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Young Irish Optimist Sailors Gear Up for the IODAI Sprint Series 2024 and Youth Sailing National Championships

15th February 2024
Irish Optimist sailors are preparing for the IODAI Sprint Series 2024
Irish Optimist sailors are preparing for the IODAI Sprint Series 2024 Credit: Simon McIlwaine

Young sailors from all over Ireland are getting ready to compete in the highly anticipated Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) Sprint Series 2024 and Youth Sailing National Championships.

The Sprint Series, is billed as 'one of the most exciting events on the 2024 sailing calendar'.

The series offers young sailors the chance to train and compete over the winter months and to prepare for the upcoming Youth Nationals in April.

The IODAI Sprint Series 2024 will be held on two race days, the first on February 24th at the National Yacht Club and the second on March 23rd at the Lough Derg Yacht Club. Unfortunately, the first leg of the series, scheduled to take place in January at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, had to be cancelled because of high winds.

This series is designed to be accessible to sailors from all parts of Ireland, with a convenient later start and a schedule of four races each day. It gives young sailors ample time to sharpen their skills and prepare for the official start of the sailing season.

But the Sprint Series is not just about racing; it is also an opportunity for young sailors to make lasting friendships and connect with the wider sailing community. As sailors compete and share experiences, they will be part of a supportive network that encourages everyone to strive for their personal best.

The series serves as a vital preparation ground for the Youth Nationals, which will take place at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in late April. Success in the Youth Nationals is crucial for sailors aiming to represent Ireland internationally, as the nationals are a selection event for the teams heading to competitions in Italy and France this summer.

The IODAI Sprint Series series serves as a vital preparation ground for the Youth NationalsThe IODAI Sprint Series series serves as a vital preparation ground for the Youth Nationals Photo: Simon McIlwaine

These international events are a significant undertaking for the Optimist class, with some sailors away from their families for up to ten days for the first time. However, the benefits to their sailing and sense of achievement are immense. They offer young sailors the opportunity to don the Irish colours and represent their country on a global stage, grow in confidence, and make friends from around the world.

For those interested in learning more about the IODAI Sprint Series 2024 or getting insights from the recent IODAI webinar on the Youth Nationals and IODAI teams, check out the association's website.

Published in Optimist Team

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