Despite light weather and a number of clashing events, the traditional end of season All Ireland youth sailing Inter-schools event at Sutton Dinghy Club attracted 91 boats across 11 classes, 21 schools and 119 sailors. Now in its 39th year, this event continues to be as enjoyed and as hard fought as ever across both Mixed and Optimist Fleets.
The 72 boat Mixed Fleet which saw 10 different classes produce close and tight racing under Portsmouth Yardstick. The PRO team of Jim Lambkin, supported by Liam Dineen (Skerries) and Scorie Walls did exceptionally well to get all 4 races in over the 2 days.
6th year student and team captain Thomas Natin (Laser Full), who has sailed in the event since his first year in Belvedere, went out in a blaze of glory taking the Individual Trophy, from St Fintans Robert Dickson & Lochlann O'Shea (Mirror), with Mount Temples Daniel Hopkins Laser 4.7) in 3rd.
Even with victory in the Individual series, Belvedere College had to be content with 4th place overall as St Fintans Sutton (Robert Dickson, Lochlann O'Shea, Darragh Kelly) took the Team Trophy (Conor Nolan Memorial) from a clearly delighted Sligo Grammar School (Fergus Collins, Harry Collins, Sam & Imogen Wray) with Blackrock College (Conor Byrne, James O'Connor, Patrick Riordan) taking 3rd. Sligo Grammar were 1 of 3 Sligo schools who made the trip to Sutton for the event.
Despite a clash with end of season Optimist event across the bay, the Interschools Optimist Fleet saw 19 boats take to the water with the PRO team of Paul Kavanagh and Padraic Boyle deciding to get 3 races in on Saturday on the off chance Sunday might be even lighter. The Individual Trophy went to Ella Hemeryck (Loretto Stephen Green) by a single point from Luke Rickard (Gonzaga) with Hugo Kennedy (St. Michaels) in 3rd.
The Team Trophy saw perennial contenders Belvedere College (Ben McDonald, Conor Waddilove, Sam Crawford) retain the title with Burrow School Sutton (Jonathan Sargent, Sophie Dix, Kirsten Quinn) 2nd with Loretto Balbriggan (Francis Mulholland, Ella May, Stephanie O'Connor) 3rd.
That 2nd place overall meant Burrow School Sutton took the Primary School Trophy.
The O'Tiarnaigh Trophy for best Sutton Dinghy Club helm went to Darragh Kelly sailing for St Fintans Sutton who finished 4th overall sailing a Laser Radial.
This Trophy, presented by former Commodore Muriel O'Tiarnaigh, is in honor of her late husband, former Commodore and Belvedere teacher Riocaird O'Tiarnaigh who introduced the Inter-schools Sailing event back in April 1995. The 39th running of the event saw their grandson Fionn Mulhall take part in the Optimist fleet for the first time.
The 40th running of this event next year, should be a very special event.