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Today at ISAF's world sailing mid-year meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, the ISAF Events Committee passed a vote recommending that ISAF Council select the following events/equipment for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Event Men Women Mixed
Board and Kiteboard Board and/ Kiteboard RS:X/Kiteboard to be evaluated
One-Person Dinghy

Laser Radial
Two Person Dinghy (Spinnaker) 470 470
Skiff 49er Evaluation
2 Person multihull Evaluation

The voting was on an alternative vote system (AV), meaning that this slate was the last one standing after the round of voting.  Known as the 470 slate, if it survives the Council vote tomorrow or Saturday, it removes keelboats from the Olympics.

Far from unanimous, the final vote was 12 out of 21 members favouring the slate.  The vote was despite some Star class big guns being in the room, such as 2000 Gold medalist Mark Reynolds and 2008 Gold medalist Iain Percy.

The word is that there is fierce behind the scenes politicking going on to overturn the Events Committee recommendation.  Not only from the Star Class, but other interested parties such as Brazil who host the next games and are strong Star supporters.

Don't assume anything yet!

Published in World Sailing
Tagged under

After the prizes were handed out for the Youth National Championships at the National Yacht Club tonight Olympic Team Manager James O'Callaghan named the Irish team for the 2011 ISAF Youth World Championships in Croatia in July. In the podcast below the team manager talks about the stand out performances of the weekend, and the strength of youth sailing in Ireland, and the prospect of a top finish in Croatia.

Newly crowned Radial champion Philip Doran of Courtown Sailing Club will represent Ireland in the Boys single-handed division in the Laser Radial dinghy and Sophie Murphy of Quoile YC will race the Laser in the Girls Division.

In the girl's double-handed dinghy class Emma Geary and Niamh Connolly (Royal Cork YC & Baltimore SC) will race the 420 dinghy.  Ireland may yet be represented in the SL catamaran class if Alex Rumball and Ali Dix are successful at meeting the required standard this week at a French Eurocat SL16 qualification championship.

Afloat's weekend coverage of the Youth Sailing National Championships here.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

When the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships are hosted on Dublin Bay in 2012 the regatta should be representative of the best of Irish sailing, organisation and hospitality and ignite an immediate but lasting legacy for youth and the future of Olympic sailing in Ireland writes Andi Roberston.

It is nearly two years since the prestigious global annual championships were awarded to Ireland and the organisation of the event has now developed substantial momentum. Already a core group of around 50 volunteer officials are working on the delivery of the regatta which, with up to 450-500 sailors and coaches from as many as 60 different nations, in terms of size, logistics and delivery stands as one of ISAF's big three major multiclass events alongside the four yearly Olympic regatta, and the ISAF Sailing World Championships.

At the helm of the organisation is Brian Craig, a former flag officer of the Royal Saint George YC on Dublin Bay, who for ten years has been instrumental in attracting, developing and running major regattas on these expansive world class racing waters, including the huge success that has been Dun Laoghaire Week. In particular a recent success has been pooling the resources of the Bay's major clubs to attract and manage big events.

"I think we are really in pretty good shape. There is a big groundswell of enthusiasm and excitement and we are drawing on that to develop a really first class, memorable event." Craig comments.

An advisory group composed of renowned experts who have many years of experience of the event in particular is at the core of organisation just now, including Bill O'Hara, International Judge and Volvo Ocean race officer, Jim Saltonstall the British coach who has attended almost all of the ISAF/IYRU Youth World Championships and helped develop a galaxy of Youth Worlds and Olympic medallists, Ken Ryan – a former ISAF Vice President who has more than 25 years of experience with ISAF and major events and Paddy Boyd, formerly Irish Sailing CEO and now Director of Canadian sailing's national governing. body.

It was a visit to the Youth World Championships in 2008 which convinced Craig that after ten years of development of the Clubs and infrastructure on Dublin Bay, the time was right for them to step up and land a major world class event.

"Now we have plenty of support for the event. We have government backing, the three major clubs, the Royal St George, the National Yacht Club and the Royal Irish are all behind us, the waterfront organisations, the tourist boards and the town itself. The support is great." Craig explains.

A delegation were in Istanbul at the last ISAF Youth World Championships in 2010 and in Croatia this coming summer, as well as a team observing and learning, several members of the race teams will be hands-on on the race courses this getting first hand experience to ensure good continuity in to next year.

"We have a fantastic site. A massive 700-800 metres of frontage with the three clubs all within five minutes of each other. We will create a central sailing village feature which will have an immediate public access so that there will be maximum interaction with the public, but where the sailors can still preserve their essential privacy in competition mode. We intend to absolutely preserve the competitive integrity of the event, but to make sure it works for public access."

To create a regatta which emphasises the cosmopolitan, international flavour of the regatta, but which also fully ensure the competitors enjoy the full experience of Irish culture, race days will themed for the public around many of the key nations – so there will be a French, Australian, Spanish, Chinese days as well as the underlying Irish hospitality and craic.

And while it is inevitable that only a few Irish sailors will compete at the ISAF World Championships on their home waters, in the interim period a ISAF Youth World Championships Road Show will visit Irish Sailing Clubs to stimulate interest and awareness of the event.

"We are determined that hosting the ISAF Youth World Championships will produce a lasting legacy for Irish sailing, perhaps seeding the future for Irish Youth Worlds or even Olympic medals. And at the same time we are determined to deliver a memorable, top class event with a distinctly Irish flavour." Concludes Craig.

The 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships are scheduled for the period 12th -21st July 2012. Around 350 sailors and 100 coaches from about 60 nations are expected to attend, composing a fleet of 250 boats. The race programme will last ten days. Classes will be the Laser Radial Boys and Laser Radial Girls, 420 Boys and 420 Girls, RS:X Boys and RS:X Girls. 29er Open Skiff, and the Open Formula 16 Catamaran. Boats or boards are supplied by Laser, Nautivela, Neil Pryde, Ovington and Serena.

In recent years Dublin Bay has hosted the Topper World Championships, the Star European Championships, the 500 boat Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the Laser 4.7 Europeans, Dragon World Championships, the Etchells World Championships (Howth), the SB3 World Championships, the 470 European Championships, the Flying 15 World Championships and the 420 Junior World Championships.

The trials to select the Irish sailing teams for the ISAF Team Racing Worlds were sailed in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 2nd of April. Organised by the Irish Team Racing Association, using the facilities of the Royal St George Yacht Club, the trials were the last act of the selection procedure. Five senior teams having put themselves forward for selection, were invited to participate, together with three youth teams. The format for both trials was that each team sailed the others twice, with a possible further round after elimination of low scoring teams.

After the first round the home team, the "George Gladiators" were demonstrably the leading senior team. They won all their races, and in all but one race finished in first and second place. The "Supertroopers", mainly University of Limerick graduates, were second with 5 wins and UCD1 4 wins. These 3 teams proceded to the second round, sailing each other once. In order to qualify UCD1 needed to beat both other teams. Unfortunately, they lost their first race to the "Gladiators". The "Gladiators" then relaxed, loosing their only race of the day to the Supertroopers, who then beat UCD1.

In the Youth event, Schull1 won 3 races, Schull2 2 races. This was enough to ensure selection.

As a result of these trials the Irish Team Racing Association will be recommending the following teams to represent Ireland (subject to meeting all eligibility requirements) at the ISAF World Team Racing Championships, to be sailed in Schull,West Cork in August:

Ireland 1

Marty O'Leary, Brian Fenlon, Sam Hunt, Jodie-Jane Tingle, Andrew Fowler, Rachel Guy

Ireland 2

Darragh O'Connor, Hannah Herlihy, Kevin Stollard, Rachel O'Brien, George Kingston, Tom Martin

Ireland Youth 1

Connor Miller, Ellen O' Regan, Oisin O'Driscoll, Katie Moynihan, Jay Jay Stacy, Kaspar Snashall

Ireland Youth 2

Fionn Lyden, Tomas O'Sullivan, Darragjh McCormack, Mark Hasset, Pearse O'Flynn, Gleb Romantchik

Published in Team Racing

May Bank Holiday weekend (29 April – 02 May) over 300 sailors will compete in Dublin Bay in seven different classes (Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 420, Feva, Topper, SL16 and Optimist). For youth sailors, this event is the most crucial in the annual calendar as it is the decider for the top Irish sailors to compete internationally during 2011 and is the pathway for future Olympic sailors.
Not only will the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals over the May weekend be an important event for youth sailors it is also a major milestone for the organisers of the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012 as it offers them the opportunity to test drive the logistics of managing such a large event incorporating three clubs, three race courses and hundreds of volunteers.
'Dun Laoghaire has a proud reputation for hosting international events such as the biennial combined clubs Dun Laoghaire Regatta and numerous world championships. However in 2011 the ISA Mitsubishi Youth Nationals is of more significance as it gives us an opportunity to test our systems in advance of the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012.' stated Event Chairman Brian Craig.
Dun Laoghaire won the bid to host the ISAF Youth Worlds 2012 from 12-21 July when, in excess of 300 sailors and windsurfing champions from over 60 nations will participate. The granting of this prestigious sailing event to Ireland is a major boost to the sport and secures Ireland's position as an ideal location for hosting world class sailing events. It also establishes Dun Laoghaire as one of the prime major racing locations in the world, capable of running multiple classes and courses to the highest international standard.
'The Youth Nationals is a significant event on the racing calendar. It involves young sailors from all of the 'Olympic Pathway' classes, some of whom are competing for places on the team that will represent Ireland in the ISAF Youth Worlds later this year.  In recent years Ireland has had successes at youth level with winner of the girls Laser World Championships a top 10 at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds and wins at the British National Optimist Championships.

Three hundred sailors from around the country are expected to compete for national youth and junior pathway titles and the Mitsubishi coaching grant during the event.

Published in Youth Sailing

There will be no match racing on the south coast this year following a rejig of the fixtures calendar.

After two years of expansion for match racing in terms of events the theme for 2011 is consolidation.

Changes to the ISA SailFleet schedule for the boats mean that we have had to go through a rejigging of the match racing calendar.

The major impact is that Royal Cork YC are to take the boats latter than originally hoped meaning that they will be unable to host a leg of the Tour.

With Kinsale not taking part in the SailFleet scheme this year that means no match racing on the south coast for the first time in a couple of years.

With no tie up with the Dun Laoghaire Festival of Cultures available this year a date of July 23rd and 24th has been settled on for the Ireland vs The World International.

The highlight of last year this event will once again pit Irelands 6 best match racers against 6 teams from the rest of the world. Once again National and Tour champion John Sheehy will captain the Irish team.

The Leinster Match Racing Open, to be hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club, has been moved to July 16th and 17th to allow it to act as qualification for the Irish team for the following weekend and to give Laura Dillion and the Gladiators (Sam Hunt, Paddy Blackley, Peter Bayly, Richard Murphy) competitive practice immediately before heading over to Poland to represent the country at the ISAF Nations Cup.

Howth Yacht Club's, Dublin Match Racing Open stays with a date of September 3rd and 4th before we head for Lough Derg and the Womens (October 15th and 16th) and Open National Championships (November 5th And 6th).

All of the above means that here will be no Munster Match Racing Open this year and work continues to find a host for the IUSA Student Match Racing Nationals with Galway a potential for early April. There has been considerable work on the cost of entry for events over the winter and the majority of events will have a basic entry of €330 this year. All events will be run at ISAF grade 3.

Revised calendar

July 16-17th – Leinster Match Racing Open, Royal Irish Yacht Club
July 23-24th – Ireland vs The World International, Royal St George Yacht Club
September 3rd and 4th – Dublin Match Racing Open, Howth Yacht Club
October 15th and 16th - Womens Match Racing Championships, Lough Derg Yacht Club
November 5th and 6th – National Match Racing Championships, Lough Derg Yacht Club

Published in Match Racing
9th February 2011

Two Teams Set for Nations Cup

Two teams have been selected to represent Ireland in the ISAF Nations Cup Europe II Regional Final next July 19-23 in Gdynia, Poland. As a result of the selection process arranged by the ISA the teams are Sam Hunt from Kinsale in the Open division and Laura Dillon from Howth in the Women's division.

Sam Hunt has extensive match race experience having achieved third place in the ISA Match Race Championship and scoring highly on the Irish Match Race Tour in 2011. He is currently placed 308 in the ISAF World Match Race Open Rankings. Laura Dillon is the current Irish Women's champion having won the ISA Women's Match Race Championship in 2011. She is currently placed 116 in the ISAF World Match Race Women's Rankings and is a previous winner of the ISA All Ireland Sailing Championship.

Match Racing has grown strongly in Ireland since the ISA launched their SailFleet of J/80 keelboats in 2007 and the formation of the Match Race Ireland association in 2010. Among the events that SailFleet has facilitated are the ISA All Ireland and Match Race Championships, the ISAF Nations Cup 2007 Regional Final in Kinsale and the Bangor Match Cup a Women's Grade 1 event on Belfast Lough next August.

"The ISAF Nations Cup is a very tough competition and the best match racers in the world competing. Having hosted the Grand Final in Cork and a Regional Final more recently in Kinsale our sailors know that the standard will be high. Both Sam and Laura are very experienced match racers and know what they need to do to come out on top in these competitions." said Ed Alcock of the ISA.

The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events and to develop match racing infrastructure around the world. The ISAF Nations Cup website is here:

Published in Match Racing

The selection procedure to designate the teams to represent Ireland at the ISAF Team Racing Worlds is underway. 

Teams wishing to be considered for selection should contact the Irish Team Racing Association a [email protected] A selection committee will then invite teams to trials to be sailed early in 2011. Invitations will be issued on the basis of the results of all team members (helm and crew) in 2009 -2010.

The trials will consist of a multiple round robin event. The Youth trials will be sailed in Crosshaven, and the senior trials in Dun Laoghaire. Unfortunately, the number of places available for Ireland at the World Championships is not yet known, but ITRA will select two senior teams, plus a reserve team, and two Youth teams, plus a reserve.

Published in Team Racing

ISAF President Göran Petersson set out the challenges ahead as he delivered his opening address, the President's Report, to the ISAF Council members during their first day of meetings at the 2010 ISAF Annual Conference held in Athens, Greece this week. Some of it has relevance to the sport here in Ireland given Dublin Bay is the host for the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds and indeed the annual conference in the same year. The full transcript of the President's Report is below....

'Your Majesty, Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Council

After a number of Council meetings with relatively light agendas we now have a fairly lengthy agenda for this meeting so I will keep this opening short.

We will hear, as usual, reports about the events that took place this year later in the agenda.

At this point I would like to highlight the success of the first Youth Olympic Games that were held in August in Singapore. Although Teo-Ping is absent I would like to thank him very much; to thank his team and to thank the Singapore Sailing Federation.

We should be proud and happy for our good friend, former Vice-President of ISAF, Ng Ser Miang, who was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee. This event is here to stay. The IOC will evaluate the Youth Olympic Games in the near future together with the sports federation, but we already know this event will be repeated because the next venue will be in China. I am sure, however, that this event will remain on the programme for the IOC.

It was very interesting to see how some sports took this event as an opportunity to showcase their sport in a new and exciting way. It was clearly demonstrated, that there was a lot of thinking outside of the box by all the sports.

For example basketball was played with teams of three on three with two competitions running on the same court at the same time. This fast paced game was played on a half court using only one or the same hoop for both teams. The stadium was a temporary structure and the scene was supposed to resemble street basketball and the public enjoyed watching the game whilst listening to loud pop music.

Canoe/kayak saw head to head sprint racing on a new figure of eight course and triathlon had mixed gender team relays. Actually quite a few sports had, interestingly enough, mixed gender events or mixed gender relay events.

The sailing events were a great success and I have a few observations: First of all, ISAF chose to go for the younger age group. As you remember we had to choose an age group of two birth years under eighteen. We chose the age group 15 and 16 and were one of only three sports that chose this age range which I feel was highly appreciated by the IOC. The choice of equipment for this age range was excellent. The transfer to the Byte CII was absolutely no problem for the young sailors, and this was something that we were concerned about.

Particular highlights for me though were the lighting of the flame by the Sailor Darren Choy from Singapore and, of course the Thai windsurfing girl, Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam, who won gold winning seven out of the eleven races. It was very good to see her nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.

I would like to now highlight some areas the Federation has been working on that perhaps do not get as much attention from the Council because they do not involve submissions.

The Environment
Much work has already been done by many of our MNAs. ISAF will now develop three products that may be helpful for the world of sailing on the environmental front. Firstly, we will produce sustainable Events Guidelines for event organizers on implementing green measures. The guidelines are not only for sailing event organizers but can be used as a template for MNAs to translate and implement for use in their own countries.

Secondly, as you know, ISAF already has an Environmental Code, but the responses received indicate that the document may be a little too rigid. Work will be undertaken to improve the Code and develop it to be the 'ISAF Code of Environmentally Friendly Behaviour'. The aim is to approach issues in an accessible and positive way.

Thirdly, ISAF already has a lot of training material for different areas, Race Management Manuals, the Judges Manuals, Training Material and so on and there is a clear opportunity for us to include the care of the environment in these sorts of publications. We will ensure that an environmental paragraph will be included in all publications. Thank you Teresa for driving this important subject forward and if anyone has any questions or suggestions, I would suggest that you talk to Teresa.

This year has seen many exciting developments in the area of Training and Development and we have all seen the benefit that these programs have in the relationship, that ISAF has with its Members through the ISAF news and the new social networking and channels that have been used to drive our message home to the wider global audience.

We have seen ISAF run Technical Courses for Coaches across a diverse number of its Member Nations with Iceland, Oman, South Africa, Cayman Islands, Indonesia, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Myanmar, El Salvador, Morocco and Sudan all successfully applying for and hosting Olympic Solidarity funded Level 1, 2 and 3 Courses. The ISAF Instructors will have trained in excess of 100 Learn-to-Sail Coaches from over 15 countries this year. The total number of ISAF organized and IOC funded Technical Course for Coaches that ran between 2005 and 2009 was just five. With eleven such courses run in 2010 alone ISAF has been gaining a good reputation within Olympic Solidarity for helping its member's access this funding. Closer links with our NOCs is vital to help this development continue.

2010 has also seen ISAF become only the sixth International Federation to host a Sport Specific Scholarship for Coaches. This unique 8 week Course was piloted in February this year with a candidate from South Africa and after a presentation to the IOC to get official status, the first formal Training Scholarship course finished at the end of October with four National Training Managers and Youth Development officers from Turkey, South Korea, the Cook Islands and Peru joining together in a common aim, to learn how to run and manage all aspects of a National Sail Training Program. With 2 courses planned per year, we are currently taking applications for a maximum of 6 per course and have nearly filled one course already. The IOC has been very supportive of this Course and is working closely with our Training Manager to help ISAF's MNAs stand as good a chance as possible of gaining funding to enable participation.

The Executive Committee fully acknowledges the tremendous work of the Training Commission to set up these programs and its valuable guidance to our new Training Manager in their implementation. Without the hard work of the Training Commission this would not have been possible. As the Commission successfully reached the targets that they were set and have given the Training Department the tools to be able to take over, the Executive decided to disband the Commission re-focusing parts of its role to the Development & Youth Committee, under the guidance of former Training Commission member, Olivier Bovyn. Other responsibilities have been passed on to Vice President in charge of Development, Nazli Imre who, working with the Staff, can now monitor these new programs and move forward to work on the targets laid out in the ISAF Strategic Plan.

This conference is a great chance for all of us to observe at first hand the interest that this valuable contribution is generating amongst our members. The Connect to Sailing Seminar is once again giving practical, specific, simple advice to those that wish to work with ISAF to build a stronger sailing future and the list of our MNAs that are coming onboard is getting longer every day. I am excited to see how this will continue to develop into the future.

Now I would like to turn to the agenda and the meeting that is in front of us. I am sure you have all studied the papers carefully and you will have noticed some very important issues have been put in front of you. It is important to see the ISAF Olympic Event and Equipment submissions in the overall scheme of the Commission's findings. Some important points have been put forward as submissions now because of the time scales involved, and we have to deal with them now.

Council members; you are now in the position of being able to shape the future of sailing. You have been given the options and you have been given an outline of the issues with the background information. You need to set the policy and the direction for the future.

I would like to thank all of you who have given feedback on the Olympic Commission report and I would like to thank the Olympic Commission on the work they have done to review all the comments both general and from the Executive Committee meeting that was held in July. We will hear later from Phil Jones, the Chairman of the Commission, about the progress and the work that was done after May. You will have also seen as a supporting paper, a second report, outlining some additional information along with an explanation and background to the submissions that you have in front of you. '

For more on the 2010 ISAF Annual Conference, including news, interviews with some the key players, meeting papers and more go to

Published in World Sailing
Page 15 of 16

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