Belfast Telegraph

Irish stars hit the gold standard to prove their class on Belfast Lough at Rooster International Topper World Championships

By Graham Luney

The class of Irish sailors came to the surface at Belfast Lough during the fourth day of the Rooster International Topper World Championships.

Competitors in the 5.3 Gold Fleet class experienced foggy conditions but local sailors lit up the action with Jack Fahy finishing first, followed by Michael Carroll and Sophie Crosbie.

In the 4.2 class Max Yuang-Ngam is leading the charge, while his team-mate Paton Mervielde from Thailand is third and closing in on second-placed Rabbit Su from China.

Competitors have been impressed at the standard of the competition which has a real international flavour.

Margot Dejeux, a French sailor in the 5.3 fleet, said: "This is one of the biggest competitions I have ever been to.

"Northern Ireland is a good place to hold the competition, though it is much colder than where I live! I prefer the windy days."

The Masters race gave the competitors an opportunity to watch, as parents and coaches took to the water to show their worth.

Representatives from South Africa participated this year, including Shadley Thomas from the Garden Route Sailing Academy in Mossel Bay.

The Academy runs a development programme for High School students from disadvantaged backgrounds and challenging home environments.

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