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Displaying items by tag: Paris 2024

Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins has announced her retirement from Olympic campaigning.

The ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) sailor and former U21 European Champion had been readying for the Paris 2024 qualifying campaign, following the disappointment of missing out on Ireland’s sole spot at the Tokyo 2020 games last year.

Only this past summer it was announced that 23-year-old Hopkins would share with fellow HYC prospect Eve McMahon in The Olympic Federation of Ireland Paris Scholarships fund for their Olympic preparations.

Sailing since she was nine years old and well regarded as one of Ireland’s top sailors, Hopkins achieved her personal best result when she placed 17th overall at the 2021 ILCA 6 World Championships in Oman, where she also scored one of two World Championship race wins in her career.

Before that, arguably her biggest highlight was her win at the U21 Europeans in 2017 — just weeks after sitting her Leaving Cert — and that same year she graduated to the senior Irish Sailing Team.

Hopkins balanced sailing with her studies for a maths degree over the subsequent years, and together with Aisling Keller helped secure Ireland’s single qualification place for the ILCA 6 at Tokyo 2020 during the class Worlds in Japan in 2019.

However, Hopkins’ hopes of securing that spot were dashed when the following summer’s Olympic trials were cut short in the early months of the COVID pandemic, and Rio 2016 silver medallist Annalise Murphy was selected instead.

Aoife Hopkins had been gearing up for the Paris 2024 qualification campaign after the disappointment of Ireland’s Tokyo 2020 selectionAoife Hopkins had been gearing up for the Paris 2024 qualification campaign after the disappointment of Ireland’s Tokyo 2020 selection

At the time, both Keller and Hopkins expressed their dismay, with the latter saying: "I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated.”

Hopkins did not appeal the decision by Irish Sailing and took some time out to reassess her situation.

The young sailor missed the Irish ILCA 6 title nationals on a tie break in Kerry in August but did lift the ladies' salver. Her most recent victory on the water was as helm of the J80 Ladies of the Kite, leading a team of under-25s to the Sportsboat title at last month’s Women at the Helm regatta.

Aoife (second from left) among the winners with the ILCA 6 Ladies' Salver in Tralee in AugustAoife (second from left) among the winners with the ILCA 6 Ladies' Salver in Tralee in August

Before the event, Hopkins said: “Events like these are super important for women in sport and women in sailing … and it’s brilliant to see the turn out today. This is the one event of the year when the women’s changing rooms are busier than the men’s!

"It gives women the opportunity to helm boats that they might not have and to actually showcase their skills and what they can do because it’s not really about capabilities, it’s about opportunities.”

Afloat.ie wishes Aoife Hopkins the very best in her future endeavours.

Following last week's disappointing outcome to the 49er World Championship in Nova Scotia where both Irish crews missed Gold fleet qualification, the final results were Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) finishing seventh in the Silver fleet (32nd overall) while team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) were 18th in (42nd overall) and included a race win on the final day.

Both Irish skiffs will next compete in the test event at The Hague at the end of the month in preparation for next Summer's combined World Sailing Championships, an important qualification regatta for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Bart Lambriex with Floris Van de Werken of The Netherlands, who are training partners with Dickson and Waddilove, retained their world title in Canada.

After The Hague, the first major competition of the 2023 season is at the Princess Sofia World Cup of Sailing regatta in Mallorca in March.

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey from the Royal Irish Yacht Club finished in the top ten of the women's 49er FX division, sailing with Freya Black for Team GB. The new combination had a race win in their 16-race scoresheet to be ninth overall in a fleet of 36.

With gusts above 30 knots and spinning rain squalls, the 2022 49er and FX European Championships kicked off in Aarhus with all the top teams taking lessons from some new crews; including Ireland.

In an exciting start, both the Irish boats, who are each aiming to represent Ireland in the single place at the Paris 2024 Olympics, led their opening races in their respective flights. 

Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) went on to win the first race of the championship but Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) counted a UFD score for a premature start.

Overall after three races, the Royal Cork Pair are lying 24th in the 88-boat fleet counting 1, 14, and 11 from the first three races. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove counted UFD, 11 and 13 to be 53rd.

2021 World Champions, Bart Lambriex with Floris van der Werken (NED), set the standard with a 3, 2, 1 including a comeback from a bad start, and a comeback from a mid-pack first lap to show they can move through the fleet when necessary. Each of their comebacks came by jumping into shifts to pass packs and they had enough speed to make the boat-on-boat encounters fall in their favour.

Two further days of qualification racing will decide the split for Gold fleet racing that begins on Friday ahead of a medal race on Sunday afternoon for the best ten crews.

Results here

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Laser dinghy sailor Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club now leads at the Youth ILCA 6/Laser European Championships going into the last day of racing in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Ten races have been sailed with significant changes in the top of the rankings on the penultimate day.

The current Irish ILCA6 youth world champion is now on the cusp of a Youth ILCA6 Europeans title with a six-point advantage going into Wednesday's fifth day and final two races to decide the new 2022 EurILCA 6 Youth European champions.

McMahon scored a 3, 3 to become the new women’s overall leader with 33 points, followed by Emma Mattivi ITA (21-1) and Petra Marendic CRO (1-9) with 45 and 49 points respectively.

The overnight leader Roos Wind NED (14-36) is ranked now fourth overall with 50.

Claudia Adan Lledo ESP (4-5) is fifth with 63.

Conditions were once again sunny and hot, with the winds varying from 8-10 knots.

Luke Turvey

McMahon's clubmate Luke Turvey dropped from tenth to 14th place in the Boys event but could still regain places in today's final rounds.

Results here

Two Howth Yacht Club Olympic campaigners will share in The Olympic Federation of Ireland Paris Scholarships fund, as preparations are already underway for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

Dublin's ILCA 6/Laser Radial campaigners Aoife Hopkins and Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon - who begins her Leaving Certificate examinations this morning - will receive $15,000 each from the Federation.

A total pot of $350,000 will be distributed to Olympic hopefuls with the Women’s Hockey team awarded the team grant of $100,000. The fifteen individual grants to a total of $250,000 were awarded to athletes from twelve sports.

The funding for the grants is primarily provided through a combination of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity programme funding and OFI funding, split $250,000 from the IOC and the remaining $100,000 from the OFI to allow for a greater number of scholarship awards in Ireland.

Aoife HopkinsAoife Hopkins

The scholarships aim to support the athletes in their preparation for Paris, and to assist on the qualification journey. Athletes were nominated by the national federations and are representative of a mix of Olympians targeting a second Games, and athletes targeting an Olympic debut.

Making the announcement, Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the Paris Olympic Games, Gavin Noble, said,

“Thirty-five individual nominations were received from nineteen member sports for the Paris Scholarship fund, and today we are delighted to formally announce our Paris scholars and of course our support of the women’s hockey team. In the Tokyo cycle, twelve scholarships were awarded, and from those nine athletes qualified for the Games, with two finalists in the Tokyo Olympics. Naturally, we are aiming to build on those results. Through the support of the International Olympic Committee Solidarity Fund, and with the additional backing of Permanent TSB, Allianz and Deloitte, we are able to fund more athletes, to a higher level than ever before, and it is very much part of our performance and commercial strategy that we continue to move in this direction.”

Details of all recipients are below:

TEAM GRANT - $100,000

Women’s Hockey Team

The Women’s Hockey Team were awarded the team grant of $100,000 to assist with their preparations towards Paris 2024. The team consists of both experienced players who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, and emerging talent looking to make their Olympic debut in Paris.

INDIVIDUAL GRANTS – $15,000 PER PERSON

Ten points off a medal, Finn Lynch leaves the Laser/ILCA 7 World in Mexico disappointed not to be on the podium, but it nevertheless confirms the National Yacht Club ace as one of the World's top ten Laser sailors as the battle for a single place in Paris 2024 intensifies.

After his week-long domination at the front of the 126-boat championship, Jean Baptiste Bernaz of France emerged with Gold. However, his lead narrowed in the penultimate race after a disqualification for early starting.

Lynch went into the final day in fifth (he was as high as fourth overall last Wednesday) but overhauling either Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic or 2017 Laser World Champion Pavlos Kontides proved to be too big an ask. Two solid races on the final day were needed to reach the podium and sit with his silver medal from the last world championships in November 2021.

Lynch had a 21st place in the penultimate race, which he couldn't discard, having previously used his discard through gear failure (a downhaul rope breakage in the last qualified on Wednesday that he may well rue). 

He wasn't the only one to drop back as New Zealander Thomas Saunders who was second had to be satisfied with the leather medal after the final shake-up.

The first race of the day brought a little drama when the event leader Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) got a Black flag, and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) finished fifth, which lifted him to a second overall place, with just 12 points behind Jean-Baptiste. By finishing 14th place, Thomas Saunders (NZL) fell to the third position, only five points ahead of Tonci Stipanovic (CRO).

According to the Notice of Race, the last possible Warning signal at 1500 made it impossible to race committee to give to the Silver fleet a second race, so they finished the championship with 11 races sailed total.

However, the Gold fleet still managed to get their last race started in time and Michael Beckett (GBR) made his best race during the regatta by winning that race. Filip Jurisic (CRO) finished second, which moved him up to the 3rd overall position; Joel Rodriquez Perez (ESP) finished third.

Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) by finishing 7th in the last race secured his position he held almost the whole regatta and became the new ILCA 7 World Champion.

For the first time, the ILCA 7 Men's World Champion title goes to France!

As the top Irish contender, Lynch is attempting to rebuild after his disappointment of failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020. All credit to him that he is on the right tack at the first opportunity.

A catalogue of quality results achieved since last November shows the depth of the ambition of a new and improved Irish number one.

Since the Laser/ILCA 7 dinghy made its Olympic debut 25 years ago, Ireland has sought a top 30 result at the annual World Championships. Now it has two top tens and a silver medal thanks to Lynch's exploits.

Lynch's own best Worlds performance before Barcelona 2021 and Mexico this week was 31, scored in Melbourne in 2020, a position he also got in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2018. 31st is also a result achieved by his predecessor James Espey in Oman in 2013.

It's not popular to air it in some quarters, but despite 25 years of trying, and until 2021, Ireland had never finished in the top 30 of the World Championships never mind the top ten. You have to go right back to the 'eighties to find any higher Irish results.

In 1983 Lyttle finished 19th and Bill O'Hara 13th, a record, albeit achieved in pre-Olympic times, that stood until Lynch changed all that in blistering fashion.

A short break now follows for Lynch before he returns to competition in The Netherlands for the Allianz Regatta and preparation for the 2023 world championships, which will be the first qualification opportunity for Paris 2024.

Final top ten

1. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 51 points
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 68
3. Filip Jurisic. CRO, 75
4. Thomas Saunders, NZL, 77
5. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 81
6. Finn Lynch, IRL, 85
7. Elliot Hanson, GBR, 88
8. Philipp Buhl, GER, 99
9. Jonatan Vadnai, HUN, 101
10. Stefano Peschiera , PER, 105

Full Results

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is off to a great start to his silver medal defence at the ILCA7/Laser World Championships in Puerto Vallarta.

Lynch posted is lying sixth overall on the Banderas Bay after the first two qualification races in typical sea breeze conditions. 

The 26-year-old scored a tenth then second place in his flight in the 126-boat regatta and was placed sixth overall. They are scores the Carlow native will be keen to maintain as a good average, which is the key to gold fleet qualification on Wednesday in the week-long 12-race event.

The massive fleet is split into two “flights” for the first three days of the series which will then determine the Gold fleet cut, building towards Saturday's final day.

Ewan McMahon 'unwell'

Unfortunately, as Afloat previously reported, Ireland's second team member Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht YC is reported as 'unwell'. Although he did sail, critically he is unable to hike in the 12-17 knot conditions, according to the team camp.

After a 32nd and 40th places for the day, McMahon lies in the bottom half of the fleet in 72nd place overall.

Overall, the rankings show Hungary's Jonatan Vadnai leading from Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic with Nik Aaron Willim of Germany in third. 

Results are here

The ILCA7 is the Men's single-handed event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Qualification for the Marseille regatta in just over two years' time will be at next year's combined Sailing World Championships in The Netherlands with another opportunity at the 2024 worlds.

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This week's confirmatory announcement of Sport Ireland High-Performance funding allocation is good news for sailors who have benefited from improved performances and an increase in the amounts awarded to International and World Class level athletes.

Finn Lynch's silver medal at last year's ILCA 7 World Championships has promoted him to the Podium level which awards him €40,000 per annum through to Paris 2024. The 49er pairing of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove is considered world-class, which brings €25,000 each.

49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove will receive €25,000 each to Paris 202449er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove will receive €25,000 each per annum to Paris 2024 Photo: Sailing Energy

Seafra Guilfoyle, Johnny Durcan, Aoife Hopkins, Ewan McMahon and Eve McMahon will receive International level funding of €18,000 each.

Sport Ireland High-Performance fundingSport Ireland High-Performance funding for Irish sailors

€3.2m for Irish Sailing

Irish Sailing's high-performance programme funding has increased by €130,000 from €3,070,000 to €3,200,000 which seems positive, but analysis of the funding increases in other sports relegates Sailing to 17th of the 21 sports awarded this funding.

Five sports (Canoeing, Judo, Taekwondo, Gymnastics and Badminton) enjoyed increases of over 100%, while eight further sports received increases of between 20% and 70%.

Irish Sailing's increase of 4%, will actually be a decrease in real terms as increased levels of inflation bite into associated costs.

Sailing, which was the second best-funded Olympic Sport for Tokyo 2020, has now fallen to fifth place in the funding rankings.

John Menton

Sydney Olympic discus thrower John Menton leads the Irish Sailing Olympic Steering Group following the retirement of Patrick Coveney.

In a statement, Irish Sailing said it will 'continue to work closely with Sport Ireland to help meet the challenges of implementing the recommendations from the Tokyo Olympic Report'.

Full Sport Ireland report here and Irish Sailing's commissioned Tokyo Independent External Review review is here

Sport Ireland High-Performance funding

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The transition from junior to senior sailing is difficult at the best of times, and the Irish “Sailor of the Year 2021Eve McMahon of Howth has found that the arbitrary dictates of personal birth dates means that she has been dealing with the demands of the Leaving Cert in her education, while at the same time taking her departure from the junior scene to move towards the challenges of the bigger world.

Yet she did it in considerable style in April’s Youth Nationals at Ballyholme, where the 38-strong ILCA 6/Radial fleet from all over Ireland may not have been the most numerous class, but there’s no doubting that it was the sharp end of the entire regatta. And even with some days providing strong onshore winds with waves of such size that they had to be handled individually rather than as a sequence, she finished in style with two wins on the final day, and the title with it.

Published in Sailor of the Month

A medal race finish is a possibility for Irish 49er duo Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove if they sail three good final races on Friday at Semaine Olympique Francaise (French Olympic Classes Week) in Hyères.

The regatta has added significance as it's the first of the quadrennial to take place down the coast from the Paris 2024 Olympic waters of Marseille. 

Beautiful conditions graced the fleets. A light and shifty morning gave way to an afternoon of fine if choppy conditions in 12-15 knot easterlies. It made for a full day of competitive sailing across the 10 classes.

Thursday was the fourth day of racing and the first day of the final series. Medal races begin on Saturday.

Dubliner's Dickson and Waddilove have moved up the 49er fleet into 16th place (from 19th on Thursday) after scoring a 6, 7 and 20 in the three races of the day.

49er rivals for Paris Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork YC remain in 30th place overall, scoring 29, 28 and 27 in Thursday’s races.

ILCA 7/Laser

Both Finn Lynch and Ewan McMahon have moved up the rankings of their 128-boat fleet. The National YC's Finn Lynch, who is struggling with an arm injury, now lies in 22nd up eight places and Ewan McMahon (Howth YC) moves up to 27th overall after a 9 and 22 in today’s two races.

49erFX

The Royal Irish's Saskia Tidey of Dun Laoghaire who is competing for Team GB is lying 21 with new partner Freya Black in a fleet of 38.

Full results here

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