#youthworlds – The pre-race guarantee of a medal did nothing to stop Seafra Guilfoyle's final bid to reclaim his week long lead at the ISAF youth woulds in Tavira, Portgual this afternoon. In the end the Royal Cork 18–Year–old sailed superbly to win race nine but it was not ernough to catch Spain's Joel Rodriguez who took the Gold. Gulfoyle matched Ireland's only other ISAF youth silver when he overhauled Ryan Lo of Singapore.
Guilfoyle competed against 56 other nations in the boys Laser Radial class to become the third ever Irish sailor to medal at this prestigious event.
"This morning I knew I had a medal secured so I had nothing to lose. My plan with my coach Russell was to sail as fast as I could and I went out there and won the race. I nearly had gold but in the last minute Joel moved up to finish fourth. I tried my best and I'm still thrilled with the result. I've the Laser Radial Worlds next week in Poland so hopefully I can medal there too".
Racing began on Monday in Tavira and Séafra was quick to set the tone for the week, winning the first race and propelling himself to the top of the leader board. During the first three days of the championship Séafra remained untouched in pole position after six races. Then, dramatically, a 16th in yesterday's penultimate race saw the teenager slip to third for the first time. However Séafra had already generated enough of a points lead to guarantee himself a spot on the podium.
The final deciding race began this afternoon shortly before 1pm in 11 knots. Séafra, overnight leader Joel Rodriguez Perez from Spain and Ryan Lo from Singapore – separated by only seven points - were all in contention for Gold. A battle between the trio unfurled off the Algarve coast but it was Séafra who came out on top to win the final race. Rodriguez Perez finished fourth putting him four points clear of Guilfoyle to claim the Gold.
In 2012 Séafra's former ISA Academy teammate Finn Lynch won Silver, prior to which only bronze had been claimed by duo Ciara Peelo and Laura Dillon in 1996. Finn is now sailing full-time and will compete at the Olympic qualifiers in September with the 2016 Rio Olympics firmly in his sights.
The ISAF Youth Worlds is widely recognised as being the equivalent of the youth sailing Olympics. Only one sailor is allowed to compete per nation in each class with Séafra having qualified to represent Ireland earlier this year.