An awesome turnout of sailors, volunteers and parents at the ISA’s Youth Pathway National Championships this year, with a record turnout for new hosts Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor.
Yesterday was ‘Super Sunday’ in Irish Youth sailing with titles and squad places fought for and decided amongst the record 200+ sailors on Belfast Lough. World silver medalist Ewan McMahon sealed the Laser Radial title with impressive consistency ahead of a show of force from Rush sailors Conor Quinn and Aaron Rogers. A second yellow flag saw Royal Cork’s Johnny Durcan crash out from title contention while local favourite Sally Bell sailed to script to take the win in the Radial Girls.
Displaying the character to come through from behind in races in the 420 class Geoff Power and James McCann went on to become 2017 champions in the 17 boat fleet holding off threats from Malahide SC’s Gemma McDowell and Emma Gallagher as well as Kate Lyttle and Niamh Henry from the Royal St.George.
Interestingly, in a recognisable break from racing’s traditional feed of sailors, young Raheny sailor Adam Irvin took a podium position in the Topper 4.2 category representing the Irish National Sailing School. Notable predecessors to have come from outside the typical club route in the past have been the likes of 49er campaigners Mark Hasset and Oisin O’Driscoll as well as Oracle Americas Cup team member Revelin Minehan all hailing from Schull Community College in West Cork.
The Topper class was won by Rob Keal ahead of Dan McGaughey and Conor Horgan with Sarah Jennings taking the girls title. Ballyholme/Donaghadee sailor Lewis Thompson was the overall winner in the Topper 4.2 fleet. Adam Irvin rose above Hannah Dadley Young for second place with Hannah first girl and third overall.
The Laser 4.7s saw Jack Fahy withstand a late charge from Coimhe Foster and the National Yacht Club’s Claire Gorman.
Optimist places were hard fought over the series of thirteen races with Justin Lucas winning with a whopping 44 point margin over Conor Gorman and Harry Twomey.
Thanks to SixOne for this video.