The Irish Laser Nationals at Lough Derg YC surpassed expectations of entry numbers to host four days of racing for 160 Laser sailors from all over Ireland last week. Shifty and gusty conditions on the lake provided challenging tactical conditions on the lake giving sailors the opportunity to battle it out for the top prizes in the Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and Standard rig classes.
Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme YC) took time out from his Olympic 49er campaign to return to the Laser standard and score three 1st places and four seconds to take the National title. Second place in the Laser class went to Paul McMahon of HYC with Ross Harvey taking third overall with a race Standard, and Michael Harrington of Courtown was 12th overall and first youth, having just made the move up from the Laser Radial.
The Laser Radial class saw it’s most competitive fleet of 66 boats to date with the various successful international performers locking horns for the National title. In the boys a race win in the final race was enough for Matthew O’Dowd (RStGYC/LDYC) to snatch the title by a close margin of 1.5 points from Oliver Loughead (BYC) in second overall. Under 17 Radial World Champion Philip Doran (Courtown SC) was close behind in 3rd overall with Youth European top ten finisher Chris Penney in 4th overall. Tiffany Brien (Ballyholme YC) took the top ladies prize with a credible 5th overall with Debbie Hanna (East Antrim BC) second lady and 8th overall.
A baptism of fire performance-wise from young Topper sailors shook up the ranks in the Laser 4.7s with UK Topper National champion Christopher Eames (Strangford Lough YC) taking top honors by a close margin from Finn Lynch (Blessington SC) just 4 points behind. Robbie Gilmore (SLYC) took 3rd place whilst Howth’s 420 class regular Diana Kissane managed 4th overall and top girl in the 54 boat fleet.
Many thanks go to Lough Derg YC and the Laser Class for the organisation involved. Full results can be seen here