There was an inauspicious start for Ireland's Jamie McMahon at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland today when the Howth Yacht Club youth was disqualified from the first race following a premature start.
McMahon was one of 11 in the 47-boat Laser Radial Boy’s fleet to incur the Black Flag penalty.
Finland’s Otto Dahlberg claimed the win. He was followed by Connor Nelson (USA) and Polish hopeful Tytus Butowski.
After two days of preparation, boat work and practice, Monday signalled the start of the 49th edition of the Hempel Youth Worlds with 409 eager sailors from 66 nations ready to race across nine events.
In a light breeze, just one Laser Radial race was completed in both the boy’s and girl’s divisions.
In the Girls Radial, McMahon's sister Eve fared better and was 26th in her 47-boat fleet.
Results are here.
Just one year ago, Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani was sailing the Laser 4.7 in Gdynia at their World Championships. The Italian won the first race of that World Championships and later went on to win gold. She won the first Laser Radial Girl’s race at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships and was delighted with her start, "This is my first Youth Worlds. I’m using my experience from last year. I was able to understand a lot of things about this place last year and it’s certainly helped.
"Today was a little bit gusty and shifty. I started today’s race well and some boats headed to the right of the course. I stayed left and that paid off for me. It was between 7-8 knots with gusts up to 10 today. They’re my type of conditions. I like 11-12 knots normally."
Whether she can go on and replicate her Laser 4.7 Worlds performance is a question that will be answered on Friday 19 July when racing concludes.
Manon Peyre (FRA) finished in second and 2017 Laser 4.7 World Championship silver medallist Simone Chen (SGP) came in third, also drawing upon her own experience of the Polish waters.
Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 16 July.
The Howth brother and sister are the first Irish siblings to qualify for the same Irish Youth Sailing Team.
Alongside the McMahons in Poland are Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge (of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire), read about their race win here, and Leah Rickard (from NYC) and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (from Kerry’s Tralee Bay Sailing Club) in the 29er class.
Joining the team is Irish Sailing Laser Radial coach Sean Evans, and Thomas Chaix who will coach the 29ers.