#youthsailing – Robbie Gilmore showed the depth of his talent to win Gold at the Laser Radial Youth National Championships on Lough Derg this afternoon. It was one of five Irish youth sailing titles decided at the inland venue.
Gilmore from Strangford Lough reigned supreme in Tipperary throughout the four day, 11 race regatta to beat last year's champion Finn Lynch in the 44 boat fleet.
Leading from start to finish the Ulster man deservedly won the single-handed title even though with two races to sail today and only five points separating Gilmore and ISAF silver medallist Finn Lynch nerves were running high.
The fleet launched for the 11am start and immediately the two sailors entered in to a duel.
It was overall bronze medallist Fionn Lyden who won the first race but Gilmore came in second followed by Lynch in third which only served to widen the points buffer between them. 12 months of preparation and all that stood in Gilmore's way was one final race. If he could remain close to Lynch on the water he'd win but he did better than that. Robbie Gilmore took the gold medal with style winning the 11th and final race, giving him his fourth bullet of the regatta and a seven point overall lead on Finn Lynch.
And it was another Northern Irish sailor, Sarah Eames from Ballyholme, who took home the gold in the girl's category.
The 420 double-handed class had proved to be highly competitive over the course of the championship. Four teams, two from Dublin and two from Cork, were clear leaders from the outset but which pair would take the overall title was unclear. 11 intense races and plenty of drama only added to the suspense. But ultimately a fourth and a first in today's races secured the win for Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove from Howth. The pair finished 12 points clear of Peter McCann and Arran Walsh and 13 points ahead of bronze medallists Adam Hyland and Bill Staunton from Dun Laoghaire. First in the girl's category were Cork duo Cliodhna Ni Shuilleabhain and Jill McGinley.
Nicole Hemeryck cemented her success in the Topper class today during two final races. The Dun Laoghaire sailor continued on her streak of posting only top results and never slipping from pole position on the leader board. After eight races, Hemeryck was crowned overall champion with a grand total of 10 points. Both silver and bronze were won by male competitors from Northern Ireland; Liam Glynn with 22 points and Tom Purdon with 28 points.
In the Laser 4.7 class Conor O'Beirne easily maintained his lead by winning both scheduled races. He secured gold with a healthy 12 point lead on Ciaran Finnegan from Waterford. Cliodhna O'Regan began the regatta with a win but couldn't quite manage to repeat the feat. Although she did position herself consistently near the top of the fleet and with a total of 32 points she takes overall bronze and also gold in the girl's category.
There was a dramatic turn of events within the Optimist Championship fleet on their third and final day of racing. Corkonian Emily Whitaker, who had been in first place for the duration, had a tenth in the penultimate race and did not complete her final race. This meant she lost her lead and took home bronze. The overall winner was Tom Higgins from Dublin while Sarah Fogarty, also from Dublin, finished second overall and won gold in the girl's category.