Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

annalise page topper

Displaying items by tag: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is the largest sailing event in Ireland. To deliver a quality experience for almost 3,000 participants (30% visitors), sailors, and volunteers both ashore and afloat, a sophisticated management team is required.

As the biennial event evolves, the leadership group is determined to keep the regatta fresh, while maintaining the quality of racing afloat supported by engaging social interaction, great entertainment, tasty food, and refreshing beverages ashore.

To meet this challenge, a team of motivated volunteers with diverse skill sets is required. They must work closely together to deliver an excellent event for Dun Laoghaire and the stakeholder clubs (DBSC, DMYC, NYC, RIYC, RStGYC)

The VDLR is calling for expressions of interest from volunteers, both within and outside the sailing community, to contribute to Race Management, Safety, Communications, Accommodation, On-Water logistics, Shore logistics, Branding fulfilment, Volunteer management, Prizes and Prizegiving, Results, and Entertainment.

The regatta management team grows from 20 people or so a year out to almost 200 during the regatta, operating at different levels of engagement, from team 'lead' to 'rookie'. Volunteers can choose the time and commitment they wish to contribute between July 2024 and the regatta in July 2025.

If you are interested in participating in one of Ireland's leading regattas, please contact Paddy Boyd, the Event Director, at [email protected].

Published in Volvo Regatta

Seven boats from Northern Ireland made the trip to Dun Laoghaire for the Volvo Regatta, one of which, FA 2, trailed from Antrim and craned in off the town's Carlisle Pier.

John Minnis’s first place in the 22-strong Cruisers One division was impressive, 10 points ahead of Michael Evans J99 Snapshot, but he says, “The result belies the very close contest in the fleet, with very close racing in very challenging conditions. The J109s, too, gave us as expected, a real battle.” John went on to praise the organisation. “Dun Laoghaire never disappoints. Run expertly on and off the water with expert race management and marshalling by Dave Lovegrove. My thanks to our great team, including the brilliant Gareth Flannigan on the helm, and mention too of bowman Tom Finlay, who scaled the mast several times!

"Dun Laoghaire never disappoints. Run expertly on and off the water"

It would seem that this is the first time that a Northern boat has won Cruisers 1. Final Call II represented Royal Ulster and Royal North. The next venture for John and his team will probably be the ICRA National Championships in Howth in early September.

 John Minnis and his Final Call II celebrate their overall win in IRC One at Ireland's biggest regatta at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Michael Chester John Minnis and his Final Call II celebrate their overall win in IRC One at Ireland's biggest regatta at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Michael Chester
.
Shaun Douglas reckoned his Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer from Royal Ulster would have finished third overall in Cruiser 0 had they not had to retire from Race 3. One of the crew was taken to hospital because of a serious head injury, and that crew member is now recovering. As it was, they won Race 4 and counted a first, a third, two fourths and a fifth.

Shaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer from Royal Ulster on Dublin Bay for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: AfloatShaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer from Royal Ulster on Dublin Bay for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: Afloat

F A 2 is a Limbo 6.6. owned by Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison of Antrim Boat Club on Lough Neagh. The first time Antrim BC was represented was in 2015 with Noel Young in his J80  Jawesome.

At 6.8 m FA 2 was the smallest boat in the 13-boat Cruisers 3 class. For Jeff, this was his fifth Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the first having been in 2011 with the J35 Bengal Magic when they finished 3rd in IRC 1, and Charlie McAllister first took part in 2017 with his previous boat Fait Accompli.

For the crew of F A 2 it was worth the 120-mile tow from Antrim to Dun Laoghaire. Jeff said “This was probably the windiest DL Regatta that I had ever participated in; Friday’s conditions were tough with the high winds and big seas. We were the smallest boat in our class, which was a challenge, but it made for great sailing - surfing some waves, we nearly hit 11knots. Saturday started in more manageable conditions but by the third race it had built up again and the lessons we learnt on Friday paid off, especially on Sunday, our best result (fifth) of the regatta. We were based at the Royal St George. The shore staff there were so friendly and helpful, each day helping boats dock, and getting the mast down and the boat lifted out after the event was pretty seamless”.

The Limbo 6.6 F A 2, owned by Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison of Antrim Boat Club on Lough Neagh at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: AfloatThe Limbo 6.6 F A 2, owned by Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison of Antrim Boat Club on Lough Neagh at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Afloat

Carrickfergus SC on Belfast Lough was represented by Brian and Ryan Wilson in their Corby 29 Elixir in the 17-strong Cruisers 2. Elixir is often seen racing in Belfast Lough. In Dun Laoghaire, they had a consistent set of results, always under 10, with the best score of 4th in the 17-boat fleet.

The Doig family have always been great supporters of East Antrim Boat Club at Larne on the Antrim coast. Gavin and Peter Doig sailed for 16 hours to reach Dun Laoghaire and then raced the 30-foot J/92s in the same class as Elixir - Cruisers 2 in six of the seven races and finished in the 10th slot out of 17 starters.

The Sigma 33 class racing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: AfloatThe Sigma 33 class racing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: Afloat

Paul and Emma Prentice from Ballyholme and Royal Ulster, had a consistent set of results, never less than in the first six. They finished third overall in the 10-boat Sigma 33 class.

Terry Fair’s 31.7 Scotia from Ballyholme was somewhat too lightly crewed for the challenging conditions of Races 1 and 3 in the large offshore class, but he said that conditions were more manageable for the second race and they enjoyed that.

Published in Volvo Regatta

In relative terms, Sunday’s conclusion to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta in the Flying Fifteen class was probably the best day on the water – the wind had abated somewhat, after some initial rain, the sun came out, a single race was scheduled, and we had the best turnout of competitors on the day.

As the regatta leaders from Day 2 onwards, Shane McCarthy & Alan Green (4085) were safe in the knowledge that they couldn’t lose the regatta, and probably Phil Lawton & Neil O’Hagan (3803) were in a similar position with respect to second overall, so the only potential place changes in the pecking order were further down the fleet. Lee Statham & Andy Paul (4070) and Tom Galvin & Cormac Bradley (3757) were tied after three days, so they were in a winner takes all situation, and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) were also in a position to move up the order with a good final race.

A clean start for the three-lap Windward-Leeward race was achieved by the fleet, and the majority went right to the shore before making their way towards the weather mark on the right-hand side of the course. Leading the charge up the right-hand side was Colin & Casey, who were rewarded by being 1st at the weather mark. Others to feature at this stage were Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Alastair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753), and the four boats holding the first three places overall.

At this stage, Galvin had a boat between himself and Statham. The run saw Murphy & Mulvey go wide while others sailed inside them and used a couple of gybes to get to the leeward gate. My recall is that Murphy may have rounded the leeward gate first but with Colin not far behind. The recipe for the subsequent beats was the same as before - go right initially and then fine-tune the approach to the weather mark. Statham was still behind Galvin at the latter stage of the beat, and the overlapping Dragons, who were on the same course, forced him into a couple of extra tacks that I’m sure he could have done without. At the weather mark for the second time, the regatta leaders were at the front of the fleet and Lawton had also moved up. However, Murphy, Court and Colin were still hanging in and Galvin was still ahead of Statham, though there was no boat between them anymore.

On the third beat, the running order had settled and rounding the weather mark for the last time, the order was McCarthy, Lawton, Colin, Murphy, Court. Galvin and Statham. A hiccup on Galvin’s spinnaker hoist allowed Statham to close the distance between the two boats, but importantly for Galvin, he remained ahead. However, about 100m from the leeward gate, Statham got past and went on to finish 6th to Galvin’s 7th, thus taking 3rd overall.

The regatta showed just how competitive the Flying Fifteen class is! In an eight-race series, we had three different race winners – Shane McCarthy & Alan Green (5), Tom Galvin & Cormac Bradley (2) David Gorman & Chris Doorly (1). The top five boats overall came from four different clubs. On Friday, 5 boats started a race in very high wind conditions, and all five finished, albeit with some spectacular spinnaker broaches and capsizes. Phil Lawton & Neil O’Hagan announced their presence on the scene with seconds and thirds in all but two races, and a competitive debut for Galvin & Bradley saw them win two races. And for the mixed-gender crews, there was ample evidence that they can be competitive when the breeze is up.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Flying Fifteen Results - Top FiveVolvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Flying Fifteen Results - Top Five

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Dublin Bay Mermaids only sailed two races at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, with Skerries visitors Paul, Frank and Chloe Browne in Cara II coming out on top in the eight-boat fleet. 

The Royal Irish's Jill, sailed by Paul Smith, Patrick Mangan, and Ailbhe Smith, was second, scoring 2, 3. Dermot O'Neill's Aideen with crew John and Andrew Redmond from the National Yacht Club was third. 

Mermaid VDLR winner - Paul, Frank and Chloe Browne in Cara II Photo: AfloatMermaid VDLR winner - Paul, Frank and Chloe Browne in Cara II Photo: Afloat

Skerries visitors Paul, Frank and Chloe Browne in Cara II were the Dublin Bay Mermaid class winners at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael ChesterSkerries visitors Paul, Frank and Chloe Browne in Cara II were the Dublin Bay Mermaid class winners at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Michael Chester

The 2023 regatta, the ninth edition of Ireland's largest regatta, concluded on Sunday with final races for most classes and a great festival of sailing across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Published in Volvo Regatta

Fireballs enjoyed spectacular sailing at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta over the last three days. Sixteen Fireballs entered the event, and only injury and family commitments prevented a full turnout.

Especially impressive was the number of youth teams competing, and especially rewarding was to watch these teams manage very well in sometimes hair-raising conditions. With winds occasionally reaching 30 knots, the high-performance dinghy lived up to its pedigree as racers zoomed around the courses over the long weekend.

In the days before the event, it is fair to say sailors from all fleets were watching the rather ominous forecasts and were concerned the whole event could be in jeopardy, but by the Thursday the more worrying forecasts had softened, and confidence grew that a few days of great racing was on the agenda. On Thursday itself, racing was cancelled for the vast majority of classes as extreme gusts swept in.

A handful of Flying Fifteens managed to get one race in, but even those keelboats suffered several dinghy-style capsizes, which saw crews standing on keels. Friday dawned breezy but very sailable and Fireballers sped out to the start to be greeted by an AP as the race committee settled a fairly complicated trapezoid course into position. When racing got underway, the Fireballs screamed off the line in winds of around twenty knots. Jon Evans & Aidan Caulfield got to the weather mark first followed closely by Frank Miller & Ed Butler. As they roared down the run in big winds seeking the leeward marks, both made the error of heading to the inner rather than the outer trapezoid gate, and although they finished first and second they took a retirement giving Stephen Oram and Neil Cramer the race win.

The youngest team of David Evans & William Draper, took 2nd place in that race, a fantastic achievement given that they were probably also the lightest team at the event.

The youngest Fireball team of David Evans and crew William Draper at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: Michael ChesterThe youngest Fireball team of David Evans and crew William Draper at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta Photo: Michael Chester

Josh Porter and Cara McDowell were 3rd. This was to be their worst result of the regatta which they went on to discard. There was a wind shift after this race which led the race team to abandon the trapezoid course with it’s total of eight marks and two committee boats in favour of a windward—leeward course which is much more manageable in a shifting breeze. Given that the dinghy racing area for the event was Salthill and offshore winds were forecast for the entire event the race team set windward-leeward courses for the rest of the regatta. Having settled in Josh & Cara went on to win the next two races in similar breezes, taking the overnight lead for the event. Saturday dawned with good breezes but distinctly more shifty conditions. While it was breezy, it was a tad less windy than the Friday and warmer, and possibly there might have been an element of a thermal breeze playing with the offshore gradient.

This was a day when those keeping their speed up and their heads out of the boat were rewarded, and once again Josh & Cara prevailed with two wins and a second while Adrian Lee & Ossian Geraghty took the win in race 5. There were several close finishes on the Friday, with a surprise shortened course at a gate catching several sailors out while providing an opening to those paying closest attention. By Saturday night it was clear that after six races and with two to go Josh & Cara had a fairly unassailable lead. Next were Adrian & Ossian, with Frank & Ed Snr lying third and Jon & Aidan fourth on equal points. Two points adrift were Stephen & Neil in 5th.

Frank Miller and Ed Butler lead a group of Fireballs downwind at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: AfloatFrank Miller and Ed Butler lead a group of Fireballs downwind at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Afloat

Sunday dawned with initially light winds but a slightly ominous forecast showing possible thunderstorms and lightning. Sure enough, while sailors rigged, the wind picked up considerably, and the race office decided to postpone by an hour, allowing a squall to blow through. By the time competitors were sailing out the wind was softening, and a few were caught out as race seven started bang on time and in quite light winds. The start line was strongly pin biased, but the sensible ones started at the committee boat where there was more pressure. Most headed inshore to escape the incoming tide but this approach wasn’t always rewarded as there were big variations in pressure around the course. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe led to the weather mark by taking the inshore course but on round two, lost their lead by the same approach and fell to fourth, managing to get back to 2nd on the final run. Unsurprisingly at this stage, Josh & Cara triumphed in boat races. In the final race the wind had picked up somewhat, and most sailors changed settings to medium. With Adrian & Ossian fairly secure in 2nd place, the main battle was for the 3rd prize. Frank & Ed had a good battle with Jon & Aidan on the run, and with Stephen & Neil on the beat but ultimately made the fatal decision of losing contact with their main rivals and going offshore into what looked like better breeze only for it to fade and for the breeze inside to fill. When the final sums were done Josh & Cara took the overall, Adrian & Ossian were 2nd with Jon & Aidan 3rd. Stephen and Neil were 4th on equal points with Frank and Ed who fell to 5th overall.

It would be fair to say that for Fireballs this was one of the most successful Volvo DL Regattas in recent memory. The conditions were spectacular, providing the class with an opportunity to showcase its brilliant design and especially its fantastic and fearless young competitors.

From left overall winners Cara McDowell and Josh Porter, 2nd Ossian Geraghty and Adrian Lee and 3rd Jon Evans and Aidan Caulfield Photo: Frank MillerFrom left overall winners Cara McDowell and Josh Porter, 2nd Ossian Geraghty and Adrian Lee and 3rd Jon Evans and Aidan Caulfield Photo: Frank Miller

The next event for Fireballs is the Munster Championship at Killaloe SC on the weekend of 22nd & 23rd July, shared with the 420 class. Sailors are really looking forward to a different kind of racing, most likely in more gentle breezes, at a very welcoming host club with a spanking new clubhouse and locally available food and camping.

Published in Volvo Regatta

The Royal Irish's Austin Kenny, Simon Redden and Austin Burke were the overall winners of the J80 class at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In an all-star Irish fleet, that included Clontarf's Pat O'Neill, the 2021 J80 World Bronze medalist, 12 boats came to the line for the seven-race series.

The Kenny crew finished the blustery four-day event on ten points with a scoresheet that included three race wins to be two points clear of Royal St George's Owen Laverty. 

Third was Laverty's clubmate Hugh Blaney on 15.

The 2023 regatta, the ninth edition of Ireland's largest regatta, concluded on Sunday with final races for most classes and a great festival of sailing across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Published in Volvo Regatta

The bulk of the silverware stayed in Dublin after the curtain came down on an epic four days of sailing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Sunday evening. 

Ireland’s largest sailing event came to a breezy close this afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with 400 boats and almost 2,000 sailors competing.

Another strong southerly breeze light saw organisers complete nearly all 250 scheduled races, with many class titles hanging on the outcome of today's final race.

Some of the 400-boat fleet gathered at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at the end of a breezy ninth edition of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. July 10-13th 2025 has been set as the date for the tenth edition Photo: AfloatSome of the 400-boat fleet (with IRC Zero winner Rockabill VI in the foreground) gathered at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at the end of a breezy ninth edition of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. July 10-13th 2025 has been set as the date for the tenth edition Photo: Afloat

Afloat's pre-regatta predictions for the IRC classes came good in the breezy conditions, with the Offshore prize going to Checkmate XX, Rockabill VI taking IRC Zero, Final Call outwitting the J109s to take IRC One and vintage Half and Quarter Tonners taking IRC Two and Three respectively. 

Dublin Yacht Club's shared the bulk of the overall prizes awarded this afternoon at the official prize giving at the National Yacht Club, winning 26 of the 34 classes but not the coveted 'Boat of the Week' Trophy. 

Quarter Tonner Protis crewman John Begg from Hamble River Sailing Club (left) receives the Volvo Trophy for the best IRC performance of the regatta, presented by Alan Cowley of Volvo Car Ireland at the VDLR Prizegiving hosted by the National Yacht Club. Photo: Michael ChesterQuarter Tonner Protis crewman John Begg from Hamble River Sailing Club (left) receives the Volvo Trophy, for the best IRC performance of the regatta, presented by Alan Cowley of Volvo Car Ireland at the VDLR Prizegiving hosted by the National Yacht Club Photo: Michael Chester

Ian Southworth's Quarter Tonner 'Protis' from the Hamble River Sailing Club in England was named the top IRC boat after leading 13-boat IRC 3 with six race wins in a seven-race series.

Royal Irish JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) was a decisive winner in a nine-boat IRC Zero.

Paul O’Higgins’ (pictured standing second from right with cap) and his JPK 10.80 Rockabill (RIYC) crew at the VDLR Prizegiving below. Photo: Michael ChesterPaul O’Higgins’ (pictured standing second from right with cap) and his JPK 10.80 Rockabill (RIYC) winning IRC Zero crew at the VDLR Prizegiving below. Photo: Michael Chester

A final challenge by a pack of J109s on Sunday in the single race sailed could not stop John Minnis's march to victory in his A35 Final Call II, taking the IRC One crown in a highly competitive 22-boat fleet.

The IRC Two title was won by the Royal Cork Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble, skippered by Dave Dwyer. 

The 25-boat IRC offshore prize was won by Nigel Biggs and Dave Cullen's First 50, Checkmate XX, from Howth Yacht Club.

The Cape 31 class used the regatta to decide its Irish national championship, with Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary successfully defending in the six-boat fleet.

Anthony O'Leary (left) and some of his Royal Cork Antix crew with the Irish Cape 31 trophy at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta priegiving Photo: Michael ChesterAnthony O'Leary, (pictured left with Race Officer David Lovegrove in blue shirt) and some of his Royal Cork Antix crew with the Irish Cape 31 Irish trophy at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta prizegiving Photo: Michael Chester

The GP14 Leinster Trophy was retained by holders Ger Owens and Mel Morris of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, a result that also handed them the best dinghy small keelboat award of the regatta.

In the 22-boat Flying Fifteen class, Mr Potato Head, sailed by Shane McCarthy and Alan Green, was the overall winner in a class that was one of only two that raced on all four days of the regatta.

Flying Fifteen class winners Shane McCarthy (left) and Alan Green Photo: Michael ChesterFlying Fifteen class winners Shane McCarthy (left) and Alan Green Photo: Michael Chester

Sean Craig and Heather King took the Water Wag Collen Cup after an in-harbour series for the vintage dinghy class.

 Pamela Collen (left) presents, Sean Craig and Heather King were presented with The Collen Cup, a perpetual trophy which has been in the Collen family since 1907 Photo: Michael Chester Pamela Collen (left) presents Water Wag class winners Sean Craig and Heather King with The Collen Cup, a perpetual trophy which has been in the Collen family since 1907 Photo: Michael Chester

The biennial event is being hailed an enormous success both afloat and ashore for a combined fleet of almost 400 boats, the biggest on the Irish Sea.

Over 250 races on six different courses were staged in a range of medium to heavy conditions since racing began last Thursday in near-gale conditions.

Trophies were awarded in each of the 34 competing classes this afternoon, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful stagings of Ireland's biggest sailing event.

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland’s biggest sailing event and a great festival of sailing across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club. 

Read all of Afloat's VDLR 2023 coverage in on handy link here. See all prizegiving photos here.

The date of the VDLR 2025 event has been set as July 10-13. 

Published in Volvo Regatta

The Elan marque maintained a primary placing to the end, with Johnny Philips Elan 33 Playtime (NYC) making a thing of it in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Non-Spinnaker 1 with nothing but firsts after taking his discard on his single second. Thus he ended up with just 5 points to the 12 of Michael Murphy’s Sigma 38 State O’Chassis (RIYC), while third place saw a reversion to Elans with David Greene’s Elan 333 White Pearl (Malahide YC) winning third OA on countback after tieing on 17 points with John Roberts’ big Elan 431 Percy from Pwllheli.

Another biggie, veteran Michael O’Leary’s DuFour 425 Act Two (RIYC), had two races in the frame to place her next on 22 pts.

Non-Spin 2 Sees Sigma Keep Clear Of Ufos

With extra-terrestrial sightings all the news these days, UFOs have to be kept in their place. The Howth-based Sigma 33 Leeuwin (Burke Murray) didn’t have the personnel to race full on with the Sigma 33 class, so she found herself in Non-Spin Class 2 successfully fighting off the overall second-placed UFO 31 Menapia (J McSweeney RStGYC & P Madigan NYC), and the Whitehaven-based UFO34 Kon Tiki (Derek O’Reilly).

Published in Volvo Regatta

As sailing events go, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is big by any measure, so there is no surprise that this year's National Yacht Club hosted VDLR prizegiving on Sunday evening was an equally big affair with hundreds of sailors gathered to salute the winners at Ireland's largest sailing event.

The ceremony brought the curtain down on four days of thrilling sailing where almost 2,000 sailors in 400 boats took on heavy weather conditions on Dublin Bay.

Check out the gathering below held on the platform at the east pier club and click through the photo gallery of the 2023 VDLR winners below.

Photographer Michael Chester's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023 Prizewinners Photo Gallery

Published in Volvo Regatta

Quarter Tonning is up in lights these days, and Dublin Bay had an illuminating intro to it in its hottest form with the Hamble River’s Ian Southworth in Protis happily discarding a 9th from the harsh first race of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, as thereafter he had won all the way, to leave him on 5 points, as IRC 3 class sailed six races in all.

Courtown SC’s Martin Mahon with the Joubert-Nivelt Quarter Tonner Snoopy was likewise consistent, albeit with a string of seconds, to finish on 11 points, while Kieran Dorgan of Cove SC with the Ceccarelli Quarter Tonner Illegal was imprinted with thirds to take that overall on 15.

 Courtown SC’s Joubert-Nivelt Quarter Tonner Snoopy skippered by Martin Mahon Courtown SC’s Joubert-Nivelt Quarter Tonner Snoopy skippered by Martin Mahon

The top overall prize in IRC for the regatta's Volvo Trophy went to Southworth for his IRC 3 performance, but the weekend has been an important warm-up for all three, no doubt, for next week's Quarter Ton World Championships being staged in Ireland by Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Kieran Dorgan's Ceccarelli Quarter Tonner IllegalKieran Dorgan's Ceccarelli Quarter Tonner Illegal Photo: Afloat

Published in DL Regatta: Cr 3
Page 1 of 17

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