#isafyw12 – Success for Ireland on home waters this afternoon as local young Laser Radial sailor Finn Lynch provided the most emotional finale to the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships on Dublin Bay when he clinched a silver medal, the best ever result for an Irish sailor or crew, since the championship was first run in Denmark in 1971.
In a fitting payback for the small Dun Laoghaire sailing community that staged the event the youngster eclipsed the hopes of all when he sailed home through the harbour mouth this afternoon with a silver medal in the bag, putting the icing on the cake for the whole Dublin Youth Worlds team.
Over the last three days Blessington's Lynch, who races for the National YC, sailed himself from eighth to third to finally secure second overall today on his home waters in the 58 boat fleet, arguably the toughest in the championship.
A ninth place finish in the last race, profiting when two of his nearest rivals slugged it out at the back of the fleet, match racing for gold, ensured Lynch had relatively free reign to sail his own race.
His result exceeds Ireland's previous high water mark, a third place which was achieved in 1996 in the Laser 2 class in Newport by Laura Dillon and Ciara Peelo, the year that Lynch was born.
At aged 16, in his first of three possible years at the under 19 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, his silver medal marks him out as a substantial talent for the future.
Lynch is member of the Irish Sailing Academy and attributes some of his success here to the ongoing initiative to maximise training and racing opportunities in mainland Europe.
"It feels great. Simple as that." Said Lynch after he was carried from the water shoulder high in his boat by supporters and friends at the Royal St George YC. "I was pretty deep in the first part of the race today but had a good second stage and took places all the time."
"It was never really my goal to medal here, I just wanted to get a good result. I think the support here has really helped in the end. My coach Milan has been a great asset.
It was crazy being carried up the slipway. It was a bit of an anti-climax with the long sail home in light winds, that in the end was just fantastic."
I have trained so hard for this since February, including a month in Europe. There were ten of us doing a huge amount of training with the Irish Sailing Association Academy. That was great for my sailing. I have trained constantly this year. I want to qualify again for this for next year and maybe go one better, but then after that it's the Olympics."
Back in 2008 Event organiser Brian Craig told the Irish Times
"Our main objective is to get an Irish sailor on the podium in Dun Laoghaire'.
Back then securing the event was one thing and identifying young Irish sailing talent capable of such an achievement is another. However Lynch emerged as a credible force winning the trials in May and the right to represent to Ireland on home waters.
Craig's foresight and thinking four years ago though was that if Irish success can be produced on the bay in 2012 then it is a solid stepping stone for the Olympics in 2016.
"To be honest we are slightly stunned." Commented the Irish Sailing Association's Performance Director James O'Callaghan. "We have long since realised that Finn is a talent, but to achieve this is his first year at Youth Worlds is incredible."
"He is a great kid, very mature for his years. To give an insight into what this result represents Peter O'Leary who will be in the Star at the Olympics and won the last regatta at the Olympic venue before these upcoming Games, sailed at three Youth Worlds and finished mid 20's in his first year and progressed to sixth in his third year."
"And this so close to the Olympics is just great. All of the Olympic sailors in Weymouth have been following this."