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Displaying items by tag: Optimist

Just over a month to go before the start of the most awaited youth sailing event in the international sailing scenario, the Optimist World Championship: after the postponement of the regatta in 2020, Riva del Garda, Italy is getting ready to welcome the best young sailors of the World.

A provisional entry list published by the organisers here shows Ireland with five sailors entered but 'details pending'.

With registrations still open, fifty nations have already confirmed their presence for the World Championship that will start on Wednesday 30 June in the waters of Lake Garda (Italy): considering qualifications, team races and finals, the participants will be engaged in an intense series of regattas that will end on July 10th, when the winner of the 2021 Optimist World Championship will be proclaimed, successor in the roll of honor to Marco Gradoni, record holder in the Optimist Class for having sealed three World Championships in a row.

The 2021 Optimist World Championship is organised by Fraglia Vela Riva, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Garda Trentino and AICO - the Italian Optimist Class Association.

Published in Optimist
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Craftinsure will be supporting the Irish Optimist dinghy class again this year.

IODAI president, Alexander Walsh, says "IODAI are delighted to welcome Craftinsure as sponsors again for 2021".

The partnership has now passed its 10th anniversary.

Craftinsure director, Rod Daniel, has great memories of IODAI events that Craftinsure has supported over the years, including when his younger son sailed in the Optimist Leinsters at Skerries and had a wonderful time.  "The guys at Skerries sailing club and IODAI members could not have been more helpful," says Rod.

'Re-opening sailing clubs and reinstating youth sailing events when safe to do so can only be good for young people's well-being' he adds.

Published in Optimist
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Former Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan is coaching the 'Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group' (DOGs) for May's Irish trials hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and here Fagan outlines how he aims to prepare the sailors for the demands of competing at the Dublin Bay Trials

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group is a training collaboration between the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire providing a high-performance programme for sailors with the annual Optimist Trials being the core goal. The programme has five experienced coaches, Clare Gorman, Nicola Ferguson, Sarah Fogarty, Tom Higgins and myself. We currently have 27 sailors in the programme split into four groups ranging from 10-15 years old. Unfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions.

Having been given the opportunity to be the head coach for the 'DOGs', I was eager to pass on the knowledge that I gained from competitive sailing both in the Optimist and Laser class to the next generation of sailors. Now that the Royal St George Yacht Club, my home club and where I previously won the Optimist Trials back in 2014, has been announced as the host for the 2021 Trials, I am definitely very excited! I have no doubt that the Royal St. George will put on a fantastic event for the sailors. Dun Laoghaire always offers a true test of a sailor's skills, with conditions ranging from shifty westerly winds with choppy waves or an easterly with consistent breeze and swell.

Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training Photo: Peter FaganDun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training before lockdown Photo: Peter Fagan

The Optimist Trials is the most unique event of the calendar due to two main factors.

Firstly, the event traditionally has 13 scheduled races over the course of 5 days with only two discards in the series. This setup rewards the sailor who sails consistently and has a 'never give up' attitude. This year, however, there is a change to the event's usual setup where the number of days racing has been reduced to three, running over the course of the May bank-holiday weekend.

Secondly, sailors aren't just competing for silverware but a chance to qualify for a team to represent Ireland on an international stage such as the Optimist World and European Championships. This gives the event that added bit of pressure and a sailor that can stay composed over the event will have a great advantage to the rest of the fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist programme aims to prepare the sailor for the demands of competing at Trials. The programme is broken into multiple training blocks ranging from boat handling skills to practising racing situations. We recently had a talk from Finn Lynch who shared his experience with the sailors of what constitutes a successful mindset during a competition. Most importantly, having fun is fundamental to the programme where we've had paddle races and Christmas celebrations.

Operating under Covid-19 restrictions was challenging and forced us to adapt the programme by switching a lot of learning to online. We began to use Google Classroom for posting recaps and videos from training sessions, Google Forms to survey the sailor's performance at each session and lastly, Zoom calls for debriefs online at the end of each days sailing.

The programme wouldn't have been able to run successfully without the help of the programme organisers, parent volunteers, coach Pieter Van Den Bossche and the guidance of Ronan Adams, sailing manager at the Royal St George Yacht Club. I am certainly looking forward to coaching over the season ahead where fingers crossed competition will be re-introduced after a year of its near absence.

Optimist trainingUnfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the DOGs programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions. Photo: Paddy Madigan

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host the IODAI Optimist dinghy Trials on the May Bank Holiday  Weekend, 1st – 3rd May 2021.

The trials event is a great opportunity for younger sailors to compete on home waters and against their peers representing the best Optimist sailors in Ireland. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club has a thriving optimist fleet comprising both beginners and those involved in competitive racing. 

The event is subject to COVID restrictions and a back-up date of 5th – 7th June 2021 has been earmarked in the event that the proposed May date is not run.

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trialsThe Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trials

Commenting on the announcement, the RStGYC Optimist Class Captains, Sarah & Brendan Foley said that: 'We are delighted to host this important and much-anticipated regatta in the Optimist calendar. We will be working very closely with both Irish Sailing and IODAI over the coming months to ensure that the proposed event provides high-quality racing in a safe environment for all participants and supporters.

We are looking forward to getting back out on the water as soon as permitted and to build on the progress made by our sailors in the DOGs (Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group) training programme.

Published in RStGYC

The Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) Annual General Meeting originally scheduled for Sutton Dinghy Club this Sunday has been rescheduled and will now take place at 20:30 on Monday the 21st December by Zoom online webinar.

Members wishing to attend must Pre-Register by e-mailing [email protected] by 13:00 on Friday the 18th December.

The AGM notice on the IODAI website has been updated here.

Published in Optimist
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In spite of fresh westerly conditions, the Optimist fleet in Spiddal, Co Galway completed its series of races yesterday for last weekend’s club’s annual regatta.

The Optimist class had been unable to begin their first race at the Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) regatta on September 19th, due to north-easterly winds which pushed the fleet below the start line.

However, six boats from the Spiddal club turned out on September 27th, with commodore Dave Cahill acting as race officer.

First place went to Sarah Donald, with Rory McHale taking second place and Micheál Breathnach came third.

the CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)The CSS resumed regatta Oppie competitors - from left, Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle, Michael Breathnach (3rd), Rory McHale (2nd), Realtiín Boinnard and Sarah Donald (1st) before the results were announced Photo: Bartley Fannin)

Oppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley FanninOppie class second prize winner Rory McHale with CSS commodore Dave Cahill Photo: Bartley Fannin

Also competing in the close run series of three races were Katie Gaynor, Ciara Ní Chonghaíle and Realtín Boinnard - with Realtín receiving a special award for unl\uckiest competitor, \Katie winning the hardest trier category, and Ciara being awarded for best recovery.

Sarah Donald was also awarded the perpetual trophy for the Optimist fleet, which was presented to the club several years ago by former club commodore Dr Tiernan O’Brien.

As Afloat previously reported, the annual CSS regatta on September 19th marked the presentation of the inaugural John and Stephanie Hannan Award, in tribute to the late circuit court judge, sea kayaker and CSS member John Hannan who died earlier this year.

His wife Stephanie Adams has been junior organiser at CSS for a number of years, and their son Marcus is an active sailor and won third prize in the mixed fleet class at the regatta.

The new award – a dinghy on bog oak made by Spiddal-based glass artist Sue Donnellan was presented by Stephanie Hannan to Mark and Denise De Faoite, who were fastest adult sailors in the 420 fleet.

Winners of the 420 class at the CSS regatta were Ciaran Reaney and Cathal Conneely, with Mac O’Brien and Eoin Cahill taking second place.

Sadhbh Laila Riggott and Catherine Harvey took first in the mixed fleet, sailing a Laser Pico, with Alanna Ní Thuairisg and Kate Ní Chonghaíle taking second place in a Topaz Uno.

Published in Optimist
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After eight races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host club's Alana Twomey continues to lead the club's Optimist Burns Trophy main fleet in Cork Harbour.

JP Curtin continues in second place in the 26-boat fleet, three points behind Twomey after two discards have been applied. 

Oisin Pierse is third but did not compete in either race seven or eight, so now trails 14 points behind Curtin.

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the command of Race Officer Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Optimist Burns Trophy Photo Gallery - September 26

Published in Royal Cork YC

After six races sailed with one discard at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey continues to lead the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long Cork Harbour series at Crosshaven.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

As Afloat reported previously, RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Royal Cork YC

After four races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club's Optimist Dinghy Class Burns Trophy Alana Twomey leads the 24-boat main fleet in the month-long series.

Lying second overall is JP Curtin with third place taken by Oisin Pierse. 

RCYC's Burns Trophy is now in its 26th year and this year's edition has had some ideal racing conditions so far. 

Two races, plus one for fun, is the format under the stewardship of PRO Andrew Crosbie. 

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below and results are here.

Published in Optimist

The Coolmore Race is an old Cork Harbour yacht race that has been brought back to life by Royal Cork Yacht Club after many years.

After a day of torrential rain, the downpour stopped and sadly the wind died with it. After the dinghies were launched they were towed up the Owenabue River to the start at Coolmore Estate.

The 50 competing boats started at the top of the tide and had the benefit of the ebb for a race back to the RCYC clubhouse. However, the course was shortened and the first boat to finish was James Dwyer (Matthews) in a Laser 4.7 but close on his heels came JP Curtin in an Optimist and won the Trophy. 

Coolmore Photo slideshow by Bob Bateman below 

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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