The September League for Optimists started in splendid conditions yesterday. Sunshine and a gentle 8 to 10 knot breeze provided ideal conditions, particularly for the large number of improving sailors in the Copper fleet. Indeed the race officer, Nick Walsh, decided that the conditions were so good that he ran an extra race.
The improving sailors arrived early to have their rigs checked and to show them how to set up their sails effectively. They were then taken on the water first to get in some practice before the start. They all performed admirably in the conditions and will improve much more with coaching from Donagh Good and David Kenefick over the next few weeks.
The large number (17) of Copper Fleet sailors provided us with the opportunity to give them a separate start from the main fleet. We intend to continue this throughout September (weather permitting) but will start the Copper Fleet first in future to make it more interesting for all concerned. In the event the first race was won by Ronan Walsh with Luke McGrath second and Johnny Durcan third. The second race was won by Johnny Durcan from Ronan with Lucy Donworth third. The third race was again won by Johnny with the fast improving Kelly Williams second and Ronan third. Other notable performers were the reluctant Sarah Cudmore who sailed really well for someone who professed that the conditions were much to windy for her; Billy Duane and Ross Cudmore who were really consistent; and Conor O’Keeffe who managed to go reasonably well in spite of being determined to sit as close as possible to the transom. The complete results for the Copper Fleet can be found here.
The main fleet also had a good turnout with 21 sailors. Peter McCann had two firsts and a second; Jil McGinley won the other race and also had a second and a 6th. Eoin Lyden was really consistent with a 2nd and two 4ths. Rebecca O’Shaughnessy leads the silver fleet with a 4th, and 8th and a 9th. Richard Thompson lies a point ahead of Harry Durcan in the bronze fleet in 10th place overall. The complete results are available here.
Racing continues next Saturday for all levels and the improvers coaching will also continue on Saturday starting at 12:30 sharp. All sailors who are participating in the coaching should have their boats rigged and be ready to go sailing at that time.