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Royal Cork Optimist Sailors Dominate in Ideal Conditions in Galway

Our sailors excelled at every level in the Connachts. The senior division was won by Killian O’Keeffe from Kirsti O’Flynn. The junior division was won by Seafra Guilfoyle with a completely dominant performance with four first’s and a second to count in a six race series.


Action from Optimist Connacht Championships – Photo Darren O’Keeffe

Senior division results are here and the juniors can be seen by clicking here .

Saturday morning brought 18 knot winds and flat seas with a fairly short chop that seemed to suit our sailors admirably. Perhaps it was the anticipation of the Munster match that drove them to sail so fast that they completed the first three races in double quick time. The race officer decided that a fourth race was in order given the likelihood of increased  winds on Sunday. The caused some consternation among the Munster daddies who were seen to abandon their charges with indecent haste in search of the box seats in front of the big screen in the clubhouse.

In the junior division there was a fair amount of attrition with several retirees. It was obviously entirely to Seafra Guilfoyle’s liking who won all four races, generally by a considerable margin. Cian Byrne also had a fine day with consistent results all in the top 5.

In the senior division, there was some controversy when a number of the leading sailors had some difficulty locating the finishing line! Hours of fun in the protest room ensued with requests for redress from all quarters.

The results on Saturday night looked like some of our local racing with Killian O’Keeffe leading with two firsts and a second (discarding a 6th) Richard Harrington had a great day scoring three seconds and a third and Kirsti O’Flynn was in hot pursuit on a total of 9 points having won the last race.

Sunday morning dawned bright and even breezier than Saturday. The race officer decide to run the racing in more sheltered waters on a slightly shorter course in 20 plus knots of wind.

In the senior division things were looking good for Richard Harrington as he had a handy lead going into the final downwind leg in the first race of the day. However, disaster struck just after the mark when he capsized. This misfortune was exacerbated when he broke his mast step while attempting to right the boat and could not finish the last two races spoiling his chances of a podium finish at the very least.

Killian O’Keeffe did really well in the first race to take 4th (in spite of trying to emulate Richard at the same mark and having to sail more than half the race without a main mainsheet block) and won the last race to take the title with some points to spare. Kirsti O’Flynn finished 2nd in the first race to secure 2nd overall. Conor Lyden shot up the leaderboard with a 1st in the first race and a 10th to finish in the prizes at 5th overall.

Other notable results in the senior division were Paul Martin (2nd Silver and 19th overall), Katherine Geoghegan (4th Silver and 22nd overall).

In the junior division, Seafra Guilfoyle completed his lap of honour by finishing 2nd in the first race and 4th in the last race (his discard) to with plenty of points to spare. Cian Byrne was very unlucky to miss out on a podium in 4th without ever counting a result outside the top 5  (2, 5, 3, 2, 3, 10) while Peter McCann recovered from a relatively poor start to finish 5th overall.

Rory Martin completed a fine weekend for the Doctor (Larrie) (a diehard Munster supporter and medical aficionado) and his family by finishing 5th in the silver fleet.

Loads more photographs on the club gallery or by clicking here .

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