Sailing: Junior triumph another highlight for Johnny Durcan

Crosshaven sailor seals another championship in what has been a memorable year

Johnny Durcan was seventh at this year’s Laser Radial Worlds in Dún Laoghaire.

Johnny Durcan was seventh at this year’s Laser Radial Worlds in Dún Laoghaire.

 

A strong performance by Laser Radial national champion Johnny Durcan to win last weekend’s ISA Junior All-Ireland Championship was the latest highlight in an impressive year to date for the Crosshaven sailor.

His win along with crew member Florence Lyden in Schull on Sunday levels up the standings in the Durcan family as his brother Harry won the coveted title two years ago when both siblings were sailing against each other.

“We’d be competitive [against each other] in just about everything we do,” Johnny Durcan said yesterday.

“I don’t treat him any differently on a race course than anyone else. But we do help each other before the race [such as] pre-start routines and also ashore.”

Durcan will still be young enough next year to defend his title.

“It’s something I wanted to have ticked-off by the time I finished youth sailing even though I’ll have another chance next year. But as Harry has also won it, I wanted to have that notch on my belt as well.”

The win is the latest result in a season that included the national championships, seventh overall at the Laser Radial Worlds in Dún Laoghaire in July while he was also ninth in the Europa Cup in France in April in a 250-strong fleet.

Although he returned to school-life after transition year over the past month, sailing remains a weekend priority as the newly crowned “champion of champions” looks forward to representing Ireland at this year’s Youth World Sailing Championships in New Zealand at Christmas.

Before that, Durcan returns to the fray this coming weekend for the Senior All-Irelands, this time crewing with defending title-holder Anthony O’Leary.

Home advantage

Royal Cork Yacht Club

Although O’Leary with Durcan will have home advantage – the RCYC is hosting the All-Ireland’s – in a change of format from recent championships, the ISA’s Sailfleet J80’s will not be used as they are presently in the final stages of being sold.

In their place, the latest generation National 18 dinghies will be the selected class, returning the event previously known as the “Helmsmans Championships of Ireland” to its roots when it switched classes from year to year.

The National 18 is a three-man dinghy and Cork Harbour is currently it’s sole stronghold in Ireland.

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