Day 6 – America Wins Boys Title, Ireland Takes Silver at KBC Laser Radial Worlds in Dun Laoghaire

Massachusetts student Henry Marshall has won the Boys KBC Laser Radial World title in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon. In a dramatic conclusion to the three world–title event, Ireland’s Ewan McMahon took the boys silver medal challenging the American for gold in a cliffhanger final 11th race.
The decision to launch early at the Royal St. George Yacht Club bore fruit this morning as three more races in the week long series were completed, bringing the curtain down on the biggest regatta sailed in Ireland this year.
In a very positive test of the depth of talent of Irish youth sailing, five Irish boys made the gold fleet cut in the largest 229–boat fleet. Royal Cork’s Johnny Durcan was eighth, the host club’s Conor O’Beirne was 12th, Liam Glynn was 31st and Ronan Walsh 47th.
Marshall – ninth at the 2015 championships – lifted the World trophy in Dun Laoghaire in style, clearly benefiting from his year out of High School spent as training partner to America’s Rio Radial Representative, Paige Railey.
Although Marshall described this week’s Dublin Bay conditions as ‘tough as sailing gets’, the Boston 18–year–old managed with a very consistent series, (counting eight results in the top five) to lead the boys fleet from start to finish. He slipped today in a tricky race nine, however, discarding a 33. In a plucky finish, and with two races left to sail, the Irish Connacht champion succeeded in narrowing the overall points gap.
By the final race, if the Howth Yacht Club sailor had beaten Marshall, and he had finished outside the top seven, the title would have gone to Ireland but in the end, it went Marshall’s way by a margin of five points. Third overall was Spaniard Rafael de la Hoz Tuells some 11–points adrift.
McMahon adds World Silver to last year’s European Silver in a stand–out season for the Dubliner. He returns to action in just over a fortnight at the Laser Radial Youth Europeans in Tallinn, Estonia.

One of the first to congratulate McMahon when he came ashore at the Royal St. George YC slipway was Ireland’s only Olympic sailing medalist, David Wilkins. The 1980 silver medal winner helmsman was one of a large number of volunteer sailors who helped to run the 48–nation event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

In the girls 76–boat fleet, Australian Zoe Thomson was the winner of the girls’ division, eight points ahead of one time leader Caroline Rosmo of Norway. Third was Louise Cervera of France. Sixth was Dun Laoghaire’s Nicole Hemeryck of the National Yacht Club. Howth’s Aoife Hopkins was 11th.
In the mens 42–boat fleet, after 12 races sailed, Poland’s Marcin Rudawski was the overall winner second was Slovakia’s Nik Pletikos and third Brazil’s Manzoli Lowy. Ireland’s Daragh O’Sullivan was fourth and one time fleet leader Ronan Wallace of Wexford Harbour sixth.
Results are provisional and subject to protest

Day 5 – Racing Abandoned at KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championships

On tomorrow’s final day, the KBC Laser Radial World Championship fleet will launch at 8am in an attempt to sail three more races. Dun Laoghaire’s Royal St. George Yacht Club organisers are aiming for a first gun at 1000hrs, two hours ahead of schedule.
Racing on the penultimate day of the championship was abandoned today when the wind died, leaving the biggest regatta fleet in Ireland this year becalmed on Dublin Bay. A number of races were started on both race courses but scrubbed when a fickle north–westerly breeze dropped from five knots to zero.
Since the regatta began on Monday, the boys fleet have sailed eight of a scheduled 12 races, the girls have sailed seven and the mens fleet nine.
The latest forecast is for westerly winds at 10mph at start time. No race may start after 1500hrs tomorrow.

Day 4 – Dublin Bay Breezes Up for KBC Laser Radial World Championships

350 Laser Radials from 48 nations got wind in their sails at the KBC Laser Radial World Championships off Dun Laoghaire today as the massive regatta passed its half way stage.
After three days of light winds it was all change today when fresh westerlies blew up ideal championship conditions of 15–20 knots and over on Dublin Bay. Only 41 points separate the top ten sailors overall as the massive 229–boat boys fleet is split into gold, silver, bronze and emerald divisions for the final two days of the regatta.
Although protests were still being heard at the time of writing, and results are provisional, American Henry Marshall, ninth overall at the 2015 World Championships, leads the boys after eight races by a margin of eight nett points. Keeping Irish podium hopes on Saturday very much alive are two top ten performances from Howth’s Ewan McMahon in second overall on 28 points and the host club’s own Conor O’Beirne in seventh. Third overall is Britain’s Daniel Whiteley who is ten points adrift of McMahon.
McMahon is seeking redress tonight after a double yellow flag kept him out of race six.
There is no doubt the regatta has so far served up conditions throughout the wind range as strong wind sailors finally got into their stride today but others had unexpectedly good results too. Italian Paolo Giargia, who was fourth in last year’s competition in Canada, said “I’m not normally good in strong winds but today was my best day in Ireland so far, I scored a 10, 5 and 5 so I will make the gold fleet”.
In the girls fleet, Norway’s Caroline Rosmo took her first hit of the regatta under a black flag penalty in race six. She discards the result but still leads but only by two points from Australian Zoe Thomson on 35 points. Third is Croatia’s Sandra Lulic on 66 with Dubliner Nicole Hemeryck one point back in fourth overall in the 76–boat fleet.
In the mens 42–boat fleet, after nine races sailed, Slovakia’s Nik Pletikos on 44 points leads from Poland’s Marcin Rudawski on 48.0. Third is Brazil’s Manzoli Lowy on 52 with Ireland’s one time fleet leader Ronan Wallace fourth on 56 nett points.
Racing continues with two races tomorrow. Medium westerly winds are forecast.

Results are provisional and subject to protest.

For more photos visit Fotosail Marine Photography‘s website

Day 3 – Irish Sailors Perform Well at KBC Laser Radial World Championships

Wexford Boat Club’s Ronan Wallace leads the KBC Mens Laser Radial World Championships at the halfway stage of the competition at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this evening. In the boys division Howth Yacht Club’s Ewan McMahon has produced a stand out performance after five races to be in third position in the biggest fleet of the competition.
In a consistent showing for the host nation entry, 27–year–old Wallace counts four top ten results on his scoresheet. He tops the international leaderboard but it couldn’t be tighter as the Wexford man, who also races the foiling Moth dinghy, shares the same 36–points overall as second placed Nik Pletikos of Slovakia and Holland’s Maarten Bastiaan Smit in the 42–boat fleet.
Early morning westerly breezes up to 19–knots on day three of the regatta allowed race officers a much needed catch up on the race programme. There was praise across the dinghy park for the way race management teams had persevered in fickle winds since Monday.
‘I like racing in Dublin and I am enjoying these difficult conditions’ said Croatia’s Sven Stevanovic who counts a race win in his scoreline. Stevanovic is making a return trip to Dublin Bay having also competed at the Royal St. George Yacht Club when it staged the Optimist dinghy European Championships in 2014. There was another thumbs–up from Brazil’s Victor de Marchi who compared the venue to his home club, except colder and there are ‘no waves in Sao Paulo’, he said.
Use of alternate marks, constant wind–monitoring and two nimble race management teams kept the championships on course again today despite the variable conditions of between two and 20–knots.
It was another seven hour day on the water but a productive one that balanced the number of boys fleet races. By tea–time each of the four boys fleets each had sailed five qualifying races. The boys fleet is led by American youth Henry Marshall who counts three race wins but Ireland’s Ewan McMahon has four results in the top five and is discarding a seventh as the regatta enters its halfway stage for the boys divisions tomorrow.
The girls fleet sailed three races today leaving them only two behind the full programme.
Norway’s 18–year–old Caroline Rosmo leads her 76–boat fleet with three race wins from four starts. The Oslo sailor explained her race strategy was all about staying on the high tack but she revealed a change of plan for race two when the wind swung into the east. ‘For this race I decided it was the strong current [a two–knot flood tide] that was the dominant factor for me’. It is Rosmo’s first time to lead at a world championships.
Top Irish girls are Dun Laoghaire’s Nicole Hemeryck in 13th and Howth’s Aoife Hopkins in 18th overall.
Racing continues tomorrow with a forecast for stronger winds. In a third change to the sailing instructions, the race committee says it intends to race three races back to back tomorrow.
Results HERE are provisional and subject to protest.
For more photos visit Fotosail Marine Photography‘s website

Day 2 – Fickle Winds Prevail at KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship

Catching up on the race programme is now the priority at the KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship after more races were lost to fickle winds on day two of the Dublin Bay championships on the Irish east coast today.
Four races should have been completed in the 350–boat fleet at this stage but none of the boys four divisions, or the girls or men’s fleets have sailed the full programme.
Of the two bay race courses operating, Course B’s three fleets have all sailed three races, but Course A has sailed two and the girls fleet has sailed only one.
The boys fleet of 229 is by far the biggest and tomorrow (Wednesday) the race committee will ensure all four boys divisions have sailed the same number of races. ‘It may mean starting some fleets earlier”, warned Dublin race officer Con Murphy, who officiates at the Rio Olympics next month.
Today’s races were sailed again in shifting westerlies gusting up to 13–knots but the mean strength was as low as six or seven, just above the minimum permitted for racing under regatta rules.
It meant a long day on the water and back ashore there were some long faces at the Royal St. George Yacht Club inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
‘That’s about as tough as it gets’ said Australian champion, 17–year–old, Finnian Alexander who is counting a 2, 25 and 10 so far. ‘The breeze did 180 degree shifts and often the wind was 15 knots on one side of the course and five on the other’.
Alexander, from Sydney’s Double Bay Sailing Club, said tactically he found it difficult to pick a side for the first windward leg and he said he was resigned to concentrating on just ‘scraping through’ the qualifying rounds that continue tomorrow.
Both courses were set in the north west of the bay, where evidently the best of any pressure lay. At 3pm when both green and red fleets of the boys divisions were started the breeze was as high as 13–knots from 240 degrees but within an hour it was blowing from the opposite direction.
For a time it looked like the young Australian’s red fleet would get a second race and a course was being set but Alexander confirmed ‘the race committee made the right call to cancel it’ when the breeze went east.
Italy’s Ducchi Nicola, racing in the green fleet, was equally cautious about the prospect of steady winds this week. Nevertheless, the Lake Garda sailor has put together a consistent early series of a 4, 7 and ten. ‘I use my head in these difficult conditions. I make sure to look all over the course before I tack’, he says.
Men’s fleet competitor Abdulla Janahi, the sole Bahranian sailor, was leading today’s single race but the wind shifted and he dropped to fourth. He says he lost two more places on a reaching leg and admits he lost two more on the line and finished ninth in his third race of the series to put him 13th overall.
Despite being afloat for seven hours, the girls 76–boat fleet had no results after their race was abandoned. The hard working race committee did all in its power, including laying two alternate marks, to save the race from the vagaries of the wind but it was to no avail.
Sailing instructions permit more than two races per day so it is likely organisers will move to sail multiple races tomorrow but this is subject to wind. Unfortunately, winds – again from the west – are currently forecast to be less than today.
Results are provisional and subject to protest.
For photos visit Fotosail Marine Photography‘s website

Day 1 – Shifty Start to KBC Laser Radial Worlds on Dublin Bay

Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day at the 48–nation KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship on Dublin Bay, Ireland this afternoon.

Ireland, Croatia, USA and the Cayman Islands were four countries that made the most of the day’s sub ten–knot breezes, each winning a race in their respective divisions of the 229–boat boys fleet. But for all the on–the–water success of the day, there was also plenty of sailors among the 350 competing promising improvements tomorrow.

Sailors tackled offshore winds gusting up to 12–knots but sometimes the summer breeze was as low as three knots for each of the qualifying races.

Winds from anywhere between 225 and 300 degrees were strong enough to keep the dinghies moving through the small chop and tide but there was little opportunity for hiking. Upwind, the fastest sailors sought the strongest lines of pressure coming off the shore. Downwind, the on–the water umpires were active, with 28 rule 42 penalties for rocking and pumping infringements.

Back ashore at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire harbour the youth sailors gave their first impressions of the Dublin race track. ‘The winds are too shifty and the water is too cold! I’m going to have to learn how to sail all over again in this place’, joked Israeli green fleet sailor Yam Lauber who counted a 21.

Course area B, under Rio Olympic Race officer Con Murphy, completed its full programme but London 2012 Race Officer Jack Roy on course A was forced to abandon all three fleets half way through the second race when there was a major wind shift.

‘This bay’s a good place to sail but the shifts are random. I’d a good first race but let’s not talk about the second’, said Great Britain’s Arthur Brown from Royal Burnham YC on the river Crouch.

But Spain’s Rafael de la Hoz Tuells, who scored two second places in the boys blue fleet, appears – by today’s result at least – to have mastered Dublin’s notoriously difficult westerlies. ‘I sailed today by concentrating on the clouds and following the wind’, said the number two Spanish sailor from Murcia.

In home nation news, Connacht champion Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club was a race winner in the blue division and after the first qualifying race in the girl’s fleet, his club–mate Aoife Hopkins was 13th from 76.

The first race of the girls fleet was Caroline Rosmo. There was no second race result available at the time of publication.

In the mens division, Ireland’s Ronan Wallace had a race win, the other race of the day in the 42–boat fleet was won by Martin Manzoli Lowy of Brazil.

Racing continues with two more qualifying races tomorrow. Similar westerly winds are forecast. Results are provisional and subject to protest.

48 Nations confirmed to compete in KBC Laser Radial Worlds

Tuesday 28th June 2016:    The Royal St. George yacht club has announced that 48 countries and 350 competitors are now confirmed to compete in the KBC Laser Radial Worlds (Youth and Men’s 2016 World Championships) to be held in Dun Laoghaire Harbour from 23rd to 30th July next.   Competing countries will include countries such as Canada, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Uruguay, the USA and New Zealand.   This is the first time Ireland will host this prestigious sailing World Championship with 1,000 supporters and volunteers involved in helping to host the event.

David Kelly, Chairman, KBC Laser Radial Worlds said, “Dun Laoghaire will be transformed into a cosmopolitan village with competitors now coming from all over the world.   Our home sailors will face fierce competition but we are hoping for some top Irish placings on home waters.”

The event which is being sponsored by KBC Bank will be hosted by The Royal St. George Yacht Club and Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company and supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Issued on behalf of Laser Radial Worlds 2016 by:-

Maria Whitmore, Gordon MRM, Ph: 087 2377105

KBC Laser Radial Worlds launched at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s Harbour Lodge

The KBC Laser Radial Worlds (Youth and Men’s 2016 World Championships) was launched at a special event in Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company’s historic Harbour Lodge today. This is the first time Ireland will host this prestigious sailing World Championship which, according to Eithne Scott-Lennon, Chairperson, Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company “will showcase Dún Laoghaire Harbour on the international sailing stage”.   Up to 400 competitors from more than 35 nations will compete in this World Championship Series which will generate €2.5m for the local economy.

KBC Bank Ireland is the title sponsor of this prestigious sailing event which takes place in Dún Laoghaire harbour from 23rd to 30th July and will be hosted by The Royal St. George Yacht Club and Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company.  The event is supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Eithne Scott-Lennon, Chairperson, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company said, “This summer Dún Laoghaire Harbour will be the first Irish host of the eagerly awaited KBC Laser Radial Youth & Men’s World Championships. The Harbour Company along with the Dún Laoghaire Yacht Clubs formed a small group in 2013 to promote the harbour as a location for International Sailing Events. We are delighted that the 2016 ‘KBC Laser Radial Worlds’ is a direct result of that initiative.

Patt Watt, Director of Retail Distribution, KBC Bank Ireland said, “As Ireland’s newest retail bank we are delighted to sponsor this world-class sailing event.  Our sponsorship acknowledges our commitment to supporting community and youth initiatives and recognises the hard work and dedication that is involved by everyone concerned in hosting this event.   We wish everyone every success and look forward to being part of a great sporting occasion next July.” 

David Kelly, Chairman of the KBC Laser Radial Worlds said, “This is a significant achievement and an exciting milestone in the sailing history of Dún Laoghaire.    Apart from the financial benefits locally, it is a unique opportunity to showcase our beautiful harbour and everything Dún Laoghaire has to offer.   We are looking forward to some top-class sailing and to welcoming all our competitors from all over the world.”

1,000 supporters and volunteers will be involved in helping to host the KBC Laser Radial Worlds.  Over the past number of years Dún Laoghaire has played host to some of the most prestigious European & World Sailing Championships including the Youth Sailing World Championships in 2012.

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