Nine of the HYC Optimist fleet headed for Lough Derg last weekend to enjoy the fantastic weather at the annual End of Season regatta, drawing a fleet of 60 boats from around the country.
Some changing of the guard has taken place since the Nationals at HYC in August, with many of the more senior sailors moving on the new classes, but Ewan & Jamie McMahon, Richard Hogan, Alex & Jamie O'Grady, Nicole & Ella Hemeryck, Daniel Hopkins & Shane O'Brien all flew the HYC flag and enjoyed the full 6 race card.
Saturday dawned cold and foggy, but the sun quickly brightened things up and the sailors went afloat for a 10.30 start. Unfortunately, the wind never really established itself with any consistency, so after a long 6 hours on the water, only two races were completed. The very light conditions were tricky for all sailors, but main fleet dubutant Jamie McMahon was snapping at the heels of many of the more experienced sailors and showing the results of his many hours in the HYC regatta fleet programme.
Ice had to be cleared on Sunday morning, but once again the sun did its job to dispel the fog and racing got under way in a steady 8 to 10 knots of breeze.
Reigning Junior National Champion Ewan McMahon set off on a bit of a charge up the leaderboard with a 4th and 6th in the first two races of the day, but an OCS in Race 3 put a stop to the rapid ascent up the leaderboard and a final race 10th left him 10th overall (4th Junior) and best of the Howth boats.
Alex O'Grady picked up some silverware for finishing 3rd in the Junior silver fleet.