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Olympic trialist Aisling Keller was carried from her home waters of Lough Derg shoulder high by supporters eager to crown the 2018 Irish Laser Radial Champion yesterday evening at Dromineer. The Tipperary sailor, who is in a two-way fight for selection against Aoife Hopkins for the single Tokyo place, (who did not compete due to illness) was a clear winner by seven–points in the championships biggest fleet of 46 boats. Second overall in the Radial division was Spanish youth sailor Arturo Moratilla and third Micheal O'Suilleabhain from Kinsale. The first master was Dublin Bay's Sean Craig in fifth place overall.

Glynn Adds Irish Title to Season's Haul

In the full rig, there was also a straight win for men's Olympic trialist, Liam Glynn who adds the Irish title to July's bronze at U21 World level also earned this season. The full rig results ended as they started last Thursday with Belast Lough's Glynn dominating the 23-boat fleet ahead of Daragh O'Sullivan, the only competitor to challenge the former Topper World Champion. O'Sullivan, of Kinsale Yacht Club, took three race wins from nine starts to be only three points behind Glynn at the end of the championships on 14 points. Third on 25 points was the National Yacht Club's Grand Master Mark Lyttle.

Cullen is Irish 4.7 Champion, Valetta is Open Champion

Royal St. George youth sailor Edoardo Valletta, sailing for Italy, is the Laser 4.7 open champion emerging three points clear of Royal Cork Yacht Club's Atlee Kohl, sailing under US Virgin Islands on 22 points. Charlie Cullen of the National Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club was third in the 38–boat fleet and took the Irish title.

Charlie CullenIrish 4.7 champion Charlie Cullen (centre) with LDYC Commodore John Leech (left) and Race Officer Con Murphy

Overall results are here

Published in Laser
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Ireland was the only country to have two sailors finish in the top six of the the Laser U21–European Championships 2018 that concluded on Friday.

Just two Irish sailors travelled to travelled to Bastad, Sweden for the regatta.  Royal Cork's Johnny Durcan finished fifth overall moving up from his tenth placing, as Afloat.ie reported earlier in the week, to finish on 51 points. Durcan was three points ahead of Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon finishing 6th on 54 points after ten races sailed and two discards.

The overall winner was Poland's Kuba Rodziewicz with Germany's Max Wilken second and Russian Daniil Krutskikh third.

Results are here

 

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Three straight wins for Ireland's Liam Glynn in the opening races of the Irish Laser National Championships on Lough Derg puts the Ulsterman at the top of the 24-boat full rig fleet.

Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan lies second counting three seconds and Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club is third with three third places so far.

Laser nationals lough dergWet and wild for the first races of the Laser Nationals on Lough Derg Photo: Deirdre Horgan

In the 51-boat Radial rig fleet, the biggest of the championships, visitor Arturo Moratilla from Club Nautico Sevilla leads Lough Derg's own Aisling Keller with youth category sailor Chris Bateman of Royal Cork Yacht Club third. 

The 4.7 fleet is led by Royal St. George's Edoardo Valletta with Maeve Leonard of Royal Cork second and Charlie Cullen of the National Yacht Club third.

Racing continues today. 

Full results here 

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Royal Cork's Johnny Durcan marked his return to the Laser class with some 'great downwind speed and front row starts' to record the best daily score of anyone in the fleet with a first and sixth at the U21 European Championships in Sweden yesterday.

Yesterday was the first day of the final series and after a short wait in the morning, for the wind to drop below 25 knots, Durcan was back in the fray, and up into 10th place.

Points across the top 20 are still really close so it’s all to play for with four more Gold fleet races to go.

Meanwhile, in County Tipperary, the first races of the Laser National Championships gets underway this morning on Lough Derg. Read our preview here.

After the Swedish event concludes this weekend, Durcan is off to the 49er Junior Worlds in France to crew for Sean Donnelly.

Results are here

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Two third-place finishes for Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club yesterday has left him in 16th position overall (269 entries) after the qualifying series at the Laser radial youth world championships in Kiel, Germany.

Tom will now contest the gold fleet over the next three days where he will be joined by the next best Irish sailors namely Jack Fahy in 32nd, Hugo Kennedy in 44th and Geoff Power in 53rd overall.

Clare Gorman of the National Yacht Club also posted two thirds yesterday in the girl’s division where 96 girls are competing, but unfortunately wasn’t enough to make gold fleet as her two top tens from the previous days racing were marked as 'did not sail' due to a mix up and subsequent racing in the wrong flight.

Clubmate Nell Staunton was similarly affected and will also contest the silver fleet over the next three days.

Results are here

Meanwhile, in County Tipperary, the first races of the Laser National Championships gets underway this morning on Lough Derg. Read our preview here.

Published in Laser
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County Tipperary Olympic trialist Aisling Keller, fresh from this month's Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, must be a favourite in the 50–boat Radial fleet – especially on her home waters – when the Irish Laser National Championships begin tomorrow at Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer.

A multi–fleet of Standard, Radial and 4.7 fleets will compete for the Irish title at the freshwater venue on the eve of the 300–boat World Master Championships on Dublin Bay in a fortnight.

Keller's chances in the Radial are further boosted due to the absence of Olympic rival Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club who is not competing due to illness. It's a further disappointment for the HYC sensation who has already had three months out of her boat this season with tonsillitis.

Chris Bateman 0206Chris Bateman Photo: Afloat.ie

Also in the Radial division, Chris Bateman of Royal Cork Yacht Club is also expected to be near the top of the fleet after a couple of fine second overalls scored at Regional Championships this year. The Cork Harbour all-rounder had a very good 29er skiff result at the European Championships in Helsinki this month too, the U18 sailor showing good ability in both helming and crewing roles.

This weekend's event, unfortunately, clashes with the Laser Radial Youth Worlds 2018 in Kiel, Germany where there is a strong Irish turnout that competes until the 25th. See Afloat.ie's report here

Mark Lyttle Returns to Home Waters as a Grand Master

The Lough Derg National Championships sees a good Masters category turnout with the World Championships in just two weeks time on Dublin Bay.

15 Masters are competing in each of the Radial and full rig categories.

Ireland's first ever Olympic Rep in the Laser class, from 1996, makes a return to Irish waters for the event. London–based Mark Lyttle, won the UK Laser Masters seemingly very easy in June, with six firsts in eight races! 

Sean Craig 2433Radial competitor – Sean Craig of the Royal St. George Yacht Club Photo: Afloat.ie

Lyttle, who hails from the National Yacht Club and who was a race winner at the Atlanta Games, looks like he still in top form for Dromineer and he is also right on an age sweet spot for GrandMaster division in the Worlds in Dun Laoghaire in a fortnight as he’s just turned 55!

Nick Walsh 2540Full rig sailor – Nick Walsh of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Photo: Afloat.ie

Mark Lyttle RacingA file photo from 1996 of Mark Lyttle on Dublin Bay. Ireland's first Laser Olympic Rep in the then new Olympic class will compete 22 years later in the Grand Master Class at the Laser Master Worlds at the same venue in a fortnight. This weekend Lyttle competes for national honours at Lough Derg Yacht Club Photo: Afloat.ie

UK Laser Visitors

UK visitor Craig Williamson will be tough competition in the standard rig, where he recently finished second at the RS Aero 7 Worlds and took sixth at the Laser Brit Nationals.

Irish Olympic campaigner Liam Glynn is in action after his bronze medal achievement in the U–21 World Championship in Poland in July. Rio rep Finn Lynch, who did not qualify Ireland for the Tokyo Games in Aarhus as expected earlier this month but did have three top ten results, is also in attendance but only in a coaching capacity, Afloat.ie understands.

Liam Glynn 2481Liam Glynn of Ballyholme Yacht Club Photo: Afloat.ie

Darragh O sullivan 2489Darragh O'Sullivan of Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Afloat.ie

Kinsale's Daragh O’Sullivan is expected to be on the pace too in the full rig and well capable of giving Ballyholme's Glynn and Williamson a run for their money. A 25-boat fleet is expected in this division.

It's going to be hard to call a 35 boat 4.7 fleet with so many newcomers coming in from the Oppies and Toppers including Top Optimist girl Emily Riordan of the Royal St. George and Mark Lyttle's son Zach accompanying his father from the UK.

Annalise Murphy To Give After Dinner Talk

Rio Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy will be in Lough Derg Yacht Club on Saturday night to give a talk on her Volvo Ocean Race exploits when the class hosts its first Championships dinner to boost the social side of the event. 

See full Laser entry list here

Published in Laser
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Irish Laser agent CH Marine is offering three Laser dinghy package deals for a limited period only on the strength of the 2018 Laser Master Worlds at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, on Dublin Bay this September.

The sales package options are: 

PACKAGE OPTIONS
2017 Ex Charter: €5,850
2018 Ex Charter: 6,490
New Lasers (new 215000+ Sail Nos): 7,190

ALL PACKAGES INCLUDE:

  • Laser  (Choose between Radial or Standard Rig)
  • Carbon mast
  • Launching trolley
  • Top cover
  • Foil bag

Charter boats come with all NEW: lines, sail, carbon tiller and extension, XD vang and outhaul packages.

DELIVERY

Ex-charter boats will be available for collection from Dun Laoghaire from 4 pm on 15 September 2018.

New Lasers for delivery in advance of the event. Book your boat now to avoid disappointment here.

Published in Laser
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Two Dublin Laser sailors are into the gold fleet of their respective fleets at the World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark but Finn Lynch and Aoife Hopkins will both will need to up their game if Olympic nation qualification is to be achieved next week.

Gusting winds at the Hempel Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark today saw the sailors deliver qualification into their respective Gold fleets. The progress keeps alive the promise that Ireland can deliver at least two nation places at this championships.

After six races over the past three days in the 165-boat Men’s Laser event, Rio 2016 veteran Lynch, who is a full-time sailor, comfortably reached the Gold fleet after posting 18th and 13th places for the day.

Howth Yacht Club’s Hopkins, who is a Trinity College Maths Student, matched her opening day form which was also enough to qualify for the Gold fleet.

Over 1,500 athletes are competing in all 10 Olympic classes for the first opportunity to qualify their nations for Tokyo 2020. 

The top 14 by nation is proving elusive however for Lynch and the National Yacht Club single-hander will need a step-up in form when racing resumes on Tuesday and Wednesday following a well-earned rest day. 

World U21 Bronze medallist Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club was unlucky to miss the cut for Gold fleet after posting his best day of the series with a 12th a 17th. He was just five places off the cut and will now start in the Silver fleet on Tuesday.

In the Womens’ Laser Radial event Hopkins matched her opening day form with a 33rd and 35th for the day which was enough to qualify for the Gold fleet. Lough Derg Yacht Club’s Aisling Keller was unlucky in the second race of the day when she was disqualified after starting early and she slips to the Silver fleet at 105th overall.

The Mens’ 49er skiff event will be the only Irish-interest qualification series continuing on Monday for the final three races of the round. London and Rio veteran Ryan Seaton from Ballyholme, now paired with Séafra Guilfoyle of the Royal Cork Yacht Club posted their best day today when they scored top results for the two races. Three races remain on Monday with an improvement from their current 41st overall to 29th or better needed to make the Gold fleet.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Liam Glynn of Ballyholme is July’s “Sailor of the Month” (Olympics) after taking the Bronze Medal in the U–21 World Championship in Poland.

Glynn was Topper World Champion in France aged 13 in 2013, now at 19 he has demonstrated the success of his transfer to Lasers with this very competent third place in difficult sailing conditions, racing against a fleet of 133 boats from 40 nations.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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Light and challenging conditions greeted the 95 entries for the Leinster Laser Championships at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend. Local Howth sailor Ewan McMahon took the honours in the Standard fleet, Peter Fagan (RStGYC) won the Radials and Alana Coakley ((RStGYC) won the 4.7 title.

The Radials were the largest fleet with 40 competitors taking to the water with the title undecided going into the last race. Peter Fagan (RStGYC) won out from a very tight grouping with single points separating Aisling Keller ((LDYC/RIYC) in 2nd (also 1st Lady) and Aoife Hopkins (HYC) in 3rd place. All three sailors shared all but the last finishing gun with the last race being won by Nicholas Reeser from Lauderdale YC/ NYC. In the Master category Sean Craig ( RStGYC) took 1st prize. Jess Winton (Ballyholme) won the Silver fleet.

Aoife Hopkins Leeward MarkAoife Hopkins rounds a leeward mark

The 4.7 fleet of 29 sailors was also as competitive with 6 individual race winners. Alana Coakley (RStGYC) took the Leinster title (and 1st Lady) from Dylan McEvoy (HYC) with Emily Riordan (RStGYC) in 3rd. The Silver fleet prize was won by Aoife McMahon (HYC).

Radial Weather Mark PhotoLaser Radials round a weather mark

Ewan McMahon (HYC) dominated the Standard rig with 4 wins and a 2nd place. Ronan Wallace (Wexford HBTC) was very consistent with a string of 2nds and 3rds and a final race win to finish 2nd overall. There was a great tussle for 3rd place with David Quinn (HYC) in 3rd holding off the challenge from Paul McMahon (HYC/ KIORA) in 4th. David Quinn won 1st Master with Ross O’Leary 2nd Master and John Simms 3rd.

Excellent race management under PRO David Lovegrove ensured 3 races on the Saturday despite the tricky conditions which included one wind shift of 180 degrees. All 6 of the scheduled races were completed.

The organisers were most grateful for the huge turnout at the BBQ on Saturday evening. A free raffle for competitors saw Dylan McEvoy (HYC) win a voucher for boat insurance from CraftInsure with delighted Glen Fisher (RSTGYC) winning the top prize of a new Radial sail. 

Peter Fagan Laser Radial WinnerPeter Fagan Laser Radial winner

The event concluded with a prize giving. After some short speeches, the main prizes were presented by Vice Commodore Ian Byrne. The prizes were sourced from local artist Carol O’Mara which were much appreciated. Silver fleets prizes sponsored by CH Marine for the Radial and 4.7 fleets were highly sought after.

Alana Coakley 1st 4.7Alana Coakley was the Laser 4.7 rig winner

HYC and the competitors are most grateful to the generous sponsors who were BKS & Co, CH Marine, CraftInsure, Gallagher Quigley Estate Agents, Investwise and McMahon Design & Management who ensured a successful event.

Full results here.

Published in Laser
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Page 11 of 46

Dun Laoghaire Regatta –  From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates eight separate courses for 25 different classes racing every two years for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In assembling its record-breaking armada, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta (VDLR) became, at its second staging, not only the country's biggest sailing event, with 3,500 sailors competing, but also one of its largest participant sporting events.

One of the reasons for this, ironically, is that competitors across Europe have become jaded by well-worn venue claims attempting to replicate Cowes and Cork Week.

'Never mind the quality, feel the width' has been a criticism of modern-day regattas where organisers mistakenly focus on being the biggest to be the best.

Dun Laoghaire, with its local fleet of 300 boats, never set out to be the biggest. Its priority focussed instead on quality racing even after it got off to a spectacularly wrong start when the event was becalmed for four days at its first attempt.

The idea to rekindle a combined Dublin bay event resurfaced after an absence of almost 40 years, mostly because of the persistence of a passionate race officer Brian Craig who believed that Dun Laoghaire could become the Cowes of the Irish Sea if the town and the local clubs worked together.

Although fickle winds conspired against him in 2005, the support of all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs since then (made up of Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St GYC), in association with the two racing clubs of Dublin Bay SC and Royal Alfred YC, gave him the momentum to carry on.

There is no doubt that sailors have also responded with their support from all four coasts. Entries closed last Friday with 520 boats in 25 classes, roughly doubling the size of any previous regatta held on the Bay.

Running for four days, the regatta is (after the large mini-marathons) the single most significant participant sports event in the country, requiring the services of 280 volunteers on and off the water, as well as top international race officers and an international jury, to resolve racing disputes representing five countries.

Craig went to some lengths to achieve his aims including the appointment of a Cork man, Alan Crosbie, to run the racing team; a decision that has raised more than an eyebrow along the waterfront.

A flotilla of 25 boats has raced from the Royal Dee near Liverpool to Dublin for the Lyver Trophy to coincide with the event. The race also doubles as a RORC qualifying race for the Fastnet.

Sailors from the Ribble, Mersey, the Menai Straits, Anglesey, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Man have to travel three times the distance to the Solent as they do to Dublin Bay. This, claims Craig, is one of the major selling points of the Irish event and explains the range of entries from marinas as far away as Yorkshire's Whitby YC and the Isle of Wight.

Until now, no other regatta in the Irish Sea area could claim to have such a reach. Dublin Bay weeks such as this petered out in the 1960s, and it has taken almost four decades for the waterfront clubs to come together to produce a spectacle on and off the water to rival Cowes.

"The fact that we are getting such numbers means it is inevitable that it is compared with Cowes," said Craig. However, there the comparison ends.

"We're doing our own thing here. Dun Laoghaire is unique, and we are making an extraordinary effort to welcome visitors from abroad," he added.

The busiest shipping lane in the country – across the bay to Dublin port – is to close temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of eight separate courses each day.

A fleet total of this size represents something of an unknown quantity on the bay as it is more than double the size of any other regatta ever held there.

The decision to alter the path of ships into the port was taken in 2005 when a Dublin Port control radar image showed an estimated fleet of over 400 yachts sailing across the closed southern shipping channel.

Ships coming into the bay, including the high-speed service to the port, will use the northern lane instead.

With 3,500 people afloat at any one time, a mandatory safety tally system for all skippers to sign in and out will also operate.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the appearance of four Super Zero class yachts, with Dun Laoghaire's Colm Barrington's TP52 'Flash Glove' expected to head the 'big boat' fleet. At the other end of the technology scale, the traditional clinker-built Water Wags will compete just as they did at a similar regatta over 100 years ago.

The arrival of three TP 52s and a Rogers 46 to Dun Laoghaire regatta is a feather in the cap of organisers because it brings Grand Prix racing to Dublin bay and the prospect of future prominent boat fixtures on the East Coast.

With 38 entries, the new Laser SB3s are set to make a significant impact although the White Sail Class five almost rivals them numerically. The Fireball is the biggest dinghy class, with 27 entries, while there are 25 entries for the Ecover Half Ton Classics Cup which began on Monday.

Class 0 is expected to be the most hotly contested, if the recent Saab IRC Nationals, Scottish Series and Sovereign's Cup are any indication. Three Cork boats ­- Jump Juice (Conor and Denise Phelan), Antix Dubh (Anthony O'Leary) and Blondie (Eamonn Rohan) - are expected to lead the fleet.

(First published in 2009)

Who: All four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Yacht clubs

What: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Why: A combined regatta to make Dun Laoghaire the Cowes of the Irish Sea.

Where: Ashore at Dun Laoghaire and afloat at eight separate race courses on Dublin Bay. Excellent views from both Dun Laoghaire piers, Sandycove and Seapoint.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

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