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Displaying items by tag: James Dwyer Matthews

Ireland had reason to celebrate at the Optimist North American Championship this past week with a podium finish among two top-five places.

Howth Yacht Club’s bright Oppy star Rocco Wright finished second just two points behind winner Gustavo Campos from Brazil — and James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork/Kinsale wasn’t far behind in fifth place.

Ironically, the two were also separated by three spots in the final standings of this summer’s Optimist Worlds in Antigua.

In 83rd place, Clementine Van Steenberge (National Yacht Club) topped the girls who comprised the rest of Team Ireland in the Bahamas last week. Full results are available HERE.

In other youth sailing news, the National YC scored top results in the Junior Helmsman’s event in Schull last weekend.

Representing the Laser Radial, Clare Gorman with crew (and brother) Conor Gorman were second overall after taking the medal race, while Clare was also named first girl.

Rian Geraghty-McDonnell and crew Nathan Van Steenberge representing the 29er class were third overall.

Published in Optimist

When young James Dwyer Matthews of Royal Cork and Kinsale returned in early August from England with the 2019 British Optimist title added to his already impressive trophy list, it was in the knowledge that the up-coming Irish Nationals at Howth had attracted a fleet of 185 boats from 11 nations, with a notably strong American squad in the midst of it. Thus an almost unfair amount of expectation was resting on his 15-year-old shoulders in his final season as an Optimist sailor, and for much of the series, it was the extremely competent American helm Freddie Parkin who remained persistently if narrowly in the lead. But when the last day proved to be El Bruto with some very grown-up weather, Matthews was the man for it. Having taken a useful third in the penultimate race while Parkin was fourth, the chance was there, and Matthews took it, returning a convincing win while Parkin had to make it a discard with a tenth, leaving Matthews a clear winner with 15 points to Parkin’s 21, while 14-year-old Luke Turvey of the host club was third with 28, having taken second in that final bloodbath.

Published in Kinsale

Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright scored a tremendous result for Ireland as he placed 10th in the Optimist Worlds in Antigua earlier this week.

He was followed closely in the final standings by 13th-placed James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork/Kinsale in the event won by the new three-time champion Marco Gradoni of Italy.

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.

Published in Youth Sailing

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.

Published in Optimist

It was a strong seventh-place finish overall for Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright at the International Palamós Optimist Trophy, which concluded yesterday (Sunday 17 February) on Spain’s Costa Brava.

The youngster remained in medal contention among a 110-boat gold fleet all the way till the final day’s racing, following a phenomenal week where he was rarely out of the top three of his groups.

James Dwyer Matthews of the Royal Cork and Kinsale Yacht Clubs also had a strong showing bettering his performance in last month’s Torrevieja Trophy, placing 12th overall.

Jessica Riordan (Royal St George YC), Anna O’Connor (Royal Irish YC), Lucia Cullen (NYC/RStG), Rachel Flood (NYC), Trevor Bolger (RStG) and Peter Williams comprised the rest of the Irish contingent on the Costa Brava during the week.

Published in Howth YC

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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