Podium Finishes for NI Youth Sailors
RYA NI Youth Squad sailors have had an intense month of competition across Europe in preparation for Youth events and ISAF Youth World Trials for both Great Britain and Ireland.
GBR and IRL places would be decided at the RYA Volvo Youth Nationals in Pwllheli, 2nd- 6th April and the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals in Dun Laoghaire, 12th-15th April, respectively.
At the RYA Youth Nationals, the Laser Radial fleet was dominated by the event’s international competitors from start to finish as New Zealand’s Andrew Mckenzie claimed event honours with six bullets to his name. Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard followed up in second whilst the battle for third and the RYA Volvo Team GBR spot came down to the wire between Michael Beckett and Christopher Eames on the last race of the day. Eames occupied third spot all week, however the pressure seemed to show as he greeted Beckett with third spot after the final race.
Four intense days of competition followed the event in Pwhllheli, at the ISA Mitsubishi Youth National Championships, Dun Laoghaire, involving 380 sailors across seven classes with 10 nations including GBR and Ireland.
The final morning started with all to play for in each class with some of the most exciting racing in the Laser Radial boys’ class. All three top boats were within one point of each other going into the last race. ISA Academy Sailors Finn Lynch (IRL/ NYC) and Robbie Gilmore (IRL/ SLYC) punched the line well in the last race. Finn pulled in front and controlled the fleet well to win the last race and overall event ahead of Tomasgaard (NOR/ RNor YC) and Robbie Gilmore.
In the Laser Radial girl’s class, Sophie Murphy (QYC/ RStGYC) leapfrogged Georgina Povall (GBR/Hickling Broad SC) and Ellie Cumpsty (GBR/Chew Valley Lake SC) to take ‘first girl’ and secure her place on the Irish team for the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds this July.
Meanwhile, in the Topper fleet, honours were taken by Liam Glynn, BYC, who finished 1st overall, including 5 races in the top 2 out of the 8 race series. His Junior Squad team mate, Conor O’Farrell, CLYC, was close to the podium, finishing 4th overall on count back
RYANI Performance Manager, Richard Honeyford, commented, “The performances by NI Youth and Junior sailors at recent events have been quite remarkable. Having 3 sailors in contention for ISAF Youth World places across 2 nations is fantastic to see, as well as having junior sailors rising through the ranks.”
The Youth Circuit will have a little less intensity over the next couple of months before Worlds, Europeans and ISAF Youth Worlds events in the summer.
Photo Credits: FotoSail