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Champions Johnny and Stephen are Sailors of Month
Looking back on a September packed with success stories, singling out a Sailor of the Month was always going to be an impossible task — so our judges picked two title-winners, and for the second time this year one of those is an overseas raider. Read why we thought Laser Radial ace Johnny Durcan deserved the inshore award, while Phwelli’s Stephen Tudor had to be recognised for his offshore achievements.
Meanwhile, RORC opens the door to the new breed of super-maxis for next year’s Fastnet Race, a new £6million car ferry prepares to enter service on Strangford Lough, Rowing Ireland is hiring Olympic coaches, Burren beach is transformed by jellyfish invasion, and forget the Kim Kardashian heist — as much as €20,000 is taken from Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre in sophisticated burglary.
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Published in News Update
Tagged under

Last weekend Sutton Dinghy Club ran their Inter-Schools Sailing event. The event in its 41st year attracted 32 schools with 107 boats and 144 youth sailors making the start line last Saturday morning. Well 2 start lines actually with 38 boats in the Optimist Fleet and 69 boats in the Mixed Fleet racing under PY. For each Fleet there is an Individual and Team prize sailed for. The event has been graced by many of Irelands rising stars over the years including Dan O'Grady, Ger Owens, David Burrows, Scott Flanigan, Dougie Elmes and Robert Dickson. Indeed last year's Mixed Fleet winner was none other than Blackrock College's Ewan McMahon World Radial Silver medallist in 2016 and the Optimist winner in 2015 was Tom Higgins who went on to win both the British and Irish Optimist Nationals in 206. A unique event that enables Club sailors team up with future rising stars of Irish sailing.
Day 1 - Optimist – With poor weather forecast for Sunday, PRO Paul ‘PK’ Kavanagh was considering 3 races for the day. Was there even enough wind to get 2 races in? Racing commenced on time at 12.00 in a generally southerly breeze. In the light shifty wind the left side of the beat on an ebb tide was favoured with the fleet favoring a pin-end start. The leading group of 4 or 5 boats took control of the race and put clear air between them and the chasing pack. The race was shortened to two rounds with lightening winds and increasing tides. To ensure interest in the Team event is maintained boats outside the 15 minutes time limit were given a count back based on there position on the water rather than a DNF.
Race 2 was abandoned due to a major wind shift on the first beat and a postponement flag was hoisted while the course was re-configured. Again the conditions were not ideal but the PRO managed to get the fleet away on a shorter course with lightening winds and a strong ebb tide. The race was completed only just following a major wind shift which did not effect the leaders who rounded final leeward mark in a tight bunch with a following wind.
After 2 races St Fintans NS were making the running from Belvedere College and Schoil Mhuire teams with Johnny Flynn, Hugh & Luke Turvey, Luke Groarke Donagh and Leah Rickard all well placed in the Individual event. Young Abby Kinsella was best of the Sutton Dinghy Club sailors in 14th.

Inter Schools Sailing RegattaInter Schools Sailing Regatta at Sutton – As the wind lightened there was a little concern that the fleets may struggle to get round the last lap
Mixed Fleet – PRO Jim Lambkin got Race 1 for both Flight A and Flight B away first time. Flight A included both Laser Radial & 4.7's, GP14, 420 and RS Fevas and started on the same course 5 mins in front of Flight B which included Mirrors, Topper and Topaz. The 30+ boats in either fleet made for a very busy line. However the well behaved sailors ensured a single individual recall in each fleet was as bad as it got .The event is run on Portsmouth Yardstick with each boat timed and recorded for each lap of the course completed. The PY handicap system enables the Schools have teams race each other despite the teams being made up of mixed Classes. Race 1 saw the fleets well spaced along the line. In the light shifty wind the 420's looked like the early pace setters with McDowell/Dix (Loretto College) combination along with a with a few Radials including Olympic Laser aspirant Aoife Hopkins (Santa Sabina). The GP14 of Boyle/Coyne (Belvedere) after a slow start began to make an impression. A number of boats infringed by not coming through their start-finish time for time recording and paid the penalty. Meanwhile a number of the top Mirrors were travelling well and had opened considerable gap on the Topper and other Mirrors. As the wind lightened there was a little concern that the fleets may struggle to get round the last lap. But just when it was needed a short puff of breeze helped many home with some unfortunately time-out.
Race 2 saw a general recall for Flight A while Flight B showed them the way by getting away first time. Under Black flag Flight A got underway with pin end favored this time and an ebb tide adding its own challenge. For most of the first lap the wind was steady with the GP14 well up with the Radials and 420 from the start. As the race progressed the GP14 eked out an on the water lead but the Radials, 4.7 including Rickard (Gonzaga), Hopkins (Santa Sabina), Higgins (Gonzaga) and Hopkins (Mount Temple) and the Mirrors of Croasdel/Harrington (St Alyosius, Athlone) & Graf/Croasdel (Athlone Community College) in Flight B were also going well. However on the start of the second lap the wind became decidedly light. The PRO made a call to shorten the course for the Radials, 420’s and GP14 which meant everybody was finishing on end of lap 2. It was a good job the Committee boat was well stocked with sail number callers and recorders as Flight A and Flight B converged on the finish together. Race 2 was concluded again with a few boats timed out. The PRO went into sequence for a 3rd race, but quickly went to AP as the wind lightened. However with tide now an issue for getting ribs, committee boat and indeed some of the fleet back the PRO abandoned racing for the day to the delighted cheers of the by now tired crews. The fleet of 69 boats sailing back to the Club made for a spectacular sight.
After 2 races, Gonzaga hold a short lead over Belvedere College and Sligo Grammar with the furthest travelers the McCallister brothers from Bandon Grammar holding a small lead over the Athlone boats of Ben Graf and Caolann Croasdel with 4.7 of Tom Higgins and Dan Hopkins next followed by Aoife Hopkins and then Sutton Dinghy Club sailors Peter Boyle & Tim Coyne in the GP14.

Day 2 - Optimist Fleet – Day 2 arrived with great expectations of a little more breeze for the fleet than Saturday. The Fleets took to the water about 10:30 in 10-12 knots but that was really as good as it got. The clouds arrived with persistent mist rain and with it the wind dropped also.
PRO Paul ‘PK’ Kavanagh’s first start was abandoned due to a wind shift and then rain and then no wind. An AP was hoisted and after a lengthy delay the PRO and his team managed to get the Race underway in a light wind. 2 boats were over at the start with both boats returning to start line following individual recall. However in a dying wind PRO made the decision to shorten the race at the leeward mark following round 2. A number of boats did not make the finish due to the time limit, however they were all placed following a count-back to end of Lap 1.
The Opi sailors showed great patience having been on the water a long time with the light wind resulting in a single race for the day. The results were delayed as a Protest was heard that could have had a profound impact on the overall results. In the end the overnight leader Johnny Flynn retained his top position following consistent sailing with the Turvey brothers left to share the 2nd and 3rd spot. With 2 sailors in the top 3 the Team event was retained by St Fintan NS from Belvedere College A with Schoil Mhuire A taking 3rd.
Mixed Fleet – The PRO on the outer fleet, our Commodore Jim Lambkin struggled to get a steady breeze for race 1. Eventually after about 40 minutes both Flights were away but very quickly it became obvious that lightening breeze allied to a flood tide meant half the fleet had difficulties making the weather mark. Race abandoned and the Fleet waited patiently. Eventually around 1:45pm breeze picked having swung to the west and now from the Pigeon House direction. With marks relaid both flights were underway and with a Black Flag in operation 2 boats fell foul. The Radial of Aoife Hopkins and GP14 of local sailors Boyle/Coyne and 420 of McDowell/Dix lead from the front but again with a lightening breeze the PRO had no options but to utilize the times at end of the first lap to ensure a race results for as many of the fleet.
While many had hoped for a bit more breeze, the event had 3 races which of course meant there could be no discards in the Individual event meaning consistency was going to be the key to making the podium. The Individual event saw overnight leaders McAllisters (Rory & Oisin) slip to second place with Ben Graf & Lugaidh Croasdel take 1st. Caolann Croasdell and Dermot Harrington took 3rd a clean sweep for the Mirror. Well handicapped on PY they still need to be sailed well in these difficult conditions to stay ahead of some well sailed Lasers, GP14 and 420. In the Team event the Gonzaga team of Loghlen Rickard and Tom Higgins, both incidentally former winners of the Optimist event here, took 1st place ahead of Sligo Grammar's Mirror team (White/Wray, Wray/VanderGrijn, White/Bamber) with in 3rd Belvedere A (Peter Boyle/Tim Coyne, S Crawford, D O’Grady).

Sutton inter schoolsBen Graf & Luagaidh Croasdel the Individual Mixed Fleet winners with Jim Lambkin Club Commodore and event PRO.With sailors and parents well fed and watered, the packed Clubhouse watched the Croke Park Football final as they waited for the Prize-giving. Club Commodore and main-fleet PRO Jim Lambkin thanked the sailors, their parents and all the volunteers and Club members for making it another superb event. With 107 boats and over 140 sailors from 32 schools it was a tremendous effort. He particularly thanked the help from local Clubs around the bay for providing Ribs and crews to facilitate rescue and mark laying. Here is to next year!

Published in Youth Sailing

Time was when youth sailing and junior sport generally were dealt with very cautiously by mainstream media, if at all writes W M Nixon. Apart from the need to provide space for young people to develop their personalities and sporting skills unhindered by too much attention and expectation, the youthful sportsmen and women and their activities were changing so rapidly that what they were doing, or had recently achieved, had already become history by the time they were properly recorded and analysed.

Then inevitably with rising stars there come the awkward years of the late teens when they’re growing into young adults, with the possibility of a psychological reaction against activities which have dominated their formative years, exacerbated by the fact that they have difficult career and training choices to make.

Ideally, it may well be that all this should happen out of the limelight. But the development of social media, and a much greater understanding of the support and coaching needs of potential high performers at important stages in their development, has made youth sport much more public. It can be tough at times – very tough, in fact - for the participants and their family and friends and supporters. But these days, everyone is aware of the scale of the challenge, and of the ways that encouragement and special services can be provided when necessary for those at every level of performance.

Schull sailing west corkGetting them afloat. The youth focus this weekend is on Schull, where hundreds have been introduced to sailing

On this weekend of all weekends, with the ISA All-Ireland Junior Sailing Championship being staged at Schull where David Harte at the Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Education Centre has done so much to encourage new talent at local and national level, it’s timely to stock-take on this year’s top Irish junior sailing achievements at home and abroad to provide further insight into where we’re going from here, knowing that while sailing ability can manifest itself at all ages, the key Olympic success years seem to be between 25 and 36.

With all Ireland still basking in the glow of Annalise Murphy’s Olympic Sailing Silver Medal, we can have little doubt that this is a game-changer in the provision of resources for our sailing. The central decision makers are analysing facts and figures which will guide them in their sourcing and allocation of support for developing facilities, for particular boat classes, and for individual athletes and their personal programmes.

annalise murphy sailingAn inspiraton for Irish sailors of all ages – Annalise Murphy’s Olympic Medal has brought Irish sailing into the limelight

It will of course ultimately depend on increased funding, and the subsequent sensible use of resources. But when we look back on the achievements already logged by young Irish sailors in 2016 when - from time to time - sailing’s general public became aware of how some campaigns were somehow progressing despite a woeful lack of resources, it’s understandable that two viewpoints can emerge.

One of these will point to the British model, where the rise towards Olympics heights of achievement came with generous support through National Lottery funding going to those who achieved the required levels. But this was done with a ruthless weeding-out of those who didn’t quite make the grade. “Sport for All” this was not, but then that’s the way the Olympics are – it’s sport for the elite, while providing sport-watching for all.

Yet even as the wealthier nations made their regal progress towards Rio and other major events, Ireland was scoring tops in doing well on a shoestring. We carried features here on on how the 19-year-old Finn Lynch (he only turned 20 in April) was battling towards an Olympic place in the Laser supported by a private funding initiative organised by Carmel Winkelmann of the National Yacht Club, while before that we’d a look at the rapidly rising talent of an even younger star, Aoife Hopkins.

But the stories of Finn Lynch and Aoife Hopkins were only two of many stories of young Irish sailing stars who continued to achieve international success in campaigns mainly supported by family and friends rather than through any official channels. For the ISA resources were limited, and the reality at the top level is that a sizeable chunk of the money available must go to professional input from coaches, sailing partners, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutrionists, marine technology experts and so forth, and the best of these specialists are expensive stars in their own right.

The achievement of success in the face of limited resources was heart-warming stuff. But having seen since the very beginning of the year the return of young Irish sailors – some of them very young indeed – fresh from success in significant events abroad, it is reasonable to hope that as they progress up the ladder, they can expect support of a more structured kind than the ad hoc raising of funds we were seeing with young sailors like Finn Lynch, Aoife Hopkins, Ewan McMahon and several others, who had found themselves placing reliance on the kindness of strangers in sometimes very distant countries in order to nourish and develop their talents.

Inevitably, there’ll be those who say that making it tough in every way at various crucial stages is part of the character development process necessary to produce champions. But experience indicates that, on the contrary, understanding, encouragement and support -including the absence of anxiety about basic funding – is the environment within which talent will best flourish, for heaven knows it’s tough enough already out there on the international racecourses and through the selection processes.

Colm BarringtonColm Barrington. Photo courtesy Irish independent

In a telling interview with on July 26th a clear three weeks before Annalise won her medal, Colm Barrington of the Olympic Steering Group gave a succinct summing-up and analysis of the Irish Olympic sailing situation, and his thoughtful conclusions are more relevant than ever. For although he is standing down as Chair of the Olympic Steering Group, his formidable talents are focused on the Irish Sailing Foundation which he played the key role in establishing in order to support, develop and make sustainable a repeatable structure that is already basically in place with the James O’Callaghan–directed ISA Performance Pathway, and thus the ISF is very much in the business of high–powered fund raising.

This has its own unique challenge in that sailing only genuinely comes centre stage in the national consciousness every four years when the Olympics are taking place, while in between it can very easily slip below public awareness. And it’s understandable that for ordinary sailors who potter about the seas in their local events or simply through going cruising, whether by day or for longer periods, all this begins to sound like some high-powered project from the business pages of a leading newspaper or website, rather than bolstering the wellbeing of their beloved sport whose attraction for such people might be the opportunity it offers to get well away from the frenetic world of the higher reaches of commerce.

So perhaps if we put more human faces and stories into the mix, maybe we’ll all feel less intimidated. Certainly my own recollection of this year’s junior successes began early in January when a group of us went up to Dublin Airport in a little expedition organised by Howth YC’s newly-elected Commodore Berchmans Gannon to welcome home Dougie Elmes and Colin O’Sullivan, complete with their new Bronze Medals from the 420 in the Youth Worlds in Malaysia.

Dougie Elmes Colin O’Sullivan coach Ross KillianThe classic Dublin Airport return of new sports stars. It’s New Year 2016, and Dougie Elmes, Colin O’Sullivan and their coach Ross Killian are home from Thailand with the Bronze Medal from the 420 Worlds. Photo: W M Nixon
Now young Dougie is from Kilkenny and started his sailing in Dunmore East, and is every bit as well-known around Crosshaven, while Colin O’Sullivan is a product of the wonderful sailing nursery of Malahide. But as it happens, for some years now Graeme Grant has been running an intensive 420 programme at Howth, and he produces potential stars who then come under the wing of 420 National Coach Ross Killian. The result is that while the rest of us were enjoying typical late December and early January weather in Ireland, the Elmes-O’Sullivan-Killian combo were campaigning successfully in Langkawi where the sun seems to have shone all the time, and Howth YC were quick to put down a marker for their claim to the newly-won title.

It was a good start to the year, and it was an experience which makes you look with benign fellow-feeling on TV news snips of people welcoming home sports star at the airport. But it would only have been in their innermost utterly secret thoughts that anyone might have harboured the dream that before the summer was out, on a balmy August night we’d see the most unbelievable outpouring of what seemed the entire Irish sailing community’s joy at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, when Annalise was honoured for her Silver Medal, a celebration which has now rightly entered the ranks of Irish sailing mythology.

But while both medals marked highs, their celebrations provided opportunities to learn again of the enormous efforts which go into any realistic sailing campaign, from the highly technical to the very mundane. For instance, if your developing sailing star is still under the age of 17, they won’t be eligible to drive a car. Thus the logistics of finding the best young sailing competition in Ireland means that the Mum & Dad Towing & Taxi Service is an essential component for any worthwhile campaign, and frequently it can involve the whole family.

The late Claire Bateman endearingly remarked that she could always tell that Spring was just around the corner when, towards the end of the week, she noticed an increase in the number of Dublin-registered 4X4s (not all shiny new by any means), trundling along the Cork-Bandon road with an Optimist on top, maybe another couple of Optys on a double trailer astern, the vehicle itself packed with assorted parents and kids and their baggage and gear, and the family mutt with its head hanging out the window, the whole shebang on its way to the big Optimist national opener down at Baltimore.

Nicole Hemeryck sailingNicole Hemeryck is one of Ireland’s rising stars in the Laser class. Her mother recalls driving the entire family with four Optimist dinghies all the way from home in Lucan to the Optimist opener in Baltimore. Photo: David O’Brien

When you’ve grown up in a family where that’s an accepted part of life, the commitment and sacrifice essential for working up towards realistic international competition will be in your DNA, And there must be a dozen book-length family stories in this lineup of Irish youth sailing successes during 2016, all of which have been reported in Nevertheless it’s quite an impact when you see Irish successes in this mind-blowing list:

420 Class: Douglas Elmes & Colin O’Sullivan: Bronze Medal

2nd Johnny Durcan, 3rd Fionn Conway, 4th Ronan Walsh

1st Harry Durcan/Harry Whittaker

2nd Nicole Hemeryck, 6th Jenny Fekkes, 8th Sally Bell.

Ewan McMahon: Silver Medal, 7th Johnny Durcan, 12th Conor O’Beirne.

7th Nicole Hemeryck, 11th Aoife Hopkins

6th Ronan Walsh

Boys: 4th Michael Carroll, 6th Jack Fahy

Girls: 1st Sophie Crosbie, 2nd Ella Hemeryck, 3rd Jenna McCarlie

1st Tom Higgins

Junior Fleet: 3rd Justin Lucas

Tom Higgins Justin Lucas  Moss SimingtonAt the British Optimist Nationals are (left to right) Tom Higgins (overall winner), Justin Lucas (third in Junior Fleet) and Moss Simington. Photo: Courtesy RStGYC



1st Ewan McMahon, 3rd Johnny Durcan

4th Liam Glynn, 5th Johnny Durcan

1st Aoife Hopkins (8th OA)

Hyeres (U17)
1st Johnny Durcan, 2nd Ewan McMahon


4th Liam Glynn

4th Aoife Hopkins

3rd Liam Glynn (6th OA), 7th Ewan McMahon

The high point has to be Ewan McMahon’s winning of the Silver Medal at the KBC Laser Radial Worlds in Dun Laoghaire from 23rd to 30th July, a massive event which in all attracted nearly 350 entries from 48 countries. McMahon, who had just turned 17 in June, has by no means had it easy progressing to the top ranks. He found most fulfillment and great success in racing a 420, but became too tall for that two-man boat (he is now 6ft 2ins, though extraodinarily thin), and had to find his way in the Laser Radial as best he could with no access to significant central funding during 2015.

Ewan McMahonMan aloft. Ewan McMahon gets the traditional treatment after winning the Silver Medal at the KBC Worlds in Dun Laoghaire. Facebook photo

Daragh O’Sullivan, Nicole Hemeryck and Ewan McMahonDaragh O’Sullivan, Nicole Hemeryck and Ewan McMahon at the prize giving at the KBC Laser Radial Worlds in Dun Laoghaire.

Yet somehow he got himself to Canada for the Worlds entirely on his own with no supporting coach, got himself organized with accommodation and a chartered boat, and got to grips with racing a Laser Radial at world level. A year later, he almost wins the Gold, and has a very good Silver and a triumphal lifting ashore in Dun Laoghaire. Just recently, as a reward for that Silver Medal, Team Aqua invited him out to Cascais for three days of racing earlier this week aboard their RC 44 in highly intensive fleet racing from which he emerged unscathed, only to return to school on Thursday and break his toe on the first day back in the classroom…..

RC44RC44s in action in Cascais in Portugal this week. Ireland’s Silver Medallist Ewan McMahon emerged unscathed from three days of action with this elite class, only to break his toe on the first day back at school……

That’s one of the problems with junior sailors. They’re so hyper-active that they seem to sustain more than their fair share of injuries which aren’t necessarily related to sailing, but the recuperation process can certainly foul up sailing campaign plans. Even Annalise Murphy herself reportedly managed a broken nose a long time ago when out on some intensive training cycling, but a vital point she made at that gala reception in the National YC on August 25th was that she has never sustained an injury or any disablement while sailing, and she credits that to a large extent on the very positive input from leading sports physiotherapist Mark McCabe.

This emphasis on the need for young sailors to have access to proper physio services is enthusiastically supported by Oisine Hannan, the mother of the Hemeryck sisters Nicole and Ella who are both in our list of junior achievers. Oisine is a mine of information on everything to do with supporting junior sailing campaigns, and she is also a physiotherapist by profession. Yet when her eldest daughter Nicole began to experience a sore back after moving up from Topper racing to a Laser, a consultation was arranged with Mark McCabe, and things were put right.

But at least with anything involving Lasers, finding competition locally and nationally is a straightforward business. So spare a thought for sailing mother Yvonne Durcan of Cork. For although Johnny, one of her twin sons, was happy enough campaigning a Laser with many successes which are listed above, twin brother Harry only had eyes for the First 29er skiff, and he persuaded young Harry Whittaker to join him for a spot of campaigning.

Johnny Durcan Royal Cork Johnny Durcan of Cork is happy enough to find success racing a Laser with plenty of competition in Ireland, but his brother Harry (below, with Harry Whittaker) prefers to race a 29er Skiff despite a lack of competition in Ireland.

youth sail12

The trouble is, 29ers are about as rare as hen’s teeth in Ireland, and that includes Crosshaven. Thus the two boys found themselves linking up with a small 29er group in Scotland who had a coach, but most of the time they were just training themselves against the clock, tearing around Cork Harbour entirely on their own, perfecting various manoeuvres while trying to imagine they were in the midst of a fleet of 29ers.

The situation was encapsulated by young Durcan doing his final school exam on the 26th June, and then departing that same evening for a campaign which saw them get 23rd in the 29er Worlds in Medemblik in Holland, a very respectable result. But it was only the beginning. By the time the UK 29er Nationals were held in Torbay in Devon, the two Harrys were flying, and they won overall against a fleet which included the Bronze Medallists from the Worlds. So now their sights are set on getting to the 29er Worlds 2017 in California. Following that, they might consider joining the 49ers, but that’s another day’s work. For now, the target is raising the resources to get to California, and in the meantime finding 29er competition wheresoever it might be.

29er skiffs29er Skiffs in action at the UK Nationals 2016 in Torbay, which were won by Ireland’s Harry Durcan and Harry Whittaker.

In discussing top level adult sailing, inevitably the point comes up that even with all the support in resources and personnel which might be made available, there are inevitably a few times when the individual athlete will feel very much alone. But with young sailors of exceptional promise and ambition in Ireland, not only are there many times when they personally feel very much alone, but their families can actually feel isolated by the uphill struggle to support, help and nurture the young talent.

Let us hope that with the tidal wave of goodwill which is engulfing Irish sailing following the Olympic Silver Medal, we can find some way to take some of the strain off young sailors and their families who make enormous personal sacrifice in pursuit of a dream which, if achieved, the rest of us are only too happy to share.

youth sail14 The way it is….Aoife Hopkins tell us how it is for a 17-year-old making her way in international sailing

Published in W M Nixon
Tagged under

Whatever about all the other sailing around Howth Yacht Club, there are few who would dispute that one of the biggest HYC stories this year is the success of this J24 team.

Following their unprecedented success over the past months and years, the Ireland's Eye Kilcullen team threw a typically 'understated' celebration in Howth Yacht Club last Saturday night. Many of this team were founder participants in the K25 (under 25) programme when it was initiated in 2009 and now see themselves not only as successful graduates, but they've also developed and set the standard at the very highest level for those youth sailors from Howth following behind them.

In an extraordinarily short few years to the end of August this year and in addition to their numerous regional titles, the Ireland's Eye Kilcullen team held J24 National titles, ICRA National title, Match Racing National title (with former team member Ryan Scott), twice J24 European Under 25 winners, European IRC silver medal and won J24 European Championship bronze recently. Their last spectacular accomplishment in retaining their J24 National title in Dun Laoghaire recently seemed to slip past most of the sailing press's notice, where they sailed a flawless national championship series to win the title with seven straight race wins.

Most of this team will now be stepping down to make way for the next aspiring group of teenage and youth sailors motivated to replicate their success. As the remainder of the team now reaches 25 years of age, the youngest team member (Cian Manley) is empowered with forming and bringing one of the next teams through.

J24 Irelands eye HowthCian, Gordon, Sam and Cillian presenting Brendan and Paul O'Sullivan of Ireland's Eye (2nd and 4th from left) with a framed momento from their highly successful year Photo: HYC

So what happens in the lives of these guys next? It was always possible that the K25 initiative would seed opportunities for those wishing to join the professional sailing circuit and Luke Malcolm seems to have relished this prospect, as he's currently spending the remainder of this year doing many of the RYA accreditation modules in the south of England. In tactician and sport science graduate Gordon Stirling, the K25's loss is Ulster Rugby's gain, because 'Gordo' is now working with them as Strength and Conditioning Coach. Having been one of HYC's youngest Senior Instructors just a few short years ago, helmsman Cillian Dickson will now be applying his time to concentrate on studying for his Actuarial Science Degree. The final member of the 'retired' team is Sam O'Byrne, who's own 'DropChef' business with another former K25 member (Ryan Scott) will undoubtedly flourish under the Howthman's relentless energy.

Acknowledging the support given to the squad since it's inception, the guys were quick to thank The gift to Ireland's Eye Knitwear included gold, silver and bronze medals won by the team. The gift to Ireland's Eye Knitwear included gold, silver and bronze medals won by the team their sponsors including local knitware company 'Ireland's Eye' - presenting Brendan and Paul O'Sullivan with a specially framed photo set integrated with gold (ISA National J24 title), silver (IRC Europeans) and bronze (J24 European) medals. In addition to hosting dinner in the club for the sponsors, they invited K25 mentors Brian McDowell and Fergus O'Kelly and former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey, to thank them and the club for their support of this hugely successful youth initiative. The team was also quick to thank coach Graeme Grant and others such as Paddy Gregory and Ian Malcolm for their help with logistics.

Brian Turvey praised the team for the way in which they applied themselves and developed as an extraordinarily capable force not just in terms of race results but also as ambassadors for Howth Yacht Club.

With the provision of three J24 keelboats (by Enda O'Coineen and Brian McDowell) and access to the HYC's five new J80s, the K25 initiative continues to build and young sailors interested in developing their sailing skills in a team-focused environment with a view to high-performance achievement should contact [email protected] for further information.

Published in Howth YC

Dublin Bay Sailing Club Junior September Series Results for 4 September 2016

Juniors - Laser 4.7 - 1. tom higgins (rsgyc), 2. ELLA HEMERYCK (NYC), 3. CLARE GORMAN (NYC)


Juniors - Laser 4.7 - 1. tom higgins (rsgyc), 2. CLARE GORMAN (NYC), 3. ELLA HEMERYCK (NYC)






Juniors - Optimists - 1. CHARLIE CULLEN (NYC), 2. SAM LEDOUX (NYC), 3. CONOR GORMAN (NYC)

Juniors - PY - 1. NICOLA FERGUSON (NYC), 2. DARA DONNELLY (NYC), 3. Odhran Proveur (DMYC)

Juniors - PY - 1. NICOLA FERGUSON (NYC), 2. DARA DONNELLY (NYC), 3. Odhran Proveur (DMYC)

Juniors - PY - 1. NICOLA FERGUSON (NYC), 2. Odhran Proveur (DMYC)

Juniors - RS Feva - 1. EMMA WILLIAMS (RSGYC), 2. cameron kelly (rsgyc), 3. caoimhe totterdell (nyc)


Juniors - RS Feva - 1. HENRY START (RSGYC), 2. ISABEL DWYER (NYC), 3. alice tyrrell (riyc)

Juniors - Topper - 1. HUGH O'CONNOR (NYC), 2. kate fahy (rsgyc), 3. JOHN DALY (NYC)

Juniors - Topper - 1. HUGH O'CONNOR (NYC), 2. JACK HALL (NYC), 3. JOHN DALY (NYC)

Juniors - Topper - 1. JACK HALL (NYC), 2. ADAM IRVIN (), 3. LUKA FLANAGAN (RSGYC)

Published in DBSC
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The Laser Youth Sailing World Championships (U-21) in Kiel ended with a day of calm air in the Laser Standard (men) as well as the Laser Radial (women). An Irish team competing at the event are now on their way to tomorrow's Laser nationals in Galway Bay. Full results here.

There was not enough wind on the Kiel fjord to be able to sail more races that would be suitable for a world championship. So the results remained the same after ten sailed races in both groups: New World Champion (U-21) in the Laser Radial is Monika Mikkola from Finland (Helsinki, 20 years), in the Laser Standard it is Jonatan Vadnai from Hungary (Balatonfuered, 18). 201 participants (144 men and 57 women) from 39 nations and all continents were guests at the Kiel Yacht Club.

"We had a great variety of conditions", summed up Randolph Bertin, General Manager of the International Class Association ILCA. "It was a challenge for the sailors. So we have true champions." Bence Borocz, Head of the International Jury, was also satisfied with the event: "We had only a few protests. That is a good sign. The sailors know the rules", stated Borocz.

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Standard (men)

Final top five after 10 races (2 discards)
1. Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), 16 points
2. Joel Rodriguez (Spain), 19
3. Nik Aaron Willim (NRV, Germany), 44
4. Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), 52
5. Nicolo' Villa (Italy), 53

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial (women)

Final top five after 10 races (2 discards)
1. Monika Mikkola (Finland), 16
2. Vasileia Karachaliou (Greece), 32
3. Maite Carlier (Belgium), 42
4. Valentina Balbi (Italy), 43
5. Maud Jayet (Switzerland), 43

Published in Laser
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The Lansdowne Partnership Royal Irish Yacht Club Junior Regatta took place on Wednesday 20th July in challenging and changeable weather conditions.

There were 2 courses, one inside the harbour for the Optimist Regatta fleet and one outside the harbour for the Main fleet of Optimists, Lasers, 420's, RS Tera's and PY Classes. Harbour fleet Race Officer, Paddy Lee, managed to get 4 races sailed, only 3 to count, on a course that had to be set taking into account that there were tenders ferrying cruise ship passengers for the day.

Outside the Harbour, Race Officer, Henry Leonard, got three races sailed in varying wind conditions with a number of strong squalls. Both courses had a great days racing with all competitors ashore by 3pm allowing competitors to experience the carnival fun and games on the deck. Prizes were presented by Commodore of the Royal Irish Paul Sherry and Fergal Hopkins from Lansdowne Partnership (below).

Lansdowne Partnership 05

The attached results below are prize winners from the day.

Published in Youth Sailing

Ireland's next generation of Olympic sailors – male and female – will be in action on Dublin Bay in three months time when 400 of the world's top youth helms compete for the 2016 KBC Laser Radial World Championships.

Strong Irish performances abroad are giving rise to local hopes that the landmark dinghy event could bring further Irish Under 18 success this summer.

In the boys division, Ballyholme Yacht Club's Liam Glynn, Howth YC's Ewan McMahon, Irish youth champion Conor O'Beirne of the host port plus Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork Yacht Club are top ranked sailors that form part of a 30–strong Irish contingent.

In the girl's division, with 63 entries from 22 countries, another Howth youngster Aoife Hopkins, a former Olympic trialist for Rio, will be a leading Irish hope in a team of six that also includes Irish youth champion Nicole Hemeryck of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

As previously reported on, a new template for sailing events on the capital's waters, the biggest sailing event in the country this year, will be jointly hosted by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the Royal St. George Yacht Club. Over 30 nations will compete and any Irish challenge for the world titles faces stiff competition.

Six of the top ten boys from the 2015 championships in Canada are signed up for the Dublin Bay regatta. This includes talented Australian youth champion Conor Nicholas, who travels to Dublin to defend his world title. Nicholas, a double national champion from Perth, leads a ten–strong Australian team that also includes top ten finisher from 2015, Finnian Alexander. A past 4.7 rig world champion, Nicholas has ambitions to represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Italy are also on form with fourth and fifth placed Paolo Giargia and Umbreto Varbero returning to the fray as part of an 11–boat Italian squad.

Howth's McMahon, finished top Irish sailor at the 2015 Championships when he placed 18th overall. Northern Ireland's Glynn, a former Topper class world champion, finished 21st.

As well as these strong gold fleet performances, the young Irish sailors are also credited with some other strong international results over the past 12 months, heightening the prospect of a top Irish placing on home waters from July 23–30.

McMahon only narrowly missed out on the boy's European (under 17) Laser Radial title in Portugal last year and in April this year, Royal Cork Yacht Club's Johnny Durcan took a top ten at the massive Laser Eurocup event in Hyeres, France.

Last weekend, Aoife Hopkins scored an impressive Europacup victory in Hoorn, Holland. Hopkins was overall winner of the women's fleet at the weekend and best under–19. It wasn't the only Dutch performance from the Irish youths either. Liam Glynn was third in the under–19 boys fleet.

Looking back at the archives, Ireland has previous success at World Radial youth level. Seven years ago, Wexford's Philip Doran took the Under – 17 world championship title in Japan. A year earlier he won the Under 16–title. In that same year, 2009, and at the same venue, Annalise Murphy, then aged 19, won the Under 21–world title. These results have subsequently been followed by three youth world sailing medals in the past four years, putting Irish youth sailing achievements at an all time high.

On the Irish circuit, after a blown out Munster Laser championships in West Cork earlier in March, the combined 30–boats that make up the Irish Radial team were racing again at a breezy edition of the Ulster championships in County Antrim in late April. In a nip and tuck battle, Ulster man Glynn finished ahead of McMahon for the Radial provincial title. Royal Cork's Johnny Durcan was third.

The next events on the Irish circuit are the Connaught Championships at Lough Derg Yacht Club, in Co. Tipperary on July 2. The Leinster Championships at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire is a fortnight later on July 16, just a week ahead of the World Championships at the same port.

Published in Youth Sailing

An Irish youth sailing team still to be selected will be heading to New Zealand this Christmas following the World Sailing announcement today that Auckland has been confirmed as the host venue for the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships. Ireland has won three youth medals at this event in the last four years, two silvers in the boys Laser Radial and its first double–handed medal since 1996 in the boys 420 dinghy in 2015

The 2016 selection process was opened in March 2016 after the Oman Sailing Committee exercised the right to withdraw their hosting of the event as a final contract had not been concluded.

Following a comprehensive selection process, Auckland will host the Youth Worlds in conjunction with World Sailing and Yachting New Zealand from 14 - 20 December 2016.

Yachting New Zealand Chief Executive David Abercrombie said, "This announcement is very exciting for Auckland and for New Zealand. The circumstances provided New Zealand with a unique opportunity to host the prestigious youth sailing event and we're thrilled to work together with World Sailing to deliver a fantastic event later this year.

"A great deal of work has gone in to ensure the success of this hosting bid and I wish to acknowledge both New Zealand Major Events and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) for their support. Without the backing of these organizations this would not be possible,” adds Abercrombie.

"New Zealanders are great at hosting sporting events and the sailing and boating community is among the best at it,” says Abercrombie. "We're a nation of yachties and boaties, we have incredible sailing waters and we have some of the best race management people in the world.

"The 2016 edition of the Youth World Championships will be quintessentially kiwi and everyone who has the privilege to come to New Zealand this December to represent their country will remember this experience for a lifetime.”

The event is expected to attract around 400 young sailors from up to 70 nations to Auckland and bring benefit to the local community and to young sailors throughout New Zealand.

In recent history, Auckland has hosted a stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race and the 2016 Red Bull Foiling Generation, while Emirates Team New Zealand are currently in the fight for an America's Cup spot with current Rolex World Sailor of the Year winners Peter Burling and Blair Tuke showing the diversity and pedigree of the nation to hold such high profile events.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O'Riley says, "This event fits well with Auckland's world renowned on-water lifestyle, marine capability and commitment to sailing. Being host city for the Youth World Championships is an important step for Auckland if we are to be considered as a host for other large-scale World Sailing events. We look forward to welcoming these young sailors and their supporters to Auckland.”

Sport New Zealand's Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says, "Yachting is an important sport for New Zealand, all the way from our young people competing in local clubs to our elite athletes winning on the world stage. So I'm delighted that New Zealand will be hosting the Youth Worlds in Auckland later this year. I wish the organisers and our competitors the very best of luck.”

World Sailing Events Manager Alistair Dickson said, "Finding a venue who can host this championship at this late stage has not been an easy task but World Sailing is confident that Auckland is one of the few venues in the world that can turn this championship around in the few months remaining.

"World Sailing was delighted by the positive global response to our request for new venue and we are truly thankful to all nations that submitted interest.”

World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt said, "We are absolutely delighted that Auckland and Yachting New Zealand has stepped in to host the 2016 Youth Worlds. Our work with the bid team over the past two months have left us in no doubt they will host a fantastic Youth Worlds.”

In 2015 New Zealand delivered one of this nation's most impressive performances on record at the Youth World Championships with a four medal haul and 2nd place in the Nation's Trophy for overall team performance in Langkawi, Malaysia in January 2016.

With New Zealand's youth talent development programme producing better than ever talent the Aon Fast Track Squad was launched in 2015 with a focus on accelerating the standard of the most talented youth sailors from top international youth sailors, to successful Olympic campaigners.

With NZL Sailing Team role models like Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er and Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in the Women's 470 to aspire to, New Zealand's junior and youth sailors have the inspiration to perform on the world stage.

World Sailing has started working with the Youth Worlds boat suppliers Nautivela, Ovington, Neil Pryde, Maclaren and Nacra Racing to ensure that all competitors attending the Youth Worlds will receive supplied equipment.

The Notice of Race, registration process and further information for attending sailors will be published on the Youth Worlds website in due course.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Howth Yacht Club hosted the ISA Youth Sailing Pathway National Championship and Optimist Trials over the four days from 31st March to 3rd April in varied conditions reports Emmet Dalton of HYC. The regatta attracted 192 entries across five classes from all corners of Ireland (plus a visitor from Italy) and produced Champions from seven clubs. Full results downloadable below.

Thursday's racing was delayed while the wind found time to behave and steady itself. The fleet wasn't too unhappy to wait in the glorious Spring sunshine before getting proceedings off. In the 420 Class, local favourites Elmes/O'Sullivan had it their own way with two bullets. The Laser Radial top spot was shared by O'Beirne (RStGYC), Durcan (RCYC) and Nicole Hemeryck (NYC). Over on the Topper course, the RStGYC was again dominating, with Jack Fahy burning up the course. Rush's Ross Morgan was definitely in a hurry on the Laser 4.7 course, leading by 6 points after Day 1. By the end of the day, the wind had picked up and a lot of tired faces reached the top of slipways, concentrating on the next their dinners!

Day 2 fell victim to the element, with strong and increasing winds keeping the fleet ashore. Principal Race Officer, Derek Bothwell, was cheered by the competitors as he announced a day off. Cinemas and shopping replaced the usual windward mark targets.

With a window of opportunity in the weather, the fleets headed afloat on Saturday, hoping to catch up on the schedule with a few additional races. On the 420/Laser Radial course, four races were crammed, suiting Malahide 420 duo Gemma and Cara McDowell. The sisters closed the gap to the leaders and ended the day only a point adrift of Elmes/O'Sullivan. Radial and 4.7 gurus O'Beirne and Higgins never fell onside the top three for the day. On the Topper course, Carroll was fighting off a strong challenge from another Hemeryck, this time Ella who was only a couple of points behind. Almost a carbon copy of Day 1, Saturday saw some tired bones come ashore!

As the sailors were chasing around the race course, members and visitors did loops of the Peninsula in some spectacular cars, presented by Aston Martin and Bentley. HYC friends in Charles Hurst Motors spent a day showing off Vantages, Continentals, Rapides and, ideal for the Circuit Sailors, the new Bentley Bentayga. Rarely has the clubhouse been so full of grinning faces on a rainy day!

Going into the final day, titles could have been won or lost, testament to the incredibly close racing across a range of conditions. At the end of the day, the Champions filtered to the top and were presented with their medals by ISA President David Lovegrove and cheered by their fellow competitors.

Dougie Elmes / Colin O'Sullivan (Howth YC)
Girls: Champions Gemma and Cara McDowell (Malahide YC)

Laser Radial
Conor O'Beirne (Royal St. George YC)
Girls: Nicole Hemeryck (National YC)

Michael Carroll (Kinsale YC)
Girls: Ella Hemeryck (National YC)

Laser 4.7
Henry Higgins (Royal St. George YC)
Girls: Heather Spain (National YC)

Published in Youth Sailing
Page 9 of 18

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