Counting 123 days to get ready!!
123 DAYS TO GET READY FOR THE LASER RADIAL YOUTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020
Preparations are well under way for the Laser Radial Youth European Championships to be held at Ballyholme Yacht Club this summer from 5th to 11th July 2020. The Championships are supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council.
Over 200 applications have been received from across the world already – although this is a European Championships with entries from 18 European countries so far, there is also an open event with an 11 strong USA team conspicuous amongst other entries from Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Guatemala, Canada, Netherlands Antilles and the US Virgin Islands.
Local interest includes Ballyholme sailor Dan McGaughey who was Irish Youth sailor of the year in 2018 and is currently training with the GBR squad despite the extra travelling required. The Irish Performance Squad was recently seen putting in some work at the Andalusian Olympic Week – Ellie Cunnane (Dingle Sailing Club), Moss Simington (Royal St George Yacht Club), Micheal O’Suilleabhain (Kinsale Yacht Club) and Jonathan O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork Yacht Club) all competed in the Laser Radial alongside another 300 athletes from 20 different countries in Cadiz, Spain. Michael of course has current local bragging rights having won the Irish Laser Radial Championships at Ballyholme last summer ahead of a number of UKLA sailors.
Irish ladies will be focussing on Howth’s Eve McMahon who despite only turning 16 trialled for the Tokyo Olympics last week in Melbourne Australia at the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds against 3 Irish seniors including Rio Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy. Eve won the Under 17 section of the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Canada last summer. Also sailing in Melbourne were 3 Australian girls who are also heading to Ballyholme – Brooke Wilson, Sylvie Stannage and Evie Saunders. Bragging rights here currently go to Brooke Wilson who finished 19th in silver fleet while Eve finished 25th.
There were a number of “boys” racing at the Radial Worlds in Melbourne as well. Notable was a debut entry from Russia – Dmitry Golovkin – who finished 4th in the Laser 4.7 Worlds last summer also in Kingston and came 31st overall in the Radial Worlds. In fact the bronze medallist from the 4.7 World’s is also entered for July – Gasper Strahovnik from Slovenia. Both sailors should benefit from strong training camps and local talent – Russia won the Laser Radial Worlds for the first time with Daniil Krutskikh who lead from the first day, with Slovenia’s Nik Pletikos coming third also chalking up a number of race wins over the week.
Sailors are expected to arrive from as early as Friday 26th June with a number including the GBR squad looking to take part in the Laser Ulster Championships on the weekend of 27th/28th June which is being held at County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead. This event should allow sailors to acclimatise with their first views of Belfast Lough and what to expect weather wise – their race arena is on the northern side of Belfast Lough opposite Bangor – a bit too far to sail in the morning (approx 5 miles) for an all day championship although local Laser sailors would sail over in the summer for the CAYC regatta. Travel distance by road is approximately 50 minutes depending on traffic. Alternatively stay around Bangor and watch the Bangor Town Regatta – from Thursday 24th to Sunday 26th – with over 100 keelboats expected to take part.
We are still expecting to host up to 350 sailors at the Radial Europeans. You can apply (registration of interest) free of charge via the EurILCA website . Many more entries are expected from the UK and Ireland and it is hoped that there will be plenty of extra spaces beyond the country allocation allowing a bit more depth to the fleets compared to the normal European championships with more local sailors encouraged to enter. It is 16 years since Ballyholme last hosted the Laser Radial Europeans and it is a great opportunity for locals to mix with the variety of talent from across the world with possibly a few future sailing superstars and champions.
Close of applications for the initial allocation is on Saturday 25th April. Charter boats are available through SailCoach – details are available on the event website.
Photos Dan McGaughey credit Simon McIlwaine wavelengthimage.com
Eve McMahon credit Jon West at the Radial Worlds https://jonwest.photography