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Today is the last chance for early bird registration for the Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships that take place from the 5th – 8th April 2018 in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.

It's Ireland’s largest Youth regatta and Irish Sailing’s primary talent spotting event of the year for the Academy and Junior sailing classes.

Enter before midnight tonight to avail of the early bird fee. 

Register please via the Royal St George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club websites where you’ll find the full Notice of Race and entry forms or click here.

Published in ISA

There’ll be three race courses, five classes, three evening talks, and 32 counties represented at next month's Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships taking place 5th – 8th April 2018 in Dun Laoghaire, jointly hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club.

As well as great racing on the water, and good fun at the club ashore. The evening talks as well as the races are open to all young sailors who sail in the five Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Classes (Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Topper and Optimist). This is Ireland’s largest Youth regatta and Irish Sailing’s primary talent spotting event of the year for the Academy and Junior classes.

Importantly it’s also one of the few chances in the year when family and friends who are sail in different classes can all sail together at one regatta venue, competing on different courses but on the same waters, giving a brilliant opportunity for shared experiences, learning and fun.

Up to six places on the Irish Sailing Laser 4.7 Squad: Up to six sailors will be chosen at the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals to join the Irish Sailing Laser 4.7 Squad. The squad will provide training to help young sailors transition in the Laser 4.7 class. It will also aim to prepare and support the squad for the Laser 4.7 World Championship to be held in Gdynia, Poland in July. The squad coach and programme will be announced following the event. Entry to the Laser 4.7 Worlds is independent of Irish Sailing squad selection through the International Laser Class Association.

The four days of racing in Dublin Bay will decide the six places on the 420 European team who will travel to Sisimbra, Portugal in July to compete in the 420 Junior (U18) European Championships. 

Irish Sailing Laser Radial & 420 Academy: The Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals is an indicator event (amongst other factors including domestic and international events) for the Irish Sailing Youth Academy. The Academy undergoes a review biannually following the Youth Pathway Nationals and in the autumn each year.

IODAI Irish Optimist Trials: The Optimist trials fleet will take to the water to compete for coveted team spots at the 2018 international regattas. Places for the World Championships in Cyprus, the European Championships in the Netherlands, and the international development team events in both Poland and France are all up for grabs.

Topper class: The Topper World Championships take place in China this year with a strong Irish team travelling to the regatta this year. The Pathway Nationals will provide a good indicator of form as the sailors test themselves against the best in the country as they head into the spring period of their season.

A lineup of evening speakers – open to all: At 5.30pm each evening there will be a talk and Q&A session at the nominated club with speakers who have a deep knowledge of racing. The talks are open to all sailors and parents.

• Thursday 5th – Saturday 7th April, Ross Killian & Sean Evans. Each evening Ross and Sean, the Irish Sailing Performance Coaches will give video analysis and coaching tips from the day’s racing
• Friday 6th April, James O’Callaghan Irish Sailing High Performance Director will talk through the Olympic and Performance Pathway
• Saturday 7th April, Jessie Barr, Sport psychologist currently working at the Sport Ireland Institute. Jessie is a four-time 400m relay Olympian. She has worked with a number of the Laser and 420 Academy sailors.

Published in ISA

It’s highly likely that a trial Olympic offshore racing event will be run in tandem with the 2020 Sailing Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, and one proposal which seems to have traction is that a boat similar to the Figaro will be used, and raced two-handed by a mixed male-female crew writes W M Nixon.

Whatever shape the future Olympic offshore format takes, such a development is bound to move parts of the current world offshore racing scene towards a more formalized training structure for young sailors. And for offshore racing high-flying hopefuls of limited resources, it may ultimately offer the seemingly attractive prospect of funding becoming available though official sources.

Yet equally it will require commitment and a defined career path which could be a whole world away from the current varied scene in Ireland where young people – some of them surprisingly young – find a genuine enthusiasm for offshore racing happily fulfilled by crewing aboard a sailing school or family boat, or racing with skippers who know that a dedicated and talented young offshore sailor, recruited through the always busy sailing grapevine, can be a real asset, often with true skipper potential.

But how far does such talent want to go in pursuing offshore sport? When 20-year-old Erwan le Draoulec won the 2017 Minitransat by a significant margin last November, while his win wasn’t unexpected (even if it gave further proof that you don’t have to be through your mid-20s to have super-human stamina), his reaction was something of a surprise. He’d sailed the very wet little boat to the absolute limit, he’d done the job very well indeed, yet he’d no hesitation afterwards in saying that it was a very stressful and definitely not enjoyable way to cross the Atlantic, and that in the future some time, he would hope to make the crossing in a more thoughtful style which fully appreciated the very special qualities of the great ocean.

erwan le draoulec2Youngest-ever winner. 20-year-old Erwan le Draoulec at the finish of the Mini Transat, November 2017

Such an outcome, reflecting one result of the uniquely French approach to dedicated offshore programmes with a high-powered training structure though classes such as the Mini-Transat and the Figaro, tell us why Irish solo sailors such as Tom Dolan from Meath, and Joan Mulloy from Mayo, have concluded that the only way to advance their careers is to commit to the French system, and both now sail in the Figaro network through which Damian Foxall and David Kenefick also progressed.

But there’s an all-or-nothing element to that dedicated Gallic approach which inevitably involves living in France, and is at variance with the underlying Corinthian ethos in Irish sailing, with its wholesome friendly atmosphere, and the fact that we enjoy sailing with family and friends, and being based here.

It can be argued, of course, that if we’re going to produce sailors in any discipline who are going to achieve top level international success to Olympic level, then we have to produce athletes who are as tough-minded and self-reliant as they are talented and physically able, and have to accept that they should be prepared to go anywhere and everywhere to pursue their goals.

But not everyone necessarily aims that high, and it would be a very unhealthy state of affairs if they did. Certainly they wish to do well in their chosen branch of the sport, but it’s at a civilized level, and for these junior offshore racing aspirants, Ireland is a happy hunting ground.

Yet by the very nature of the offshore sport, you cannot have children’s and youth boats which would be the offshore equivalent of the Optimist or the International 420 - anyone who thinks the Mini Transats are kids’ boats clearly has never sailed one.

So in a variety of ways, active berths have to be found for younger people on grown-up boats, and some of these younger people are very young indeed. One of the stars of 2017 may have been 17-year-old Lorcan Tighe of Dun Laoghaire, who played a key role in the Irish National Sailing School’s class win with the J/109 Jedi in the Rolex Fastnet Race, for which he was made Sailor of the Month for September 2017. But he was already building on past experience – at the age of 16, he’d been bowman on Peter Hall’s Beneteau 34.7 Adelie in the Volvo Round Ireland 2016 from Wicklow.

adelie wicklow3Noel Butler (on helm) and Lorcan Tighe (then aged 16) on Peter Hall’s First 34.7 Adelie. Photo: David O'Brien/Afloat.ie

lorcan and ronan4Further recognition. Lorcan Tighe with National YC Commodore Ronan Beirne and the Commodore’s Commendation Award for his 2017 Fastnet Race performance

And as a result of highlighting his achievement, we were quickly informed that several younger sailors had done the round Ireland, with a name quickly mentioned being that of Susan Shanahan of the National YC who was actively offshore racing as crew for her father Liam – stalwart of ISORA, the Round Ireland and the Dingle race - from the age of 12, for in these races there’s no lower age limit, although full Parental or Guardian permission is of course required for those under 18.

At the other side of the country, the legendary Dillons – father and son Derek and Conor from Foynes – were and are a formidable force offshore in double-handed racing with their Dehler 34 The Big Deal, and Conor was making an impact at the age of 14, while another Shannon Estuary sailing family, the McGibneys of Tarbert – were introducing youth sailors to the offshore game from an early age.

Derek conor dillon5Shannon talent. Derek and Conor Dillon from Foynes provide a notable example of different generations racing offshore together.

In fact, the extraordinary range of family crews bringing “cradle sailors” along to take part in offshore races from a very young age put us into new territory. For at what age does a child aboard an offshore racer start graduating into an active crew member? It’s when you try to put a figure on it that you realise that mere chronological age is a very crude measure. Every young sailor is different, and someone who is already a natural at 14 can be a much more useful crew than an able-bodied but less experienced 20-year-old.

It’s probably in Cork that they know more about when cradle sailors develop into real offshore crew members and skipper material, with family sailing and racing being so much part of the fabric of life that it’s seen as something so natural that it’s scarcely worth any special comment. But for sailors from elsewhere, it really is impressive when you see a mighty sailing clan like the O’Learys of two or more generations putting in a campaign where seniority is no matter of natural respect on board – it’s how much of a useful input you make into the boat’s successful functioning that counts.

One noted skipper who brings a special dedication and insight to family involvement in offshore racing is Liam Coyne of Dun Laoghaire, who with Brian Flahive won the two-handed division and several classes in the Round Britain & Ireland Race of 2014 in the First 36.7 Lula Belle.

lulabelle rbi6Rough going. Lula Belle at the start of the Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014. Photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson

lulabelle isora7Gentler going. Katie Coyne aged 10 aboard Lula Belle during an ISORA Pwllheli-Dun Laoghaire Race. Photo: Liam Coyne

That was one mega-rugged 1,800 mile event for the two men. Yet in home waters, Liam’s approach is strongly family-oriented, and over the years he has used the ISORA programme to introduce his three kids – Billy now 13, Katie who is 11, and Isabel 8 – to offshore sailing, firstly through taking them along on delivery trips when very young indeed, and then in actual races.

Thus young Billy won the Douglas Award aged 11 for being the youngest competitor in the ISORA trio of races focused on the Isle of Man, and then last year at 12 he was the youngest competitor in the decidedly tough Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race, and saw it through to the finish.

lula belle fastnet8Shipmates. Billy and Liam Coyne put the Fastnet astern during the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race 2017

Being at mid-fleet, by the time they reached the Fastnet the weather was easing, and that gave them a sunlit father, son and Fastnet photo to cherish. But the best was yet to come, as the weather now changed completely for the better. For a ten-day return cruise to Dun Laoghaire from Dingle, the racing crew took off home overland, and Liam and Billy were joined on board by Katie and Isobel for the four of them to have a sunlit port-hopping idyll back home along an Irish coast looking it best.

Another seasoned and thoughtful observer of the way young people move up through Ireland’s offshore racing structures is Noel Butler. Originally a man of the west, his sports were surfing, rock-climbing and fishing, but there was so little surf around in the good summer of 1995 that he returned to sailing which he’d briefly tried a few times before at the Outdoor Centre at Killaloe on Lough Derg.

This time he was hooked, and in classic Butler style he went at it 100%, so much so that when the two-man Laser 2 was all the rage around the turn of the Millennium, he took it up with such dedication that he won the Laser 2 Worlds in 2003, making him Ireland’s Sailor of the Year 2003.

yellow brick9The ubiquitous Yellowbrick Tracker – the mirco-chip used in it was designed in Dublin by the company where top helmsman Noel Butler works.

That in turn gave him such a good reputation as a helmsman that he is never lacking in offers of berths at the driving end of all sorts of boats, and offshore racing has become his passion. He brings an analytical mind to it - after all, he works with the company in Dublin which designed the micro-chips which are at the heart of the Yellowbrick trackers – and his comments on racing offshore with younger people who have proven themselves in dinghies, but find much great fulfillment offshore on open water, are illuminating:

“Having watched them take the boat by the scruff of the neck and “send it” in big breeze and big seas off Donegal, I for one appreciate the skills they are developing. I didn’t come up through the official “junior sailing world” myself, and am starting to experience it now with my own two kids (aged 7 and 9) sailing Optimists in the programme at the National YC. That’s ultimately aimed towards inshore racing, moving up in boat size. But with that for my family, and with my own experience of seeing more senior juniors such as Lorcan Tighe, Alexander Rumball, Jemima Owens and Oisin Cullen move into the keelboat and offshore game, I see the pluses and minuses of the varied experience of different types of sailing.”

Adelie skellig10The ocean experience – Noel Butler at the helm of Adelie with Skellig Michael astern during the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016

This “varied experience” is regularly available in Ireland thanks to our tradition of family sailing, while organisations such as WIORA, SCORA and ICRA provide direction for young people looking to test the keelboat experience. But for full introduction to the genuine offshore scene, the Irish National Sailing School and Irish Offshore Sailing in Dun Laoghaire make a formidable contribution, while ISORA is in a league of its own.

kenneth rumball10aKenneth Rumball of the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire skippered the J/109 Jedi to the class win and victory in the Roger Justice Trophy in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017. Many Irish offshore racing boats now have INSS “graduates” in their crews

The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association is guided by Peter Ryan of Dun Laoghaire with such patient skill and success that it could be a template of how to do such things. His own modest approach to it is surely part of it all. Far from claiming to be an offshore racer from boyhood, he quips: “I was an old man of 20-22 when Liam Shanahan Senr dragged me out of the snooker room in the National YC to go offshore racing on his DB2s Lightning – Liam was his own unique and very effective press gang. I’ve been well and truly hooked on offshore racing ever since, and it’s a great encouragement to me that so many young people – some of them very young – are getting a taste for racing offshore thanks to ISORA”.

peter ryan11Peter Ryan of ISORA was “press-ganged into offshore racing by Liam Shanahan Senr”.

So there is a sort of informal junior training programme within contemporary offshore racing. It’s just not highly visible because there’s no such thing as a junior offshore racing boat. But doubtless as the years go on, the “programme” will become more developed, as it already is with the sailing schools.

That said, the present setup has considerable charm. It’s intensely personal, it’s friendship and family-based. But if offshore racing is brought within the Olympic circus, then a high profile part of it will acquire an entirely different status. It will become official. It will become easy for governments to recognise its existence. It will become inevitable that, for some sections of the sport, a strict training and qualification and grading system will come into being, making it ultimately a section of sailing developing for a new elite.

Irish offshore sailors will view that with mixed feelings. For there really is something special about the way the system – such as it is nowadays – works quietly and so well in its unobtrusively effective way.

Published in W M Nixon
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After last year's successful Belfast Lough inaugural staging of the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships, the regatta stays on the east coast in 2018 with the Irish Sailing announcement today that the event will take place from 5th–8th of April in Dun Laoghaire, jointly hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club

As in previous years the IODAI Optimist Trials will be incorporated into the regatta making it an event catering for all the Pathway classes with competition for the Laser Radial, 420, Laser 4.7, Optimist and Topper.

Dun Laoghaire has not hosted the Youth Pathway Nationals since 2012 so it will be great to see Ireland’s best youth and junior sailors challenging for the top spots out on Dublin Bay again in 2018.

Further details and the notice of race will be posted shortly.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Irish youth Laser Radial sailors Conor Quinn and Sally Bell are 24th and 26th respectively with one race left to sail at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China tomorrow. 

Quinn, from Rush Sailing Club, made the top ten of his 46-boat fleet in race six when he finished seventh in that race. Bell, from Belfast Lough, also scored high in her race six taking a second place as her best individual result in the regatta so far. 

The Irish boys 420 team of Geoff Power and James McCann are 21st in their fleet, with a top individual result of eighth scored in race seven. Full results are here

Italy's Margherita Porro and Sofia Leoni claimed the first title at the Championships sealing gold in the Girl's 29er with two races to spare.
 
The Italians carried a 26-point advantage into Thursday's action and knew that it was possible for them to win gold. Sailing in another variable 6-12 knot easterly breeze, that all the 374 sailors from 60 nations had to contend with, the Italians picked up a seventh and third.
 
This was enough to give them an unassailable lead. The pressure was off in the final race and as they sailed through in tenth, the celebrations commenced. "We still can't believe that we have won,” expressed Porro. "We feel incredible. It has been a fantastic week, in particular the first day because we gained three first places in all three races.
 
"We knew we won it after the second race today, this week and event has been so important for us.”
 
A single race will be held on Friday 15 December and there will be a fight for the final podium position with eight Girl's 29er teams in the hunt for silver and bronze.
 
The quest for gold in the Boy's 29er will go down to the final day and any one of three teams could win.
 
Théo Revil and Gautier Guevel (FRA) moved into first overall, dislodging overnight leaders Rok Verderber and Klemen Semelbauer (SLO), following a 2-2-10.
 
Norway's Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty were the stand out team on the water recording a 4-5-1 scoreline and they also overtook the Slovenians who slipped to third after a fifth, sixth and discarded 24th.
 
The French lead on 62 points, followed by the Norwegians and Slovenians on 63 and 69 points.
 
There have been plenty of ups and downs in the Nacra 15 competition and after three races on Thursday, the Dalton siblings, Shannon and Jayden, have moved into the overall lead following a 2-2-5.
 
"We had a pretty good day,” said Shannon. "It was consistent and we gained some good scores. It was quite close racing, lots of different people at the top. The conditions were shifty and tough and it was good racing.”
 
The Australians are on 49-points, three points clear of Switzerland's Max Wallenberg and Amanda Bjork-Anastassov and seven points ahead of Belgium's Lucas Claeyssens and Anne Vandenberghe. Friday's final race will decide the podium places.
 
It's tight at the top in the Boy's and Girl's RS:X after three races with continuous swings in momentum.
 
Italy's Giorgia Speciale, Great Britain's Emma Wilson and China's Ting Yu have all guaranteed themselves a medal in the Girl's RS:X.
 
The trio occupied the top three spots in all the day's races with each competitor grabbing a race win. Speciale and Wilson were locked on 16 points overnight but the Italians 3-2-1 scoreline was one place better than Wilson's 1-3-3 which gives her a one point lead.
 
China's Yu has always been in contention for gold but did her chances the world of good after a 2-1-2. She is four points off the lead.
 
Israel's Yoav Cohen put three points between himself and China's Hao Chen after two race wins and a fourth. Chen finished in third in the two races Cohen won, to fall behind but a win in the last race of the day kept him in contention and he is three points off the Israeli.
 
Sil Hoekstra (NED) and Fernando Gonzalez de la Madrid Trueba (ESP) will fight it out for the final podium position as Cohen and Chen have guaranteed themselves a medal.
 
Twin sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles (USA) continued their fine form in the Girl's 420, picking up another pair of seconds.
 
They are 12 points clear of Violette Dorange and Camille Orion (FRA), who finished third and first in both races on Thursday. The Americans have a disqualification, which they currently discard, hanging over their heads so they will have to tread carefully on the final day to ensure there are no slip ups. However, they will feel confident as the French also have a discarded disqualification.
 
Arianna Passamonti and Giulia Fava (ITA) and Linoy Korn and Yael Steigman (ISR), who are separated by three points, will fight for the final podium spot on Friday.
 
The lead in the Boy's 420 continues to change hands but Thomas Rice and Trevor Bornarth will head into the final day in pole position.
 
Rice and Bornarth took a second and discard their tenth, which gives them a single point lead over Australia's Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone, who went 1-11. Israel's Ido Bilik and Noam Homri are four points off the leaders.
 
Charlotte Rose (USA) and Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) both had mixed days. Rose finished 25th in the first race of the day, which she discards, and followed up with a bullet. Fraschini came through in seventh first of all but then slipped to 15th, a score she discards, in the next.
 
Rose grabbed the lead and is two points ahead of the Uruguayan. Moreira Fraschini has the better discard so may look to cover Rose in the final race. No matter what happens, the pair will fly out of China with a Youth Worlds medal.
 
Four points split Luciana Cardozo (ARG), Daisy Collingridge (GBR) and Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) who are all fighting for the final podium spot.
 
In the Boy's Laser Radial, Daniil Krutskikh (RUS) guaranteed himself a medal and has given himself every chance of that medal being gold after a race win and a 16th, which he discards.
 
Krutskikh is eight points clear of early leader Guido Gallinaro (ITA) and nine ahead of Maor Ben Hrosh (ISR).
 
Hrosh leaped up into bronze medal position after a fifth and a second and after racing commented, "It was a great day for me, my start was good and I also had a good second race, in the second upwind. It's a very nice regatta. I think the conditions are great and the environment around me is good.”
 
Racing resumes at 11:00 local time with a single race for every fleet.
 
Nations will also be battling for good positions in their respective fleets as they aim to boost their points total in the fight for the Nations' Trophy.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Still best of the Irish after four races sailed at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China is Rush Sailing Club's Conor Quinn in the boys Laser radial class who is in the top half of his fleet, now lying 25th overall out of 51 starters. 

In the boys 420 class, Geoff Power and James McCann are 23 from 26. Belfast Lough's Sally Bell, the RYA NI youth sailor of the year, has moved up two places overall to 24th from 40 after scoring 11th in the final race today. 

Click this link for the official results sheet here.

Meanwhile, Belgium's 14-year-old Nacra 15 helm Lucas Claeyssens and crew Anne Vandenberghe continue to impress by holding on to the overall lead in the 18-boat fleet.

Claeyssens is one of the youngest competitors at the Youth Worlds, an event open to sailors under 19 or born after 31 December 1998, and is showing experience beyond his years, both on the water and when faced with a deluge of cameras and media requests.

The wind was up and down again in Sanya with cloud cover once again present across the racing area. An 8-12 knot breeze was present throughout the day with an increase when the sun broke through the clouds later on in the day.

Out of the 374 sailors from 60 nations racing across nine fleets in Sanya, only three are younger than Belgium's Claeyssens.

The Belgian team got off to a flyer on day one, winning two races and finishing second in the other. They solidified their position on Tuesday with a seventh, which they discard, as well as a fifth and third. Sitting on 12 points, they are four clear of Australia's Shannon Dalton and Jayden Dalton.

"Today was a weird day,” explained Claeyssens. "We were last at points and then first. We were a bit lucky but we were trying to have a look around but it's about the way you sail.

Vandenberghe added, "We are currently happy as we're still in first place. I think Australia are a really good team but it's going to be hard to be first and then stay first but we are trying.”

Sanya 2017 is the first Youth Worlds appearance for the young Belgian sailors and they are loving every moment of it, "We've got to know so many people from all over the world,” expressed Claeyssens, "It's great to see so many nations here.”

Vandenberghe continued, "The people here are great. There are so many people here to help us and we even get free pasta so it's very nice.”

Seven races remain in the Nacra 15 and it's fair to say the Belgium team won't get too carried away with their early success. The day's race wins in the Nacra 15 went to Switzerland's Max Wallenberg and Amanda Bjork-Anastassov, who are third, the fourth placed Silas Mühle and Romy Mackenbrock (GER) and Canada's Helen Horangic and Theodora Horangic.

American sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles put their first race disqualification on the opening day behind them in the Girl's 420 to claim two wins and a second from the following races.

This sees them hold a seven-point lead over Great Britain's Hatty Morsley and Pippa Cropley and Argentina's Maria Clara Vignati Garona and Emiliana Lopez.

After racing the sisters commented, "It feels great. We're trying to keep a clear head, continue going, take every day as the next and keep sailing hard. It's a long regatta with a lot of opportunities.”

As for the biggest challenge they've faced, "Trying to get adjusted to the food. It's very different to the USA.

"But we're really proud to be here. It's our first Youth Worlds and we're just looking up and up to try and get better every day.”

Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone (AUS) lead in the Boy's 420 after a second and a race win. They are four points clear of Thomas Rice and Trevor Bornarth (USA). Overnight leaders, Ido Bilik and Noam Homri (ISR) drop down to third after a ninth and discarded 15th.

Margherita Porro and Sofia Leoni (ITA) consolidated their lead in the Girl's 29er after a blistering start that featured three consecutive victories. Two eights and a first ensures they are seven points clear of Zoya Novikova and Diana Sabirova (RUS).

"The event is very good and like I expected,” expressed Leoni, "It's awesome. I always wanted to be part of this. It's beautiful.”

Emilie Andersen and Maren Edland (NOR) hold the final podium place after the second day.

In the Boy's 29er, Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) remain in the lead on 19 points. France's Théo Revil and Gautier Guevel follow on 22 points and Finland's Ville Korhonen and Robin Berner are on 24.

Italy's Giorgia Speciale had the biggest smile of the day in the boat park after a great day of racing in the Girl's RS:X. Speaking on World Sailing's Instagram Stories in the boat park, Speciale gave followers insight into her day, "I'm very happy to be here and I'm happy about today's races as I got a first, first and a first.”
Click here to follow World Sailing on Instagram.

That perfect scoreline hands her a three-point lead over 2016 winner Emma Wilson (GBR) who sailed consistently at the front of the fleet. Overnight leader Ting Yu (CHN) dropped down to third following two fifths and a second.

China's Hao Chen and Israel's Yoav Cohen traded blows in the Boy's RS:X to open an eight-point gap over the trailing sailors at the top of the fleet.

From three races, Chen won two and finished second in the other. Cohen took the remaining race victory and secured a second and a fifth, which he discards.

Chen holds a one point lead over Cohen with seven races remaining.

A battle for third is developing between Fernando Gonzalez de la Madrid Trueba (ESP), Luca Di Tomassi (ITA) and Sil Hoekstra (NED) with three points splitting them.

Charlotte Rose (USA) made it three wins out of four in the Girl's Laser Radial to hold on to top spot. She finished 18th in the day's other race but discards the result to lead Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) by four points.

Valeriya Lomatchenko (RUS) won the only race Rose has yet to seal and is 11th overall.

Overnight Boy's Laser Radial leader Guido Gallinaro (ITA) will wear the gold leader bib for another day even though he had two mixed results. He opened the day with a 21st but bounced back with a win. He discarded the 21st and is three points clear of Russia's Daniil Krutskikh who sailed consistently, recording a 6-4.

It was Groundhog Day for Josh Armit (NZL) who picked up another race win and another 14th place. He occupies third overall.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 11:00 local time on Wednesday 13 December.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Today was the first day of competition for 374 of the world's best youth sailors, from 60 nations, racing across nine classes on Chinese waters at the World Youth Sailing Championshps in which Ireland is contesting three classes and hoping to replicate or better its 2014 silver and 2016 bronze medals. More team details here.

Grey skies and a variable 6–12 knot easterly breeze were present across the four racing areas and sailors were looking to get off to a steady start. See video below.

Best of the Irish after two races – with a long way to go in this competition – is Rush Sailing Club's Conor Quinn in the boys Laser radial class who scored an 11th in the second race of the day to be in the top 40% of his fleet, now lying 21st overall out of 51 starters. 

420 sanyaA boys 420 start in Sanya

In the boys 420 class, Geoff Power and James McCann are 22 from 26 and will be hoping for better in the following races this week. In June, the Dunmore East pair scored an impressive seventh overall at Kiel Week in Germany. 

Belfast Lough's Sally Bell, the RYA NI youth sailor of the year, is lying 26th from 40. 

Click this link for the official results sheet here.

 

USA's Charlotte Rose put out a strong signal of intent by dominating the day in the Girl's Laser Radial.
 
Racing in the 40-boat fleet, Rose won both races, sending out a message to the defending champion Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) and 2017 Youth Radial World Champion, Hannah Anderssohn (GER).

Rose did more than this, she controlled the fleet sealing two convincing victories. The American finished third to Moreira Fraschini and Anderssohn at the 2017 Youth Radial World Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands in August and although she was anxious about the scale of the event, she remains calmly focused and competitive.

"The Youth Worlds is the top sailors in every country from around the world so that gets me a little nervous,” commented Rose. "These sailors qualified to be here and deserve to be here as much as I am. Just knowing that puts a little of pressure on.

"But I'm also not scared of them. They're still a threat to me but I deserve to win as much as they do. As long as I work harder and smarter than them, I can beat them.”

Moreira Fraschini, a Rio 2016 Olympian and defending champion, kept in sight of Rose and posted a 3-2 to sit within three points. Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) and Luciana Cardozo (ARG) are tied on 15 points in third.

Germany's Anderssohn received a scoring penalty in the opening race and followed with a 12th. She is currently 30th overall but the discard comes into after the third race so she will have opportunities to spring up the leaderboard.

Italy's Guido Gallinaro holds the early lead in the 51-boat Boy's Laser Radial fleet after a second and a seventh from two races.

New Zealand's Josh Armit won the opening race and after racing said, "It's a tough competition and great to be sailing against all these great guys. The second race I didn't have that great of a start and struggled from there to work back through the pack.”

Armit finished 12th in the second race and occupies fifth overall. Yoshihiro Suzuki (JPN) also took a race win and is in fourth.

Norway's Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty stole the show in the 30-boat Boy's 29er fleet.

They won two races and finished third in the other and were full of smiles ashore after racing, "We were very nervous at the start because we didn't have a good feeling in the practice day. I think we managed this pretty well today,” explained a modest Franks-Penty.

"We hit the good shifts and that was pretty important. Our starts were very clean and good.

"All in all, it's been a perfect day for us, it couldn't have gone any better.”

Sweden's Kasper Nordenram and Linus Berglund and France's Théo Revil and Gautier Guevel follow in second and third.

Margherita Porro and Sofia Leoni (ITA) were more impressive in the 20-boat Girl's 29er fleet, winning every single race. Zoya Novikova and Diana Sabirova (RUS) followed behind in the first two races but dropped to 12th in the final race of the day. They discard the 12th and are two points off the Italians.

Maiwenn Jacquin and Enora Percheron (FRA) complete the podium but it is still the early stage of the regatta.

There was plenty for the Chinese fans to cheer about in the Boy's and Girl's RS:X with Chinese sailors firmly placed within the leading bunch after three races.

Ting Yu (CHN) leads defending champion Emma Wilson (GBR) by one point in the Girl's RS:X fleet following two race wins and a third. Giorgia Speciale (ITA) and Yarden Isaak (ISR) are in contention in third and fourth.

Hao Chen (CHN) is one point off leading Israeli sailor Yoav Cohen following three races in the Boy's RS:X. Alongside a third, Cohen picked up two race wins. Chen took the final race win of the day.

Fernando Gonzalez de la Madrid Trueba (ESP) occupies the final podium position.

In the Boy's 420, Ido Bil and Noam Homri (ISR) lead the pack after a race win and a second. Australia's Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone follow in second and USA's Thomas Rice and Trevor Bornarth are third. In the Girl's division, Israel's Linoy Korn and Yael Steigman lead Carmen Cowles and Emma Cowles by two points.

Belgium's Lucas Claeyssens and Anne Vandenberghe (BEL) were in firm control in the Nacra 15 winning two races and picking up a second in the other. The Youth Worlds is open to competitors under 19 which makes the young teams form even more impressive as Claeyssens is just 13-years-old.

Belgium holds the record for the youngest competitor at the Youth Worlds. At just 11-years-old, Henri Demesmaeker sailed at the 2012 edition in the multihull. He went on to make three further appearances and won bronze in 2016.

If Claeyssens and Vandenberghe continue their form, the young helm could become the youngest medallist at the event.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 12 December.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

Irish youth sailors will join a fleet from 62 nations set to compete in the 2017 edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships from 9-16 December 2017 in Sanya, China.

As Afloat.ie reported prevously, Ireland will be represented by three boats and four sailors: Sally Bell in Laser Radial Girls, Conor Quinn in Laser Radial Boys, and Geoff Power and James McCann in 420s.

The team will be joined by coach Russell McGovern.

On the eve of her departure for China, Bell was boosted with the 2016 RYA NI Youth Sailor of the Year Award

More than 380 competitors will race across nine youth events over five days of racing in a bid to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest names in sailing who have competed at the event.

Some of the famous faces include Ben Ainslie (GBR), five-time Olympic medallist, Russell Coutts (NZL), America's Cup winner, Santiago Lange (ARG), Rio 2016 legend and Alessandra Sensini (ITA), one of the most successful Olympic sailors of all time.

The names collected on the nine perpetual trophies, since the events inception in 1971, reads like a who's who in sailing.

The world's best youth sailors will all be heading to Sanya aiming to write their names in the history book to emulate the stars of the sport.

Laser Radial

The Girl's Laser Radial fleet will welcome 40 talented competitors. Sailors with experience at the Youth Olympic games and World Championships will all be at the start line. The one name that shines in the fleet is Uruguay's Dolores Moreira Fraschini.

At just 18-years-old, Fraschini has achieved a lot in her short career so far. In 2016, she qualified Uruguay for a spot at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Laser Radial and was selected to compete for her nation. Not only was she selected but she was chosen to carry the Uruguayan flag in the opening ceremony.

Just a few months later at the 2016 Youth Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand, she claimed gold for herself and nation in the Laser Radial fleet, capping off a tremendous year of competitive sailing.

Fraschini is the only returnee of the medallists from 2016 and will be looking to defend her crown against a very strong line up of sailors.

In the entrants is Hannah Anderssohn of Germany. Anderssohn beat Fraschini to gold earlier this year at the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands and knows what it takes to win.

Charlotte Rose (USA) finished third behind Anderssohn and Fraschini at the Radial Youth Worlds. She will also be in Sanya, aiming for the podium once again.

It's not just Youth Worlds experience within the Laser Radial fleet. Australia's Elyse Ainsworth sailed at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Racing in the Byte CII, Ainsworth finished 24th but since she stepped into the Laser Radial, she has finished amongst the frontrunners at Sailing's World Cup Series Final in Melbourne in 2016 and is improving in the senior ranks.

In the Boy's Laser Radial, there will be 51 skilled sailors competing in Sanya.

Amongst that fleet, the winner of the 2017 Youth Laser Radial World Championship, Dimitris Papadimitriou (GRE), will be attending and seeking to claim the top spot.

Papadimitriou dominated the Laser Radial Worlds, winning by a considerable margin over Matias Dietrich from Argentina.

Dietrich will be in Sanya and has been training to improve on his Radial Youth Worlds performance to take gold home for Argentina.

Josh Armit (NZL) missed out on Bronze at Radial Youth Worlds via a countback. Armit will be attending the Youth Worlds hoping to make amends.

Only two returnees from the top ten of the 2016 Youth Worlds will return for 2017.

Dominik Perkovic (CRO) and Clemente Sequel (CHI) finished ninth and tenth respectively and will be aiming to improve on their performance on Chinese waters.

Racing will also take place in the Boy's and Girl's 420, Boy's and Girl's 29er and the Open Mulithull, the Nacra 15 and the RSX.

Sailors will be officially welcomed to Sanya on Sunday 10 December with the opening ceremony. Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time on Monday 11 December and will conclude on Friday 15 December.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

On Saturday November 25, the National Yacht Club hosted its annual junior awards dinner for 2017. Over 200 parents and children attended the event to celebrate junior sailing success on the water and to award the junior perpetual trophies. 

Trophies were presented to the next generation of talented young sailors by club Commodore Ronan Beirne

NYC Junior sailors1200 turned out for the awards ceremony at the NYC

Among the highlights was the presentation to Loghlen Rickard of both the Lynch Trophy for being the highest ranked NYC Laser radial sailor and also the Cathy McAleavey Trophy for being the Junior that has made the most remarkable achievements in 2017.

Natasha Hemeryck was presented with the Topper trophy.

NYC Junior sailors1Ella Hemeryck was awarded the trophy for being the 2nd highest ranked NYC laser radial sailor

NYC Junior sailors1Clare Gorman was awarded the Laser 4.7 trophy

NYC Junior sailors1Nicola and Fiona Ferguson were presented with the double-handed Trophy for their 420 sailing

NYC Junior sailors1Conor Gorman was presented with the 1st Senior Optimist Trophy and Fiachra McDonnell was presented with the 1st Junior Optimist Trophy

NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1NYC Junior sailors1

Published in National YC

The Junior Laying Up Supper celebrated a fantastic year afloat for Royal Cork youth sailing on Saturday.

Afloat.ie's photo gallery is below.

Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30Royal Cork Junior Prizegiving30

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 4 of 16

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