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Displaying items by tag: Match Racing

Ireland took on the world at the weekend in the inaugural Ireland v. The World Match Racing Challenge, but it was the global alliance that came out on top in the end, with 36 wins over Ireland's 29.

Light winds kept the race count down from the anticipated 90-odd, but good conditions on Sunday meant the 66-race Round Robin was completed in Scotsman's bay.

The overall team trophy was in balance until the final few flights, but the World team did enough to edge out the Irish Challenge.

Romain Baggio and his Bordeaux Racing team sailed an impeccable series, only losing one race to Keith Swinton of Australia to take the Individual win.

The event was an experiment in many ways, with proceedings blogged flight-by-flight  as they happened by on-the-water reporters. The records of the entire event can be found online at, and you can replay the flights on the online GPS tracker HERE.

Live, on-the-water commentary was broadcast over channel 77 from Olympic commentator Jimmy Fitzpatrick and Olympian Ger Owens, and innovative spectator packages allowed spectators fire the gun to start racing and even sit in an on-board hotseat during racing.

Final Skipper results after 12 races each are:

Baggio (FRA) 11 wins(91%)

Nicholas (AUS) 10 wins(82%)

Cornah (GBR) 7 wins (64%)

Swinton (AUS) 8 WIns (73%) minus 1 point penalty

Elmes (IRL) 6 Wins (55%)

Sheehy (IRL) 6 Wins (55%)

O'Connell (IRL) 5 wins (45%)

Hunt (IRL) 4 wins (36%)

Fowler (IRL) 4 wins (36%)

Duncan (NZL) 3 wins (30%)

O'Leary (IRL) 3 wins (30%)

Huckstadt (GER) 0 wins (0%)

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More than 20 ladies from around Ireland took to the water in Dun Laoghaire last weekend for a women's match racing training weekend, which may result in a ladies' Match Racing nationals taking place later in 2010.

A recent rise in interest in match racing combined with the Irish Sailing Association’s drive towards promoting women on the water resulted in full programme organised by experienced match racer Mary O’Loughlin and held in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Women’s match racing is a recent introduction to the Summer Olympics in 2012 and has received a strong international following in preparation for the games.

Some participants had already had a taste of match racing in the ISA’s Sail Fleet; others were fresh to the scene. Whilst some sailors were weary after a hectic week down in Cork, all were keen to try out the J80’s and get on the water.

After a comprehensive briefing on boat set up, starting procedures, tactics and rules, the ladies took to the water to put their new found knowledge into practice. Weather conditions were varied, sunshine and gentle breezes right around to a gusty force 4 on Sunday afternoon.

Under the guidance of some of Ireland’s top match racers and umpires, they completed two action packed on the water sessions and rounded it off with a closing briefing on the weekend’s racing.

The weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all of those who took part. Many of the ladies who attended the weekend are keen to continue on in the match racing scene and plans are underway to hold a Women’s Match Racing Nationals later in the year
Published in Match Racing

The International Match Racing Challenge, taking place this weekend in Dublin Bay, has been profiling their twelve teams, six from Ireland and six from around the world, on their site over the last few days. The event is shaping up to be the match racing spectacle of the year, with mixed breeze and flat water anticipated in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday as a low pressure moves in.

The event will take place close to shore in Scotsmans Bay, with racing visible from land, where the Festival of World Cultures will be taking place.

Irish eyes wil be watching top-ranked helm John Sheehy and Andrew Fowler, who has stolen a march on Sheehy in this year's circuit. Marty O'Leary's team, recently returned from the Student Match Racing Worlds, will also be keen to maintain their good form, having mixed it with several professional teams in Crete.

The line-up of skippers is featured below, with individual team profiles are included on the event website, HERE.



John Sheehy World Ranking 70

Andrew Fowler World Ranking 163

Maurice O'Connell World Ranking 192

Marty O'Leary World Ranking 815

Graham Elmes World Ranking 1163

Sam Hunt World Ranking Unranked


The World

Keith Swinton  (AUS) World Ranking 17

Pete Nicholas  (AUS) World Ranking 90

Romain Baggio  (FRA) World Ranking 107

Ben Duncan  (NZL) World Ranking 194

Lars Hueckstaedt (GER) World Ranking 217

Andrew Cornah  (GBR) World Ranking Unranked

Published in Match Racing

The organisers of this weekend's inaugural International Match Race Challenge are attempting to make the regatta a multimedia spectacle, with live reports on the action in Dun Laoghaire's Scotsman's Bay relayed to a constantly updated website. The new site, live at, will be refreshed with updates, pictures, and audio from the racecourse with a reporter watching the action and posting bulletins in real time.

The website will be displayed in the Royal St George Yacht club, and will auto-refresh every few minutes to ensure that spectators can track the action as it happens. Any club in Ireland whose members are involved can do the same and track the event live over the internet. Live commentary will also be broadcast on Channel 77 for the duration of the regatta.

The International Match Racing Challenge pits six international teams against the top six Irish teams. Spectator packages are still available for the event, in which a paying spectator can sit in one of the boats as it races, watching the action from the cockpit. Details are HERE.


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Ireland's team finished fourth at the Student Match Racing World Championships at the weekend, the highest-placed team not to contain professional or near full-time match racers on their squad.

Facing the Australian ladies' Olympic match racing team in the third place playoff, a team who had been campaigning full-time for the last two years, the Irish team won the first race, only to see the result pulled over a protest.

"The first race we won," said team captain Marty O'Leary, "but was re-sailed after the other team protested that we were over the line but the committee had not called us back, and the Aussies got the Aussie and English coach to witness we were over, and the PRO was on our side, but they jury decided on a re sail after an hour of deliberation."

"Sure these things happen," he said.

"AUS went on to win the re-sail and take third place, GBR won the worlds over all, with Australia [mens] in second and Ireland in fourth."

"We would just like to say a huge thank you for all the support on behalf of the whole team, we learnt a lot at this event, and the standard was very very high, with numerous teams going for the Olympics in 2012 in London, we did ourselves DIT and Ireland proud. Now the rush to make it home for Cork Week!"


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Ireland's student match racers are through to the quarter finals of the University Match Racing World Championships, finishing fifth after the round robin series. The final races in the round robin are now over with some big changes in the final ranking as a result. France only needed to close out a single match and the Italians 2 from 4 in order to progress automatically but both teams failed to do so, leaving DITs finest in 5th spot and through to the quarter finals with out the need for sail off.

The two GBR teams lead the pack followed by AUS1 and Singapore. The Irish have had close races with all these teams during the first phase and should feel confident going into the knock out stages where mental toughness begins to play an increasing role.

The automatic qualification gives the team chance to get a break from the super hot afternoon sun, nurse their injuries are prepare for their racing to resume around 5-6pm. In the mean time Italy, France, Australia 2 and Greece sail off for the two remaining places in the quarters while Greece 2 and the two Polish teams pack their bags for the trip home.

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Ireland's team at the World University Match Racing Championships suffered a major setback yesterday, with one of their crew members injured in race one. Richie Bruton, pitman for the Irish team, took a serious blow to his knee in the first race of seven yesterday, and had to be removed from the boat for treatment.

Shore manager Dee O'Rourke, who worked with the Delta Lloyd Volvo Ocean Race team, stepped onto the boat for the remaining races, having to get up to speed on the boat in a day of racing in up to 22 knots. O'Rourke performed admirably, but the team suffered a number of losses on the water in extremely close racing, and may still have to sail a playoff for a quarter-final slot.

Team captain Marty O'Leary described the racing yesterday:

"Next two races were against Australia womens' team and Singapore, we lost both these by the smallest of margins. We were pretty happy to be still able to put up a fight given the circumstances and it's very hard for both the super sub who had to step in half way through a world championship and be expected to be up to speed and in sync with the rest of the team, 

"In the next two races against Austrailia mens and Greece, we finally started to gel together and had two great wins where we controlled the whole race from start to finish."

"The final race was against France, and we wont he pre-start and lead at windward mark, but another gybing battle was on the cards, (these battles are literally killing us slowly!!!).

"We rounded the leeward mark neck and neck, and alot of tacks followed, far too many to count. France just got their nose ahead by the finish."

"Racing was again on until 7pm, we are the first team finished the round robin, we are on seven wins out of 12.

"The few loses today really hurt us, at this stage it is pretty close weather this is enough to bring us into the top six, but most likely into the top eight anyway, the other teams still have a few races to finish out the round robin, but it's out of our hands now."

Results are HERE (pdf download) and the round robin stages will be finished today.

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Ireland's Student Match Racing team got their World Championship campaign off to a good start in Crete yesterday, with five wins from six races yesterday giving them the overall lead.

Marty O'Leary, team captain, emailed a bulletin yesterday, with team spirits sounding high.

"Racing started this morning, a little late due to sorting all the boats out, new sails were bought for the event so few small problems there, 

"We got in 8 full flights, which is 32 races, we had six races today, against, Denmark, Poland, the womens' olympic team, GBR, Italy and Greece.

"We came out mainly unscathed, with five wins out of six, which should leave us as overnight leaders, only losing to GBR on the finish line and a very exciting race were we trading penalties and lead numerous times, along with a few broaches for good measure.

"GBR won by about four or five inches in the end. The other races had their moments too.  

"[We have] another long day ahead of us tomorrow with eight more teams to race, as there are 14 different teams from 11 nations."

There is an event website HERE but little detail has been provided to date.


Results are a downloadable pdf HERE.

There's also some commentary from day one HERE. Interestingly, the website gushes about the performance of the Singaporean team.

"The most astonishing team today is Team Singapore, making no tactical mistake, but waiting until the other team which she is competing with is making the mistake. This team is sailing perfectly, everyone knows his place on the boat, we can easily see that they trained a lot, and their position in the air (which is also important) is nearly perfect, as every competitor is covering the air of the other without bringing too much resistance. They are really the best ones in sailing today."

Whatever about their 'position in the air' (gotta love that translation) their position on the scoreboard shows that they won three of their six races, two less than Ireland. 

The scoreboard also ranks teams in terms of their percentage wins. Team GBR currently lead, on 100%, but having only sailed three races to date.

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The organisers of the first Ireland v the World Match Racing Invitational have come up with some innovative spectator packages for what promises to be a hard-fought event in Scotsmans Bay, Dun Laoghaire. Spectators can pay to 'hotseat' aboard the boats as they race, watching the action from right beside the skipper.


An exciting part of the entertainment
package will allow individuals to actually experience the racing
as it happens by sailing on board with a team in the ‘hot seat’
position. When in the ‘hot seat’, the individual will experience
the thrills and tension of the race as it happens along with the
competitors. This will provide a really memorable and authentic
experience for your guests.
The event takes place over the same weekend as the Dun
Laoghaire festival of World Cultures so your guests will get a
great view of the festival from the water and Dun Laoghaire will
For more information or to book the packages or any combina-
tion of the Spectator packages detailed below, please contact
John Sheehy 086 8053775

The blurb says: "An exciting part of the entertainment package will allow individuals to actually experience the racing as it happens by sailing on board with a team in the ‘hot seat’ position. When in the ‘hot seat’, the individual will experiencethe thrills and tension of the race as it happens along with the competitors. This will provide a really memorable and authentic experience for your guests.

"The event takes place over the same weekend as the DunLaoghaire festival of World Cultures so your guests will get a great view of the festival from the water and Dun Laoghaire will be buzzing."

There are 16 Hotseat options open on the Saturday only, as the races will be in the round robin stages. For €200, spectators will be treated to a lunch in the club, a full briefing and a trip around Dublin Bay before jumping into the hot seat for their race at 1500hrs, followed by a BBQ and drinks after.

Other spectator packages, for €100, provide the lunch and BBQ option, and allow the spectator the honour of firing off the starter's gun to set the racers off.


For more information or to book the packages or any combina-tion of the Spectator packages detailed below, please contactJohn Sheehy on 086 8053775  or log on to


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Marty O'Leary’s well-oiled machine convincingly won the first Trial for one of  the last two spots on the Irish Team for the upcoming International Match Racing  Challenge.

O’Leary beat Stefan Hyde’s team two nil in the best of three sail off.

This was a good warm up for Marty and crew who will represent Ireland next  week in the World Student Match Racing Championships on behalf of their  University, Dublin Institute of Technology.

Racing in Scotsman’s Bay in an oscillating breeze of 10 – 15 knots, O’Leary  won both starts and sailed cleanly from there to win both races.  The first  race was decided in the last 30 seconds of the pre-start when some good crew  work from the DIT team allowed them to block Stefan Hyde out past the Committee Boat.

The first beat saw some frantic tacking by Hyde and crew but the slick crew  work from the student team if anything allowed them to pull further ahead and  win the race by delta 50 seconds.

The second race was a much closer affair, with a fired up Hyde almost  succeeding in pushing his younger rivals over the start line.  The two crews  then sailed on starboard up to the port layline which allowed Hyde’s team to  stay close. However, another good hoist from the DIT crew ensured that there  would be no passing lane for Hyde. Despite the gap closing to two lengths  at the first leeward mark, O’Leary went on to win by delta 40 seconds.

The second trial for the final spot on the Irish team will take place next  Monday evening where skippers Mary O’Loughlin, Martin Mahon and Graham Elmes  will fight it out for the coveted space.

The International Match Race Challenge will take place on the weekend of  24th – 25th July 2010 in Scotman’s Bay, Dun Laoghaire.

Six Irish teams captained by Irish No. 1 John Sheehy will take on six teams  from around the World captained by World No.2 Mirsky Racing.  Live commentary  will be provided on VHF over the weekend.
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