Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Coulter, Kingston and Cronin Lead The Way at 2024 ILCA Connaught Championships on Lough Ree

1st May 2024
The ILCA 6 Connaught Championships start line at Lough Ree Yacht Club. Fortune favours the brave
The ILCA 6 Connaught Championships start line at Lough Ree Yacht Club. Fortune favours the brave Credit: Clive Long

Light winds in Lough Ree did not stop the ILCA fleet from completing two days of very tight racing in 5 to 10 knots. In stereotypical lake sailing weather, the light northerly breeze kept all three fleets with their heads out of the boat, trying to anticipate the next shift or gust of wind. Race Officer Alan Algeo and his team had their work cut out for them as nearly 100 ILCAs played snakes and ladders in the beautiful surroundings of Lough Ree.

The ILCA 4 fleet had much at stake this weekend. In the aftermath of Storm Kathleen, the ILCA 4 Class was left without any competitive sailing at the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in early April. However, ILCA Ireland has stepped up to the plate and agreed to allow the ILCA Connachts to be used as a trophy event for the ILCA 4 category for the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals. After 6 races Conor Cronin led the way on 12 points. Second went to Caoilinn McDonnell on 16 point and third to Andrew O’Neill on 17 points.

Racing for the Junior National Championship title in ILCA 4s on Lough ReeRacing for the Junior National Championship title in ILCA 4s on Lough Ree Photo: Clive Long

The ILCA 6 fleet, as usual, was looking for every possible advantage and pushed the line to general recall on a number of occasions over the weekend. After five races, Andrew Kingston led the fleet on 6 points, with Daniel Palmer in second on 13 points and Dan O’Connor in third, also on 13 points. Sean Craig led the ILCA 6 masters, finishing 4th overall on 15 points, with Gavin Doig 5th overall and second master.

In the ILCA 7, Tom Coulter won convincingly, discarding a second to finish on 5 points. Conor Byrne finished second and was the first master on 14 points, while Rory Lynch, also on 14 points, finished 3rd.

As always, Lough Ree Yacht Club were exceptional hosts, providing ample space and facilities for camping and a catered dinner on Saturday evening.

The ILCA dinghies sailing in Lough Ree at the Connaught Championships 2024 Photo: Clive LongThe ILCA dinghies sailing in Lough Ree at the Connaught Championships 2024 Photo: Clive Long

The next ILCA event is the Masters Championship, which will take place at Howth Yacht Club on May 11th and 12th. It is open to all ILCA sailors 30+ years of age.

Full Results are available here

Race Results

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Published in Laser Team

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About the ILCA/Laser Dinghy

The ILCA, formerly known as the Laser, is the most produced boat in the world, with 220,000 units built since 1971.

It's easy to see why the single-handed dinghy has won the title of the most widely distributed boat of all time.

The Laser is a one-design dinghy, the hulls being identical but three rigs that can be used according to the size and weight of the sailor.

The class is international, with sailors from 120 countries. The boat has also been an Olympic class since 1996, being both the men's and women's singlehanded dinghy.

Three rigs are recognised by the International Laser Class Association (ILCA):

  • ILCA 4: sail of 4.70m2
  • ILCA 6: sail of 5.76 m2
  • ILCA 7: sail of 7.06 m2

At A Glance – Laser Dinghy Specifications

Designer Bruce Kirby & Ian Bruce

Year 1969

Crew 1
Draft 0.787 m (2 ft 7.0 in)
Hull weight 58.97 kg (130.0 lb)
LOA 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
LWL 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.39 m (4 ft 7 in)
Mainsail area 7.06 m2 (76.0 sq ft)

Racing D-PN 91.1 RYA PN 1088 PHRF 217

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