Update on Optimist Trials 2018

Apr 10, 2018 | Junior events, Junior Sailing

The Optimist Dinghy Irish team trials took place in The RSGYC last weekend as part of the Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships 2018 which were being hosted jointly by the National Yacht Club and the Royal St George Yacht Club Dun Laoghaire.


 Seventy Eight pre-qualified sailors from all over Ireland took part with the ambition of achieving a place on an IODAI (International Optimist Association of Ireland) supported Irish sailing team. 19 sailors from the National Yacht club participated. They were:  Rian Geraghty-Mc Donnell, Sam Ledoux, Rocco Wright, Nathan van Steenberge, Luke Turvey, Conor Gorman, Hugh Turvey, Leah Rickard, Fiachra Mc Donnell, Clementine van Steenberge Thomas O’Neill, Lucia Cullen, Louis-Marie Jullo ,Lauren O’Callaghan, Zoe Hall, Rachel Flood, Ella Dempsey, Conor Staunton and Edward Dempsey. They all trained very hard over the winter in Dun Laoghaire and some travelled to the UK, the Netherlands and Spain in preparation for this important event. 10 races in total were sailed over 3 days with day 2 being cancelled due to strong winds. Day 1 was very gusty up to 27 knots however there were lighter winds for day 3 and 4. Each sailor had their own goals to achieve and some surpassed their expectations.

Six  National Yacht Club sailors finished top 10 overall Rian Geraghty –Mc Donnell came 5th overall, Sam Ledoux came 7th overall, Rocco Wright came 8th overall, Nathan van Steenberge came 9th overall and Luke Turvey came 10th overall. Leah Rickard was 3rd overall girl.

All sailors sailed extremely well in challenging conditions and represented their club with pride. The top 3 sailors overall and 1st Girl was presented with ISA medals at the events prize giving in the National Yacht Club.

Thanks to Michele Halpenny for organising the Prizes.


Representing Ireland at the IODA Optimist World Championships taking place in Cyprus later this summer will be Rian Geraghty-MacDonnell.

Sam Ledoux, Rocco Wright, Nathan van Steenberge and Leah Rickard will be representing Ireland in the IODA Optimist European Championships in the Netherlands.

 A number of other NYC sailors also qualified for IODAI development teams. Fiachra Mc Donnell and Clementine van Steenberge, will be representing Ireland on the IDT French Nationals team, and Lucia Cullen on the IDT Polish Team. Clementine van Steenberge, Lucia Cullen, Conor Staunton and Edward Dempsey have qualified for the Under 12’s Team, which is competing in the UK Nationals this summer in Pwllheli.

Well done to all NYC sailors on their achievements and we wish them well in the International Events.

The Royal St George Yacht Club who were hosting the Optimist Fleet looked after all the sailors and families extremely well .The coffee dock being a big hit. Everyone enjoyed the speaker evenings hosted by the IS. Many thanks to our coaches including Cian Mollen of the NYC who looked after all the sailors needs on and off the water. Thanks also to Con Murphy the overall Race Officer, John Leech the Optimist Course Race Officer, David Turner overall Safety Officer, Richard Cullen and Barry O’Connor the Optimist Course Safety Officers. Many thanks to Olivier Prouveur and Ronan Adams for all the organisation. Thanks also to Susan Spain, Ian Simmington, Fiona Staunton and all the Event organisers.


Thanks to Kate Fogarty who ran the Optimist Race Office and all the volunteers and to Scott Rickard and Ruth Mac Sweeney for doing the Optimist Class results. Thank you to Paul Michel Ledoux for his superb action photos of the Event. It is all over for another year. The IODAI regional events will take place over the summer the first regional being in May. Some sailors will leave Optimists and move on to other fleets, some will stay and many will start to sail this great little boat, all hoping to compete at next year’s Optimist Trials. More details, including full results, can be found here: www.iodai.com  

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