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Young Irish Optimist Team for Weymouth 2023 is Announced

16th November 2022
The Irish Oppie sailing team will race for Ireland at Weymouth, the 2012 Olympic Sailing Venue in 2023
The Irish Optimist sailing team will race for Ireland at Weymouth, the 2012 Olympic Sailing venue in 2023 Credit: Brendan Foley

You’ll never forget the first time you drive into the Weymouth and Portland RYA Sailing Academy sailing base. It’s massive, writes Brendan Foley of the IODAI.

The venue for the London Olympics in 2012 is simply stunning. Its sheer scale and continuous slipway can see 300 boats launch at the same time to sail in the sheltered waters of the bay.

It’s the home for the Optimist British National Championships in 2023, running from the 5th-11th of August, which will see IODAI send a team of Under 12 sailors. The British National Championships go to Weymouth every second year and in many ways, it’s like a European Championship with teams from all over Europe coming to compete.

The venue has a unique feature in Chesil beach made up of 180 billion pebbles and, interestingly, is shaped like an aeroplane wing which accelerates the wind from the West into Weymouth Bay, creating stronger breezes even in Summer. Due to these conditions, you’ll also see the amazing foiling IQ Windsurfers training there for the Olympics.

Frances Corkery of Kinsale and RCYC is the team coach. The squad will train in Lough Ree on the 13th & 14th of May 2023, with the focus on team connection and developing skills together. This team is selected based on the end-of-year ranking and is made up of sailors who are Optimists age 12 or younger in the year they travel with the team.

It will be an exciting trip and the first overseas for many sailors. Apart from the team, a large contingent of older Irish Oppie kids and their families are expected to travel to the competition and renew friendships with UK sailors who visited the Irish Nationals at the Royal St George this year.

The Irish Optimist team for Weymouth 2023 is;

Published in Optimist
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