Royal Cork Yacht Club leads two classes at Irish Sailing Youth Championships on Cork Harbour 

Royal Cork Yacht Club leads two classes at Irish Sailing Youth Championships on Cork Harbour 

29er class sailors racing off Whitegate during the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships 2021. Picture: David Branigan/Oceansport

After a challenging second day of racing at the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth National Championships, all five classes have now started racing with the Royal Cork Yacht Club boats leading in two out of five events.

Wind and tide proved tricky for the 136 young sailors competing on two different course areas on Cork Harbour.

Sam Ledoux of the National YC leads the ICA4 (Laser 4.7) class while Rian Collins of the RCYC tops the overnight leaderboard in the Topper fleet. Both classes were racing on the Curlane Bank area close to Crosshaven where shifting winds eventually permitted three races to be completed.

It was a different story across the harbour at Cuskinny where an extra race was managed for the ILCA6 (Laser Radial) and 420 classes on their second day of racing. These established Pathway classes were joined by the 29er skiffs who had three races.

Continuing her form from Thursday, Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon held her overall lead though growing form from the chasing pack in this 30-boat means Sunday's final outcome is far from certain. McMahon's clubmate Rocco Wright counted a race win as did Michael Crosbie of the RCYC who are level on points.

Straight wins for the Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson rocketed them into the overall lead of the 420 class with plenty of fast sailing opportunities on the trapezoid course type used off the Whitegate refinery.

Amongst the 29er skiffs, James Dwyer and Ben O'Shaughnessy of the RCYC hold a slim lead over Clementine van Steenberge with Chiara Carra of the Royal St George YC in a highly competitive field.

"The fight for the lead of the 29er fleet was very impressive with the level of competition and standard of racing they were showing," said Sean Evans, Irish Sailing's Youth Academy Manager. "The hard work and training is paying off and rewards the effort that the sailors have put in.

"We saw tight results in all the fleets and Eve McMahon again proved consistent even in the tricky conditions but we’re now seeing more challenges from the chasing pack, notably Rocco Wright and Michael Crosbie. I’m pleased to see good fleet awareness from the pack leaders whilst not hitting the corners of the course in such variable conditions and keeping their options open."

Saturday will be the penultimate day of the championship with all five classes competing in forecast medium strength winds before Sunday's finale that will conclude by 2pm.

The championship is normally sailed over the Easter school holidays but was postponed to the autumn mid-term break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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