#ISAYOUTHNATS – A hard won victory in the third of today's three races just tips the balance in favour of Strangford Lough's Robbie Gilmore in a very hotly contested 68 boat Laser Radial fleet at the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals Sailing Championship.
Racing on Dublin Bay out of Dun Laoghaire, the stakes for Gilmore extend higher than just vying for the Radials National title.
Selection for Ireland's Radial spot in July's Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships to be raced on these same race areas, amounts to a first-past the-post-battle at these four day championships and Gilmore arrived ashore this afternoon feeling that his fifth, second and win today may prove conclusive in what still looks to be a duel with long time rival and fellow ISA Academy sailor Finn Lynch.
The National YC's Lynch, championship leader this morning, could not match Gilmore as the conditions turned breezier. He returned 3,7,3 for the day to drop to third overall.
After two days of fickle sub-8 knots winds, the five classes which raced today enjoyed brisk, chilly NE'ly breezes of over 20kts accompanied by choppy seas.
Gilmore's slight speed edge, which he attributed to good fitness and concentrated training in today's weight of breeze, proved key as he stepped two points clear of Lynch.
He ties New Zealand's Andrew McKenzie at the top of the international fleet.
" It was pretty breezy, up to 20kts, but really nice sailing." Recalled Gilmore, " The first race I did not have a great one but got a fifth. The second race I was leading most of the way around but on the last leg the Norwegian sailor caught me. But the last race I won and so it really was a good day."
"I am feeling pretty good now. It was nice to feel like I had a little bit of a speed edge today, which is probably down to good fitness and training in that breeze, so it puts me in a good position for tomorrow when hopefully I will be able to finish things off. I was not particularly watching out for anyone today, just trying to keep on it in that breeze."
A competitor capsizes after racing yesterday in the choppy conditions
Lynch was less pleased with his three races:
" Nothing really went wrong or happened but I just did not sail as well as I could have. I sailed well, but I could have sailed better. My speed was really good but my tactics could have been a bit better, especially in the second race. But I will be back tomorrow, it is still very, very close."
The French duo of Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan, from Le Havre, are primarly here on a training mission in advance of their trials series which will select for their Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds team, but they are proving to be the class act in the 26 boat international fleet. They lead the class comfortably after winning all three races today, but crew Sipan cautioned that their regatta is far from won yet.
"We have not won the regatta yet, we still need another good day, but today really set us up." He said, adding: " It is not decided yet whether we will be here in July, there are two weeks of trials. But we are the only French boys team who are here, along with the girls."
In the battle for Worlds selection among the Irish 420 crews, the odds moved in favour of Cork's reigning ISA Optimist Youth National Champion, Patrick Crosbie with crew Grattan Roberts. They improved race by race, scoring 7,6,5, to move up to sixth overall in the international fleet but crucially gaining themselves a 17pts cushion on their nearest selection rivals Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Howth YC.
"We were just concentrating on keeping clear air and following the gusts as much as possible. We are certainly better in the stronger breeze but so we are also grand in the light stuff. We only started sailing together in August last year and would love to do the Worlds here in the summer. I don't want to say how confident we are, not wanting to jinx anything. We have a friendly rivalry between us all, but for sure there is more pressure this year with the Worlds here, but I like to think we are rising to it." Said helm Crosbie.
After two more races in the 15 boat RS Feva class, the local duo Conor Totterdell and Conor Maguire effectively maintain their perfect scoreline by virtue of discarding their one second place, leading overall by four points.
Topper class leader Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC has a virtually unbeatable lead after a first and second today, lying 16 points clear at the top of the 40 boat class, whilst Welsh helm Matt Whitfield from Penarth also took a first and second, leading overall by seven points.
In the 29er Class GBR's Jack Hawkins and Christopher Thomas have now won three back to back races in a small fleet which is primarily here to train for the worlds, both the British duo and New Zealand's Trent Rippey and Alex Munro already know that their worlds selection is secured:
Sailing: ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals 2012, standings after Day 3 of 4:
Laser Radial Class, after 8 races, inc 1 discard:
1 A McKenzie (NZL/Tamkai YC) 30pts, 2 R Gilmore (IRL/Strangford Lough YC) 30pts, 3 F Lynch (IRL/National YC) 30pts. Other top 10 Irish: 6 S Guilefoyle (IRL/Royal Cork YC) 68pts.
420 Class, after 8 races, inc 1 discard:
1 G Pirouelle/V Sipan (FRA/SNPH) 13pts, 2 N Horwitz/F Fuentes
(CHI/CNP) 20pts, 3 J Poret/L Chevet (FRA/SNPH) 28pts. Leading Irish: 6 P Crosbie/G Roberts (IRL/Royal Cork YC) 50pts, 10 R Dickson/S Waddilove (IRL/Howth YC) 67pts, 11 A Hyland/B Staunton (IRL/Royal St
RS Feva Class, after 5 races inc 1 discard:
1 C Totterdell/C Maguire (IRL/Royal St George) 4pts, 2 D Johnston/L Flynn-Byrne (IRL/Howth YC) 8pts, 3 J Tingle/C Guilfoyle (IRL/Royal Cork YC) 14pts
29er Class after 7 races inc 1 discard:
1 J Hawkins/C Thomas (GBR/Restronguet SC) 9pts, 2 T Rippey/A Munro (NZL/Tauranga YC) 10pts, 3 O Bowerman/M Peach (GBR/Hayling Island SC) 14pts,
Topper Class after 5 races inc 1 discard:
1 L Glynn (IRL/Ballyholme YC) 5pts, 2 N Hemeryck (IRL/National YC) 17pts, 3 W Thomas (GBR/Teifi BC) 17pts,
Laser 4.7 Class after 5 races inc 1 discard:
1 M Whitfield (GBR/Penarth YC/CBYC) 6pts, 2 R Auger (FRA/CN Claouey) 13pts, 3 M Hassett (IRL/Baltimore SC) 19pts
Optimist classes did not race today, standings as per yesterday