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Displaying items by tag: Eve McMahon

Eve McMahon is “Irish Sailor of the Year 2022”, making it into the top national position for the second successive year after the ILCA 6 sailor’s international performance was of such a standard that she even managed to better her exceptional showing in 2021.

For although 2021 had its special challenges as the limited international programme worked its way around the changing patterns and restrictions of the global pandemic, 2022 brought the fresh vigour and reinforced competition of emerging action.

Yet despite this, the now 18-year-old Howth sailor’s tally brought home no less than three Gold Medals from majors on both sides of Europe, and from both sides of the Atlantic. So although she first took the “Sailor of the Month” title in April 2022 by marking the beginning of her exit process from the Junior scene with a domination of the ILCA 6 class in the breezy Youth Nationals at Ballyholme, it was entirely within the month of July that she amassed the three Golds on the international stage.

Portrait of the Gold Medallist ready to partyPortrait of the Gold Medallist ready to party

During the two-and-a-half months between those peaks of achievement, she had to focus on the demands of the Leaving Cert. Keeping a level head in such demanding circumstances would challenge even the most academically-inclined, yet at the beginning of July she reappeared in top-level athletic sailing with joyful enthusiasm, and took herself off to Greece for the European Youth ILCA 6 Championship, which she won going away by a clear 36 points.

School’s Out! – celebrating the 36 point victory in Greece only days after finishing her Leaving Cert. Photo: Thom TowSchool’s Out! – celebrating the 36 point victory in Greece only days after finishing her Leaving Cert. Photo: Thom Tow

The stakes were then raised for the Allianz Youth Worlds at The Hague in The Netherlands in mid-July. Yet she led the ferociously-challenging 55-strong ILCA 6 fleet from the get-go, and her worst result – a very discardable sixth – didn’t occur until the final day with its flukey winds, by which time the Gold Medal was right in the frame.

There was barely a pause for breath before the focus shifted across the Atlantic and the opulent setting of the Houston Yacht Club in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico for the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds. All this was still being done within the timeframe of July, with the added challenges of extended transoceanic lines of communication in a pandemic-emergent situation, and the fierce heat and super-bright sunshine of Texas in high summer, coupled with the fact that the impressive host club would naturally have been hoping for a home win.

A perfect start for IRL 216111 at Houston. Eve is comfortably clear of the boat to lee and is already lee-bowing 204624 on her weather quarter, while the apparently well-placed two boats at the other end of the start are being lifted in a new line of wind which will further improve the position of Eve’s group when they reach it within half a minute.A perfect start for IRL 216111 at Houston. Eve is comfortably clear of the boat to lee and is already lee-bowing 204624 on her weather quarter, while the apparently well-placed two boats at the other end of the start are being lifted in a new line of wind which will further improve the position of Eve’s group when they reach it within half a minute.

But as Eve has shown in previous majors on the sometimes slightly partisan location of Lake Garda, she is well able to face the added challenge of “alien” status, and coming into the final race on Saturday, July 31st, she clinched the Gold with two bullets.

Going well at Houston, with an impressive array of boats asternGoing well at Houston, with an impressive array of boats astern

Occuring as it did around midnight in Ireland, people wondered if they were dreaming, with the more pessimistic saying that if something sounds too good to be true, then that’s the way it is. But it was soon doubly proven to be true when Ireland’s latest sailing Gold Medal with its holder returned with the small but extremely effective Irish squad to Dublin airport and a rapturous welcome.

Once a sailor gets to this level, he or she is at the heart of an intense little industry, and it’s a supportive family background and comprehensive back-up structure that enables Eve McMahon’s formidable natural sailing talent, impressive personality and focused intelligence to make the leap from being a schoolgirl to becoming an acknowledged international sailing star, on the cusp of adult competition.

“It’s for real….” Eve McMahon welcomed back home through Dublin Airport from Texas by her parents Vicky and Jim“It’s for real….” Eve McMahon welcomed back home through Dublin Airport from Texas by her parents Vicky and Jim

She is into an entirely new chapter in her sailing career and lifepath. But for now, the fact that an 18-year-old can achieve that one glorious month of unrivalled across-the-board success on two continents makes her “Sailor of the Year 2022” at every level.

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Ireland’s Olympic sailing team has started the New Year with a fair wind in its sails, having welcomed a new addition to its fleet of commercial vehicles in the shape of a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van.

The second of its kind to be added to the fleet, the Vito will soon be put through its paces transporting the team’s boats and equipment to international training camps and competitions throughout Europe in destinations such as Portugal, Italy and, significantly, the Olympic sailing venue of Marseille.

No stranger to the Irish sailing community, Mercedes-Benz has supported a number of water sport activities over the years, most notably in its sponsorship of Ireland’s Olympic medal-winning sailor Annalise Murphy in her preparations for the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games.

Fittingly, the predominant user of this new vehicle will be Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon, the current Youth World Champion in Murphy’s old class the ILCA 6 (formerly Laser Radial) who is hotly tipped for Olympic success of her own, at Paris 2024 and beyond.

Published in Eve McMahon

Howth Yacht Club’s hotly tipped Olympic prospect Eve McMahon has been named among the five nominees on the shortlist for RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year 2022.

McMahon has enjoyed an outstanding season on the water. RTÉ says: “The 18-year-old Howth YC sailor, who completed her Leaving Certificate in the summer, retained her world title as she won gold at the ILCA6 Youth World Championships in Houston, Texas.

“The victory added to the golds she won at the Allianz Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands, and at the European Youth ILCA6 Championship in Greece earlier in July to clinch a hat-trick of golds.”

She joins a veritable who’s-who of young Irish sporting talent, including track athletes Israel Olatunde and Rhasidat Adeleke, U20 rugby union standout James Culhane and light heavyweight boxer Lisa O’Rourke.

The RTÉ Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year will be announced live on RTÉ One on Saturday night, 17 December.

Published in Eve McMahon

In the ILCA6/Laser Women's European Championship in France, Eve McMahon of Howth YC produced a good overall result in one of her first events as a senior after moving up from three Gold medals at World Youth level this season.

A light breeze allowed all three ILCA 6 fleets to complete the first race, but after the wind dropped and never returned the fleet was sent ashore by the Race Committee, concluding their competition.

McMahon delivered her goal of a strong finish when she placed 13th, lifting her to 21st place overall in a fleet of 95 to end her season as Ireland's sole campaigner for Paris 2024.

2022 EurILCA 6 Women Senior European Top 10:

  1. Agata Barwisnka POL 44 / Gold
  2. Maud Jayet SUI 48 / Silver
  3. Marit Bouwmeester NED 50 / Bronze
  4. Matilda Nicholls GBR 52
  5. Emma Plasschaert BEL 55
  6. Daisy Collingridge GBR 68
  7. Pernelle Michon FRA 87
  8. Maria Erdi HUN 93
  9. Wiktoria Golebiowska POL 101
  10. Louise Cervera FRA 106
Published in Laser
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In the women's ILCA6/Laser European Championships in France, Ireland's only female competitor, Eve McMahon (Howth YC) has highlighted the tricky conditions. "It's not a good thing for a sailor to say, but I think that with these conditions, you just have hit a side (of the course) and say a prayer - it's absolutely mad out there! There's no playing through the middle, so you just have to chance your luck."

McMahon reckoned she was rounding marks in good positions but then dropping back so learning to manage the fleet will be a learning priority at the start of her senior career.

A 20th and a 34th leave her in 34th overall in the 55-strong Gold fleet event for the ILCA6 women’s title.

Consistency is paying off at the ILCA 6 Women’s championship, with two sailors now on top of the fleet with 50 points: those are the reigning 2021 Senior European champion Agata Barwisnka POL (2-8-17 today) and the ascendant Marit Bouwmeester NED (8-2-5). The third place is for Maud Jayet SUI (1-6-12) with 52, closely followed by Emma Plasschaert BEL (6-22-8) with 54. Matilda Nicholls GBR (3-11-14) is fifth with 61 units.

The Open European Trophy’s overnight leader Sarah Douglas CAN (22-16-28), is ranked sixth now with 66 points.

Provisional ILCA 6 Women European Top 10 after 9 races:

  1. Agata Barwisnka POL 50
  2. Marit Bouwmeester NED 50
  3. Maud Jayet SUI 52
  4. Emma Plasschaert BEL 54
  5. Matilda Nicholls GBR 61
  6. Daisy Collingridge GBR 75
  7. Pernelle Michon FRA 93
  8. Hannah Snellgrove GBR 101
  9. Marie Bolou FRA 102
  10. Maria Erdi HUN 103

Download results below

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored a 16th-39th-32nd dropping him to 32nd place overall in a light wind three race penultimate day of the ILCA/Laser European Championships in Hyeres, France.

Three more races were held today by all the fleets, with shifty and patchy 8-12 knots of breeze. There were many ups and downs that made the sailing conditions very tricky for all the 350 competitors, with significant changes in the standings.

"We just didn't find the right mode to get in front of the fleet at the beginning," commented Vasilij Zbogar, Lynch's Laser coach. "The truth is... I don't know; we were going so well before the event, but now we have different conditions.

"Finn mentally was prepared well and is feeling well. We're struggling a little bit for speed in these conditions for the set-up we have could be a little bit better."

Zbogar, a triple Olympic medallist, pointed to Lynch's improved performance in the upper wind range earlier in the week, calling it a "huge step forward." Normally, the Rio veteran would be expected to perform well in the conditions of the past two days.

"I'm not feeling great - I need to be doing better," Finn Lynch said after racing ended. "There is a lot of luck involved in these conditions, but I need to be better so that I can afford to have bad luck."

For the remaining two races, Lynch will be aiming to finish on a high with individual best results though both the podium and, most likely, the top ten are beyond his reach.

It was not a good day for the overnight leader and reigning 2021 Senior European champion Michael Beckett GBR (22-25-2), losing the top spot for the first time in the event. He’s now in second place but only 2 points behind the new leader Pavlos Kontides CYP (4-3-1), who’s counting 32.

Finland’s Kaarle Tapper FIN (5-23-3) is now third with 50. 7 points after him is Jonatan Vadnai HUN (8-18-17) on fourth.

Lorenzo Chiavarini ITA (6-17-13) and Sam Whaley GBR (24-6-10) are tied in 66 points on places fifth and sixth.

Provisional ILCA 7 European Top 10 after 10 races:

  1. Pavlos Kontides CYP 32
  2. Michael Beckett GBR 34
  3. Kaarle Tapper FIN 50
  4. Jonatan Vadnai HUN 57
  5. Lorenzo Chiavarini ITA 66
  6. Sam Whaley GBR 66
  7. Niels Broekhuizen NED 72
  8. Tonci Stipanovic CRO 74
  9. Hermann Tomasgaard NOR 75
  10. Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA 85

Download results below

Published in Laser

Three Irish sailors are through to Gold fleet at the ILCA/Laser European Championships in France

After a delay ashore to allow near gale conditions off the Côte d'Azur abate, organisers could only get a single race sailed in the quickly fading breeze earlier today.

The single race was enough for three Irish sailors at the competition to make the Gold fleet cut in their respective competitions.

With the breeze continuing to blow off the land, nearby mountains made for tricky shifting wind direction that could easily help or hinder crews.

Gold Fleet for Eve McMahon

Eve McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) had one such encounter in her race today when she found herself on the right-hand side of the course when a wind shift favoured the left.

However, the race was abandoned due to the conditions, and she went on to deliver a seventh place, her best of the series so far which moved her up to 35th place, well inside the top 55 boats that now form the Gold fleet in her ILCA6 event.

"We were racing under a mountain (shadow), so it was very, very tricky and absolute carnage to be honest," she said. "I was very happy, I got a good start, and I was happy with my overall speed; that's how I should be racing all the time."

British sailor Hannah Snellgrove GBR (21-1-2-6-1) was the winner of the single race today and climbed from the 3rd to the 1st position with 10 points. She’s closely followed just one point behind by last year’s champion Agata Barwisnka POL (4-1-2-4-BFD56) with 11.

Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas CAN (14-2-1-3-5) has also 11 points, being second overall in the Open European Trophy.

Overnight leader Maud Jayet SUI (2-9-3-1-UFD56) is third European now, tied on 15 points with the two-times world champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (5-8-6-2-2).

Pernelle Michon FRA (5-5-8-4-5), winner of the recent French championships also here in Hyeres, completes the European Top 5 with 19 units.

Lynch Lying 15th in ILCA 7 Fleet

It was a similar story for Finn Lynch (National YC) in the ILCA7 event. After dropping back to 20th, he was able to play a huge wind shift in his favour and recovered to ninth for the day.

"The first two days were very shifty and hard but today was another level with 30-40 degree shifts," he said after racing. "It was very hard to get a counter result, so ninth is okay.

After passing the halfway stage of the regatta, the event switches into the final round with two races daily scheduled until Monday afternoon - subject to weather which has proven quite unstable all week.

"It's still race by race - but after the first day of the Gold fleet, we'll have a better idea of who the guys fighting for the medals are," said Lynch.

Gold fleet for Ewan McMahonGold fleet for Ewan McMahon Photo: Yepa Photography/Eurilca

Joining Lynch in the ILCA7 Gold fleet will be Ewan McMahon, who found form enough in the last qualification round to finish just inside the cut-off thanks to a seventh place in the single race of the day.

"I just wanted to go out and give it my all and not come in with any regrets," he said. "The first day, I wasn't performing anywhere close to my potential, and I just wanted to go out and prove that I'm well able to race with these guys."

Unfortunately, the third McMahon sibling at the event had a slip in form as Jamie McMahon had a 42nd place and dropped back to 70th overall from well inside the Gold fleet range.

Overnight leader Michael Beckett GBR (3-2-1-1-1) won his third race today and consolidated his leadership in the ILCA 7 fleet with 5 points. Only 3 points behind comes Elliot Hanson GBR (8-3-2-2-1) with 8, winning his first race in this championship.

The third place overall is now for Pavlos Kontides CYP (2-3-7-10-1), who has also won a race for the first time in this competition. He’s tied in 13 points with fourth Hermann Tomasgaard NOR (17-1-3-6-3).

Lorenzo Chiavarini ITA (5-6-6-1-2) wrap the European Top 5 with 14 points.

Provisional European Top 10 heading the Final series:

  1. Michael Beckett GBR 5
  2. Elliot Hanson GBR 8
  3. Pavlos Kontides CYP 13
  4. Hermann Tomasgaard NOR 13
  5. Lorenzo Chiavarini ITA 14
  6. Kaarle Tapper FIN 15
  7. Jonatan Vadnai HUN 15
  8. Filip Jurisic CRO 16
  9. William Nik Aaron GER 20
  10. Duko Bos NED 21

15. Finn Lynch IRL 37

Penalty Topples Rocco From ILCA 6 Mens Lead

Rocco Wright (Howth YCILCA 6 sailor Rocco Wright of Howth YC Photo: Yepa/EurILCA

A penalty applied to Rocco Wright (Howth YC) on Thursday evening saw him slip from the overall lead to second place in the ILCA6 Men's event after he had an eighth place. Nevertheless, only four points separate him from the lead with six races remaining.

Results here

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After a shaky start on Wednesday due to a penalty, youth sailing star Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is inside the cut-off for the Gold fleet at the ILCA 6/Laser European Championships in Hyeres, France. 

McMahon had a consistent Thursday in which she produced 13th and 14th places in her 109-boat fleet. 

She has to finish inside the top 55 boats to qualify for Gold and lies 41st overnight with two more qualifying races left to sail.

The top places are very tight after four races, with Maud Jayet SUI (2-9-3-1) leading now the fleet with six points, followed one point behind by the overnight first and reigning 2021 Senior European champion Agata Barwisnka POL (4-1-2-4) with 7. British sailor Hannah Snellgrove GBR (21-1-2-6) is third with 9.

The Gold medalist in Rio 2016 and multiple times World and European champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (9-5-4-2) comes fourth with 11 points.

Two-times world champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (5-8-6-2) completes the provisional European’s Top 5 with 13.

Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas CAN (14-2-1-3) is second overall in the Open European Trophy, tied in 6 points with the leader.

Vasileia Karachaliou POR (3-10-16-1) and Pernelle Michon FRA (5-5-8-4) are also close with 14 units.

Friday is the last day of the qualifying series, with the first warning signal at 12:00.

The forecast is for even stronger winds. 

Six days of races are scheduled in total, with the last ones coming on Monday 21st to decide the new 2022 EurILCA Senior European champions.

Download results below

Published in Eve McMahon
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Eve McMahon from Howth Yacht Club opted to take a penalty in a post-race arbitration session for an incident at a busy mark-rounding in the second race of the ILCA 6/Laser Women's European Championships in Hyeres on Wednesday.

In 59th overall after day one, Ireland's triple youth Gold medallist will be looking to make the gold fleet in the next two days of qualifying races.

The 2022 EurILCA Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy started on Wedensday at Cercle d’Organisation du Yachting de Compétition Hyèrois (COYCH) in Hyeres, France. Lynch lies in the top ten with two more days of qualifying races remaining to decide the Gold fleet split. 

More than 350 sailors from 65 countries enjoyed great sailing conditions today for the first two races, with winds varying from 10 to 14 knots in the beginning and 18 to 22 knots at the end. of the second race.

109 sailors are being part of the ILCA 6 Women’s championship, racing in two fleets on course B.

Agata Barwisnka POL had a great first day

The reigning 2021 Senior European champion Agata Barwisnka POL had a great first day defending her title and leads the fleet with 5 points (4-1). Chiara Benini ITA (6-4) and Pernelle Michon FRA (5-5) follow her with 10.

Maud Jayet SUI (2-9) and Daisy Collingridge GBR (7-4) are also close with 6.

Vasileia Karachaliou POR (3-10), Emma Plasschaert BEL (5-8), Marit Bouwmeester NED (9-5) and Marie Barrue FRA (1-16) complete the provisional European Top 10.

Australians Mara Stransky AUS and Zoe Thomson AUS are ranked 9th and 10th in the European Trophy.

Full results from the ILCA 6 Women's races are downloadable below

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Both Finn Lynch of Dun Laoghaire and Eve McMahon of Howth will be keen to capitalise on their outstanding seasons at the final ILCA event of the year when they compete at the EURILCA Senior European Championships in the ILCA 6 and 7 (formerly Laser and Laser Radial) in Hyères in France

The two front runners are among six Irish competing on the Cote D'Azur that includes McMahon's two brothers, Ewan and Jamie. 

There are 177 in the ILCA 7 men's fleet from 44 countries and another 111 in the women's ILCA 6 fleet from 38 countries.

World Sailing Youth World Champion Rocco Wright is a fourth Howth sailor competing. He competes in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) Men's fleet along with Tom Higgins (Royal St George YC) of Dun Laoghaire in the ILCA 7.

As regular Afloat readers know, Finn Lynch reached second in the world in the World Sailing rankings, due to his silver medal at the ILCA7 World Championship in Barcelona in November 2021, which he then followed with a consistent set of 2022 results, including fourth place at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma in April and his sixth place at the 2022 ILCA 7 Men's World Championship in Mexico in May.

Eve McMahon - a hat-trick of gold medals in 2022Eve McMahon - a hat-trick of gold medals in 2022

Hyères regatta will be Eve McMahon's last competition of the year after a hat-trick of gold medals at the ILCA6 (Laser Radial) Youth European Championships in Greece, the World Sailing Youth World Championships in the Netherlands, the ILCA6 (Laser Radial) Youth World Championships in Texas, and finishing with silver at the U21 ILCA Youth World Championships in Portugal in August. More recently, she won the silver fleet at the Texas-based ILCA 6 Women's World Championships.

Amongst the competitors are Olympic medallists and world champions Agata Barwinska POL, Michael Beckett GBR, Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini ITA, Marit Bouwmeester NED, Elliot Hanson GBR, Pavlos Kontides CYP, Zac Littlewood AUS, Emma Plasschaert BEL, Tonci Stipanovic CRO, Hermann Tomasgaard NOR and Matthew Wearn AUS.

Racing begins on Wednesday, 16 November and concludes with the medal races next Monday, 21 November. 

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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