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#olympic – In the afterglow of the 2012 London Olympics, the UK's Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is making the success of the Olympic legacy a personal goal, by helping to inspire the sportsmen and women of the future.
The Olympic sailing venue is making a conscious effort to ensure the Olympians of the future have the best facilities and training available to them. Having hosted youth sailing events and training for a number of years, the Academy have always had a passion for getting youngsters into the sport, but following on from the Olympics, this focus has shifted up a gear with a great emphasis now placed on encouraging children to take up the sport of sailing.
In association with the Chesil Trust charity, WPNSA have facilitated a 'Sail for a Fiver' scheme which enables schools in Dorset and the surrounding counties to bring classes of children to the venue for half day training courses, with the cost at just £5 per child, although the scheme costs more to deliver, the difference being funded by the Chesil Trust, with support form the Academy. So far over 10,000 children have got out on the water for the first time through this scheme, and the aim is to continue to give as many children as possible this opportunity.
There are a number of youth sailing classes who frequently utilise the facilities and idyllic sailing waters at WPNSA including the Optimist, Topper, Cadet, 29er, RS Tera and Laser Classes.
The Optimist Class, boasting the largest number of participants in any youth sailing dinghy in the UK have held numerous events and training at WPNSA including National Championships, Squad Selections and Training camps.
Simon Rogers, Chairman IOCA (UK) commented; "It is always guaranteed good racing when holding an event at WPNSA, the facilities more than cater for what can be 500+ Optimists and their parents. The Optimist Class has long been using WPNSA as a venue for events, but having watched the Olympic Games take place there is certainly an inspiring element to it. Youngsters as young as eight years old can be a part of an event at the same venue where Olympic Sailors are carrying out their training simultaneously. Next month we are holding the 2013 Optimist Selector Event, to determine who will represent Great Britain at the World and European Championships this year."
The Topper Class has recently held an all-girls training day from the Academy, something common within youth classes aiming to provide a fun and healthy learning environment for girls to develop their sailing skills whilst providing some active role models within the sport to encourage greater female participation.
Lord Sebastian Coe has high praises for the Academy:
"Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy successfully hosted the world's elite sailing and windsurfing athletes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, one of the greatest shows on earth. The award winning venue has now entered its new phase in life as a multisport facility for everyone to enjoy. The Academy will continue to inspire new generations of water enthusiasts both locally and globally. Offering facilities for beginners' right through to high profile competitors, the sporting venue caters to both abled and disabled competitors. With a strong commitment to sustainable practices the WPNSA is ensuring that a natural environment is maintained as the ultimate water sports venue."
Upcoming youth events at WPNSA include Squad Training for the Topper and RS Tera Class, the 2013 Optimist Selector event, and the RS Tera National Championships. The sportsmen and women of the future are being greatly inspired by the lasting 2012 Olympic legacy; with the Academy making a heartfelt effort to keep the momentum and celebration of sport in Great Britain alive.
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Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

#HYC - Next week Howth Yacht Club will host international race officer Jack Roy of the National Yacht Club, who will give an illustrated talk on his experiences in Weymouth at the London Olympics last summer.

Roy was selected by the ISAF as a technical officer, one of only seven race officers selected to supervise the UK race management teams at the Olympics.

He was also the only one of the seven who rotated through all the courses, and his talk gives a fascinating insight on how the Olympic regatta was managed.

Roy's talk takes place at the HYC on Wednesday 13 March at 8pm, and will last about 75 mins with time for questions afterwards. Admission is free, but a voluntary donation to the RNLI is expected (€5 suggested).

Published in Howth YC

#annalise – Four race wins for Annalise Murphy puts Ireland as the clear front runner for Olympic Gold next Monday in the Laser Radial. The strong Weymouth winds favoured by the untouchable Dun Laoghaire sailor are forecast to last for the remainder of the competition including the all important double points medal race.

Regardless of the Irish domination however the title is by no means a foregone conclusion at this early stage, Annalise is only a third of the way through the 11 race event.

Nevertheless in the modern era, winning four consecutive races at an Olympic regatta puts Annalise into a very special club. It's a point borne out by the media interest in the 22–year–old as she came ashore this afternoon.

"It can't get much better than winning the first four races but there's still six fleet races left so it's going to be really tough. All of the girls are really good and I think I've had a bit of luck and things have gone my way" Annalise told media.

Only a few sailors have ever won four olympic races in a row and they include multiple gold medallists Britain's Rodney Pattison in 1968 (scroll down for video below) and Denmark's Paul Elvstrom in Melbourne in 1956.

After 10 races, a sailor’s worst result is discounted and the 10 best sailors out of the 41 entrants have their points doubled in the medal race.

At this rate though the UCD science student — who has taken a break from her degree — could conceivably have a medal of some colour nicely in her sights in advance of then.

annalisefinishline

Annalise crosses the finish line of race four, 70 metres ahead

The National Yacht Club sailor reached every mark in first place today leading by as much as 70 metres at times. Her upwind and downwind boat speed totally dominated her 41-boat fleet, a feat never achieved in this fleet before. She has a best-possible scorecard of four points from four races sailed.

Belgian Evi Van Acker of Belgium, trails by some 12 points but remians a potent threat as does world champion Marit Bouwmeester of Holland in third.

Racing started in the Laser Radial class at 12 noon and Murphy again made a clean start carefully steering her way up the first leg grinding out a three boat length lead in less than a few minutes, going on to round all six marks of races three and four in the top position with a certain amount of inevitability.

Van Acker and Bouwmeester of the Netherlands are in the other medal positions, with Team GB's Alyson Young in fourth.

Murphy has two more races tomorrow and another couple on Friday and on Saturday.

murphyfamily

The Murphy family take position on the hill at Weymouth. Come on Annalise!

In other Irish Olympic sailing team news Race 3 for the Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern didn't get off to an ideal start this afternoon. The pair were 18th off the line and up until they rounded the second mark but they battled hard and moved up the fleet to finish in 15th.

They didn't dwell on the result though and came out guns blazing in Race 4. They were at the top of the fleet for the entire race, alternating between 2nd and 3rd position. Rounding the final mark and on the downwind run to the finish, Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensenof (AUS) had a huge lead on Erik Storck & Trevor Moore (USA) and the Irish boys but the Aussies capsized at the very last minute. Seaton & McGovern capitalised on the error and moved up one place to finished 2nd. They maintain their position of 6th overall with a further 11 races to sail followed by the medal race.

Today was the third day of racing for the Irish Star sailors, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows. They began Race 5 toward the back of the fleet but moved up five places to 9th by the final mark. Unfortunately on the final run they lost two places to finish 11th.

There was an individual recall for some of the competitors who were over the start line in Race 6 and the Irish pair were among them. The penalty cost them and they finished the race in 11th. They finish the day in ninth overall with Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson (GBR) in 1st and Robert Scheidt & Bruno Prada (BRA) in 2nd. A further four races must still be sailed so it's still all to play for before the medal race on Sunday, 5th August.

James Espey also had his second day of racing today in the Laser class. He had a solid start in his first race but dropped eight places to finish 39th. He had his best start of the Games so far in Race 4 where he spent the first half of the race in 12th but slipped to finish 36th. Espey moves up two places to 40th overall with a further six races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race.

Racing will continue tomorrow for the Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. The Star class are on a rest day. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Three Irish crews are in the Medal Races of tomorrow's washed out Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta after racing was scrubbed again today because of high winds.

Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star and Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern in the 49er earn medal race starts by virtue of their top ten placings overall. The most likely medal prospect is O'Leary and Burrows who currently lie in the bronze medal position but tomorrow's racing will be worth double points so everything is still to play for.

Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan in the 470 class finish the regatta in 1st place in the Silver Fleet while James Espey finished 4th in the Laser Silver Fleet. Paralympians John Twomey, Ian Costello and Anthony Hegarty in the Sonar class finish 12th overall.

Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Northern Ireland sailors Matthew McGovern and Ryan Seaton have made a good start at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta as they fine-tune their preparations for the Olympic Games.

The 49er class duo raced three times on the opening day at the Olympic venue in Weymouth, and claimed first place in the final race of the day.

After finishing eighth and 11th earlier, they are ranked ninth overall going into day two.

McGovern, 27, and Seaton, 24, qualified the nation in December at the World Sailing Championships in Australia, and London 2012 will be the first time since Athens 2004 that Ireland have been represented in the 49er event.

McGovern admits they are treating Sail for Gold as a dress rehearsal for the main event in under two months' time.

"We are trying to make this a bit like the Games with the atmosphere and personnel that are around, so we just trying to put a nice consistent solid week in," he said.

"The aim yesterday was just to make sure we didn't lose the regatta on the first day and I think the last race really paid off.

"We are trying to decide our final mast for the Games. We won't use our Games boat here but we will use our mast that we think we will probably want to use.

"We are doing a lot of tuning on that, so it's good from that point of view to be out with the other boats and race against them in the kind of conditions we hope to get in the Olympics.

"It looks like we are going to have a nice windy week later on which will be really good to check the rigging with that.

"Knowing that in eight weeks we will be back and it will be race time is really good.

"It's a really different regatta with a different vibe to it, and the whole being up in London for the opening ceremony is going to be pretty insane and we are really looking forward to it."

For more news on the Irish Olympic Sailing Team

For more:  www.skandiateamgbr.com. Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team.

Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Tim Hall believes this year's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta will be the mostly keenly contested yet with the Olympic Games just under two months away and all five Irish Olympic boats in competition. Ireland is also represented in the race management of the event with Olympic race officer Jack Roy from Dun Laoghaire also on the water in Weymouth this week.

The forecast indicates a moderatly windy week with at least 15 knots of breeze throughout the week.

The event director for the Royal Yachting Association spoke as the 2012 event got underway in Weymouth and Portland - which will host the sailing competition at this year's Olympics.

All of Team GB's sailing squad for the Olympics and Paralympics are competing at Sail for Gold, which is also an ISAF World Cup event. Around 750 sailors are taking part in the regatta with all 10 Olympic and all three Paralympic classes being competed in.

"Skandia Sail for Gold is our largest Olympic multi-class regatta," explained Hall. "We have just over 500 boats and that equates to close to 750 sailors from 55 nations all competing for medals at this event. "It is the last major regatta at this, the Olympic venue, so tensions are certainly high and sailors are looking to stamp their authority in preparation for the Olympics.

"The competition is going to be an exceptionally high (standard), probably the highest we have ever seen.

"The sailors are at the top of their game right now, all prepared and focused on the Olympics.

"It is their last opportunity to train at this venue, so tensions are going to be running very high."

Published in Olympics 2012

#ISA NEWS - The Irish Sailing Association's Olympic Department is inviting tenders for photographic services and social media content for the Irish sailing team at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth from 4-9 June.

The tender requires attendance at Sail for Gold from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 June inclusive.

The photography portion involves daily coverage of Irish sailors racing with a target of 6-10 images per sailor (schedule to be agreed with support team dependant on campaign performance and availability of media boats), plus headshots of the squad and support teams in team clothing, and group shots with and without support teams.

Social media content will involve daily pre-race audio and video with the performance director; daily audio/video with sailors from the media zone; and a micro documentary (3 minutes max) on pieces of interest from an Irish perspective.

Applications for this tender should be emailed to [email protected] by the closing date tomorrow, Friday 13 April 2012. A decision will be made before 20 April to allow time for accreditation and registration for media boats.

Full details on requirements and details of rights and pricing are available on the ISA website HERE.

Published in ISA

#PARALYMPICS - Irish team members John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello are making waves at the World Championships for disabled sailors in Florida this week.

Inside World Parasport reports that the trio from Kinsale Yacht Club are tied for the top spot in the Sonar class, ahead of Norway and France, in the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) event at Laishey Park Marina.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Twomey and his crew have already qualified for the London Paralympics this summer after claiming one of the few rwmaining spots at the IFDS Worlds in Weymouth last July.

Published in Olympics 2012

#OLYMPIC – It must be getting close to the Olympic regatta if the official Notice of Race has been published. ISAF have released the formal details for London 2012 Olympic Sailing competition in its Notice of Race (NOR) document this afternoon. The competition begins on 29 July and runs until 11 August at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain.

So far three Irish boats have qualified for Weymouth, at least three more attempting to do so in the next few months.

The Notice of Race states the key conditions for the 10 sailing events at the London 2012 Olympic Games and includes details on the rules, regulations, entry and qualification guidelines, format, scoring, schedule, venue and courses.

Athletes, coaches, trainers and other team officials shall comply with the Olympic Charter, as well as with the ISAF rules, in order to be eligible for participation in the London 2012 Olympic Sailing competition, and shall be entered by a National Olympic Committee (NOC). The full NOR is here

Published in Olympics 2012

#OLYMPIC – Dublin Race officer Jack Roy has been congratulated by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) this morning on his prestitgious appointment as a race officer for the London Olympics. He had been shortlisted last November but confirmation of one of the top jobs in the sport of sailing has only been received today.

The National Yacht Club and Royal Irish Yacht Club member was one of only 25 rated for one of the most important roles in a race official's career. As reported in April last season Roy had been part of a panel of 25, from which 16 were chosen this week to run the London regatta.

jack Roy

Dun Laoghaire Race Officer Jack Roy who will officiate at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta in London

Roy has already run the 2011 sailboard and Laser races at the Olympic test event as part of a 180–strong race management team.

Roy is based in Dun Laoghaire and is a former Flying fifteen champion sailor. A member of the National Yacht Club, he has acted as Race Officer for many World and European championships run on Dublin Bay in recent years including Flying Fifteen Worlds, Laser 4.7 Europeans, 2007 Etchell European Championships, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Cork Week, and SB3 Worlds 2008.

The International Sailing Federation confirmed Roy's apponitment this morning as a member of the race management team at the 2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Competition which will take place in Weymouth (GBR) from 27 July through to 12 August.

His specific role on the race management team will be advised by ISAF shortly.

Published in Olympics 2012
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