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Irish Sailors Compete at 4.7 Laser Worlds Youth Championships in Canada

3rd September 2019
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(from left) Evan Dargan Hayes, Alana Coakley and Hugh-O'Connor at the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Canada (from left) Evan Dargan Hayes, Alana Coakley and Hugh-O'Connor at the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Canada

Three sailors from Ireland Alanna Coakley (Royal St. George Yacht Club), Hugh O’Connor (National Yacht Club) and Evan Dargan Hayes (Greystones Sailing Club) competed in the Laser 4.7 World Youth Championships in Kingston Canada from 18th - 24th August. The 4.7 Worlds stated with a promise of breeze of 6 to 7 knots with the fleet being divided into three groups, a yellow, blue and girls group. Each group started well, but it was not long after the girls start that the wind dropped below 5 knots and races had to be abandoned. However, the race officer wasted no time in regrouping and going for a second start. No sooner had the three groups started when the wind died again. This pattern continued for the day and all was abandoned. Day 2 showed more promise and the wind maintained a steady 25 knots with gusts nearing 30 knots, a great challenge for all. There was pressure to secure the 4 qualifying races and three races were completed in both the boys fleets.

It was the Europeans who were leading the way at the end of the day in both the boys and girls fleets. Day 3 and the wind maintained a constant 10-12 knots but with considerable wind shifts making it tricky for sailors. All three fleets completed three races and the boys finished their qualifying series.

The Italian Nicole Nordera was leading the boys fleet and Sara Savelli of Italy leading the girls with Alanna Coakley in 5th position. The boys group were then divided into gold and silver fleets. Hugh O’Connor and Evan Dargan Hayes made the Silver fleet with Hugh O’Connor sitting on 5th position within this fleet going into day 4. On Day 4 and Day 5 the wind picked up again and maintained a steady 23 knots gusting 28 knots but it settled into a SW position allowing 5 races to be completed by all groups. At the end of Day 4 Alanna Coakley was in 7th position but on Day 5 she was black flagged and ended the day in 13th position. Hugh O’Connor was in 7th position by the end of Day 4 but by Day 5 he dropped back to 11th position, while Evan Dargan Hayes was in 42nd position and by day five he had moved to 38th position. The final positions would be decided on Day 6 with one race to go. However the wind dropped again and the race officers had difficulty setting a course. After 2 hours on the water all was abandoned and the final positions were as of the day 5 with Alanna Coakley the best of the Irish in 13th position.

The overall winners were Niccolo Nordera of Italy in 1st position, Roko Stipanovic of Croatia in 2nd position and Gasper Strahonik of Slovenia in 3rd position. In the Silver Fleet it was Nicolas Host Verbraak of Norway in first position, Yusuf Teshima of Japan in Second position and Spencer Dominique’s of the USA in third. In the girls it was Anja Von Allmen from Switzerland in first position Lara Minnes from Spain in second position and Sara Savelli from Italy in third position.

CORK International Regatta/Canadian National Laser Championship 12th - 16th August 2019

The Canadian National Laser Championships 2019 were held in Kingston Canada prior to the 4.7 Youth World Championships at the Canadian Olympic Venue.

Three Irish sailors Alanna Coakley, Hugh O’Connor and Evan Dargan Hayes competed in this event over 4 days. The winds were a consistent 12 - 15 knots, however, were coming from the NW, shifting and difficult to read making it hard to set a course. Four qualifying races and 5 championship races were held over the four days with one discard.

At the end of day one Hugh O’Connor was lying in 7th position and Evan Dargan Hayes in the mid-twenties and Alanna Coakley in the mid-teens. The Irish held their own but shifting winds made this a tricky event demanding skills in reading and anticipating the increasing wind shifts.

Throughout the four days Hugh O’Connor managed to maintain his position in the top ten and finished 9th overall, Alanna Coakley finished 19th overall and 5th girl and Evan Dargan Hayes finished 23rd overall.

Published in Youth Sailing, Laser
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