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Irish Team Drop Back at Dublin Bay Optimist Europeans

15th July 2014
Australian and Greek Sailors return to harbour after a second day of racing at the Optimist European Championships off Dun Laoghaire. Photo: David O'Brien. Scroll down for gallery photos from Aidan Tarbett
Irish Team Drop Back at Dublin Bay Optimist Europeans

#OppiEuros2014 –  Irish boys could not maintain their two top-20 rankings in today's second day of competition at the Optimst European Championships on Dublin Bay where there have been dramatic changes in positions at the Royal St. George hosted event.

The winds were marginally lighter but it may also be that our visitors have quickly learned how to sail Dublin Bay.

However James McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club now in 26th place and Loghlen Rickard of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire (NYC) in 51st have an excellent chance of making the cut to the Gold Fleet (top third for boys, top half for girls) following tomorrow's racing when the worst single race result is discarded.

The new leader of the boys' event is Kasper Nordenram of Rörviks Sailing Club (on a lake in central Sweden). Competition at the top of the fleet has grown very close with Kasper leading from Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe, sailing for France, and Pablo Lujan of C.N. Javea, Spain.

Overnight leader Jacob Ahlers had a poor third race but bounced back to place 4th in the fourth race of the day and may benefit when the first discard is taken, as may reigning champion Tytus Butowski of Poland.

In the girls' event the Irish had mixed fortunes. Clare Gorman who had been 16th after the first day slipped back to 32nd. However Gemma McDowell (Malahide Yacht Club), Dara Donnelly (NYC) and Sarah Cudmore (Royal Cork Yacht Club) all improved their rankings and now also lie in top 60 of the 101 boat fleet.

Iset Segura from the Catalan club of Arenys de Mar leads with a win in Race 3 and a lead of 20 points over the overnight leader Josefine Akesson (Sweden). Brazilian Olivia Belda and Ebru Bolat of Romania are next, within a point of each other.

However the rather lighter winds today had a significant effect on the overnight results lower down the fleet. Reigning champion Mara Turín of Slovenia who had disappointed on day one registered two 6th places and others who may have benefited include the Asian girls such as Lisa Nukui (Japan) (scores 1 and 8) and Shyn Ee Phua (Singapore, 7 & 8).

The best results of the day came from the British girl Fenella Bennett (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) with two second places. She commented "It took a while to come to terms with the waves on Dublin Bay but now I found that sailing slightly less close to the wind pays off".

With good races tomorrow they will have an excellent chance of making the cut for the gold fleet. This will take place after tomorrow's racing when the half of the fleet with the best five results from the six races will form the gold fleet.

Published in Optimist Team

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