May Bank Holiday weekend (29 April – 02 May) over 300 sailors will compete in Dublin Bay in seven different classes (Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Feva, Topper, SL16 and Optimist). For youth sailors, this event is the most crucial in the annual calendar as it is the decider for the top Irish sailors to compete internationally during 2011 and is the pathway for future Olympic sailors.
Not only will the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals over the May weekend be an important event for youth sailors it is also a major milestone for the organisers of the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012 as it offers them the opportunity to test drive the logistics of managing such a large event incorporating three clubs, three race courses and hundreds of volunteers.
'Dun Laoghaire has a proud reputation for hosting international events such as the biennial combined clubs Dun Laoghaire Regatta and numerous world championships. However in 2011 the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals is of more significance as it gives us an opportunity to test our systems in advance of the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012.' stated Event Chairman Brian Craig.
Dun Laoghaire won the bid to host the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012 from 12-21 July when, in excess of 300 sailors and windsurfing champions from over 60 nations will participate. The granting of this prestigious sailing event to Ireland is a major boost to the sport and secures Ireland's position as an ideal location for hosting world class sailing events. It also establishes Dun Laoghaire as one of the prime major racing locations in the world, capable of running multiple classes and courses to the highest international standard.
'The Youth Nationals is a significant event on the racing calendar. It involves young sailors from all of the 'Olympic Pathway' classes, some of whom are competing for places on the team that will represent Ireland in the ISAF Youth Worlds later this year. In recent years Ireland has had successes at youth level with winner of the girls Laser World Championships a top 10 at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds and wins at the British National Optimist Championships.
Three hundred sailors from around the country are expected to compete for national youth and junior pathway titles and the Mitsubishi coaching grant during the event.