To the surprise of few, the final day of the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships was cancelled as gale force winds swept across Cork Harbour.
However, final results from Saturday’s long day afloat weren’t initially confirmed as two protests on Sunday morning might have affected the standings.
On Saturday evening, a protest by ILCA6 (Laser Radial) overall leader Eve McMahon saw the Howth Yacht Club sailor extend her lead over Michael Crosbie of the Royal Cork YC when he was disqualified from Race 10 due to a port and starboard incident.
However, the Crosshaven sailor returned to the protest room on Sunday morning to have his result reinstated as McMahon had not informed the race committee of her protest on Saturday.
McMahon still emerged as ILCA6 Youth National Champion after the tie-break with Crosbie.
Meanwhile, the host club’s James Dwyer with Ben O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork YC) won the 29er skiff national title by a single point after a close contest with Timothy Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge from the Royal Irish YC and National YC respectively in their eleven strong class.
The runners-up were also in the protest room on Sunday morning seeking redress for equipment failure in their second race of the series on Friday but their submission was ruled out of time.
Crosshaven’s Rian Collins handsomely won the 38-boat Topper class with a 12-point lead over his clubmate Dan O’Leary taking the runner-up place in their seven race series. Collins will now be considering whether to move into single or double-handed classes within the Irish Sailing Academy structure.
The Topper fleet shared the same course as the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) class, the second largest of the event with 31 boats where newcomer to the class Sam Ledoux of the National YC emerged youth national champion.
The Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson continued their three-day lead of the 420 class to win comfortable over Eoghan Duffy with Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC in their two-way battle in the nine boat class.
“We have seen incredible racing over the past three days and great sailing by all 144 young sailors,” said the David O’Brien, President of Irish Sailing. “To achieve three out of four days in mid-Autumn and only lose one race from the schedule is a mark of the dedication of the 100-plus volunteers led by organiser Maurice Collins.”
“From the standard of competition that we have seen over the series, these sailors have clearly managed to keep up their training during the Covid pandemic,” said Sean Evans, Irish Sailing’s Youth Academy manager. “Our prospects for 2022 are very good thanks to this resilience and positive attitude.”
Irish Sailing’s Olympic Steering Group (OSG) will now review the results of the championships and decide the line-up for Ireland’s squad at the Youth World Championships in Oman scheduled for mid-December.