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Paris 2024 Irish Olympic sailors are among athletes across sixteen sports who were awarded a total amount of €115,000 to support their performance through an Olympic Federation of Ireland athlete's fund

ILCA 7 solo campaigner Finn Lynch, who just finished 13th overall at last week's European Championships in Italy, got €3,000, and the Irish doublehanded 49er crews, Dublin's Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove and Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle & Johnny Durcan were each awarded €3,000 per boat.

The proceeds of the fund were partially raised by the Make a Difference Golf Day in October 2022 and an additional €50,000 from the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

Athletes targeting both the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024 and the Winter Olympics in Milano Cortina 2026 will benefit from the fund, which will support applications detailing projects from training camps to specialist coaches.

Chair of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission, Shane O’Connor welcomed the increased amount saying,

“There are a huge number of athletes across a huge number of sports vying for Olympic qualification. The quality and depth of applications received were very impressive and highlighted that a little extra support to the athletes can really make a huge difference. We are happy as an Athletes' Commission to be able to support this fund, with the backing of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, and the Make a Difference golf fundraiser.”

Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000

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Consistent sailing by Olympic Paris 2024 campaigner Finn Lynch puts him in the top ten of the ILCA 7 European Championships in Andora, Italy.

The National Yacht Club ace, ranked as high as second in the world last season, added another two fifth-place results to his scoresheet on Tuesday before ending the qualification rounds with a race win boost to sit eighth overall with 5, 5, (6.0) and 1.

Reigning World champion Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA (1-3-1-10) leads the competition with five points among 191 sailors.

Medium air conditions were quite shifty, with the breeze up and down in big seas on the Riviera delle Palme.

Three sailors are just one point behind Bernaz, so the championship promises to be fought to the bitter end; Duko Bos NED (7-4-1-1), Philipp Buhl GER (1-19-1-4), and Matthew Wearn AUS (1-3-2-4) are all counting six points after the first four races. Tonci Stipanovic CRO (7-1-4-3) is also close with eight.

There was a special moment for Ireland at this major championship when Lynch's rival for Paris 2024, Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, crossed the finish line just behind Lynch, giving Ireland a 1-2 in race four.

Three races are scheduled for Wednesday, with the first warning signal at 09:00. Coaches meeting at 07:00.

ILCA 7 – Full results below

Building on the highest-ever recorded Irish medal achievements in 2022 – including the achievements of sailors Finn Lynch and Eve McMahon at World level – Sport Ireland announced this week its latest funding packages for Paris 2024.

Top-ranked ILCA 7 sailor Lynch is one of 32 Irish athletes to receive the top category of 'Podium' funding of €40,000. 

Three other Irish sailors are among 63 athletes to receive international funding, but the number of sailors awarded has halved since May 2022.

49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove each get €18,000 (down from 25k each in 2022), and Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon receives €18,000 for her ILCA 6 Paris bid.

Sport Ireland requires athletes to achieve published carded criteria to be eligible to apply to be on the Scheme.

 Sport Ireland carding for Irish Sailors in 2023Sport Ireland carding for Irish Sailors in 2023 - source: Sport Ireland

Meanwhile, in this week's High-Performance Programme Funding 2023 allocation, the Irish Sailing Association will receive €800,000, matching last year's grant, as part of the €3.2m it will get between 2021-2024.

High-Performance Programme Funding is provided to National Governing Bodies to fund performance team salaries and various activities, including training camps and competitions, pathway development, and performance services.

High-Performance Programme FundingHigh-Performance Programme Funding - source: Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland also announced that in 2022, the ISA received €220,000 in High-Performance Impact Funding. According to Sport Ireland, this 'Impact Funding' ensures flexibility to 'respond positively to performance opportunities' or 'reasonable financial challenges within NGBs'.

Under its 'multi-annual funding commitment' for 2022 to 2024, €10.8m in 'High-Performance Programme Funding' will be provided to 19 National Governing Bodies, including rowing, sailing and canoeing, to support the delivery of their performance programmes in 2023. 

See more from Sport Ireland here

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With 547 days to go to the Paris 2024 Olympics, America's Sailing Scuttlebutt website reports that USA Olympic Sailing has lost its Executive Director. 

Paul Cayard (San Francisco, CA), who had been appointed by US Sailing in March 2021 as Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, today announced his resignation from the position. Here are his words to supporters of US Olympic Sailing:

Unfortunately, over the past couple of months, the US Sailing Association and I had a complete breakdown on several levels. The process of resolution was not good and ultimately unsuccessful. Despite my passion for our mission and my perseverance, I can no longer work with US Sailing.

In 2020, I was told that trying to build a successful Olympic Team, within US Sailing, would be very challenging. Changing the processes, culture, and support for the Team is an extremely difficult task. We are just starting to make gains. Raising two or three times the amount of money ever raised in the USA, to support that goal is also a difficult task. Starting and building an endowment so that future leaders will have something to rely on financially is another tall order.

Ultimately, the relationship with US Sailing proved to be one that I could not cope with. It pains me to admit that as I did sail around the world twice, and generally feel pretty capable of dealing with adversity.

I want to emphasize my gratitude for your support, trust and confidence in me. Know that we made significant progress in the movement to get the USA back to the top of the podium. I remain interested in our mission and supporting athletes. Maybe this will take a different form in time.

It has been my honor and privilege to work with my staff and for all the great athletes of the USA who have so much potential. I wish them all the best!"

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US Sailing restructures Olympic programme

US Sailing, the sport's national governing body, announces an operational restructuring of the US Sailing Team.

During a reassessment of its business, and to ensure US Sailing Team athletes receive the best support leading up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the US Sailing Board of Directors has decided to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure all aspects of successfully operating the Olympic Team receive the attention they deserve.

Previously, the Executive Director of US Olympic Sailing was responsible for both leading team operations as well as garnering financial support for the team. In this new structure, duties would be streamlined and separated into two roles. A Head of Olympic Operations will focus full-time on this part of the role, while a second position will give fundraising for the team the necessary attention it deserves.

In the past two years, many strides have been made towards success on the podium. Fundraising efforts and successes have grown, athletes participating on the US Sailing board, which is a requirement of The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, have gained valuable leadership experience, and responsibilities have naturally been added.

By separating responsibilities into two roles, each effort will get the dedicated staff and time necessary for success.

"We are proud of the accomplishments made with respect to the Olympic Team and the development of our athletes over the past couple of years," said President of the Board of Directors Rich Jepsen. "We have done what all good organizations do, which is to continually assess how to be even better.

"In talking with many athletes and other stakeholders in that regard, and the Board believes that dedicating the necessary resources for these two valuable areas will help better position our athletes for success on the podium."

Additional steps are already being taken to implement this improved structure. A search committee comprised of US Sailing board members is being created to fill these important roles. Interviews are ongoing to recruit the successful development professional and will begin shortly for the head of the Team.

In the interim, two board members who have been integrally involved in the Board's oversight of the Olympic operations and the ongoing assessment, Olympian Sarah Lihan and long-time board member and 10-year sailor athlete Henry Brauer, will help oversee the Team.

Recent Lanzarote International Regatta winners James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will speak about Life as full-time sailors versus life and work in the 'real world'... in a 'Road To Gold' interview on Thursday, 23 February, 1900 hours UTC.

The No.1 GBR 49er team aiming for Paris 2024 will also give a Q&A session and discuss how it has been a difficult time for the 49er class transitioning to new masts and new sails, so James and Fynn will be asked for their tips on how best to spend your time when there's too much to do and what they've learned from the setbacks over the years.

The Road To Gold is a free Zoom call and a 60-minute Q&A session.

Road To Gold's Andy Rice and Hamish Willcox will be fielding live questions throughout each 60-minute session.

Join Zoom Meeting with James Peters & Fynn Sterritt

Meeting ID: 846 6777 2126
Passcode: 221537

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British windsurfer Sam Sills scooped a silver medal in a thrilling finale to the first Olympic class regatta of 2023.

Sills, 29, from Launceston in Cornwall, dominated the opening round of the iQFOiL Games in Lanzarote but had to settle for second after losing out to Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski in a dramatic winner-takes-all medal race.

Sills earned an automatic spot in the event finale having won nine of the 15 races, but the racing format of the iQFOiL class – which will make its debut at Paris 2024 – sees the top three riders go head-to-head on equal standings to determine the final podium positions.

Combined with the incredible speeds of the iQFOiL windsurfers the format makes for tense and exciting viewing – but for the athletes the jeopardy is highly increased.

In an incredible chain of events, Sills and Tarnowski were neck and neck as they hurtled towards the finish, before both crashed just metres short of the line.

Tarnowski was quickest to get back up on his board, crossing the line to take first place and the event win.

Frenchman Nicolas Goyard, the third athlete in the race, also passed Sills but in a show of sportsmanship stopped short of the line to allow Sills to take silver.

“It was so intense,” said Sills, who was competing in a medal race for the first time. “Everything happened so fast, it’s honestly still a blur. I think it’s going to take me a bit of time to process, but it was very extreme, very intense and a lot of fun.”

Sills, who lives in Portland, Dorset, home of the British Sailing Team, said he was happy to have made the podium in his first outing of 2023, a crucial year for the British Sailing Team as it looks to pick its squad for Paris 2024.

“It’s amazing to be in this position with just a year and a half until the Olympics,” Sills added.

“This result is another stepping stone towards the goal of an Olympic gold medal in Paris, and I’m just going to keep pushing hard. This result feels like a very special moment in my career and I’ll look back on it with a lot of happy memories.”

There were notable British performances across the fleets.

Scottish athlete Andy Brown made it to the quarter finals in the 84-strong men’s fleet, finishing 10th overall, while Sills’ fellow Cornishman Finn Hawkins was 18th.

In the women’s fleet fellow Scot Islay Watson was seventh, British Sailing Squad athlete Alice Read from Oxford was 13th and Saskia Sills, Sam’s sister, came home 18th from 66 athletes.

The British Sailing Team will field athletes in the Lanzarote International Regatta later this month before turning its attention to the Princess Sofia Regatta in early April.

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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

Registration and the Notice of Race are now available for 2023’s French Olympic Week, the 54th Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - TPM, which takes place 22-29 April.

The world’s best athletes will be present on the Côte d’Azur just over a year before Paris 2024, with more than 700 competitors expected from over 50 nations.

Organised by the Fédération Française de Voile (French Sailing Federation), with the support of the city of Hyères and the Toulon Provence Méditerranée community, French Olympic Week is a historic sailing regatta on an international scale.

French Olympic Week 2023 logo

And the 2023 edition promises to be bigger than ever, with organisers setting up a sixth race zone to accommodate the large numbers of racers.

SOF event director Ed Russo said: “World Sailing has decided that in 2024 the SOF will be the ‘last chance regatta’, ie the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. Many athletes will be present this year in preparation for the 2024 event.”

The Organising Committee of the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía Mallorca has just published the Notice of Race for the showcase 52nd edition of the Spanish Olympic classes regatta, which will be held from 31st March to 8th April on the Bay of Palma. The regatta will be the first scoring event of the Sailing World Cup 2023.

Club Nàutic S’Arenal

The 52nd edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca is officially in motion. The publication of the Notice of Race is one starting signal for the first major regatta for combined Olympic classes in 2023. Once again, it will be jointly organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, the Club Náutic S'Arenal, the Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, the Federación Balear de Vela and the Real Federación Española de Vela.

Javier Zaynoun, director of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca, explains, "The publication of the Notice of Race in effect opens the entry process. We look forwards to welcoming all the classes that make up the current Olympic roster. We expect an excellent level of participation, as 2023 is a pre-Olympic year and the Sofia is the first big regatta of the season. Last year we welcomed 840 boats and nearly 1,100 sailors hosted over eight race courses, a huge undertaking that would be impossible without the commitment and involvement of all the people working on the event. Once again this year, we are grateful for the support of institutions and sponsors, but especially for the trust placed in us by the sailors. It is an enormous responsibility and we work with the hope of meeting their expectations."

The Notice of Race for the 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca is available on the official website of the regatta (

The ten classes of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For the second consecutive edition, the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca is mustering the ten classes that will compete in the next Olympic Games in Paris. The Bay of Palma will once again host racing for the women's ILCA 6, 49er FX, IQ Foil and Formula Kite categories and the men's ILCA 7, 49er, IQ Foil and Formula Kite and the mixed 470 and Nacra 17. The competition will take place between Monday, 3rd April and Saturday, 8th April, when the Medal Races and Medal Series (depending on the class) will be held, the decisive phases to find the best in each class, the champions of the 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca.

First meeting of the Sailing World Cup 2023

The 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca will be the first qualifying regatta for the Sailing World Cup 2023. This year, the world cup for the Olympic classes will comprise the four most prestigious regattas on the international calendar. The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca will be followed by the Semaine Olympique Française (22 to 29 April) in France, the Dutch Allianz Regatta (31 May to 4 June) and Germany’s Kieler Woche (17 to 25 June). The Spanish event was returned to the prestigious World Cup calendar last year and has been confirmed by the international federation (World Sailing) to form part of the Sailing World Cup programme until at least 2024.

The Organising Committee is already working to ensure that crews and technical staff from the different federations are at home in Mallorca, especially those who arrive on the island weeks in advance to take advantage of the island's excellent sailing conditions in their Olympic preparation. Once again this year, all the participants are invited to compete in the Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta, a training regatta to be held in the Bay of Palma between the 9th and 12th of March.

The 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca has the backing of World Sailing and the main Balearic public institutions.

The RYA has released its selection policy for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

As Britain’s national governing body (NGB) for sailing, the RYA works with the British Olympic Association (BOA) to determine the athletes who will represent Team GB at the Olympics.

The selection policy sets out the criteria for athletes aspiring to compete for Team GB in the Paris 2024 sailing competition.

The policy is confidential and, as such, can only be accessed through a secure online portal. It will only be available to those eligible to compete for Team GB.

To request access, the applicant must contact Alex Wardall, the RYA’s Olympic Operations Manager.

The application process will close at 5 pm on Wednesday, 01 February 2023.

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