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The Irish Optimist Dinghy Association (IODAI) IDT Team is the International Development team which is aimed at sailors just below the World and European level, writes Brendan Foley of the IODAI

The team is aimed at preparing sailors for international competitions in a fun and sporting manner. The core ethos is teamwork and doing your best on and off the water. This includes house chores as much as sailing!

Our team of 8 sailors were;

  • Dougie Venner – Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • Emily Donagh – Royal St George Yacht Club / Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • Kate Spain – Howth Yacht Club / Royal St George Yacht Club
  • Louise Hanley – National Yacht Club
  • Anabelle Wilson – Kinsale Yacht Club
  • Finn Foley – Royal St George Yacht Club
  • Patrick Fegan – Malahide Yacht Club / Royal St George Yacht Club
  • Mathew Holden – Ballyholme Yacht Club / National Yacht Club
  • Coach - Thomas Chaix
  • Managers – Ian & Ger Venner

The IODAI IDT Optimist Team in FranceThe IODAI IDT Optimist Team in France - L-R Finn Foley, Anabelle Wilson, Dougie Venner, Kate Spain, Patrick Fegan, Emily Donagh, Matthew Holden, Louise Hanley

Our team of 8 sailors travelled to Perros-Gueric in Brittany for the La Coupe Internationale d'Été d'Optimist. This is a massive French Optimist Regatta with 227 in the main fleet and 435 overall including under U11’s and Regatta fleet. Teams from France, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Monaco, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, USA and Ireland were present.

The IDT Managers were the dream team of Ian and Ger Venner, who met all the sailors with their boats at Ringaskiddy Ferry Port in Cork to do the 20-hour journey to France. The team looked great in their matching gear and boats looked super, thanks to former IODAI President Tim Lucas, who provided Team Ireland decals.

On arrival at the massive team house, the kids were delighted to see a pad rivalling that of any MTV crib. Thanks to IODAI Teams rep Steve O’Sullivan for finding a gem. After a day to settle in, team coach Thomas Chaix, usefully a French native but living full time in Ireland, helped the sailors get into the swing of things with some early training to acquaint themselves with the sailing venue and the notoriously strong tides of Brittany. The boat park was a beautiful beach, and one the first lessons of the week was launching boats in the shore break before learning to negotiate the fast currents.

The Irish Optimist IDT Team are towed home The Irish Optimist IDT Team are towed home Photo: Thomas Chaix

Sailing conditions were generally 8-10kts and sometimes lighter with a 2-2.5 kts tide making very challenging conditions. In race 1 only 1/3 of the fleet finished within the time limit. A feature of the event is a ‘raid’ with all 435 boats starting on the same line. A dramatic spectacle, the race format massively punished anything but a front-row start. This was a big learning for our young sailors over the week. Getting a clear start was a must in such big fleets. Managing mark roundings with up to 30 other boats at the same time also proved a useful learning point. All the sailors had up and down races, but the wise coach Thomas Chaix banned all from looking at overall results throughout the week and was great at refocusing the sailors to concentrate on the next race and try their best.

The team really gelled which was a major objective. All the team can now count hoovering, lunch making and using a washing machine as part of their nautical skillsets! Kite flying, singing and skim boarding were also important skills developed along the way. There was even a sweet fairy depositing tic-tacs overnight in the Oppies. A special thanks to the Fegan family for sending a huge lasagne and garlic bread to feed the team on Thursday night as some of sailors spent a long night in the protest room.

After racing Friday, much gear swapping with other teams took place, with the sailors looking like a united nations convention as they boarded the ferry back home. The crossing back was a foretaste of the Fastnet conditions and several succumbed, though all perked up once inside Roches Point. Long after the boats were loaded on cars – the team were still all chatting and eight sailors that left as individuals retuned as one team.

Results can be seen here

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The European Optimist Championship took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, last week and was represented by the Irish team;

  • Abigail Murphy (Royal St George Yacht Club)
  • Maeve Donagh (Royal St George Yacht Club / Lough Derg Yacht Club),
  • Carolina Carra (Royal St George Yacht Club)
  • Max O’Hare (Royal St George Yacht Club)
  • Rory Whyte (Royal Cork Yacht Club / Waterford Harbour Sailing Club)
  • Jude Hynes Knight (Tralee Bay Sailing Club)
  • Conor Cronin (Royal St George Yacht Club / Malahide Yacht Club)

Forty-seven nations were represented by two hundred and ninety-two sailors, the largest ever European Optimist championships in the fifty years it’s been running.

The dinghy park for the European Optimist Championships in Thessaloniki, GreeceThe dinghy park for the European Optimist Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece

Conditions were mostly light to medium, between five and eight knots in a short chop. It was warm with days of up to thirty-five degrees, which, given predicted temperatures in Greece for next week, will seem cool in comparison. Shade and hydration were the key to keeping concentration in tricky conditions.

The girls, racing in their own qualifying fleets of two, sixty-five strong fleets (one hundred and twenty in total) for the first three days, achieved some super results, with top fifteen scores amongst them.

At the end of the three qualifying days, Abigail Murphy made it through to the gold fleet, with Maeve Donagh and Carolina Carra qualifying for the silver fleet.

 Irish Boys European Optimist Championships Team: L-R, Max O’Hare, Conor Cronin, Rory Whyte, Jude Hynes Knight Irish Boys European Optimist Championships Team: L-R, Max O’Hare, Conor Cronin, Rory Whyte, Jude Hynes Knight

The final two days saw the girls race in their respective gold and silver fleets amongst tough competition but managed some super top ten results again, leaving Abigail Murphy in sixty-first place overall, Maeve Donagh in seventy-seventh and Carolina Carra in one hundred and second.

In the one hundred and sixty-six strong boys fleet, the Irish boys secured some good results over the three days of qualifiers in their respective groups of fifty-five boats with some top fifteen places amongst them also.

All four boys qualified for bronze fleet and secured some superb top ten results amongst them over the final two days, leaving Conor Cronin in one hundred and fourteenth place overall, followed closely behind by Max O’Hare in one hundred and sixteenth, Rory Whyte in one hundred and thirty-seventh and Jude Hynes Knight in one hundred and fifty-seventh.

Huge thanks go to IODAI, especially Steve and Lorraine O’Sullivan, for organising all of the logistics and wonderful team gear, and Yvonne St Leger, Team Manager, for taking such good care of the sailors shoreside and Soren Laugesen in his second year as European Team coach for his coaching skills.

Results here

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In line with the Irish Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) push to have a fun and inclusive fleet, a Team Racing Optimist Nationals will be held on the 16th of August, the day before the Fleet Racing Nationals starts at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough.

Team racing has one of the highest participation levels of young sailors.

The fun format allows for many short races where a team of four sailors races against another team of four sailors. Tactics, rules and boat handling are the key to success.

It will be run in the bay just off Ballyholme Yacht Club, allowing spectators to get a front-row seat to the action.

Up to 12 teams are expected. A round-robin format will be used with only knock-out sailing at the very end to decide the final and Optimist Team Racing Champions.

We want to get as much racing for teams as possible. An event trophy will be awarded to the winning team.

Thomas Chaix, IODAI coach, will be running the event and the event, which will have on the water umpires. The course type will be the ‘S’ course. Teams can be made up of sailors from different clubs if that club does not have enough sailors to field a team.

We would ask sailors and coaches to enter teams as soon as possible to optimise event planning.

The notice of race and entry form can be found here

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RYA Northern Ireland has issued the Notice of Race and opened entries for the 2023 edition of the RYANI F10 Marine Youth Championships, which will take place on the weekend of 9-10 September.

Following the cancellation of last year’s championships due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, RYANI welcomes back the prestigious event to uncover the Northern Ireland champions across junior and youth sailing classes that include Toppers, Optimists, Fevas and 29ers, ILCA 4 and 6 and a regatta fleet.

Andrew Baker, performance manager at RYANI said: “Our annual Youth Championships is a major event in the youth sailing calendar and for many their first experience of a larger event. Whether a sailor turns up as the favourite to win or it’s their first time on a racecourse, the event really delivers something for all young sailors in NI.

“It is probably the biggest event we run alongside our clubs, at times it can be logistically challenging and demanding on volunteer resources but ultimately demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone plays their part and gets involved.”

RYANI is also excited to announce a new headline sponsor for the event in F10 Marine, an online boat shop that offers a wide range of products for boating enthusiasts and provides quality items to enhance the boating experience and cater to diverse needs.

Damian Goodman from F10 Marine said: “F10 Marine is proud to announce its sponsorship of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships, scheduled to take place in September. This significant partnership reflects F10 Marine’s commitment to supporting youth development in the field of sailing and its dedication to promoting water sports in the region.

“By supporting this event, F10 Marine is actively contributing to the growth of the sailing community and empowering young sailors to pursue their passion for the sport.”

On the announcement of the sponsorship, RYANI chief executive Greg Yarnall said: “It is fantastic to have a company like F10 Marine on board to support the RYANI Youth Championships, we would like to thank F10 Marine for their support, and we hope it will be the start of a long lasting partnership between the two organisations that can enable us to further develop sailing and boating in Northern Ireland.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

The beautiful seaside village of Dunmore East in Waterford was the setting for the Optimist Munster championship. Nicola Harris and her very able team of volunteers from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club ensured that 120 sailors and parents alike had a warm welcome and great racing. Commodore Barry McConnell welcomed the sailors to sunny Dunmore East.

With racing cancelled in many locations around Ireland this weekend, John Leech PRO Main Fleet and Steve O’Sullivan R.O. Regatta Fleet managed to fit in a full series of races in sometimes challenging conditions over the weekend. Saturday saw a warm day with an ever-increasing westerly breeze. Two races were complete but with a lot of retirals. With 26 knots of sustained wind the race officers called it a day and sent everyone home. The Oppie sailors and parents turned to a now standard practice of making a TikTok when racing is cancelled! Steaks, burgers and lots of liquid refreshments on Saturday evening made for a great atmosphere at the club.

On Sunday, the wind swung to 240 degrees. In lighter 15-20 knot conditions, the sailors revelled in the surfing conditions that Dunmore East is famous for. The outer loop of the course saw exhilarating planning conditions, which were accompanied by high-octane wipeouts. Four races were completed for the senior fleet and three for the junior fleet.

Harry Dunne of Howth Yacht Club was first in the 37-boat senior fleet, followed by Gemma Brady of the National Yacht Club and Lough Derg Yacht Club and in third place Rory Whyte of the host club and Royal Cork Yacht Club. Max O’Hare and Abigail Murphy both of the Royal St George, completed the top 5. In the 29-boat Junior fleet, sisters Maeve and Emily Donagh of the Royal St George Yacht Club / Lough Derg Yacht club were first and second, respectively, and Patrick Fegan of Malahide Yacht Club / Royal St George was third. The fourth and fifth spot went to Alex Butcher of Malahide Yacht Club / National Yacht Club and Abigail O’Sullivan of Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Regatta Racing had a huge fleet of 47 boats. These are generally younger sailors who sailed closer to land, with the key focus here on learning before they take the step up to the main Fleet. Once again, head IODAI Coach Adam Walsh and his team did some amazing work to support these sailors. Two races were held on Saturday and three on Sunday in sometimes challenging conditions. First-placed Harry Coole of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club sailed consistently across both days, followed closely by Zara Wheelan of the National Yacht Club/Bradinh Haven and Rebecca Murdock of the Royal St George Yacht Club in third.

Younger again is the Regatta Coached fleet which had 17 entrants. Here coaches help the sailors around the course to give them confidence when ready to move up to Regatta Racing.

The Fleet mainly focused on boat handling from the safety of the inner harbour area in front of the Sailing Club. The slightly reduced winds on Sunday allowed the IODAI coaches to get four races in after some training in the morning. The overall leader was Darragh Baynes of Galway Bay Sailing Club, closely followed by local Lilly Sheridan of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club and Chloe Coole of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. The greatest emphasis for this fleet is put on the sailors' participation and learning; in this regard Oran Collins of the Royal Cork Yacht Club was recognised for his overall improvement, and sportsmanship awards were given to Hugh Jackson Monkstown Bay Sailing Club and Summer Harris of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.

The next event for the fleet is the National Championships to be held in Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor, Northern Ireland, from the 17th to 20th of August. International interest is building with entries now from the UK, South Africa and Spain.

Full results here

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East Antrim Boat Club in Larne were the host of the Optimist Ulster Championships last weekend.

75 sailors and their families were warmly welcomed by Jill Doig and Gordon Kane, event manager and their team of volunteers. The event was sponsored by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Squall sailing. The sheltered waters of Larne were almost too sheltered on Saturday as the fleet had to wait for the wind to get going. In the main fleet, three starts were held with two races being completed.

Better wind arrived on Sunday with three races being completed in light to medium breezes. A family race office team of Richard Doig looked after the main fleet, and Gavin Doig looked after the regatta fleet.

With five of the top sailors in the fleet currently away at the World Championships in Spain, it offered the chance to see some new talent coming through. Waterford sailor Rory Whyte of WHSC topped the event. He had a tie break on 10 points with Royal St George sailor Max O’Hare. Rory with more first places than Max took the event trophy. Max’s Royal St George club mates; Conor Cronin, Juliet Ryan and Lily Donagh were 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively.

Some of the competitors at the Optimist Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat Club  Photo: Sue PattersonSome of the competitors at the Optimist Ulster Championships at East Antrim Boat Club  Photo: Sue Patterson

In Junior main, Maeve Donagh of the Royal St George was the winner with all first places. Patrick Fegan – Malahide Yacht Club, Basile Dion – National Yacht Club, Tomas A Coistealbha – Malahide Yacht Club and Eoin Pierse of Royal Cork Yacht Club rounded out the top 5.

Regatta Racing, a very important fleet to IODAI, allows the younger and less experienced sailors to hone their skills on shorter courses closer to land. With six races held, the National Yacht Club’s Louis Trickett pipped overnight leader the Royal St George sailor Jessica Walsh, to take the event win. Malahide sailor Arthur Fegan was 3rd with Josephine Dion – National Yacht Club and Zoe O’Hare – Royal St George Yacht Club coming home in 4th and 5th place. IODAI Coach Adam Walsh was on hand to help this fleet refine their racing and prepare them to have fun, learn and give their best.

The Regatta Coached fleet looks after the newest and youngest sailors in the fleet, with the reassuring presence of coaches on the water and land to help them learn racing skills. The 8 sailors in this group were all winners, many competing in their first regatta. Coach Sophie Gorman was delighted how all sailed and we look forward to seeing them all at future events. EABC Commodore Lucy Whitford commented on how positive and supportive the class is.

The fleet travels to Dunmore East next for the Munsters hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club on July 1st and 2nd. A big reminder to all sailors to register for the Nationals as well – the event is now open on the website www.iodai.com

Full results below 

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Spare a thought for PRO Michael Tyrell and his team, who had to wait until Sunday afternoon to deliver three races so that the Optimist Leinster could have a championship, writes Brendan Foley of the IODAI.

After waiting in vain for wind on Saturday, thankfully, on Sunday, a weak easterly breeze was enough to get racing and complete three races, thereby constituting a championship.

The Leinsters hosted by the National Yacht Club were supported by sponsors Viking Marine, Keorgh’s Pop Corn, Craftinsure and 1 Minute 40.

133 sailors competed, 44 in the main fleet senior, 35 in the main fleet junior, 39 in regatta racing and 15 in the regatta coached. For many sailors, this was their first Optimist event, and the gentle conditions meant singing, paddling and chatting to friends was as much a part of the weekend as racing.

The younger fleets of Racing Regatta and Coached Regatta were based in the harbour and had some success with a few races completed on Saturday and a full complement on Sunday. The short sail to the race area and lack of current in the harbour allowed for some great racing. Regatta Racing was won by Louis Trickett of the host club, and Regatta Coaching won by Tom Fitzgerald of the Royal St George. The top 5 in each fleet were;

Regatta Racing
1st Louis Trickett
2nd Kate Kovtun
3rd Arthur Fegan
4th Jackson Clark
5th Brendan Hughes

Regatta Coaching
1st Tom Fitzgerald (Most improved)
2nd Catherine Walsh (Sportsmanship)
3rd James Keating
Best youngest Sailor Freddie Hoefler
Most determined Alannah Wheelan
Best local sailor Charles Richard

The main fleet who raced in Seapoint Bay had to wait until Sunday afternoon for three races, with light weather ace Harry Dunne of Howth pipping Caoilin Geraghty McDonnell for the championship win in Senior Gold. Gemma Brady, Conor Cronin and Carolina Carra completed the top 5.

Senior Gold
1 Harry Dunne
2 Caoillin Geraghty
3 Gemma Brady
4 Conor Cronin
5 Carolina Carra

In Senior Silver it was Kate Spain who led the way.

Senior Silver
1 Kate Spain
2 Niamh Baynes
3 Jonathan Dempsey
4 Nathan Harris
5 Aoife McEligott

Senior Bronze
1 James Crawford
2 Kate Doolan
3 Nathan Rothl
4 Will Cullen
5 Tom Darcy 

The junior fleet for sailors under Oppie age of 13 saw a 1, 2, for sisters Maeve and Emily Donagh with Patrick Fegan coming home in 3rd place.

Junior Gold
1 Maeve Donagh
2 Emily Donagh
3 Patrick Fegan

Junior Silver
1 Basile Dion
2 Thomas Coistealbha
3 Abigail O'Sullivan
4 Eoin Pierse

Junior Bronze
1 Jacob Browne
2 Isaac Vaughan
3 Angus Huang
4 Charlie McKibben
5 Holly Cantwell

In very tricky conditions, a huge thanks are owed to the Flore and Aileen class captains at the National Yacht Club and to the race officers and volunteers that made the event a success.

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Lough Ree Yacht Club were host to the fun, friendships and team-building experience by the Irish Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) Development Squad and the U12 team last weekend when the teams came together for the first time to train, writes Brendan Foley of the IODAI

Two great days of sailing commenced with light winds and sunshine on Saturday before returning to shore for our very own battle of the provinces in a rugby match on the lawn of Lough Ree YC whilst the BBQ was prepared. The Development Squad were presented with their Team Gear by Head Coach Adam Walsh, with a special thanks to sponsor Grant Thornton. The U12 Team were presented with their Team Gear by their Head Coach, Frances Corkery, who will travel with the U12 Team to Weymouth in August for the British Optimist Nationals.

The IODAI Development Squad includes Oliver Ryan, Dylan O’Sullivan, Aurèle Dion, Charlie McKibben, Senan Rowan, Aisling Cronin, Rossa Mitchell Ward, Louie Murphy, Niamh Baynes, Kate Byrne, Judith Boyd, Ella Manion, Jack Doolan, Aoife McElligott, Sarah McLoughlin, Penny Doig, Amy Shelley, Angus Huang, Amy O’Halloran, Jack O’Halloran, Isaac Vaughan, Blake Vaughan, Patrick McNaughton, Alex Butcher The IODAI Development Squad includes Oliver Ryan, Dylan O’Sullivan, Aurèle Dion, Charlie McKibben, Senan Rowan, Aisling Cronin, Rossa Mitchell Ward, Louie Murphy, Niamh Baynes, Kate Byrne, Judith Boyd, Ella Manion, Jack Doolan, Aoife McElligott, Sarah McLoughlin, Penny Doig, Amy Shelley, Angus Huang, Amy O’Halloran, Jack O’Halloran, Isaac Vaughan, Blake Vaughan, Patrick McNaughton, Alex Butcher  Photo: IODAI

Sunday saw stronger winds on the lough and an opportunity for this promising group of keen sailors to test their skills and continue improving their technique under their coaches' watchful eye. Following the debriefing, cars, boats, trailers, tents & campervans were all packed up along with tired sailors, all eagerly anticipating the first event of the season next weekend in Dun Laoghaire, the Leinsters hosted in the National Yacht Club. Whilst the weekend was a tremendous success and will no doubt provide lasting memories for the new friendships formed, supporting sailors at this early stage of their journey secures the future of the class.

Development Squad
Oliver Ryan, Dylan O’Sullivan, Aurèle Dion, Charlie McKibben, Senan Rowan, Aisling Cronin, Rossa Mitchell Ward, Louie Murphy, Niamh Baynes, Kate Byrne, Judith Boyd, Ella Manion, Jack Doolan, Aoife McElligott, Sarah McLoughlin, Penny Doig, Amy Shelley, Angus Huang, Amy O’Halloran, Jack O’Halloran, Isaac Vaughan, Blake Vaughan, Patrick McNaughton, Alex Butcher.

U12 Team
Abigail O’Sullivan, Tara Hayes, Basile Dion, Eoin Pierse, Emily Donagh, Maeve Donagh, Tomás A Coistealbha, Hugo Breen, Holly Cantwell, Donnchadh Duane, Clara McElligott, Lucy Scott, Patrick Fegan.

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2023 got off to an 'optimistic' start at the Youth Nationals at Easter. Much has already been written about the Howth Yacht Club event last weekend, and the largest fleet with the youngest sailors that saw Optimists produce some thrilling racing over four days.

Forty-three of the more experienced sailors of the class took to the water representing their clubs from throughout the country.

The event yielded ten races in a variety of conditions that tested all the sailors. Fickle light winds, 180-degree shifts, yellow flags, squalls and strong tides pushed the sailors hard, with most having to discard some high-scoring races.

The fact that Race Officer (PRO) David Lovegrove got a 10th race in was hugely significant as it allowed a second discard to come into play. There were very few protests and the atmosphere, as noted by the PRO, between the sailors, was very supportive and positive.

In the end, the following sailors accepted places on the IODAI teams;

IRISH OPTIMIST WORLDS TEAM 2023

  • Harry Dunne HYC/NYC
  • Caoilinn Geraghty McDonald RstGYC
  • Andrew O’Neill RCYC
  • Gemma Brady NYC/LDYC
  • Jules Start RstGYC

IRISH OPTIMIST EUROPEANS TEAM 2023

  • Conor Cronin RstGYC
  • Abby Murphy RstGYC
  • Maeve Donagh RstGYC
  • Max O’Hare RstGYC
  • Jude Hynes Knight TBSC
  • Rory Whyte RCYC/WHSC
  • Carolina Carra RstGYC

IRISH OPTIMIST DEVELOPMENT TEAM 2023

  • Dougie Venner RCYC
  • Emily Donagh RstGYC
  • Kate Spain HYC
  • Louise Hanley NYC
  • Anabelle Wilson KYC
  • James Gorman NYC
  • Finn Foley RstGYC
  • Patrick Fegan MYC/RstGYC

Marcus Shelley of the RstGYC qualified for the IDT but was unable to take up his place. Unfortunately, Juliet Ryan of the same club was also on target for a team but had to pull out on the last day due to illness.

The teams will now start training in earnest to compete at the various events. The World Team are coached by Denis Passke of Denmark and will be sailing their championship in Costa Brava, Spain, from the 15th-25th of July.

The Europeans Team is coached by Soren Laugesen, also of Denmark; they will sail in Thessaloniki, Greece, from the 15th to the 22nd of July.

The Irish Development Team is coached by Tomas Chaix of France and Ireland, who will bring his charges to Perros Guirec in France from the 15th to the 21st of July for the Coupe Internationale d’été Optimist.

The International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland (IODAI) represents Irish Optimist Sailors aged 15 and under.

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The Irish Optimist Dinghy Association will continue with its coaching arrangements in 2023, IODAI President Paddy Ryan has confirmed.

Dennis Paaske, Soren Laugesen and Thomas Chaix will resume their roles from the successful National Training Week on Lough Derg last November.

Paaske will lead the Irish Optimist Worlds Team to Spain, Laugesen the European Team to Greece and Chaix leads the development team to France.

Ryan will host an information session on the 20th of March at 8 pm on the Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth in April and International Teams 2023 that includes how the team selection process will work.

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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.