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Success at ILCA Ireland Connaught Championships

The ILCA Ireland Connaught championships were held at the venerable Lough Ree Yacht club last weekend, 27th, 28th April. The host club is a cool two hundred and fifty four years old, just a small bit behind Royal Cork.

It is set on the very southern tip of Lough Ree in County Westmeath looking across to Roscommon and North to Longford. In addition to the Connaught championships, the ISA were also presenting the Irish Youth prizes to eligable ILCA 4 sailors. This helped to increase the turnout and competitiveness of the ILCA 4 fleet.

Lake sailing is always known to be tricky and an unusual NE airflow with a number of showers both East and West of the lake caused significant shifts and dramatic wind speed changes which challenged the fleets on Saturday. The race officer Alan Algeo managed to get three races in across all three fleets, however one ILCA 6 race went over time limit and was canned.

Saturday evening at the club was bliss with a western facing patio in front of the club and a significant amount of sailors who stayed on for a fantastic three course meal at the club. There was camping facilities available and a really pleasent evening was had by all.

Sunday morning started with mirror like conditions on the lake, however the forecasted wind came up on cue and the series was completed on the day albeit with the usual lake shifts, course tweaks and restarts.

 

 

 

It was a very young Royal Cork group that competed as one of our masters had some mechanical issues Sat morning which stopped him from travelling. Eleven sailors competed across ILCA 4 and ILCA 6 fleets. We had a number of sailors moving up from ILCA 4 to ILCA 6 and the fleet was expertly coached by Michael Crosbie.

 

 

 

 

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Royal Cork had Andrew Kingston, Dara Jenkins, Shane Collins and Megan O’Sullivan competing in a field of twenty seven sailors. Andrew Kingston won overall with three wins from five races from fellow ISA academy sailor, Daniel Palmer from Ballyholme.  Dara Jenkins had a fantastic regatta finishing just behind another ISA academy sailor, Lucy Ives in eighth position.

In the ILCA 4 fleet, Royal Cork had seven sailors in a fleet of twenty six.  Andrew O’Neill had a fantastically consistent regatta with a discard of just five points and missing out on second place by a single point. He also received the ISA Irish Youths third place medal from Royal Cork member and ISA Racing officer, Stephen O’Shaughnessy. Royal Cork had sailors in third, fourth(Eolann Miles) and fifth (Rory Whyte) place with Fionn Hayes not too far back after a couple of top tens. Matt Mapplebeck and Fiona O’Sullivan completed their first regional event and look forward to competing in more ILCA Ireland events.

Many thanks to Lough Ree Yacht club volunteers and ILCA Ireland for a great event.

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