2012 Olympic sailor Peter O’Leary who finished in the top ten of the International Star Class, the toughest of the sailing classes, has won the Irish Sailing Association All Ireland Sailing Championship sponsored by Waterways Ireland. The three day invitational regatta concluded in Lough Derg this afternoon (Sunday 7th) with O’Leary dominating the final three race series and claiming the Helmsman Trophy for the second time, having first won the title in 2006. A total of 24 sailors, along with a crew of their choice, received invitations for the annual event that first began in 1947. Their selection was based on their performances throughout the year in their respective classes.
Competition in the final series was intense. Amongst the eight helms were three Olympic sailors including Peter O’Leary,RCYC/BS, Ryan Seaton, Ballyholme YC who both competed at the 2012 Games, and Mark Mansfield RCYC who competed at four consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2004. Also sailing was the defending title holder George Kenefick RCYC and the youngest of all the competitors, seventeen year old Fionn Lyden who only two weeks ago won the ISA Junior All Ireland Championship in Schull, Co. Cork.
The deciding three races began in the early afternoon in winds that steadily grew to 12 knots for the final race. Peter O’Leary, sailing with his brother Robert and Robbie English, quickly made his presence felt by taking the lead and winning the first race. Having been top of the leader board going in to the final, Fionn Lyden and his crew of David Harte and Darragh McCormack slipped to second place overall followed closely by Mark Mansfield in third. Another race win followed by a second place finish and the title was O’Leary’s. Fionn Lyden BSC sailed a magnificent series and fended off two Olympians to claim second with third place going to George Kenefick RCYC