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Irish Optimist Dinghy Teams Announced for 2024

16th April 2024
Following the Youth National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Irish Optimist Dinghy teams have been announced for 2024
Following the Youth National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Irish Optimist Dinghy teams have been announced for 2024

The anticipation had been building for weeks, and as a group of 39 of the country's more experienced Optimist sailors headed for the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven from April 4th to 7th, excited at the prospect of four days of racing at Irish Sailing's premier youth event.

Unfortunately, Storm Kathleen had other ideas and curtailed racing to just one day. Under the experienced guidance of RO Ciaran McSweeney, four competitive races were run in a mix of conditions, securing a series. There was an anxious wait to see if conditions would allow for more racing, but the difficult decision was made to cancel the remainder of the event for safety reasons.

Sailors used the waiting time ashore to catch up with friends they would have raced against only months ago, who have now progressed to other pathway classes such as Lasers and Toppers.

The Youth Nationals are also used to select Optimist sailors for international competition. This year, the IODAI/Irish Sailing Teams were chosen for the Optimist Europeans, European Two Team, and an Irish Development Team. The process used to select the teams follows the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals and IODAI Selection Policy.

Due to the IODA World Championships being held in South America, the Euro 2 Team will be used this year as per the selection policy.

The following sailors accepted places on Teams;


  • Juliet Ryan RSGYC / MYC / HYC
  • Holly Cantwell RSGYC
  • George Doig EABC
  • Abigail O’Sullivan RCYC
  • Conor Lynch RCYC
  • Abby Murphy RSGYC
  • Alex Butcher NYC / MYC


  • Emily Donagh RSGYC / LDYC
  • Kate Spain RSGYC / HYC
  • Luke Power RCYC
  • Rían O’Neill RCYC
  • Annabelle Wilson RCYC / KYC
  • Ella Rock RSGYC
  • Dougie Venner RCYC


  • Mae Byrne LRYC
  • Ayda Bruen RCYC / MBSC
  • Tom Darcy RSGYC
  • James Crawford RSGYC
  • Isaac Vaughan RCYC
  • Blake Vaughan RCYC
  • Donnchadh Duane LRYC
  • Tara Hayes RCYC/MBSC

The 2024 teams will now start training in earnest to compete this summer. The Europeans and European 2 Team are being coached by Søren M. Laugesen, and the International Development Team are being coached by Dara O’Shea.

The European team will compete at the IODA European Championships in Carrara, Italy, from June 26th to July 6th.

The Euro2 Team will compete at the Optimist Gold Cup in Monfalcone, Italy from the 9th to 16th of July.

The International Development Team will compete at Coupe Internationale d’été Optimist in Biscarrosse, France, from 13th to 19th July.

Max O’Hare, RSGYC; Patrick Fegan, RSGYC / MYC; and Maeve and Lily Donagh, both of RSGYC / LDYC, also qualified for the European Team but did not take their places. They have the option to travel independently to the IODA World Championships, which will be held in Argentina in December.

Published in Optimist, Youth Sailing Team

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