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Displaying items by tag: Optimist

The Optimist Ulster Championships, hosted by Malahide Yacht Club, saw 120 young sailors compete on the Broadmeadow Water in mixed conditions over two days, with the honours in the Gold Fleets at both Senior and Junior levels going to Royal Cork YC entries.

The event, sponsored by the Grand Hotel, saw Harry Pritchard of RCYC sail consistently throughout to beat clubmate Harry Twomey by just 3 points in the Senior Gold fleet while two other Cork sailors, Michael Crosbie and Justin Lucas, headed up the Junior Gold fleet.

National Yacht’s Club’s Nathan van Steenberge and Jacque Murphy (RStGYC) won the Senior and Junior Silver fleets respectively.

The first day’s racing was notable for fresh westerly and south-westerly winds, with several heavy gusts which severely tested the sailors’ abilities. Conditions improved on the second day and PRO Neil Murphy was able to complete a full 6-race schedule.


Published in Optimist

After three races sailed, Royal St. George's Tom Higgins is best of a five boat Irish team at this week's 2016 Optimist World Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal. A massive fleet of 255–boats are competing.

Provisional results put Higgins (who is interviewed in the video below) in 52nd overall. 

The team representing Ireland is: Cathal O’Regan, Harry Bell, Micheal O’Suilleabhain and Rory O’Sullivan

Published in Optimist
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Day 2 of the Optimist Connaught Championships at Foynes Yacht Club saw much better wind and the Main Fleet getting 3 Championship races successfully completed. The day’s racing kicked off at 11.05am with suitable conditions but a fairly light breeze of 6-10 knots. By race 2 the breeze had picked up with 10-15 knots of breeze filling in making for ideal conditions. A strong tide, occasional squalls, general recalls and a very competitive fleet made for very enjoyable and close racing. The Regatta fleet got another 5 races in today giving them a total 9 races for their division.

The second day of the Connacht Optimist event at Foynes Yacht Club started with light winds and heavy showers. The fleet launched at 0930 with the Main Fleet proceeded to the race area west of Foynes Island while the Regatta Fleet raced in the harbour just in front of the clubhouse.

The Main Fleet had yet to get a race in due to the lack of wind on day one but thankfully wind picked up to 12-15 knots westerly and OOD Geoff O’Donoghue got in three races to complete the series. Racing was very close with positions changing throughout each leg and different winners in each race across the fleets. In the Senior Main Fleet the consistency of Rory O’Sullivan from the

Royal Cork Yacht Club gave him first place overall in the Gold Fleet while Nathan G. Van Steenberge from the National Yacht Club took first in the Silver Fleet. In the Junior Main Fleet Michael Crosbie from the Royal Cork Yacht Club took first place overall in the Gold Fleet and Archie Daly from the Royal St. George led the Silver Fleet.

The Regatta Fleet under the auspices of OOD Raymond McGibney had a further four races to add to the five on Day One getting in the full race card. Again it was tight at the top and after discards applied one point separated winner Sam Ledoux from the National Yacht Club from Jessica Riordan from the Royal St. George. To the delight of the home club Killian Reidy took third place while Tadgh Shanahan had his first win at an Optimist event, both of whom only started Optimist sailing this year.

This was the largest dinghy event Foynes Yacht Club have held in a number of years spearheaded by James McCormack who took over as Commodore two years ago. It has been a huge undertaking and massive collective effort by the members who hope to build on this renewed enthusiasm for dinghy sailing on the lower Shannon.

A prize giving was held at the club at 4:30pm. Full results can be downloaded below. 

Published in Optimist

Following an onshore briefing at 11am, a fleet of 118 Optimists headed on to the water for Day 1 of the Optimist Connaught Championships 2016 at Foynes Yacht Club. Lack of wind and very poor visibility due to constant heavy drizzle caused a postponement as the race committee monitored conditions for a pick-up in the wind to counteract the 3 knots of tide on the course.

Prevailing light winds of between 1.5 – 3.5 knots which were no match for the strong ebbing tide led to a long postponement with hopes of getting at least one race in. At 4.20pm, having consulted the Coaches, Safety team and other on the water team members, the Race Committee made a final decision to abandon racing for the day. A more promising forecast for tomorrow should mean at least 3 races for the Main Fleet, first gun is scheduled for 10.25am.

The Regatta fleet of 26 boats managed to successfully complete 4 races as their racing zone was well in out of the tide. Full results can be found on the Iodai website: Here’s to a great day of racing tomorrow for the 2nd and final day of the 2016 Connaughts.

Published in Optimist

The Cois Sionna Credit Union Connachts are open for entries now. The event takes place in Foynes Yacht Club on June 11th and 12th.

Regular Entry Fee is €60 and the closing date is Friday 27th May. (Late Entry Fee: €120 & final closing date is Wednesday 1st June)

Published in Optimist
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A combined fleet of 148 Optimist dinghies racing in Senior, Junior and Regatta fleets competed for Leinster Championships honours at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at the weekend. Senior honours in a 48–boat fleet went to 15–year–old Harry Bell of Howth Yacht Club who was four points clear of Micheal O'Suilleabhain of Kinsale Yacht Club. Third was Alfonso Moreno Perez of Royal Cork Yacht Club. Six races were sailed with one discard. In the junior fleet, 12–year–old Michael Crosbie of Royal Cork Yacht Club was the winner in the 43–boat fleet. Local sailor Jessica Riordan of the host club was the regatta winner in her 41–boat fleet. 

Published in Optimist
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Team CH Marine member Micheal O'Suileabhain from Kinsale Yacht Club finished second overall at the Optimist Braassemermeer Easter Regatta in Holland yesterday. According to the IODAI, the series was cut short with the arrival of storm 'Katie'. It meant the series was completed in nine races and the battle for the Easter regatta's giant egg was between Micheal and two Dutch sailors. Just two points separated the top three. An Irish team were competing in the 242–boat fleet drawn from 15 countries.

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It’s feast or famine with the wind these days at Foynes Yacht Club and after being blown out last weekend the possibility of getting a final days racing in the Reidy’s Centra Laser and Topper Series wasn’t looking promising as for much of the morning the River Shannon looked more like a sheet of glass than a sailing venue.
Racing was postponed until shortly after 1pm to allow the forecasted 8-10kts to build. The laser fleet continues to expand with another new junior sailor, Clara Shanahan, joining the racing today. OOD Vincent McCormack unusually brought the fleet west of Foynes Island which paid off as a nice breeze filled in albeit from the north and not SE as forecast and the race team managed to get in two windward-leeward races to conclude the series. The Junior Category was won by Dylan Reidy and the Senior Category by Cathal McMahon. Dinghy racing will continue next weekend with the March Laser and Topper Series starting next Sunday, 6th March. 
Earlier this month four of Foynes newest and youngest boat owners took part in the week long optimist training camp in Baltimore. This is first time the club have had members taking part and the young sailors had a great week. Fresh with enthusiasm from the camp the oppie sailors, the fleet now up to six, took to the water to try out their newly acquired knowledge and skills. The future of the club is in good hands with these young sailors who fought off the cold with brave smiles for three very competitive races.
While winter projects continue in the yard the clubhouse is also getting plenty of use. This weekend the ISA had organised a Race Officer Level One Course at the Foynes venue. The course was given by National Race Officer Geoff O’Donoghue from Lough Derg Yacht Club and had a huge attendance with over 30 members from seven clubs along the west coast and the lakes taking part.
Next Saturday, 5th March, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association annual conference takes place in Limerick. The club are very proud to see one of their own members, Simon McGibney, take over the role of ICRA Commodore and would like to wish him every success in his tenure. The conference is on in the Castletroy Park Hotel from 10am and all cruiser sailors are welcome.

Published in Shannon Estuary

It may have had a breezy conclusion but last Monday and Tuesday were amazing days in Baltimore for the IODAI Optimist training week with sunshine, light winds and as this drone footage shows beautiful West Cork boating scenery.


Published in Optimist
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West Cork is fully afloat this week with junior sailors from all over Ireland including some from Wales writes Claire Bateman.

With the schools on mid term break it was once again time for the annual trek west for the sailors and their families. We watched the trail of vehicles heading westward, as usual packed to the roof, some trailing boats and some with them on roofs. The vehicles always seem to be packed with numerous excited children accompanying their parents not to mention the wide variety of breeds and numbers of mutts accompanying their families.

In Schull, some thirty Lasers were attending a training session, with thirteen 420s and seventeen Toppers all adding up to make a colourful scene.

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In nearby Baltimore, some one hundred and forty Optimists including the Senior, Junior and Regatta fleets from nineteen clubs all over Ireland and some from Wales, were being processed and given their various coloured ribbons to indicate their fleets and Coaches before splitting into briefing groups . The more experienced were putting to sea following their briefing. Meanwhile, the Regatta Fleet were being entertained ashore and finally the more energetic parents were taking the aforementioned mutts for brisk walks to the famous Beacon with the more exhausted parents seeking some comforting food in the well renowned local hostelry.

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Surely Spring is now well sprung and we can hopefully look forward to a good Junior season for 2016.

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Published in Optimist
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Page 10 of 25

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.


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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