#juniorallireland – Former Optimist star Seáfra Guilfolyle sailing with Richard McGinley from Royal Cork Yacht Club outwitted two Irish world sailing champions today to be crowned the 2013 Junior All Ireland Sailing Championship after a close nine race regatta at Schull Harbour in West Cork. Full results downloadable below as a jpeg file.
Going in to the medal race Guilfoyle was tied on points at the top of the leader board with Finn Lynch, who only two weeks ago won the U21 Laser Radial World Championships. But a fourth for Seáfra in the medal race was enough to put him two points clear of Finn to claim the prestigious title.
The championship got under way at the Fastnet Marine OEC in Schull, Co. Cork yesterday (Saturday) where the initial five scheduled races were successfully sailed and concluded today with three further fleets races followed by a double points medal race for the top 10 boats. 23 of Ireland’s top young sailors take to the water in locally built TR3.6 dinghies.
Racing began this morning in light to moderate winds in Schull Harbour. Finn and his crew Florence Lyden had been the overnight leaders but dropped back to third after the first race while Darragh O’Sullivan, and his teammate Anna O’Regan took the lead with Seáfra and Richard McGinley in the silver medal position. Only three points separated the three sailors and with two more fleet races and a double points medal race yet to be sailed, every move and tactical decision would be critical.
Proving just how tight the competition was, it was Seáfra won took pole position with a bullet in Race 7 knocking Darragh back to third place while Finn moved up to take second overall. And the battle continued during Race 8 when a win for Finn meant both he and Seáfra were tied on 21 points with only the medal race left as the decider.
Competitors at the ISA All Ireland Junior Sailing Championships in Schull Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Both Seáfra and Finn got off to a tricky start in the medal race. They, along with Darragh, were towards the back putting them in the difficult position of having to climb up the fleet. But with a wealth of skills and international experience the talented sailors worked the conditions improving their positions. At the end, Seáfra couldn’t quite reach the top three but a fourth place finish was enough to beat Finn’s fifth giving him the Gold with a two point lead.
Commenting on his win Seáfra enthused “The medal race was really nerve-wracking especially having Finn so close to me the whole time but I’m really happy with how I sailed. I’m delighted with the outcome and I’m looking forward to getting to compete at the Senior All Irelands next month in Howth”.