#youthnationals – The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Pathway Youth Nationals 2015, taking place at Royal Cork Yacht Club are in their second day of competition at Crosshaven writes Claire Bateman. Topper, 420, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial classes are competing in selection trials for National squads and potential selection for the National Academy. The four-day event also sees the International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland, 2015 Optimist Trials take place with over 60 entrants.
Today began as a foggy grey day with the breeze more from the south and with a fitful sun trying to break through the clouds like a patchwork quilt on the water later in the day. The wind also increased at this stage going to 16 to 18 knots with a slight hint of west in it. A third Race Committee was called to action under the highly experienced Race Officer David O'Brien of Royal Cork for the 4.7s and the Toppers who were commencing racing today. To a person doing a tour of the three race areas, looking at racing with inner loops and outer loops, separate finish boats, on the water Juries blowing whistles signaling to the unwary, or possibly not unwary, that they had infringed the rules, it all appeared a very competent and slick operation timed to the last. The race team for the 420 and Radials moved further east on the Eastern Bank opposite the Aghada Sailing and Tennis Club where they had to wait a little bit longer for the wind to reach them. When it did it was great to see these fleets surfing on the waves.
In the 420 Class Peter McCann and crew Harry Whitaker from RCYC are the current leaders, followed by Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan, RCYC/ HYC, while the younger McCann brother James and crew Bill Staunton, RCYC, are in fourth place with Lizziy McDowell and Anna O'Regan from MYC taking the third spot..
In the Laser Radial fleet after six races and one discard Conor Beirne RStYG leads Erica Ruigrok from Rush SC in second followed by Cian Byrne from the host Club in third place.
Meanwhile the 29 boat Topper fleet, having sailed three races, are now led by Geoff Power WHSC, followed by Luke McElwaine from Carlingford Lough, tied on points but with count back putting McElwaine in second place and Caoimhe Foster RCYC taking the third spot.
In the 30 boat Laser Radial Fleet Richard McGinley of the Host Club leads from Ross Morgan SSC, second followed by Rebecca O'Shaughnessy, RCYC 3rd.
In the Optimist 60 boat fleet with Ireland's top sailor Anthony O'Leary as Race Officer the fleet sailed on a traditional Optimist course and had a long day sailing four races bringing their total to seven to date on this weekend which is an Optimist Trials Event confined to sailors who qualified at regional events and the Nationals in 2014. Current leader is Tom Higgins, RStGYC, followed by Gemma McDowell, MYC and Harry Bell, HYC third.
Racing continues tomorrow (Saturday) and tensions are now mounting at this stage of the weekend. Forecast is for fresher conditions and some exciting sailing should be seen throughout the fleets.