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#Rowing: Ireland’s lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll took a brilliant gold medal at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton in Florida. They got a tough challenge from Italy and Brazil, but O’Donovan and O’Driscoll produced a stunning row, with a stroke rate of well into the 40s right through the race. They took over the lead at 750 metres and never gave it up, despite concerted challenges by, first, Brazil and then Italy, who took second, with the South Americans taking bronze.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denise Walsh followed up her excellent silver medal at the European Championships in the Czech Republic with a win on the Olympic course at Dorney Lake in England today. Walsh partnered  Aoife Casey, who has just turned 18, to a win in the Championship Double at Metropolitan Regatta. The Skibbereen double rowed well in the top event for women’s doubles at this big event, covering the course in seven minutes 13.27 seconds.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denise Walsh capsized with 300 metres to go in her repechage of the World Cup in Poznan. The Skibbereen woman was well in contention for an A/B semi-final place, lying third going into the last quarter. But she stopped and then, not long after resuming, her boat flipped over almost competely. Rescue craft rushed to her and took minutes to take her out of the water. The Skibbereen woman was out of the race, but not out of determination: she climbed back in the boat. Though she was not listed as finishing, she sculled to the end.   

World Cup Regatta, Poznan, Poland (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Lightweight Pair - Heat Two (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Britain (J Cassells, S Scrimgeour) 6:44.66; 4 Ireland (M O'Donovan, S O'Driscoll) 6:48.29.

Lightweight Double Sculls - Heats (Winner to A Final; rest to Repechages) - Heat One: 1 France 6:19.48; 3 Britain (W Fletcher, R Chambers) 6:25.13. Heat Two: 1 Norway 6:18.90; 2 Ireland (G O'Donovan, P O'Donovan) 6:19.45, 3 Austria 6:34.23.  

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls - Heats (Winner to A Final; rest to Repechages) - Heat One: 1 Netherlands 7:04.01. Heat Two: 1 Ireland (C Lambe, S Lynch) 7:05.36; 2 Poland 7:06.48, 3 Netherlands Two 7:09.28.

Lightweight Single Sculls - Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Denmark (A Runge Holmegaard) 7:55.99, 2 Netherlands Three (A Van Zomeren) 7:56.83; 3 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:11.09. Repechage (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; Three to Five to C Final): Walsh 11:32.83 (orginally listed as DNF)

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Ireland had two fourth-place finishes in their first two A Finals of the European Rowing Championships in Brandenburg in Germany. The lightweight men’s pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished impressively to push Germany into fifth. Britain’s Sam Scrimgeour and Joel Cassells won, with Denmark second and Spain third. Lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh also had a good final quarter. Her race was dominated by Anja Noske of Germany, with Denmark and the Netherlands taking silver and bronze.  Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe finished third in the B Final of the women’s lightweight double sculls, ninth overall. Sweden beat Britain into second, with Ireland over two seconds further back.

European Rowing Championships, Brandenburg, Germany – Day Three (Irish interest; selected results):

Men

Lightweight Pair – A Final: 1 Britain (S Scrimgeour, J Cassells) 7:00.38, 2 Denmark 7:03.94, 3 Spain 7:05.32; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll)  7:09.67

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Sweden 7:27.70, 2 Britain 7:27.99, 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:30.28.

Lightweight Single Sculls – A Final: 1 Germany (A Noske) 8:26.75, 2 Denmark 8:32.54, 3 Netherlands 8:37.05; 4 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:42.93.

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe ended their campaign at the World Cup Regatta in Varese with a commanding performance to win the C Final of the lightweight double sculls. They led all the way and were four lengths clear of nearest rivals, Italy Three, at the finish.  

 Ireland had two competitors in the repechage of the women’s lightweight single sculls. There were two places on offer in an A Final, but Poland and Switzerland One took these. Siobhán McCrohan finished fifth and Denise Walsh sixth.  In the lightweight men’s four, Ireland battled it out for third in the C Final with Austria, losing out by .15 of a second.  In the C Final of the women’s pair, Leonora Kennedy and Barbara O’Brien finished third. Norway pipped Ukraine to win.

World Cup Regatta, Varese – Day Two (Selected Results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Four – C Final (places 13 to 16): 1 Canada One 6:09.73, 2 Serbia 6:11.21, 3 Austria 6:15.85, 4 Ireland (L Seaman, M O’Donovan, L Keane, S O’Driscoll) 6:16.00.

Women

Pair – C Final (places 13 to 16): 1 Norway One 7:22.74, 2 Ukraine 7:23.16, 3 Ireland (L Kennedy, B O’Brien) 7:33.07.  

Lightweight Double Sculls – C Final (places 13 to 17): 1 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:17.24, 2 Italy Three 7:26.29, 3 Chile 7:29.71.  

Lightweight Single Sculls – Repechage (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Poland Two 7:49.90, 2 Switzerland One 7:51.76; 5 Ireland Two (S McCrohan) 8:04.69, 6 Ireland One (D Walsh) 8:08.81

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland ended the first session of the World Cup in Varese with two heat wins and five crews set for the second chance of the repechages. Siobhan McCrohan finished fourth in her heat of the lightweight single sculls and Denise Walsh one place further back in her heat.  

 The men’s lightweight four finished fourth in their heat. The race was won by Italy Two, with the United States One second. Ireland placed fourth down the course, ahead of fifth-placed Austria One.   

World Cup Regatta, Varese (Selected Results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Four – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy Two 6:00.40, 2 United States 6:00.95; 4 Ireland (L Seaman, M O’Donovan, L Keane, S O’Driscoll) 6:18.75

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan) 6:27.07, 2 Britain 6:33.38; 3 Netherlands Two 6:48.24.  

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Germany 7:23.08, 2 Russia One 7:24.46; 5 Ireland (L Kennedy, B O’Brien) 7:46.38.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Switzerland 7:03.98, 2 Canada 7:04.45; 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:05.0.

Single Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:34.32; 2 Czech Republic (M Knapkova) 7:36.13.  

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Netherlands Two 7:40.25, 2 Italy 7:45.99; 4 Ireland Two (S McCrohan) 8:02.38.

Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Canada 7:42.41, 2 Netherlands One 7:45.30; 5 Ireland One (D Walsh) 8:11.91.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s women’s double and lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh finished their campaigns at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette in France with good performances. Walsh took second in her C Final, 14th overall. She sprinted to the line and almost caught winner, Kate Johnstone of South Africa. Helen Hannigan and Lisa Dilleen won their D final, pushing Italy into second. The Ireland crew places 19th overall.

World Rowing Championships, Aiguebelette, France – Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Four – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final): 4

Britain (2 P Chambers) 6:58.68.  

Lightweight Pair – A Final: 1 Britain (J Cassells, S Scrimgeour) 6:29.40. B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:46.44, 2 Spain 6:46.59, 3 Czech Republic 6:47.54.

Single Sculls – Semi-Final Two: 5 Britain (A Campbell) 6:51.24.

Women

Four – A Final: 1 United States 6:25.22, 2 Britain 6:31.52, 3 China 6:35.56; 5 Ireland (A Keogh, M Dukarska, L Kennedy, B O’Brien)  6:43.49.

Double Sculls – D Final (Places 19 to 24): 1 Ireland (H Hannigan, L Dilleen) 7:17.04, 2 Italy 7:18.38, 3 Ukraine 7:21.82.

Single Sculls – Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 China 7:24.41, 2 Czech Republic 7:26.48, 3 United States 7:27.39; 5 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:33.94.

Lightweight Single Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 South Africa 8:07.16, 2 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:07.96.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished sixth in the A Final of the men’s lightweight pair at the World Cup in Lucerne. Britain and Italy fought it out for gold, with Italy winning. Denmark took bronze. The Ireland crew were in sixth through the four quarters.

Denise Walsh finished 4th in her B Final, 10th overall in the lightweight single sculls.

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

Men

Lightweight Pair – Repechage (First Four to A Final): 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:50.28. A Final: 1 Italy 6:54.52, 2 Britain 6:54.71, 3 Denmark 6:56.81; 6 Ireland 7:14.15.

Lightweight Double Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 2 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:23.91.

Women

Pair – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 5 Ireland (H Hannigan, L Dilleen) 7:29.47.

Double Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Belarus 7:14.98, 2 Germany 7:17.52, 3 Greece 7:19.13; 5 Ireland (H Hannigan, L Dilleen) 7:26.75.

Lightweight Double – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 South Africa 7:35.26, 2 US 7:36.79, 3 Germany 7:39.14; 5 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:44.11

Single Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Australia (K Crow) 7:55.81, 2 United States (G Stone) 8:00.20, 3 New Zealand (F Bourke) 8:03.10; 5 Ireland (S Puspure) 8:11.50.

Lightweight Single – Repechage One (Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 3 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:11.47. B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 South Africa (K Johnstone) 8:34.06; 4 Ireland (Walsh) 8:39.41.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The new Ireland lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll will compete in the A Final at the World Cup regatta in Lucerne. The two Corkmen finished fourth in their repechage to take their place in the top six overall.

Denise Walsh would have had to finish in the top two of her repechage to take her place in the A Final of the lightweight single sculls. She missed out by one place, and will compete in the B Final.

 

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

Men

Lightweight Pair – Repechage (First Four to A Final): 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:50.28.

Women

Lightweight Single  – Repechage One (Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 3 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:11.47.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland lightweight double of Paul and Gary O’Donovan finished fifth in the A Final at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland, this morning. France set a new European best time with a classy win, while Britain (with Richard Chambers in the bow seat) took silver. Ireland were in sixth through the first three quarters of the race but passed Turkey in the final 500 metres.

In the women’s lightweight doubles, Ireland’s Claire Lambe and Denise Walsh finished sixth. They had held that position through the race. In a race won with a runaway performance by Britain’s Charlotte Taylor and Kat Copeland, Ireland were in touch with the rest of the field until the closing stages when they did not match the finishing speed of the other five crews.

 Joel Cassells and Peter Chambers won the lightweight pair for Britain. Both had represented Ireland at underage level.

European Rowing Championships, Poznan, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Pair – A Final: 1 Britain (J Cassells, P Chambers) 6:28.58.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A Final: 1 France (S Delayre, J Azou) 6:11.38, 2 Britain (R Chambers, W Fletcher) 6:14.33, 3 Norway 6:15.53; 5 Ireland 6:21.89.

Women

Pair, B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Czech Republic 7:16.56, 2 Spain 7:17.04, 3 Ireland (L Kennedy, M Dukarska) 7:20.37.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A Final: 1 Britain 7:00.71, 2 Germany 7:05.27, 3 Poland 7:05.36; 6 Ireland (C Lambe, D Walsh) 7:13.41.

Lightweight Single Sculls, B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Denmark (R Holmegaard) 7:40.62, 2 Ireland (S Jennings) 7:45.64, 3 Netherlands 7:49.94.

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.

©Afloat 2020