From October 25th to November 2nd, the World Student Yachting Cup will take place at La Trinite sur Mére.
On April 5th this year the Cork Institute of Technology sailing team became the Irish Student Yachting Champions and for a second year running Irish University Sailing Association Champions. This automatically assured their right to attend the world event at La Trinite in October and to return to avenge the nightmare of gear failure in 2007. Joint leaders with Switzerland after twelve races, it was unlucky thirteen on the second last day when the main sheet jammer ripped from the deck of their boat forcing them to retire from a winning position. However, they showed true grit to rise above the gear failure and finished the event in a blaze of glory by beating the overall winners, Switzerland, in the last day’s racing to take second overall in the World Championship.
With Nicholas O’Leary at the helm, the crew are working up in the Matthews Autumn League at the Royal Cork Yacht Club and this year have the use of Conor Phelan’s First 36.7, Endeavour, for the entire league. O’Leary has had a string of major successes this season. He most recently won the ISA Match Racing Championship event, the 1720 Irish Championships, and just last weekend was crowned the Champion of Champions at the ISA All Ireland Sailing Championships.The list of crew members, which includes many well known Royal Cork Yacht Club family names, is: Nicholas O’Leary, helm, George Kenefick, Joseph Bruen, Grahame Durcan, Aoife English, Silvia Phelan, Cian Twomey, David Barnett and Adam McCarthy
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Olympian sailor Peter O’Leary, who represented Ireland in the Star Class at Beijing this year, is to campaign for the right to represent Ireland at the 2012 London Olympic Regatta. Peter, brother of Nicholas, has parted company with Stephen Milne, his crew for 2008, but is to continue his campaign with Olympian sailor, Tim Goodbody, who represented Ireland in the Finn Class at the Beijing Olympics this year. Goodbody is based in Dun Laoghaire and the pair sailed together in the recent SB3 World Championships, being the best of the Irish and coming home in eighth place out of 137 boats.
With the announcement made in August by Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks of their intention to also campaign for the right to represent Ireland, this confirms there will be two Star keelboats campaigning for the 2012 event. The campaign for the Star Class nomination for the 2008 event proved to be very bittter this year when the decision to send O’Leary was made by a selection committee of the Irish Sailing Association rather than by on the water trials. It was well known throughout the campaign that this was to be the preferred method of selection.
2008 was a traumatic season for Olympic sailing and looks to be equally intense next time around with the scene set for a Star Wars campaign.