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19

The final race of the Optimist European Sailing Championship had to be cancelled today (19 July) for safety reasons as fog thickened on Dublin Bay. Results from yesterday are thus unchanged.
 
In the girls’ event Ebru Bolat, sailing for the Royal Romanian Yacht Club, had virtually secured the title yesterday with a superbly sailed second place in the penultimate race and could only have been defeated if her main rival Spain’s Iset Segura (Arenys de Mar) had come in the top two. Third was Swiss lake sailor Martina Müller from Zürich.
 
The history of Ebru Bolat could be an inspiration to younger sailors disappointed this year. Just two years ago in this event she placed 99th out of 105. She signed up for training courses in Slovenia, the home of the then European girls’ champion, and progressed rapidly to place 10th last year. Since then she has also won a place at the prestigious secondary school attended by her brother who has just competed in the Laser Radial event at the ISAF Youth Worlds.
 
Boys’ winner Enzo Balanger is from the Cataraibes club on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. His first international experience came from the Semaine Nautique de Schoelcher in nearby Martinique but already at the age of nine he was qualifying to sail in national regattas in metropolitan France. He placed 13th in the 2013 European Championship and will still be eligible to compete next year.
 
Second was Kasper Nordenram, another lake sailor from Rörviks Sailing Club in central Sweden. Daniel Toh of Singapore took Open Bronze with German Lennart Kuss from the famous Baltic sailing venue of Warnemünde taking the European Bronze medal.
 
Enzo is the first French winner of this event since 1985 when Maxime Paul, now trimmer on Tour de France à la Voile winner Groupama. Romania has never won a medal before.
 
Of the Irish, Royal Cork’s James McCann’s 10th place was a tribute to his resilience as he had earlier moved up and down the rankings before this excellent final result. It is certainly one of the best Irish placings in the history of the event. In the Silver fleet the best Irish result came from Harry Bell of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.
 
The Irish girls showed good strength in depth, being only one of only three countries to get three sailors into the Gold (top half) fleet. Yesterday Clare Gorman sailed an excellent final race to raise her over-all ranking from 32nd to 23rd. Gemma McDowell of Malahide and Alix Buckley of Skerries retained their placings in this illustrious company. In the Silver fleet Dara Donnelly place 13th. 
 
As the event winds down, Dun Laoghaire and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in particular have confirmed their standing as one of the major regatta venues in the world. Moreover, in a world of growing commercialisation, the success of the event was due entirely to the efforts of the 200 club volunteers.


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Day 5 Update
18th July 2014

After three days of glorious sunshine at the Optimist European Sailing Championships when Dublin Bay rivalled the Costa Smeralda, yesterday’s fog was succeeded by what in Ireland is called a soft day – drizzle and mist - but at least there was reasonable wind.

The new conditions clearly did not suit many of the sailors on the overnight leader board with the notable exception in the girls’ Gold fleet of Ebru Bolat, sailing for the Royal Romanian Yacht Club. She had a superb race. In the top pack from the start, on the shifty final beat she and Pia Dahl Andersen (Norway) broke free on the right hand side and Ebru finished 2nd. She is now sure of a medal with a 26 point lead and her only rival for Gold, Spain’s Iset Segura, must come in the top two tomorrow to win the event. Martina Müller from Lake Zürich remains in Bronze position but the group behind her is very close and includes Alexandra Stalder (Italy), renowned for having won the 850+ boat Garda Meeting in 2013, currently in fourth place.

In the boys’ Gold fleet leader Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe sailing for France sailed his discard in 20th. He is still ten points clear of his main rival Kasper Nordenram (Sweden) but the main beneficiary of the new conditions were Daniel Toh of Singapore who won the race and German Lennart Kuss from the famous Baltic sailing venue of Warnemund who came 4th.

The new conditions did seem to suit the Irish better than their rivals. In the boys’ Gold fleet James McCann, lying 14th overnight, rose to 10th equalling his best ranking so far. In the girls’ Gold Clare Gorman who was back in 32nd place this morning sailed an excellent race. On the final leg in shifting winds she sailed a very conservative last beat to finish 14th and raise her overall ranking to 23rd. Gemma McDowell of Malahide and Alix Buckley of Skerries retained their placings in this illustrious company.

In the boys’ Silver fleet (52-102 of the 153 boat fleet) Harry Bell had the best day of the Irish boys and lies in the top half of this division and therefore in the top half of the over-all ranking. Among the girls Dara Donnelly achieved an excellent 8th place.

As for tomorrow the sun is trying to break through but this is Ireland and weather-wise almost anything is possible.

All results provisional

Click here for full results

For event updates and to follow the racing live see:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OppiEuros2014

Twitterwww.twitter.com/OppiEuros2014

Websitewww.oppieuros2014.com


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Day 4 Update
17th July 2014

With a forecast for the weather to deteriorate tomorrow, which hitherto has been glorious, it was decided to change the original schedule and run two races today (17 July) at the Optimist European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay. In fact the day became a race against time as mist thickened into fog and several races had to be shortened for safety reasons. 

Two races, numbered seven and eight, were successfully sailed for the Gold fleet but Race 8 for both the Silver and Bronze fleets had to be postponed until tomorrow.

In the boys’ Gold fleet four of the leading sailors had poor results which they will use as discards. Kasper Nordenram (Sweden) with places 6 and 15 slightly reduced the lead held by French sailor Enzo Balanger who nevertheless has a healthy 14 point margin. The main beneficiary was reigning champion Tytus Butowski from Poland who has now moved into bronze medal position.

Irish sailor James McCann from Cork had a mixed day, discarding his second result of the day, and is now in 14th place.

In the girls event Reigning champion Mara Turín of Slovenia continues to struggle back from her disappointing first day with a 3rd place in Race 7 and  7th in Race 8. She is now placed 4th, just two points away from the podium. However current leader Ebru Bolat (Romania) with scores of 2 and 8 maintained the gap. Iset Segura of Spain remains in Silver medal spot but Zürich sailor Maria Müller has now moved up into Bronze place. Race 7 was won by Marsha Binte Sharin of Singapore and Race 8 by Alexandra Stalder (Italy).

Three Irish girls had qualified for their Gold fleet, a feat achieved by only two other countries. Race 7 made little different to their rankings.

All results provisional

Click here for full results

For event updates and to follow the racing live see:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OppiEuros2014

Twitterwww.twitter.com/OppiEuros2014

Websitewww.oppieuros2014.com


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Day 3 Report
16th July 2014

Dublin Bay was at its very best again today (16 July) for the Optimist European Championships. Bright sunshine, puffy clouds and 14-16 knots of wind greeted the 254 sailors. 
 
Two further races were sailed to give six so far. At this point the sailors are split into fleets of fifty: Gold, Silver and Bronze for the boys and Gold and Silver for the girls. At this point too, the worst race result is discarded which means points reflect the best of five.
 
The big Irish success is that James McCann from Royal Cork Yacht Club bounced back magnificently after yesterday’s disappointment. With 11th and 5th in today’s races, together with discarding his 28th place, he sits on a total of 41 points and placed 13th.
 
James was the only Irish boy to qualify for the Gold fleet but four of his teammates qualified for the Silver: Jamie McMahon, Loghlen Rickard and Peter Fagan all from Dublin as well as Harry Bell from Co. Down.
 
In the overall standings French sailor Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe tops the leader board with results of 1, 1, 3, 3, 1 totalling 9 points. Fourteen points behind at this early stage is Pablo Lujan of C.N. Javea, Spain while Swedish lake sailor Kasper Nordenram of Rörviks Sailing Club lies third. 
 
The Irish girls fared much better in making the cut for the Gold fleet. Clare Gorman from Dun Laoghaire gained eight places today to rank 24th. Also qualifying are two fellow Dubliners; Alix Buckley of Skerries and Gemma McDowell of Malahide.
 
After another first place today Iset Segura from the Catalan club of Arenys de Mar remains at the head of the fleet followed by Ebru Bolat of Romania and Brazilian Olivia Belda.
 
All results provisional

Click here for full results

For event updates and to follow the racing live see:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OppiEuros2014

Twitterwww.twitter.com/OppiEuros2014

Websitewww.oppieuros2014.com



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Day 2 Report
15th July 2014

Dublin Bay offers challenging sailing conditions and the steep learning curve of the 254 young sailors at the 2014 Optimist European Championships has led to some dramatic changes in positions.

The Irish boys could not maintain their two top-20 rankings of yesterday. The winds were marginally lighter but it may also be that our visitors have quickly learned how to sail Dublin Bay. However James McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club now in 26th place and Loghlen Rickard of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire (NYC) in 51st have an excellent chance of making the cut to the Gold Fleet (top third for boys, top half for girls) following tomorrow’s racing when the worst single race result is discarded.

The new leader of the boys’ event is Kasper Nordenram of Rörviks Sailing Club (on a lake in central Sweden). Competition at the top of the fleet has grown very close with Kasper leading from Enzo Balanger from Guadeloupe, sailing for France, and Pablo Lujan of C.N. Javea, Spain.

Overnight leader Jacob Ahlers had a poor third race but bounced back to place 4th in the fourth race of the day and may benefit when the first discard is taken, as may reigning champion Tytus Butowski of Poland.

In the girls’ event the Irish had mixed fortunes. Clare Gorman who had been 16th after the first day slipped back to 32nd. However Gemma McDowell (Malahide Yacht Club), Dara Donnelly (NYC) and Sarah Cudmore (Royal Cork Yacht Club) all improved their rankings and now also lie in top 60 of the 101 boat fleet. 

Iset Segura from the Catalan club of Arenys de Mar leads with a win in Race 3 and a lead of 20 points over the overnight leader Josefine Akesson (Sweden). Brazilian Olivia Belda and Ebru Bolat of Romania are next, within a point of each other.

However the rather lighter winds today had a significant effect on the overnight results lower down the fleet. Reigning champion Mara Turín of Slovenia who had disappointed on day one registered two 6th places and others who may have benefited include the Asian girls such as Lisa Nukui (Japan) (scores 1 and 8) and Shyn Ee Phua (Singapore, 7 & 8).

The best results of the day came from the British girl Fenella Bennett (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) with two second places. She commented “It took a while to come to terms with the waves on Dublin Bay but now I found that sailing slightly less close to the wind pays off”.

With good races tomorrow they will have an excellent chance of making the cut for the gold fleet. This will take place after tomorrow’s racing when the half of the fleet with the best five results from the six races will form the gold fleet.
 
All results provisional

Full Results:

Boys http://oppieuros2014.com/wp-content/uploads/results/

Girls http://oppieuros2014.com/wp-content/uploads/results/OpEuro2014GirlOpenos.html

For event updates and to follow the racing live see:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OppiEuros2014

Twitter: www.twitter.com/OppiEuros2014

Website: www.oppieuros2014.com



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Day 1 Report
14th July 2014

Ireland has got off to an exceptional start at the massive 254–boat Optimist European Championships on Dublin Bay this afternoon.

Exceeding expectations of top half results, the Irish U16 sailors are placed tenth and 17th in the 153 boat boys’ fleet after the first two races where winds gusted over 20 knots.

James McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club scored seventh in both races with teammate Loghlen Rickard of the National Yacht Club (NYC) scoring eight and ten.

In the 101 boat girls fleet Clare Gorman (NYC) lies 16th after scoring 12 and seven. Alix Buckley of Skerries scored a superb second in her opening race and currently lies 40th.

The Irish team of 14 sailors, in separate boys’ and girls’ categories, will compete against 32 other nations for the European titles. However a total of 254 competitors will represent 44 countries in the Open Championships from as far afield as Argentina, Bermuda, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

The boys’ event after two races is being led by 2013 German National Champion Jacob Ahlers from MSC Hamburg followed by, in the open ranklist, Iagor Franco of Brazil and Campbell Patton of Bermuda. In 4th and 5th (2nd and 3rd in the European closed event) are Elias Odrischinsky (POL) and another German Lennart Kuss. 

Defending champion Tytus Butowski (POL) started his championship well with a fourth place. He showed great boat speed both up and down wind and could have won except for a conviction that the left was the favoured side of both beats. His second race was less successful, placing 17th.

In the girls’ event Josefine Åkesson of Sweden leads from Iset Segura of Spain and Senef Seder (TUR).

All results provisional

Full Results:

Boys http://oppieuros2014.com/wp-content/uploads/results/

Girls http://oppieuros2014.com/wp-content/uploads/results/OpEuro2014GirlOpenos.html

For event updates and to follow the racing live see:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OppiEuros2014

Twitter: www.twitter.com/OppiEuros2014

Website: www.oppieuros2014.com

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