Ireland’s best young sailors to take part in the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals

Ireland’s largest youth regatta will take place next week from 4 – 7 April. The 2024 Irish Sailing Youth National Championships will feature over 170 young sailors and will be hosted this year by the Royal Cork Yacht Club and sponsored by Waterman Kelly Consulting Engineers.

The sailors will be vying for their opportunity to be noticed by Irish Sailing’s Youth Squad’s and Academy coaches who are out and about talent-spotting, identifying young hopefuls for the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. The performance pathway is an opportunity for hard working sailors to enhance and develop their skills that will allow for them to proceed from our junior and youth squads into our senior development and national team. Learning how to become a full athlete and one that can understand and master the elements of nature.

The host club has a long track record of excellent youth sailors, including Irish Youth Sailor of the Year Ben O’Shaughnessy, and is home to current 49er campaigners Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan.

The Irish Sailing Youth National Championships are the biggest youth sailing event held in Ireland – and unique in that it’s the only time that different youth classes come together to compete, gain valuable experience on the water, and learn more about the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway Programme directly from the coaches.

There are six classes competing at the championships, a number of which have been identified as the best to facilitate progression through the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway: Optimist, Topper, ILCA 4, ILCA 6, 420s and 29ers.

Sean Evans, Irish Sailing Development Manager said,

“The Youth Nationals is a key event for those starting off their sailing career. It’s an opportunity for sailors from across the nation to test what they have been developing and perfecting within their clubs against the best competition. The event covers an opportunity for all, from those who are very early in their careers with this as their first major event, to those who will be fighting it out at the top end of the results sheet. Regardless of where you are in your development it’s a journey and Irish Sailing’s youth and junior coaches will be out on the water and on the land to watch every start, tack and gybe”.


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