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Displaying items by tag: Tokyo 2020

#SaskiaTidey - Saskia Tidey has begun training with Team GBR with a view to representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as The Irish Times reports.

The move comes after the retirement of Tidey’s 49erFX skiff partner Andrea Brewster following last summer’s Rio games, where they finished 12th in the debut Olympic event for their class.

Tidey, who qualifies for British citizenship through her father, indicated that Ireland’s concentration on the Laser Radial and 420 classes prompted her to make the change.

“There wasn’t an option here in Ireland in the 49er FX with another girl who had the experience to sail at the same level … to be competitive and win a medal in 2020,” said Tidey, who is already training with her new partner, Rio top-10-placed Charlotte Dobson.

However, changing national representation in competition may not be smooth sailing for 23-year-old Tidey.

World Sailing rules dictate that three years must pass before sailing for one country and competing under another’s flag.

That means the soonest Tidey could compete for Britain at a world championship is 2019, unless the World Sailing Board makes an exemption in agreement with the relevant Member National Authorities.

Published in Olympic

Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the only foiling class among the 10 Olympic sailing classes. It means Irish sailors with experience in cats or foils – or both –  will be busy eyeing up the prospect of a first ever Irish Olympic catamaran campaign.

Most sailors agree the foiling move it’s a natural evolution for the sport and will be a fantastic addition for spectators. The Nacra sailors at Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne say once they’ve mastered the art of foiling it will create thrilling racing.

Not only will the Nacra 17 will be flying in Tokyo but at the same conference in Barcelona the foiling Nacra 15 was confirmed as official equipment for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018, another prospect for buoyant Irish youth sailors to eye up.

On the announcement, Nacra 17 Rio 2016 silver medallist Lisa Darmanin (AUS) said, “I’m excited and a little scared. While Jase (Jason Waterhouse) is getting technical in Bermuda with the America’s Cup, my plan is to be in the gym becoming bullet proof. When we first start foiling the race course will be pretty scary at times, but come the Games it will be incredible.”

Darmanin’s helm Jason Waterhouse has the advantage of being part of the America’s Cup outfit SoftBank Team Japan who use foiling AC45s. “The foils on the Nacra will be different to the AC but actually learning about campaign management and development has been the biggest eye opener for me, and I’ll bring that experience to our next Olympic campaign.”

Helm John Gimson and crew Anna Burnet (GBR) anticipated the switch and have been sailing a foiling Nacra 20 in Bermuda, plus Gimson spent time on an AC45 during the last Cup cycle.

“We’re really excited about it,” Gimson said while rigging up for day two of their Sailing World Cup Final attempt. “I think it’s going to be quite a full on year getting used to foiling, but I think it’s good for the long term. It’s cool for the sailors to be the only foiling Olympic class and I think it’ll open up a new world for the spectators, and bring the Olympics into the 21st Century.”

“Foiling feels pretty cool, it’s pretty fast, twitchy, and I loved it,” Burnet said of her time on the Nacra 20.

Helm of the only team to take a win off Waterhouse and Darmanin in Melbourne so far and one of the few female Nacra 17 helms worldwide, Kiwi sailor Olivia Mackay, embraces the move to foiling. On the experience of flying above the water she says it’s really quiet and surreal, and hard to judge speed when the boat is lifted on its hydrofoils.

“I’m so excited for the class to go foiling,” Mackay said. “Forty boats foiling into the bottom gates is going to be interesting, and entertaining to watch.”

To retrofit the current generation of Nacra 17s would compromise performance according to Waterhouse, and the plan is for brand new boats to be manufactured. The talk about the yard is the new fleet will be ready in time for next year’s European Championship at Kiel, Germany, in July, but Waterhouse has some reservations that the new technology may price youth and developing nations out of the mixed gender class.

“For a kid it’s going to be harder to convince mum and dad or a federation to fund them in the Nacra, without a result to help them out. The positives are it’s a new challenge and development is part of the sport; it will be good for sailing’s image,” Waterhouse added.

After six of a 12-race schedule in Melbourne, the last event of the six-part World Series, Waterhouse/Darmanin (AUS) lead Mackay/Wilkinson (NZL) by seven points and the Great Britain team sits in third overall.

Not only will the Nacra 17 will be flying in Tokyo but at the same conference in Barcelona the foiling Nacra 15 was confirmed as official equipment for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018.

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

#49er - More than €5,000 is the cost of competition for Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle as they prep for their first event as a duo in Mallorca this coming spring.

The new combination have joined with PledgeSports to crowdfund the necessary budget for a new 49er skiff plus flights, accommodation and ferries as they ready for their debut competition event in the Balearic Islands.

Ahead of that, they will be training with other Olympic hopeful teams and coaches in Cadiz and Mallorca in preparation for a season that builds on a tremendously successful 2016 for Irish high performance sailing.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, last month double Olympian Seaton teamed up with 20-year-old Royal Cork prospect Guilfoyle, making his comeback from an injury that ruled him out of last summer’s Olympics, with ambitions to represent Ireland in the skiff class at Tokyo 2020.

But they will face strong competition for that spot, not least from Seaton’s former partner and fellow Belfast sailor Matt McGovern, with whom he finished in the top 10 in Rio, who is also currently looking for a new skiff partner.

More on the €5,350 Seaton and Guilfoyle are looking to raise can be found on the PledgeSports website HERE.

Published in Olympic

#ISF - Rio silver medallist Annalise Murphy is now an honorary member of the Irish Sailing Foundation (ISF) following her incredible Olympic success this past summer.

The announcement comes as the ISF, the new investment support structure for Ireland’s high performance sailing programme, celebrates a year of achievement at every level of competition.

Indeed, Murphy’s medal win wasn’t the only result for Irish sailing in August, with fellow Team IRL members Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern making their medal race in a final hurrah before their recent split, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey just missing out on their skiff final, and Finn Lynch putting in a strong performance as the youngest in his class in preparation for a medal challenge at Tokyo 2020.

Beyond the Olympics, August was a good month for Johnny Durcan, Fionn Conway and Ronan Walsh, who took second, third and fourth places respectively in the UK Laser Nationals, while Johnny’s twin Harry Durcan, with Harry Whittaker, won the UK 29er Nationals in Torbay, and Tom Higgins sailed the first Irish boat to win the Volvo Gill Optimist National.

Earlier in the summer, there was success for Ireland’s girls in the Topper Worlds at Ballyholme, as Sophie Crosbie, Ella Hemeryck and Jenna McCarlie claimed the podium from gold to silver in that order, though the boys didn’t fare too badly either, with Michael Carroll in fourth and Jack Fahy sixth.

Elsewhere, at the Laser Worlds in Dublin, Nicole Hemeryck — sister of Ella — placed seventh in the U19 girls competition, while Ewan McMahon was second among the boys. Nicole was also second in the under 19s( 13th overall) at the under 21 worlds in Kiel, Germany.

And even earlier in the year, there was a bronze medal for Dougie Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan at the ISAF 420 Youth Worlds in Malaysia, the first ever podium for Ireland in that competition.

Currently all development teams in the Laser, Laser Radial and 49er have moved to Cadiz to escape the cold ahead of January’s annual World Cup in Miami, with further training camps to follow in Spain and Malta in February and March.

But the year isn’t over yet, as Ireland will be represented by Nicole Hemeryck and Johnny Durcan at the Youth Worlds in New Zealand from 14-20 December.

Looking at the longer term, ISA performance director James O’Callaghan will be on hand at a Performance Pathway information meeting at the Royal Cork this Wednesday 30 November where he will discuss, among other things, the results of his recent fact-finding mission to Tokyo.

O’Callaghan was gathering intel on the sailing venue at Enoshima with a view to Team IRL establishing an early base there — identified as one of the keys to Annalise’s medal finish this summer. That will be especially important at Tokyo 2020, where temperatures and humidity will be significantly higher than they were in Rio.

Published in News Update

#Tokyo2020 - Irish Olympic rowing and canoeing hopefuls look set to stay in Japan’s capital for the 2020 Games as plans to move their venue to a city 400km north are likely to be abandoned.

As Inside the Games reports, Tokyo 2020 organisers are expected to downscale their costly original plans for the Sea Forest in Tokyo Bay instead of moving to the city of Tome in Miyagi Prefecture.

Rowing and canoe sprint were among a number of sports that faced the prospect of their venues being relocated Tokyo to surrounding cities as city officials look to trim rising costs even three-and-a-half years out from the Games.

Inside the Games has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Paralympics - The decision to drop sailing from the 2020 Paralympic Games still stands, following a review of the organisers' controversial move by the ISAF Executive.

Sailing joined seven-a-side football on the chopping block when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced its list of 22 sports for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in five years' time.

It means that next year's Paralympic Games in Rio will be the last time sailors take part for the foreseeable future.

The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) expressed its disappointment with the move "at a time when the development of Sailablity Ireland is more active than ever before."

Indeed, Ireland has been at the forefront of disabled sailing, with multiple-time Paralympian John Twomey holding the presidency of the sport's world governing body, and Kinsale hosting the IFDS Paralympic Worlds in 2013.

There were hopes that the ISAF's review of the IPC's announcement would see the decision overturned - especially following the merger of the IFDS with the ISAF late last year.

But those appear to have been quashed with the conformation that the process to select sports for Tokyo 2020 has officially ended.

The ISAF says it "will continue to work hard to reinstate sailing in the 2024 Paralympic Games and also pursue the slimmest possibility of sailing being included at Tokyo 2020."

The ISAF website has more on the story HERE.

Published in Olympic
Page 9 of 9

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

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