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Adverse weather with strong gusts in the lead up to this week’s racing threatened to spoil the day again for this week’s Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover sponsored Junior Icebreaker at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. Saturday morning however brought warm weather and light winds and a fleet of 18 junior sailors in their Topper dinghies were able to take to the water for their first training session followed by racing. 

The course was set close to the clubhouse, which lead to tricky conditions in the light and shifty winds that were blowing from the shore. Race 1 saw Daniel Palmer lead from start to finish with Katie Brow in second and last year’s overall winner Faye McCartan rounding off the podium.

The second race saw a big shift on the left side of the course favour all those who had ventured in that direction seeing Daniel Palmer once again take line honours from Charlie O’Malley with Hannah Archer in third and Katie Brow staying in contention overall in fourth.

The third and final race was started in lighter winds but this time both sides of the course were even. Daniel Palmer made it a hat trick of first places but had to work this time to overtake Katie Brow who led at the first mark. Charlie O’Malley was third in this breakaway group and these three now lead the series overall.

Tight racing in the chasing pack was led by Romy Maguire ahead of Rex Claney in fifth place and Isobel Nixon in sixth.

Three of the entries were using the smaller 4.2 sail. This group is led by Hannah Bell with Charlotte Cairns second and Desi Gillespie in third. Even with the smaller sails this group were in the mix beating some of the sailors with full rigs.

The Junior Icebreaker takes place on Saturdays in October and November. Young sailors take to the water for training from a group of dedicated coaches. Training is followed by racing which is taken by these sailors as seriously as the adults in the main series on Sunday.

The 29er Northerns was raced in Strangford Lough Yacht Club last weekend as part of the 30th RYA NI Youth Sailing Championships as Afloat reported earlier. It was the final event of the '29er triple crowns'. Nine teams competed: 3 all boys, 5 mixed and an all girls crew. The standard of the fleet has progressed at a stellar pace allowing a competitive regatta with many changes of leads.

Saturday started with a lot of wind which rapidly decreased to deliver 3 races in medium conditions. The high number of laps on offer allowed many close battles at marks and the sailors had to be solid on their boat handling to maintain or gain positions.

Elysia O'Leary and Chris Bateman showed skills and speed taking the first race win ahead of Triple crowns leaders Lola and Atlee Kohl. The second race saw the return of ISAFs YW Rian McDonnell-Geraghty and Nathan Van Steenberge to winning affairs with O'Leary-Bateman hot on their heels. The final race of the day saw an increase in wind strength and provided some drama.

"The standard of the fleet has progressed at a stellar pace allowing a competitive regatta with many changes of leads"

The leaders of the fleet did not see a lap had been added on the Race committee boat. The Kohl's siblings, on the other hand, had no hesitation and went on for the extra lap with McDonnell-Van Steenberge right on their transom... Realising their error, 4 boats restarted in hot pursuit. The battle at the front became a 3 way gybing battle with Charlie Cullen and Ben Hogan managing to make the junction with the two leaders. McDonnell-Van Steenberge managed to jump the Kohl's to take the win whilst Cullen-Hogan final attempt to get back to the lead ended up in a capsize just boat lengths from the finish allowing Kohl-Crosbie, the McIlwain siblings and Rickard-Goodbody to slip pass.

29er fleetA tight battle at the leeward mark in the 29er fleet Photo: Thomas Chaix

Day 2's forecast was good with a southerly due to head west by midday. The proceedings were a bit slow but the fleet eventually started race 4 in a medium southerly. Early leaders Cullen-Hogan were overtaken by McDonnell-Van Steenberge. The two boys were not seen again scoring their third race win of the event. The Kohl's siblings had to work their way up the fleet and secured yet another 2nd. The next race started in a dropping breeze and the expected right shift came mid race.

The race officer decided it was just that bit too much and the race was abandoned, which set the scene for a final race drama. The equation was simple enough yet required good sailing skills and clear knowledge of the rules. Having added the points, the Kohl's sibling were starting the final race with a guaranteed 2nd overall and a low discard. On the other hand, McDonnell-Van Steenberge were clear leaders yet discarding a high points first race. The Kohl's made their intentions clear in the first beat taking control of the boys windward side and started to sail them off the course in a very skilled and determined fashion. When the pair eventually made it to the windward, The boys had been put into last position with a monumental task in hand to save their event win.

The opportunity came to overtake their tormentor at the leeward of the initial lap when a 420 allowed a split between the two boats. They certainly took their chance and started to look at the fleet ahead with 3 boats still within reach. At the end of the second lap, they managed to overtake 2 boats which was just about enough to reclaim their lead. It was very tense as they held 6th to the finish which meant the countback went to their favour for the Northerns title. Lola and Atlee Kohl settle for 2nd but secured
the Triple crowns overalls. Completing the podium were Elysia O'Leary and Chris Bateman.

The second year of existence of the 29er class in Ireland has seen major progress in the level of skills and the next challenge is now to grow the numbers of partnerships attending open events... In the mean time, everyone is preparing a solid winter of training to develop further their skills... Bring on 2020!

Published in Youth Sailing
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Dubliners Rian McDonnell Geraghty and Nathan Van Steenberge from the National Yacht Club were the nine-boat 29er class winners at the 2019 RYA Northern Ireland Youth Sailing Championships at Strangford Lough Yacht Club at the weekend.

Over 140 boats overcame some challenging wind conditions on both days to enjoy some great end of season racing on the Lough for the 30th edition of the RYA event.

In the 420 class, East Antrim and Malahide duo of Lucy Kane and Emma Gallagher were winners of the ten boat fleet. 

County Antrim's Ellen Barbour was the 15-boat Laser 4.7 winner with Royal St. George's Tom Higgins from Dublin Bay the winner of the 27-boat Radial fleet. 

The Topper 5.3 fleet, the biggest of the regatta with 35 entries, was won by Ballyholme's Hannah Dadley-Young.

Download full results below

Published in Youth Sailing
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Royal Cork's Atlee Kohl (18) and Chris Bateman (18) sailing for the US Virgin Islands are seventh overall after the second day of the 29er European Championship on Lake Garda, Italy with winds at 9 to 12 knots, a bit lighter than Monday.

Kohl and Bateman who won the RS200 Nationals in Galway Bay ten days ago have switched roles for the Italian event. 

The top Irish duo of nine competing crews is Charlie Cullen (17) and Ben Hogan (17) of the Royal St George Yacht Club.

Seven of the scheduled 9 races have now been completed for the 210 crews competing.

Eight different nations are in the top 10 so far and the gold fleet will see the top 50 crews compete starting today.

Final top ten after 7 races, 1 discard
1. Mathias Berthet / Alexander Franks Penty, NOR, 7 net points
2. Aristide Girou / Noah Chauvin, FRA, 14
3. Ville Korhonen / Edvard Bremer, FIN, 17
4. Marius Westerlind / Olle Aronsson, SWE, 17
5. Finn Walter / Marcus Borlinghaus, GER, 19
6. Ewan Wilson / Finley Armstrong, GBR, 22
7. Zeno Biagio Santini / Marco Misseroni , ITA, 23
8. Jens-ChristianDehn-Toftehoj / Mads Fuglbjerg, DEN, 25
9. Oliver Evans / Will Jarman, GBR, 27
10. Freya Black / James Grummet, GBR, 28

Full Results are downloadable below

Published in Youth Sailing
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Youth sailors from the Irish 29er fleet travelled to Gdynia, Poland to compete in the Zhik 29er World championships held last week, from Friday 26th to Saturday 3rd August writes Chris Bateman (17), a member of the Irish contingent that teamed up with the US Virgin Islands.

Two years ago, three Irish sailors competed in the 2017 29er World Championships in California. Since then our 29er fleet has grown steadily and to demonstrate that growth eight Irish sailors competed in this year's Worlds in Gdynia.

Charlie Cullen and Ben HoganCharlie Cullen and Ben Hogan

This year Ireland had great representation, with three full Irish teams competing. These teams were Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan (RCYC), Charlie Cullen and Ben Hogan (RStGYC), and Lola Kohl with Johnny Durcan (RCYC). Also competing, and sailing on a mixed Irish/US Virgin Island team were RCYC 29er sailors Sophie Crosbie, Dawson Kohl, Jonathan O’Shaughnessy, and Chris Bateman.

Lola Kohl Johnny DurcanLola Kohl and Johnny Durcan

Gdynia is a beautiful place at this time of year, and the Irish competitors took no time in rigging their 29ers on the white sand beach opposite the city. With the event due to commence Saturday morning, boat preparation was finished a few days prior.

A light forecast was in store for the week, which held true for the first day of racing. The first gun was due for all fleets at 11 am but winds under five knots forced the sailors to stay ashore. A fickle breeze came in the afternoon, enough to send out the competitors. The light breeze suited the Irish, with every team doing well in their respective fleets. The race of the day went to Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan, scoring a sixth in race one.

Harry Twomey DurcanHarry Twomey and Harry Durcan

Day two proved the forecast to be wrong, with grey clouds and 15 to 20-knot winds blowing across the beach. But warm water awaited and all 178 competitors launched in good time for the traditional 11 am start. There were thrills and spills, with a big chop and strong winds making the racing tough. The Irish sailors had two bullets, with Lola Kohl and Johnny Durcan winning the first race. Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan won the last race of the day.

The sun shone down on Gdynia beach for day three of racing. A cloudless sky allowed for a thermal wind to fill in, which gave the sailors a light wind day of racing. Steep chop made the races very tough. Massive wind shifts caused chaos on the course. Luckily the Irish sailors stayed fully focused, and remained conservative to hold high positions.

Launching on day four (Wednesday) was a quick process, but a lack of wind forced the race committee to send the sailors ashore to wait for wind. This meant that the main aim of the day was to search for shade and have some fun. Unfortunately, the wind level stayed too low and racing was abandoned for the day.

Lucy Klempen Chris BatemanLucy Klempen and Chris Bateman on the wire

Day five dawned with the sun splitting the stones and a gentle 10-knot breeze blowing. Four races were scheduled, with the usual first gun at 11 am. The wind increased dramatically as the day went on, and by the last race of the day, a steady 18- 24-knot breeze was blowing. These heavy winds tested the Irish sailors to their limits. The races of the day went to two teams, Charlie Cullen and Ben Hogan, with a fifth and a third in the bronze fleet, and Lucy Klempen with Chris Bateman, scoring fifth in the final windy race in the silver fleet.

Day 5 strong windsDay 5 - strong winds

Day six, the final day of racing rolled around. Sunny conditions brightened the atmosphere on the beach. The points were still very close, and there was a lot to be lost and gained. A very light five-knot breeze blew on the course, making perfect sailing the only option for success. Two Irish teams sat in contention for a top 20 finish. Four difficult races were held, with both teams holding up well in the conditions.

Racing over, the closing ceremony officially ended the event on Saturday 3rd August. RCYC sailors Harry Twomey and Harry Durcan had a top-class performance, finishing in an astonishing ninth place out of 178 boats as Afloat previously reported here. Fellow Cork sailors Lola Kohl and Johnny Durcan finished in 16th place, having held on to a great top 20 result.

All of the team did great, proving that not only can you race competitively, but you can also have fun and make lifelong friends from other parts of the world. And with the rapid growth of the Irish 29er fleet, the fun will continue not just abroad, but on our home waters too.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon lies second overall – and first in the under 17 category – going into the final days racing of the ILCA Laser Radial Youth World Championships currently underway in Kingston, Canada.

The 2019 edition of the championships sees 208 competitors from 32 countries competing for World titles in both boys and girls divisions.

Six Irish sailors, four boys and two girls, have made the journey to the 1976 Olympic sailing venue.

McMahon went straight from this month's Youth World Sailing Championships in Poland for the Canadian event.

After 10 races with the final two on Wednesday, some of the Irish sailors are featuring strongly.

A great start for Irish sailors saw both Tom Higgins and Eve McMahon (HYC) top their respective leaderboards after day one.

Subsequent results have seen Higgins drop back to 8th, while McMahon has continued good form and now lies 2nd overall and 1st in the under 17 category.

Clare Gorman (NYC) is in 5th place in the Girls division, while Michéal O’Suilleabhain lies 12th and Eve’s brother Jamie McMahon is in 34th place in the Boys gold fleet.

Full Irish results (after 10 Races)(12 races to complete the regatta)

Girls Gold Fleet:

2. Eve McMahon

5. Clare Gorman (NYC)

Boys Gold Fleet:

8. Tom Higgins

12. Michéal O’Suilleabhain

34. Jamie McMahon (HYC)

Silver Fleet:

51. James Delaney (NYC)

Bronze Fleet:

49. Sam Rutherford

Full results here

Published in Youth Sailing
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The penultimate day of the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland saw three gold medals decided ahead of today’s final races.

Ireland is competing in the boys and girls divisions of both the Laser Radial and the 29er dinghy.

Singlehanded Sibling's Jamie and Eve McMahon from Howth are in the Radial while Leah Rickard and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty and Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge compete in the doublehanded skiff.

It's been a mixed week for this debutante Irish team with some fine individual performances (including a race win for Geraghty McDonnell van Steenberge) but all four found it tough to string a consistent series together. Overall results are here.

There are double celebrations in the 420 fleets tonight after Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) and Madeline Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA) sealed the deal in the Boy’s and Girl’s division with just one race remaining. The Mixed Nacra 15 gold medal was also decided as Will Cooley and Rebecca Hancock (AUS) have an unassailable nine point lead.

All the teams have to do on Friday in their final race is stay out of trouble and avoid a non-discardable disqualification or penalty. The way all three teams have been sailing this week, it’s unlikely any will faulter at the final hurdle and make such a mistake.

The points are significantly closer heading into the final day for the remaining six events with plenty up and downs shaking up the leaderboards.

The Girl’s 420 perpetual RYA Trophy will head to the USA for the third consecutive year after Hawkins and Yoshiyasu picked up from where Carmen and Emma Cowles left off.

Consistency was king for the Americas and going into Friday their lead stands at 22-points. As their highest score is a seventh, they cannot be caught so will walk away as champions.

“We were crying on the way in,” the pair said enthusiastically, “We’re really happy. We’re just going to go out tomorrow and have a solid race but it doesn’t matter because gold is wrapped up.”

They recorded a fourth and a fifth from their two races which was in their game plan. Hawkins commented, “Honestly we were going out there with a mindset to get top seven finishes. That’s all we really needed. We just made sure we could chip off boats and weren’t getting stressed about not being in first or being in 15th. We wanted to be as consistent as possible.”

That steadiness paid off as their rivals had up and down days. The race for silver and bronze will be fierce on Friday as teams from Spain, Germany, Portugal and Argentina are all in contention.

As one of the leading returning teams from the 2018 edition of the Championships, Menzies and McGlashan were touted as potential gold medallists in the Boy’s 420 and they lived up to the billing.

Sitting on 26 points, their discard is a ninth which means that Martin Wizner and Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) cannot catch them on the race course. Only a non-discardable scoreline would see gold slip away.

From the day’s two races, the Kiwis sailed their worst day of the event with a 7-4 but those around them also had mixed days. A fight is on for the remaining podium positions. Teams from Spain, Israel, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, USA and Chile all have a chance to claim a medal.

The word consistency is one that is used often in sailing but is an apt word as keeping a consistent scoreline can reap rewards.

Across the week in the Mixed Nacra 15, Australia’s Cooley and Hancock have not won one race but their consistency is unrivalled and they have not finished outside of the top eight once. With one race remaining, they have clinched gold as they hold enough of a points buffer over the French team to confirm the title.

The lead has changed on a daily basis in the Nacra 15 but the Australians prevailed.

Two points separate Titouan Petard and Marion Declef (FRA) and Silas Mühle and Levke Möller (GER) in second and third. It’s not out of the realms of possibility for the chasing teams to overhaul the French and Germans but they would need results to go their way.

Americans Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto are racing in their second Hempel Youth Worlds in the Girl’s 29er. The pair won silver at the 2018 edition on their home waters and are within touching distance of gold this time round.

They posted a 1-2-1 on Thursday which gives them a 16-point lead over Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis. Two races will follow on Friday and one top eight result will confirm gold.

When asked if their 2018 experience helped them to be in this position, Puig was quick to acknowledge the benefits of going to two in a row, “We already knew what to expect,” she expressed. “This regatta is pretty different and sailing in an all-girls fleet is a different experience. Especially in the US as there aren’t as many girls as we would like but getting the experience last year was very beneficial.”

Their two races wins and a second on Thursday was their most impressive performance of the week and has put them in pole position. On how they sailed so well, Puig said, “It was pretty light at the beginning with about 8 knots out there. It was about staying consistent and making sure that we were on the right shift most of the time, especially on the downwinds. We kept it simple as much as possible.”

Just three points separate the Schultheis sisters and Sweden’s Martina Carlsson and Amanda Ljunggren in second and third.

Much like the Americans, Norway’s Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty are well positioned to take Boy’s 29er gold. Two races remain and the Norwegians have an 18-point lead over Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN).

The race for gold will go down to the wire in the Boy’s Laser Radial fleet on Friday. Zac Littlewood (AUS) claimed two seconds on Thursday to remove local hopeful Tytus Butowski (POL) from top spot but just one point splits the pair.

Their discards aren’t comfortable enough for them to match race on the water but fireworks are expected and Butowski will look to draw upon his experience of his home waters to claim a historic gold for Poland.

Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani has led the Girl’s Laser Radial fleet from start to finish. However, she has not been a runaway leader and it was only after Thursday’s action that she has put some daylight in-between herself and the chasing pack.

Tied overnight on 17-points with Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP), the Italian finished 12th and second from two races. The Spanish racer could not find her form and was black flagged in the first race before coming through in 12th.

Benini Floriani leads on 31-points followed by the Spaniard on 46, Shai Kakon (ISR) on 47 and Matilda Nicholls (GBR) on 49.

Three races will be sailed in the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X on Friday. As it stands, Linoy Geva (ISR) is on top of the girl’s division on 29-points followed by Holoise Macquaert (FRA) on 33, Yana Reznikova (RUS) on 34, Natasa Lappa (CYP) on 36 and Julia Matveenko (BLR) on 29.

France’s Fabien Pianazza took three straight race wins on Thursday and has moved two points clear of Nicolo Renna (ITA). The French and Italian sailors have shared nine of ten race victories and will likely fight it out for gold in Friday’s three races.

Leonidas Tsortanidis (GRE) occupies the final podium spot but has Liam Segev (ISR) and Finn Hawkins (GBR) in close company.

Racing is scheduled to commence at the earlier time of 10:40 on Friday 19 July as the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships concludes.

Published in Youth Sailing
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In the Girls 29er fleet, at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, Ireland's Leah Rickard (National YC) and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (from Kerry’s Tralee Bay Sailing Club) scored (26.0 UFD), 6.0, 15.0, 22.0 and 43.0 to be 18th from 25 after four races sailed at Gdynia, Poland. 

The Irish boys Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge, who won the second race of the championships on Monday, are 16th from 28 with a scoreline of 12.0, 1.0 16.0, 15.0, (28.0) and 22.0.

Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis found the right note at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships as the Girl’s 29er fleet commenced their competition.

Having sat ashore waiting to race and subsequently unable to because of minimal breeze on Monday, the Girl’s 29er and 420 fleets, as well as the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X, finally hit the water for racing and the Maltese sisters shone in the 29er.

Gdansk Bay, just off Gdynia in Poland, was full of the sights and sounds of the 2019 Hempel Youth Worlds, the 49th edition of the prestigious event, and a more stable breeze enabled each fleet to complete a good number of races.

More than 400 sailors from 66 nations are racing on boats supplied by Ovington Boats (Boy’s and Girl’s 29er), Nautivela (Boy’s and Girl’s 420), Laser Performance / Maclaren (Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial) and Nacra Sailing (Mixed Nacra 15). The RS:X racers are sailing on their own equipment for 2019. Even to make it to the Youth Worlds is an achievement in itself with only one nation represented in each fleet.

The Schultheis sisters, racing at their second Hempel Youth Worlds together, were models of consistency in the Girl’s 29er. Four races were completed on Tuesday and the pair recorded a (5)-2-3-3 scoreline which positions them at the top of the leaderboard, a point clear of Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto (USA).

On their day, the sisters commented, almost in unison, “It was super shifty today but the wind increased. We sailed constant and well and are happy with our result.

“It was quite choppy. It was difficult to keep the speed up because sometimes the boat just stopped. We are quite light so it’s a bit easier for us to get over the waves. We’re satisfied with our performance. We were consistent.”

At the 2018 edition of the Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, the pair finished a creditable tenth and have understanding of the event and its prestige. They concluded, “We’re really happy but we’re not getting over excited. We’re just going to keep our cool. Our aim was a top five and we’d be happy with that. We just want to have fun.”

Great Britain’s Freya Black and Millie Aldridge are also racing at their second Championships and occupy third place after the opening day. After racing, Black commented, “There’s a lot of good girls here. The Americans, Maltese and Swedish are going to be the ones to watch. There’s more variety here and it’s all to play for. We’re really happy with today.”

The Boy’s 29er added another three races to their overall total. The defending champions Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) moved up to first overall after a consistent day. They notched up a 3-1-3 scoreline and have moved ten points clear of overnight Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN) who had a mixed day. British racers, Ewan Wilson and Finley Armstrong, occupy third overall.

Published in Youth Sailing
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A win in the second race of the Youth Sailing Worlds in Poland for Ireland's Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge has given the National Yacht Club duo an early boost and leaves them fourth overall after three races sailed.

The Dun Laoghaire duo also scored a 12th and a 16 in their 28-boat fleet at Gydnia yesterday.

In the Girls 29er fleet, Ireland's Leah Rickard (also from NYC) and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (from Kerry’s Tralee Bay Sailing Club) have yet to race.

Thomas Chaix is coaching the Irish 29ers. Results are here.

The Boy’s and Girl’s 29er, provided by Ovington Boats, are sharing boats in Gdynia. The 28-boat Boy’s 29er were able to complete three races but the Girl’s 29er fleet were unable to race due to dying winds.

29er youth sailingClose racing at the 29er Youth Worlds in Poland where Ireland won race two

Finland’s Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer got off to a great start, posting a 1-(3)-3 scoreline. "We started well and had good speed," said Bremer, "this put us in the top three all day. It was really shifty and there were a lot of holes in the wind. It built up but it was still challenging."

Korhonen added, "The communication was good today so that helped us most. It’s been a great ever so far, really fun. We’re with the best in the world here."

Spain’s Enrique Urios Salinas and Filippo Binetti Pozzi had a tough start to the competition, sailing their way to a 22nd and a 13th but a bullet in the final race propelled them up the leaderboard.

"We didn’t start as good as we thought we would," commented the Spanish duo. "The conditions were not easy. The wind was really unstable and we couldn’t place where we wanted to place.

"We concentrated a bit more, spoke to our coach and after that we were more focused and did what we were supposed to do. We won the last leg. I think we did really well."

The Spaniards are sixth overall. Defending champions Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) occupy second and Sweden’s Marius Westerlind and Olle Aronsson are third.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Howth Yacht Club brother and sister, Jamie and Eve McMahon, are the first Irish siblings to qualify for the same Irish Youth Sailing Team and will compete in the Laser Radial class at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland in July.

After a successful outing at the RYA Youth Nationals for the first time, report here Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge (National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire), with Leah Rickard and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (Tralee Bay Sailing Club, Fenit) will race in the 29er class.

 Eve McMahon achieved her standard in spectacular fashion winning the u17 category at the Europa Cup in Lake Garda last week, as Afloat reported here.

The Youth Sailing World Championships will see over 100 nations compete, and is the world’s leading championship for youth sailors. Ireland first competed in the championship in 1971 and won medals in 1996, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

There will be no Irish 420 crews participating in Poland this year.

Irish Sailing Laser Radial coach Sean Evans will attend and Thomas Chaix will coach the 29ers.

Racing starts 13 July in Gydnia, Poland. More here

Published in Laser
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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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