Laser Radial Start
The Laser world and European championships 2013 is currently being held on Dublin Bay.
306 boats are entered making it the largest sailing event of the year.
The event is co-hosted by the Royal St. George and the National Yacht Clubs. The practise race was on Saturday and Racing started on Sunday with all fleets completing two races. The event will run until this Friday and 2 races are scheduled per day, a total of 12 races overall over the six days.
Two Olympic classes are represented the Laser standard rig which has their World and European Championships and the Womenís Laser Radial which is holding the European Championships with the Worlds to be held later in China this year. Many Olympic and World champions are currently competing with Robert Scheidt currently lying in 4th position in the Standard rigs, two points behind Ashley Brunning from Austria.
Annalise Murphy leads the charge in her home water in the Radial Womenís class on a mere 3 points one point ahead of Heidi Tenkanen from Finnland. So far the racing has proved challenging with shifty difficult conditions with varying wind speeds from 5 knots to 20 knots within a race.
In the Menís Radial class Ireland is also competing well with Fionn Lyden (RCYC) currently in pole position and Finn Lynch in 5th. The majority of sailors in this class are youths class so there is also an under 21ís trophy.
Howth has one competitor 14 year old Aoife Hopkins in the Womenís Radial category. This is not a youth event and Aoife qualified based on her previous sailing results but whether she would be old enough was touch and go. Aoife scraped into the age category by two months as she turns 15 at the end of October and all competitors must be 15 or over by the end of the year.
To sail against the best in the World is a fantastic experience and to meet the Olympic line up of Murphy, Van Acker, Bowmester, and the Tenkanen sisters both on and off the water is certainly a privilege. Aoife commented that she saw a six pack in the changing rooms - and that was the womenís changing rooms!
Launching was delayed today as the fog rolled in but it cleared nicely.
Hopefully International Race Office Jack Roy will still work his magic and manage to get todays two races completed.
Check out the results and all the on the water action on the event website.