Sailing at the Optimist Europeans


Loghlen Rickard sailed to Balatonfoldvar, Hungary, with the Optimist European team (pictured above) in July this year.
He writes for IODAI about the experience:

I am Loghlen Rickard. I am 13 years old and sail out of the National Yacht Club in Dublin.

This year, I had the honour of representing Ireland in the European Championship, which was held on Lake Baloton in Hungary. The first seven sailors that qualified for the European Team all accepted their places – and we were: Peter Fagan (SSC), Loghlen Rickard (NYC), Richard McGinley (RCYC), Rebecca O’Shaughnessy (RCYC), Alex O’Grady (HYC), Clare Gorman (NYC) and Gemma McDowell (MYC).

We travelled with our coach, Thomas Chaix and two teams moms: Joan O’Sullivan for the first week and Sarah Gorman in the second week.

We were lucky because we got to share our support boat with the Chinese and they were fun to hang out with.

The first day of the event had light winds and Peter got an 11th in race one and I had a 5th place in the second race, the best Irish results of the day.

On the second day it was light again. Come to think of it, everyday of the event was light winds. Anyway, Clare got a 6th in race 4 and I had a 5th place in race 4 turn into a 19.7th place (30% penalty) because I did not have a whistle. Note to self: Always remember a whistle!

On the third day, the girls got a race in but the boys didn’t. Clare got a 4th in race 5, her best result of the event. On the 4th day we managed to get in 1 race. On the fifth we got in 2 races. Richard got a 6th place in race 8, and Gemma got a 2nd place (!) in race 9, which was the best Irish result of the event.

Every day of this event was light and shifty – tough conditions.

In the end Clare Gorman and Richard McGinley won first Irish girl and boy.

At the end of the event the Hungarian team handed over the Optimist European flag to Ireland, as we will be hosting Europeans next year!

We all really enjoyed the European Championships. It was a great event.

I`d like to thank everyone who took part in the event and helped out. Especially the two team moms, Joan O’Sullivan and Sarah Gorman, who took great care of us, our coach Thomas Chaix, and the ISA for sending us to Hungary for a fabulous experience.


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