Over 200 applications have been received from across the world already - although this is a European Championships with entries from 18 European countries so far, there is also an open event with an 11 strong USA team conspicuous amongst other entries from Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Guatemala, Canada, Netherlands Antilles and the US Virgin Islands.
Local interest includes Ballyholme sailor Dan McGaughey who was Irish Youth Sailor of the year in 2018 and is currently training with the GBR squad despite the extra travelling required. The Irish squad though is strong as evidenced at the Irish Laser Nationals last summer when Michael O’Sulleabhain won ahead of Tom Higgins, Dan and a number of visiting UKLA sailors.
Irish ladies will be focussing on Howth’s Eve McMahon who despite only turning 16 recently is trialling for the Tokyo Olympics this week in Melbourne Australia at the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds against 3 seniors including Rio Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy. Eve won the Under 17 section of the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Canada last summer. Also sailing in Melbourne are 3 Australian girls who are heading to Ballyholme - Eve is ahead of them at the midway point in the regatta.
Sailors are expected to arrive from as early as Friday 26th June with a number including the GBR squad looking to take part in the Laser Ulster Championships on the weekend of 27th/28th June at County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead. This event should allow sailors to acclimatise with their first views of Belfast Lough and what to expect weather-wise - their race arena is on the northern side of Belfast Lough opposite Bangor.
The Championships are expecting to host 250 to 350 sailors.