Displaying items by tag: Optimist
The 3 sponsored Irish Optimist Nationals got underway today in Dunmore East in County Waterford. A total of 234 boats raced two races in light to moderate North West breezes, remaining steady for the day. Provisional results after 2 races:
Senior: 1st Peter McCann, RCYC, 2nd Aran Hollowell, UK.
Junior: 1st Daire Cournane, RCYC/KYC; 2nd Fergus Flood, HYC.
Regatta: 1st Michael O'Suilleabhain, KYC, 2nd Amy Carroll.
Photos below by Noel Browne
More on the forum HERE
Double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton and top 470 crew Saskia Clark were out on the water today, handing out tips and passing on some of their vast experience to the Optimist sailors. The 497 competitors and their families were also treated to a breathtaking display of BMX skills from Team Extreme as reward for another great day of racing.
Thursday 29th of July which was the fourth day of racing, began with broken cloud and winds of around 12-13 knots, and after one general recall the first of two scheduled races for the Senior gold fleet got underway.
Once again it was young Spanish sailor Silvia Mas Depares who lead the way at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, winning both races. Callum Airlie is in prime position to become the top placed British entry and successfully defend his British National Championship title, finishing a close second in both races, with his nearest rival 13 year old Arran Holman securing a fourth and an eighth.
15 year old Callum, who sails at East Lothian Yacht Club, which is a Volvo RYA Champion Club in recognition for its work in developing junior and youth racing, commented “The conditions today were a bit lighter than I would have liked, but I knew what to expect and I gave it my best shot.”
This will be Callum’s final Optimist event before moving on to the 420 double handed dinghy with his brother Drew, and he has mixed feelings about leaving the Optimist class behind. " I don't know really how to feel, I suppose I am relieved to have done so well in my last event, but I have been sailing an Oppie for so long it's like it's an end of an era.” Callum went on to say, “Overall though it's good to be starting the 420 and I am really looking forward to the next big event, the 420 nationals. The Optimist class has been such a great experience for me, sailing is really the best sport and I doubt you can find a better feeling then when you are sailing well."
Royal Cork sailor Peter McCann had a tough day in the Gold Fleet of the UK Optimist Nationals yesterday, along with many of the top ten who posted results in the low teens, twenties and beyond in Weymouth.
The black flag was on display, and with the winds hovering around 14 knots, McCann posted a 20th and 24th, while the leader, Spaniard Silvia Mas Despares notched up two race wins.
McCann remains in seventh overall, the first of nine Irish boats in the 82-boat gold fleet.
Results are HERE for the gold fleet.
In the junior fleet, Daire Cournane is in third overall, with a 25-point cushion over the fourth place boat, and goes into the final stages with improving his standing on the podium on his mind.
The near perfect conditions held up throughout the third day of racing on the 28th July at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, as the 49th Volvo Musto Optimist British National and Open Championships moved into the final straight. With the final races to take place on Friday, and only two scheduled for the penultimate day, the front runners of the Senior fleet made their moves ahead of what should prove to be an exciting conclusion to the regatta.
Glorious sunshine and an almost cloudless blue sky greeted the competitors, with the fleets launching in winds of around 12 knots. The breeze picked up to 15 knots as the senior fleet prepared at the start of the first race, with the British contingent battling it out with some excellent young sailors from overseas. American Jack Toland won the opening race, while Silvia Mas Depares from Spain continued her excellent performances, winning the second and third race. 13 year old Matthew Whitfield from Cardiff Bay Yacht Club was the only sailor from these shores who posted a top three place in today’s races.
Harry Gozzett whose 14 and from Dabchicks Sailing Club is also still in contention after consistent performances this week, he said the visiting competitors have added to the standard to the regatta. “I really like the conditions out here, 15 knots is near perfect for me and I really enjoyed it, the international competitors are great to race against. I was at the Europeans and this is almost the same as there are so many good sailors who I sailed against there who have turned up here. “
Defending British National Champion Callum Airlie posted a fourth in the opening race which has secured his place as the leader going into tomorrow. Silvia Mas Depares is first on the leader board, and is edging her way to securing the Open Championship crown, which is for the highest placed overseas competitor.
Today’s forecast is for slightly lighter winds and overcast conditions, which should add to the challenge for these young sailors here at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy.
Cork Sailor Peter McCann lies fourth in the 164-boat senior fleet at the UK Optimist nationals as the championships enters its third day. McCann has posted two wins in the group stages, and his success is mirrored in the junior fleet, where clubmate Daire Cournane is also in fourth place overall in a 154-boat fleet.
The sun may have been absent yesterday, but there was still plenty of great racing at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The morning breeze of eight knots increased to around 12 knots by midday, meant each fleet managed once again to complete the six scheduled races in the cloudy conditions. 488 Optimist sailors took the water on the second day of the championship, across the six different fleets.
Aside from the racing, there was the added excitement for the Optimist sailors and their parents, as throughout the day BBC news crews were filming at the Sailing Academy as part of their build up to the 2012 London Olympics. The Optimists are sailing on the same waters where the best sailors and windsurfers in the world will compete for Olympic medals in two years time.
In the senior fleets, 13 year old Arran Holman who won the opening race of the championships on Monday 26th July, continued with a solid performance winning his first race of the second day. Arran is the reigning Volvo Musto Optimist Inlands champion after winning at Grafham Water back in May.
14 year old Harry Gozzett also secured a first place as did Spanish sailors, Silvia Mas Depares and Franc Bru, Ireland’s Peter McCann, Fraser Woodley, and defending champion Callum Airlie.
At the end of day two Arran Holman leads, Silvia Mas Depares by a single point, with defending champion Callum Airlie in third.
The results are available on the event website HERE, where the event is also being live-blogged.
Ireland's top-ranked Optimist sailor, Peter McCann, asserted himself at the front of an international fleet yesterday, posting a first and fourth to leapfrog his compatriots into the top ten.
McCann, from RCYC, is now in seventh position overall in the 144-boat boys fleet at the Optimist Europeans, with seven races completed.
Seafra Guilfoyle and Sean Donnelly were both caught by the race committee in racing yesterday, with Guilfoyle counting an OCS and Donnelly's Black Flag dropping him from 15th to 30th overnight.
McCann has 69 points at present, just five points behind fourth place. With light winds predicted today, he will be eyeing up the rest of the top ten over the two remaining days of racing
Sophie Browne has steered clear of penalties to sit 33rd in the girls' fleet.
Waterways Ireland has issued an advisory to all masters and inland waterways users of the Shannon Navigation that the National Optimist Dinghy sailing event involving junior sailors will take place in and about Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC) on Sat 17th and Sun 18th July 2010 . Upwards of 200 sailing dinghies will be participating and will be making their way from LRYC to the racing course and back, on the southern part of Lough Ree.
Masters of vessels and boat are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash when passing the sailing fleet and to note any instructions or advice given by safety boats marshalling the race.
Three fleets of Optimists, totalling 104 young sailors, gathered at Ballyholme YC last weekend for their Ulster Championships and faced a mix of conditions, everything from blue skies and medium breeze to rain and 30 knots.
Three races were completed on day one in the senior and junior fleets as the wind rose steadily during the day from 15 kts to 22 kts and gusted 25 kts at times. Some of the younger sailors struggled in the testing conditions but the improvement in the Regatta Fleet sailors was obvious as they persevered in the increasing winds..
Once again Daire Cournane successfully won all three races despite challenged at various times from Howth sailors Robert Dickson, Fergus Flood and Aoife Hopkins.
In the senior fleet Peter Mc Cann won race one followed by Philip Brownlow winning races three and four.
The junior fleet completed two races on day two. During the third race of the day a squall came through bringing with it driving rain and winds gusting 30 kts, combined with a large wind shift. The juniors finished the race but the decision was made to abandon further racing for the senior fleet.
The two senior fleet races were won by Seafra Guillfoyle and John Durcan and the overall winner of the Senior fleet for the Ulster Championships was Patrick Crosbie.
The winner of the Junior Fleet was Daire Cournane who completes a clean sweep of regional championships this season.
The Regatta Fleet, although diminished in size, was not diminished in enthusiasm and continued sailing throughout the squall on Sunday and even after the senior fleet had sailed in. These will be the ones to watch in the future.
156 boats lined out for the IODAI Optimist Connaughts in Lough Derg at the weekend, with three fleets enjoying glorious conditions off Dromineer. The gold fleet completed five races over the two days, with Royal Cork's Peter McCann five points clear at the top of the fleet from Royal Cork clubmate Peter Crosbie. McCann kept it in the top three for the entire weekend, discarding a third place after race five. Dun Laoghaire sailor Adam Hyland was a further five points back and took the bronze.
In the junior fleet, it was another Cork victory as Daire Cournane stayed ahead of Howth pairing Robert Dickson and Fergus Flood.
Amy Carroll won the regatta fleet, with the National Yacht Club's Heather Spain in second and Toby Hudson-Fowler in third.
Gareth Craig of Fotosail.com has uploaded a gallery of photos from the weekend HERE
The Two Georges are hosting an intensive three-day optimist training course in Kinsale over the June Holiday weekend. Georges Kenefick and Kingston, both highly decorated dinghy sailors, will provide aspiring opti sailors with three days of race prep, on-the-water training, video analysis and high-end reference materials to take away.
The details are below, with contact details at the bottom. The cost is €125 per sailor.
OPTI RACEWEEK 2010
3 Days, 2 Nights, 2 Good to miss!
Venue 1: Kinsale Yacht Club, 5-7th June, 2010
This 3 day intensive race clinic is MUCH more than a training camp, it's a High Performance Racing Experience and good value for money!
3 DAY PRICE: €125.00
So what do you get?
So plan is for Sat/Sun/Mon
Sat (JUNE 5) 11-4.30PM
Sun (JUNE 6) 10-4.30PM
Mon (JUNE 7) 10-4.30PM
We are aiming to get at least 10 hours on the water over the three days, plus all of the video analysis, handouts, presentations, and a mini regatta will be carried out as planned.
3 days of great coaching Video Analysis and detailed briefs each day Coach rotation for maximum benefit
Rule, Tactics and Event Prep Sessions
A copy of the 'Opti Sailing Bible!' booklet A PROFESSIONALLY MADE DVD of the Best Bits of the clinic A Team Racing Challange - prepare for war! A Mini Regatta on day 4 - to put your knowledge to the test.
George Kingston KYC/RCYC
A Youth European Radial Champion
A National Champion in 4 different classes
2008 Irish Optimist World Team Coach
Chosen as the 2010 Australian National Optimist Coach
George Kenefick RCYC
A Student Yachting World Champion
An Irish National Optimist Team Coach
A Junior Helmsman Champion
Conatct; George Kingston - 087 7578082
The International Optimist Dinghy Association in Ireland – or IODAI – represents the Optimist class in Ireland and internationally. IODAI is affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) and The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). Click here for all the latest Optimist news.
To sail in IODAI events you need to become a member. You can join at Registration at any event but it’s often best to come prepared with a completed application form which you can download here.
The Optimist is, quite simply, the dinghy in which the young people of the world learn to sail.
Some definitions: "A flat-bottomed, hard-chine, pram-bow dinghy with a una sprit- sail" (The Observer's Book of Small Craft); "A bathtub that breeds the best sailors" (Observant sailor at the Club bar)
Specifications and benefits of the Optimist dinghy
2.31m (7'6.1/2") long, 1.13m (3'8") wide. Weight 35kg (77lbs).
Easily transported on top of any car, (where it will drip water over your shiny paint- work!)
Safe and simple enough for an 8-year old; exciting and technical enough for a 15-year old
Sailed in over 110 countries by over 150,000 young people, it is the only dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16 years of age.
Over half of the dinghy skippers at the last Olympic Games were former Optimist sailors.
The boat was designed by Clarke Mills in Florida in 1947. Optimists first came to Europe in 1954 when a fleet started in Denmark.
Most parents find that sailing gives young people a great sense of personal achievement. In addition the skills required to improve sailing performance both on and off the water; it helps young people develop a more organised approach to other non-sailing related activities.
How many Optimists are there in Ireland? More than 1,300 Optimists have been registered in Ireland (2008). At Optimist events in Ireland this year the fleet size varied between 120 at Regional events and 200 at our National Championships. International events can be much larger and at an Easter Regatta on Lake Garda in 2008 there was just short of 1000 boats.
How can i join a sailing club that sails Optimists? Contact the Irish Sailing Association where you can find out which sailing clubs are local to you. The junior or dinghy sailing coordinator in each club should be able to tell you if they have an active Optimist class in that club. Your interest could be the spark that ignites an Optimist interest there and IODAI will endeavour to support clubs who wish to start an Optimist fleet. Alternatively, if you contact the IODAI secretary directly, [email protected] you will be put in touch with an IODAI regional representative who will guide you towards a suitably active Optimist club. IODAI contact every sailing club from time to time to determine their level of interest in the Optimist class and to maintain an open invitation for any sailing club to seek assistance in the forming of an Optimist class at that club.
Which are the more prominent clubs racing Optimists in Ireland?
HYC Howth Co. Dublin
KYC Kinsale Co. Cork
LDYC Dromineer, Co. Tipperary
LRYC Athlone, Co. Westmeath
MYC Malahide Co. Dublin
NYC Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
RCYC Crosshaven, Co. Cork
RNIYC Cultra, Hollywood, Co Down
RStGYC Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
SDC Sutton, Co. Dublin
SSC Skerries, Co. Dublin
TBSC Fenit, Co. Kerry
WBTSC Wexford Co. Wexford
WHSC Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Are Optimists suitable for girls? The Optimist provides superb one design racing where boys and girls can compete on equal terms. Yearly rankings often produce a 50:50 split between boys and girls. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 the Irish National Championship was won by Diana Kissane, from Howth Yacht Club who set a record by winning the title in three successive years.
Why is Optimist Sailing so popular in Ireland? The first Optimists arrived in Ireland in 1966. The class in Ireland developed relatively slowly until 1978 when a batch of 35 GRP boats was imported and Ireland first sent a team to the World Championships. In 1981 Howth Yacht Club hosted the Worlds and boats sold off in Ireland after the event gave the class a big lift.
– An energetic and proactive class association of volunteer parents (IODAI)
– Unquantifiable support from the parents of all Optimist sailors
What age should a child start sailing Optimists? Some clubs do not provide beginner training under 9 or 10 years of age. However this is changing and you should check with your local club. See if any other experienced parent can suggest how a younger sailor might start. There are plenty who start earlier and eleven or twelve is not too late – even to get to the top in the fleet. Some considerations before beginning:
– Is your child a competent swimmer? (Competent means comfortable in the water when out of depth and capable of swimming say 25 meters in the sea water while dressed in normal clothing).
– Is your child comfortable about the prospect of trying sailing? (The prospect of being alone in charge of a boat is often daunting to a young child and this introduction to the water is the most important step).
– Are there any older brothers, sisters or friends involved in sailing? This is often a great help.
– Is the child and are the parents prepared to make the commitment? There is a lot of time involved in junior sailing. Parents, remember, they can’t drive themselves to training or events and they need lots of help ashore especially in the early days.
My child has done some sailing courses at our local club, can they start sailing Optimists at events? Of course. The Optimist dinghy is a simple and safe; designed specifically for young sailors. So, no matter what other boat they have used on their courses, they should be able to handle an Optimist.
When do they start racing? As a Junior Class we have knowledge of helping sailors make the transition from 'messing about in boats' to actual racing. This is where our innovative Regatta Fleet comes in.
What is the Regatta Fleet? Regatta Fleet Racing is for beginners and unranked sailors – usually from age 8 upwards. The focus of the Regatta Fleet is on having fun. There is a Regatta Fleet element at most major Optimist events except 'The Trials' (for information on 'The Trials' see the New Parents and Sailors section of our FAQ’s on the website).
The Regatta Fleet will could be your sailors first experience of racing. They can enter the Regatta Fleet once they have learnt to sail to windward and can negotiate a simple triangular course. A typical Regatta Fleet day is usually shorter that the main fleet. With some coaching in the morning, a break ashore for lunch and then some simple races in the afternoons, the aim is to make the introduction as easy as possible. It’s not taken too seriously and coaches are allowed to give advice during racing. If a sailor is towards the front, advice may not be necessary and the coaches will tend to concentrate on those near the back. And yes, there are prizes, and it often proves to be the most charming part of the prize giving ceremony where we see very young children collect their first sailing trophy. Regatta Fleet Racing at events gives the younger sailor the experience of doing circuit events without the pressures of racing way out to sea over long courses. There are often around 50 boats racing and it’s their first introduction to the wonderful circle of friends that sailing produces for all of us. While the Optimist calendar is a full one and parents/sailors may find the implication of a serious Optimist programme just a little bit daunting - the truth is that most young children (and parents!) find the experience lots of fun. The combination of the training, regional events, and regattas, gives young sailors lots of opportunity to make new friends from all over Ireland (and indeed abroad in the case of sailors attending international events). Lots of sailors make friendships on the Optimist circuit which endure well after the age limit has been passed.
And the parents? You will meet literally dozens of new friends. All are not sailors. Some are; some aren’t. Like your children, you will form friendships that will endure long after your sailing hopefuls have progressed out of Oppies and are old enough to travel to sailing events without you. It’s not just all about the children!! We need some fun as well.
(The above information courtesy of the International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland)
In March 2009, Afloat's Graham Smith wrote: "Officially, and not altogether surprisingly, the Optimist ranks as Ireland’s biggest one-design class with 275 boats registered with the IODAI. It remains the boat of choice for beginners in clubs across the country and it still encourages highly active racing fleets in 18 venues.
Numbers are up by over 12% on the previous year and with fleets at regional events averaging 100 and almost 160 at the Nationals in Tralee, there doesn’t seem to be any slowing up at all, although its popularity north of the border has apparently slipped in a number of locations.
In the Junior fleet, it was a memorable season from Seafra Guilfoyle of RCYC who won Easterns, Westerns and Northerns before taking the national title in a 90-strong junior fleet. Seafra was also the highest placed Irish helm in the British Nationals Junior fleet, finishing eighth overall out of 170 boats.
The senior division was more evenly balanced, with Colm O’Regan (KYC), Jamie Aplin (RStGYC) and Killian O’Keeffe (RCYC) winning the regionals (O’Keeffe winning two) before Cork’s Richard Harrington won the Irish Championships in Tralee ahead of 67 others to make the nationals a Cork double success. National Champion: Senior – Richard Harrington, Royal Cork YC; Junior – Seafra Guilfoyle, Royal Cork YC"
There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here