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Jack Roy Blog: Irish Sailing President’s Awards Highlighted What is Really Good About our Sport

25th April 2018
Carmel Winkelmann, Dun Laoghaire receives the President's Award from Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards 2018 Carmel Winkelmann, Dun Laoghaire receives the President's Award from Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards 2018 Photo: Irish Sailing/David Branigan

Already we’re at the end of April and there’s a busy summer season ahead. The year got off to a great start in February with the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards, celebrating all types of sailing achievement.

As well as the big ticket awards (Conor Fogerty, Sailor of the Year; Crookhaven Sailing Club, Training Centre of the Year and Dan McGaughey, Youth Sailor of the Year), my personal highlights were the President’s Awards when I could show my own appreciation for people who, in my opinion, stood out and, in their own way, highlighted what is really good about our sport. This year I recognised Carmel Winkelmann for more than fifty years of service to sailing in Ireland. For their bravery and all-round good seamanship, Santiago Alegre, Simon Hoffmann, Jay Stacy and Cian Mollen were also recognised.

To support this season, Irish Sailing have relaunched our Try Sailing website. The new-look, user-friendly site encourages would-be sailors to get out on the water, and directs them on where and how to get started. This mobile-friendly site has video content which will be constantly refreshed so I’d encourage you to send the link to all your relevant contacts or use the site from your own club or centre as a way of attracting more sailors.

"It was our biggest ever Youth Pathway Championship with 213 young sailors under 18 and 197 boats"

Early April saw Ireland’s biggest youth regatta, the annual Volvo Youth Sailing Pathway National Championships, hosted by the Royal St George and National Yacht Clubs. It was our biggest ever Youth Pathway Championship with 213 young sailors under 18 and 197 boats. Although the weather was challenging for the race committee, the competitors and the support crews alike, the race schedule produced results and places were allocated for forthcoming events later in the season. The Irish Sailing coaches had the opportunity to assess all competitors and for those finishing further down the ranks there was the opportunity to compete in a top-level event, hopefully enjoying themselves and gaining from the experience.

A big thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning and running of this important fixture. You can see videos from the event on our Youtube channel here 

The biennial Race Officials Conference which had been postponed due to adverse weather, took place on April 15th and was attended by more than 100 Race Officials from all parts of the country. Convening in the Plaza Hotel Tallaght for a well-planned programme and speakers from Ireland and the UK, the event was well received and gave ROs a welcome opportunity to meet informally, away from the water.

Now I’m looking forward to the first half of the summer and a packed schedule of national, regional and local events ahead, including the inaugural Wave Regatta in Howth (1-3 June), Seafest in Galway (29 June onwards) and the Volvo Round Ireland Race (hosted by Wicklow Sailing Club 30 June) to name just three from the start of a busy 2018 sailing calendar.

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