Owens wins All Ireland Championships for the second time in 21 years
Ger Owens has emerged overall winner of this year’s Irish Sailing All Ireland Championships held in Crosshaven, Cork (2-3 October 2021).
Owens, who is a three-time Olympian, represented the GP14 class as their national champion. He competed in the two day event with crew and fellow Olympian Ross Killian. He and Killian last won the competition in 2000.
This year’s All Irelands were hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club and sailed in National 18s, a three person trapeze dinghy, so Owens and Killian were joined by a class representative and local sailor, Paddy Crosbie.
Qualification rounds were raced on Saturday, but due to the stronger winds on Sunday racing was cut short and only the four final races held. Leading the charge of eight finalists on day two was Baltimore’s Robert O’Leary who won the first race, but his lead slipped in the following races. The top three fought for the title with only a point between Ger Owens, Ross Kearney and Sean Craig at one stage.
But it was Ger Owens of the Royal St George Yacht Club (Dun Laoghaire) who emerged victorious after four hours on the water with a convincing win in the final race.
In second place was Ross Kearney of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club representing the Squibs with crew Geoff Edwards; in third was the Royal St George’s Sean Craig representing the Laser Radials with crew Tadgh Donnelly.
The Irish Sailing All Ireland Championships, formerly known as the “Helmsman’s Championship” are one of the oldest and most prestigious sailing events in the country. Since 1947 sailors have competed to become the “champion of champions”. The championships bring together 16 of Ireland’s top sailors who are nominated by their class (or type of boat). They then all race against each other in one type of boat.