In the result of the combined Youth National and ISA Pathway Championships that took place on Belfast Lough, the classes of sailing were spoiled for choice in a number of stand-out performances.
The Yacht Club Ballyholme and its strong army of 70 volunteers, delivered event with a lot of space for three course areas, and interestingly, it was between medium to very-light winds.
The under-19 year olds line-up Crowning, Ewan McMahon the world Silver medalist of the Howth Yacht club had the finest show of consistency. The Laser Radial class was won by him.
ISA development & youth manager Rory Fitzpatrick said on the occasion. “He is like the iceman – though he doesn’t win races in number, but he can be seen always at the front,”
However, for Fitzpatrick, the Laser Radials for him the big stand-out was Aaron Rodgers and Conor Quinn of Rush Sailing Club who secured the second and the third position.
“In the club, there is a great coach, and he is Alan Ruigrok. He is a top Laser racer, he didn’t go to the Olympic team, however, he is a great coach and this can be seen now.”
For the youth championships, the result is typical and it is almost same. The more regional clubs and smaller clubs are winning against the older yacht clubs that are established and holding their own.
Fitzpatrick said, “The Rush team is determined and also loyal to their coach. The team calls themselves the “Alan’s Army”. Thus, it is clear that the coach has done a lot”.
“This approach of a coach towards the team gives it a focal point for the training. Creates a group and train it, the group then makes a social atmosphere of positive players and people. Then everything moves around it.”