The ISA Junior All Ireland Championships, a competition of the top sailors from each junior fleet, took place at Kinsale Yacht Club on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
The Youth event in Kinsale was full of uncertainty, as the wind left the contestants waiting for wind on both days. The slack winds on day one caused an abandoned race and numerous DNF’s due to not getting to the finish line within the time limit set.
The forecast showed moderate winds for Saturday and Kinsale woke up to glassy waters. After contestants waited patiently for a breeze, the first race commenced in a 10 knot southerly light breeze at 13:00, just enough to get them moving. As they came down on a run to the finish line, the winds slacked and boats were left drifting. A maximum race time was set for 40 minutes and race was abandoned before any boats made it to the finish line. Boat number three with James McCann and Michael Carroll from Royal Cork Yacht Club were only 10 metres from the finish line.
Race two commenced at 15:00 in eight knots of breeze with a cloud formation that seemed to promise consistent winds, a promise that came good throughout the race. Cliona NiShuillebhain and Jill McGinley of Kinsale Yacht Club gave a steady performance throughout the race, remaining in the lead spot to the finish line.
The wind stayed and at 15:00 race three commenced. Séafra Guilfoyle and Michael Carrol of Royal Cork Yacht Club worked their way up through the fleet to cross the finish line first.
Race four start at 16:00 – the two Harry’s (Durcan and Whittaker) from Royal Cork Yacht Club started with a good lead and were first round the weather mark on first beat and again first round on second beat with a 40 second lead. The tide started flooding up to three knots, and a few competitors that took the course wide were held back, with eight competitors resulting in DNF from not going over the finish line with the time limit. Winds became light again for race five and five resulted in DNF. The girls from Kinsale Yacht Club slammed it again, winning Race 5, with Peter McCann and Michael O’Suileabhan in second place and the Harries coming in at third.
After patiently waiting again for wind the morning of day two, racing started at 12:30 with an initial false start. Race five turned out to be hectic at the marks throughout the race with plenty of calling out by all. Ros Morgan and Ronan Walsh of Skerries Sailing Club were first over the line, followed by Clare Gorman and Amy Carrol of National Yacht Club and in third place Adam D’Arcy and James Hassett of Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Wind remained consistent for some reliable performance throughout race six with Peter McCann and Michael O’Suileabhain of Royal Cork Yacht Club coming first over the finish line in race six, the final preliminary race before choosing the top ten for the medal race.
Selection for top ten resulting sailors to enter the medal race (final race) was calculated and six teams from Royal Cork Yacht Club made it through with one team from Malahide Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Dingle Sailing Club and Kinsale Yacht Club.
The medal race (race seven) gave double points and the pressure was on to get a good start. James McCann and Michael Carrol of Royal Cork Yacht Club were ahead all the way with excellent mark rounding and good boat control that got them over the final line first. Fellow club members, Harry Durcan and Harry Whittaker, were close on their tail and came in second place.
The overall top three was a ‘Royal Flush’: First — Harry Durcan and Harry Whittaker of Royal Cork Yacht Club with 29 points; Second — Peter McCann and Michael O’Suileabhain of Royal Cork Yacht Club with 32 points; Third — Adam D’Arcy and James Hassett of Royal Yacht Club with 42 points.
In the Ladies Competition, Gemma McDowell and Cara McDowell of Malahide Yacht Club came first on 45 points.