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Dun Laoghaire Regatta News

What a change a week makes! There was a certain sceptical air in the Howth Yacht Club Laser dinghy pen as sailors took off coats and searched their bags for baseball caps in very mild and sunny conditions. The breeze was perfect, with a steady 16kts, gusting in the mid-20s. However, with the gusty breeze coming from the South West and a residual swell rolling in from the East, it was tricky to keep a consistent level of heel and good boatspeed. There were plenty of 20-degree shifts, which meant a conservative and flexible strategy up the middle generally paid off.

Start line videos shows Ronan Wallace and Dan O’Connell both timed their starts to perfection to lead off the line. Dan lead at the first mark but had a couple of incidents, letting Ronan Wallace and Daragh Kelleher through. They had space to extend their lead, especially on the fast second reach. Kelleher overtook Wallace on this reach, but was passed again downwind by Wallace to take the race. Dan O’Connell finished third, with Dave Quinn in fourth and Mike Evans in fifth. The second race saw a significant lull and shift just at the gun which made for a confused start.

The breeze quickly settled back into the steady shifting pattern though. The race played out in a smilar fashion to the first, with Ronan Wallace taking the gun, from Daragh Kelleher and Dan O’Connell. Mike Evans passed Dave Quinn at the last gybe mark to reverse their positions from the first race.

Published in Laser
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Saturday, February 16th saw the Laser sailors of Cork gather for the final day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning began with a mixed sky over the bay. Patches of blue were seen in amongst ominous-looking clouds. A fresh breeze blew from the south, whistling through shrouds on the Sandquay. The bay looked inviting; a dark blue in colour and a slight chop disturbing the water.

The sailors arrived in Monkstown as early as ever. Sails were heard before they were seen, flogging in the strong wind. Without delay, Race Officer Alan Fehily set a windward/leeward course at the entrance to Monkstown Creek. Raring to go, the competitors took to the waters in record time.

The sequence began for race one at 10:15am, the exact scheduled time. Ten sailors worked hard to hold their positions on the line until the gun went. It was a clean start and the dinghies were seen battling their way up the course. The breeze was shifty, threatening to knock the sailors over with every gust. It was all they could do to stay upright and they had to sail carefully for three rounds. Sundays Well sailor Paul O’Sullivan stayed ahead of the fleet for the majority of the race, holding off MBSC sailors Rob Howe and Ronan Kenneally. O’ Sullivan took first place, with Howe close behind in second. Kenneally followed up in third place.

In the radial category, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard was the only one to test the conditions. He sailed fast, mixing it in with the bigger standard rig sailors.

The second race was challenging, with gusts of 25 knots hitting the water. The conditions were typical for Monkstown Bay; holes in the wind and a strong flood tide dominated the course. Paths were picked carefully and it was all but decided at the finish line. Kenneally sailed well and took first place, just in front of Howe who finished second. MBSC’s William O’Brien finished close behind in third place.

The third and final race of the league began in a more constant wind, averaging roughly 15 knots down the course. It was close racing off the start line and all the sailors tussled up to the windward mark. Kenneally took the lead early and fought to hold his position. O’Brien was in hot pursuit, contesting the laser ace. Howe sailed close behind, carefully covering the fleet.

Kenneally crossed the finish line in first, winning the last race of the league. O’Brien followed in second, with Howe close behind in third place.

The final race concluded and the sailors went ashore. A prizegiving was scheduled for 12:30pm and all the competitors looked forward to the warmth of the Bosun. Eighteen races had not been sailed for nothing; all of the sailors had raced in earnest for the prestigious Yard of Ale trophy, over six cold Saturdays. In the end, MBSC sailors dominated the top four positions. Former UK Laser Olympic squad member Rob Howe finished in fourth position. In third position was the well-known avid National 18 sailor Charles Dwyer. In second place was the two-time Monkstown laser frostbite league winner Ronan Kenneally. The winner of the Yard of Ale trophy was your correspondent, who finished just a point ahead of Kenneally.

In the radial category, Harry Pritchard from MBSC finished in first position; he was also the first person to win in this category. He sailed well and by the end of the league he had lots of race wins under his belt.

All scheduled races had been sailed and it was in high spirits the competitors left the Bosun, ready to enjoy another season of laser sailing. Rest assured they will be the first to start next year’s season, at the next Monkstown Laser frostbite league.

Photos below by Bob Bateman

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Brendan Dwyer (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Howe Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan (foreground) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1James long (foreground) and William O'Brien (background) Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Harry Pritchard Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) And Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Tight downwind on Monkstown Bay Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Rob Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Paul O'Sullivan bears away in a gust Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1The Lasers get a clean start Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Ronan Kenneally (left) second in the standard fleet and Harry Pritchard radial winner Photo: Bob BatemanMonkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy1Chris Bateman with the MBSC Yard of Ale trophy Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour

Two races were sailed by the Lasers at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday 10 February in demanding conditions, writes Dave Quinn.

We had westerly winds against a flooding tide, which generated a small but steep chop. Absolutely brilliant for reaching, but somewhat tougher upwind.

It was probably the fastest your correspondent has ever gone in a Laser. Winds were averaging 20 knots and gusting to 28.

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19

The first race was sailed over a lap-sausage-lap of a triangular course with the run and the gybe marks being where most capsizes occurred.

The race management team took pity on the fleet and changed to triangles without a run for the second race and, in recognition of the number of competitors who were swimming rather than sailing during that race, the course was shortened after just two laps.

The fleet was still left with a broad reach back to the sanctuary of the harbour, which gave further opportunity for some more Sunday morning swimming but all survived and there were plenty of tall tails to be told in the bar afterwards.

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19

Howth Lasers 10 Feb 19 04

Daragh Kelleher won both races in the Standard Rig, and Tom Fox showed some impressive speed to beat most of the standard rigs on his way to winning the Radial fleet. Sophie Kilmartin continued her winning ways also with two wins in the 4.7 fleet.

The impressive speeds on the reaches were vouched for by the Sailracer GPS trackers fitted to the boats for the event, confirming that over 14 knots can readily be achieved in a Laser, albeit not a comfortable situation to be in with the gybe mark approaching fast.

Published in Howth YC
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Cork Laser sailors converged in Monkstown on Saturday, February 9th for the fifth day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite league sponsored by CH Marine.

A cold morning dawned with cloudless blue skies and a light breeze blowing down the bay from the south-west. As motivated as ever, the competitors eagerly took to the Cork Harbour water in their dinghies.

There was commotion on the Sandquay as early as 9:00 am as the sailors prepared their boats for the mornings racing. The forecast of 20 knots was not enough to put off the weather hardened Laser sailors. A beautiful blue sea awaited and in the blink of an eye, all of the competitors had launched their boats.

Race Officer Alan Fehily cast off from Monkstown marina in time for the 10:15 start. A windward/leeward course was set at the entrance to the creek and a start line was set opposite the houses of Alta Terrace.

With no time lost, the start went into sequence. A strong ebb tide swept through the course and the sailors had to work hard to stay behind the line. The gun went and for the first time in the series, the majority of competitors were over the line, forcing a general recall. The second start attempt was successful and the sailors began the first upwind leg. Each competitor picked a path up the course, using the tide and shifty wind to their advantage. It was close racing at the windward mark with MBSC sailors Charles Dwyer, Ronan Kenneally and your correspondent fighting for the top spot. Bateman held his lead over Dwyer and took first place. Dwyer finished in second place, in front of Innascarra sailor James Long who took third.

In the radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard finished in first place after holding a comfortable lead for the majority of the race.

The second race was another tough race with the tide getting close to full strength and the wind increased slightly. Dwyer took the lead from the start and stayed just ahead of Kenneally and Long. First, second and third looked secure, but all was not what it seemed. Kenneally capsized in front of the windward mark and Long got stuck on the same mark. This allowed MBSC’s William O’Brien and your correspondent to sail through. Meanwhile, Dwyer extended his lead to take first place. Bateman took second, with O’Brien just behind in third.

In the Radial fleet, Pritchard sailed well to secure first place with another comfortable lead.

Race three saw the wind and tide increase in strength. The sailors struggled to stay behind the line and after two attempts, a black flag was raised. The third attempt was successful and the competitors got away cleanly. Dwyer rounded in first with radial sailor Harry Pritchard just behind. Over the course of the race, Long, Kenneally and your correspondent sailed through. The finish line saw Bateman in first, with Long in second and Kenneally in third.

MBSC’s Harry Pritchard not only took first place in the Radial category, but he also sailed exceptionally well and finished second overall, in front of the majority of the standard fleet.

The Laser sailors returned to shore after having endured tough conditions. The trusty rescue/mark boat returned home, its berth kindly sponsored by Monkstown marina for the duration of the series. The boats were put away, ready to race for next weeks final races.

Published in Laser
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January was very disappointing with Howth Yacht Club racing held on only one weekend out of four during the month. Hopefully, February will be different as yesterday gave us excellent conditions for Laser racing. 19 boats competed in breeze that varied from 10 to 19 knots, generally from 230. I’m not sure whether it was the match the previous evening, or the break in sailing in January, but there were definitely some rusty sailors this Sunday morning. Tide was a key factor yet again, with a strong ebb pushing boats fast towards the pin end of the starting line. Anyone more than halfway down the line with a minute to go found it hard not to be swept by the pin end. Dan O’Connell sailed an excellent first beat to lead at the top mark, followed very closely by Ronan Wallace and a big group including Daragh Kelleher, Mike Evans, Simon Reville, Conor Costello, Stephen Quinn and Dave Kirwan. The tide was proving tricky with a number of sailors hitting marks, including Kelleher at the first windward. Dan showed impressive speed on the first 2 reaches to extend his lead. Wallace finally got past him though at the bottom of the first run, with Dan hitting the leeward mark. Wallace went on to win, from O’Connell in second and Mike Evans in third. Peter Hassett curtailed Tom Fox’s dominance in the Radial Fleet by taking the first race of the day, but Sophie Kilmartin continued her winning ways in the 4.7.

Two boats were OCS at the start of the second race, Dave Kirwan and Dave Quinn, both of whom were spotted drowning their sorrows in the Aviva stadium the previous evening, so may not have been at their best. Ronan Wallace started conservatively mid-line and tacked off whereas the rest of the fleet went hard left to get out of the tide. This proved to be decisive as most of the leaders significantly overstood the port layline and left Wallace with a big lead at the first mark, which he held to the finish. Dan O’Connell finished second and Daragh Kelleher third, with very little place changing. Tom Fox won the second radial race, with Sophie Kilmartin winning again in the 4.7.

Published in Howth YC
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Saturday, February 2nd saw laser sailors competing on Monkstown Bay in Cork Harbour for the fourth day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman.

The morning began with a golden sunrise overlooking the eastern end of the bay. Beautiful beams of light reflected on the glassy water but alas not a breath of wind was in the air. A canvas of cloudless blue sky gave no signs of breeze.

Sub Zero temperatures were in store for the competitors. Regardless of the cold, twelve enthusiastic sailors arrived at the Sand quay bright and early to prepare for the mornings racing. Ice ridden covers were separated from the decks and ropes were unstuck from cockpit floors.

Monkstown Bay Laser dinghy racing Cork HarbourThe sailors feathered their way around Monkstown Bay in light wind Photo: Bob Bateman

One by one the sailors launched into the glassy waters. As the hustle and bustle of rigging diminished, a light breeze filled in from the north-west. Race officer Alan Fehily sprung into action, setting a windward/leeward course off Blackpoint.

The start sequence for the first race began right on time at 10:15 am. The competitors lined up, holding their positions until the gun went. The race began and it was an immediate search for clear breeze. The wind was uncertain, shifting through 30 degrees and occasionally easing away to nothing. The sailors persevered, suffering big gains and losses. MBSC sailors Charles Dwyer and Rob Howe led the race from the windward mark. However, on the first downwind leg the boats behind got hit by a gust of wind and overtook the leaders. For the rest of the race, MBSC’s Ronan Kenneally led the pack, with Paul O’Sullivan and William O’Brien in close pursuit. Local Monkstown sailors William O’Brien and your correspondent overtook Kenneally on the last downwind leg. Bateman finished in first with O’Brien close behind in second. Kenneally finished in third place right behind O’Brien.

Laser Monkstown BayLaser racing on Monkstown Bay Photo: Chris Bateman

In the Radial fleet, MBSC’s Harry Pritchard sailed fast and was heavily contesting the standard fleet. He finished in first place, staying ahead of RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie and Innascarra’s Robert McGarvey.

The competitors had every confidence in the wind for the second race of the day. A settled eight-knot breeze blew down the course. A strong flood tide swept up the bay, giving the sailors cause for concern as they made their way to the windward mark. The competitors were careful to avoid two sizeable container ships passing through the course on each downwind leg. Howe and Bateman led the fleet, holding their positions for the majority of the race. Bateman finished in first, with Howe right behind in second. Sundays Well SC sailor Paul O’Sullivan crossed the line in a close third place.

In the Radial fleet, Harry Pritchard held his lead to finish in first position.

"In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place"

The last race of the day began in a solid ten knots with gusts of up to fifteen. Kenneally led the race from the start and rounded the mark in front of O’Brien and Howe. Kenneally held his lead until the last downwind leg, where he battled it out with Bateman. In a nail-biting finish, your correspondent took first place with Kenneally finishing no less than a metre away. Howe sailed across the finish line to secure third position.

In the Radial fleet, RCYC’s Sophie Crosbie finished in first place, holding off Pritchard and McGarvey for the majority of the race.

Despite the difficult conditions, three successful races were completed. All of the sailors had braved the cold. Arriving ashore, the sailors put their boats to bed and tucked them away on the Sand quay, where they would be taken out once again for next weekend's racing.

Published in Cork Harbour

Ireland's top Laser sailor Finn Lynch bounced back into medal race contention at the Miami World Sailing Cup and lies eighth overall after nine races sailed.

After a tough day on Thursday, as reported by Lynch on Afloat.ie here, the National Yacht Club single hander turned his fortunes around by scoring a sixth and an eighth on Friday.

"I'm really happy I managed to battle back after a bad day yesterday. I had a really good grasp of the conditions. There were much more chances because the wind was oscillating more and it was less of a one way track!", Lynch told Afloat.ie

The result is all the more impressive given the Rio Olympian went into this week's regatta nursing a neck injury.

With two more days of racing left to sail in what is forecast to be more light and shifty conditions on Biscayne Bay, Lynch, who now counts four top ten results in his scoresheet has the chance to really boost his Tokyo qualification prospects with a solid result in the second round of the World Cup. 

"There is no point looking backwards to try hold my position"

"I haven't been top 10 going into the last day of a World Cup before. Which is great! I'm going to try take a page out of Irish Rugby's book and try use attack as defence. There is no point looking backwards to try hold my position", Lynch says.

Ballyholme's Liam Glynn lies 40th in the 101-boat fleet. Overall results are here.

A key component of Laser overall leader Hermann Tomasgaard's (NOR) preparation for the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami involved a week at the Laser Training Center in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Aside from the obvious-tropical mid-winter weather-Tomasgaard went there for the consistently strong winds.

"We had a good group with the British and the Swedish and a lot of hiking, a lot of strong winds," he said. "That's maybe the problem you can have in Europe this time of year, you can have a lot of light winds, You get some strong-wind days, but never really for one and a half weeks."

This regatta, however, has been anything but windy, with just one race that tested the sailors' abdominal muscles. Nonetheless, Tomasgaard clearly found something in the azure Caribbean waters because he has been phenomenally fast and unbelievably consistent in some of the most mentally demanding conditions in a fleet where top-half finishes in the gold fleet are often considered keepers.

With two full-fleet races remaining and then Sunday's Medal Race, Tomasgaard has established a 44-point lead over second place. His worst finish is a sixth. One decent race tomorrow and he will have clinched the gold with two races to spare, a virtually unheard-of feat in the modern Medal-Race format.

"It's been very good," he said. "Sailing is a little up and down all the time, and this week I've had quite a lot of up. I'm just enjoying it right now. I've had moments [like this before], but maybe not for as long as now. Now it's been every race. It's been good."

The conditions today were similar to the previous three days, light and shifty.

"It was difficult, very, very shifty," he said. "Big shifts from both sides. Quite light and big pressure differences as well with the shifts. [Success required managing a] little bit of both. We had a left pressure that was really stationary, that you really had to go into. It was in all the upwinds, almost, that you gained a little bit on that left shift, but it was difficult to know how far into it you had to go."

He also credited a lot of his success to his ability to get off the starting line cleanly.

"I've had good starts, really good starts and I've tried to keep an open mind," he said. "I tried to start where I think it's going to be the best and keep an open mind and change my plan if I see something new coming."

Should his final few races follow this pattern, Tomasgaard will have put together one of the more remarkable scorelines in recent memory. With 18 months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is he peaking too early? Tomasgaard doesn't see it that way.

"I've been climbing the last few years in the results, and it's nice to see that the winter trainings are working well," he said. "So I kind of take that, like 'OK, we're on the right track.' Still, it's early in the season, and a lot can change from Miami."

Sam Meech (NZL) is second in the class with 65 points while Rio 2016 gold medalist Tom Burton (AUS) is third and Charlie Buckingham (USA) is fourth.

Published in National YC
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After two days of shifty qualifying rounds and dealing with a neck injury, the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is through to gold fleet racing in the Laser class at the Miami World Sailing Cup as he describes here

Day two in Miami had similar conditions again with 5-11 knots and shifty offshore sailing. It was important to get a good start so that you could sail the shifts you wanted! We spent 6 hours on the water.

I got a 2,19.

First race I was around 15 at mark one and passed boats on each leg to finish an inch behind first. Feels good to sail through the fleet - it shows my speed has improved over the winter.

In the second race, I was pretty bad at the first mark and caught up some boats to get a 19. I'm discarding that now but there is only one discard in the regatta so it would have been nice to get a lower discard out of the qualifying series.

Tomorrow starts a whole different race - World Cup gold fleet racing. It is forecasted 15 knots from the land. So it will be very physical with the Miami choppy waters but also shifty.

You can follow my results on my instagram stories @finnlynchsailing

Results here.

Published in National YC
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There was a solid start for both Irish Lasers competing in the first two races of the World Sailing Cup in Miami yesterday. Finn Lynch is sitting in 16th overall and teammate (and rival for the single Tokyo berth) Liam Glynn is lying 23rd. 

In fact, Lynch and Glynn managed to sail round the course in both races together.  "It was strange to travel to Miami to still be racing beside my team-mate!" Lynch told Afloat.ie

Lynch, who made the top half of the fleet in Miami in 2018, is aiming for improvement this week albeit with a neck injury.

Both races were sailed in 7-12 knots and Lynch caught about 15 places from mark 1 in each race. 

The qualifying series concludes today and the forecast is light and shifty again on Biscayne Bay.

After nearly a month of training and competition on the Bay, many of the top sailors competing in the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami have seen just about every wind condition Miami has to offer.

But that doesn't make it any easier to race when the breeze is out of the west, a direction notorious for lower velocity and little consistency when it comes to the wind direction.

"The wind was constantly shifting to the right [side of the course]," says 49er skipper Sime Fantela (CRO), "but the pressure was staying left, so it was not an easy decision where to sail. The ones who managed to tack when they wanted and have their line, they were winning."

Fantela speaks from first-hand experience. With a 3-13-2, Fantela, who sails with his younger brother Mihovil as a crew, emerged relatively unscathed from the opening day of the regatta and will carry a three-point lead over Diego Botín le Chever and Iago López Marra (ESP) in second and a seven-point advantage over James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) in third.

Of the three races today, Sime Fantela was most pleased with the second one. The short course format used by the 49er class made passing a challenge.

"The start was not that great, and we managed to come back," he says. "We rounded [the first mark] I think in 23rd and managed to finish around 12 to 15. It's quite tough with 40 boats on the start and the racecourse was a short course so not so many clear lanes. You have to dig your way through."

Like the Fantela brothers, the team of Botín le Chever and López Marra also struggled in the second race, finishing 16th. But a win in the first race and a fourth in the final one more than balanced that one hiccup.

"Try to make a good start and then see what's going on and try to catch the best shift," said López Marra when asked about the key to a strong race today. "The seabreeze and the gradient wind [were fighting one another] and that's why it was so shifty."

As Spain was unable to qualify for a country berth in the 49er class at last summer's Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, the top priority for Botín le Chever and López Marra is to earn that berth this year at the world championships in New Zealand at the end of the year.

That's one box that has been ticked by Sime and Mihovil Fantela. They are the defending world champions after a breakout performance in Aarhus and have punched their ticket to Tokyo. However, as they are relatively new to the class-Sime won a gold medal in the 470 in Rio 2016 while Mihovil sailed in the RS:X class until 2016-they are not letting that success go to their heads.

"We still have the same goal, the same focus, the same will to train and improve," said Sime Fantela. "We missed some strong wind training [last year] so we're trying to look this season for the strong wind places to go and train. Lots of training, lots of days out of home and looking forward to Tokyo."

The 30-boat 49erFX fleet followed the 49ers later on in the afternoon and in a shifting and variable breeze, just one race could be completed.

Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) found some form and led the race from the top mark through to the finish. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) and Germany's defending champions Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER) followed.

American favourites Stu McNay and Dave Hughes avoided any major pitfalls on the water and stand in third place, of 37 boats, after two races in the Men's 470.

"We rolled a third and a fifth today," says McNay. "We did the big picture things right, but made a couple small errors. We did lose a couple of points. Dave and I have been sailing for a long time, we've raced in Miami for years. It's a challenging venue, so we're always glad when we walk away from a shifty day like this with scores we can carry forward."

For Hughes, this regatta as close to a home event as he'll ever get, something he tries not to take for granted.

"This is always a lovely event and always kind of the way to start the year for us," he says. "I live in Miami, so it's got a special meaning for that. It's a bit of an added stress because it is a home event and we are always looking to be proper hosts to everybody who comes here, off the water, at least. But it's wonderful because all of our international friends come to our home. It's a treat and for us this is just a staple of our sailing and our Olympic careers."

With a seventh at last summer's Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, McNay and Hughes qualified for the United States for the berth in the Men's 470 class at the Tokyo 2020 regatta. Now they are focused on making sure they are the team to claim that berth. They've been down this road before, having sailed together in the Rio 2016 regatta - McNay sailed with a different partner in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 - but that doesn't make it easy.

"We're trying not to be distracted, trying to keep our priorities in line," says McNay. "Not let one piece of equipment become distracting, not let one detail of a skill become distracting. Give our prioritization to each item, as it deserves, as it will help us most, which is a challenge because perspective is the easiest thing to lose when your head is this deep in something."

Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) hold the early advantage in the Men's 470 on five points. They are two points clear of Italy's Giacomo Ferrari and Giulio Calabrò and a further point ahead of the Americans.

The Italians took the first race win of the day and Japan's fifth-placed team of Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi sealed the second.

Among the fleets that got in two or more races, only the Women's 470 duo of Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Zohar (POL) had a perfect day, winning both races. They trailed around just two of 12 marks and currently have a six-point lead over Fabienne Oster and Anastasiya Winkel (GER) and a nine-point advantage over Benedetta di Salle and Alessandra Dubbini (ITA).

Spain's Angel Granda-Roque and China's Bing Ye are tied on nine points apiece in the Men's RS:X after a tough day on the water. In light winds the sailors had to pump their sails hard to take the initiative. Granda-Roque took an eighth and a first with Ye securing a fifth and a fourth. The first victory of the event went to France's Thomas Goyard but a blackflag in the second pushed him down to 29th overall.

Just one race was possible in the Women's RS:X and China's Yunxiu Lu took the win. She was followed by Italy's Flavia Tartaglini and Israel's Yarden Isaak.

Brazil's Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino de Sa shone in the Nacra 17, snapping up two out of three victories. The pair thrived in the 7-9 knot breeze on the Echo racing area and discard the seventh they picked up in race two.

2018 Miami gold medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) took the day's other race win and are tied with Spain's Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets (ESP) for second on five points.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) picked up the single race win in the 25-boat Finn fleet. The towering Frenchman fought hard against Croatia's Josip Olujic throughout the race and the momentum swung back and forth. Lobert held the lead early on in the race but the Croatian hit back to claim it at the midway point. Lobert advanced on the final run and took the race win by just two seconds.

The Laser fleet is the largest in Miami with 101 boats registered to race. As a result, the first two days of competition are qualifying races before the top sailors move into the gold fleet to decide who qualifies for Sunday's Medal Race.

The top-ranked sailors were all aiming to get off to good starts and they did exactly that. In the yellow fleet, Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sam Meech (NZL) and World Cup Final medallist Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) took a race win apiece with another single-digit finish. Meech leads on three points with the Norwegian second on four. Matt Wearn (AUS) posted a 5-4 in the yellow fleet and is third.

In the blue fleet, consistency was at a premium. Joaquin Blanco (ESP) and Elliot Merceron (GBR) were the top performers and are fourth and fifth overall. Blue fleet victories went to William de Smet (BEL) who is 22nd and the 18th placed Yuri Hummel (NED).

The Laser Radial class was able to get in just a single race, which was won by Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) with Zoe Thomson (AUS) in second and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) in third.

Racing resumes on Wednesday 30 January at 10:30 local time. The fleets who were unable to complete a full schedule of racing on Tuesday will sail an additional race, minus the Men's and Women's RS:X.

Results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Tokyo Olympic Laser trialist Finn Lynch goes into the second round of the Sailing World Cup nursing a neck injury sustained in training earlier this month but the National Yacht Club ace says he is ready to race on Biscayne Bay today

The week after Christmas myself and the Irish Sailing team went to Cadiz, Spain for a fitness camp.

I cycled just under 500km in the week after and spent quite a bit of time in the gym and the pool.

Unfortunately, on the 4th of January, I strained my neck in the gym and have been managing the injury since. I'm over the hump now but still have some pain.

As Afloat.ie reported yesterday, I've been in Miami for a week now - managing my workload nicely and feel ready for the racing today. There are three races today and two days of qualifying. I started this World Cup Series with a 17th in Japan in September. I was racing very well but not starting as well as I can! I'm looking forward to getting underway on Biscayne Bay!

I'm here with coach Vasilij Žbogar and Liam Glynn is sailing the Laser too.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Page 7 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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