Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove

Ireland has passed out Belgium in the Olympic race for the single Paris berth available at the 49er European Championships in Vilamoura.

On the first day of gold fleet racing, Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove improved from 13th to sixth place overnight after three solid races on Saturday

Suffering a tumble down the rankings and falling out of the top spot for the one Olympic qualifying spot available from this championship are the Belgian team of Yannick Lefèbvre and Jan Heuninck, whose scores of 23rd and 12th have dropped them from 7th to 14th overall.

Ireland in the mix - Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove improved from 13th to sixth place overnight after three solid races on Saturday Photo: Prow MediaIreland in the mix - Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove improved from 13th to sixth place overnight after three solid races on Saturday Photo: Prow Media

The Howth and Skerries duo have moved into Olympic pole position after scores of 10th and 2nd launched Dickson and Waddilove up into 6th overall. The closest threat for the Olympic ticket are the Italians, Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chistè, who have risen to 10th overall and are 10 points behind the Irish.

With six races remaining in the schedule before Monday afternoon's medal race, the Italian threat could be a big one.

As Afloat reported previously, Dickson and Waddilove came within one nation place of securing a berth in the Men's skiff event for the Paris 2024 Olympic regatta in Marseilles next August when they competed at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague in August.

Ireland's second crew in the competition, now in the Silver fleet had no racing due to the weather. Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) are hoping that Sunday's conditions will allow the Silver and Bronze fleets an opportunity to continue.

The 49er European Championship dinghy park in Vilamoura, Portugal Photo: Prow MediaThe 49er European Championship dinghy park in Vilamoura, Portugal Photo: Prow Media

Read more about the progress of Irelaand's top 49er duo in our dedicated Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove category

Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove survived the scramble to stay in the gold fleet qualification battle at the light air 49er Europeans Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal today.

For the five teams (including Ireland) in the battle for the sole qualification spot for next year’s Olympic Regatta, today’s racing was a make-or-break moment in the competition. As the final results were posted on the scoreboard, sailors and coaches were refreshing the page on their phones to see who had made the cut for the top 25 and Gold Fleet, and who had missed out.

Dickson (Howth YC) and Waddilove (Skerries SC) improved from 18th overall to 13th thanks to third and fourth places for the day while their discard took care of an 18th. 

Ireland's second crew in the competition also had their best day so far, but ultimately Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) were unable to break into Gold fleet despite jumping from 60th to 38th place thanks to three solid results for the day including a fifth place.

Medallists at the past two World Championships, Diego Botin and Florian Trittel don’t expect to have to be checking whether they’ve made the cut for Gold. But it’s been that kind of week for the Spanish superstars, and quite a few other big name teams too.

Today was a much better day for the Spaniards who posted 8,3 from their qualifying group. When all the results were in from all three qualifying groups, it seems the Spaniards had done enough, scraping through in 22nd place and 6 points ahead of the German team in 26th. Normally 26th is the worst spot in a 49er regatta, but a quirk in the transition to the new 49er sails has given a bonus chance to Fabian Rieger and Tom Heinrich (GER) who, are the lone member of the 14-boat-strong German squad to squeek into gold fleet. Patryk Kosmalski with Tomasz Lewandowski (POL) sailed a wonderful qualifying series and made the gold fleet standard in 23rd overall. However, as they are youngsters in their first major championship, they are still using the old, transparent sails. By rule, only teams using the new sails may pass through to gold fleet so they have been relegated to Silver allowing the 26th place Germans into Gold.

With Erik Heil and Thomas Plœssel now retired from 49er competition, it would be unthinkable not to have a German representative following in the footsteps of the double Olympic bronze medallists. Except this is Olympic competition, and there is no tougher continent from which to qualify than from Europe.

Of the nations chasing the one Olympic spot in Vilamoura, highest placed are the Belgian team of Yannick Lefèbvre and Jan Heuninck, who are in 7th place overall.

Meanwhile Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chistè have kept Italian dreams alive as they responded to the pressure and posted scores of 5,1 to move into the Gold Fleet and up into 19th place overall. There’s still enough racing in the final three days for the Italians and others to overtake the Belgians for the golden ticket to Paris.

Also into gold fleet are Ireland, and Portugal, making five nations vying for the European Olympic berth. Maltese sailor Richard Schulties has also qualified to gold fleet but he is sailing with Frenchman Yoann Bertinn, and therefore they are ineligible for games spots at this event.

Three days and up to nine races remain in the series that will decide the medal race on Monday.

All teams not qualifying at the Hague or continental qualifiers will have to wait their turn at the ‘Last Chance’ regatta next April. That’s at Semaine Olympic Francaise in Hyères when there are five last-gasp Olympic berths up for grabs.

Best performers of the day were the young Spanish brother Martin and Jaime Wizner. A stellar performance of 2,1 lifts them to 3rd overall and within striking distance of the lead. Now topping the 49er standings are Ben Bildstein and David Hussl who are banishing the demons of a difficult year with an outstanding command of the tricky conditions. Just a point behind the Austrians in second place are the Polish duo, Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki.

Having missed Paris 2024 Olympic qualification at the first opportunity at the Sailing World Championships in August, two Irish crews are vying for the one nation place on offer at the 49er European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Racing from this Wednesday, November 8th, until Monday, 13th, front runners Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) missed qualification by one place in The Hague but aim to close out the year with nation qualification in the bag.

It might be billed as a European Championships, but the great and the good of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes will be in Vilamoura. Sailors from any nation can enter – so expect to see some big names, including two-time 49erFX Olympic gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil in action. The full entry lists can be found here.

As Tokyo reps, Dickson and Waddilove are expected to make the standard, but it has been a bit of a snakes and ladders year for the north Dublin duo, who have struggled with starting but otherwise have great boat speed.


Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club) Photo: Clare KeoghSeafra Guilfoyle (left) with Johnny Durcan  both of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Clare Keogh

Ireland's second boat in Vilamoura will be the Cork Harbour pairing of Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club), who, at the very least, are seeking a top 20 result overall in the 90-strong event to meet Sport Ireland carding scheme criteria and regain a place on the Irish squad.

Royal Irish sailor Saskia Tidey has been selected by Team GB for Paris with helm Freya Black and will be in action in PortugalRoyal Irish sailor Saskia Tidey has been selected by Team GB for Paris with helm Freya Black and will be in action in Portugal

Saskia Tidey

Royal Irish sailor Saskia Tidey will also be in action in Vilamoura. The Royal Irish sailor who sailed for Ireland in Rio but switched to GB for Tokyo and has been selected by Team GB for Paris with helm Freya Black. Without any internal selection battles going on, the GB sailors will be free to focus 100 per cent on their international adversaries.

A black flag disqualification may not have been the best start to Olympic qualification for Dublin 49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove at the Allianz Sailing World Championships at The Hague in the Netherlands on Friday, but the Howth-Skerries duo showed the depth of their ambition by bouncing back with a second in race two. 

As Afloat reported previously, six Irish boats will be in action for ten days, where places for Paris 2024 are up for grabs but conditions are tricky with fluctuating winds and strong tidal currents.

The skiff classes started the series, and the Irish Tokyo 2020 representatives appeared to have nailed their first race start along with the Dutch training partners and defending world champions until the dreaded black flag was applied to the Irish hopes.

The Cork 49er crew Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club delivered two top-half fleet results for their first day with up to six further races remaining to decide the crucial Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet splits where a top ten result will be required to take a Paris place.

Royal Cork 49er crew of Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: World SailingRoyal Cork 49er crew of Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are racing in The Hague Photo: World Sailing

After three races sailed, Dickson and Waddilove lie 24th and Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan 59th in the 83-boat fleet.

Ten nations, excluding France, will qualify for Paris, and nations have a rooting interest in other nations from their continent as a quirk of the qualifying system. For example, if China and Korea were to finish in their current positions, they would not need to qualify at the next stage, the continental qualification, opening up greater opportunities for other Asian nations. The case is likewise in the Americas and Oceania, which will all have teams on the bubble of Olympic qualifying. The International 49er class has rated Dickson and Waddilove's chances of qualifying as 'on the bubble' as Afloat reports here.

American prowess

America's Nevin Snow and Mac Agnese (USA) won two of their three qualifying races to share the overall lead as their American teammates are also each in the top twelve, setting up the USA well for Olympic Qualifying.

America's Nevin Snow and Mac Agnese (USA) won two of their three qualifying racesAmerica's Nevin Snow and Mac Agnese (USA) won two of their three qualifying races at the World Sailing Championships Photo: World Sailing

Snow is the US college sailor of the year and has had flashes of brilliance in the 49er but also an up-and-down career so far. In teaming up with Mac Agenese, a member of the 2019 America’s Cup American Magic Team, he’s formed a stable partnership and an upward trajectory on his Olympic sailing career.

Also winning two races were Diego Botin with Florian Tritell (ESP), fresh off their seminal Sail GP win, to sit tied with the Americans on two points overall.

Three teams are tied for third at this early stage, with Wang/Qi (CHN), Fantela brothers (CRO), and Przbytek/Piasecki (POL) each on four points. 19 nations sit within the 25-place cutoff for gold fleet, showing the increasing depth of 49er racing globally. Asia has had its best-ever day in the 49er, with China, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and India all making the gold fleet standard. Asia has been purchasing 40% of the world’s 49ers since 2012, and as the depth and focus have improved, now the results are too.

Meanwhile, a female Irish 49erFX debuted on the women's course with Erin McIlwaine (Ballyhome Yacht Club) with Ellie Cunnane (Tralee Bay Sailing Club), completing their first three races at senior level.

Irish interest continues with the skiff events on Saturday.

Results are here

Ireland's 49er skiff crew of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, from Howth and Skerries, respectively, have withdrawn from French Olympic Sailing Week after failing to make the Gold fleet on Wednesday.

The duo, who represented Ireland at Tokyo 2020, will concentrate on Dickson's recovery due to a viral infection from which he had earlier been declared 'cleared to sail'.

Ireland's second 49er crew of Seáfra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork Yacht Club ended a light airs day four in Hyeres, counting a double and a seventh.

None of the fleets saw quite such a change at the top of the leaderboard as the men’s 49er, as the top two boats fell down the ladder as Spain’s Diego Bottin & Florian Trittel enjoyed a golden finish to the start of gold fleet, winning the last two of the day’s four races. The Dutch world champions Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken are all that is left of Wednesday’s podium after they finished 8, 5, 2, 5.

Meanwhile New Zealand’s Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn, winners in Palma at the beginning of April, and leaders overnight, had a day to forget, finishing 10, 19, 12, 17 in the 24-boat gold fleet and slipped to 5th overall. Likewise, USA’s Ian Barrows & Hans Henken slipped from second to seventh with 16, 4, 19, and 22 finishes.

More races are scheduled for Friday.

Results are here

Howth's Robert Dickson goes into French Olympic Week (24-29th April 2023) in Hyerés recovering from a viral infection over the past week but it is not the only issue confronting the Howth Yacht Club ace and Tokyo 2020 crew-mate Seán Waddilove in the build-up to Paris 2024.

It's not clear just how much practice was achieved in the past fortnight but following the giant Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma, Mallorca, extra practice for light air conditions was on the cards for the Irish 49er sailors, as their performance in windier conditions when they leapt into the lead was clearly linked to their overall result.

It seems like only yesterday that the Olympic debutantes packed up from Tokyo, but the sprint is on for Paris 2024, and the just-finished Princess Sofia Trophy 2023 was the first chance to see the new characters and who is returning.

For all the talk of Olympic sailing falling apart, Palma showed otherwise with a full bay and a very healthy-looking Olympic slate.

There's been no news from Dickson and Waddilove themselves, but 49er coach Matt McGovern has given forth on Palma's positives and negatives. "There were some really good positives, like having good days and leading the regatta," said McGovern. "The crux is executing the starts well and boat speed in the light stuff - if we don't start well, then we don't have the boat speed to recover and get back on plan," he added.

But what is equally frustrating for the Irish duo, (who were on target for a debut medal in Tokyo until an overweight trapeze harness got in their way) is the fact that the 49er Class has had the biggest shake-up with all of the medalists retiring post-Tokyo but were unable to capitalise on it.

As analysis from the 49er class reveals, the changing of the guard runs deeper than the medalists, with only nine of the 20 sailors from the top 10 in Tokyo still sailing and only two in-tact partnerships. That's a lot of open real estate for a fleet in the queue behind the dominant forces of Australia's Outteridge and New Zealand's Burling for a decade.

It seems likely a return now to the sort of racing that was expected in the 2000s, where winners changed on a regatta-to-regatta basis. With all their Tokyo experience, this must be an opportunity for Dickson and Waddilove.

It was certainly looking like that prior to Palma when they appeared to reap the rewards of sixth place at Mallorca Sailing Centre Regatta 2023. And there was no doubting their regatta potency either when they posted two wins on Palma's windy Wednesday, but their inability to hold on to that overall lead and not even make the top ten for the medal race is a head-scratching moment. 

Beck and Gunn

The duo will now deal with some formidable new competition, such as Palma winners Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn (NZL), who took second in the medal race to cruise and a nine-point victory. This Kinwi pair started out gold fleet brilliantly, winning the first two races and only had three races out of the top 10 all week. The team is in its eighth year on the international circuit and its fifth at the front end of the fleet. They won Kiel week 2019 and came third at the Oceania Championship in Auckland immediately prior to the 2019 Worlds, but couldn't wrestle the New Zealand entry from Burling and Tuke for Tokyo and have all the tools to be contenders in Paris.

The 49er story in Palma is a down-under tale, with four of the top five places going two each to New Zealand and Australia. With Max Paul (AUS), Tom Burton came second despite an over early in the first regatta race. Tom is the 2016 Laser gold medalist and 2019 Laser World Champion, and this second-place finish would be the best finish for a laser convert to 49er ever. Many have tried, most noticeably Robert Scheidt (BRA), but none have scored medals at top regattas until now. There were a few jokes in the boat park about 20-knot gybes being on the to-do list still, as the regatta was a light affair, but credit is due after three years of dedicated training allowing his elite sailing talent to show. 

McHardie and McKenzie (NZL) finished third after a stellar opening series had them in the lead after qualifying. They sailed a consistent final series and could have won, but a ninth in the medal race let them down a bit to close it out. 

The European fleet claimed half of the top 10, with the usual contenders having ups and downs. Wen and Liu from China came eighth, repeating their performance from ninth at the 2023 Worlds in Nova Scotia. One theme to keep an eye on could be the diversity of fleets top performances have been coming from. European, New Zealand, Australian and Chinese fleets each delivered top 10 performances after six months sailing apart. At this late stage of a quadrennial, it's been more common for the top teams to have segregated into elite groupings. Perhaps with covid forcing everyone home, teams have found a more local way to develop. 

Guilfoyle and Durcan

New rivals for the Irish Paris slot are Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club), who claim to have made significant gains over the winter training season. They will be looking for a gold fleet finish to Hyeres after posting 40th overall in Palma.

With just over three months remaining until the World Sailing Championships at The Hague (Netherlands), where the first nation places will be decided for Paris 2024, it will be all to play for.

Five Irish sailors will be looking to make a big impression at the 49er Worlds 2022 in the frigid waters of Nova Scotia, which get under way this coming Wednesday 31 August.

In the 49er division, the experienced skiff duo of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove (Howth Yacht Club/Skerries Sailing Club) will be up against the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan within a challenging field.

Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny DurcanSéafra Guilfoyle (left) and Johnny Durcan

Meanwhile, in the 49erFX, Dun Laoghaire’s Saskia Tidey and new Team GB skiff partner Freya Black will be looking to improve upon their 24th-place finish in last month’s Europeans and make a bigger splash at Hubbards on St Margaret’s Bay, some 50km west of Halifax.

Robert Dickson and Sean WaddiloveRobert Dickson (left) and Sean Waddilove

The village’s community waterfront on the site of a former fish processing plant has been completely transformed in preparation for the championships hosting the cream of 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 racers the world over.

Racing at the 2022 World Championship runs from Wednesday 31 August to Monday 5 September with daily live streams from Day 3 (Friday 2 September). 

Ireland's Olympic skiff campaigners finished off the 49er European Championship on Sunday (10th July 2022) making the best of their silver fleet series in Aarhus, Denmark.

Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) closed the gap on the silver fleet leaders but ultimately had to accept a second place at the end of their 16-race championship.

The pair had been leading their final race when the light breeze filled in from behind bringing the chasing pack up to them and they placed ninth.

Séafra Guilfoyle with Jonny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club had the best performance of the day in the Silver fleet when they scored back to back third places and held on to their eighth place in that division and 33rd overall.

Both crews are now focused on the 49er world championship scheduled for Halifax, Nova Scotia at the end of August where strong Irish performances are expected.

With the Paris Olympics just two years away, next Summer will see the first qualification opportunities at the combined Sailing World Championships scheduled for the 10th - 20th August 2023 in The Hague, Netherlands.

With three remaining qualification races planned both of Ireland's 49er crews will need to move up a gear to secure a top 25 place for the gold fleet in Denmark on Thursday.

Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson (Howth YC) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) looked to put a shaky start to the Aarhus Championships on Tuesday behind them when they were disqualified from the first race. The pair had a second and fifth place but a jammed cleat proved costly in Wednesday's opening race meant they lost 15 minutes from the race and again incurred maximum points and are 37th in the 89-boat fleet.

One place ahead, team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from the Royal Cork YC had a 17th and two 18th places for the day.

Mihovil Fantella of Croatia bolted the port wing back onto his 49er early this morning after a starting line crash in Tuesday’s last race wrecked his boat, sails and rig. After some late-night epoxy work and hours of rigging they hammered out a 1, 10, 2 today which dropped them in a group of six teams looking to break the stronghold on first held by Lambriex/Werken (NED) who are four points clear of the Croatians in second.

“Luckily the accident was the last race of the day,” said Mihovil as he and his brother pulled their mast down to re-calibrate settings after today’s racing. “Sime was in a protest to 10, I was there fixing and preparing for the new day. You can’t do much about that you just have to go straight on fixing and try to be as prepared as you can.”

The FX fleets were free of accidents and drama, and the consistency of the top four, six points separating them all, is a fine preview of the tension that will build when the gold fleet races begin Friday.

The Schmidt sisters of Denmark have been going from strength to strength this week, rounding the top mark of race 6 in second behind Maloney/Hobbs (NZL). They slipped to third in that race but still hold a two-point lead over Bobeck/Netzler (SWE) and Roble/Shea (USA) who is another one point behind in third.

Aleh/Meech (NZL) had a blinder of a day with a 5, 2, 1 and the pair is finally settling into a form they they both know from precious sailing in the Olympic Games, albeit with different partners.

“It’s just nice to go sailing again,” said Aleh this morning as she dropped shroud pins in new settings. Since her gold in London and silver in Rio, both in women’s 470, she has been a national coach and is a vice President at world Sailing. Meech was Maloney’s partner in Tokyo last summer.

A steady 15 knots was pressing down on the two FX fleets in the afternoon on the Bay of Aarhus, but the three 49er race circles saw solid white caps and gusts well into the 20s for their morning races.

While Lambriex/Werken (NED) had a hiccup in race six sailing their throwout (9th), standouts Colley/Connor (AUS) have been consistently stringing together a beautiful scoreline to leave them in a three-way tie for third that includes Peters/Sterritt (GBR) and McHardie/McKenzie (NZL). The latter’s teammates Dunning Beck/Gunn (NZL) have also been finding their wheels after a disastrous Kiel Week result of 47th.

“We just really had to go back to basics,” said Dunning Beck who came tantalizingly close to unseating Olympic gold medalists Burling/Tuke (NZL) for the Tokyo 49er berth. “We watched videos and just are slowly finding our way back.”

Gunn said the pair are humble, not thinking this week’s string of solid races means they are back in business. Dunning Beck added carefully, “We are putting it in our pocket, but it’s not all the way in yet.”

Results here

While the 49er World Champions may have grabbed an early gold at the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands yesterday, Ireland's Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are very much in the fight for a silver medal in the medal race on Saturday.

Dutch 49er sailors Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken have secured the gold medal on day four of the Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta.

As Afloat reported earlier, Dickson and Waddilove, from Howth Yacht Club and Skerries respectively and Lucas Rual/Emile Amoros (FRA) hold second and third currently, but many teams are breathing down their neck and ready to knock the Irish and French off the podium.

Sitting on 54 points Ireland has a five-point margin over the French but only 12 points separate second to fifth place overall in the 40-boat fleet.

With temperatures reaching to 25 degrees and winds picking up from 12 to 19 knots by the end of the balmy afternoon, the Markermeer waters between Amsterdam and Almere delivered stunning sailing conditions for all 10 fleets.

The perfect wind enabled race committees across all courses to make up most of the races lost to lighter and more fickle breezes earlier in the week.

In the 49er, Lambriex and van der Werken reminded their rivals why they won the world title in Oman at the end of last year. Winning five of the last six races, the Dutch go into Saturday’s Medal Race with an unassailable 29 point advantage. The gold medal is theirs.

Dutch 49er sailor Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werk (NED) secured the gold medal Photo: Sailing Energy/Hempel World Cup Series Allianz RegattaDutch 49er sailor Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werk (NED) secured the gold medal Photo: Sailing Energy/Hempel World Cup Series Allianz Regatta

Floris van der Werken explained their winning approach: "It was quite a strong field. A few of the worlds best are missing, but not many. We didn't really focus on the results this week, though, we never do. The focus was on communication onboard. We try to sail as one brain but with the capacity of two. Four eyes see more than two, but we have to think the same. That went very well this week. If the communication is good, if we give each other the right information, then we make the right decisions and we win."

Results in all classes are here

Page 1 of 2

About the Watersports Inclusion Games

The Watersports Inclusion Games are an award-winning event organised by Irish Sailing with partners from across the watersports sector, that enable people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning spectrums to take to the water to participate in a wide range of water activities.

More than 250 people with physical, sensory, intellectual and learning disabilities typically take part in the weekend's events.

Participants will have the opportunity to try more sports than ever before, with an expanded range including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding, rowing, surfing, water skiing and powerboating all on offer.

The Games typically take place each August.

The organisers of the Games want to let people of all abilities know that there are multiple watersports available to them, and to encourage more people from all backgrounds to get involved and out on the water regardless of ability. They aim to highlight that any barriers faced by people with disabilities can be eliminated.

There are social, health and wellness benefits associated with sailing and all watersports. These include improved muscle strength and endurance, improved cardiovascular fitness and increased agility, enhanced spatial awareness, greater mental wellness through the balancing of serotonin levels and the lowering of stress levels, improved concentration and the forging of positive relationships.