Aspiring Olympian Finn Lynch is the new U19 Laser Standard World Sailing champion.
The Carlow native and member of the ISA’s development squad made a comeback this afternoon at the U21 Laser Standard & Radial World Championship in Douarnenez, France, to win gold in the U19 category.
The regatta began on Monday and after ten races in varying, shifty conditions Lynch lay eighth overall in the 101 boat fleet and third in the U19 classs.
The final race began this afternoon and Lynch, with his eyes on the prize, got off to a great start and battled it out at the top of the fleet throughout the 40-minute race.
He crossed the line to finish third, comfortably ahead of overnight U19 leaders Joel Rodriguez from Spain and Maxim Nikolaev from Russia, to claim the U19 world title and gold medal. He narrowly missed out on the U21 bronze, finishing fourth overall.
This is a significant achievement for Lynch, having only graduated to the senior laser standard class earlier this year. In less than three weeks’ time he will compete alongside fellow laser standard sailor James Espey from the Irish Olympic sailing team in Santander, Spain, at the first 2016 Olympic qualifier event.
During this championship, Lynch will be aspiring to finish within the top 23 nations in order to qualify Ireland for the Rio Games.
ISA performance director James O’Callaghan commented: "Another podium finish at the worlds makes it one of sailing's most successful seasons.
"For Finn the achievement is even more remarkable given that it's his second world title in as many years."
His fellow team-mate Fionn Lyden from Cork finished 11th overall.
Meanwhile, in the female laser radial class, Tipperary local Aisling Keller also narrowly missed out on a medal finishing fourth in the U19 category and 22nd overall.