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Youth Sailing Nationals At Howth Get Two Races Between Morning Gale And Sunset Calm

13th April 2023
East Antrim BC's Tom Coulter who was th winner of last weekend's ILCA 6 Championships at Baltimore Sailing Club logged a 1,2 on the opening day of the Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth Yacht Club
East Antrim BC's Tom Coulter who was the winner of last weekend's ILCA 6 Championships at Baltimore Sailing Club logged a 1,2 on the opening day of the Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth Yacht Club

The first day of racing in the big-fleet Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth Yacht Club saw the Race Team get in two good races in the sweet spot between the morning's near gale that was the last of Storm Antonio blustering his way eastward, and the evening's calm which - after a cold night - hopefully, anticipates warmer weather and enough breeze for decent sport for the remaining three days.

It was a blast from the past when the biggest class - the Optimists - saw a girl helm dominating the fleet in the style of Denise Lyttle of the National Yacht Club at the Optimist Worlds at the same venue back in 1981. This time round, it was Royal St George Yacht Club's Caoilinn McDonnell who notched two bullets to lead overall from Tralee Bay's Jude Hynes Knight and another RStGYC sailor, Conor Cronin. With their patron's day just ten days away, evidently the Young Crusaders of the George are already on manoeuvres.

The outcome for the 33-boat fleet in the ILCA 6s may well have resulted in dancing in the streets back in Larne in County Antrim, as East Antrim BC's Tom Coulter logged a 1,2 to lead overall from local stars Rocco Wright (4,1) and Luke Turvey (2,4), with Royal St George's Fiachra McDonnell in the hunt at fourth overall with two thirds, making for a very crowded top layer on the leaderboard.

Howth is the venue for the Investwise Youth Sailing National ChampionshipsHowth is the venue for the Investwise Youth Sailing National Championships this weekend Photo: Afloat

For the 29ers, the remarkable inter-club mix of the fleet, in general, was reflected within boats, as Royal Cork's Ben O'Shaughnessy with the National's Ethan Spain topped the table, followed by Clementine and Nathan van Steenberge - they may be in the same boat, but they register as one with the National and the other with the Royal Irish, while club points tabulators are further confused by the third-placed boat being sailed by Lauren O'Callaghan (National YC) and James Dwyer (Royal Cork).

The 420s likewise saw club differences within the in-crew department, as the day's leaders were Max Sweetman from Dunmore East crewed by Roisin Mitchell Ward from Galway Bay - they got a fourth and first - but at least second slot was under the same umbrella of Malahide Yacht Club for both Kate Campion and Amalie Soffe, although we're mixing again in the third placed team, as helm Cora McNaughton is from mountainy stock up in Blessington, but crew Sean Cronin is very much at sea level in Malahide.

Just how the Race Officers managed to find a very useful westerly wind on this first day is a matter of wonder, as the spectacularly changing afternoon sky looked as if it had been painted by Paul Henry on a potent mixture of steroids and hallucinogenics. Be that as it may, David Lovegrove and his team did it, and two race results are already in the bag.

Result details below

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Published in Youth Sailing
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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