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Finn Lynch narrowly missed out on Gold fleet racing overnight – by a single place – after three days of qualifying races at the Laser European Championships in La Rochelle, France.

While Ireland's three boat Olympic Laser sailing team competing in France have all dropped back after a 'steady start', Lough Derg's Aisling Keller, who was as high as 13th after day one, lies 47th in the 93–boat Radial fleet and makes the Gold fleet.

After six races sailed, the National Yacht Club's Lynch, who was 37th after day one, now lies 55th, one place off gold fleet standard.

Ballyholme's Liam Glynn is 88th from 160 entries and will also race in the 53–boat silver fleet.

Maeve Leonard will race in the Radial silver fleet.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins is not competing due to exams.

Ireland has a single entry in the Mens Radial division with Wexford Harbour's Ronan Wallace lying eighth overall from 59.

New Zealanders Sam Meech and Andrew McKenzie continued their charge at the Laser European championships in La Rochelle overnight (NZ time) but things are about to get a whole lot more difficult as all the other top sailors join them in gold fleet.

Meech is second and McKenzie third after three days of qualifying. Meech added a second and fourth overnight and is now one point behind Australia's Matthew Wearn and McKenzie banked two third-placed finishes to be another five points behind.

The complexion of racing will change tonight as the top 54 sailors compete over three days in gold fleet, including a third New Zealander George Gautrey who qualified in 42nd. The first three days saw the 160 competitors split into three fleets, which saw some very low scoring from many in the top 20.

Susannah Pyatt is the best placed of the trio of New Zealanders in the Laser Radial in 19th with Olivia Christie 39th.

Results and standings after the thrd day of the Laser European Championships at La Rochelle, France, overnight:

Laser (160 boats)
1. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 5 points
2. Sam Meech, NZL, 6
3. Andrew McKenzie, NZL, 11

Laser Radial (93 boats)
1. Maxime Jonker, NED, 5
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 10 
3. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 14

Full results:

Published in Tokyo 2020
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After a busy start to the Laser sailing season at Baltimore for the Munster Championships and then last weekend's Ulsters at Ballyholme, all before the first weekend of May, next up for the senior Irish Laser fleet is the Lennon Racewear sponsored Irish Laser Master National Championships hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club on 19th and 20th May. 

Over 40 entries are expected with confirmed entrants from the UK, Sweden and the USA as they also prepare for the for 2018 Laser Master Worlds on Dublin Bay in September. The new lease of life for Dublin Laser interests has meant the local DBSC fleet has swelled to 30 boats for regular club racing and that is discussed in an article in the Irish Times here.

Among the favourites for the Master Standard Rig title in a fortnight are reigning champion Gareth Flannigan, Nick Walsh, Darragh Kelleher and Dave Quinn.

For the Radial Rig title, a number of strong performers are returning to the scene including Thomas Chaix, Chris Boyd and Sean Craig – all of whom have finished in the top three at the Full Rig Masters in recent years.

"For the Radial Rig title, a number of strong performers are returning to the scene including Thomas Chaix, Chris Boyd and Sean Craig"

The host club has a proven track record of running major Laser events having run both  World and European Championships in recent years as well as the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2012.

This Irish Laser Master National Championships have been running for 30 years and is open to over 35s. Online entry closes on 16th May, with discounted early online entry closing on 11th May. This year, there will be an after-dinner talk on Saturday night from Rory Fitzpatrick who coached Ireland’s Annalise Murphy to Silver at the Rio Olympics.

Published in Laser
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The busy season for DBSC  Laser Fleet kicked off last Tuesday with 2 short sharp races in the Harbour in light conditions. With an entry of over 30 Standard and Radial rigs this year will be action packed with Laser Regional Championships each month, Laser Class starts in the Dun Laoghaire Club regattas and the pinnacle of the Laser sailing year for many with the Laser Master’s World Championships in September in Dun Laoghaire.

A travelling group of 14 DBSC Laser sailors moved North over the weekend to the Ulster Championships in Ballyholme and returned with impressive results. Well done to Shirley Gilmore - 1st Lady Master, Mary Chambers – 2nd Lady Master in her first regional event!, Sean Craig 2nd Master in the Radial Fleet. In Standard Fleet, well done to Ross O’Leary – 2nd Master & 4th Overall, Damien Maloney 6th Overall and Gavan Murphy in 10th Overall in tough and very competitive racing on Belfast Lough.

"A travelling group of 14 DBSC Laser sailors raced at the Ulster Championships in Ballyholme and returned with impressive results"

The DBSC Laser Masters Coaching Programme is open to all levels of Laser sailors, newcomers, returning laser sailors and experienced veterans. 'The programme for May is online now for Standard & Radial Rigs for all club or non-club sailors, ' according to Laser Class Captain Ross O'Leary.

Run from the Royal St George Yacht Club these 3 hour sessions on Friday evenings [6-9] and Sunday mornings [9.30-12.30] are family friendly and lead by experienced Laser Coaches to cater for Laser sailors of all levels and to answer any of your questions.

If you feel you need to gain more confidence or experience or get rid of those bad habits - BOOK ONLINE NOW here

If you want to come and join the racing enter now for Tuesday evening  here. It is suitable for all levels of ability with racing in the harbour or in Scotsman's Bay depending on conditions with full rescue boat cover. 'Guaranteed banter with food is available in the RSt George YC bar after racing each Tuesday – all welcome!', according to O'Leary.

Lady Masters ULSTERSLady Masters Shirley Gilmore (left) and Mary Chambers at Laser Ulster Championships

Published in Laser
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Ballyholme's Olympic trialist Liam Glynn won the CH Marine Ulster Laser Championship title last weekend on Belfast Lough counting five race wins.

Royal St George Yacht Club sailors did the double by securing the 4.7 and Radial titles. The Radial winner was Henry Higgins with the 4.7’s won by newcomer to the class, Moss Simington.

A large number of laser sailors from around the country headed northwards last Friday night to compete in the Championships.

The regatta was hosted this year by Ballyholme Yacht Club and entries were significantly increased given it was the last qualifying event for Irish masters who wished to get on the ranking ladders. Ninety seven competitors were ready to race early on Saturday morning.

"The regatta was hosted this year by Ballyholme Yacht Club and entries were significantly increased given it was the last qualifying event for Irish Masters"

The fleets launched in 8 -10 knots of breeze on Saturday with PRO Robin Gray and his team completing 3 races for all fleets after a long day on the water. Alana Coakley, Henry Higgins and Liam Glynn led the 4.7, radial and standard fleets respectively.

Sunday morning the sailors were greeted with glorious sunshine and a breeze of 6-10 knots. Another 3 races were secured for all fleets completing a full series. This weekend gave great light weather practice for our international event sailors travelling away this Summer.

There was a change in the 4.7 fleet overnight standings with newcomer Moss Simington - Royal St George YC scoring a 3, 1 and 2 on Sunday to take the 4.7 title by one point. Atlee Kohl - Royal Cork YC had to be happy with 2nd after his recent wins at the Munsters and Youth Nationals. Alana Coakley - RStGYC/RVYC was third and First Lady.

After the successful introduction of the Silver Fleet at the recent Munster Championships, the 4.7 silver fleet prizes went to - 1st Joseph Karauzum County Antrim YC, 2nd Jennifer O'Shaughnessy Royal Cork YC and 3rd Jamie McDonnell Lettice Royal Cork YC.

Henry Higgins of the Royal St George YC retained his overnight lead and took the Radial Title. Chris Bateman of the Royal Cork revelled in the conditions on Sunday with two bullets and secured 2nd ahead of Jack Fahy - RStGYC/RCYC/LDYC 3rd. The first Radial Master was local sailor and former Olympian Chris Boyd.

The Radial Silver Fleet prizes were awarded as follows - 1st Howard Massie Ballyholme YC, 2nd Ella Hemeryck NYC/HYC and 3rd Russell Finlay Ballyholme YC.

Liam Glynn’s performance in home waters was superb with five bullets counting to win the Standard Fleet. Fionn Conway from Killaloe/NYC who was competing in his first standard event, was second overall and David Quinn - Howth YC third overall and first master. This podium finish for Dave Quinn was a great reward for a lot of hard work over the winter months as he has returned to the fleet after a 20 year absence. Also notable in the standard fleet was that 26 of the 29 competing were Masters with another 11 racing in the Radial Fleet.

This was a great event to see ahead of the Lennon Racewear Irish Laser Master Nationals in Dun Laoghaire on the 19th and 20th May. Online entry is now open here. This will be a great opportunity for sailors to experience racing in Dublin Bay ahead of the Master Worlds in September. Event Organiser Sean Craig advises that a number of international sailors are travelling to compete in May.

Full Ulster Championship results can be found here

Published in Laser
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Following the recent announcement that Craftinsure is now an official insurance partner and sponsor of the Irish Laser Association, Craftinsure's Rod Daniel presented some prizes at the CH Marine Munster Laser Championships in Baltimore over the Easter weekend.

This first provincial event on the Irish Laser calendar attracted 114 sailors, with a silver fleet being introduced for the first time. Howth's Ewan McMahon took overall honours, with Thomas Chaix 1st Master (5th), and Clare Gorman 1st lady (6th).

The next of the Irish Laser provincial series will be the Ulsters on 28th/29th April at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

Published in Laser
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Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon won the four race CH Marine Laser Munster Championships in convinging style with three race wins in his 37–boat fleet. Dublin sailors also made a clean sweep of a 19–boat Radial fleet with Royal St. George's Jack Fahy the victor but Royal Cork's Atlee Kohl was the winner of the 4.7 fleet. Download PDF of results below.

Baltimore Sailing Club played host again this Easter to the first Provincial event on the Irish Laser calendar. The Club welcomed 114 sailors and their families to the village to compete in the CH Marine Laser Munsters. Registration was held in the Clubhouse on Friday night with sailors receiving a gift from sponsor Craftinsure and t-shirts from the Laser Association. Registration opened again bright and early on Saturday morning and a few additional faces appeared that were keen to race. Event sponsor CH Marine had a van with laser essentials available from Friday afternoon and this was much appreciated by the sailors who needed their services!.

The PRO David O’Brien briefed the sailors and advised that given the forecast for Sunday he would do his best to get 4 races completed for all fleets on Saturday. As it transpired the forecast was correct and there was no sailing on Sunday. Launching on Saturday got underway at low water so huge credit to the team of volunteers directed by John McCarthy who hauled and organised all the trolleys. 

With a light north westerly breeze racing started in sunshine from under the Beacon. The low water and northerly wind direction made the Lousy Rocks a hazard to be considered by all competitors. The standard fleet were the first away with Ewan McMahon, Howth Yacht Club taking the first bullet of the day, the radial fleet was led by Thomas Chaix from Tralee Bay Sailing Club and Alana Coakley (Royal St George YC) a newcomer to the laser class took the first 4.7 race win.

Race Two was sailed in similar conditions to the first but sailors were settling back into race mode and Paul McMahon won in the standards, Jack Fahy (Royal St George YC/Royal Cork YC/Lough Derg YC) took the Radial fleet win and Atlee Kohl (Royal Cork YC/St Croix YC) caught club mate Jonathan O’Shaughnessy to secure his first bullet of the regatta.

Ewan McMahon showed winning form in race 3 and 4 in the standard fleet taking two more bullets to secure the overall title ahead of Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC/BSC) and Paul McMahon (Howth YC) in third. As was expected there were a large number of Masters in attendance with 24 competing in the standard fleet and 11 in the radial fleet. First master in the standards was Roger O’Gorman followed by Daragh Kelleher (Skerries SC) on 14 nett points each and third master was Ronan Kenneally from Monkstown Bay Sailing Club.

Radials Clean Sweep for Royal St. George Yacht Club

Tom Higgins (Royal St George YC) took the win in Radials Race 3 with Jack Fahy winning the fourth. It was great to see new faces to the class enjoying the Spring sailing conditions in Baltimore Harbour. Geoff Power (Waterford Harbour SC) secured 4th overall on his first outing but Royal St George club mates of Jack Fahy, Tom Higgins and Peter Fagan made a clean sweep with first, second and third overall. The First Master was Thomas Chaix in 5th overall and Clare Gorman (National YC) took the First Lady prize in 6th.

It was the first time a silver fleet was introduced to the Championships and in the radials Darrell Reamsbottom (Howth YC) took third, James McCann (Royal Cork YC) took second and Maeve Leonard (Royal Cork YC/Baltimore SC) took first.

The wind moved to the left throughout the day and the fourth race was conducted in a south westerly breeze. The wind stayed light all day and the 4.7 competitors enjoyed the conditions with Atlee Kohl finding his feet after a rocky start securing a first and second leaving him as the winner of the fleet with a 4 point margin. Jack O’Sullivan (Royal Cork YC/Kinsale YC) was second and Alana Coakley finished her day with a win securing third overall/first lady beating out Keelin Greene (Hayling Island SC/Baltimore SC) who were on joint points. Prizes were awarded in Silver Fleet with James Moran (Mayo Sailing Club) taking third, Natasha Hemeryck (National YC) taking second and Dawson Kohl making it a “Kohl double” in the 4.7 fleet securing first. Full results can be found here.

A special thanks to Baltimore Sailing Club for launching the 50ft “Inishceim” and “Kingfisher” to act as Committee and Finish boat respectively. No easy feat at the end of March!. David O’Brien was ably assisted by fellow Race Officer Richard Leonard and a team from the Club who got the four races completed as they had promised at the beginning of the day. The finish boat team was led by Tom Hegarty and results ashore were kept in check by Charlie Bolger. Safety Officer Sheila O’Sullivan ensured the smooth running of the event afloat and Mary O’Neill was a stalwart in her role in the Clubhouse. None of these events happen without a lot of preparation and organisation locally – thank you to all the team in Baltimore for making all the sailors and their families so welcome. As President Aidan Staunton said in his closing address “we look forward to returning next year”.

Published in Laser
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There’ll be three race courses, five classes, three evening talks, and 32 counties represented at next month's Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships taking place 5th – 8th April 2018 in Dun Laoghaire, jointly hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club.

As well as great racing on the water, and good fun at the club ashore. The evening talks as well as the races are open to all young sailors who sail in the five Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Classes (Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Topper and Optimist). This is Ireland’s largest Youth regatta and Irish Sailing’s primary talent spotting event of the year for the Academy and Junior classes.

Importantly it’s also one of the few chances in the year when family and friends who are sail in different classes can all sail together at one regatta venue, competing on different courses but on the same waters, giving a brilliant opportunity for shared experiences, learning and fun.

Up to six places on the Irish Sailing Laser 4.7 Squad: Up to six sailors will be chosen at the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals to join the Irish Sailing Laser 4.7 Squad. The squad will provide training to help young sailors transition in the Laser 4.7 class. It will also aim to prepare and support the squad for the Laser 4.7 World Championship to be held in Gdynia, Poland in July. The squad coach and programme will be announced following the event. Entry to the Laser 4.7 Worlds is independent of Irish Sailing squad selection through the International Laser Class Association.

The four days of racing in Dublin Bay will decide the six places on the 420 European team who will travel to Sisimbra, Portugal in July to compete in the 420 Junior (U18) European Championships. 

Irish Sailing Laser Radial & 420 Academy: The Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals is an indicator event (amongst other factors including domestic and international events) for the Irish Sailing Youth Academy. The Academy undergoes a review biannually following the Youth Pathway Nationals and in the autumn each year.

IODAI Irish Optimist Trials: The Optimist trials fleet will take to the water to compete for coveted team spots at the 2018 international regattas. Places for the World Championships in Cyprus, the European Championships in the Netherlands, and the international development team events in both Poland and France are all up for grabs.

Topper class: The Topper World Championships take place in China this year with a strong Irish team travelling to the regatta this year. The Pathway Nationals will provide a good indicator of form as the sailors test themselves against the best in the country as they head into the spring period of their season.

A lineup of evening speakers – open to all: At 5.30pm each evening there will be a talk and Q&A session at the nominated club with speakers who have a deep knowledge of racing. The talks are open to all sailors and parents.

• Thursday 5th – Saturday 7th April, Ross Killian & Sean Evans. Each evening Ross and Sean, the Irish Sailing Performance Coaches will give video analysis and coaching tips from the day’s racing
• Friday 6th April, James O’Callaghan Irish Sailing High Performance Director will talk through the Olympic and Performance Pathway
• Saturday 7th April, Jessie Barr, Sport psychologist currently working at the Sport Ireland Institute. Jessie is a four-time 400m relay Olympian. She has worked with a number of the Laser and 420 Academy sailors.

Published in ISA

Bouncing back after what he termed the 'disappointment' of January's World Cup top half result in Miami, the National Yacht Club's Laser ace, Finn Lynch was on the podium at Andalusian Week in the Bay of Cadiz this week. 

After six races sailed, Ireland's youngest ever Olympic Games helmsman was ten points behind Poland's Filip Ciszkiewicz in the 36-boat fleet. Results are here.

This Bronze from Cadiz follows' Lynch's silver at Gran Canaria Olympic Week won in December, a feat for which he picked up an Afloat Sailor of the Month award. 

Lynch's rival for the single Tokyo Laser berth in 2020, Liam Glynn, of Ballyholme, was 14th overall. 

Published in Tokyo 2020
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A westerly wind of ten knots brought Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Laser League to a conclusion on Saturday writes Bob Bateman.

Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan, who did not contest the final races of the series, was very much in evidence at the prizegiving to lift the coveted 'Yard of Ale' trophy that has been fought over 18 races in Cork Harbour.

Chris Bateman was second overall and first Junior. Ronan Kenneally was first Master and third overall.

Full results below

Monkstown Bay Laser League Results

Published in Laser

Craftinsure Ltd will be supporting the 2018 Laser Munster Championships taking place over the Easter Weekend at Baltimore, Co. Cork.

The Laser partnership builds upon close links already well established with IODAI and the Optimist Class in Ireland by the insurer. 

'We continue to see a steady growth in the number of Lasers we cover, both in Ireland and the UK, and it’s great to see young Optimist sailors we’ve insured progressing to the Irish Laser fleet', said Craftinsure’s Rod Daniel.

Baltimore Sailing Club are currently in negotiations regarding title sponsorship of the event, a spokesperson told

The Irish Laser calendar has been confirmed for 2018 here.

Published in Laser
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Page 13 of 46

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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