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Displaying items by tag: ILCA 6

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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It’s been a bumper month for Howth Yacht Club’s Sienna Wright on the international stage, with U17 silver medals in the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds and Europeans.

Last week in Gdynia, Poland at the Youth European Championships (12-19 July), the younger sister of April’s Junior Sailor of the Month Rocco Wright placed 13th overall in the gold fleet and second among the under-17s in an impressive performance in the former Laser Radial.

And it came just two weeks after a similarly strong showing at the class Youth World Championships in Dziwnów, Poland (1-9 July) where she claimed silver in her age bracket and placed 18th overall.

Speaking after her latest achievement, Sienna said of the week: “It was quite tricky, very shifty conditions, long days waiting, long hours, but in the end it was a good result so I’m happy.”

Published in Laser
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A black flag for Eve McMahon (19) in race five of the Paris 2024 Olympic Test event in Marseille has been a setback for the Howth sailor, who lies in the top one-third of her ILCA 6 38-boat fleet.

McMahon is 12th after six races from ten and counts 4, 16, 12, 15, (39)BFD, and 13 to be on the same points as the 11th-placed Finn, Monika Mikkola and one point off the top ten.

Two victories saw Belgium’s Emma Plasschaert surge into ILCA 6 contention as she bounced back from disqualification on Monday to climb to fourth.

“It’s a nice feeling; sailing bullets is always fun,” said the two-time world champion. “I got the strategy right, and it’s nice when everything falls into place.

“It’s important to trust the process and believe one DSQ doesn’t have to affect everything that follows.

“It was tough, I didn’t have the best night’s sleep, but I just focused on the job at hand and tried to gain every point I could.”

Also enjoying an upturn in fortunes was Hannah Snellgrove (GBR), who recorded finishes of fourth and eighth to move into eighth overall.

Snellgrove turned 33 on the opening day of competition and was pleased to have a more successful day to celebrate.

“The birthday didn’t go according to plan, so we are doing a belated birthday two days later,” she said.

“Day one was a bit rough, a yellow flag and one not so good result, so it has been good to put in a few top-10s ever since. I had some good starts today and that made life a bit easier.”

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Maud Jayet (SUI) are the joint-leaders on 24 points, three ahead of Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) with Plasschaert a point further back.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Anne-Marie Rindom remains very much in the mix in fifth.

Results are here

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After three days of hectic racing, Rush Sailing Club's Tom Fox won by a single point in the ILCA 6 class of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Sunday, beating Afloat's pre-regatta tip of Darren Griffin as the Malahide sailor was top three at the Masters' Nationals in the last two years. 

Fox got off to a great start with two race wins on Friday, but Griffin countered with wins in races five, six and seven on Sunday in the 17-boat fleet. 

Racing took place on the relatively more sheltered Salthill course on Dublin Bay but there were severe gusts off the Blackrock shore.

Only a point separated the pair by Sunday's closing race eight, with Fox on 18 and Griffin 19. 

Hugh Delap, who heads to the Master European Championships in September, took third.

The 2023 regatta, the ninth edition of Ireland's largest regatta, concluded on Sunday with final races for most classes and a great festival of sailing across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Published in Volvo Regatta

While Darren Griffin (MYC/RStG) must be a favourite on paper for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta ILCA 6 dinghy title as he was top three at the ILCA 6 Master Nationals in the last two years, another north Dublin sailor, Tom Fox of Rush, will also be very fast if the forecasted breeze materialises this weekend.

A 21-boat fleet ILCA 6 fleet for the four-day Dublin Bay event also sees the return of some dark horses such as Ivor McNamara (who returns periodically to Lasers) and Marc Coakley (back home from working abroad) plus two Water Wag sailors, John O’Driscoll and Hugh Delap, who’ve opted for the single hander this week. Both could be up near the top, especially DeLap who has improved a lot in the ILCA this year and is heading to the Master European Championships in September.

Included in the VDLR mix are five female helms making the ILCA 6s one of the biggest dinghy turnouts this weekend.

Published in Volvo Regatta
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Royal St. George Yacht Club ILCA 6-star Sean Craig has finished top of the Barcelona Masters Championships in Spain.

With no racing on Saturday, three on Sunday and two on Monday, conditions were very unstable (with lots of thunder and lightning), so it was a high-scoring regatta for the fleet apart from the winner, two-time Olympian Monica Azon.

Despite only finishing seventh overall, Craig earned his first Grand Master title in the biggest category racing, with 26 of the 53-boat fleet.

Spain is proving a successful hunting ground for the 58-year-old Dun Laoghaire ace who won a Bronze Medal at the EurILCA Masters Europeans at L’Escala in Spain last October.

John Curran, ex-Bray Sailing Club and now Wembley Sailing Club in London, came 32nd.

Download results below

The action moves up the Costa Brava next weekend May 4-7th for the Spanish Masters where a big Irish contingent of three more ILCA 6s and four ILCA 7s (all from the RStGYC) will join Craig and Curran.

Published in Laser
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Gold fleet racing is always the real acid test and this is proving no different on the first day of gold fleet racing at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Mallorca today.

Leads earned through the initial Qualifying heats often prove transient when it is only the cream of each fleet battling it out for places in Saturday’s Medal races.

Among the ILCA 6 women in their Gold fleet, Eve McMahon of Howth YC was disappointed with her performance.  "It was a very mediocre day for me; unfortunately, my starts today really let me down, which isn't like me," she said after coming ashore in C'an Pastilla.  "I think the Black Flag (disqualification) on the first day has thrown me a little bit - I haven't had one of them in quite a while."

Fleet racing in Gold, Silver and Bronze divisions concludes on Friday with the top ten boats in each of the ten events that comprise the Olympic regatta format going forward for a high-scoring short medal race final on Saturday.

At this key Olympic classes regatta last year, post Tokyo, one notable absentee was the Dutch three times medallist Marit Bouwmeester. She was heavily pregnant then, giving birth to her first child Jessie Mae in May last year. Since then, the new mum has, predictably, limited her training and racing time.

After winning Laser Radial silver in London 2012 and gold in Rio 2016, bronze in Tokyo 2021 completed the full medal set, but it was something of a disappointment considering in 2020 – the year the Games should have run – she was reigning W orld and European. But an arm injury in 2021 meant that the Tokyo Olympic regatta was the only major regatta she could sail.

So Bouwmeester is back in the ILCA 6 in Palma, revving up her challenge for the fourth medal which would make her the most successful ever female sailing Olympian. And she is on typically impressive form. After a first and second today – discarding a 16th which was the result of catching the pin mark - she carries a lead of 24 points into the second day of Finals racing, ahead of her Dutch compatriot Maxime Yonker.

Washing down her boat in the sunshine in C’an Pastilla she smiles “ It is nice to be back in Palma but the days on the water feel very long. But today was a good day. I was a bit pissed off in the third race because I got a good start and then dropped my mainsheet and got caught around the pin end which was a bit stupid, but overall I feel like I am making progress.”

For her, she says, it is not the potential glory of potentially being the ‘best of the best but still – 13 years on from her first world championship silver medal –she is trying to get better every day and, now, doing it is a mum.

“If you can get a baby out, you can do anything!” she chuckles, “ I want to do it all one more time but first I have to qualify myself for Paris 2024 and finish my career in style and there is only one place, for me, that counts. I want to win a gold medal. I believe I can still do it. That is why I am here, still doing it. And I am really grateful to my boyfriend who is giving me this opportunity and he looks after out kid a lot and also to my coach who believes in me. He does a lot of work for me because I can’t train as much as I want to. I am probably doing half of what I did before.”

She asserts, “Having a baby puts everything in perspective. I am so very grateful to be a mum, really I am. It is not common to go sailing at this level and be a mum, so I really need to make every time on the water count. It has to be good and I appreciate being away. And then when I do go way to Lanzarote to train and take my babysitter she gets all these things you think you get it all sorted and these things happen. But I am going to give it all I can, my very best.”

And Bouwmeester concludes, “There is an addiction of trying to being better every day. After Tokyo it is unfinished business as I went to Tokyo after winning the World and European Championships in 2020 and then the Games were postponed. And then I had a big arm injury and could only sail one event and that was the Olympics. So that is not how I wanted my career to end.”

Results are here

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After an eleven-race series at the ILCA 6 European Championships, defending title-holder Rocco Wright (Howth Yacht Club) took home the bronze medal after a close final day of racing in Andora, Italy. 

Mattia Cesana of Italy edged ahead to become the new ILCA6 men's champion.

Along with Greek sailor Athanasios Kyfidi who took the silver on tie-break, the leading trio had enjoyed a week-long duel at the front of their 71-boat event across a range of conditions.

Good breeze of around 10 knots and a good swell allowed for three more races on the final day.

Final Results – ILCA 6 Men

  1. Athanasios Kyfidis GRE 27 pt
  2. Mattia Cesana ITA 28 pt
  3. Rocco Wright IRL 37
  4. Mario Novak CRO 67 pt
  5. David Ponseti ESP 68 pt

These sailors are all Under 21, so they were also declared U21 champions.

Published in Laser
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Reigning ILCA 6 Men's Senior European champion Rocco Wright of Howth Yacht Club took the lead today in Andora, Italy, with 21 points.

Overnight leader Athanasios Kyfidis GRE and Mattia Cesana ITA follow him two points behind.

They are all Under 21, so leaders of both the overall and U21 championships.

Wright's lead would be slightly better, but for a capsize in the final race of the day when he placed eighth, his worst result of the series so far, which he discards. Nevertheless, his fourth day of competition still counted another race win and all top ten results.

There was a further strong showing for Fiachra McDonnell (Royal St. George Yacht Club), who had a very consistent day with a fifth, sixth and third places that shifted him to sixth overall.

Published in Laser
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Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon completed a solid day at the ILCA 6 Women's Europeans in Andora, Italy improving from 19th to 15th overall thanks to sixth and third places as well as a 12th as her event moves into Gold fleet finals racing from Thursday.

Winds of 18-25 knots and big waves brightened up today’s racing.

Vasileia Karachaliou POR leads the Women’s championships with eight points after scoring a 1-2-2 today. The second place is for the seven times Senior European medalist Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-4-1) with 11. Third place for Emma Plasschaert BEL (5-3-1) with 12.

Chiara Benini ITA is fourth with 15. Fifth place for the reigning Senior European champion Agata Barwisnka POL with 17 points.

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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