the top of the leaderboards in both the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice and ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master 2021 World Championships thanks to the efforts of two Irish sailors competing in Barcelona

Royal St. George's Sean Craig is lying fifth overall in a 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston is fourth overall in the 13-boat  ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 11th in the same fleet.

Two races were completed yesterday. After three grey days with unstable and light wind, the fourth day finally brought sun and stable wind.

Once again, the sailors had an early start today with the first warning signal at 9:00. The ILCA 6 fleets enjoyed an average northwesterly wind of 12–16 knots while the ILCA 7 had an average of 10–12 knots, and both were able to complete their races without a hitch, to be back on shore by 11:30.

After adding two races to all the scoreboards, the ILCA 7 divisions have completed a total of six races. In the ILCA 6 fleets, the Apprentices, the Great Grand Masters, and the Legends have completed seven races and the Masters and Grand Masters finished six.

The leaders in ILCA 7 are Poland’s Maciej Grabowski, tied with Belgian Wannes Van Laer, in the Apprentice division; American Ernesto Rodriguez added two more firsts to hold his lead in the Masters division while fellow countryman Robert Hallawell also maintained his lead over the Grand Masters, and Spain’s Josele Doreste is still leading the Great Grand Masters.

In the ILCA 6 fleets, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett added two more firsts to his picket fence in the Apprentice fleet; Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson is first of the Masters; Spain’s Miguel Noguer rose to the top of the Grand Master division; American Bill Symes also has a straight picket fence in the Great Grand Masters division while fellow countryman Peter Seidenberg sits in first place over the Legends.

Steady conditions are forecasted for Day 5 in the morning, so the first warning signal will be at 9:00 again with two races scheduled.

See event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Finn Lynch's silver medal last week in the ILCA 7 World Championships is an inspiration for anyone embarking on a Laser campaign but could there be more silver - or even gold - in Barcelona waters for Irish sailors this month?

As the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) and ILCA 6 (Radial) Apprentice Master 2021 World Championships began at the Barcelona Sailing Centre on Sunday, three Irish sailors are hoping for a repeat performance.

One race was completed in each fleet at the 2021 Laser Masters World Championships, except for the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters due to unstable and lack of wind. The sailors went out on schedule for the first warning signal at 12:00, with sunshine and good wind. But as the wind began to die, the two ILCA 6 divisions could not complete their first race, and the ILCA 7 fleet started their second race only to then abandon it.

In the ILCA 7 fleets, Maciej Grabowski of Poland is leading the Apprentices, ahead of Belgium’s Wannes Van Laser and Italian Lorenzo Cerretelli.

Ireland's George Kingston is ninth and Roger O'Gorman 13th in the 14-boat fleet.

Peter Hurley of the United States finished first in the Masters division, with fellow countryman Ernesto Rodriguez in second, and Australia’s Chris Caldecoat in third.The Grand Masters are lead by another American, Robert Hallawell, with Swiss Ferruccio Arvedi in second and Ron Lenson of the Netherlands in third. Finally, in the Great Grand Masters division, Great Britain’s Michael Hicks took the lead, with Jose Luis Doreste of Spain behind in second, and Germany’s Wolfgang Herz in third.

In the ILCA 6 fleets, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett is leading the Apprentices, ahead of Arturo Reina of Spain and Italian Roberto Giacalone.

In the Great Grand Master division, Americans Bill Symes and Bruce Martinson sit in first and third, respectively, with Canada’s Paul Clifford in second. Last but not least, Henk Wittenberg of the Netherlands is leading the Legends, with French Pierre Roche in second, and American Jacques Kerrest in third.

Royal St George's Sean Craig is yet to start in the ILCA 6 Grand Master division.

Forecasted wind for the week is light, but everyone is planning on and hoping for enough wind to complete some successful races.

See event website here for full results.

Apprentice age division change

In other Laser news, beginning in 2022, the Apprentice age division for ILCA Masters World Championships will include sailors ages 30 to 44. ILCA says it is excited about this change, which for the first time gives sailors under the age of 35 the opportunity to join the ILCA Masters World Championships and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of that fleet. All other Masters age categories will remain unchanged.

Published in Laser
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While everyone in Irish sailing and beyond shares in the joy of seeing Finn Lynch emerge so spectacularly from a performance drought to take Silver at this week’s Laser Worlds in Barcelona, it is really only those who have fully experienced the extremes of competition at this level of solo sailing – from the grim depths of isolated frustration to the exhilarated heights of shared achievement – who can most deeply appreciate the quality of what he has done.

Make no mistake about it, this was a very special regatta for a large and extremely competitive fleet. Some reports may have suggested a preponderance of flukey conditions, but one seasoned observer – often noted for his acerbic comments – bluntly stated that it was “magnificent” with its energetic variety of conditions, and racing at the highest level.

Out of this, with one race still to sail and a great first place out of what should have been the penultimate contest, Finn emerged with a scoreline of 3,6,8,10, 16,7, 2,1. Clearly, having already been good, he was onto a real roll towards the end. And with one race still to sail, he actually had the lowest gross points total in the entire fleet, but as he was discarding a 16th to the 37th of nett leader Tom Saunders of New Zealand, it was Saunders’ title to lose.

Keeping his cool and stacking up on the carbs – Finn in championship preparationKeeping his cool and stacking up on the carbs – Finn in championship preparation

It was not to be - the planned last race could not be sailed because of calm, and the final points were T.Saunders NZL 1st (23 pts); F.Lynch IRL 2nd 37pts; and T. Stipanovic CRO 3rd (65 pts..) at the head of a notably international fleet of 135 boats in which the Laser Standard (or the ILCA 7 if you prefer) demonstrated yet again that with 50 years and more of successful competition now logged, she really does do the business very well, and then some.

And for Ireland, the special nature of this result simply cannot be over-estimated. While it may be that during the Olympics the Lasers now get their greatest level of general global attention, the fact is that it was the Olympics that clambered aboard the Laser bandwagon back in 1996, rather than the other way round. And that was long after the Laser Class’s World Championship had already become firmly established as one of the planet’s truly great regattas.

Thus there are many for whom the Laser Worlds continue to be of greater importance than the four-yearly Olympic pressure cooker experience. Yet until now, Ireland has barely been at the races in this great event – it’s thought that a 19th back in pre-1996 days might have been our best showing.

But now, suddenly and gloriously, we have the Worlds Silver Medal for an Olympic sailor whose experiences have been decidedly mixed since he was – at 20 – the youngest helmsman in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Bill O’Hara in one of his many international roles, as Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean RaceBill O’Hara in one of his many international roles, as Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race

That sage observer Bill O’Hara OBE OLY of Ballyholme, a man of unrivalled experience in every aspect and form of international sailing, has put it crisply into perspective for us:

BILL O’HARA’S OPINION

Finn Lynch's result is the best Irish result ever at an Olympic Class Event World Championship. Mark Mansfield & David O'Brien were third in the Star Class in 2000, and David Burrows was third in the Finn Class Worlds in 2004. They were the previous contenders, but I think they would all agree that Finn's result is incredibly impressive.

What's even more impressive was his strength of character to recover from missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Games in April. He took stock, worked hard with his coach Vasilij Zbogar and produced a seventh in the Europeans last month, and now a second in the Worlds.

Finn’s coach, Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, has won two Olympic Silver and one Olympic Bronze in sailingFinn’s coach, Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, has won two Olympic Silver and one Olympic Bronze in sailing

Missing the cut for the Tokyo Olympics had been a savage blow for Finn Lynch after a long period of steady training and competition since he went into the Olympics at the deep end in 2016, but it is something which is well understood by Mark Lyttle who – in 1996 – was Ireland’s Laser sailor at the class’s first appearance, at the Atlanta Olympics, when he recorded a race win.

In order to reach the level required, he was the first Irish Laser sailor to take up campaigning full time, supported by a discreetly assembled team of backers who were keen to see Irish Olympic sailing move onto a proper professional basis with the resources to concentrate full time on one class.

Thus Mark Lyttle was very much in a pioneering role a quarter of a century and more ago, but despite it being a challenging experience, it has not dented his love of Laser racing, his most recent major achievement being winning the Lasers Masters Worlds in Dublin Bay in 2018. Nevertheless he can remember the down times in the long countdown to Atlanta, and particularly a six month period when nothing was going right, and he had to step back and – successfully as it emerged – re-dial the whole business.

Mark Lyttle, Ireland’s first Olympic sailor in the Lasers in 1996, is seen here as winner of the Laser World Masters in Dublin Bay in 2018. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienMark Lyttle, Ireland’s first Olympic sailor in the Lasers in 1996, is seen here as winner of the Laser World Masters in Dublin Bay in 2018. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

It was an experience which gives him a special insight into Finn Lynch’s extended period of disappointing results. In a class as numerous and globally popular as the Laser, inevitably it’s something many talented helms will share – the new World Champion Tom Saunders, for instance, has been banging at the door of a major podium place for ten years. But in Mark Lyttle’s case, those six months of frustration and disappointment in the 1990s have a greater relevance, as he knows only too well how such things play out within the Irish sailing context, so his thoughtful comments this week carry extra weight:

MARK LYTTLE’S THOUGHTS

It's a tremendous result and a great platform on which to go forward.

The real benefit of a super result like this is around the building of confidence. ILCA boats provide no technical advantage no matter how much money you spend, and boat speed starts to equalise when everyone is sailing full-time, so psychology becomes more and more important. It is about confidence that has been backed up by results, and has real foundation. Knowing you can do it because you have done it.

And it is not just about confidence, it is about dealing with stress and tension when the pressure is on, and also building resilience to deal with the ups and downs, not just in a regatta, but around the campaign as a whole. These experiences are the foundation of getting top results at the Olympics. And of course in the short term, it provides motivation for a hard winter of training.

ANNALISE MURPHY & CATHY MAC ALEAVEY’S THOUGHTS

However, while Bill O’Hara and Mark Lyttle know Finn Lynch primarily as a sailor, 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy and her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey – an Olympian in the 470 Class in 1988 – know him as sailor, friend and shipmate, something which was well demonstrated in the summer of 2020 as sailing began to emerge from the first pandemic lockdown, when Finn was invited to race with Annalise in the family’s Water Wag in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the friendship being strengthened by a handy win.

Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy winning a Water Wag Race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, July 2020. Photo: Con MurphyFinn Lynch and Annalise Murphy winning a Water Wag Race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, July 2020. Photo: Con Murphy

That Water Wag race seen again in this week’s congratulatory Tweet from Annalise.That Water Wag race seen again in this week’s congratulatory Tweet from Annalise.

Both Cathy and Annalise are now very much in post-Olympic mode, with the latter immersed in an MBA at Trinity College Dublin, while Cathy – having excelled in classic boat-building under the tutelage of the late great Jimmy Furey of Lecarrow – has been somewhat taken up with dog breeding. Yet here again she has been blessed with success, and Mac Aleavey Kennels are showing splendid new sibling pups, one golden and the other black.

Olympic sailor and classic boat-builder Cathy Mac Aleavey’s latest venture. Photo: Cathy Mac AelaveyOlympic sailor and classic boat-builder Cathy Mac Aleavey’s latest venture. Photo: Cathy Mac Aelavey

Despite all this, they have been following Finn Lynch’s progress with sympathetic understanding, and some celebration in the Kennels this week produced the following statement:

Sailing is such a difficult sport, especially the Laser Standard Fleet where the depth of talent is so high.

To keep on trying after the disappointment of not making the Tokyo Olympics shows his strength of character.

We think Carmel Winkelmann must be thrilled wherever she is. She never lost her faith in Finn.

Roll on Paris 2024!

CARMEL WINKELMANN’S CONTRIBUTION

That reference to the late Carmel Winkelmann will have immediately rung a bell with many who monitor Irish sailing, and particularly Dublin Bay racing. Through her fifty years and more of junior training and general encouragement for promise shown in the National Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire harbour generally, Carmel had become a formidable talent scout, so much so that when the news broke of Finn’s Silver Medal on Wednesday, Afloat.ie immediately had one-liners with “That’s one for Carmel” as their brief but clear theme. Perhaps this can best be explained by our Sailing on Saturday for July 23rd 2016

The late Carmel Winkelmann and the young Finn Lynch at the National Yacht Club in July 2016. Photo: W M NixonThe late Carmel Winkelmann and the young Finn Lynch at the National Yacht Club in July 2016. Photo: W M Nixon

The story of how a boy from Benekerry in the lovely depths of County Carlow came to frontline international sailing by way of Blessington Sailing Club in the Wicklow Hills and the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire now has a profound added resonance. And while we can’t properly publish some of the private emails we’ve received from the trans-national coaching brotherhood about their genuine and unfeigned delight in Finn Lynch’s success, let’s just say that for an extremely special select international group, this is seen as very good news indeed. Nevertheless, they’re concerned that the powers-that-be truly realise that right now is the time that Finn Lynch will need a new level of psychological and organisational support. Time will tell.

Published in W M Nixon
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After playing havoc with the ILCA 7/Laser World Championships all week, Mother Nature decided to end the regatta early with Storm Blas preventing the final day’s racing, a decision that handed Ireland its best ever Laser World Championship result but also denied second overall Finn Lynch the possibility of going one better given the on-form Dun Laoghaire ace had the best discardable result and was least at risk from further races.

With two days lost to light winds early on in the regatta, only eight races were completed over the six-day event.

Any hopes of bettering positions were dashed by the huge seas preventing sailors from leaving the harbour at Barcelona Sailing Centre, the Brits taking on the 135-boat fleet had to settle for their day five scores.

Taking the title of top Brit was 23-year-old Welshman and the Irish Sea sailor Daniel Whiteley, who finished eighth in what was his first world championships since becoming a full-time athlete with the British Sailing Team.

Whiteley followed up on last month’s 13th place at the ILCA 7 European Championships with another personal best against the international fleet.

“It feels incredible,” said Whiteley, from Bangor. “I’ve missed racing at the front since I aged out of under-21 regattas, so to be back in the top ten feels amazing. This is the first world championship I’ve been to since 2018 and my first since going full time with the British Sailing Team. To come away with this result means everything.”

Fellow young gun Sam Whaley also bettered his 22nd at the Euros – also a personal best – to come home 15th, obliterating his 2020 result of 64th.

“It’s been a really tricky week here in Barcelona but I’m pretty chuffed to finish the event 15th overall, an improvement of almost fifty places from last year,” the 24-year-old from Swanage, Dorset, said.

“The team environment we have is brilliant and has really allowed us to level up this year. It’s pretty cool to share this success with my squadmates as well as coaches Penny and Matt, who have been awesome this week. I’m going to remember this one for a long time.”

Tokyo 2020 Team GB athlete Elliot Hanson led the regatta at the halfway stage when teammate and recently crowned European champion Micky Beckett picked up the mantle.

However, the pair’s medals hopes were ended when a collision between them on the start line of the final race of day five resulted in Beckett pulling out with a minor injury and Hanson retiring in accordance with the rules.

Beckett finished 13th while Hanson was 17th.

“It’s been good to be back racing after a prolonged break since Tokyo,” Hanson said. “It’s obviously a real shame to end the way it did having led most of the week. An unfortunate freak accident that ultimately took both myself and Micky out of the standings wasn’t in the script.

“I’m happy he’s ok though and look forward to training hard together this winter. Special mention to both Sam and Dan who have been working hard and sailed a fantastic week to both score personal bests.”

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After three gold fleet races at the Laser Worlds/ILCA 7 Championships in Barcelona, Ireland's Finn Lynch has moved up to second overall.

With one day of competition (Wednesday) to decide the overall honours, the National Yacht Club ace is 14 points off the lead in a fleet of 139 entries drawn from 44 countries.

At lunchtime today, the fleet was signalled with 'AP over H' on the water and 'AP' displayed ashore for the Silver fleet bringing Tuesday racing to a conclusion.

The on-form Rio Olympian signalled his intentions of making good on his campaign for Paris 2024 after missing out on Tokyo with a seventh at the European Championships just a month ago.

He has sailed a consistent series so far this week in the trickiest of conditions, chalking up a 7,2,1 in the first day of gold fleet racing today.

Provisional results position of the ILCA 7/Laser World ChampionshipsThe provisional results position of the ILCA 7/Laser World Championships with one day left to sail

Lynch was placed eighth overall after a long day on the water on Monday but leapfrogged some of the world's top sailors at the start of the 70-boat gold fleet racing with a magnificent race win for Ireland in the last race today. 

The New Zealand overall leader Thomas Saunders finished one place ahead of Lynch at the Bulgarian-hosted Euros in October and previously made the Laser Worlds top ten in 2017 and 2019.

Some places 28 points adrift of Lynch is the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic, an indication of the level of competition at the Barcelona Sailing Centre this week.

The prospect of Lynch posting a top result was discussed on Afloat in its World Championships preview here.

Meanwhile, there were mixed results for the other Irish boats in action on the penultimate day of racing in Barcelona.

Howth YC's Ewan McMahon moved up to 25th overall in the Gold fleet thanks to a 12th place in the second race of the day.

It was a similar story for Under 21 sailor Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George YC who had a 15th place on his first day of racing in the Gold fleet where he lies 47th overall.

Jamie McMahon (Howth YC), younger brother of Ewan had a seventh-place on Tuesday in the Silver fleet where he lies 14th overall.

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Consistent sailing in one of the world's toughest dinghy fleets by the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch sees the solo ace lying eighth overall at the Laser Standard ILCA7 (Laser Standard) World Championships in Spain with two days of finals racing to go.

It's a top performance for the Rio Olympian on Mediterranean waters that also sees two of his three teammates competing in the gold fleet of the championships.

There are 139 entries from 44 countries competing for the coveted world title.

Lynch delivered a solid day's performance on Monday, counting eighth and tenth places to lie eighth overall as well as a 16th place that he discarded.

Light and tricky winds continued to affect the championship, with two races sailed early on Monday in a dying breeze before the 135-boat fleet was sent ashore.

A sea breeze formed in the afternoon that permitted one more race.

At the end of the qualification round, three out of four Irish sailors have reached the Gold fleet for the event, with up to six races planned to decide the championship by Wednesday afternoon.

Stronger winds are also forecast, so a full wind range for the series will produce a worthy champion. So far the early running is bing made by GBR's Elliot Hanson.

Ewan McMahon & Tom Higgins in Gold fleet

Currently 31st overall, Howth YC's Ewan McMahon secured his Gold fleet place, and a top 20 overall place is still within reach.

Meanwhile, Under 21 sailor Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George YC cut the top 70 boats for the finals phase when he picked up four places to finish the qualification round in 45th place.

Royal St. George's Tom HigginsRoyal St. George's Tom Higgins

Higgins showed great form in two attempted races on Monday, but these had to be abandoned due to the fading wind. However, he did secure a sixth place today (Monday), which resulted in his qualification for the finals.

Jamie McMahon (Howth YC), younger brother of Ewan and Ireland's second Under 21 sailor at the event, is in 83rd place overall.

The series will intensify as the best sailors from both qualification flights come together to decide the title.

Three races are scheduled on Tuesday for both Gold and Silver fleet as the regatta runs a day behind schedule.

Results here

Racing at the ILCA7 (Laser Standard) World Championships was again postponed on Sunday 7th November 2021 due to light winds in Barcelona leaving just two races sailed out of the six originally scheduled for the series that began on Friday.

The fleet went afloat on Sunday morning as planned and while two races were started, both had to be abandoned as the already light breeze faded.

The qualification phase of the championship has now been extended into Monday for the 135-boat event that will eventually decide the Gold and Silver fleets for the final round that is due to conclude by Wednesday afternoon (10th November 2021).

Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club is currently fifth overall while Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon is 19th overall from Saturday's two races.

Ireland also has two other sailors competing at Under 21 level. Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George YC lies 49th overall while Jamie McMahon (Howth YC), younger brother of Ewan is in 72nd place.

On Monday, the intention is to sail three races back-to-back for each fleet with a first warning gun at 0900hrs.

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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