The rest of the Irish team are also to be commended for their finishes in a field comprising 255 young sailors: Sam Ledoux (National YC) was 70th overall, Luke Turkey (HYC) 100th and Ben O’Shaughnessy (RCYC) 159th.
In the glow of that achievement for the nation, the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) has decamped to Waterford Harbour for the Optimist Munster Championships from today, Saturday 29 July.
The event is open to all boats of the IODAI across Regatta, Junior and Senior fleets, with the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Supplementary Instructions available on the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club website.
The International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland (IODAI) shared a photo yesterday (Sunday 30 June) of the five-strong team headed to Antigua to represent Ireland at the 2019 World Championships later this week.
Rocco Wright (Howth YC), James Dwyer Matthews (Royal Cork/Kinsale), Ben O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork), Sam Ledoux (National YC) and Luke Turvey (Howth YC) will be supported by team coach Dara O’Shea at the event, where racing gets under way this Saturday 6 July.
They will be hoping to best the European team’s impressive performance in Brittany last week, placing 11th overall in a field of 300 sailors representing 50 countries.
Further down the leaderboard, Justin Lucas held on for a 50th-place finish after a rough week on the water at Limassol in Cyprus.
In the Silver fleet, Cork Harbour sailors Harry Twomey and Michael Crosbie finished 27th and 51st respectively.
All five contributed to Ireland placing eighth in the Nations Cup, just a few points shy of France and Germany in the final standings.
It’s a big jump up the leaderboard for the National Yacht Club youth sailor and last year’s Irish Nationals champion, who was 22nd after the qualifiers last Friday (31 August) and 10 places behind fellow Team Ireland racer James Dwyer-Matthews of Kinsale YC, at 15th as per last night’s provisional results.
In the Silver fleet, Harry Twomey (Royal Cork & Crookhaven Harbour) is 19th after three races while Michael Crosbie (Royal Cork) is 41st — though the latter had a tremendous result in his most recent course run, setting him in good stead going into the final day.
Racing resumes this afternoon (Wednesday 5 September) at 1.50pm local time.
In real terms, the result puts Dwyer-Matthews only 10 points off seventh place, above which racing is tight for the title as last year’s winner Marco Gradoni fends off the challenge of American champ Stephan Baker.
Next best of the Irish contingent was last year's Irish Nationals champ Rian Geraghty-McDonnell of the National Yacht Club, who places 22nd.
After his second at the Kinsale Nationals last month, Justin Lucas of Tralee Bay and the Royal Cork had a tough week in Cyprus, placing 40th overall — but that came with a strong performance in the fourth race of the week for Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Month for April.
Racing in the gold, silver and bronze fleets will get under way tomorrow (Monday 3 September) after the weekend break for the team championships.