Irish And Norwegian Sailors Favourite For Laser Radial Honours At 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds
Ireland's Sophie Murphy and Norway's Hermann Tomasgaard will look to use their experience to win gold at the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Dublin, Ireland.
At just 18-year's old Murphy will not only bring her knowledge of her home waters to the regatta, but her big event experience, that cannot be rivalled. Murphy first sailed at the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2010 before heading to the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
The following year she sailed at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia followed by the World Laser Radial Youth Championship in La Rochelle, France. With none of the top ten from Zadar competing in Dublin, Murphy is the highest placed finisher from 2011 coming into the regatta. With her 11th place finish and experience behind her, added to knowledge of Dublin Bay a podium finish will be on the cards.
"Sailing has been my favourite sport and the memories and friends I have made are the best part of the sport,"
said Murphy. "Every time you sail the circumstances change. It's so exhilarating.
"To sail for Ireland is really the ultimate privilege for me. I want to thank all those people who have made it possible, namely my family, my coach Milan, the ISA, my team and all the friends with whom I love sailing."
Newcomer to the Youth Worlds, Maxime Jonker (NED), recently won the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Queensland, Australia. Jonker came up against several competitors who will be in Dublin and set an early marker by taking the title.
Returnees from previous ISAF Youth Worlds include Maria Cristina Boabaid (BRA), Celine Carlsen (DEN), Milda Eidukeviciute (LTU), Natalia Montemayor (MEX), Khairunneeta Mohd Afendy (MAS), Stephanie Devaux-Lovell (LCA) and Julia Carlsson (SWE).
The Laser Radial Boys fleet has the makings of an excellent competition after eight competitors finished in the top ten at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Queensland.
Herman Tomasgaard (NOR) came out on top in Australia on a count back from New Zealand's Andrew McKenzie, both finished on 24 points. Tomasgaard's victory has no doubt set the standard for the rest of the 59-boat fleet to follow and with two ISAF Youth Worlds behind him, a fifth at Istanbul 2010 and ninth at Zadar 2011, the Norwegian will be the one to beat.
McKenzie will compete in his first ISAF Youth Worlds in Dublin but knows what it takes to compete at the front of the fleet after he picked up silver in Australia.
America's Mitchell Kiss rounded off the podium in Queensland and will return to the ISAF Youth Worlds following his 16th place finish in Zadar. "I feel like I am in a good place going into ISAF Youth Worlds,"
he explained. "Eight out of the top 10 finishers at this regatta will also be in Dublin. I learned about my competitors' strengths and weaknesses this week. I feel well prepared, and am hoping for a little more breeze.
"I expect the competition will be very tough and there will be more distractions - like the press and the hype," he said. "I am glad I had the chance to learn that last year. This is going to be my last international youth event so I am going to really go for it."
Returning from Zadar 2011 in the Laser Radial Boys fleet will be Juan Ignacio Biava (ARG), Owen Siese (BER), Mihkel Väli (EST), Charalampos Mavrogeorgis (GRE), Domonkos Rozsnyay (HUN), Dominykas Kneizys (LTU), Wouter Sonnema (NED), Eduardo Marques (POR) and Pavlo Babych (UKR).
Racing at the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship begins on 14 July in Dun, Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland running until 20 July.