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Rio 2016

It's bronze for Ireland at the U23 Finn Worlds following an auspicious debut performance from Baltimore Sailing Club's Fionn Lyden this week in the mens Olympic heavyweight dinghy in Hungary.

The 2017 U23 Finn World Championship for the Finn Silver Cup in Balatonfüred draws to a close after another windless day and with Finn, Oskari Muhonen, as the new World Champion. Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, wins the silver and Fionn Lyden, from Ireland, the bronze.

Sailors gathered at the club from 0700 in the morning hoping against hope that the previous night’s forecast of some wind was correct, but it wasn’t to be and AP was soon raised for another day sitting round in the blazing sunshine beside an unblemished lake.

The plug was pulled shortly after 13.00 with no wind expected all day and a cutoff time of 14.30. Even by 17.00 the lake remained motionless with the only movement that of ducks, swimmers and chains of Finns being towed to Balatonföldvár ready for the Opel Finn Gold Cup, which starts on Friday.

Olezza takes silver after a bronze in 2016 and left with a lot of ‘what ifs’ after losing the overall lead on Friday. Lyden, sailing in his first Finn regatta is clearly going to make a name for himself if he keeps up this kind of performance.

Speaking after the racing was abandoned, Muhonen said, “I expected we were going to sail today but the weather is what it is. It’s a lake so I expected it to be pretty tricky, so it’s as I expected.”

Earlier in the week he said his goal for the event was gold, but did he really expect to win? “Nah, hmm, maybe… I knew I was fast in the light but it’s always pretty good and surprising to win. My downwind in the light is pretty good but also on the upwind I felt I had really good height.”

He is coached by former Olympian Paul McKenzie, and Muhonen places some credit on him. “Paul is a pretty good coach and had a lot of influence on this.”

The Gold Cup is next up for the new World Champion.

“Of course it’s good to have a successful regatta before the Gold Cup, but it’s not the same race area but at least I know I am pretty fast.”

“If we have a northern wind it will be like the other side of the lake so not that shifty. Otherwise, maybe some light and fluky stuff. But we can have harder winds as well. Just before this regatta we had a few days of better breeze and that would be great.”

He feels it is a crucial step on his dream of competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

“It feels good for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic dream, wining now and I think gives me a lot of confidence for that dream. I think I will work on the harder winds especially on upwind speed and tactics.”

On his chances, “I think it’s pretty good. If I can improve in harder in the hard wind I will stand a pretty good chance.”

To get there he has to overcome several obstacle, and the Finnish team is now as strong as it has been for a generation.

At the very first Silver Cup in 2004, Tapio Nirkko from Finland lifted the trophy in Rio de Janeiro. Fourteen years later, Finland has another Finn youth World Champion in Oskari Muhonen. Nirkko went on to represent Finland in three Olympic Games and is campaigning for a fourth Olympics in Tokyo. His biggest opposition to do that could now come from the young Muhonen.

On being World Champion. “It feels good to win and it’s great. My first world championship title. Pretty amazing.”

Despite the unhelpful weather the MVM SE sailing cub has done an exceptional job looking after everyone. Great food has been laid on every night and the staff has worked tirelessly to keep everyone fed and watered.

The lounge tent on the lawn has been active all day and while the sailors may not have improved their sailing skills as much as they would have liked, their table tennis, volleyball and fuseball skills have improved beyond measure.

The sailors now move across the lake to Balatonföldvár where the Opel Finn Gold Cup, the class world championship will begin next Friday with 124 entries.

Final Results
1 FIN 8 Oskari Muhonen 20
2 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 25
3 IRL 22 Fionn Lyden 27
4 GBR 71 Henry Wetherell 30
5 NOR 9 Lars Johan Brodtkorb 41
6 USA 91 Luke Muller 46
7 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 48
8 SWE 11 Johannes Pettersson 50
9 GBR 96 Hector Simpson 52
10 FRA 9 Guillaume Boisard 52

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Another long day of waiting for wind was rewarded with two late races on Day 4 of the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfüred, Hungary. Oskari Muhonen, from Finland, won the day to now lead the fleet by five points. He very nearly won both races. Baltimore Sailing Club's Fionn Lyden had a stellar day to climb to third.

As reported earlier by Afloat.ie, the UCC engineering switched from the Laser to the Finn last Christmas and has been training hard ever since. The Top Irish youth sailor is only seven points off the lead.

Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, had a day to forget and dropped to second.

The long postponement was lifted just after 15.30 when a light southerly established itself on the lake following a day of zero breeze and sweltering temperatures. By race time it was 6-8 knots and the best breeze the sailors had seen for three days.

Lyden led round the top after favouring the left from Henry Wetherell, from Britain, and Joan Cardona Méndez, of Spain. Lyden still led at the gate but a crazy second beat let Wetherell through to the lead. He looked to have it sealed but Muhonen caught him downwind, and was ahead at the gate, but on the outside. Wetherall just crossed the finish ahead, but overlapped with Muhonen, with Lyden a comfortable third.

Three of the top 10 picked up a UFD starting penalty, including regatta leader Olezza.

Race 6 was started without delay to make best use of the breeze and this time Lars Johan Brodtkorb led at the top but he infringed Muhonen, who took the lead and sailed away for a huge win. The next boat was not even round the leeward mark as he crossed the finish.

Lyden controlled second place all the way with Jack Arnell, from Britain, moving up to third on the second beat, but was then passed by Brodtkorb on the final downwind.

As the fleet finished, the wind was still in place, albeit lighter, and the race team tried to get a third race in but after two false starts they called it a day with the setting sun spreading its golden light across the usually green Lake Balaton.

Lyden said of the day, “I thought we were done with sailing today, but then they sent out which was good. Both starts were very pin end biased and I managed to get away quite nicely. I was good both top marks and from there I just tried to cover the fleet as best I could to protect the left hand side, which seems to be good here.”

He said he is enjoying his first Finn regatta. “It’s good so far. It’s a really friendly and nice class, and I am looking forward to the Gold Cup as well next week.”

“I love sailing the Finn. I love the more technical side to it and the downwind with free pumping.”

Muhonen moved from sixth to first overall after his day’s work and is now where he wants to be.

“After the bronze in the youth Europeans this year I was thinking about the gold here, as well as getting some good training before the gold cup, but I would just be happy with a medal.”

Muhonen has only been in the class for just over a year. “I came into the Finn because I got to big for the Laser.” Before that he sailed Optimist, Europe and Laser. He won a few National titles in the Europe, and was 10th at the Laser youth worlds.

On Friday’s racing he said, “It was a pretty good day. Not as shifty as the first days.”

On the race win, “I got a pretty good start in the middle and let the Irish guy cross me and went for the left and the pressure. And then I was first at the top mark and pretty much stayed there.”

He trains a lot with his fellow Finn sailors Mikael Hyrylainen and triple Olympian Tapio Nirkko, as well as Max Salmimen from Sweden. “We also get a lot of help from the Federation, so that’s good as well.”

At the Europeans this year he finished as top Finnish sailor. He has his sights firmly set on the long term goals. “My long term goal is definitely Tokyo; and Olympics after that as well.”

He says the most attractive part of Finn sailing to him is the downwind. “Downwind sailing is pretty great, with free pumping and the physical aspect. It’s definitely a good boat to sail.”

“Also the social side of the class is great. Especially this regatta, which has been very well organised.”

He feels he is having a good regatta so far. “It feels good to be leading now, definitely. Two more days to go.”

If today shows anything it is that Balaton still has a lot of surprises in store, and no one can rely on anything. Day 4 produced lots of high scores throughout the leader board and lots of lessons learned. There are still a maximum of six races left to sail, so the championship could be considered only half way through, with just two days to go.

Results after 6 races
1 FIN 8 Oskari Muhonen 20
2 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 25
3 IRL 22 Fionn Lyden 27
4 GBR 71 Henry Wetherell 30
5 NOR 9 Lars Johan Brodtkorb 41
6 USA 91 Luke Muller 46
7 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 48
8 SWE 11 Johannes Pettersson 50
9 GBR 96 Hector Simpson 52
10 FRA 9 Guillaume Boisard 52

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Fionn Lyden holds fourth overall after light airs continued to dominate the Finn Silver Cup in Hungary. As Afloat.ie reported yesterday, Baltimore's latest additon to the roll of sailors seeking a place on the Tokyo 2020 start line has got his campaign off to a positive start against some of the top youth sailors in the world. Lyden's move to the heavyweight Finn dinghy makes the headlines in the Irish Times Sailing Column here this morning. 

Sebastian Kalafarski of Poland confidently won the only race possible on the third day of racing at the 2017 U23 Finn World Championship for the Silver Cup. However Facundo Olezza of Argentina still holds a 13-point advantage at the top. Luke Muller from USA moves up three places to second while Brit, Henry Wetherell drops one to third.

After a day of waiting around on shore for breeze the fleet was finally sent out mid-afternoon as a light southerly slowly developed. After one false start, the fleet got away in 4-6 knots, but it was relatively steady in direction for a change.

Highlights from Day 3 of the 2017 U23 Finn World Championships below: 

The left side paid with those starting at the pin in the leading group. Joan Cardona Mendez, from Spain, rounded first from Muller and Kalafarski, who started at the boat end. The main group went right on the run, which allowed Kalafarski to sneak through to leeward and round the gate ahead. He locked into the lifting shift up the second beat and was untouchable from then on, holding a nice lead at the top and down to the finish in the gradually fading wind.

Lars Johan Brodtkorb, from Norway, who had made a great start at the pin, rounded fifth and then caught the leaders on the second upwind to round second, which he just held to the finish from a fast chasing pack. Cardona Mendez crossed in third.

By this point the wind had evaporated in the hot Balaton air, but the race committee persevered and 40 minutes later a new breeze arrived. However it didn’t last long and after one false start, the fleet was sent home soon after.

The single race though meant that the championship is now valid one with four races completed and looking at the forecast for the next few days, that is a relief for the organisers.

Muller commented, “It was a bit tricky. I tried to get off the line clean and the guys who turned out best tacked right off the line and held on port for a long time and from there it was really just staying in pressure and keeping the boat speed up.”

“We finished in quite light breeze and then the wind died off. We had surges of pressure come down and the PRO was really trying to gun for another one.”

“I am really happy how I am sailing and working with Luther [Carpenter, his coach] is fantastic and a really big privilege.”

Kalafarski was clearly pleased with the race win. “I started near to the race committee and going to the right side and later I tacked and went with the front group. I was fourth at the top.”

“I like the light wind, and the weather from today is very good for me. I want tomorrow to be the same. I feel very good, it’s fantastic to win the race.”

One of the new sailors here this week is Guillaume Boisard, from France, now in ninth overall after a 14th today.

“Sailing the Finn was for me one of my biggest ambitions. This boat is technically demanding and I really like its physical dimension. I consider the Finn as one of most interesting boat to sail. A lot of settings and adjustments exist on this boat, and all these little details can make, at the end, a huge difference between good and very good Finn sailors.”

Boisard, now 20 years old, started sailing in Optmist at Aged 7 before moving through the Europe and Laser classes. His best results were runner-up in the Europe Europeans and a fifth in French Laser Nationals.

He now trains with the group at French National Center in La Rochelle. “My last good results will probably help me to get an athlete high level status for the next season, and in this way I could get some financial help.”

He says he really benefits from the very dynamic La Rochelle dynamic Finn fleet and especially the new French training camp called ‘Master Academy’.

“I sail two to four times a week with very good sailors. I want to mention Laurent Hay, recently second at the World Masters in Barbados, I'm very thankful to him because of all the advice he gave me this season.”

“Sometimes Jonathan Lobert and Fabian Pic sail with us, which is very interesting for me. I had a training session with all of them before coming to Balaton. It makes me feel completely confident for this Silver Cup.”

“Light wind is my specialty, and I would like to benefit from the Balaton Lake to make a good performance.” His goal for the week is top 10 overall. “My strategy and tactics bring me to good positions most of the time and further up in the light wind, where I'm often pretty fast. My technique on the downwind is also one of my main strengths.”

He says he is really enjoying the Finn challenge. “The technical dimension of this boat and all these unique feelings we can only get in this boat. For example, I love free pumping, and you can't really find it sailing on other boats, except the Europe class.”

There seems little chance at the moment of any free pumping soon. The championship may be valid, but only four races have been sailed from seven scheduled so far out of a total of 13.

Expectations for a sailable wind on Friday are small. Already the start time has been delayed until 12.00. There is a chance some breeze could develop during the afternoon, but it depends who you listen to and for how long.

Results after 4 races
1 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 14
2 USA 91 Luke Muller 27
3 GBR 71 Henry Wetherell 29
4 IRL 22 Fionn Lyden 34
5 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 38
6 FIN 8 Oskari Muhonen 39
7 SWE 11 Johannes Pettersson 42
8 NOR 9 Lars Johan Brodtkorb 43
9 FRA 9 Guillaume Boisard 44
10 ESP 235 Joan Cardona Mendez 50

Full results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Baltimore Sailing Club's Fionn Lyden is in the top five of the Finn dinghy under 23 worlds,  the Finn Silver Cup, which started yesterday in Balaton in Hungary.

The move by the 2012 West Cork Laser triallist to the Tokyo 2020 mens heavyweight dinghy shows the depth of his Olympic sailing ambitions.

The talented University College Cork Engineering student counts 11, 4, and 7 to be fourthe from 45 with racing abandoned yesterday due to lack of wind.

Lyden, twice an Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month in 2012 and 2015, made history in 2015 by becoming the first helm to win all races (9) in the Irish Youth Helmsmans Championship, which then entitled him to race in the Seniors, in which he duly won the Silver Medal.

Although clearly one of the most remarkable talents to emerge in Irish sailing in recent years, he has chosen a Corinthian path. Thus most of his efforts and energy over the past few years have been dedicated to study in University College Cork but the move to the Finn is certainly an exciting development that is off to a great start in Hungary.

Despite spending four hours on the water, no more racing was possible at the U23 Finn World Championship at Balatonfüred. The sailors were twice sent out on the water, but both times came back empty handed.

Everyone expected to lose a day or more of racing, but no one expected to lose the second day, which had the second best forecast of the week.

The day began with an AP ashore, which then continued afloat for an hour before the sailors were sent back to shore to wait under a further AP. Finally they were sent back out again as a relativity stable 6-8 knots had settled over the course area. This started to drop and shift as soon as the fleet arrived and despite two attempts to get the race away, at 17.00 the fleet was sent shore again.

Results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020

In the Irish Olympic selection trial being sailed as part of the Laser World championships in Mexico, the rising star of Irish sailing Finn Lynch continues to build a points cushion over James Espey and Fionn Lyden for the single berth in Rio. The Irish Olympic spot will be decided when this championships concludes on Wednesday. A top class eighth placing in race five yesterday saw the National Yacht Club debutante move up to 58th overall. He is now 20–points clear of Lyden in 63rd and 46 points clear of Espey who is 78th in the 112–boat fleet.

Lynch has a final race of qualifying today and, significantly, stands on the cusp of a gold fleet place for the top 56–sailors in the fleet. Defending champion, Nick Thompson of Britain, regained his lead on Day 3. Full results here

The 2016 Laser Standard Championship at Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit was always expected to be one of the highlights of the sailing year as the world’s top Laser sailors make their final preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Winning a stand-alone world championship in an Olympic class is the ultimate goal for every sailor, apart from a coveted Olympic medal, and is certainly contributing to the pressure before the Games. A good result is not only a morale boosting personal achievement but also a message to your opposition in Rio to beware!

Defending a world championship title is a challenge only a few top sailors ever face, so for Great Britain’s Nick Thompson, returning to the top of the leader board after 6 races and a difficult day on the water is surely extra satisfying. Thompson finished first in today’s first race in the Blue Fleet to draw level on points with the overnight leader, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia sailing in the Yellow Fleet. At the first mark the Croatian looked as if he would match Thompson race-for-race as he led New Zealand’s Sam Meech until the beginning of the second downwind leg when they split tacks. When they next met Meech had the advantage, which he held to the finish.

The second race for both fleets saw the usual southwesterly wind catch out a number of sailors as they expected the right side of the first windward leg to pay as it had in the previous race. The 11 knot wind increased to 13 knots and swung 10 degrees to the left soon after the start. Unfortunately for some the wind stayed left, stranding those who placed their faith in finding a right shift. Amongst these was Stipanovic, who suffered most in the Yellow Fleet rounding the first mark in 21st position, five places behind overnight 5thoverall Robert Scheidt. By the finish, Scheidt had made a good recovery to 8thand Stipanovic mirrored his gain to 14th, which became his discard. Slowly the first leg mix sorted itself out with Kristian Ruth from Norway improving his fourth place rounding at the top mark to take the winning gun ahead of his fellow countryman Hermann Tomasgaard and Philipp Buhl of Germany.

In the Blue Fleet it took three recalls to get the fleet away in a building breeze. The course was more balanced although the fleet still favored the right. Belgium’s Wannes van Laer did the best job of picking his way through the shifts in the center right to lead at the first mark ahead of Julio Alsogaray from Argentina and Australia’s Tom Burton. Meanwhile, Thompson protected the right to round in 7th. Van Laer swapped places with Alsogary on the first downwind as Thompson gained three places. By the end of the race Burton had taken first place, which with a 4th in the previous race made him the second most improved sailor of the day jumping 11 places up the leaderboard to 8th compared to best of the day, New Zealand’s Sam Meech, who climbed 13 places to 11thoverall.

Thompson now has a three-point cushion over new number two, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France, going into the final day of qualifiers before the real excitement begins in the finals series when the world’s top 56 Laser sailors race head-to-head.

Overall Results after 6 races with 1 discard

Nick Thompson GBR 10pts
Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 13pts
Tonci Stipanovic CRO 15pts
Matthew Wearn AUS 18pts
Robert Scheidt BRA 21pts
Philipp Buhl GER 25pts
KacperZieminski POL 29pts
Tom Burton 32pts
Marco Gallo ITA 33pts
Wannes van Laer BEL 35pts

Published in Olympic

In the Irish selection trial being sailed as part of the Laser World championships in Mexico, Finn Lynch has extended his lead over James Espey and Fionn Lyden for the single berth in Rio. While there is only one point between the leaders at the top of the fleet only 19 points separate the Irish trio. Lynch is 64th, Lyden 71st and Espey 83rd in the 112–boat fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire sailing star, who is a Youth World Championship silver medallist and U–19 Laser World champion, trailed Espey by six points going into this week's Laser Worlds so must maintain his current advantage to be sure of his Rio berth. Read more about the Irish trialists final battle here.

Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia heads the leader board with a well deserved win in the first race of Day 2. In a 10–knot south westerly breeze Matthew Wearn from Australia led the blue fleet round the first mark ahead of Wannes van Laer BEL and Julio Alsogaray ARG. Stipanovic took the lead ahead of Wearn after a good second windward leg when both pulled clear of Alsogaray and the chasing pack to then lead the fleet home. Germany’s Olympic representative, Philipp Buhl, was a major casualty at the start of the blue fleet race when he had to retire after being given a second yellow flag penalty on the start line.

In the yellow fleet, sailing on the outer loop, overnight leader Nick Thompson GBR, could only manage a 5th behind Jean-Bapiste Bernaz and the first three Marco Gallo ITA, Kacper Zieminski POL and Franccesco Marrai ITA who traded places in front of him.

The wind increased for the second races of the day bringing larger waves enabling sailors to catch some good downwind rides and, for a few, also the attention of the on-water jury.

The previously favoured right right-hand of the course was not so dominant although most of the favourites scored well. In the yellow fleet, Olympic silver medalist, Pavlos Kontides CYP won the port end pin position at the start and tacked to cross the fleet early to lead all the way home ahead of Bernaz. 5 places back from the pin Thompson got trapped at the port end and had to take a two turn penalty after he inadvertently impeded another boat whilst trying to clear his wind. Thompson did well to round the first mark in 20th and then recover to 13th which is currently his discard race.

Luke Elliot AUS also led from start to finish in the blue fleet with Alsogaray and Scheidt again in single figures after both climbing through the fleet.

5 points separate the first 7 places in the overall results after 2 more races at the Laser World Championships at Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico.

Top Ten Overall Results after 4 races with 1 discard

Tonci Stipanovic CRO 6pts
Nick Thompson GBR 7 pts
Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 8pts
Matthew Wearn AUS 9pts
Robert Scheidt BRA 10pts
Julio Alsogary ARG 10 pts
Francesco Marrai ITA 11pts
KacperZieminski POL 14pts
Philipp Buhl GER 18pts
Marco Gallo ITA 20pts

Published in Olympic

The crucial Trofeo Princesa Sofia Olympic classes regatta at Palma got underway in perfect conditions today and Irish skiff crews were to the fore for a perfect start in a 12–17 knot breeze providing great racing conditions and great competition. The regatta is also the second round of the mens Laser trial with three Irish sailors vying for the single berth. 

13 Irish sailors are taking part in the event including some young crews in their first major event. Over 800 boats and one thousand sailors representing 68 nations from around the world are racing.

After three races, Rio qualified Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern from Northern Ireland lead the 49er skiff class in a major boost to their preparations for next month's European Championships. Although Palma is missing some key top contenders today's results are a strong follow–on from their tenth place overall at the 2015 World Championships. Their eighth place in the opening race today was followed by second and first places.

 

#justsendit ⛵️?Solid start to the Princess Sophia Regatta for us boys, had some really good fun back racing in the big waves and breeze.

Posted by Team Seaton & McGovern on Monday, 28 March 2016

Also Rio qualifed following Friday's release of the African berth by ISAF, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire were also on form in today's early stages and lie in ninth overall after scoring 8.9.8 in the 27–boat fleet.

In the Irish Laser trial, London 2012 veteran James Espey from Belfast had a 28th and a tenth to lie 50th overall which is the cut-off for deciding the Gold fleet standard and continues to lead the Laser men trials. Dun Laoghaire's Finn Lynch had a 19th and 28th and lies in 69th place in the 152–boat event. Two 29th places for Baltimore's Fionn Lyden puts him 87th overall after day one.

There are no Irish radial sailors in Palma which is unusual given many of Annalise Murphy's predicted 'top eight' are in attendance.

The Princess Sofia regatta also marked the first major international regatta for up and coming sailors in the 49er skiff event. Mark Hassett and Oisin O'Driscoll from Schull and former 420 champions Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove are both racing.

Published in Olympic

#lasereuropacup – Afloat's sailor of the month for March, Fionn Lyden from West Cork was the top Irish performer at the massive qualifcation series of the Laser Europa cup Regatta at Malcesine on Lake Garda ended on Saturday with two races for the 600 competitors – claiming a record for an Olympic class event.

Baltimore Sailing Club's Lyden finished narrowly missed a top ten finish overall, placing 11th in his 100–boat Laser standard fleet. The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch was 23rd, Daragh O'Sullivan from Kinsale Yacht Club was 27th.

In the battle for the final podium places, Alessio Spadoni ITA took the overall lead in the Laser event (100 entries) with Giovanni Coccoluto ITA in second. In the men's Radial (213 entries) Matthieu De By BEL leads from Dominik Perkovic CRO and in the women (85 entries) Silvia Zennaro ITA leads from Gintare Scheidt LTU.

Full results are here.

Published in Laser

#sailorofthemonth – Fionn Lyden (19) of Baltimore is the new Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" for March. He ushered in the new month by playing a stellar role in bringing University College Cork's First Team to overall victory in the decidedly breezy Intervarsity Team Racing Nationals at Schull from February 27th to March 1st.

Of all forms of sailing, this is of course the most group-oriented. But Lyden's achievement emerged above the efforts of his team mates with his additional acclamation as First Year Sailor of the Year from among the large turnout at the championship. Indeed, everyone – both participants and organisers alike – deserved an award at a series in which the highly-regarded Fastnet Marine Outdoor Education Centre and a large team of volunteers skillfully dealt with deteriorating conditions to get a worthwhile result.

Fionn Lyden is no stranger to sailing at Schull, for although he hails from Baltimore, he is one of a group of childhood friends who journeyed daily to Schull to hone their sailing skills under the tuition of David Harte. From this there emerged the Schull Sharks Team of 2013 and 2014 which won the Irish Schools Nationals, the British Schools Opens, and 90% of their contests during an American tour of the top US School teams.

This resulted in the Schull Sharks being declared the top Schools Team Racing squad worldwide in 2014. Meanwhile, at a personal level, young Lyden had been making history by becoming the first helm to win all races (9) in the Irish Youth Helmsmans Championship, which then entitled him to race in the Seniors, in which he duly won the Silver Medal.

Although clearly one of the most remarkable talents to emerge in Irish sailing in recent years, he has chosen the Corinthian path. Thus most of his efforts and energy are now devoted to study in University College Cork. But when he does find time to go sailing, the world certainly takes notice of Fionn Lyden, Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month for March 2015.

Published in Sailor of the Month

#youthsailing – The National Yacht Club's (NYC) Laser Rio trialist Finn Lynch finished third overall at last week's Europa Cup in Hvar Croatia. Schull's Fionn Lyden was sixth in the 19–boat fleet and Ireland's 2014 ISAF youth silver medallist Seafra Guilfoyle completed his youth sailing career second in the under –19 division.

Published in Olympic
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