Wexford Boat Club's Ronan Wallace leads the KBC Mens Laser Radial World Championships at the halfway stage at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. In the boys division Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon has produced a stand out performance after five races to be in third position in the biggest fleet of the competition.
In a consistent showing for the host nation entry, 27–year–old Wallace counts four top ten results on his scoresheet. He tops the international leaderboard but it couldn't be tighter as the Irish Moth sailor shares the same 36–points overall as second placed Nik Pletikos of Slovakia and Holland's Maarten Bastiaan Smit in the 42–boat fleet.
Early morning westerly breezes up to 19–knots on day three of the regatta allowed race officers to catch up on the race programme. There was praise across the dinghy park for the way the race management teams had persevered in the fickle winds since Monday.
'This is another great regatta in Dublin and I am enjoying sailing in these difficult conditions' said Croatia's Sven Stevanovic who counts a race win in his scoreline. Stevanovic is making a return trip to Dublin Bay having also competed at the Royal St. George Yacht Club when it staged the Optimist dinghy European Championships in 2014.
It was the same thumbs–up verdict from Brazil's Victor de Marchi who compared the venue to his home club, except there are 'no waves in Sao Paulo', he said.
Use of alternate marks, constant wind–moniotring and two nimble race management teams kept the championships on course again today despite the variable conditions.
It was another seven hour day on the water but it was a productive one that balanced the boys fleet races and by tea time each of the four boys fleets had sailed five qualifying races. Overall, the boys are led by American youth Henry Marshall who counts three race wins but Ireland's Ewan McMahon has four results in the top five and is discarding a seventh as the regatta enters its halfway stage for the boys divisions tomorrow. The host club's Conor O'Beirne took a race in race five yesterday afternnoon to put him in ninth place, the second Irish sailor in the top ten overall.
The girls fleet sailed three races today leaving them only two behind the full programme.
Norway's 18–year–old Caroline Rosmo leads her 76–boat fleet with three race wins from four starts. The Oslo sailor explained her race strategy was all about staying on the high tack but she revealed a change of plan for race two when the wind swung into the east. 'For this race I decided it was the strong current [a two–knot flood tide] that was the dominant factor for me'. It is Rosmo's first time to lead at a world championships.
Top Irish girls are Dun Laoghaire's Nicole Hemeryck in 13th and Howth's Aoife Hopkins in 18th overall.
Racing continues tomorrow with a forecast for stronger winds. In a change to the sailing instructions, the race committee says it intends again to race three races back to back.
Results here are provisional and subject to protest.