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Displaying items by tag: Ballyholme Yacht Club

#f18 - After the heroics of the last two days, the crews of the F18 breathed a sigh of relief when they woke up. Day 4 of the F18 World Championship at Ballyholme Yacht Club, Northern Ireland offered light winds and sunshine and the Race Committee managed to squeeze in three races before the wind died.

In the first race of the day (Race 10), Lois Breeder/Hugo Pomellac and Robert Solune/Riwan Perron showed that the French Junior teams also have plenty of boat speed, with the American Junior team of Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead coming in third.

After swapping hulls over night with the damage yesterday, Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall returned to form in the second race (Race 11) winning in front of France's Thomas Normand and Antoine Jalbert. Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac came in third and also again in the last race of the day, moving up to 5th overall.

Normand/Jalbert were a little too keen to repeat their new-found success and were the only boat OCS in Race 12. Emeric Dary and David Fanouillere came in second instead, but it was Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West who lead the way home and moved into first place overall.

For others, the dying wind proved a little tricky and English crew Ben Lodge and Niall McLoughlin decided to park on one of the gate marks, hulls either side, while the rest of the fleet sailed past.

The F18 World Championship comes to a climax tomorrow with 3 more races scheduled and light winds forecast again. With only 10 points separating the top 3, everything is still up for grabs.

1. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West NED 38pts
2. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead (Junior) USA 42pts
3. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (FRA) 49pts
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan (FRA) 78pts
5. Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac (FRA) 81pts
6. Robert Solune and Riwan Perron (Junior) FRA 89pts

Published in Racing

#F18worlds – As promised, Northern Ireland offered glorious sunshine, waves and a steady 16-18 knots on Day 3 of the 2014 F18 World Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club. With only 1 minor course change all day, the Ballyholme Yacht Club Committee Boat was able to run another 4 races to be on schedule writes Mark Mackey.

We're not sure if Florida offers similar conditions to Bangor but the USA Youth team of Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead excelled today with 5,2,2,1 and moved into first place overall with a small lead over Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West.

The French crews also showed their pedigree through the day filling the top 4 places in Race 6. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot have menacingly appeared on the leaderboard with 1,3,3,3 today.

After looking forward to today's action, title contenders Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall unfortunately hit a floating object (suspected plank of wood) at full speed on the first race of the day and damaged their port hull. With only 6 races to go but their boat fixed (it helps that the crew is the boat builder), it will take a superhuman effort to get back to a respectable score.

Meanwhile at the other end of the fleet there was lots of action - local crew Richard Swanston and Matt McNicholl pitchpoled in front of the finish line (ala Devon Loch), Gislain Melanie fell out of the boat crossing the finish line and Chris Brooks had to convince his new crew member "English" Dave Anderson to let go of the bow as he was dragged up the beat. Thankfully Dave missed the Dolphin striker between the hulls and was picked up behind by the Safety Boat.

There are two days of racing left but the wind looks to drop a little tomorrow. We will see whether the young Americans can keep their form.

1. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead
2. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West
3. Grumman Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan
5. Patrick Demesmaeker and Klass Victor

Published in Racing
Tagged under

#f18worlds – Ballyholme Yacht Club woke up to champagne conditions on Day 1 of the 55–boat F18 World Championship this morning. As the fleet took to the water, however, the wind began to drop and swing around, providing a challenge for the race committee.

Full results downloadable below.

A couple of attempted starts had to be postponed as the wind swung around. The Committee boat moved positions several times as local winds filled in from different directions. After a delay of 3 hours and a general recall, the race finally got underway with a black flag to keep the eager competitors away from the line. The Argeninian crew Ian Rodger and Pablo Volker got squeezed at the starboard (right hand) end of the line almost colliding with the committee boat.

It was the French son and father team of Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac who managed to work their way up to the windward mark first followed by fellow countrymen Morgan La Graviere and Arnaud Jarlegan. Jean Christophe is a long time professional catamaran sailor but had given the helm this week to his son. Close behind were the Dutch team of Gunnar Larson and Ferdinand van West followed by Australia's Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall. Local crew Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston rounded in a very credible 6th position but struggled in the second downwind leg in light and patchy conditions to finish 40th. The top teams had their problems as well and the second round saw the fight for first place with Larsen/ van West taking pole position into the second windward mark, followed closely by Ashby/Goodall.

The breeze started to die as they made their way into the finish but Larson/Van West held their first place through the line, followed by Ashby/Goodall in second and the German team of Helge and Christian Sachs in third.

The Committee boat tried to squeeze in the second of three races scheduled as the wind started to fill in. A 30 degree windshift however persuaded them to abandon racing for the day. Hopefully we will have steadier breezes tomorrow.

The first start is scheduled for 11:30 tomorrow with 3 races planned. The public are invited to come down to Bangor and watch the racing.

Published in Racing

#f18 – After 4 years of preparation, the F18 World Championships are finally here. The dinghy parks at Ballyholme Yacht Club are full of International sailors with their catamarans getting measured and weighed for registration. This morning we had the Radio Ulster team down for a broadcast on the Good Morning Ulster radio program with Irish F18 representative Adrian Allen and F18 Competitor and America's Cup sailor Glenn Ashby telling the locals to come down and watch the event. They were also asked for their predictions on the World Cup match later on this afternoon which will be screened in the club - Glenn favoured France while Adrian pitched for Germany. We'll see later.

The Opening Ceremony will be held in Ward Park on Sunday 6th July at 6.00pm with a procession of flags from the 14 visiting countries, a welcome from North Down Mayor Peter Martin and F18 President Olivier Boyvn and some Irish dancing. There is live music in the afternoon at the Ward Park Bandstand from 4.00 - 6.00pm. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

It has been a quick twelve months since Alison Stobie from North Down Tourism travelled with Adrian, crew Barry Swanston and BYC Rear Commodore Mark Mackey to Marina di Grossetto, Italy to launch the 2014 event and "collect the baton" from the 2013 event team. Their Opening Ceremony was great craic with thousands of spectators, and as always we hope to increase the fun here in Bangor. North Down Tourism had a great display at the 2013 Worlds, giving out 300 T shirts to competitors from across the world who all now know of Bangor and our hospitality. Alison even managed to get on local TV on the water with one of the local Italian celebrities.

There has been a huge amount of effort by Adrian Allen, Event Chairman David Taylor and his team of BYC members getting the Club and Parks ready, and the Ballyhome Yacht Club Executive in planning for this event. We must also thank North Down Borough Council for their huge support both financially and in organising this great event, as well as NITB and all of our other sponsors.

There is a practice race in the afternoon on Sunday 6th July at 13:30 before the Opening Ceremony. Racing will be held as close to the shore as practical in keeping with modern racing. Spectators should be able to watch the racing from Seacliff Road, Bangor and the "Sunken Gardens" beside Ballyholme Yacht Club. Official racing starts at 11:00 on Monday 7th July.

Published in Racing

#lasersailing – Current Topper World Champion Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor has won Race four of the European Youth Laser Radial Championship at Egaa Sailing Club, Aarhus in Denmark.

Liam won the Topper World Championship in France last summer as well as every national and provincial event in Ireland. This is his first international event in the single-handed Laser Radial class - a smaller sail version of the Laser which features in the Olympics.

Ten years ago Ballyholme Yacht Club hosted the European Laser Youth Radials in Bangor which has lead to a huge growth in local Laser sailing especially among the juniors. The Laser Radial has a smaller sail compared to the Laser class - an Olympic class and the largest dinghy class in the worlds. Ballyholme Yacht Club's James Espey represented Ireland at the London Olympics in 2012 and is currently campaigning towards 2016 in Brazil.

Ballyholme Yacht Club will host the Irish Laser National Championship on 28-31st August. Poster attached for download below as a PDF document.

Published in Laser

Australian Glenn Ashby was wing trimmer on the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 in last year's America's Cup. He is a multihull specialist, with 14 World Championships across three classes to his name.

Ballyholme Yacht Club, host of the 2014 F18 World Championships, is delighted that the 37 year old sailmaker from Bendigo Yacht Club in Victoria will be helming with child-hood friend Brett Goodall as crew. He has won the F18 Worlds three times already. The F18 is a fast catamaran with a spinnaker and double trapeze crewed by two people and is a fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class.

Goodall has been on the entry list for some time, but until now his helmsman was unknown. Brett: "I'm happy Glenn will sail with me in Ireland. Glenn has been out of F18 sailing for some time and has focussed succesfully on the A-Cat. But this feels like a sort of homecoming to get back on a F18 again". Olivier Bovyn, International F18 Class President said " I am confident Ballyholme will provide our Class with a top quality event, merging proper and fair sailing with friendly sailor parties, and I am certain success will reward all your efforts and involvement in building up such an important organisation. Further to this, I would like to sincerely thank all funding partners, from proud sponsors to local governing bodies, whose support makes this 15th F18 World Championship possible. Wishing you all the best".

Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running events of this magnitude and has among its members three World Champions and 11 Olympic sailors. BYC Is delighted to have club member Bill O'Hara as Principal Race Officer. Bill is an Independent Sports Professional and an Olympian, and Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race. The Jury Chairman will be Ewan McEwan (GBR) who is Chief Umpire of the Extreme 40 series.

The club is located on the eastern side of Bangor on Ballyholme Bay in Belfast Lough where racing will take place. The Lough is one of the best sailing waters in the UK with few hazards and little tide.

Published in America's Cup

#rs – Some statistics from the Irish RS Sprint Championships 2014 at Ballyholme YC  last weekend. 46 individual competitors (including Neill Strain's swaps), 40 Flight Starts, 214 recorded finishes, 490 individual hoists and drops (taking out DNFs etc), and a lot of weary bodies, not just the competitors! Full Sprint results are available to download below as a pdf file.

The Irish RS400 fleet has a full calendar for the year, along with the RS200s and Fevas, but with the exam season in full progress, there is usually a gap in May. The Sprints have thus been moved to fill this gap, and the excellent turn out justified the ongoing inclusion of this event in the calendar.

23 RS400s and an RS200 rolled out for the Annual Irish RS Sprint Championships, held for the first time in the North, with hosts Ballyholme Yacht Club under the guidance of our favourite Race Officer Robin Gray, putting on a tremendous event, in what always seems to me to be a complete nightmare of an event to run. Robin clearly loves a challenge, as he has offered to do it again next year!

Always a great opportunity to get some boat handling practice in, it also provides a workout for those of us navigationally challenged, and more than a few salvages were provided on my boat by Steve advising me where to point the boat next. The whacky M course was a great success, sort of slaloming to the left, and then having an on the edge kite reach across the bottom, to make sure you didn't recover too much before the next race.
We have always asked that we are not kept sitting around too long, and Robin's team kept things pinging off at a furious rate, not giving you time to realise how your body was slowly disintegrating as the afternoon progressed. That said, I was pleased to see that some of the young ones were whinging as much as we elder statesmen, about how battered they felt.

In a Northerly there are few better venues than Ballyholme, with champagne conditions (can we finally park that expression, though it does serve the purpose I guess) of 15 knots steady, a 3-4 foot short swell allowing some fruity downhill slides. As good as it gets I'd say. Also clearly suits the locals, with Bob Espey and Gareth Flanagan and their respective engineers, Mike Gunning and Dave Fletcher, leading the way, along with Sean Cleary and Steve Tyner from Greystones, current Inlands Champs, in amongst the leaders. The flights were rejigged midway through Saturday, and again for Sunday, giving no-one any idea who was winning, apart from the obvious fact the Bob and Mike were running away with it. That said, everyone had a piece of the action, and as always, when the racing is good, we all go home happy.

Biggest thanks however have to go to the mark layers, who did an unbelievable job to lay and move so many marks with so little delay, outstanding.

Next up is the slightly less chaotic RS Northerns at Strangford Lough Yacht Club in late June, with usual format windyleewards; though if the size and intensity of the Easterns was anything to go by, carnage and chaos will return. We should have some serious entertainment, as the deep southerners, from the fast growing and worryingly talent packed Cork fleet, fresh from their own Sprint event, rejoin the fray. Great times for the RS fleet.

Published in RS Sailing

#fireball – Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella (RStGYC) became the new Ulster Fireball champions in a thrilling final day of racing at Ballyholme YC. The first regional Fireball event of the season saw fourteen entries and some really great sailing conditions at an extremely friendly club noted for it's support of dinghy and small boat racing. The winning team scored three first places on day two of the event to catapult into victory overall. On Saturday night after the first three races of the six race series Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (DMYC) had a narrow lead over Kenny Rumball and Scott Flanagan. McCartin/Kinsella languished down the score card after suffering a snapped kicker and a broken main halyard. Overnight assistance from Kenny Rumball saw their boat back into tip-top shape.

Day one saw fantastic if challenging conditions with strong winds and even stronger gusts combined with a disturbed sea state making smooth upwind progress tricky. To add to the test there were big shifts and even the odd flat patch in the offshore breeze. The compensation came in the offwind legs. Race officer Robin Gray set superb sharp reaching angles resulting in some very fast and some very exciting sailing. On day one Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan showed exceptional boat-speed pulling away from the rest of the fleet for what often looked like a private duel of speed and tactics.A bit further back Conor Clancy and Jim Devlin scored two thirds and a sixth, McCartin/Kinsella posted a 4, 3, DNF while Niall McGrotty and Neil Cramer were a very steady 5,4,5. Further back there was close racing throughout the fleet. Frank Miller/Grattan Donnelly battled with Jon Evans/Aidan Caulfield and Michael Ennis/Marie Barry on almost even points troughout the event. Positions mid-fleet shifted like snakes and ladders, often due to unforced errors and the occasional swim.

The intention to go for four races on day one was stymied by a significant wind shift during race two and a bit of a delay resetting the course in a breeze which took time to settle into a steady direction. That delay combined with some signs of tiredness and some swimming meant the fleet headed for shore after race three. That tiredness led to a bit less support at the bar than is normal at Fireball events but a super meal at the club had the fleet eating together and risking the odd pint. A few heroes were seen in a local nightclub much later but many had an early night resting body and soul.

Sunday looked breezy from ashore but by the time the course was set conditions though still lively were distinctly steadier and the water a lot flatter. At this point any reasonable gambler would have put their money on Butler/Oram or Rumball/Flanagan.

Race officer Robin Gray was true to his word and started race one on time catching out a couple of boats who launched late and almost catching out McCartin/Kinsella who made the start with just seconds to spare. The pair stayed level with leaders up the course and on the reaches and broke away with a useful gust as they rounded into the run, consolidated by gybing onto starboard and into more pressure two thirds the way down. They held this lead to take the bullet.

fireballulster2014

Ulster Fireball champions – Barry McCartin (left) and Conor Kinsella (RStGYC). Photo: Frank Miller

In race five McCartin/Kinsella went right on the first beat to lead at the windward mark. They held on with Rumball/Flanagan snapping at their heels and broke away with a gybe set into more pressure which gave them the distance to hold Rumball/Flanagan off for the win. In the final race the pair had a bad start and arrived at the windward mark in about 6th but used the gusts on the reaches to close into third behind Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan. They stayed close on the beat to the two boats ahead and played the shifts, managing to get left of the leaders and ahead on shifts and then concentrated on holding off Butler/Oram. That pair suffered a snapped spinnaker sheet on one reach but managed a fast repair and sailed on with a shorter sheet.
McCartin/Kinsella's victory in the final race put them on an even score of ten points with Butler/Oram and Rumball/Flanagan but the three wins gave them the edge for overall victory in what was a thrilling event. The silver fleet prize was won by Mary Chambers and Brenda Maguire who displayed solid sailing in often tricky conditions. The event marked a great start to the Fireball summer season, with a bigger turnout anticipated at the Fireball Open event in Clontarf on June 14th/15th.

Results available below to download

Published in Fireball

#ballyholmeyc – Can any other Irish club boast over 110 days of racing this year? Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has been awarded the 2014 RYA NI Youth National championships to add to its already full calendar with the F18 World Championships, Irish Laser Championships, IMA Northerns, Fireball Northerns, RS Sprint Series. All this and the club still has yet to announce keelboat events for the new NI Restricted Keelboat Racing Association.

The go–ahead dinghy club has a coaching series starting this morning for Lasers 4.7, Radials, Standards, Toppers and Double–handed boats sponsored by North Down Borough Council.

More details here

 

Published in Belfast Lough

#F18 – Ballyholme Yacht Club is the host for this summer's prestigious F18 catamaran World Championships as Afloat first reported last July. The event will be sailed on Belfast Lough and is one of the largest in Ireland this year and runs from 4th till 11th July.

The Worlds will attract 120 multihulls and crew and this contingent, together with their managers, trainers, friends and family will bring over 500 visitors to North Down. Local competitors include Adrian Allen and Richard Swanston.

The F18 is a fast catamaran with a spinnaker and double trapeze crewed by two people and is a fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class with large fleets all over the world. The class is made up of over 50% professional and semi-professional sailors including World Champions, Olympians and major event winners.

Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running events of this magnitude and is delighted to have club member Bill O'Hara as Principal Race Officer. Bill is an Independent Sports Professional and an Olympian, who is currently Rules Coach for the Irish Sailing Association and Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race. The club has among its members three World Champions and 11 Olympic sailors.

Published in Racing
Tagged under
Page 6 of 8

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

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