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Irish sailors in strong positions going into finals of ILCA Europeans in Italy

by Treasa Cox 14 Mar 21:33 GMT 12-17 March 2023
ILCA European Championships day 3 © Thom Touw Photography / EurILCA

At the mid-point of the ILCA European Championships in Andora, Italy, Irish sailors are holding strong overall positions at the conclusion of the qualifying round of four races to determine the Gold fleet ahead of Friday's final result.

Olympic veteran Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) delivered another two fifth places on Tuesday before ending the qualification round with a race win.

There was a historic moment when second place in the same race was taken by team-mate Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) with a 1-2 result for IRL sail numbers at a major championship event.

In the men's ILCA6 fleet, Rocco Wright (Howth Yacht Club) rounded off his qualification round with an emphatic race win and lies second overall in his event by a single point.

As defending champion, the young Irish sailor overcame a shaky start to the day when he capsized while in second place but recovered to finish sixth. In the next race, he placed third before going onto his race win.

As lowest scoring boat overall in his 71-boat event, he is well placed for the coming three days of racing to decide the championship.

Team-mate Fiachra McDonnell (Royal St. George Yacht Club) also had a mixed day and lies 14th overall in the event thanks to a 14th place in the final race.

In the senior ILCA6 women's event, Eve McMahon (Howth YC) recovered from a port-starboard incident shortly after the first race started and sailed well to place 14th and then ninth in the second race of the day.

"It was still quite a shifty day, breeze up and down and quite tricky," said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing's Head Coach, speaking of the Irish Youth World Champion. "She's worked quite hard at her boatspeed in the past two months and is able to pick off boats (while recovering places)."

With just three races sailed in the qualification round for the ILCA 6 women, Wednesday will see a further three races scheduled before deciding the finals line-up to be sailed over the remaining two days of the event.

To follow the competition and results please visit

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