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World Sailing has announced Gdynia, Poland has been selected to host the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships.

Known as Poland's sailing capital, Gdynia is a dynamic, modern city with experience in running large scale events. The 2019 Youth Worlds will be held out of Marina Gdynia which is close to the city centre and offers excellent sailing and recreational facilities.

Gdynia has hosted a number of international regattas in recent years, including the 2004 edition of the Youth Worlds, 470 and Laser European Championships as well as Volvo Gdynia Sailing Days, attracting thousands of participants and spectators.

Bid partners, the Polish Yachting Association and the City of Gdynia, bring together proven experience in hosting large scale events with the regatta to take place from 13-20 July 2019.

Alistair Dickson, World Sailing Events Manager, said, "With experience of hosting high calibre sailing events, Gdynia is a perfect fit to hold the 2019 edition of the sports premier event for young sailors.

"Excellent on-shore facilities in a great location coupled with a good breeze in July will ensure the delivery of a fantastic all-round championship. World Sailing look forward to working with the Polish Yachting Association and the City of Gdynia.”

An Evaluation Panel received presentations for potential hosts of the 2019 Youth Worlds in February 2016 from the following venues:

Gdynia, Poland
Lelystad, The Netherlands
Shanghai, China

The Panel made their recommendation to World Sailing's Executive Committee who unanimously endorsed the recommendation.

The selection of Gdynia is subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The International Finn Association has announced a decision to change the age for its Junior titles from under 22 years old to U23.

“The decision has been taken following discussions with various federations and National Olympic Committees in order to align the age group to one most commonly used by other sports such as athletics, rowing and swimming. Among the Olympic sailing classes, the 470, the 49er and the FX have also recently adopted U23 for their Junior worlds and this would allow us to run combined events in the future,” Corinne Mckenzie, Finn Class Executive Director, explained.

“This decision should impact on clarity for the general media but also play an important role with funding through the sailors national authorities including their federation or Olympic committees. These are factors we cannot ignore even if the term ‘Junior’ now becomes less relevant.”

With the change of age division, the Finn class is changing the name to U23 Finn World Championship. The event is also known as the Finn Silver Cup, for the Jorg Bruder Trophy, a stepping stone to the famous World Championship trophy, the Finn Gold Cup.

This rule will apply from this year when U23 Finn sailors will be able to test first-hand the 2018 World Sailing Championship waters in Aarhus, Denmark. The 2016 U23 Finn World Championship will take place from the 3-9 July 2016.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The traditional midwinter festive air of Dublin Airport returned briefly but vividly today when Ireland’s team in the Youth Sailing Worlds came home in triumph from Langkawi in Malaysia bearing the Bronze Medal won in the International 420 by Douglas Elmes (17) and Colin O’Sullivan (16).

There to provide a rapturous welcome were family and friends, together with Howth YC Commodore Berchmans Gannon and HYC Honorary PR Officer Ross MacDonald. For although Elmes is from Kilkenny and started his sailing at Dunmore East, while O’Sullivan is from Malahide, it was through the intensely-focused 420 class in Howth, under the inspired tutelage of coach Graeme Grant, that the two have made their way towards a podium place in the Worlds.

The ISA Academy’s project to send a team to the Youth Worlds has paid off handsomely, for in addition to the Bronze Medal in the 420, Aisling Keller came home with tenth place overall in the fleet of 50 in the Laser Radial Girls, while Liam Glynn was 15th in the 66-strong Laser Radial Boys.

W M Nixon’s Sailing on Saturday blog this weekend will analyse the story behind the medal success, and there’ll be a special reception for the medallists and their families in Howth YC on Sunday.

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“You’ve done us proud….” Welcoming home the Bronze Medallists at Dublin Airport are (left to right) Ross MacDonald (Howth YC), Douglas Elmes & Colin O’Sullivan, and Berchmans Gannon (Commodore, Howth YC). Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Youth Sailing

The World Sailing executive has now received the interim report on the situation concerning the participation and conditions placed on Israeli sailors for the Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia.

World Sailing has demanded an immediate full explanation from both the Malaysian and Israeli Sailing Organisations (Member National Authorities) on this issue.

World Sailing stands by its commitment to both the Olympic ideals and ensuring that competitions taking place under the auspices of World Sailing permit all sailors to represent their country and to compete fully and equally. World Sailing has always taken this issue very seriously and undertakes to clarify and strengthen this requirement of all future World Sailing event organisers, if required, once the full report is concluded.

With regards to the current situation with Israel and Malaysia, World Sailing whilst adamant that the situation is not acceptable under the above principles, acknowledges that delays in communication by both Israeli and Malaysian officials in the lead up to the regatta have contributed to the situation spiralling into the current controversy. This is something that could have been prevented and will be actively managed in the future. World Sailing only learnt of Israel's withdrawal on 24 December, with immediate action taken to obtain factual information on the ground in Malaysia and to respond appropriately to this challenging situation.

These diplomatic issues are faced by all sports of this nature. World Sailing cannot solve all such problems, but as an organisation it, and its members can work towards acceptance of all nations and towards finding suitable solutions within the current political arena. As a result of this, World Sailing shall strengthen its processes to prevent discrimination within the sport.

World Sailing had the full support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the build up to the Youth Worlds and will continue to enlist their help and expertise in this matter.

Further information on the report and the proposed actions will be provided after the emergency Executive Committee meeting on the 8 January.

Published in Youth Sailing

With the sailing complete, the 45th Youth Sailing World Championships officially came to an end with the closing ceremony at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia. Ireland took home a third youth medal in four years at the championships, its first double–handed medal in 19 years. 

Over the regatta a record 425 sailors from 76 nations competed in nine fleets, hunting for a Youth Sailing World Championships title and the ceremony was a chance to celebrate the achievements of the young sailors who triumphed.

Following a speech by YB Dato' Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim, President of the Malaysian Sailing Authority, World Sailing Vice President Quanhai Li spoke of the 'excellent sailing conditions' that the competitors enjoyed at the Malaysian Sailing Centre and complimented the beautiful racing areas. Mr Li also acknowledged the help of the organising committee, volunteers, staff and boat manufacturers that made the event.

Speaking of the young sailors, Mr Li stated, "It is obvious you have enjoyed yourselves and made some new friends. Above all else it has been a pleasure to watch such camaraderie and good manners. You have demonstrated outstanding skills and sportsmanship but above all a passion for the sport of sailing.”

Someone who personified those sentiments was Hungary's Maria Erdi. Erdi was the recipient of the Bengt Julin Trophy which is chosen by the sailors themselves and given to a competitor or National team that has displayed acts of sportsmanship, respect, graciousness, friendliness and endeavour.

Following the speeches, the medal ceremonies began with gold, silver and bronze medals handed to the top three in each of the nine classes as well as the Nations Trophy which was presented to the top performing country at the Championships. This years Nations Trophy went to Australia.

As the World Sailing flag was lowered and presented to Negaraku and Allah Selamat Sultan who were representing Oman, the next hosts of the Youth Sailing World Championships, the event was officially closed.

List of Winners

420 Boys
Gold – Will Logue and Bram Brakman (USA)
Silver - Leonardo Lombardi and Rodrigo Luz (BRA)
Bronze – Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan (IRL)

420 Girls
Gold – Julia Szmit and Hanna Dzik (POL)
Silver – Nia Jerwood and Lisa Smith (AUS)
Bronze – Maria Caba and Carla Diaz (ESP)

29er Boys
Gold - Peter Lin Janezic and Anze Podlogar (SLO)
Silver – Jackson Keon and Nick Egnot Johnson (NZL)
Bronze – Tomas Mathisen and Mads Mathisen (NOR)

29er Girls
Gold – Sirre Kronlof and Veera Hokka (FIN)
Silver – Laerke Graversen and Iben Nielsby Christensen (DEN)
Bronze – Greta Stewart and Kate Stewart (NZL)

SL16
Gold – Louis Flament and Charles Dorange (FRA)
Silver – Shaun Connor and Sophie Renouf (AUS)
Bronze – Tamryn Lindsay and William McKenzie (NZL)

Laser Radial Boys
Gold – Alistair Young (AUS)
Silver – George Gautrey (NZL)
Bronze – Daniel Whiteley (GBR)

Laser Radial Girls
Gold – Maria Erdi (HUN)
Silver – Hannah Anderssohn (GER)
Bronze – Magdalena Kwasna (POL)

RS:X Boys
Gold – Titouan le Bosq (FRA)
Silver – Francisco Saubidet Birkner (ARG)
Bronze – Brenno Francioli (BRA)

RS:X Girls
Gold - Stefania Elfutina (RUS)
Silver - Emma Wilson (GBR)
Bronze – Xian Ting Huang (CHN)

Nations Trophy
Australia
New Zealand
France

Published in Youth Sailing
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Counting two more top ten results, a seven and four, Irish 420 dinghy sailors Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan of Howth Yacht Club are on equal points with Brazil in the chase for bronze as the World Youth Sailing Championships in Malaysia prepares to enter its last day tomorrrow.  SEE UPDATE HERE

The tantalising prospect of Ireland's first double handed youth medal in 19 years will go right down to the wire in tomorrow's final race.

But despite the level pegging, Leonardo Lombardi and Rodrigo Luz count two race wins in the eight races sailed so far compared to Ireland's single race victory, giving the Brazilians a scoreboard advantage and putting them in third overall and Ireland fourth.

USA crew, Will Logue and Bram Brakman, held the lead comfortably on 16 points to take godl with a race to spare. Australia's Alec Brodie Xavier and Winston Smith move to second overall to 31 points.

Logue and Brakman secured the gold with consistent racing and a better day on the Langkawi water than their rivals.

The USA pair took a fourth in the first race of the day and then broke their duck with a bullet in the next race. Their high finishes throughout the regatta means that their score of 16 points can not be bettered by Australia, Brazil or Ireland. Instead the three have to fight it out for silver and bronze.

Australia's Alec Brodie and Xavier Winston Smith currently hold second place on 31 points when they finished the day with a sixth and a discarded 14th.

Both Leonardo Lombardi and Rodrigo Luz (BRA) and Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan (IRE) are on 35 points. The Brazilians had a seventh and a discarded 11th on the day and the Irish pair had a fourth and seventh.

Italy's Edoardo Ferraro and Francesco Orlando took the other bullet of the day and are eighth overall on 61 points.

 

Great stuff Doug and Colin - 4th overall in their 420 and in sight of medals with one final race to be sailed tomorrow...

Posted by Howth Yacht Club on Saturday, 2 January 2016

The wind died on the Langkawi course during the day as per the forecast so competitors were lucky to complete two races.

In the Laser girls division, Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club took a fourth in race seven and 12th in race eight to move inside the top ten and currently lies a highly creditable ninth overall.

Results were not as good for Liam Glynn in the boys Laser. The Ballyholme sailor scored a 42 and 32 and drops to 18th.

See results here

Read more about the Irish 420 challenge in Friday's Irish Times newspaper here

Published in Youth Sailing
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After the first two races of the first day of the Youth World Championships in Malaysia two of three Irish boats are in the top ten of their respective fleets. Howth Yacht Club's Doug Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan counted a 3,13 and are lying 7 out of 33. Ballyholme's Lase sailor Liam Glynn took an 8 and 11 and are lying 8th out of 65. Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club in Tipperary has 19, 15 and is lying 16 out of 48.

Day one began with a full on wind to greet the sailors for the first races of the 45th Youth Sailing World Championships.
Laser radial and RS:X were the first fleets back ashore after facing the gusting wind that was hitting 20 knots on the race areas.

With everyone trying to get off to a flyer to set up their tilt at a gold medal, today was reserved for the few who liked the stronger winds that Langkawi had to offer for it's first racing day.

Laser Radial

Returning to the Youth Worlds after finishing fifth in Tavira, Portugal last year, Australia's Alistair Young got off to a great start with a bullet in the first race and a fourth in the second to sit on top of the leaderboard after the first day of racing.

Obviously wanting to push in to the medal places, the Aussie was happy to have strong wind to start of the regatta, conditions which the youngster enjoys, "It started off pretty windy, about 20 knots in the first race and pretty choppy. I managed to do alright though. I picked the shifts and sailed fast and won the race which was great to calm the nerves first race in."

Calm the nerves it has as he looks at the days to follow and the possible drop in knots that could come, "We may get some lighter winds so it will be shiftier so we will all get some bigger scores, so the drops will be needed later on. I prefer the stronger winds but I don't mind to be honest. What you get is what you get so you just have to go out there and do what you can in the conditions that are there."

The second winner of the day was Finland's Oskari Muhonen, who was also at Tavira with Young, so experience in the regatta came to the fore. The Finnish sailor's bullet followed a ninth and leaves him laying in fourth overall.

Ecuador's Matias Dyck must have been feeling happy and confident going in to the second race after finishing just behind Young in race one. That was short lived though when he was one of nine sailors to be black flagged out of race two. The Ecuadorian will be looking to drop that from his scorecard with some good sailing for the rest of the regatta.

USA's Nicholas Baird and New Zealand's George Gautrey finished near the top of the order in both races to sit in second and third respectively.

In the girl's section, the top five is held by Europe with Poland's Magdalena Kwasna currently in pole position on six points thanks to a bullet and fifth place. With a ninth place finish in Tavira, Portugal, it would seem that just like the boy's fleet, experience in this event is paying off on the first day.

Sitting just behind in second is Hungary's Maria Erdi who somehow seems to defy her age with an attitude and outlook of a seasoned competitor. Despite making mistakes throughout both races, Erdi never let it get to her as she says with her ever present smile, "I'm happy with my results but I did make some mistakes. I was leading in the first race quite a lot in the first upwind and then I capsized twice in the first downwind so I dropped back to fifth. But I managed to come back to finish third.

"In the second race it was quite tricky, I think I was about tenth around the first mark but managed to move up and finished fifth."

So how does a sailor at the Youth Worlds handle the mistakes? Simply it would seem for the young Hungarian, "I tried to forget about the first race at the second start and I had a clear head. But it's only the first day so anything can happen."

Even with self-confessed mistakes, Erdi sits in second, joint on eight points with Germany's Hannah Anderssohn who had a steady day with two fourth place finishes.

Taking the first bullet of the day was New Zealand's Alexandra Nightingale who couldn't carry the form through to the second race where she finished 19th. Nightingale currently sits in tenth place overall with those two results.

The 45th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships has been declared open by World Sailing Vice President Chris Atkins at the opening ceremony in Langkawi, Malaysia.

During the ceremony, 425 sailors, 125 coaches and officials from a record 76 countries paraded towards the Astaka of the Lagenda Park with their national flags waving for all to see.

The event breaks all previous numbers in terms of participation and number of nations. The previous best of 67, achieved at the 2014 event in Tavira, Portugal, was easily surpassed with a number of new and returning nations in Malaysia.

Racing continues through to 3 January 2016 where nine Youth World Sailing Champions will be crowned.

Published in Youth Sailing

Top Irish 420 youth pairing Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan got a timely boost before flying out for next week's important ISAF Youth Worlds in Malaysia. The pair won the UK's 420 End of Season regatta at Grafham Water Sailing Club earlier this month and now Elmes and O'Sullivan are part of a three boat Irish team for Langkawi. Belfast's Liam Glynn races in the boy's Laser and Tipperary's Aisling Keller races in the girls Laser.

Sailors will start to arrive at the Langkawi venue on 27 December where they will receive the supplied equipment from Ovington, UpMarine, Nautivela, Sirena Voile, Neil Pryde and Laser Performance/Maclaren.

From there, the ceremony on 28 December will signal the start of the Youth Worlds before racing commences on 29 December. Racing will run through to Sunday 3 January with Friday 1 January a lay day for the sailors.

Langkawi will welcome a record number of male and female Laser Radial sailors for the 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships from 27 December to 3 January.

Historically, the Laser Radial is always the largest at the Youth Worlds and that trend doesn't look like halting anytime soon with 69 boys and 57 girls registered to race in Malaysia, a championship best for both fleets.

Not only that, 2015 will be a record year for the Youth Worlds as a whole with more than 430 sailors from 80 nations registered to sail across nine fleets. The previous best number of nations was 67, set in at the 2014 event in Tavira, Portugal.

The 2014 Laser Radial Boys and Girls medallists have aged out of the Youth Worlds but there is a wealth of large scale event experience in Youth Olympic Games medallists, Laser Radial Youth Worlds medallists and sailors returning to make a second Youth Worlds appearance.

Hungary's Maria Erdi will head into the event with a large number of regattas under her belt in 2015. Spearheading her year is victory at the 2015 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Kingston, Canada. Erdi took six race wins from the ten race series as she improved on her silver medal at the 2014 edition in Poland.

Erdi's year also includes gaining experience in the elite Sailing World Cup fleet in Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain as well as in larger fleets at EUROSAF regattas in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Alongside this, Erdi has also taken victories at the Izola Spring Cup and the Laser Europa Cup – Hungary.

Langkawi will be Erdi's Youth Worlds debut but won't be her first single nation entry event following an 11th in the Byte CII at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in August, 2014.

Whilst many sailors competing at the Youth Worlds aspire to reach the Olympic Games, only a few make it straight out of youth sailing. Uruguay's Dolores Moreira broke that mould and qualified her nation to Rio 2016 this year following her silver medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, a regional qualification regatta for South and North America.

The Uruguayan has had a remarkable 18 months. Moving out of the Laser 4.7 she finished tenth at the 2014 Youth Worlds before heading to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China where she placed ninth. Nanjing was plagued with light winds but when the breeze came in on the final day Moreira stormed her way to a convincing victory in the final race.

She narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships but bounced back in July to book her Rio 2016 spot. A month later, she took second at the Laser Radial Youth World and is heading to Langkawi looking to deliver.

Of the top ten placed sailors from 2014, only Moreira and Poland's Magdalena Kwasna return to the event. Kwasna completed the 2015 Laser Radial Youth Worlds podium behind Erdi and Moreira and will certainly be in the mix in Malaysia.

The Laser Radial Girls fleet also features a number of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympians. Bronze medallist Jarian Brandes from Peru will be joined by Algeria's Nouha El Alia Akil, Cecilia Wollman (BER), Florence Allan (CAY), Kelly Gonzalez (CHI), Louise Cervera (FRA), Hanna Brant (GBR), Paige Clarke (ISV), Paula Pelayo (MEX) and Caroline Rosmo (NOR).

The Laser Radial Boys fleet is set to be the biggest fleet in the history of the Youth Worlds with 69 sailors registered to participate.

Of the 2014 top 20, there are just four returnees. Alistair Young (AUS), Benjamin Wempe (NED), Oskari Muhonen (FIN) and Francisco Guaragna Rigonat (ARG) finished fifth, ninth, 17th and 20th respectively in Tavira, Portugal and each sailor will be gunning for an improvement in position as well as the podium.

Silver medallist at the 2015 Laser Radial Youth Worlds, Gianmarco Planchestainer (ITA) will be hotly fancied for a podium finish as will bronze medallist Nic Baird (USA). Baird is the son of the famous American match racer Ed Baird. Ed holds an America's Cup victory as skipper and three World Sailing Match Racing World titles to his name. In addition he was crowned 2007 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Big shoes for the young Nic to fill but the Youth Worlds is where heroes are born and with a role model in his father, the journey to greatness could begin in Langkawi for Nic.

Bernie Chin of Singapore is the only other top ten sailor from the 2015 Laser Radial Youth Worlds fleet heading to Langkawi. Chin knows what it takes to be successful following victory at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games so it will be all to play for.

Joining Chin from the Youth Olympic Games is Paul de Souza (BAH), Pablo Bertran (CAY), Clemente Seguel (CHI), Joshua Ioane (COK), Ahmad Zainuddin (INA), Asri Azman (MAS) and Teariki Numa (PNG).

The Laser Radial Boys and Girls fleets also feature a number of sailors who are heading to the Youth Worlds thanks to their participation at the Youth Worlds Emerging Nations Program clinics. Sailors from the following nations have received support to develop their skills as well as attend the Youth Worlds:

Americas
Antigua, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Ecuador, US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago

Africa
Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania

Asia
Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, Kuwait, Sri Lanka

Europe
Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary

Oceania
Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Vanuatu

Published in Youth Sailing
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#YouthSailing - ISA Performance has announced its regional Laser squads for the new season.

The Leinster Laser Radial team will comprise Sally Bell, Tara Coveney, Loghlen Rickard, Aaron Rogers, Nell Staunton, Rory and Jenny Fekkes, Patrick Coyle and Rob Salters.

The same province's Laser 4.7 squad includes Hugh Perrette, Peter Fagan, Henry Higgins, Heather Spain, Evie Byrne, Ros Morgan, Greg Arrowsmith and Eoghan Byrne.

Munster's Laser Radials will be sailed by Johnny Durcan, Ronan Walsh, Charlie Moloney, Richard McGinley, Luke McGrath, Jamie Tingle, Billy Duane, Jack Carroll and Eoghan O'Regan.

And Brian Fox, Rebecca O'Shaughnessy, Paddy Cunnane, Chris Bateman, Tom Keal, Cian Jones, Caoimhe Foster and Molly Murphy will make up the Munster 4.7 contingent.

In other ISA youth sailing news, its Optimist squad for 2015-2016 has also recently been announced, while applications for the Topper squad are now open.

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Only 3.5 points separated the top three sailors after the medal race of the of the junior All Ireland sailing championships off Kinsale this afternoon. Sailed in Topaz dinghies, Peter McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club won the Championships with Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan of Skerries Sailing Club second. Defending champion Harry Durcan, also of Royal Cork Yacht Club, took bronze. Clare Gorman of the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire was crowned Junior All Ireland Girls Champion. Full results downloadable below.

Nicola Ferguson Clare Gorman Peter McCann and Jamie Venner

Youth stars: Nicola Ferguson, Clare Gorman, Peter McCann and Jamie Venner

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