Over 200 young sailors taking part

Over 200 young sailors taking part

Over 200 young sailors take part in the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals – Ireland’s biggest youth regatta

Ireland’s biggest youth regatta will see numbers back up to pre-COVID highs with over 200 young sailors taking part in the 2022 Irish Sailing Youth National Championships. This year the event is hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor, (Northern Ireland).


Ballyholme is the biggest club in Northern Ireland and has a reputation of producing world-class sailors representing Ireland at international and Olympic level, including Liam Glynn and 49er Olympians Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton. Liam is an evening speaker at the event while Matt McGovern is currently the Irish Sailing 49er Coach. Strategically, Ballyholme allows for a wide variety of racecourses, with the whole of Belfast Lough to play with.

This is 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 directly from the coaches.

There are six classes identified as the best to facilitate progression through the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway: 420, Topper, ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), ILCA 6 (Laser Radial), Optimists and 29ers . Excitingly, this is the first time in a number of years that the Optimist class are fully integrated into the event.

Organiser Sean Evans, Irish Sailing’s Olympic Development Coach commented “This is our biggest and most important youth regatta of the year and is key to help identify young sailors to populate the Irish Sailing Academy and Performance Pathway. One of the core values the Academy holds very close is that our sailors become fully rounded athletes and not just ruthless racers. The behavioural and cultural atmosphere required to consistently perform at international level are demanding and we need to identify young people who will both thrive on and off the water”.

It will be a cold week for the sailors with water temperatures in Ballyholme at this time of the year still chilly, with average temperatures of 4-12 degrees centigrade and reliably windy conditions. 

We would like to encourage all sailors, families and their guests to attend the evening talks after racing:

  • Thursday
    • Ulster Wildlife and Clean Seas Regatta campaign
  • Friday
    • Irish Sailing coaches Sean Evans, Milan Vujasinovic and RYANI Performance Manager Andrew (Hammy) Baker will talk on fitness and health, with a racing debrief
  • Saturday
    • Irish sailor Liam Glynn (read Liam’s top tips for Ballyholme in his interview HERE
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