Tara Flood of HYC takes first prize at the End of Season Optimist Regatta in Dun Laoghaire
Author: Niamh Hopkins Posted on: 17/10/08 Print Version

The End of Season regatta run by the NYC in Dun Laoghaire was a resounding success with our own Tara Flood showing once again what a truly exceptional sailor she is by claiming first prize and the O'Gorman Trophy. Erica Ruigrok and Cillian McGreer sailed brilliantly and battled between themselves to eventually settle on 5th and 6th place overall.

On Saturday there were strong winds gusting up to 28 kts and the event had to be delayed for a few hours to see if the wind would abate. The conditions were tough but that didn't deter our optimist sailors. 55 boats competed in the main fleet with the Seniors and Juniors combined. Tara Flood had an outstanding first day with 3 wins. Cillian and Erica also showed strongly with respective 2nd and 4th placings that day. Robbie Dix also competed in the main fleet in the centre of the harbour in conditions that would challenge even the most experienced of sailors. He sailed consistently well but had to retire in the last race after his boat did a spectacular nosedive! Nicholas Delamer was competing in the main fleet for the first time having won the Regatta fleet at the Nationals in Tralee, he showed real mettle by not letting the tough going dampen his spirits.

The Regatta fleet of 23 boats sailed closer to the yacht club in what should have been a more sheltered environment but winds still gusted to 24 knots making it a hair-raising spectator sport.

Alex Kavanagh and Daniel Hopkins sailing in their first Regatta ventured forth in spite of the weather.

Contrary to rumors the harbour wall will not have to be repaired after Daniel hit it in his boat Gecko.

Daniel Hopkins & Alex Kavanagh
Sunday brought a beautiful dry bright day but once again with strong winds although light to moderate was forecast. The wind did drop and at 1:30 pm the fleet launched. Fergus Flood sailing in the main fleet continued once again to show his sailing potential and had very good results. Craig Campbell sailed well and was consistently notching up 11ths and 13ths to finish 5th Junior Gold. Robert Ferris placed 1 point behind Craig despite putting together a string of 14th places. Richard Hogan and Claude Mollard enjoyed the better weather on day two and showed us all how a jibe should be done!

In the Regatta fleet after an unfortunate clash with the boom the previous day Erica Markey made a strong comeback on day two and battled with Aoife Hopkins for pole position at the windward mark. She achieved a number of top 5 results and is proving to be a very capable sailor. Not to be outdone Isabelle Delamer and Ben Jennings achieved excellent results finishing in the top 10 and the main fleet sailors had better watch out as they showed that Howth was a force to be reckoned with. Conor Howard had top ten results for a number of races and is developing into a fine sailor. Aoife Hopkins won 3rd position in the Regatta fleet with her disgarded race being a 3rd position. Her brother Daniel won a prize for the most improved sailor as on Saturday getting over the starting line was proving difficult and on Sunday he sailed very well and finished off all his races. Alex Kavanagh brought a sense of style to the occasion with a Davy Crocket Hat and took home a prize for the best dressed sailor.

Of course the star of the day was Tara with 5 wins and a 2nd who sailed away with the O'Gorman Trophy. Cillian McGreer finished 2nd in the Senior Silver and Erica Ruigrok won Junior Gold.

The Howth sailors thoroughly enjoyed the event and on behalf of all the Howth sailors and their parents, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the National Yacht Club for their fabulous welcome and exceptional hospitality. See you next year. Niamh Hopkins

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