Cork sailor Séafra Guilfoyle won a silver medal at the 44th ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Portugal yesterday.
The 18-year-old member of the Irish Sailing Association’s Academy showed impressive form in a top-class field which featured competitors from 56 nations, during an intense week of competition. His victory in yesterday’s final race secured the silver medal.
Guilfoyle said: “This morning I knew I had nothing to lose. My plan with my coach was to sail as fast as I could and I won the race. I nearly had gold but in the last minute Joel (Rodriguez Perez), moved up.
“I tried my best and I’m still thrilled with the result. I’ve the Laser Radial Worlds next week in Poland so hopefully I can medal there too.”
The Crosshaven sailor opened the week in style, winning his first race and moving atop the leaderboard. Over the opening three days, and six races, Guilfoyle was the outright leader.
Then, dramatically, a 16th in Thursday’s penultimate race saw him slip to third, meaning his medal hopes were dependent on the final race of the series yesterday.
Guilfoyle, overnight leader Perez of Spain and Ryan Lo (Singapore) — separated by only seven points — were the trio battling for honours. Though Guilfoyle claimed victory, Perez’s fourth place finish saw him claim gold ahead of his Irish opponents.
ISA performance director James O’Callaghan said: “Séafra sailed a fantastic event. To win the final race and claim silver makes the achievement even sweeter. He’s cool under pressure.”
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