While not as windy as Saturday, the final day of the 2013 Optimist Nationals was completed in a fresh 15 knots and gusting breeze with plenty of bright sunshine and top spots up for grabs in each fleet. With this being their first major event, the week had been about gaining experience for the 4 Sutton Dinghy Club entries.
The top 3 position in Senior fleet went to visiting UK sailors with 1st going to Milo Gill-Taylor. Megan Parker from Skerries with 2 bullets on the final day took First girl and second Irish behind Harry Durcan from Royal Cork who is the 2013 Optimist SEnior National Champion. The previous weekend, Harry was the victor in the Sutton Dinghy Club regatta, so no doubt the experience in strong winds in the bay was put to good use. Congratulations Harry from all in Sutton Dinghy Club.
For Oscar Langan and Rory McEvoy taking part in their first open event, the 4 days proved tough and grueling but the lads kept at it, gained experience and will have learned an awful lot and are looking forward to the HYC regatta and Optimist Leinsters in Howth over next few weeks. Shane O’Brien after a mid event blip got back to consistent placing and finished with a very good 35th in the final race.
In the Junior fleet, the top 9 places went overseas with the top spot going to Roko Mohr from Germany. With over 90 sailors in the Junior fleet, top Irish placed sailor and Junior National Champion was Clare Gorman from National Yacht Club. Strand Road local Eve McMahon (HYC) who has been Sinead Dicksons crew in the Mirror all season finished a very creditable 54th.
When Dylan McEvoy decided to move from the regatta fleet after day 1 of the event, I am sure he had expected the competition to be a lot tougher. Add to that the increased wind strength of the following 3 days and Dylan introduction to major open events was a baptism of fire. While Dylan had to endure gear failure and a few bumps and bruises over the following 3 days, he soldiered on and put in a very very solid first major regatta. With a 67th and a 65th out of 89 sailors and getting through a long 4 day event in tough weather conditions, the experience will stand to him over the final weeks of the season and for next year.
Again thanks to Aidan Tarbett Photography and The Jelly Bean Factory for shots of our Optimist competitors.