After a gap of over two years due to the COVID pandemic, Ireland’s biggest youth regatta is back with a bang.
Over 100 young sailors will gather together at the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven, later this month. They’ll be joined by Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy, and Tokyo Olympic 49er team Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove who will give inspiring talks to the young sailors after hard days racing on the water. Dickson and Waddilove will be joined by local Crosshaven 49er team Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan who have started their bid to represent Ireland in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The Youth National Championships are unique – not only is it the biggest youth event held in Ireland, it’s the only time that different youth classes come together to compete, gain valuable experience on the water, hear from Irish Sailing coaches, and, along with their families, learn more about the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway.
Young sailors from across Ireland will compete across four different classes of boat at the Youth Nationals: 420, Topper, ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7) and ILCA 6 (Laser Radial). These are the classes that have been identified as the best to facilitate progression through the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. Although normally part of the event, this year due to COVID safety measures, Irish Sailing and the IODAI (Irish Optimist class) decided to organise a separate training week. The IODAI National Training Week is part of an overall plan to kick-start the junior pathway and as such is being supported by Irish Sailing. This year’s training week is in Malahide; future editions will rotate nationally. The remaining four classes will be joined for the first time by the 29er class who are in discussions with Irish Sailing about becoming a full Performance Pathway class.
Organiser Sean Evans, Irish Sailing’s Laser Radial Academy Coach said “We’re delighted that the Youth Nationals are back on this year. The Youth Nationals are a very important part of the talent pipeline and gives coaches a chance to see what’s coming through. It’s a special event where families and friends can gather together in one location to share their experiences, learning and generally have some fun”.
David Quinn, MD, Investwise Financial Planning, commented: “We are delighted to support this wonderful event for young sailors. Sailing teaches important life skills such as awareness, responsibility, patience and respect, as well as building friendships that last a lifetime. We’re delighted that our youth sailors have the opportunity to get back out on the water to compete again at their National Championships after a break of two years. It promises to be a superb event in Cork over the mid-term break and I look forward to meeting everyone there.”
The evening talks include a race course debrief with Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove along with 49er teammates Johnny Durcan and Seáfra Guilfoyle; and James O’Callaghan (Irish Sailing Performance Director) and Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy will discuss her journey on the Performance Pathway.
For more information https://www.sailing.ie/Racing/Irish-Sailing-Youth-National-Championships