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Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon (17) has won the Laser Radial (ILCA 6) Youth World Championships in a stunning performance on Lake Garda this afternoon.

As Afloat reported yesterday, the Paris 2024 campaigner has been in a podium position at the Italian venue all week and more often than not on top of the 55-boat leaderboard.

The soon to be sixth-year student led by five points from Czech Republic's Alessia Palanti on 28 points going in to the final races. 

The Dubliner counted two sevens to win comfortably with a 13 point cushion in a consistent scoreline that counted three race wins. 

Her main rival Palanti was overhauled by Swiss girl Anja Von Allmen who had a strong 1,2 finish to claim the silver medal. The Czech girl rued a DSQ and finished fourth overall to Sara Savelli who pinched third on the final day.

McMahon adds the title to the fourth-place finish at U21 ILCA 6 European Championships scored in June in Montenegro plus the U19 title at the same venue and before that silver in the EURILCA Laser Radial Youth Championships in Croatia.

The ILCA 6 Youth World Championships are open to sailors who were 18 or younger on the registration day, July 23, but at least 15 years of age.

Download full results below

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon took an early lead at Laser Radial Youth World Championships and stayed in a podium place all weekHowth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon took an early lead at Laser Radial Youth World Championships and stayed in a podium place all week

Published in Youth Sailing
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World Sailing is delighted to announce that the 50th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships will be held at Mussanah Sports City, Oman, from 11-18 December 2021.

Mussanah Sports City has played host to several Olympic class sailing events, including the Laser World Championships in 2013 and the RS:X World Championships in 2015. In April this year, the venue hosted the 2021 Mussanah Open Championship, a Tokyo 2020 qualification event for African and Asian nations.

Located approximately 100km north of Muscat International Airport, Mussanah is a top-class, purpose-built sporting venue, capable of hosting large-scale events and facilitating hundreds of athletes. It is renowned for its high-quality sailing conditions all year round. During December, temperatures are expected to be around 24°C on average, while the average wind strength is expected to be around 10-17 knots.

Quanhai Li, World Sailing President, said, “For the last five decades, the Youth Sailing World Championships have provided young athletes from all around the world with the opportunity to showcase their talent and test themselves against the very best opposition.

“The Youth Worlds also allows young sailors to learn about the importance of sport and fair competition, and to forge lifelong friendships with like-minded people from all corners of the globe. It is a hugely important event on our calendar, and it is with great pleasure that we can announce this year’s hosts. I am confident that Oman Sail will put on a fantastic show.”

David Graham, Chief Executive Officer at World Sailing, said, “The sailors at the Youth Worlds are the future stars of our sport and we aim to provide the best possible experience for them. We were really impressed with both Oman’s and Malta’s bids, and it was a tough choice for the Evaluation Panel, with both venues demonstrating the expertise to host a memorable championship.

“Oman’s outstanding facilities and sailing conditions will help to make this Youth Worlds a memorable one for all involved.”

Dr Khamis Al Jabri, Chief Executive Officer at Oman Sail, said, "We are delighted to have been selected as host nation for the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championships presented by Hempel, following a very competitive bid process. Oman has a proven track record in hosting major international sporting events, and we look forward to welcoming the best young sailors from around the world to experience the Sultanate’s legendary hospitality and majestic waters later this year.

“With its superb maritime facilities, Mussanah is internationally recognised as a leading destination for sailing events. I look forward to seeing our outstanding staging and race management teams deliver yet another memorable event on our shores that will have long-lasting socio-economic benefits for the Sultanate of Oman.”

World Sailing received two high-quality bids to host the 2021 Youth Worlds, with Oman selected ahead of Valletta, Malta by a Youth Worlds Evaluation Panel before final approval by the Board of Directors.

The Youth Worlds will be a prime example of Oman’s commitment to the environment with preservation of the natural resources embedded in every activity. As part of Oman’s Vision 2040 priorities, the staging of this tournament will drive greater awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability and ensuring Oman’s beautiful natural landscape is protected long into the future.

The last Youth Sailing World Championships were held in Gydnia, Poland in 2019, where 409 sailors from 66 nations competed across nine youth events, including the Boy's and Girl's divisions of the 29er, 420, RS:X and Laser Radial, as well as the Mixed Multihull, the Nacra 15. The 2020 Youth Worlds were scheduled to be held in Salvador, Brazil, in December 2020, but the event was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning for this year’s edition of the event has taken into consideration any relevant precautions required for everyone travelling to Oman, with further information regarding the event to be announced in due course.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Every sport sees it happen. Young enthusiastic kids who can't get enough training, competing, fitness, drills, and dreams of making it big writes Paul O'Hare of Rush Sailing Club.

Many then drift away from the sport they loved as they get into their late teens and 20's. Sport gets replaced with studies, college, travel, partners, new careers, marriage, family, and maybe realising that they are not the next Cluxton, Keane, O'Driscoll, or Murphy. Finally, after 10 or 15 years, they get back to the sport they once loved, but now with their own kids.

In sailing, this is an all too familiar story as young sailors, tossed about on the seas of Ireland in single-handed Oppies, Toppers and Lasers, give up the sport during their adolescence. It's hard then to get back into a small dinghy when they are older, so many give up sailing altogether.

Well, the fine people at Rush Sailing Club in North County Dublin have watched this happen throughout the generations, from the club's inception in 1954 to the modern day. They've put together a plan to keep these young adults in the sport by making it exciting, inclusive, competitive and fun. Central to this drive is the club's acquisition of two J/24 racing keelboats. The club chose this popular and competitive boat with 5,500 boats sailing in 165 fleets throughout 110 countries. Crews range from four to six people, and the boat is an ideal all-rounder, offering exciting racing to experienced sailors but a safe introduction to novices (that's right, it has a keel so it won't capsize! Mostly). The boat can be trailered to events and is suitable for all kinds of weather.

The new Rush Sailing Club J/24's look fast with their new paint jobThe new Rush Sailing Club J/24's look fast with their new paint job

The team in Rush are lead by two 20-year old committee members, David Kelly (Sailing Sec) and Lauren O'Hare (Senior Instructor, SI). They are putting together a team racing schedule with the new boats and some other multi-crewed boats that the club own. Team racing draws in members of all ages as Rush family dynasties are pitted against each other. Novices will sail alongside seasoned veterans in a winner-takes-all season. In addition, young crews aim to compete around Ireland & the UK against other clubs in this highly competitive class. The club aims to boost sailing with competition on the water, enhancing the membership experience for all.

Rush Sailing Club members collecting the boats in Southampton before their renovation Rush Sailing Club members collecting the boats in Southampton before their renovation 

The boats are aptly named 'Juvenile Delinquent' and 'Out of Control'. They were purchased second hand in Southampton at the start of the lockdown, and in typical RSC fashion, they were sourced, collected, gutted and restored by the club's members under the stewardship of Commodore David Kelly (senior). Sponsorship provided by local businesses and members allowed the club to put the boats on the water with zero cost to the membership!

So, if you've never sailed but would love to give it a try, or if you want to get back to sailing, or if you fancy a bit of high-octane competitive fun, then contact RSC, where a new sport, hobby and obsession awaits you.

Published in Youth Sailing

Clubs are hoping to get young sailors back into activity with the easing of restrictions on training. However, as in all sports, there is some concern about the effects of the lengthy restrictions on youth's interest in sport.

Principal Coach at the Royal Cork in Crosshaven, Ben Fusco, says: "We are looking forward to the return to Junior Coaching on the May weekend. Preparations are well underway to get all of our junior and youth sailors back on the water and shaking off the cobwebs of an extended off-season. We have a robust training plan in place for each of the Classes."

With the easing of restrictions for junior training, Monkstown Bay SC in Cork Harbour says that it will be starting its Sunday morning coaching sessions for Optimists. It has also opened applications for this year's sailing courses. 

Applications will close at the end of May, the club says.

Published in Cork Harbour

More young sailors are interested in racing offshore, an encouraging trend that should be fostered. It can help to bridge the problems that have been encountered in sailing where younger sailors have been lost to the sport in bridging the gap from dinghy to cruiser racing.

Younger sailors have been featuring more in South Coast racing and are included on the crews of leading Cork boats.

The newly-elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA), Daragh Connolly, sees this as a particularly positive and encouraging trend.

Daragh Connolly, the new Commodore of SCORA. Listen to him o podcast belowDaragh Connolly, the new Commodore of SCORA. Listen to him on the podcast below Photo: Bob Bateman

Noel Coleman's Blue Oyster is registered for August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob BatemanNoel Coleman's Blue Oyster is registered for August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob Bateman

"I cut my teeth in coastal, offshore racing. It is an exciting part of the sport and I'm encouraged and very positive about this. It is part of the renewed and growing interest in coastal racing," he says in this week's podcast, where he also talks about liaising with ISORA, the successful 450 Dun Laoghaire to Cork Race and the three south coast yachts which have entered for the Fastnet Race.

Denis and Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo from Royal Cork was the winner of the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race and will compete in August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob BatemanDenis and Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo from Royal Cork was the winner of the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race and will compete in August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob Bateman

There are two boats from his own club and one from that of the new Vice-Commodore of SCORA, Dave Cullinane from Kinsale YC. From the RCYC - Noel Coleman's Blue Oyster and Denis/Annemarie Murphy's Nieulargo. From Kinsale Cian McCarthy's Cinnamon Girl.

Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300' Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale Yacht Club is entered as a 'double-hander' for August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob BatemanCian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale Yacht Club is entered as a 'double-hander' for August's Fastnet Race Photo: Bob Bateman

"For the season ahead, perhaps offshore could start on the Cork coast even if with restricted crewing. More racing outside Cork Harbour will be a positive experience for SCORA boats and challenging. The entry of 21 boats for last year's Navy Race, which was switched from inside to outside the harbour due to the Covid situation, showed the interest and that included white sail as well as spinnaker. There is a positive role here for more development and I am positive and hopeful. Despite the challenges which we face from Covid which has impacted so much on sailing, as soon as we have the clearance to go, you can be sure that SCORA will be there and ready. Despite the difficulties and challenges, I am positive for the future. We have a good team in place at SCORA and will carefully plan for the season ahead, allowing for the restrictions and limitations in place at present."

Listen to the podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Less than a week after Irish Sailing said it was 'proceeding as planned' with its Youth Sailing Nationals event in April at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the national governing body announced yesterday it was shelving its Easter date for Cork Harbour and postponing the event due to ongoing COVID restrictions.

Such are the times we live in that the 2021 sailing fixture list is now subject to change. Racing for 29ers, 420s, Toppers, Laser 4.7, and Laser Radial will now be held at Royal Cork from 28-31 October.

Irish Sailing coach Sean Evans said “We could see during the month that the numbers weren’t coming down quickly enough and that Level 5 restrictions would be likely to continue. That’s why we had already planned in an alternative October date. Now that the longer restrictions are confirmed, we’re putting this new plan in place".

Irish Optimist Trials

Meanwhile, the Irish Optimist Trials, that normally formed part of the Youth Nationals regatta, will race separately in May at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as Afloat reported here. While COVID lockdown has restricted plans for pre-trials training, coach Peter Fagan has been updating on the Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group 'DOGs' programme here.

The Irish youth sailing nationals move follows a similar move in the UK where the RYA has moved its Easter Youth Nationals at Plymouth to August.

Published in Youth Sailing

After a year in the planning, Royal Cork Yacht Club has launched a new offering for its youth sailors for 2021.

The pathway is intended to complement our existing entry points into sailing in the club across dinghies and keelboats. From age 7 to 25, total novice to Olympic ambition, male or female, we aim to provide something for everyone and ensure nobody slips through the cracks. 

The Club's Alex Barry says the goal is simple, “This pathway is being introduced to ensure that youth members of all abilities have the opportunity to further their skills and enhance their enjoyment of sailing and boating, ultimately gaining a varied set of skills and friendships for life.

More from RCYC here

Published in Royal Cork YC

They say that a good junior sail training programme will gradually introduce the young people to an increasingly demanding range of experiences afloat. But we doubt if the instructors in Santa Cruz in California at the weekend had had something so extreme in mind when the surf built rapidly at the harbour mouth as the sailing juniors were returning to port, and found themselves in the ultra-embarrassing situation of being rescued by the local surfing dudes.

In truth, embarrassment was probably the last thing on anybody’s mind out there on the water. Staying alive was a bigger priority. And after, that not being seriously injured. Miraculously, no-one was hurt, but the word is some of the boats are in Intensive Care….

Published in Youth Sailing
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The Royal Yachting Association has decided that in light of the current Covid-19 situation it is in the best interests of all parties to postpone its 2021 British Youth Sailing National Championships.

The regatta, the UK’s premier youth racing event, was due to take place from April 4 to 9 hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing Club in Plymouth, Devon.

Typically, the annual event is attended by some Irish youth sailors, north and south of the border.

With the UK currently in lockdown and likely to revert to the tier system once restrictions ease, the decision has been made to delay the regatta until the summer.

This will give organisers the time to plan for the best possible event, as well as giving time for the nationwide vaccination programme to take effect.

We are also very mindful that the young sailors will have lost training time over the winter and this gives them time to be ready for such an event.

It is hoped the rescheduled event will take place at the same venue the week commencing August 9, 2021. It is intended that further details and any Notice of Race will be shared before the end of January. More here

Published in Youth Sailing
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Five young sailors have been given a unique chance to boost their training and skills after they were awarded funding from the Mary Peters Trust.

The Trust aims to help aspiring young athletes, whatever their sport or social background, to realise their maximum potential by assisting them in both a financial and advisory capacity. We help young people, both disabled and able-bodied, achieve their sporting dreams and ambitions.

The five are Lauren McDowell, (29er) associated with Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough where she also helped instruct the young Pirate section; Erin McElwaine from Newcastle Yacht Club who is crew for Lauren McDowell; Dan McGaughey, from Donaghadee SC on the North Down coast, who won the 2018 Volvo Youth Sailor of the Year award for his performance internationally in the Topper class; Dan Palmer (Topper) from Ballyholme Yacht Club and Tom Coulter form Coleraine YC who sails a Laser Radial.

Topper sailor Danny Palmer of Ballyholme Yacht ClubTopper sailor Danny Palmer of Ballyholme Yacht Club

They are the worthy recipients of the awards from among 70 young competitors from 20 sports to receive the funding.

Lady Mary, who won Pentathlon gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, founded her Trust soon afterwards to aid the development of young, homegrown, sporting talent, and in the intervening years has helped many thousands to achieve their sporting goals.

Commenting on the funding awards, Lady Mary said: "Our awards are made to support and accelerate sporting careers. The Trust recognises how difficult it has been to train and compete during the pandemic, and we are delighted to continue their funding in order to provide financial assistance. For over four decades, the Trust has supported our young athletes, and they are fantastic ambassadors for our country. I am proud of all those receiving this latest round of funding for their dedication to continue in their sport during difficult times."

RYA Northern Ireland's Performance Manager, Andrew Baker, commented: "At RYA Northern Ireland, we are very proud of our talented athletes. Funding is always a key issue for aspiring athletes, and it is fantastic that the Mary Peters Trust has invested in our young sailors. This funding will make a big difference and will allow our sailors to develop their skills and continue with their training and competitions."

Published in Youth Sailing
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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.

Competitions

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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