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Displaying items by tag: Harland & Wolff

The shipyard owner of Belfast’s Harland and Wolff Group has denied that the UK government has refused to give the group a £200m loan guarantee which is seen as crucial to the yard’s future.

As The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, the Treasury is set to block the £200m guarantee of the London-listed Harland & Wolf Group Holdings.

In addition to the 162 year old Belfast shipyard, the group has a further three sites across the UK, Arnish and Methil in Scotland and Appledore in England.

But the Queen’s Island in Belfast-based shipyard said negotiations which began in December last year with the government are continuing.

Harland & Wolff described the report as "misleading and inaccurate".

The Chief Executive, John Wood said "We were disappointed to read this article and the reaction it has caused,"

"Our application has not been rejected and continues to be a work in progress. I expect to be providing a fuller update on our refinancing plans in the next few weeks."

More on the shipyard story, BBC News reports.

Published in Shipyards

Harland & Wolff has signed a contract with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US-based cruise brand Villa Vie Residences to carry out at its historic Belfast Dry Dock a refurbishment of the 24,344 gross tonnage cruise ship Braemar, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting on the announcement, John Wood, Group Chief Executive Officer of Harland & Wolff, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this contract with Villa Vie Residences and continue building on what has been a very busy start to the year for our Belfast yard. Our world-class facility is fast becoming recognised as a global cruise ship centre of excellence, delivering high-quality repair, dry docking, refit, and outfitting services. We look forward to welcoming Villa Vie Odyssey and her crew to our yard next month.”

Braemar was previously part of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines until the vessel was acquired in March.

Following the completion of a multi-million-dollar transformation by Harland & Wolff into a residential cruise ship to be renamed, Villa Vie Odyessy, it will feature villa residences available to buy from $99,999 or be used by guests based on rental segments.

Afloat tracked Braemar from Rosyth, Scotland, where it departed the North Sea port on 23 April and arrived at Belfast Harbour five days later. On completion of the works, Villa Vie Odyssey was originally to depart Southampton on its inaugural three-and-a-half-year world cruise on 15 May; however, this has been rescheduled to May 30 with a change of port to Belfast. The change of departure dates is to facilitate necessary operational enhancements of the Villa Vie Odyssey.

Those on board can either own a villa on the ship or travel on a pay-as-you-go basis, with guests taking the entire world voyage, which Villa Vie Residences markets as the ‘first perpetual, all-inclusive world cruise’, covering 425 destinations in 147 countries and 100+ islands. This will involve crossing all seven continents as it circumnavigates the globe every three and a half years which is 1,301 days.

The Braemar is docked in Belfast Dry-Dock which was previously occupied by another US-based company, Margaritaville at Sea Cruises of Palm Beach, Florida, whose second ship, the former Costa Atlantica, renamed Margarita at Sea Islander underwent a major refurbishment as previously reported, which is to launch the 2,380 passenger flagship to the US east coast and Gulf of Mexico. The cruise ship remains berthed adjacent to Belfast Dry-Dock and is to enter service next month.

In 2016 Braemer became the first scheduled cruise ship in 20 years to visit Rosslare Europort, which saw the almost 196 metre vessel, (lengthened in 2008: see video), also as the longest ship to call at the Co. Wexford port

Fred Olsen acquired the 1993 built Cunard Crown Dynasty, originally 19,089 gross tonnage and they had inserted a 31 metre mid-section to boost capacity (729 cabins increased to 988) and the inclusion of a lounge and swimming pools.

Published in Shipyards

Scilly Ferries, a division of Harland & Wolff Group, is a new ferry operator that was due to start running in May between the Isles of Scilly and Penzance, Cornwall, but has been delayed.

The shipbuilder group announced on Friday that the new fast ferry, which is to be renamed Atlantic Wolff, has been chartered for its 90-minute service between the archipelago and mainland England and will not run until early June.

H&W’s Group’s chief executive officer, John Wood, apologized to customers who had made reservations with the operator to be marketed as Scilly Ferries, with sailings to start in May.

The CEO said the new (passenger-only) ferry Atlantic Wolff, would depart Spain for the UK in the coming days and would then need to go through a regulatory process.

He added that the process the 42-metre ferry had to go through before it could run was "significant and important," and the timescale was "a little out of our gift.".

BBC News has more on the delay of the new operator on the service off south-west England, from where Afloat adds it will operate sailings up to twice a day to and from St Mary’s, the largest of the five inhabited islands.

This week, Afloat identified the high-speed aluminium catamaran as the former Aquabus Jet 1, which departed Vilvanova, near Barcelona, on the western Mediterranean. The Damen-built 4212 design fast-ferry flagged in Tuvalu, yesterday called en route to Algeciras, has transited the Strait of Gibraltar and this morning is off Portugal, bound for Lisbon, with a final UK destination in Portsmouth.

Aside from the delayed start to the summer season, according to the Scilly Ferries website, they anticipate running the (catamaran-based) service as late into the autumn as the weather allows.

Its rival is the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, whose origins date to 1920, operate the 2-hour, 45-minute island lifeline and popular tourist route using an aging ferry, Scillonian III, which is to be replaced by a newbuild along with a freighter.

Published in Ferry

Shipyard group Harland & Wolff has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) regarding the company’s plans to transform its Arnish and Methil facilities into leading hubs for renewable infrastructure.

Proposals for Harland & Wolff’s Scottish sites have advanced to the second stage of SOWEC’s Strategic Investment Model (SIM). SOWEC, a partnership between the Scottish public sector and the offshore wind industry, aims through its SIM process to deliver the significant upgrades required for Scotland’s offshore wind developments.

Support through the SOWEC SIM would significantly enhance Harland’s & Wolff’s ability to service and maintain the burgeoning renewable energy sector through both its Scottish sites, with the investment transforming Arnish and Methil into state-of-the-art centres for the fabrication and assembly of turbines and other structures for the industry.

Investment allocated to Methil would greatly expand its capacity to build fixed and floating offshore foundations, capitalising on its status as one the most geographically advantageous areas to support Scotland’s offshore wind developments. Through investment of around £172 million and improvements such as a quay extension, the site would have the ability to construct approximately 750MW of installed capacity each installation season and enable Harland & Wolff to take on large-scale renewable projects.

Harland & Wolff submitted its application in partnership with Stornoway Port to enable the development of the Stornoway Offshore Wind Hub.

£99 million of investment would allow for the creation of a new quay and floating dry dock, increasing the site’s construction capacity to 255MW of installed capacity per installation season. The upgraded port at Stornoway would boast a laydown area of over 10 hectares, providing ample space for the assembly and storage of renewable energy components.

By increasing the capacity and capabilities of the Methil and Arnish sites, Harland & Wolff is positioning itself as a key player in the development of sustainable energy solutions for Scotland and beyond. At present more than 12 offshore wind developers have been engaged in discussions around the projects.

The proposed £270 million investment would have a profound impact on the local communities, creating numerous direct and indirect job opportunities. The project at Methil would result in an additional 400 jobs, with a minimum of 200 roles expected for the project at Arnish including an apprenticeship and graduate programme for around 30 people. Harland & Wolff will work closely with local suppliers and educational institutions to ensure that the benefits of any investment are felt throughout the Methil and Arnish communities.

Scotland has set ambitious renewable energy targets, and Harland & Wolff’s enhanced facilities would enable the construction and maintenance of cutting-edge renewable energy infrastructure, contributing to Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in green energy.

John Wood, CEO of Harland & Wolff, said: “The seas around Scotland are a rich resource for renewable energy and we feel the proposed investments into our sites would best maximise this opportunity and support growth in this increasingly vital sector. The plans we have submitted to SOWEC are indicative of our ambitious plans for Arnish and Methil and our desire to make Harland & Wolff a leading player in the renewables industry.

“With the investment outlined for Methil, we hope to build upon Energy Park Fife’s reputation as a offshore wind hub, whilst funding for Arnish is focused on providing critical capacity for projects on Scotland’s west coast. In each of their own way, proposals for both sites aim to greatly enhance Harland & Wolff’s manufacturing facilities to best ensure a quality service for our offshore wind clients.

“Our proposals would support the creation of hundreds of jobs and we are committed to nurturing a skilled workforce that will both contribute to local economies and reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in sustainable infrastructure.”

Humza Yousaf, First Minister of Scotland, who recently visited Harland & Wolff’s Arnish site said: “It was a pleasure to join Alasdair Allan MSP and Cllr Susan Thomson at Arnish and meet the brilliant team earlier this month. There is clearly a wealth of important work taking place and it was fantastic to see the opportunities that Arnish is offering to local people – including through its apprenticeship programme.

“Harland & Wolff’s ability to service and maintain the renewable energy sector through both of its Scottish sites was clear to see and I look forward to hearing more about the continued progress in Arnish and Methil throughout the ongoing SOWEC process.”

Published in Power From the Sea

The south-west England operator running between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has “unequivocally rejected” a takeover bid from the Belfast based shipbuilder Harland and Wolff (H&W), reports Business Live.

Bosses at the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG), which runs the passenger ferry Scillonian III and two freight vessels, said the approach from the H&W group which in 2020 acquired Devon’s Appledore shipyard, was not in the best interests of shareholders.

In August as Afloat reported, H&W outlined a plan to build new vessels, a passenger ferry, cargo-ship and an inter-island vessel in order to launch its own service on the 37 nautical mile route of Penzance Harbour-St. Mary’s, the largest of the Isles of Scilly.

The Aim-listed firm had previously said it was seeking an operating licence and would work with local councils to apply for ‘Levelling Up’ funding amounting of £48m, in which the UK Government has already allocated for the construction of newbuilds to serve the route.

On Friday (24 Nov.) the board of H&W said it was “disappointed” that an indicative and preliminary cash offer for the entire share capital of the ISSG had been rebuffed. H&W added that they would “consider their options”. At this stage, H&W now has until 21 December, to formally announce whether or not it has a firm intention to make an offer for the Penzance based ISSG, in accordance with the Takeover Code.

The origins of the ISSG can be traced to 1920 when the Isles of Scilly Steamship was established, and the Group continues to be the only operator of passenger and freight services along the route. In April, ISSG announced it had secured a £33.6m loan from private asset finance provider Lombard to fund its own plans for a new 600 passenger ferry and two new freight vessels, to be built by a French shipbuilder’s facility overseas and scheduled for delivery by March 2026.

Published in Shipyards

Shipbuilder, Harland & Wolff Group Holdings is in the running to build and operate two new ferries to serve the remote Isles of Scilly, 24 nautical miles off Cornwall in south-west England.

The shipbuilding group which has facilities on both sides of the Irish Sea, is reaching the conclusion of a full technical, operational and financial business case on the newbuild ferries on the Penzance Harbour-Hugh Town, St. Mary’s route.

According to The Irish News, H&W will join partners, including local councils, to make an application for the UK government's levelling up funding. In addition, to seeking a licence to operate the two vessels on the 37 nautical mile route and be based initially over a five-year period.

Harland & Wolff however, warns that "there is no certainty at this point that this opportunity will proceed to financial close".

In the event that if H&W’s project proceeds, it is not known whether any of the workload for the newbuilds, would be carried out at the shipbuilder group’s main Belfast shipyard.

More on the story here and as BBC News reported, H&W's proposal would put it in competition with the established Isles of Scilly Steamship Company which celebrated its centenary in 2020.

The shipyard at Queens Island, Afloat adds is one of Harland & Wolff’s four facilities. Two are located in Scotland and the fourth in England, at Appledore, Devon is where the current Scilly ferry, Scillonian III was built in 1977.

In recent years, the shipyard in 2019 was acquired by Infrastrata, owners of H&W and the facility with 300 years of shipbuilding was renamed Harland & Wolff (Appledore).

Published in Shipyards

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit Belfast this Thursday evening to mark the return of naval ship building in Northern Ireland, Downing Street has announced.

Last month it was confirmed that Harland & Wolff Group as part of the Team Resolute bid was awarded a £1.6bn Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract to develop and build the next generation of Fleet Solid Support Ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). .

The RFA newbuild trio will provide global logistics and operational support to the Royal Navy. In addition the role of these replenishment vessels will include the essential QE aircraft carrier-led Maritime Strike Group when on deployment.

The Prime Minister's two day visit to NI, is expected to highlight “the UK-wide nature of the project” and that it “demonstrates how intertwined Northern Ireland’s economy is with the rest of the UK.”

The visit of Mr Sunak represents the first official visit to Northern Ireland since he took office in October.

More from Belfast Telegraph of the PM's visit that will emphasise in the boosting of the UK’s naval shipbuilding capabilities for the future and secure job creation at the famous H&W shipyard. 

Published in Shipyards

The UK quoted company, InfraStrata plc which focuses on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management, is pleased to announce it has applied to Companies House to trade under the name Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc.

The parent company has over the past 18 months, proceeded through various phases which have included, the acquisition of assets, significant upgrades to all its facilities, the introduction of state-of-the-art technology. While simultaneously establishing a substantial sales pipeline which now stands at £7.8bn (on an unweighted) and £1.8bn (on a weighted).

The company is now at its final stage of full reactivation (incl. apprenticeships) of all its yards, which involves building a multi-year backlog for its facilities across its five key markets: defence, cruise and ferry, commercial, renewables and energy. The company believes that this change of name will better reflect its ambition in expanding its core business and the significant development of its shipbuilding and fabrication activities.

The organisation’s flagship Islandmagee gas storage project will retain its name, with management remaining focused on obtaining the Marine Construction Licence and Final Investment Decision (FID) thereafter. Whilst the project now has substantially more life expectancy with the need for major volumes of hydrogen storage (subject to regulatory approvals) it is a relatively straightforward technical change to make in a phased approach as the project transitions from gas to hydrogen over time.

Trading in the company's shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the new name of Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc is expected to take effect as soon as a new stock ticker name has been issued by the AIM team.

An application for the stock ticker “HARL” has been made and will be confirmed as soon as the company’s name has been formally changed at Companies House. A further announcement will be made as soon as regulatory permissions have been secured and the new Company stock ticker has been issued.

In order to reflect the change of name, the company's corporate website will change to www.harland-wolff.com. The information required pursuant to AIM Rule 26 will be available at this address.

John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata plc commented: “We are delighted to make this announcement today, signalling the end of upgrade and reactivation phases. With the new national shipbuilding strategy due to be released in the autumn and the government’s ten point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, we have confidence that the shipbuilding and fabrication business will deliver substantial value to all our stakeholders as we enter this exciting new stage of building our multiyear backlog of projects.

Since acquiring Harland & Wolff in December 2019, we have seen the organisation grow significantly; in August 2020 we reopened what is now known as Harland & Wolff (Appledore) and in February 2021, we acquired two ex-BiFab sites based in Scotland - now renamed Harland & Wolff (Arnish) and Harland & Wolff (Methil) respectively giving us one of the largest fabrication footprints dedicated to our core markets, in addition to two of the largest drydocks in Europe at Harland & Wolff (Belfast) which at 80% capacity could give sales of in excess of £500m per annum when operational efficiencies have been achieved.

This is a natural progression in building and further developing the Harland & Wolff brand, our commitments to high-quality jobs across our five markets including the 34 apprenticeships recently announced as well as providing socio-economic investment into local, regional, and national communities.”

Published in Shipyards

Parent company of Harland & Wolff, InfraStrata plc, is delighted to announce that former First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy, Sir Jonathon Band, will be joining its Board of Directors.

Sir Jonathon is expected to formally join the Board by the end of August 2021.

Sir Jonathon Band is a former First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy during which period he created a new innovative Command Structure in addition to promoting the need for maritime investment and security. Sir Jonathon has also worked very closely with the industry to promote and implement the Defence Industrial Strategy, a UK government policy focused on the efficient allocation of military equipment and resources to the UK armed forces.

Prior to his role as First Sea Lord, Sir Jonathon served as Commander in Chief Fleet during which time, as Chief Operating Officer, he was responsible for the operational capability and deployment of the Navy’s front line. Sir Jonathon is highly respected for his time spent in supporting foreign and defence policies and for his crucial role in negotiating and building coalitions across NATO allies and Middle Eastern partners.

Following his retirement from the Royal Navy, Sir Jonathon has held numerous non-executive positions at Lockheed Martin UK, Babcock International Group, National Museum of the Royal Navy and Survitec Group Ltd.

Sir Jonathon is currently a Non-Executive Director of Carnival Corporation, the NYSE & LSE listed global cruise operator.

Clive Richardson, Chairman of InfraStrata plc, commented: “I am very pleased that Sir Jonathon has agreed to join the InfraStrata board. With this appointment, the Board of InfraStrata will now consist of three non-executive directors and two executive directors, each one with significant experience in our key growth sectors. Sir Jonathon brings with him several decades of experience in the defence and wider marine markets. I look forward to working very closely with Sir Jonathon and for him to become an integral part of our Board as we move the business forward.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry through five sectors: commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, oil & gas and renewables and six services: technical services, fabrication and construction, decommissioning, repair and maintenance, in-service support and conversion.

Its Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities, with deep water access, two of Europe’s largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls. As a result of the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August 2020, the company has been able to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets where this will be significant demand.

In February 2021, the company acquired the assets of two Scottish based yards along the east and west coasts. Now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish), these facilities will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, oil and gas and defence sectors.

Harland & Wolff is a wholly-owned subsidiary of InfraStrata plc (AIM: INFA), a London Stock Exchange-listed firm focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset life-cycle management.

In addition to Harland & Wolff, it owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

Published in Shipyards
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Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard on Belfast Lough with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree, welcomed The Prince of Wales on 18 May 2021 to mark its 160th anniversary.

Arriving at Harland & Wolff (Belfast), His Royal Highness toured the yard, met with workers and signed the company Visitors’ Book. During this ceremony, The Prince was then presented with a framed photo of his late father, The Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit to the shipyard in 1977 along with an original copy of the ‘H&W News’ which featured The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit.

The Prince finished the visit by unveiling a celebratory plaque marking the 160th anniversary of Harland & Wolff.

Addressing staff, The Prince commented:

“I’m so pleased to hear that there is all sorts of potential new activity here and new fabrication opportunities, that could be really encouraging, and I hope you could encourage a lot more of the young to become apprentices and understand the importance of manufacturing and to also understand how this country has led the way in so many of these areas.”

“We owe all of you an enormous debt of gratitude for your skills and ingenuity, which are so remarkable. Well done all of you and thank you for all the hard work you put in.”

Founded on April 11 1861 by Sir Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, Harland & Wolff’s heritage includes work on some of the most iconic ships, including the famous RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, right through to the SS Canberra for P&O and the Myrina tanker – the first supertanker built in the UK.

John Wood, Group CEO commented: “It has been a pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness onto site to commemorate our 160th anniversary. As one of the most iconic names in shipbuilding, this visit marks an incredible moment in our history. We have a great past, and now we’re proud to be building a great future. Through our newly launched apprenticeship scheme, we will continue to pass on those skills and traditions and in doing so, put British shipbuilding back on the map. This is no mean feat but as one team, we will return Harland & Wolff to its former glory.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry. Its Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities, with deep water access, two of Europe’s largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls. As a result of the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August 2020, the company has been able to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets where this will be significant demand.

In February 2021, the company acquired the assets of two Scottish based yards along the east and west coasts. Now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish), these facilities will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, oil and gas and defence sectors.

In addition to Harland & Wolff, it owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

Published in Shipyards
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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Irish Sailing Performance Head Quarters

Irish Sailing's base for the exclusive use of its own teams are located on the grounds of the Commissioners of Irish Lights in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The Irish Sailing Performance HQ houses the senior Irish sailing teams such as Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy

The HQ plans were announced in May 2018 and opened in March 2019.

The HQ comprises a number of three converted shipping containers and a floating slipway and pontoon

The HQ aim is to improve both training and educational opportunities for them, thereby creating systematic medal potential.

The Performance HQ is entirely mobile and has space for briefings and athlete education, a gym, gear storage and a boat maintenance area.

The athlete briefing room can then be shipped directly to international competitions such as the Olympics Regatta and provide a base for athletes overseas.