Steady wind on the first two days ensured that Race Officer Derek Bothwell was able to keep on schedule for the first two days with two races on Day 1 and three on Day 2.
A record 25 boats attended the event, including four visiting boats from the UK. From the outset, HYC's Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan led the event, although they met with challenges from Geoff Power and James McCann who won Race 2, and GBR pairing Katie Davies and Madeleine Watkins who won Races 3 and 5.
The final day, Thursday, saw a sharp increase in wind strength and in the interest of safety a decision was taken to stand down the Silver fleet. Three races were completed by the Gold fleet, with Elmes / O'Sullivan retaining their lead and retaining their title from 2015. Power / McCann displayed their rising talent by taking second place in the Gold fleet .
Careful planning of the event had allowed UK sailors to attend this year without clashing with their own Nationals and the overseas visitors were warmly welcomed, with a charming thank-you speech from first overseas sailors Davies / Watkins acknowledging the excellent sailing and race management, and the camaraderie between the entire fleet.
In addition to the Overall Nationals trophy, this year a new First Irish Ladies trophy was presented, to Kate Lyttle and Niamh Henry of RSGYC, and as part of the Class attempt to encourage new sailors to the fleet, National Optimist coach Thomas Chaix crewed for SSC's Ella May, taking first place in the Silver fleet.
The efforts of the Association to encourage new sailors to the Class, in conjunction with the obvious success of present and ex-420 sailors - HYC's Ewan MacMahon taking second overall in the 2016 Worlds, RCYC's Harry Durcan / Harry Whitaker today taking first in the 29er National Championships, and Elmes/O'Sullivan's bronze medal in the 2015 ISAFs - seem to be paying off, with the largest number of competitiors in recent history creating an extremely successful event.
Results are here.