The 2013 Leinster Optimist Championship took place last weekend in HYC. With strong winds forecast for the event, the Saturday briefing was always going to be an interesting situation for PRO Neil Murphy. However with over 90 entries in the main fleet and 40+ in the regatta fleet, the sailors were in great spirits as they prepared and rigged boats in the rain.
Sutton were represented by 6 sailors between Senior and Junior fleet but all would have been relatively inexperienced with this being for many only their second open event.
So this made for very difficult conditions for our sailors especially with big tides, big waves and gusts up over 27knots.
On the Saturday, the weather caused major delay in starting and then when racing did get underway the combination of wind and tide conspired to cause more than half of the fleet to timeout in one of the races. Unfortunately most of our sailors failed to get a finish in two of the 3 races. In the senior fleet, Oscar Langan and Lilyann Ho recovered after timeouts and capsizes to get a finish in the 3rd race on Saturday.
With an improvement in weather on the Sunday, most of our sailors were hoping to get around and complete all 3 races. For Juniors Dylan McEvoy and Isabelle McGrath who had just recently moved up from regatta fleet these last few regattas have been a real baptism of fire. They both managed to complete their 3 races and the experience in heavy conditions will stand to them next season. Our Seniors also fared a little better on Sunday with Oscar, Lilyann and Joanne Ho completing all 3 races.
At the front of the Senior fleet, Harry Durcan (RCYC) repeated his Sutton Dinghy Club regatta result, taking victory with Gemma McDowell (MYC) in 5th and Jamie O’Grady (HYC) in 8th best locals. In the Junior fleet it was another Cork sailor Chris Bateman (RCYC) who took the spoils. Jamie McMahon (HYC) in second was best local boat. Dylan O’Grady (HYC) won Silver fleet with a superb overall 10th from 55 entries.
Sutton Dinghy Club had no representatives in regatta fleet, who managed to get 4 races in on the Sunday. Best local sailors were Ruth Lacy (3rd) and Michael Fitzgibbon (4th) behind Conor O’Gorman (NYC).