The St. Conleth’s Sailing Team was in action last weekend at the Leinster Schools Team Racing 2023 Championships at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The team did quite well despite a difficult draw and tough weather conditions, as well as missing their usual handy helmsman, Daniel O’Connor, managing to win two of five races, and narrowly missing out on victory in a third. Below we see our worthy sailors: Captain Russell Bolger, James O’Kelly, Shane Carroll, Fergus O’Reilly, Harry Cooper-Reid, Louis McGovern and Senan Corry.
They Know The Ropes!
The St. Conleth’s Sailing Team were back in action on the waves and in the wind, as they put in an impressive performance at the Shanahan Cup competition. The team won 3 out of 5 races, working the ropes and the sails with great skill and effort, but not quite well enough to win the cup. The winds were good building until lunch and then easing, and the boys responded well to the conditions. Eleven schools competed with St. Michael’s winning and St. Andrew’s placing second. Our brave seamen: Team Captain and Helmsman Russell Bolger, Helm Daniel O’Conor, Helm Louis McGovern and Crews Peter Murphy, Fergus O’Reilly and Harry Cooper-Reid. The gang are looking forward to the Leinster’s next week.
From Across the Sea
Of course, we St. Conleth’s teachers spend the summer busily preparing lesson plans for the upcoming school year, but apparently our students get up to all sorts of hijinks… and in the most unlikely scenarios! Case in point: incoming Transition Year Daniel O’Connor. Yes, quiet, unassuming Daniel usually just keeps his head down, his mouth shut and gets on with his work… who would have guessed that Daniel is an absolute Captain Jack Sparrow when he gets on the high seas? Well, just recently Daniel represented Ireland on an eight person squad that all travelled to Vilamoura in Portugal for the International Laser Class World Championships. He did very well for his country finishing comfortably in the top half of the 240 boat fleet and showing considerable style and flair as he swooped smoothly through the sea-foam and salty air. Below you can see video highlights from the event with Daniel featuring at about 1’46’’, sail number IRL 211260. Avast Ye!
Sailors Float Our Boat!
*Now with more photos! Our sailors can once again take a bow (and a small glass of port) as they did St. Conleth’s proud in the team racing championships. And, once again, we have Mrs. Bolger to thank for the details!
St. Conleth’s took Second Place in the All-Ireland Team Racing Championship at the Royal St. George! On board were Captain Russell Bolger; helms Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern; and crews Fergus O’Reilly, Richard Caldwell and dynamic sailing siblings, Senan and Saoirse Cory.
The All-Ireland is the most prestigious team racing regatta for schools. 13 teams competed, coming from all over Ireland. It was the first time the regatta has been held in Leinster after being held in Schull for many years. It was wonderful to have the regatta in the familiar waters off the Royal St. George and the teams loved the semi-formal dinner on the Saturday evening with suits and dresses the order of the day, and crystal and mahogany suitable accompaniment to the salt spray!
It was a great opportunity for the sailors, who have been competing against each other in many cases for years at club level, to have the chance to join together in a team environment and to represent their school. St. Conleths came in Second Place with 80% race wins, a fantastic score indeed, beating some great teams such as Rochestown of Cork who came in third and St. Andrew’s, competing with three teams. Gonzaga were the overall winners and, of course, there was special rivalry between St. Conleth’s and Gonzaga with Russell’s brother Trevor captaining the Gonzaga team.
Many thanks to the Conlethian parents who volunteered at the two day event: Orna Tubridy and Rowena Bolger on the finish boat; Rosemary McGovern, who assisted David Bolger, race officer for the event; Lorraine O’Connor on results; and Richard O’Connor, current Commodore of the RSGYC, who presented prizes and officiated at the dinner on the Saturday. Joanna O’Reilly supported the prizegiving and, overall, St. Conleth’s parents were very involved in the event. A big thank you to Mr. Smith who supported the team all along, including at the training sessions!
First Before the Mast!
We all knew that there was a bit of the pirate in Third Year Daniel O’Connor: the adventurer, the raconteur, the risk-taker… but we did not realise that he had the actual sailing skills to surpass the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, cycling may be a challenge for Daniel, but put a rope in his hands, and a sail overhead, and he flies with the wind! Over Easter, while the rest of us were cutting the grass (or pretending to cut the grass on The Sims), Daniel got off the couch, went to Baltimore and kicked some Cork kister, winning First Prize at the Irish Laser Class Association’s Munster Championships!
And to make it true all-St. Conleth’s yacht party, Daniel was joined by two TYs at the Ireland Youth Nationals, where Mrs. Bolger kindly takes up the story:
Well done to the Conleth’s sailors who competed at the prestigious All-Ireland Youth Nationals in Ballyholme this Easter! It was a gruelling windy four day event but the Conlethians are tough cookies! Daniel O’Connor (Third Year) made the podium with an amazing third place, impressively following up his victory in the Munster’s in Baltimore. Go Daniel and the fab TY duo of Russell Bolger and Louis McGovern who came 7th in the 29er fleet. Not bad at all for their first official event sailing together in that super competitive skiff fleet! Good luck to these three sailors who along with the team will represent their school at the All Ireland Irish Team racing Championships in the Royal St. George Yacht club next weekend. The St. Conleth’s sailing team will be announced during the week.
Yes, it was the Irish rowers grabbed Olympic glory over the summer but we believe we have, right here at St. Conleth’s, a few talented and experienced sailors who may soon be piloting their svelte-hulled vessels through the spray of the whitecaps towards international glory. Conleth’s parent Rowena Bolger kindly brings us up to date with the maritime exploits of Russell Bolger, Daniel O’Connor and Louis McGovern.
Russell Bolger competed in the Laser 4.7 Worlds which were held in the Royal St George and National Yacht Club in August 21. It was a gruelling 6 days of sailing with teams competing from all over the world. Russell Bolger (TY) and Daniel O’Connor (3rd Yr.) competed and represented Ireland. They made the silver fleet and reached 34th and 49th place respectively, very respectable scores indeed. They are pictured here below with the other Team Ireland competitors.
Russell competed in the 29erNationals as on the 3rd and 4th July, his first ever event. The 29er is the high performing skiff. He sails with his long standing sailing pal Peter Williams. The The Elmo Cup was held in the Royal St George at the weekend and of course Daniel and Russell competed along with Louis Mcgovern(TY). The 29er team Russell and Louis’ team, the 29ers were runners up, losing by inches in the last 2 races. Pictured here receiving their prizes from Daniel’s dad, the current commodore of the RSGYClub. I’m sure Daniel is glad to back Laser sailing along with his brother Robert and Russell and Louis are delighted to be back in the exciting 29er. Good luck to Russell and Louis who compete in the RYNA Youth championships in Carraigfergus on the 11th Sept 21.
TY’s Epic Finish!
Transitioning between a normal school life and a much restricted Covid-complicated version was not the transition our Fourth Years envisioned, but TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire has done an amazing job keeping the boys and girls busy. And they certainly are going to go out with a bang!
Above you see a snap of 4A during their visit to the Epic Irish Immigration Museum and, below, loads from their weekly sailing course. And the whirlwind finish to the term is just warming up! Here is the schedule and stay tuned for more news as TY’s Class of 2021 vanquish the virus and go out in style!
TY’s Whirlwind Wrap-Up!
17th May – Normal School
18th May – 4B Will visit the Epic Museum
19th May – Garden gigs workshop on public speaking / Portfolios must be completed.
20th May – First Aid / Photography- 4A Retreat
21st May – Sailing / 4B Retreat
24th May – Graduation times to be confirmed
25th May – Gaisce Hike, Marley park to Enniskerry
26th May – Sports Day
27th May – First aid and Photography
28th May – Morning of Activities