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Displaying items by tag: Awards

#Rowing: The awards season is proving a fruitful one for rowers. Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll were honoured at the Canon Hayes Centre awards and fellow Skibbereen man Paul O’Donovan has been nominated for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award. All three won gold medals at the 2017 World Championships.

 Ireland coach Dominic Casey was also nominated for the World Rowing Coach of the Year at the World Rowing Awards. Casey and Morten Espersen, the former Ireland high peformance director, were also nominated for Distinguished Service to International Rowing.

 On the night, the France coach Alexis Besancon was chosen as Coach of the Year. John Boultbee of Australia won the Distinguished Service to International Rowing.

 The Male Crew of the Year were the German eight, Female Crew of the Year was single sculler Jeannine Gmelin and World Para Crew of the Year went to Birgit Skarstein of Norway.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan have been honoured at the Irish Youth Foundation Excellence in Sport Awards. The world champions in the lightweight pair received their awards at the charity event hosted by golfer Padraig Harrington on Monday night in Dublin.

 Other recipients included rugby great Paul O’Connell, European gold medal winning sprinter Gina Akpe-Moses, father-and-son horse racing duo Aidan O’Brien and Joseph O’Brien, World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville and Olympic boxer Michael Carruth.

 Lions rugby coach, Warren Gatland, the Dublin Gaelic football team and the Irish Show Jumping Team were also honoured.

 “This is the first national recognition award we’ve received since the World Championships and it means an awful lot to us,” O’Driscoll said. “It’s nice to reflect on your achievements and we’re delighted to be recognised. It will keep us going for a while, now that we’re back into the hard slog of winter training.

 “It’s also nice to have rowing recognised, because it’s such a great sport. You can take it up at any age and it’s such good fun. Anyone, young or old, can jump in a boat!” he said.

 The rowing stars were interviewed on stage at the ceremony by RTÉ sports presenter Joanne Cantwell, who asked what they had done differently this year to achieve their world level success.

 “We had a bit more belief in ourselves and to put it simply, we didn’t want to come fourth again. We wanted to win a medal at every regatta,” O’Driscoll said.

 “We focused on overcoming our doubts and giving it everything because there’s no point in going out there if you think you can’t do it or you’re not 100 per cent committed and I think that’s something all the sports people in the audience could identify with.”

 Speaking about sharing the stage with other sports stars, the Skibbereen  oarsman said: “It was great to be up there with people like Paul O’Connell. He’s a living legend and when he stood up to speak, the whole room just went quiet. He was a very inspirational speaker and he talked about the fact that since he’s retired, he only remembers good things about his sports career, even though he probably found it all very challenging at the time. So it was great to hear insights like that.”

 O’Driscoll said that he and O’Donovan were honoured to receive the award from such a worthwhile organisation.

 “We got a real insight into the work of the Irish Youth Foundation at the awards and when you hear about the hardship some young people experience, it’s shocking. It makes you feel so privileged and I’m glad that sport can be a positive outlet for so many young people.”

 All proceeds from the black tie fundraising event go toward the Irish Youth Foundation’s work with children and young people living in disadvantaged circumstances. The charity works primarily in the areas of  homelessness, after-school education, primary-to-secondary school transition and skills and employability. Last year the Excellence in Sport Awards raised over €100,000.

Published in Rowing

#RYANI - The RYANI Annual Awards on Friday 24 November recognised successful sailors, rising stars and volunteers who have made a positive difference to the sport over the last year.

Double Olympic sailing gold medallist Shirley Robertson OBE was on hand to announce the award winners along with RYANI chief operating officer Richard Honeyford at Malone House in Belfast.

Young Sailor of the Year going to Laser Radial specialist Sally Bell from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, who graduated from the RYANI Performance Academy to the Irish Youth Academy this year. The 18-year-old’s successful 2017 peaked with in her selection for the Youth Worlds taking place in China this December.

The award for Young Powerboater of the Year went to East Antrim Boat Club’s Joshua Kane, who swapped Toppers for RIBs at an early stage, winning the NI heats for his age bracket the RYA Honda Youth RIB Championships three years funning, as well as being instrumental in the running of the Youth RIB Finals in NI and assisting junior sail training.

Club Race Coach of the Year is Katie Kane, a former RYA Junior and Youth Squad member, who has competed at national and international level in both the Topper and Laser classes and now coaches at her home club East Antrim BC as well as with the Hampton Yacht Club’s Oppy team in Virginia, USA. Katie us also involved in running East Antrim’s Women on the Water programme.

Instructor of the Year is Colin De Fleury of Belfast Lough Sailability, who lead his team to second place in this summer’s Preisdents Cup as well as seeing five boats place in the top 10 at the Hansa Nationals.

Young Volunteer of the Year is split between Katie Shivers and Joshua Reddy of Ballyholme Yacht Club for their tireless efforts in helping run their club’s Women on the Water and ‘Dolphins and Sharks’ programmes.

Four special awards went to Wiclif McCready, for stoking the passions of hundreds of sailors as proprietor of McCready Sailboats; Cliff Burns, for his role as safeguarding offier for the RYANI over the last decade; boatbuilder Alastair Duffin for his impact on sailing, especially in the GP14 class; and Ballyholme Yacht Club’s Robin Gray for his work as the RYA’s regional race management co-ordinator in Northern Ireland for the last 10 years.

The top award of the evening, Club of the Year, went to Carrickfergus Sailing Club, which had an impressive year both in sailing achievements and in community efforts – donating boats to local schools, fundraising via sailing challenges and more.

“Nights like this help to remind us all what our sport is all about,” said Richard Honeyford at the event. “It is an excellent occasion to recognise the commitment of so many people to sailing and boating in Northern Ireland.”

The COO added that RYANI is “looking forward to another thrilling year of sailing and boating as it is very evident that we have great talent within our clubs.

“I am especially proud of all of our volunteers who have been invaluable to us. Volunteers are the bedrock of the sport and we are very grateful for all they do to facilitate sailing and yachting events throughout Northern Ireland.”

Published in News Update
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#Rowing: Ireland coach Dominic Casey has been chosen as one of the finalists for the Coach of the Year at the World Rowing Awards for the second successive year. Casey coaches the Ireland lightweights, who had an extraordinary 2017.

 The lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll capped a year of wins in the World Cup events and the European Championships with a World Championship gold. Paul O’Donovan also took top position on the podium in Florida after winning the lightweight single sculls. He and his brother Gary had taken two World Cup medals and a European Championship silver in the lightweight double. Denise Walsh was a World Championship finalist and took medals at the European Championships and the World Cup in Belgrade. The Ireland lightweight quadruple and the lightweight pair of David O’Malley and Shane Mulvaney took medals at the World Under-23 Championships.

 Casey has also been nominated for an award for Distinguished Services to International Rowing. Former Ireland high performance director, Morten Espersen, is also a nominee for this award.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Waterways Ireland presented prizes to winning crews after the successful Erne Head of the River on Saturday in Enniskillen. Trinity were the best overall club at the event, while local club Enniskillen Royal Boat Club had the top junior women’s and junior men’s eights.

 The chief executive of Waterways Ireland, Dawn Livingstone, said: “I am delighted to support the Erne Head of The River through the Waterways Ireland Event Programme. Sport and recreation on and along the waterways is growing strongly – 30 extra crews came to the event today.  We hope to continue to work with Rowing Ireland to see that growth replicated across the waterways through 2017 and into the future.”

 The Waterways Ireland head office is sited in Enniskillen.

Published in Rowing

#Awards - Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross presented the National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016 at a ceremony in Farmleigh House on Friday evening (14 October)

Minister Ross praised the “courageous achievements and service of this group of brave Irish men and women who have faced crises and dug deep, offering their skills and in many cases placing themselves in danger in order that others might be safe on our waterways.”

Pausing to remember those who lost their lives at sea since the previous awards in 2014, Minister Ross spoke of the tragic death of Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas last month, describing her as “a courageous and heroic woman who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the service of others.”

Among this year’s recipients was Davitt Walsh, who in March rescued a four-month-old baby from the car that slipped into the water from Buncrana pier, claiming the lives of five members of the same family.

The 2016 award recipients are as follows:

  • Davitt Walsh – Michael Heffernan Gold Medal for Marine Gallantry
  • Gary Robertson – Michael Heffernan Gold Medal for Marine Gallantry
  • Skerries Coast Guard Unit – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Dean Coleman – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Gavin Byrne – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Brian Kehoe, Ruairí Nunn, Sam Nunn and Niall McGee – Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry
  • The crew of Castletownbere RNLI – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Charlie Hennigar – Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry
  • The crew of Rescue 116, Dublin Airport – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Richard Desay – Marine Meritorious Service Medal
  • The officers and crew of Lough Swilly RNLI – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
  • Dean Tracey and Paul Dolan – Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry
  • The crew of Kinsale RNLI – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service

The awards are to recognise outstanding acts of courage, heroism, skill and initiative in the context of marine emergency incidents. The scheme also recognises exceptional dedication to duty in the execution of Ireland’s marine emergency response.

The Marine Gallantry award is presented in the form of a medal, called the Michael Heffernan Medal for Marine Gallantry in memory of an individual who lost his life during a marine incident a number of years ago. Three levels of medal may be awarded — gold, silver or bronze — based on the level of gallantry involved. The medal is awarded in gold, silver or bronze.

A second award, Marine Meritorious Service Medal, may be awarded where outstanding meritorious service has been provided to, or within the remit of, the Irish Coast Guard. The person must have demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty, coupled with skill and initiative, in the execution of the service being provided.

A Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation may be awarded for meritorious service where outstanding dedication to duty over a career of service can be demonstrated, or for an act of particular meritorious dedication, showing skill and initiative, but which is not of an order for receipt of a Meritorious Service or Marine Gallantry medal.

The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards Committee is chaired by Bryan Dobson of RTÉ. Members of the committee include representatives of the Irish Sailing Association; Irish Water Safety; Irish Harbour Masters Association; Bord Iascaigh Mhara; Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; as well as other independent members.

The first award ceremony took place in February 1999 and the awards ceremony was last held on 23 October 2014.

Published in News Update
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#DublinPort - It's been a proud September for Dublin Port thus far, what with yesterday's announcement that the capital is shortlisted for the seventh ESPO Award, and last week's Allianz Busines to Arts Award for the 'Dublin Ships' installation.

The Dublin Port Company can add an 'Excellence in the Community' garland to that collection, after recogition by the Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Repsonsibility Awards last Thursday 3 September.

As the official Dublin Port Company blog reports, the award is for the port's sponsorship of the IFSC-based National College of Ireland's Early Learning Initiative, which aims to assist the educationally disadvantaged through an integrated programme for children, their families and educators from early years through to third level.

Published in Dublin Port
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#RNLI - Sligo Bay RNLI will celebrate its 15th anniversary this Sunday (16 June) with an open day at the lifeboat station in Rosses Point.

There will be an opportunity to chat to the crew, have a look around the station, visit the lifeboat shop and enjoy the seafaring music provided by the groups involved in the Sea Shanty Festival which is also taking place this weekend from 14-16 June.



Sligo Bay RNLI began life in a prefab cabin at Sligo Yacht Club back in 1998. Construction on the new lifeboat station situated at the pier in Rosses Point was completed in 2002. It houses a D Class lifeboat named Elsinore and has 22 volunteer crew members, along with a fundraising team and a lifeboat shop. 



As part of the Sea Shanty Festival there will a gala concert in the Yeats Country Hotel on Saturday night (15 June), all proceeds from which will go the Sligo Bay lifeboat station. Tickets are available from the lifeboat station shop, Bay View Stores, Rosses Point and Source on John St in Sligo.

Elsewhere, RNLI volunteers and supporters from around Ireland were recognised for their role in supporting and raising funds and awareness for the lifesaving charity and its crews at the RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards in the Great Hall at Trinity College Dublin.

Guest of honour was the outgoing chairman of the RNLI, Admiral the Lord Boyce, who handed out awards to 51 volunteers throughout Ireland.

Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds and his wife Geraldine along with Irish Water Safety CEO John Leech were also in attendance at the ceremony, presided over by the chairman of the RNLI Council of Ireland, John Coyle.

Awards presented on the day included two Gold Badges, four Silver Badges, 19 statuettes, 17 Bronze Badges, one pair of RNLI binoculars and eight Supporter Awards.   

The Gold Badges were received by Jackie O’Grady from Clifden RNLI branch for his work over 25 years with the station, and to Hugh Stafford in Wexford for his role in the setting up of the Fethard-on-Sea lifeboat station in the early 1990s and his work since then in raising funds for the charity.

Also receiving an RNLI statuette was former lifeboat man at Rosslare Harbour, Fergus Wickham, who was recognised for almost five decades of volunteering with the RNLI, first as a lifeboat man and then as a launching authority at the station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Angling - The Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) held its Specimen Fish Awards Day yesterday (Sunday 17 February) in Swords, Co Dublin coinciding with the Ireland Angling Show 2013.

Successful anglers from all over Ireland who caught specimen fish in lakes, rivers or in the sea in 2012 were congratulated by Minister of State for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd on their excellent achievements.

Last year was a record one for angling in Ireland, with a total of 640 specimen fish being ratified.

Minister O'Dowd said: “The Government recognises that angling is hugely important to the tourist industry and to the economy generally. Preliminary information from a survey commissioned by IFI estimates that angling tourism spend is €250m million per annum – approximately €150m of which is generated by domestic anglers.

"Angling opportunities in Ireland are among the best in the world and this is reflected in the demand for the product and the numbers engaged in it both at home and from abroad.

"The quality of our angling resource is reflected in the annual report of the Irish Specimen Fish Committee. The committee accepted over 640 claims in 2012 – a record. Irish anglers took over 90% of these fish with visitors from overseas taking the remainder.”

The minster also emphasised the importance of the half-century of information about large fish caught by anglers in Ireland, both freshwater and marine, which has been collected by the ISFC over the years.

This information is not only an important historical and heritage record but also a vital guide for anglers when choosing the best angling venues, dates, times and method to catch large specimens of their favourite species.

Anglers departed the awards event with their certificates and plenty of information to target new species in the new angling season in 2013.

The Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report 2013 can be downloaded from www.irish-trophy-fish.com. If you catch a big fish in 2013, log on to the website to see how to register your fish as a specimen.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - The Irish Specimen Fish Committee's annual report for 2011 features catch details for 587 specimen fish as well as four new records, according to The Irish Times.

The report comes ahead of the committee's annual awards event at the Red Cow Moran Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 3 March, recogising those anglers who work hard to catch and record the biggest fish of each of Ireland's species.

Those in line for awards include Terry Jackson, who caught a 2.1kh roach/rudd hybrid in the River Lagan; Dutchman Jan Vrieswijk who landed a 1.33kh blackmouth dogfish in Red Bay, Co Antrim; and Noel Lane for his 2.83kg thin-lipped mullet from Cork Harbour.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
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Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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