Optimist Dinghy’s National Training Week in Malahide Deemed “A Resounding Success”


The final stop on the Optimist dinghy calendar found this intrepid group of sailors and their families returning to the Malahide Yacht Club for the IODAI National Training Week October 27-30, sponsored by CH Marine, the Grand Hotel and Dinghy Performance.

Ninety-five competitors were led by head coach Soren Laugesen (Denmark) and senior coach David Harte, as well as top national coaches.

It was a week that had something for everyone; heavy breeze on Wednesday, light wind on Thursday, information sessions for class captains and parents on Friday and of course the Halloween regatta on Saturday. Without forgetting the appearance of the Olympic heroine Annalize Murphy, who came to debrief the youngest of the fleet on their return to land and answer all their many and varied questions. Trying to explain transits to eight-year-olds and why trees don’t need to be in the sea would test anyone’s resilience, but she rose to the challenge. His presence was a huge relief to the sailors who clung to every word.

Optimists briefed ashore in Malahide

The training week also saw the announcement of the U12 and Development teams and the selected sailors were able to train together as a group during the event. They will train and compete together throughout the 2022 season.

Ashore, a dinner was held at the Grand Hotel with entertainment and games organized for the young sailors while the parents caught up. Class Captains from across the country met, exchanged ideas and Alex Walsh and Brendan Foley from IODAI presented the Class Development Strategy for 2022.

The Halloween regatta, which took place on Saturday and also included the Crosbie Cup, saw OOD Neil Murphy leading the main fleet from a single start, crossing four races in a constant breeze. The regatta is a precursor to Trails next year, allowing sailors from the senior and junior fleets to compete against each other.

Optimists competing at Broadmeadow in MalahideOptimists competing at Broadmeadow in Malahide

William Walsh (NYC), for whom it was his last regatta, largely led the way and took first place in the general classification and first in the Senior Main, closely followed by Oisin Pierse (RCYC) and Harry Dunne (HYC). The junior fleet saw two local sailors continue their close rivalry, Juliet Ryan (MYC) taking first place, this time with Conor Cronin (MYC) in second and Lucy Moynan (RCYC) in third. Ben Keating (HYC) finished first in the Junior Silver Fleet, also winning the Crosbie Cup with him.

Former MYC Commodore Graham Smith took charge of the regatta fleet for the second time this year. As a number of sailors had progressed through the fleet during the season, there were a lot of new faces and great performances from

Hugo Breen (LRYC), James Crawford (RSt.George Yacht Club), Aurele Dion (NYC), Charlie McKibben (MBSC) and Alex Butcher (MYC) finished first to fifth as a result

It was a fitting end to the year, cementing many friendships in the Oppie family and showcasing the abilities of the Sailors and the results of their hard work throughout the year.

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