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Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth: Day 3 Sees Sunny Calm Give Way To Brisk But Greying Sou'easter

15th April 2023
Launching Toppers on day three of the Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals in Howth Yacht Club
Launching Topper dinghies on day three of the Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals in Howth Yacht Club Credit: Topper Class

With several local weather systems working themselves into lathers of various combinations, it seems that Howth in April for the four-day Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals can either provide sunshine but little wind, or a rising sou'easter but with eventually thickening grey cloud. Things were decidedly brisk by the time today's (Saturday) full third day programme was completed on an ultimately sunless sea and with the busiest classes showing nine valid race results, they already have a championship and then some.

But the Stakhanovite Race Teams are apparently planning to try to fit in another three races tomorrow (Sunday) before they call the final results.

By this stage, the overall winners in most classes are now emerging from among two or three top boats, with some instances of remarkable consistency belying the youth of the contenders, which is maybe an ageist sort of comment, but there you go.

Wright on top in ILCA 6

The ILCA 6s saw local boy Rocco Wright continue on top form to log two firsts and a second, which gives him a mighty margin as he's on 13 points OA to the 21 of East Antrim's Tom Coulter, who by the end of the day was looking astern rather than ahead, as Howth's Luke Turvey is snapping on his heels just one point astern.

O'Shaughnessy and Spain lead 29ers

The Cork/Dun Laoghaire combination of Ben O'Shaughnessy and Ethan Spain have it a bit closer in the 29ers, as they've only a couple of points in hand at the front of the fleet on Dun Laoghaire's Van Steenberge duo, the totes being 11 to 13.

McDowell and Thompson Strong in 420s

But in the 420s the combination of Malahide and Wicklow in the form of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson appears very strong; they lead on 14 to the 20 of Malahide's Kate Campion and Amelie Soffe, who are another case of stern chase concentration, as they've only a spare point on the Blessington/Malahide combination of Cora McNaughton and Sean Cronin, who in turn are only a point clear of the might of Dunmore East and Galway Bay as combined by Max Sweetman and Roisin Mitchell Ward.

Pierce Overtakes in ILCA 4s

In the ILCA 4s, Royal Cork's Oisin Pierce has taken the overall lead by 3 points from Royal St George's Krzysztof Coborowski, with Lucy Ives third and Cillian Twomey best of the host club in fourth, but in the Optimists local sailor, Harry Dunne got through to Saturday night by taking over the overall lead with a day's result of 2, 2, 8 and 3 to put him ahead of Royal St George's Andrew O'Neill by 35 to 44, meaning that young Harry is putting together the sort of consistent series favoured by strategists, as he's always there or thereabouts, but has only recorded one race win.

Brady moves up to third in Optimists

Gemma Brady of the National in Dun Laoghaire has now moved into the Optimist frame to be third overall, just four points behind Andrew O'Neill, but the George's Caolinn McDonnnell continues to climb back up the rankings after yesterday's (Friday) upsets, her score today was 8,1,1,5, which is consistency plus, and it puts her at sixth OA after being back at 15th.

Driscoll is Topper leader

In the Toppers, Tom Driscoll of Ballyholme stays in the overall lead after Cormac Byrne of Strangford Sailing Club/Ballyholme YC retired from today's final race, with third place held by Caoimhe Corkery of Cfosshaven and Kinsale.

For the final races today (Sunday), the wind looks like being more directly and damply from the south, and at one stage there's even a suggestion that mist or even fog might intervene for a while. But the heat being generated by the intensity of competition in this roller coaster regatta will surely burn off any mist or fog in no time at all.

Race Results

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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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