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300 Top Junior Sailors Bound for Dublin Bay

26th April 2011
300 Top Junior Sailors Bound for Dublin Bay
Over the next few days hundreds of boats will arrive in Dun Laoghaire in preparation for the Mitsubishi Youth National Championships over the 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 important 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. Podcast with Olympic Team Manager James O'Callaghan here.

The 420 fleet is already in situ as the Leinster Championships were held over Easter and the girls team Emma Geary and Niamh Connolly won the event in style. This team is the only 420 crew to qualify internationally for a place on the Irish team to compete in the ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia and will be looking to win next weekend to secure this honour.

Dublin Bay will host the 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships and this year's ISA Mitsubishi Youth National event is an important test event with representatives from the international sailing authority visiting Dun Laoghaire to view plans and test logistics.

In addition to the 420 fleet the Laser radial fleet will also be competing to qualify to represent Ireland in Croatia. Philip Doran aged 17 from Courtown in Wexford is the current former under 17 World Champion in the Laser Radial fleet although the National title has eluded him so far. In the girls fleet it will be a toss up between Saskia Tidey (RIYC) and Sophie Murphy (Quoile YC) as both already have a national title each under their belts.

optimist2

A fleet of top Optimists are expected. Photo: Bob Bateman

The younger Optimist fleet is also celebrating this week after two top 5 positions at the Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, the Netherlands. In fact an Irish team has competed at this event for 23 years and this is the first time that Ireland has won the country prize. Sean Donnelly from Dun Laoghaire who finished fourth in Braassemermeer is also leading the Optimist fleet in the trials and will be anxious to hold on to first position during the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals.

In other fleets, the laser 4.7 fleet is enjoying record numbers with many ex-Optimist and Topper sailors choosing this boat. Finn Lynch from Blessington and Seafra Guilfoyle from Cork will be firm favourites to win the class.

Overall Dublin Bay will be a spectacle of sail over the May Bank holiday weekend with light winds forecast.

Mitsubishi Motors have been a proud supporter of junior sailing in Ireland for the last 7 years. In recent years Ireland has had successes at youth level with winner of the girls under 21 Laser World Championships and a top 10 at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds and wins at the British National Optimist Championships.

Published in Youth Sailing
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