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The ILCA European Championships in Athens has experienced another day without racing due to light winds.

The event, which began on Sunday, has completed just three out of the planned eight races for the women's ILCA 6 class, while the men in the ILCA 7 have had two races so far.

Three Irish sailors, Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club and Ewan and Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, were among the 300 sailors hoping for wind but were left disappointed.

Due to the calm weather, organisers have cancelled the Olympic format medal race final on Friday instead of focusing on the fleet races. The championship requires four completed races to determine a winner, but the hope is that the qualification round will be completed on Thursday, allowing for Gold fleet racing on Friday to decide the event.

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Irish sailors held their nerve over the final two back-to-back races on Saturday to win ILCA 7 silver and bronze at the World Masters Championships in Adelaide, Australia.

Irish champion Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club in Northern Ireland won silver in the ILCA 7 Apprentice fleet (age 30 to 44) after a consistent series saw the Belfast Lough sailor finish the 12 race series with a string of second place scores ((2.0 [6.0] 2.0 2.0 1.0 6.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 6.0 2.0) against overall winner Luke Deegan of New Zealand in a 12 boat fleet.

In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters division (age 55 to 64), 1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay won bronze in his 35-boat fleet.

The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle won bronze at the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters World Championship fleet in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack FletcherThe National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle won bronze at the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters World Championship fleet in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack Fletcher 

The 1996 Atlanta Olympian, who won the Grand Master title in 2018 on home waters, finished on 46 points and third overall, six points off silver won by New Zealand's Andrew Dellabarca.

With an incredible 11 race wins from 12 starts, Australia's Brett Beyer proved unstoppable in this fleet.

Belfast Lough's Conrad Simpson, competing in the same division, finished 29th but withdrew after race seven due to injury.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour competing in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters World Championships in Adelaide, Australia Credit: Jack FletcherRoyal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour competing on day five in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters World Championships in Adelaide, Australia Credit: Jack Fletcher

Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour finished sixth overall in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters category.

Scroll down the results sheet (below) to read the final scores.

Published in Laser

Two final back-to-back races on Saturday will decide if Ireland will be on the podium in the ILCA/Laser World Masters Championships in Adelaide, Australia, with Irish boats contesting medal places in two divisions.

In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters 35 boat fleet,1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club lies third in Adelaide, Australia, after ten races sailed.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympian, who won the Grand Master title in 2018 on home waters, is on 27 points and third overall, five points off second held by New Zealand's Andrew Dellabarca.

With an incredible nine race wins from ten starts, Australia's Brett Beyer is unstoppable on nine points in this fleet.

Belfast Lough's Conrad Simpson, competing in the same division, is 25th.

Irish sailors are performing is both ILCA 6 and 7 divisions at the ILCA World Masters Championships, Australia Photo Jack FletcherIrish sailors are performing well in both ILCA 6 and 7 divisions at the 2024 ILCA World Masters Championships, Australia Photo Jack Fletcher

In the 12-boat ILCA 7 Apprentice fleet, Ireland's Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club continues a consistent run in second overall.

In the ILCA 6, Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour lies sixth overall up one place from Thursday's seventh in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters category after ten races sailed but just four points off fifth.

The Irish champion took an early lead in last Sunday's opening two races, scoring two fourths, but is now on 54 points after ten races sailed, some 38 points off the lead held by Australia's Mark Tonner-Joyce.

Robert Jeffreys of Australia, who spends half his year in Cork Harbour and sails out of Monkstown and Royal Cork, dropped to sixth from fourth place in the ILCA6 Great Grand Masters division.

The competition concludes on Saturday (February 10th) with two final back-to-back races. 

Scroll down the results sheet (below) to read the latest scores.

Published in Laser

Ireland's assault on the ILCA/Laser World Masters Championships in Adelaide, Australia, continues into the penultimate day of competition, with Irish boats in podium places in two divisions.

In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters 35 boat fleet,1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of Dun Laoghaire lies third in Adelaide, Australia, after eight races sailed.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympian, who won the Grand Master title in 2018 on home waters, is on 27 points and third overall, five points off second held by New Zealand's Andrew Dellabarca.

With seven race wins from eight starts, Australia's Brett Beyer appears unstoppable on seven points in this fleet.

Belfast Lough's Conrad Simpson, competing in the same division, is 25th.

Irish sailors are performing is both ILCA 6 and 7 divisions at the ILCA World Masters Championships, Australia Photo Jack FletcherIrish sailors are performing well in both ILCA 6 and 7 divisions at the 2024 ILCA World Masters Championships, Australia Photo Jack Fletcher

In the 12-boat ILCA 7 Apprentice fleet, Ireland's Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club continues in second overall.

In the ILCA 6, Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour lies seventh in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters category after seven races sailed but just two points off fifth.

The Irish champion took an early lead in last Sunday's opening two races, scoring two fourths, but is now on 42 points after seven races sailed, some 29 points off the lead held by Australia's Mark Tonner-Joyce.

Robert Jeffreys of Australia, who spends half his year in Cork Harbour and sails out of Monkstown and Royal Cork, continues in fourth place in the ILCA6 Great Grand Masters division.

The competition continues until Saturday, February 10th. 

Scroll down the results sheet (below) to read the latest scores.

Published in Laser

In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters 35 boat fleet,1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of Dun Laoghaire lies fifth in Adelaide, Australia after six races sailed.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympian, who won the Grand Master title in 2018 on home waters, counts 4 (12) 4 5 2 4 to be on the same 19 points as third overall, Christoph Marsano of Austria.

With five races wins from six starts, Australia's Brett Beyer appears unstoppable on five points in this fleet.

Belfast Lough's Conrad Simpson, competing in the same division, is 21st.

In the 12-boat ILCA 7 Apprentice fleet, Ireland's Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club continues in second overall.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour competing in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters World Championships in in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack FletcherRoyal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour competing in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters World Championships in in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack Fletcher

Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour continues in fifth in the ILCA 6 Grand Masters category.

The Irish champion took an early lead in Sunday's opening two races, scoring two fourths, but is now on 287 points after six races sailed, some 18 points off the lead held by Australia's Mark Tonner-Joyce.

Robert Jeffreys of Australia, who spends half his year in Cork Harbour and sails out of Monkstown and Royal Cork, is in fourth in the ILCA6 Great Grand Masters division.

The competition continues until next Saturday, February 10th. 

Scroll down the results sheet (below) to read the latest scores.

Published in Laser

Royal St. George's Sean Craig of Dun Laoghaire Harbour has lost the overall lead in the ILCA 6 World Championships Grand Masters Fleet in Adelaide, Australia.

The Irish champion took an early lead in Sunday's opening two races, scoring two fourths, but a four and discarded nine scored on Monday has dropped the sole Irish contender to fifth overall on 12 points.

Australia's Mark Tonner-Joyce leads on seven points from America's  Andrew Holdsworth on eight, with Australian Bruce Savage third on 11.

Ballyholme Yacht Club's Colin Leonard in action in the Apprentice division of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, AustraliaBallyholme Yacht Club's Colin Leonard in action in the Apprentice division of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia

Lyttle Lying Fifth in ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters

In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters 35 boat fleet,1996 Olympian Mark Lyttle of Dun Laoghaire lies fifth, and Belfast Lough's Conrad Simpson is 18th.

The competition continues until next Saturday, February 10th. 

In the 12-boat ILCA 7 Apprentice fleet, Ireland's Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club lies second.

Scroll down the results sheet (below) to read the latest scores.

Published in Laser

Local dinghy ace Chris Bateman leads the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League 2024 overall after six races sailed.

Ronan Kenneally lies second after two discards applied with Paul O'Sullivan in third place.

A full tide in Cork Harbour saw MBSC Race Officers Dave Doherty and Robbie O'Sullivan utilise Rafeen Creek for the windward-leeward courses.

Whilst overcast, the penultimate day of racing produced a perfect 12 to 15-knot SW breeze for the ten-boat fleet.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League 2024 resultsMonkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League 2024 results

Racing concludes next Saturday, February 10th.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League 2024 Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Bill O’Hara and Conrad Simpson from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough are used to travelling far and wide to race their Lasers and in Bill’s case, to officiate at world events, but at the moment, they are both on the other side of the world having competed in the New Zealand National Laser championships in Napier, a seaport on the east coast of the North Island and in February will race at the World ILCA 7/Laser championships in Adelaide, the capital city in South Australia.

They were part of the 26-strong ILCA 7 Masters (Open) fleet. Bill, racing as a Great Grand Master, finished a very respectable 8th, counting a third and fourth on the last day, making all his training pay off. He is an Olympic sailor, international race official and former RYA Northern Ireland Youth Performance Manager. Bill was awarded the OBE in 2021 (Order of the British Empire) for services to sailing.

Conrad (Grand Master) finished in 20th place, with his best place, 11th in the fourth race. Last year he finished 11th in the 23-strong ILCA 7 fleet in the Irish National Championships at Howth and 8th of 16 at Tralee Bay SC the previous year.

Both sailors have a long association with Ballyholme Yacht Club; Bill has been instrumental in the 70s in growing the Laser class at the club. He was Afloat Sailor of the Month in December 2022

Conrad, too, has been a member of the Bangor club for a long time. He was Reserve Finn competitor to Bill at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but now sails a Laser regularly.

The next stop is Adelaide from February 2-10 for the Laser World Championships. 

2024 Olympic Trial

There are several Irish names on the entry list, including Finn Lynch, who ranked 12th in the ILCA World Rankings and also Ewan McMahon, who will compete in an Irish Olympic trial against Lynch for the Irish ILCA7 berth in Paris.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, back in November, McMahon launched his Green Rebel 'Independent' Paris Olympic bid after his contract concluded with Irish Sailing.

Published in Laser

Several of RYA Northern Ireland’s ILCA squad spent the New Year break at a warm-weather training camp in Valencia, Spain from 27 December to 3 January.

Supported by RYANI performance manager Hammy Baker, the contingent comprised ILCA 6 sailors Lewis Thompson and Daniel Palmer from Ballyholme Yacht Club as well as Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC) and Zoe Whitford (East Antrim BC), who received support from Irish Sailing, and Cormac Byrne (Strangford SC) who received support as part of Liam Glynn’s ILCA 4 Development Squad.

While this was the second year that Northern Ireland sailors have make the trip to Valencia for winter training, it was the first time they were joined by their counterparts from RYA Scotland and RYA Wales.

“It was great to have the other home nations with us,” Performance manager Andrew Baker said. “Ahead of the Celtic Cup (3-4 February in Plas Heli, Wales) and The Europeans (27 July-3 August, Ballyholme YC) I feel it’s important for the sailors to meet each other and create new training groups that are logistically in reach. There also seems to be more enthusiasm for the Celtic Cup and some competitive rivalries forming.”

For more on the RYANI ILCA training camp in Valencia, see the RYA website HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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More than thirty boats hit the water for Week 2 of the post-Christmas Howth YC Dinghy Frostbite series on Sunday morning writes Conor Murphy, when they were met with perfect breezes of 10 knots with some gusts and lulls either side of it, combined with bright sunny skies and a fun-seeking tide switching direction halfway through the day's racing. Race Officer Ronan McDonnell of HYC got the racing underway on time, sending all fleets around windward-leeward courses for both races.

That said, the first attempt at an ILCA start fell foul to a general recall, thanks to both over-eager ILCAs in their growing fleet, and the initial flood tide pushing everyone over the start line. A U flag for subsequent ILCA starts ensured all were much better behaved.

With 2024 being their Golden Jubilee Year at Howth, it is expected the ILCA/Laser fleet will continue to increaseWith 2024 being their Golden Jubilee Year at Howth, it is expected the ILCA/Laser fleet will continue to increase

A museum of Dinghy Racing – GP 14 leader Alan Blay (Howth/Sutton) battling it out with Ryan Cairns (Clontarf) in the 1946 & 1938-originating IDRA 14A museum of Dinghy Racing – GP 14 leader Alan Blay (Howth/Sutton) battling it out with Ryan Cairns (Clontarf) in the 1946 & 1938-originating IDRA 14

The ILCA 7s had 10 sailors on the water, and competition was fierce all across the fleet, with every spot hard fought for. Rory Lynch of Baltimore SC took an early lead in Race 1 and maintained it around the 3 laps, however the remaining 2nd-6th place spots swapped hands multiple times throughout the 40 minute race.

The ILCA in its various forms continues to be the most numerous boat-type – Stan O’Rourke (left, of Malahide) showed why he leads the 4.7s by being up with clubmate Alex Deasy in his ILCA 6The ILCA in its various forms continues to be the most numerous boat-type – Stan O’Rourke (left, of Malahide) showed why he leads the 4.7s by being up with clubmate Alex Deasy in his ILCA 6

Conor Murphy (Howth) ultimately claimed 2nd, while Daragh Kelleher (Skerries) just pipped Dan O'Connell (Monkstown Bay) to take 3rd on the finish line. In Race 2, Dan O'Connell (sporting an interesting video rig on his transom) led from the first windward mark and extended his lead from there, followed by Rory Lynch and Conor Murphy. Rory Lynch leads the fleet in the series, but with 14 more races scheduled and the fleet growing, the leaderboards will no doubt see many changes before the end.

Carla Fegan (Howth) racing in the ILCA6 class.Carla Fegan (Howth) racing in the ILCA6 class

PY FLEET A MARITIME MUSEUM OF DINGHY RACING

The eclectic PY fleet saw yet another new addition this week in the form of the blue-sailed Enterprise, sailed by Kay Cornally of HYC. GP14s continue to dominate the podium places of the PY fleet, claiming 2 of 3 spots in each race. In Race 1, however, Daragh Sheridan's RS Aero of the home fleet claimed victory, closely followed by Sam Street's GP14 down from the Wicklow mountains at Blessington, and in third came Matthew Cotter of Sutton DC, helming The Wrong Trousers after taking a stepping backwards in the boat, as he’s usually crews for Conor Twohig.

Once upon a time, many of us raced Enterprise dinghies. Kay Cornally of Howth keeps the torch aloft, albeit in a glassfibre versionOnce upon a time, many of us raced Enterprise dinghies. Kay Cornally of Howth keeps the torch aloft, albeit in a glassfibre version

Continuing GP14 ding-dong between Sam Street of Blessington (left) and Matthew Cotter of SuttonContinuing GP14 ding-dong between Sam Street of Blessington (left) and Matthew Cotter of Sutton

In Race 2, the GP14s made their way to the front of the fleet, with HYC & Sutton's Alan Blay taking first, followed by the consistent Sam Street, and then Daragh Sheridan. The fleet continues to have a variety of other boats including B14, Melges 15 and IDRA 14 - time will tell which boat and sailors will master the variety of conditions that the series will throw at them over the nine week series, but currently Alan Blay & Hugh McNally's GP14 of Sutton & Howth leads the fleet with 3 points after counting 3 races.

Charlie Robertson’s RS Feva against the classic background of Ireland Eye in its winter coatCharlie Robertson’s RS Feva against the classic background of Ireland Eye in its winter coat

The ILCA 6s had a strong turnout, with eight boats on the water. Viktor Samoilovs (Malahide & Howth 1, 3), Tom Fox (Rush SC, 3,1) and Peter Hassett (Dublin Bay SC:2, 2) were the podium finishers in the two races, but each spot was closely ought for, with Ciara McMahon and Darragh Peelo fighting every inch of the way.

Tom Fox leads the fleet by one point over Viktor Samoilovs. In the ILCA 4s, Stan O'Rourke (Malahide & Howth) continued his run of form with back to back wins, followed by Connor O'Sullivan and Charlie Power in that order in each race. Stan leads the series with 3 points from 3 races counted.

How’s the local economy? Try counting the active tower cranes. Jeremy Beshoff and Declan McManus in the B14 speeding towards the re-development of Howth’s old Techrete site to become the new up-market Claremont Apartments.How’s the local economy? Try counting the active tower cranes. Jeremy Beshoff and Declan McManus in the B14 speeding towards the re-development of Howth’s old Techrete site to become the new up-market Claremont Apartments

Full results are available below, there are 7 weekends left in the series, followed by the annual Round the Island Race and prize-giving lunch in March 9th.

BRASS MONKEYS

The Cruiser-Racers, having poked their noses out into the ocean on New Year’s Day, are taking most of January off in order to allow their very varied personnel the time to go ski-ing or head down to South Africa to check out their vineyards and diamond mines, nevertheless we’re assured they’ll be resuming their Brass Monkeys series on January 28th to continue until March 2nd, and the entry list is still open.

Published in Howth YC
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