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Displaying items by tag: youth sailing

#YouthSailing - A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young people to sail an Open 60 racing yacht around the Irish coast is now available thanks to MSL Ballsbridge Motors Mercedes-Benz and the Atlantic Youth Trust supporters club.

In total eight places are available for 18–to-24-year-olds to take part in two 'extreme' high-performance coastal voyages on board the Kilkullen Voyager. The boat captain for the voyages will be top Irish solo Figaro helmsman David Kenefick.

The first will see the yacht sail from Dun Laoghaire to Belfast to join the Tall Ships Festival from 29 June to 2 July. The second voyage will leave Belfast on the 5 July and finish in Cork on 11 July to coincide with the Ocean Wealth Conference and SeaFest.

The Open 60 hull design

The Kilcullen Voyager is one of the fastest monohull yachts on the water today

Due to the yacht's high performance, sailing experience is required. Conditions on board will be challenging with little to no creature comforts found on other yachts. The benefit is that the Kilcullen Voyager is one of the fastest monohull yachts on the water today.

Speaking about the opportunity, Noel Rabbitte, Mercedes-Benz brand manager at MSL Ballsbridge Motors, said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this exciting, youth development initiative.

"Giving young people this opportunity is comparable to providing a safe environment for young people to drive a Formula 1 car for a weekend with a trained professional in the cockpit.”

No fee is being charged as the yacht has been made available by the Atlantic Youth Trust’s supporters network and the kind support of MSL Mercedes-Benz.

Anyone interested in taking part must submit an expression of interest form (available HERE) by 10am on Friday 26 June.

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Published in Youth Sailing

#YouthSailing - The Laser Transition Year programme – better known as the Bcademy – is now underway for 2015.

For its sixth year, the programme will comprise a mix of sailing and cycling for the seven youth sailors involved: Patrick Coyle from the National YC, Jack Carroll and Scott O'Sullivan from Kinsale YC, Brian Fox from Tralee Bay SC, and Eoghan O’Regan, Jamie Tingle and Criofan Guilfoyle from the Royal Cork YC.

The journey started at the Royal Cork with loading the trailer and the minibus: eight Lasers, one small RIB, eight bikes and too many bags!

First stop is Brittany, where they will train with a local squad in St Quay and be hosted in local sailors families.

After a week, the group with have a short drive to Crozon for a three-day clinic with the Brittany squad before competing in an Atlantic two-day event.

Next, the group will have a day's drive up to Nieuwpoort in Belgium where they will train a few days before competing at the Belgium Europa Cup event. 

Having completed the event, the programme will bring them to Hyeres to compete at the French Spring Nationals.

This final week in Hyeres will be dedicated to fitness to ready the team for the final challenge: a 24-hour cycling relay race in teams of four.

ISA coach Thomas Chaix, who has been running the Bcademy since its inception, says it's "all about developing life skills and independence, improving fitness awareness and of course sailing skills.

"It has been a good feeder for the [ISA] Academy in the past and falls perfectly in the ethos of sailing for life."

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

#youthnationals – The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Pathway Youth Nationals 2015, taking place at Royal Cork Yacht Club are in their second day of competition at Crosshaven writes Claire Bateman. Topper, 420, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial classes are competing in selection trials for National squads and potential selection for the National Academy. The four-day event also sees the International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland, 2015 Optimist Trials take place with over 60 entrants.

Today began as a foggy grey day with the breeze more from the south and with a fitful sun trying to break through the clouds like a patchwork quilt on the water later in the day. The wind also increased at this stage going to 16 to 18 knots with a slight hint of west in it. A third Race Committee was called to action under the highly experienced Race Officer David O'Brien of Royal Cork for the 4.7s and the Toppers who were commencing racing today. To a person doing a tour of the three race areas, looking at racing with inner loops and outer loops, separate finish boats, on the water Juries blowing whistles signaling to the unwary, or possibly not unwary, that they had infringed the rules, it all appeared a very competent and slick operation timed to the last. The race team for the 420 and Radials moved further east on the Eastern Bank opposite the Aghada Sailing and Tennis Club where they had to wait a little bit longer for the wind to reach them. When it did it was great to see these fleets surfing on the waves.

In the 420 Class Peter McCann and crew Harry Whitaker from RCYC are the current leaders, followed by Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan, RCYC/ HYC, while the younger McCann brother James and crew Bill Staunton, RCYC, are in fourth place with Lizziy McDowell and Anna O'Regan from MYC taking the third spot..

In the Laser Radial fleet after six races and one discard Conor Beirne RStYG leads Erica Ruigrok from Rush SC in second followed by Cian Byrne from the host Club in third place.

Meanwhile the 29 boat Topper fleet, having sailed three races, are now led by Geoff Power WHSC, followed by Luke McElwaine from Carlingford Lough, tied on points but with count back putting McElwaine in second place and Caoimhe Foster RCYC taking the third spot.

In the 30 boat Laser Radial Fleet Richard McGinley of the Host Club leads from Ross Morgan SSC, second followed by Rebecca O'Shaughnessy, RCYC 3rd.

In the Optimist 60 boat fleet with Ireland's top sailor Anthony O'Leary as Race Officer the fleet sailed on a traditional Optimist course and had a long day sailing four races bringing their total to seven to date on this weekend which is an Optimist Trials Event confined to sailors who qualified at regional events and the Nationals in 2014. Current leader is Tom Higgins, RStGYC, followed by Gemma McDowell, MYC and Harry Bell, HYC third.

Racing continues tomorrow (Saturday) and tensions are now mounting at this stage of the weekend. Forecast is for fresher conditions and some exciting sailing should be seen throughout the fleets.

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Published in Youth Sailing

#youthnationals – Today saw the first day of racing at the ISA Pathway Trials and Youth Sailing Championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Claire Bateman. Today's fleets were Laser Radials and 420s. The Principal Race Officer was Alan Crosbie. The morning turned out to be foggy but there was a light south easterly breeze and the sun made an appearance making it into a pleasant day but still retaining some heat haze.

During the day the wind strengthened slightly and went more into the east with Alan Crosbie weaving his magic by sailing the 420s on the outer loop of a triangular course while the Radials sailed on the inner loop. For the next three days the fleets will be joined by the Toppers and the Laser 4.7s.

Meanwhile, not a mile away on the Curlane Bank, Race Officer Anthony O'Leary was performing his style of magic in enabling the IODAI Optimist Trials also to get in three races. There was no doubt he got the best of the wind from his position as it was somewhat stronger on this course and he got in three fine races for the sixty plus competitors and the races were over forty minutes each for two of them with the third being over fifty minutes.

The IODAI Optimist Trials will run over 4 days from today (Thurs) to Sunday. This is a qualifying event for the Optimist sailors to represent Ireland in 2015 - the top five at Optimist Worlds in Wales, next seven at Optimist Europeans in Poland and a number of sailors chosen for a development team that will sail at the French Nationals.

The 420s and Laser Radials are competing in the ISA Youth Pathway Nationals from today (Thursday,) while the Toppers and Laser 4.7s will compete from tomorrow, Friday to Sunday. Normally this is a qualifying event for the Youth Worlds, which are usually in the summer, but the 2015 Youth Worlds are in Malaysia in December which is a little too far away. Still an important event for all the classes as the Lasers compete for the honour of ISA Youth Pathway Nationals Champion, the 420 sailors are qualifying for the Junior Europeans and Worlds, while the Toppers are qualifying for the ISA Summer squads which will build up their skills for the Topper Worlds in Lake Garda. This is an open event for ALL Topper, 420, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial sailors, which means the young sailors did not have to qualify to enter and it gives ALL sailors a chance to compete against each other on an even playing field.

All in all an excellent, if somewhat long day for the youth competitors but obviously scintillating and provided for plenty of chatter and camaraderie when coming ashore and bringing their boats back to the allotted compounds for each fleet.

Racing continues tomorrow (Friday).

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Published in Youth Sailing

#youthnats – The RYA Youth National Championships kicked off yesterday with racing for all classes at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. A single Irish crew is competing in the 56–boat 29er class. An Irish Youth Nationals, expected to attract 200 boats – the bulk of which will be Optimist and Laser dinghies – is being staged at the Royal Cork Yacht Club this week.

The day in Weymouth started with a short postponement ashore before sailors headed out for their first race around 11am. The light sea breeze remained in the harbour for the rest of the day. A dying and unstable breeze in Weymouth Bay meant that the schedule was not completed on the 420, Spitfire and Radial boys' courses.

Consistency was key across the race courses, and those who mastered the shifty sea breeze have taken the advantage on day 1.

RS:X

A hat-trick of firsts started Dan Wilson's Youth National Championship title chase with a bang. The RS:X sailor led from the start of each race and protected his lead around the course.

Wilson looks to do much of the same as the week progresses: "I'm hoping to continue the rest of the week where I left off today, just getting the start nailed and pushing forward from there. Once you get the first beat out of the way it's just trying to protect what you have, so I will be hoping to do that this week."

Younger sister, Emma Wilson and Emily Hall sit on ten points in second and third respectively, both scored a second, third and fifth however Wilson pips Hall on countback.

29er

Favourites coming into the Youth Nationals, Dan Venables and Patrick Keech proved their dominance in the 29er class picking up double wins in racing today.

The pairing are already on the hunt for a EUROSAF Youth Europeans spot and are very happy after day 1: "It is a great start to the week, two bullets in two races especially considering it was quite gusty and shifty. It's the best start to the qualification process for the EUROSAFs this year, and hopefully we will keep it going for the rest of the week."

In the 29er yellow fleet Bobby Hewitt and Harvey Martin also had an excellent opening day, picking up a win in the first followed by a second. The 15-year-olds, who transitioned into the 29er this year and are the 2014 RS Feva World and European Champions, were thrilled with their first day.

"It's been a really good day, we were leading from the start in the first race and we just played the shifts up the beat and it was easy from there," said a smiley Martin.

"The second race didn't start so well, we were buried off the line but managed to get it back up the first beat, rounding mark one in fourth then fought the rest of the way to finish second."

Winning the second yellow fleet race of the day were all girl team Hannah Bristow and Emily Covell. Bristow, also a previous RS Feva World Champion, paired up with Covell a year ago and they have spent the winter training in the 29er Transition Squad.

The girls thrived in the gusty conditions: "It was a sea breeze day, a lot of mixing. The wind was shifting right throughout the day and was quite gusty. We were just making sure we were squeezing every gust and getting all the power we could get out of the boat." Explained Covell.

Laser

Henry Wetherell and Michael Beckett took all three of the race wins today. Wetherell claims the advantage with double firsts and a third finishing the day on five points to Beckett's six.

Although Beckett didn't win all three races he acknowledged his consistent start to a long week: "It was a one track race course and so once you figured that out it was just a question of working around the fleet. It couldn't have been much better for me but it could have been much worse, I'm happy."

Radial

The Laser Radial boys' fleet only managed to finish two of their scheduled three races. Jack Cookson and Daniel Whiteley stole the show in the two races sailed, both with a one and two to their score lines.

Both were pleased with their results: "My first day was really good, quite consistent and I was pretty quick around the race course." Said Whiteley.

After disappointing starts to both races, Cookson used his downwind speed to the advantage and sailed back through the fleet, pipping Whiteley to take line honours in the last race of the day.

Light wind specialist, Karyna Manuel ends the day in pole position in the Laser Radial girls' fleet. Similar to other race courses, consistency was the name of the game for the Radial girls' and Manuel takes the early lead with a six point advantage over rival Hanna Brant. Other race winners of the day, Clementine Thompson and Ellie Cumpsty sit further down the pack after both picking up a starting penalty.

420

Max Clapp and Ross Banham won the first and only race on the 420 course. The pair led up the first beat after a successful start, however they lost their lead to Martin Wrigley and Marcus Tressler after sailing to the wrong mark. With impressive boat speed Clapp and Banham regained the advantage up the second beat and held until the finish, winning by only a couple of boat lengths to Wrigley and Tressler.

Spitfire

The Spitfire class also only had one race. Eddie Bridle and James King took advantage of the tricky sea breeze conditions and crossed the line ahead of Sam Barker and Victoria Akhurst in second. Alex Philpott and Jess D'Arcy completed the podium in third.

Warning signal for the first race today is at the earlier than scheduled time of 10.25am for the 29er blue fleet. You can watch the live streaming from the Harbour course on the sportsXstream website. GPS tracking will also be live for all courses on the sportsXstream class pages.

 

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

The countdown to the 2015 RYA Youth Sailing National Championships is well underway, with just six days left to enter the premier annual event for the UK's young sailing talents.

Competitors have up until Sunday 22 March to sign up for the regatta (4-10 April), where racing will take place on the famed Olympic and Paralympic waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, and where RYA Youth National Champions will be crowned across six classes.

Racing will take place for under 21-year-old boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials and Neil Pryde RS:X 8.5 windsurfers, and for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews in 420s, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans.

The event also doubles up as a selection event for the British Youth Sailing Team to compete at the EUROSAF Youth European Championships in Brest, France (26 July-2 August), and will determine invitees for the British Youth Sailing Team Selection Event for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, to be held at Hayling Island Sailing Club from 29-31 August 2015. The 2015 ISAF Youth Worlds is to be staged in Langkawi, Malaysia, from 27 December-2 January.

To enter the event and for further information click here

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

#olympicsailing – Water Rat's article: Is ISAF Alive To Sailing's Survival As An Olympic Sport? has raised the issue about the future viability of the Olympic sailing movement and brought reaction from readers, including Midshipman, who says it begs two interesting questions:

· Is being an Olympic sport good for sailing?

· Why have the amazing advances we have witnessed in technology over the last 15 years not made sailing more accessible and less expensive?

With the exception of the Laser (a manufacturer controlled boat which is not cheap at €7,250), none of the boats used in the Olympics are to be found in mainstream sailing.

The explosion in sailing during the 60's and 70's was fuelled by the development of exciting low cost boats built, mainly by amateurs, in plywood using new adhesive and coating techniques.

The turn of the century has seen vast improvements in the technologies used in boat building, making boats lighter, faster, stronger safer, but certainly not cheaper, as amateur construction can no longer compete with the sophisticated techniques of the boating industry.

That is probably why the most popular dinghy class in the world remains the inexpensive and simple Sunfish while low tech Hobie Beach Cats still dominate the multihull scene.

In years gone by, most young sailors got their start in wooden Optimists, often built by enthusiastic parents at modest cost over a couple of weekends and then typically graduated to a home built Mirror or its equivalent for their first experience of multi crewed sailing with multiple sails.

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A wooden framework of the early Optimist dinghy

Nothing less than a relatively expensive Glass Fibre Optimist will do now and the Street Cred of young people is dependent on graduating to costly Lasers and 420s. In Ireland this situation is also compounded by the sense of failure youngsters experience if they fail to qualify for one of the Academy or Elite development squads which currently involves over 100 youth sailors of varied abilities.

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The scene today – charter boats used at Dun Laoghaire for the 2014 Optimist Europeans

Sailing has become so fixated on exciting performance and elite achievement that it has lost sight of the sheer enjoyment of messing about in boats at modest cost which is the principle attraction to the vast majority of people.

We all admire the highly skilled and motivated sailors who aspire to the ultimate Olympic challenge, but let's face it , what they do has virtually no relevance to the activities of most recreational sailors. ISAF uses racing formats and boats which are not reflective of the sport in general, largely on the grounds of needing to excite TV viewers.

With the exception of horse riding, sailing is probably the most equipment dependent (meaning most expensive) sport in the Olympics. I am not sure that this is a message which ultimately helps encourage people to become involved in sailing.

If we want to use the Olympics as a marketing opportunity for sailing, we should use inexpensive boats which are used on a widespread basis by regular sailors and only have 2 events each for men and women whilst eliminating the cost of shipping boats by supplying evenly matched equipment.

Olympic sailing has created a very costly industry which contributes little back to mainstream sailing. The costs are truly horrendous as demonstrated by the recent announcement that the ISA is appointing an additional CEO to head up a funding programme to raise a further €2.75m a year over and above the €1m plus it receives from the Irish Sports Council for Irish Elite sailing activities.

Does the Irish sailing community believe an annual level of expenditure of €3.75m on elite sailing provides the best economic payback to the sport in Ireland? If we could replicate what has been done in New Zealand, maybe there is a business case which can be justified.

However, €15m seems an outrageous amount of money to propose spending over an Olympic cycle, which is equal to something in excess of €800 on behalf of each member of the ISA.

Let's make sailing accessible, less expensive and more engaging and use the Olympics as a shop window to remove the elitist and esoteric imagery created by the current profile of existing Olympic classes.

What we are doing at the moment is deluding ourselves into believing that presenting our sport like NASCAR or Formula 1 motor racing will attract new people to buy Ford Mondeos and Fiat Pandas. – Midshipman

Published in Your Say

#youthsailing – Corpus Christi, Texas in the USA will host the 2018 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual agreements last week's ISAF conference heard. Ireland won its third ever medal at last year's championships in Tavira Portugal but unfortunately silver medal winner Seafra Guilfoyle is just out of age limit for the American event so the Cork star cannot qualify for the Texas event next season.

The following events and equipment for the 2017 ISAF Youth Worlds were also agreed by the Council:

Boy's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Girl's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Boy's Two Person Dinghy - 420
Girl's Two Person Dinghy - 420
Boy's Windsurfer - RS:X with 8.5 sail
Girl's Windsurfer - RS:X with 8.5 sail
Open multihull - Sirena SL16
Boy's Skiff - 29er
Girl's Skiff - 29er

The Equipment Committee recommended the new Nacra15 for the Open Multihull event and this will be discussed at the 2015 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in the Netherlands with the earliest possible introduction of the new equipment being 2018.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

Despite light weather and a number of clashing events, the traditional end of season All Ireland youth sailing Inter-schools event at Sutton Dinghy Club attracted 91 boats across 11 classes, 21 schools and 119 sailors. Now in its 39th year, this event continues to be as enjoyed and as hard fought as ever across both Mixed and Optimist Fleets.

The 72 boat Mixed Fleet which saw 10 different classes produce close and tight racing under Portsmouth Yardstick. The PRO team of Jim Lambkin, supported by Liam Dineen (Skerries) and Scorie Walls did exceptionally well to get all 4 races in over the 2 days.

6th year student and team captain Thomas Natin (Laser Full), who has sailed in the event since his first year in Belvedere, went out in a blaze of glory taking the Individual Trophy, from St Fintans Robert Dickson & Lochlann O'Shea (Mirror), with Mount Temples Daniel Hopkins Laser 4.7) in 3rd.

Even with victory in the Individual series, Belvedere College had to be content with 4th place overall as St Fintans Sutton (Robert Dickson, Lochlann O'Shea, Darragh Kelly) took the Team Trophy (Conor Nolan Memorial) from a clearly delighted Sligo Grammar School (Fergus Collins, Harry Collins, Sam & Imogen Wray) with Blackrock College (Conor Byrne, James O'Connor, Patrick Riordan) taking 3rd. Sligo Grammar were 1 of 3 Sligo schools who made the trip to Sutton for the event.

Despite a clash with end of season Optimist event across the bay, the Interschools Optimist Fleet saw 19 boats take to the water with the PRO team of Paul Kavanagh and Padraic Boyle deciding to get 3 races in on Saturday on the off chance Sunday might be even lighter. The Individual Trophy went to Ella Hemeryck (Loretto Stephen Green) by a single point from Luke Rickard (Gonzaga) with Hugo Kennedy (St. Michaels) in 3rd.

The Team Trophy saw perennial contenders Belvedere College (Ben McDonald, Conor Waddilove, Sam Crawford) retain the title with Burrow School Sutton (Jonathan Sargent, Sophie Dix, Kirsten Quinn) 2nd with Loretto Balbriggan (Francis Mulholland, Ella May, Stephanie O'Connor) 3rd.

That 2nd place overall meant Burrow School Sutton took the Primary School Trophy.

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The O'Tiarnaigh Trophy for best Sutton Dinghy Club helm went to Darragh Kelly sailing for St Fintans Sutton who finished 4th overall sailing a Laser Radial.

This Trophy, presented by former Commodore Muriel O'Tiarnaigh, is in honor of her late husband, former Commodore and Belvedere teacher Riocaird O'Tiarnaigh who introduced the Inter-schools Sailing event back in April 1995. The 39th running of the event saw their grandson Fionn Mulhall take part in the Optimist fleet for the first time.

The 40th running of this event next year, should be a very special event.

Published in Youth Sailing

#YouthSaling - Congratulations are in order for Laura Gilmore, Northern Ireland's new ladies and Laser Radial champion after this weekend's RYANI Youths at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

The 17-year-old youth sailor fended off strong competition from fellow youths Sarah Eames (Ballyholme) and Gary Fekkes (East Antrim) to claim the Laser Radial crown with a net total of six points, five ahead of her closest rival.

The Strangford Lough Yacht Club member and junior champ's victorious weekend got off to a slow start on Saturday, with lighter than forecast wind early on making things tough for the record 146 entries.

But soon a good, though shifty, 10-12 knot breeze filled in, enabling all fleets to get three races in across both race areas.

On Sunday, conditions were light and shifty, making conditions difficult for race officers. Still, two races went ahead with stiff competition from a number of clubs.

RYANI performance manager Richard Honeyford thanked Ballyholme YC "for hosting such a great regatta. It was fantastic to see the numbers going from strength to strength, with a large number of clubs being represented.

"Well done to all competitors and prize winners. It is great for RYANI to be able to recognise the dedication of our sailors and clubs.”

Published in Youth Sailing
Page 10 of 16

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