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Two more Irish rowing crews have joined the four already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics this summer after this morning’s (Sunday 16 May) races in Lucerne, as The Irish Times reports.

The women’s four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh led the charge in their A Final ahead of China, where as previously reported on Afloat.ie only the top two were guaranteed Olympic places.

Meanwhile, the lightweight women’s double pairing of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen finished third behind the US and home team Switzerland to confirm their spot in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, Daire Lynch missed out on the men’s single scull final after he finished fourth in his A/B semi.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Rowing Ireland adds: 

The Irish Rowing Team qualified an additional two boats for the Olympics. There will now be six boats representing Ireland in Tokyo this summer.

The Irish crews led by High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni and Coaches Dominic Casey and Giuseppe De Vita all had strong performances over the two days. They secured the two extra Olympic boats on Sunday morning.

The Women’s Four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh qualified their boat by winning the Women’s Four Final and taking one of the two available slots. The Irish crew beat crews from China, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona dominate the race, and they finished with a time of 06:31.99. The Women’s Four will now compete in the Tokyo Olympics later this summer.

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen secured the Lightweight Women’s Double for the Olympics by finishing third in the Final. They fought hard throughout the race and caught the Chinese boat in the final 600 meters, and took the last Olympic Spot. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:09.22 to secure their spot for Tokyo.

Earlier in the morning, Aoife and Margaret finished second in their Semi-Final and qualified for the Final. They beat crews from China, Denmark, Greece and Brazil and finished behind the boat from the United States. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:21:23 and progressed to the Final.

Daire Lynch finished fourth in the Men’s Single Scull Semi-Final this morning. Daire faced tough competitors from Poland, Canada, Romania, Chile and Austria. Daire narrowly missed out on a place in the Final, the Romanian sculler who finished less than half a second ahead. Daire finished with a racing time of 07:05.46 after a strong performance throughout the two days.

Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, said, “We are very proud of all of the performances from our athletes this weekend, and all seven athletes gave a brave and spirited effort in each of their races over the two days.

We are delighted that the Women’s Four and Lightweight Women’s Double qualified their boats for the Olympics this summer. All of the team performed strongly this weekend. Daire narrowly missed out on the Final and gained invaluable experience this weekend that will benefit him for Paris 2024. Margaret and Aoife have continued to grow and develop in the double, and we are delighted that they qualified for the Olympics. Congratulations to Aifric, Eimear, Fiona and Emily for qualifying the Women’s Four Boat with a strong performance in their Heat and the Final

We have six boats confirmed and qualified for Tokyo, and we continue to train and prepare for the upcoming Olympics. Having these six crews qualified at the next Tokyo Olympic Games has put Ireland in a very challenging and exciting position not just for Tokyo but also for Paris 2024. As we all know, this is also year 1 of the 2024 cycle and the current Rowing Ireland squad, if well supported, has everything to keep the fantastic momentum going.

Behind these results, there is a huge amount of systematic work of athletes, coaches, and administrators that need to be reinforced and more supported to consolidate the current level.

I want to thank all of the athletes, coaches, support staff and their clubs and families for their continued support as we continue to move forward in Irish Rowing and look forward to competing again next weekend.”

Irish Results

M1x – Daire Lynch – 4th – A/B Semi-Final

W4- Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh – 1st -Final

LW2x – Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen – 3rd – Final

Six Irish Boats Qualified For the Tokyo Olympics

Women’s Single Scull (W1x) – Qualified by Sanita Puspure
Lightweight Men’s Double (LM2x) – Qualified by Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy
Men’s Double (M2x) – Qualified by Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle
Women’s Pair (W2-) – Qualified by Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley
Women’s Four (W4-) – Qualified by Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty and Fiona Murtagh
Lightweight Women’s Double (LW2x) – Qualified by Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Sanita Puspure added the European title to her World Championship crown from 2018 with a strong, controlled, performance in Lucerne today. The Ireland single sculler took hold of the final just before the 500 metre mark and never let go. Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland finished with real pace to take second, but Puspure was in control and won by .86 of a second. Mirka Topinkova Knapkova also showed a turn of pace to finish third.

European Championships, Lucerne, Day Three (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Germany 6:19.30, 2 Lithuania 6:19.44, 3 Italy 6:22.64, 4 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:22.81

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Netherlands 7:05.12; 6 Ireland (D Walsh, L Heaphy) 7:22.38.

Single Sculls – A Final: 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:23.18, 2 Switzerland (J Gmelin) 7:24.04, 3 Czech Republic (M Topinkova Knapkova) 7:24.85; 4 Austria 7:25.03.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gary O’Donovan had to settle for fourth in his C Final of the lightweight single sculls at the European Rowing Championships today. Rainer Kepplinger of Austria led for virtually the entire race and won well. O’Donovan, along with Eleftherios Konsolas of Greece and Filip Nilsson of Sweden fought out their own battle in the final 500 metres, but the Greek and Swede took the second and third places with O’Donovan dropping back to fourth of five. He finished 16th overall.

European Championships, Lucerne, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 17): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:09.42; 4 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:18.11.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gary O’Donovan took fourth place, one slot outside the qualifying spots for the semi-finals, in his repechage at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne today. Norway, Turkey and Serbia battled it out at the head of the field and took the top three spots in that order. O’Donovan finished well but the Skibbereen man was just under two seconds off the key places. He will compete in the C Final.  

European Championships, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:26.53, 2 Romania 6:29.62.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy (S Oppo, P Ruta) 6:14.73, 2 Ireland (J McCarthy, F McCarthy) 6:16.07; 3 Ukraine 6:16.32.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy (M Goretti) 7:05.54, 2 Switzerland (J Schaeuble) 7:06.73; 6 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:34.73.

Repechage One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C Final): 1 Norway 6:59.05, 2 Turkey 6:59.90, 3 Serbia 7:02.29; 4 Ireland (O’Donovan) 7:04.16.

Women

Single Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:30.65, Britain (V Thornley) 7:35.35

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Switzerland 6:57.58, 2 Britain 6:58.61, 3 Ireland (D Walsh, L Heaphy) 7:14.55.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure opened her account at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne with a good win. The world champion in the single sculls was given a good test in the third heat by Victoria Thornley of Britain, who stayed with her until the final stages. The two took the semi-final places. Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland and Austria's Magdalena Lobnig won the other heats. They took silver and bronze, in that order, at the World Championships in 2018.

 Earlier, Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle had won their heat of the double sculls. Gary O’Donovan faces into a repechage in the lightweight single sculls. He took sixth in his heat.  

European Championships, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:26.53, 2 Romania 6:29.62.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy (M Goretti) 7:05.54, 2 Switzerland (J Schaeuble) 7:06.73; 6 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:34.73.

Women

Single Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:30.65, Britain (V Thornley) 7:35.35

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gary O’Donovan took sixth place in his heat of the lightweight single sculls at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne this morning. The Skibbereen man, competing for the first time at this level in a single, found himself at the back of the field early on and while he pushed into fifth he saw the race disappear from him in the final sprint. Martino Goretti of Italy set the early pace and won.

European Championships, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Double – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:26.53, 2 Romania 6:29.62.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy (M Goretti) 7:05.54, 2 Switzerland (J Schaeuble) 7:06.73; 6 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:34.73.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne gave Ireland a top-class start to the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne this morning. They won their heat of the double sculls with a powerful display, seeing off a challenge by Romania, who gave way only at the very finish, to win by over a length. The rest of the field let these two crews go, as they had wrapped up the two qualification spots for the semi-finals.  

European Championships, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Double – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:26.53, 2 Romania 6:29.62.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure took a silver medal for Ireland at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne. The world champion, Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland took gold, but only just, in a thrilling finish. Puspure was under pressure for second from Carling Zeeman of Canada, but the Ireland sculler has a great finish and pushed right up on Gmelin, finishing just .23 of a second behind her.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day Three (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Spain Two 6:40.42; 3 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:43.27.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A Final: 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:28.50, 2 Belgium 6:29.30, 3 Denmark 6:32.39.

Women

Pair – B Final: 1 Spain 7:25.23; 4 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:32.46.

Double – B Final: 1 Czech Republic 7:05.30; 3 Ireland (M Dukarska, A Crowley) 7:06.92.

Single – A Final: 1 Switzerland (J Gmelin) 7:35.94, Ireland (S Puspure) 7:36.17, 3 Canada (C Zeeman) 7:37.03

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul and Gary O’Donovan took gold at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne this morning. Denmark and Belgium had good starts, but the Skibbereen men too over the lead after 800 metres. They held it from there, though Belgium pushed right up on them in the final quarter. The O’Donovans held them off to win by .8 of a second.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day Three (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Spain Two 6:40.42; 3 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:43.27.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A Final: 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:28.50, 2 Belgium 6:29.30, 3 Denmark 6:32.39.

Women

Pair – B Final: 1 Spain 7:25.23; 4 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:32.46.

Double – B Final: 1 Czech Republic 7:05.30; 3 Ireland (M Dukarska, A Crowley) 7:06.92.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The race was a tight one, but Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan won their semi-final of the lightweight double sculls to take their place in the A Final tomorrow at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne.

The Ireland crew took over from early leaders Denmark, who took second, while Canada beat Britain One for the final qualification spot.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day Two (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Pair – A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Serbia 6:33.87, 2 Spain 6:36.65, 3 Britain One 6:38.90; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:42.02.

D Final (Places 19 to 24): 1 Poland 6:40.95; 5 Ireland (P Boomer, A Harrington) 6:53.83.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:19.05, 2 Denmark 6:20.03, 3 Canada 6:20.52.

Single Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 Australia 6:58.52, 2 Argentina 6:59.65, 3 Ireland (P Doyle) 7:00.39.

Women

Pair - Repechage (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Australia 7:18.62, 2 China One 7:19.86; 4 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:29.63.

Double – Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:53.91, 2 Canada 6:57.71, 3 Netherlands 6:58.57; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:06.42.

Published in Rowing
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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.

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