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Irish 29er Girls & Boys In Action at Youth Sailing Worlds in Poland

17th July 2019
The Girls 29er class start a race of the Youth World sailing championships The Girls 29er class start a race of the Youth World sailing championships

In the Girls 29er fleet, at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, Ireland's Leah Rickard (National YC) and Eimer McMorrow Moriarty (from Kerry’s Tralee Bay Sailing Club) scored (26.0 UFD), 6.0, 15.0, 22.0 and 43.0 to be 18th from 25 after four races sailed at Gdynia, Poland. 

The Irish boys Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan van Steenberge, who won the second race of the championships on Monday, are 16th from 28 with a scoreline of 12.0, 1.0 16.0, 15.0, (28.0) and 22.0.

Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis found the right note at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships as the Girl’s 29er fleet commenced their competition.

Having sat ashore waiting to race and subsequently unable to because of minimal breeze on Monday, the Girl’s 29er and 420 fleets, as well as the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X, finally hit the water for racing and the Maltese sisters shone in the 29er.

Gdansk Bay, just off Gdynia in Poland, was full of the sights and sounds of the 2019 Hempel Youth Worlds, the 49th edition of the prestigious event, and a more stable breeze enabled each fleet to complete a good number of races.

More than 400 sailors from 66 nations are racing on boats supplied by Ovington Boats (Boy’s and Girl’s 29er), Nautivela (Boy’s and Girl’s 420), Laser Performance / Maclaren (Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial) and Nacra Sailing (Mixed Nacra 15). The RS:X racers are sailing on their own equipment for 2019. Even to make it to the Youth Worlds is an achievement in itself with only one nation represented in each fleet.

The Schultheis sisters, racing at their second Hempel Youth Worlds together, were models of consistency in the Girl’s 29er. Four races were completed on Tuesday and the pair recorded a (5)-2-3-3 scoreline which positions them at the top of the leaderboard, a point clear of Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto (USA).

On their day, the sisters commented, almost in unison, “It was super shifty today but the wind increased. We sailed constant and well and are happy with our result.

“It was quite choppy. It was difficult to keep the speed up because sometimes the boat just stopped. We are quite light so it’s a bit easier for us to get over the waves. We’re satisfied with our performance. We were consistent.”

At the 2018 edition of the Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, the pair finished a creditable tenth and have understanding of the event and its prestige. They concluded, “We’re really happy but we’re not getting over excited. We’re just going to keep our cool. Our aim was a top five and we’d be happy with that. We just want to have fun.”

Great Britain’s Freya Black and Millie Aldridge are also racing at their second Championships and occupy third place after the opening day. After racing, Black commented, “There’s a lot of good girls here. The Americans, Maltese and Swedish are going to be the ones to watch. There’s more variety here and it’s all to play for. We’re really happy with today.”

The Boy’s 29er added another three races to their overall total. The defending champions Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) moved up to first overall after a consistent day. They notched up a 3-1-3 scoreline and have moved ten points clear of overnight Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN) who had a mixed day. British racers, Ewan Wilson and Finley Armstrong, occupy third overall.

Published in Youth Sailing
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