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Finn Lynch Under Pressure For Olympic Laser Campaign Funds

19th July 2015
Finn Lynch wins U19 World Laser Standard title
Finn Lynch racing at Douarnenez in France in 2014 where be became the new U19 Laser Standard world champion

#FinnLynch - Three forthcoming transatlantic trips over six months aren't the only items on Olympic hopeful Finn Lynch's list of expenses.

Apart from the burden of the long-distance hauls required in trials for Ireland's Laser spots at next summer's Rio Olympics, the 19-year-old National Yacht Club stalwart has been moved to put cap in hand for the bare essentials needed to excel at the pinnacle of sailing.

Indeed, a recent letter sent by NYC club commodore Larry Power calls for contributions towards Lynch's "shopping list" of equipment, including such basics as race sails, masts, booms – and a new boat that will be needed by October, at a cost of €6,000 itself.

Though Lynch benefits from the coaching and conditioning support of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA), of whose high-performance Development Academy he is a star performer – he's a four-time ISA Youth Salior of the Year – he receives little to no financial aid from Irish sailing's governing body.

Lynch himself estimates that "to run a successful [qualifying] campaign in the Laser requires at least €35,000 a year. This is a major concern going forward; the guys I compete against are all very well funded."

He emphasises: "To have any chance of qualifying [for Rio 2016], I urgently need to raise €35,000."

That's no small amount, and certainly not something he can achieve with the solid but limited support he currently receives from family, friends and the ISA, and his lack of commercial sponsors – hence the recent fundraising drive.

Can readers help Lynch? If so we'd be delighted to hear from you directly here and any details will be passed on to the NYC Finn Lynch Campaign team.

Of course, the situation does raise questions as to whether young sailors should be put through the ringer to hustle for funding, whether through sponsorship or handouts, when they should be focused on their performance in their chosen discipline.

Is there a better solution to cash-strapped sailors' dilemma? Please Have Your Say and let us know what you think in the comments below

Published in Your Say
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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