#isafyouthworlds – A five Irish boat team that is a mix of youth and experience will take on the world's most outstanding youth talent and are tasked with bringing home a medal on home waters this week. It's a big ask given Ireland's only past medal performance in the competition's modern format was way back in 1996 when girls duo Laura Dillon and Ciara Peelo won bronze sailing a Laser II dinghy.
Dun Laoghaire sailors fill four of the five slots on the Irish squad for the Championship that is the biggest of its kind to be ever held in Ireland. This morning Dun Laoghaire clubs are being cleared of members boats to make way for the arrival of 350 sailors, 120 Team leaders/Coaches, 63 Nations, 265 boats and 400 volunteers.
Afloat 175 race management volunteers are taking to the water in 75 ribs and 20 official race boats. David O'Brien has more on this in thee Irish Times newspaper here.
The Irish team was selected after an intensive four day battle at the Irish Mitsubishi Youth National championships on Dublin Bay last April.
It will be Sophie Murphy's third time to represent Ireland at the ISAF Youth World Championships (a first for any Irish female sailor). Having also sailed at four World Championships, and five European Championships and one Youth Olympic Games the team's only girl has the most experienced of the eight sailors.
Last year the Royal St.George and Quoile YC sailor who races in the Laser Radial finished 11th overall at the Croatian event, the best result for Ireland in the female single handed dinghy since 1971 when the ISAF Youth World Championships started.
Finn Lynch makes his youth worlds debut on home waters
Sixteen year old Finn Lynch makes his worlds debut after domination of the domestic Topper scene winning national titles from 2008 to 2010. He also won the British Topper title in 2010 before moving to the Laser Radial.
Royal Cork pairing Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts compete in the 420 dinghy and bring experience from a wide range of sailing including competition in Optimists, RS Feva, Laser 4.7s, Toppers, National 18s and keelboats.
In spite of only stepping in to the 29er skiff at Christmas former Optimist dinghy sailors Sean and Tadgh Donnelly from the National YC are aiming for a medal race spot at the end of this week.
Likewise Alexander Rumball and Rory McStay take their place on the start line only after a winter of hard work on the water moving from monohull dinghies to the Spitfire and ultimately SL16 catamaran, to become Ireland's first Catamaran crew at this event.
Whatever the outcome for Ireland there is no doubt the event forges future sailing careers. Many of this week's competitors will progress to Olympic level. ISAF is quick to point out that these are the 'sailing stars of tomorrow'.
'Many of the competitors at this month's Olympic regatta started their careers at this event, including Britian's sailing superstar Ben Ainslie' says ISAF's Fiona Kidd.
Ainslie's not alone. Others include Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey from the USA who will compete against Dun Laoghaire's Annalise Murphy in Weymouth has also won Gold at youth level.
Significantly Murphy herself is a past youth worlds competitor as are Irish Olympic Star keelboat pairing Peter O'Leary and David Burrows.
Irish 2012 Youth Sailing Team
Laser Radial Boy: Finn Lynch (National YC)
Laser Radial Girl: Sophie Murphy (Royal St George YC/Quoile YC)
420 Boys: Patrick Crosbie & Grattan Roberts (Royal Cork YC)
29er: Sean & Tadhg Donnelly (National YC)
SL16 Catamaran Class: Alexander Rumball and Rory McStay (Royal Irish YC/Royal St George YC/Irish National SC)