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Victory for young Welsh sailors at Celtic Cup 2024

by RYA Cymru Wales 13 Feb 15:20 GMT
Celtic Cup - winners Team Wales © Andrew Baker

Welsh youth and junior sailors claimed the Celtic Cup on home waters at Pwllheli over a weekend of close competition with teams from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Celtic Cup, previously known as the Nations Cup and then Tri Nations Cup, is for teams from the RYA Home Countries - each selects six ILCA 6 and six Topper 5.3 sailors to take part and the event rotates annually between each country.

For the 2024 edition it was the turn of RYA Cymru Wales to host, with 42 sailors and coaches staying at Plas Menai and racing at Pwllheli over the weekend of 3-4 February.

Sarah McGovern, RYA Cymru Wales Performance Manager, said: "The aim was to train and race against the top sailors from the other Home Countries, try some different race formats, work with some new coaches and make friends who they will see on the UK circuit."

The forecast for the Saturday was breezy but with a westerly direction there was an ideal 10-15 knots in Cardigan Bay. Sailors had an hour of training in their classes followed by two races on trapezoid courses and two SailGP-style races, which challenged the competitors with reaching starts and different mark roundings.

The overnight leaders in each class were both from Scotland, with Roo Purves winning the ILCA 6 fleet and Emily Shearer the Topper 5.3s. The team points meanwhile saw Northern Ireland ahead overall with 73 points, Scotland in second on 85 points and Wales with 91 points.

The sailors were bussed back to Plas Menai for the Saturday evening and kept busy with indoor climbing and a water polo tournament, which Team Wales dominated with some splendid skills from the Topper sailors!

Sunday saw a south-westerly breeze kick in with 15-25 knots and BIG waves. This made it too tricky to try new formats and two trapezoid races kept the sailors in their comfort zone.

Roo Purves from Scotland consolidated his lead in the ILCA 6s but the big winds did enable the Welsh Topper sailors to come into their own.

Jasper Focardi Dolling claimed the Topper 5.3 fleet win and along with his fellow Welsh squad sailors, the team secured the overall team prize with 81 points, just ahead of Northern Ireland with 82 points with Scotland third on 87 points.

As Sarah summed up: "It was a brilliant weekend with some super close racing. It was great to see the sailors making new friends we look forward to next year's event been hosted by Northern Ireland."

Welsh squads and open training now continue for youth and junior sailors to build skills ahead of the new season and major championships of summer.

ILCA 6 Results:

PosCountrySail NoHelm/nameR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stSCO215206Roo Purves421(UFD)119
2ndWAL221583Freddie MacLaverty‑55312213
3rdNRI209096Daniel Palmer31‑535315
4thNRI202543Lewis Thompson232(UFD)3515
5thWAL222773Bronwen Thomas1474‑12925
6thNRI205244Charlotte Eadie‑1111474632
7thSCO /2Cameron McDaid666‑1010735
8thSCO219391Ruairi Herrington7910‑116436
9thWAL147059Noah Wood10713(DNF)7845
10thNRI206939Rory Pollard13‑1412281247
11thWAL222765Flo Tovey815969(DNF)47
12thWAL217500Emelia Tinch‑158148111152
13thSCO216656Macy Law9‑13119131052
14thSCO209413Alistair MacKinnon12108(UFD)141357
15thSCO185702Eva Farnell141215515(DNF)61

Topper Results:

PosCountrySail NoHelm/nameR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stWAL49096Jasper Focadi Dolling121‑9217
2ndSCO49184Emily Shearer2121‑328
3rdNRI49097Emily Macafee5‑6331416
4thSCO49195Rohan O'Kane434‑86623
5thNRI49090Hugo Boyd38‑15751033
6thNRI48668Chloe Craig648‑118834
7thSCO48818Tristan Somerville8‑121129939
8thWAL48165Steffan Williams1411(UFD)64540
9thWAL48138Zoe Morley1117(UFD)510346
10thWAL47220Clay Sanderson‑Wood15510412(DNC)46
11thWAL48351George Davies10713‑1614751
12thNRI48663Zoe West‑Hurst1310710‑151252
13thSCO48096Dougal Jackson91414147(DNC)58
14thSCO48264James McPherson7169‑17161361
15thWAL49193Thomas Venning12151213‑191466
16thNRI49095Sophie Cairns(UFD)951518DNC67
17thNRI47388Polly Robinson(UFD)UFD618131168
18thSCO48800Cicely Blair1613(DNC)1217DNC78
19thWAL48066George Sims(UFD)18UFD1911DNC88

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