Nenagh’s Eoin Keller has won the Irish Laser National Championships in the Laser Radial fleet. The four-day event was held at Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer last weekend.
Eoin is a member of Lough Derg Yacht Club and this is the first time in 30 years that a laser sailor has won the National Championship at their home club.
He was introduced to sailing in the club’s Schools Sailing Programme. Later, he completed his ISA training on the annual July sailing courses at the club. He has since gone on to achieve huge success, representing his club and his country at international events. Last May, he came third in the ISA Mitsubishi Youth National Championship in Dun Laoghaire. In July, he was ninth in the Laser Radials in the Europa Cup in Waremunde in Germany, and 78th (10th in the Silver Fleet) in the Laser Radial World Championship at La Rochelle in France.
A total of 151 sailors participated in the championships with sailors coming from all over Ireland and Britain to race. The Laser class has three rig categories according to the sail size: the 4.7 Lasers (48 boats), the Laser Radials (71 boats) and the Standard or full rigs (32 boats).
Hosting a National event for such a large fleet requires considerable organisation, both on and off the water.
LDYC sailing secretary Michael McCarney said that the “70 plus volunteers, helping out at the event, ensured four great days of racing”.
He said that the “wildly varying weather conditions provided quite a challenge for sailors and race management”.
He added that “events such as this help to promote tourism and the local economy of this scenic area”.
The principal Rarce officer for the event was John Lefroy and Liam Moloney and his team managed the finishing line. Jack Bayly and Teresa Hassey collated and posted the race results.
Club Manager Claire Toohey coordinated Safety and Rescue for the Championship. This is a vital task, and Claire’s organisational skills were very much in evidence. Claire commented that her brief was made easier by “top notch, well-trained local rescue crew, who did a superb job in quite testing conditions”.
LDYC commodore Lucy Sanders said at the prize-giving: “I was impressed by the number of members who gave of their time to help out, particularly the younger members, who are the future of this club”.
She praiseed the work of the shore crew, including P Keller and his helpers who managed the launch and recovery of boats, and Anne Atkinson and her team, who ensured the visitors were looked after.
Laser 4.7: 1. Seafra Guilfoyle, Royal Cork Yacht Club; 2. Cian Byrne, Royal Cork Yacht Club; 3.Eoin Curran, East Down Yacht
LDYC 4.7 Laser results: 23. Aisling Keller; 26. Sorcha Holohan; 28. Darragh Hassey; 29. Andrew Levie; 44. John Riordan; 45. Rosie Donnellan; 46. Sarah Cooney
Laser Radial: 1. Eoin Keller; Lough Derg Yacht Club; 2. Robbie Gilmore, Strangford Lough Yacht Club; 3. Finn Lynch, National Yacht Club.
LDYC Laser Radial results: 21. Alfred Guy; 25. Georgina Corbett; 39. William Hooker; 55. Conall Holohan; 62. Emma Cooney; 70. JJ O’Neill; 71. Eoin Ryan
Standard Laser: 1. James Espey, Royal Ulster Yacht Club; 2. Ryan Seaton, Carrickfergus Sailing Club; 3. Matthew O’Dowd, Royal St. George Yacht Club