Displaying items by tag: Optimist Class
With just two races left in the Image Skincare Irish Optimist Championships at Howth Yacht Club, the status quo remains at the top of both the senior and junior rankings, the results of two races on Friday making no difference to the top three places in each division, although points margins have narrowed in the senior fleet.
Second-placed Peter McCann (RCYC) got off to a perfect start, winning the first race of the day, sailed in a moderate southerly breeze but a second retiral in successive days didn’t help his chances of overhauling leader Sean Donnelly (NYC), although the gap between the two is now down to just two points. For his part, Donnelly recorded a 27th (to be discarded) and a 4th to hold on to his lead, but only by two points.
Tralee’s Sophie Browne is still a serious threat to the other two, and winning the second race of the day has brought her to within four points of the outright lead. Everything hangs on the last day and the final two races but Irish boats filling the top seven places is clearly very satisfying.
If it’s tight at the top of the senior leaderboard, it’s anything but that in the junior ranks with UK Junior Champion Max Clapp (Royal Southern YC) wrapping up the event with his fifth bullet in 10 races. Even if nearest challenger Milo Gill-Taylor (Spinnaker SC) could win the last two races, it won’t be enough.
Ronan Cournane (RCYC) won the ninth race of the championship and notched a 2nd in the next to move up four places in the rankings but Irish hopes of a medal rest with Howth’s Ewan McMahon. He has been in third place from early on in the series and must put in two consistent performances on the final day to prevent Benno Marsteller making it a British 1-2-3 in the Junior Championship.
Three races in light north-easterly breezes were completed on the third day of the Image Skincare Irish Optimist Championship at Howth and it’s now a case of Irish boats dominating the senior division and British ones to the fore in the junior ranks.
Peter McCann of Royal Cork, leader after the second day, had the ideal start to the third day with a bullet in the sixth race of the series but that was as good as it got for him. A 20th in the next race and then a retiral meant that the National YC’s Sean Donnelly relegated him to 2nd in the overall standings, thanks to three consistent top 10 results which put the Dun Laoghaire sailor five points clear after one discard.
The second and third races of the day were both won by Kinsale helms, firstly Cliodhna Ni Shuilleabhain and then Sean Gambier-Ross. Significantly, one of the pre-event favourites, Sophie Browne of Tralee, has been steadily moving up the results table and now lies 3rd overall, just seven points off the leader with four races to go.
If the Irish are leading the way in the senior division – and the top three are opening up a large gap on the rest of the 67-boat fleet - only one local entry, Howth’s Ewan McMahon (3rd), is preventing a clean sweep of British boats in the top six of the junior division.
Showing the form that won him the UK Junior title, Max Clapp added two more bullets and a 3rd place to cement his spot at the top of the table. Currently discarding a mere 5th place, the Royal Southern YC 12-year old already has a 23-point margin over his nearest rival, Milo Gill-Taylor from Spinnaker SC.
HYC’s McMahon is a further 12 points adrift and needs to stave off the challenge of the UK’s Benno Marsteller if he is to maintain his drive for a podium finish. The first race of the day, though, was won by an Irish entry, Ronan Cournane of Royal Cork.
200 young Optimist sailors from over 15 Irish clubs (including 24 overseas entries from five other nations) will descend on Howth Yacht Club next week for the Image Skincare Optimist National Championships for a 12-race series over five days.
The bulk of the entries (150) will compete in the main fleet (junior and senior) with the balance in the ‘regatta fleet’ for less experienced sailors. Entries have been received from Britain (including new UK Junior Champion Max Clapp from Royal Southern YC), India, Norway, South Africa and the USA.
After four provincial championships, the Irish senior rankings are led by Tralee’s Sophie Browne who won the Connachts and Munsters and will represent Ireland at the Worlds in New Zealand later this year, having won the IODAI Trials during the Youth Nationals in Dublin Bay.
Adam Hyland (Royal St.George YC), who finished 11th in the recent German Nationals, and Robert Dickson (Howth) are second and third respectively in the rankings while Peter McCann of Royal Cork - 7th overall in the Europeans and a provincial winner too – is another contender.
Two firsts and a second in the provincial events puts Ronan Cournane of Royal Cork on top of the Junior rankings, ahead of Kate Lyttle (Royal St.George YC) and Howth’s Isabelle Delamer.
In the Regatta Fleet, Micheal O’Suilleabhain (Kinsale YC) and Peter Fagan (National YC) are among a small group of sailors who have featured in the top placings at the regional events.
An opening ceremony on Monday (15th) evening at 6.00pm involving all the competitors gets the Nationals underway, with the on-the-water schedule starting on Tuesday 16th with two races. The race management team is led by David Lovegrove, International Race Officer.