A report from George Kenefick on the recent NKT Optimist clinic:
On the 5th and 6th of April in the Royal Cork Yacht Club, The Nathan Kirwan Trust optimist clinic took place.
The Nathan Kirwan Trust was set up in July 2013 by friends and neighbors after Nathan fell from a Tree in June 2013 that resulted in a C4 spinal cord injury. Nathan had intense rehab from August to February of this year in the NRH in Monkstown, Co. Dublin and The Guttman Institute in Barcelona. He is now back in Cork trying to settle into his new way of life while a lot of care is needed for everyday tasks that most people wouldn’t even think of.
Nathan was a very keen sailor himself having competed in two Student Yachting World Cups and a regular crew on a competitive Quarter tonner Tiger.
Over the weekend five excellent coaches gave up their weekend to help raise vital funds for Nathan’s care. These were Nin O’Leary, Seafra Guilfoyle, Billy Clarke, George Kenefick and Amy Harrington.
In total 30 kids that took part of all ages and abilities. The Trials kids persuaded the coaches on two successive days to bring them out to the big waves by Roches Point doing upwind and downwind grinds. The waves were massive and they all seemed to love it. We had about 10 sailors from Monkstown and 3 from Kerry and it was great to see such a successful turnout. The regatta sailors stayed in the river due to the strong easterly breeze and then did onshore drills after lunch showing the kids the basics of rigging and tacking.
Each sailor had good fun at the weekend and I would like to thank each parent for supporting a great cause.
Hopefully we can make the NKT Optimist clinic bigger and better for next year and we might also be setting one up for the weekend before the Optimist Nationals in RCYC as the tides and local knowledge will play a part in a successful championship this year.