Following the excitement of 2012 Olympics, the next generation of aspiring sports athletes are already planning to fulfil their ultimate goal to represent their sporting discipline and country at the 2016 Olympics Games.
Two local junior sailors living in Oranmore, Cian Walsh and Fiachra McHugh, are currently representing Ireland on the Irish 420 Sailing Team at the 420 Junior European Championships, which run until Friday 17 August in Fraglia Vela, Riva Del Garda in the north-west corner of Lake Garda in Northern Italy.
Cian (16) and Fiachra (17) are members of the Galway Bay Sailing Club. Their boat is a 420 Dinghy, which is fast sailing, crews two people and has a spinnaker as well as two sails.
Cian and Fiachra have been training extensively all summer in the run up to the championships and were looking forward to this exciting opportunity to compete at the highest international level.
The Irish squad comprises three 420 boats in total (the other boats are from Dublin) and are being coached by Ross Killian, who was with the Irish Olympic sailing squad in London.
The 420 Junior European Championships will have representation from all over the world with some of the best junior sailors participating, many with ambitions to make the 2016 Olympics.
It has been said by many that Riva del Garda is one of the best regatta venues in the world and competitors are sure of some exciting and challenging racing.