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Ireland's Paris 2024 qualified Eve McMahon opened her account at the ILCA 6 European Championships in Athens, Greece, today with a 21st place. 

With several top rivals absent, the Howth Yacht Club teen has an excellent opportunity to build on her already impressive season.

Lithuanian sailor Viktorija Andrulyte LTU was the winner today in the Blue fleet, while Elena Vorobeva CRO did the same in the yellow one. Both sailors are also in the fight for qualifying their nations to the Olympics so it’s a double prize for them.

German sailors Julia Buesselberg GER and Pia Kuhlman GER come next with 2 points, followed by the 2023 World champion Maria Erdi HUN and Evangelia Karageorgou GRE with 3. Evangelia is also in the fight to qualify Greece for Paris 2024.

2024 World champion and reigning Olympic champion Anne-Marie Rindom DEN (1x Gold medal at the Europeans) was seventh,  the 2023 World champion Maria Erdi HUN (Bronze medalist in last Europeans in Andora) was fifth and the twice Senior European champion Agata Barwinska POL, who clinched the title in 2021 and 2022 was ninth.

Several of the latest World and European Youth medalists are also competing in Athens, eager to make their mark among the Seniors. This talented group includes Ireland's McMahon, Chiara Benini ITA, Emma Mattivi ITA, Maria Vitoria Arseni ITA, Giorgia Della Valle ITA, Shai Kakon ISR, Marilena Makri CYP, Petra Marendic CRO and Ana Moncada ESP.

17 European nations have already secured qualification for the upcoming Olympic Games in ILCA 6. These nations include:

BEL, DEN, ESP, FIN, FRA, GBR, GER, HUN, IRL, ITA, NED, NOR, POL, POR*, SUI, SWE and TUR.

Fourteen European nations are yet to qualify for the Olympics, and their sailors will be competing in Athens for the two available tickets. These nations include:

BUL (1 sailor), CRO (6 sailors), CYP (2 sailors), CZE (3 sailors), EST (3 sailors), GRE (14 sailors), ISR (4 sailors), LAT (1 sailor), LTU (1 sailor), MLT (1 sailor), ROU (1 sailor), SRB (1 sailor), SLO (2 sailors) and UKR (3 sailors).

Racing is scheduled to continue daily from Monday to Friday - weather permitting - with the opening round comprising a qualification series of at least four races to decide Gold fleet.

The top ten finishers will compete for the medal race final on Friday to decide the podium.

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Rising star of Irish sailing, Eve McMahon, is all set to compete in the ILCA 6 European Championships in Athens, starting this Sunday. With several top rivals absent, the Howth Yacht Club teen has an excellent opportunity to build on her already impressive season.

Many of her competitors, including Emma Plasschaert of Belgium, Charlotte Rose of the USA, Maud Jayet of Switzerland, and Marit Bouwmeester of The Netherlands, will not be present at the event along with many of the top 20 in the international fleet as the focus now shifts directly to July's Olympic Regatta.

This means that McMahon, who finished 20th at the Argentinian World Championships, can further cement her position in the Women's single-handed fleet for Paris 2024, for which she has already qualified. 

Annalise Murphy is back on the water in a coaching role at the ILCA 6 Europeans in Athens Photo: AfloatAnnalise Murphy is back on the water in a coaching role at the ILCA 6 Europeans in Athens Photo: Afloat

However, the 140 boat competition (with 134 European boats) is still stiff, with Women's World Championship winner Anne-Marie Rindom and Maria Erdi of Hungary, who finished seventh at the Argentinan Worlds medal race in January, very much the favourites in a competition that has two Olympic Qualifier places up for grabs.

The Rio 2016 silver medallist, Ireland's Annalise Murphy, will also be present at the event, providing McMahon with expert coaching and support. It should all mean McMahon has the opportunity to finish in the top five or 10, giving her a welcome boost for Marseille.

The event will start on Sunday with a three-day qualification round, after which the Gold fleet split will be decided. The final round will commence on Wednesday, with the Medal Race for the top ten boats on Friday to determine the podium. McMahon will be looking to make her mark and add another feather to her cap.

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Despite a gear failure setback in her first Gold Fleet race, Eve McMahon remains very much in the hunt for a Paris 2024 Olympic place in the final three races of the 2024 ILCA6 Women’s World Championship at Mar del Plata, Argentina, on Tuesday.

McMahon was scored as 'DNC', meaning she was officially recorded as 'did not come to the starting area' in the first of her two final races on Monday after her tiller-extension joint sheared right on the start line.

The fitting was replaced with a spare, but it meant missing the race.

The 52-point score – which may yet be discardable – and is in marked contrast to her earlier consistent results in the qualifying rounds of 19, 4, 19, 4 and 14.

The 19-year-old finished 18th in the second race and is currently in 20th place overall on 78 points in her 51-boat fleet, according to the official results (below).

Despite the DNC, McMahon remains in the hunt for one of seven Olympic nation qualification spots. Discounting those already qualified, here are the standings (as of Tuesday morning) for those crucial seven spots, with thanks to Howth Yacht Club for the working tally:

1. Finland: 67 points
2. Ireland: 78 points
3. Turkey: 104 points
4. Spain: 119 points
5. India: 122 points
6. Uruguay: 123 points
7. Romania: 126 points
8. Mexico: 129 points
9. Brazil: 137 points

Denmark's Rindom remains on top

The day’s first race unfolded with northwest winds at approximately 12 knots. For the second race, conditions changed as a southwest front entered, bringing an intensity of 18 knots that gradually decreased throughout the day.

In the gold fleet, Danish sailor Anne Marie Rindom remains firm at the top after securing a 7th place finish in the first race and winning the second. Norwegian sailor Line Flem Hoest rose to second place, trailing by only 12 points. Vasileia Karachaliou, representing Portugal, rose to third place, thanks to her consistent strategy throughout the day, achieving two fifth-place finishes.

According to official reports, the racing schedule has been adjusted at Mar del Plata to take advantage of the forecast, and organisers will aim for three races on Tuesday that will decide the championship - and with it, the next seven nation places for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the women's single-handed dinghy event.

Results below and check out McMahon's recent interview with Howth Yacht Club here

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Olympic hopeful Eve MacMahon won the prestigious International award at Howth Yacht Club's hosted annual Achievers awards ceremony, which was graciously accepted, on her behalf, by her dad, Jim McMahon, on Saturday night (January 6th).

Eve was unable to attend in person as she is currently racing in the 2024 ILCA 6 Women's World Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina where she is hoping to secure Ireland’s place in the 2024 Olympics. HYC communications officer Cormac Farrelly had an opportunity to catch up with Eve before she headed to Argentina.

Eve McMahon: Sailing Towards New Horizons

In the interview, Eve McMahon, the under-21 world champion in the ILCA6 class, reflected on her extraordinary journey in 2022, a year marked by unprecedented success. She detailed her experience of winning the Youth Europeans, the Youth Worlds in The Hague, and finally, the ILCA 6 Youth World Championship in Texas, a feat she described as incredible and demanding.

McMahon emphasised the unseen hard work behind her achievements, including balancing her sailing career with academic commitments like the Leaving Cert.

Eve McMahon competing at the 2024 ILCA 6 Women's World Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina this week Photo: Matias CapizanoEve McMahon competing at the 2024 ILCA 6 Women's World Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina this week Photo: Matias Capizano

Looking ahead, she spoke about transitioning from youth to senior divisions, a move she has been preparing for since she was 15, and her aspirations for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

McMahon also recounted a nerve-wracking moment during the ILCA 6 Under 21 World Championship in Tangiers, Morocco, where she capably handled a capsizing incident, showcasing her resilience and skill under pressure.

The interview concluded with McMahon expressing her gratitude for the support from Howth Yacht Club and her pride in representing the club on international stages.

Watch the full interview with Eve McMahon here: 

Full Interview Transcript:

Cormac HYC: I'm here with Eve McMahon in Howth Yacht club. Eve is the under 21 world champion for the ILCA6 class. Eve, let me dial you back to 2022. It started, I think, with you winning the Youth Europeans, then it was the youth worlds in The Hague, and then finally you were crowned ILCA 6 youth world champion in Texas. As far as I know, no other sailor, male or female, managed to do “The Triple”, winning all three championships in the one season. Tell us a little bit about what that was like.

Eve McMahon: Yes, it was an incredible year. There was a lot of hard work put into it and I suppose with support, a lot of people don't see the behind the scenes work that it takes to be on the podium and to be winning gold medals. And they don't really see the highs and the lows. So I just had to put my absolute all into the events. And I obviously had my Leaving Cert to sit, which was just a week before, but I just went into the events knowing that I did the most preparation that I could do. And I really just had to let the work, the hard work, kind of speak for itself. And to come out with three gold medals, it was absolutely incredible and a moment that will kind of always stick with me and it'll always make me very proud. But sport moves on and I'm coming up now with hopefully some bigger and better goals that I'm trying to work towards.

Cormac HYC: 2022 was obviously an amazing year, but then this year you had to step up a class. So you went from youth division up to senior division. And I know the expectations are huge and it's not an easy transition. So tell us a little bit about that.
Eve McMahon: Yes, so I have actually been competing in the youth, the under 21 and the senior division since I was 15. I did my first senior event in Australia. I went out to Australia for three months for the senior world championships. So I was really just trying to get all the experience that I can get from all the Olympic girls. So that was a huge stepping stone for me. But to be able to transition in and to be winning and being tipped as a known entity is really amazing.

Eve McMahon in action on the final day of the World U21 ILCA 6 championship title in Tangiers, Morocco. The Howth ace sailed a consistent race by race championships to win by a large marginEve McMahon in action on the final day of the World U21 ILCA 6 championship title in Tangiers, Morocco. The Howth ace sailed a consistent race by race championships to win by a large margin

Cormac HYC: Many of us were watching you back in Tangiers in Morocco, and my recollection is that there were eight days of grueling racing. You're there on the last day, the last race, everything is up for grabs. You're very well positioned to become the ILCA 6 Under 21 World Champion, and then you capsize! What was going through your mind when that happened?

Eve McMahon: Listen, we're doing twelve races in a series and every race, it really can't be perfect when we're dealing with Mother Nature. So that's why we do so many training hours, to deal with those situations that go wrong and the adrenaline just kicks in and you just really had to get the boat back up quick. And I knew, although I wasn't looking at the results, I had somewhat of a comfortable lead, but there definitely was still a bit of panic. But that's sport. Things go wrong. So I really just had to get the boat back up quickly and finish right.

Cormac HYC: You're obviously very good at handling pressure! OK - I have to ask you about the Olympics. So I think it's no secret that your ambition was to get the nomination for Ireland, ILCA 6, for Los Angeles, 2028. But what about Paris 2024? Is that now a possibility?

Eve McMahon: Paris for sure. Listen, it's one of my ultimate goals to qualify for Paris. And as much as winning gold medals at youth and Under 21 are huge achievements for myself, they're for sure stepping stones for qualifying for Paris. So I'm heading off to Argentina. That's where I'll be while this whole awards (HYC Achiever’s awards) is taking place, and I'll be racing to the best of my ability and I'm loving absolutely every minute of it. And I'm really proud to be representing Howth.

Cormac HYC: Super. Just wrapping up on last year, you were Irish Sailor of the year. You were nominated twice by RTE for Young Sportsperson Of The Year… and now, which we're very proud of, you are the winner of the Howth Yacht Club 2023 Achiever Award for international sailing. I mean all of us in the club here are so proud of all your achievements to date, and you're such an inspiration, especially for the younger sailors. Can I ask you what it means to you to have won the Achievers award?

Eve McMahon being greeted by her mother Vicky and her father Jim upon arriving to Dublin airport after capturing gold in the single-handed ILCA6 class at the 2022 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas. The gold medal win was McMahon’s third consecutive gold medal this year, having also picked up a gold medal at the World Sailing Youth World Championships in the Hague, and at the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships in Greece. Photo: Tom Maher/INPHOEve McMahon being greeted by her mother Vicky and her father Jim upon arriving to Dublin airport after capturing gold in the single-handed ILCA6 class at the 2022 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas. The gold medal win was McMahon’s third consecutive gold medal this year, having also picked up a gold medal at the World Sailing Youth World Championships in the Hague, and at the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships in Greece. Photo: Tom Maher/INPHO

Eve McMahon: It really is huge to me and I really want to thank Howth Club for their continued support. I go out into international regattas and I really am proud to be representing Howth Yacht Club. This is where I grew up to sail with my two brothers when I was five or six, and it's just a fantastic club to represent while I'm away and I really want to thank everybody for their support. And, yes, I'm absolutely delighted to win and I'm really, really looking forward to hopefully representing Howth Yacht Club at the highest level.
Cormac HYC: Well, fantastic. So very well deserved. And we'll all be rooting for you in Argentina. Eve, it was lovely to talk to you. Thank you very much.

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Ireland's Eve McMahon has kept her dream of a place in July's Paris Olympic Regatta alive by making the Gold fleet cut at the  ILCA6 World Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Just one race in light winds was possible on day three, and the 19-year-old Dublin sailor from Howth Yacht Club, did not get a front-row start in her 51-boat division.

However, the Irish Sailor of the Year' picked off places before finishing 14th in a light air race five to lie 21st overall.

With reports of thunderstorms again building over the city, safety officials advised against further racing and all boats were sent ashore.

The finals series that begins on Monday afternoon (Irish time) and three days of racing will decide the championship - and the next seven nation places for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the women's single-handed dinghy event.

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Eve McMahon, the 19-year-old sailor from Dublin's Howth Yacht Club, made a striking comeback at the ILCA6 world championships in Argentina on Saturday. After a weather-curtailed first day of racing, McMahon climbed from 37th to 20th place overall after delivering two fourth places and a 19th in the second day of racing.

The 102-boat fleet was split into two groups, and the Irish Sailor of the Year's performance in the next two races will be crucial in her bid to secure one of seven nation qualification places for Paris 2024.

Currently, there are barely ten points between McMahon's overnight position and the top ten.

Last year, McMahon won the Under 21 world championship, and this year her priority is to secure a place for the women's single-handed event at Paris 2024 Olympics.

After Saturday's three races, the top half of the fleet will sail as the Gold fleet, with the top ten boats overall competing in a short medal race final. The final day of the qualification round is scheduled for Sunday, and it promises to be an exciting day of racing to determine the seven nation qualification places for Paris 2024.

The new championship leader emerged as Danish sailor Anne Marie Rindom, who won two out of the three races today and secured sixth place in the fourth race. Rindom is the reigning Olympic champion and holds three ILCA 6 world titles.

In second place, with only two points behind Rindon, is the Swedish sailor Josefin Olsson, the Olympic runner-up at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The United States sailor Charlotte Rose, who won the silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games, rounds out the top three finishers.

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Ireland's Eve McMahon kicked off her world championship bid for Olympic sailing qualification place in Argentina with a 19th-place finish on the opening day of the ILCA6 world championships.

McMahon is one of 103 sailors competing for a chance to represent their country in the women's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

While two races were scheduled for the day, the onset of thunderstorms and heavy rain reduced visibility to less than 50 metres, forcing organisers to cancel the day's racing. McMahon has six races over three days to prove her mettle and stake a claim for a place in the Gold fleet final round next week.

The 19-year-old sailor from Howth Yacht Club, the Irish Sailor of the Year 2021 and 2022, is in her second year at the senior level and recently secured the Under 21 world championship

In the single race that did take place on the opening day, McMahon held mid-20's place and even picked up 15th at one stage before taking 19th at the finish. She needs to secure a top-30 finish at the world championships to ensure Ireland's place in the women's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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Ireland's Eve McMahon, is set to participate in the first major Olympic-class world championship of 2024 in Argentina.

The ILCA 6 event, which starts on Friday, will see 105 sailors from 47 nations compete over six days to secure a place in the women's single-handed event for next summer's Olympics in Paris.

McMahon, a 19-year-old Howth Yacht Club sailor, the Irish Sailor of the Year for 2021 and 2022, is barely a year into her senior-level career, but she is hoping to secure one of seven places for her ILCA 6 class.

In Autumn last year, she won the U21 world title in her class in Tangiers, Morocco, and in 2022, she topped out her youth career with a hat-trick of gold medals at international championship events.

For McMahon, her primary focus will be securing a place for Ireland at the Olympic Sailing regatta in Marseilles next July. Eleven nations have already won places, with another seven spots up for grabs in Argentina. Further opportunities to qualify Ireland remain at the European championships and at the French Olympic Week in Hyeres in late April.

As the sole senior-level campaigner in the ILCA6 class, McMahon won't face a trials series, unlike the other two disciplines already qualified for Ireland. The ILCA7 and 49er skiff will decide Irish Sailing's nominees to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for the national team.

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Annalise Murphy and Eve McMahon are among the nominees in this year’s Her Sport Awards.

After yet another historic and momentous year for Irish sportswomen, the Her Sport Awards aim to celebrate and recognise the incredible achievements of Irish athletes in 2023.

The awards ceremony will take place at UCD’s Astra Hall on Saturday 27 January and voting is open now on in the various categories, including Personality of the Year where the shortlist includes Olympic hero and National Yacht Club stalwart Annalise Murphy.

After calling time on her Olympic career last year, Murphy has had a busy 2023, both as part of the Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) Athletes’ Commission and in the velodrome, making headlines in track cycling.

Murphy’s silver medal in Rio 2016 was in the Laser Radial, now the ILCA 6 — the boat of choice for Eve McMahon, a nominee for Young Athlete of the Year.

It’s the latest in a slew of accolades for the Howth Yacht Club talent, who is the current U21 World Champion in her class, is also shortlisted for the RTÉ Young Sportsperson of the Year — and was named as Afloat.ie’s Sailor of the Month for October.

Irish rowing double Alison Bergin and Zoe Hyde are also in the running for the Team of the Year gong as their Paris 2024 qualifying campaign made great progress.

Show your support by casting your vote at awards.hersport.ie.

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 Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon is on the six-strong shortlist for the RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year.

The 2023 nominees include a Munster number eight, a Premier League star, two medal winners at the European U20 Athletics Championships, and world champions in sailing and para-swimming.

The 2023 nominees for RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year include a Munster number eight, a Premier League star, two medal winners at the European U20 Athletics Championships, and world champions in sailing and para-swimmingThe 2023 nominees for RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year include a Munster number eight, a Premier League star, two medal winners at the European U20 Athletics Championships, and world champions in sailing and para-swimming

As regular Afloat readers know, the transition from ultra-successful international junior sailing to youth and adult competition can be a tricky one, but ILCA-racing Gold Medal-winning multiple junior champion Eve McMahon of Howth found the perfect stepping-stone with the ILCA6 U21 Worlds at a breezy Tangiers in October.

The 21-year-old is currently in the hunt for a Paris 2024 Olympic place to bring to three the number of Irish boats heading to Marseille.

Joanne Cantwell and Darragh Maloney will present the RTÉ Sport Awards 2023 live from Studio 4 in RTÉ on Saturday, 16 December.

The awards are handed out on the night live on RTÉ One in front of an audience of Irish sports stars, including RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year, RTÉ Sport Team of the Year, RTÉ Sport Manager of the Year and RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year.

The winners will be selected by an independent panel of expert judges from across the Irish sporting media and performance world.

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago