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Oisin Pierse (Helm) and Fionn Daly on the water during Youth Nationals 2024(Picture courtesy of ISA)

Royal Cork 29er Sailors secure ISAF Youth Worlds Place

Storm Kathleen left some sailors disappointed this past weekend as Youth Nationals were cut short, Fennells Bay natives and ISA Academy sailors Oisin Pierse and Fionn Daly were sailing brilliantly in a closely fought battle with current 29er World Champion Helm Clementine Van Steenberg (NYC) and her new crew for this season World 29er Female Silver Medalist Jessica O ’Riordan(RstG) before Storm Kathleen took hold and ended the Championship.

LCA 6 Sailor Andrew Kingston, Fionn Daly and Oisin Pierse pictured with Admiral Ann Marie Fegan colleting their ISA Silver medals at Youth Nationals

ILCA 6 Sailor Andrew Kingston, 29er Sailors Fionn Daly and Oisin Pierse pictured with Admiral Ann Marie Fegan collecting their ISA Silver medals at Youth Nationals

The race management team did a fantastic job in getting 4 races to complete a series in extremely challenging conditions.  After 4 races they boys were leading the series on countback with a 2-2-1-1, only to learn they had a UFD in Race 1.

However, all was not lost. As the sole male 29er team to meet the criteria set out by the ISA Olympic Steering Group, Oisin and Fionn have successfully come out on top in the selection process to represent Ireland at the upcoming ISAF Youth Wolds in Lake Garda this July. Their international results in El Balis and Hyeres have earned them this well-deserved honour.

Both TY students, the boys will spend 162 days this year with the Academy between competition and training camps, traveling to 7 European countries along the way competing in 29er EuroCup events, 29er Worlds, and ISAF Youth Worlds. Unfortunately they will miss 29er Europeans as it conflicts with Youth Worlds.  We extend our warmest wishes to these talented young sailors for continued success in the coming months.

In other exciting news, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is thrilled to highlight the recognition received by the recently formed 29er pairing of Ellen McDonagh (Helm) and Isabella Waterman (Crew). Their impressive performance at the Nationals caught the attention of the ISA coaching team, leading to an invitation to train with the academy at their upcoming camp in Dun Laoghaire later this month. This invaluable opportunity offers the potential for further progress and future involvement with the national team. We extend our gratitude to coach Hugh Lynch, who done a great job in preparing the girls for the Nationals despite limited time.

Following the remarkable global success of the Irish 29er sailors securing World and European titles in 2023, including Cork natives Alana Twomey (European Champion) and Ben O’Shaughnessy (European Champion and ISAF World Youth Bronze Medalist), the ISA have strengthened the academy coaching team. The Team now benefits from the support of a strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist, psychologist and a dedicated 29er sailing coach. Under the supervision of ISA Development Manager and Coach Sean Evans, this comprehensive program is set to propel Irish sailors to perform at the highest level.

Royal Cork Yacht Club currently offers a unique opportunity with three club 29er boats available for lease. This arrangement allows families to lease the boat for one year, with the option for those wanting to continue in the class to purchase a boat thereafter. Past experiences have proven successful, resulting in recent purchases at the club. As one experienced crew member prepares for his Helm’s departure to Spain at the end of the school year, the fleet is seeking a new helm to fill the vacancy.

If you are interested in joining the 29er fleet, please contact Class Captain Dominic Daly at

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