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After three races sailed, Paris 2024 qualified Eve McMahon of Ireland lies in 20th place at the ILCA 6 European Championships in Athens. 

In light and flukey conditions that have delayed the racing schedule, the Howth star scored a consistent seven and a 12 in the 110-boat fleet.

Fierce competition is unfolding among the front-runners, vying for both European titles. Viktorija Andrulyte LTU (1-4-2) and Elena Vorobeva CRO (1-2-30) currently share the lead in the rankings and are tied on three points. 

Maria Erdi HUN (3-5-3) stands third in the provisional podium with 6 points. Anne Marie Rindom (4-12-3) DEN and Louise Cervera FRA (12-3-4) follow closely with 7.

In the fight for the Olympic tickets and also among the Top 10 are Katrina Micallef MLT (30-4-4) and Ursula Balas CRO (9-10-1), with 8 and 10 points respectively.

More light winds are expected for Day 4 on Wednesday, organisers will again try for three races although once four have been completed the minimum standard for a championship event will have been reached.

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Paris 2024 Irish Olympic trialists, in their second of three trials, posted close results after the first races sailed at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens today.

Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) and Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) had almost matching scores in their respective qualifying fleets, with Lynch scoring 22nd followed by a fourth; McMahon had a 23rd, then a fourth also.

Two races were completed in between spells of near-calm conditions. The 140-boat fleet was only at sea for a few hours when they were recalled to shore as the wind died.

"It's up to the sailor at the moment to choose which way to sail, but the conditions are so hard to manage that I expected from before the event started that it would be a high-scoring event," commented Irish Coach Vasilij Zbogar.

Irish Olympic trials leader Finn Lynch completes a tack in the light winds at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens Photo: Matias CapizzanoIrish Olympic trials leader Finn Lynch completes a tack in the light winds at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens Photo: Matias Capizzano

With more light winds expected for Day 4 on Wednesday, organisers will again try for three races, although once four have been completed, the minimum standard for a championship event will have been reached.

Lynch and McMahon are competing in the six-day series that also serves as part of the selection trials for the single national place already secured for the Men's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

A young sailor named Omer Vered from Israel is currently leading in the ILCA 7 European Championship with a total of 7 points after the first two races.  He managed to secure a fifth and a second place, which puts him in the running for one of the two Olympic spots offered by the event for Paris 2024.

Close contenders include Benjamin Vadnai from Hungary with 8 points and Pietro Giacomoni from Italy with 9 points after finishing 7th and 1st and 4th and 5th, respectively.

Zan Luka Zelko from Slovenia (6th and 5th) and Bruno Gaspic from Croatia (5th and 6th) are tied in the provisional Top 5 with 11 points each. If the race ended now, Zan Luka Zelko would secure the second Olympic berth for his country.

As the second trial for the Irish Paris 2024 nomination was becalmed in Greece today at the ILCA7 European Championships, the February World Rankings reveal both Irish trialists are in the top 25.

Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club), who finished ninth at January's World Championships, is ranked 15th, while Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) reaches a new high at 25 in his independent 'Green Rebel' campaign.

High pressure over Athens left competitors without racing on the opening day of the Championships (Sunday, 18th February).

Lynch and McMahon were amongst the 141-boat ILCA7 class left waiting for the breeze to arrive. Although the fleet eventually went afloat, no racing was possible.

Top class sailing from Finn Lynch put the National Yacht Club sailor into the medal race of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia in January and puts him 15th in the world rankings Photo: Jack FletcherTop class sailing from Finn Lynch put the National Yacht Club sailor into the medal race of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia in January and puts him 15th in the world rankings Photo: Jack Fletcher

A similar forecast is predicted for Monday, though there are indications of wind for Tuesday.

Lynch has the upper hand on McMahon after the first of three trials at the Australian World Championships, but with a light wind forecast and some significant absences in Athens this week, there is an opportunity for McMahon.

As Afloat reported last November, despite achieving the necessary published criteria at a recent World Cup, the McMahon campaign says that his application for Sport Ireland funding for 2024 was "disallowed following a decision by Irish Sailing (IS) to invalidate the event’s qualification status".

The ISA then determined that the World Cup event in Almere did not meet the “minimum standard of fleet” to qualify as a carding event under the 2024 Carding Scheme rules.

Whatever the criteria may be, with only two sailors campaigning, February 2024's world rankings represent a standard McMahon's campaign will no doubt say merits his inclusion on the national team, which currently has only one ILCA 7 member.

Over 300 teams from more than fifty countries have already registered to participate in the 53rd edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar, the first regatta of the year that will see all ten sailing classes compete, which will also race at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This highly anticipated showcase regatta will be held on the Bay of Palma from 29th March to 6th April.

The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca is considered a world benchmark for Olympic classes and will be the first regatta of the year to bring all ten disciplines of the Paris 2024 Games together on the same racing waters. This event represents a key milestone in the athletes' final preparations for their Olympic dream.

300 teams from more than fifty countries have already registered to participate in the 53rd edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca300 teams from more than fifty countries have already registered to participate in the 53rd edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca

From 29th March to 6th April, the world's best specialists in the women's disciplines ILCA 6, 49er FX, iQFOiL Women and Formula Kite Women; the men's disciplines ILCA 7, 49er, iQFOiL Men and Formula Kite Men; and the mixed 470 and Nacra 17 will compete on the bay of Palma.

Since the registration opening in mid-December, more than 300 teams representing 51 countries have already registered, the advance guards for a fleet that will turn the Bay of Palma into the epicentre of world Olympic sailing.

According to Ferrán Muniesa, the event's sporting director, "We are in an Olympic year, and the Sofia will be the first multi-class event in which all the participants in Paris 2024 will meet up to race before the start of the Games next July. It will be a key event in the Olympic arena, a real dress rehearsal where the athletes can test themselves against their rivals that they will meet on the Marseille race course."

The event will be a decisive marker for many countries as they select their representatives for Paris 2024.

A potent Finn Lynch of Ireland has sailed into the top ten of the ILCA 7 Laser World Championships after the first day of the final series, but a black flag disqualification for the National Yacht Club ace could yet prove costly in this single discard championship in Adelaide, Australia.

According to provisional results (see below), Lynch is ninth overall after the first of two final races in the 153-boat fleet.

The fourth day had it all: big breeze, big swells, and some world-class ILCA 7 racing.

The first blip in an otherwise uber-consistent scoreline for Lynch came in race seven, the first of the final races, when the Rio Olympian and 2021 World Silver medalist was disqualified under the black flag rule (BFD) for a premature start. 

The gold fleet was eager to get started as sailors forced four general recalls in the opening race, three of them under the black flag, and a total of seven sailors ended up disqualified under black flag rules.

Lynch bounced back in the second race of the day with a well-earned 12th in breezy, testing conditions that have characterised the event.

The event schedule has two more 'finals' races on Tuesday, with the top ten boats in the Gold fleet, then going into a short, high-scoring Olympic-style medal race final on Wednesday ((with that race score worth double points and is unable to be discarded) while the remaining competitors battle to decide the other overall standings. Lynch can discard the BFD result from his tally, but if he is to make the coveted top ten final, he can afford no further slips in this single discard regatta.

Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club (216101) makes a clear start at the leeward end of the gold fleet line at the ILCA7 World Championships in AdelaideEwan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club (216101) makes a clear start at the leeward end of the gold fleet line at the ILCA7 World Championships in Adelaide

The regatta also serves as the first round of an Irish Olympic trial for Paris 2024 in the men's singlehanded class and Lynch's Paris 2024 rival, Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, is in 44th place, after scoring 36 in both final gold fleet races.

The battle for Olympic qualification is also highly competitive, with seven remaining ILCA 7 Olympic nation berths also up for grabs among 15 countries in the gold fleet, which shows just how important the next two days of racing will be.

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored two top-ten results in the opening races of the ILCA7 world championships in Adelaide, Australia, today to take an early lead in the Irish Olympic selection trial for Paris 2024 against rival Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club. The Rio Olympian is lying tenth overall in the 153-strong fleet.

McEwan opened his championship account with 24th place before earning a strong ninth place in race two to lie in 40th place.

See results sheet below

"Finn had a decent day, and the goal is to have top tens in the qualifying races, especially as there's just one discard for the whole event," commented coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Ewan had one good race and one average but proved that he can be in front - he just needs a little more consistency in the coming races."

'Green Rebel' campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth took a well earned ninth in race two of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide Photo: Jack Fletcher'Green Rebel' campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth took a well earned ninth in race two of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide Photo: Jack Fletcher

Maximising points at this early stage of the regatta is essential as the 153 competitors are split across three qualifying fleets to determine the Gold fleet line-up for the finals series that begins on Monday.

"We had beautiful wind for the first day but very challenging and physically demanding long races - hard for the sailors," said Zbogar. "Definitely, everyone is taking as little risk as possible, as the first three days are the most important for qualifying."

Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard won his two opening races giving himself the perfect start to his 2024 campaign.

"There's just one discard for the whole event"

With the 153-strong entry list split between three qualifying fleets, Tomasgaard drew first blood in the red fleet with two race wins, while Australian hopefuls Matt Wearn and Luke Elliott took a race win each in the yellow fleet, and Philipp Buhl (GER) and Mickey Beckett (GBR) each took a win in blue fleet.

It sets the scene for an exciting battle at the front of the fleet with Tomasgaard a point clear in first, Elliott second on three points, and Buhl third on four points, however it remains far too early to identify any key favourites for the title.

German Philipp Buhl, a world champion from the last time the ILCA 7 Worlds were in Australia, said the first day of the Worlds was always an important one to ensure you got away to a good start.

“The first day today was pretty solid and I’m quite happy with the result even though I didn’t manage to get off the start line too well in the first race,” he said.

“In the beginning of an event, basically it is all about not having a big score, so I managed to do this and came through the day quite cleanly in amazing conditions.

 A fleet start on the first day of the ILCA7 World Championships in Adelaide with Ireland's Finn Lynch pictured left Photo: Jack Fletcher A fleet start on the first day of the ILCA7 World Championships in Adelaide with Ireland's Finn Lynch pictured left Photo: Jack Fletcher

“This World Championships means quite a lot to me personally, because it’s part of my Olympic selection that is not done yet for us in Germany, and it’s a World Championships where you always want to do well.”

The top Aussie sailors are all in good shape as well, which was to be expected on home waters, with the five Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad members all inside the top 20 after the first day.

Australian Sailing Squad member Finn Alexander finished the first day with a 9,7 scorecard and said the team was in good shape to perform well over the next week.

“We’ve spent a bit of time here in Adelaide and it’s a beautiful place, the weather absolutely turned it on today, we had a really nice gradient breeze of about 10-20 knots, you can’t really ask for much more on day one of a Worlds,” he said.

“We’ve got a really strong contingent, we’ve got five really good guys (in the squad) and we’ve all been pushing hard, backed up with a really solid futures group, so the future of Australian sailing is looking pretty good.”

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking like it will offer more glamour Adelaide conditions with variable morning weather shifting into a late afternoon sea breeze of up to 15 knots.

If all goes to plan, the race committee is expected to run two races per day, giving them a 10-race series up until the end of 30 January followed by the exciting 10-boat medal race on 31 January to close out the series.

Hot on the heels of the ILCA 6 World Championship held earlier this month (where Howth's Eve McMahon qualified for Paris 2024) comes the battle for the ILCA 7 world title and the first Irish Olympic sailing trial of this triennial.

The ILCA 7 World Championship begins in Adelaide, Australia this week from January 26 until January 31.

Formerly known as the Laser and one of the most sailed dinghies on the planet, the ILCA 7 is among the most hotly contested classes in the Olympics.

This regatta promises to be no different, with 153 entries from 53 countries vying for the title.

From an Irish perspective, the World Championships represents the first Olympic selection trial between Finn Lynch (27), who qualified the country last August and 'independent campaigner' Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club.

Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht ClubEwan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club contests the first Irish Olympic trial for Paris 2024 in Adelaide, Australia

The Adelaide Worlds is the first of three performance-based trial events to determine which of the two eligible candidates will represent Ireland in the sole spot in the ILCA 7 class in Marseille in just six months' time.

The trials series includes two other championship-grade regattas over the coming three months, with the better sailor on the combined results of all three earning the nomination to the Olympic Federation of Ireland before the Summer.

Points awarded for each event are structured, say the selectors, to allow both athletes to focus solely on achieving their best results in each event rather than contesting one another solely to achieve selection.

Despite achieving the necessary published criteria at a 2023 World Cup, McMahon claims that his application for Sport Ireland funding for 2024 was "disallowed following a decision by Irish Sailing (IS) to invalidate the event’s qualification status". As a result, Ewan, (the older brother of Paris qualified Eve) took the initiative to self-manage, fund, and organise his own campaign, and he has been training alongside other top-ranked international sailors for the chance to win the Olympic berth. 

Lynch's participation in the upcoming competition is greatly anticipated, given his background as an Irish representative at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as well as his achievement of securing a country qualification for Paris and winning a silver medal in the class's 2021 World Championships.

Outside of the Irish fight, there will also be an intense focus on Irish Sea sailor Micky Beckett, currently third in the world rankings, who was selected to be Britain’s sole representative in the class for Paris 2024 last October.

Britain's Michael Beckett from Solva, Pembrokeshire on the Irish SeaBritain's Michael Beckett from Solva, Pembrokeshire on the Irish Sea

Beckett from Solva, Pembrokeshire, has been one of the most consistent performers on the circuit this cycle and scooped silvers at the Paris 2024 test event and 2023 World Championship. However, having had gold stolen on both occasions by nemesis and reigning Olympic champion Matt Wearn, Beckett will be looking to best his rival on home waters with only six months to go until Paris 2024.

The official website featuring results and the full entry list is here.

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In Vilamoura, Portugal, on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, despite light and fickle wind conditions, Irish sailors Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove made a strong start to the 49er European Championships.

The Howth and Skerries pair made a clean start to the single short race, quickly putting behind them their disappointing performance at the world championships in August, where they were disqualified from two races for early starting, costing them early qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The duo reached the first turning mark in seventh place before carefully working up to third place after the two-lap race. However, the race management teams struggled to set a course in the dying breeze, and as the sun began to set, the attention shifted to day two of the qualification round, where better wind conditions were forecast.

With the breeze dying during the late afternoon, only one 49er Europeans race was completed for the three men’s qualifying groups. Photo: Prow MediaWith the breeze dying during the late afternoon, only one 49er Europeans race was completed for the three men’s qualifying groups. Photo: Prow Media

Seán Waddilove, speaking after the race, said, "We can't complain - it was a light, tricky day. To come away unscathed is pretty good."

Guilfoyle and Durcan

Royal Cork's Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, the second Irish boat competing at the event, had a 12th place and relished the prospect of better conditions on Thursday. "It was very light, very easy to have a bad one, so we're reasonably happy," commented Johnny Durcan. "There's a bit more breeze (forecast) tomorrow and today was pretty close to being a drifter so hopefully, four races in ten knots."

Guilfoyle and Durcan are seeking a top 20 result overall in the 90-strong event to meet Sport Ireland carding scheme criteria.

With the breeze dying during the late afternoon, only one race was completed for the three men’s qualifying groups. The winners of their respective groups were Martin and Jaime Wizner from Spain, Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie from New Zealand, and Sebastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta from Switzerland.

The 91-strong 49er skiff class is divided into three fleets for the qualification round of nine races. The top 25 boats go through to the Gold fleet for the final round, while the top ten boats from there will contest a medal race decider on Monday, November 13th.

Saskia Tidey

Royal Irish's Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire Harbour, who is sailing for Team GB and already qualified for Paris 2024 sailing with Freya Black, is lying 40th in a 55-boat 49er FX fleet.

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Ireland's only place so far at the Paris 2024 Olympic Regatta, thanks to Finn Lynch in the Men's dinghy, has been confirmed by World Sailing as it publishes the first 107 boats and boards qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games following the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships at The Hague.

Great Britain and the Netherlands are currently leading the Allianz Sailing World Championships table with eight places each, with Spain and Italy following closely behind with seven places each. Germany and New Zealand have secured six places.

Sailors from all over the world came to The Hague to compete and took one step closer to realising their Olympic dreams.

France, as the host nation, has already been allocated ten places.

Sailing athletes still have more opportunities to make their National Olympic Committee (NOC) proud in the coming months as they compete across all ten Olympic events.

The 2023 Formula Kite European Championships will take place in Portsmouth, UK, from 16-24 September 2023, followed by the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from 19-27 September 2023.

These events will include races for qualification in iQFOiL, Formula Kite, ILCA 6, and ILCA 7. Furthermore, a qualifier will be held on each of World Sailing’s six continents in each of the 10 Olympic Events.

The final chance regatta will be held at the 2024 Semaine Olympique Française in Hyeres, from 18-27 April 2024, just a few months before the Games.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition is expected to feature over 250 boats, with 330 athletes equally divided between male and female sailors.

All places are subject to final confirmation by World Sailing.

See the complete table of qualified Olympic places below.

Paris 2024 Olympic sailing qualified placesParis 2024 Olympic sailing qualified places

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Finn Lynch secured Ireland's berth at the Paris Olympics in the ILCA 7 class this afternoon when he claimed the 15th of 16 nation places on offer at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague.

The world championship silver medalist who represented Ireland in Rio 2016 but failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020, will be relieved to get Paris 2024 qualification in the men's dinghy behind him after a week of drama on the North Sea that saw 27-year-old Carlow sailor end the competition in 23rd overall when had been as high as eighth at one point. A delighted Lynch described the result as "a monkey off my back".

In a mixed final day, he placed 19th in the first race but was unable to break into the leading group and placed 38th in the last of the ten-race series.

After crossing the finishing line, he sailed ashore believing he had missed qualification when he had actually managed to place 15th by nation and 23rd overall.

Ireland sought three such qualifications at The Hague, but Lynch was the only sailor to make the Paris 2024 cut, a much-needed consolation after missing out on the World Championship medal race.

Now that Ireland is qualified in the men's dinghy, Lynch will contest the Paris 2024 place with Howth's Ewan McMahon in an Olympic trial series to be announced.

Meanwhile, Matt Wearn (AUS) is on the brink of adding a first world title to his Olympic gold medal after navigating his way into a comfortable lead in the ILCA 7. 
 
Going into the day trailing Micky Beckett (GBR), Wearn knew that a previous black flag disqualification for the Brit meant he was much more vulnerable to a bad score. 
 
So even though Beckett came second in the opening race of the day, stretching his lead further, Wearn was able to match-race his opponent – effectively delaying Beckett – with the pair finishing 65th and 66th, respectively. 
 
That allowed Wearn to move into top spot, with a 20-point lead over George Gautrey (NZL), while Beckett is a point further back. Wearn will therefore need to get around the course in the medal race with no penalties to take gold. 

Results here.

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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.