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Leak in boat doesn’t stop teen star Eve McMahon from claiming world gold

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Eve McMahon with her mother Vicky and her father Jim upon arriving at Dublin Airport after capturing gold in the single-handed ILCA6 class at the 2022 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas. Photo: Tom Maher/INPHO

Eve McMahon with her mother Vicky and her father Jim upon arriving at Dublin Airport after capturing gold in the single-handed ILCA6 class at the 2022 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas. Photo: Tom Maher/INPHO

World Sailing Youth World Champions Eve McMahon and Rocco Wright Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Maher

World Sailing Youth World Champions Eve McMahon and Rocco Wright Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Maher

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Eve McMahon with her mother Vicky and her father Jim upon arriving at Dublin Airport after capturing gold in the single-handed ILCA6 class at the 2022 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas. Photo: Tom Maher/INPHO

After completing the ‘big three’ of World and European sailing titles in the past month, Dublin teenager Eve McMahon has revealed she won her latest global gold despite springing a leak.

We rent our boats for these big regattas and one day I came back in and there was water in my boat,” said the 18-year-old from Sutton after retaining the ILCA6 World Youth (U-19) Championships title in Houston, Texas, the stand-alone event for her specialism.

“It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. It was the fourth day of competition, when I finished second and third. I didn’t notice it until I’d finished racing so it was a bit of a stress but the charter company were great and got it fixed overnight.”

McMahon’s latest result underlines why the Howth Yacht Club prodigy, who also sat her Leaving Cert this summer, is already being tipped as the next Annalise Murphy.

She competes in the same boat class as Ireland’s Olympic silver medallist (Laser Radial, now called ILCA6) and was actually Murphy’s training partner in the run-up to Tokyo.

She claimed the European Youth title in Greece early last month and then followed up by taking ILCA6 gold at the Youth Sailing World Championships (for all boat classes) in the Netherlands where she won four of the seven races in a 55-strong field.

In America, she won eight of her 12-race series so, across her 30 races in these three ‘majors’, McMahon finished in the top three in all but five races.

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Her Olympic potential was marked ever since winning the World U-17 title in 2019 but she was disappointed at not topping the podiums in the same three events last year.

She won the 2021 ILCA6 World Youths in Lake Garda but only took silver at the Europeans (her mast broke in the first race) and finished fourth at the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships in Oman.

Now that she has done three-from-three, a European and double world champion despite the difficulty of combining it all with her Leaving Cert this summer.

“It was quite tough,” she explained. “Sailing takes up a lot of time so I decided to park it while I was doing my study and just concentrate on my fitness.

“I felt I had the sailing skill in me so it was just really important to keep up my fitness so I was going into these three events fitter than ever in terms of cycling and gym work. That’s what kept me going.”

Also back home is fellow Howth YC member Rocco Wright who, like McMahon, won world gold in the Netherlands last month by taking the male single-handed Youth World Championship in the ILCA6 class.



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