Aspiring Olympian Finn Lynch is the new U19 Laser Standard World Sailing Champion. The Carlow native and member of the ISA’s Development Squad made a comeback this afternoon at the U21 Laser Standard & Radial World Championship in Douarnenez, France to win Gold in the U19 category.
The regatta began on Monday (18 August) and after 10 races in varying, shifty conditions Lynch lay 8th overall in the 101 boat fleet and 3rd U19. The final race began this afternoon and Lynch, with his eyes on the prize, got off to a great start and battled it out at the top of the fleet throughout the 40 minute race. He crossed the line to finish 3rd, comfortably ahead of overnight U19 leaders Joel Rodriguez from Spain and Maxim Nikolaev from Russia, to claim the U19 World title and Gold medal. He narrowly missed out on the U21 Bronze, finishing 4th overall.
This is a significant achievement for Lynch, having only graduated to the senior Laser Standard class earlier this year. In less than three weeks’ time he will compete alongside fellow Laser Standard sailor James Espey from the Irish Olympic Sailing Team - Providence Team IRL in Santander, Spain at the first 2016 Olympic qualifier event. During this championship, Lynch will be aspiring to finish within the top 23 nations in order to qualify Ireland for the Rio Games.
ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan comments "Another podium finish at the Worlds makes it one of sailing's most successful seasons. For Finn the achievement is even more remarkable given that it's his second World title in as many years”.
His fellow teammate Fionn Lyden from Cork finished an impressive 11th overall. Meanwhile in the female Laser Radial class, Tipperary local Aisling Keller also narrowly missed out on a medal finishing 4th in the U19 category and 22nd overall.
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The first race of the day at the U21 Laser Worlds was a tricky one with rain and a shifty 5-15 knots breeze. Finn Lynch got off to a good start and was 3rd around the top mark. He slipped a few places to finish 9th while Darragh O’Sullivan took 33rd. Fionn Lyden made a number of errors to finish at the back of the Gold Fleet in 42nd.
All three boys had a good start in the second race. Fionn went right while Finn and Daragh went straight. Finn was 5th around the first mark but Fionn and Darrgah dropped back to the 30s. Finn lost a few places on the downwind and second upwind to finish 10th. Neither Fionn nor Darragh made considerable gains to finish 27th and 31st.
Tomorrow is the final day. Finn is 8th overall and 3rd U19, Fionn is 14th and Darrgah is 47th.
Still waiting on the results from the Radial course.
Full results here http://www.douarnenez-voile.fr/mondial-laser-2014-douarnenez/
Good luck to all seven sailors tomorrow!
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Two more races today at the U21 Laser Standard & Radial Worlds. Fionn Lyden and Darragh O'Sullivan got off to a great start in the first race, both remaining top five throughout. Fionn ultimately finished 2nd and Darragh 5th. Finn Lynch had a bad start and struggled to find clear wind in the 10 knot breeze. He finished 27th.
In Race 8 Fionn and Finn both put in solid performances finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. All three have now made the Gold Fleet cut with Fionn in 5th, Finn in 15th and Darragh in 44th.
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19th August 2014
Team IRL got off to a good start at the U21 Laser Standard & Radial Worlds in France yesterday. Light, shifty conditions in the morning gave way to a strengthening breeze of about 15 knots with big waves for Race 2.
Fionn Lyden sailed had a great first race finishing 2nd. A bad start in Race 2 followed by some tactical errors put him at the back of the fleet but but he worked his way up to finish 13th. He lies 7th overall.
In the Radials Aisling Keller put in a consistent performance finishing 12th in both races leaving her 9th overall. Sarah Eames was 6th in her second race which moved her up to 18th overall with Sorcha Ni Shuilleabhain not too far behind in 25th.
Finn Lynch had a 2nd and a 4th but he was among many sailors who were BFD in the first race leaving him back in the middle of the fleet.
A BFD for Darragh O'Sullivan and Erica Ruigrok both their second races pushed them towards the bottom of their respective leaderboards.
Full resutls here http://www.douarnenez-voile.fr/mondial-laser-2014-douarnenez/