Optimist Connacht Championship Report
The BMW Optimist Connacht Championships were held last weekend at Malahide Yacht Club. This was the third regional championship of the year and represents a change for IODAI to run two regional events after the summer. The weather was kind with lots of sunshine and light to moderate winds, shifting southerlies. There were a total of 18 sailors from the National Yacht Club. Race officer Neil Murphy and his team completed the full schedule of 6 races.
A major optimist event has not occured on the Broadmeadows Estuary for many years. The Club has gone through a lot of changes with the recent completion of a new clubhouse. Although it is ‘sea water’ it has essentially no tide and is ‘landlocked’ so it has characteristics more akin to sailing on a lake (lots of shifts). Parents and general spectators were able to get a very good view of all the action as it occurred very near the clubhouse/shore. Another peculiarity in MYC is that the estuary is an area of conservation and very few ribs were allowed on the water. Only rescue ribs so sailors had to plan their sailing all by themeselves!
Patrick Coyle, Dara Donnelly and Heather Spain represented us in the senior fleet and were placed quite closly together. Heather had two top 10′s and ended up the top NYC senior. RCYC dominated the top placings.
Junior Fleet (75 entries)
Cliona Coyle, Peter Fagan, Nicola Ferguson, Claire Gorman, Ella Hemeryck, Natasha Hemeryck. Katie Jane Marshall, Cian Murphy, Leah Rickard, Loghlen Rickard, Luke Rickard and William Spain represented NYC. That’s a big group of sailors. The usual suspects led up front but great performances in particular from Nicola Ferguson and Katie Jane Marshall, both scoring personal bests and ending up winning the silver fleet (Nicola) and Katie Jane placed fifth in silver fleet. Nicola received a beautiful perpetual crystal trophy which her Mum (wisely) commandeered immediately and this will look well beside the Crosbie Cup on the mantlepiece. Well done Nicola. The 144 twins (Peter, sail number 1448 and Loghlen, sail number 1449) had a great event and it was nip and tuck all the way with Peter Fagan sailing steadily to get second place and Loghlen sailing well to get fourth place, with a yellow flag in race 4 ending up the difference between winning and 4th……..lessons learned. Leah Rickard (9) and Natasha Hemeryck (10) continue to improve and certainly ones to watch out for as I am sure more improvements are coming!
Regatta Fleet (32 entries)
Fiona Ferguson, Conor Gorman and newcomer Frank Fagan represented us in this the most important section. These are our future sailors and future talent and it is turning our to be quite a competitve group. Fiona Ferguston stormed ahead during the first day and possibly took Conor a bit by surprise on day 1. Unperturbed though Conor put it all together on day 2 and he finished with 2-bullets in the last 2 races. Keep that up Conor – you will be a force to reckoned with in hte furure. Well don to Fiona with a personal best to date and an overall placing of 3rd in the regatta section. Conor was placed 10th and Frank got a pri