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30 Young Sailors Converge on Tralee Bay for New Year Dinghy Clinic

8th January 2022
29er skiff sailing at the New Year Dinghy Clinic hosted by Tralee Bay Sailing Club
29er skiff sailing at the New Year Dinghy Clinic hosted by Tralee Bay Sailing Club

Dinghy Performance teamed up with Tralee Bay Sailing Club to bring back the Tralee Bay New year clinic onto the 2022 calendar.

The clinic's concept is to have all the main junior and youth classes in the same venue, allowing the older sailors to interact with the up and coming talents and giving the younger kids an idea of what comes next.

Over 30 young sailors from 7 clubs trained over the four days in Optimist, ILCA4, ILCA6 and 29ers, with local Riona Moriarty joining the final day in her Topper and the three resident dolphins of Tralee Bay enjoying and joining the action.

The coaching team was composed of locals Paddy Cunnane and Dylan Reidy, and Cork coaches Caoimhe Foster and Chris Bateman (who was also winning in Cork Harbour on Sunday), with overall management delivered by Thomas Chaix.

Each coach was in charge of a small pod of sailors.

The magnificent sailing waters of Tralee BayThe magnificent sailing waters of Tralee Bay

The conditions started with a blustery Southerly keeping all the boats ashore on day 1. Day 2 was challenging too, but most of the fleet launched and managed a session East of the Marina. It certainly challenged coaches and sailors alike with many capsizes and some fast thrills.

Day 3 got cooler but delivered a great day afloat with 10-15 kts from the North. Ellie Cunnane joined the day, testing out her skills on one of the 49er FX. All groups had a solid session making up for the hours lost on day one, and parents collected cold feet and tired faces after sailing.

Superb conditions welcomed the sailors on day 4 for the New year regatta. It was still very cold, but the sun warmed up everyone so four races could be completed just west of the marina in front of Fenit Beach.

Laser racing off Fenit HarbourLaser racing off Fenit Harbour

The event was run under PY with all the classes battling it on the same course, a windward-leeward with a spreader mark. The light breeze proved to be a challenge for the usually fast 29ers, but overall, all the classes had races near the front, proving once more that PY is not such a bad system!

The first race was a battle between ILCA4 and ILCA6, and its winner was eventually NYC sailor Sam Ledoux who took the race win for just 4 seconds over clubmate Ella Dempsey after a 35 mins tight battle around the course.

The remaining three races were shorter (about 20 mins) which suited RCYC ace Oisin Pierse (Optimist) perfectly, building solid leads over the rest of the Optimist fleet and sufficient gaps against the other classes. Three race wins (discarding his first race) gave him the overall trophy. Sam Ledoux (ILCA6) took 2nd overall, with recent team Ireland Youth Worlds representative Ben O'Shaugnessy & James Dwyer (29er) securing 3rd.

Part of the regatta was the return of the 'Battle of the classes", counting the top 3 finishers in each class. The ILCA6 with Sam Ledoux, Ella Dempsey and Conall McThrinfhir took the silverware home.

New Year Clinic Results at Tralee Bay Sailing ClubNew Year Clinic Results at Tralee Bay Sailing Club

Published in Youth Sailing
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