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Kearney is January Sailor of the Month

5th February 2011
Kearney is January Sailor of the Month
Ross Kearney of Belfast Lough is the first Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" for 2011 after excelling all other contenders with his overall victory in the International Mirror Dinghy World Championship in Australia.

As we learned in 2001 when the Mirror Worlds were staged in Ireland, although Peter Bayly of Lough Derg may have won that time round, the strongest national challenge was by the Australians. They've developed what was originally envisaged as a useful general purpose family sailing dinghy into a very potent racing machine.

Thus it was quite an achievement for the 25-year-old Kearney to win in the Oz home waters. But for the Cultra sailor it was extra special, as he is the first Mirror helmsman to win the worlds twice, having taken the title back in 2005, racing in Sweden.

The Mirror being a small boat, an athlete like Ross Kearney has to select his crew from junior sailors. In 2005 it was young Adam McCullough, this time round it was Max Odell, and he and his skipper showed their serious intent towards the Worlds with a very clear win in the Mirror Europeans in Sligo last September.

On the strength of his proven record in the class, Kearney works as a sailmaker and designer with leading English firm Pinner & Bax. They're based in Northampton, about as far from the sea as it's possible to be in England, and a bit of a culture shock for a young sailor who is accustomed to getting his sea sailing just yards from home. But with a second world title now logged, we can expect to see more of Ross Kearney on the sea, and on bigger boats than a Mirror dinghy.

Kearney wins Mirror Title Story HERE.

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