YOUNG SAILORS TAKE TO WATER FOR 30TH RYANI YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
Over 150 sailors took to the water at Strangford Lough Yacht Club recently (21 – 22 September) to compete at the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships.
An impressive 135 boats registered for the event, which marked the 30th anniversary of the Youth Championships.
At the event, RYANI Performance Development Officer James Farrell and RYANI Lead Topper Coach Chris Penney provided pre-race instruction for sailors.
On Saturday, wind conditions provided a fantastic day of sailing, with all fleets completing a full schedule of racing. On Sunday, all fleets on the junior course and regatta fleet completed their races but the wind played havoc with plans later in the day and the youth classes missed out on one race.
Dan McGaughey, representing Ballyholme Yacht club, took the first NI Youth overall prize having been the first NI sailor in the Laser Radial class – this follows his success in the 2019 UK Laser Nationals when Dan was first Youth sailor and his 4th place at the Irish Laser Nationals. First in the Laser Radial class was Tom Higgins from Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.
Lucy Kane from East Antrim Boat Club and Emma Gallagher from Malahide Yacht Club were crowned first youth lady overall winning the 420 class.
Hanna Dadley Young, representing Ballyholme Yacht Club, took top spot in the Topper class and was crowned first junior overall and first junior lady overall. Hannah has had a fantastic summer having also become first lady in the Topper GB Nationals and the Topper Irish Nationals this summer.
East Antrim Boat Club clinched the Club Trophy and the hotly contested Schools Cup went to Sullivan Upper.
RYANI High Performance Manager, Matt McGovern, commented: ‘It has been a fantastic weekend with a range of different conditions, all of which have been a great test for the young sailors.
“With great depth of competition in the Topper and Laser class it looks like these fleets are set to keep producing some top sailors of the future. It was also pleasing to see a strong number of competitors in the double handed classes for the second year in a row, hopefully there is a bit of momentum there to build upon.”
McGovern added: “From a sustainability point of view Strangford Lough Yacht Club and RYA Northern Ireland worked hard to reduce paper and single use plastics at the event. This was a great success and set the bar for future events. The support from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful was vital in helping us achieving this.”
Full results from the event are available here: https://www.rya.org.uk/racing-events/ryani-youth-championships-19/Pages/event-overview.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0CFm0xIkjphO_gZrnlt3_S9gPErEPWwKVzRWf3jxoSQq15e2MOfnKEQtY
Photographs from https://www.wavelengthimage.com/