BALLYHOLME Yacht Club’s Tom Driscoll has become an Irish Under 16 champion in the sport.

It is after the 13 year-old won the Topper Youth National title at the Investwise Irish Sailing Youth Nationals in Dublin on Sunday.


Organised by Irish Sailing and hosted by Howth Yacht Club, Ireland’s biggest youth sailing event brought a total of 186 sailors from 23 clubs around the country together as they competed across six different classes – the ILCA 6, 29er, 420, ILCA 4, Topper and Optimist. 

The Topper fleet, in which Tom was victorious, shared the same course as the ILCA 4 class and was the second largest of the event with 40 boats. Trailing Tom in second place was Cormac Byrne (Skerries SC) with Caoimhe Corkery (Kinsale YC) in third.

The Topper is an 11 foot sailing dinghy, weighing 43 kilograms. Designed by Ian Proctor in 1977, the Topper is sailed mostly around the British Isles and has been recognised by the sport’s governing body, World Sailing, as an International Class since 2005. 

“This is the first event that I have won in the Topper,” Tom explained.

“I have been involved with Ballyholme for the past year or two. It’s a good place to sail because you’re coming right off the Lough and I have got to learn from lots of others since starting here, ” said the Campbell College student.

“My main target now is to get a top five at the British and World Championships for Under 16.”

Commenting on last weekend’s Nationals, John Twomey, President of Irish Sailing said:  “186 young sailors, six classes, four days, 52 races – this is what makes the Youth Nationals one of the most exciting events in the Irish Sailing calendar, and one we’re very proud of.

“When I see so many young faces coming in off the water smiling, I know that the future of sailing is indeed bright.”