#OPPY – So what happens when our Junior Sailors compete internationally? Scott Levie, a 14-year old Optimist sailor (pictured above) recounts the experience of the Irish sailors who competed in the Magic Marine Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, Holland last month.
"Braassemermeer 2012 was a great success. This was my second time going to this event, second time round it exceeded my expectations yet again. The Magic Marine Easter Regatta has been held in Lake Braassemermeer every year for the last 27 years. Every year the sailing is only a fraction of the trip and the experience is priceless. It tests your commitment to sailing.
Have you ever had to wake up at 3.30 am just to go sailing? Our flight was at 6am Tuesday, some from Cork, some from Dublin. The boats were kindly brought over by ferry by the Fagans and the O'Sullivans. We all met up at the club. Everyone was still half asleep unloading the boats. There were flags flying high outside the clubhouse of all the teams that had entered along with the Irish tricolour.
One of the great memories of the trip is the cruiser that we hired for the 7 days that we were in Holland. The main reason we hired the cruiser was for transportation along the canal and from the club to our hotel. The cruiser also acted as our changing room, every morning on our way to the club we would use this time to get changed and briefed by our coaches Thomas and Katie. The cruiser was also a big bonus for the parents and they were able to view the racing from the comfort of the warm cruiser.
The journey along the canals to our hotel was around 20 minutes long. The hotel was beside a big bird park. Every morning there was a buffet breakfast in the restaurant of the hotel. Before and after dinner, and the odd time in the morning, we spent our time in the playground. The playground was like no ordinary Irish playground, NO, this playground featured a big part of the trip. Until 6 o'clock in the evening the Bumper Karts were open. Ronan and I had great fun the girls and some of the lads into the corner of the Bumper Karts. In the playground there was a big zipline that went over a pond! Dougie decided to practice his 'Kilkenny Dance' over the pond and he fell in, but he wasn't the only casualty of the pond, Cliodhna was not so lucky either.
Dinner in the hotel was pretty good, except for the last day when it was amazing.On the last day we were allowed to eat in the Buffet in the restaurant of the Bird Park. It was one of the nicest dinners I had probably ever had in my life.
The sailing had huge ups and down, but 'ah well life goes on, cheese on toast'. It was very tough competition. On the last day we got spilit into Gold, Silver and Bronze.
We had 8 sailors in Gold, 3 in Silver, and 5 in Bronze. Mícheal at 9 years of age made the Silver, I think that is a huge achievement. He could still be in Oppies by the time I'm 21!
I'd like to say a big thank you to the coaches Thomas Chaix and Katie Tingle. They were a fantastic help to us all. I'd also like to thank all the parents, especially Alacoque for organising everything, Last but not least could I thank the Elmes for putting up with me for the great week in Braassemermeer."
Scott Levie is 14 years old and sails in Lough Derg Yacht Club and Kinsale Yacht Club. Also sailing in Braassemermeer were: Ronan Cournane, Cliodhna ni Suilleabhain, and Mícheal o'Suilleabhain, KYC, Daniel Raymond and Peter Fagan, NYC, Colin O'Sullivan MYC, Douglas Elmes, Harry Durcan, Johnny Durcan, Anna Kelly, Adam Darcy and Harry Whitaker, RCYC, Ciaran Finnegan, WHSC, Alacoque Daly and Eoghan o'Buachalla, TBSC.