The First Leg of the Optimist Trials

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailOptimist TrialsThe first leg of the Optimist Trials took place in Lough Derg Yacht Club from 5th to 7th April.  56 sailors were competing for the coveted green life jackets, awarded only to the top 19 sailors, and also for places on the World, European and International Development Squads. All sailors at the Trails qualified through their 2012 performance in the four Provincial Championships and the National Championships, so simply competing at the Trials is an honor. Day one saw light, shifty, patchy winds but with the forecast looking even lighter for the following day, the race officer managed to get four races in – one ahead of schedule. The NYC got off to a great start with Hugh Perrette taking 3rd in race 1, which was won by Harry Durkan of RCYC. Race 2 saw NYC’s Clare Gorman and Dara Donnelly placed in 3rd and 4th. Dara continued her good form with a 4th place in race 3. Both race 2 and race 3 were won by Alix Buckley of SSC.  Loghlen Rickard (9th) and Heather Spain (11th) had the top results for the NYC in race 4, which was won by James McCann of RCYC. As feared, most sailors spent Saturday floating around waiting for wind. After one race was abandoned with the lead boats literally seconds from the finish line, and several hours of waiting, the race officer managed to get one race in with dusk fast approaching. The NYC dominated this race with four of our sailors placed in the top 10 – Loghlen Rickard winning, Dara Donnelly in 4th, Clare Gorman in 6th and Nicola Ferguson in 9th. After the second day, 5 NYC sailors were in the top 20 – Loghlen Rickard 4th, Dara Donnelly 5th, Clare Gorman 7th, Hugh Perrette 16th and Heather Spain 17th. The winds finally arrived on Sunday, with strong gusts of over 20 knots. Megan Parker of SSC took the bullet in race 6 and race 8 and Darragh Kelly of SDC/HYC took race 7. The top NYC results on Day 3 included Heather Spain, who placed 8th and Clare Gorman 10th, in race 6; Loghlen Rickard 8th and Clare 12th in race 7; Loghlen Rickard 6th and Heather Spain 11th in race 8. At the end of the first half of the Trials the Top 5 are: Harry Durcan (RCYC), Richard McGinley (RCYC), James McCann (RCYC), Johnny Durcan (RCYC) and Alix Buckley (SSC). Loghlen Rickard stands well positioned in 8th place, just 5 points away from 5th position and a World Team spot. In 11th place overall Clare Gorman  is the top placed 12-year old, establishing herself as the front runner in the Junior Fleet this year. Hugh Perrette (15th), Heather Spain (17th) and Dara Donnelly (18th) have also raced themselves into contention for National Team spots. NYC’s sailors Nicola Ferguson (27th overall), Ella Hemeryck (40th overall, best result 20th in race 7), Patrick Coyle (41st overall, best result 19th in race 6),  and Luke Rickard (50th overall, best result 32nd in races 1 & 2) all performed admirably in the challenging conditions. All sailors are looking forward to Leg 2 of the Trials, which will take place May 4th-6th in RCYC.
Good Luck to all the NYC Optimist sailors for the 2nd Leg!