Displaying items by tag: 29er
After a long week, a new Royal Cork Yacht Club youth sailing partnership of former Optimist ace Harry Twomey, helming a 29ers for the first time, with crew Harry Durcan produced silver medals in Weymouth yesterday.
We did 5 races Thursday from 9am-3pm then we came ashore and went back out to race another race at 6:30 pm. Focus and a clear mind was essential to secure top 5 results in 6 35 minute races.
We managed to win the only gold fleet race with a large lead. We had great boat-speed in the light and choppy conditions and young Harry Twomey was able to put us in the right place at the right time throughout the week calling great shifts which allowed us to always be near the front.
"Clean starts and the ability to stretch the fleet off the line"
Clean starts and the ability to stretch the fleet off the line while we had fantastic boat speed upwind and downwind. We spent 12 days during the winter in Lanzarote training really hard in fantastic conditions and this boat speed allowed Harry Twomey to place the boat in the correct place on the course and made my job fairly easy. I just had to trim the sails and take his orders!
The Worlds in Poland, British nationals in Wales and the Europeans in Lake Garda lie ahead in the summer and after this result, we can only aim to win more medals.
Winds and rain on the Saturday gave way to Champagne sailing conditions yesterday (Sunday 24 March) for the National Yacht Club pair who placed third in Tralee Bay the weekend before, and topped a welcome Irish contingent in Devon.
The St Patrick's weekend was set to be the season launcher of the 29er class racing season with a first trip to the west to race the 2019 Westerns. Tralee Bay Sailing Club with the support of the Tralee Bay Maritime Centre had everything in place for the 'fastest growing class in the country' with teenagers ready to display their skills on the fast little skiff... except for the weather!
But the sailors are resourceful, love their sailing and could not leave Kerry without some racing. The idea of using the bank holiday Monday was already floating on the boat park on the Saturday so it did not take long to convince club volunteers and parents to put together an alternative regatta, baptised the Western Grand Prix, on Monday the 18th with 10 out of the 13 boats able to stay the extra day and enjoying 5 superb competitive races set up by visiting race officer Andrew Crosbie (Cork) just south of the Marina.
"It did not take long to convince the club and parents to put together an alternative regatta, baptised the Western Grand Prix"
Five races of 25-30 mins were sailed with great battles at every corner of the course in a 14-15kts Westerly breeze. It may not have been a ranking event, but the sailors gave it their all.
The first race saw an early retirement for gear failure (IRL2873) leaving the battle at the front to be between 2002 (Atlee Kohl and crew Jonathan O’Shaugnessy) keeping a fast Alana Coakley and Crew Marcus O’Leary hot on their tail. The heavier partnerships were definitely enjoying the breeze on offer!
The fleet was very competitive showcasing the hard work these teenagers have completed over the winter. Atlee Kohl and crew Jonathan O'Shaugnessy from RCYC emerged champions and will be the first pair to put their name on a trophy presented by Commodore Liam Lynch on behalf of Tralee Bay Sailing Club. Second overall and best U17 pair were Alana Coakley and crew Marcus O’Leary. They stayed ahead of 3rd placed Rian Geraghty McDonnell and Nathan Van Steenberge on countback.
A couple of these pairs will be travelling next weekend to the Torbay Grand Prix in the UK to test their skills against the established UK fleet.
Last weekend saw the final event in the Irish 29er class calendar with the fleet competing at the RYANI Youth Championships at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.
The event also drew on a number of classes including Lasers, 420’s, Toppers and RS Fevas, whilst doubling up as the final event in the Irish 29er Triple Crown series. With the winds set to build over the weekend, everyone was looking forward to an exciting competition and although numbers were down slightly due to a conflict of events, the weekend still saw 7 of the newly established 29er fleet taking to the water, some for their first competition. On the water, the fleet shared the same windward mark as the Lasers and 420’s with the latter continuing on a trapezoidal course, whilst the 29ers performed multiple windward/leeward loops with a separate finish.
This proved to be a very successful topology and saw 3 very close races being run with no dominant boat, although the ‘mistimed capsizes’ by the two leading boats just before the finishing line did contribute significantly to the overall excitement! By the end of racing on the first day, Erin and Luke McIlwaine from Newcastle Yacht Club were in pole position but with only 2 points separating the top three places and discards to kick in after the first race on Sunday, everything was still up for grabs Sunday morning greeted the sailors with a somewhat lighter breeze than was forecast but with strong winds coming in by lunchtime, and with wind against tide, everyone was keen to get onto the water. After a temporary wind shift following race one caused an unwelcome delay, the wind and swell started to increase significantly during the second race. The Whiskey flag was subsequently administered and followed quickly by Abandonment with everyone heading to shore.
As Afloat.ie reported earlier, with two bullets for ‘Team Rickard’, there was an overall shift in the leaderboard with Leah and Luke Rickard (National YC) grabbing a well-deserved overall first place, Erin and Luke McIlwaine (Newcastle YC) in second and Dawson Kohl (Royal Cork YC) and Jeff McGovern (Royal St George YC) in third. Well done to all the sailors who competed in very testing conditions, a big thank you to the club for hosting the competition, and to the RYANI for including the newly formed Irish 29er class in their Championship and development programme. Jarlath O’Leary, the class chairperson, had nothing but praise for the sailors –“This has been an outstanding year for the first year of the Association and is more than we could have hoped for with the fleet taking part in five events over the season. We now have around 15 boats in the class and hopefully, this will reach 20 by Christmas.
We have a great bunch of really enthusiastic kids who are willing to swap around whenever needed and support each other both on and off the water. As we complete the last event in our racing calendar, we now look forward to our training programme over the winter, bringing new members on board, and putting together our plans for the 2019 series.”
The RYA Northern Ireland 29er Youth Nationals were raced in mixed conditions September 29-30, 2018 on Belfast Lough hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. This event also represented the third and final leg of the 29er Irish Triple Crown. The 29er is one of the fastest growing fleets in Ireland.
The windy conditions resulted in a display of high speed capsizes and tight battles with four different race winners over the five races. In the end, Leah Rickard and Luke Rickard with two bullets on the final day emerged as the 29er RYA NI National Champions.
The top four were:
1. Leah Rickard & Luke Rickard - National Yacht Club
2. Erin McIlwaine & Luke McIlwaine - Newcastle Yacht Club
3. Dawson Kohl & Jeff McGovern - Royal Cork Yacht Club
4. Rian Geraghty McDonnell & Nathan Van Steenberge - National Yacht Club
The Royal Cork youth duo, and the only Irish contingent at the Helsingfors Segelklubb in Finland’s capital, ranked 17th in the Gold fleet after a week of racing which wraps up today, Sunday 12 August.
Following a very successful 29er event at the Lough Ree Double Ree Championships, the newly established 29er fleet had three days in which to prepare for their next event, the inaugural Deutsche Leasing IRL 29er Nationals at Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. A schedule of five races per day on a windward-leeward course saw 9 sailors gearing up for an early first gun on Thursday morning.
With the forecast proving to be ‘unpredictable’ at best, the competitors were greeted by a firm southerly breeze, which, if following the same pattern from previous days, would increase throughout the day’s racing. From the outset, it was hard sailing into an ever-increasing swell and by the time the first few boats had crossed the finishing line, plans had already been made to call it a day, with hopes of friendlier weather to follow. The first-day of racing left the previous weeks winners, Atlee Kohl and Chris Bateman, in pole position with Erin and Luke McIlwaine following up in second, and Dawson Kohl and David Jones in third.
Friday morning greeted the sailors with an overcast lacklustre awakening, offering meagre wind conditions but as the sailors made it out to the start line, the breeze filled in sufficiently to enable a course to be set. With light and somewhat shifty conditions continuing throughout the first two races, the wind started to increase and by the end of the fourth race, with the inevitable increase in swell, it was decided to head for home and abandon any hope of having a fifth and final race.
Overall, honours again went to Atlee Kohl and Chris Bateman, with Dawson Kohl and David Jones in second place and Lola Kohl and Sophie Crosbie following up in third.
Thank you to the Race Officer, Pat Donnelly and Safety Officer, Richard Cullen, for running a superb event in quite challenging conditions; to Jarlath O’Leary for pulling the whole event together and to Royal St George Yacht Club members for support and help throughout the event. Finally, sincere thanks must be given to Deutsche Leasing for their generous sponsorship.
With more boats being delivered to waiting for sailors in September, and those absent from recent events due to holiday commitments now returning, the class moves forward to the last few events of the season with a rapidly growing fleet and even more exciting times ahead.
Youth sailors were on the water for a breezy set of 29er skiff 'try–out sessions' in Dun Laoghaire Harbour today.
The initiative, by the Royal St. George Yacht Club (RStGYC), is to help 'keep sailors in the sport at a time when all clubs are challenged to keep their youths’, explains sailing manager, Ronan Adams.
As Afloat.ie reported previously, one hour try–out slots were available with experienced 29er sailors on hand to assist. There was also land based information along with coaching and rigging sessions.
Three 29ers went afloat and sensibly the high-speed craft carried mast head floats because not all the try-outs went according to plan!
There'll be one hour try–out slots available with experienced 29er sailors on hand to assist. There will also be land based information along with coaching and rigging sessions.
Ireland has some success in the 29er, most recently thanks to the exploits of Harry Durcan and Harry Crosbie of Royal Cork Yacht Club who became bronze medalists at the British UK youth sailing championships last April. Durcan has now teamed up with Royal St. George's own Tom Higgins to continue the campaign.
'There seems to be a lot of interest and we are hoping that building the class will help keep sailors in the sport at a time when all clubs are challenged to keep their ‘youths’, explains Royal St.George Yacht Club sailing manager, Ronan Adams.
This weekend's sailing sessions are from 10am to 4pm. If you want to get a spin, sign-up here is required.
Former Irish Sailing President Roger Bannon believes the class has a lot of potential previously posting the following comment of Afloat.ie's Facebook page: 'The 29er is a perfect youth sailors boat which regardless of the development path opportunities can provide the fun factor so deperately missing in Ireland for aspiring young sailors. The ISA has a poor track record in identifying and supporting development boats for young people so let the youngsters and the market make the real decision'.
In the 21 years since the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” awards were first introduced, we had always dutifully waited until the end of the month before allocating the plaudits, even when it had been clear for days or even weeks where the honours were going to be placed.
But special situations deserve special treatment, and 17–year–old Cork Harbour sailor Johnny Durcan’s heartfelt thanks to fellow 29er sailors Simon Hoffman of Australia and Santiago Alegre of Spain for saving his life in the Worlds at Los Angeles had served as a very timely reminder of the dangers of our sport at its most intense and competitive levels.
So a fortnight ago was the right time to first honour what they did. And what they did was so special that we regard it as a privilege to re-state it all after the end of the month has duly passed.
Even though capsizes are part and parcel of dinghy racing, in a complex trapeze boat like the 29er, an ordinary capsize can sometimes escalate into a rapidly deteriorating situation in which sailors are trapped in ropes, lines and sails, with the very lifejackets which are supposed to help them actually jamming them in situations where drowning becomes all too possible.
This is what happened with Johnny Durcan. But in the hectic rush of the fleet, other competitors scarcely noticed that this was something much worse than an ordinary capsize. Yet Simon Hoffman, who had recently received intensive first-aid training as part of his bid to become a fully-fledged sailing coach, sensed that this was a total emergency. He simply abandoned his own boat, tore off his lifejacket, and dived underneath the capsized boat to save Durcan in what was now a full-scale emergency.
He was soon joined by Santiago Alegre, and between them they released Durcan and dragged him up through a mesh of ropes and sails to the surface. He had been immersed for maybe three minutes, and was in a very bad way. But he revived after CPR by Hoffman and Alegre, and fully recovered in hospital.
Just a few seconds more, or with less decisive action by Hoffman and Alegre, and this would not have been a story with a happy ending. We can all only hope that, faced with such a situation, our own instincts of humanity would guide us in the right way too. Yet that is something for which most of the rest of us can only hope. But Simon Hoffman and Santiago Alegre showed us what true instincts of humanity can achieve, and they deserve heartfelt gratitude from the entire world of sailing.