Douglas Elmes and Loghlen Rickard win 2012 Nationals!

Putting on a Nationals is a huge effort. Kinsale YC gave us five days of excellent race management, good food, entertainment for the sailors, and great organisation in the dinghy park, on the slip and on the water. Thanks from all of the Optimist class to all in Kinsale Yacht Club for a very successful Nationals!

Loghlen Rickard, Winner of the Junior Fleet in the 2012 Nationals.

Douglas Elmes, Winner of the Senior Fleet in the 2012 Nationals.

Clare Gorman, Winner of the Junior Silver Fleet in the 2012 Nationals.

Dara Donnelly, Winner of the Senior Silver Fleet in the 2012 Nationals.

Ben Walsh from Skerries Sailing Club. Ben is 13 and is a sailor in the Senior Fleet, and he has written a Main Fleet report from the Nationals:

“This year’s Nationals were hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club from Monday 30th July to Saturday 4th August. It began with the registration on Monday, with 40 in Regatta Fleet, 47 in Main Fleet Senior and 96 in Main Fleet Junior. With a total of 183 sailors entered in this year’s event, including 57 International sailors travelling from abroad to compete. It was great to see familiar faces like Calum from Hong Kong, Rory from Bermuda, Jim from France, the British Team and some new faces as well like Jan from Spain. The Opening Ceremony took place that evening at Charles Fort overlooking Kinsale Bay. There was a juggler to entertain everyone, he even tried balancing between Rory Caslin & Thomas Chaix arms, which looked more like them juggling the juggler! The Mayor gave a welcoming speech to all. The International sailors travelled to the Fort on the Kinsale Road Train and waved their country flags proudly.

Tuesday 31st July, with great eagerness and anticipation the event got underway. Everyone was looking forward to racing, Junior Fleet sailors launching first followed quickly by the Senior Fleet. With good winds the main fleet raced outside the Harbour with two races scheduled. The OOD decided to squeeze an extra race in , as high winds and big swells were predicted for the next coming days. The Regatta fleet braved the winds and raced in the inside Harbour below Charles Fort. We were all delighted to get the event and races underway.

Wednesday 1st August, we arrived early and rigged up, however the postponement flag was raised with a two hour race delay expected. The race committee launched to check the conditions off shore. By 1130 they decided to launch the Main Fleet sailors and stand down the Regatta Fleet. There were very big swells outside the harbour, with some sailors enjoying surfing the waves and others battling to stay upright. The Race committee tried to set a course but with such challenging conditions, they were forced to move the course and fleets inside the harbour. With shifting winds and limited space for the large fleet, racing was abandoned for the day at about 2pm. The early finish gave us a chance to take a walk to Aunty Nellies (sweet shop), watch the Irish team sailing in the Olympics and hang around with friends.

Back to business on Thursday. With plenty of wind the main fleet got four races completed outside the harbour. The Regatta Fleet also got four races completed in very challenging conditions inside the Harbour. At the end of the day it was time to hang out our sailing clothes and head to the disco in The White Lady night club. The music was very good and there were plenty of sailors dancing.

Friday brought the big swells yet again outside the harbour. This time the Race Committee decided to lay a course inside the harbour, and launched only the Senior Fleet. The Junior Fleet stayed ashore fuelling up on lunch and ‘Sundaes Ice Cream’. The Senior Fleet returned to shore with two races completed and an early finish to their day. Next it was the Junior fleets turn to race – they also completed two races.

Saturday, the final day of the event it was all to sail for, the weather conditions were light and shifty winds. The first race was slow to start with a general recall for the Juniors and wind shifts. As the Senior race got underway so did the extremely heavy downpour of rain, making visibility very hard at times and we all got very wet and cold. There was just one race completed.

With the event complete, we were all in great form, pleased with 10 races completed and generally pleased with our results. The prize giving brought the event to a close, with loud clapping and cheering. Well done to all those who won prizes and who sailed & competed in this event.

Finally a big thank you to all at Kinsale Yacht Club for hosting this great event, the Race Committee, to the volunteers who helped us launch & recover and most importantly to our parents who brought us to this event!”

Ben Walsh in his Optimist.

David Carroll is nine years old and his home club is Kinsale Yacht Club. David has written the Regatta Fleet report from the Nationals:

“Hi, my name is David Carroll. I just finished sailing in the Nationals in Kinsale. I was in the Regatta Fleet. I am 9 years old and started sailing this year. I first sailed in Baltimore in February, then in the Leinsters and the Crosbie Cup.

My club is Kinsale and the nationals were on here. My older brother and sister sail in the main fleet. They are juniors and I want to follow them into the main fleet.

I enjoyed the week sailing. It was windy a lot of the time and I found that a bit scary sometimes. I like the racing and the coaching. The best part for me is making friends. I met Conor Gorman at the Crosbie Cup and it was great to meet him again in Kinsale. One day it was too windy to sail and I went to the beach with his Mum. We had great fun. I also made friends with Tom Good, Robert Keal and William Lacy. I cant wait to meet them again at the next sailing. My cousin Robert Carroll sailed as well.

The sailing was great fun and I think I am a better sailor now. I didnt finish all the races as it was too windy for me sometimes. I think I will finish them all the next time.

The coaches were great fun and they showed me a lot of new things about sailing.

I was tired at the end but I really enjoyed it. I cant wait for the next event. My dad said it is the Connachts and that they are on in Malahide. That’s in Dublin. I hope my new friends go as well and I see them there.

I hope all the sailors from the Regatta Fleet read this. David”

Saturday morning saw light winds, and sailors launched early but unable to get started as conditions were shifty. However, all fleets managed to get one race completed, which brought the series to a total of 10 races, with two discards.
The competition in the Senior fleet ended with Douglas Elmes holding on to his lead by a respectable four points, which made him the Irish and Open National champion. Well done Doug, winner of the Nationals and winner of Trials, a great combination! Well done also to Megan Parker who was first girl and who gave Douglas a run for his money right through the event!
Top five Seniors were Douglas, Megan, Rory Caslin of Bermuda, Jim Vincent of France and Robbie King from the UK, and the Senior Silver trophy was won by Dara Donnelly from the NYC.

In the Junior Fleet, the UK Junior team captured all top five places, with the Open title going to Milo Gill-Taylor and Hatty Rogers first Junior girl. First Irish sailor was Loghlen Rickard (NYC), and first Irish Junior girl was Alix Buckley (SSC). The Junior Silver trophy was won by Clare Gorman of the NYC.

Day prizes for the final day’s sailing were sponsored by Curradinghy, and won by:
Senior Gold – (1) Ronan Cournane, (2) Harry Durcan, (3) Daniel Raymond
Junior Gold – (1) Peter Fagan, (2) Alix Buckley, (3) Grace O’Beirne
Junior Silver – (1) Toby Hudson-Fowler, (2) Cathal O’Regan, (3) Michael Carroll

Four fair sailing awards were presented during prize-giving. These awards are particularly important as sailing is a self-regulated sport, and honesty and fair sailing are vital skills for our junior sailors to attain. Congratulations to these sailors – Louis Hemeryck (NYC), Navyn Prabkakar (India), Natasha Hemeryck (NYC) and Chitresh Tatha (India), who all came to the race office to query their race results, as the points they were awarded were higher than those that they actually achieved.

Our youngest sailors have battled it out in heavy winds all week in the Regatta Fleet. Well done to the Regatta Fleet coaches who have encouraged their groups and helped them to complete 10 races this week, and well done to every sailor who launched and raced this week. The Regatta Fleet National Champion for this week is nine-year old Robert Keal (RCYC), and with sailors like Robert and the others of the Regatta Fleet, the future of Optimist sailing certainly looks secure for the years to come!

Saturday 4th August 2012 –
The sea remained lumpy and the winds strong for Friday’s sailing, so the Senior Fleet launched first, two races were run, and then the Seniors came back to land while the Juniors launched and sailed their two races.
Douglas Elmes continues to lead the Senior Fleet, with Dara Donnelly first in Senior Silver; Milo Gill-Taylor remains in first Junior position, with Loghlen Rickard first Irish sailor, and Clare Gorman first Junior Silver.

The tough little sailors of the Regatta Fleet also launched and completed two races. What a week of sailing they have had, and what an achievement for our newest sailors to be out there competing in these winds. There are of course winners in the Regatta Fleet races, but every sailor in that Fleet who has launched and sailed this week, regardless of their result, is a winner!

Day prizes for Friday were sponsored by ASM Marine suppliers (Silver Fleet) and North Sails(Gold Fleet) and were awarded to:
Senior Gold – (1) Jim Vincent, (2) Cliodhna Ní Shuilleabháin, (3) Max Clapp
Junior Gold – (1) Charlotte Boyle, (2) James McCann, (3) William Heritage
Junior Silver – (1) Tim Farrelly, (2) Patrick Daly, (3) James Spillane

Friday 3rd August 2012 –
Plenty of wind and lumpy seas didnt deter the Main Fleet from sailing four races outside the harbour. Competition is fierce in the Senior Fleet with Douglas and Megan battling it out for top position; Douglas is currently in the lead, with Rory Caslin of Bermuda in third.

The GBR Junior team are dominating the Junior Fleet, with Milo Gill-Taylor in the lead position; Irish sailors Loghlen Rickard is first Irish in 6th position.

Conditions were good but testing for the Regatta Fleet inside the harbour, but the group handled it well and four races were sailed. The sailors were exhausted coming in, but please with the achievement of sailing so many races on a day like this.

Day prizes for the Thursday were sponsored by Paul Keal of Mainsheet Images, who has photos of the Nationals on his website, and were awarded to:

Senior Gold – (1) Harry Whitaker, (2) Rory Caslin, (3) Robbie King
Senior Silver – (1) Ross Moore, (2) Luke Horgan, (3) Rachel Deasy

Junior Gold – (1) Loghlen Rickard, (2) Alex King, (3) Milly Boyle
Junior Silver – (1) Aaron Rogers, (2) Bruce Matthews, (3) Ella Hemeryck

A successful disco for the sailors took place in the White Lady last night, while a great turnout of parents attended the IODAI forum in the Yacht Club.

Thursday 2nd August 2012 –
Yesterday started off with high winds and rain, and the launching was postponed for two hours to judge whether the weather would settle.
The Regatta fleet had some training on land in the morning but as the winds didnt look like they were going to ease substantially, they were grounded for the day.
The main fleet launched at midday, but conditions were unsettled – the sea was too high for safety outside the harbour mouth, and winds were too shifty inside the harbour for successful racing, so the fleet came back in early in the afternoon.

TO ALL PARENTS – tonight is the IODAI forum and AGM; it will be held at 7.30 in KYC.
IODAI is an Association made up of volunteer parents who run events, and support the class from Regatta fleet through to the International teams. All parents are encouraged to come to the meeting to air their views and to suggest ideas on how to promote Optimist sailing. We particularly would like to see new parents to the class, and parents from the Regatta Fleet, attending and sharing their opinions.

Wednesday 1st August 2012 –
Great day of racing yesterday; wind was good and the rain wasnt TOO bad as all three fleets launched.

Three races were completed for the Senior and Junior fleets, and the Regatta Fleet sailed really well in tough conditions and also completed three races, as their parents sat inside watching Annalise get another two bullets.

Well done to sailors who won the First day Day Prizes, sponsored by Jamie Dixon of Sundaes Ice Cream in Kinsale –

Senior Gold – (1) Douglas Elmes, (2) Megan Parker, (3) Richard Hogan
Senior Silver – (1) Dara Donnelly, (2) Kelly Williams, (3) Patrick Coyle

Junior Gold – (1) William Hall, (2) Hattie Rogers, (3) Milo Gill-Taylor
Junior Silver – (1) Clare Gorman, (2) Nicola Ferguson, (3) Christopher Bateman

Tuesday 31st July 2012 –
All sailors gathered last night in the Charles Fort for the Opening Ceremonyn. Sailors were encouraged by the Mayor of Kinsale and organisers of the Nationals, and were then told about the fort by a guide from the OPW, who manage the Charles Fort.

A juggler then entertained the sailors, and refreshments were provided for sailors and for the parents and coaches who accompanied them.

At the end, a huge group of sailors jumped into the Kinsale Road Train, which brought them back to the Yacht Club. Even the rain which eventually arrived didnt dampen spirits!


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