Galway bay sailing club was host to the Optimist Connacht championships last weekend and the west coast venue lived up to its reputation of being wild and windy.
Some twenty nine sailors from the royal cork travelled and competed across three fleets incorporating senior, junior and a beginner/regatta fleet.
Conditions on Saturday were challenging for race organisers where the breeze was a constant 20+ knots and rose significantly, hitting 30 knots soon after race one had been completed by both the senior and junior fleets.The decision was quickly taken to send the sailors home for the day. Some of the regatta fleet sailors also dipped their toe in the water as it were, just in front of the GBSC clubhouse but it wasn’t long before they were also reeled back onto dry land.
Similar to Saturday, Sunday was also forecast to be consistently breezy and the prediction proved to be right with the added bonus of an even stronger breeze. The race committee took the decision to stand down both the senior and junior silver fleets and needless to say the regatta fleet sailors focused hard on the theory side of the sport in the comfort of the clubhouse.
Three races were completed on Sunday which ensured that the series was completed. In the senior fleet, the thirteen royal cork sailors stood up well to the conditions on the Saturday only for some and Saturday and Sunday for the remainder. Sophie Browne delivered consistently to take overall honours while Daire Cournane 3rd , Eoin Lyden 6th and Peter McCann 8th all had top ten finishes.
The Junior fleet saw Issy Delamer from Howth YC take the junior gold title with Rebecca O’ Shaughnessy finishing fifth for the royal cork. Also strong performances from Richard McGinley 3rd and brothers Johnny & Harry Durcan 5th & 6th respectively in the silver fleet when they raced on Saturday.
Our regatta fleet members, Juliet Nyhan, Emily Whitaker, Jennifer O’Shaughnessy, Conor Walsh and Robert Keal kept their instructors on their toes over the two days and got a good taste of what life is like on the optimist circuit.
Overall results can be viewed here.