Optimist Trials 2005 - Lough Ree - April 1st to 3rd
The first phase to select the Irish teams for the World and European Optimist Championships
Author: SeŠn A Ā Laoire Posted on: 11/4/05 Print Version

The first of two phases of trials to determine places on the Irish teams of under 16 sailors who will attend the World (in Switzerland) and European (in Poland) Optimist Championships took place on Lough Ree during the weekend of April 1st to 3rd.

Despite the opening date of the event, the sailors were in serious competitive mood. Conditions provided good exposure to lake sailing of the sort that will be experienced by the successful sailors, come the end of the trials, the second part of which will take place on Broadmeadow, Malahide during the May bank holiday weekend.

Race management was beyond reproach, and the conduct of the fleet likewise.

There were quite a number of general recalls, but no black flag starts were required- perhaps the shock of Braassemermeer having taken hold not only on those who suffered there, but also on all who heard the graphic detail.

Andrew Tyrrell

As in the 2004 trials, there were a number of younger sailors who made serious inroads on the ambitions of older and more experienced sailors, Cillian Dixon from Lough Derg, Jack Costigan from RCYC and Cian OíRegan from Kinsale being notable.

Our own sailors from HYC were a credit to the training effort that they and their coaches had put in during the winter. The heavier sailors, Patrick Dix, Ross Darmody and Adam Lawless, all had some good results in the early to mid teens despite conditions rarely if at all being to their liking.

Andrew Ryan had some excellent results including an 11th and two 16ths in the very competitive fleet of the 65 top ranked competitors who took part.

Ryan Scott had a 19th and many mid fleet finishes- a commendable outcome at this level.

Andrew Tyrrell, one of our youngest racers, had a string of late teen and early twenties finishes; Katie White had a good series, with an 11th and two 16ths.

Suzanne Burke sailed powerfully, achieving two 4ths, two 6ths, and when the breeze freshened on the last day, a 1st bringing her into the top 15 with Diana Kissane and Tim OíLaoire who at present lie in 5th and 4th place respectively.

Arguably, the most exciting race of the series (certainly for the HYC parents) was the second one on the last day, when Diana rounded the windward mark first close ahead of Tim. They sailed neck and neck to the gybe marks, choosing the port gate, Diana holding her narrow lead despite Timís every effort to overtake.

At the gate, Alyson Rumble of RStGYC (but also claimed by HYC) who had been some distance behind opted for the starboard gate: Tim noted that she seemed to have more breeze (it really was lake sailing), and to the surprise of the observers (a large comfortabe RIB substituting for the ditch) , having rounded the port gybe mark tacked across the course to cover Alyson.
There ensued an exciting tacking duel to the finish with Tim coming in first followed by Alyson and with Diana in close 3rd.

Diana Kissane

Tim O'Laoire

Patrick Dix

Katie Tingle from RCYC, the 2004 national champion has a good lead at the end of the first 10 races, with 8 more to go at Malahide.

The next 15 or so sailors are all within striking distance of each otherís results.

The next phase of competition promises to be a very close fought and exciting event for the top 5 World team places and the next 7 (with obligatory gender balance) European team.

Suzanne Burke

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