Sixteen HYC sailors made the trip over to Dun Laoghaire to the Optimist Leinster championships which were held at the National Yacht Club over the weekend 28th & 29th May in very blustery conditions. Four of the six races scheduled were completed in winds ranging from 8 to 38 knots with the gusts being particularly severe on the Sunday. Indeed only one race was sailed on the second day due to the severity of the gusts.
Over100 boats in the Main fleet raced in the very testing conditions. Indeed is was a weekend of spectacular speed, unbelievable capsizes and nose dives. But as the saying goes, 'when the going gets tough the tough get going'. In the end, Sean Waddilove 2nd overall and Robert Dickson 3rd sailed remarkably well in the Senior fleet with a win each. The Senior fleet was won by Adam Hyland (RStGYC).
Fergus Flood (12th), Aoife Hopkins (31st) and Richard Hogan (40th) were unable to improve on their results from the Saturday as they were among the 17 who picked up a Black Flag penalty in the 4th race. Erica Markey (38th) showed true grit and determination to sail a very consistent series with 3 results in the 30's.
However, lighter sailors Alex Kavanagh and Isabel Cahill found the conditions very tough to race in despite their valiant efforts but will have learnt a great deal in the conditions.
In the Junior fleet of 56 boats Issy Delamer (7th overall) was 4th Junior Gold and Ewan McMahon (10th), Daniel Hopkins (21st), Jamie O'Grady (25th) and Alex O'Grady (28th) also toughed it out. All did exceptionally well to cope with the at times severe conditions. Ewan McMahon won race 2 and was leading race 4 on the 2nd beat when a gust spun his boat over whilst tacking. I have never seen the like of it before. Max Kavanagh also travelled but made the right call and sat it out.
For most of the sailors this was their first event of the season as all but one race in the HYC May series had been blown out. So it was a huge achievement by all to overcome the very challenging and tough conditions.
In the 35 strong Regatta fleet Megan Cahill and Jamie McMahon had a wonderful weekend. Under the guidance of Katie Malcom and Katie White the young sailors were coached ashore for a time. However, despite the strong winds sailors got a chance to sail in front of the NYC with plenty of capsizes for all those on the pier wall to see.
Photos and full results on www.iodai.com