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Royal Cork Optimist Sailors to the Fore at the Trials

The IODAI Trials concluded in Dun Laoghaire this weekend with a fine win for Sophie Browne (TBSC/RCYC). Sophie was consistency personified and sailed a fantastic series with blinding boatspeed to pip long term leader Sean Donnelly (NYC) at the death. The purpose of the trials is to select teams to represent Ireland at the World, European and German Championships. The Royal Cork continued its recent history of fine results with 7 of the 18 available places being filled by our members.

To enter the trials one has to qualify by results in the previous season. 53 of the best Irish Optimist sailors entered. The trials were held over two long weekends. The first was in Kinsale before Easter and the event continued in Dun Laoghaire over the weekend as part of the Mitsubishi Youth Nationals. Sean Donnelly had sailed a brilliant first weekend with four firsts and 3 seconds to take a substantial lead in to the second weekend. However, Sophie was not to be denied. In the 14 race (3 discard) event she counted no result worse than 4th to take the event by just over a point.

Peter McCann (RCYC) made up for a poor (by his standards) first weekend to pull himself back up to 3rd overall at the end counting three bullets a third and a fourth from the Dun Laoghaire leg. Harry Whitaker (RCYC) was hot on his heels in 4th overall. Harry is one of the lightest sailors in the fleet and started really strongly in Kinsale. However, it was his consistent performance in this windier leg that was remarkable topped off with a fine win in the penultimate race. Eoin Lyden proved that he could sail a really consistent series in a wide range of conditions to take 5th overall counting all results in the top 10. Other notable Royal Cork results were Daire Cournane (7th), Jil McGinley (8th and 2nd girl), Ronan Cournane (13th and first Junior). The event was also notable for a maiden win on the circuit for Anna Kelly.

Our other sailors who all represented the club with distinction were:  Douglas Elmes, Adam d’Arcy, Eva Donworth, Charley Breen, Maeve O’Sullivan, Rebecca O’Shaughnessy and Claire O’Sullivan.

This spring we ran a joint training programme with Kinsale. This proved to be a great success with a further two of their sailors making teams. The coaching team of Donagh Good, George Kenefick, George Kingston, Cian O’Regan, Colm O’Regan and Katie Tingle are to be congratulated on the performance of all the sailors and their impeccable behaviour both on and off the water.

The Top five sailors had the option to choose to go to the World Championships in New Zealand at the end of the year or to the European Championships in Portugal in July. Sophie Browne opted for the New Zealand trip and we wish her well on her travels.

The European Team is selected by the first 7 sailors after that with a maximum of 4 of any gender. The team is:


Sean Donnelly (NYC)

Peter McCann (RCYC)

Harry Whitaker (RCYC)

Eoin Lyden (RCYC)


Jil McGinley (RCYC)

Cliodhna Ni Shuilleabhain (KYC)

Megan Parker (SSC)

The International Development Team is selected by the next 10 sailors with a minimum of 2 of any gender. The team is:


Robert Dickson (HYC)

Daire Cournane (RCYC/KYC)

Sean Waddilove (SSC/HYC)

Richard Hogan (HYC)

Adam Hyland (RStGYC)

Ronan Cournane (RCYC/KYC)

Sean Gambier Ross (KYC)

Fergus Flood (HYC)


Aoife Hopkins (HYC)

Alacoque Daly (TBSC)

Ronan Cournane and Rebecca O’Shaughnessy were chosen for the Under 12 Team to go to the British National Championships in Pwllheli.

Congratulations to all the sailors who made teams and to those that didn’t. This was one of the most testing trials in many years.

The complete results are available here

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