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It’s all change at the UK Topper 5.3 Nationals at Weymouth now that the fleet has been split into Gold and Silver.

Some of the Northern Ireland sailors who were making quite an impression in the huge fleet haven’t fared so well today in the slightly brisker breeze.

Tom and Bobby Driscoll from Ballyholme in Bangor were lying third and fourth before the split and now have dropped back to 10th and 17th in the 55-strong Gold Fleet after three races.

Bobby had a disappointing Race 1 when he was OCS. But climbing up the order is Luke Simpson of County Antrim BC at Whitehead on Belfast Lough who is lying third overall going into the penultimate day.

Also in contention is Cormac Byrne from Strangford Sailing Club who lies eighth and two places behind is Autumn Halliday of Strangford Lough YC.  At 25th is Emily McAfee of Ballyholme.

In the Silver fleet, Isabel Nixon of Ballyholme and Donaghadee is putting up a good show and lies 8th.

The 4.2 fleet had 25 starters and here Hugo Boyd of Ballyholme finished 8th overall.

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The countback to determine the World champion Topper 5.3 sailor dashed the dreams of Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme and Royal North Yacht Clubs on Belfast Lough when he lost out on the tie break of 22 points to Joe Rowe of Draycote Water SC at the Topper Worlds at Riva del Garda today (29th July).

Bobby had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets.

These first places didn’t of course count towards the final score and Joe’s single first place in the final series gave him the advantage in the 73-strong Gold fleet which had included twelve sailors from the North. And among those were Bobby's brother Tom and Callum’s brother Rory.

A start at the Topper Worlds in ItalyA start at the Topper Worlds in Italy

The next scoring highest competitor was Liam Duggan of Royal Cork in the Youth section who finished 6th overall and the highest place girl was Lily Browning of Island Barn Sailing Club.

Bobby Driscoll had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets at the Topper WorldsBobby Driscoll had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets at the Topper Worlds

Another BYC sailor, Daniel Palmer had finished 3rd in the qualifiers but struggled in the much lighter winds of the final two days finishing 12th despite going into the Final series in 3rd. Cormac Byrne (BYC, Strangford SC, Quoile YC) finished 20th and Luke Simpson from County Antrim YC at Whitehead on Belfast Lough followed in a creditable 22nd slot. Emily McAfee’s 24th and 4th Girl was a commendable result too.

But Callum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the north shore of Belfast Lough kept his dreams alive in the Northern contingent topping the 4.2 fleet and scoring only 17 points over 11 races (2 discards). Next of the Irish contingent was Ronan Quinlan of Waterford Harbour SC at 5th.

Callum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the podium on Lake GardaCallum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the podium on Lake Garda

There was considerable enthusiasm amongst the young Topper sailors who ‘volunteered’ their coaches and parents for the breezy evening 'Master's Championship' race, held just of the harbour wall. Forth five boats took to the water in the testing 18-knot breeze – ideal conditions for the ‘larger’ Topper helm, although many keen light-weight Mums also took up the challenge. It was the perfect way to round off the day and a chance for all the patient parents that had spent the week waiting ashore to join in the fun.

Results are downloadable below

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Northern Ireland's Bobby Driscoll shares the lead Topper World Championships on Lake Garda in Italy after winning six of eight races sailed so far in the 5.3 division.

The Ballyholme sailor from Belfast Lough has a three-point lead over Leo Yates of Great Britain.

The under 18 Irish Topper squad is performing strongly, with Driscoll's clubmate Daniel Palmer in third place.

Joining them in the top ten is Liam Duggan of Royal Cork YC in 7th.

As the fleet combines boys and girls, Riona McMorrow Moriarty lies in 16th place overall but is the second girl.

Cormac Byrne and Autumn Halliday are in 22nd and 23rd, respectively, with Emily MacAfee in 27th. 

Seventeen young Topper sailors from Northern Ireland are taking part and results have been impressive in what was a huge fleet of 170 covering the two divisions – Topper 4.2s and 5.3s.

Riva Del Garda delivered classic Lake Garda conditions for the opening races of the Championships 2022. After a wait of three years, the first wins went to Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme and Royal North YCs  on Belfast Lough’s south shore in the Yellow flight with three straight wins – an impressive result matched by Leo Yates of Island Barn SC, south east of London,  in the Blue fleet who also chalked up three straight wins .

Bobby Driscoll who is the son of the well-known Irish Finn 1996 Olympian and coach John Driscoll, was well ahead of the chasing pack in the 17-18 Knot Ora breeze and 35 degree heat, which dropped a little for the final race. After eight races in which Driscoll scored six wins, he now leads the fleet by three points from Leo Yates of Island Barn SC near London and only one point behind is Ballyholme’s Daniel Palmer.  Cormac Byrne of Strangford SC, Ballyholme and Quoile is well up at 22nd and currently Autumn Halliday from Strangford Lough YC at 23rd is one of the top girls.

And another Northern sailor, Calum Pollard from County Antrim YC on the north side of Belfast Lough in the 24-boat strong Topper 4.2 Championship, leads the fleet and counts four first places in seven races. He has been awarded the Gold Bib twice.

Racing continues until the 29th July.

Download results below.

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26 competitors, including six from the host club of Lough Erne Yacht Club, competed in the Topper traveller 4 event on Sunday, 17th July.

Four races were completed in glorious sunshine and a steady force 2-3 wind on the Lough.

The 4.2 class saw an incredibly close battle with only 1 point separating the top 3 positions. 1st Adam Green, LEYC, 2nd Jessica Dadley-Young, Ballyholme YC. 3rd Ben McCaldin, LEYC.

The Topper Traveller four event was held at Lough ErneThe Topper Traveller four event was held at Lough Erne

Again the 5.3 class was a close contest with also only 1 point separating the top 3 overall positions.

Michael Brines was the event organiser and JP McCaldin was race officer.

The Topper Traveller prizes at Lough ErneThe Topper Traveller prizes at Lough Erne

Northern Ireland Water sponsored the event with refillable water bottles and goodies for all competitors.

An Irish team will travel to Lake Garda for the Topper World Championships.

Junior Boys 

1st (and 1st overall) Leo O’Doherty, Sligo YC.
2nd Joseph Robinson, Ballyholme YC.
3rd Henry Nelson, Ballyholme YC.

Youth Boys
1st Peter Kenny, WHBTC / WHSC
2nd Peter Doyle, WHBTC / WHSC
3rd Eoin Byrne, WHSC / RCYC

Junior Girls
1st Chloe Craig, Carrickfergus SC
2nd Isabel Nixon, Ballyholme YC / Donaghadee SC

Youth Girls
1st Ella Fitzgerald, Newtonards Yacht Club / Ballyholme YC
2nd Autumn Halliday, Strangford Lough YC
3rd Chloe Cairns, Ballyholme YC

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A total of 52 boats from a dozen clubs around the island competed in the Topper Irish National Championships hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East from July 1 to 3.

The event offered sailors an opportunity to show what they are capable of in a range of weather conditions, from Friday’s strong gusts and heavy swells to Sunday’s much lighter
winds and calmer seas.

Friday’s conditions in particular offered some challenging and exhilarating moments for the junior fleet. A southwesterly wind ranging from 15kt to 18kt in the first race had begun gusting 25kt by the second race. On the downwind leg in race 2, one Topper was clocked at 11.5kt.

 Topper Irish National Championships

The gusts and the 2m-3m swell made for a tough day for all involved, and the safety team were kept busy under the careful oversight of Safety Leader Philip Scallan.

Race Officer Michael Conway and Philip Scallan assessed conditions after race 2 and decided to postpone the planned third race and let everybody come ashore.

On Saturday, there was still a good strong SW breeze of 15-18kt, and while the bright sunshine made for more pleasant conditions, the sailors still had a big swell to contend with during the day’s three races. The strong wind took its toll on the junior fleet with quite a few retiring after the 2nd race.

On Sunday, the fleet was greeted with a complete contrast of calm conditions and a wind that barely reached 8-10kts. The change in wind strength also brought a change in the results pattern over the three races, with some sailors taking the opportunity to show what they can do in lighter winds.

 Topper Irish National Championships

Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme Yacht Club led the fleet throughout Friday and Saturday with an impressive 5 bullets by the end of Saturday, and a 10th and 2nd on Sunday, to claim the overall title. RCYC’s Liam Duggan maintained his second place spot through the first four races to eventually come second overall, while clubmate Riona McMorrow Moriarty remained a strong contender throughout, taking third place overall and first junior female.

In the 4.2 fleet, Calum Pollard of County Antrim Yacht Club had an unbroken run of seven first place positions, with lively competition for the second and third spots. WHSC’s Lúí Ivory took second place, and clubmate Niamh Lynch was third.
With as many as 40 sailors competing in the Topper Nationals also due to take part in the World Championships, many spent Sunday evening packing their boats into a container fotransport to Lake Garda. Competitors praised the well-organised event, which was sponsored by Toyta Waterford and Suirway, and warm WHSC welcome they got over the weekend, including a youth disco on Saturday.

Selected overall Topper Irish National Championships results

Main fleet
1 – Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
4.2 fleet
1 - Calum Pollard (County Antrim Yacht Club)
2 – Lúí Ivory (WHSC)
3 – Niamh Lynch (WHSC)
Youth female
1 - Autumn Halliday (Strangford Lough YC)
2 – Katie Brow (BYC)
3 – Isabelle Passberger (WHSC)
Youth male
1 - Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 – Rian Collins (RCYC)
Junior female
1 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
2 – Emily McAfee (BYC)
3 – Chloe Craig (Carrickfergus SC)
Junior male
1 – Cormac Byrne (Strangford SC / BYC)
2 – Joseph Robinson (BYC)
3 – Henry Nelson (BYC)

Full results here

Published in Topper

A fleet of more than 50 Toppers from ten sailing clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East on Friday to compete in the three-day Irish Topper National Championships, from July 1 to 3 at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (WHSC).

Racing starts at midday on Friday, 11 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday, with three races planned per day. Eight sailors are expected to sail in the 4.2 class.  The remainder will be in full rig 5.3 boats.

Fourteen WHSC boats will be competing, but the biggest contingent is from Royal Cork Yacht Club. Nineteen are registered from the Cork club.

For some participants, the event is an opportunity to get in some final competitive sailing ahead of the Topper World Championships in Riva Del Garda in Italy. The event was due to be held in 2020, but was cancelled due to Covid 19.

With 40 sailors competing in the Topper Nationals also due to take part in the World Championships, an all-Ireland container of Topper boats will be leaving from Dunmore East on Sunday. It will transport boats from Waterford, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, Dublin and Bangor and is expected to arrive in Lake Garda on July 20.

The event there runs from Monday, July 25 to Fri 29. Twelve WHSC sailors are among those travelling to Italy.

Commodore Roy Power said: “It’s great to see such enthusiasm from our younger members. Conditions currently look good for some really competitive sailing over the weekend and another chance to showcase the best of what sailing in the south east has to offer.

Published in Topper

Five winds from eight races gave local sailor Bobby Driscoll from the hosting Ballyholme Yacht Club a clear overall win ahead of clubmate Emily McAfee in the 51-boat Topper 5.3 event, one of the biggest fleets of the Youth Sailing Championships.

Driscoll finished on 13 points compared to McAfee's 19.

Third overall was Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club's Peter Kenny on 39 points.

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Racing concluded on Sunday in the Royal Cork Yacht Club Laser and Topper Frostbite leagues with races 13,14 and 15 in bright but cold light winds under race officer Maurice Collins. Previous races in the series were overseen by Barry Rose and Rob Foster.

The league started this year with a six-race sprint event on Sunday the 7th which served as both a stand-alone event and the first 6 races in the Frostbite League.

Traditionally the prize-giving would be held at the junior laying up supper however as that has been postponed this year, Rear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan conducted the prize giving on the club lawn following racing.

Rear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan, ILCA 4 Winner Mauro G Regueral Noguerol, Laser class Captain Tim Mc CarthyRear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan, ILCA 4 Winner Mauro G Regueral Noguerol, Laser class Captain Tim Mc Carthy

Sailing in both ILCA 4 and Toppers went right down to the wire with final places changing in both on the last day.

Runner up Isabel Mc CarthyILCA 4 Runner up Isabel Mc Carthy

The overall winner in ILCA 4 was Mauro G Regueral Noguerol with Isabel Mc Carthy in second and Max Tolan third.

3rd Ilca 4 Max Tolan3rd ILCA 4 Max Tolan

Overall Topper gold fleet winner and recipient of the Bill Jones trophy presented by Brian Jones was Rowan MacSweeney with Liam Duggan second and Julie O Neill third. Andrew O'Neill won the silver fleet with Ellen Mc Donagh second and Sean Holmes third.

Royal Cork Topper Frostbite racingRoyal Cork Topper Frostbite racing

Class captains Maurice Collins (Toppers) and Tim Mc Carthy (Lasers) would like to thank all those that volunteered over the month and during the year in helping both fleets to go racing and most of all to the sailors for such a spirited series.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Racing continued on Sunday in the Royal Cork Yacht Club Laser (ILCA) and Topper Frostbite leagues with races 10,11 and 12 in bright but cold 16 knot winds under race officer Barry Rose.

In the ILCA 4 division, all three races were won by Oisín MacSweeney. In the Toppers, Liam Duggan won race 10 and Rowan MacSweeney won races 11 and 12.

The overall leader in ILCA 4 is Isabel Mc Carthy with Mauro G Regueral Noguerol in second and Max Tolan in third.

Overall, the Topper gold fleet is led by Rowan MacSweeney with Liam Duggan second and Julie O'Neill third. Andrew O'Neill is leading the silver fleet with Sean Holmes second and Ellen Mc Donagh third.

The league started this year with a six-race sprint event on Sunday the seventh which served as both a stand-alone event and the first 6 races in the Frostbite League.

A number of the Laser and Topper sailors were sailing in the team racing nationals held in the club on Saturday and Sunday but will be back for next week when the league will conclude on Saturday the 27th of November with 3 more races and prizegiving on the club lawn afterwards.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The cut short Investwise Irish Youth Sailing National Championships on Cork Harbour had produced some clear winners in five classes regardless of today's Yellow Alert weather warning at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Five titles were divided between Dublin and Cork sailors with the host club taking two crowns, the biggest haul of any single club with the 29er and Topper titles won by local sailors.

Both Laser titles go to Dublin, with Howth Yacht Club taking the ILCA 6 and the National Yacht Club winning in the ILCA 4.

The 420 title is shared by a combined Malahide and Wexford duo.

McMahon wins ILCA 6 but Crosbie's Reinstatement Makes it Close

ILCA 6 Champion - Eve McMahon of Howth

As Afloat reported earlier, the final results from Saturday’s long day afloat weren’t initially confirmed as two titles were eventually settled ashore in the protest room this morning.

On Saturday evening, a protest by ILCA6 (Laser Radial) overall leader Eve McMahon saw the Howth Yacht Club sailor extend her lead over Michael Crosbie of the Royal Cork YC when he was disqualified from Race 10 due to a port and starboard incident.

However, the Crosshaven sailor returned to the protest room on Sunday morning to have his result reinstated as McMahon had not informed the race committee of her protest on Saturday.

McMahon still emerged as ILCA6 Youth National Champion after the tie-break with Crosbie.

O'Shaughnessy & Dwyer Lift 29er Skiff Title 

29er Champions Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman29er Champions - Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman

Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) won the 29er skiff national title by a single point as Afloat reported here after a close contest with Tim Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge from the Royal Irish YC and National YC respectively in their eleven strong demonstration class that immediately followed a European Championships campaign on Lake Garda last week.

The runners-up were also in the protest room on Sunday morning seeking redress for equipment failure in their second race of the series on Friday but their submission was ruled out of time.

Collins top Toppers, Newcomer Ledoux Wins 4.7s

Rian CollinsTopper Champion - Rian Collins of Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat reported earlier, Crosshaven’s Rian Collins won the 38-boat Topper class with a 12-point lead over his clubmate Dan O’Leary taking the runner-up place in their seven-race series. Bobby Driscoll's third overall kept the Belfast Lough Topper flag flying.

Sam Ledoux of the National YCILCA 4 Champion - Sam Ledoux of the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

The Topper fleet shared the same course as the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) class, the second largest of the event with 31 boats where a newcomer to the class, Sam Ledoux of the National YC, emerged youth national champion. 

Five wins Give McDowell & Thompson the 420 Title

420  champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman420 champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman

The Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson continued their three-day lead of the 420 class to win comfortably as Afloat reports here over Eoghan Duffy with Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC in a disappointingly small nine boat class.

Published in Youth Sailing
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