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Displaying items by tag: ILCA 7

Ireland stays close to the top of the leaderboards in both the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice and ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master 2021 World Championships at Barcelona with four races left to sail by Saturday.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig dropped one place to sixth overall in a 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston stays fourth overall after two third scored in races seven and eight, in the 13-boat  ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 11th in the same fleet.

Two races were completed on Thursday at the ILCA Masters World Championships. Another early start paid off, with the first warning signal at 9:00 and sailors were back on shore and finished for the day by 12:00. For the second day in a row, there’s been sunshine and stable wind, which has been ideal for racing. It was blowing about 8–10 knots this morning with gusts up to 14 knots, but the wind began to die right as the second races were wrapped up.

With two more races in all divisions, the ILCA 7 fleet has a total of eight races locked in. In the ILCA 6 fleet, the Apprentices, Great Grand Masters, and Legends have nine races and the Masters and Grand Masters have eight.

Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer secured his lead ahead of Polish Maciej Grabowski in the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, with two first-place finishes today. Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Robert Hallawell maintained their lead in the ILCA 7 Masters and Grand Masters divisions, respectively. Spain’s Josele Doreste also held tight to his lead today in the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters division.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett remains unstoppable in the Apprentice division with all nine first-place finishes. French Jean-Christophe Leydet slid ahead to lead the Masters division with first- and second-place finishes today, while fellow countryman Gilles Coadou returned to first place in the Grand Masters division. American Bill Symes also has nine firsts under his belt and leads the Great Grand Masters, while fellow American Peter Seidenberg continues to hold first in the Legends, just one point ahead of their compatriot Jacques Kerrest.

Two races are scheduled for Day 6 with the first warning signal at 9:00. Friday’s weather conditions are forecasted to be similar to those of Thursday, and just two days remaining to determine world champions.

See event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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After playing havoc with the ILCA 7/Laser World Championships all week, Mother Nature decided to end the regatta early with Storm Blas preventing the final day’s racing, a decision that handed Ireland its best ever Laser World Championship result but also denied second overall Finn Lynch the possibility of going one better given the on-form Dun Laoghaire ace had the best discardable result and was least at risk from further races.

With two days lost to light winds early on in the regatta, only eight races were completed over the six-day event.

Any hopes of bettering positions were dashed by the huge seas preventing sailors from leaving the harbour at Barcelona Sailing Centre, the Brits taking on the 135-boat fleet had to settle for their day five scores.

Taking the title of top Brit was 23-year-old Welshman and the Irish Sea sailor Daniel Whiteley, who finished eighth in what was his first world championships since becoming a full-time athlete with the British Sailing Team.

Whiteley followed up on last month’s 13th place at the ILCA 7 European Championships with another personal best against the international fleet.

“It feels incredible,” said Whiteley, from Bangor. “I’ve missed racing at the front since I aged out of under-21 regattas, so to be back in the top ten feels amazing. This is the first world championship I’ve been to since 2018 and my first since going full time with the British Sailing Team. To come away with this result means everything.”

Fellow young gun Sam Whaley also bettered his 22nd at the Euros – also a personal best – to come home 15th, obliterating his 2020 result of 64th.

“It’s been a really tricky week here in Barcelona but I’m pretty chuffed to finish the event 15th overall, an improvement of almost fifty places from last year,” the 24-year-old from Swanage, Dorset, said.

“The team environment we have is brilliant and has really allowed us to level up this year. It’s pretty cool to share this success with my squadmates as well as coaches Penny and Matt, who have been awesome this week. I’m going to remember this one for a long time.”

Tokyo 2020 Team GB athlete Elliot Hanson led the regatta at the halfway stage when teammate and recently crowned European champion Micky Beckett picked up the mantle.

However, the pair’s medals hopes were ended when a collision between them on the start line of the final race of day five resulted in Beckett pulling out with a minor injury and Hanson retiring in accordance with the rules.

Beckett finished 13th while Hanson was 17th.

“It’s been good to be back racing after a prolonged break since Tokyo,” Hanson said. “It’s obviously a real shame to end the way it did having led most of the week. An unfortunate freak accident that ultimately took both myself and Micky out of the standings wasn’t in the script.

“I’m happy he’s ok though and look forward to training hard together this winter. Special mention to both Sam and Dan who have been working hard and sailed a fantastic week to both score personal bests.”

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Racing at the ILCA7 (Laser Standard) World Championships was again postponed on Sunday 7th November 2021 due to light winds in Barcelona leaving just two races sailed out of the six originally scheduled for the series that began on Friday.

The fleet went afloat on Sunday morning as planned and while two races were started, both had to be abandoned as the already light breeze faded.

The qualification phase of the championship has now been extended into Monday for the 135-boat event that will eventually decide the Gold and Silver fleets for the final round that is due to conclude by Wednesday afternoon (10th November 2021).

Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club is currently fifth overall while Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon is 19th overall from Saturday's two races.

Ireland also has two other sailors competing at Under 21 level. Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George YC lies 49th overall while Jamie McMahon (Howth YC), younger brother of Ewan is in 72nd place.

On Monday, the intention is to sail three races back-to-back for each fleet with a first warning gun at 0900hrs.

Published in Laser
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There was no wind or racing for day one of the Laser / ILCA 7 Worlds in Barcelona, Spain today. 

A four-boat Irish team, (details here) including 2016 Rio Olympian Finn Lynch, is hoping to break into the top 30 of one of the hottest fleets in the world. 

Lynch (National Yacht Club), Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) Ewan’s younger brother Jamie McMahon and Tom Higgins (Royal St George Yacht Club) are competing.

Three races are scheduled for Saturday with the first warning signal at 9:30.

Published in Laser
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Michael Beckett has become the third Brit in as many years to claim the ILCA 7/Laser class European title.

Beckett, who has twice come runner up at the Euros, in 2018 and 2020, led the week-long regatta in Varna, Bulgaria, from the opening day and sealed victory with a race to spare.

It was turned out to be a top venue for Irish campaigner Finn Lynch of Dun Laoghaire who earned a top ten result, his best so far, as Afloat reported here. And for Howth youth sensation Eve McMahon who took a race win and finished 15th overall.

As well as being Beckett’s first European Championships title, it’s the third successive win for Brits in the ILCA 7 class (formerly the Laser), and the fourth in five years.

Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson was the European champion in 2017 and 2019, while his Tokyo 2020 successor Elliot Hanson was top in 2020.

Beckett said he’d been spurred on after relinquishing the lead at a regatta earlier in the year in the final race.

“The last event I did I lost the event lead in the final race after leading all week, and I found it a very tough experience,” said Beckett, 26, from Solva in Pembrokeshire.

“Over the summer I’ve really pulled apart a lot about my technique, fitness and general approach to try and make myself better and more consistent in regattas like this.

“I couldn’t be happier with how this event has gone. It feels like a huge amount of vindication for those changes I decided to make.

“It’s always difficult to back myself to make changes without knowing exactly if it’s a good idea or not, but the way I sailed this week I never panicked despite some really loose conditions, I stayed calm and enjoyed it.”

Beckett paid tribute to long-serving coach Chris Gowers for developing a powerful squad that consistently performs at the highest level, as well as his British Sailing Team colleagues.

“Chris is a very discreet guy but he’s been fantastic this week helping me in the right ways – and now he can say he has coached four of his sailors to four European titles in just five years, which I think is an incredible thing,” he added.

“We have a fantastic squad culture, winning the Europeans this week is a great reflection of the work that everyone in the squad has done. Without the guys pushing me all the time I would never be able to develop the skills to pull off something like this so I’m also really grateful to them.”

2020 bronze medallist Lorenzo Chiavarini was seventh, while teammates Daniel Whiteley and Sam Whaley came home 13th and 22nd respectively, both posting their best ever results at a European championships.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Daisy Collingridge scored a personal best finishing seventh and top Brit. Hannah Snellgrove was 16th and Matilda Nicholls 20th.

“I feel like I’ve been on the brink of putting in a good performance for a while and I’m so happy to see it all come together,” said Collingridge, 22, from Waldringfield, Suffolk. “It was a really tough week conditions-wise but I managed to stay relatively consistent throughout. I’m massively looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”

The focus now turns to the world championships, taking place in Barcelona in early November for the men’s fleet and in Oman in early December for the women’s fleet.

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

Published in Laser
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As Ireland embarks on its last chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic regatta today, there is a new lexicon when it comes to talking about Lasers - the full rig is now known as the ILCA 7, the Radial as the ILCA 6 and the 4.7 is oddly called the ILCA 4.

See here for a reason why 5 has been left off the list for now and information on why the changes were necessary.

Anyway, when looking for results from the final European selection event for the one-person dinghy men, to give its official Olympic name, then "ILCA 7" is what you're looking for.

Two country tickets to Tokyo are on offer in Villamoura this week and a fierce battle is expected as 16 European nations are in competition for those two places.

While lack of competition over the last year makes it hard to assess form, the winners could well come from the group that includes Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

Blindfold pin-sticking

That's not to say that Portugal won't benefit from home advantage but without a recent event that included all the contenders, its blindfold pin-sticking.

That said, what to watch for:

Unqualified competing countries (number of boats entered): BEL(2), CZE(2), DEN(4), ESP(13), GRE(5), IRL(5), ISR(3), ITA(8), LTU(3), MNE(2), NED(9), POL(3), POR(8), SUI(5), TUR(1), UKR(5).

Afloat will report and comment on each day's racing.  The competition begins today (Monday 19 April) and concludes on Saturday 24 April 2021.

More details on the regatta website here

A  Practice Race for the 2021 ILCA Vilamoura European Continental Qualification was held yesterday. See vid below.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, Ireland's top hope for an ILCA 7 berth in Tokyo this July, stays sixth overall after six races sailed in a breezy second day of the Lanzarote Winter Series but neither of his Irish teammates competed in today's three tough races in 20-knots and big waves. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon was forced to retire from racing following an eye injury in race four this morning. Exact details are not known but it appears the UCD third-year engineering student was struck by a boom end at a gybe mark in the first race. The injury was bad enough to rule him out of racing for the day but it is understood McMahon is 'ok' and should be able to race tomorrow.

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins also counted three 'DNCs'.

Winds are forecast to be lighter for today's racing.

Results here.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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