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Cork Optimist Sailors Dominate Trials

Optimist Sailors from Kinsale YC and the Royal Cork dominated the Optimist Trials at the weekend, securing eight out of the twelve places in the teams for the upcoming World and European Championships.


Philip Brownlow at the Trials – Courtesty Bob Bateman


Worlds Team: Katie Gambier Ross KYC; Jamie Aplin RStGYC; Colm O’Regan KYC; Killian O’Keeffe RCYC; Alan Kingston KYC Europeans Team:  Kirsti O’Flynn RCYC; Richard Harrington RCYC; Guy Aplin RStGYC; Aodh Kennedy KYC; Alexander Rumball RStGYC; Ali Dix HYC; Katie Matthews KYC Full results can be seen here .

The regatta was very intensive, the sailors spending about 30 hours on the water over the weekend, with three races on Friday afternoon (this was an extra day because the first leg of the trials was blown out a fortnight earlier), followed by four races on Saturday and Sunday. Light and shift conditions meant that only one race could be completed on Monday.

Worlds Qualifiers Katie Gambier Ross from Kinsale Yacht Club had a fantastically consistent series with no results outside the top 10 to qualify in 1st Place. Jamie Aplin (RStGYC) started the regatta erratically and looked to be in trouble with three poor results after 6 races. However, he proved his mettle by being in the top four in the following 6 races when any slip up could have had serious consequences. Colm O’Regan (Kinsale YC) counted all results in the top 10 and had an amazing sequence of five third places in a row in this very competitive fleet. Killian O’Keeffe (Royal Cork) put himself under pressure with a Black Flag in race 8 but sailed very sensibly after that to qualify with some room to spare. Alan Kingston (Kinsale YC) had a really solid series of results mainly in the top five and always looked like qualifying for the worlds team.

European Qualifiers


Amy Harrington, Kirsti O’Flynn & Seafra Guilfoyle at the Trials – Courtesy Bob Bateman


Kirsti O’Flynn (Royal Cork) reaped the benefit of her tremendously hard work in training over the winter months. She showed the most improvement of anybody since last year to comfortably lead the qualification for the Europeans team. Richard Harrington (Royal Cork) comfortably made the Europeans team. Guy Aplin (RStGYC) created a logistical nightmare for the family holidays by qualifying for the Europeans (his brother Jamie is in the worlds team). He sealed his place by coming 2nd in the final race. Aodh Kennedy (Kinsale YC) always looked assured of a place in the Europeans. The final place on the Europeans went to Alexander Rumball (RStGYC).

Under 12’s

Twenty-one junior sailors contested the trials. Cork sailors were also to the fore here with Philip Brownlow (RCYC) finishing in 20th overall, followed by Seafra Guilfoyle (RCYC) (22nd).  Other Royal Cork sailors who qualified for the Irish Optimist Under-12 Squad for the British Nationals were Sophie Browne, Peter McCann, Patrick Crosbie and Cian Byrne.

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