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2 July 2009, 11:01 am
Irish Team Prepare For the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2009
Ireland's Ben LYNCH competing at the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
Ireland's Ben LYNCH competing at last year's Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship

Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2009
Buzios, Brazil

After what has been regarded by most as the hardest fought trials Ireland has ever had for the prestigious Irish Team slots the entries have been formed for the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
Four sailors and two coaches will form the IRL challenge with Jane BUTLER and Jennifer ANDREASSON (Royal St. George YC) in the two handed 420 girls class, Matty O'DOWD (Royal St. George YC) in the Laser Radial boys class and Saskia TIDEY (Royal Irish YC) in the Laser Radial girls class.

Collars will be sharpened and buttons shined this time around with smart sailing gear for the event kindly supported by Curradinghy Sailing and Zhik.

Team Ireland

Jane BUTLER heralding from Rathfarnham Co. Dublin turns 17 this year and trains out of the Royal St. George YC. Her partnership with Jenny ANDREASSON spans an optimist rivalry which flowed into an RS Feva teaming aged 14 before moving to the 420 class a year later. BUTLER's progression follows imminently in the footsteps of her brother Ed BUTLER whom competed in the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in the 29er skiff class. BUTLER has now progressed to the Olympic 49er class with Peter DUGGAN who also holds Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF Worlds pedigree finishing sixth overall in the 420 in 2006.

Jennifer ANDREASSON is the crew in the BUTLER/ANDREASSON partnership. A year younger than BUTLER her athleticism and energy provide the balance in the sleek edged match up. Having just turned 16 years ANDREASSON has two more years to tackle international youth sailing ahead of her. Strong support has come from the parents on the ANDREASSON side also and those who know them are always aware that her father Jorgen is always on hand to document the progress on film for Clockwork Films.

TIDEY will turn 16 this June. The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship have been an ambition for TIDEY and leading into winter 2008 she set to work sailing four to five days a week under the guidance of Timothy GOODBODY (who just won the Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship) out of the Royal Irish YC. The ambition paid off early in May when she placed third youth girl in a UK Laser Qualifier to seal her seat on the plane to Brazil. Like most high achievers TIDEY is also a member of the Irish Netball team. Parents Barbara and Don are keen to see her represent her nation solo and under sail as much as on the court.

O'DOWD hails from a strong sailing family. His father Don O'DOWD is well known to the fore of many a Dragon fleet. Matty put school rugby in 'The Rock' on the top shelf for transition year and went head down into his laser training programme over the past eight months to fend off the challenge of top Irish international radial sailors in the trails to come to the fore. Matty has also placed top youth boy in a spring UK qualifier to prove his international competitiveness to the Olympic Steering group for selection.

With all of the sailors competing this year coming to the end of fourth year of school it goes to show that the level of preparation time afforded in transition year has given the incumbents the best chance to prepare to the level of our rival countries. Huge enthusiasm, focus and determination on the part of the sailors, as well as rounded support from parents, coaches, schools and sailing clubs have been central to the sailors getting to this point.

Event Equipment Team Member
Boy's One Person Dinghy Laser Radial Matty O'DOWD
Girl's One Person Dinghy Laser Radial Saskia TIDEY
Boy's Windsurfer RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin -
Girl's Windsurfer RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin -
Boy's Two Person Dinghy 420 -
Girl's Two Person Dinghy 420 Jane BUTLER and Jennifer ANDREASSON
Open Multihull Hobie 16 with Spinnaker -

Find out more about the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship at www.sailing.org/youthworlds.

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