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After a frustrating May Bank Holiday weekend and the absence of wind that led to the cancellation of the Feva East Coast championships, the various host yacht clubs around the country were rewarded with great conditions last weekend.

The Optimist Ulster Championships hosted a large fleet in Larne, possibly one of the largest for an Optimist Ulsters, showing the healthy status of the fleet nationally. Six National Yacht Club young sailors travelled up. The club had representation in all four fleets.

Regatta Coaching is an entry-level fleet with an emphasis on fun, friends, and short races. Our youngest sailor, 8-year-old Cormac Whelan, enjoyed the conditions, finishing 8th in the fleet, and was all smiles when he received his prize (for best U9). His sister Alanah put her club Easter camp learnings to contribution, completing all 8 races and finishing 13th in the regatta Racing fleet. This fleet is also an entry-level fleet with a stronger focus on developing racing skills with a series of short races.

In the main fleet, the NYC juniors delivered a strong performance led by Alex Butcher. Alex has recently been selected in the Irish team going to the Europeans and every opportunity to perfect his skills is good to take. He started with a very strong Saturday, including a race win, taking a championship early lead. But he was never safe and settled with 3rd overall after 6 races of close and intense battles on the race course. his teammate 11 years old Louis Tricket, took a few races to get to business but had a stellar Sunday, including a race win and a 2nd to climb right back to 7th overall. Eabha Brennan Hobbs completed the team’s excellent show, securing 8th overall and 3rd girl with a series including 3 top 10 (all secured the Sunday).

Jacob Browne was the sole NYC sailor competing in the senior fleet. His best finish was 10th, and he settled for 22nd overall, falling foul of the black flag rule in the final race.

NYC coach Sam Ledoux (formerly a team Ireland Optimist sailor) was happy with the overall performance and is looking forward to continuing the good work at training and events.


The Topper Traveler series is now well underway and the fleet completed 4 good races in Dunmore East. 8 NYC sailors were competing and once again showed the club is at the forefront of Topper sailing in Ireland. Gemma Brady secured her first win of the season with a scoreline almost flawless (3 wins and a 2nd). Kate Kenny’s 4th and Grace Keating’s 5th rounded up a good weekend for the girls. John Kenny had a great event, taking 6th overall and top junior sailor and a few ahead of Rory Brennan Hobbs 9th. James Gorman had strong upwind legs, but he is looking forward to figuring out how to best progress his downwind back in training. Max Swan and Ruth Thomson also competed gaining valuable experience and looking to progress before the next events and the worlds in Spain.

ILCA Masters

The ILCA Masters were completed in Howth… Certainly a junior at heart, Alison Pigot secured 2nd Grand Master in the ILCA6 category.

The Friday night series was launched with two great races. Banter and friendly racing were on the menu, with a large Feva contingent leading the way.

The club dinghies are up and running, the summer courses are filling up, and the club instructors are looking forward to a summer filled with fun, friends, surprises, events of sorts, and some racing. Don’t miss out! Nothing beats a few weeks to build invaluable memories on the water.

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