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Irish Sailing to Interview Candidates for CEO Role as Job Application Deadline Closes

28th October 2022
Irish Sailing headquarters at Park Road, Dun Laoghaire
Irish Sailing headquarters at Park Road, Dun Laoghaire

As the application deadline passed yesterday (Friday, October 28th) for the role of CEO at Irish Sailing, there will be scrutiny of candidates at Park Road headquarters, Dun Laoghaire, to see if there is an individual capable of maintaining relations with the country's yacht clubs and classes while at the same time navigating the Sport Ireland maze that provides so much government finance to the national governing body.

Afloat understands there has been considerable interest in the position due to the pending retirement of current chief executive Harry Hermon, as previously reported on

However, surprise has been expressed in some quarters that several likely candidates have reportedly decided to let the opportunity pass.

The successful candidate will take the helm during a time of “real crisis in [Irish] elite sailing”, as heard at Irish Sailing’s AGM earlier this year.

Although those involved in the recruitment process remain tight-lipped, the word on the waterfront is that the ranks of the sailing community itself have produced at least half a dozen names for the hat, including those from the international racing fraternities – both inshore and offshore – as well as current administrators. As Afloat sources reveal, expressions of interest have also come from suitably qualified sailing school instructors and coaches for the rumoured to be €90k role.

Irish Sailing’s recruitment partner Ascension Executive Recruitment told Afloat the salary for the role “is negotiable depending on experience.” Hence, that figure is most likely a starting point where the benchmark, according to industry sources, might be as high as €130k.

The vacancy, it is understood, has appealed to some other national governing body administrators too, where there are ambitious 'Number Twos' keen to move up the career ladder.

In the job description and role profile, the national governing body for sailing, power boating and windsurfing in Ireland says the CEO is responsible for leading the organisation to ensure the sustainability of the sport, its reputation and achievement of outstanding success”.

Among the requirements for the new CEO is establishing Irish Sailing’s strategic direction, including strategies to grow participation and encourage inclusion and diversity.

They will have significant experience within a business or similar environment, managing multiple stakeholders and funding sources, with a genuine desire to grow the sport of sailing at all levels.

They will also have “a track record of driving innovation and change”.

Applications closed on Friday, 28 October, and more on the role can be found via Irish Sailing’s LinkedIn page HERE.

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Irish Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association, also known as Irish Sailing, is the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland.

Founded in 1945 as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, it became the Irish Yachting Association in 1964 and the Irish Sailing Association in 1992.

Irish Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing and a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Association is governed by a volunteer board, elected by the member clubs. Policy Groups provide the link with members and stakeholders while advising the Board on specialist areas. There is a professional administration and performance staff, based at the headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Core functions include the regulation of sailing education, administering racing and selection of Irish sailors for international competition. It is the body recognised by the Olympic Federation of Ireland for nominating Irish qualified sailors to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Irish sailors have medalled twice at the Olympics – David Wilkins and Jamie Wikinson at the 1980 games, and Annalise Murphy at the 2016 games.

The Association, through its network of clubs and centres, offers curriculum-based training in the various sailing, windsurfing and powerboating disciplines. Irish Sailing qualifications are recognised by Irish and European Authorities. Most prominent of these are the Yachtmaster and the International Certificate of Competency.

It runs the annual All-Ireland Championships (formerly the Helmsman’s Championship) for senior and junior sailors.

The Association has been led by leading lights in the sailing and business communities. These include Douglas Heard, Clayton Love Junior, John Burke and Robert Dix.

Close to 100 sailors have represented Ireland at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership of Irish Sailing is either by direct application or through membership of an affiliated organisation. The annual membership fee ranges from €75 for families, down to €20 for Seniors and Juniors.