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Irish Sailing Appoint Tim Bourke as CEO

5th January 2023
Irish Sailing CEO Tim Bourke
News Irish Sailing CEO Tim Bourke

Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Tim Bourke has been appointed as the new CEO of Irish Sailing

The appointment follows the departure of the previous CEO Harry Hermon before Christmas. 

The National Governing Body said, "Tim is well regarded in both business and sailing circles, bringing a discerning blend of commercial and sporting experience to lead the organisation".

"Tim has a life-long passion for sailing, which started with dinghies and continued with instructing, racing keelboats, cruising and volunteering", it says.

Bourke previously ran a sailing school in the USA and co-founded the SB20 class in Ireland. 

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

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

Irish Sailing claims a membership of 24,000 across 100 clubs, 45 affiliated classes, 35 affiliated and 40 commercial training/activity centres running accredited training programmes.

Bourke will head a team of over 20, including full, part-time and contract workers at the headquarters at Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, in County Dublin.

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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.