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Storm Gives Way to Ideal Conditions at IODAI National Training Week

7th November 2022
National Training Week for Optimists at Lough Derg Yacht Club
National Training Week for Optimists at Lough Derg Yacht Club

Now in its second year running the National Training Week for Optimists provides an end-of-season opportunity for sailors to get together to learn from fantastic coaches. Hosted by Lough Derg Yacht Club, the event was a huge success. Running from the 2nd to the 5th of November, wintery weather was to be expected. Wednesday greeted the sailors with 30-40 knots. Luckily Lough Derg offers some shelter even in these winds and a small group of sailors went out for a blast. Once downwind, the oppies were airborne, planning from wave to wave and massive smiles all around. The younger sailors did theory and games ashore. 

Thursday and Friday were mild with light winds and even sunshine, helping the 136 sailors to get great roll tacking and light wind sailing in. Led by a trio of International coaches Thomas Chaix, Soren Laugeussen and Denis Passke, the fleet gained new skills and were supported by excellent young and upcoming Irish coaches. It was also a chance for the newly formed Development Squad led by Peter McCann to meet up for the first time and also the u12 Team that will travel to the British Nationals in Waymouth next year with the their lead coach Frances Corkery. Finn Walker and Cillian Madigan led the Regatta Fleet coaching and racing fleets, where sailors as young as 7 met new friends and sailed in perfect lake conditions.

National Training Week had a wide ranging questions and answers sessions on all things OptimistNational Training Week had a wide ranging questions and answers sessions on all things Optimist

A disco on the Thursday night and sit-down meal had a great family vibe with a congo snake of parents and sailors at one stage stretching the whole way around the yacht club building. Dargah Brady the event organiser’s hotelier background ensuring that people were well fed.

While the senior and junior fleets were learning more advanced sailing, the youngest sailors in the regatta fleet were in amazement each day as the water levels rose in the lake, eventually submerging the piers. Everyday they had to move their boats further back from the shore. The locals told the coastal sea sailors not to worry – that the clubhouse had not flooded in 200 years! The humour and can do attitude of the LDYC volunteers helped make the week a great success. The event would have generated significant income for the club, the local restaurants and accommodation providers at a quiet time of year. To run an event like this is a big undertaking, but thankfully, Grant Thornton (Mick Shelley) CH Marine (Nick Bendon), Dinghy Performance (Thomas Chaix) and 4orm Apparel Ltd contributed as sponsors.

National Training Week for Optimists‘a smooth sea never made a sailor’- research is showing that the ability to handle adversity is one of the core traits for sporting success

The training week ended with prize giving where coveted coaches beanies where presented to those sailors that stood out for their efforts during the week and also in recognition to sailors that had shown great sportsmanship, a topic which was at the core of the coaching program. The overall coaches award was presented to Kate Spain (HYC) who had embraced the week and excelled on and off the water. The prizegiving was followed by an ‘in-it-to-win-it’ draw, a highlight for many of the kids as the top prize was a new Olympic Optimist sail provided by Tomas Chaix.

Some of the attendees at Optimist National Training Week at Lough ReeSome of the attendees at Optimist National Training Week at Lough Ree

The sailors got to practice what they learned over the week, with Saturday being the regatta day. 4 races were held in light conditions for both the regatta fleet and the main fleet. Junior Main and Senior Main raced together (they are normally separate), giving the Juniors a chance to have a go at the Seniors! Race officers John Leech and Liam Moloney did a super job providing a fitting positive end to a great week of friendship, learning and family fun. Both the National Training Week trophy and President’s Prize was won by Lily Donagh (LDYC), with another local sailor, Aoife McElligott, winning the long-standing Crosbie Cup

The National Training Week 2023 will be hosted by RCYC in Crosshaven during the Halloween mid-term break.

Results of the Crosbie Cup and National Training Week Regatta below;

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Published in Optimist
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