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It was a clean sweep for Royal Cork Yacht Club junior sailors at the Optimist Leinster Dinghy Championships at the National Yacht Club last weekend. 

Justin Lucas won the Merrion Private sponsored event where 139–sailors registered including 29 from the host club.

Lucas's clubmates Harry Twomey and Harry Pritchard finished second and third respectively.

There were very challenging windy conditions, as Afloat.ie reported here, over the entire weekend and despite this five races took place over both days.

Race Officer for the main fleet was Con Murphy and Paddy Judge officiated for the regatta fleet.

Results are here

Published in Optimist

Recently crowned Irish Optimist champion Rian Geraghty-McDonnell (14) of the National Yacht Club leads a blustery Leinster Championships hosted by his own club on Dublin Bay.

Four points behind, Royal Cork's Harry Twomey is second on seven, with Geraghty–McDonnell's club mate Nathan van Steenberge third on eight points in the 42–boat senior fleet. 

Two races have been sailed in the relative shelter of Scotsman's Bay in blustery, north-westerly breezes reaching 20–knots and more at times but a third race was bandoned due to building winds in the late afternoon.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Full results for all three divisions are here

Published in Optimist

Rian Geraghty-McDonnell has won the Irish Optimist National and Open Senior Championship and Luke Turvey the Junior Optimist National and Open Championship at the IODAI championships hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

With a full series of 10 races sailed over the four–day event on Dublin Bay, everything came down to the last race to decide who was going to win the titles. Geraghty-McDonnell got a black flag in the second last race but showed real depth of character to come back in the last race and take the title with Justin Lucan of Royal Cork Yacht Club finishing one point behind.

The following results concluded the top ten senior sailors, Leah Rickard 3rd, Rory O’Sullivan 4th, Harry Twomey 5th, Emily Riordan 6th, Harry Prtichard 7th, Hugh Turvey 8th, Moss Simington 9th and Conor Gorman 10th.

Luke Turvey of HYC/NYC won the Irish Optimist National and Open Junior Championship. The Junior series mirrored the seniors and also came down to the wire with the last race deciding the title. Luke Turvey beat HYC club mate Johnny Flynn by one point to take the Junior title.

Oisin Kelly won the title in Regatta fleet, followed by Tristan Farrer from GBR in second place and in third place was Harvey Matthews from KYC.

The IODAI say it was one of the most competitive Irish Nationals ever with an amazing display of sailing talent by Ireland's young and up and coming sailors. 

Next year's National Championships are heading for Kinsale in County Cork.

Published in Optimist

Howth Yacht Club's Hugh Turvey has taken an early lead at the Optimist National Championships on Dublin Bay.

The fourteen–year–old has worked out a decent margin in light winds after only two races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Turvey counts a first and a second to be six points clear of two Royal Cork Yacht Club entries tied on nine points where Michael Crosbie leads Harry Pritchard. Another RCYC sailor, Harry Twomey, lies fourth on 11–points. The National Yacht Club's Conor Gorman on 14 points rounds out the top five of the 65–boat main fleet.

74 sailors are competing in the Junior fleet and just under 50 sailors in the regatta fleet. Full results are here

Racing continues tomorrow. 

Published in Optimist

The Irish Optimist Sailing team are on their way to Burgas, Bulgaria to take part in the European Championships.

Two hundred and fifty sailors will participate in the week-long event with ten races expected from 30th July to 5th August.

The Irish team members pictured above are (from left to right) Ruth McSweeney, team Manager, Cillian Foster (RCYC) Johnny Flynn (HYC and RstGYC) Conor Gorman (NYC), Luke Turvey (HYC and NYC)) Emily Riordan (RstGYC) Kitty Flanagan(RstGYC) and Iseult Hogan(RstGYC).

Published in Optimist

After a fine display of Team Racing by the Irish Optimist Team in Thailand, Ireland had a spectacular win over France to finish ninth overall in the Team Racing World Championships 2017.

Things were looking good for Team Ireland when they got into final 16 of the World Championships from 62 countries.

Following three days of fleet racing Ireland was seeded 40th out of 48 teams that qualified for the Team Racing World Championships.

The Irish team comprised  Justin Lucas, Harry Twomey, Leah Rickard, Alana Coakley and Charlie Cullen.

After a long day on the water at Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Team Ireland, under Captain Harry Twomey secured a place in the final 16. An amazing achievement, for an Irish Team to qualify for the second round in the Team Racing World Championships.

Published in Optimist

Thailand has been selected to host the Optimist World Championship 2017, and the event has now confirmed the participation of a total of 62 sailing nations – including Ireland – with 280 sailors, a record-breaking landmark for this world stage event. Each country will send their most skilled Optimist sailors to race as national representatives to compete in the waters off Pattaya Beach. The event will take place from 11-21 July, 2017 at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club (RVYC) in Pattaya.

Ireland will be reprsented by Harry Twomey of RCYC & CHSC, Justin Lucas of RCYC & TBSC, Alana Coakley, RStGYC and Leah Rickard, NYC and Charlie Cullen of the RStGYC & NYC.

Thomas Whitcraft, President of the Optimist World Championship 2017, said, "This is a record-breaker in terms of the number of sailors competing here and the number of countries represented. This year is notable also for the number of Asian countries taking place after several years of absence. They include China, Macau, Taiwan (officially called Chinese Taipei), Myanmar, Indonesia, India and the UAE. Several teams will also travel from the South American continent, including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile”

The Optimist World Championship comprises two ‘championships’, the OPTIMIST INDIVIDUAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (IWC) and the OPTIMIST TEAM RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (TRWC).

The Championship will be held at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, located just outside the city of Pattaya in the residential area of Pratamnak Hill. The racing area is located immediately offshore from the Yacht Club in the Gulf of Thailand, between the mainland and Koh Larn. With large facilities, strong infrastructure and fantastic sailing conditions, the RVYC will welcome all sailors with warm Thai hospitality. Racers, support teams and spectators can expect sunshine, warm water and good sailing breezes during the event.

The Optimist Dinghy has proven to be the ideal boat for introducing young children to the sport of sailing. The objective of the class is to provide an affordable racing boat for young people. Optimist

Dinghy sailors typically start at the age of 7 or 8 and continue to 15 years of age. More than 85% of all sailors who participated in the Rio Olympics sailed in Optimist dinghies when they were young.

The Optimist World Championship 2017 Thailand has been supported by strategic partners including Sport Authority of Thailand (SAT), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Pattaya City, Co-Sponsors include The Pizza Company, Apollo (Thailand), Thai Airways and True Corporation. For more information, please visit www.optimistworlds2017.com

Published in Optimist

Howth Yacht Club hosted the Optimist Team racing Vice President's Cup last weekend. On the water there were lots of smiles, buckets of team spirit and great selfless tactical moves.

The races were so effectively run (well done Richard Kissane & team), there was a review to the schedule to avoid finishing too early adding a Gold and Silver round robin so by the end of the event there were 57 races in total.

On the racing side, two teams were surely showing effective team racing tactics and it was no surprise to see them battling it in the final. After a great day of racing, RCYC-1 captained by Rory O'Sullivan came out on top against the RstGYC-1 captained by Trevor Bolger.

Clubs represented were the RstGYC (3 teams), RCYC (2 teams), HYC (2 teams), MYC (2 teams), NYC and TBSC

Published in Optimist

Unseasonal weather provided very challenging conditions for the 145 entrants in The Davy Munster Optimist Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club. Sailors travelled from as far away as Dublin and Galway for the event. Six races were planned over Saturday and Sunday.

Day 1 saw the Regatta Fleet grounded as the winds were just too strong but they had a full morning of shore based activities which included learning about wind, tides and the RRS. The AP flag was flown for the Senior and Junior fleets while the Principal Race Officer, John Stallard, waited for conditions to abate. The decision was made to remain in the outer harbour and after a 2 hour delay racing got under way. With torrential rain and gusting winds the conditions were testing for all on the water – sailors and committee/support boats alike– this combined with the delayed start meant that two races were completed.

Day 2 and both fleets got afloat on time. With 10-12 knots out of the southwest the Senior and Junior fleets got under way with minimal delay. There was quite a swell outside the harbour which provided a testing beat for the fleets and caused some to retire from the race. However both the Senior and Junior fleets completed the race in under 50 mins. The wind had shifted more southerly so after readjusting the course Race 2 got off with minimal delay. By now the swell was building somewhat and winds were 12 – 14 knots but the fleets were really enjoying sailing in the open waters outside Kinsale Harbour. As the wind had settled into the SSW the course stayed true and the 3rd race got underway within minutes of the final boat finishing. Competitors were quite happy to head ashore after Race 3 as the swell had proved to be quite tiring for all on the water.

The Regatta Fleet got afloat on Day 2 but under very testing conditions. The Regatta Fleet Race Officer, Siobhan Keane Hopcraft, decided to keep them in the inner harbour. Even in there the winds too strong for some however the fleet got 4 races sailed which was an achievement for all given the conditions.

Results:
Senior Fleet
Gold 
1st Rory O’Sullivan RCYC 
2nd Leah Richard NYC 
3rd Hugh Turvey HYC/NYC 

Silver

1st Kei Walker RStGYC

2nd Adam Doyle TBSC

3rd Ciara O’Regan RStGYC

Junior Fleet

Gold
1st Johnny Flynn HYC/RStGYC 
2nd Luke Turvey HYC/NYC 
3rd Fiachra McDonnell RBYC 
4th Sam Ledoux NYC 4th Killian Reidy FYC
5th Adam Walsh LRYC/HYC 5th Jessica Riordan RStGYC

Silver

1st Lucy Bateman RCYC

2nd Fiachra Farrelly HYC

3rd Rocco Wright HYC

Fair Sailing Award Aoibhin Farrelly HYC

Best Local Sailor Regatta Fleet Harvey Matthews
Best Local Sailor Junior Fleet Alejandra Peleteiro
Best Local Sailor Senior Fleet James Dwyer Matthews

Published in Optimist

142 boats across the 3 fleets are confirmed for this weekend's Munster Optimist Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club this weekend.

Six races are scheduled over the two days. The Senior and Junior fleets will race outside the harbour, weather permitting, with Principal Race Officer John Stallard at the helm while the Regatta Fleet will race in the outer harbour with Race Officer Siobhan Keane Hopcraft in charge of them.

As with all junior sailing events an enormous amount of support is required both on and off the water. A flotilla of Committee Boats, Mother Ships and support RIB’s plus the Dinghy Park will be manned by the many volunteers who are helping to make the event happen.

Kinsale Yacht Club has a very strong and active Optimist Class. The ever popular Christmas Regatta in December attracted an entry of 35 boats from a wide variety of clubs.

Published in Kinsale
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