When the weather plays ball, the kids enjoy sailing!
The two weeks of the Easter break may have been cold and split by the last (we hope) storm of the season, they certainly deliver some great sailing for our juniors starting with a week of home open based clinics and courses and concluding with the awaited Irish Sailing Youth Nationals where our top sailors battled for the 6 nationals titles on offer.
Smiles, capsizes, fun and final pre nationals sessions
Conor Gorman left his Optimist Performance group to head coach Thomas Chaix for the week focussing on the up and coming future talents. The 7 to 12 years old kept him and his team on their toes as they enjoyed medium winds within the harbour walls. And if sailing was not enough, the kids were all smiles when adding an hour of fun on kayaks each of the days.
Thanks to 49er FX owner Lauren O’Callaghan, a few young sailors also had the opportunity to experience the thrill of trapezing and fast boats under the watchful eyes of the head coach.
Sailors with their eyes set on the Youth nationals also trained in short 3 days clinics in toppers, Fevas and Optimist… The club platform was buzzing with laugh, capsizes stories and the growing anticipation of the first big event of the year approaching. Ballyholme Matthew Holden, Howth Harry Dunne, Tralee Ben Chaix, our Tipperary girls Gemma and Grace and a small contingent of South East Topper sailors were very welcomed additions to the club sessions demonstrating that serious training can work hand in hand with friendship, family and fun.
The week concluded for the Optimist team with the Brassed off cup in Howth, a traditional one day event on Good Friday to welcome the return of chocolate treats!
The NYC team used the event as a stepping stone towards their final preparation for the Youth nationals but also a good way to test winter lessons for the sailors who were not selected to take part. Team NYC was the largest group showing our support to the event organised by one of our partner club. The team picked up 4 out of the 9 prizes on offer. (Louis Trickett led the regatta fleet with Ben Chaix in 3rd. Jacob Browne took silver in Junior and Harry Dunne Bronze in Senior)
And storm Noah came putting all activities to a halt for a few days.
Youth Nationals in Howth
The youth nationals is a unique event on the calendar as all the Performance Pathway classes compete over 4 days in a single venue to decide on 6 Youth titles. Team NYC was composed by 25 sailors competing in 20 boats. the club had representation in 4 of the 6 classes competing and confirmed NYC as the premier club in skiff sailing (number of entries and performance).
The team of coaches was led by club head coach Thomas Chaix to deliver support to the sailors ashore and afloat.
On the Junior course, Team NYC had a young and relatively new Topper group most of which only retired from Optimist sailing during the latter part of the winter. They enjoyed some excellent individual races including a 4th (Grace Keating), a 5th (Hannah Walsh), Three 8th (two courtesy of Rory Brennan-Hobbs and one from Hannah Walsh). The team is now gearing up towards the Northerns in Carrickfergus at the end of the month.
NYC sole sailor in the ILCA4 James Hall competed for 2 days before reverting to rugby duties (and a great win in the league final) with his best score as an 18th position in race 2.
On the Youth Course, the club 29ers displayed an impressive set of skills with a grand battle at the front between now 3 times youth national champion Ben O’Shaugnessy and crew Ethan Spain and club mates Clementine and Nathan Van Steenberge. The only race the two pairs did not win was snatched by U17 world champions Lucia Cullen and Alanna Twomey. completing the top 5 were team NYC sailors Lauren O’Callaghan and crew James Dwyer and fast progressing William Walsh and Conor Flynn. Eoin Byrne and Alexander Trickett had their ups and down finally taking 8th overall.
The high stakes Optimist fleet completed 10 races with the usual drama, smiles, close finishes and a display of skills in the youngest sailors in the country.
Team NYC was composed by 8 sailors in the 43 boats fleet. It must be noted that the event is only open to sailors who have earned selection through their previous year ranking.
Locally based sailor Harry Dunne revealed in the varied conditions with a very consistent series just about edging out his nearest rival by a point for the title. After a wobbly start, Gemma Brady delivered an outstanding series for her first participation at the event just about missing out the podium (4th). Both sailors will be part of the 5 sailors team Ireland going to the world championship in Spain in June.
Louise Hanley (17th) and James Gorman (21st) also earned selection in team Ireland and have been offered to represent the club and the country at the French summer cup as members of the 8 sailors International development team. Agonisingly, Matthew Holden 24th position meant that he is currently first sub for that team.
The season is now launched and sailors are already looking forward to the next events in May
Topper Northerns, Carrickfergus
29er Southerns, RCYC
Feva Easterns, RIYC
Optimist Leinsters, NYC
Feva UK nationals, Pwheli
Selection of photos from the clinics and the Youth nationals. Prizes photos include Louis Trickett received his prize at the Brassed off cup and now 3 times youth national champion Ben O’Shaugnessy and crew Ethan Spain. Group photos include the Brassed off cup team, the Topper team at Youth nationals, Easter camp young sailors.