After a gap of two years, 135 young sailors are signed up and raring to go at the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships.
The event is 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. There are five classes (types of boat) taking part from all across the country and we’ve outlined some of the names to watch below.
In the ILCA 6 (Laser Radials) there are some well known names including Eve McMahon (Howth YC) who’s fresh from a successful summer of overseas competing where she won the ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Italy in July, and a previous winner at the Youth Nationals. She’s joined by three of the Irish Sailing Laser Radial Academy athletes: Ellie Cunnane (Tralee Bay SC) and local sailors Jonathan O’Shaughnessy and Michael Crosbie (both RCYC). Rocco Wright (Howth YC) is a new entry coming up from ILCA4 (Laser 4.7s) and one to watch.
The small 420 fleet will have sailors who know each other well, and three clubs dominating: Lough Ree Yacht Club, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, and Malahide Yacht Club.
Female helms lead the way in the 29er class with a 60/40 girl/boy ratio. Three of them are representing Dun Laoghaire’s Royal St George YC: Emily Riordan, Rachel Flood and Clementine van Steenberge. Local Cork helm James Dwyer had a top 15 finish at the 29er World Championships in Spain in September. This is the first time the 29ers will compete at the Youth Nationals, and the class are in discussions with Irish Sailing about becoming a full Performance Pathway class.
ILCA4 (Laser 4.7s) sees a lot of new entries in the class, with many of the top competitors moving on from the ILCA 4s up to the bigger ILCA 6 or another dinghy. Ones to watch are Sienna Wright (Howth YC) and Hannah Dadley-Young (Ballyholme YC) along with Daniel Palmer (Ballyholme YC) who’s moved up from the Topper class, along with Spaniard Mauro G Regueral Noguerol (RCYC).
Finally in the Toppers, there is a large fleet from across the country with Bobby Driscoll from the North (Royal North of Ireland YC) and Rian Collins from the South (Royal Cork YC) sure to feature. With many sailors finishing the season strongly, Ciara McMahon (Malahide YC), Riona McMorrow Moriarty (Tralee Bay SC) and Dan O’Leary (Royal Cork YC) are also in the mix.
The Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships take place 28-31 October 2021 at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven, Co Cork.
Young sailors from across Ireland will compete across four different classes: 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. The remaining four classes will be joined for the first time by the 29er class.
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.”