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Displaying items by tag: Laser

It was February 1st, and the hardy band of Cork Harbour Laser sailors regrouped for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, in beautiful racing conditions. 

A low sun arose over Cork Harbour in the early hours of the morning. A slight chill in the air was enough to inflict a bite, but not enough to stop thirteen enthusiastic sailors from arriving on the Sandquay at 9 am. A windy forecast was on the cards and gusts of up to 27 knots were due later in the morning. The sky was cloudless and Monkstown Bay looked promising. 

A south-westerly breeze blew across the bay, peaking at a low 10 knots of wind. The tide was high and weak. The competitors launched their Lasers off the Sandquay, to join the race committee.

A windward/leeward course had been set, with a windward mark situated in the creek near Raffeen. The 10:10 am scheduled start was right on time and the thirteen Laser sailors found their positions on the small start line. Three minutes went by and race one was underway.

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy RacingSailors in shot (Left to right) Fionn Lyden, Chris Bateman, James Long, Alex Barry (IRL)

Launching off the line was MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally, who crossed the fleet with a spectacular port tack flyer. This put him into the lead just ahead of the fleet. Conditions were tough, with a gusty wind mixing things up. Kenneally held his lead around the windward mark just in front of BSC’s Fionn Lyden MBSC’s Chris Bateman. But things were not all as they seemed and the ace Finn sailor (Lyden) sailed past Kenneally using his downwind skills. The breeze was increasing slowly as they sailed downwind. Bateman chose the opposite side of the course and managed to round the leeward mark just ahead of Lyden and Kenneally. Paths were chosen carefully as the competitors travelled upwind, working through the shifty wind. All remained vigilant and two rounds later, your correspondent took first place. Taking the second position was Lyden, with Kenneally following just behind in third.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with MBSC’s Philip Doherty following up in second place.

Race two began with much more wind. There was now a steady 13-knot wind gusting up over 16 knots. The high tide was still weak and the competitors had no trouble beating up to the mark. Pulling away into the lead was Sunday’s Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan, followed by radial sailor Philip Doherty in second. The top mark was seeing heavy wind and a wild gust caught out O’Sullivan, as he spun into an almost-saved death roll. This capsize let Doherty pull into the lead, with Bateman just behind. Doherty blasted away from the fleet in the high wind and rounded the leeward mark in first. As they continued on the upwind leg, Doherty’s radial rig lacked the extra ‘grunt’ in the lulls, allowing your correspondent to sail through in the full rig. The last downwind leg saw Fionn Lyden sail through the radial sailor, followed up by MBSC’s Alex Barry. Taking first place was Bateman and in second place was Lyden. Light-weight sailor Alex Barry managed the heavy weather well and took third place.

In the Radial category, MBSC’s Phil Doherty showed heavy weather speed and took a comfortable first place. MBSC’s Harry Pritchard followed up in second, having struggled in the big breeze.

The wind had piped up for race three, the last race of the day. A strong, gusty wind blew across the land from the west. These are tricky conditions at best, with rogue wind shifts threatening to capsize the laser dinghies. The competitors set off and immediately started to work their boats to maximum speed. Leading around the windward mark was O’Sullivan, with Kenneally in second. A heavy gust of over 22 knots let Kenneally sail through O’ Sullivan. As the competitors planed towards the leeward mark, the wind was gusting over 25 knots. Your correspondent sailed around the leeward mark just ahead of Kenneally, with Lyden closing in. The wind whipped across the water, making the windward mark rounding a task. Lyden and Kenneally battled it out, with Kenneally sailing over the top of Lyden. The heavy wind was of no moment to the fleet as they all blasted downwind to the finish line. Taking first place was your correspondent. In second position was Kenneally, with Lyden sailing through into third. 

In the Radial fleet, Heavy weather specialist Phil Doherty took another win. Harry Pritchard finished up in second place.

So, a great end to what was an epic morning on the water. The sailors headed for shore, whipped with wind and spray. Warmth and rest awaited on shore, all the that was needed to relax after a hard morning’s sailing. 

Join us next week on the water, where the stellar race committee and mark layers will make sure you get the most out of your Saturday morning, and will never disappoint!

Published in Laser

On Saturday 25th of January, the Monkstown Bay Laser Frostbite league rolled around for day two of the month-long Cork Harbour series.

A mixed bag of weather conditions was in store for the competitors, with a dull sky and black clouds dampening the mood. The air was warmer than usual, so comfort levels were at their peak. A south-westerly breeze was blowing up around 9-12 knots. The Sandquay was busy, as a record number of sailors had arrived to enjoy the morning’s racing. 

MBSC Laser 2Richie Harrington (left) Chris Bateman (Right) Fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

The start was due for 10:10 am, so Race Officer Alan Fehily and his crew were seen setting up a course in the early hours. The fleet launched with time to spare and could be seen sailing out into the channel under a heavy flood tide. A windward/leeward course was set opposite Alta Terrace. 

The 3-minute gun went off at exactly the scheduled time. The record-sized fleet of sixteen boats lined up on the start line, jousting for position. The competitors could be seen trying to stay below the line, with a very strong flood tide dragging them over early. One general recall later and the first race of the day was underway.

Laser dinghy Cork HarbourFionn Lyden (left) Chris Bateman (right) fighting for lead Photo: Ali Harvey

As the fleet converged at the top mark, it became apparent how much the tide was affecting the race. A perfect path had to be chosen, with most sailors heading to the left side of the course just outside the shipping channel. MBSC’s Brendan Dwyer took an early lead and extended that lead throughout the race. Challenging for second and third were Monkstown’s Chris Bateman and Fionn Lyden from Baltimore sailing club. Dwyer held them off until the third and final lap, where your correspondent managed to slip into first place, with Lyden in second. RCYC’s Johnny Durcan followed in third place. As the race carried on, Lyden sailed past Bateman on the downwind to finish in first place. Your correspondent took second position, with Durcan making up third.

In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard took first place, with RCYC’s Michael Crosbie in second and MBSC’s Philip Doherty in third.

Race two began with the same strong tide but with a little less wind. The fleet was close as they made their way up the first beat, beginning the three-lap race. Tactics downwind were crucial, as the tide was head-on. Your correspondent took the lead early on, with Durcan following and MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally right behind. The sun had come out and the water was a clear blue. Bateman gybed away from the fleet onto the shoreline, while Durcan elected to stay out in the tide, but with more wind. By the end of the race, Bateman finished out in front with Durcan in second place. Kenneally finished in third position.

Laser dinghy Cork harbour2Bateman in lead, Durcan in second place Photo: Ali Harvey

In the Radial category, it was Pritchard taking first place, with Crosbie and Doherty following up in second and third. 

Race three began with MBSC’s Richie Harrington taking an early lead. Following in second place was your correspondent, with Durcan in third place. Harrington increased his lead throughout the race, in the light and tricky conditions. Brendan Dwyer sailed through on the last downwind, passing out Durcan and Bateman, but could not hold Durcan with his new-school tacking manoeuvres. Meanwhile, Harrington sailed across the line in first place with a comfortable lead. Durcan sailed into second, with your correspondent making up third place.

A tough morning’s racing was enough to finish off the competitors, and the laser dinghies were put to bed, to be woken again next Saturday.

Published in Laser

With Ireland having secured one of the last places in the Laser Radial class at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and with four sailors now set to contest a trials series for the single place, the Irish Sailing procedures for the 2020 Olympic Games Trials have been ratified by the Olympic Federation of Ireland and are downloadable below as a PDF document.

Ireland’s Laser Radial Olympic Berth

As Afloat previously reported, a three trial regatta series will be used to identify the Irish Sailing Team nominee. The following trial regattas will be used for the Laser Radial Class:

  • ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, Melbourne, Australia, 21-28 February 2020 (this replaces the Genoa WC Round 2020)
  • Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Palma, Spain. 28 March – 4 April 2020
  • Hyéres Regatta, France, 18 – 25 April 2020

Lasers and 49ers Chasing Final Olympic Places

While neither the Laser Men or the 49ers have yet secured country qualification, both will compete in Genoa this April at the European qualifier with two final Olympic places available in the Laser class and one in the 49er. Whoever qualifies Ireland for an Olympic spot will automatically represent the nation in Tokyo this Summer.

Download the full nomination document below. 

Published in Tokyo 2020

Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, current Gold Medal holder in the Laser Radial U17s World League after success in Canada last summer, has added yet more valuable metal to her collection by emerging as U17 Gold Medal winner in this week’s Sail Melbourne Regatta, in which a total of 85 Lasers took part.

Top overall performance for Ireland (as already reported in Afloat.ie) was put in by the National YC’s Annalise Murphy, who took Silver in the Overall Women’s Division

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

The second Wexford Harbour Boat Club Christmas regatta took place on Sunday, 29th December 2019 with plenty of wind for the first race.

There was another great turn out with sailors travelling from along the east coast with representatives from the Royal St George Yacht Club, Waterford Harbour sailing Club and Wicklow Sailing club competing.

Three races in total were held in tricky conditions to test the sailors.

Five fleets competed for the silverware; the PY fleet was won by Aoife Murphy. The Topper 5.3 (Snr) was won by Becky Lowney. Adam Rossiter won the Topper 4.2 (Jnr). The Laser Radial division was won by Cian Lynch with the Laser Full rig class won by Ronan Wallace for the second year running.

Published in Racing

Rio Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy is recording some encouraging results at the Australian Laser National Championships this weekend.

In one of her first major regattas since returning to the Laser last September, in a bid for the Irish Tokyo slot, the National Yacht club star is the top Irish woman from four contesting the championships at the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne.

Murphy has counted a race win but also a black flag penalty to be placed 19th overall so far in the championships that have featured strong and light winds and some 'chilly' conditions.

The Men's and Women's Laser Radial classes are sailing together, split into Yellow and Purple fleets.

With the Australian selection for Tokyo 2020 still to be decided, Queenslander Mara Stransky struck an early blow with two wins in Purple fleet. Yumiko Tombe of Japan was second and Marie Burrue (FRA) was third in the first race. All three were pleased to have beaten Rio 2016 gold medallist, Marit Bouwmeester, who finished fifth overall and fourth woman.

Murphy's rivals for the Tokyo berth (that will be decided in selection trials later this year) are all sailing in the gold fleet and currently placed as follows: Aoife Hopkins 32nd, Aisling Keller 37th and Eve McMahon 60th.

The championships were subject to a protest by a competitor under 'Air quality' but the complaint was dismissed.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour will start its Winter Laser League on Saturday of next week, January 11 and run it on six Saturday mornings until February 15.

Organiser Charles Dwyer who puts a lot of effort into running this annual event says: “We are arranging this event around sailors with kids and those who want escape and get a quick sailing fix at the weekends!”

“Lasers who want to come sailing, join celebrity sailors and Olympic hopefuls like Chris Bateman, Johnny Durcan, Fionn Lydon, Richie Harrington will be coming out to play. And of course the recent Christmas Race Champion 2019 – Paul O’Sullivan.

The series is for Lasers Full Rig and Radials, with First Gun, a boat start at 10.15 a.m., which will be “as close as possible2 to the club’s boat base on the Sand Quay.”

One of the big attractions of this event is that sailors are guaranteed three short races each days, “ashore by noon for showers, debriefing, coffee and chowder.”

The entry fee is €20. For any Laser interested, “we would love to have you out sailing,” says Charles Dwyer who can be contacted on – 086 1703289.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser sailors were afloat again today for the annual St. Stephens Day Race in Cork Harbour.

In light winds, Paul O’Sullivan was the winner of the Dr Magner Cup.

The St Stephen's Day fixture race precedes the MBSC Open Winter Laser Series that starts on Saturday, January 11th with First Gun at 10:10 (Boat Starts) as close as possible to the Sandquay.

There are three races per day scheduled. Open to all Laser and Radials. The series concludes on Saturday, February 15th

Published in Laser

November is stock-taking time in a pre-Olympic year with the international championship programme about to get under way in the Southern Hemisphere, and the review of Irish Olympic hopefuls during the 2019 season shows that it was Aisling Keller of Lough Derg YC who spearheaded the vital results which secured Ireland’s place in the Laser Radials by taking seventh among Olympic potentials in the selection series at the Worlds at Sakaiminato. The all-important place is secured, but the sailor who actually fills it will be determined by a gruelling selection process spread over three international regattas in the first part of 2020, involving four sailors: Aisling Keller, Aoife Hopkins (who was also in the top ten at Sakaiminato), U17 World Champion Eve McMahon, and 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy

Published in Sailor of the Month
Tagged under

Just as well Ballyholme Yacht Club is at present extending the south dinghy park and widening one of the launching slips because next July an entry of over 300 is expected for the Laser Youth Radial European Championships which will run from 5th till 11th July writes Betty Armstrong.

But as the event is being left unlimited up to a point, there maybe even more. The limit is set at 400 as per EurILCA regs.

The club lies on a wide sandy bay on the south side of Belfast Lough and this RYA recognised Training Centre has an enviable reputation for running world, international, national and regional events, with a superb 40 sq km racing area in virtually hazard and tide free waters on the Lough close at hand.

Among the world championships hosted by the club were the Topper Worlds in 2016 and the F18 World Championships in 2014. Lasers have been sailed at BYC from the early 1970s and the club hosted one of the first European Championships in 1979 as well as the Laser Radial Europeans in 2004.

The club’s racing pedigree has provided sailors and officials to Olympic Regattas and many other international events. Some members are noted for their expertise in the role of Race officer and one, Bill O’Hara was the PRO for 2017 Volvo Round the World Race.

Interest in competing is already picking up and entries open on 20th November. Rear Commodore Mark Mackey reports that last year sailors at Tarbert in Scotland have expressed a solid interest.

Bangor has a wide variety of accommodation including the new Premier Inn in the centre of the town, but with such a huge influx of people expected, it is advisable to make plans early. Info on the event can be found here 

Published in Laser
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