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Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon Selected For Olympic Torch Relay in Marseille

8th May 2024
Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon in Marseille ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay
Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon in Marseille ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay

Celebrations are about to get underway in Marseille, France today (8 May) as the city prepares for the arrival of the Olympic flame to French soil. Irish Sailor of the Year and Team Ireland Paris Scholar Eve McMahon has been selected by the French Embassy in Ireland as the Irish representative to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay as the flame embarks on a tour of France before arriving in Paris for the Opening Ceremony.

The Olympic flame is one of the most recognisable traditions of the Olympic Games and represents a link between the Modern and Ancient Olympics. Throughout the torch relay, the flame announces the Olympic Games and spreads a message of peace and friendship between people.

This year the flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, on the 16 April and following a tour of the home of the Olympics, made its way on board the Belem to Marseille. The Belem is Europe’s oldest three-masted barque, and today it finishes its 12-day voyage from Piraeus to Marseille.

Interestingly, from an Irish perspective, the Belem was owned for thirty years by Ireland’s Sir Ernest Guinness of the Guinness family, who was the Rear Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in what is now known as Dun Laoghaire, the base of Ireland’s High-Performance Sailing team.

Marseille will host the Olympic sailing events this summer, and Team Ireland’s sailing squad has based themselves there for the past few years, familiarising themselves with the location and conditions. Howth’s McMahon will be one of the youngest members of the Irish Olympic team this summer, as she embarks on her first Olympic Games.

Eve McMahon in action in her ILCA 6 dinghy at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Test Event in Marseille, France. Day 1 in July 2023 Photo: Sander van der BorchEve McMahon in action in her ILCA 6 dinghy at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Test Event in Marseille, France. Day 1 in July 2023 Photo: Sander van der Borch

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay, McMahon said, “I’m really excited and honoured to be invited to be the Irish representative in the Olympic Torch Relay as it arrives in France. The atmosphere in Marseille this week is incredible, and it really gives a taste of what to expect this summer. Being part of the Olympic torch relay is special, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and is even more significant as it is taking place where I have been based with training over the past number of years.”

Ambassador of France in Ireland, Vincent Guérend said, “I am delighted to see Ireland represented by Eve McMahon in this wonderful event. The Olympic torch is arriving in Marseille, the French gate to the Mediterranean. Excitement is truly building for Paris 2024 and it promises to be an iconic edition of the Olympic and Paralympic games; 100 years after the previous edition held in Paris and 100 years after the first participation of Ireland in the games. The Franco-Irish friendship is no better symbolised than on the sports field and I am sure both counties will do our nations proud this summer. Vive le sport! Vive l’amitié franco-irlandaise!”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, Gavin Noble, added, “The Olympic torch relay is an important element of the Games. Most people are familiar with the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, and the torch relay as it leads to that moment. We are delighted for Eve to be included in the relay as it makes its way around France and signifies the beginning of the Olympic celebrations in France.”

The first torch for Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay was lit by the sun’s rays on the 16 April 2024 during a ceremony in the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece, where the ancient Olympics were once held. The Olympic flame then headed to Athens to board the Belem and cross the Mediterranean Sea to Marseille.

On the 8 May 2024, the Olympic flame embarks on its epic journey across France, visiting 66 celebration sites, and more than 400 towns. Ireland’s Eve McMahon will be one of the torchbearers bestowed with the honour of carrying the flame to its end destination on the 26 July at the Opening Ceremony in Paris, and will join fellow international athletes from across Europe in taking part in tomorrow’s relay as the flame leaves Marseille.

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EVE MCMAHON

Age: 20
World Ranking: 12th (best to date)
Olympic Ranking: 12th
Hometown: Howth, Dublin
Club: Howth YC
Coach: Rory Fitzpatrick

When she was younger, Eve followed in the footsteps of her two older brothers (Ewan and Jamie) and started summer sailing courses in Howth YC at the age of just 7. Although new enough to the senior circuit she started training alongside senior athletes long before this Olympic cycle. She worked as both Anne-Marie Rindom’s DEN (Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist) and Annalise Murphy’s IRL, official training partner for the Tokyo Olympic cycle.

So, it is no surprise that after finishing her time in the youth fleet with a Triple Crown, McMahon then went on to qualify Ireland in the ILCA 6 fleet for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. McMahon would like to be the most successful Irish female, ILCA 6 sailor ever and be a figurehead for women in sport, especially sailing.

  • Paris 2024 Team Ireland Olympian
  • 2023 U21 ILCA 6 World Champion
  • 2022 Youth ILCA 6 World Sailing Champion
  • 2022 Youth ILCA 6 European Championship
  • 2021 ILCA 6 Youth World Championship
  • 2021 U19 Silver Medallist European Championships
  • Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year 2019, 2020 and 2021, 2022 and 2023

Eve was also awarded Afloat’s Sailor of the Year 2023 as well as UCD’s Sportsperson of the Year and was nominated for RTE’s Young Sportsperson of the Year. She is from from Howth Co. Dublin, and on being selected for the Irish Olympic Team she is one of Team Ireland’s Paris Scholars studying International Commerce at UCD.

Eve additionally had the unique opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame on the initial stages of its journey landing in Marseille, France, where she will be competing this summer, on its route to the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Eve McMahon's 2021 sailing achievements

  • Irish Sailor of the Year 2021
  • Gold Medallist Youth World Championships Italy Highest Ranked Irish Female 
  • Star Sailors league Silver medal at the Youth European Championships Croatia Gold medallist U19,
  • Silver medallist U21 Senior European Championships Bulgaria Race win Senior European Championships Bulgaria
  • Selected Paris 2024 Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Sport Ireland
  • 15th Senior European Championships Bulgaria, 1st Irish Female, securing Sport Ireland Carding.
  • Youth ISAF World Representative Oman, equivalent to Youth Olympic in sailing,
  • 4th overall Guinness World Record Participant Beach Clean up -
  • Oman Gold medallist U19 Allianz World Cup Netherlands
  • Gold medallist U23 Lanzarote International Regatta 4th
  • U21 European Championships Montenegro
  • Nominated for Irish Sailor of The Year
  • Bronze medallist Connaught's Wexford
  • 9th Silver Fleet European Continental Qualification
  • 5th Pre-Qualifciation regatta Lanzarote

 

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