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Optimist Leinster Championships Delivered in Tricky Conditions at the National Yacht Club

22nd May 2023
The Leinster Optimist Championships were hosted by the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay and attracted a fleet of 133 boats
The Leinster Optimist Championships were hosted by the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay and attracted a fleet of 133 boats Credit: NYC

Spare a thought for PRO Michael Tyrell and his team, who had to wait until Sunday afternoon to deliver three races so that the Optimist Leinster could have a championship, writes Brendan Foley of the IODAI.

After waiting in vain for wind on Saturday, thankfully, on Sunday, a weak easterly breeze was enough to get racing and complete three races, thereby constituting a championship.

The Leinsters hosted by the National Yacht Club were supported by sponsors Viking Marine, Keorgh’s Pop Corn, Craftinsure and 1 Minute 40.

133 sailors competed, 44 in the main fleet senior, 35 in the main fleet junior, 39 in regatta racing and 15 in the regatta coached. For many sailors, this was their first Optimist event, and the gentle conditions meant singing, paddling and chatting to friends was as much a part of the weekend as racing.

The younger fleets of Racing Regatta and Coached Regatta were based in the harbour and had some success with a few races completed on Saturday and a full complement on Sunday. The short sail to the race area and lack of current in the harbour allowed for some great racing. Regatta Racing was won by Louis Trickett of the host club, and Regatta Coaching won by Tom Fitzgerald of the Royal St George. The top 5 in each fleet were;

Regatta Racing
1st Louis Trickett
2nd Kate Kovtun
3rd Arthur Fegan
4th Jackson Clark
5th Brendan Hughes

Regatta Coaching
1st Tom Fitzgerald (Most improved)
2nd Catherine Walsh (Sportsmanship)
3rd James Keating
Best youngest Sailor Freddie Hoefler
Most determined Alannah Wheelan
Best local sailor Charles Richard

The main fleet who raced in Seapoint Bay had to wait until Sunday afternoon for three races, with light weather ace Harry Dunne of Howth pipping Caoilin Geraghty McDonnell for the championship win in Senior Gold. Gemma Brady, Conor Cronin and Carolina Carra completed the top 5.

Senior Gold
1 Harry Dunne
2 Caoillin Geraghty
3 Gemma Brady
4 Conor Cronin
5 Carolina Carra

In Senior Silver it was Kate Spain who led the way.

Senior Silver
1 Kate Spain
2 Niamh Baynes
3 Jonathan Dempsey
4 Nathan Harris
5 Aoife McEligott

Senior Bronze
1 James Crawford
2 Kate Doolan
3 Nathan Rothl
4 Will Cullen
5 Tom Darcy 

The junior fleet for sailors under Oppie age of 13 saw a 1, 2, for sisters Maeve and Emily Donagh with Patrick Fegan coming home in 3rd place.

Junior Gold
1 Maeve Donagh
2 Emily Donagh
3 Patrick Fegan

Junior Silver
1 Basile Dion
2 Thomas Coistealbha
3 Abigail O'Sullivan
4 Eoin Pierse

Junior Bronze
1 Jacob Browne
2 Isaac Vaughan
3 Angus Huang
4 Charlie McKibben
5 Holly Cantwell

In very tricky conditions, a huge thanks are owed to the Flore and Aileen class captains at the National Yacht Club and to the race officers and volunteers that made the event a success.

Published in Optimist Team

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