Evan sets sights on sailing champs
ONE of the county’s brightest sailing prospects is among those competing this week in the Wayfarer International Championships. He may only be 15, but Evan Dargan Hayes is among those battling for supremacy of the seas during the week-long event.
However, challenging more experienced opponents is nothing new for the St Gerard’s student. Next month he will travel to Canada for the Laser Youth World Sailing Championships – an event which will feature 200 of the best under-19 sailors in the world.
Because he doesn’t turn 16 until December, Evan must compete in the under-19 event but, according to dad Tony, the youngster is relishing the challenge.
‘He is looking forward to the experience of representing Ireland and, in particular, his home county knowing that the competition will help him to improve and be the best sailor he can be. He is already planning for the European and World Championships next year, but he’s not getting carried away with all the excitement,’ said Tony.
Remarkably, the teenager only took up sailing at the age of 13, and he attributes his rapid ascent through the ranks to the coaching and training he received from his instructors at Greystones Sailing Club (GSC).
In preparation for the World Championships, Evan will jet out to Kingston, Ontario, for some coaching before taking part in the Canadian Youth Sailing Championships which directly precede the worlds.
And regardless of the outcome, he will return to his studies upon his return, heading straight into transition year at St Gerard’s. He will however, continue to sail througout the winter, taking part in coaching clinics with the Irish youth team at the Royal St George Yacht club in Dun Laoghaire.
Evan Dargan Hayes from Newcastle.