BANGOR sailor has won a major Northern Ireland award.

Daniel Palmer, of Ballyholme Yacht Club, won the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Champions title when the championships were held recently at his home club.

More than 130 sailors took to the water between September 9 and 10 for the Youth Championships which were sponsored by F10 Marine.

Despite the sun shining on day one, it was apparent it would be a tricky day weather wise. A light breeze from the land danced from one side of the course to the other, making life difficult for the race committee and competitors.

Some fleets managed to squeeze in the full complement of racing but a few courses had to be changed or shortened. Other fleets managed just one race.

The 20-boat regatta fleet led by club coaches may have enjoyed the best of the conditions as they took part in a training session followed by several short races.

The racecourse was shrouded in thick fog on day two and, despite a glimmer of sun, the wind quickly disappeared meaning that there were no races completed.

While many sailors were disappointed that they were unable to race, the prizegiving was a great celebration of sailors of all levels, from first-time medal winners and junior champions right up to the top youth sailors.

Andrew Baker, RYA Northern Ireland’s High Performance Manager, said the championships have always been a great event and with the ILCA 6 Europeans to be held in Ballyholme YC next season it was a great trial run for sailors and the club alike. 

“This event can be a big ask for a lot from our clubs and volunteers,” he said. “It could not happen without everyone doing their bit and I am forever grateful for the hard work of the race management team, rescue teams, beach master and his teams, the club committee and every parent who could not do enough for the event and the sailors.

“It is very worthwhile when all is said and done. The RYA Northern Ireland staff team are very grateful to everyone involved.”