Irish Sailing All Ireland Sailing Championships, taking place next weekend in Lough Ree Yacht Club in Co. Westmeath, 6-7th of October.
The All Ireland Sailing Championships or “Helmsman’s Cup” has run since 1947 and finds the sailing “champion of champions”. The competitors represent sixteen of the thirty nine Irish Sailing eligible affiliated classes, but all will compete against each other in one type of boat – this year chosen as SB20s keelboats.
There are two women in this year’s competition: Aisling Keller (Lough Derg Yacht Club / Royal Irish Yacht Club / Trinity Sailing Club) who will team up with Olympian Finn Lynch (National YC), and Jocelyn Hill (Co. Antrim YC) representing the RS200s. Jocelyn will be one of five sailors from Northern Ireland. Past winners Fionn Lyden (Baltimore SC) and Alex Barry (Royal Cork Yacht Club / Monkstown Bay Sailing Club) will compete alongside Liam Glynn (Ballyholme Yacht Club / UCD Sailing Club) fresh from his bronze medal win in the U21 Laser World Championships in Poland this summer.
Each competitor has been nominated as a result of past wins and class rankings. This year they will sail SB20 keelboats, which are designed for a crew of three or four. Each nominee selects one crew member, and they are joined by a third crew member who represents the boat owner. SB20s are great stable boats for racing but are also fast due to their large sail area. Racing will consist of two “flights” or heats. The top three from each flight go straight into the final. The remaining competitors who placed 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th compete in a 2-race “repêchage”, and the top two then enter the Final also. The Final race therefore has eight teams competing.
The Junior Irish Sailing All Ireland Sailing Championships will be held this weekend (29-30 September) at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire using Fireflies. The Junior competitors include three female teams, lead by Alana Coakley (RSGYC), Grace O’Beirne (RSGYC), and Nell Staunton (National YC) who placed 8th in the Laser Radial 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships this summer in Texas. Last year’s winner Micheal O’Suilleabhain (Kinsale YC) will compete alongside Tom Higgins (RSGYC) representing the first Team Racing entry and fresh from his top 10 placing at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Kiel; and two double nominees: Ben Graf (Lough Ree) who was nominated by both the RS Feva and Mirror classes, and Atlee Kohl (RCYC) nominated by the Laser 4.7 and 29er classes. There’s also a strong RCYC representation – five out of sixteen nominations.
The full list of competitors can be found on the Irish Sailing website here, where you can track the results too https://www.sailing.ie/Racing/All-Ireland-Sailing-Championships
PICS: Last year’s winner Fionn Lyden in action at Mullingar Sailing Club. Pic credits to David Branigan.