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RYANI Hails Local Topper Sailors’ Success in Worlds and Nationals

19th August 2023
NI sailors and fellow competitors at the British Topper Nationals held at Plas Heli Sailing Club from 5-11 August
NI sailors and fellow competitors at the British Topper Nationals held at Plas Heli Sailing Club from 5-11 August

RYA Northern Ireland has hailed the success of its junior sailors in the recent Topper Worlds as well as the Irish and British Nationals in the region’s largest junior single-handed class.

In early July, four out of the top five sailors in the Irish Nationals at Ballyholme Yacht Club were from the Northern Ireland fleet — with Cormac Byrne of Strangford Sailing Club in second, Luke Simpson from County Antrim YC in third and Ballyholme YC’s Emily Macafee fifth overall, while in the 4.3 Class, Adam Green of Lough Erne YC placed third.

As previously reported on, CAYC’s Luke Simpson and Tom Driscoll from the Royal North and Ballyholme provided NI’s best performances at the Royal Cork in the Topper Worlds later in July.

After a long week at the Worlds, only five NI sailors made the trip to Plas Heli Sailing Club in North Wales for the British Nationals last week but again put in a fantastic effort.

Cormac Byrne hit out with an incredible first day posting a 2, 1, 2 to lead overall, only to then suffer a Black flag in race two and have the scores amended. A tough blow but these things happen in championship racing.

Lighter winds played a part in the qualifying rounds as likely candidates struggled and some even missed the cut for the gold fleet. Consistency would prove invaluable and Like managed the event very well to make the podium in third overall.

With more wind on the last day, others managed to find form, posting several top three results, but after a tough start to the week had to settle for places just outside of the top ten: Tom 12th, Emily 15th and Cormac in 20th.

“Congratulations to our sailors on a great competition season. And hats off to the parents and coaches who supported them and drove them around the country and further afield to realise their goals,” RYANI said.

Viking Marine is Ireland's official Topper supplier offering Topper dinghies and parts for sale.


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