#ISAF – County Carlow's Finn Lynch continues to grind down the opposition at the top of the Laser Radial Boys fleet in the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth World Championships. Today he skilfully moved up one place to eighth overall in blustery conditions when winds reached 25 knots in a squall off Dun Laoghaire.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MONDAY ACTION PHOTOS BY PHOTOGRAPHER AIDAN TARBETT.
With some consistent sailing the 16–year–old is one of two of a five Irish boat team to stay in the top ten of their respective fleets as the event passes the half way stage and a full programme of seven races now sailed.
Although the National Yacht Club sailor is a full 37 ponits adrfit of third overall there are still five races left to sail and potentially some significant gains yet to be made to pull back to fourth a position he held on Sunday.
Lynch continues to have the best result across the Irish contenders, holding eighth place overall in the 58 strong Laser Radial Boys' fleet after a tough day when he scored 24-16. However the leaders – Mitchell Kiss from the USA, Russian Maximum Nikolaev and Norway's Hermann Tomasgaard – are racing away with Kiss now some 40 points ahead of Lynch.
Mother Nature was not content merely to throw more testing westerly offshore winds at the 343 Olympians of the future racing in the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. For today's two races, held on this third day of the competition, the under 19-year-old sailors who have descended from 61 nations as far flung as Belarus, Macedonia, Peru and Korea, faced the additional challenges of torrential rain and, at times, reduced visibility.
"The first race was okay, but it was like so inconsistent again," said Irish hope Sophie Murphy, who, after scoring a 13-20 today, lies 16th overall in the 42 strong Laser Radial Girl's fleet. "A lot of the top people were at the bottom and vica versa, so it was trying to do damage limitation up each beat."
In the second race the wind had built greatly, to the extent that on the last downwind leg many of these skill teenage competitors capsized and went swimming as their tender singlehanded dinghies were overwhelmed. "In the top 20 there were something like seven capsizes downwind," said Murphy. "There were about five in front of me at the leeward mark so I was trying to avoid them and then I capsized but luckily it was a quick one, because some people went from 11th to 23rd just by capsizing."
Despite knowing these waters well, Murphy said that today it was difficult to read the conditions, the gusts and the shifting breeze. "You could kind of seeing it coming, but with those clouds it was very hard to tell what is coming and some of them move quite slowly at funny angles."
Tuesday is a 'lay day', a day off for the United Nations-style line-up of crews competing here in Dun Laoghaire. Murphy says she hopes not to do a lot. "I'll do as little as I can physically as possible..."
One place behind Lynch in the SL16 catamaran, but where only 15 teams are competing, are Alexander Rumball and Rory McStay, who performed the best of the Irish sailors today, finishing 11th and 7th in their two races.
"The first race was very difficult - the wind just seemed to be very very random, it seemed to come down in patches," said Rumball. "I felt the key to the day was keeping your head out of the boat, helm and crew working in unison together, taking in all the information and making a decision on it." In race two Rumball reckoned they achieved this, and were able to spot the shifts better, after they also had managed to get a better start.
As to their day off tomorrow Rumball said that they had to try and not lose focus. "Keep the foot on the pedal, see what the rest of the week brings..." Rumball and McStay's boat is parked next door to the overall SL16 race leaders, Rupert White and Tom Britz from the UK. White is grandson of the 1976 Tornado catamaran Olympic Gold medallist, Reg. Despite the variable conditions White and Britz have scored four wins in the seven races held to date.
Lying 12th in the 29er skiff, brothers Sean and Tadgh Donnelly, had a tough day in the variable conditions, with a 20-13. "We didn't get on too well in the first race at all, had a bit of a shocker to be honest," admitted Tadgh. "We didn't get a clean start, and never really got back from that, we couldn't cover..." They are hoping for better results when racing resumes on Wednesday, provided it's not 30 knots, says Sean, the helmsman of the duo.
Ireland's 420 Boys' representatives, Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts from Cork, also had a tough day scoring a 16th and a 23rd – the latter their worse result, that is now their discard. "It wasn't the best," admitted Crosbie of how today unfolded. "I think it was just our tactics and where we went on the first beat. It was a disaster. It wasn't great at all." Crosbie added that they had struggled to keep the boat up to speed and powered up in the very variable conditions when at times Roberts would be trapezing hard and at other times would be standing inside the boat during a lull.
Irish team leader, Croat Milan Vujasinovic gave his assessment at the halfway stage of this, the top annual event in the youth sailing calendar. "The results are not bad, but I thought we could do better today in these windy conditions. I was watching the Radials - Sophie had an average day, which was expected in this stronger breeze, but I expected more from Finn. In the first race he was really unlucky with some wind shifts in the first upwind leg and in the second race he was in the top five in 25 knots of breeze when he capsized – so, not good. Looking at the results there are still a lot of chances to get a good result. There are five more races and in these shifty conditions, anything is possible."
Tomorrow is a day off for the competitors at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. Racing will resume on Wednesday when two races are scheduled, starting at 1200.
ISAF Youth Worlds 2012
Day THREE results (& overall points)
Laser Radial (Boys)
1st - Mitchell Kiss (USA) 47pts 2nd - Maxim Nikolaev (RUS) 49pts 3rd - Herman Tomasgaard (NOR) 50pts
Laser Radial (Girls)
1st - Line Flemhost (NOR) 38pts 2nd - Pinar Kaynar (TUR) 41pts 3rd- Julia Carlsson (SWE) 42pts
1st – Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) 18pts 2nd - Pieter Goedhart/Lars Van Stekelenborg (NED) 26pts 3rd - David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) 38pts
1st - Carrie Smith/Ellie Clark (AUS) 20pts 2nd - Anabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) 20pts 3rd- Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Disalle (ITA) 22pts
1st - Carlos Robles/Florian Trittel (ESP) 12pts 2nd – Lucal Rual/Thomas Biton (FRA) 13pts 3rd – Klaus Lange/Mateo Majdalani(ARG) 20pts
1st –Rupert White/Tom Britz (GBR) 8pts 2nd - Paul Darmanin/Lucy Copeland (AUS) 15pts 3rd - Henri Demesmaeker/Phillip Hendrickx (BEL) 17pts.
1st – Wonwood Cho (KOR) 16pts 2nd- Matta Camboni ( ITA) 23pts 3rd - Kiran Badloe (NED) 30pts
1st - Saskia Sills (GBR) 9pts 2nd - Anastasiya Valkevich (BLR) 22pts 3rd - Naomi Cohen (ISR) 27pts
Irish Team DAY 3 standings:
8th - Finn Lynch (IRL) – 87pts
16th - Sophie Murphy (IRL) – 91pts
17th - Patrick Crosbie/Grattan Roberts (IRL) 86pts
9th - Alexander Rumball/Rory McStay (IRL) - 53pts
12th - Sean Donnelly/Tadgh Donnelly (IRL) – 70pts