Leinster Optimist Championships 5th & 6th September - A Re-run away Success
Author: Des Flood Posted on: 9/9/09 Print Version

Photos by Chris Howard

Main Fleet - Junior Section start
An incredible 185 boats from all parts of the country returned for the re-run of the Leinster Optimist championships on the 5th & 6th September. The fog that had lead to the abandonment of the championship in June was replaced with winds ranging from 12 to 24 knots, though mostly at the upper end of this range. A lumpy sea, wind against tide, strong gusts and driving rain combined on the Sunday made it one of the toughest events of the season. However, the sailors must be given enormous credit for the determination and competitiveness shown.

A strong force of 28 sailors from HYC with 13 in the Regatta fleet and 11 in the Junior fleet competed in the event. This was a fantastic turnout and testament to the training and coaching that was put in over the summer months and augurs well for the future strength of the Howth class.
114 boats sailed in the Main fleet to the west of Ireland's Eye under the watchful eye of PRO Harry Gallagher. Race management was faultless. The mark laying course conducted the previous week meant courses were superb all weekend. Efficient race management also ensured that all of the 6 races scheduled were completed for the first time at a regional championship this season. Indeed, efficient race management particularly on the Sunday meant the 3 races were sailed before the expected gale force winds arrived.

The massive 70 strong Regatta fleet also admirably sailed through the tough conditions. Under Head Coach John White and PRO Brendan O'Reilly a combination of coaching, fun and racing was held throughout the weekend. Whilst many struggled to finish the racing on the Saturday as the winds freshened all 70 sailors were present again the next day undeterred.

In the Senior fleet of 51 boats, Patrick Crosbie lead the event going into the last race in a very tight event. However, a black flag for Crosbie gave club mate Seafra Guilfoyle (RCYC) the overall title of the Senior Gold fleet. Indeed, Seafra won all the regional events and the National championships in 2009. Colm O'Regan (KYC) was 2nd despite winning 2 races followed by Patrick Crosbie (RCYC) in 3rd. Darragh O'Sullivan (KYC) was 4th with our own Tara Flood (HYC) in 5th and closely followed by Cillian McGreer (HYC) in 6th. Craig Campbell (HYC/RNIYC) was 16th.

The Senior Silver fleet was won by Peter Regan (LRYC) followed by Conor Totterdell (NYC), Cillian Joyce (LDYC), Peter Moore (SSC) and Aaron O'Reilly (GBSC). Claude Mollard was best HYC boat in the Senior Silver fleet.
Peter McCann (RCYC) was the convincing winner of the U-12 Junior fleet of 63 boats. He won 5 of his 6 races.

Cian Byrne (RCYC) was 2nd followed by an excellent performance from 10 year old Niamh Henry (RsTGYC) in 3rd. Eoin Lyden (RCYC) was 4th followed by Conor O'Beirne (RsTGYC) in 5th.

HYC boats in the Junior Gold fleet were Erica Ruigrok 6th, Fergus Flood 11th, Richard Hogan 17th, Aoife Hopkins 20th.

The Junior Silver fleet was won by Jamie Tingle (RCYC), followed by Sorcha Donnelly (BYC/SSC) and Ross O'Sullivan (KYC). Isabel Delamer finished 4th in her best sailing event to date. Louise Shanahan ((RCYC) was 5th. Ben Jennings, Nicholas Delamer, Robbie Dix, Conor Howard and Erica Markey also competed.

Peter McCann
The Junior Silver fleet was won by Jamie Tingle (RCYC), followed by Sorcha Donnelly (BYC/SSC) and Ross O'Sullivan (KYC). Isabel Delamer finished 4th in her best sailing event to date. Louise Shanahan ((RCYC) was 5th. Ben Jennings, Nicholas Delamer, Robbie Dix, Conor Howard and Erica Markey also competed.
The 70 strong Regatta fleet also had some racing. Indeed they also managed to sail 6 races in the tough conditions. Following some coaching on Saturday morning, only 13 boats finished the last race in the afternoon due to the strengthening breeze.

All sailors received a medal to take home.

The overall winner of the races held was Eimer Davis (SSC) followed by Oskar Cahill (NYC), Harry Johnson (RIYC), Nicole Hemeryck (RIYC) and Evie Byrne (NYC).

Some of the Regatta sailors
13 Howth sailors entered the Regatta fleet namely Ewan McMahon, Isabell Cahill, Sam Marsh, Hana Blandford, Willam Quinn, Lilly Jennings, Sebastian Mollard, Anna Colwell, Jack Noonan, Annraoi Blaney, Caroline O'Reilly, Aoife Markey and Neil Howard. No doubt we will be hearing more from these names in the coming years.

Special awards were made to HYC sailors outside the top 5 in each division:
Best Howth Sailor Senior Gold - Cillian Mc Greer
Best Howth Sailor Senior Silver - Claude Mollard

Best Howth Sailor Junior Gold - Fergus Flood
Best Howth Sailor Junior Silver - Anna Potterton

Best under 9 regatta fleet - Daniel Hopkins
Best under 10 regatta fleet Ewan McWilliams

Best Howth Sailor Regatta Fleet -Isabelle Cahill

Most Improved Howth Sailor - Ben Jennings
Despite the heavy rain whilst boats were being packed up, the prize giving was well attended. Apologies were made as the TV was turned down during the hurling final. But it was deemed more important to get the travelling sailors back on the road before Croke Park emptied. Commodore Peter McKenna presented the prizes.

Overall, the rerun of the event was a huge success. Everyone who was involved from a club point of view should be extremely proud of the high quality event that was delivered.
No doubt the high standard of the event will enable HYC to attract more top class events in the future.

Full results can be found on the IODAI website:

Prize Giving Photos >>

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