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Update on the Irish Nationals Championships (Howth) 2019

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NYC sailors brave Howth’s heavy winds and high seas at 2019 Irish Optimist National Championships

15 – 18 August 2019, 21 young NYC sailors headed to Howth to compete in the 2019 Irish open national championships. With a total of 144 main fleet sailors and 41 regatta sailors vying for the top spots, competition was tough, including visiting sailors from the USA, Portugal, Finland, the UK, Germany and the Virgin Islands. 

A colourful opening ceremony filled Howth yacht club with flags, music and cheer from the group of international sailors and the first day on the water started bright and light with races for all main and regatta fleet sailors.  

Heavy winds on the second day meant racing was postponed and although Juniors eventually headed out, they didn’t manage to race due to several bad starts with strong tides and wind holding them back.  The seniors did get off to a blustery start and squeezed in just one race as during the second a squall hit the fleet and racing was abandoned.  With the Americans pushing the top of the fleet, NYC battled on to keep up the pressure. 

On day three, the juniors got enough races in and seniors too despite very windy conditions. For the fourth and final day of racing, all NYC were rigged and ready but more high winds meant Junior fleet were kept ashore. The seniors headed out to brave the elements managing to complete one race in gusts of over 30 knots after which  sailing was abandoned. 

Throughout the competition the NYC sailors did their club extremely proud showing their mettle:  Luke Turvey finished 2nd Irish, Sam Ledoux 5th Irish, Fiachra Geraghty-McDonnell 9th Irish and Clementine 10th Irish and 3rd girl overall. Lauren O Callaghan and Lucia Cullen were hot on their heels as 11th and 12th Irish, followed by Hugo Crawford, Rachel Flood, Edward Dempsey and Conor Staunton. 

Big congratulations to Junior fleet sailors Ava Ennis, Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell, Grace Gavin, James Hall, Adelaide Jullo, Ciara O Sullivan, Lizzie Hall and Kate Flood who were excellent and gained massive racing experience. Regatta fleet sailors Theo Madigan, Dylan De Vreeze, Jonathan Dempsey and Harrison O’Rourke also sailed extremely well.

An enormous thanks to all the NYC coaches and to Howth Yacht club who hosted an amazing event with movies for the juniors when sailing was abandoned, fabulous BBQs in the evening and exciting action photos, along with superb portraits of the sailors shown throughout the competition. The afternoon sun shone bright for the closing ceremony and prize-giving where the highlight was a short film of all the ups and downs and many smiles of the championship’s four days. For a flavour of the competition, Paul-Michel Ledoux’s action photos, photo booth portraits and film are available at www.1minute40.com/2019nationals

Full results available at https://iodai.com/results-nationals-2019-howth-yacht-club/

Some of NYC’s sailors at 2019 Irish Optimist National Championships