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Ocean Elements 2018

All Ireland Sailing Championships at Mullingar Sailing Club

by David Branigan 9 Oct 2017 16:06 BST 7-8 October 2017
Fionn Lyden wins the All Ireland Sailing Championships at Mullingar © David Branigan / Oceansport

Fresh from winning bronze at the U23 Finn World Championships earlier this summer, Baltimore's Fionn Lyden has won the All Ireland Sailing Championships at Mullingar Sailing Club over the weekend.

The series was decided on a knife-edge finale that saw Lyden match-race to the finishing-line with GP14 World Champion Shane McCarthy from Greystones who was denied victory by the tie-break in the series.

Lyden's crew was fellow West Cork sailor Liam Manning from Schull and the pair represented the Irish Team Racing Association who were Wild Card entries in the championship that is celebrating 70 years.

The trophy will now include Lyden's name alongside the greats of Irish Sailing including Rio 2016 Silver medallist Annalise Murphy and four times Olympic veteran Mark Mansfield.

Two very different days of racing tested the sailors: Saturday was a typical autumnal afternoon on Lough Owel – strong and quite blustery but manageable conditions apart from a few capsizes.

Sunday morning saw the repechage races to decide the last two places in the final, but then the wind dropped and the lake turned into a mirror. Patience from Jack Roy's Race Management team was rewarded in the late afternoon when a light breeze picked up enough to allow three races in quick succession.

The going was slow, but in the final race a strategic decision by Lyden resulted in a two-boat match race between him and Shane McCarthy that took place at one side of the race area, while the rest of the fleet including last year's winner Alex Barry battled it out for a podium place.

The final results were Fionn Lyden with crew Liam Manning of Baltimore SC; in second place were Alex Barry with crew Richard Leonard of Monkstown Bay SC, and in third was Shane McCarthy and crew Andy Davis of Greystones SC.

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