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International Performances of Dwyer Matthews & O'Shaughnessy Will Add Extra Spice to 29er Youth Nationals at Royal Cork

26th October 2021
James Dwyer Matthews leads the fleet at a 29er event in Cork Harbour earlier this year. Having scored high in international events, Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy return to the harbour for more competition this week
James Dwyer Matthews leads the fleet at a 29er event in Cork Harbour earlier this year. Having scored high in international events, Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy return to the harbour for more competition this week Credit: Bob Bateman

The top performance of James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy at the 29er Europeans in Italy this week will add extra spice to proceedings at the Investwise youth sailing championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Thursday. 

The Under 18 pair are lying in fourth place on Lake Garda as Afloat reports here and are within touch of the podium after seven races sailed. 

It makes them obvious favourites for Irish youth honours on home waters, especially since the pair also recorded a top 15 finish at the 29er World Championships in Spain in September. 

Royal Cork's James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy in action on Lake GardaRoyal Cork's James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy in action on Lake Garda this week

The majority of a fledgling Irish 29er class are racing at Riva del Garda, this week only returning to Ireland the day before the youth nationals test at RCYC. 

Five Irish boats are racing in Italy, with at least three also planning to compete in Crosshaven, so there will be no doubting the new skiff class is up to speed in Cork Harbour.  

Royal St. George Yacht Club's Emily and Jessica RiordanRoyal St. George Yacht Club's Emily and Jessica Riordan

Also competing in Italy and expected in Cork are Royal St. George Yacht Club's Emily and Jessica Riordan and Clementine van Steenberge and Chiara Carra. 

As well as Dun Laoghaire, entries from the 29er Fleet hail from Crosshaven, Blessington Sailing Club and a single entry from Northern Ireland.  

Double handed turnout

There will undoubtedly be some disappointment over the low turnout of the double-handed dinghy fleet (420 & 29er) for this year's Youth Nationals with only nine 420s and ten 29er entries based on provisional entries for the Royal Cork YC event starting this Thursday. 

In particular, the 420 entry is low given it had a record of 21 entries at their National Championship at Howth Yacht Club in August.

The reduced numbers may be accounted for since double handers have only recently attended a Lough Ree Yacht Club symposium designed especially for their needs.

Ben Graf on helm and Alexander Farrell on wire as they shape their champion International 420 for a start. Graf will try out a 29er at the youth nationals at CrosshavenBen Graf on the helm and Alexander Farrell on wire shape their champion International 420 for a start. Graf will try out a 29er at the youth nationals at Crosshaven.

Entries from the 420 fleet hail from; Malahide Yacht Club, Lough Ree Yacht Club, Blessington Sailing Club, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club & Wexford Harbour Sailing Club.

In an outcome from the Lough Ree symposium, perhaps, there's some experimentation between the two fleets going to take place in Cork with 420 National Champion, Ben Graf, crossing over to try his hand in a 29er skiff.

Four-course areas will operate in Cork Harbour Aghada, Curlane Bank, Cuskinny and Roches Point.

Racing begins on Thursday, October 28th, and as well as deciding national honours, the event serves as the second part of a qualifications system to determine Ireland's representative at the Youth World Sailing Championships in Oman this December.

Afloat.ie Team

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