Greetings from Dublin. Today marks the end of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. Tom Klemens and James Oliver gave their all in representing Australia and Victoria at the event which was held in picturesque Dublin Bay. Along with 10 other Aussie sailors representing all the youth classes from Australia they battled out against the best in the world with each country being represented by their best one boat in each category/class.
The conditions were cool ( no surprise) and generally light and shifty breezes. The most wind was on the second last day with 12 knots gusting to 17. The event was a mirror of the Olympics in so many ways with a formal opening ceremony where the teams march in their team uniforms, followed by the raising of the Youth Worlds flag and a mixing of the waters from each country. Similarly the closing ceremony was marked with tradition, a fireworks display and a copy U2 band performed.
Tom and James were coached by current Olympic gold medallist Tessa Parkinson who did a great job. The boys started off slowly finding the shifty conditions difficult and the standard high. Many of these competitors spend months travelling around Europe each year sailing in big fleet Regatta’s. They also train in big groups whereas our guys over the last 18 months have spent hours on the water training without a training partner. However to their credit they improved and came home strongly with a 6th , a solid 1st and a 4th in the last 2 days. The 420 fleet consisted of 30 competitors ( 61 nations were represented in the Regatta). In fact in the last 6 races their combined score was the lowest of all in their class. Ultimately they finished a healthy 12th . To be 12th youth in the world is something to be proud of. The experience was amazing and one they will never forget. Australia finished 5th out of the 61 countries , its best result in 10 years.
Thank you to YV for all their support in leading up to this event.