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Northern Ireland Youth Sailors Competing at High Levels

22nd August 2021
Tom Coulter racing at Plymouth in the ILCA RYA Youth Nationals
Tom Coulter racing at Plymouth in the ILCA RYA Youth Nationals

It has been a busy August for several young Laser sailors from Northern Ireland clubs who have competed at a high level in the RYA Youth Nationals at Plymouth, the UK Laser Association Nationals at Weymouth and the World Laser ILCA 4/4.7 Championships in Dun Laoghaire.

In the RYA Youth Nationals at Plymouth, Tom Coulter from East Antrim Boat Club in the County Antrim `port of Larne placed 24th in the ILCA 6 fleet with Josh McGregor and Lucas Nixon (both Ballyholme in Belfast Lough) 35th and 39th respectively. Ellen Barbour of County Antrim YC at Whitehead, also on Belfast Lough, finished a creditable 8th of 23 in the Girls section.

In the UK, Laser Association Nationals in Weymouth Coulter was 23rd in ILCA 6, having made the Gold Fleet and in the Silver fleet Josh McGregor (BYC) came 9th, one ahead of Ellen Barbour. And Lucas Nixon, also from Ballyholme, was 31st.

After this flurry of events, Tom Coulter spoke for the Northern Ireland contingent; "Lots of learning this past couple of weeks, and lots to build upon as we go forward. We have had the best time over the last ten days, with all of us having highs and lows at some point. It's been a fantastic experience both on and off the water with the best people, and I've loved every minute".

Tom Coulter and Ellen BarbourTom Coulter and Ellen Barbour

To round off that spate of activity, down the road in Dublin Bay were the Laser ILCA 4 /Laser 4.7 Worlds at Dun Laoghaire hosted by the Royal St George and the National YC. There, in the Silver fleet, Hannah Dadley-Young from Ballyholme finished 17th, Zoe Whitford from East Antrim at Larne came 29th in the 40-boat fleet and Daniel Corbett, also from Ballyholme, was 53rd in the Boys Silver fleet.

The next big gathering will be the RYA NI Youth Championships at Carrickfergus SC on Belfast Lough on 11th and 12th September. There will, where numbers permit, be racing for ILCA 4s, 5s and 7s, 420s, 29ers, Topper 5.3, Topper 4.2, Optimist and RS Feva. A regatta fleet is also part of the event where less experienced sailors can race under the guidance of a race coach.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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