Evan sets sights on sail­ing champs

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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