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Team USA Take the Lead at Irish Optimists Nationals at Howth, James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC is Second

16th August 2019
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Howth Yacht Club Race Officer Harry Gallagher among the 185 Optimist competitors at the National Championships Opening Ceremony at HYC Howth Yacht Club Race Officer Harry Gallagher among the 185 Optimist competitors at the National Championships Opening Ceremony at HYC

Day one completed at the 2019 Optimist Nationals in Howth Yacht Club, with three good races in a real mix of conditions for the main fleets - senior and junior.

The day started with 16-20 knots of breeze but this reduced over the day, offering something for everyone. A fairly significant shift on the first beat of the last race caught out quite a few boats, and asked questions of some of the leading contenders.

The Regatta Fleet (coached racing) were held ashore for a while until the wind reduced, but they then got 3 races in, with Benjamin Barry from RCYC taking the lead after day 1 from Conor Cronin of Malahide YC and Keelan Darby of the host club.

In the Senior Fleet, Freddie Parkin of Team USA has opened up a commanding lead with three excellent races behind him already. He is followed by a number of the leading lights of the Irish Optimist scene with James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC / KYC in second and Johnny Flynn of HYC / RStGYC in third. One of the pre-event favourites Rocco Wright is hot on their heels.

In the junior section, the international competitors are showing their strength, with USA and GBR sailors filling the first 8 places, led by Nathan Pine of USA. William Walsh of TBSC / HYC / MYC is leading the Irish charge, followed by Cillian Twomey and Des Turvey from Howth.

The Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove patiently waited for the sailors to find their starting manners, with a few recalls in each fleet in the first race. However, the U Flag and Black Flag then appeared, with first time starts then being the order of the day.

A bit more wind is forecast for Friday which promises an exciting day for all.

Results are here

Published in Optimist
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