Displaying items by tag: Optimist
Spring training for Oppys runs for five Sunday afternoons beginning on 1 March. Only two places remain as of time of writing — to register (and optionally charter a club boat) see the NYC website HERE.
The Topper spring coaching programme is already under way, but a handful of places remain in the Advanced Racer and Improvers groups. More details and online registration can be found HERE.
And coaching for RS Feva juniors begins later this month on 23 February, with only two spots to spare. Details and registration HERE.
This month will also see a team racing clinic at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February during the upcoming midterm break.
The Irish Sailing-supported initiative for team racing is offered at the special price of only €25 for the two days of training, and is open to anyone (including non-club members) who has a competent level of sailing experience but is most suited to at least Level 3 or equivalent.
Sign-ups are still open for the Dun Laoghaire Youth Laser spring training programme, which continues this month with a focus on preparing 4.7 sailors for Easter trials and Radials for the Europeans at Ballyholme in July.
And dates have been finalised for NYC’s junior summer courses, each of two weeks’ duration:
- Course 1: Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 June
- Course 2: Monday 15 to Friday 26 June
- Course 3: Monday 29 June to Friday 10 July
- Course 4: Monday 13 July to Friday 24 July
- Course 5: Monday 27 July to Friday 7 August
These will involve the full suite of Irish Sailing levels (Start Sailing, Basic Skills, Improving Skills, Racing, Advanced Boat Handling, Adventure) over each course.
Howth Optimist ace Rocco Wright barely had time to gather breath - other than getting a haircut somewhere along the way - after taking second overall in the 225-boat Optimist fleet in Sail Melbourne 2020 in Australia before he was catapulted into the 401-boat fleet in the XIII Trofeo Euromarina 2020 at Torrevieja at Alicante in Spain. But while light and flukey airs in the final race may have denied him the overall win in Australia, in Spain it was heavy weather and gear breakages which were the problem.
Despite that, he was never out of the overall frame, and in the final tally, he took another silver medal to place second overall to Alessandro Cortese of Italy, with fellow-Italian Lisa Vucetti top girl and third overall.
It all came down to the eleventh and final race of the Australian Optimist National Opens 2020 in Melbourne, with a total fleet of 255 boats from eight nations racing. Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright was overnight leader by just one point from the USA’s Samara Walsh, and in today’s first of two races he consolidated this with a third, with Walshe in fourth. But French star Zou Schemmel had got himself back in contention with a win, while the hopes of Australia were raised by 12-year-old Joel Beashel of Sydney back in the frame with a second.
At the start of the final race, things looked very good for the Irish and French campaigns, as Wright and Schemmel got clear away in the lead, and thus were able to take the usually favoured right hand on the first beat. But conditions were becoming increasingly volatile, and boats on the left began to show ahead, with completely new names emerging at the head of the fleet. In the end, the winner of the final joust was New Zealand’s Joe Leith, whose best placing until then had been a fourth. As it was, even with this final win, he still placed back in 12th overall.
Meanwhile the top contenders saw their final complete re-shuffling get Beashel a sixth in this last race. But as Wright was out of it with 37th while Walshe was 13th and Schemmel 25th, Beashel emerged as winner with Wright second by just one point, and in turn one point ahead of Walshe with Australia’s Matty Goss fourth and France's Schemmel fifth.
This notable placing by Rocco Wright (who won two major regattas in Sydney in December) continues a remarkable period for the Irish Optimist Dinghy Class, as James Dwyer Matthews of Royal Cork won the British Spring Opens 2019, the British Opens 2019, and the 185-boat 11 nations Irish Opens 2019, while Rocco Wright took tenth in the Worlds 2019, second in the North Americans 2019, and now second in the Australians 2020.
Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club holds a one-point lead facing into the final day (January 9th) of the 255-boat Australian International Optimist Championship 2020 at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Melbourne on Port Philip Bay, with the complex championship continuing its full programme despite some experience of poor air quality ashore and afloat from the bush fire conditions continuing in nearby parts of the region.
Although the 13-year-old Howth sailor’s combined overall scoreline in the Gold Fleet after today (Wednesday’s) racing reads as 1,1,7,1,1,6,1,14, and 6, the final two days fleet lineup has seen the American sailor Samara Walshe making a challenge which has displaced Wright’s earlier closest contenders of France’s Zou Schemmel (now back in 9th) and Australia’s Joel Beashel (currently in 12th).
Current results here
This time the pair won their respective divisions in Sydney's Optimist Regatta with an extraordinary string of first places in each of their divisions over the past three days. Results here
As Afloat reported earlier this month, Optimist ace Rocco won the 2019 Sail Sydney Optimist Open Championships on December 14.
Next stop is the Australian National Championships which begins on Jan 2nd.
In what is turning into epic sailing trip for the Wrights, the children's father Darren is the skipper of the Howth Yacht Club entry in the Sydney Hobart offshore Race that starts this St. Stephen's Day. More on that here.
It completes a remarkable season for the youngster, back in July Wright took 10th overall in the Worlds, and then in October, he notched second overall in the North Americans, giving him Ireland’s best international performance in 2019 and an Afloat Sailor of the Month award to boot!
It's not the only Wright Optimist win of the weekend either, with Rocco's sister Sienna claiming the intermediate prize in Sydney.
WM Nixon writes about Rocco's father and the upcoming Howth Yacht Club Sydney Hobart Race challenge here.
Sail Sydney results here
Last weekend 22 young Optimist sailors participated in IODAI’s newly formed Development Squad hosted by Malahide Yacht Club. The first in a series of training weekends and under the supervision of head coach Adam D'Arcy and his team, the young sailors were put through their paces on Saturday morning in wind of around 15 kts, before being split into groups for the afternoon session.
Sunday morning dawned foggy and without a breath of wind, the team undertook theory and physical training session as they awaited suitable wind to fill-in. Then in the afternoon as the breeze increased the fleet managed to complete 3 races.
“This is a great initiative by IODAI to encourage and train younger sailors during the winter months. We at MYC were honoured to host the first part of the training programme and look forward to welcoming all back in the near future” says Paddy Ryan, Optimist Class Captain, Malahide Yacht Club.
If you have a young optimist sailor who would like to participate in IODAI training programmes then Baltimore during the February half term is your next opportunity.
To capture the enthusiasm and momentum of the growing Optimist dinghy fleet, IODAI (Irish Optimist Dinghy Association) has launched a new training initiative for junior fleet sailors, known as the “Junior development Squad”.
Tim Lucas, President of IODAI says “Our focus is the development of optimist sailing in all clubs throughout Ireland and we wanted to develop the sailing skills of the new juniors within our fleet. This “JDS” - Junior Development Squad is a training initiative designed for the younger less experienced sailors in the fleet, ideally, those sailors under 12 who wish to improve their skills sets, over the winter period”
This personalised training schedule will take place over a period of two weekends cumulating with participation at our very successful Baltimore training week.
This programme is due to start the 5th November 2019, so those interested in participating in this “IODAI Development Squad for 2020” can find more details here
The annual Baltimore Week is open to all sailors in February 2020 during the mid-term from 16-21 Feb 2020.
Second is Crosshaven sailor Harry Moynan with Tralee Bay Sailing Club's Riona McMorrow Moriarty in third place in the 20-boat main fleet.
Full results are here. Photo gallery below.
When young James Dwyer Matthews of Royal Cork and Kinsale returned in early August from England with the 2019 British Optimist title added to his already impressive trophy list, it was in the knowledge that the up-coming Irish Nationals at Howth had attracted a fleet of 185 boats from 11 nations, with a notably strong American squad in the midst of it. Thus an almost unfair amount of expectation was resting on his 15-year-old shoulders in his final season as an Optimist sailor, and for much of the series, it was the extremely competent American helm Freddie Parkin who remained persistently if narrowly in the lead. But when the last day proved to be El Bruto with some very grown-up weather, Matthews was the man for it. Having taken a useful third in the penultimate race while Parkin was fourth, the chance was there, and Matthews took it, returning a convincing win while Parkin had to make it a discard with a tenth, leaving Matthews a clear winner with 15 points to Parkin’s 21, while 14-year-old Luke Turvey of the host club was third with 28, having taken second in that final bloodbath.