Radiating success

The Daily Sail catches up with top youth sailors Keir Clarke and Colette Blair
Keir Clarke (above) had quite a successful RYA Youth Championship in the Laser Radial. Winning the 107 boat fleet by a massive 44 point margin and winning eight out of the 12 races in the process. Although he has won the Radial class quite convincingly, it will only be the top girl (Charlotte Dobson who finished fifth) who gets the ticket for the ISAF Youth Worlds. However it has clearly marked Keir out as a talented young sailor. A relative newcomer to the British sailing scene, Keir (who has just turned 18), moved with his family from Ireland 18 months ago. Having started sailing in an Optimist, he spent a year in the Topper before moving over to the Laser Radial. This year in Toppers saw him top Irish Youth and he also finished tenth at the Topper Worlds. Now based in Bridport, near Weymouth, he is in the final year of his A Levels with plenty of options in front of him as The Daily Sail found out: The Daily Sail: How competitive is sailing here compared with Ireland? Keir Clarke: About ten times as competitive here, it’s good. Do you feel you can achieve more here than in Ireland? Yeah, the coaching here is much better, there’s a lot more squads, so I got into the transitional squad and that got me here in the end. How long have you been sailing the Laser Radial? Since the 2000 Worlds in Spain, so just coming up to three years. What are you hoping to get out of this event? Just to be top Radial really, hopefully that will enable me to get some sponsorship. This is your last year as a Youth, what’s next? After A levels I will probably take a year out and I may go and sail a Hobie 16, that stays youth until 21. Have you