Royal Cork Optimist Sailor Cian Byrne did the business on the final day of the UK Optimist Junior Nationals in Largs yesterday. Cian’s three third places on day 6 of the 12 race series were enough to beat USA sailor Jack Johansson, GBR sailor Freddie Grogono and our other superb club junior sailor Peter McCann.
Cian’s achievement is I believe a first for Irish Optimists in a British Championship and was richly deserved with Cian putting in consistant results all week in an event that had every conceivable weather condition.
Peter was the other hero, who having lead for much of the championship, put up a great fight in the final series and ended his event with a very creditable 4th overall.
The junior (Under 12) event had 145 competitors and had a truly international flavour with sailors from France, Holland, Spain, USA and UAE competing against the IRL and GBR contingents. The Irish more than held their own with two other top ten results Sean Donnelly (7th) and Adam Hyland (10th)
It was really great to see the Irish hold their own in this kind of event and it is interesting to note that Team Ireland had seven of the top twenty junior spots (with GBR taking just eight in their own event!). Hopefully this augurs well for the future of Irish dinghy sailing!
Top Irish senior was our own Patrick Crosbie who put in some very good scoring on the last day to drag himself up to 11th overall, and Ruairi Finnigan finished an excellent 19th in the 107 boat fleet. The Senior event was won by Callum Airlee (GBR) with Josh Voller (GBR) second and Roger Dorr (USA) third.
Next week the sailors travel to Dun Laoghaire for the Irish Nationals in Royal St George so there is little rest for them (or their parents) for a little while longer – we wish them well and hope they can keep up this excellent form.
Royal Cork Results at the UK Optimist National Championships
Senior Fleet – Full Results here
11th Patrick Crosbie
19th Ruairi Finnigan
Junior Gold Fleet – Full Results here
1st Cian Byrne
4th Peter McCann
14th Sophie Browne
16th Daire Cournane
65th Harry Whittaker
Junior Silver (out of 72 boats) – Full results here
16th Ciaran Finnigan
18th Ronan Cournane
22nd Jamie Tingle