Optimists get Wet and Wild in Galway Bay for the Optimist Connaught championships
Author: Ian Dickson Posted on: 17/5/11 Print Version

Photos by Kevin Moore

Daniel Hopkins - 2nd Silver
Issy Delamer and Robert Dickson relished the strong winds presented at the first regional optimist championship of the year last weekend. The Connaught championships were held at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

The event got off to a wild start with winds blowing up over 25 knots on Saturday which only allowed the race officer to get one race in before abandoning for the day.

Sunday arrived with hopes that the wind might abate but it stayed too strong and only the Senior and Junior Gold fleets were sent out. After a beat for nearly an hour to get to the start line, racing finally got under way. The starts were hampered by the tide and waves making them very difficult. The beats were slow and only the fittest survived them, but the down wind legs were exciting. A lasting memory was seeing the look of excitement / panic on some sailors faces as they got there boats going as fast as I've seen an Optimist go. After 3 races we all headed ashore wet and tried.

Issy Delamer - Connaught Junior Champion

Robert Dickson - 2nd overall
Issy Delamer was on fire this weekend and took first place in the Junior Gold fleet with three 1st places and a 4th, Daniel Hopkins took 2nd Silver.

In the Senior Gold fleet Sophie Browne (TBSC) continued on from where she left off at the trials finishing first.. However, Robert Dickson was close on her heels and took 2nd overall with a race win in the 4th race, Sean Waddilove 5th,Fergus Flood 14th and Richard Hogan 17th. Alex and Max Kavanagh also travelled to Galway but saw little racing as the Silver fleets were held ashore.

Sean Waddilove was also presented with the Fair Sailing Award. He turned back on the run in Race 1 to help a fellow competitor who had injured himself in a gybe. Sean beat back upwind to the sailor and thereafter sailed over to alert the nearby rescue in an exemplary display of sportsmanship.

Full results at

Well done to all.

Ian Dickson

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