Monday 18 December 2017

Lynch fights back to claim Youth Worlds silver medal

James Hall

Ireland's Finn Lynch won the silver medal in the Laser Radial class at the Youth World Championships on Dublin Bay yesterday.

Despite light and shifty winds causing problems across all three race courses for the 250 boat fleet, the Carlow teenager was able to fight his way back from the second half of the fleet in the one-hour race to score ninth for the final.

Crucially, he had beaten both the Norwegian and Italian sailors and was certain to win at least bronze.

But further back in the 58-strong entry, a masterclass in sailing's dark arts was being given to Mitchell Kiss, the American who had led all week, by Australian Mark Spearman in the hunt for gold.

The Aussie simply, but brutally and completely legally, prevented Kiss from gaining places up the fleet and both placed 51st and 52nd respectively. This result forced the American to count his result as he had already used his event discard for a penalty disqualification earlier in the series.

discard

Spearman on the other hand, switched his discard from a 17th place to the 51st from yesterday's race that effectively meant he finished 35 places ahead instead of just one. That result also ruled out any podium place for Kiss and moved Lynch up to silver behind Spearman.

The Carlow sailor was generally happy with his performance throughout the week.

"I was pretty solid, but I made a few silly mistakes, he said.

"Myself and my coach have talked about it, but I think everybody made a few and at these youth events, whoever makes the least amount of mistakes wins."

This was Lynch's first youth worlds and he had entered aiming for a top 10 result. He has another three years left at this level before considering the next step towards Olympic preparation.

Irish Independent

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