Thirty plus cadet members from the club travelled to Fenit over the weekend to compete in the final regional optimist event of 2011. Tralee bay sailing club hosted the munster championships and by virtue of its location on the west coast, it delivered plenty of breeze in a fantastic setting.
Sophie Browne continued her preparation for the world championships later this year by winning the senior gold division and putting in a very consistent performance in the process with some nine points to spare on completion of the series. Next home in the gold division was Harry Whitaker in seventh place while Charley Breen had a great event by finishing second in the senior silver fleet and Claire O’Sullivan following closely in fourth silver. Our eight other senior sailors had mixed fortunes across the board in what were very demanding conditions at times over the two days and by their high standards will be disappointed but will have taken alot from the event in many ways.
The junior division (under 12’s) saw another twelve sailors compete from the club where Kate Lyttle from the RstGYC took overall honours but followed closely by Ronan Cournane , Harry Durcan & Rebecca O’Shaughnessy in second , third and fith place respectively to claim three of the top five gold division placings.Credit to Harry for taking his first race win at a regional and continues to move up the table at each event.
Equally, the junior silver division saw James McCann , Richard McGinley and Johnny Durcan coming through to take first , second and third place respectively which was a wonderful performance from all three. Our remaining six sailors , Luke McGrath , Lucy Donworth, Ronan Walsh , Tom Keal , Billy Duane and Sarah Cudmore were futher back the fleet due to the breeze being in excess of 25 knots on Saturday ; Conditions that were only suitable for those that had clocked up a few more hours on the water over the last number of months. Again, a great learning experience.
Finally the regatta fleet saw seven of our up and coming sailors take to the water on Sunday (once the breeze had moderated somewhat) and Emily Whitaker faired very well recieving the prize for best U -10 sailor. Killian O’Regan was also up there in thirtheenth place while Conor Walsh , Robert Keal , Jennifer O’ Shaughnessy, Kate D’Arcy and Cathal O Regan all kept the flag flying and were rewarded with a medal for their efforts.
A special thank you to club coach Fernando for his on and off the water support at the event for our sailors. Also thank you to the Guilfoyles for the use of their road trailor to in order to transport a support RIB and the Keals for the towing of same.